Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hittin' the Road!

The day is here! We are hitting the open road and taking Elsa on her first ever family vacation! Disneyland...the beach...museums...Hollywood...and most importantly, she gets to meet her uncles!

I think the thing I am most excited about is getting her silhouette cut on Main Street in Disneyland. The rest of us had ours done five or six years ago and I've just been waiting to add Elsa's picture to the wall.

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here we come!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Down and Up

Last night there was a mother/daughter swim party over at our friends house. I settled into a lawn chair with Elisabeth and the big girls jumped into the pool. A little while later I looked over and saw Elsa lounging and eating a hot dog! I couldn't believe it! She had refused almost all food for an entire week, and there she was, eating a hot dog!

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A few minutes later she got up and Lorelai helped her get floaties on:

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And in they went:

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Not long after, Elsa exited the pool and vomited everywhere.

Moral of the story:

If you haven't eaten for a week, it's probably not a good idea to down an entire hotdog and then go swimming on top of it. 

Your stomach just isn't going to handle that well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summertime = Violin and a Mystery Novel

I'm currently reading The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. Reading it has reminded me of a summer when I was 15 or 16 - I was on a total Agatha Christie kick. I recall laying on the floor of my bedroom, reading, while listening to Joshua Bell perform Mendellsohn's violin concerto on my CD player. Good times.

Joshua Bell is my favorite violinist, and has been, well, since that summer of my youth.  I'm still fascinated by his subway experiment ( I wrote about it last October, click here to read that post) and one of these days I am determined to see him in concert. My mom and brother will see him perform in September - LUCKY!

While we are chatting about Joshua Bell, I absolutely have to share this YouTube video I stumbled upon. It is of Joshua performing Tchaikovsky's violin concerto in a masterclass back in 1982.
It blew my mind.

Okay, now I need to get back to my book. I only have about 10% left and can't wait to see who-dunnit!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The 2nd Annual Sorenson Family Weenie Roast

Let there be hot dogs!  photo 9ea7e8ae-6bc8-4780-ba2d-d3f6fb50820d_zpse42e3165.jpg  photo c9e7fd78-45e9-49be-a57b-9efd677d2237_zpsb8956bb5.jpg

Food galore!
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How many children can you fit on one teeter totter?
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Elisabeth and her cousin, Madelyn, who was born the day after her: photo 117a7e1a-cfd7-4b22-8ace-ec20e9b3517e_zps0358dcad.jpg
Click here to see these two sweet girls pictured together when they were just one year old, and again days after their third birthdays.

Elsa perked up enough to get out and play...though she was slightly depressed that she couldn't eat anything (this girl LOVES hotdogs!).
  photo 2b85c279-a444-4c6a-a900-ec2500de25f6_zpse17b1d08.jpg  photo fe64c747-21e0-4c62-963e-84f352f03b12_zps4177c5b7.jpg

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The grill master.
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Hot Diggity Dog!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


The big girls returned home from camp in time for our annual weenie roast (details tomorrow). Elsa was thrilled to have them home, and they were just as excited to come back. I didn't have any contact with them while they were away, but it sounds like there were several moments where homesick feelings took over. Alexandra said a letter - with tear stains - should be showing up in the mailbox any day.

But despite those moments, they had a fun and successful trip to camp. They've been relaying stories about swimming in the lake, skit night, and favorite counselors. I've also been serenaded by all of the camp songs they learned - and let me tell you, they are quite entertaining!

 photo ec89d040-f4ff-400e-a196-8fb90de6a19a_zps6afc2ef6.jpg  photo dfd46b97-e4bd-458e-908b-ebc368a1839a_zpsc7dbb7ab.jpg  photo 4dee7197-94e4-4da0-9510-7fdad7860121_zps0dbe6517.jpg  photo 753466ef-1936-430f-aaed-cc0402216642_zpsbad9a02c.jpg  photo 01f40677-0af8-460f-ab83-8c40cd47f0e5_zps0f7d046b.jpg
Back with all of my babies again! 


Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Hard Recovery

Elsa has been miserable this week. She wouldn't eat - not even rainbow sherbet or otter pops - for three days. And the pain, oh, the pain! For days on end there were continuous tears just streaming down her cheeks. It was heart breaking to see.

Fortunately, Elsa made a vast improvement yesterday afternoon. She got up and about and even ate a banana. She also tolerated a decrease in her pain meds, which I was extremely happy about. Yes indeed, I think things are looking up! Good thing, too, because this girl has a trip to Disneyland just around the corner...

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Angel Wings and a Halo

Most of the time, I am...

dealing with a seizure, or...

helping Elsa adjust to life here in America, or...

performing violin in an orchestra or at a wedding, or...

driving the girls to lessons, rehearsals, and practices, or...

managing and tending to our beloved home.

But when I'm not, I like to...

Take a random picture of Donald, draw angel wings and a halo on it, and text it to him.

 photo 1d06eeae-a860-4ac5-9bdd-e9c36ebe7702_zps6ae424e9.jpg  photo 2c618ad4-f682-4101-a596-1d482242db6d_zpse429401d.jpg  photo 5b3cd202-e7b2-49e7-94b3-5e7ad01263c1_zps39e048e8.jpg  photo 929dad19-4cb4-42b2-84f8-33084983c593_zps66bb9dc6.jpg  photo 4c196142-10f3-441a-9599-8fa5dee646c3_zpsbac95896.jpg  photo bc2ee819-eaaa-4581-b7d2-0c3055ea6fc1_zps1bb1a283.jpg  photo df657bc0-ce8c-4bfa-958a-f47180b48e3a_zps6377af90.jpg 

Totally random, totally silly, but oh, so funny!

Stay funny, my friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Just Peachy!

Enrichment for Elisabeth.

While Elisabeth relies on her g-tube for all of her nutrition, I do like to give her small tastes of things - just to add interest to her little life. She can't chew, but she does pretty well with foods that are smooth - like yogurt and ice cream.

This week we bought the most delicious peaches ever! As I was eating one, it occurred to me that Elisabeth would love sinking her teeth into a juicy ol' peach. So my peach quickly became her peach. Due to her open bite, she wasn't able to actually bite any peach off (thankfully, because remember - she doesn't know how to chew), but she was able to chomp down and enjoy all the juice that came flowing out.

I'm pretty sure she was thinking,  

"Mom, you've been holding out on me! Where has this peach been my entire life?"

 photo 022be95b-9f6b-43ce-8ecf-ea9bac5e2a03_zps14a496ac.jpg  photo 47e25af2-41df-4786-b675-3d53c6a8b101_zps2bff982c.jpg  photo ca59c533-285c-432b-a5f3-183cc9675956_zps07f04ece.jpg  photo 37f42922-dbb1-4133-9351-ba0d48a02c79_zps6deccdff.jpg  photo 27a3cdc2-6f0b-46a3-a8f1-300606bb1e6e_zpsfcfcf5e4.jpg 
Now isn't that peachy keen?

This post is part of a series titled, Enrichment for Elisabeth, 
where I focus on ways to add interest and experiences into her life - 
despite the many limitations she faces.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Tonsillectomy

Elsa awoke with a bounce in her step yesterday. She had been counting the days to her tonsillectomy like a child does to Christmas. Why, you might ask, would she be so excited? Well, the promise of never-ending popsicles definitely didn't hurt, but the main reason is because she wants to share a room with Lorelai.

You see, immediately upon moving here last November we recognized that there was a problem in the sleeping arrangement - Elsa snored loud, oh so loud, and Lorelai couldn't sleep a wink. So out came the air mattress and the girls have been rotating nights in the computer room ever since.

Elsa's first night sleeping alone was a bit fearful for her. She seemed worried and asked over and over if someone could sleep with her. As I thought about it, I realized that Elsa had never slept alone before. When living with her biological family in Ethiopia they resided in a one room mud hut, the entire family together. And in the orphanage she shared a room - dormitory style - with all the other girls. So the solitude she experienced that first night alone in her bedroom was a little scary.

Which brings us back to the tonsillectomy and Elsa's pure joy at the hope of having her snoring resolved: she just wants to share a room with her sister - and I think that's the sweetest thing ever.

And now for a photo journal of yesterday's events.

Pre-op. Feeling happy and excited:

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Post-op. Reality hits:

  photo 4f40b412-15a4-472e-b45c-277e28da46c3_zpsac7090e6.jpg  photo 45cb680c-15e4-4cab-bf6f-f0d594de611d_zpsb8849a8b.jpg  photo a8a686a8-56ba-40cc-8241-8445da573e97_zps2f6c543e.jpg  photo e697262e-4ae7-4776-a85e-4b3114eb4a23_zps59f427a1.jpg

The first of the promised popsicles:

  photo 5dfb6507-b239-4e5c-98a5-049710e9359e_zps3155bc06.jpg

I heaved a sigh of relief when I walked into Elsa's hospital room and saw an extra bed up against the wall. I was flying solo for the day and having a place to lay Elisabeth made my life a gazillion times easier:

  photo 98adf6ff-12de-4bb6-b24d-1eaa3203b902_zps36ddbf4c.jpg 

 Ready to go home, wearing a smile again:

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Keep your fingers crossed that the tonsillectomy does its job! 
(No more more snoring...)

(Pre-op, meds had begun to take effect, obviously. Ha!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Like Mother, (Not) Like Daughter

She has a different genetic makeup than me.


 photo b0d3196a-7a61-4391-83ef-332d9e65322d_zps89645d37.jpg  photo d1a86244-9340-42ee-a716-b75f41e326c9_zps41fa9414.jpg
[At right: Elsa, getting her blood drawn yesterday.]

For part one of this post, click here.

In other news...

Today is the day! Elsa is having her tonsils and adenoids removed! You would not believe how excited she is. All this talk of ice cream and popsicles has her grinning ear to ear. Donald and I couldn't help but listen to a comedy sketch by Bill Cosby on the subject.

Listen to is hilarious! (Click here)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Off to Camp!

One of my favorite movies has always been The Parent Trap (I have a thing for the 1960's...especially in the cinematic sense.) My favorite part of that movie is the beginning when the twins meet each other at camp. As a child I was always fascinated by the idea of going to camp - and while I did spend my summers attending an arts academy up in the mountains, it wasn't a crafty-canoeing-sing-around-the-campfire sort of camp.

Anyways, the reason I bring it up is because this past weekend Alexandra and Lorelai left for summer camp. I am SO excited for them. This is their first experience being away from home without parent - and I think that's a really big deal for a child. Here's hoping they have the time of their lives (and that they remember to use the sunscreen and insect repellent that I packed them!)

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[Heading off to camp with a fellow camper.]
  photo fc4ab9ee-06c2-4d19-88a1-bbf67c26caed_zps3009f145.jpg  photo 969e080f-753e-49a1-9ea3-a770b3461d7d_zps531d630f.jpg

This is what the family room looks like when you are packing for camp:
 photo 200a4679-80ac-493f-ab43-46d8d558c98e_zps5e86e3a9.jpg

In other news...

Last night I put Elisabeth into bed and then brought in her food and meds. While I was tube feeding her, Elsa asked we could read her a book... "Instead of falling asleep because she has a seizure, she should fall asleep because we read her a book."

So...we read her a book, and then Elisabeth drifted off to dreamland - without a seizure.
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