November 2, 2013

Juice Fast #2: DAY FIVE + exercise + what NOT to do

One thing you realize on a juice fast is how much "social" eating you really do. While neither one of us seem to miss actually eating at all, we are definitely missing the social aspect that comes along with sharing meals together. It's hard to turn down invitations for lunch with co-workers or supper with extended family when you really would love to spend time with those people. It's almost harder to accept them and then watch everyone else eat; not because we want food, but because it makes you feel excluded.

We are still feeling great and enjoying the fast, but we are ready to get back to the enjoyment part of eating. As far as our physical health, while we both still felt great today, we are definitely functioning and slightly less-than-optimal energy level. The interesting thing is, when we are eating normally, I don't always have a lot of energy. Life in general can just wear you out - healthy eating or not. But the reduced energy level on a juice fast is different. You still feel good and can function well, but it's just not quite the same. I'm not exactly sure how to explain it. It's a different kind of energy.

Breakfast:
We juiced for breakfast the same thing we did yesterday. Pretty much just random greens we threw together.

We then had some special events scheduled today. Tyler had planned to run a 5K to support a cause that he had fundraised for, and Jon planned to run with him. I took the other three kids to an event with their grandma.


Several people have asked about exercising on a juice fast. I obviously don't have any professional training, and would certainly advocate that any individual listen to their body, but both Jon and I are able to do light to moderate cardio while fasting. Jon ran the 5K at a less-than-optimal-but-still-good energy level and finished at a time just slightly higher than he probably would have otherwise. Tyler, on the other hand, beat Jon by over 3 minutes with a time of 26:01!! We were super-proud of him, so I just had to brag a little :)

Re-introducing food:
I had decided last night to begin to re-introduce food today, even though we had planned to spend the afternoon & evening at Jon's parents. I had a few little things to eat yesterday, including some seeds (which really aren't the best choice) and raw fruit. Today I hoped to add a little more raw fruit and a very simple vegetable salad. A very small apple worked well for lunch, in addition to lots of water.

Then, while we were at my in-laws, I noticed they had a large bowl of Halloween candy leftover. Of course, it sat on the counter and taunted me. I truly think it's easier to not eat anything at all than it is to be selective about what you eat. "One little peanut M&M won't hurt" I thought, "after all, I am adding food back in today." Resisting candy is not a problem for me at ALL unless it's Twix or peanut M&M's. I opened the package and discovered there were only 5 in there. Well, you can't just leave four little peanut M&M's in an open bag so I just ate them all. This is what you do NOT want to do when coming off a juice fast.

It took about 3 minutes before I started to regret that decision and I ended up with a decent stomach ache for about half an hour. Granted, a little tummy ache isn't the worst thing that can happen to you, but it's definitely not how you want to feel coming off a fast. It just kind of makes you feel defeated. Disgusted with myself, I had my simple salad for supper and hid the rest of the M&M's.

Since we really have nothing interesting to report physically, I will probably combine the next few days updates. Jon is still going strong - much stronger than me since he resisted the M&M's completely. Hopefully his will-power will last as I start to eat a more normal diet!




November 1, 2013

Juice Fast #2: DAY FOUR (and our juicer)

Still going strong into day four! I know I've already said it, but I can't believe how easy this fast has been. Honestly, I feel really pathetic even trying to blog about it! With our last fast, we noticed SO MANY changes and differences with each day as we went along. This time it's just really different, although we've both lost weight, but that's to be expected. I've joked that it's the coffee, but in reality, we still both think it has been our (modified) paleo diet. When we're done, I'll try to analyze why this could be the case.

Tonight I ate three grapes and a few raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds. They were leftover from my kids snack and since I want to take it slow re-introducing food this time, I thought that tiny bit would be a good start. I still plan to juice most of the day tomorrow, but may add a couple apple slices and a some plain leafy greens. Jon is still on all juice.

Breakfast:
I wanted to use up some greens so we made our own concoction.
1/2 bunch of kale
3 big handfuls of spinach
1 bunch of parsley
3 small cucumbers
2 apples


I was totally prepared for it to be disgusting (as they often are when I try to make up my own) but it was actually one of the better green juices we've ever had! I would totally make this one again. It was a great, energizing morning drink.

I wasn't really planning on lunch again today, but Jon showed up with a treat for me.


He had whipped up some apple orange mango juice. Even if you're NOT on a juice fast, a juice like that is a TREAT. Pure fruit juices made with fresh fruit are amazing all.the.time. When you are on a juice fast, it's like candy.

Supper was a little chaotic because Jon was helping our oldest finish a school/volunteer project and Meili, who had been under the weather all day, spiked a 103 degree fever. She was NOT a happy camper. I had made some soup for the kids, so rather than add to the craziness and make another mess in the kitchen, we just had a little broth. It was a nourishing homemade bone broth, so we figured those extra nutrients wouldn't hurt, especially when there's extra germs in our house.



The OMEGA!
Several people have asked about our juicer. We have an Omega 8006. (See THIS post for the original info). To keep it short, there two main kinds of juicers. Masticating and centrifugal. They both operate very differently.



Masticating juicers typically use an auger which turns very slowly (I think ours is 8 rpm) and pushes the juice out. Centrifugal juicers spin at high speeds and "pull" the juice out. Both have positives and negatives, so someone who is looking to purchase a juicer really needs to decide what feature is most important to them. Since centrifugal juicers operate at high speeds, there is heat involved and heating the juice causes it to oxidize. This diminishes nutrient content. But, they are fast. So if you are a person who is on-the-go and needs their juice quick, you might want a centrifugal one. They also work better than masticating juicers with juices made from soft fruits, like oranges or mangoes.

Masticating juicers turn slowly, the juice stays cool and maximum nutrient content is preserved. But, they take a lot longer to produce juice. Since nutrient content was our main concern, we went with a masticating version. Ours works really well juicing harder things, like carrots and apples. If we want to do softer fruits, we usually need to do a hard fruit or vegetable with it to push the soft things through. This isn't a problem for us, but it might be for someone else. Unfortunately, to get a GOOD quality masticating or centrifugal juicer, you will have to shell out a pretty decent chunk of $$.

They do make good Christmas presents :)

October 31, 2013

Juice Fast #2 - DAY THREE

Today was Meili's first Halloween, which is a post in itself, but unfortunately I can't write about it because getting four kids ready for trick-or-treating (by myself since Jon was busy) proved to be quite an undertaking. The house was left in total chaos with food particles, random costume pieces and homework papers strewn all over the place. Only JUST now (11:02PM) did I manage to get everything back to a semi-organized status. I'm just going to give a quick update for those of you who are following this juice fast.

DAY THREE:
Amazingly, we both felt great again today. We are just totally surprised at how hungry we haven't been. Not even a single tummy growl! Tonight I smelled chili at church and it was really the first time I actually had a thought about wanting to eat something, but it was short lived and went away as quickly as it came. We both went non-stop all day today from about 6:20 this morning and had more than enough energy to make it through.

Breakfast was Parsley Energy:
1 bunch of parsley
5 carrots
1 apple
2 sticks of celery


It was a nasty greenish-brown color, but tasted fabulous. Anything with parsley in it is usually good.

We were both at work during lunch so right at 4:00 we had Sweet Broccoli:
2 heads of broccoli
2 stalks of celery
2 apples


Broccoli juice is amazingly sweet and refreshing, so this was almost a treat. The rest of the night we were too busy with our munchkins to drink anything so we really didn't meet our quota for today at all. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I also didn't drink near enough water today, so I need to up my H2O consumption tomorrow too. Water really helps flush out the toxins as your body moves into detox mode.

Anyone ready to jump on the bandwagon with us yet?? ;)

October 30, 2013

Juice Fast #2 - DAY TWO

Amazingly, we both felt great all day today. Neither of us were hungry at all and we both had great energy today. During our previous fast, we had decided that day two was probably the roughest, so we discussed tonight why our experience this time would be different.

The only thing we could contribute it to was our changed diet. Two years ago, we were eating Real Food but not doing a Paleo diet. While we are not strict with our Paleo diet, it has still been a significant dietary change. We focus our meals much more on high quality protein and vegetables now and consume MUCH less grain. I would love to research the science behind why this could make a difference, but it's too late for it tonight. Suffice it to say that we both think it's definitely made the whole thing easier.

DAY TWO

Breakfast:
This morning we started with the "Green Detoxifier!"
1 large bunch of kale
1 small head of broccoli (stem included)
5 carrots
1 apple


It looks nasty but it really tastes pretty good. I buy my juicing kale from Azure Standard and it has a nice, fresh flavor. Some kale can be bitter in juices, but the flavor from the Azure kale is much more clean and fresh. Plus, kale is an AMAZING super-food, so consuming an entire bunch of it at once gives you a massive nutrient boost!


Lunch:

I was away for lunch so Jon came home and juiced and brought some to me. He decided on a sweet & salty pineapple juice recipe he found. Basically it was 1 pineapple with some salt and water added. I was skeptical but it was really quite refreshing!


Supper:
We had some leftover beets from a CSA basket someone had given us and it was time to use them up - because of course, beets are crazy-good for you too! But seriously, beets are NASTY. I know some people like them, but I really can't understand how. So we dressed them up a little bit...

3 beets
1 apple
1 sweet potato
1 large bell pepper
5 carrots



It wasn't remarkable but it WAS edible. And that's all I really ask for in a juice containing beets. And it was pretty. Pretty enough that my juice-monster Keira wanted to try it...


...and she LOVED it! This little one rocks her healthy-Mama's world! She's a pro at trying juices and most of our other crazy concoctions. She doesn't like them all, but seriously, beet juice?!? You gotta admit that's impressive for a 6 year old.

I didn't even feel the need for any tea or anything today, although I assume Jon drank some at work. I did have my beautiful, black, organic, french press coffee this morning - and I had it with a good friend, so it was even better!

Now that I think about it....maybe that's why this fast isn't as hard as the last? ;)


October 29, 2013

Juice Fast #2 - DAY ONE!

Jon and I have been toying the idea of another juice fast for several weeks. After returning from China, we let our health take a nosedive. The gym was a foreign land for both of us and we were in survival mode. There's no place for the gym in survival mode!

Although some days we still feel like managing four kids, work, activities, household chores and our labor-intensive diet are a huge challenge, we are at least somewhat out of survival mode now. We are also taking a vacation in December. The best kind of vacation...the kind that we don't have to pay for and the kind that includes sun and beaches! So, based on those two things, we've been getting our health back to "priority status" since about the beginning of September. With holidays coming up, we thought now would be the best time to do a juice fast.

I have admit that I'm not super-pumped for this one. The first one was hard, but it was new and exciting and we did it right at the beginning of the year, so we had "fresh start" thoughts on our mind the whole time. This one is just for purposes of ridding our bodies of the toxins we've built up in the last year. But I do expect it will be good for me. Yesterday I ate four pieces of pizza. You see, it was cheap pizza night at George's....and oh, do I love George's! I tried futilely to resist but totally got sucked in. Pizza does not align well (or at all!) with the Paleo diet and the entire rest of the evening I felt like total garbage. If I had eaten one piece, I'd have been fine. But no, apparently I'm lacking in the self control department, yet another reason why right now is a good juice-fast time.

So there we go: detox and self-control practice. Good reasons to juice fast.

I'm blogging about it so ya'll can keep me accountable.

We are going about this fast a bit differently. Jon is hoping to make it 10 days or more, but I'm not planning on going that long. I felt like days 9 & 10 didn't add much last time, and I also came out of the fast WAY too quickly. So I'm shooting for a 3 day minimum (and hoping for 5 or so), but planning on taking several days to return to normal food.

DAY ONE!!



We actually started with tea for breakfast, so lunch was our first juice. This was a simple carrot, apple &  ginger juice. It's one of our favorites, and I haven't gone juice-ingredient shopping yet, so it's what we had on hand. Jon is already noticing his metabolism slowing, so he was freezing by lunch time. I imagine he'll be having more tea at work this afternoon!



I've noticed nothing so far. I'm not even hungry (probably still living off my massive pizza overdose from yesterday). Oh, and I am not giving up coffee this time. I know, I know.....I should. But I'm not going to. I love my coffee, it keeps me warm and I'm drinking it black and organic so I'm keeping it. Sorry body, you're still going to have metabolize caffeine. Deal with it.

Wish us luck (or join us if you're feeling motivated!)!

October 9, 2013

Meili-cakes

We aren't exactly "school picture" type people. Two Reasons:

1. We are cheap
2. Jon takes better pictures

Recently, I had been buying the "class composite" picture so I could add it to the kids' scrapbooks and they would always have a picture of their classmates. The cheapest you can get one is $11. $11 x 3 kids = $33 (Meili doesn't have one yet). Yesterday I realized I was spending $33 to get pictures of other people's kids.

So maybe I'm not as smart about it as I thought?

Anyway.....

Every year we try to do a photo shoot with each child in the Fall as sort of a "substitute" for school pictures. It's always a little bit of a challenge to try to find time to do our own kids among all the other paying clients. But we managed to sneak Meili in earlier this week.


She did alright for her first "official" photo shoot with Dad!


The dress is the one I bought for her as a "coming home" dress from China. It definitely looks better on her now that she has a little meat on her bones!





Is it just me, or is she pretty stinkin' cute?!?

October 5, 2013

One year ago...

Last week an important day came and went without any fanfare. On that day, one year ago, we saw Meili's face for the first time. We received her referral, somewhat unexpectedly (read THIS post for the story of that day).

We didn't celebrate the day at all because it also happens to be an important day for another reason. It was a sweet little SIX year old's birthday!


Since our littlest biological one hasn't always been thrilled about her sister, we certainly didn't think we'd better do anything that made her feel less important or loved on her birthday. 

It's really pretty hard for us to believe that it was (over) a year ago that we got Meili's referral and that we traveled to China, got through those first few rough months and have had her here for 7 months already. And it's been almost TWO YEARS since we started this whole process on October 31, 2011. TWO YEARS. It just doesn't feel like that long ago. If you've ever considered adoption, but the long wait seems like too much, don't let that stop you. It seriously feels like we started this whole thing yesterday. Ok, maybe not yesterday, but definitely not two years ago. Someone once told me that though the days seem long, the years fly by. The older I get the more I realize how accurate that statement really is.

This was what we saw in our referral a year ago:


And this is what we have today:


Even though she was 2 in the top picture, she just looks like a baby. Seeing her in more recent pictures, with little bits of chunk on her arms, longer hair and cute clothes is so.much.better.

Many, many things have changed, but she's definitely still the same kid....
We discovered Meili loved ranch dressing while sitting in a TGIFridays in an airport on the way home from China...


 And she's still a huge fan...


The carrot is nothing but a vehicle for ranch consumption :)

Thank you Jesus, that despite the hard adjustment months and the difficult days, she's not in the same place now that she was one year ago!

September 22, 2013

A Foggy Start

Is this really a first-day-of-school post over a month after the first day of school, you ask? Why yes, it is. That's just pretty much how we roll these days. We're behind....just behind. Behind in yard work, house cleaning, grocery-getting, meal planning, and overall life-living.

This FOUR-kid stuff is hard!

Just when I feel like we're sort of making progress, a bunch of new stuff gets added to my list and I get totally lost in the shuffle. Thankfully, we are managing to get the kids to school on time and fed (for the most part). Unfortunately, some people have gotten caught in the undertow of our lack of organization, like my super-sweet neighbor who stopped by for carpool caught me in my cruddy pajamas with hair all over and red swollen eyes from only sleeping five hours the night before. Thankfully she's still talking to me so hopefully we aren't losing friends because of our craziness (yet!)

School started here just over a month ago on a really odd, foggy day. In some ways it was WAY too early, and yet my kids were ready to get back in the groove, especially this little man:

Tyler: My firstborn and only boy....he's such a great kid. He's helped SO much with Meili and is just an amazing big brother to all his sisters. He knows how to make them all laugh and just wants everyone to be happy. He LOVES school because he's an extrovert like his daddy and seeing his friends every day makes his days better.

Jenna: My creative and sassy one. We could call her mini-me. She likes school, but wants me to home school her so she doesn't have to get up so early in the morning. Unfortunately she gets this from me too...don't try to talk to either of us for at least 30 minutes after waking. She's also been an amazing help and tonight when I tucked her in I told her "thank you" for always helping me and she said, "Why? I love to do it!"

Keira: My spunky one and snuggly one. She plays hard and crashes hard. It's been rough for her losing her spot as the baby of the family and adjusting to full days of school for the first time. The poor little thing gets tuckered out! We're hoping she'll get used to the long days soon. She makes me smile with her hugs and kisses and she loves to love!

Yes, Meili started school too! She was just as proud as the rest of them on the first day, if not more. She goes to early intervention preschool where she gets her therapies and such. You would have thought she won the lottery when we gave her that backpack, though poor thing tried to put her blanket in it one day and nearly fell over because it's so huge! When I say "Let's go to school" she responds, "backpack?" (more like "ba-pa?") and promptly grabs it and heads out the door.

It just about killed my hubby that I wanted to do a "first-day" post and wouldn't allow him to put the pictures immediately on his FaceBook wall. I just figure, better late than never :)


September 8, 2013

Six Months

Tomorrow marks six months since we came home with Meili. And what a six months it has been! It seems like in every blog post I write, I have to reference the roller coaster. And this one is no exception. There have been joyful moments and horrible days, sweet snuggles and frustrating tantrums.

First, a little health update. It's been several weeks since Meili got tubes in her ears. For the first 3-4 weeks, people kept asking if I was noticing a difference and it was really frustrating to have to answer "no." But more recently, I think the answer could be "yes." It seems like she IS finally starting to make an effort to say some words! Now, she was saying words before the tubes, just not nearly as many as we would have expected. Unfortunately, a lot of her attempts still result in a pretty garbled syllables. She does receive speech therapy through her preschool so we are hoping to continue to make progress.

In honor of the six month mark, I thought I'd record some then and now differences...




I will admit that sometimes I have to make myself think about this list when we have hard days. It helps me realize that we ARE making progress....even when it feels like we aren't.

I'm coming to realize that adoptive parenting is much like biological parenting in such a way that you can never be prepared for it. Before you have a baby, you get advice from everyone, watch "a baby story" on TLC, read "What to Expect when you're Expecting" from cover to cover and yet you can never be totally prepared for the ride that is parenthood. The same is true for adoptive parenting (or at least it seems to be so far) - we took the classes, read the books, talked to other families, and if you know me, you know I researched everything as much as humanly possible and yet we still had no clue when it would REALLY be like.

Since having bringing Meili home has really pushed us "over the edge" when it comes to parenting, time management and the like, my blogging has really suffered. Almost every day I write a post in my head that I want to publish not only for my own memory, but also to help present an accurate picture to anyone who is considering adoption. It won't be exactly the same, but I'm going to try to summarize the last six months anyway.

Month 1
Do any of you remember this month? Because I sure don't. We were jet-lagged, exhausted and totally overwhelmed. No one was sleeping and we all got sick. We tried keeping Meili home as much as possible so she would get used to our house and our family. Things were definitely miserable. I'd heard from other parents that the first few weeks are simply just "survival mode." They were right. We only got through it because of the help from grandparents, our amazing friends who brought us food and our resident teenager, Madie.

Meili - right after coming home


Month 2
Finally over the jet-lag. The food stopped coming. We were still mostly in survival mode. Two of our biological kids were adjusting well and one was not at all. The pain in that one hurt this mama's heart to the core. I was really questioning why we had done this, why God would ask us to do this, why we had screwed with our already-wonderful family.......what on earth have we done??? Those questions and ones like it permeated every minute of my time with her. It was a constant emotional struggle. Jon came home to a crying wife and various kids on a daily basis. Meili was sleeping in our room and it wasn't working well but we felt we needed to do it for attachment reasons. I threw together our son's birthday party with virtually no thought at all and felt like the worst mom ever. This was so much harder than we had anticipated. Two different families considering adoption asked to talk to us and we pretty much gave them the real-deal. I still worry that we scared them away from adoption completely. We found out she had giardia and it had probably been chronic. Just another factor that could be contributing to her poor development.

Meili in April - second month home
 Month 3
 Maybe the busyness of this month helped us adjust a little bit. School ended, my brother got married, and Madie graduated. Toward the end of the month we made the very good decision to move Meili out of our room. It turned out to be a good choice for all involved. We had been keeping her with us for attachment, but it turns out Mom and Dad are no good at attaching to anyone when they get no sleep! People seemed to stop asking about US but still ask about Meili. We are still constantly going to appointments, running tests and checking things. She's not picking up English as fast as we thought she would. We're concerned about other health problems and delays. One of our kids is still not adjusting well. Thank you Jesus for the two that did....I don't know if I could have done it without them. They were such HUGE helps and I was SO thankful to have them with me all day when school got out for the summer. Meili turned three and it was hard. She looked and acted like an 18 month old and it was (and still is) hard for me to say she's three. While she hadn't gained as much weight as we had hoped, she at least had gained enough to not look sick and emaciated anymore.

Meili in May - third month home
Month 4
Oh the weather! Why, oh why, oh why do we live in this miserable state?!? It rained and was cold the whole stinking month! We had discovered Meili loves the outdoors (probably because she'd spent her life up to that point in a 4-walled cinder block room) and having to keep her inside so much was a giant pain. My brother and his wife were home for almost the whole month and it was a highlight for our family. On one tough day, my sister-in-law told me that when she had hard days sometimes all she could do was just tell herself over and over, "God is faithful." It sounded crazy, but I did it and it actually helped. Still confused by her lack of language, we met with an ENT who suggested tubes. All other tests came back normal, which was a HUGE relief. So many kids from China have high lead levels or parasites or a various other things....we were thankful that we didn't have to deal with those.

Meili in June - fourth month home
Month 5
I think we started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in July. The weather got nice and we could be outside. We discovered that she was really learning to LOVE the pool and spending time in the sun has always made this mama just a little bit happier. Our biological child that was struggling seemed to be starting to show her regular personality again. We still had tough days but they were beginning to be fewer and farther between. Our parents really helped us by taking our biological kids often and making them feel special. While it still wasn't easy, it seemed like we were starting to settle into some kind normal. Meili got her tubes and we were hopeful that this would be the first step in an improvement in her language development.

Meili in July - fifth month home

Month 6
Meili is now very good at lots of "typical" toddler things. She throws a fit when she doesn't get her way, cries and whines and screams for what she wants. It's hard to believe this is a good thing. We almost never see the "stink face" anymore. We are getting much closer to normal. I'm still having a rough time adjusting to a "toddler" phase again. I had been spoiled by being diaper-free for four years. Meili's language is still really garbled, but she definitely understands much more than she can speak. We still have tough days and concerns about her development, and we still have a long way to go, but most days at least feel somewhat manageable.

Meili in August - beginning of her sixth month in the US
And that brings us to now. While she's still making up for lost time, in some ways, she is a very normal 3 year old. Today for example:
She was quiet for just a little too long....


Unfortunately this was the SECOND time today I found her like this.


Shame on me for not putting it UP after the first time!!


Oh, you thought it was JUST on her face?!?


Nope. Not even just on her! Ugh.

Well, it took me so long to write this post that it's now after midnight and therefore September 8th, making this officially six months since we've been home. And what a six months it's been.

Here's to the next six months! All those other adoptive parents tell me, "it only gets better." :)



July 25, 2013

Comments, please!

I have never claimed to know much about technology. At least not in the last 10 or so years. Would you believe when I was in college I actually had a job fixing SDSU faculty computers? I could switch out a hard drive or replace a power supply lickety split!

Now.....not so much!

(More importantly, would you believe it's been 10 years since I was in college!?! Yikes!! Comments about how I don't look that old would be appreciated ;) )

These days, I feel pretty good if I can manage to Snapchat on my iPhone or change my cover photo on Facebook. Most of the time I have more important things to worry about. Actually all the time.



But, I really am totally bummed that I missed this. See that little green circle up there? That lets me regulate who comments on my blog, and up until now, it had been set to "Registered User" which is why it has been asking people to sign up for Blogger before commenting, therefore not allowing some of my FAVORITE people to comment! Ugh. I had no idea you could change it, until I though "It's pretty stupid that non-blogger users can't comment. I bet there's a way to change that," and a 2 second Google search revealed that this is something every Blogger user should know.

So, I changed it. You should be able to comment now! And please do, because comments make me feel special, and I'm not even kidding. 

Except if you make mean comments....then I'll just delete them, because like I said, I have more important things to worry about ;)

July 23, 2013

Can you hear me now?

I'm writing this post with one eye propped half open so I don't accidentally fall asleep at the keyboard. I'll make it short and sweet, for my own sake.

Meili got PE tubes in her ears today. Her primary care doctor had suspected she had some fluid build-up that might be causing some hearing problems (more on that in THIS post). So we hopped in the car bright and early this morning at 4:55am for our 6:00am surgery appointment. Because Jon had some events going on last night and I can't sleep very well without him, we didn't get to bed until after midnight, which made 4:30am feel very, very early.

Waiting room snuggle time!

Meili was her usual happy self right from the get-go, despite being awakened 3+ hours earlier than usual.


We watched a few pre-op cartoons. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep at some point right about here. I even remember the cartoon that was singing some song about sleep. Or was I dreaming that...??


All systems go!


Meili was not thrilled about being forced to wear big, baggy, blue clothes.


But cartoons make everything better.


She's really getting the hang of this whole "doctors office" thing. She promptly lifts her shirt up for anyone who comes at her with a stethoscope.


Although she wasn't a fan of the clothes, she was pretty thrilled about the hat.


Fifteen minutes later, it was all done and everything went just as expected. They told us she'd be groggy from the anesthesia, but when we walked into the recovery room, she promptly smiled and yelled "hello Mama!" She walked a little crooked for a couple hours, but was none the worse for wear. The doctor said he removed a significant amount of fluid and assured us that this could definitely have affected her hearing. We'll go back in two weeks for a hearing check to find out more.


(sorry for the bad iPhone pics again!)
She managed to charm every.single.person. we came into contact with in the hospital from patients to doctors, but especially nurses. She's very good with nurses. The little peanut can make just about anyone smile. She LOVED this wagon, and managed to get the nurse to give her an extra long ride.

Since she was feeling so well, we decided to make a little pit stop to see her aunt Julie at work. On our way there, we realized that her hair was starting to resemble somewhat of a Billy-Ray-Cyrus-80's-ish style and thought maybe we'd better nip that in the bud.



So Aunt Julie helped us out and took her hair one step closer to that cute little Asian bob style that we're going for. It's got a ways to grow, but we're getting there.


So, all's well that ends well for today; we're just hoping to see some improvement in her hearing and speech over the next couple of weeks. If not, we should find out more at our next appointment.

Thank you all for your prayers! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with my warm and very comfortable bed! :)