Monday, April 1, 2013

I am a pageant mom!

I have a love/hate relationship to pageants.  There are some things I really love, and then there are things I hate.  It can be everything and more you see on tv, and then again it can be nothing like what you see on tv.  Mostly, it is what you make of it.  If you have never been to one in person, you really can't get a full taste of what pageants are really like.  It's truly one of those see it to believe it type things.

Believe me, I was so quick to judge them a few years ago, before my girls got into this.  I thought it would be like showing cattle or something.  In a way, maybe it is, at least at some of the pageants.  For the most part, it's nothing like that.

First let me say this, I hate that show that is on TLC, I seriously HATE it.  I will leave the name of it off my blog for tracking reasons.  Yes, we were on it one time, live and learn, I probably won't be doing it again.  It has really sucked the fun out of pageants and the good that actually comes from them.  It's also brought in some insanely crazy pageant mom's that are more in it for themselves. The world would truly be a better place if that show was never made!

I know, coming from a family that is TRYING to be non judgmental this seems it wouldn't fit in at all.  I am in the middle of two very different lifestyles.  One that is very earthy, more natural, lose and free.  While the other is very mainstream.  Neither side gets ME at all, but that's okay! :)  The whole pageant thing truly is for my girls.  For some reason they love it, until they are finished with this nonsense we will keep on doing them. 

There are different kinds of pageants.  No system is exactly alike.  The rules are different.  What they are looking for is different.

You have your natural pageants.

 Just like it sounds, natural.  No makeup for preteen and under, no tans, no fake teeth (flipper), or wigs.  Depending on the system, usually no stones on the dresses either.  Now we have been to pageants that claimed to be natural, but babies had on just as much makeup as a glitz girl. We've learned this is one of those important questions you NEED to ask the director before pageant day.  It will either make or break you.  If they say no makeup and you show up with makeup, you lose.  If they say it's allowed, you better have it on, or you will lose.  Silly, I know. Natural is suppose to be natural, really gets me when they say it is and it's not.  I like natural best, but both my girls are more glitzy.

Just because it says it's natural doesn't mean at all that it's going to be the same as the last natural pageant you were at.  They are all different.  Some just want that shinning personality, I love the personality contests best.  Doesn't matter if you aren't the worlds most beautiful, if you have a huge smile and a major personality, your chances are just as good as the next girl.  These are usually your benefit pageants or REALLY natural pageants.  Beauty isn't even scored. I like those, those use to be the only ones we did.  I often wish it was still that way.  I don't like that children are judged on beauty.  I'm trying to teach beauty is what's inside, and so far so good.  Guilty as charge, I do feel proud when they win most beautiful though. :)

Glitz, I'm still not a huge fan. Yes, it's more fun for the girls, they want more personality shown, the clothes are over the top and amazing. I hate it though.  Fake teeth on a toddler? Yeah, that's just stupid. We did buy into the flipper, and I can't honestly say I will never do it again (NEVER FOR A TODDLER!!! Stinky doesn't have one and won't till she loses teeth), you do need it to win.  Even though it is a normal (and adorable) part of childhood, a toothless grin will never win.  Glitz they want flawless beauty.  Tans and heavy makeup, even on babies, though usually that isn't started till age two.  Fake hair, BIG hair. I hate big hair.  I think it looks really stupid on a small kid, shoot, anyone. "Um hello, the 80's called, they want their hair back!!" I really don't GET the whole deal with glitz.  The glitz photos are dumb too.  They don't even look like the kid, BUT, if you don't have one, you don't usually stand a chance because photos play a huge part of your score in some pageants.

Glitz Kat
Glitz Stinky

What's the point of playing at all if you don't stand a chance at winning.  No, winning isn't everything, but I'm not paying that kind of money to set myself up to lose.  The girls love glitz.  The routines are so much fun, modeling is fun, the awards are bigger and better.  It's just dress up.  They love it, most little girls love getting all dolled up anyway.  

It's a fine line we walk.  I often hear mothers say to their daughters after getting out of hair and makeup "oh my! you look so beautiful"  This makes my toes curl.  Their child was already beautiful before all that gunk!!! I make SURE my girls know this, if they struggled even slightly thinking they needed that crap, I'd pull them out.  THEY ARE MOST BEAUTIFUL WITHOUT ALL THAT GUNK! It's just for fun, dress up only. It's not needed.  Kathryn will tell you, it's her stage makeup so she doesn't look like a ghost under those lights. 

I hate drama.  We go to make friends, we go to have fun, winning isn't everything.  You would NOT believe how many times we've met people that acted all friendly only to turn around and stab us in the back.  Yes, it happens. It's almost not worth even going.  Like any sport though, there is going to be drama.  Half the people I've met at pageants probably think I am some awful person because of what someone else has said about me. :-D Sad but true!  It's happened in baseball and karate too, it's everywhere!

The treatment we've gotten from people because we do pageants has been unreal. Not only is it not anyone else's business, but to judge someone on something they do (when it's not hurting anyone!) is wrong.  My girls have cried themselves to sleep more than once because of something someone else has done or said about this.  It hurts.  It's really sad they don't feel comfortable talking about it with some people because they are afraid of the reaction they will get. I admit, we use to keep it to ourselves we did pageants.  It's nothing to be ashamed about, and I HATE I have been made to feel this way. I get that it isn't for everyone, that's 100% okay, but just because it isn't YOUR thing doesn't mean you have to knock it down for MY girls!  I don't allow people like this in very close anymore.  You're either for us or against us.  If you really love my kids, you accept them for who they are.

I already stated the things I hated about glitz, big hair, flippers, tons of makeup, pictures that look nothing like the kid.  It is what you make of it.(I will get to the pros in all of this!) Tanning scares me.  Not because of the way it looks.  Who wouldn't want to be golden brown??? The stuff in it.  Just because it's organic doesn't mean it's fantastic for your skin.  Poop can be organic too, but you don't see me coating myself in it.  We don't tan often at all.  Jemima almost never gets tanned as her skin is browner.  I really hate that tans are needed. If they aren't safe like some are stating, then they need to be banned from pageants.

I hate going to a prelim pageant (usually small, less than 20 girls competing) and there being rules about no cameras in the ballroom.  Usually it isn't even a ballroom, usually there isn't even a stage! You go to the prelims to place and get fees off a state or nationals pageant. I AM NOT GOING TO PAY SOMEONE $75 FOR PHOTOS FROM A PRELIM!!! EVER!!! I get not allowing them at the state and national ones, those are usually huge, and I am thrilled no one else is able to get a picture of my kid, and I will gladly pay the pro to take them.  Really gets me at the small pageants though, I mean you aren't even allowed to snap a picture of your kid at crowning. Uh sorry, I just paid to be here, paid for her clothes, she's MY kid.  I should by all means be able to snap a picture to post on facebook RIGHT NOW and not have to wait thee weeks for the pictures to come in!! We try to avoid prelims that don't allow cameras.  Yes, I look.  

I hate pageants where not everyone gets a crown.  It's hard work to get up there in front of everyone.  You won't see me doing it!  We avoid pageants where not everyone is made to feel special.  I don't care if it's a tiny crown, everyone SHOULD get one!  All girls are special, all girls are princesses.  You want a kid to feel proud of themselves, you give everyone a crown and a nice sounding title!!!

It's a LOT of work to get ready for them.  We start planing days, sometimes weeks in advance. These kids work hard for their titles.  Many many hours go into practicing for them. Like I said, you wouldn't get what I mean by that unless you actually went to a pageant.  You don't just go up there and look pretty, most pageants want a full on routine, almost like dancing. (Pro Am modeling)  It takes lots of time and money to learn them!

I know I've made it sound pretty bad, but there are things I really love about pageants.

I love a lot of the people we have met! Some of my best friends (who am I kidding, MOST of my best friends) have came from pageants.  From dragging me out of the house kid free, to visiting my sick kid in the hospital, to inviting my super sized family over for dinner, or just calling to say HI.  We've met some amazing people, our lives are truly better because of them. I would have never met a single one of them without pageants.

Who am I kidding, I love making the clothes too.  It's so much fun.  Where else would my kids get to wear my over the top creations?!?  Plus I've gotten so much better at sewing because of this.  I LOVE coming up with new and exciting things for them to wear.  Really makes me all fuzzy inside when they say "My mama made my outfit, isn't it amazing?!" with so much pride, and then go and win in it. AWESOME. Totally rocks my socks off!

I love who my girls have become.  Jemima was so very shy, she wouldn't look anyone in the eyes, cried when a stranger tried to talk to her, I couldn't leave her even at my parents house without a melt down.  Now, she almost never meets a stranger.  She's learning to talk when asked questions. Makes good eye contact and is friendly.  She asks to go visit people without me.  Not only that, she is very proud of herself. Kat is now at the age where interviews are a huge part of her overall score.  She's been interviewed twice, and both times has won overall best interview.  Being homeschooled there wouldn't be many opportunities  for any sort of public speaking, we actually look for pageants with interviews. This will be a huge help when it comes time for jobs and getting into collage.  She is sure of herself and is able to face whatever is thrown at her, pageants paid a huge roll in that. Both girls are gaining so much confidence, that is something I could never have just taught them. They also like themselves, and are comfortable in their own skin.  Something I envy, I never thought much about myself, still don't.  They value their self worth. They take pride in who they are.  That is so special.  I really hope they keep this up, kids that like themselves are less likely to get into trouble later on.

I don't allow them to cry if they lose, they are to be happy for the girl that did.  This was hard on one of my children at first, but she's sat out enough where it comes easier now.  You can't always win in life, even if you did do your best.  They both fully understand this!  Yes, it's disappointing, but you can always try harder. There is always next time.  You just can't ever give up, at a very young age, both girls get it!

None of my children will probably ever go to Prom. I don't think I will allow dating while still in high school. We homeschool so there won't be a prom. My girls won't need it, they get all dressed up and have their shinning moment just about once a month, or at least every other month.  They feel special often enough, it is my hope they won't feel they missed out on prom.

I love the look on their faces when they take it all.  

Learning to be super proud of their sister when her big day comes and she takes it all and being just as happy for her if you won it yourself. :)

  It's true, we will probably have to rent a storage unit to store all their winnings, we have trophies and crowns in nearly every room.  It's really hard to part with something you worked so hard for.  Yes, even more work for me, dusting those things are a pain in the neck. 

Childhood is so special.  I know from the outside it might look like pageants rob children of this, I wouldn't deny that in some people that is probably the case.  I've seen parents beat the crap out of their kids and really knock them down for not being perfect.  That just sucks.  That is not at all what we are there for.  This is fun for them, they feel special.  It's also amazing mother daughter bonding time.  We've had some amazing conversation while fixing them all up.  It's just glorified playtime with added benefits of learning some very valuable lessons.  I am raising some amazing young ladies.  They know how to act a lady (something I will never learn haha!) yet they know how to play hard too.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I decided...Honest look into why I am me.

  I have come a long way over the past two years. I don't know if anyone else noticed the difference, and that's okay. I noticed and that's all that mattered.

 The old me was a really cruel and hateful person.  If I was against something, I proudly, and very bluntly expressed it.  It was my right to voice my opinion on my wall, if you didn't like it, you could leave. I didn't care at all about the effect it might have on someone else. I judged everyone. Most of it was really stupid issues that are clearly none of my business. Those that were important, well, I could have gone about the whole thing in a much nicer way, or better yet, stayed out of it!

 From circumcision to abortion... Co sleeping moms to CIO mom's, I had an opinion about it.  If yours clashed with mine, you got an ear full from me.  My facebook page was a wall of one cruel judgement after another cruel judgement. I'm not 100% sure why I was that way.  Probably thinking if I showed enough solid proof, I could change everyone to "MY" line of thinking. Stupid thought! You're either preaching to the choir or making someone else angry.

  I don't recall exactly what it was that opened my eyes to a new line of thinking.  It was probably a mix of different things I was going through at the time.  I do remember the day I decided to change.  I took a vow of piece. To love and not judge.


  Believe me, it wasn't easy. Someone would post something and I was itching to share if I agreed, or fire back with what I thought if I didn't.

  This doesn't mean that my ideas changed.  Some, in fact, are still the very same.  I will gladly even talk about it with someone, IF they ask me first what I think.

  Gone is the judgement.  Judging folks is wrong!  We aren't suppose to judge, we seriously lack in the compassion to judge one properly.  What gives ME the right to even think I can tell someone else how they should be living their life. What gives ME the right to tell someone else they are doing wrong?!? It is NOT my right, it's NOT my business.

  I have been on the receiving end often. It's rough, I don't really fit in anywhere. I've been judged for being "earthy", been judged about being a pageant mom (full blog post on that coming!), been judged for unschooling/homeschooling, judged on the number of kids I have, you know what, I probably can't do my own hair without someone else having a strong opinion about that!  That's okay, I was once where that person was. Inside they are mean and ugly. Not me! Not anymore! I have been set free!

  People don't want to stick around people that are judging them anyway.  If you really want to win someone over, you do it in love.  I have no life lessons for anyone.  I am a normal human that screws up daily.  When judgement comes in it makes me question my own worth. Some days are better than most, some days are just awful. Judge me on the day I am down, and you might as well kick the wind out of me.  Judgement hurts.  People that are struggling and having a rough time usually are where they are at because of being hurt by judgement and from feeling unloved. Judge them more, and guess what, you're kicking them when they are already down.

  I don't want any part of that, I won't stick around and watch it happen to people either.  It makes me sad to see other people being hurt.  It hurts my heart.  Good people, that have just as much right at being happy as anyone else. No good comes from hurting people, even if you are the one that is right.

  I want to live in a world that is peaceful, happy, everyone gets along and loves each other. I get it, that's asking a lot.  But you know what?  I can change me, I can change MY world, my home, my happiness, my own outlook in life. I am in total control of the joy that is inside me and I am FINALLY at the place where no one can take that away from me. I won't allow it. I can't change the world, but I can change me! Judgement is gone, all that is left is love.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The downside to Co Sleeping

  I love co sleeping, I truly do.  If I didn't, I wouldn't let my almost 21 month old sleep with me, or his siblings before him.  There is nothing better falling asleep with a cuddly toddlers arms around your neck, or waking up to that adorable grin first thing in the morning.  

  However, there is a downside.  This doesn't only happen when the toddler is in control of his potty business, but this can happen with newborn infants as well.

Jonah has been 100% fully accident free for well over a month now.  He takes his potty business very seriously and is very proud of himself over this issue.

I was sound a sleep.  Sleeping like a bear in a cave on a cold winters day.  I was probably next impossible to wake me up.  I was in so deep I was even dreaming, but I don't remember what.  I do remember the dream changing though.  It went from whatever it was I was dreaming to dreaming I was on the beach.  The wind was on face (fan) and the sun was on my neck... I felt the warmth go down my back... wait a minute, when did the sun get so wet???

I reach back.  My hair is soaking wet too.

I roll over and see Jonah sitting, just looking at me.

"Jonah Andrew, did you just pee on me???"

"I'm sorry Mummy (my child thinks he's English)!!! I pee pee sleeping!!"

I tell him it's okay, change him, wake up Ryan so I can change the bedding.  Make sure Jonah snuggles back down with Ryan, and I hop in the shower. AT 5 AM!!!  Okay, it's kind of funny now.  At least I won't worry later if/when I'll get my shower!

I climb back in bed and Jonah scoots over next to me and puts his hand on my face and whispers in his half sleep state "I wuv you"

So you might get peed on, or thrown up on, or pooed on in the wee waking hours. You might have to get up, change all your bedding (or throw a towel on it, if it's not too bad), and possibly even get a shower when you would rather be sleeping.

Knowing your baby is always there, being able to just roll over when he needs comfort, knowing he is safe, it's worth it. Totally worth it.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My 100th post!

So much has happened since I started this blog.  Pretty sad it took me a few years to write 100 posts, but here it is.  I am so caught up in mothering lately, there just hasn't been time.  Homeschooling, potty training, dance, baseball, gymnastics, doctor appointments, pageants, dental appointments, as well as just day to day things that keep our home running smoothly.

Our Latvian's went back to Latvia on Jan. 12th.  We have been heart broken ever since. It was a very hard day.  We didn't hear a peep out of the back of the van the whole way to the air port.  Sad is an understatement.  We were able to get a gate pass because I was the air port coordinator for Kentucky.  Kristaps thought this meant we were going home with them, though we didn't realize he was thinking that at that point.  He perked up as soon as we checked through security and happily sat down next to us while we waiting till it was time to board the plane, we thought he was just happy to go home.  Justine sat next to me, not letting my hand go.  I kept hearing her sniffling, but when I looked at her she put a brave smile on.  I did pretty well holding it together till it was time to say goodbye.  She hugged me and wouldn't let go and there were tears in her eyes.  It was hard not telling her we were going to do everything in our power to get them back. It was then we realized Kristaps thought we were coming, he was tugging on Ryan's hand saying "you come too!" and then he started to fight tears. Hugging them goodbye, letting them go, was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life so far.  

We get home, and two people are missing.  It's so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

I am missing many extra hugs and cuddles from two very special people.  Latvian is no longer being shouted in the house.  Not as many hands in the kitchen ready and willing to help, people are missing at our dinner table.  It hurts!

Life goes on, we didn't want it to, but thus it has happened slowly.  

Kathryn turned 7 last week, her party is this weekend.

Jonah has fully potty trained.

Jemima sleeps most nights in her own bed, rather than mine.

Liam is so much better it's unbelievable! According to his doctors, he shouldn't even be here after what happened in November. (Blog on that later) Here he is, stronger and better than ever!

Jesse, my first born, getting ready for a huge baseball season. It's going to be biggest year yet as he's playing with boys older than him. He made Lexington Grays 9 year old team a whole year early.

The baby and I are now in our 18th week, we find out in a week if we are welcoming another boy or girl.

Ryan has been given even bigger jobs at work and is working harder on his own program.

We are changing, we are growing, we are not the same as before.

Planning on yet ANOTHER move, this time out of the city.  Pretty sure our neighbors, as fantastic as they are, aren't going to be crazy about the family with 8 children next door.  Ryan wants to have some land, I've been promised my goats back.  (As much milk as Kristaps drinks, we are probably going to need a couple cows though.)  Be praying, we are looking for something with 5 to 10 acres around 30 minutes to Lexington.    We hope to be moved in time to put a garden in.  I admit, I miss getting my hands dirty.

Here you have it, my 100th blog post!! Here's to hoping I get better at updating this thing! :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Life lately.

We never fully knew what we were getting into, hosting two orphans from Latvia. Sure we knew there would be good moments and bad.  We hoped for fun and excitement, but I've done enough babysitting kids that are in foster care in the states to know this could be the biggest challenge of my life.

I am very thankful to say, that so far, after 19 days in (with only 8 more to go :( ) this has been one of the most amazing month in my entire life.

18 days ago, we went to Louisville airport, with two hand made welcome signs done by 3 overly excited children, two new teddy bears, 5 small children, two adults, and a huge van.  Scared/Excited/Don't know what to think.  The kids were more sure, they KNEW this was going to be great. They were right!

Kristaps walked right into my arms. "Mama??"  I nodded yes.  Justine was very scared. Kristaps took her by the arm, pointed to me "Mama!!!"  He was all smiles.  I give her a hug and she stiffens.  Not only was there fear in her eyes, there was so much pain.  Kathryn was ready for this!  She had her purse with her (we don't call her the bag lady for nothing!) and she had packed away little gifts of her own, silly bands for all and a couple 25 cents trinkets she had picked up here and there. Candy too.  The quickest way into an orphan heart is candy. Justine was smiling and more sure of herself with every step she took to the van.  Kristaps was excited.  Then we get to the van.  He sees it and wouldn't budge an inch, he started crying and pointing at the van, saying something in Latvian.  He was clearly very afraid.  I still don't know why to this day, might never know, but I will probably wonder what made him so scared of the van for the rest of my life.  I walk over to him and hug him, take him by the hand and tell him it's okay. He looks me square in the eye, puts on his bravest face and climbs in.  I sit in the back and hold his hand the whole way to McDonalds.  He stiffened with every turn and bump, and I kept promising he was okay.

They drink 2 or 3 small jugs of milk, down a bunch of nuggets, apple slices, and fries and we hit the road.  He came over and gave me a hug and with his huge smile, goes right to his seat.  They gave us the most beautiful gingerbread cookies I had ever seen, they were too pretty to eat.

We get home, Kristaps sees the house and starts crying again.  He was really scared and we like to have never got him inside.  Once he was in, used the bathroom, met the dog... He was home.  They were up till 3 am checking things out and playing with Jesse and Kathryn.

Morning comes and it was as if they were always here.

                                                                     Chocolate fix
Video Games
Bumper Cars!
Silly Faces
Air Hockey
Sisterly hugs
Slumber parties
Huge smiles
Things you can call your own

Sure, there have been moments I have wanted to pull every single strand out of my head one by one.  The kids have got into little fights, that's normal, full blood siblings do that.  The only real difference is this, babies born to you grow up their whole lives knowing mama is there for them 24/7, for every single boo boo, to calm every single fear, to wipe away every little tear, always a lap to sit on, a neck to hug, a cheek to kiss.  My born to me kids know I am never ever going to go away (no matter if they like it or not ;)).  These kids do not. They want me around them every second of the day, when I go to the bathroom they have been known to sit outside the door and wait. (they are getting better about that!), the come into my room in the middle of the night just to peak in and make sure I'm there, sometimes even wake me up for a quick hug. When they do something wrong, a look comes across their face and I know they really wonder if I will still love them anyway... They are learning I will love them no matter what.  They know they are only here for 8 more days, they are taking full advantage of being loved.  I can't say I blame them.
Justine is such a smart young lady.  She is a preteen, but in so many ways, she's still a little girl. I'm sometimes mama and I'm sometimes Sarah, she's still processing what feels right for her.  She bounces down the stairs every morning "Good morning! I love you!" with a hair brush in her hand, wanting me to fix her hair.  She was very happy when she found out I can do just about every sort of braid one can imagine, we go for a new style every day.  She has the loudest laugh I've ever heard.  She is very brave.  Trying new foods has been really fun.  I either get thumbs up "super!" thumbs to the side "just okay", or thumbs down "yuck"  For the most part she loves everything, only didn't like one thing so far.  She can read and write some English! You can tell she does very well in school.
Kristaps. This little boy always has a smile on his face, ALWAYS. I swear he even smiles in his sleep.  Even though he's good sized for an 8 year old, he's very much just a little boy on the inside.  More on Liam's level. than Jesse's.  Super easy to love this little boy!  He loves video games, nurf guns, and thanks to Jesse, baseball!  He has a bit of an issue with speech, I think he has a slight stutter as well as can't make the s sound.  He does try hard though, and I think once he's in school there will be a huge improvement! He is very smart! He fixed my video camera Ryan had been working on for months the first night he was here! :)
We have become a family.

No one is going to be happy when the day comes we have to send them back to Latvia.  Justine and Kristaps love it here, they don't miss home, they want to stay.  At the moment though, they have to, and they know that.  It's so very hard NOT telling them we WANT to keep them FOREVER.  I wish I could be there when they are told we do.

Monday, December 17, 2012

They're HERE!!!!

Justine and Kristaps got in last night!!!

More coming later, super busy this morning.  Just wanted to let everyone know they are here and doing amazingly well!!! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shunt Malfunction and BIG NEWS!

  Though we knew it could happen... We prayed it wouldn't!!!

  Shortly after my last post, that exact day in fact, Liam had to be rushed to UK AGAIN.  Serious, but not in major danger, yet!

  He was throwing up a bit the day before, but so was another kid a few days before that.  Really hard to go by that sign because the sad fact is, kids puke pretty often.  Friday after his nap, he couldn't stand up without falling.  I scooped him up and took him in.  MRI and X-rays right away.  His shunt wasn't draining fast enough and had caused fluid to go around his brain causing a lot of pressure.  He should have had a massive headache, but never complained about one! 

 To make a VERY long story short, it was a VERY long processes to fix this problem.  1 in 1000 people that have hydrocephalus need a shunt, 1 in 1000 people that have a shunt, have a malfunction like this.  (by his odds, I should have won powerball!!) Seems like the odds haven't been in his favor lately, but I did catch this early!  

  What happened, they cut a tiny hole in his belly so the tube that goes into his belly where the fluid drains could be out.  They wanted to see how much fluid drained, and they wanted to see where he needed to be at pressure wise.  Couple days on that with no progress they drilled 3 holes on the right side of his head and had a drain coming out there to drain off the fluid that was surrounding his brain.  2 days on that, and they drilled 3 more holes on the left side.  He had 3 different brain fluid drips coming out of him that he was very limited on movement and could only lay on his back.  He was in PICU for 11 days, where siblings can't visit. Then had his major surgery and got to go into normal room.  On the 12 day he got to come home. This was the day before Thanksgiving.  Needless to say, we had a lot to be thankful for this year! It took him awhile this time to be able to walk, 12 days on your back would do that to anyone.  Now he's doing really good and starting to put some of the almost 5 lbs he had lost while he was in the hospital.

  He now has a new shunt, this one is pretty cool!  Though it is bigger, it's much easier on him!  They can regulate how much or how little it drains by having a computer tell it what to do, this means he won't have to be cut open again if it's not draining enough.  So far so good though!  He goes in for an MRI check up on the 16th.  His head has shrunk 4 1/2 cm since day before Thanksgiving (it didn't shrink at all in July!), so I am taking that as a good sign this one is working!!
That business trip that never happened, should happen Saturday, though the kids and I are staying home.

  Our Latvian children will be here in 5 (FIVE) days!!!!  We are no where near ready, but those that know me, know my best work is when I'm at the end of a deadline. :)  It will all come together.

  There has been a change of plans, Deivids (the little guy) isn't coming.  He's half brother to the other two, and from my understanding was just placed with them not that long ago.  They haven't bonded well at all, in fact they have rejected each other.  The orphan court decided to split them up and that they will be better off in different homes.  Justine and Kristaps are still coming, we are still fully planning on adopting them both, just Deivids can't come now.  We are very sad, but we know God's plan is the best plan.  I will pray for that little boy the rest of my life though.  Even though I never got to see him face to face, I still love him and he will always have a special place in my heart.

Coming July 2013!!!

Huge things seem to be happening in the Dawson house!!!  We are so blessed!!!