Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Playing Favorites

Now there's a happy girl!

Becca, one of the oldest babies in the home, continues to progress very well. She can wave hello and good-bye, and seems to understand when people are talking badly about her. She also knows what she wants, and is pretty adamant that things are done her way! For example, when she's tired, she doesn't like for anyone to disturb her. One time, she was yawning and rubbing her eyes in her bouncing chair when Kyle, seated next to her started to cry. As he got louder and louder, Becca protested by reaching over and pushing him away. As soon as the nanny moved Kyle away, Becca fell right to sleep. Now that's a woman with a mission!

Now she can also sit up on her own, and is starting to stand a little bit. She loves to be around people, and has chosen Zhang Ning as her favorite nanny. People say that she can even tell when Zhang Ning is approaching by listening to her footsteps! Becca likes to be carried by Zhang Ning whenever she is around, even if she's doing chores. One day she was so persistent that they tried strapping her into a baby carrier so that Zhang Ning could continue to do the chores AND keep Becca happy. But...Becca didn't seem to like that idea too much!

Becca and Paddy
(cleft home assistant manager and the husband of her Zhang Ning, her favorite nanny)
In the first picture Becca looks half way content...
in the second one, she doesn't look too thrilled!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Don't be fooled by my size....

Nick, one of our newest babies, is only 6 weeks old. He has been at the cleft home for about a week now, and has settled in nicely. He eats and sleeps well, and likes to be rocked to sleep.

Nick and Shao Mei

When he's not happy though...you better watch out! Zhang Ming writes "When he cries, he cries in a very high pitched voice as if he wants everyone in the building to hear his voice!" Just by looking at these pictures, I think we can get a pretty good idea of the lungs on this boy! We think those mighty lungs are a sign of strength and determination though...and that's what we like to see in all of our children.

Waking up from sweet dreams...

...I'm up! I'm up! Feed me!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ben, Shannon and John are home!

We are very happy to announce that Ben, Shannon and John have all returned to the cleft home after their surgeries and are doing very well.

John was the first to receive surgery, on May 8th. Everything went well, although the nannies say he was very fussy after surgery. I know everyone's happy to have him back at the cleft home, and I'm sure he's much more comfortable there than at the hospital.

"What? Me? Fussy? NEVER!"

Shannon had an extended stay in the hospital, as she was admitted early to receive treatment for bronchitis. With a few antibiotics, she was ready for action! She received surgery on May 10th, and is now happy to be back at the cleft home.

Shannon shows off her new haircut and new smile
(well...maybe not quite a smile, but you get the idea!)

Ben received surgery on May 12th and also had a smooth recovery at ACH.

Ben certainly is happy to be home!
Look at that beautiful new smile.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Princess and one smart cookie!

We just love all the cute clothes and accessories our babies wear.
Thought we'd share these with you:
We really do believe Ben is one smart cookie!

Becca is pretty in pink, and, apparently, a little princess...

....times two!

(This one doesn't really have to do with outfits...but I couldn't resist)
"You crack me up!"

Yankees BEWARE!

"I may not be able to sit up yet...
but I'm ready for the World Series...or maybe the Olympics! "

"Ready to catch? I've got quite the throw"

"Yea! We won!"

Disclaimer: LWB is not affiliated with the Red Sox, nor are we bias against the Yankees. If you'd like to send over a Yankees outfit, please do! Maybe we can have our own version of the World Series right in the cleft home.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The little ones are smiling

Our littlest ones at the home have taken their sweet time gathering energy and comfort before they've shared their smiles with us...but every update we get from the cleft home reports that they are growing bigger and smiling more and more every day. Please enjoy some of our smallest smiles!

Jenna has recovered from her sickness and is happy again!

...and she stays healthy by sleeping lots! Her reports say she likes to have her fingers in her mouth all the time...and this picture attests to that!

Sweet little Wren

Jack's smile is as big as his outfit! I bet he gets a hair cut soon.

John: The Best Actor in the Cleft Home!

(John went for surgery this week...this is an old post)
Doesn’t John look happy and content in all these pictures? It certainly looks like he’s a happy baby! But Zhang Ming warns us to not be “cheated by his disguise. John is actually now the fussiest boy in the cleft home!” John loves bathing and behaves very well in the bathtub, but likes to be the center of attention and quickly becomes fussy when something isn’t going his way.

When John first arrived at the cleft home, he couldn’t hold his head up, but now he can stand up with just a little bit of help! He has also turned into quite the explorer—he likes to go for walks to different rooms and upstairs. He also likes to go out on the balcony to enjoy the outside view and the fresh air! We love that there are so many people at the cleft home to speak to him and tease him…and so many innocent victims that he can trick by his smiley disguise!

We're moving now...

The doors of our Anhui Cleft Healing Home are beginning to resemble revolving doors! This is a good thing because it means that our babies are growing big enough to have their surgeries. But it can be enough to make your head spin at times! Fortunately we have a wonderful home manager in Zhang Ming and he seems to have everything under control.

Becca and Kyle returned from Anhui Children’s Hospital on April 24th having received their surgeries.

Kyle's smile has already returned...

...and Becca just keeps getting chubbier and chubbier!

We now have three more babies in the hospital for surgery

Shannon went on April 22nd to receive antibiotics to help clear
up bronchitis before her surgery on May 10
th. She certainly looks happy and
healthy, doesn't she?
Then Jon followed on May 4th and had his lip repair surgery on May 8th.
Poor thing looks a little concerned....
Ben went to ACH on the 8th and had surgery on the 13th.

In the meantime, Zhang Ming hired new nannies to care for two new babies who just arrived from Huainan.

Meet Dawn (she looks like a serious one!)...

...and Nick!

In case you’ve lost count, we now have 10 babies in our home! Make you a little tired reading this?

There are times when I feel like I live parallel lives, one here in the states and one in China. I “only” have 7 children of my own, but feel like I have 17 when I include the babies in the home. And this time of year, my home also has a revolving door! Our oldest son graduated from law school this past weekend; the same weekend our second oldest son needed to be moved out of his dorm room. Fortunately their schools are close together! So now I have one car full of one child’s things, a small moving truck full of another’s furniture that needs to be stored until he moves into his own place. My oldest daughter will graduate from college this coming weekend. Of course her things will need to come home as well J. Maybe Zhang Ming can come to my house for awhile to help us get organized and in control!

I apologize for being late in sending this blog, but things have been a LITTLE busy!! I am very thankful for all of the good things happening to “my” children on both sides of the ocean! I hope you enjoy seeing the new faces of the children in our home, I know I do!

Sandi Glass
Cleft Healing Home Coordinator

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Smiles, Smiles, All Around!

I just read through the weekly updates on all our babies...and the one constant is that every single one is smiling more often! Each of the babies eats up individual attention and as soon as they are picked up or spoken to, Zhang Ming says their faces just light up. This is even true of Jenna and Wren...babies who were very shy and hesitant to smile when they first arrived. What wonderful news!

Yan Yan showing off her new smile

Xiao Xiao with his new smile...and new toy!

Zhang Ming says Ben is the home's "Smiling Star"--can you see why?