Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Daily Mabel #16



Monday, August 31, 2015

Daily Mabel #15



Today Mabel got her real cast.  It's bright purple.  Perfect for those family pictures we had planned for two weeks from now.  Thankfully she only has to wear it for three weeks so it will be off in time for our sealing.  The hard cast seems to have made crawling even more difficult.   I'm really hopeful that by the time she gets her cast off, she'll be so annoyed about the gimpy crawling that she'll decide to walk.


Blue Bell showed up in the grocery stores again today and of course we had to introduce Mabel.  Ice cream is cold but so good!  When her bowl ran out, she licked the drips off of her high chair tray.


Daily Mabel #14


Just because you have a broken arm, doesn't mean you can't still make a big mess.


We can't find any pajama shirts that will fit over her massive temporary cast so she is wearing Storey's nightgown.  It's a little bit big.

Daily Mabel #13


We had a crazy day planned on Saturday.  Zak was helping someone move, we had a birthday party to attend across town, I had to pick up all my unsold clothes from a local consignment sale, Storey had auditions for Into The Woods, Jr,  Zak had a two hour church meeting, and then we had to get home in time to pick up a sitter and head out to a two hour church meeting that night.  CRAZY.  

Unfortunately, our day got exponentially crazier when Mabel toppled off the bed and broke her arm.  We dropped the kids off with my best friend and quickly drove down to the emergency room.  Poor baby screamed and cried the whole way-it was so heartbreaking and I felt so helpless.  When we arrived at the ER, the doctor told us that he was pretty sure that Mabel had broken her shoulder.    What a nightmare.  She was in so much pain during the xrays, but soon after they gave her some medicine (thank goodness).  Then she was super happy and acted like absolutely nothing was wrong, even playing peek a boo with her broken arm, despite Zak and I trying to make her hold still.

The doctor came in and told us that she just had a greenstick fracture in her forearm, much to our relief.  It's the most common type of break in children.  They bandaged her arm up like a mummy and sent us home.

Mabel started standing on her own last Wednesday! Today's the first day it's lasted long enough for me to take a picture.

I am so grateful to have such amazing friends.  Without notice, I dropped the kids off and my friend Mandy didn't blink an eye.  She then put Storey's hair up IN A STAR and arranged for another friend to take Storey to her little audition.  Above and beyond.  Because she's amazing, she also ran through Storey's song and monologue several times.  My friend Emily picked her up and took her to her audition, where she and another friend, Sarah, cheered Storey on.  They were incredible and did a better job of being Storey's stage mom than I ever could have.  I can't even being to express how blessed I felt knowing that while we were sitting in the ER, my other kids were taken care of.

After getting home from the ER, we decided to go ahead and attend our evening church meeting and take Mabel along (the plan originally since we aren't leaving her with babysitters yet).  We quickly discovered that almost nothing fit over Mabel's mummy arm though.  The only thing I found was a strappy dress I would normally have her wear with a cardigan.   Storey was horrified that we would dress Mabel so immodestly.  She said, "Are you really going to let Mabel go out like that???"  I can't wait until Storey's a teenager and we can repeat that sentiment back to her. 

Daily Mabel #12



Mabel likes to stand with her arms over the back of the couch and watch us wash dishes and cook dinner.  She definitely wants to be able to see either or Zak or I at all times.  Hopefully that means that she is starting to really bond to us!

Consequently this is the last picture of this couch ever because we sold it on Friday and got a sectional!  Also, it's the last Daily Mabel for awhile that won't include a cast.  Poor baby.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Daily Mabel #11


Mabel has been with our family one month today!  We celebrated by spending seven hours downtown at Texas Children's for her first doctor's appointment where she had five vials of blood taken.  I'm sure that made her very happy to have been adopted.

We feel so blessed that Mabel has come to our family.  She is a joy and we love her so much.  Every morning as the kids leave for the bus, Mabel follows behind.  All the fun people leave and she's just stuck with me!  What a disappointment.   Can you see our "baby proofing" behind her?  We've taken down all the Christmas cards she can reach (we leave them up all year round so we can see our friends' smiling faces). 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Daily Mabel #10



When Mabel first joined our family, she wouldn't eat or drink and we thought for sure we were going to have to put her in food therapy. It was a stressful couple of weeks in China. Thankfully, all of that has changed.  Eating has proven to be her favorite past time, we've learned that a lot of food fits in those cheeks, and we found a sippy cup that she will drink from (so I bought six, of course).




I'm not sure if this school year is going to be harder on Jakson or on me.   Mandy and I decided to have the kids ride the bus this year.  We live really really close to the school, so they are only on the bus for a few minutes.  Jak, Storey, and Grayden will all ride the bus together, which means that Jakson has the two most opinionated children on the bus sitting next to him.  Pretty sure no one will mess with him.


Yesterday was the first time the kids rode the bus.   As it pulled up, Jakson realized that he didn't have his water bottle with him.  He started to get very upset and I could tell that we were going to have a meltdown on our hands if I didn't fix it quick.  Normally I do let Jakson deal with natural consequences, but I didn't want the missing water bottle to ruin his day and possibly the whole bus experience.   Thankfully telling him that I would bring the water bottle to school for him did the trick to get him on the bus, but I didn't find out that he was okay until later in the day when the AP called to let me know he was fine.


When the kids got home, I asked them about the best and worst part of the day.  Jakson said that he had a very "irritating" part.  He explained that his teacher had written on the board to write 5 sentences with the prompt "If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?"   Anyone who knows Jakson well can definitely see where this is going.  He had some time before lunch/recess to write, but said he was just "thinking" the whole time.  Then he went up and told his teacher "I am not a fiction kind of person."  Yep.  I am definitely a pyschic because I had explained this would be a problem to his teachers and the IEP team just the day before.  Jakson is very concrete, any abstract  concepts, like writing prompts, are going to be pretty tough for him.

I was very proud of Jakson for coming up with a solution for the writing prompt.  After lunch he asked the teacher if instead of writing about himself having a superpower, he could write about someone else having a superpower.  Kind of like the time he hit my mother in law in the face for calling him Buzz Lightyear (this was several years ago), Jakson is only Jakson and doesn't want to pretend to be anything else.  So he changed the prompt to something he could mentally handle.  The teacher agreed to it and together they wrote one sentence, which he turned in.  I know this is going to be baby steps with him, but I was so happy that he didn't melt down or just sit and cry, but worked out a solution.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Daily Mabel #9



Mabel turned 21 months today!!  She has made a lot of progress since we returned from China, especially in the past couple of days.   I think it will continue to get better as she becomes more comfortable and attached to us.

Just a few new things:
  • waving "hi"(with both hands).  Strangely she didn't know how to do this.  Maybe the Chinese don't wave???
  • signing "thank you" 
  • babbling a bit (babababa and maaaaamaaaaamaaa)
  • she pointed to me today when I asked her where "mama" was
  • after Jakson got home from school and I had pulled him into my lap while we were discussing his day, all of a sudden Mabel came crawling towards us at full speed and screamed a war cry.  She's getting a little territorial!  A great sign!
  • AND best of all, she took TWO one hour naps today!!  Hallelujah!

First Day 2015


We've had so many changes the past month-new sister, trip to China, new teachers, and, for Jak, a whole new school!

We were able to meet Jakson's teachers a week early to prep him a little bit and, frankly, to prep them as well.  He's nervous but excited (nervexcited) about school starting.  I know he's going to miss his old teachers and friends so much, but already we know of a good friend in his class at his new school.


Storey's teachers got switched at the last minute.  We met a couple of teachers at Meet the Teacher Friday morning, but received a call suggesting that a different set of teachers would be a better fit for Storey later that afternoon.  Thankfully, we were able to run over to the school to meet them.   Storey was still a little nervous about switching classes but was excited to see a friend in her homeroom.  Her teachers seem really loving and fun.
Storey and Ms. Moore

Storey will do great whatever class she is in.  When we met her teachers she said, "You know, I read high school books."   She is just a little bit confident in her skills.

These crazies found each other as we were walking into the school. Yay for the Kolmillions (the name these guys have given themselves-a combinations of our last names)!!

Jakson told me in the hallway as I walked him to class not to hold his hand.  Then when I was taking his picture at his desk he put his head in his hands and yelled, "Good grief!!"  Apparently I am an embarrassment.   This was his courtesy smile.  Mom, go away!

Moving on up


First day at SoH

Last day at SoH

I cannot say enough good things about our time at Spectrum of Hope.  It was an answer to YEARS of prayers.  YEARS.   Jakson has grown so much, not just physically (he had just turned 6 when he started attending Hope Academy), but emotionally, socially, and especially in his communication.  He was barely speaking in sentences and now he can (kind of) tell a cohesive story about something that has happened!


I can't say that I'm totally on board with the transition to public school, mainly because I want to protect him and the best way to do that is to leave him where he is.  But Zak reminds me quite often that if we leave him in his safe little bubble, Jak won't have an opportunity to do more growing.  I guess he's right, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.


In a way, it's the end of an era.  He no longer needs 40 hours of ABA a week.  I no longer have to fight every few months with the insurance company to make sure those 40 hours are covered (well, sort of covered).  I don't have to spend nights not sleeping, wondering how the heck we are going to pay for it or worrying about scholarship money.  Those things have consumed my life for so long (now I get to worry about bullies and IEPs and teachers and open concept classrooms instead).  He's developed enough wonderful skills that now he can practice using them in a real classroom with typical peers.  I'm so proud of his progress.

Our beloved Miss Kori and Miss Nikki 

I'm so so grateful for the love and support that his therapists have given Jak for the past three years, especially his main therapist, Miss Kori and the program director, Miss Nikki.   I will miss them more than they can imagine.   Thankfully I don't have to cut the apron strings completely as we will still be at the clinic once a week for speech therapy and a visit to his psychologist.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Daily Mabel #8


I'm so glad when Daddy comes home.

Although frankly, he's home most of the time since his office is down the hall.  Mabel loves to play with her Daddy.


Mabel gives really really tight hugs and squeezes hard.  We've been working with her on being more gentle because sometimes the hugging is a little too aggressive.  She makes a funny face when she hugs (see below).


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Daily Mabel: Day #7


Mabel was blessed at church today by Zak.  It was a beautiful blessing and she didn't start screaming in the middle of it, though she did spend most of the time licking my hand to entertain herself.   Zak mentioned Mabel having good health, gaining a strong testimony, sharing the gospel with others, and having a good sense of humor.

Originally I had planned to make the dress for today (the same dress that she will wear next month to the temple), but we thought that it would be special to have her wear the little dress she came to us in from her foster parents.  It is several sizes too big, something that wasn't quite so evident on Family Day because she was wearing about four layers underneath.   We are so blessed to have our cute Mabel!

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