Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our Little Actress!

She is quite the actress and has been since our time together in Ukraine! She cracks me up! Oh, Sofia, we're in big trouble with you!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Smart Apps for Kids

I always get lots of people asking for iPad app ideas to download...this is one of my favorite sites to check out. You can see in the right hand column a place to subscribe with your email. I get daily emails with free apps to download for the girls! Some of them are more appropriate for our age range than others, but I always find something that either Zoya, Mila, or Sofia will enjoy or benefit from! They're also doing a $100 itunes giftcard giveaway, check it out! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Little Sisters....Twins?

Sofia and Mila get lots of together time, just the two of them, while Zoya is at school each morning. Sofia is Mila's shadow and sometimes Mila gets annoyed! They copy each other vocally back and forth in their high chairs in the morning. One blows raspberries, then the other, and back and forth until they find a new sound to make. They hit each other back and forth and give dirty looks to each other, they stick their fingers in each others mouths until they get bit and then cry like they are shocked! HAHA! Sofia enjoys smacking Mila over the head with anything she can get her hands on....spoons, toys, books, or anything close enough! They're trying to figure out how to play nicely together, but we're not quite there yet! Often I need to separate them because they are like magnets to one another but always end up hurting the other one somehow! They do smile at each other, mimic each other, and motivate each other, which is great! Today on our walk to school Mila had her arm around Sofia the whole way there....I'm not sure she realized this but either way it was cute!!

They are just about in the same size clothing. Sofia is at the top of 18 months, but can wear 24 months and Mila is in 24 months. I think Sofia is only a few pounds behind Mila...she caught up quick! We get the twin question often when out in public. Sometimes I've learned it's just easier to say "yup" and keep walking. It's a tough call because if I am honest and say "no, they're not twins," then I hear "Oh, how far apart?" And when I'm honest again and say "6 months," then I hear........CRICKETS.......paired with a bewildered look. Shawn actually told one secretary in a doctor's office that I have two uteruses.....jokester! And I'm quite certain she believed him. In all honesty though, sometimes I feel like sharing their story and feel like it may really make a difference to the person asking...sometimes I know that God is using their story to touch others...and other times I just feel like I don't want to tell every stranger on the street "they're adopted." As they get older that will be their story to share, not mine. It's a part of who they are but not everything they are! So I admit, sometimes I lie and just say "yup" to the twin question because it's just easier sometimes! It doesn't matter if they're dressed alike or not anymore, the question still comes just as often either way because they are almost the same size and they both have blond hair and blue eyes and some similar facial features. I don't think they look much alike at all, but I'm their mama and I've memorized every freckle, every dimple, and every curve!

Mila loves kissing her babies...

Sofia would rather eat pizza....

Sofia agreed to try to be gentle with the baby....(I said try!)

Mila is looking at her like "wow who knew ya had it in you to be gentle with that baby!"

Sweet girls! 

Sofia says "All done Mom, I have better things to do!"

Mila is sweet and gentle....all girl! 

And Sofia is a tom boy for sure! She has more fun turning chairs upside down and being rough and tumble!

"I don't got no time to play with babies!"

As you can see from the abundance of pictures of the back of Sofia's head, she's hard to catch on camera since she's all over the place! They are so so different from one another, but they are the same in that they are LOVED and valued and cherished....they are daughters and sisters, part of a FAMILY! Two little girls from the same city thousands of miles away, united under one roof with one family....I still can't believe it sometimes! I'm thankful they have one another to torture learn from and grow up with! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Indoor Water Fun!

What do you do when you live in a place where winter is in session for 7 months out of the year? You do indoor water table fun! This kept the girls occupied, engaged, and learning for 40 minutes! I also had a clean floor so it was a 2 for 1 special! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

There is Always Hope!

Our sweet middle child, Mila....she is SUCH a love bug! Her name, Mila, means "miracle," and she has lived up to that name in her two years on this Earth! She had a rougher start than most in this life, but has continually fought through all the challenges that have been thrown at her! I often say that if all of Mila's medical diagnoses had been listed for us from the start, we never would have had the courage to choose her. Thankfully, the Lord chose her for us. I simply cannot imagine how colorless our lives would be without her.

Mila recently had an MRI and we found out that she has a difference in her brain that may make gross motor activities, such as walking, more challenging for her. She responded to the news by busting through the gate and climbing an entire flight of stairs (15 stairs to be exact) so quickly I didn't even know she went "missing!" And then when I found her upstairs in her old bedroom, she just giggled! Mila is decked out in some new sure step SMO orthotics and will soon be the owner of a brand-spankin' new bright pink gait trainer! Stay off the sidewalks people! She got to trial one today and she LOVED it! Don't let her face in this picture fool you! (She's been doing her scary face when she's excited and trying to be silly! She is our clown!) This one was a tad too small, so we'll have to wait a few weeks for her exact one to come in, but we are so excited! She loved being up and moving around! She was pretty speedy too!

We also got the results of her sleep study today, and while they weren't what we were hoping, we are not surprised at all. She has obstructive sleep apnea. This would explain why she falls asleep standing up, is tired only a few hours after waking, and has just never been a good sleeper! She also has Rhythmic Movement Disorder and/or Restless Leg Syndrome. They'll be drawing some labs to see if either of those are a result of low iron levels. The next obstacle for Miss Mila will be having her tonsils and adenoids out in hopes that this will eliminate the sleep apnea. She'll have the procedure done in Pittsburgh (date unknown) and we're guessing that we'll be there at least a few days with her history of airway issues. So if you have some room in your prayers, we'd appreciate some coming this way! 

Thankfully Mila is not a list of diagnoses. Thankfully she is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Thankfully when we look at her, we don't see diagnoses or problems, we see a beautiful child that we have the privilege of calling our own! We see where she started and how far she's come. When I think of the 7 pound 7-month-old we met a year and a half ago, I stand in awe of all the Lord has done with her life. She is so deeply connected to my soul in a way I cannot explain. She is a mama's girl and seeks out snuggles and comfort and hugs constantly. She has an amazing sense of humor and is ALWAYS making people laugh! As we watch her grow up each day, we are so excited to watch her gifts unfold. Through each diagnosis and challenge that has come Mila's way, we take great pleasure in helping her overcome those obstacles. We are so thankful, even on the really tough days, that she has the opportunity to be loved, to give love, to grow, and to help others grow! There is always hope! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Easter Catch Up

The Easter Bunny got a killer deal on this 3 seater wagon!!! Between the sale, his coupon, a gift card, and an uncle willing to pick up the wagon in Buffalo, that Easter Bunny nearly got the wagon for free! Mama was so happy because it's not easy to contain all 3 girls in one place! 
See her going right for Mickey first? 
Checking out her new bathing suit! 

Checking out her binkies! 

This is the first time we've done Easter Eggs since Zoya spilled the dye all over herself a couple years ago!