Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Household Funnies

I decided the girls' kittens have personalities like their owners.  Chelsi's really doesn't eat much and Kaelin's eats everything in sight and pushes the other out of the way to get to it.  Totally like their owners.

Kinda personal, but funny.  Chelsi came to me crying the other night.  She said she had swallowed a Barbie skirt.  I kept thinking okay that's pretty big.  She should be choking and she needs to go to the hospital.  I remembered that she and Kaelin had been playing with Polly Pockets, so I asked her if she swallowed a Polly Pocket skirt and she told me she had.  I asked her how big it was and like I thought it was tiny.  I told her she'd poop it out and asked her drink a bunch of water to help it along.  She got a drink and that asked if it was going to come out her mouth.  I told her again it would come out in her poop.  Chelsi began to cry and beg me to dig it out of her poop when it came out.  Uh, no way sweetie.  She now knows not to chew on her toys and put so much in her mouth.  We shall see if this lesson sticks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another weekend blows by

so fast.

We spent Friday evening on the river testing out the boat.  We've been trying to get it running since we bought it in April.....knowing well that it was a fixer upper.  Battery seems to be the going trouble now, but the motor does run.  The kids had a great time just running around at their grandparents' lot on such a nice evening.

We did a fundraiser walk on Saturday morning while Chase had his first football game.  I hate that I missed his first game, but it was an obligation we already had and we do always enjoy the walk.  But, I was so tired yesterday afternoon.  Hauling an extra 30lbs on your back for over a mile is tough when you don't exactly exercise regularly.  Hmmm...maybe I should start.  Chase led his team in tackles...he's great.  Cole and I raised $514 for our charity.  So proud of them both.

Today was just cleaning day and catch up.  I did get my pancake and waffle mixes made up.  Bulk so we don't have to buy Bisquick anymore.  Trying to find ways to cut back for my pay cut in January.  It's hard when you already cut back.

And tonight we met a friend's friend who is our new Korean instructor.  Though I don't think she would like to be called that.  I get the impression she's a tad nervous.  I hope not though.  The girls and I are so super excited to have her helping us.  Anything she can teach us will be more than we could have imagined just a month ago.  I had all but given up.  But so thankful to have new friends in our lives.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Night of Leisure

No, I didn't drag my camera along.  I didn't know if the boat was going to run or not.  But after 4 months of owning it and working on it, it's officially running.  We all took a nice ride on the river tonight.  Very cool, enjoyable evening and the kids really enjoyed it.  And since Cole has his boating license we let him drive a bit.  He really liked that.  Chelsi and Kaelin just watched the scenery pass by.  I've always loved river rides.  It's so relaxing.  I loved seeing Jaemin in his little life jacket for the first time.  So cute!

But, we all have to turn in early because tomorrow is Chase's first football game and Cole's heartwalk.  Busy day, but good things going on. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Could have been worse

I was prepared for the worst.  They said don't let him eat from midnight until they took him about 11:00 today and I was WORRIED.  We brought the kids to school, got an estimate on my car, went and got moo cow to bring to the hospital and picked up grandma for mom's support.  We got there plenty early, but registration was slow because the line was long, so it turned out we walked in just on time.  They took us back there quick enough.  I repeated my concerns about his attachment and him going out after he's taken from me.  I have to say he cried and I almost cried, but they tried hard. 

The anesthesiologist took my concerns seriously and tried to get Jaemin to trust him.  He played with him and got close hoping it would help.  Jaemin got to the point he couldn't walk without looking drunk after he had his meds, but he still very well knew what was going on.  He was very upset when the nurse anesthetist took him.  She was so excited he was Korean.  She is from the Phillipines and was saying how cute he is.  Everybody stops to tell us how cute he is though.  The anesthesiologist asked about drinking after he woke up in recovery.  I told him that because he's allergic to apples he couldn't have any juice and I felt more comfortable just giving him water.  I asked him if he wanted the sippy cup to bring back there, but he said he was just going to have them get me to give him a drink. 

It was maybe an hour later and they called us back.  The doctor hadn't even come to talk to us yet, so I was a little confused.  They actually brought us back before he woke up.  He still had the cannula in his nose for O2.  The nurse lowered the rail so I could get in bed with him.  Then, they went to get the doctor to talk to us.  I was so happy that they made that exception for us.  The last time was so horrible when he woke up.  I wasn't there and it freaked him out.  He woke up so calmly this time.  I talked to him when he stirred and he was fine.  I drank his water and we got to go home.  Boy was he excited to eat some fries.  He wouldn't share with grandma.  He was not going to share with anyone.  He even ate some of my burger, drank my Sprite and then ate some of grandma's frosty.  He was a hungry little man. 

He's a tough guy.  I don't know how many times I told him how good of a boy he is.  He really is a great boy.  He hardly fussed considering how long he'd gone without food and drink.  As long as he had mom, paci and cow he was cool with it.  The doctor said there's no damage from the reflux.  He looked perfectly normal in both places and we even have the pictures from it all.  Now, we just wait for the biopsies to come back and see if he's having allergic reactions to something or if there's infection in the linings.  We don't know what's next at this point.  Especially, if nothing comes back.  Pulmonologist is where we're supposed to go after this is ruled out since the reflux is causing respiratory infections.  We'll just keep taking it day by day and get him figured out. 

So, there's the day.  I was pretty tired, but he did SO well and I love this little boy so much.  BTW, they had the cutest dinosaur wrap on his arm board.  I wish I would have taken my camera to show here.  I wish I could find some for him.  So cute on my sweet guy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The definition of 'emergency'

Definition of EMERGENCY

: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action 
So, based on this if it was a medical emergency someone would receive prompt action, right?  I think the hospital needs to know this.  Eye Roll
Jae has an EGD/sigmoidoscopy tomorrow to find out what is going on that he still has acid reflux.  It was supposed to be at 8 am, which is bad enough for an almost 2 year old that doesn't get to eat or drink in the morning, plus do bowel cleansing.
They called today to say they had an emergency and he had to be pushed back to 11 am.  First of all...really you want me to keep him from eating without screaming until then.  Are you nuts?  And second, 'emergency' by the above definition means they shouldn't have known early today that they need to do this tomorrow.  Makes no sense to me.  The lady proceeds to tell me that that means I don't have to get there so early now, so apparently I'm supposed to be happy.  Well, I'd much rather get up super early to have a happy toddler than one that, for good reason, is going to meltdown.  I informed her that I will be there earlier than our time because I won't know what else to do with him at that point and if I have to deal with it so do they.  They better not think they're going to get away with taking him from me before he's loopy.  I let them do it last time and I already informed them it was not good for his attachment and security and they would not do that again.  Tomorrow, will probably not be a good day to cross this mommy who's way protective over this baby boy.

So far, tonight is fine.  We got through giving him the magnesium citrate.  I got lemon and he LOVED it.  I did the enema like I was supposed to and he's now resting in mommy's bed.  Special treat for my sweet baby.  I might get him up before midnight and give him a little snack yogurt.  Poor guy's been on a soft diet all day.  So, of course, when they said I could always reschedule I told them no way.  My big eater has already had a crappy diet today and I wasn't putting him through that again.  Tomorrow morning will be a play it by ear after the kids go to school.  Whatever it takes to make him happy and eventually I'll just have to hear him cry and he'll probably hit me because that's what he does when he's super ticked.  I'm anxious for tomorrow afternoon when this is all over and then next week they can get us the biopsy results and let us know what's going on....hopefully.  

Pray for my baby please.  I hope it goes perfectly tomorrow and he tolerates everything well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8 years later

On Jeju Island a sweet baby girl was born 8 years ago.  We were lucky enough to be come her parents.  She's funny and sweet and very caring.  Though, a little ditzy.  Gotta love my Binah.  Happy birthday sweetie.  I'm so glad you had a such a great day.  You never stopped smiling tonight as you opened your cards and got all your phone calls.

And Lois, here is her trying to open the card that doesn't open.  She finally ripped it trying to open it.  The boys thought I was going to be mad at her, but I had to just start laughing.  She was trying so hard to open that card.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Goonies, doughnuts and this and that.

I don't know if I'm just getting old, my allergies and asthma is getting to me or the nights up with a specific man that has me so tired.  I've been going to sleep at 9 the past two nights and sleeping late...thanks to my husband.  And, I still don't feel terribly recharged, but still so much to do.  After running to 3 stores Saturday to grocery shop, get the remaining supplies school has since asked for and looking to replace hubby's sandals with some new cheapies we decided to go swimming.  It's still stinkin' hot, but after that rain it felt a little cool.  I sat and watched, but the kids did NOT mind the cooler water.  Thank goodness Lois lets us swim.  Keeps the kids busy and saves a ton of money.  It's really good therapy for Brian too.  He felt every muscle in his legs last night and they were tired.  He could use that therapy a little more often. You kind of forget about the importance of ongoing therapy this far out of the accident and with life just being so busy.

Kaelin came to bed with me and watched tv last night after the two littlest went to bed.  Brian and the big guys were watching something in the basement.  She had to turn off the tv and put me to bed because I fell asleep.  Today consisted of more laundry and house cleaning.  Then, I got the bright idea to make doughnuts the way we used to at my grandma's house when I was little.  It was just a yeast roll recipe, but the kids LOVED them.  Super cheap to do.

I taped Goonies for the kids too and they sat and watched that this evening after dinner.  They actually liked it.  It was iconic in our time.  And tonight I have a kid with a tooth ache.  Not sure if it's really a tooth problem since he just went to the dentist in June, but I think it may be more sinus.  He can't nail it down to a location; it's top and bottom.  So, we're trying antibiotics and decongestant and tylenol.  See how it goes.  He's also trying some heel cups and arch supports we had to look for at Walmart yesterday.  He has a lot of heel pain after he is on his feet a lot.  I'm really hoping this helps since we can't afford another specialist right now.  We'll see on that too.

I'm trying to adjust myself to cutting back even further than we do on a normal basis.  I'm hoping my dream of going part time may come true soon, even if not for long.  We're going to start making our own bisquick mix and other little things.  That's a good thing to do regardless of if I get to do it or not.  I'm praying about part time.  The specialist appointments and keeping up with the kids has just really gotten hard working full time.  It's not that bad without all that, but I've felt somewhat overwhelmed the past month or so with so many appointments and things to keep up with to keep everyone healthy, yet get through normal life. 

I'm really nervous about this week.  I have to get Kaelin's cake made tomorrow, after work, for her birthday on Tuesday.  I'd like to pop up to just one of Chase's football practices too, so tomorrow night would be it.  I have to try to get Chase to the dentist in the next day or two if he doesn't start feeling better.  Then, Tuesday, of course, is Kae's birthday, so that takes precedence over everything.  Wednesday I have to get the Heart Walk money dropped off for the American Heart Association.  And Wednesday I get to start getting little man through his enema for Thursday's procedure.  I'm praying Wednesday and Thursday aren't terribly hard, but I don't exactly understand this soap enema thing, so I'm awaiting further instructions from the GI.  And praying his anesthesia isn't as hard on him this time, like last.  I should feel pretty darn good Friday, but I'm thinking we're supposed to do something then too, but I can't remember what.  See I'm losing it.  I need a break.  I need an assistant.  :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Starting something you don't want to continue

Gosh, I hope this doesn't continue on, but it just seemed okay for one night.  :)

Poor J was tired by 7:30 tonight.  I'm sure it's just because I had to give him yet another dose of benadryl for his hives.  At this point, I'm no longer sure what's causing them.  I took him to his room, gave him paci and puppy and cow and then laid with him and sang.  As soon as I got up he started to repeat something I couldn't understand.  I thought maybe he didn't really want to go to bed, so I let him out and he went to my room.  He pointed to the bed and wanted up.  So, I put him in bed and left.  I can't believe he went right to sleep without me there with him.  But, he did.

Then, Cole decided to sleep in Jaemin's room so he didn't have to hear Chase snore on his first night before school.  This bed exchange is confusing.  I had to make sure to tell Brian who was where when he got home from football practice.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Personal Exploration of an Adult Adoptee

First Person Plural is the personal exploration of Deann Borshay Liem to find her Korean identity.  I'm not sure it was completely uncommon for things to work the way it did in her case.  I've heard, not countless, but other stories on the internet from those early years of Korean adoption where identities were exchanged in order to complete a promised adoption.  For her, she was able to track down and still find her original identity and birth family, but I wonder about others.  Maybe some accepted who they were told they were?

I want to believe that with all the laws that have changed over all these years that this no longer happens, but it's hard to say if that belief is true or if we'll ever know.  I want to believe that what we were told about our children is true, mostly so they don't have to be confused by their own history.  Your own, personal, story shouldn't be puzzle pieces to put together because of adults.  I can't help but watch this video and slightly wonder what the birthfamilies of our three children are like and wonder if we'll meet them?  I pray that should our children choose to that their prayers are answered and that they will allow us to participate.  I already feel love towards their birthfamilies as if they are an extension of our family.

This is part of the reason I want to visit Korea as a family in a few years, so badly.  I feel that visiting beforehand, before they may choose to investigate their beginnings and having an understanding of their birthlands may make their experiences a little easier.  I want us to have this experience together first, as a whole family.  I know we could go to Disney or Hawaii as our one big family vacation and for a lot less money, but this just seems so important to me and something that we can't put off until it never happens.  Does that makes sense?  I hope that because I ask from time-to-time how the girls (since they're older) feel or if they I have questions I pray there's not that miscommunication or misunderstanding that makes them afraid to discuss their Korean-ness or their Korean families.

If you have almost an hour to watch this video, do. It's very interesting and gives you a lot to think about, especially if you are a family member to an adoptee.  It gives you some insight into how they may, one day, feel.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bittersweet Evening

We got the boys all registered in middle school and then Chase went to football practice.  Cole has been doing well watching Chase do something he so badly wanted to, but I sometimes wonder when it will wear off.  It has to be hard.  We sent him away on a small vacation with his grandparents for a couple of days this week.  He was the center of attention for a couple of days and we really felt like he could use it.  I do think that played a part in him dealing with it a little better, but like I said, I don't know how long it will last.

Chase was running back tonight and Brian's pretty sure he'll be starting since he's one of the fastest and about 20 lbs heavier than the other fast boy.  I'll miss his first game because Cole has his Heart Walk that day.  But, he will have other games and Cole only does this once per year and I'm hoping this is something he'll continue on with, especially now.  He's already done it for 6 years which is awesome for a boy his age.

I just hope Cole learns to be flexible with his life and roll with it all.  It's really the only way.  However, I will always feel bad for him and pray he doesn't feel like he truly missed out.  I could care less about athletics, but if it's something my kids enjoy and are interested in, I greatly care.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Real World

Mine Vs. Others

Have you ever seen those reality shows?  We must be getting Bravo free for a bit, so I thought I'd tune into some of those housewives shows.  It just stuns me what their reality is compared to ours.  The stuff they worry about and stress about are so stupid and frivolous.  Money or not, I'd like to know if their 'lives' are real.  Do wealthy really have that low of an existence as some of these people on reality shows portray?  Sure they seem to love their kids, etc. but they make their lives so much more complicated than they need to be.  Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of people like that in every social class.

I guess I just spend so much time worrying about where this world is going  for my children and grandchildren.  Is there going to be anything left to save?  I wish I had an answer to how to fix the problems of today.  I wish I had an answer to how the middle class is going to survive without getting crushed into the poorer classes.  And I wish I had an answer on how to get the poorer classes up and handling things better on their own, for the ones who want to.  There are too many that fall through the cracks in our society and too many that take advantage of the cracks they seep into to get what they 'deserve'. 

I wish there were a way to link up social security numbers.  If you partake in social welfare of any sort, disability or otherwise, then you should sign over the government's ability to verify your accounts and holdings.  If anything is dependent on your assets and income then there should be proof.  Instead, it's left to social workers that there are not enough of and they are left to take the participant's word for it.  Yes, if they lie, then they're in trouble, but the truth of it is they don't have time to verify anything.  If these verifications were computerized we wouldn't have those same worries.

I know some don't believe government should have too much control, but if you want free government aid then you have to give up some liberties.  That would leave more funding for the truly needy.  And no, if they put assets, etc. in someone else's name it's going to be hard to verify anything, but they'd have to go through a lot of trouble to hide it at least.  It's better than the way it is now.  I don't understand the mentality of them 'owing' it to you.  I really don't.

I know right now, you're thinking what does the first paragraph have to do with any of the others.  My point is that I wonder if this isn't why we're in this predicament.  Too many people getting upset, worried and dramatizing petty things in life instead of the things that matter.  We've lost some of the important things that used to be taught to our kids and substituted them for the great American dream of having it all and more.  I've said it before and I'll say it a million times over.  As long as we can pay our bills, keep our children healthy, love each other and teach the kids to be good and caring people this is all I want for my success in life.  My kids are thankful for the smallest things and that makes me proud.  We can take free passes and take them to the pool for a couple of hours and get thank yous from them.  We hope to keep them on that track. 

We're not perfect parents, by any means, but how will it do any good if there are so few out there, or so it seems, keeping their children in reality? 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A first for some of the kids

I took 3 of  the kids to their first concert.  It was only $10 at the county fair, so I thought it would be a good idea to see how well Chelsi would really hold up.  She was pretty much the reason I even wanted to go being the BIG country fan she is.  It was late, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  We didn't get there until 9 and waited around for it to start.  She had a BLAST!  She was waving her hands and screaming.  She was so hoarse.  Her arms were in the air more than they were down.  She really, really liked Justin Moore!  Kaelin and Chase wanted to go to.  I think they wanted to experience it.  They couldn't see real well and I could only hold Chelsi.  We pushed our way towards the front and when we got fairly close there were some nice girls that offered to hold my 50lb Kaelin.  Chelsi finally heard 'Backwoods' and was ready to go to bed.  We got home and in bed around midnight.  I loved watching her enjoy it.  She also asked me to take a picture of Justin.  I only brought my 10 year old little camera so I wouldn't have to worry so the picture stinks, but it's a picture.  :)

Definitely want to take her to a bigger concert some day.  She truly loved it!
Chelsi and I at the concert.
And on the way there.

Just keep swimming...

We've now done 4 pools in 4 days.  The kids are having way too much fun swimming.  Thank God all 5 are water babies.  They're definitely MY kids.

But, before that I wanted to finally put out the pics of the little kids at Six Flags.  I wish I had pictures from the waterpark and the big kids, but it's hard to have fun if you're busy taking tons of pictures.  Kaelin road a big roller coaster for the first time and she said her tummy was doing flipflops by the end, but she loved it. 

Already sleeping on the way there.


Today we were able to swim at a friends house.  She wasn't there, but let us swim anyways.  Dad needed some alone time, so me and aunt Megan took them to Lois' to swim.  They had a great time!!


Friday, August 6, 2010

I did it!

I took time off just for the heck of it.  I haven't even taken time off without a reason in 2 years.  That was our last vacation right after the accident, the appendectomy and the seizure.  I took a couple hours off to use our pool passes.  The kids had a great time meeting up with their friends for a couple of hours. Then, they had their last night of swim lessons.  Cole only has one level to go and he can try out for jr lifeguard.  I'll have one in 2, 4, 5 and 6 next year. 

Then, we took off a whole day for Six Flags.  We had a great time.  We haven't just gone somewhere without any expectations or an agenda in years and I really enjoyed it.  The kids had an awesome time.  I haven't been in nearly 20 years.  Makes me sound old, huh?  I'm not really that old, just haven't been since high school.  I don't think Kaelin stopped smiling all day!  Jae did great!  All of the kids had so much fun!!  I loved watching them.

I took off early again today so the kids could go to the pool again, before they close for the season.  They got  to meet up with their friends again and had a great time.  They were thanking me as we were walking out of the park.

I really need to take my vacation a little more often to enjoy life.  I'm always so afraid I'll need it, so I really rarely use it.  And Cole's heart is a lot of that reason, but sometimes I wonder if I live in the mean time?  I'm such a cautious person.  Always have been.

And, I have to say Six Flags is definitely an enlightening experience.  We saw vehicles with taped up plastic instead of a back window all the way to tricked out Escalades.  I saw a man with a belly ring.  I've never seen that before.  One girl had some sort of ring coming our both cheeks and I think her lip too.  Either that or it was a tattoo.  I really need to get out more often.  I wonder, some days, if my kids will be as sheltered as I've always been.  Sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad.

On the medical side, I'm still waiting to hear from Cole's PC.  We're going to try to catch each other so he can explain things to me.  Jaemin has an appointment at the end of next month.  I'm hoping we'll get somewhere with him then.  I got Chelsi in to a ped urologist next month and really have high hopes for figuring things out for her too.  They're supposed to call next week to tell me what time to come and what tests we can start with.  Jane, if you're reading this it may be an early appointment, so we may need a place to stay that night?

Anyways, I've discovered vacation time in the midst of medical stress is AWESOME!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Nothing of substance today, just tidbit thoughts muddled together.

I was anxious for the mail to come because I had called the PC's office Thursday.  They were going to mail some information on Cole's surgery.  No dice.  I was bummed.

Saturday, I had to take K to the doc for a rash that's been taking outrageously long to heal.  Doc says it's neurodermatitis.  Great, now it's all in our heads.  :)  We grocery shopped after the appointment and I had taken J with us.  When we went to the store there were Cardinals balloons in the entrance.  I didn't even see them until J yelled 'charge'.  He definitely knows the Cardinals logo.  Looks like Chelsi has some competition as far as kid fans in our house goes.

I stayed home with the little 3 today.  I think I'm a sympathetic person to stomach aches.  Chelsi started throwing up at bedtime last night.  Over and over and over again.  We got her in the shower and I cleaned up...luckily it happened to be in the kitchen.  Ever since then I felt sloshy.  I don't think I'm actually sick, I think I'm just being sympathetic to her being sick.  For some reason I do that a lot when they're sick with a stomach bug.  I'm rarely actually sick.

Other than these things, life is normal.  Back to work as usual.  Hopefully, we'll get to do some extra swimming this week though.  Summer's sliding to an end and we're really running out of time.  Really hate that.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Broken Heart

I'm still trying hard to understand Cole's heart.  I 'thought' I understood it 13 years ago.  I just can't believe what was explained to me was not really the whole story.  Our family doc is getting his full records so he can help explain things to me since the pediatric cardiologist is 2 hours from us.  I can't just pop in for an appointment and getting them on the phone has been near to impossible.  I just have generic questions, but since I can't see the post op to know exactly what was in there I can't ask those questions very well.

The PC said he has a goretex (PFTE) monocusp.  The NP (that works for the PC) said the documentation they have says transannular patch with monocusp.  I'm not totally understanding if they both actually mean the same thing or not.  I understand what the patch is, but I don't know if they replaced his valve, patched over his valve or if it was never there.  Since no one ever said atresia, I'm guessing it was there, just maybe damaged?  After all my googling it looks like standard procedure for a standard tetralogy case is to do what they told me they'd be doing.  They'd patch the holes between the ventricles (he had 2)...at least that's what I was told 13 years ago...who knows now...I'll check for that too.  Then they take out the muscle build up around the valve that is narrowing causing the stenosis.

When Cole was in surgery they called us in the waiting room to tell us they thought they had finished, but had to put him back on bypass because his pressures were still too high.  They never explained what they did in that time, but the new PC's office says that's when the patch was put in place.  Makes sense.  But, why never tell us?  From what I understand, if reducing muscle is not enough that's when the patches are put on.  However, withing the first 20 years another surgery is always required and it's to replace the valve completely.  So even if they spared his valve it will be replaced.  The information I found shows that usually about 10 years out is when the leakage is too much.  Most kids are good until then, depending on their specific circumstances.  So, I guess if we make it 13+ years we're doing good?  Just wish we had known.

So, we'll have another appointment next Spring and do the full run of tests including, xray, EKG, echo, MRI and stress test.  Then, we're hoping they'll have a better idea of how well his heart is handling things, how much enlargement there is on the right side and when the surgery is coming.  For now, his xray confirmed his echo and he should do okay to next year.  Can't say I'm not still nervous, because for the first time in 13 years I am.

I'm trusting God.  I just remind myself of that and I feel better for a bit.