Friday, June 25, 2010

The biggest wish in the world...and most important

If I could have a wish granted, any wish, I would wish that the two birth mothers in Korea, to my 3 youngest children would know that their children are happy and healthy and loved beyond the ends of the Earth.  I also wish that one day the one birth mother knows that her children are, indeed, together and how blessed we feel.  I truly have no words for how blessed we are.

Odds and Ends

I've just been too busy to write anything down on a regular basis, but I don't want to forget any moments in my life because everyone seems so precious.  Even stupid little details that are extremely boring. 

The older 4 have finished their first week of swim lessons.  I don't think the older 3 are going to pass this time around, but it's normal when you're in higher level classes.  You should be mastering it before you go on.  The boys are thinking about becoming lifeguards, so they have plenty of time to get through the next level.  They're all enjoying it and that's really all that matters.

Jaemin is totally enjoying going along so he can splash around in the baby pool.  There's an Asian man and his daughters that come every week and the dad always comes over to talk to Jae.  He really seems to like him and his girls are the same ages as my littlest two. 

Right now everyone's just getting super excited about our next Cardinals game next week.  Jaemin has totally learned how to raise his arm and yell CHARGE! Too cute!

As of now, we have a new member of the family.  The shelter was having some free adoption days, so the boys finally got to go and pick out a dog.  They found a 3 year old lab that needed a home.  He's pretty well behaved and was actually an inside dog (Jaemin, Chase and I can't take that), but is outside now.  He wants to come in the house so bad though...I do feel bad, but labs are just fine outside.  I'm hoping Brian and the boys can take him to the lake to swim.  I bet he'd like that!  He likes truck rides.

Since Brian was picking up the dog I told him I'd pick up the youngest 3 at grandmas.  We went straight outside so the little kids could see Butter (the lab).  Jaemin kept saying 'puPPy', but wasn't real interested.  The dog is almost 80 pounds, so I think he intimidates J a little.  Jaemin would rather stick to the beagle.  He's much closer to Jae's size and he likes Jaemin too.  Jaemin is SO good!  I watered the flowers and then told him it was time to go in and take showers so we could eat dinner and he just turns around and walks to the door and goes on in.  He loves to sit with me at the baby pool and just play with me quietly.  He probably looks like a great big momma's boy, but I'll take it any day.  He so great about finishing supper if we have ice cream sandwiches to eat afterward.  He's even starting to pick up toys.  He does have a ornery streak.  He likes to grab things and take off running as he laughs the whole way!

I'm telling you if you had seen him one year ago you would never believe this is the same little boy.  He's not somber.  He smiles a lot and he's super friendly from a distance.  He loves to tell everybody hi and bye and apparently one of his favorite daycare friends is Addie.  We love to say "Adddiiieee".  It's so cute.  And yes, he still lets me crawl into his toddler bed with him to cuddle before he goes to sleep.  If he's not quite tired when I leave him he gets up and gets his dinosaurs or trucks to sleep with. 

I never thought I could ever love another little boy so much, but I do!!!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Swim Fever

No, not really.  But, swimming and fevers. 

I got to daycare yesterday and when I kissed Chelsi on the head I realized she was warm.  We took her temp and it was 100.7, so we turned around and went back home.  Kaelin had been complaining about a sore throat so I thought we'd get Chelsi tested for strep and UTI.  Sure enough, she had both.  Poor baby.  This time they found trace blood, so they're culturing it and we're talking more in-depth with the pediatric nephrologist.  None of us are sure what to think since she's been drinking cranberry juice everyday for two weeks now.  We've done everything we and the neph can think of to prevent these things and still not succeeding.

The nephrologist's nurse told me that if she is still running a fever today to call them back.  I went ahead and let them know that this afternoon she was back to 103, but it's being controlled with tylenol and motrin.  They're discussing if we should wait for our July appointment or do something sooner...but not sure what.

Meanwhile, last night was the first swim lesson.  I asked the ped if she could go and he said she wouldn't give anyone strep at swim lessons and she'd already have her 2nd dose of her antibiotic so it was fine.  By afternoon yesterday she was at 104 so I asked the nephrologist's office if she could go and they said it would be good for her temp.  So swimming she did go.  She would have been so sad to not go to class.  She's been looking forward to this for 3 months now.  She LOVES swimming lessons.  She even puts her head totally under this year. 

All 4 of the older kids are in swim lessons this year and doing well.  The boys are in level 5 and I think there are only 6 levels before testing for lifeguard.  Kaelin is in 3 and Chelsi is in preschool.  Jaemin played in the baby pool last night, but stayed home with dad tonight.  I would pick the HOTTEST summer in years to sell the framed pool.  It was 94 degrees when we left for classes this evening.  Needless to say we all needed showers are getting home!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When the good things you teach them have consequences

Everyone knows we try hard to teach the kids about money.  But, something need to be kept to themselves.

Today is Father's Day.  Chase was so sweet and used his own money to buy his dad a duck statue to go in the recroom with his other hunting stuff...aka the duck he shot years ago.  Anyways, I had taken Chase to the store awhile back when he apparently first saw it.  Then, one day when he and Kaelin were with their grandma and going to town he asked if they were going to that store and told her he planned to buy this for Father's Day.  He hid it and kept it to himself not revealing the surprise prior to today.  I mean this thing is about 10" or so long and several inches high.  He gave it to Brian this morning and I was telling Brian how proud I was of him for spending his own money on it and having the idea to buy this himself.  The kids don't usually buy us stuff and we wouldn't expect them to.  Kaelin quickly piped it 'it was 50% off!'.  So takes the fun out of it.  Had to give her another lesson in money in that while it is good to be frugal we don't have to share how inexpensive we got something when it was a gift!

As a side note I don't think Father's Day was too shabby for him.  We don't do a lot of buying items for these days.  We just don't have the money or justification for that type of expenditure.  So, yesterday since he wanted to mow and work in the garden I cleaned the whole house.  This morning the big boys got up before him and made waffles.  And Chase made his usual card.  He's GREAT about making us great cards to keep.  Always creative!  I'm telling you he's definitely one of the best dads in today's world.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is there a trick to quiet kids in church?

Jibberjabber...fine.  But, yelling and trying to go everywhere and throwing things....not so much.  I almost hate sitting with Brian when he has to sing.  It's so tiring going up and down the stairs when he can't behave, so I put up with it a lot longer than when we're not in the choir loft.  With Chelsi twisting and turning around constantly why would J think he had to behave? 

On the drive home...a whopping 5 minutes, all 5 kids were fighting.  Fun night huh?  Good thing we did a badly needed date night last night.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My artwork will be on it's way


Here is what I'm having printed at Walmart.  Then, I'm going to get an 8x10 frame for the big one and 4x6s for the random pics from Korea.  I love how they all turned out.  I'm going to put them in some sort of cluster on our wall as art since I can't afford anything else.  But, then again, what's better than those great memories?

So that's what it's going to be like

I think Brian had one of those 'ah ha' moments last night.  You know..the ones where you say something and then you go 'ohhhhhh'.

We went to a work barbeque and were talking to one of the clients he knows.  He's 1/2 Chinese descent.  So, on the way home he says (paraphrasing) 'you know, every time I talk to S I expect him to speak with an accent even though I know him and then out comes this gruff voice'.  See, S was born here and has been in the US all his life.  I looked at him and he was just puzzled why I was giving him the duh look.  I told him...what do you think your 3 youngest are going to hear one day?  When we're not around and they're older I'm sure at some point in their lives someone will tell them how great their English is and without any accent....other than a little southernish twang.  He never even realized it.  You can definitely tell who browses the internet and who only gets on when ABSOLUTELY necessary.

I think mostly I've thought about it because I'm the one most likely to approach an Asian person to find out if they're Korean.  But, as we've gone further through our adoptive lives I've done it less and less as I realized how invaded they may feel or offended or how hard it is to phrase it since they could be newly here and truly immigrants or they could have been born here or adopted.  There are just too many options, so I have learned to quietly smile and walk on.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Business as usual

Cole and Jaemin and I were all home this week one day.  We all 3 had fevers, real low, on the same night.  I figured Cole had strep again, so I took both boys in since Jaemin had been coughing for so long.  Cole definitely had strep, but the doctor didn't want to put Jaemin through the test, so since he either had strep, sinus infection and/or bronchitis he put all 3 of us on meds.  Cole and I were feeling better pretty quickly, but Friday was still really rough on Jaemin.  I had called the doc on Friday to see if it was his acid reflux getting worse or what he thought.  They finally called back and decided that we need to seriously look into his allergies.  We know he's allergic to blueberries and strawberries.  He's also allergic to all sunscreens we've tried...including my mother-in-laws that has nothing added in it because of her allergies.

They're supposed to call back tomorrow after they find someone to look into the foods and someone willing to see a child under 2 years old.  I'm debating taking him to a pediatric gastroenterologist too.  But, I'm not sure what that would entail.  I don't want them scoping him right now and putting him through that if we don't need to.  I'll see what they say regarding an allergist first.  He was wheezing from time-to-time yesterday, so I used the nebulizer yesterday and today and it worked wonders.  Yesterday he was scared of it and today he just sat down and inhaled.  His cough sounds so much better!  Acid reflux is just not good for anybody, so hopefully we can figure out the cause for him.

Chelsi is still awaiting her follow-up.  They don't think her birth defect is causing her problems and we've got her on daily cranberry juice to make sure she has no further infections.  I'm hoping they're going to have more information for us in July.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Got a scare tonight

I was checking emails tonight and we had one from one of our agencies.  Out of the blue, so of course, my mind wandered for a quick second all I could think was "please no sibling call again".  Luckily it was just them asking if we would talk to someone else who had gotten one and wasn't sure what to do. 

Don't get me wrong, it's great that Korea finds the families, but I do pray we get no more.  We have Jaemin and we love him and we're good and complete. 


Another new word

Finally, Jaemin is really blossoming with the words he's able to say.  He says more and more each day.

His new word this week was "hhaa  pppyyy".  I asked if he was a happy boy and he nodded and repeated it.  I would want one of his first words to be nothing different than for him to tell me he was happy.  Since he could make a two syllable word out with the 'e' sound on the end we got him to say Chelsi too.  It wasn't great, but he definitely tried.  So now he says everyone's name.  And, yeah, he says Kaelin's, but for some reason when we tell him to say K or Kaelin he says @$$ everytime.  Don't know where or why that came to be, but that's what he says.  He's such a little stinker!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Another 1st

Jaemin went to his 1st Cardinals game.  He did SO well!  We got there 2 hours early for the food (free buffet) and got to our seats 1/2 hour before game time.  He was people watching most of the time and clapped and even got to yell "charge" a few times before he fell asleep.  He slept about 1 hour of the game.  Chelsi slept about the last 45 minutes of the game, which ironically were the best.  After 2 extra innings they won!  Chelsi was still raising her arms and cheering as we walked into the bathroom before we left.

I missed it because I was playing with Jaemin a bit, but Pujols hit a homerun in the first innings and Chelsi jumped to her feet and yelled.  The guys in front of us got a kick out of her enthusiasm for the game.  She was a chargin' fool!  All in all there were no meltdowns from anyone and all the kids got an autograph of Kerry Robinson.  He no longer plays, but he was there for autographs for the day.  They all got their hats signed (I got Brian's signed), we brought baseballs for each kid to sign and he gave us cards.  We had him sign Jae's shirt, so we won't be rummage saling that one off.  I got a baseball card signed for Lois too....just in case she doesn't already have him.  The kids all said they had a great time!  Next game is above the Cards!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sometimes medical stuff feels like it dominates your day

It doesn't help that I'm in that field, somewhat, but when home life creeps in there it gets harder.

We had our dental visits tonight and thank goodness the dentist took pity on us this year and gave us two kids free.  We're completely private pay without dental insurance, so it can get real expensive with just the basics.  He saves our butts usually.  But, he says Cole has crowded teeth.  Well, we were told Chase would need an expander and braces 3 years ago.  After 2 years of free observations we found out how much it was going to cost and well, over $7,000 is WAY too much.  That's with a 2nd opinion too.  No one is cheaper.  So, do you really think a family with 5 kids can afford $14,000 worth of braces on the first 2 kids?!  Are you crazy!  What if one of the youngers has a real problem that will cause medical damage due to their teeth.  Unfortunately, that's where the money has to be spent.  As much as people want to think you have to do it, you don't and sometimes just can't.  We can't.  And the boys don't want them either.  I know we're bad parents for not doing this, but we barely make $70,000/year/together, do you think we can afford it and eat?!

I also called Cole's pediatric cardiologist's office today since I knew he was retiring this summer and his visit is in 2 weeks.  I wanted to find out who the replacement was.  They gave me a name and I did some research and do not feel comfortable with him, so after 13 years we not only have to find a new pediatric cardiologist we have to find a new hospital and drive further to another city.  Fun!  But, if I don't feel comfortable with someone who holds my son's life in their hands, no way is he going.  He doesn't have chronic heart problems, but teen years is when I was told he may need open heart again.  Now, that he's 13 I take it more seriously and need to feel good with our specialist.  Pray for a good decision by us for the right doctor.  We're making the appointment tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Little triumphs

Parenting is full of repetition.  We repeat ourselves, what feels like, a hundred million times.  And about 10 of those times we get listened to.   But, sometimes it eventually sinks in.  The big boys have had curfews on coming back from the neighbors or just coming in the past few days and they have done so great at actually doing it instead of getting the usual answer, after coming in late, of "I forgot" or "I didn't know what time it was", etc.  Tonight they even picked up the limbs in the yard before coming in like we asked.  Such minor things, really, but they feel like major accomplishments.

It's times like these that you sit back and think that maybe, just maybe, some of what you are repeating is going somewhere.  And maybe they will hear your voice in the back of their minds as they are faced with choices.  One can hope.

Apparently Grandpas are VERY special!

Jaemin loves his grandpas.  In fact, when we pull onto my mom's road he starts yelling it.  He knows where we're going.  Today, I picked him up after work instead of dad.  They were outside playing and the door to the garage was open, so grandpa was home and working.  Jae made a b-line for the door and I thought he was going to go in and run away from me, but he so sweetly stopped at the door and started waving and saying bye-bye to grandpa.  Then, he turned around and put his arms up for me to pick him up.

And at night, he has decided he likes the book "Goodnight Moon".  So now I lay in his bed with him and he lets me read it to him every night.  Then, he just lies on his side with puppy and moo cow and listens to his music until he goes to sleep.  He is such a sweetheart and absolutely melts this heart!