Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Catching Up

I think he is finally doing better. I hope.
I hope there isn't another trip to urgent care or the E.R. in the near future.
For the last three months Oliver has looked like this more times than not.
Poor guy.
Kissing tonsils have literally wiped him out.
After three rounds of antibiotics his tonsils are still huge.  He has sleep apnea and now sleeps with us every single night.  After going back and forth with insurance, the ENT, and our pediatrician, Oliver is finally scheduled to have his tonsils and adenoids out and have a sedated hearing test at the beginning of March.
I'm praying this surgery will improve his overall health.

 We were given a ton of books.  The girls have enjoyed reading them.
One night William thought it would be fun to make snow.
It wasn't enough to make a snowman though.
In their free time, the boys have turned the dirt side of our yard into a bike track.
This is their new favorite thing to do and they are constantly making changes to the track.
After three months home, Natalie is finally beginning to play with Oliver.  Here he is teaching her peek-a-boo.  Oliver is a little rough with her since he only knows how his older brothers play with him, but he is learning to be gentler.
Natalie has a host of behaviors that I think may be institutional autism, but I am not sure.  I'm certain she has aerophagia too.  She definitely has some anxiety/PTSD going on.  Remember when I mentioned that the pediatrician said that Natalie has Situs Inversus?  Well, I mentioned this to the technician who did her echo and he said that her organs were in the right place.  At this point no one is really able to explain why the x-ray looked the way it did but my theory is that her colon and stomach gets so full of air that it is hard to accurately read the films. 
The cardiologist cleared Natalie for surgery so in the next month or two she will have tubes and a sedated hearing test.   In hopes of getting Natalie the right help I am taking her to an international adoption clinic next week for a full evaluation.  Meanwhile, we are having Oliver's old teacher come out to work with her.
Natalie has a long way to go but she is nearly walking and finds many things to laugh and smile about throughout the day.
Here is our new favorite dessert.  Galina found it, and it is the bomb!  The first week we had it, she made it three times.
Here is the recipe.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Nattles!

Yesterday Natalie turned four! After four long years, I'm pretty sure this was her very first cupcake, first candle, and first time that anyone sang happy birthday to her.
You can say it was a pretty special moment.

Even though Natalie wasn't too excited about her cupcake, Oliver sure liked them.
So did John.  I love the way he plays around the kids-- can you see Nolan's face?

Nolan is such a ham.
But so is Natalie!

Happy birthday to our little sweetheart.  May the rest of your life be filled with love and sweetness!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Andrew's Officially a Teenager

Happy birthday Andrew! So excited that you are now the big 13!  What a fine, young man you are growing up to be.
 Sonic Drive-In was a nice choice for your birthday dinner.
We all ordered the #1.  The weather was so nice that we ate outside.
Back at home there was a cake waiting with birthday candles on it.
It was cute to see Natalie so interested.
Happy birthday son!

It is such a blessing to call you our son.  You are so smart, creative, outdoorsy, funny, and charismatic.  We love you so much!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Julia!

 Happy seventeenth birthday to a most incredible girl!  We are blessed to call you our daughter!
This is the picture I took with John's cell phone at Julia's birthday dinner.  We all shared BJ's pizza and pizookie.  Yum!
On a different night we did dinner, cake, and presents. 

 Rachel made Julia this beautiful cake.  In case you were wondering-- it is much harder to light seventeen candles than it is to blow them out.

 Of course Oliver was right there to help blow them out.
It is a joy watching how the Lord is working in Julia's life.   We are all excited to see what this year is going to bring as she continues to plan for college.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Oliver and Natalie