--An Orphan No More--


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sisterly LOVE!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We had a Merry Christmas and here's to another great year!

I know...I am not the best at updating this blog. I swore when we adopted Everlyn that I would update the blog weekly. Obviously that has not happened. Gosh - I have not even blogged MONTHLY.... LOL

But as part of one of my "goals" for 2012 (I don't do resolutions...no one keeps resolutions...) I hope to blog more. But I plan to create a new FAMILY blog. More on that to come once I come up with a catchy title, layout, etc. :o)

I wanted to share some pictures of our Princess from Christmas though. She had a great time. Her favorite gift? A little pink broom! LOL!

My attempt at a picture of all 6 kids...

Everlyn in front of the tree...

Waiting patiently to open her envelope from Granny and Papa...

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I can't believe I have not posted since April! I get the "blog slacker of the year" award!

So much has happened since April! Everlyn has grown so much! Her brothers and sister have grown so much! And we have a new baby...Erickson Miles arrived on August 1, 2011. Everlyn LOVES having a baby in the house. She loves holding him and says "Baby" now without being prompted.

Everlyn has been home a whole year now - we came home November 2, 2010. Seems like yesterday..... She has adjusted quite well and we love having her smiley little self around!

I know you want pictures....so, here ya go!

In her Matilda Jane "Nest Dress"

More Matilda Jane! This girl LOVES pretty clothes!

Yep, more Matilda Jane....

All dolled up for school!

With her "little brother" Elliston (who is 3.5 months younger)

Dressed as a "cowgirl" for her first Halloween in America!

Such a pretty girl!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So many updates...so little time...

I have intended to update this blog about 101 times since my last post, but "something" always comes up. I know - excuses, excuses.....

First off, Everlyn was evaluated by our school district and "meets criteria for services" under the umbrella of "developmental delay." Super! We had her IEP meeting and she actually started in their preschool program the very next day! I was scrambling around like a crazy person that evening trying to get all of her school supplies. She is in a class of 20 children - half have some form of "special need" and half are "typical peers." Our district is inclusive at all age levels.... Everlyn LOVES school. She gets PT once a week, OT twice a week and ST twice a week. She has done very very well adjusting to her new school routine. She goes 4 afternoons per week for 3 hours each day. We applied to have Elliston enrolled beginning in the Fall as a "typical peer" and he was accepted into the program! So, next school year both of our 3 year olds will be in preschool 4 afternoons a week. YAY! :o)

Everlyn has been to see several more doctors since we have settled into our new home in Nashville. She saw her new pediatrician who ordered a repeat thyroid panel and started her on Zantac for some reflux.... Thyroid results came back EVER SO SLIGHTLY elevated....normal is less than 5.0 and hers was 5.1. We will have it repeated in a few months. She also went to see an audiologist to check her hearing. We had no concerns about her hearing, but the pediatrician wanted to get a baseline for hearing function. Children with Down syndrome can have decreased hearing due to several different factors. Everlyn passed with flying colors! We will return in a year just to check on her sweet little ears. She also saw the pediatric ophthalmologist. About 50-60% of children with Down syndrome will need glasses at some point in their childhood. She also passed this exam with flying colors! He did mention she had a very very slight astigmatism, but nothing he would correct at this point. He also gave us some drops to use for her intermittent "goopy eyes"....not pink eye....just goop. :o) She does not have to go back to see him until she starts Kindergarten! She also had her first visit to the Down Syndrome Center at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. The developmental pediatrician we saw there was great and was pretty smitten with our Princess. We will return there in about 6 months just to monitor her development, etc. Last, we saw a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Peds GI clinic at Vanderbilt. She also mentioned how cute our sweet girl is...of COURSE she is! :o) Her first question was "Does she have mosaic Down syndrome?" Ha! This sweet girl has everyone fooled! The PNP changed her Zantac liquid to Prevacid solu-tabs (YAY!) and gave us Lactulose for issues....at the other end. :o)

So, as you can see, she has been a very busy little girl but has settled in amazingly well. If she wasn't (essentially) non-verbal, I would not consider her "special needs".....she is often my easiest child! LOL! She just goes with the flow....and I appreciate that. We can't wait to see how she blossoms in the coming months/years.

I know you want pictures....but I need to download TONS off of my camera. I will post some soon...I promise.

In other news, I am now 23 weeks pregnant with #6. We found out it's a BOY (of course! LOL)...so much for adopting a little girl to add some estrogen to this testosterone zone! We are excited to meet him in early August. Everlyn doesn't have a clue! It will be interesting to see what she thinks of a new baby in the house. We had some indications several weeks ago that he might have DS like his big sister, but an amnio revealed that he has 46 chromosomes...not 47.

So, life in general has been busy. I started working full-time in January as a nurse on the Child/Adolescent psych unit at Vanderbilt. Then in March, I moved into an administrative RN position on nights. Basically, I am the "house supervisor" for night shift. Always interesting.... We are still settling into our new home...I feel like I may never feel "settled." Working full-time and five kids don't allow for much unpacking, organizing, etc. Hoping my nesting instinct kicks in soon...and the kids cooperate! :o) The kids are loving school, making friends and doing great in their new environment.

That's our "update" in a nutshell. I will try to post pics soon!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let her eat cake!!!

Happy Birthday sweet Everlyn Grace!!!

Today is our little monkey's 3rd birthday. I must admit, it is bittersweet. Of course, we are THRILLED that she is home with us where she belongs.... But today is also the day, three years ago, that her birth parents met her, looked at her sweet face, and decided that she wasn't going home with them.   THAT my friends breaks my heart. You see, not only is today her birthday, it is her "orphanversary"....the day she became an orphan.

This girl is perfect (minus some screeching here and there...LOL!). She is ours. And she is LOVED! :o)

Her party was Saturday and it was AWESOME! We celebrated with family and some very special friends! My friend Lori, who has a daughter with that "something extra" drove up from Atlanta to be here...and take some AWESOME pics. And another "new" friend, Tiffany was here too...with her daughter who was also blessed with that awesome extra chromosome. Yes, it was a GOOD day.

Here is a pic taken by Lori of Everlyn's "cake smash". Yes, I know this is a 1st birthday tradition, but if you think about it, this WAS her 1st birthday! Tiffany offered to bake the smash cake...which was ADORABLE!

More photos can be seen on Lori and Tiff's blogs.

So Happy Birthday sweet Princess! We love you so very much!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tomorrow is a BIG day!

It is Everlyn's 3rd birthday party! If you want to get technical, it is her FIRST birthday party...I am sure no one ever acknowledged her birthday in the past. So, while our girl is turning 3 (on the 26th), this is her FIRST birthday in so many ways! :o)

We are letting her do a little "cake smashing" since she never got the chance when she turned one. Yes, we will post pics.

Stay tuned for an ridiculous amount of cuteness!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Poor Neglected Blog!

We are all still alive and well. It has been NUTS the last month and we are finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

So, I thought I would do a Top Ten Excuses for Why This Blog Has Been Neglected:

10. We moved to a new state on December 18th.

9. We moved to a new state on December 18th with FIVE kids.

8. Christmas was December 25th. :o)

7. The kids are starting a new school TOMORROW (Yay!) so we had to get all of that paperwork turned in, backpacks bought, school supplies rounded up, etc.

6. There are boxes and storage containers taking up my side of the garage...still...calling my name. I am trying to ignore them, however.

5. I have been pondering Everlyn's 3rd birthday party in late January. Our little monkey has chosen a monkey theme. (OK, so Mommy and Daddy chose it but she seems to like it).

4. I start my new job at Vanderbilt this week. I have been trying to get things done before then...somewhat successfully.

3. I am sometimes too busy "parenting" to remember to blog. ((gasp))

2. I am just plain exhausted.

And the number one excuse for why this blog has been so neglected.......

I AM PREGNANT! :o) (And therefore exhausted, tired, worn out and generally feel like crap.)

**I still need to download pics off my camera from the last month, but when I do, prepare yourselves for picture overload.