Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun at the park!

It is unseasonably warm here for January!  65 & sunny meant a trip to the park after preschool.  The kids had fun and I'm hoping they'll take a great nap!

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Monday, January 30, 2012


I've set up a prize box for the kids for good behavior.  They can earn coins for obedience.  Mariah earns coins for using the potty instead of her bed!  She saved coins for three days to earn these Princess press on fingersnails!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Depraved Indifference

This video says it all about why we adopted from Ukraine.  Our hearts were broken with what breaks God's heart.  It wasn't just some child over there.  We knew it was OUR child and we had to get there no matter the cost.  It  makes sense when you put it in perspective like that.  What wouldn't you do if it was YOUR child stuck on the other side of the world?

You'd stop at nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Retirement accounts, your savings, friends, family, vehicles you thought you  needed, vacations you thought you deserved.

They would become meaningless if you were faced with saving the life of your child.

They are all God's children.

What do you think He meant when He said, "What you have done to the least of these, you have done to me."? 

What have you done with God?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Never say Never

 Would you like to see a little girl who was told about 10 months ago that she would neeever walk unassisted?

She would never have a heel to toe motion.

She would ALWAYS need AFOs to walk.

Well there she is.

Walking in socks with no AFOs.

Never let someone tell you "never."

One day, I'll be posting video on this blog of her running.

Friday, January 20, 2012


The first pic is Mariah wearing her new Skidderz tights.  They have non-skid treads on the bottom so she can walk around without AFOs to strengthen her legs without having chilly feet or sliding in socks.  She loooves them!

2nd pic.  I was making pizza for lunch and she had never seen me do make a pizza before.  She was so interested that she watched it bake for a long time!

Pic 3. Notice the cowboy boots?  She is wearing these with no AFOs and walking around.  I didn't think she could do this, but we all got boots at the State Fair in October and couldn't leave her out.  The AFOs don't fit in the boots but she put them on today and wore them around all morning with only a slightly bigger wobble than normal.

Pic 4.  This is the doll house she got for Christmas.  Its so big that she has to stand to play with it which is wonderful for her.  She doesn't know that playing with it is OT!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

She dressed herself

Yup.  I was taking a shower & she put this get-up on for preschool.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


........we interrupt our normal programming for yet ANOTHER aftershock.

Yes.  We are still having them, and they still make my nerves go "ohhhhhhhh!!"

We found some cracks in the podging on our foundation a few weeks ago.  I guess all of the aftershocks either did that or the earthquake did it and we couldn't see them for a while.  The actual foundation is fine, but the podging is very obviously cracked!  We were fortunate to not sustain any serious damage to our home as people only a few miles away had their homes condemned.

Poor Mariah was a bit traumatized as she was on the potty for most of the 5.8 until I could rescue her. 
Then she was on the potty again for our 4.6 aftershock later that night. 
It was kind of funny... she asked for weeks," Is the potty gonna shake again?"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Night and day

Wyatt cries every time I drop him off at preschool.  Its mostly for show & he quits as soon as I'm out of sight.  When I pick him for up, he says, "I had sooo much fun today!"  But at drop off... he isn't fun!!

Mariah was first upstairs this morning and 2nd down the hall.  She did her best "running" to get there cause she was sooo excited!   She has the same level of excitement when I pick her up too!

One cries and clings.  One laughs and runs.
Night and day!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Pink overload

Guess her favorite color??  Anyone??

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

OT or play=?UTF-8?B?Pw==?=

Finding pennies in homemade playdoh after folding & squishing to mix the food color in it.  She thinks she's playing and thrilled she can make pink playdoh.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Feeding frenzy

We went out to eat at our favorite (ok only) Mexican place.  Mariah pointed to a quesadilla meal on the menu and said, "I want that!"

While we waited, we all enjoyed lots of chips and salsa.  Mariah ate lots of chips!

Then her quesadilla came.

She ate it all.  All the fries, all the rice, and the entire cheese quesadilla.

Then she asked why hadn't Wes eaten both of his tacos? 
She wanted it!

She ate the entire thing. 

Then we ordered dessert.  She ate a lot of that as well. 

I snapped this picture towards the end of the meal.  Phillip and I were in awe of the amount of food she put away! 

She seems to have finally found her appetite and has continued the massive eating binge today.  I'm wondering if she's getting ready to grow two feet or something!
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New panties

These are not panties.  They are super duper training pants with absorbent padding and a plastic liner made to LOOK like panties.  IF Mariah pees in them, she'll feel really wet, but hopefully the bed won't be.  This way she can wash the panties out and still have to clean up her mess, but I won't be stuck washing urine drenched stuff.  So far though, she has responded well to us waking her several times a night and having her go pee. 

Daddy also promised a Happy Meal if she went potty in the toilet and NOT her bed.  Seems that was a huge motivator because it had fries!

Its almost like the concept of that being totally ok and what we wanted her to do was foreign. 

She saw the new panties last night and squealed all over them lol .. this morning she got up and went potty with no issues. 

Hopefully the light is the end of the tunnel and not a train.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012


So I had someone suggest that instead of just taking things away when Mariah pees on them (blankets, pajamas, sheets, etc.)  I could try a reward system for when she does not.

We actually decided to try this with all of our kids so we gave all 3 of the kids 5 coins at bedtime and explained to the boys (who won't be quiet at bedtime) that if we had to come back upstairs and tell them to get back in their beds, go to sleep, stop throwing stuff, etc. that they'd lose 2 coins each time.  I wanted them to get the idea and give them a chance to behave.

We told Mariah that if she peed in her bed, she'd have to pay us the 5 coins to wash her dirty things.

We told all 3 kids that if they were good listeners and followed the rules, and didn't have to lose any coins, then they'd each get 5 more coins in the morning and that these coins can be spent on special treats.  Pieces of candy, gum, or chips.

Night 1.  Wyatt lost 2 coins.  Cried & went right to sleep.
Wes lost 0.  Went right to sleep.
Mariah went right to sleep, got up and peed in the night and was super excited in the morning to get 5 more coins and purchase 10 chips.

Naptime they also get a chance to keep their coins.  I give them 5 more coins and its the same deal.  You keep them, or you can lose them. 

Naptime, they all went right to sleep.  No issues!  Wow!  Remarkable!  No running up and down the stairs 500 times to tell naughty children to go to sleep.  No pee in the morning!  Awesome!

I took Mariah to get a haircut, to the "Big Girl" Coffee Shop for a treat, and let her spend her Christmas money on a new toy.  I made a big deal out of how happy I was to spend time with her since she didn't have to sit in timeout on the potty practicing how to use it.  We spent the entire morning out together and my hope was that making sure she got lots of positive attention would negate her seeking negative attention IF that's why she was peeing...

Naptime #2.  Great.  All kids went right to sleep & Mariah got up afterwards and peed in the potty. 

Night 2:  Wes & Wyatt went RIGHT to sleep.
Mariah went right to sleep after earning a pajama shirt back to sleep in for no pee the night before and she looked right at me and said,  "I won't pee in it."  She had this look on her face... I wondered if she was lying but I said, "Great!"   We'd even made a big deal out of picking out a new shirt she hasn't worn yet and laying it next to her bed so she could wear in the morning.

Then she got up in the night at some point, peed under the bed in the floor and got back in her bed.  In the morning when we checked on her, she was laying in her bed and said, "I peed on myself."  No attempt to get up.  No attempt to go potty.  So we took her 5 coins and  made her clean it all. 

Then, we noticed the HUGE puddle under the bed after she cleaned up the 1st time.  We asked her how it got there.  "I peed in the floor. I didn't go to the potty." 

Oh my goodness.  This is SO frustrating. 

We had planned on going to my grandmother's in the morning and she knew it.  I think she thought we wouldn't punish her at someone else's house.  Wrong.  She got to sit on my grandma's toilet for nearly the whole visit so she could continue her practice.  She seemed pretty shocked at this.  I explained that everyone has a toilet and she made the choice to sit on one.  I feel like even once she knows what the punishment is, any change to the circumstances and she decides to test it to see if 1) we mean it  and 2) will we enforce it when its inconvenient?

I am personally hoping that she'll get tired of cleaning up a mess she's making for herself.  Surely its more fun to earn treats than sit on a toilet and practice where to pee.   

Friday, January 6, 2012


We had issues with Mariah using urinating on herself or us when we first came home with her last year.  We put her back in diapers for a while even though she was completely able to go potty on the toilet when she needed to.

We've had her in underwear for a good while now and had been having minimal issues at night.  We switched her bed up and made it so she felt comfortable getting in and out of it whenever she needed so she could go potty in the night if she woke up and needed to.

This pretty much solved the peeing on herself issue because she had just been laying in her bed doing all kinds of things to get our attention so we'd take her out and to the bathroom even if she didn't really need to go. 

All of a sudden in the last two weeks, she's begun wetting herself in her bed on purpose and then laying in it until we come to get her up and she'll look at us and say, "I peed on myself."  We know that we know its intentional.  We've removed everything from the bed except for a small pad to absorb pee and she has lost the privileged of pajamas until she can prove that she will not pee on them. 

We've gotten her up to take her a few hours after she goes to bed.  Her daddy has gotten up super early in the morning to take her.

Yet its still happening. Even if its only the little bit she has left in her bladder she will pee.  She is now responsible for cleaning up her own mess by taking the pad and her undies to the washer, wiping the bed down, and anywhere else she made a mess.  Then she gets to sit on the potty for a good long time so she can "remember" how to use it correctly. 

Sometimes she'll even pee on herself before we go to bed so we're talking like 2 hours in the bed, not going to sleep then wetting.  Sometimes at naptime which is well after lunch, she'll go potty, lay down and never go to sleep (I've watched) then pee on herself an hour later without ever trying to get up and go potty.

I've talked to several people about this and we've kind of narrowed it down to a few things.

1) Control.  She wants to make sure that we know that she doesn't have to get up if she doesn't want to OR she's trying to convince us that its "too hard" for her to get up because she wants a diaper back.  This is a battle she'll lose if this is what the problem is because she is the one who is making a mess for herself.  She's said that she did not pee on herself at her grouppa, but she's also said that she was spanked if she peed on herself and named the caretaker who did it.  Maybe it got her something she felt was worth peeing on herself over so she's trying it here.  She may be trying to get what she wants by peeing on her self. Not.gonna.work.

2) Loss of disability.  She's walking SUPER well now.  The physical part of her CP is so much less of an issue than it was when we came home.  She's totally mobile.  Maybe that scares her.  Maybe she wants extra attention and she was used to getting it because she couldn't walk.  Now she can walk and do for herself so she feels that she should pee on herself to get people to do things for her.

3) She has said before that she was angry at us for something (going shopping without her) so she peed.  I don't really believe this.

4) She wants to know we mean what we say and if this is the reason, she is the most hardheaded child I've ever seen.  Who else would want to go 2 weeks knowing the consequences and still pushing it with us.  If this is it, she'll definitely find out we mean what we say.  

I've talked to a few people who say that we've just got to find a punishment that she absolutely hates and be consistent.  We've tried ignoring it.  She escalates the bad behavior.  Whatever it is that she is trying to gain by doing this, we've got to make the punishment something that will make her realize "This is not worth it."

She has brand new pajamas she got for Christmas that she cannot wear until she quits peeing on herself.  We've talked about treating things with respect.  We've talked about how mommy  and daddy love to buy her pretty clothes and pajamas and nice warm blankets, but that if she cannot treat them with respect, then she cannot have them. 

We've talked about how this is HER choice to continue peeing on herself and that it will be HER choice to stop.  Its HER choice to have to clean up the yucky bed, scrub it down, and go sit on the toilet while the rest of us enjoy breakfast downstairs.  We've explained that we love her no matter what, and we love doing things with her and buying things for her, but we treat each other and our things with respect.  Peeing on our things is making a mess and not showing respect.  We've talked about how if something is bothering her she can talk to us about it and its totally ok to be angry or sad and talk about why, but its NOT ok to use that as an excuse to pee on things. 

Bad choices = consequences. 

Whew...  this is the tough side of parenting.  Sometimes I want to just pretend its not a big deal, but it is.  If we ignore it, it escalates.  She has to know we mean what we say because if we don't mean it for when she does bad things, how can she know we mean it when we say we love her and she's here to stay forever?  We've decided that no matter what the reason is for what she's doing, the punishment we have in place is appropriate.  I can see how this much spunk, don't mess with me attitude, and hardheaded determination can help her go far in life.  We just have to get it going for us and not against us!

On a positive note, she loves her new preschool, loves her tutor and NEVER EVER has an "accident" anywhere except for here.  This is like our last kink we have to work out and boy will I be glad when we do. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Playing Drums

 We have been blessed with an amazing tutor for Mariah.  The way she came into our life at just the right time was really and truly a "God thing."  He knew how much we needed her.

So... this wonderful lady sent home this contraption for Mariah to drum away on.  I almost wanted to strangle her (no not really!) when she pulled this out of her car, but as you can see, Mariah is working on so many skills and thinks she's just playing :)


See this picture?  This represents Mariah's determination.  Doctors told her she would never walk without a walker or crutches.  Do you see her listening to that?  She sees a truck and by golly she's gonna play with it.  Not only will she walk with it, she bends over to move it and stands back up.

Don't ever let someone tell you that you can't do something.  Look at how wrong medical professionals were about her! 

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We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson