Thursday, May 7, 2015

Car Wash and Good Eats!

This Saturday, May 9th, is our local car wash at Wendy's on Clinton Highway from 10 am-1230pm! Tell all your friends to come and get their car washed and hang out with the DS Mafia!

Next Saturday, May 16th, is our Ruby Tuesday Fundraiser at the three local restaurants (Emory Road,  Northshore at Pellissippi and Fountain City). Bring the flyer in and we will get a donation on the net funds from all meals that presented the flyer!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Hi, all! I have been asked (demanded:) to update the blog. It has been a little while. We have been a little busy here. Let me update you all: we are adopting another babe with Down syndrome! He lives in a different European country and the process is a little different than Ukraine. We are knee deep in fundraising and trying to complete the state side part of the adoption. The home study is complete. The USCIS application was mailed today! We should get a fingerprint appointment and then hopefully, we will get our government's approval to adopt internationally. 

Our biggest hurdle this time around is funds! We had saved the money upfront for Caden and Cole's adoption. Cooper had a full grant, so we didn't need a lot of money. This time around...we are starting from scratch. We are working hard and progressing, so I am trying not to panic, but trusting that thousands of dollars will come is really hard for me. 

Update on the boys: 

Cole is 8 years old and HUGE! He is taller than his typical peers, has a 6 pack abs and has an athletic build. He is sweet, funny and laid back. His nickname is sneaky Pete! He waits until you aren't looking and goes for a toy that one of the others have. He is potty trained and very independent. He can write his name, knows all his numbers and letters and loves school. He is still a loner and needs extra encouragement to engage with others.

Cooper is also 8 years old. He does NOT have an athletic build. He weighed around 15 pounds when he came home. He now weighs 60! He is quite the chunkster. He loves to eat. He still can't chew very well and still requires thickened liquids. He goes 100 miles an hour as soon as his feet hit the ground until he passes out at night. He says a few words, signs some and his favorite activity is to play on the iPad. He is not a fan of school. He would rather hang out at home. He is extremely loving now and greets us with kisses and joy! He is so different than what he was and is definitely a man on a destruction mission. He requires a set of eyes on him at all times!

Caden is 6 years old now and is a tiny dictator. He seriously thinks that he is in charge of the world. He tells people where to sit, what toy to play with, everything. He is VERY smart and loves school. He is a jokester and will hide your stuff from you and then crack up watching you look for it! He currently carries a plastic spoon and cup around everywhere he goes and even sleeps with it. Sean keeps extra cups and spoons in the house at all times because he panics without one! I have said that God made him extra cute so we would get mad at him for being the dictator he is. He is a little tiny thing still. Some days he eats like a man and then he might just snack only for several days, but he is healthy and growing!

Danielle is now 22 and just graduated from nursing school. She works full time and is on the go all the time. She is planning on going back to school at some point, but unsure when. All I can add here is...thank God the village helped raise her:)

Cody is the last man standing. He is 20 years old and in nursing school. He works full time also. He is laid back and doesn't really have a concrete plan of what he wants to do right now. Believe it or not, he still plays Runescape! Yes, 10 years later!! 

Sean and I are still the same;) no big changes here, except he has lost weight and I have gained it!!!

Well, that catches you all up and I will try to add some pics!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Update on Cooper!

 This is Cooper today at the DSAG picnic in the park celebrating World Down Sydrome Day-look how good and healthy he looks....beautiful! (and he just got a hair cut)

 This is him a couple of days after we got home from the hospital. His stomach is still a little bloated here. I wish that was flab...but it is gas/air. When he wakes up in the morning his stomach is completely flat, almost concave.
 Trying out our new adidas...He wasn't quite sure of it, but tolerates standing for small time increments.
Finally had a bath with NO tears. He hasn't quite got the "it's fun" attitude, but no shivering, shaking, screaming, so he is making progress in that area.

Cooper is doing tremendous. He is now so mobile that we have had to go to Home Depot and buy gates to gate everything off. He can navigate the entire upstairs with zero help. He knows when it is time to eat and scoots to his chair. He is hilarious. He is sleeping about 10 hours a night with a 2 hour nap during the day, so he is getting plenty of rest. He is still eating pureed foods with thickened liquids, but so far has not refused anything. He now weighs about 20 pounds, so he has gained 6 pounds since coming home. He is off all the tummy bug meds and we will have him rechecked to make sure that his belly is ok. He is now just on Synthroid for his low thyroid and he is changing He is quite vocal and his laugh is this rip roaring loud "HA-HA". It doesn't even sound real and it is hysterical. He doesn't yet play with the other boys, but he is much more interested in what they are doing. He likes to be near them, but not right with them. Caden is getting better with him, too. He no longer cries when we hold Cooper and he is back to feeding himself. He still doesn't quite like the idea of us holding/rocking him and he climbs up on your lap with him and you end up holding/rocking both, which is totally fine by me.

I never dreamed that adding one more (especially one that is so easy to care for) would be so exhausting, but it has literally kicked my butt. I have never been this tired in my life. I have to make myself bathe, brush my own teeth, etc. because by the time that I bathe/brush 3 sets of teeth, I am usually done and just want to fall in the bed. This past week seems a lot better. I have slept every night and I feel a lot better. I hope we are getting into more of a routine now that we have most of our medical stuff taken care of. Oh yeah, Cooper will have eye surgery sometime in May to realign the muscles in his eyes to help him be able to control his eye muscles better. Other than than, everything is going really well. He seems like he has been here forever. I am getting use to having a "baby". I have only forgot the diaper bag and extra set of clothes once and I learned my lesson the hard way and I can guarantee you that I won't forget that anytime soon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Size comparison!

Cooper and Cole (in the middle in the red shirt) are 10 weeks apart in age. Cole is 50% on the DS growth chart for both height and weight....and Cooper is a wee bit behind!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cooper Update

Cooper has been home now for 2 full days (sorry for the lack of posts...been just a wee bit busy). He is doing well so far. He was admitted into the hospital with severe malnutrition with possible refeeding syndrome, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, bowel obstruction, h. pylori, giaridia and dehydration. Wow!! That is a lot of stuff for such a little guy. His bowels finally moved (without surgery-thank God) and he is now eating anything and everything that we will give him. He does not chew at all, so all of his foods must be mushy/pureed and his liquids must be thickened. He has gained 2 pounds since we arrived in the states. He will continue to be on antibiotics for 14 days for the infections in his gut. He started his thyroid medicine and we will keep an eye on that. His blood sugar has stabilized with consistent food intake. So, all in all....after all that, he is going very well.

Cole (5) and Caden (3) don't know quite what to make of him, but it has gotten better and better each day. Caden doesn't really allow personal time with Cooper, so I have them on different schedules right now so that when Caden is napping, Cooper is awake and I can hold/rock/love on him without someone crying holding on to my pants leg. I know it is hard on my little guy, but he is getting used to sharing the attention. Cole really doesn't care one way or another, unless Cooper touches one of his 3 favorite toys, then it is war!

I am EXHAUSTED!!!! I have always heard and thought that adding just one more would be no big deal! HAHAHAHA! Getting three fed, dressed, down the stairs, into the car and to the grocery store almost killed me! I was literally too tired to shop once I got there, but it will get easier (I hope). I go back to work tomorrow and it will be daddy's first day alone with all three littles. It will be interesting to see how that pans out!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Poor Coop!

Cooper is in the hospital. He was admitted with dehydration, acute renal failure, bowel obstruction and electrolyte imbalances. He is doing much better this morning. His bowels have moved after 3 enemas and he is perking up a little. Try to update soon!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

We are outta here!

Look what we got today!

A true miracle happened today. We not only received Cooper's passport, which was flown from his region to us, but completed the medical appointment and received his Visa, too. We were not expecting that, but it is wonderful to have had that nice little surprise after the week we have had. We are now packing, cleaning and prepping to leave. Our plane leaves at 535 am and we arrive home tomorrow night at 845 pm in Knoxville. Thank God for all that he has done to protect us and keep us safe. Thank you all for your prayers and happy thoughts!!