Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy 3rd Gotcha Day!

Today is yet another important day to remember in the life of Miss Emily. On January 29, 2007, (which also happens to be Ryan's birthday!) a baby girl named Nadezhda, lovingly called Nadya by her caregivers, became an official member of the Hypes Family!
Today (and this weekend) we celebrate our 3rd year of having Emily as part of our family. We LOVE you, Em!

You can read more about the details of our first Gotcha day here!

As I write this journal entry, I'm enjoying Ohio noon-time temperatures of 12°F which are very similar to our daily temps in Kazakhstan 3 years ago. Oh, how I wish I could return to Uralsk for a few days for some of the things I miss:
  • Visit with our drivers, coordinators and translators.
  • The smell of lunches being cooked in the babyhouse while we visited.
  • Eat pizza at MacJohn's.
  • Shop for yummy bread in the grocery story where I can't understand anyone.
  • Brush my teeth with bottled water.
  • Walk up the smelly stairway to our apartment.
  • Pay $500 for excessive internet use so we don't miss our shows at home. (That was an accident!)
  • Watch packs stray dogs and cats walk around the city like they own the place.
  • Ride in a car through car-sized potholes and drive within inches of the cars beside us.
  • Shop in the outdoor markets.
  • Lose another 12 lbs. due to jet lag and strange foods.
  • Drinking the freshest tasting fruit nectar/juices and eating really tasty carrots and cheese.
  • The exhilarating feeling of discovering peanut butter my last day there.
  • Watching people.
  • Walking through the Russian Orthodox churches and cemetaries.
  • Learning about cultures and customs of our daughter's homeland.
  • Feeling my heart break as I watched children begging in the streets and (for our safety) I was supposed to simply ignore them.
  • ....I could go on and on. Oh, I miss it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What?!?! Mommy's Naked?

(Emily's cousin, Brooke, colored this blanket for her for Christmas!)

The following story won't be a surprise to my sister after tonight's occurrence...

Tonight, our little cherub and I had a video chat with Aunt Shell and Aunt Laura. Before we signed off, we had a conversation about Emily being a flower girl for a wedding in May. When asked about her dress, she told Aunt Shell that Mommy was makin' it... which somehow came out on the other sounding like Mommy's naked. They laughed. Emily laughed.

Shortly after that, it was time to sign off and get our darling to bed. I asked her if she wanted to read Aunt Shell and Aunt Laura a story before we signed off and she trotted away to her room for her Bible. She came back, flipped through the pages and started with a little prayer of her own, "God help us -- Mommy's naked."

Oi vey.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sleeping Beauty in the OT

If you remember a post from a few weeks ago, Emily has been reading her Bible lately.

Tonight she read to me from the Old Testament book of Nahum. Sleeping Beauty, nonetheless!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Emily's Singing

Emily (the girl who sings all the time) stopped mid-song tonight to tell us that she didn't sing very good. Tom and I were baffled. Who would have the gall to tell a toddler that? Being ready to beat up whoever said it, her daddy asked, "Emily who said that you don't sing very well?" To which she very matter of factly responded, "God." Ouch!

Within about 15 minutes, she had moved on. She placed a "Let's Go Krogering" sticker over her entire eye and told me, "Look Mommy, I'm a pirate. Arrrrrrgh!"

Maybe it's just the pirates who don't sing well? After all, they do sort of have gravelly voices!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Cold, Dreary Day = Warm Feelings

In the most beautiful, sentimental way, this morning's fresh layer of powdery snow, ankle deep muddy slush in the parking lots, 19° temps, brisk winds and gray skies for days on end remind me of Kazakhstan, where we lived for approximately 4 weeks almost 3 years ago. We bonded with a previous little baby that to this day teaches us to laugh, show compassion to others, cry when we're hurting and dance on our tippy-toes when we're excited. Who knew that such cold, dreary days could consistently elicit such happy memories and warm feelings. I love these kinds of days and I'm homesick for my daughter's homeland.

Another Botox Follow-Up

We ventured down to Children's Hospital again yesterday afternoon for Emily's botox follow-up appointment and I am happy to say that we finally had a VERY encouraging visit with the doctor. This appointment was with our "new" doctor, Dr. K. We've usually had very good experiences with our visits to Children's but this is the first time that any of Em's doctors have been really pumped (almost giddy) at the progress she's seen.

Dr. K watched Em take her (Dr. K's) assistance dog, Travis, for a walk, we took the braces off, she flexed Em's feet/ankles and had her walk again. It was nice to finally see a doctor's face light up with excitement at how well the treatment was working. I was told that her left foot is finally within normal range and her right foot is better than normal range. Dr. K said that if we can stay on this track the future could look very good.

We also talked about a few other things like how to make the injection appointments a little more tolerable for Em and how to get a little more stretch in her hamstrings since she's not able to get a restful sleep with her knee immobilizer (knee brace) on.

We are going to try sticking to the regular AFO's (day braces) and adding the knee immobilizer at nap time and then having her wear her DAFO (night brace) at night time.

Emily has major issues with being confined (i.e., being held down for shots, getting caught in blankets while sleeping, getting hung up in shirts while getting dressed) and she immediately panics and starts fussing and screaming. Needless to say (but I'm going to say it anyway) I'm looking forward to being able to sleep a little better at night now that we don't have to wake up to her crying for us to take her knee brace off. (We've only been able to make it 1-2 hours any given night when we've tried to get her to wear it.)

Dr. K was thrilled with Em's progress and as a parent, it was great to hear Dr. K say that she loved ending her day with Em since she was so much fun and kept her laughing. Not all of her patients are so amiable. She said that just by observing Em she could tell that she's very intelligent and watching her made her want to adopt.

We left with a very good feeling... and then spent a little over 2 hours (during rush hour and snow/ice) making the 45 minute drive home.... but I digress. ;-)

Ok, folks (and that means you!) I've used enough "( )" (parentheses) and improper grammar today and my editor friends and family are ready to strangle me. Have a great day! (Bye!)

New Stories in the Bible

Emily read to me from her bible this afternoon. Is anyone else aware that the story of Snow White can be found in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah?
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