Friday, April 29, 2011

morning milestones

Dearest Lily,

Last week you had several nights of crying until three in the morning..off and on you would wake up wailing and thrashing, and no matter what I did to try to console you, you just cried and cried. I checked for little swollen bumps in your mouth to see if it was teething that made you so sad, but found nothing.

Wednesday night my throat started hurting before church, and by the time I got home I couldn't even swallow, it hurt so bad. For the past two days I have been on the couch, feeling like a truck hit me- I ache from head to toe, and my throat is killing me, my nose is stuffy and I feel like crying myself. So now I know what was bothering you last week, and I'm so sorry that you felt this miserable! Just as tylenol wasn't doing the trick for you at 3 a.m., it's not making a dent in this nasty flu for me either. At least it only lasted a few days with you, so hopefully it's not much longer for me.

In the mean time, I've been uploading lots of recent photos of you...

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I've been wanting to journal about how much you've been learning lately, so now that I have a good excuse to be bedridden, I can take some time to do it!

Something I've noticed lately is that mornings are your best times for "showing off."
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We may or may not be able to get you to perform all your little tricks throughout the day, but when you wake up we're pretty much guaranteed to get a good response from you. For instance, you now know how to point to my nose when I ask you where it is. You can do the same for my eyes, hair and teeth, and if I ask you where your toes are, you hold them up for me to kiss. You can clap your hands on demand or wave "hi", and if you're in a really good mood you can give kisses...but just by smacking you lips together- so far you haven't tried to plant one on us:) So every morning we go down the list of things you can do, and you instantly comply.

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Lately you've been verrrry interested in my make up. If my purse is open you scoot over to it as fast you can, and dig through the contents til you find my mascara or lipstick. The other day you had it on your chin and cheeks before I could stop you, and you shrieked when I took it away. Yesterday you got ahold of my mascara...I think you thought it was a hair care product or something...
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...when you realized it wasn't doing anything for your hair, you decided to use it as a toothbrush...

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I love your bedhead look. Your hair is so fine that it's pretty fuzzy when you wake up, and Daddy and I think you're so adorable with it sticking up all over.

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You're a morning girl just like your mama. Unless you're teething or sick, you always wake up in a happy mood, and I love our early mornings together.

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Caleb has been teaching you to stand and to take little steps, and yesterday you were pretty proud of yourself for balancing against his legs for a few seconds...
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I don't know what it is about mornings, but it's like you're taking everything in and making mental notes about all the things you see...


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Abigail has been teaching you pat-a-cake...you love it! It's so cute how you put your hands up for her to help you do the motions when she starts to sing.

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I know I have said this about every baby, but it feels funny that there was a time when you weren't a part of our lives. You're only 15 months old, but it seems like we've always woken up to mornings with our Lilybird, seeing what our baby girl can do.

Daddy came home from work today with a book about Down syndrome that someone gave to him called Down Syndrome: What You CAN Do. The introduction was written by a woman named Karen Gaffney. Among many other incredible achievements, she graduated from college with her Associates of Science Degree and her Teacher's Aide Certificate...and in 2001 she swam across the English Channel on a 6 person relay team. She also swam 4 miles around Alcatraz Island.

Oh, and she has Down syndrome.

You know what I think?

I think there are going to be words written some day about an equally motivating young woman. I believe there is going to be a list of accomplishments that follow that young lady's name, and I bet that list is going to exceed all of our wildest expectations and make us so proud we can't read the words through our tears. I think she's going to amaze us with all the things she CAN do.

You know why?

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Because you're already doing it every day!

Love always,

Mama oxox

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Surprised by Joy

Dearest Lily,

Today was a monumental day in the Rice household....

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...you wore pigtails!


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Okay, so they were little spikey wisps of hair pulled as tight as could be into the tiniest rubber bands imaginable, but they were pigtails nonetheless. It's crazy how those tiny golden tufts can change your look so much- you looked like such a big girl with them in!
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I think you felt like a big girl too, because you decided to find the best toy big girls can play with...

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...and sure enough you knew exactly what to do with it. I have a feeling we're going to have to hold you off on this particular toy for awhile, because you are very adept at pressing buttons and calling people on my speed dial. Ahem.

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When Mama took the phone away, you were so mad you pulled your pigtails out. I smoothed you hair down, put a clip in...and you promptly decided to crawl over and help Caleb with his schoolwork. ANY time you see a pencil or pen in someone's hand or lying on the floor, you make a beeline for it, army crawling ferociously all the way to grab it as fast you can. I don't know if it's because it's a forbidden item, but you just get this mischievous little grin on your face whenever you pick one up, and then you scribble furiously on anything in front of you... a piece of paper, a coloring book, the floor...

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Maybe you'll be an artist some day. Maybe a writer.

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Maybe you'll start your own blog...

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I remember a year ago thinking a lot of those dreams were impossible. I remember wondering if you would ever be able to read. It hurt so much to think that maybe we couldn't share things like your other brothers and sisters have shared with me.

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But here you are only 15 months old, and already you have this curious, spunky little personality.

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You're so full of life and charm, and you just keep us all laughing with your little daily antics- how could I have thought you would be anything less than who you are today? It's crazy, but I really have been surprised by the joy that your beautiful 21st chromosome has brought us.

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I don't know where I got my preconceived notions of what a baby or child with Down syndrome would be like. Honestly, Lily, I don't think I ever really took the time to understand what that extra chromosome meant before having you. In my mind it just meant something missing, something to be a little afraid of, or uncomfortable with.

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Your sister Mackenzie works in a sandwich shop every day. Yesterday she came home and told me about two young girls with Down syndrome who came in to order sandwiches for themselves. They had no one else with them, they just walked in together, two girls out on the town. Kenzie said they were so cute- and had quite the personalities! One of the girls told Kenz she wanted sweet onions on her sandwich, and when sissy went to put them on, she said, "Could you put a little more on please? And then mayo and peppers and you're done!" She said she was so matter-of-fact about it, and so confident, she just made Kenzie smile. She texted me about it right afterwards, and I thought about how silly my worries were, regarding what your life might be like some day.

I would have loved to meet those girls yesterday. I remember last year, when I wasn't quite ready to go on a Buddy Walk just yet. I was worried about meeting teenagers and adults with Down syndrome...I just wasn't prepared to see that far into the future.

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And now I can't wait until September rolls around, and our Buddy Walk with it. I can't wait to go see what our future holds, to have my preconceived notions blown out of the water by the people we meet.

You've blessed our lives so much in your 15 short months, Lily Anne, and challenged our expectations at every turn. I can't wait to be surprised again, by joy.

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Loving you always,

Mama oxox


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Station Break

Just a little ad for our family blog, in case you've never visited us there before...

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Notes From Home

Grab a cup of tea and stay for awhile:)


Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Winners!!

Dear Friends,

I'm so excited to announce the winners for our Baby Sent From the Stars Giveaway today! I'm going to let Naomi jump in here for a minute.... I could say a huge thank you, but my daughter-in-love can say it so much better~ I've been receiving daily updates from her since we started the giveaway, and I knew by her voice every time I picked up the phone that a new donation had come in. It was so exciting to us as a family to see those numbers climb, because every dollar meant a step closer to a baby sent from the stars for Jason and Naomi.

Dearest friends, family, and fellow bloggers!

3 weeks ago Jason and I began our journey to adoption which we kicked off with the Baby Sent from the Stars Giveaway. Words cannot express how grateful Jason and I are for all of the donations, prayer, and encouraging comments that have come in over the last three weeks.

As we bring this to a close, I am beginning to see that the most powerful thing that we have accomplished during this fundraiser (besides the funds of course!) is the power of spreading the word. We know that this is the only way our baby will find its way to our arms. We've had people contacting myself, my husband, and my MIL to tell us strategies, fundraising ideas and even more importantly ways that might help us bring our baby home.

And this is not even mentioning the fact that we raised a grand total of $2,033.92! Plus almost $300 that came in during the BUNCO Fund raiser.

I wanna say one more thank you especially to all of the new people that Jason and I have met on our new journey. People that donated that we didn't even know personally! I have connected to many more families out there who have adopted and have been so inspired by your beautiful stories.

THANK YOU!



We are on our way to getting our home study!! Please stay tuned (and come back and visit) for updates along the journey. The boat ride to Australia may be rocky, but the destination and all its beauty will be so worth it! We can't wait to get there!



Love, Naomi



*A note about how we drew the winners. Because we hosted the giveaway on both Naomi's blog and Lily's, we had comments from both posts ...we combined these before random.org drew winners, and we also entered people's names who donated but did not leave comments (we had a few of those and didn't want anyone to miss out on a chance to win).

SO here are the winners!!

Winner of the iPad2
Bethany Just donated...wish I could do more! Sweet Couple!

Winner of the Nook
Sarah B. Posted this fabulous giveaway on Facebook! I cannot wait to see what God does with this and to follow this new journey! God Bless

Winner of the two night stay at the Oregon Coast
Bill and Bonnie Greene donated

Winner of the Mimosa Cream
Rachel Coty (no comment left)

Winner of the Stella and Dot Necklace
Nicole Newman donated some money. I wish you all the luck in the world

Winner of the Brighton Nightlight
Ben I donated. I am a friend of Race, he said I had to.

Winner of the Rumba watch
Lora I just shared the link on facebook! Not sure how I missed that option the first time, lol! I hope it directs some of my friends to your site and increases the successfulness od this giveaway for your family!

Winner of the Cocoa Daisy kit
Tonya I pray that my small contribution is multiplied by the Lord for you both to reach your goal in adopting that sweet, blessed little one, where ever he/she is! Blessings!

Winner of the soap set
Kristin Placek Donated - I will continue to tell friends/family about it and to pray for more support. God bless.



Winners, please contact me with your information, so we can get your prizes out to you!

A huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for every person who gave, shared, and prayed for our giveaway. I know some day soon we are going to be able to share what God did through your kindness, when that baby is placed in my son and daughter's arms- I can't wait for that moment:)

I'm off to homeschool, so I'll wrap this up with some pics of the loveliest Easter Lily I've ever seen!


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Happy Monday!!