Monday, February 28, 2011

Will You Help?

From a fellow blogger:

Dear friends,
So many of you already know this beautiful little face....


Olga turned five last month. She has spent the last five years in an orphanage in Eastern Europe, without the love of a mommy and daddy- simply because she arrived in life exactly as God designed her. One chromosome too many, and her fate was sealed from birth.


Sealed, because in Eastern Europe, babies who are born with Down syndrome are deemed unacceptable at birth. They are discarded as cast-offs of society, and when they turn five they leave the only home they've ever known...


And I wish I could say that for most of these children, leaving that home meant going to a place of safety, a place of happiness, a place where they would finally know the love of a family...know what it meant to be cuddled or sung to or read to, tucked in at night, prayed for, loved.

Instead, they are taken to a place that most people wouldn't leave their family pet.

A place of living hell, where they will never know the tenderness of a parent, never know the security of being raised in a family, and there they will stay, one ugly, pain-filled day at a time...until they die.


I read a post last December that stayed with me to this day. It was called from baby dolls to bedstraps.

The blog author wrote about Elizabeth, an orphan on Reece's Rainbow who had been transferred to a mental institution, waiting for a family to step forward for her. Her words still haunt me.

I wonder where she thought she was going as they led her out of the orphanage that day. Did she think that maybe it was finally her turn? That they were taking her to her forever Mommy and Daddy?

And when they instead took her inside that dreadful place, when they shaved her head and tied her to a too-small metal crib

when they turned their backs and



when they left her confused, terrified,

in a room where the wails of schizophrenic adults echo through the cold air

what was going through her young mind?

Did she wonder if she was being punished?

How long did she hold out hope that this was only temporary?

That any minute, they would come and take her back to the baby house

to her baby dolls and teddy bear,

to her best friend, Angelina?

Did she long to free her arms from the restraints

to cover her head with her hands to drown out

the scary noises

the scary sights

the scary smells?

That could be my Lily….

It could be your child.

And what if it were?

What if you woke up one morning

and by some hellish, twilight-zone twist of fate

your child wasn’t still tucked into that warm bed down the hall,

what if your child was trapped

across the dark sea

in that nightmare that is

the institution?





Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. Proverbs 24:11

Elizabeth is being rescued today, thanks to the efforts of that blogging mama, and others like her.

Olga is being rescued today, thanks to so many of gave so much and created such a large grant that a family was able to step forward and start the process of adoption.

The Abells have done so much already, towards rescuing Olga. I can't even imagine all the paperwork and prayer and emotion and finances that goes into an international adoption. They have done numerous fundraisers, and will continue to do so until they can bring Olga home.

Through the help of so many, a grant of over $13,000 has been raised for Olga's adoption. That grant is set aside for the final travel costs and fees that it will take to bring Olga home. It will take every penny of that and then some.

Right now the Abells are in need of raising the $7,000 that is needed to submit their dossier for Olga. Without that dossier we don't even know if Olga has been transferred yet. Here in America you just pick up the phone and ask these questions. But here in America we don't tie five year old girls to cribs to keep them from climbing out.

The Abells need to submit that dossier as soon as possible- at the very least to find out if she has been transferred already- because I know an army of prayer warriors who is going to want to know that piece of information as well. And at the very most, it could be able to hold Olga at the baby house until the Abells can rescue her. I wish I could say with certainty that she won't be transferred- truthfully we just don't know that.

Olga has been so heavy on my heart for months- friends, I want you to know that I DO trust that God has a plan here.

I prayed like crazy for a way to help the Abells. I truly believe that there is a network of people who love Olga here in blogland...a net that is woven by God and is stretching out across this blessed country we live in, and even beyond to generous hearts in other nations. I really cannot express enough how thankful I am to be a small part of what God has already done for Olga, Peter and Kareen. But I don't think our job is done.

Olga needs us.

I don't want her to spend one more forsaken day in that place than she has to.

We're not doing a giveaway here today. I don't even think we need to do one- I know so many just have a heart to help and to give, and prizes were never the real reason we all gave anyway.

So I'm just asking- for one day- for you to do whatever you could to help Olga. Whether that's $10 or $20 or even a hundred...if you are able to help raise this money for the dossier, please do so HERE...

This is the link for the Family Sponsorship Page on Reece's Rainbow
...every single dollar goes to the Abell's adoption fund, and every single dollar will help.

We're calling this A Day to Save Olga, because there are about 17 of us blogging mamas who have set aside this day to blog, post on Facebook, pray, give and spread the word to SAVE OLGA.

Will you help us?

I know you will:)




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Slightly Flexible?

So the other day I was taking some pictures for my Lil' Sis Designs site and got some rather interesting ones of Bennett...

None of these made it to my shop...ahem.

But yes, my little guy is pretty flexible. He can rock the splits quite easily. Babies are more flexible in general but babies with Down syndrome are super flexible. Which is why most walk later than other children. It's the whole low tone, flexible joint thing. Whatever, it's Bennett and I love him just the same.

Not sure what it was about his legs and feet this day but he was having a good ole' time with them! Maybe is was the new snazzy shorts he had on;) or the fact that his legs have been covered up for the last 4 months.

"Well hello leg, I think I'll give you a big, fat zerbert!"

And he totally did! LOL

And when he wasn't trying to put his feet behind his head {he came pretty close}, he was just being plain silly!

You can be as silly as you want little man, mommy thinks you're pretty fantastic in just about every little thing you do!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lil' Pals....

We took a little drive to the shore this weekend to visit Bennett's buddy Colin! Kelli is about to have a baby so we wanted to get together before things get a little more hectic at their house.

With just about a month apart in age, Colin and Bennett are so much alike when it comes to "challenges" with therapies but their personalities are very different I think. Bennett is the shy, reserved one and Colin is the outgoing one.

However, they seem to get along just fine;)

Colin gladly shared all his toys with Bennett and the girls. He also tolerated Ainsley and all her mothering;)

And before we left, we had to get a picture of them together (very hard to do while they were on the floor).

I mean really, these two are too much!

Colin was so excited, my camera couldn't keep up with him!

I love that they are lil' pals and hope as they grow they can become good friends!

Thanks Kelli, Chris and Colin! Can't wait to meet the newest member of your family!

Much love!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A little sunshine, a little warmth, a little determination...

67 glorious degrees today.

Doesn't happen often in the Northeast folks. Not in the winter. You kind of get used to the fact that playing outside is not really an option unless you're bundled up and building snowmen. That's just how it is. But not today.

Today we took full advantage of the warmth and played outside because we know tomorrow will be cold again and we'll probably get snow before the winter's over.

Today we enjoyed today!

Ainsley wanted me to take the training wheels off her bike because after all she is 6 and "many of her friends are already riding their bikes without them".

This was one determined little girl.
Oh there were tears, stomps, pouts, "I'm never gonna learn!" -screams, hugs, but this girl is just like her mommy. She did not want me to help and every time I said "why don't you take a break for a bit?" She replied with a solid "NO".

When she fell off she'd stomp and scream and then pull herself back together, get up and try again. She did manage to coast for about 3 seconds without falling. But those short lived coasts were what kept her going. Ainsley hates failing-which by no means did she fail today- but you know what I mean. Wonder where she gets that from??

Harper was excited that she was now coordinated enough to scoot along on the Dora scooter. "I'm a big girl now, Mama!" Yes you are sweet girl!

Bennett doing his "Hip, hip hooray" for the warm weather!

Good gracious, I love him.

Harper begged to take a picture of me with Bennett. Not bad for a 3 year old.

Yep, it was a good day.

Goodbye 67 degrees, we will miss you. Hope to see you again real soon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Called Using Whatcha Got!

...with a few new purchases and you've got a new room!

So I think I mentioned I did a mini-living room makeover a while back and I finally got around to taking some pics so I could share it! My goal lately has been to lighten things up. I think I long for the "Nantucket" feel but unless I'm going to purchase all new things, that's not really going to happen. So it's called using whatcha got with adding a couple new things! So here ya go....

This is BEFORE.
I've got lots of greens, reds, and golds going on. Trying to get away from these colors but it's a slow process.

and AFTER!

I took down the valences and polka dot panels (believe it our not the green striped valences were bedskirts on twin beds we had before we changed them for Harper's room). But that's not the last you've seen of them, or the polka dot panels-you'll have to read on!

In place of the old curtains I put up new white panels that I found at Target. They are 95" which are hard to find so I snatched them up. The chairs are not new. They were actually in our unfinished basement. {Using whatcha got!} The house we moved from in NC was much bigger, so a lot of our furniture had to be moved down to the basement. I've always liked them but didn't think we had room. Until I had Mike move the other ones down and then had room for these! Feels like new furniture!

I'm really liking the white panels-clean, simple, airy. Definitely lightens things up.

I purchased some inexpensive white pillows from Target as well. I'm really loving white! However if you remember last week, this can happen to white;0

I got these fun numbered pillows from this etsy shop. Who can guess what the numbers stand for??;) I couldn't just pick #1 and #2. Can you guess??
Corny, I know!

Now, this red couch. To be honest I've wanted a neutral colored couch for years and it just hasn't happened. We got this couch about 9 years ago and it's a really good couch but it's red and when you're trying to go "Nantucket" it's just hard. I did try to put a white slip cover on it but I could not get over the "messy" look of the slip cover. Many people can pull it off and it looks fantastic-that shabby chic look- but I'm kind of a "neat and tidy" type person and to see little wrinkles on my couch-it just bugged me. So I sent it back. Maybe one day I'll get that Pottery Barn couch I've wanted for so long!

Another view. So this room isn't big and I'm not loving that large, dark coffee table but right now it has big baskets under it that holds movies and toys so it's actually functional. I would love a round ottoman but then I guess I'd have to get rid of the small brown one that goes with one of those chairs. I don't know.

I think I added that "D" as well, a couple of months back. Hey, I'm from the South, and in the South you either monogram everything or label everything with the first letter of your last name or both! Don't ask how many things are monogrammed in our house.

Alright, onto what I did with those curtains that have now been recycled three times! {Using whatcha got!}

Have I ever shared Bennett's room with you?? I don't think I really have.
So here ya go....

And there they are! They just happen to be from the same coordinating Waverly fabric that my mom made the crib bedding from years ago! Oh, did I mention my mom made those panels that were once bedskirts? Well, she did.

Now B's room is nothing fantastic. I mean I like it but I didn't know how long we would be in this house, so I went conservative. We've never had high end baby furniture either, in fact this crib has been used by 5 children! All of mine and my sister's boys! The crib bedding has been used by all the grandsons too! It's kind of neat when you think of it. All five grands have slept in this crib, however it definitely shows it. But I must add that the bumper my mom made was recently thrown up on and I washed it and basically ruined it;(. Soo upset but I did find this very inexpensive brown minky one at Babies-R-Us.

All the other furniture has been used over the years, I just don't find it necessary to spend a ton on a crib or a changing table-that's just me. I've definitely considered painting all of it white or cream but that seems like a major job and I would worry about chipping paint in a baby's room so I haven't done it.
Oh and just to make it clear-Bennett does have another "T" on the end of his name-it got cut out;)

This brown chair was originally Ainsley's and it was green and white check! My dad recovered it to go in Harper's nursery (pink and brown) and now it goes perfectly in Bennett's! {Using whatcha got!} And thank goodness for my mom and dad and all their sewing, reupholstery and curtain valance making talents! And my sis too-she helped me with these panels!

And this, well I just thought I'd share my two favorite pics of Bennett-can I just tell you that the canvas one was from a site that fellow blogger Angi suggested a while back. I paid $6 dollars for it!! Not kidding! They were running a special at the time. Thanks Angi!

So there you have it, my mini makeover of rooms! And lots of it was just using what I had! It's not Nantucket but it's getting lighter!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bennett's Surgery...

Was a success! I updated on facebook but thought I'd let you all know on here. It was an early morning- we arrived at 6:00 am and Bennett was having fun checking things out in the hospital room....
(iPone pics-checking his reflection in the window)

Bennett wooed all the nurses as well as some patients waiting to go back for their surgeries-lol and I got the feeling he was in good hands. I handed him off at 8:00 am and at 8:50 the surgeon came out to tell me all went as planned and that I could see him in a few minutes. They called me back shortly after that and the nurse anesthetist who gladly took him from my arms before the surgery was cuddling him in the rocking chair. She said he made her day and couldn't get over how sweet he was;).

From there it was just a long day in the hospital room waiting to be discharged.

Bennett was a little groggy at first, wondering what all the wires were for but he did great, it was his mommy that wanted out of there! But I'm very thankful for the nurses and doctors that took great care of him and even though it took longer to be released, I'm glad I made the decision to switch the surgery to the hospital.

Bennett is back to normal today, playing, eating, etc. Sooo glad it is over and hope and pray we don't have to have any more surgeries!!

Thank you so much for keeping him in your prayers!!!

PS-for those of you that have little ones that are "hard stick patients" when it comes to getting blood- I mentioned this to the nurses and doctors and they said that Bennett would be asleep so it wouldn't be a traumatic event. They ended up putting the iv in his foot (side, near ankle) and said this is usually where they put the iv in kids?? They said they had no problems getting it in or finding his vein and I asked if this was an option when getting blood and they said definitely. I guess the vein is more prominent in this area and may be easier to find. The last few times have been a nightmare for us so I'm definitely going to suggest this at the first sign of problems when we go. The anesthesiologist said that there was actually a study done on patients with DS and their veins being harder to get to (smaller in size) so that it was a common issue they saw.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Loves....

My littlest loves ♥♥♥

My {main squeeze} love ♥♥♥

To all my friends...

PS.-My very littlest love will be having his surgery tomorrow morning, could ya say a prayer for him? Thanks so much!;)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It was one of those days...

It started off decent, got the girls off to school on time and then Bennett and I did some grocery shopping. He behaved, as he usually does. Got home and started putting away the groceries and I knew I only had a few minutes to put things away, make the girls a packed lunch, get Bennett's food and head to our destination.

I, being the crazy mom that I am, decided to get my hair cut (just cut) with all three kids. I normally would never do this. To make a very long story short I've been paying waaay too much money at various hair salons by various people and never being FULLY satisfied with either my cut or color. So on a whim I decided to go to this very small hair place (recommended by a friend)...lets just call it a Super Cuts, seriously people, basically it was a Super Cuts. {Don't be offended if you go to Super Cuts!} I'll get back to that in a minute.

So I'm on the phone while putting groceries away and can smell that Bennett has a poopy diaper. No big deal I think, I'll change it in a minute. Well, I went in to finally change it and it was everywhere!

All over my white area rug!!

If you're a parent you can picture the scene- it was one of those where the poop is on the kid, on the kid's clothes, on the surrounding toys, etc. and you don't even know where to begin or what to clean first. Of course my trusty wipe container that is in almost every room of my house...was out of wipes.

Bennett went straight to the tub, happy as can be, {can't say that for his mommy} and the dogs went straight for the poop! I knew they would but I seriously had no time to get the dogs in their cages because Bennett was covered in poop and I was beginning to get it all over me! Keep in mind I only had a few minutes before I had to get the girls.

So B gets cleaned up, I get cleaned up and then it was time to clean up the rug and those blasted dogs. Seriously, why would they lick up poop?


Finally everything was as good as it was going to get and
I was off to get Harper and then quickly make it back before I missed Ainsley's bus. Needless to say it was 20 degrees out but I had the air conditioning on full blast in the car.!!!

So the only good thing about this day was the fact that I got an awesome hair cut for $18. Yes, $18. I think I normally pay close to $50. Ridiculous!

Yep, I went short again.

What made it better? The kids behaved! They watched their movie and I got my hair cut for $18. Not sure if you can beat that.

All the poop is just a memory and it may have been one of those days but at least I got a sassy little cut out of the deal! And I've learned not to be such a high-end salon snob-ha!;)