Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Day In the Life

I strapped my camera to my wrist today with the intent of capturing day in the life of Mercy.  The pictures unfold the stories...

Good Morning

Bath Time (notice her hair disappears when wet)

Brushing her teeth or eating the toothpaste?

Eating eggs all by  myself.

Speech Therapy with Miss Joan


"Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?"

Singing into her Leap Frog Jr.  (Gail Reinford this one is for you!)

Play-date with my friend Jayne

Mercy and Jayne in deep chatter

This hand suddenly appears under the crack of the door every single time mommy goes to the bathroom!

Mercy found her lollipop that she was told needed to wait until after lunch.  Lacey wanted in on it.

Helping mommy do laundry

All empty, time to close the door.

Unfolding a basket of folded laundry

Showing Mommy where she put my coffee mug!!!

Decided the dog crate was a good place for her high chair tray.

Dog food, yum yum!

Climbing the outside of the steps since the gate is blocking access.

Getting ready to chuck her school bus in anger.

Nap Time!!!

Ah, sweet moment.

Every nap and bedtime she puts her hand up to the side of the crib and I have to poke it.  We do this repeatedly for anywhere from 10 - 45 minutes and then she takes a deep breath, rolls over and goes to sleep

These photos truly were taken all in one day.  We had a wardrobe change that occurred between the finger poke and her falling asleep.  Why, you ask?  Because she had a meltdown over her 3/4 length sleeves!  So I changed her shirt and she drifted to sleep.

Dream land in her long sleeve shirt.

Waiting for her siblings school bus to arrive

Feeding her brother

Getting into her brothers homework

She empties the entire container of baby wipes EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.   Today she actually snook it from the family room into the living room before emptying the contents. 

Did you know it's a law that you CANNOT keep shoes on in the car?  At least Mercy thinks so.

Tossing her shoe into the backseat

Walking to the park


Success (with a little help)

Big Brother Mason taking her up to go on the slide

Deciding she wants to try the steps herself.

So glad I have a big sister to carry me.  Phew, I'm exhausted.
Taking her glasses off in the car.  Notice the shoes are missing too...again!

Found a bag of potatoes to get into.

My night ended with taking a trip back to the library to find this!  She will not keep them on her feet in the car and one escaped the van and was left behind.  Thank God it was still there when I went back.  

I no longer wonder why I am so tired at the end of the day.  This was actually a really good day!!!  But I'm beat anyway.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'll Be Back

No that title is not intended to sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger.  But it is a phrase we are saying pretty regularly here these days.  We are trying to so hard to get Mercy to understand that when one of us leaves we will be back.  So when Scott leaves for work he says "I'll be back."  When the kids leave for school they say "I'll be back."  When anyone of us leave for something we say "I'll be back."  She's catching on because yesterday when I had to take Michaela to her Bible study I told Mercy "I'll be back."  With that she chased me across the foyer screaming.  I guess she didn't want me to leave.  Tonight Scott and I had Michaela's meet the teacher back to school night.  It was only the second time we have both left Mercy t the same time.  Each of us has left her, but one of us is always home with her.  Tonight as we both kissed her good-bye and said "I'll be back" she again headed for the door in tears.  Thankfully she did stop crying and stayed content and happy while we were gone.  When we got home and we walked through the door I don't know who gave us a bigger greeting, the dog or Mercy.  She jumped into my arms and burried her head into me and then looked up into my face and shouted "back!"  I could have cried.  Yes, sweetheart mommy came back.  I will always come back. 

Tonights welcome back greeting hits the heart hard because she always seems shocked when we come back.  Tonights greeting also hit the heart hard because it assured me that she is bonding.  She embraced me, she was excited to see me, she was excited to see Scott.  Tonight when I put her to bed she fell asleep in my arms again and when I put her in the port-a-crib she didn't cry.  She held her hand up, I poked it as I always do, and she turned over and peacefully fell back to sleep.  I love this journey we are on.  I love watching her wrestle with and then grow in trust.  I love slowly watching her walls come down brick by brick.  I love the picture it displays of our human hearts towards God.  I love her and I am beginning to think she might be starting to love me too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Beach Bum in the Making?

We took a day trip to the beach on Sunday.  We knew it could be "risky" not knowing how Mercy would respond.  We knew it would most likely be hard on her to be in the sun all day long and had know idea how she would handle that.  We knew it would most likely make her anxious to be in a completely new environment with new smells, new noises and unfamiliar scenery.  And we knew that it would most definitely be sensory overload.  So we started the day with an open mind, flexible heart, knowing that as quickly as we settled in, we might also be packing back up and heading home.  Why did we subject her to all of this?  Mostly for our other three loveys.  We enjoy the beach and usually spend a week there every year.  The kids were missing the sand, the ocean, boogie boarding and that wonderful ocean breeze.  It just didn't feel like summer was complete, and school was already back in session.  A day trip close by seemed "doable."

We did manage to make it through the entire day.  Scott and I juggled Mercy in our arms on and off, back and forth all day long.  Our kids saving grace was when she conked out drinking her bottle and ended up taking a three hour nap under the umbrella with that ocean breeze blowing her wispy hair.  Honestly, it was the perfect ending to a really great day.  The kids, Scott and I got our beach fix, and Mercy slept off the horror we subjected her too.

Mentally it was really great for Scott and I too.  We were told by many that we would be able to enjoy the beach despite her Albinism and sun sensitivity, but there were a few times this summer that left us wondering if that was true.  As far as the sun is concerned she did great.  It was more the the unfamiliarity and new senses that kept her cranky and fearful.  We lathered her up with sunblock a couple times during the day, put sunglasses on and kept a hat on her head (when she would let us) and when she wasn't down by the water we kept her under a beach umbrella.  It wasn't much different than what we have done for our other kids.  OK, maybe I worried a little more about sunburn, but she walked away from the entire day as white as when she started.

It was a great day for Scott, me and the kids.  It was a great day of making a new memory, now as a family of six.  However, I think it's safe to say Mercy mostly hated the beach.  We'll try again next year and hope she has a change of heart.

I'll let the pictures speak for Mercy.

OK, I did NOT like that!

Mommy please rescue me.

My favorite shot of the day. She is saying "Daddy you think you can put me in that water again? Well watch this trick!"

This one does make me feel a little sorry for her.

She sat in her chair like this as much as possible.  Everything tucked up tight and away from the sand.  Wouldn't even put her feet down.  She is checking out a seashell her sister gave her, but she wouldn't touch it because it had sand on it. 

Sleepy or traumatized, the verdict is still out.

Check out that wind blown hair!
Happy to be heading off the beach and away from that giant swimming pool my family calls an Ocean.