Sealed by the Sunflowers

13652651_10101531827867066_354295257_nWhat do you see when you look at this photo? A perfect, smiling, happy family? Me too… somedays, but in this particular photo I see the backstory that forced us all to fake the smiles just to get the shot. #memories

For the past two years I have seriously contemplated whether or not we should have a third child. I have never felt like our family was complete and my desire to add another little one has grown more & more recently. At the same time, I’m an honest person who also realize that making that leap from 2 to 3 would be insane, for so many reasons.

Our current children aren’t what you’d call “easy” so the thought of adding another into the chaos, seems overwhelming. When I say that to most people, their response is – “no kids are easy.” While that’s true, after doing some soul searching I realized that every part of our daily routine is a struggle. Things that we have asked our kids to do every single day of their waking life, are just damn hard! Experts promise that if you set expectations, provide routine and remain consistent that you’ll see the results you’re hoping for. In our case, that’s just not the case. Getting ready for school, getting out of the house, going anywhere, dinner time, teeth brushing….all things that happen on a regular basis and yet no matter what, they’re still a struggle!

Why does adult life need to be so hard? Decisions like these should be easier! At this point all I can I hope is that our family fate wasn’t sealed by the sunflowers.

Back to the story – on this particular day I had to carry Will to the car, kicking & screaming, spitting snot at me for 1 mile – all while the other smiling families passed by on their happy hike to the sunflowers. #kids

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Cleft Lip & Palate Books

It’s hard to keep track of all the helpful & supportive cleft lip & palate books for both children and parents. Therefore we compiled a brief list. Which are your favorites?

Top – From left to right.
1. Wonder – R.J. Palacio
2. Lippy the Lion – Joanne Green
3. Your Cleft-Affected Child – Carrie Gruman-Trinkner

Bottom – From left to right.
4. Cleft Talk for Kids – Melissa Johnston-Burnham
5. Totally Normal – Paul Little
6. A Special Smile – Julie Graham

Top – From left to right.
1. Children with Cleft Lip and PalateMary A. Hardin-Jones, Kathy L. Chapman, Nancy J. Scherer 
2. First Place – Kate Gaynor
3. I Love You Now, I Loved You Then – Kate Isles

Bottom – From left to right.
4. Katie’s Dream – Mariette Vermeylen-Nuyts
5. Words in the Dust – Trent Reedy
6. Comprehensive Cleft Care, Family Edition – Joseph Losee

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