Monday, May 25, 2009

Ace Of Cakes eat your heart out.

First off you can't make Norah smile. If we ask her to smile for a photo she dose this or sticks her fingers in her mouth and pulls at the side of her cheeks. Luckly she is a happy child and smiles on her own often.
Norah loves to help with anything you are doing. It has been raining for the day so we needed a project to work on. So cup cakes it was for the evening. It started out clean enough but she likes to get into her work.

Or taste it as she decorates.

What is a cup cake with out sprinkels on top. If you click on the photo you can see she has to make sure they were not poisoned by tasting them. She is always thinking of us!

Ok maybe we are not going to get our own cooking show like the bad boy of baking, but we can have some fun.
By the way we LOVE Duff (Ace of Cakes) and watch him every chance we get.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fun at Riverfest & Update on our Norah

Norah, Lori and I all loaded up for the Riverfest and headed out for some fun. I forgot my beloved camera, augh, there was some of the best photos to be had out there and I was missing my camera at alot of times during the day. Norah is holding one of the many crafts she got to make while we were there. Look at that coca brown skin. I am so jealous of her melanin.
Onto the update. As for Norah taking to me, it has gotten so much better in just two months. She has progressed so much but I have seen the most improvment in the last two weeks because Lori leaves for work before I do. I am the one who gets Norah up and dressed for "School", it is daycare but it is more like school for a four year old than daycare. It is structured and all the three and four year olds are learning some sign language. They were learning a little before Norah got there but added a whole lot more once she arived. Norah's teacher (Mrs. Gina) has really taken to signing, as well as talking to Norah. We purchased her a sign exact english book for her to look up new signs as they need them to communicate with Norah. I can tell you, having Mrs. Gina there helps. She is motivated and has really attached to Norah and Norah has really taken to her too. She even calls her "mygirl". We are very fortunate.
Today when while were out Norah was very affectionate to us both. If we needed to go somewhere she would have me carry her or hold my hand and walk next to Lori. That was totally unthinkable two months ago, she would go with me and have fun but if Lori was around Norah would only let Lori do those things. I can see it in her eyes now too, before she would look lovingly into Lori's eye and when I looked her in the eyes she would avert her gaze. Now she will look lovingly into my eyes at diffrent times of the day. In the morning when I carry her or if we are just playing, or in the moring when I am doing her hair and putting her hearing aids in.
Speaking of hearing aids, when you have a deaf child and get them hearing aids aid they don't just start talking. It is a long prosses. We are working on just listening to sound and understanding that "Hey, there is a noise, maybe I should turn my head and pay attention." When we first started she would not turn her head for even loud noises, now there are a few items she will hear and turn her head everytime, like the drum Annies Dad gave us for Norah when we were in China. One thing she dose do is say bye-bye now when we are leaving some where. That is her first and only spoken English word. We chosw bye-bye to work on because it was very similar to the "baa" sound that she bables with all the time. It will be some time before she develpos speach. That is why signing is so important to her. Her vocabulary is growing as fast as Lori and I can learn sign. She can say sooo much more with signing. She started out as we did with one word signs, now she can understand whole sentences from us and has started signing back in 2 and 3 word sentences just this week. She is learing to be polite and signs "thank you" to people and us on her own.
A large part of this progress is thanks to the people at Arknasas Childrens Hospital. After this last appointment it seems more than likely Norah will be getting a Choclear implant so she can get more of the sounds needed to develop speach. For now our goal is to be able to teach her to speak and sign at the same time only time will tell if that is possable or not. This child amazes us all the time so we will just work at it and see what tomorrow brings...

A trip to the river

This photo should look familiar to our friends Mike & Melissa. It is the bike/walking trail on the north side of the river.

Norah wanting to get a better view from the top of this railing.

And here is our son. Much like the famous celieocamph (sp) fish thought to be extinct resurfaced for an outing with his parents and sister. He is going to be 18 soon, so it is getting harder and harder to have him out with us. Not because he dislikes us but because he is usually off doing his own thing.

Norah has really taken to Brandon. He makes a great playmate and can reach all the stuff that she isn't supposed to have. We also love that he is a third set of eyes to help keep up with his sister.

These two doves let me get extremely close to them for a candid shot.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Typical weekend + Mother's Day

She is very serious about her puzzels. Once she gets started on puzzels she wants to do ALL of the puzzels that she has.
Our pond has a lot of tadpoles in it. Glen showed her how to scoop them up with the pool net.

Then they put them into the container.

Now I have a big glass vase full of tadpoles as the center piece for the table. WooHoo!

There is always a fresh piece of artwork in progress on the front pourch.

Norah checking out the remaining tadpoles.

Glen and Norah sliding. Well Glen sliding Norah supervising.

Our wekend also involved a walk in the park, where various objects had to be observed and then carried around and thrown at the fence.

Attempting to feed the ducks. When we got here there were two ducks hungry for some bread but Norah was quite loud so they changed their minds and swam away after only a little bread.

At the other pond the ducks and geese were just not interested in our bread. I guess they were too well feed that day to care. Or maybe the geese were French Canadian geese and wanted coissant instead.

Our ferns have once again been blessed with a birds nest. There are 5 small, speckeled eggs in the nest. We are waiting to see which ones will hatch.

Norah wanted to carry around her baby AND play so we made her a sling out of a dish towel.

Brandon did a little Mother's Day art on the front pourch and wrote me a really nice letter that directed me to the artwork at the end. Norah made a cute little teapot at day care for Mother's Day that has found its home on the fridge (a true place of honor to have your work hang on the fridge). We spent part of Mother's Day at my Mom and Dad's house where my brother and his girlfriend made brunch for everyone and we got to visit. Then Brandon made dinner that night at our house for me and the rest of the family. It was a really good day and we didn't have to wait in line at any resturants, which is always a plus.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sweet-Sweet air, Annie and Sweet-Sweet Daughter

We had lots of workmen at our house last Friday installing a air conditioner that will require me being on call till I'm dead to pay for. At least they were nice enough to put down drop cloths.

The new air conditioner is HUGE compared to our 1970 model that caught on fire.

Glen got out the hammock this last week when it was not coming a deluge. Norah loved it. They got in and swung, swang, swingded to their hearts content. It has rained buckets everyday since then.
We were also fortunate enough to get to see Annie this last weekend. We went up by her school to go to Toad Suck Days (don't get to grossed out there isn't any actual mouth to toad contact). Since the weather was practicing for a second coming of Noah himself Toad Suck days was well...suckin'. Instead we all went to lunch and then to Wal Mart to get Annie some supplies.
Norah took to Annie like a duck to water (hah! weather refernce). Annie loves kids and Norah loves Annie. Annie will be going home to China for the summer. I know that she is excited and I can only imagine how excited her family is to have her home for a while. She has such a wonderful family, I don't know how she stands being so far away from all of them. We forgot our camera when we went to see her, which is a shame because she just gets more and more beautiful each time we see her.

This is what Norah does at the end of the day when we are all exhausted (except Norah) and ready to wind down the day and get dinner ready. She climbs in her stroller and demands to go to the park.

Of course when you look like Norah you usually get what you want, unless its pouring down rain. I am sick of the rain, can you tell.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Norah's 4th birthday was May 1st. We invited family over and had a great time. Besides all the presents Norah's favorite thing was the balloons. Glen bought a kit that has it's own helium tank with it, so that Norah could watch all of the balloons being blown up.
Daddy's big helper.

The pig was ready to party too.

The balloons were a BIG hit. Just look at the excitement on that face.

How many balloons does it take to carry off a 4 year old?

We tied some of the balloons to the mailbox. Norah thought that was just the neatest thing ever and had to check it out with Dad. She then had to stare out of the window every 30 seconds and do the sign for balloons to everyone.

There is sugar and spice in there, trust me. This is just her attitude slipping out.

My brother's awesome girlfriend made (that's right people, MADE) this blanket for Norah. He better snag her quick because she is a catch. (and now of course can do no wrong in our eyes).

Norah doesn't like to hold bugs but she sure does like to look at them, so this little creature house was PERFECT.

My Mom and Dad got Norah a great lego table and doll. Both of which she has played with non-stop. My brother found her a cool highchair that attaches to the table, perfect for putting babies OR Stitch dressed up as a bunny into.
My family has been so supportive and just open to loving Norah without any preconceived conditions attached. It really is a beautiful thing. Oh, and my Dad is totally hooked! She has him wrapped so far around her little finger, she says jump he says how high and should I bring you some candy back on the way down?

During all this fun and excitment we can't help but feel for Norah's birth parents. They cared for this little girl for 15 months before they had to abandon her in order for her to get the medical attention that she needed. It had to be heartbreaking for them and the time around her birthday must be especially sad for them. We ask that you pray for peace for her "other" family. We have put out the word through alot of different sources (which will not be mentioned here) in hopes that it will trickle down to them some how that she is safe, loved and is receiving the attention she needs.