Friday, December 28, 2012

Jesus vs Santa

We didn't really accentuate the Santa thing this year, and are teaching the girls that Christmas is about Jesus, not Santa.  The girls love Baby Jesus and now think EVERY baby they see is Baby Jesus.  One of their favorite things to play with this season was their Fisher Price Nativity Set.  They have "Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and even the "Wipe" Men"... he he.. so funny, but they are learning.  They also call Mary,  "Mommy Jesus" and Joseph is "Daddy Jesus."  Too cute.

Looking at their "Baby Jesus" book
I also purchased the book, "The Very First Christmas" last year, which was a Hallmark recordable book.  This has turned out to be a favorite for both of the girls because it has both mommy and daddy's voice on it and tells the story of Christmas.  They have other various books about the real meaning of Christmas too.  Those have also been favorites this time of year.

Ellie playing with Baby Jesus 
Faith hiding the "Wipe" Men in the tree
We did have breakfast with Santa and Frosty this year.  The girls were excited, until we approached Santa.  As you can see below, Ellie wouldn't have anything to do with it.  Faith, being her social self, went right to Santa... and then promptly stuck her finger up her nose... ha ha!!  Priceless!  

One thing we didn't get out to do this year was visit a church down the road from us.  They always have a live Nativity Scene.  I love driving through, listening to Christmas music and seeing the REASON for the Season right before my eyes.  Faith was sick this year so we didn't take them out -- but next year it's a must!  

Faith saying she's a little bit excited! 

Waiting to see Santa 

This is as close as Ellie would get

Faith's not so sure!

Our attempt at a Christmas Photo!

Faith was sick over Christmas, so she was super cling-on baby.  Here is our attempt to get a picture of the kids (and me... since Faith wouldn't allow me to put her down). . . . Needless to say... we really didn't get a good shot, but it was fun trying....  Enjoy!!  LOL!!

How is it everyone else has fabulous, wrinkle free, all smiles, Norman Rockwell-looking pictures?  Not possible!!

Snow for Christmas

We were blessed to have a little bit of snow action on Christmas Eve.  The girls enjoyed it!!  

Happy Meetcha Day!

One year ago we were in Ethiopia and met our sweet daughter for the first time.  I cannot believe how fast time has gone by.  It really seems like yesterday that we stepped off that plane in Ethiopia.  I can shut my eyes and still hear the sounds and and smell the smells of Ethiopia.  Oh how we miss it so much.

We are also forever grateful for the wonderful connections we made with other families who where there for the same reason.  So glad our paths have crossed and it's been so fun watching their children grow too.

So what's Miss Elliana been up to?  She is literally talking up a storm -- full sentences, answering questions, reasoning and just doing so well at using her language skills.  She says everything... and I mean everything!!    She's very smart and loves to see if she can outsmart any adult!  She loves pretend play and loves to feed her babies, diaper her babies, cook meals in her kitchen, serve tea to anyone who is interested, and fix your hair.  She's also pretty good at operating an Ipad or any piece of technology.  So inquisitive and always wondering how things works.  Her sense of direction is ridiculous!  By ridiculous, I mean she almost has a sixth sense.  She ALWAYS knows her way around and where we are going by the roads we are taking.  It's crazy... she always amazes us.  She also remembers everything... which can be good and bad ;)  We are praying that maybe she can 'forget' about some of her unpleasant experiences early in life -- and pray that she replaces them with warm memories of being 'home' for the last 9 months!  She is a fabulous sister to Faith.  They are just so cute together and Ellie loves to be the 'Mother Hen' looking after Faith.

It's hard to remember a time without Ellie in our family.  So so glad she's here!

Meetcha Day - December 29, 2011

First Morning Home from ET (March 2012)

Christmas Morning 2012 (9 months later)
So happy to have her home this Christmas!! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yay look what I did

Trying out a few new hair-'dos' on Ellie.  These are called piggy-back braids or faux-french braids.   It turned out ok, for the first try, I guess.  Two Strand Rope twist will be next!  Thank you Chocolatehairvanillacare -- I was getting tired of puffs!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

One down... one to go!

We received news last week that Elliana's Giardia is gone!!  Praise the Lord. . . I'm sure the nurse thought I was crazy when I began screaming!  (No -- actually we have many nurses and doctors following both the girls -- and they are as happy as we are).  Faithlynn, however, is still testing positive.  Arrgh!  Faith starts a 2 week re-treatment again (per the recommendations of Dr. Jane Aronson) in combination with recommendations from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  She will be done just before Christmas... then we can retest her (oh joy!).  Thankfully, Faith is not showing any symptoms of Giardia.  Just the positive result.  

I was beginning to think (and am still wondering) if the pharmacy is compounding the medicines incorrectly or if there is a mistake at the lab.  I just can't believe we can't get rid of this nasty parasite, and at about $30 per treatment, per child, times 8 treatments... plus 16 stool samples later... we are spending lots of money on this!!  Not to mention the bathing ritual and diaper changing rituals we have to go through to ensure we do not spread it back and forth.  I'm sure Clorox bleach is loving the Baxter family right now.  Bathing the girls separately with sanitizing and bleaching the tub in between and before, and after... has been a real chore.  We also keep their towels and wash cloths separate and they cannot play with toys in the tub (because then they would all need sanitized and bleached too).  Any comb or cup for combing and rinsing their hair in the tub must be sanitized too.  For the past 8 months, bath time isn't too much fun at our house... it's serious business and takes a long time :)  I'm looking forward to the day when I can throw them both in the tubby together and they can play and splash and have fun. 

Did I tell you we received a phone call from the Heath Department?  Yep, apparently when a child tests positive several times for Giardia, they must investigate.  Once I rambled off all of the medicines and treatments we have used on the girls and the measures we are taking to keep everything uncontaminated, they backed off.  She said I knew more about the parasite than she did!!  LOL... I guess it's just something they have to do to ensure kiddos are being taken care of.

So... wish us luck!  My Christmas wish.... to say good-bye to Giardia forever!  It's one souvenir from Ethiopia we don't mind getting rid of!