Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who knew a haircut and a bath could be so exhausting?

OH my!! Maybe it was going bowling before the haircut and bath, I'm not sure. Daniel has his habits and routines to be sure. He has pretty much figured out church on Sunday and doesn't fall asleep quite so quickly after church as he used to  but most other situations totally drain him! I watch my sweet baby , with <5 of his brain  in his skull, trying to figure out where he is and what is going on around him, and now that we  are bowling every day, bowling is not quite so tiring for Daniel  either, but today...........oh my sweet baby needed a haircut and a bath VERY BADLY! He screamed all the way through the haircut...SCREAMED, slobbered, buggered, cried, fluids were everywhere all   because I gave  took about an inch of over grown thick hair off his head for the rest of summer. You would think I  was cutting off his skin the way he protested! I cuddled Daniel for a long  time after the haircut and he fell deeply asleep. I LOVE CUDDLING DANIEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His wonderful shower chair which  is his new and  usual place to hang out in the house  needed a bath almost as badly as Daniel did ,so sleepy baby and I went to the bathtub. Not quite as bad in his thinking as the haircut,  I am guessing,  he protested for a  short while. MY thinking is that a warm bath  feels good to anyone and everyone.......  eventually. Showered and all the dead skin removed from his tight little fists, and from under his toes and arm pits, my sweet little man smelled great and  and looked super! Upstairs to his room, lotioned and dressed, Daniel was ready for his bed! WHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How amazing it is to me that Daniel has been home with us for one year and one week!!!! He has done so well with his surgeries, with feeding through a tube , with clothes and blankets , and with his much busier life in Oklahoma over that in an orphanage in Liberia!
In this year I have come to know that  sometimes he is ticklish under his arms  and on his shoulder blades. SOMETIMES! Not always. He HATES having his hands touched unless I am slapping them . Sounds violent but I don't mean "hard" ,  but stroking his hands invokes a very negative, frightened , irritated default response  while a slapping motion brings out an almost immediate smile and then laughter!!! He hates having his hands stretched or his arms touched to get his clothes changed or to powder under his sweaty armpits but LOVES when I tap on his elbows, or "type "  on his forehead.  Our doctors tell us that Daniel does not remember anything  and is not aware of individual people or events. TELL THAT  to anyone who watches me set up his feeding tube for a meal! SOME DAYS, as  soon as I pull up his shirt so I can hook up the tube to his Mic button on his tummy , Daniel responds with a smile  and or a roar of pleasure. While his meals are flowing into his tummy from the tube, he  may wiggle and smile and make as many pleasure-sounds as a baby could make. Daniel may never say a "word" but I hear his thoughts . I understand his "talk". I understand his body language. A year  ago I  was learning how to read my precious baby. Now I know that I KNOW him. Daniel would love to be held , in my LEFT arm  all day long. I am left handed and that arm is stronger. ALL my other  babies liked my left arm best too. It didn't take a brain  for Daniel to  know what felt best.Daniel is no different from all his other older sibs in that respect. . When I hold him against me, on his tummy , he snuggles. That too  apparently requires no brain for a baby to default to . When I stroke his legs he smiles, he roars, he "talks"  and he laughs. Sometimes his ribs are ticklish too and the laughs are precious to hear. SOMETIMES all those touches are not pleasant  or welcome and Daniel screams. I never know how he will respond until I start an interaction. . Strangely, a slapping of his cheeks or tapping of his hands or forehead almost IMMEDIATELY calms him back down. This tells me that he is not in pain but  more of a protest reaction. To an outsider it may look very strange to tap or thump like I do,  but Daniel is NOT wired like a typical baby. I am careful in how I respond to his "likes" and WHERE  I respond to them as well. A lot of people seeing Daniel, back off but can also be very quick to be critical.  I have to inject here that VERY few people even in our church  seem to have warmed to Daniel. VERY in: I can count on the fingers of 1/2 half a hand  who have asked to hold  him, or who HAVE. My baby, in his blind,  totally dependent state, makes people uncomfortable, I guess. He puts people off. They don't "know how " to relate to him... I suspect because babies are "supposed to" give something back when held or talked to and Daniel  just can not always do that ; may be it is something else. HE is BEAUTIFUL, he is sweet, he is a baby whom God blessed this world to know. Kind of like Jesus Himself,
" He came unto His own but His own received Him not" It has not hurt me as much  as disappointed me  to watch people's responses to my son. Our church, our friends, PRAYED THIS BABY HOME, but they don't love on him like they do "normal "  babies.The few people who acknowledge him at all  occasionally stoke his leg (maybe) and say  "awwwwwwwwwwww, sweet Daniel" and keep walking.   I can not express how it touched my heart two weeks ago when a new family came to our church , the mom was someone I'd met at baseball several years ago; she too is an adoptive mom, and her IMMEDIATE response to seeing me holding Daniel was to ask "Can I hold him?"  She took him from me and just loved on him. He cooed , he smiled, he was as beautiful as I see him all the time. I could not help but think about how much the "distant" people are missing by not spending a bit of time loving on Daniel. I am so thankful for the year we have had WITH Daniel, for the year + that we spent praying FOR him, and for the time  we have ahead...however much tiem that might be.
Right now Daniel is sound asleep after his hair cut and his bath. I can'timagine life without him. He is soemtimes "difficult"  and "different" but he is our beautiful, PRECIOUS BABY and WE get to be his family!!!!!!!!!!

The clippers, the bath chair  and the cleaned up, trimmed up , exhausted baby Daniel . No photos of the splashed up sweaty Mamma!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Has it really been over two months since  I posted anything?  OH MY!!! Since April, most of the goats have kidded, we've sold afew , a doe died, all the mamma goats are seriously in milk and the babies are weaned to grain. Sugar had her foal on Easter night. He's a beautiful little colt and he loves Naomi best of all! All the barn cats had kittens, 15 in all, but slowly  and surely, the number of kitties here at Calico Acres Farm has decreased. our Calico Mamma, Lilac has 5 kitties who are going to an aviary to mouse there, one whole litter and the mamma went to North Dakota  with our friend and former neighbor Lori who moved there, along with several of our "extra "  goats. We've added 20 chicks to the chicken coop population and are culling out the non-layers. We have 24 more chicks arriving on July 1...should be lots of eggs by fall to eat and to sell!! The gardens are so exciting: burgeoning with cucmbers, beans, several varieties of tomatoes, lots of peppers, onions, garlic, okra, squash and zuchini, potatoes, corn, more corn, canteloups and water melons! We've added a dozen new fruit and nut trees to the orchards and tansplanted some pecan trees from other parts of the pastures into the orchard. The grapes look great too. It is amazing how much better things grow when the garden is tilled over the winter and  really well-prepped for spring planting! I really worked the front flower beds and rose gardens as well, and made an herb garden space out front where I usually plant pansies or begonias. The cilantro, basil, oregano, and rosemary have a smell that is so close to heavenly,I can just sit and sniff....... and sniff and sniff!!!!!!!!!!! Blended with the surrounding roses, oh yes!! It's like a perfumery!
We purposed to seriously garden this year to really provide food for our family and to have plenty to share  with others. So far , that goal is nearing the first seps of accomplishment!
 Our biggest milestone is that Daniel  has been home  HOME  HOME  with us for a whole year as of Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still shake my heard at that  because it does not seem possible.
He is not much bigger than a year ago, still easily a size 18 month size and with his 4" foot  he is still in newborn sized 3 shoes and size 3 diapers. We have all come to know him so well, know his many dislikes and his few likes, the things that sometimes make him smile, the things we know make him scream immediately, the things he puts up with. His favorite things are being held by his Mamma, music and being thumped. Soft touches seem to scare Daniel or irritate him  badly.  That produces lots of screaming! A stronger touch will bring about a smile and often a laugh and some Daniel talk too.......most of the time. Some  days  Daniel's affect is "flat" and unresponsive; some days he is so animated and so full of laughs and smiles, Every day is a new day of WHAT WILL DANIEL LIKE TODAY??????? He is truly our Forever 6 week old and I am thankful for this precious  baby and how he fits into our family! I will never chase him around or shoo him out of a cupboard, but I WILL be able to cuddle him any time at all for as long as he is ours.  How much more blessed could a mamma be ? 
Jael graduated from high school  and Esther'sbaby  ................ a girl that she and Casey have named Riley Kay , is doing so well! Esther started her pregnancy a bit heavier than would be optimally healthy but she has taken  such good care of herself and Riley that at 27 weeks along ,  (due on Grandpappa  Charlie's birthday) she has only gained 6 pounds! Her NP is so impressed as is her midwife mamma! Riley is not our only Grand Baby-in-the-making however. Daughter Kari is due in late December and Caleb and wife Tiffany just found out they are expecting their first baby  together about on my birthday . Sweet Grandbaby Charlie is talking and we enjoy him so much!!! I am his  "Gi-Gi" and he loves to come to Gi-Gi's house! There are  a couple of our grown children who are not living their lives as unto the Lord as they know they should, but at this point God's grace and mercy are covering them more than they know as this mamma  continues to pray over them.
i stand on Isaiah 54:13 " ALL your children shall be taught of the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children"..unwavering I stand firm for each of our children and trust God to draw them to eactly where HE wants them  to be. It is painful to my mamma heart, but God is the strength of my heart!
Our central heating and cooling unit  ( a very old and underefficient  heat pump)  died last summer before the heat had subsided. It was our plan to use our tax refund to replace it, no debt, no credit, just get a unit up and running and be done with it. THAT  was before the IRS and some provision in Obama care made the way for our  adotpion tax credit  to be a  "Refund" for the first  and only time. The catch?  MUST PAPER FILE not e-file...more time... the second catch??? Almost all the adoptive famileis  who filed the required Form 8839 haver been noified ( and slowly I might add) that their file is being investigated and THAT means tax refunds , which are bigger than any of of us expected along the way, are being held up for months! We personally are waiting to see if we get the actual Letter from IRS requestign documentation, or if we'll see our money deposited. Right now we just  don't know how that will go  but God does and I am praying that He will orchestrate the arrival of the check with the bill for the AC/Heating unit. It all reminds me of my favorite Christian radio song right now... "REACH" by Peter Furler. "You hold the weight of  the world  yet I don't slip through Your hands!!" THAT is where I am today: knowing that WE are not going to slip through our Heavenly Father's hands!!!