Sunday, April 30, 2006

Brotherly Love

I thought this was too sweet to not share. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Madelyn's Brothers

Baby Burritos

We wish they were this peaceful all the time.

Five Years Ago

April 26, 2001 around 4pm, after sitting in a waiting room for an hour, Tony and I were told we would not be parents to our first twins. Two little hearts no longer were beating. It was the most heartbreaking news ever at that point in our lives. The doctor was a jerk about it. I can still remember him looking at us without a care in the world and saying "what can I say, DARN, it didn't work." The following day I had a d&c and was no longer pregnant after a long time fighting infertility.

Many women that are pursuing adoption have battled infertility and pregnancy losses. Before my first miscarriage, I didn't really think much about what they were and the fact that it is very hard emotionally for a couple to go through this. I have met so many women since that day that have endured this kind of pain. Hopefully one day the rate of miscarriages will drop even lower and not occur as often as it does now especially for women that it occurs over and over with each time conception takes place.

Hugs to all the women out there that have endured pain through infertility and pregnancy losses.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Learn something new everyday

I took Logan to the ENT today to have him look at his tonsils. Our pediatrician said Logan's tonsils needed to come out. I was surprised to hear this since he's never had strep or any type of sore throat. As it turns out, his tonsils are almost touching. This causes sleep problems which causes other problems some similar to the symptoms of ADHD. Logan can be a hyperactive child and now we may know why. Hopefully having his tonsils removed will allow him to sleep better and maybe he'll not drive me so crazy every day. Here's a link to studies done on children having tonsils taken out that have sleep problems. He is scheduled for surgery on May 11.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Long Time No Post

We've been very busy at the Hooker house lately. I've also made a few out of town trips with all three boys....and I survived. We've also celebrated a fourth birthday here too. Here's a photo from Logan's birthday party. We had originally planned a party at Chuck E Cheese but most of the kids were sick or couldn't make it so we ended up with a small party at home with two of Logan's friends. We did take him to CEC the day of his birthday since we had promised a trip there.
The twins are growing up...sniff, sniff. Andrew is getting fat cheeks and Nate is filling out all over. The Easter Bunny brought the shades to all the boys. Logan wasn't wearing his in the picture. Madelyn also got a pair. She got pink ones. We spent Easter Sunday visiting our church we moved away from and friends we dearly miss. We had a great time. Sometimes I wish we still lived up there.

Kricket has been over helping us out again since I found out I have mastitis. I had no idea yesterday when I thought I was getting the flu that it was coming from pain in my breast until I saw redness that evening. The practioner I saw todays first expression was "oh my goodness" when she saw it. It must really be a bad case but hopefully it doesn't turn into something worse. One of my neighbors told me she had it and they had to go in and drain her clogged ducts b/c she got so sick. Kricket taught Logan and Natasha how to feed the babies today. Isn't this a cute picture? (No, that's not kitty litter in my living room floor. Logan stores some of his trains in that container.)

I'm on strict orders to rest so off I go since I've got help tonight with the babies. I don't think we could ever pay back enough favors that Kricket has done for us. It's great to have another stay home mom nearby that can help out.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Adoption Tax Credit Changes

Here is some information on HR 1561 - Childhood Adoption Act of 2005.

HR 1561 was recently introduced by Congressman Harold Ford of Tennessee to increase the adoption tax credit to $15,000. The proposed Childhood Adoption Act will increase the adoption tax credit and exclusion that the federal government grants eligible taxpayers for certain expenses paid to adopt an eligible child from $10,000 to $15,000. The Childhood Adoption Act will also increase the adoption tax credit for children with special needs from $10,000 to $15,000. In addition, the Childhood Adoption Act will make the credit fully refundable in order to make the adoption tax credit more meaningful to people with lower incomes.

In addition, the Childhood Adoption Act will increase the total federal funds authorized for payment to states as adoption incentive payments for FY2006, FY 2007 and FY 2008 by $43 million per year (to a total of $86 million per year). In addition, the existing bonus payment structure for those years will be doubled across the board.

Congress has long supported adoption. The Childhood Adoption Act builds on the foundation created by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, the Hope for Children Act of 2001 and the Adoption Promotion.

If you support these changes, please contact your local Congressman and Senators and let them know. (Links to the Senate email and Congressional Email are at the link above.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Re: Continue the adoption???

And to expand on Melissa's last point from the earlier post where she said:

Unless China or our agency tells us no or something happens to us that we're not able to continue with the adoption, we are still going to China and we're coming home with our daughter.

And if this adoption does fall through, and for some reason we have to start the adoption process over from scratch... Well then we will do that as well.

Its not a matter of if, Its a matter of when.

March of Dimes

Please support March of Dimes. I'm walking May 6th in memory of Reagan Anne Hooker. Nate and Andrew also benefited from MOD support during their hospitilazation. I'm hoping to meet my goal of $500.

Continue the adoption???

We are getting so tired of being asked if we are continuing with the adoption or being told that we shouldn't continue the adoption since the twins have arrived. For the record, WE ARE STILL ADOPTING MADELYN. Yes, we're sleep deprived. Yes, we've got our hands full. Yes, it's been tough going from one to three kids. BUT, none of this means we're not adding another child to our home this year.

Last April we started the paperwork for Madelyn. We had already had it in our hearts to adopt from China but had not started the paperwork long before this. I was pregnant December 2004 through April 2005 with Reagan so we put that on hold. I never once thought we would stop considering adoption. Just because we now have Nate and Andrew doesn't mean we have too many kids to continue. Our agency is okay with us continuing and if China is willing to allow us to adopt one of their precious little girls, we will do it this year.

Some have asked, can't you postpone the adoption? Well, yes we could but we don't want to. The biggest reason is I don't want to b/c our Madelyn is waiting for us this year. No we haven't seen her picture nor do we have any information on her but we know she's there waiting on her family. We are very excited about adding a little girl to our family. It will probably be like having triplets instead of just twins but we'll survive. Other triplet families learn how to make it so why can't we?

So, what I'm saying is it's no one elses business to decide what we can or can not handle under our own roof. I've asked for little help since the twins have arrived, mainly help in the evenings due to the twins being on a three hour feeding schedule. This will come to an end soon (hopefully). They are our responsibility so I don't feel I should be asking for help everytime one cries, pees, or poops and needs to eat. BUT getting in some sleep once in a while is much needed or else I couldn't function during the day at home with all three kids.

I'm attached to this little girl. I can't wait to see her and hold her. Logan asked me one day after preschool if we could go get Madelyn as soon as he got in the van. He's wanting his sister to come here as well. Unless China or our agency tells us no or something happens to us that we're not able to continue with the adoption, we are still going to China and we're coming home with our daughter.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Hooker Family

This was taken after Logan's birthday party today. We're a little worn out and I'm still sleep deprived. Leia also had to pose for the photo but she also took that time to bathe her paws during the photo session.  Posted by Picasa

Baby Shower

I didn't have any baby showers for Nate and Andrew but I did find out my church we just moved away from held a "Traveling Baby Shower" for us. A collection was taken up in several boxes of gifts to give to Nate and Andrew. We got lots of diapers, wipes, clothes, washcloths, blankets, etc. There were even some things for Madelyn including some pink blankets and a stuffed bear. I visited some of my friends this weekend and was given all these gifts to unwrap. It was probably the best baby shower I ever had b/c I got more useful things (ex. diapers, wipes) than things I don't really need (ex. diaper pins). The picture attached is a diaper cake. I had never seen one of these before. Underneath all the blankets are diapers banded together. Lots of goodies were stuck in the cake. Isn't this cute? I'll have to remember this if I ever throw a baby shower.

I have the best friends in the world. I never expected a baby shower with the twins since I saved everything of Logan's. However, I have been so thankful for all these gifts especially diapers and wipes. So far we haven't bought any except the two packs before they were born. Besides diapers, the best baby gift anyone could ever get (at least this is my opinion) is batteries and for some reason I never get those. We go through batteries everyday in either bouncy chairs, swings, or toys. Batteries are what I am going to start giving others at baby showers. Moms and Dads will be thankful for this gift and not having to run out after midnight to Wal-mart to get them while their baby is screaming and needing that swing to calm them down or that crib musical toy that plays soft lullabies for them to listen too. Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday Logan

Four years ago today I was in the worst pain I had ever experienced in my lifetime. I was at the hospital at 6:15am in the morning to be induced with our precious baby boy Logan. It wasn't until 12:03 the following morning that Logan entered this world. I was finally a mom, the best thing to ever happen to me, to a beautiful baby boy.

Tomorrow is Logan's fourth birthday. We had a party for him today. It was suppose to be at Chuck E Cheese, but several of his friends/family could not make it or were sick so instead he had two of his new best friends over and some family. He wanted a Thomas cake again this year so we had Cold Stone Creamery make an ice cream cake with m&m's mixed in with the ice cream. A wind-up Thomas train traveled along the track on top of the cake. It was delicious and we have lots leftover unfortunately so hopefully someone will visit and help eat it. He got lots of presents including a sand/water box to keep outside, dump truck, Thomas DVD's, Thomas toys, and lots of other fun stuff.

Happy Birthday Logan!!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Spider washed down the water drain

I needed a little humor today....

The Itsy Bitsy Spider is gone. He was trying to go up the water spout and instead of rain coming down, the fly swatter got him and he'll be seeing no more sun.

Yes, Logan got ahold of him. He was crawling around in my bathtub. Logan pulled out the fly swatter (or what he calls the bug squasher) and killed the spider. He says to me in his sweet, innocent voice, "but Mommy, he was trying to crawl up the water spout." Gotta love him.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

In Memory

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5

While unpacking I pulled out a very large Bible that was given to us when we got married and found some wax paper sticking out of it. I had forgotten that I placed two flowers from Reagan's grave between wax paper in the Bible to press them. I pressed the flowers on the page of the Bible verse above that was read at her funeral.

Today marks the day Reagan entered into Heaven. Her birthdate is not until tomorrow only because that's the date her body was delivered. However, she died on 4/5.

We miss you, Reagan, always will.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ladybug Trivia

Copied this from DTC group email....

You can fit 80,000 ladybugs into a gallon jug.

There are 350 kinds of ladybugs in North America

A lady bugs top flying speed is about fifteen miles per hour

A ladybug weighs 21 mg

IF a ladybug could lift twice it's weight, it would take 35 Million Ladybugs to lift a 150 pound human. Being able to fly at 15mph it would take them 1600 hours to fly you to China or 66 days.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Going to Mexico???

So, I have officially heard the dumbest comment/question yet about adopting from China.

I was sitting in the beauty salon Friday while my hairstylest is telling a friend of hers that I was adopting a little girl from China. They were joking that I must be insane having all these kids at one time. Her friend says back to her "So where do you go to get a Chinese girl?" My hairstylest says jokingly of course "You go to Mexico." Of course I was laughing but not saying anything. Her friend says back seriously "Are you really going to Mexico to get a Chinese girl?"

Can you believe I really had to explain that question?

April Fool's Day has Passed thankfully

Oh, how I hate April Fool's Day. I was so glad to make it through a day without hearing any April Fool's jokes. As a kid, I loved April Fool's jokes. After 2001, I began to hate them. On 4/1/01 after 2 years of seeing doctor's and seven rounds of fertility drugs, I found out on April Fool's day I was pregnant for the first time. The day before I had taken a pregnancy test and it was negative. I had even been out two nights before assuming I wasn't pregnant (why would I have been, never had before) and had drank a few margaritas at a friend's house. I was watching a movie on 4/1 that starred Madonna (can't remember the name of that movie right now) and she was with a friend at a restaurant and started craving meat. The friend said to her that she thought she was a vegatarian. Immediately after they find out she's pregnant. That entire week I had been telling Tony all I wanted to eat was meat. We had even went to Applebee's and I had all you can eat ribs b/c I only wanted meat to eat. So, after watching that movie I took off to Eckerd's to buy another pregnancy test. When I got home I took that test and sure enough it was positive. We spent the rest of the day convincing others we were pregnant and it wasn't an April Fool's joke. Talk about the happiest day of our lives at that point. Unfortunately 4/26/01 I had an ultrasound revealing our identical twins no longer had heartbeats.

Another reason I hate April Fool's Day - Last year on 4/1 I spent the entire afternoon at the hospital with a perinatologist scanning our baby Reagan. That was the day we were told she was a girl but they could not tell why she had quit growing. We also learned she had SUA (single umbilical artery) along with the low fluid levels. We chose to have an amnio done b/c we really wanted to know what was wrong with her. We needed to be ready for what we were about to face, not knowing at that time it was death.

If those aren't good reasons to hate April Fool's Day then I don't know what is. I know our kids will one day make April Fool's jokes so I'll have to get used to that.

Madelyn Has Furniture

One set of grandparents has already started spoiling Madelyn. They purchased a girl bedroom suit and now Madelyn has furniture for her own room. This is a photo of the nightstand. The chest of drawers is the same color with same design on it. There's also a headboard for a twin bed with the same flower pattern on it. She'll be in a crib at first but we're going to keep the twin bed we have in her room for when she's ready to move out of her crib.

Aunt Kricket has loaned us a crib so now we have three cribs. I've decided to put Logan's crib in Madelyn's room. Nate and Andrew will take Kricket's crib and the one we currently have in our bedroom that they are sharing. Those two cribs are the same style of crib but different stains. They'll also keep Logan's old nursery furniture. Now we can finally start putting together two nurseries. The goal is to complete it before our homestudy or at least show some progress on the rooms.