The Many Adventures of Keira!

This is our page to document our family's adoption journey- starting from when we first started planning for our little one, to when we brought her home. We're also going to keep this updated with all of the things that Keira has been up to since she's been home with us here in the U.S!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The No Pants Dance

I've never been able to get this on video, but since we've been trying to potty train Keira, she does something called the "No Pants Dance". It is one of the funniest things you've ever seen.
After she goes to the potty and before she gets her new training pants on, she'll stop and do this wild crazy dance running around back and forth laughing hysterically. It is totally hilarious and so hard to explain if you can't see it!

The best I could do is include a little video from my cellphone of The "Paper Towel Dance". She likes to grab the cardboard roll from the paper towels and dance around with it. It's not quite the "No Pants Dance", but the closest I could get to it so you could KIND OF get the idea! lol

Sorry about the horrible quality of the video!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Potty Update II

Well, we're on week two of the serious potty training attempts. She has been doing great at Amanda's and has only been peeing in her training pants when she is napping. Otherwise, she's been great about going in the potty. She still has not been TELLING any of us when she has to go and we've just been taking her every hour or so.

The other day, I had her home with me and every single time that I would take her to the potty...nothing. Well, within 5-10 minutes later, sure enough, she would fill up her training pants. What on earth??? What was going on? Well, I figured out that the only reason that she's been doing so well with going is because we've been taking her so much that she hasn't had a chance to go in her diaper!

I think what she really needs to do is associate the feeling of peeing and pooping with having to go to the potty. I bought some training pants before that she was supposed to feel wetness. Nope, nothing! I bought some training pants that are supposed to feel cold when you pee so that she would feel it easier. Nope, nothing! Well, today, I decided that she would really have to just feel what it feels like, so I've been taking her every hour and half or so and have her only in her new underwear. I'm only going to put her in training pants when we go somewhere but have her in just underwear when we are home. I mean, most people before training pants, just let their kids just wear underwear when they potty trained and followed them around cleaning up the mess, right? Well, so far, it's about 9:30am and I've cleaned up 3 puddles...with one of them being on me! lol I have kind of noticed a pattern though, which I guess is good. She would kind of wander off into her room and that is when it would happen. My friend Terri said that when she was potty training, her girls would hide behind a chair when they would be trying to go to the bathroom. So if only I can catch her now before it happens...we'll see! I have a feeling I'm in for ALOT more accidents today, but that's part of it I guess!
Update: Ok, just minutes after writing this, I took Keira in to brush her teeth. As she stood there brushing her teeth, she just peed and peed and peed a huge puddle without even stopping with brushing her teeth. Granted, I moved her as fast as I could to the toilet, but she definitely isn't recognizing that she has to pee yet. I'm wondering if maybe it's too soon for her? Any opinions? I have a feeling I'm in for a long day equiped with Clorox Clean Ups! lol

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two Years

It has been two years now since Chris passed away. It's amazing how fast time flies. I can still remember so many fun times that we had with him as a part of our family. There were so many laughs and good times throughout the years and I feel so lucky to have been able to be part of that. You could always depend on Chris for a smile and a laugh that you couldn't help but laugh along with as well since it was so contagious!
Here was Chris giving me a crazy goofy face for the camera during a family vacation to Maui. We laughed so much and had such a great time. I will always remember that vacation. We all would see something funny happen and all we had to do was look at each other and just KNEW what each other would be thinking. You could especially look at Chris and just tell that he was ready to laugh about something because he had such an expressive face and such a great sense of humor.
On a family trip out to Vegas, we gave Max the camera and let him take pictures of whatever he wanted. He was about 4 years old and took pictures of the wall, the carpet and even pictures of pictures and the tv. The funniest was this picture that he took of his daddy sleeping. Everytime I see this picture, it makes me laugh.
Chris was not only always there to make you laugh, but you always knew that you could depend on him to lend an ear to listen to you whenever you had a problem or just be there whenever you needed him for anything. He was so inspirational and even when he was sick, he was always thinking of others before himself. He even inspired people that he didn't know personally through his faith and it definitely showed with all of the people that came out to say goodbye to him during the wake. There were lines going around the building of people that came from all over to see him and to share stories of funny memories and how he inspired them.

We miss you Chris!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Potty Update

Well, so far so good! Yesterday, I put her in her training pants and she only wet them twice...but a very small amount. I pretty much took her to the potty about every hour to an hour and a half. She protested the very first time like she always does when she first wakes up in the morning. I convinced her to do it since she wanted a sticker.

I placed a paper chart on the wall that says "Keira's Potty Chart". This is where she puts her stickers after she gets them. She LOVES the stickers! That seems to be working really well. Whenever she finishes on the potty she says YAY! Sticker!!! and just about runs to where I keep them to pick one out.

Yesterday we went to Babies R Us to see if we could find the Potty Power DVD. They didn't have it, so I bought Once Upon a Potty instead. She really likes it. She starts singing "My Potty Potty". It's really cute. We also got her some books and a bubble blower for her to play with while she's in the bathroom. I also let her pick out some new underwear! She was really excited and ended up with Dora, Little Mermaid and Elmo underwear. I haven't put them on her yet since I wanted to wash them first and I'm not sure when I should! She's been using the trainers, but to be honest, I'm not convinced that she can feel that they are wet. I think that her feeling what it's like to get wet is part of the training, isn't it? Maybe after she's gone a good amount, I'll go ahead and have her run around the house in them for an hour or so. Speaking of running around, she was SOOO funny! We were in the grocery store and she had just finished watching the DVD in the car. She was walking around the store saying "Bye Bye Pee Pee! Bye Bye Poo Poo!" She made a dash around the meat section yelling that, when all of a sudden her training pants fell down! She was still trying to run with them down to her knees yelling "Mommy, I did it! I did it!!!" I couldn't stop laughing....but of course I pulled her training pants up for her in the meantime lol.

We'll see how it goes. The main concern that I have is that she still isn't recognizing when she actually has to go. I'm not sure if my taking her every hour is causing problems with that. Should I keep doing that or should I be waiting for her to tell me when she has to go? I guess I'll try that and see what happens!
Oh, and by the way...yes, that is a picture of Keira on the toilet with her Dora underwear on her head.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Potty Power!!!

I am off for the next couple of days and have decided this is it! Keira has been able to go for longer periods of time lately without wetting her diaper, so that apparently means that she has developed the muscle control needed to start really getting serious about potty training. When she was about 18 months old, she was very interested in her potty. I would sit her down once in a while to go to the potty never forcing her when she said she didn't want to. Well, for some reason lately, she has decided that she doesn't want anything to do with the potty. "No no wan pee pee in potty!" She will tell me sometimes when she has pooped but usually after it's already been done. She hasn't figured out yet to tell me when she pees.

I've heard pros and cons to using training pants. I bought some that she can supposedly feel when it's wet, but so far, they were pretty full and she didn't bat an eyelash. I'm getting the feeling that those aren't going to work. I think I'm just going to have to go the route that I've been reading about where you just have her wear only underpants instead of diapers for an hour at a time to get her used to the actual feeling of getting wet. I'm going to take her shopping to pick out her own underwear that she can wear. I'm also going to get the Potty Power DVD for her to watch. I've heard great things about it. I got her Go Potty Go!, but other than liking the dancing pandas, she doesn't seem to be getting anything else out of it. lol We'll see! I'm sure I'm probably in for a mess, but I've got Folex and cleaning supplies ready! lol

I'm also going to try some sort of reward system where she'll get stickers to put on a potty board whenever she sits on the potty and pees. Gigi did this with Max and it worked great. Hopefully it will work with Keira....we'll see.

Anyway...wish me luck. I know that it may not work and if she's not ready, she's just not ready, but I've got to start sometime, right? Anyone with any advice?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Biopsy Update

I wanted to give family and friends and update on Keira's Biopsy because I know that so many of you have asked and are concerned with what has been going on. Last night Dan and I made the decision to cancel Keira's biopsy....for now. It was a difficult decision to make and I have moments where I still question whether we made the right decision. There were just so many factors to consider that we just weren't sure it was the right thing for her right now. Now, eventually somewhere down the road she will probably need to have one. Now just really is not the right time and did not feel right. I don't want to go into alot of detail about it here, but if any of you have any questions, feel free to email me! Thanks

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Needles and Owies

Today I took Keira in for all of the lab work that was required before her biopsy on Friday. I can't even begin to tell you how horrible it was. We're used to Keira having to get lots and lots of blood taken whenever she has tests, but this time was very different. Someone forgot to tell her veins that they were supposed to cooperate with us.

The same thing happened like it always does. The person taking blood calls us in and they ask if I'm the one that they will be taking blood from. Once they realize that it's Keira, they suddenly go bug-eyed and their jaws drop to the ground. They always end up going into the back to consult with the computer again and the doctor to make sure that they weren't reading the request wrong or to find out what the doctor was smoking when they decided to order this much blood from such a small child.

Normally she needs anywhere from 6-8 vials of blood for tests. Most of the tests can work with smaller amount of blood, but this time, there were at least 2 vials that needed to be full... as well as about 6 others that had to be about half full. It was just crazy. Does she even HAVE that much blood in her little body???

The nurse took me in the back to "bag" Keira for a urine sample. She had already filled a diaper, but I wasn't worried about whether we would be able to get her to pee since she most likely would once she saw the needles! If any of you aren't familiar with "bagging", it's what they use to get urine samples from babies and toddlers. Obviously you can't squeeze out a diaper to get the sample (ok...I'll admit that was what I thought they expected me to do the first time they told me they needed a sample lol), so they have a special bag for little girls with an adhesive that sticks directly to the skin so that the pee will go in the bag instead of the diaper. It really looks VERY uncomfortable.

After that, we were called into the back to start the blood drawing. The second that we bagged Keira, she started to get a little suspicious. Once we went into the room and she saw the empty vials, she realized what was about to happen and just started to scream "NO!!!! MOMMY NO OWIE!!!" Tears just started to stream down her face. I just felt so horrible....but it had to be done to prep for her biopsy on Friday. They brought in a few people to help since she was so small and they did their first poke. The blood started flowing as well as the screams and the tears....everything was going quickly thank goodness, but all of a sudden...the blood flow just stopped. They had to move the the needle around a bit which of course caused more screaming...but still nothing. They moved over to the other arm and started the second poke. The screams and crying were so loud and sad...It just broke my heart. I started to cry as well feeling so horrible for what was happening to her. They told me that it's actually a little easier to get the blood when they are crying because the blood flows faster (adrenaline). Next thing you stops again. After the third time with the blood flow stopping as well (she for some reason was clotting very quickly)we had to stop for a bit. It was just too much.

I took her out of the room and cradled her in my arms while she drank water from her sippy. They wanted her to hydrate a little and rest for a minute before we tried again. She was drinking her water and tears were still coming out. After a couple of minutes, she started to fall asleep probably from being so tired from all of the crying. I had to wake her up to try and get more blood...this was so horrible. They were finally able to get just enough blood to fulfill the amount that they needed for the tests. There was one other test that they needed- but it was one that could be done the day of the biopsy, so we were fine with waiting until then.

Now for the urine sample. Believe it or not...through all of this, she hadn't peed! We waited for a while longer at the hospital, but she was falling asleep. I asked if I could take her home so that she could take a nap at home and I would bring her back for the urine sample. They were closing at 12:30, but were fine with that. We left with her still bagged and she went to sleep.

I woke her up after her nap and she STILL hadn't peed! I brought her back to the hospital and talked to the nurse for a bit. She said that she wanted to double check if the urine sample was really necessary and it turns out that it wasn't. Not only did Keira have to endure having all of the blood drained out of her poor little body, but had to have the adhesive from the bag pulled off a VERY sensitive area of your body for nothing! OUCH!!! Through all of this, she was such a trooper and was showing everyone that would listen where her owies were on her arm.

I'm so glad that the tests were over and hopefully the biopsy will go smoothly with this being the worst part of it. Time will tell...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Baptism Day!

We have so much going on this week, that we decided to have a quiet baptism for Keira. The church was very particular in who we were able to have as Keira's Godparents. They had to be baptized and confirmed in the Catholic church as well as be married in a Catholic Church if married. My friend Laura Chun graciously agreed to be Keira's Godmother. Gigi and Max had to leave to go back to Chicago and were not able to attend and Lorraine and Mike were witnesses. They will all play a big part in guiding Keira in her faith as well of course.
The church we go to does a full immersion for the Baptism. The water is nice and warm and we were worried that Keira would think it was time to go swimming! Brother Raul did a count of three and she was thrilled about the first two dunks...that is until she was completely under water for the third dunk! This was the "before" picture!
...and "After"!
As you can tell from the pictures, she looks thrilled! Actually she really was a trooper! She was the 7th child baptized that day and we were joking that Brother Raul might have to start working out a bit! The 6 families before us were Samoan and had pretty big kids! Keira was probably the smallest one there and even though the youngest child was about 6 months old, he looked like he had about 10 pounds more on him than Keira did! lol

They all wore white onesies for the water with Swimmer Diapers, then we had to quickly change them into their white gown and outfits for the rest of the Baptism ceremony.
Here were (from left to right) Me, Father Peter, Keira, Dan, Brother Raul and Laura after the ceremony. We took the Chun family, Lorraine and Mike to Brunch afterwards and had a wonderful time with great food!

At the end of this week on Friday will be Keira's Biopsy. I have a couple of doctor's appointments as well as labwork scheduled for her this week. She will be having the procedure first thing this Friday and we'll be staying overnight for them to observe her and make sure that there is no internal bleeding from the procedure. I'm not as worried about the procedure anymore as I am about having to somehow keep this bundle of energy still for the day after the procedure. How do you keep a bouncing crazy little girl like this still? Wish me luck!

36- the Magic Number (Fisher Week Part 2)

We rounded out the rest of Fisher Week with trips to Legoland and Sea World and we had a blast! Keira and I go to Legoland all the time, but something wonderful and magical happened in what seemed like overnight! What is that you ask? Why, she turned 36 inches tall!!! She was 35 inches tall and out of the blue, her little head hit the 36 inch bar. This really opened up a whole new world at Legoland for her because now she could suddenly ride just about every ride! She got to ride her first roller coaster- The Coasterasaurus! She was a little scared, but ended up being a real trooper. By the end of the ride, she was saying "WEEEEEE!"
In the new section of the park, they have a ride like the Frog Hopper that you see everywhere. Her and Auntie Gigi got to ride it together and I thought for sure it was going to scare her, but now! She had so much fun.
Max is about 48 inches tall and really can ride every ride now in Legoland and a couple at Disneyland that he was never able to ride before! (California Screamin' and Indiana Jones). Here he is on one of his favorite things to do at Sea World, the bungee jumper. There were NO lines and we got to ride the Journey to Atlantis 3 times in a row and got totally soaked. That really is a great ride! I love how it starts out as a water ride, then you end up in an elevator that takes you up to the rest of the ride.
I had a game card for the gamezone so we used it up on carnival games. Max had his heart set on winning a big Luigi which meant that he would have to knock down 3 of those doll things on the shelf. Ok, I have to be honest, I didn't think he would have been able to do it. I can't even do that! You know what? He suprised me and won the thing! There was a guy with this girlfriend standing next to him with his jaw on the ground, "He's doing better than me!" He tried again after seeing Max so easily win the Luigi and of course, he lost. Wow...Max really is a natural athlete!

Here are Keira and Max showing off their prizes! Max won Luigi and although Keira didn't really win anything, she loves showing off her bucket of popcorn! :)

Gigi and Max left to go back home to Chicago yesterday....we had a great time guys! See you in August!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fisher Week!

It's Fisher Week! Do you know what that means? It usually means that Keira and I go into training for about a month ahead of time to prepare for "The Arrival" of the Fisher Clan! Going to the gym on a regular basis, push ups and taking vitamin supplements. Just kidding...but hey! Any of you that know Gigi and Max know that one of the great mysteries of the world is figuring out where on EARTH they get all of the energy that they have to do all of the things that they want to do in a week! Gigi's even been in training for a mini-triathlon which scared me because that could only mean that she would have even MORE energy and that is a SCARY thought!
They flew out from Chicago to Vegas and stayed in Paris with some great comps courtesy of Mom's itchy slot machine arm. They were originally going to rent a car and drive out to San Diego, but I was able to start my vacation a little early, so hey! Why not? Lorraine, Keira and I decided to drive out to Vegas to meet them! We started out early in the morning, but ended up getting stopped for a while by Stateline where a big rig had turned over. Thankfully, it wasn't long since I was falling asleep! We got to Vegas and boy...Keira was in heaven! She just LOVES Max to death and torments the poor boy by forcing him to hold her hand all the time. He does love her as well, but when you are a 6 year old, having a little 2 year old chase you around copying everything you do can cramp your style! lol Just kidding. Max has been so great with her and very patient. I'm not kidding...she copies EVERYTHING that he does and says.
Here is a picture of them sharing a chair at Starbucks
Riding a ride...she had to be EVERYWHERE that he was
Well, this was one of the only exceptions. She totally has a thing about those dancing video games.I have no idea where she got it from!
We ended up staying at Whiskey Pete's at Stateline on the way back. Somehow Mom had a bunch of comps from there too! You've all seen it. We were kind of scared and weren't sure WHAT to expect. "Icky Pete's". Well, we were really in for a surprise. The rooms were pretty nice, the food was good, the service was good and Lorraine and Gigi saw a great Lounge band that they raved about. Who would have thought??? The only problem was that the elevators smelled like a very big fart. We would joke that everyone probably got so excited that Whiskey Pete's wasn't as big of a dive as they thought it would be, so they couldn't contain their excitement once they hit the elevator! "Whiskey Pete's is GREAT!" Pooooooot! lol
We went over to Buffalo Bill's and rode the log ride. The water was kind of stinky so we were joking around calling it "Poo Poo Water" What did we do that for...They have a machine set up at one of the bridges where people can shoot water at you as you are going by. Can you believe that they shot at us? Even with a baby??? lol We were all laughing saying, "What kind of person would shoot at a baby???" Well Keira was so disturbed by it that to this day, she still talks about "Baby with the Poo Poo Water!!!" Gigi and I went to the top of the bridge and discovered a malfunction with the shooting machine where you didn't need to put money in. We would stand at the top of the bridge and when people would go by, we would look around pretending that we were talking, but we were really the ones shooting at them! I mean, who would suspect two women with a toddler to be the culprits? :) It was so funny and I promise that I didn't shoot water at any babies!
The next day we headed off to...where else? Disneyland! Gigi's friend Chela used to work P.R. for Disneyland and she was wonderful enough to call in a favor for us. We got hoppers for both parks for free!
Here is Max...can you believe how big he has gotten?
Here are the two cousin in front of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. She just absolutely adores him. She started yelling out for him whenever he's not around. It was so funny the other morning, she woke up and looked around. She cupped her hand to her mouth and started yelling, "Keira! Keira!" Uh, Keira, you're here already. She thought about it for a second then realized that she meant to be calling for Max. "Max! Max!" It still makes me laugh.
The happiest place on earth...that is until she starts copying him and annoying him again! lol

Well, we're only a little less than halfway through Fisher Week, so I need to conserve my energy for the rest of the week when we'll be at the beach, Sea World, Old Town, The Zoo and the Space Theatre as well as anything else that Gigi can think of! See you all later!