Saturday, August 29, 2009


A couple of days before Norah's surgery she was given a tour of the facilities and a doll with some medical equipment to help her feel more comfortable. Although after major heart surgery she is probably an old pro at this stuff.
But man, did she love playing with this stuff.

Norah watching cartoons while waiting her turn for surgery. She got a little wild after this picture from being cooped up and not having anything to eat or drink since the night before. So we made a fort out of the hospital crib and blankets, colored, blew up gloves and batted them around. You know whatever it took to keep her occupied and happy. She also ripped off her oxygen monitor cord and used it to play like she was "fishing" over the side of the crib.

The red socks the hospital gave us for her to wear were WAY to big so they became a hat for the glove man.

Watching Ed, Ed and Eddie on Cartoon Network. Her brother would be so proud. That was one of his favorite cartoons when he was little.

After the Versed. It took her down a couple of notches and apparently made Ed, Ed and Eddie FASCINATING!
The nurse came to get Norah about 50 minutes after they had given her the Versed so it was starting to wear off. We ended up carrying Norah kicking and screaming to the doors of the OR. The nurse put Norah's chart between her legs and reached to carry Norah. Glen and I both looked at each other and told her "You are going to need help." Norah can fight with the best of them and if she doesn't want to go somewhere you are going to have a HECK of a time getting her there. She will hold onto door frames even.
The surgery lasted about 4 hours. Everything went well except for a CSF leak. Norah will have to be on "bed rest" (as much as possible) for 1 week. She goes back to her ENT DR. on Monday to have her bandage removed and to check the leak. Wish us luck.

This morning she was up and coloring. It has been hard to keep her still but we are managing better than I though we would. You just can't keep her down. With this kind of persistance I believe Norah can do whatever she sets her mind to.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August Fun and Business

Norah making sugar cookies.
Norah has discovered the fun of playing dress up AND the fun of having Dad so wrapped around her little finger that she can get him to play dress up too. She wears the blue wings everywhere. Yes, those are white wings that Glen has on.
This outfit would be the result of a morning of visiting yard sales. The blue wings have 2 ribbons hanging off of them that Norah has used to tie "Glen's" pair of wings to her blue ones so that she always has them at the ready.

I had to resort to face painting one morning to avoid a HUGE fit. It worked so well I think I may use it again.

Looked out the window one morning to see Cecil sitting in the middle of this vine staring longingly at the kitchen window.

The cat has taken over Norah's little green chair. We have caught him napping in it several times.

We have had LOTS of doctor appointments, both for Norah and Glen. Norah's implant will be done next Friday. Glen has tests all day Tuesday. We are very thankful for my parents, who are taking time off from their busy schedules to help us make all these appointments and for additional help here at the house. I will try to update sometime this week on Glen and Norah, in between working and everything else.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Norah had a birthday party to go to that wasn’t hers.


You know when it is going to happen, you see your child thinking things over trying to figure things out. Then you notice they don’t understand and things are going to go bad and tears will be shed, this is part of growing up and with Norah, she is just experiencing things for the first time at a much older age then her peers.
Case and point we were at the birth day party of Mr. Riley Norah was having fun playing with the kids and even had her first duck duck goose game, that the other kids helped let her know when she was the goose and needed to chase them.
Then it was time for Riley to receive his gifts that the kids had brought him. The first gift came out and all was well. Norah was happily sitting watching him open the first two or three, and then she gave me a look like what’s up dad. I just smiled signed for her to watch. Now Riley has four sisters three were at the party and for the younger two. Someone had brought two small gifts for them too.
Well when I seen the other two gifts get handed gifts I knew Norah would not under stand and sure enough. Norah gets up from the back of the crowd moves closer the lady handing out the gifts and sits back down, make perfect since, maybe the lady just didn’t see her. Then Riley gets a couple of more gifts and so Norah not wanting to be left out gets up and go’s right to the lady, and taps her on the leg like,

Hey lady I know you must have over looked me waiting passionately for my gift so here I am empty handed.

I asked Norah to sit down only to have her get up when yet another gift went to Riley. Tap the lady on the leg again, turn to us and start balling like it was the end of the world. Lori took her out for a walk to calm down and all was well after awhile, Norah even was able to choke down some cake and ice-cream. That is just one of many life lesions she will learn in the coming years. Later we all went swimming in the big pool at the party she loves the swimming so all was right with the world again.
I love that girl.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Swimming with Friends

We had a great visit with Charlotte and the kids. Riley, Rachel, and Raeghan came over to grill out and swim. The kids (and adults) had lots of fun and got a chance to catch up. This was Norah's first time to have guests at her house. We were not sure how she would handle it but she did beautifully and we look forward to many more. Even Brandon got in on the fun! He came outside and just fell over in the pool fully clothed and splashed around with the kids.
They thought he was LOTS of fun. Riley stayed inside most of the time paling around and watching cartoons with Brandon. I think Brandon may have a new friend.











Saturday, August 01, 2009

Zhang Empresses - 45-min documentary

If you have dish network there is a documentary you might want to see, I had seen the short youtube one that I posted and have been wanting to see the full documentary for awile. It is the only one of its kind that I know. The times for this sat. and sunday below are for my area you might have a diffrent times where you live.
Sat 8/1 9:00-10:00pm 197 DOCUM
Sun 8/2 12:00-1:00am 197 DOCUM

Title: Zhang Empresses
Publisher: Journeyman
Length: 45mins
Location: China
Copyright:Christina Hogland
Published: 2 Jun, 2008
Updated: 10 Feb, 2009
Ref: 3362

Zhang Empresses
Growing up surrounded by blond, blue-eyed children in Sweden, Chinese adoptees Alice, Mimmi, Nanna and Linnéa always felt different. The girls were adopted on the same day from the same orphanage but – having moved abroad as babies – they don’t speak Mandarin and have no concept of their native country. Now ten years old, they are returning to China for the first time. What will they make of their homeland? A moving look at identity.

Alice sobs into her mother’s arms. Returning to her former orphanage was meant to be the climax of her visit to China. The staff and orphans have showered her with attention, given her presents and taken her to a fancy restaurant. But surrounded by Chinese food she doesn’t like, Alice looks utterly miserable. “The orphans think we are spoiled, not tasting this fantastic food”, explains fellow adoptee, Nanna. “Think about it. Maybe they never, ever have food like this and we’re sitting here not eating”.

Alice, Mimmi, Nanna and Linnéa have always shared a special bond. “Even though we live far from each other in Sweden, our parents made us meet every year”, explains Nanna. “Now, we are going back to the place where we come from and we have decided to go there together”.

The first thing that hits them about Shanghai is the pollution. “It smells a lot from all the cars”, complains Mimmi. “They drive like nuts!” The girls are disgusted by Chinese toilets and baffled by babies’ trousers, which have slits cut in the seat. “They’re naked. You can see their whole behind!” giggles Mimmi. “Maybe there are so many children here, they don’t have time to change diapers”, guesses Nanna.

Initially, the girls are pleased they fit in. “What is really cool is that everybody here looks just like me”, states Mimmi. “I’m not the only one with sloping eyes and black hair”. But as passers by hear them speaking Swedish, they become objects of curiosity. “It feels like we are celebrities”, giggles Mimmi. “Everybody gathers around us”.

After a few days in Shanghai, they travel to Zhangjiagiang where their old orphanage is situated. “I just hope we’re welcome”, confides Nanna. They’ve had no response to their letter and are worried they’ll be turned away. But as soon as they arrive, staff bend over backwards to accommodate them. The girls are touched to see their pictures in photo albums. “We really didn’t think those photos that we sent from Sweden should be so properly put in books”, confides Mimmi.

Although the girls are happy in Sweden, they’re haunted by the knowledge they were abandoned by their natural parents. “No one understands. I really feel like there’s a lump in my stomach because I know nothing about them”, confides Alice. Mimmi agrees; “If I start to think about it, it feels like the whole world is going under for me”. Visiting the orphanage seems to cause these feelings to resurface.

The principle introduces the girls to other children. Many of the children are handicapped but one girl with sad eyes stands out. “She is about our age and the problem is that no one wants to adopt big girls”, says Alice. “I would like to adopt her!” retorts Mimmi. “But the problem is teaching her Swedish now that she already speaks Mandarin…”

On the way back, everyone is subdued. “We were really lucky to be adopted to Sweden”, states Alice quietly. Tomorrow, they will return to Sweden. But first, they have something important to do. They’re getting stickers made of the four of them together. As Alice explains, after taking this trip together; “we feel even more like close friends”.

Growing up surrounded by blond, blue-eyed children in Sweden, Chinese adoptees Alice, Mimmi, Nanna and Linnéa always felt different. The girls were adopted on the same day from the same orphanage but -- having moved abroad as babies -- they don't speak Mandarin and have no concept of their native country. Now ten years old, they are returning to China for the first time. What will they make of their homeland? A moving look at identity.