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Friday, March 29, 2013

Seizures, Sickies, A Mini Hospital Stay, X-Rays, CT-Scans, Orthopedic Surgeons, OH MY! Oh Wait! Did I Mention Maybe a UTI?


I know, that's quite the title for this blog post, but it's been quite a few crazy days!

Where to start???

Wednesday we went out for our "big" shopping trip.  We found out Madi is sensitive to peanuts, almonds, eggs, corn, and wheat (likely dairy too, but she didn't have enough in her system for it to show up).  We knew about gluten and dairy, but the rest are new (and were tested because of her big egg fiasco).  We had to re-do the pantry, again, to make it allergen-friendly for her.  That meant sunflower nut butter (instead of almond or peanut), coconut milk (instead of almond), rice noodles (instead of quinoa/corn blend), etc...  I was also very low on groceries as we've just been kind of sliding by with our shopping and needed to stock up.  That was a $300 shopping trip right there.  Whew.  Yes.  $300.  I've never spent that kind of money in a grocery store, ever.  It was insane.  We were blessed with a sprouts gift card by two amazing friends the week before, and let me tell you, it was very much appreciated!  It helped a lot with that trip.  It was such a blessing (thank you friends (you know who you are), we love you guys!!) to have!!

I got a call from a friend as we were leaving the grocery store.  She needed to take her husband in to the hospital for heart failure (Thank God he is doing ok now.  It looks as though a virus settled in to his heart and was causing issues, but is resolving).  I ran by to grab her two kiddos and brought them back to our house.  Next, my friends moving to India the next day came by for dinner.  It was a crazy last dinner with them, as there were 7 kiddos at that point in time (my 3, their 2, and my friend's 2), but we enjoyed seeing them one last time before they left for India.  I got my 3 ready for bed and laid them down with David and sat with/rocked the 2 we were watching so that they would rest and be happy until their momma could make it home. They are sweet kiddos and did a great job while their mom was away.  I dropped them off at around 11:30, got home around 12:45 (we chatted a bit), then crashed in to bed.

Thursday I woke up and got Conner, Ramya, and Madi ready for a doctor's appointment we had at 10:00 am.  Ramya was seeing Dr. Segal, our orthopedic surgeon, for a check-up and to get a prescription for leg braces.  I got the three of them pottied, fed, dressed, and in the car, and we headed for Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH).  We checked in, waited, got in the room, waited a bit more, then saw Dr. Segal.  He is a wonderful doctor and we really love him.  He heard clicking in Ramya's left hip and set us for x-rays.  Conner and Madi couldn't go in the x-ray room, so I took Ramya in while the secretary played with Conner and Madi.  She made them glove-balloons and they drew faces on them.  They had a blast!  We got back to the room and by then everyone was getting ansy.  We waited a bit more for the doctor to come back, and he walked in to a room of monkeys when he did!  He gave Conner a game on his phone, sat Madi on his lap so she could scribble all over his notes, and finished his exam (like I said, he's an amazing doctor!).  We were finally finished at about 12:45 pm.  Dr. Segal wrote us a prescription for occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy (just in case), and KAFOs (leg braces that go up to the thighs).  He thinks Ramya will be a functional walker, and is hopeful we can go down to just AFOs (ankle braces) in the future.  He did say, though, that her left hip is likely out and will need surgery.  The x-ray showed that the front of the hip was mostly in, but it seemed the back of the hip was not.  We'll need more x-rays in the future to better asses this.  Madi's right hip is out, but he doesn't want to operate as she is a part-time walker.  Because he sees Ramya walking more, though, and causing more strain to that joint, he thinks she will need surgery.  Sigh.  He thankfully wants to wait until she's been here longer and is better adjusted, so at least that is good news.  At this point, we had missed Madi's occupational therapy, so we just went to the cafeteria to eat and relax.  The second we pull up in the parking lot all the kids get excited (even Ramya now), becuase they know PCH has scooby doo fruit snacks full of all kinds of nasty junk that mom wouldn't normally let them have.  It's the one time they get them, and they all love them, so we never leave the hospital without them.  Hey, if you have to go to the hospital for appointments all the time, there has to be a little perk, right?!?!?!?

Ramya's photo of Madi's glove balloon....


This morning Madi woke up early at 7:05.  She was throwing up and dry heaving, but was responding and seeming ok other than that.  She wasn't stopping the dry heaving, though, and then started staring off and getting slow to respond.  My heart skipped a beat.  Then I noticed her lower half started convulsing in a rhythmic pattern.  I woke David up, got her rescue meds, and gave her those (at about 7:20).  Madi's seizures don't self-resolve and just continue to get more involved, so they have to be stopped ASAP with a rescue med.  The problem, though, is that it's sometimes hard to tell if it's a seizure or just regular old sickies.  She normally falls asleep right after I give the meds, but this time she didn't.  She was agitated and kept telling me she needed to pee.  She finally fell asleep, but woke up very unhappy (which is not like her).  She kept saying her head hurt.  She'd hold it and just cry.  It broke my heart.  She started projectile vomiting, too.  She was lethargic and would wake up for a bit, sleep for a bit, but was just hurting and not happy whenever she was awake.  She's never complained of a headache before, and she's never acted like that after a seizure before, so we were worried about her shunt.  We decided to take her in to PCH.  Because they are on RSV restrictions still, my mom drove so I could sit next to Madi, and David stayed with Conner and Ramya.  Poor Conner was crying and upset at me leaving, and I felt awful leaving Ramya when we are still working on attachment so much.  Thankfully David was there for them, but it was not fun.  Madi projectile vomited in the car on the way again and was still saying her head hurt.  We got checked in at PCH and then the ordred a CT-scan and x-ray series.  I also told them they probably wanted to check her urine and did a clean cath sample for them.  We waited quite a bit (such is hospital life) and then it was time to go get the scans.  Right about then, Madi perked up and started acting like her normal self.  We went for the scans and then waited for the doctor to come talk to us.  While we waited we chatted with Conner and Ramya on facetime.  They were relieved to see us!  After we chatted for a bit, the doctor came in and told us her scans all came back fine.  He didn't think it was shunt related (Thank God!  I know it's crazy to wish a sickness on your kiddo, but I always pray she is "just sick" and it's not shunt related, because shunt issues equal surgery!).  He did, however, see a lot of white blood cells in her urine, indicating she likely has a UTI.  They couldn't get ahold of urology to check her sample, so they sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics and with instructions to fill it if urology felt it was necessary (I will call Dr. Zuniga on Monday and have him check it all out).  The doctor said the UTI could be to blame for all of the symptoms we saw that day.  I don't think it was related to the headache and vomiting.  I think that was likely due to the rescue meds.  I suppose you never know, though.  I do know if she has a UTI that would lower her seizure threshold, so that could help explain the seizure.  Madi acted like her normal happy self once we were home.  Conner and Ramya were thrilled to see us and Ramya would not let me put her down the rest of the day.  David said she cried and asked for me a few times while I was gone.  This made me feel very sad, but at the same time, I'm glad she is missing me.  I would think it would mean she's at least partially attached to me if she is sad I'm gone.  I'm glad she's now gotten to see, though, that momma comes back.  I'm also thankful she was able to be with David, as I'm sure that helped their bonding.

Sleeping angel on momma...

We finally got dinner (takeout... I hadn't had breakfast or lunch, and had finally gotten half a sandwich in the late afternoon but was still very hungry!) and got all the kids in bed, and then Madi puked again.  It was a lot.  It went on me, on the pillow, and on the bed, so we changed all of the sheets and the waterproof mattress cover, and I changed my clothes.  We got all the kids back in bed and settled again, and then finally off to sleep.  I'm beat, so I am headed to bed as well.  The house is a mess.  Their are dishes in the sink.  I need a shower.  But for right now, I don't care.  Sleep is going to come first.  I am VERY thankful that Madi's shunt looks good and that we were able to come home today.  God is really watching over my little gal!

I pray everyone has a blessed night and gets lots of rest (me included)!!!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ramya and her Daddy

Ramya has her daddy wrapped around her little finger, that's for sure!  They love spending time together, and they both soak it all up.  Ramya prefers to be held and fed by me, mostly, but is enjoying her special time with daddy too.  They have had two little "dates" out, and she really enjoyed both.  A few weeks ago she wanted to go with David to the store by herself.  She got to ride in his car for the first time.  She left with a smile, returned with a smile, and was excited to tell me all about it.  This Saturday, Conner had a build-and-grow clinic at Lowes David was taking him to and I was doing a garage sale with a friend.  I asked Ramya if she wanted to stay with me, or go with daddy and Conner.  Of course, she wanted to go with daddy and Conner in daddy's car.  She had a blast!  I heard all about it when she got home.  I love watching those to laugh and have fun together... David is an amazing daddy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"I love you, Momma"

I've been waiting for those words.
"I love you, momma."
It's amazing how much good those four little words can do for a tired mommas heart!

I had been staying up late to get ready for a garage sale and keep the house tidy-ish.  I was tired, feeling sort of "bleh", and was trying to get ready and get my act together.  Ramya was in the room with me talking and playing while I got ready.  That's when I heard it...
"I love you momma."
Ramya usually repeats me when I tell her I love her ("I love you, Ramya." "I love you, momma.") but this was the first time she told me just out of the blue.
The next day, David got to hear those wonderful four little words too.
"I love you dadda."
Well we love you too, precous girl, and we have since the moment we saw your photo.  We have always known that God planned for you to be a part of our crazy family, and we are so thankful that you are!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our Family Photos

Our amazing friend, Michelle, took family photos for us as a gift to our family.  She does an AMAZING job and spent so much time with us to make sure everything was perfect.  We are so very thankful for her generosity and love for our family!  I got the CD of images today and just couldn't wait to share!

P.S. If you live in Phoenix and are looking for a photographer, please let me know!  Michelle was so patient with the kiddos and really took her time getting everything right.  She is affordable and amazing to work with!  Her packages include a session and 25 edited photos on CD.  Please e-mail me at if you would like her contact information :).


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dance Your Heart Out, Madi!

Madi just LOVES dance class and it doesn't get any cuter than this!  Go Madi, go!


(Madi uses her rifton mobile stander (backwards) and her HKFOs in dance class :))

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's a Girl: A Documentary About Gendercide

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.

Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members.

(take from the website...

Today I got to watch this documentary with a group of friends from my mom's group.  It was eye opening and heartbreaking, but I am so glad that I watched it.  Through our adoption process, I learned a bit about what it means to be a baby, girl, and woman in India, but seeing this documentary gave it a whole new meaning.  Babies being suffocated with acid or rice, girls being neglected, violence and trafficing of women, forced abortions; it is all very real and it happens every day.  There is no value of human life, but especially that of girls.   

I encourage each and every one of you to consider hosting a viewing of It's a Girl.  We need to get the word out there that these trageties are very real and that they need to stop.  It is $60 to have an in-home viewing.  We all gave $5 towards the cost of the viewing, with any extra going to Ramya's orphange.  Spread the word and help get this very real documentary out there.  This is a story that needs to be told!

Ramya and I at Amanda's house... I am SO thankful my little girl didn't, and never will, face the same fate that 200 million other girls have.

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Been a Month!

It still feels so surreal that Ramya is officially home and ours, FOREVER!  It is so crazy to think that it was barely over a month ago that I walked in to that orphanage and carried her out; what a great feeling that was!

Life is chugging along and things are going well.  I had prepared for the worst while praying for the best, and I feel like things are going much better than I had planned.  I'm not trying to say things have been easy, because I don't think adding a 3rd child to your family is ever an "easy" thing, but I am thankful that things are better than expected.

Ramya has come so far in this past month.  Her English is getting better, she is coming to me when she needs something, she can play for a little while with Conner and Madi happily, she is learning to do things like cry (she used to just kind of quietly sob if something happened but now she cries and wants comfort from me), and she is enjoying snuggles and kisses. 

I thought I'd share what a good day looks like and what a hard day looks like for us.  I'll start with the hard so I can end on a good note ;).

A hard day means that Ramya has a hard time with transitioning, hearing and accepting "no", following directions, and things like that.  She gets in her "funk", I get the look from her, and she just won't listen or come out of it.  Redirection doesn't work, attempting to talk through it (in a basic, simplified way) doesn't work, and it just downward spirals into needing a time-in.  Time-ins on a hard day are rough with her trying to hit me, taking off her clothes and throwing them at me, yelling, and all that fun stuff.  This can happen once or it can happen multiple times in a day.  Thankfully this doesn't happen often and the good times far far outweigh the hard ones!  Her "moments" are also slowly tapering off, and for that, I am grateful!  I pray often for God to give me patience and grace for all of my children, as I know I need those things myself quite often :).

A good day for us means that the kids get along pretty well.  Our day flows nicely, I get something accomplished, redirection works, and our days feel "normal".  If we do have a time-in, it's short lived and she follows our time-in rules.  On a good day, we don't have any place we have to be.  It's always nice when we can spend time in the house and don't have an appointment or somewhere to go.  We just kind of hunker down and enjoy playing and being together as a family.  These days are wonderful!

Conner is so happy to have Ramya home and often tells me how cute and funny she is and how he is so happy she's home.  He often talks about how much he loves her.  He will tell me it's more work having two sisters, but he also talks about how much he enjoys it.  Madi loves Ramya, though they are true sisters.  One minute they are playing nicely, the next minute someone has the other person's doll, but all-in-all, you can tell how much they love each other.  They take care of each other, want to feed each other, want to help wash each other's hair during bath time, and things like that.  It is very sweet to watch!

I know our journey has just begun and our road to attachment will be a long one, but it already feels like she has been in our family from the start.  We all love her very much!

On a wagon ride

At the Deer Valley Airport Restaurant

Asleep in momma's arms.... the first night she wanted to be rocked to sleep (she likes rocking, but normally likes to lay next to me to fall asleep and often likes to hold my hand)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Very Special Birthday Party for a Very Special Girl!

As promised, I have photos from today's family birthday party for Ramya.  She was just over-the-moon excited and loved being celebrated.  She loved opening all her gifts and I had a good giggle when she opened the wrapping paper and saw a clothing box.  She looked at the box, thought it was her gift, and put it down.  She didn't realize there was a gift inside.  She was SO excited to see that there was when I showed her how to open the box.  She also ate watermelon for the first time today and really loved it.  We had a little talk on how we eat the red part, not the rind, and she went to town!  I think she ate about 4 or 5 little triangles of it.  She especially loved her beautiful princess cake that her very talented Aunt Kim made her (!/SweetExpressionsByKimberly?fref=ts). 

I didn't attempt to make all the food like I usually do and just ordered pitas, rice, and salad from a local Greek place.  The food turned out yummy, and just cleaning the house and keeping it that way felt like a lot to me, so I am so glad I didn't try to tackle it all myself like I usually do. 

Oh, and we went out for breakfast this morning (we like to go out once every couple months for breakfast) to keep the kitchen clean.  We tried to go to Cracker Barrel and it was too busy so we went to the Deer Valley Airport restaurant.  They have a buffet for breakfast we thought would be good for the kiddos so they could eat right away, plus you get to see the planes come and go, and they always love that.  When we were finished with our meal and went to pay, our meal was already paid for by someone in the restaurant!  We were so touched!  Now to pay it forward ourselves :)

Here are some photos from our day...

Mommy just HAD to find me a cute little outfit!

All three saying "cheeseburger baby!"

Ramya has a special place in her daddy's heart!

She picked the decorations for the party :)


Super cute frog cupcakes done by her aunt... you can tell how much her aunt loves her, she put so much love and detail in to each one!

The amazing princess cake!  It was so yummy too!  I felt bad cutting it because it was so pretty :).

My dad, whom we call 'papa', showing off his 3E Proud Papa shirt with the wheelchair heart symbol

Present time!


She has carried her dolly around every day since we gave it to her.  Aunt Kim and Uncle Mark gave her a doll stroller and doll bottles for her baby (which she named "baby") and she was very very excited!

Time to wrestle!

Yum yum!

Blowing out the candle...

Yup, it's official, she loved it!

Conner grew a third (frog) eye!

Happy birthday to one amazing and sweet little girl that we are so excited and proud to call OURS!