Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another baby boy!!

Congrats Tom and Nic on your first baby boy William.  I noticed you finally got to use that chosen name.  So it looks like we kept up the family tradition.  You have my middle name as your first and your son has my son's middle name as his first.  Cool!

Lisa

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Public vs. Private Behavior

Do you ever wonder about people's behaviors?  I mean if someone's openly mean, how mean are they at home?  I mean I feel like I can be a grouch sometimes, but when people are just commonly like that in public (and we're usually more comfortable with our behaviors at home) how bad is it at home?

At swim lessons tonight there was a lady that had her grandkids there.  I know because I heard one of them call her nana.  Anyways, They were probably about some of my kids' ages.  I'd say 13, 8, 5 and 3ish on all of them.  The 13 yo was a junior lifeguard and was helping the lifeguards teach.  The 8 year old just finished her class before ours started and the other two didn't have class at all.  As soon as I got there grandma and 13 yo were fighting.  One apparently wanted to go home and then they just got into a stubborn match and the grandma kept yelling at her to shut up.  The 3 year old was being so patient and being pretty well-behaved for his age but she ended up yelling at him too.  He was tearing at one point, but wouldn't cry out lout, poor little guy.  Grandma pulled out some medications for the 8 and 5 yos to take and was yelling at them to shut up because they were trying to tell her how much they had to take and she was trying to read whatever their mother wrote.  Apparently, one or both were supposed to get 1/2 and she couldn't break them.  So she proceeded to yell 'you mom is full of f**ing sh*t'.  I got so tired of listening to it I had to go to the opposite side of the pool to watch the big kids for a bit.  I couldn't take it anymore. 

I came back to my spot to watch Chelsi and smiled at the little boy sitting behind me and he just quietly smiled back.  I was relieved that she was the grandma and not the mother and hopefully they're not with her often by the way she treats them.  I've never heard shut up so many times in my life.  They really were pretty well-behaved little kids.  Especially, the two youngest.  I don't think my kids would have ever sat that still that long.

I guess some people still surprise me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Money brings out the ugly in so many

I understand being mad and frustrated...totally.  But completely being indecent and rude is just not okay.  Nothing makes someone more low class than to be constantly in judgment of others while singing the praises of yourself.

If you read our local newspaper there's a particular topic that has hit the hot buttons of so many here.  And it pertains to money....imagine that.  The thing I just don't get is the constant ridicule.  There's one particular person who is judging someone else there because she doesn't make much money and is upset about a loss in partial pay because she, alone, is raising her two children and cannot get the child support she needs to help her.  I don't know her, so I don't pretend to know if she's telling the truth or not, but she doesn't have a crazy, ridiculous story and isn't really putting anyone else down just venting about her particular circumstances.  So I have no reason not to believe she is in those circumstances.  The other person there is preaching to her that she should have bettered herself and pulled herself out of that job into better pay, etc.  She is making sure that all people who read those comments are well aware of her view that her money is not making much interest because of the middle class citizens wanting to be like the upper class and living beyond their means.  She has touted herself as coming from a poor family, enduring child abuse and working to get an education completely by herself and being completely self sufficient.

Again, I don't know this person, so could be a real story, could be fake...who knows...who cares.  The point is that she's so blinded by her own pride in herself that she thinks everyone can and is awarded the same opportunities and should make the same choices as herself.  I get the impression that she has no children as she doesn't seem particularly sympathetic of those with and is touting her and her spouses ability to just have love.  Seems a little contradictory.  Maybe the single mother was happy to be just paying her bills and have the love of her two children?  Why should money be the be all end all?  Does money make some differences...of course.   I'm not naive.  And I take offense to the statement that it's not the upperclass or poor putting us all in this situation.  It's everyone in every class.  You'll find citizens in every class wanting more.  Isn't that the American dream?  I guess for some anyways.

We're perfect middle class examples.  I think there are too many blames to lay for this crisis and don't even want to try to pinpoint it right now.  But, responsibility in ourselves would be a #1 for all to follow.  We don't live beyond our means.  We have a home loan....not bad on our income with 5 kids.  We chose to adopt and have more children over living the typical American dream or socking all of our money away for a rainy day that may never come.  We always knew we would never regret our children, but would regret not having them.  Other than paying for the adoptions and paying our bills after we added each of our children, money was not a major consideration.  I have to say with my $200/month paycut coming in January due to this massive change and the possibility (quite possible I'm afraid to actually say here) the kids are the best thing I come home to (and of course my husband) and they make me feel better.  I don't feel empty knowing we won't be able to stay in budget any longer and have no room to move anything out of our budget.  I feel full when I walk in the door to a little boy that lights up and yell's "mommy" the second I enter.  That's better than anything.  I'm ticked at the changes and I'm scared to death, but I have my family and they truly are what I need.

Considering this is coming from a HUGE budget freak that has always worried about money and preparing for the future this is big.  I can honestly say that I will do what we need to do to pay what we can when the time comes and still get the medical care our kids need, but THEY make everything okay.  THEY make my life worth it and I feel for those that don't get to feel this euphoria of love.  Such as this poor lady commenting in the paper.  Prayers for her please.  I feel she needs them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

**Super cute**

I don't know when I'll get anymore nieces or nephews on my side (I finally have 1), so I love to look at this little one even if only by email pics.  Here's my little nephew....so cute...I love sleep pictures.  Look how snuggly he looks.  :)

Anxiety? Probably

For the 2nd night in a row I've had horrible dreams.  I don't even want to outright type what they're about.  And I won't.  It's too scary.  I know it has to be related to Cole's news.  I can't believe it's bothering me this bad.  I usually don't get so rocked like that.  Yeah, I might let go of a tear or two, but rarely does it hit me to the extent of dreams.  Hopefully, I get to have a conversation with the nurse practitioner tomorrow and questions get answered and maybe my subconscious can rest.

I hope.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Children Center

Do you ever wonder if your children center you a bit?  I think they do.  They make me feel that way sometimes.

While, at work, I freaked a bit at the prospect of my $200-300 paycut in January and still figuring out the details of Cole's heart issues I can be free at home.  For some reason, after Cole's appointment tonight I just feel okay.  Okay enough anyways.  He and I have had some nice conversations yesterday and today about life, which is nice to have with your 13 year old.  I told him how much I believe that God will take care of us.  And I meant it.  I didn't say it so he wouldn't be scared.  He probably still would be anyways.  I told him I still am scared, but not for that.  I'm more worried about him and how he feels.  I told him how much easier it was to watch him have open-heart as an infant as opposed to now that he's old enough to be scared and I can't do anything about it.  I asked him to place his trust in God.  The same way we did when we leaped in faith for Jaemin.  He told me how happy he was that we did that.  I told him God doesn't steer you wrong...only you do that to yourself.  He seems a little better now.  So, he's done with his xray and we'll talk to them again next week to discuss more of the details of how we went from 0-180 just like that.  I'm hoping for things to make a little more sense next week and then I'll be better yet.

But, as I checked on them all, sleeping in their beds, before I headed to bed tonight I felt so calm and peaceful.  Every single night I'm reminded of how lucky I am.

Lisa

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Not so good news/Living for Today While Thinking about Tomorrow

I've never been good about living for today.  I've gotten much better after Brian's accident.  My little reality check that no matter how much you try to prepare for things you can't always.  And you never react the way you think.  The call for Jaemin taught me that or reinforced what I already knew.

We're planning to go to Korea in 2013, but at this point we're not sure.  Not sure if we should do it sooner or expect to do it later?  Not sure at all.

We went to a new pediatric cardiologist today, as I wrote about last night.  Cole has been seeing the same guy for 13 years.  We have been told for the last several years (since he was 5) that 'if' he needed anything it would be open heart, but there would be no way to know.  Then he always eluded to Cole never needing anything again after he entered adulthood.  We also were told a couple of years ago that he could do any high school sports he wanted to after being told in all the previous years that he couldn't.  I decided to let up on my overprotectedness this year and let him play football as he'd been wanting.  I asked specifically about football.

Today we saw the new doc, after personal references with other patients' parents.  We really liked him.  He took so much time with us and talked to Cole....not me.  He drew pictures of Cole's heart to explain to him and I what's going on.  And when I asked about football, he said 'no contact sports'.  So football is again out.  He can play baseball with a chestguard and basketball is okay, but the constant running could be hard on him.  Then, he proceeded to tell us something we'd never been told.  Cole's valve had been completely replaced at surgery in 1997 and valves don't, apparently, last this long.  He was astonished he was still okay after 13 years.  They don't use the valve he has anymore and the new ones only have a life of about 7-10 years and have to be replaced via open-heart.

So, today we were told open-heart surgery IS coming.  So he had to deal with being told he couldn't play the sport he wanted to and that this surgery is coming.  We don't know when.  He has no symptoms other than his right side is enlarged from the significant leakage from the valve, right now.  We're doing an xray to see how enlarged it is.  Then, next year he'll do a stress test, EKG, Echo, MRI and xray at the hospital.  He'll be able to better determine when the surgery may be.  So we literally don't know if it will be next week or 2 years from now.  It all depends on that valve that has already exceeded it's lifespan.

I drove back to work after the appointment and went through periods of telling myself everything is fine to periods of feeling like crying.  But, I won't.  I'll leave that to him.  And when I told him it was okay to cry and grieve his loss, he did.  I feel so bad for him.  I wish I could make him feel better, but right now there isn't anything I can do.  I just hugged him and talked to him and of course, threw in the usual "you have to remember there's always a kid in a worse situation than you".

For now, I will just pray that, as usual, God will take care of us and keep us all safe and healthy.  And that when the time comes He will guide the surgeon's hands as he did 13 years ago to take care of my son.  And I will hold onto and remind Cole that the surgeon said that if a new procedure passes the FDA in a few years that this may be his last open-heart.  Instead he could have it repaired by cath.  Can you believe that?  Valve replacement by cath.  Amazing!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I decided to change

the 'about me' section.  I don't want to talk about adoption right there and I decided to call myself a special mom for two reasons.  A) I technically have 5 special needs kids as determined in the adoption world (if all had been) and B) I'm special because of them.  I'm just a mom trying to get through life while working and doing everything I can for my kids and my husband...and of course, he reciprocates. 

Tonight we had a little intake visit for a state program to evaluate children's needs under 3.  I can't really say Jaemin's developmentally delayed, and really that's what it will take to get into the program, but he has some tendencies that are on the ASD side (Aspergers).  They're going to at least do intake and then they can watch him in case we have more needs as time goes on...at least until he ages out next year.  We know it could just be a quirk, but we need to try to figure it out.  We'll figure that out if and when we need it. 

Chelsi is still having her issues that require specialists, but we're trying some new things per one office and then we'll decide where to go next.

Cole has his cardiologist appointment tomorrow and, for the first time, it's with a new PC.  Ours has quit after our 13 years with him, so we'll see if we like this new guy we selected.  He has a good rep, so we'll try him out.

I'm also trying to research and find a way to safely get Cole and Jaemin an omega-3 supplement (I would love it to include DHA benefits).  I read that this could help Cole with what's left of his ADHD tendences and Jaemin's allergies.  His eczema has increased in the past couple of weeks.  We ruled out his food allergies that they can test for at this age and it's not helping as much as it seemed to in the beginning.  We also got him some lotion they wanted us to try and it doesn't seem to be helping either.  So, omega-3 is supposed to help with allergies sometimes, so I'd like to try it since it's a pretty healthy supplement.

We'll see what we can figure out.  I feel like that's all I do at night when the lights go down.  I just research and research all the health things I can for the kids.  There's too many and after awhile it does get confusing....at least when it gets late.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

That don't impress me much

Sorry, just wanted to quote Shania Twain.  :)

http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-110102-5999-1-secrets-of-extreme-savers?ywaad=ad0035

This article is about some folks that were able and are able to save pretty well.  But, what I mean by "that don't impress me much" is that if you read about them they have pretty high paying careers and/or few kids.  The only thing that is impressive to me about this article is the fact that there still remain people in the US that value saving and don't live beyond their means or make a lot of money and spend every single dime and penny.

We would actually have a pretty good savings if we had stopped at our older two.  We were talking about that the other day.  What if we didn't have 13 years worth of daycare (sometimes x 2)?  What if we didn't have 3 adoptions to pay for?  Short answer we probably would have saved most of it.  I'm a saver by nature and love to see it grown.  Can we save anywhere what these people are saving?  Ah, that's a big fat nada.  The couple that has an income listed makes more than 3.5 more than we make between the two of us and then you add in that we're supporting 5 children, it's pretty easy to figure it out.

We still do well considering what we do make though.  We put everything into our account to pay ahead of time.  If there's a way to lower a bill I try to find it and we do it.  We can't pay for our house outright...which would be nice.  But, how many people on our income and family size have $150,000 in their pockets?

Back to looking back and if we had just stopped at the older two.  I wouldn't, in a million, trillion years trade having the money these other families have and their vacations for my last 3 kids.  No way, no how!  They're so much better than money.

One of the 'savers' was quoted, and a paraphrase, 'I won't ever have to want for anything'.  Well, the one thing we knew we could regret one day and never take or get back is having kids.  So happy with that decision!

Monday, July 19, 2010

To sleep and dream in 5 minutes

What a record!

Chelsi went to bed and within 5 minutes was in the hall crying a little.  Cole went to go check on her and she told him that she had had a bad dream.  She really didn't want to go to bed in the first place, so I guess she thought this would get her out of it.  She was really tired.  Swimming lessons is taking it out of her.

I think I may have already said that the kids chose to do one last round of swim lessons for the summer.  The big boys needed to build up their stamina, so we thought doing back to back since no one's playing ball might be a good idea.  I do think it's helping them.  I'm not sure if they're going to pass because it gets really hard at this level, though.  Kaelin will more than likely pass....at least I think so.  Chelsi will not.  She is already well aware though.  She is water up to her chin, but she gives it more than the tall kids.  She really tries hard and keeps on going no matter how much water she swallows and how many times she can't stop coughing after swallowing it all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Put the remote DOWN!

I found out there is a rule by DishNetwork on VODs (Video on Demand).  Apparently, no matter how the video gets rented you pay.  No excuses.  Makes me wonder how many times people falsely call in and tell them a movie got rented. 

How did I find out this tidbit?

I had to call after scrolling through the guide and seeing "rented" next to a VOD.  I actually thought about renting one, my last freebie I had, and came across it.  So I called them because it wasn't playing or anything, so I wasn't sure if something had really been rented.  Well, they informed me this is the 2nd video we got this week.  Apparently, "Alice in Wonderland" had also been rented.  I remember Chelsi mentioning that movie, but I thought she was talking about the cartoon being on Disney.  Nope...she figured out how to rent it.  But what gets me is the 4 year old knows how to read, so she had to read that it was going to cost mommy $4.99.  AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN FINISH IT!  Jaemin (yes the 1 year old) hit enough buttons to manage to rent "The Bounty Hunter".  I cannot believe how long we've had satellite and never had this happen until now!  Luckily since VOD is all day we just made sure we watched it and got something out of these dang videos.

So, make sure to use the lock PPV!  I didn't even know that existed since we never do PPV.  And Dish, well they don't even slightly feel sorry for you.  Nothing.  Just a polite and sometimes not so polite "per our agreement" yada yada yada.  If there were a cable provider here I would switch in a second.  We get so little for $63/month and we need this just to see locals!

I was mad, but it's a tad funny now.  They're definitely the two that can give you a run for the money.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

안녕히가세요

This is what my 4 yo said to me as I walked out of her room last night.  So proud of her.  A lady at a local Chinese restaurant, who was born in Korea, taught the girls how to say goodbye.  Chelsi asked me if Ok would know, so I told her to ask her.  And, of course, Ok obliged.  The girls and I always tell each other saranghaeyo (사랑해요) at bedtime.  Last night she said goodbye to me in perfect Korean.  

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Slide!

Chelsi has been asking me to get another waterslide for a couple of years.  Last year we just didn't have time with baseball and Jaemin just coming home and the whole adjustment to that.  So, I finally got one the other night.  Last night after Cole got home from his birthday party we went out and put it on the hill.  We did stop when it finally got too muddy.  But, we'll probably go back out today and put it back down.  The kids really didn't get enough and Jaemin absolutely loved it!  Water is one of his favorites.  He's going to totally love that the big kids are going back to swimming lessons for the rest of the summer which means him and mommy can splash in the baby pool.

We couldn't keep Jaemin off the slide, so even if he looks terrified in these pictures he was having an absolute blast!  He laughed and squealed so much.  I sprayed them with the water hose after we picked up and Cole taught him to tell me to spray him, so he would yell "spray" at me.  :)  He's really starting to talk a lot. As a side subject he finally put together a real sentence and it was in the middle of my great aunt's funeral in church.  He yelled "I want book!".  :)

One of my favorites with all 3 of my boys.
This is Kaelin, but you can't really see her in the water.  :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tired kids and it's only the 2nd day

of the 3 day weekend.

Of course, we had the game Friday night.  We got home so late we all kind of laid around and didn't do too much yesterday.  But, we had promised Miss Chelsi, since last year, that we would go to the parade again.  So we all went to the parade and then Walmart for groceries and my flag supplies.  By the time we got home we had a message for an invite to go watch fireworks.  So, we got my new flag hung up and we were off again.

It was nice just to sit back and watch them and sit with friends.  The kids just ran around an played with each other and the little ones sang and danced while C played guitar.  It's so relaxing to just sit by a fire and do nothing, but chit chat and have fun.

The kids have played outside with the dog all day today and are tired already, so it was time to come in.  We had to give the house a good cleaning since we'd been running for the past two weeks with swim lessons and I worked up a major sweat trying to clean and wash all the sheets in the house.  I haven't done glass yet, but will be tonight or tomorrow....yeah!  Got our zucchini bread in the oven that Chelsi and I made though, so we're going to have some yummy burgers, steaks and zucchini bread tonight.  Really wished I would have bought the strawberries and ice cream last night for shakes.  I totally wasn't thinking clear.  Missed my ingredients for chapjae too.  I was going to make that tomorrow.

Here are pics of my flag and the 3 little kiddos at the parade.




Chelsi and her best friend Miss A watching the parade together.

Welcome to

Ethan Michael.  Our new nephew arrived yesterday afternoon, just over 2 weeks or so early.  He's a nice lookin' guy, huh?!  Congrats to my brother and sister-in-law! 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another Win!

We have yet to go to a game where the Cardinals lose.....hopefully that doesn't jinx them or us!  The kids had a good time as usual, though it was more crowded than the last game so there was no room to spread out and a night game,we have decided, isn't best for the two littlest.  They did make it through the whole game though.  Chase was still raising her arm for 'charge', but not yelling near as loud. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

1 month of summer is gone

We may not have done the crazy, running everywhere with baseball that we usually do, but it's still been plenty busy.  We've mostly just been trying to do stuff with the kids.

The big boys adopted a dog.  They had a couple of days where the fees were waived and paid for by a foundation and the boys found a 3 year old lab.  I can't complain though.  He's pretty good.  He's housebroken and though we don't have him in the house he's very well behaved because of it.  He doesn't jump or lick like most labs and he LOVES to fetch.  The boys spend hours throwing the ball for him.  He does sleep in the house at night though.  Night is rough for him.  He misses his brother who has a separate family.  For some reason our dog was one of the last ones left.  I think people are afraid of his size.  The boys are loving having an active dog again.  Our beagle is just getting to old to have fun, but he's more Jaemin's size, so Jaemin still likes to sit by him and pet him.

The kids have finished another summer of swimming lessons.  Chelsi has progressed to Level 1.  YAY Chelsi!  Her improvement between last year and this year is amazing.  Much like Kaelin's 2nd year of preschool level lessons were at the same age.  The big boys will be in Level 5 next year and Kaelin will be in 3.

Jaemin was tested for allergies today after getting sick again earlier this month.  We think he still has acid reflux, but we're trying to figure out the cause if he does.  The doctor sent us to an allergist.  They don't test kids this age for much, so there were some major foods and then mold and dust.  He really had nothing.  I even had them test for strawberries since his foster mother told us he was allergic.  Turns out he is no longer allergic to them either.  We're going to remove apples and eggs from his diet for awhile since they were the only things that even remotely showed up, but we're really just waiting on his pediatrician to decide what to do for him next.  I do wonder about the nurse practitioner who saw him today though.  She was real big on asthma diagnosis.  And while I'm not ruling it out I don't think that's it.  I'd almost rather find out if he has something else going on, but that would require a scope.  I'm going to try to sit back and follow the doctor or at least look to him for advice this time.  The allergist's nurse practitioner, however, wanted him AND me on all kinds of drugs and inhalers.  And of course they're a pretty good price too.  I need some proof first.  And we may take him off his ranitidine and see how he does first.  Hopefully, he finally outgrowing his acid reflux, but until this week's testing we hadn't taken him off long enough to tell.

1 1/2 months 'til school starts.  I'm not sure I'm ready for that again.  I like this flexibility and fun of summer.