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Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm pretty excited about this new adventure for our family. The kids are beyond excited about living near the beach.
Let me back up, Tommy and I made a trip to Ft Walton about a month ago where he officially interviewed and accepted a job as an offensive coordinator for the Ft Walton Beach Vikings.  The head coach was his old positions coach when he played at the near by school, Niceville.  They put us up in a really nice Villa right on the beach on Okaloosa Island.  We also enjoyed a few nights of awesome sea food and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean!

This past weekend we decided to head down for a inner squad scrimmage and to take the kids with us. I knew they would love playing in the sand. The weather was so nice, it was sunny and 80 degrees the whole time we were there.  Friday morning we got up and the kids were begging to go down to the water. Who forgets swimsuits when you go to the beach...this MOM! UGH. We made due.

She wasn't too sure about the sand on her feet!
After a day in the sun, we headed to the high school.  There was an inner squad scrimmage scheduled that evening and there was a ton of people there.  We were announced at half time and Tommy was able to get a glimpse of the team and the players that he'll be coaching.

The next day we hit up the beach again and also visited the mall while Tommy had a meeting.  The kids had fun playing and shared a smoothie to top the day off. 

So here it is...our new home! I can't wait to be living here, enjoying the weather and meeting new people. 

We headed home on Sunday and about half way through the trip we got pretty restless.  The kids offered to drive...perhaps not the best idea!  We made it home safe (with Tommy driving).


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I've been meaning for some time now to post about what I've done with Micah, our 5 year old's room.  Our adoption has been completed now for well over a year and our son was great through the whole process of us traveling and being busy with paper work and fundraising.  And after she got home he was so helpful and loves on his little sister so much.  Of course she gets a lot of attention wherever we go so I felt like it was time to do something special for him and he's very into SUPER HEROES!  I really wanted to do a super hero themed bedroom for him and although I'm not really into theme rooms I thought it might encourage him to sleep in his room more also! 

I had seen on a room makeover how they had bought panels of the faux brick and attached them to the wall.  In the makeover they painted the panels once they were on the wall but it gave me the idea to do that in his room to make it look like the outside of a building - and who climbs on the outside of buildings but SPIDER MAN!

Again, everything in this room was mostly DIY which is how I did Sanai's room (you can check that out here

I was able to find wall decal on Amazon for the perfect spiderman! 

Goodwill lamp $5, spray painted red with a new shade.
I went to a local antique store and scored about 5 comic books and cut the pages in the shape of pendants and hung them on a string acrossed the room.

Everytime we head to Iowa we make a pit stop in Metropolis, IL and pick up a poster.  We have 4 now so I cut some left over wood from the head board and painted them black and mounted them behind the prints to make them more substantial.  Thiswas way cheaper than trying to custom frame them.

To cover the seam between the two pieces of faux brick paneling I found a piece of PVC pipe in the basement that I sprayed painted silver. I purchased the top piece from Lowe's and taped it to the top and attached it with metal striping.

I visited our local Habitat Restore and purchased 3 wood frame windows for $5 each! I painted them black and covered the back of the panes with white paper so you couldn't see through them.  I was also able to find this light, which I wanted to look like a street light, from the Habitat store and painted it red.

These letters used to hang above Micah's crib and were painted white. I cut out figures from old comic books and decoupaged them to the letters to go with the room.

Once the spiderman was attached to the wall, I screwed an eyelet hook to his hand and put three nails on the ceiling and strung fishing line in the eyelet to each nail several times to make it look like spiderman was shooting his web!

You can't tell with it being day time but before I attached the head board to the wall I taped white christmas lights behind it.  The head board sits several inches away from the wall to create a 3D effect and at night when I turn the lights on it looks like the city is lit up and is a great night light.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I've been mum for quite awhile on my site and it's not for a lack of things happening.  I really needed to get over a few things that were going on so that I didn't take out all my frustrations and hurt in the cyberworld.  I try to embrace change with an open mind and heart, but I'm not always the best at it. Esepcially when it's not what you were expecting!   I know I definitely need to work on forgiving people.  Sometimes it's one and done with me and I have a hard time moving past things.  We are all a work in progress, right?

We are getting ready for a pretty big transition in our lives in the next few months.  My husband is a football coach which usually means we aren't going to be in on place necessarily for a super long time. I'm trying to embrace it at this time in our lives when our kids are still small and we are able to experience new places and meet new people.  Some places are better than others, some are down right awful.  But the one thing that I love about it all is that we are forced to rely on each other as an immediate family.  We turn to each other in times of crisis and tears which has made our marriage incredibly strong.

As Micah nears the end of his pre-school year, I'm excited that he was able to experience such a great pre-K teacher.  Mrs. LeAnne has been a blessing to our family not only in providing a great atmosphere for Micah as he enters his education but also as a support system for my family. What a sweet person we have been blessed to know!

I also am going to truly miss my daughter's daycare, they have been amazing with Sanai not only teaching her things (she's a light weight genius!) but also being flexible with work hours and her medical issues that we sometimes experience. Nothing starts my day off better than knowing my child loves her daycare and that they love her back.

Our house is for sale and I'm trusting that God will provide the right buyer very soon.  As to where we will end up at the end of this journey, we don't know quite yet.  But I'm definitely ready for the next chapter to begin!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

To catch you up on our situation...we've had Sanai about 15 months now and she's had approximately 30 febrile seizures.  I had never even heard of febrile seizures before she had her first one. I honestly thought I had overdosed her on Tylenol the first time she had her seizure. She had this blank stare and was unresponsive. She actually had her convulsions while I was speeding to the hospital so I could hear her but I didn't see her.

Luckily these seizures only last 2-3 minutes and are always associated with a fever.  It's not necessarily the fever that causes the seizures, it's the sudden spike in her temperature that causes a misfire in her brain.  After she comes out of her seizure she's usually awake long enough for me to give her some medicine and then she sleeps for several hours because it really wears her out.

I've almost given up going to our primary doctor because when I do they can't ever find anything wrong with her that is causing the fever. She has no runny  nose, no ear infection, no cough, nothing!  They've taken her blood, taken urine samples, swabbed her throat, NOTHING!  I now just call my doctor, tell him what's going on and take his advice...which is usually just to wait it out.  There's nothing else we can do. 

In the waiting room being silly

My biggest frustration is the fevers, they literally happen once a month and there is no symptoms. I wanted to talk to the pediatric neurologist to find out more as to whether this is normal among internationally adopted children. I know she hasn't built up as many immunities so maybe she's more susceptible to our diseases.  They said they haven't noticed anything related to internationally adopted kids at all.

They said basically that we just have to endure what's going on.  The most "active" time of febrile seizures is when they are 18-24 months so we are in the worst time.  They said she won't grow out of this until she's 5-6 years old.  Arggh. 

The one piece of advice they offered was to give her the seizure medicine they prescribed BEFORE she has a seizure instead of waiting until she has one.  She always has a fever anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours before she has her seizure.  There's only been two cases where she's had a seizure and we hadn't noticed the fever because it literally had spiked in a few minutes.  Hopefully this will stay ahead of her episodes and help prevent them.

Being such a good girl in the room

The neurologist said that they would be more worried if she were developing slower than what she should be but she's right on track. She was happy, all over the place and was giving all the doctors high five while we were there so he said there's really nothing to worry about.

And honestly, seeing all the sick children at the hospital made me thankful that we have a situation that in a few years will only be a memory.  Her situation could be much worse, so I'm simply thankful that we had access to doctors who can help ease our frustrations and fears and help us through this time.

We greatly appreciate all the prayers!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

We are definitely an outside family, we enjoy the sun and doing anything outdoors.  We had been planning since January to get Micah a trampoline.  His birthday is in January but we didn't want to buy a trampoline then so we just got around to it last week.  Both kids are definitely enjoying the jumping.  Sanai doesn't jump, she just sits and Micah bounces her all over the place with his jumping!

Some call it a trampoline, I call it a giant playpen

Both of my kids also LOVE the pool.  One day we'll probably invest in something nicer but for now they are content with the plastic kiddie pool.  For the price it has lasted us 2 summers so I can't complain.  Tommy didn't put a swimmer diaper on her this day...this was the 2nd filling of the pool.  "Someone" pooped in the water as soon as it was originally filled. Opps.


Both of our kids lately have had the silliest faces that just crack us up. Sanai has mastered the "mean face" and displays it quite often (something Tommy taught her).  They both definitely keep us laughing.
She did not learn this at home! ha ha

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This past Sunday we were in Murfreesboro for church and decided to go to Cheddars to eat with the family.  It was warm out but nothing too crazy.  We had noticed while we were waiting for a table that Sanai had started to feel warm and sure enough about 5 minutes later she went into a seizure.

It wasn't a bad one as far as it's intensity but it seemed to last longer than ones in the past.  We decided to just continue to do what we normally do and strip her of her clothes and give her motrin.  She started cooling off after I put a cool rag on her head and she took about a 20 minute nap afterwards.  She eventually woke up with more energy so after we finished eating we headed back to the house.

Here's where I learned my lesson: When we got home I didn't give her the seizure medicine.  The pediatric neurology department at Vanderbilt in Nashville had given me a small dosage of medicine to give to her after she has a seizure and it will prevent her from having anymore. It really just calms the brain and she's only supposed to take it for 3 days after her initial seizure.

We had been home about an hour when I noticed her getting warmer.  It had been about 4 hours since her Motrin dosage so she was ready for some tylenol.  I gave her the tylenol and as soon as I sat back down with her on the couch she went into THE MOST AWFUL seizure I have ever seen her have.  It didn't last a really long time but it was very intense.  She had a pretty hard time coming out of it and I couldn't get her fingers unclenched for quite awhile even though I know she had come out of it.  She slept for almost three hours after.

I took her to the doctor the next day to see if she had some sort of infection that might be causing her fever but they took blood and swabbed her throat and everything came back normal - besides elevated white blood cell count which is normal of an infection. 

Helping out the nurse
So I guess we'll just keep on keepin' on and try to maintain the fever.  Luckily, Tommy had a fairly easy week and could watch her the days she's been home.  Whenever she doesn't feel good or has had a seizure we usually bring her in the bed to keep an eye on her. We are always afraid she'll have a seizure at night and we won't hear her.  This is how I found them on Monday morning.  So sweet :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Two weeks ago the family gathered for a much anticipated vacation in Orlando.  It was smoking hot - and I don't mean myself in a bikini. And unfortunately, my little Ethiopian decided to have a seizure after being seizure free for 3 whole months. 

We actually went to three urgent care clinics the next day to see what was causing her fever.  My guess was ear infection or sinus infection but the first place we drove to had a two hour wait. WHAT?!  The second place didn't see children under 5 years old and the other place heard the word "seizure" and told me we needed to go to the hospital. SIGH.

I called my primary care doctor as my last resort and begged them to call in an antibiotic for me.  We had to run back to the house we were staying at, grab our clothes and head downtown to check into the hotel and return the rental car in the next two hours.  I was stressed!  Needless to say the doctors office pulled through and we got her started on some medicine right away.

I didn't get a whole lot of photos from the trip because we got a new camera and Tommy of course toted it around with the strap around his neck like a big nerdy tourist.  I love that guy!

Here is a few photos I got with my phone of the hotel (we stayed at the Hard Rock).

Here's most of the kids, minus Micah and McKenzie

With all the stuff to do, they enjoyed walking around this tree!

She tried to hang but the heat and the excitement wore her out.