"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My New Mantra

"Things will get easier, things will get easier".....I have chanted this over and over this week. And, guess what? The dressings have gotten a little easier, though I still dread them. The screaming is horrible.

I guess the key to doing something difficult, is to do it, over and over and over. Then, you conquer your worries. You kind of have to force yourself, or in my case, be forced to do it, and it becomes routine. Isabella was my helper today. She was very patient, but firm.

Though, sometimes, after we do the dressing, we all have to sit on the bed and eat some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It cheers us up immensely.

It's amazing what you can get used to.

Francesca is allowed to walk, but she doesn't want to walk yet. Hopefully soon. The child is over 33 pounds already!

In other news, I have been bribing the babies to speak. Several times a day, I strap them in their high chairs and pull out the fruit snacks and cream cheese (Victoria's favorite).

Francesca, the people pleaser that she is, immediately makes every sound possible, with our without a fruit snack. The doctors told us that she wouldn't be able to make many sounds since her cleft palate is unrepaired, but I guess no one told her that because she is a babbling away, even making the "d" and "b" sounds, which are supposed to be impossible with a cleft palate.

Victoria is a different story. She is quite stubborn. I am actually glad to see her pitch a fit. I remember how passive she used to be. Now, she will scream and try to grab my hand to get the fruit snack. The speech therapist thinks she might have apraxia, but I am kind of skeptical. Just a six months ago, we thought Victoria couldn't open her mouth. Now she is trying to say "ho ho ho".

Just two weeks ago, she didn't know how to chew. Now, she is eating pieces of hotdogs and pretzels. Once she figures things out, she is off like a rocket. I wouldn't be surprised if she starts reciting the Gettysburg Address soon. If anyone has any speech suggestions, that would be great!

I am thinking of doing a question and answer post, so if you have any questions, fire away! Feel free to e-mail me too! (zoo35511@bellsouth.net)

Here's one question I can easily answer. Yes, I do let little Catherine dress herself!


  1. My question is ... when are you going to call me???!!!

  2. I seriously think that my Olivia and your Catherine would be BFFs if we lived closer!! My girl and yours could teach each other some fashion tips!

  3. Catherine, you don't know how every time I see pictures of Victoria my heart sings!!! Francesca too, of course, but having held Victoria at about her lowest point and wondering if you could get her back to the USA in time . . . I'm so thrllled to see how healthy and spunky she looks! I'm so sorry you and Francesca are having to deal with the bandaging but someday hopefully you both will be able to laugh about it many years from hence. You are a good Mommy, and it looks like you have great helpers! Hugs!!!

  4. Geeze you have cute kids! I can (almost always) count on your blog for a smile. Thanks for that!

  5. I love the pictures (except the ones that make me hurt for you and her)! Your kids are adorable. I love that you medicate yourself and your children with food. lol Julianne thinks if she cries she just needs "chocolate", so that is what we medicate with. I always tell Brent if she cries while I'm at Walmart, to just give her chocolate chips. That's what all women want anyway! :)

  6. Hang in there, Momma! I am an ESL teacher, but there are a lot of overlaps between language instruction and speech therapy. Take a look at this short article and website when you get a chance, it is chock-full-o' ideas! Start here: http://teachmetotalk.com/2008/03/02/successful-strategies-for-working-with-toddlers-with-apraxia-and-other-speech-language-difficulties/


  7. You are doing such a great job with those sweet girls! Keep keeping on. But seriously- don't forget to take a break and take care of yourself too every now and then. You are just so inspiring :-)

  8. Hi, Catherine! Looks like her hands are healing pretty quickly. Keep up the good work:) Might want to let the girls play with noise makers they have to blow. Least that was a recommendation from our therapist way back when. It's suppose to strengthen the muscles of the mouth, I think. (Might drive you batty though!!) Also, it's great that Francesca's jabbering away. Our daughter, too, has an unrepaired cleft palate and well, she can definitely talk. Hang in there Mama!

  9. I started reading your blog when you were adopting Victoria and Francesca, so I have always been curious about your previous adoptions and whether or not any of your children are biological.

  10. I have been enjoying your blog for a few weeks now. Found it through micah6:8. Love all the pics you post of your cuties, and how honest you are. I too got a kick out of your Krispie Kreme therapy. :)

  11. I was going to ask the same thing as Amber. I'd also like to know more about previous adoptions, biological children, and any other special needs that your beautiful children have.

  12. Hello, her hands really look good! They are healing very fast! Both the girls look great and as always I love all the pictures !! My question is how did you know those two girls were meant to be your daughters? I look at all the pictures on RR and I want them all! Another question is will you adopt again? I'm looking forward to your post answering everyone's questions!!

  13. My question is, do you want to move to Texas and be our new neighbor? (house going up for sale :)
    Seriously, it's amazing to follow and see how well your kids are doing and how far they've come. This is my favorite blog to follow, no contest. Francesca's hands look great - hang in there! And the change in Victoria is simply amazing to see.
    I'd love to hear about the adoptions of your olders, if you are open to sharing that... and also how did you know "which" kids were yours? (I feel called to adoption, someday, and think this seems one of hardest parts of it - how do you know who and when? When so many kids pierce the heart, how does one 'pick' between one child or another?)

  14. Speech therapy fun things we did were bubbles, party blowers, crazy straws, blowing out candles or blowing crumpled tissues across the table. Those activities helped our son build up his mouth muscles. Oh, and licking ice cream cones, of course!

  15. I'm sorry it's so hard for Francesca--but Krispy Kremes are a great remedy! ;D

    Right now I could ask a couple dozen questions, so just tell whatever stories come to your mind. (Dangerous request, I know. The best kind.)

  16. Hi there! I've been following yourblog since you adopted Francesca and Victoria. My question is strange... I wondered why it is that you didn't change catharines name when you adopted her, since you share a name. Odd, I know, the things we wonder about.


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