Friday, February 27, 2009

Fun Little Bug...


Rotavirus...ever heard of it? If you have ever experienced it through one of your children...I promise, you won't forget it. Love has been sick with the Rotavirus now for a few days...thankfully we are on the tail end of it.

Her diet has consisted of two things...flat Ginger ale and Popsicles. She won't even touch anything else. When she is feeling OK, she still plays well. With the incredible weather, I have let her play in the backyard. But, at night when her fever gets to 104+ ...well, it just isn't fun.
Supposedly it is a virus aimed at children 2-0. They actually have a vaccine for it but since Love was 21 months when we brought her home, she missed out on the coverage. That stinks...trust me when I say that - it is meant to be literal :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rodeo Day...

Well, today was Rodeo Day at Hope's PreK. Unfortunately, we don't have much in the way of rodeo attire for the occasion. She wore her Tshirt with a horse of hearts, jeans, black zipper boots and Big Daddy's old hat from back in the day. Suffice it to say...she thought she could ride horses and rope calves. Yee Haw!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Look What Love Does...

This is a video I snatched from Vicki Courtney's Virtue Alert Blog today. If you have not ever had the chance to visit her, I encourage you to do so. She is both insightful and entertaining :) This video is about a group of boys here in Gainsville and the coach of the opposing team with a love far greater than that for the game.

video

Did you see the look on those boy's faces? Brings ya to tears...doesn't it? Yeah, me too :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sick to My Heart...is that possible?

I know the saying is sick to my stomach...and I am that...nauseous, literally sick.

I went by Best B*y today and picked up our retrieved photos. Knowing pretty well they had recouped all the ones of the first days we were with Love. Those days, especially the first day we met hold meaning like the day your child is born. Those photos are irreplaceable.

I am excited, I pull out the cds and load them. We only have from the day we flew home from China until now. Which is well worth the $460 it cost to retrieve them. But, my heart is sick that we have lost those most precious first moments on film. We had several videos and 1,000s of photos of our 2 weeks in China forming our new family. Breaks. My. Heart.

I have tried to look at this from another perspective. And thought, all of her past is gone...even the very hours she became our daughter...gone, at least anything physical she would ever be able to see or look back on as she grows up, gone. It is odd to me that the photos pick up the day we leave China...as a family, heading to her new country, her new home...that is all we have, a few photos that day and then some photos on the airplane and then us being welcomed by friends and family at the airport.

But, no matter which way I try to spin it to make it positive...it just seriously makes me sick...my heart hurts, I feel sick to my stomach.....just sick. Maybe I am overreacting, I don't know. But, when you have such a limited view (if any at all) into how you entered this world and what journey brought you to your forever family, those memories captured on film may be extremely important. The first time I saw her, the first time I held her...how Big Daddy held her in his arms and the tears in his eyes. How he bounced her on his knee and sang to her...how she would throw herself back and giggle -the immediate connection she shared with Hope. How she took to Big Daddy right off...she knew she could trust him, you could see it the way she looked at him. The way she threw a wall eyed fit when he left us for a few minutes. Even all the photos we took of her province, the time we spent those first days really falling head over heels in love with her...gone.

So, one plea...if you are reading this and traveled with us and have ANY photos with Love in them...please, I beg you to contact us. We would love even a glimpse of her. If we sent you any pictures (to our family and friends) would you take a minute and look through them and let us know what, if anything, you have that we could 'copy' from you? I am so trying not to make this about me...really, I am. But, y'all it is. It is about my baby girl, it is about the day she was essentially born into our family. It just breaks me.


I know there are so many things people are experiencing right now that are far worse than losing photos...people have lost everything in fires, lost the chance to make new memories with spouses, children or parents who have past...that time would be worth all the photos...I know that. I know in the grand scheme of things...those photos are still just material possessions. But, just for a little while, I am going to allow myself to ache for those wonderfully exciting, completely exhaustive, heart wrenching and heart mending memories that were captured for us to look back on as Love grows up and as we grow old. Call me selfish...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One Month to Live...

We started a church wide campaign this Sunday with this book. Pastor Jerry is doing a 6 week series on Sunday mornings, we are doing the dvd series in small groups on Sunday nights and we are doing our 'homework' daily.

I realize this title may rub a few of us the wrong way...would you even wanna know if you only had only 30 days to live? Well, I have asked myself that very question and my answer is absolutely! This is going to be a journey that I need to travel, that we need to travel as a couple, as a family, as a small group, and as a church body. I'll even venture out and say as the entire church body -it is not so much the book or the authors but the message. It isn't anything you haven't probably thought about yourself...it just usually, at least for me, never goes past a thought. So, we are accepting the challenge for the next 6 weeks...there I said it...hold me accountable...I pray the difference will be seen on its own and not one of you will have to ask me what has changed.

What if I really only had 30 days to live (and only God knows)...what would I change? It brings me to tears to even think about it. Because I have no idea when I will draw my last breath...and I haven't been living like it - not truly appreciating all the little moments that make up my day. I mean really loving with abandon. I have more to share but right now, there is a little one sitting here beside me, seeking my affection and y'all...being real here...if it were 30 days from now I'd regret what I am doing while she sits next to me waiting.

More later...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Faith!!

My sweet Faith,

Where does the time go...no, really, where does the time go?
Let's see...13 years ago today was one of the happiest days of my life. We really thought you were going to be a Valentine baby as my labor started right smack dab in the middle of a church banquet your Daddy and I were attending. It was funny, the table watched me like crazy and were timing my contractions...something was going on for sure. We went to the hospital and we had a huge, glorious room. But, I wasn't progressing enough to stay. So, about 5 hours later we returned (yep, you showed them!) and all the 'beautiful suites' were gone...girl, you were born in a room the nurses and doctor referred to as the manger. Which now, is kinda cool. It was a very small supply room, the air conditioning didn't work and it was crowded. But, how many people can say that their daughter was born in the manger? I should have know by your entrance you were going to be a handful!

You were just the most precious thing growing up. Totally Pink...into everything girl you can imagine. You loved dress up, princesses, dolls, ballet and tap and girl...could you put on a show singing! You were entertainment. Of course, you could also play soccer like a mad woman :)

Every time I look at you now I think back to those days and wonder where my little girl has gone. Gone are the days of pigtails and baby dolls but new days have come. Days where we can actually have a meaningful conversation about issues, important issues. I love how when you believe in something you believe with your whole heart. How you understand choices of today very much affect your tomorrow. You have an understanding of the importance of not only knowing but loving your God. You can write a worship song like no one I know...because you do it with your heart. Which, baby girl, is where it is all at.

I appreciate your strong-will. Sometimes I think it is going to kill me but I do appreciate it. I know soon enough it will serve you well not only to share your beliefs but to stand up for them. You are funny, not just silly funny but witty. You have mad timing skillz when you deliver your little humor too. You have compassion for people. You understand that this life is bigger than your circumstances. You have been the most incredible big sister...your love for them surpasses any expectation. While I'd love nothing more than for my baby girl to stay little, I am very much looking forward into seeing the woman you will become....but I'm in no hurry.

So, a few suggestions from someone who has been there and done that...Don't get in a hurry to grow up. Enjoy your youth. Life is too short to not have fun, be silly, act your age. Don't live your life trying to be what other people expect you to be. Don't speak poorly of someone else to lift your own ego...it really only brings you down. Learn to control your tongue...there is not one single thing you own that could do more damage. Make thoughtful choices. Don't change who you are to please someone else. Don't pretend to be someone you are not. Beauty will not be found in the clothes or the make up you wear. You are fearfully and wonderfully made...You are beautiful Faith. Being rich...it has nothing to with money. I think of the wealthiest people I know, their bank accounts are not full of money.

You have had my heart from the moment I laid eyes on you. There is no one on Earth who loves you more than I do. I am excited to see you leave your mark on this world...and that time has come sooner than I thought it would. You are at the age now where what you say and do will have impact. You are no longer a child but a teenager. Your thoughts are important, the way you love people speaks volumes and the actions you take will be seen. I am so proud of the young lady you are becoming, I love you!!

So, welcome to the beginning of your teenage years...hold on tight, take pictures, take notes...they are gonna fly by! ...sniff...sniff...my baby girl is a TEENager....
Love you more!!
Mom

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Words to Live By...

Big Daddy has been teaching Hope scripture...she LOVES for him to read the Bible to her and tell her Bible stories...loves it. She learned this one pretty quick.

video

Today was Hope's Valentine party. She had a great time. She even received her very first valentine gift from a boy. A boy named Carter...who apparently has fabulous taste ;0) Isn't four a little young to come a courtin'?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Lesson In Patience....

Sitting on the front porch - waiting for a special man in our lives to arrive.Sometimes it seems like he takes forever...but we will wait, patiently.
Daddy's Home!!!!
There is just nothing better :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Naptime...the delight of a SAHM

Love is very much a nurturer. She loves to be around babies and to play Mommy. She is a big helper and very much a mocker of all things done by those around her...which can lead to trouble ;)But today, she was a Mommy to a baby...who needed a nap...and what Mom can't identify with that scenario?

So proud she laid her 'baby' on the step bed and covered her up with a blanket, a washcloth, and a wipee (guessing the baby is very cold and dirty??) She came and got me and said "Mommy....mere (come here) nite nite"...and the above is what I saw.

She won't go to sleep, perhaps I will poke close her eye for her....

Uhhhh! This kid is driving me crazy!
Maybe if I poke close both her eyes for her, then she'll sleep.
Yes! There is nothing sweeter than nap time for a SAHM!
Y'all, just for the record, I have never poked my babies eyes to get them to sleep...but that celebratory look, when she knows the baby is asleep...guilty ;0)
If only Love still took naps - Hope is no problem...Love, well, she doesn't much care for them.
On another note, doesn't Love's face look great? We will be a week out tomorrow since her laser treatment...she is healing really well.

A Few Thoughts on Faith...

Like most females, Faith is a gal with many sides...I have discovered a lot in her photos - for instance:
She most likely gets her 'attitude' from her Daddy :)

She brushes her tongue...and likes to prove that point often in photos...oh, a mother has never been so proud - ha!

She can be mysterious and reflectiveShe can't wait for school to be out!
And she is a big believer in peace, always throwing the deuce.
I wish I had the photos off my fried hard drive already...you'd see even more layers to her personality -ha! She is quite a character, isn't she?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Random...

So, don't these two look too cute? Running late for church, again, dern it.

  • Went to Best B*y today with our fried hard drive. And yep, they told me it is fried. But for the cost of anywhere between $299-$1600 they should be able to get our photos off. They have to send it away. Whew! The photos are costly, I know. But, how many times have I said they are priceless? They are all our photos of Love from the time we met her until our computer died about a month ago. They are all the history we have as a family. We think it is pretty important, well, we know it is. How do you not put your money where your mouth is? I mean, a child who will have such limited access to her beginning - how could we limit her beginning as a Harris? Simply, we can't. Call us crazy...we might agree.

  • Don't think I didn't find Big Daddy and ask him to start praying about our photos being recovered, and I did have Love pray with me while we were waiting. Y'all I about hit the floor right there in the Geek Sq*ud area. The lady next to me was fixated on me when I opened my eyes. At first, I thought, how materialistic can I be? They are just photos. But, I know how much photos mean to us and I am sure they will be important to our little Love as well.

  • Needless to say, my prayer was answered, perhaps I should have suggested a more comfortable price range...oh people, I am just kidding.

  • Officially introduced to Facebook yesterday -that is a crazy little place, ya know? You guys are all apart of it, aren't you? I admit it is fun how it connects you with people you might have things in common with and then tries to introduce you to your 'friends' people. To say it is interesting would be selling it short, but it is free, which makes it more fun.

  • I don't have time to facebook, I spent a couple of hours on there in a matter of minutes - time flew by!

  • I got to 'chat' with some of my old friends from high school and college.
  • I personally am not too excited about how facebook puts your bidness out there for all to see. All that you say, all that others say to you, even what groups you joined...it is a bit like being in a fishbowl. Does that not creep anyone else out? I may be too conservative for that atmosphere, only time will tell.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pure Joy

Yes, pure joy just watching our little girls play so happily on their swing set.
On another note, Love has yet another ear infection. While at the doctor yesterday we had a section of open seats around us. It looked like maybe the parents were a tad bit unsure of what Love may have. I guess it could look contagious and a little scary while it is healing. I made a joke about it to the nurse, that I felt like I needed to hold up a sign explaining Love's circumstance..but even she didn't know that the marks were from a laser. We saw a different pediatrician as ours was out for 1/2 day and that doctor didn't know either. I would think it wouldn't be unheard of in the medical community, especially pediatrics where they tend to treat these conditions early. I was a bit surprised.
One more thing...our home phone doesn't work(thanks to the washing machine...don't ask) it is ringing off the wall and no one leaves a message...so if you are trying to reach us, either leave a message or try our cell phones, please.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Good Morning :)

Love woke up this morning pretty swollen. But, as you can see...she is her usual joyous self :0)


She was hurting some and this time she really does not like seeing herself in the mirror, it upsets her. I can only imagine. She went to sleep yesterday and when she woke up...someone polka dotted her sweet face. I think the swelling is more this time because he worked on the inside corner of her eye this time as well as the eyelid. Isn't that smile of hers contagious? I sure caught it ;) Cutie Pie!

ROFL :)

No, seriously, rolling on floor laughing :)

Silly Girl

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

4th Treatment....whew...



Ok. So, this morning we arrived at the surgery center bright and early. Love was asleep for a little while. While she was being assessed and her vitals were taken she was awake. Things moved a little slower than normal. Their "gas" ran out and they were waiting for the new "gas" to warm up - that is what we were told anyway. Hmmm...I am assuming nitrous oxide?

Anyway, when Love and I went into the "holding" room, she immediately recognized it and began crying and grabbing onto me. There is one chair and it is dark. The nurse used the nose spray that makes her feel "loopy" and within about 5 minutes Love was whining and had vomited. Not a lot of fun for either of us. She seemed better. The anesthesiologist came in to check on her and recommended her treatment continue. They asked me to lay her on the gurney, I kissed her sweet little forehead...her eyes were circling at this point.

The doctor came out and informed us things were looking good but he was backing off the joules this time...she blistered too much last time and he wanted her back in a safe zone. He was pleased with her results and thought he'd be doing much less...he did 181 pulses last visit and 176 this visit...176 laser "zaps" if you will...doesn't sound like a lot of fun...does it?

When she came out she was in a hard sleep. It took a long time for her to come out of it. She did manage to eat most of a Popsicle so we could leave. She had been given morphine, which had never happened before for the pain. She had also been given Tylenol, a couple of anti-nausea medications and the mask type of sedation but had an IV too. I don't know...I am not a nurse or a doctor...although I have seen enough on the discovery channel to make me think I am not completely in the dark...ha. It seemed like a lot of stuff for a minimally invasive procedure. Poor baby had her eyelashes singed off on her top eyelid from the mid line to the corner...that is crazy to me. He went into her hairline as well this time and she has some singed hair there as well.

She slept the rest of the time before check out in my arms and slept the entire ride home and actually only woke up at 12:00. She was pretty uncomfortable and was crying and saying "owie, owie, owie" in her little whimpering voice. It was just so sad. She fell back asleep after a dose of Motrin and a couple of sips of Gatorade and then re-awoke (is that a word?) at 2:00 and all seems to be well. She is back to being my baby :)

She caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror that we have yet to hang up in the dining room and yelled for me..."Mommy, Mommy...uhhh...uhhh" while pointing at all the little dots on her face. Oh, sweet child, I know.

Currently, she is in the bathroom with her big sister Hope...singing to her and holding her toilet paper...she has such a servant's heart :)

Thank you all so much for the prayers!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Beautiful Baby Girl....

I intended on taking this photo for my own private collection. I try to take a photo before each of Love's laser treatments...just a record of sorts for myself of where we have been and how much progress we make after each treatment.

When I first saw this photo....it took my breath away(you can click on it to enlarge). I still can't believe my cheap-o camera captured her sweetness...of course Love easily brings out the sunshine :)

Love has her 4th laser treatment at 6am in the morning. I am thankful that we have one of the best pediatric dermatologist as her doctor. I am thankful we are at a very well staffed and well qualified hospital. I am thankful that Love generally does very well after each treatment and deals well with the pain. I am thankful that we have gotten incredible results and made great progress. I am thankful that we have wonderful medical insurance that affords us the entire treatment for a measly co-pay. We have so much to be thankful for...I don't want to take any of it for granted.


I just want to reiterate that we are in no way having this procedure done because of Love's appearance...she is beyond beautiful. It is merely in hopes to prevent further complications and risks later in her life that could be painful or cause problems for her. Trust me when I say that we love her birthmark...it makes her who she is and was one of the very facts that brought us together as a family. She is by far one of the biggest blessings to ever be bestowed upon the Harris family.


We would so love it if you'd agree to join with us in praying for miss Love. It bothers me for her to be put under so much in her short time with us. She has been put to sleep 4 times already...in 10 months. Ideally, I'd love for her to be under as short a time as possible, awake her happy little self with no nausea, and no pain, with remarkable results. But, I would take alive and well in a heartbeat. I know, it seems like I go overboard before each treatment...I'll be honest...putting her under, when I really think about it, freaks me out a little. I do know God is in control and present and His love for her far surpasses mine (isn't that awesome?)...and that is enough for me:)

Love you guys!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Because She Knows...

This little Love here is so precious to me. Up until recently every time I left she would want to go with me. She didn't care where we were going...she just wanted to "Go!" You'd hear her start to say "Yackit" (jacket) over and over and head for the door if I went to put my coat on and she heard my keys. She'd likely cry if I left without her...which I hardly ever did. But the last several times I have left her. Not a tear shed. She blows me lots of kisses and waves to me and says..."Bye".

You know that just blesses me so much. It just makes my heart smile. Not because she no longer wants to go with me every time I walk out the door...but, because she knows that I will always return to her and she is completely secure in knowing that. Trust it is beautiful thing baby girl :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weekend Recap

Well, Big Daddy was busy, busy, busy this weekend. He was a part of the Disciple Now "Storm" 2009 at church. Our church hosted over 600 kids from this area and from what I hear...it went incredibly well, even better than that...I heard awesome from several people. I am a smidge jealous about all the good messages he heard but I am alright with it. Needless to say he was gone from 5pm-1:20am Friday and then 7:35am-6:50pm Saturday...we missed him A LOT but knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be.


We had my nephew and niece over most of the day and all the evening. Good conversation, good pizza, even good St*rbucks :) We played a little Guesstures...the girls totally beat the boys...not bragging or anything...just saying ;) Oh, we let them do their Love Language assessments...I don't know about you but finding out that people like to be loved differently than I do and things that make you feel loved don't necessarily make me feel loved...well, that there is enlightening! So...can I just give a shout out?


Matt: I love your shirt. It really compliments your eyes. You sing very well and are a great Dad to your dogs. Your a super cousin to my kids...they love you, as do I :)


Heather: I love you so much the next time I see you I am gonna mop your floor or wash your dishes. Girl, I'll even do both :) Still laugh every time I think of you doing "seizure" last night...you may have missed your calling ;)

Pastor Jerry had a great word for us all on Sunday and it was so encouraging. It was about being the church God intended us to be. Specifically about being in community, small group form with no masks on, no gaps of who you pretend to be and who you really are, coming together and doing life with fellow believers with all our "junk" out there for the group to not only know but to come along side of us arm in arm and help us be the people God intended us to be...loving each other no matter their/our sin or struggles...just loving them and accepting them...but loving them so much you want better for them, won't let them stay in that place and agree to help them, support them and just "do life" with them and vice versa. Sounds like a place I want to be :)