Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick Or Treaters

Whew - Mom and Dad are tired - and the girls wanted more! Chloe, of course, said, "I waited for this ALL day!!" She LOVES dress up and candy - so this day HAS to be good! I give you "The Snow Princesses" (And no, I didn't force them to wear these!! They chose them!)See them in action!!
video
I think Jada ran the whole night to keep up with Chloe and there was NO holding her hand - she had to do it just like big sis!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Little Spy

In Sunday School, the kids pretended they were spies searching out the new land for Joshua and Caleb. The spy eye masks were very fun - Jada thought so too - she WOULD NOT take those crazy things off. Apparently she thought they were MUCH better than her glasses!As you can see, the spy mask is STILL in this picture too - when I tried to get it away to get a "real" picture - well, we won't even go there! Mean mom!
Just wanted to capture those matching dresses - I am thoroughly enjoying this since Chloe asks ALWAYS to match with Jada. I know it won't last long.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Night Fun

What do the Bilby's do on a Saturday night???
Well - play games, of course!
Oh yes, AND act just a little bit silly!
(We are battling BIG colds over here - gotta excuse the red nose!!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Specs

Yep, she's pretty proud of her new specs!!She pointed to them all day and smiled. We hope they are helping her see better - it is hard to tell so far, but I do think she is noticing things that she's never seen before! At least she is keeping them on - that's half the battle with a 3 year old!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Van Gogh and Picasso

The artists were at it today:
This is Chloe's work of art - guess who these three ravishing girls are - ALL with glasses!!! (No comments on the other body parts - Chloe claims they are puffy sleeves!!!)

Jada's work of art - and since she doesn't talk - your guess is as good as mine. :) Guess she doesn't know the sign for this one!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Everyday a New Day

We are adjusting - life will become a "new" normal - as someone shared with me. So that is what we are working toward - our "new" normal!Dress up at it's best - Chloe is teaching Jada ALL the tricks!

I have no clue what was happening here but it made me laugh! Monkey see, Monkey do!

Jada does not watch tv hardly AT ALL, but when Chloe does - Jada often joins her and sits and watches Chloe. I bet that's entertaining in and of itself!! (Notice Jada's beads?? She has come to think those are just part of getting dressed - they are on each morning!)

This is Jada's latest and greatest - she goes in (all of her own accord) to wake up Micah. She turns on his light (which, according to Micah, paralyzes him!!) and then crawls up in his bed, lies down, and pulls the covers up to her neck and lays beside him. I caught part of it this morning.

Is all rosy?? Nope, Jada and Chloe still fight OFTEN, there is a lot MORE crying in this house - from BOTH girls that are trying to make a somewhat difficult adjustment. I can't even get a shower some mornings until MUCH later than normal. Even school is not back to full strength. But would we trade it - Nope, not MOST days!!! Everyday gets a little better. Jada responds when we say "No" now - and usually stops what she is doing. She doesn't cry every time she is told "no". Hey, those are all big to us and we are grateful for them!!

Jada got fitted for glasses today - next week should be the BIG week. And tomorrow AEA 4 comes to help me with some ideas for what to do with Jada since she isn't speaking much. I know it is soon in our process, but I am feeling like I just need to know the best way to work with her - maybe they'll have some tricks up their sleeves! We are grateful for every little baby step we are making.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First Time to See the Snow

So I'm not really the bad mom that lets her children go out and play in the snow - 30 degree temps - with no hats or mittens! We were on our way to Kindermusik but I couldn't pass up this quick look at Jada's first snow (or so I think anyway). Yes, we were late for Kindermusik, but oh well, some Kodak moments you just can't let pass!

video

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ballerinas in Training....

What I love about this the most is that I didn't make any of it happen!! Chloe took Jada into her room (and Jada followed willingly - big cheer here!!) and Chloe dressed her all up and out they came to show me. I couldn't resist a photo op so I asked them to go back in their room and the dancing started! I just had to sit back and smile - I love to see them play more and more together. Chloe is teaching Jada so many things and Jada is showing Chloe the joy of simple things! video

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Eyes - How We See the World

When you are told that your daughter may not be able to see - that is a scary feeling. I know I dedicated an entire post just to that reality - and how we felt God leading us to accept her referral anyway. SO today was absolutely a God-moment for us - A moment where we saw God smiling on Jada. (Let me put a disclaimer in here - even in the midst of very disappointing news - God would still be blessing us - but today was just a brief glimpse of a positive in a long string of asking God what He would have us do.)

We took Jada for her eye appointment today in Sioux Falls - a pediatric opthalmologist. He was fabulous - and, I must say, so was Jada. She sat on my lap and let him shine his light all over in her eyes, and then he said, "She is sitting so well, let's try this bigger machine." She plopped her little chin and hands up on the chin bar and sat like a trooper - never even budging. So our doctor said, "WOW - she is doing better than most adults - I am going to do the drops, numb her eyes, and do the glaucoma check." He did just that and Jada just sat again. She let him look, prod, and do all he needed to do and just sat and took it all in. I was just so impressed with her. But what was even more impressive was what he told us:
*She does have some iris on both eyes - that is VERY positive.
*That means she does not have complete Aniridia.
*She has both lenses. (our family doctor thought she may not - although he was not sure)
*Her retinas look GREAT.
*There is no scarring in her eyes - they are clear and look wonderful!
*She has not dealt with glaucoma to this point - that he can tell - that is positive.
*SHE MAY BE HELPED BY GLASSES!!!!
He wrote us up a prescription and we will take it to get her new glasses. Of course, with a little one, it is hard to tell what her vision actually is, but what we can tell is that she can see - maybe not GREAT, but she has some vision - that is good. (We knew this as well - but we didn't know how amazing it would be that she may be helped by glasses!) We were told that with Aniridia, she would probably not be able to be helped by glasses - so we were blown away. Yep, her little glasses may be Coke-bottle thick, but I am thrilled for her - thrilled that something may change the way she sees.

He also said that even her demeanor about life is positive. Many children with visual impairments cower, are afraid, and just plain would rather stay secluded. NOT JADA - this girl LOVES life and wants to experience it all - and usually ON HER OWN! (That is not ALWAYS good, however, when she WON'T hold my hand in the store!!!) He said she has learned how to function in spite of her eyes and that is key. His last words were - take her home and just LOVE on her.

We were thrilled beyond words - it was far more than we thought possible. God amazes us! And let us just tell you what else is happening this week in Jada's World! (It's like Elmo's world because her favorite word is "tickle, tickle"!!)
*She said "Jada" and "up"
*She signs A LOT - "please", "more", "thank you" - she uses her signing often!
*She can point to her eyes, nose, and mouth when we ask her
*She learned how to use her legs to pedal her trike
*She is running with much more agility
*She is "taking to Chloe" - praise the LORD!! She is finding more and more she likes about her sister and for that we are grateful!
*She falls asleep with less than 5 minutes' crying! (This coming down from almost an hour at the start!)
*She now shows us what we call the "chicken dance" when she has to go #2 - sorry if that's too much information - but any parent knows what a nightmare that is when you can't figure out WHEN they need to go!!!
*She hugs - she squeezes - our girl is learning how to hang on tight! :)
*She kisses on the cheek - thank you Chloe for teaching her that one!
*She is touching the dog now instead of screaming when she comes near. Jada doesn't LOVE her, but she will tolerate!
And my favorite: She hears the phone ring and calls "MAMA"!!! (Atta girl - you know who talks on that phone!!) Ok - she points to my laptop and calls "MAMA" too - sad, but true!

Do we have other questions about her development?? Yes! As an educator myself, some things about how far she is behind where a 3 year old should be - can be scary, but I just feel like with a lot of attention and love she will learn - We are making progress - each day shows us that! I remember how fast Chloe progressed and I pray the same for Jada. In the meantime, we will just LOVE on her - ALL of us!!

We pray that these glasses will make a huge difference for her vision - but I was thinking today too - even if they don't - maybe they won't change a thing - maybe her vision will deteriorate - maybe she will be blind someday. It doesn't change a thing for us - we went in knowing all those possibilities - we expected them, to be honest - but that doesn't make me want to be her "Mama" any less. Each of my children are a special blessing and Jada is NO exception - God shows me that everyday. I mean, really, wouldn't everyone love to wake up each morning and be greeted by "Woo-Woo!!" (Our travelmates will know EXACTLY what I am saying - it was, and continues to be, Jada's favorite term - it holds a special spot in my heart!)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Update from the Bilby's

Joe tells me tonight, "Umm, it's been awhile since you've updated your blog." He is right - but WOW - where does one find the time?!?!? I have a little cling-on right now that makes even laundry a challenge! I know that will end soon, but when little one clings so does bigger one - so this mom just tries to get those two to play together! I am sure you all are smiling, and most days I can too, but whew, that is my full-time job right now!

This is how we found Jada the other night when we went to bed - yes, she's still sleeping on her mattress on our floor - bedtime is NOT pretty here yet! But she is SO active during her sleep - look where we found her! That girl can move in her sleep!Saturday we spent the day in Sioux Falls for a band competition. Caleb was SO excited - his first marching experience in 7th/8th Grade band.
(Caleb is the tiny guy there in the middle - He plays the Tenor Sax.)
Was it cold?? Oh my word - and rainy - we joked that Jada wondered what FREEZING TUNDRA she had moved to!! We had her bundled up - don't worry Chinese Grandmas!!!

We made it to church today - Jada did well - played with crayons almost the whole sermon UNTIL the very end when she started dumping the crayons and Mom decided to take the baggie away. Thus ensued a small altercation - but we got it all cleared up before Sunday School and she did well there too. I sit back in amazement when I think that just a few short weeks ago - this little one was in China and had no idea her whole world was about to change. We take it day-by-day and take each small step as a big one!
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
~Deuteronomy 24:19

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