Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fishin'

As in fishin' for something to write.  By the time I get here my mind is just tired and blank so even though I have a million thoughts go through my head as I drive I'm too tired to rethink them and reiterate them here.  Drive time is my only quiet time completely to myself.

But, I don't think I said that Ms. Kae got glasses last week.  I think I eluded that she may, but we now have them.  For now she only has one pair that she is wearing at home only.  Her vision isn't terrible, but she has an astigmatism exactly like I do and when her eyes are tired at night they make things clearer.  They said she'll need them for more in a year.  So, we thought this would be good practice for her to learn to care for them and keep track of them.  She picked them out and everything.....can't go wrong for $50 total (frames and lenses).  We're hoping to get a second pair this summer and then have her leave them in her desk at school next year.

Here she is.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Blindside was great!!

The boys loved it and I loved it.  Brian liked it...he doesn't 'love' any movie.  It was really a good movie and so sweet.  I can see why they fell in love with him.

Lisa

Look what I found from 2008

This was a fun thing for Chase and I to do by ourselves in Daytona and neither one of us had ever done it before.  It was a good memory when I found this today.

FINALLY, I get to see it too!

First, a little snippet on my basal cell progress.  It's all removed with 1 1/2" incision, get the stitches removed in 1 1/2 weeks and that chapter of my life is done.  YAY!

Back to my scheduled blogger. 

We only have 3 children for the afternoon/evening.  So weird! Just 3 sweet boys.  The girls went to aunt/uncle Meg and Austin's for some alone time treat with who knows what, but I'm sure they will enjoy it.  Since they're gone we decided to watch a movie that would be over the girls' heads and they wouldn't sit still for, but I really want to see.  So, we have a free PPV and we're using it "The Blind Side".  Everyone else and their brother has seen this already and the older boys do want to watch it to, so pizza and a movie tonight.  Just gotta keep little man busy. 

What I miss tonight I can rewatch tomorrow, but it's not quiet the same.  Can't wait!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Soda? What's that?

My husband's coworker texted him a line of jokes...semi redneck, which are totally understandable in this area and if you don't get them...you gotta wonder.

It reminded of something Kaelin said a few years ago.  I reminded Brian and we realized we really should add it to the line.  She doesn't speak properly at all; still.  Not for lack of us trying though.  We generally do not speak like the hicks people may think those of us around here are.  I do, however, have a bad habit of saying 'ya'll' and it comes out quicker than I can correct myself.

However, my Korean born cutie has always has this slightly southern twang to some words....heel, beel (i.e. hill, bill).  So one night she said something to me, of course I can't remember exactly what she said now, but I couldn't understand her and I made her explain what she was saying.  She was using the word 'soda'.

She was basically saying something to the affect of 'you put a lid on the milk soda milk doesn't spill'.  I was laughing at her for days!

Lisa

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Allergies...that never go away.

So, yesterday I had to go get retested so that they could reevaluate my serums for my shots.  Out of 39 tests they found about 6 that I was less sensitive to.  So those will be ramped up in my serum hoping to make things better for me.  However, the others all stayed the same and a couple actually got worse.  The major ones were, of course, mold and dust that you can't escape.  HUGE welts on my arm.  The nurse and nurse practitioner taking care of me couldn't believe how bad my allergies still are.  I preface this by saying I've already done 8 years of shots with another doctor.  He told me he had done all he could for me and few years later when I wok up gasping for air this doctor says he can make a difference.

The nurse said there are only a couple of things I'm NOT allergic to.  She asked if I knew I was allergic to cats.  Uh kinda.  I had one hair that flew onto my neck a couple of years ago and I almost scratched it raw.  She offered me some steroid shots every 3 months to help me breath, but I'm pretty much used to the way it is and don't need more crap in my body.  I'll just stay on what I'm on and not add to it and deal.

Hey, a little progress is a little and maybe someday I'll be able to do with less.

Lisa

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gotcha Days All Around

Friday was Kaelin's Gotcha Day (aka the day she came to us).  Monday is Chelsi's Gotcha Day.  These two days in March make March what it is....great...even when it's not so great.  Usually, I find myself thinking about certain days, regardless of where I am, physically, that particular day.  I find myself reminiscing about their calls on March 15 and March 17th, respectively.  Or should I say Kaelin's email travel call, because I was on the internet whining about my baby coming home and they couldn't reach me.  This was back in the day of no DSL you know. 

Kaelin has now been home with us for 7 years and Chelsi will be with us 4 years tomorrow.  Ahhh...what would our lives be like without them.  Definitely, not as stressful, but mostly, not as rich, wonderful, entertaining, beautiful and special.  We gained a special love from them and they gave us this gift.  They were our gift.

We love you girls!

Love mom and dad.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a busy week!

One more day to go and about 1/2 way through today I just felt exhausted.  I've been working extra time to finish a work project and it's been serving to make up time off for all of my medical appointments lately.

I did find out that I'm fine and don't need surgery other than to remove my skin cancer.  That's next week and once it's done it's done.  Not much to really worry about.  I was pretty ticked when I saw the surgeon about the so-call fibroadenoma.  Not at her; I was mad at the staff and radiology department of the hospital who stink at communication.  First the surgeon walk in and tells me to tell her about the discharge.  Uh, um, what?  I said "who said that?"  She tells me I did in September with my first ultrasound.  I told her I had, in fact, never mentioned this because it's never happened.  She promptly removed it from my erecords.  Then, I told her that they told me they referred me because the radiologist thought it was a fibroadenoma and he didn't want to biopsy it.  Well, apparently, this wasn't true either.  She said they still thought it was a good possibility it was just a sebaceous cyst as diagnosed 3 years ago.  Uh, maybe they should keep the patient in on that loop and I wouldn't have worried at all!  So she takes a look and tells me she feels that's exactly what it is and these cannot be biopsied as my is to attached to my skin and superficial.  She must have really been in the mood to cut though, 'cause she quickly told me she could take it off right then and there.  I told her since she was SO sure of what it was and that there was pretty much no chance it was cancer and it wasn't bothering me I don't really want cut.  So, I walked out with no surgery appointment and no cuts.  YAY!

All I have left is my yearly allergy testing and my skin removal next week.  Easy breezy!

We haven't gotten to read (the girls and with Junie B) last night or tonight.  Last night was CCD and tonight was gymnastics and parent/teacher...at the same time, of course.  So, Cole stayed home, Brian took the two middles and I took the two littles and we went our separate ways.  The girls were not happy that there was no time for Junie B, but geesh, momma needed some rest.  Jaemin had a great time watching gymnastics.  More he was trying to get the other parents' attention and then he'd run away if anyone looked like they may touch him.  Mommy needs to protect him if they get too close ya know.  We were walking out to the car after gymnastics and Chelsi tells me she wants to go more.  One day a week isn't enough.  She says gymnastics are great because the whole time she gets to do all her favorite things every time.  :)  I think she found her niche!

I will probably not work after work overtime tomorrow, but am hoping to get in early so I can leave early and take little man (my bubby) to the doctor.  He's probably not too bad anymore, but I'm tired of realizing that he gets worse on the weekends.  He had that sinus infection, 2 weeks ago, back up into his eyes with a really low grade fever and the fever came back one night last week, but we're still having to do eye drops every few days because it's still coming out.  We're just going to have him checked out.  2 weeks is long enough for him to muck with this.  He's obviously not feeling too bad though.  No fever and great moods!

Have a good night.

Lisa

Monday, March 15, 2010

Love this face

I'm not sure what he was attempting to do, but he managed to raise an eyebrow doing it.  He's so funny with his faces now.

We read and read and read

Chelsi LOVES to read.  She's been reading since she was about 3 or 3 1/2.  She caught on very quickly to sight words and I don't think any of us really taught her how to sound words out phonetically, but she probably overheard us working with Kaelin.  She reads very well at 4 1/2.  At her grandma's daycare there are 5 year olds getting ready for kindergarten, so she does generally go through sight words with all the kids...why not, right?

After they grasp her sight words she sends home these Dick and Jane type readers.  I decided last night that she could probably read more and since she loves reading so much, I didn't think it would hurt.  I asked Kaelin to go find one of her chapter books, so she brought back a Junie B Jones book.  Mind you these are 1st through 3rd grade readers.  The girls sat by me and they took turns reading a page.  They both stumbled on words, but different words.  Chelsi has more trouble with the larger words....the words I would expect her to at her age...even older.  Kaelin stumbles on small words because the rules don't make sense to her.  I can tell she can sound out anything that follows the English rules, but if it doesn't she's lost.  And Kaelin doesn't memorize.  Chelsi has an awesome memory, so once I tell her a word, she's got it.

Literally, Chelsi foddered over 4-6 words tops in 4 pages.  That is great for a 1st grader, let alone a child who doesn't go to school until mid 2011.  Kaelin got done reading her portion tonight and I had her log her reading for school.  Chelsi was not happy we were done.  She wanted to keep reading.

She actually cries and whines a lot begging for someone to listen to her read.  She loves to read and she knows she's good at it.  This is a good thing right?  I mean no one is pushing her.  She pushes herself.  She wants it.  She tells us that she wants to be smart and she knows reading will make her smart.

Brian's already worried about giftedness.  I'm not worrying about it until the day comes.

Lisa

1/2 down 1 1/2 to go

I don't know how else to count my medical visits.

I got my stitches out of my back and I got my pathology back.  There are basically 3 categories of basal cell carcinoma and my back consisted of 2.  I had superficial, which is really good and early nodular, which is second best, but good that it was early.  I probably would have been a lot more disfiguring had it been further in nodular.  The next worse is still not necessarily fatal, but it reaches out more on your skin and is more likely to disfigure your body.

I have my breast appointment in a couple of days and Dr. G said that if the surgeon wants to take off the skin cancer when/if she removes the lump she can.  This is why she gave me the report....to give to my surgeon.  If I don't get it done by her than I have to go back in two weeks to have surgery to have it removed.  So, basically, I still don't know a whole lot more and won't until mid-week, but I sure walked out of that office feeling a whole lot better.

One body are down, one more to go.

Lisa

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Because writing is therapeutic

and it has helped me in the past to go back through my own personal diary, here, and see what we have gotten through.

I'm just a little stressed right now.  I know that after March passes and my surgeries are done....hopefully, I can just erase it all from my mind and go on.  Hopefully is for the surgeries or whatever to be done by the end of March...I will have no trouble erasing it from my mind.

So I had my two spots biopsied and one is a blue nevus as I thought and the other was basal cell as I wondered.  I already got the stitch (yes just 1) out of my head and I go back Monday for the two stitches in my back.  Apparently, your back has to stay in longer than your head... I don't know why, so don't ask.  After that I get a nice and lovely consult with a general surgeon for the lump in my breast.  I posted back in September after I had to get an oh so enjoyable mammogram just because I hit 35, but because I also had a sebaceous cyst they wanted an ultrasound too.  It came back with matter in it slightly off from what they usually see for this type of cyst, so they told me not to worry and get a follow up U/S in 6 months.  That was this week and when I called to see if they had order my doc was right on top of it and they were ready to go.

It didn't take long to get it done, but she left the room and came back and said the radiologist wanted to biopsy it because it had grown more than they expected in 6 months and was still not quite right.  So, of course, I cried a little since the day before I had just been told I had skin cancer...minor yes, but too much for me for one week.  I got the appointment all worked out and yesterday was feeling much more assured and ready to get it over with.  Well, they changed their minds and this time my doctor called to let me know the radiologist read the U/S and refused a biopsy.  He said it needed excised.  So the doctor sent the orders to a general surgeon and they had an appointment ready for me.  I was in pretty good tears by then.  I called the surgeon to find out what to expect and actually found out it was just a consult and they still may biopsy it and basically ignore what the radiologist said depending on what she thinks of my two U/Ss. So, my sweet husband ran around town getting my U/Ss and mammograms that the hospital burned to a CD and brought it to my surgeons office for me.  By Wednesday morning she should have had plenty of time to look at the visuals and a good idea of what she wants to do with me.

They did tell me the radiologist is calling it a fibroadenoma for now.  It can be a precursor to breast cancer, but is most often completely benign.  From what I could gather they leave them in if their smaller than a certain size, but mine it larger.  I don't have a clue what she's going to decide, but if they remove it I'm a bit more nervous.  All I can imagine is a hole where it used to be.  They assure me they will pull in a cosmetic surgeon if they need to, but really they can just move my existing stuff around.  Uh....what stuff?   Do they have any idea how small I am???  So don't take away what little I have or I'm gonna be a little ticked.

I'm pretty much done with all my tears now, though the rare possibilities out of both of these spots still do bother me and make me fearful from time-to-time, you can't live your life in perpetual fear.  I choose not to.  I choose to hug my kids even more and love my husband even more and live for the day and maybe learn something from this experience.  Hoping it's a very short-lived experience, of course.

So, if you wanna pray for a good consult Wednesday, I'd appreciate it.  I know God is listening and I know everything will be okay, but extra prayers never hurt anything.  I'm okay with my other small surgery of getting my basal cell removed.  I have to wait until the biopsied spot heals before they'll do that one, but I don't know what she'll do now that I'm dealing with another part of my body on the other side?  This adenoma bugs me a little more.

Lisa

Thursday, March 11, 2010

ONE CRAZY GREAT YEAR!

At the beginning of 2009 we were just happy to have survived 2008, with Brian's accident.  We were recovering from that and feeling much better.  We went to our annual Lunar New Year dinner with our Korean adoption group friends and one family announced that they had received a sibling call.  I had heard of these since we started our first process back in 2002, but knew they were rare.

I remember Brian's face.  He just looked at me and said "you said these things don't happen".  I told him on the way home that night that they don't happen to people like us.  Not really meaning anything 'cause I don't really know what kind of people these things happen to.

That was at the end of January in 2009.  On March 12th I got an email from our social worker telling us to call her right away.  I immediately thought, for a fleeting second, that it could be, but pushed that out of my mind and thought she was going to tell us one of the birth mothers accessed our child's file.  I knew, right away, by her voice when I called her what she was going to say.  I remember shaking so hard.  I almost dropped the phone as I sat in my co-worker's office for privacy.

I called Brian right away and it took a lot of explaining for him to realize it really had happened to us too.  It was barely after lunch by then and we both left work to go home and discuss.  We literally knew nothing other than it was a little brother to our daughter.  We were not going to be told anything more about him unless we were truly interested.  Yadayadayada, after a LOT of crying and talking and walking through a fog for about 4 days we jumped in.

Here we are one year after that fateful call and he has been home for 10 months already.  I cannot believe this child that we never even dreamt of or planned for is here and I can't live without him.  I can't imagine our lives without him.  He is amazing and beautiful and sweet.  He makes me appreciate life in a new way.

Life changed in so many way by adding him.  We have a bigger home loan now, we emptied our savings, we have another child in daycare when we were getting close to getting them all out....BUT.  I wouldn't change it or have the money for anything in this world but him.  He's worth everything we had to go through to bring him home, including the tears and fears.  I should have known to trust God.  But, it's like jumping off into an abyss that you can't see the bottom of and finding the ground is really right there, you just had to trust and have faith.

So my littlest boy is now 18 months old and is walking and talking and doing all of the other things we have seen 4 other times, yet it's so wonderful this time, so new this time.  And, there's this piece of me that is thankful to God, not just for us (Brian and I) to be able to share our lives with him, but that he allowed the two siblings to be together and know each other.  I feel a sense of peace for their birth mother because of this.  Something to give her some happiness in her grief and loss over the years.

We love you Jaemin...to the ends of the Earth and back and would do this all over again for you if ever given the choice.

My angel baby's first pictures we saw....two of my favorites anyways.

He is one year old in the little suit picture and the second picture is more recent, but they both show his, VERY, sweet personality.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PSA: Please be good to your skin

I've really never been bad to my skin.  I'm not a tanner and I don't even really like the sun....aka I don't like to sweat.  But, I managed to have basal cell skin cancer (carcinoma).  I will now be even more vigilant about protection for both the kids and myself.

I'm fortunate that I knew I had a familial risk so I did go to the dermatologist every couple of years.  Now I will probably go annually for a quicky check.  The thing some people don't realize is that skin cancer isn't just a mole.  It can be any anomaly in your skin.  For my mom and I both it was a skin colored, slightly rough or scaly patch that itched.  Mine didn't itch constantly, but it's been aggravated by this winter's extreme cold.  When I scratched it it was hurting.  I put it off long enough and finally made the appointment.  She couldn't even see it without me pointing it out and then thought it may just be a keratosis, which I would have been thrilled with.  I got my results from the biopsy today and it is basal cell.  Since I go often enough and when you catch it and it's just basil cell it's easy to deal with.  Cut the cancerous cells out.  It's only in the very top layer of skin....unlike melanoma.

My biggest problem with it is that I will have a scar on my back.  It's closer to my shoulder, so it is visible.  I HATE that.  I'm glad it will be nothing once it's removed, but I hate scars and the thought of having more areas chopped out now that I've had one spot.  So, I'm hoping to protect my kids from this.  Sometimes, for some people there is no protection.  It is what it is.  I think that's my problem since it's so prevalent in our family.  Thank goodness 3 of my kids do not have my genetics...that gives me hope, but leaves unknowns of their own.

So please, please, please don't ignore your skin.  Take care of it.  It's not worth it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blogworthy Carrier Warning

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100309/ap_on_bi_ge/us_baby_slings_warning

Please read, especially if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.  Not a Yaz commercial, but this is a warning for newborns being carried in slings. Thought it was worth posting since I'm a carrying mom, but not sling wearing.

Lisa

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tiny hands rubbing your arms

This is what I get.

I've had kind of a crappy day today.  Nothing specific just not such a great day at work and rough evening at home.  I was finally sitting down after all the kids went to bed and was just reading when Jaemin woke up.  Just a couple of small whimpers.  I crawled in his toddler bed with him and just laid beside him.  He always strokes my arms when I lay in his bed or he lays in mine.  He rubbed my back this morning.  I love that I can just lay with him and make him feel better.

It was in no way his birth mother's purpose in life or reason for her pain to make me a mother to a 5th child.  It just happened out of free will.  But, of this I am thankful to have him in my life forever.  He is so amazing and I love him more and more each day if that's possible.  I love everything about him and I love just laying there with him breathing on my face. 

He is always going to be my unexpected gift.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Who needs Diego and Sponge Bob when you have CMT?

TEENAGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have one as of tomorrow morning! Oh my he's 13. Though his grades stink from time-to-time without A LOT of encouragement he's still a pretty good kid...uh, I mean guy?

Happy Birthday Cole!!!!!!!! (Coke Coke as J calls him)
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Our Story

Until I get the chance to put our story back on this blog, the way it was on our old blog, here's a copy of the first page. I'll eventually move it to it's own page here as an intro. There's more info on us if you search our 'Post Tags' whether it's regarding living with spinal cord injury, Korean adoptions, a surprise adoption, open-heart surgery etc.

Lisa


All 7 of us!

We have 5 kids, 2 came to us biologically and 3 to us via airplanes. We've been married for 15 years and are now parents to a 12, 9, 7, 4 and 1 year old. We've known since we were engaged I carried a translocation of chromosomes 10 and 14. We lost our very first daughter. After the older boys were born we decided adoption may be a better route for us to have one more child. This epiphany came 7 years and 3 kids ago.

Cole had open heart surgery at 8 1/2 months old for tetralogy of fallot. He was also born with situs inverus and dextro cardia. He is fine now, but will have to be seen by a cardiologist for the rest of his life. He is smart, very active and independent. He gives us a run for our money and things are never dull. His favorite thing to do at home is to play with the babies. He loves babies!

Chase was born with an unrelated birth defect and had two minor corrective surgeries. He is smart, funny and sweet. He likes to play sports and is a ham most of the time.

Kaelin is our, always meant to be, August baby. She is sweet and crazy silly. Her great heart has earned her many friends.

Chelsi was born 10 weeks early at 3 1/2 pounds. She may be small, but mighty....including her voice. :) She is vibrant and smart. A girl full of attitude and life.

Jaemin was our surprise "gift" (as big sister K calls him). He was a sibling call from Korea. We were not expecting any more children and we got him within 3 months of finding out about him. Shocking surprise and the fastest roller coaster ride ever. What a joy my boy is. He is VERY active and a beautiful little boy. Smiles that light up the room.

In 2008, Brian fell, playing basketball, in 2008, and became a walking quadraplegic (replaced C5 after completely crushing it and fractured C6; fused from C4 to C6). It was life changing to go through that experience for our entire family.

Through God's grace we went from the two of us, to the 7 of us. We had no plans for more than 2 or 3 children and really had no idea adoption would be part of the plan. But, God led and we followed. We learned with each adoption that God was there and we stepped in faith more and more believing in Him more and more as each year passed and each child came into our lives.

We are thankful everyday for our unexpected blessings.

I know people don't like labels to describe them, but I will say it. The first two were "born" to us. The last 3 were "adopted" and my husband is a "walking quad" from a spinal cord injury. But these aren't labels to me. Labels determine something. These adjectives are just words that describe who we are/were or how we came to be. They affect us, but they don't determine who we are or what we will be.



Friday, March 5, 2010

Yeehaw!

Jae was sick today with a minor fever, so we spent the day watching CMT videos....what's new.  Chelsi made a new video.  Today's chosen song is Hillbilly Bone so we could get little brother involved.




Thursday, March 4, 2010

My budding gymnast

Okay, maybe maybe not, but she's trying. Chelsi wasn't a huge fan of soccer, so she's trying out gymnastics. She has ambitions of being a cheerleader one day anyways, so good stepping stone, right? She thought it was a little boring, but you gotta start with the basics. You can't flip in the air until you do some other training first, but she doesn't quite buy that. She did have fun nonetheless.
 I'm not sure if this is fear or determination.  :)
 
  
  
This picture just cracked me up.
  
 






Monday, March 1, 2010

my last dollar

This is how I spend our money. My mom is well....tight. Yes, mom you have gotten better, but you're still pretty much a tightwad. Love you, but you know you are.

From this, though, I have learned to question every penny I spend. Literally, I analyze every penny by looking at bills, receipts, you name it. I think I 'need' a soda some days and realize I just 'want' one. Then, I think about the kidney infection I may get from it and can usually talk myself out of it. I can talk myself out of just about any purchase when I want to. I don't, very often, hear myself say "oh, it's just .35 cents" or "oh that's just a $1 more". That's not in my vocabulary. It's more like "if I don't spend that .50 cents then I'll for sure and easily have the $3 to pay for my water club every month". Yeah, our water at work tastes horrible and hauling in everyday would be heavy since we walk over 3 blocks carrying all of my other items with me daily. A funny story from the other day. I bought some things at Wal-Mart, on clearance for $3, regular priced at $4. They rang up for $4 and I told the cashier they were on sale for $3. She credited them through and put in $3.50. I told her they weren't $3.50, they were $3 and there were two more. She actually asked if it was okay if I just paid $3.50. :) I told her no...she needed to reduce the price of the other two to make up for the one. Of course, I care about .50 cents.

When I go to meetings at work and there are lunch breaks I get my leftovers out and heat them up while others go out. I don't want to eat another $8. That's how I feel. This has kept me well in-check on our budget. I can't even fathom credit card debt. All I envision is buying groceries and years later, after I've eaten all that food, still paying for it. How crazy is that?

Sometimes it's just a psychological game. You gotta play if you want to win.

Obviously all this 'work', kind of lightly used since I'm so used to it now it's second nature, has paid for 3 adoptions and everything else we've needed in our lives. Three adoptions paid off and in the clear. It works...just try it.

Psych yourself out and save!

Lisa