Thursday, August 10, 2006

Birthdays, Haircuts and Losing a Dear Friend

The big event this past week was Jonas and Laura's birthday party. I decided to have a combined one since Jonas' birthday was on Monday and Laura's on Friday. They liked the cake but not the frosting. They also tried chocolate for the first time. Jonas did not like the chunky stuff in his mouth, but Laura took to it. We took their arm splints off for the day. You can see in the pictures how well Jonas' mouth is healing. I am not sure if it has anything to do with Laura's palette repair but she has been eating like a horse since we got back. She used to eat very small amounts of food before. The other night she had 16oz in an hour and a half.
Other news. Amanda is crawled for the first time this week. We had to take the bassinet out because she was sitting up in it. She has not adjusted well to all the space in the crib itself and she moves around all the time in her sleep. Susan is holding her bottle and that is a major accomplishment. Her birthday is next. She is going to be one on July 6. Talking about bottles. A really weird thing is happening. For a reason I cannot explain, the eight older babies keep on throwing their bottles on the floor. I hear bottles drop after I feed them in the morning. I sometimes have to go crawling on my knees to find all the bottles. Antoinette has skipped her four upper front teeth and has gone directly for her canines. The tooth fairy must have messed up. She is our little vampire girl. The other really funny thing. She can slurp noodles. If you put a noodle that is too long and it hangs out of her mouth, she just slurps it up like a good Chinese person should. It is just so amusing watching this 10 month old do it.
Since I got back from Nanjing it has been really difficult over here. Michael and Gabriel have had trouble eating. Michael who was finishing 6oz bottles before I left now only wants 1 or 2oz and stops. They are suppose to have 16 oz a day and they have not been hitting that mark. Both Michael and Gabriel lost weight the first week that I was back. Feeding them now takes an enormous amount of time. After Michael stops eating I have to feed him with a dropper. At times he resists and other times he will just placidly shallow while you are dropping milk in his mouth. Sarah still can vomit like no one that I have seen. She does it without any warning too. She was fed twice last night and both times pucked up more than see ate. Ryan had been feeding her since 10 o'clock and at 12 he gave up and then it was my turn. We did the dance until 2 am when she finally fell asleep. The three younger babies are as much work as all the nine older ones combined. To top that all off we have had some sort of bug that have caused the older babies so have fevers and throw up their solid food but retain their milk. That has not been fun and Rebecca and I also got it for a day. So all in all it has been a really bad week. The good news is that the babies are back to sleeping most of the night and that is wonderful news for me. I am thinking of going back to my old schedule of going to bed at 8. I have been waiting until 11 after we feed the little ones and it is killing me.

About the photos. I decided to shave Angel's hair. It was looking really sad. When she first got here her hair was standing upright because it was so coarse. After being here for a while her hair softened and when it laid down flat it looked ugly so we did it. I love this picture of her. Antoinette had a fever and she did not want to sleep in her crib, so I lay down with her and we both fell asleep. Isaac Britton took this picture of this funny picture two of us. There is a use for my stomach after all!!!
This photo speaks volumes!!
This is the first picture we took of all 12 babies.

We have heard nothing from the CCAA yet. So we wait.

On a more personal note. My friend Paul Tripp died of a heart attack at 67 recently here in Xian. He loved to explore new places and had no fear of getting lost because he always carried a map. He was also a very prolific writer and wrote so many wonderful things about me and the foster home and was such a great ambassador for us. I shall miss him.

Love and laughter,


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