Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day or should I say Night #4

She was dry.  It's probably been close to a year since she's had a month where she's been dry two times.  Let alone two times in a week.  No alarm going off means more sleep for me.  YAY!

Lisa

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cheers, giggles and smiles

I've had a couple of these pictures locked on my camera for a couple of weeks.  Jaemin found Chelsi's pom poms from the fall football games and he was cheering.  And you can see what she would rather do.....duh duh duh duh....dress up as a princess.  SHOCKER!


Jaemin had the giggles today.  Everytime I said anything he laughed.  I noticed he's been doing this a lot lately.  So, am I funny or funny looking?

All they wanna do is potty all the time












It's only been a couple of days and I feel like potty talk all the time!

Chelsi is 5 1/2, but does not ever stay dry at night, so after the doctors all agreed that other than duplicated ureters she has no birth defects and nothing that should cause incontinence issues.  So, it means it's just her.  They all recommended an enuresis alarm since she's nearing 6.  We were waiting for my new cafeteria plan year and the time has finally come.  So we've ordered the alarm and received it this week!

I have Chelsi sleeping on a mat next to my bed so that I can make sure she wakes up when the alarm goes off.  That sucker is so load it scares the crap out of me a lot of the nights.  It's only been 3 nights though.  The first night was aweful!  She had be woken up and it took a long time to get her to her feet.  Lesson learned.  She needs a pullup over her underwear to keep her from peeing on the mat, or worse yet missing and hitting my floor.  She peed twice that night.  The second night she slept through and was dry.  This generally happens one time per month....on a good month.  The 3rd night, last night she only had it go off once and it was almost 6 am.  She hopped up before I was really awake.  Of course, I still have Jaemin in my bed too.  So, about that time or maybe a little later, he was laughing in my ear.  Apparently, he was having a really happy dream because he was giggling his butt off!

Thursday I decided to try to potty train Jaemin.  It was not successful, but it must have put a bug in his ear.  He ran around naked and peed on the potty a couple of times and stayed mostly dry even when his diaper was on.  We had to put it on Thursday night because I had to go with Chelsi to play rehearsal and he won't go for Brian.  Friday we had places to go and our appliances were in and we needed to install, so he wore his diaper again.  But, he asked to go while we had company last night.  He remembered that I had bought a brand new box of fruit snacks and I, smartly, put them right at his height in the bathroom cabinet.  He grabbed a snack and told me he needed to pee.  He squeezed out a couple of drops and got his snack.  Brian things he just knows how to work the system, and he does, but I told him to let it go.  It might be enough incentive if we're lucky!

This morning as soon as he opened his eyes Jaemin looked at me and said he needed to poo.  So I took him in the bathroom, he grabbed his snack and peed....a lot!  He ate his snack and then, apparently, when he took his wrapper to the trash in the kitchen he peed on the floor in front of the trashcan.  I don't know how he peed that much in that short of time.  1/2 hour later, he always poops after breakfast, he said he needed to poop.  So Cole took him poop.  He actually went.  For the first time ever.  Cole gave him his snack.  Then, he pooped in his diaper 10 minutes later.  Hopefully, that's just a minor miscommunication with his body and he's still figuring it out.

My dream.  Oh my dream is to have Chelsi and Jaemin both potty trained at the same time.  It would be fine, if it had to be that way, to only have 1 (Jaemin) in nightly pullups.  But, oh to get them both out of diapers and pullups!!  14 years of diapers next month is what we've been doing.!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reasons NOT to Adopt

This is not going to be popular, I'm sure.  But, this is my blog and my opinion.  Though I'm not that strongly opinionated on a lot of things, this one I am.  BECAUSE IT'S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS, NOT THE PARENTS WANTING KIDS.  And some of this I've wrestled with, but because I feel it's right in my heart, I leave it alone and remember it's right.

1) You're already deep in debt (credit card, etc.) and you want to pursue an expensive adoption.  Now, I'm not talking about you have a house loan and a car or you want to go through foster care which is free.  If you're already having trouble making necessary payments and are just getting by, maybe you should hold off until you're in a better situation.   Finances are stress...children can add to that stress.  Who am I lying to...they do.  And I mean that in the most loving way.  :)

2)  Your husband is NOT on board.  Is it okay to talk about it over and over again...sure.  As long a you're BOTH talking.  As long as there is somewhat of a discussion.  But, if the spouse (husband or wife....usually husband) is adamantly against it sometimes we wives need to concede.  BTDT!

3)  You're going to save a child from their life or possible life.  While, yes, there are children who may not survive without a family to care for them, medically and otherwise I'm not sure I will ever be convinced that that is reason enough/alone to adopt.  How do 'we' know we are their saviors?  Doesn't only 'He' know?  If you want a child that's great.  That's a great reason.  Not purely to save a soul.  This could be a lengthy discussion, so I'll leave it here.

4)  Your existing children do NOT want siblings.  Okay, you argue.  Do we ask our children if we can get pregnant?  No.  But, adoption really is a different process and can require some different parenting, sort of like some special needs children.  Not the same, but sort of.....hard to explain, but other adoptive parents understand.  It's also extremely purposeful.  Even in the case of a sibling call like we had there is still purpose.  Not accident.  Unless you have no insurance there is also minimal cost in pregnancy in comparison to adoption.  Though I'm not a fan of letting those pesky fees get in the way if otherwise you can financially handle another child.  Anyways, when we were in process, one thing very important to us as we added each one was whether everyone was good with it.  If they weren't they had time to talk about it.  IF it couldn't have been alleviated, whatever fears there were, we would NOT have proceeded.  Our guardian ad litem commented on how well all of our children have adapted to each other.  She said she'd seen families where biological children resented adopted children and vice versa.  I know hard to imagine.  She asked what we did and this is all I could think to tell her.  We made all of our existing children, one by one, a part of the process.

5)  Okay, so number 5 is a copout because really there aren't very many reasons NOT to adopt.  It's great.  It's wonderful and I'd be missing 3 little pieces of my heart without it.  So, the only other reasons not to adopt are just obvious.  You hate kids, want a servant/worker.....  Though surely that doesn't really happen, right?

If you have add ons, feel free to leave them in comments.

New Site to List for SCI

I'm going to find a spot on the blog to list this site; www.christopherreeve.org

For the most part, Brian's spinal cord injury is just something that happened to him and, of course, our whole family.  Most people assume that because he walked again and regained some of his other motor functions everything just goes back to the way it was, a sort of normal, for our family.  But, any SCI patient or family knows that's not really true.  It's something the patient will live with for the rest of their lives and it's not a static state.  Meaning just because they gain it back doesn't mean it's permanent.  Brian has lost some very minor simple functions.  Mostly we noticed the right end fingers.  But, over time things can happen within the spinal cord because of the injury that can cause him to lose more of what he gained back those months after and in rehab.

I won't get all technical here, but I've known for some time that he, in all reality, will likely end up disabled in 10-20 years.  At our age now, that's pretty young.  I say disabled only because the job he is trained to do cannot be done if he loses function.  Thankfully, I think he may be able to find something to do at his current employer, just not what he does now, if he ends up with a walker or wheelchair.  Honestly, I tend NOT to think about this.  It makes me a bit sad at our lives changing once again.  But, I do know it could happen and keep it purged away so that the shock doesn't hit me like his accident did. 

Anyways, this site is a great site with lots of great information on spinal cord injuries.

Lisa

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finally getting back on a schedule

I've never been terribly scheduled with our time since going part time, but I do have somewhat of a routine.  It all got blown up when Jaemin and I were sick the first of the year and then with the older kids being home so much.  Now that I'm feeling quite a bit better and not going through a box of kleenex a day I feel more up to getting things done; besides what I absolutely have to.

Last week I made a alphabet and site word binder.  Sounds crazy for a 2 year old, but it never hurts and Chelsi learned at just under 3 by this repetition, so what the hey.  I printed them all off in big, bold print and put them in sheet protectors to go in the binder.  On the flip side of the letters are the words, including such important words for Jaemin such as; Cole, Chase, Kaelin, Chelsi, Jaemin, mom and dad.  :)

Over the weekend Chelsi and I went to Target after play rehearsal to raid their $1 bins.  I wanted some fun things for the trip in May and thought that would be a good place to start.  We got little journals for the girls to draw and write during the trip; pens with cords to carry them around their necks so they don't lose them, stickers for the journals, little stuffed animals and I'll try to find a couple more small items.  I got Jaemin a couple of Hot Wheels we'll give him as we go along on the drive and he gets Batman stickers too!

Anyways, while we were at Target they had flashcards in the bins.  Princess flashcards no less.  Chelsi said she wanted them and Kaelin's been struggling a bit in addition and subtraction as far as speed, so I got them.  So, today, after we went through the alphabet and sight words we went through flashcards for addition and I have begun to teach Chelsi how to add once you have a number to add to.  She's starting to get it and I have no doubt she'll have it down pat in no time. 

So between laundry/breakfast/kids drive to school and lunch we do school time.  They get to sit on a pillow on the floor while we go through our items and then Jaemin and I read a book.  Chelsi doesn't really enjoy the baby books anymore and can ready anything she wants anyways, so she just reads to herself when she chooses.  I do think Jaemin's as quick as Chelsi he's just not quite as interested as her.  Typical boy, in this house really.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fans

Do you have a celebrity you are a fan of?  I generally don't.  I mean, they're just people too and we shouldn't idolize people.  BUT, I have to say I really do enjoy Ellen.  I have very limited time to watch tv, so I pick very carefully and frugally fill my tv time.  I have to really get some enjoyment or the show gets purged.  The Ellen Show, though I just found last year.  I know....how slow can I be.  I happened to be home a day or afternoon in May and caught a glimpse for one reason or another and it just made me laugh.  It generally takes a lot to make me laugh, so yep, you guessed it; Ellen made it into my DVR selections. 

I still watch it.  Sometimes it's pretty much an Ellen marathon because I don't have time to watch it every single day with kid activities and parenting.  I guess I should keep up with that duty, huh?  But I do make time for my Ellen marathon and my good laughs.  The thing I really like about her is how she helps people.  I think it honestly makes her feel good and I think she feels like she's giving back for what she has. 

Now, if I could figure out how to have great skin like that and look as young as she does (not that she's old) at her age.  So in just under 20 years I still wanna look like I do now because she looks my age now. 


Lisa

Allergy to apples? Try pearsauce.

When Jaemin was diagnosed as being allergic to apples, I was shocked.  I'd never heard of that one.  They told me that it was actually very common.  He breaks out in hives from apples or any sort of juice if they put apples in it.  So, I have to carefully read anything he picks up if we go to a party with other kids, etc.

My mother in law actually started smashing pears for him because he was such a huge applesauce fan and he wasn't very happy if the other kids got applesauce and he didn't.  He accepted the pear smashings, though.  So, I've started making pearsauce at home for him.  All you do is put about 5 cans of pears (in pear juice), 1 small can of pineapple and about 1/8 cup of grape juice (100%) in a blender.  Blend it up and it's ready to go.  I've done it with and without the juice and he loves it either way, but I got rave reviews when I made it with the juice.  He kept telling me "yum, yum, dis good".  That's great when he does that on his own. It must have been awesome.

Snow Ice Cream

Since we got about 8-9 inches of snow yesterday and people kept writing about snow ice cream on facebook, I thought I'd give it a try.  I'd never heard of it until facebook.  We happened to get a recipe in our conservation magazine too.  So with some milk, sugar, vanilla, chocolate syrup and fresh snow we made snow ice cream for 5 kids.  Brian liked it so much he went back out and made more to keep in the freezer.  It was actually kind of fun and very CHEAP.  I like that.

Lisa

Monday, January 17, 2011

TALK, TALK, TALK, TALK, TALK

Yep, at almost 2 1/2 Jaemin's finally talking.  I mean on par with his age.  The doctor mentioned something in September, when he turned 2, about looking into therapy if he wasn't a little closer to his age by 2 1/2.  Well, he is finally getting there.  The only multiple word sentences he was putting together was 'Iunt' (aka I want).  Today, I heard him looking for Cole saying "Cole, where are you?".  WOOHOO!!!  I was finally starting to worry and now there's no need.  I was waiting since the doctor said to.  Luckily, he's pretty laid back and doesn't throw everyone into therapy or therapy at everyone unless they really are delayed.  There's a pretty broad spectrum for delay, so I wasn't quite there yet.

I think it had something to do with the illness he had a few weeks ago.  Somehow that ear infection must have been building up for some time and he must have had fluid on his ears.  As soon as his antibiotic started working the words started to flow.  Things he had never said before are just spewing out of his mouth.  It's crazy!  Now, it won't stop.  He'll be talking and going on and on forever.

Lisa

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Repurpose for my daughter

My oldest daughter's 1st Communion is coming this year.  Now, I'm not a preachy Catholic and don't go crazy over every little step, but do know it's an important acceptance and sacrifice.  She picked out her dress.  It was the one I thought she'd pick out.  Not overly done, but a little different.  It's very pretty and was very inexpensive...shipping and all at $50.  I asked her about her tights and shoes and she decided she wanted the lacy socks with buckle shoes.  I love it.  I love that she doesn't envision it as a way to look older than her age. 

Then, I got out my veil.  The only thing I had left from my wedding day.  I didn't see the purpose of keeping my dress on the 'chance' my possible children would even want any part of it.  I asked her if she wanted to wear the veil I made for my wedding and she didn't, which I expected.  So, I asked her if she wanted me to take it apart and make her own veil for her First Communion.  Kaelin wanted the veil, so we took a layer off, shorted it up for her size and took one of my hair combs and I sewed it on.  Then, we took my flower ring from my old veil and took pieces of it and glued them onto the new haircomb.  We finished it up tonight and mocked up her hair for the day and put the veil on.  She really liked it and it looked great.  Now, I just need to try to find a steamer to steam the wrinkles out. 

After that I asked her for the necklace her uncle Brandon brought her from Italy a couple of years ago; on the intention of her wearing it on that day.  She had lost the ring to the link.  I found an old pendant and fixed it and it's ready for the day.  It's a cross made out of crystals.  I even took the old rosary I was given after my First Communion and tried to fix.  For almost 30 years I've drug the rosary I broke around with me every where.  Back then, I didn't understand enough to know you shouldn't play with it and I tried to wear it like a necklace and broke it.  I've been carrying around the pieces every since.  I think I was afraid of discarding them and the implications attached.   However, after putting it all back together we realized it only had 4 decades.  So did it always have 4 decades and is a Rosary for the Dead or did I love an entire decade?  I can't imagine losing the one since I had one bead all by itself and kept it this whole time.  I may never know, but I'll have to check with my mom where I got it from, because I don't really remember.

Lisa

Friday, January 14, 2011

Youn-su 윤수

If you are still out there, I just sent your mother a picture magnet for her refridgerator.  I took Jaemin's pictures in September and I thought she might like to put it there where she can always see him.  I hope the agency gets it to you soon.

Miss you all.

Lisa
리사

Snow Fun 2011

The big kids have pretty much gone out every evening after school to play in the snow.  Chelsi went out once and only last about 10 minutes before she was too cold to stand it.  Since it's Friday I decided we had time to have a later supper and asked Jaemin if he wanted to play outside.  He couldn't wait.  So we got on his snow suit and took him out.  He did NOT want to come in!  He threw snowballs with the big kids and fell in the snow piles left.  He laughed every time he fell or saw a snowball hit someone or something.  We had to make him come in finally and even with gloves his hands were COLD!

Chase wanted one with him and each dog.
Jaemin's on a mission.
Who's he going to hit next?
Jaemin had to find out that when you hit a tree, they hit back.
Jae and CoCo.
Lovin' the snow!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sad Reality

Chelsi and I were just sitting here watching tv when she told me that her friend A was going to Disney.  I knew this already, but didn't want to tell her because I knew I'd have to explain.  I asked if she was upset because she's been BEGGING for Disney for awhile.  She REALLY wants to see the princesses.   REALLY REALLY REALLY.

She understood enough not to be mad, but she was sad.  I told her I already knew, but that we couldn't go because her dad can't handle that level of walking.  And if you want to enjoy the parks you're going to have to walk.  I know he could rent a wheelchair, but there's NO way he'd do that.  He just wouldn't go.  I never even broached the topic with Brian because there was no need to make him feel bad for Chelsi not being able to go.  She asked why he couldn't walk and I told her the accident affected his legs.  She asked me what accident?  I asked if she remembered Brian's accident.  I mean she was only 2 1/2.....literally 1/2 her age.  She said ohhh...you mean when he broke his neck.  She didn't quite understand that a broken neck would affect legs.  Not to mention how bad the nerve pain is for him and walking does NOT help that at all.

I hate this reality.  I don't hate that we can't go to Disney, but I hate that we have to rethink what we do or want to do because of what happened......oh my gosh....3 years ago tomorrow!  Don't get me wrong.  I'm completely thankful for it is instead of what it could be.  It's just the sad reality of it all sometimes.  And then when I really think about it I feel bad for forgetting to recognize Brian's ability to not whine, not say a word and get through HIS reality every single day and do construction work while he tired and his feet are burning.  I don't think you will ever see too many people like him.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The day of gadgets

You know I honestly miss the days of not so many gadgets.  Especially the communication kind.  Like so many others on the internet have said we've forgotten how to communicate thanks to the internet avenues like Facebook or texting. 

My boys got Ipod Touches for Christmas.  I loaded some freebie apps on them, but that was it.  Well, neighbor boy who has little to no rules and free reign over anything he want had all kinds of apps and proceeds to load them onto my boys'.  The boys just handed them over.  He's 10 like Chase.  So not very old to have free reign, and not responsible enough for it either.  He put a texting app on.  I only found out because Cole answered the phone and the answering machine picked up with H saying to text him.  So I questioned him, naturally.  I let it go so I could think about it a bit.  I decided that while I wanted to trust the boys I needed to see what they were doing with their texting ability along with seeing what other apps were loaded.

That ended up being the only app I had an issue with.  Chase hates these fangled ways of communication so he hadn't used it.  Cole, on the other hand, had quite a few text conversations.  One was with one of Chase's other 10 yo friends who used cuss words most adults would be offended by.  Granted Chase isn't close friends with him...thank goodness.  But, I was appalled.  Of course, Brian tells me that he guesses most boys this age talk like that.  This is being heard by me, a girl who didn't say her first cuss word until well into teenage years and I remember apologizing to God for it.  Cole was never mean mean and never used foul language, but H had given Cole his girlfriend's (yes girlfriend, eye roll) cell number so he could text her, pretend he was someone else and bug her.  It worked.  She was perturbed.  He wasn't rude or hateful; just annoying.  Really annoying. 

So, after all that I deleted the app and told them that if H ever downloaded on their Touches again without me seeing what it was they would be taken away.  I then called H and told him (very nicely) that he needed to do me a favor and not do that anymore since it's my house rules or he couldn't come to my house anymore.  He actually respects me and listens pretty good to me once I talk to him.  At home he seems to have no rules, so he does whatever. 

I'm waiting for the day that the 14 year old (almost) matures enough for me to EVER trust him with a cell.  He needs to learn now he can't use texting to aggravate anyone.  It could get you into a world of hurt you do not want to enter.  I'm PRAYING lesson learned.

Monday, January 10, 2011

How wonderful it was

to drop off a check in the mail for our condo today.  It was snowing pretty good out and I was on my way to drop off a check so we could go on a vacation with some friends this summer.  I can hardly wait!  I'm as excited as the kids.  I'd love to do one of those things where it's this big secret until then, but I can't do that.  I can't stand it myself.

So, I confess I'm a bit nervous.  This is our first vacation since having kids (yeah 5 in 13 years) that we've done a vacation without my family (mom, stepdad, sister and brother-in-law).  The couple we've been able to take in these years has been us tagging along with my mom and stepdad to their timeshare.  While it has always been a great time and oddly enough I love being a small 2 bedroom condo with all of us together, but since we always had kids and so many I did feel a little bad. 

I've spent the last week emailing around trying to get estimates on the cost to go there, etc.  I was SO happy when we got an email and it was only $1500 for the entire week...and then we get to split it with some friends.  We weren't really planning to spend any money on a vacation before our big Korea trip in a couple of years.  Especially, since that will exhaust pretty much whatever we have by then, but with Cole's heart surgery in the next couple of years we decided we needed a vacation before all of the unknowns of when and how long set in.  Plus, honestly, I don't think he had too much fun on vacation a few years ago when we tagged along to FL with the parents.  I can understand though.  Who would want to be 11, go to FL and just have had an appendectomy and told you can't swim.  Though we did break the rules the last day.  I couldn't take it and we put on a massive waterproof bandage.  And then you've got the whole Chelsi had her febrile seizure on the same trip and spent the night in the ER in Orlando and STILL had a 90 minute drive back to the condo.

EEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm just so excited!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The icky green goo

That describes quite a few of us off and on since two weeks before Christmas.  Nice huh?

I haven't written since the day after because, well, that's the day I started getting sick.  It all started after Jaemin headbutted me right in the nose.  Talk about an eye waterer that made me cry and really want to scream.  I had a slight black eye a couple of days later, but not bad considering how bad it hurt.  Anyways, two weeks before Christmas Jaemin and Chase had bad colds.  They both have asthma that creeps up with colds and allergies, so they always sound really bad. Right before Christmas they both cleared up and seemed fine, so no doc.  Right after Christmas they both got sick again.  Poor guys.  Cole got sick too, but he got better so quick.  For a heart kid, he's pretty darn healthy, knock on wood.  Chelsi's starting in now.  Just for the record, she's not green....yet.

Chase swore up and down he was getting better so he didn't go to the doctor.  However, I was feeling pretty bad and Jaemin couldn't seem to shake it and was running a fever over the New Year, so he went too.  Poor guy had a sinus infection and ear infection.  I only had a sinus infection.  His ear infection was the first I've ever had in one of my kids in 13 years.  Can you believe that?  He hadn't eaten much of anything in a couple of days, so I'm glad she gave him an antibiotic.  He's now on day 2 of his meds and his cough still sounds horrendous, but he's running crazy again and eating a little more, so that's better.  He actually asked for 'more' at supper tonight.  That's my normal little guy.  I'm really not bad, but dang if I could just stop coughing.  I've had a hot totty and every medicine that's supposed to quiet coughs and nothing works.  I'm hoping for no coughing fits tonight.  Jaemin sleeps right through though.  Little stinker!