3 coloumn

Saturday, July 27, 2013

4 months post Gotcha Day

 Today marks the 4 month anniversary of the day our sweet MaeLynn was placed into our arms. Tonight I was reflecting on all that has happened this last month with MaeLynn and how much she is growing, changing and developing. It made me start to cry. This amazing little girl has given up her bottle this month (on her own without prompting:( ), taken her first steps between mommy and daddy and worn her first pigtails. So, while reflecting on this I did what any hormonal overbearing mom would do...I went in her room, got her out of her crib while sleeping and gently rocked her and sobbed.
   I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be her mom and to have her in our family. Sometimes it's easy to take for granite how far she's come and how far we have come during our journey to her and with her now. While rocking her, I kept being reminded of the night when I was 16 and my sister shared with our family her summer missions trip in China with FOCUS International and God speaking to me that one day I would adopt a little girl from this country. I could not have ever imagined how beautiful she would be. That when Mae smiles, her whole body smiles and everyone around her is in awe. How much she loves her sissy and bubba and how when she calls me Momma it melts me to the core.
   Oh how I pray that she will grow to be dangerous for the Lord. I pray that God will use her to change the hearts of others through her story. I pray God will equip me to teach her, love her and point her to Him. I pray Scott and I will lead her by example and through integrity. Please pray these things for her and for us as well my beloved friends and family that are reading this.
   Ok, whewwww I want to move on, quit crying and document this amazing month for MaeLynn. It has been busy but amazing;)
   4th of July is one of my personal favorite holidays and this year did not disappoint. My sister and her family and my parents joined us for the week here in Arkansas. Our neighborhood gathered at another location to set off fireworks, let the kids run wild on a wide open lawn with a bounce house and eat lots of great food surrounded by even better company. We had a BLAST!
   The rest of the week we spent on the lake. The cousins loved spending time together and riding on the boat. Our dear friends let us use their boat dock to tie up and we had so much fun visiting with them. They were so sweet to let our family use their jet ski's, paddle surfs and other fun dock toys. All of the kids threw mega fits when it was time to leave (including me;). MaeLynn loved the attention from Aunt Ginger and Uncle Ryan. It is precious to watch her cousins (Hope, Hannah, Harmony and Caleb) fight over who gets to be close to her. One night we even had an ice cream building contest with 3 types of ice cream, 5 syrup toppings and over 9 different candy/cookie toppings. Aunt Ginger won for best tasting and it was certainly interesting tasting some of the kiddos combinations;) What a blessing to have a fun LARGE family:)
   A few days after my side of the family left, we headed to Branson, MO to stay in cabins on Table Rock Lake with Scott's family. We trailored our boat up there to teach the neices and nephews how to knee board, water ski and how to survive a tubing excursion with their crazy Uncle Scott driving;) One morning while I was making MaeLynn's bottle, I turned around to give it to her and found her sucking down her brother's sippy cup with chocoloate milk in it. I tried to take it away and give her the bottle, to which she threw the bottle back at me shaking her head and straining to get the sippy cup back. I knew I had just ruined this little ones transition to "real milk". Oops! What can I say...the girl loves chocolate like her momma;)
We had so much fun overall on this trip! MaeLynn, Lilly and Fischer had a ball with even more cousins this week! They came home asking which cousins they were going to see next, as if our lives revolved around spending time with cousins;) One day we went to Silver Dollar City in the HOT HOT Missouri heat and had a blast wearing the kids out;) We were all reminded how much we love spending time together and are praying that Scott's sister Melissa and her family can move closer to us soon!
   The following week I had committed to travel with Lilly, Fischer and MaeLynn up to my parents house to visit my best friend from HS and a few other people. We were exhausted from the previous two weeks but time with Emily and her kiddos never disappoint. My parents were so sweet and watched the kids one night so Em and I could go out to celebrate her birthday that was earlier this month. Another fun trip in the books;)
   After we got back we had a short visit from two of my favorite girls from KC that were in the HS bible study Scott and I lead when we first got married. I can't believe these girls are seniors in college now! They have been so faithful to come every summer since we have moved here. The kiddos loved their attention and I enjoyed catching up with them. 
   This month MaeLynn has missed a lot of therapy. We were concerned it might slow her development but she proved us wrong. She has gotten more confident while around her cousins and family. She is cruising constantly and has figured out how to pull herself up on almost anything. I even found her trying to go from sitting to standing on her own yesterday! Today she walked from Daddy to me and we burst with excitement. You can see the pride all over her face and Mae even says "did it!!". It's sooo adorable.
   What a big girl our little sweetie is turning into. I just wish I could slow time:( So many people tell me that they block out these years when the kids are young and the fits are often but I have to feel sad for them. I know I look strung out from the outside while chasing my 3,2 and 1 year old but on the inside...this momma is filled with so much JOY I can't help but well up and spill out sometimes;) We are feeling blessed at this season of life here in the Bennington Bunch and pray that you are in your season as well.

                                                 Fourth of July with the family!

                                             Fun on Beaver Lake with the Stelk cousins.
                                          Silver Dollar City with Kasten and Waters familys!
                                                        Fun with cousin Kaitlyn!

 First pig tails!

                                         Loved visiting with Alaina and Allison!
                                                           What a beautiful little girl!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

3 months Post Gotcha Day for MaeLynn

    Can you believe how much our sweet girl has grown and changed even since last month?! I love writing this monthly update and reminiscing on how MaeLynn has adapted even further into the Bennington Bunch. She is just precious!!!!
   This month MaeLynn gained another pound, grew another inch and gained 2 more teeth! She is truly thriving. This month is she continued to develop in physical, occupational and speech therapy. She is now able to get from her belly to a sitting position and from a standing position she can slowly start to cruise around things. She can get to most toys she wants by scooting on her belly or bottom. She is still soo joyful. This month I really feel like she has deepened her trust with us. She seems to have come into her own and realized we aren't going anywhere and we love her. MaeLynn loves loves loves her sister and brother and they all are getting along pretty well.
  Mae met her cousins and more family on the Bennington side. We traveled up to KC to visit family and go to Day Out with Thomas the Train. She soaked up all the attention and Scott and I always love seeing the cousins play. Her cousin Drew even came back to Arkansas with us to hang for a week.
   Next, her Nana and Papa visited for the weekend right before MaeLynn had to go to St.Louis for her big Shriner's hospital appointment. At this appointment the doctors and specialists confirmed that she has symbrachydactyly (limb deformity with no other medical deficiencies). The specialists all thought she was adorable and did not recommend a prosthetic as they believe she will learn to do everything on her own. If she decides later in life that she wants one or needs one for a special activity or sport, then we will fully support her. MaeLynn and Scott traveled to St.Louis together and really bonded. Mae gets soo excited now when daddy comes home from work.
   Following the Shriner's appointment, MaeLynn was dedicated at our church with her friends Khloe Kennett and Ana and Evan Fiet. It was such a special day as all the children that were being dedicated were adopted. MaeLynn was prayed for and loved by the whole church and she looked adorable as always in her yellow frilly dress.
   The rest of the month Nana (my mom) came to help and play. It was so fun to have her and watch the bond grow with MaeLynn and Nana. We did lots of fun things while she was here...went to kids movie, splash park, swimming pool and even traveled for the day to the Tulsa zoo. MaeLynn had her first boat ride and swim in Beaver lake while Nana was here too! Sooo much fun packed in to one month!.....that's how we roll;) hehe It is so hard not to want to spoil MaeLynn. She is soaking up her surroundings like a sponge and she even says "thank you"! We are so blessed and Scott and I are busy but loving our lives right now.

                                 MaeLynn and cousin Delaney at the KC farmer's market

                    Taking a ride with cousins, Noah and Isaiah Bennington, on Thomas the Train

                                                         Bonding with cousin Drew

                MaeLynn and her bestie, Khloe. Khloe and Mae love to feed each other! So cute!

               Splash park with the siblings! Lilly loves wearing matching clothes with Mae

                                                               Spoiled by Nana!

                                                            Jammin' in our jammies

                                    At MaeLynn's baby dedication. Poor girl was exhausted!

                                                            Breathtakingly Beautiful!


                                                        First boat outing...LOVED!

                                                                     Tulsa Zoo