Thursday, April 28, 2011

$$ and Reverse Sleeping

Well, our rummage sale last weekend was a bust because of the rain. Oh yeah, we still had it and people came, but no one was really in the mood to spend money. I find that I don't spend money on depressing days either, so I guess I can understand, but brand clothes for $1. I came home from where we were having the rummage sale last Saturday, took pictures of my leftovers, which totaled two rough totes and listed it all on craigslist. I have 3 pick ups tomorrow and hopefully one more sale on the way. The only item left after that is a Halloween costume. No biggie, I can hold onto that and try to sell in late September. I ended up doing better online than on my prices I would have gotten at the rummage sale anyways. This money is our spending money for vacation this summer, so it would be nice to end up with a couple hundred to ease the pain.

On a side note, Jaemin slept in his bed for over 6 hours last night. I found that if he comes in, I can, almost always, wait until he's sleeping again and bring him back to his bed. Then, he stays in his room. This has worked 2 or 3 times anyways. I didn't realize how much sleep I've been missing these past couple of years until I slept straight through from 11 or 12 until little one's head in my back, yelling in the night, etc. Such a nice slumber. I hope it continues, 'cause it really does a body good!

Monday, April 25, 2011

ipawee pweese

This is Jaemin speak for 'iPod please'.  He loves an iPOD touch.  First he used big brothers' all the time, now that mom and dad have one to share he uses ours.  He takes his Angry Birds seriously.  I swear I only had him undressed for a minute while I went to get a diaper and he was back on the couch playing ipawee.

He's a smart one.  He knows how to zoom around the iPod and get to where he wants.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter #3

You can tell I was just too tired by this one.  It was at grandmas (my grandma) with all my aunts, uncles and not all cousins, but enough when you fit us all into a house.  The kids always have a good time together, for sure.  And we have a ton of candy, but thankfully most of it is chocolate; which means it will get eaten.  Good food, good company, ready for bed.

Easter Family #2

So #2 is our own family at our own house.  Nothing special, just a ton of candy 'cause Easter bunny forgot he'd bought a bunch of candy after Easter last year on clearance and put it in the freezer.  Oh well.  Jaemin loves his basketball and net though!  Jaemin really started getting into the hunting today.  He can spot some really great hiding spots.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Family #1

Every Easter, like Christmas, you have to squeeze in multiple family gatherings.  Easter's not quite as bad, but we have both grandparents to see.  So Easter Saturday evening is spent with Brian's mom and dad.  The kids had a good time and got their Easter eggs hunted.  She doesn't do candy.  It's usually a box of snacks of some sort for each kid, a couple of toys and $5 ($1 in 5 eggs).  They're color coded eggs, so you know that each kid ends up with the right prizes.

I had to keep this picture.  Normally, I delete them if they just end up being head shots and they're not really doing anything, but with a 14 year old you rarely get them in a picture anyways.

Chase stopped hunting for eggs for a second to get this tree frog off the tree for inspection.  What a nature

Kaelin got a hoola hoop and boy can she use it.

And here are the little kids.

Friday, April 22, 2011

No pullup?

Chelsi has decided to go without a pullup.  She wanted to keep her potty alarm on though.  I think it makes her feel safe that she can't pee too much and she'll get caught.  But, it hasn't gone off at all in weeks.  She hasn't had a week where she's peed more than once in several weeks.  Definitely a great investment for the family.  $100 for the device or at least $15-20/month in pullups. 

She was all smiles going to bed for the very first time in her life without a pullup on!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Such a tear jerker

It's only about a minute long video, but I have to say it brought tears to my eyes.  They are starting off their marriage very strong. I know, first hand, the amount of strength and courage it takes on both sides for what they're getting through.  It sounds horrible, but it's extremely true, that when these sorts of injuries take place within just a couple of years a lot of couples split up....married or not.  He stayed with her when he didn't have to and promised to by asking her to marry him.  A lot of character for him.  And her strength?  You cannot deny that someone who has that sort of injury and learns to walk again, if only for the isle, has a tremendous amount of inner strength and did Brian.

Married couples have a lot to get through in their marriages, but this is a trial unlike most.  Maybe on par or right under if one gets cancer.  Very life changing for both, to say the least.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fishing for Minnows

The big boys got a very small, 2 gallon, fish tank for Christmas this year.  They tried their hand a couple of different fish and nothing lasted more than a few days.  So, we were letting the tank sit because sometimes fish do better after that point.  Now, 3 months later we're getting some algae and definitely a seasoned tank. 

Since they LOVE to catch minnows and such and bring them home, I thought maybe they could put some in the tank and we'd just keep them instead.  We only have one as of tonight.  They didn't do so well as there were other people around the lake.  Jaemin did get to play with a frog and touch a tadpole though.  The tadpole has even already grown it's legs.  Jaemin wasn't too keen on the frog though.  It jumped and scared him...yeah Mr. Tough Guy.....and he told us to put it back.  I asked him to hold it, so he grabbed it from me and threw it back into the lake.  I don't think he cared for it.

It was a nice break from rushing in the evening.  I fixed supper, left it to simmer on the stove and we left. We came back just 1/2 hour later, took showers and enjoyed the food.  And boy were they all hungry after that.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sleep for Donuts

After 7 full months of sleeping with me, on me, in my bed, Jaemin slept all night in his own bed.  I refuse to let him cry this out.  It's not worth it.  With his acid reflux he has a lot of gagging issues and when he cries really hard he pukes.  And then with his reflux he's so used to swallowing that kind of gunk that he swallows it and I'd be afraid he's aspirate it and end up with it in his lungs like he used to.  Not worth it!

I at least want him to fall asleep in his own bed though.  I don't care as much that he comes in for comfort if he wakes in the night, but not to start out there or wait until I go to bed and then come in.  Literally, that's what it's come to.  We can put him down at 8 and he'll lie there quietly until I tip toe past to go to bed.  Then, it's a 10 or 11 at night.  I can't do it anymore.  I'm too tired for that.  He sleeps great when he's in my bed, but he's got to go to sleep in his. 

We've been bribing him with donuts for about a week now.  I bought his favorite little gem donuts on sale this week and he LOVES them.  So, I thought surely he would sleep in his bed for a donut in the morning.  All yesterday he was clapping for the donuts he would get this morning.  He would tell us he was going to sleep in 'my room'.  YAY!  Not mommy's room.  YAY!  But, by nightfall we asked him if he was going to sleep in his bed all night, in his room and he politely told Brian 'no thank you'.  It was the cutest thing, but we'd taken a huge leap backwards in the bed war.  So at bedtime, which is later on weekends, we put him to bed.  I'd cooked all day yesterday, for Easter since I don't have time this week, and was exhausted early.  So I decided to go ahead and sneak off to bed.  He'd been quiet for awhile, so I thought maybe he was sleeping.  Nope.  I get to my room and I could hear him running down the hall.  So we started the war at 9:30 and it ended about 11.  I won this time.  I put him in his bed and sat outside his room so that every time he got out of bed I could direct him back into bed.  I eventually went to bed as he was starting to get drowsy.  He followed after a bit, but after a couple of times of walking him back to his room I no longer had to get up.  I could just tell him he was not sleeping in my bed, he was sleeping in his bed and he needed to go back to his room.  He did this several times and was done for the night.  He really hardly even cried when I told him to go to his room.  I could hear the pouty 'huh huh' as he walked back, but that was it.

This morning I went to his bed and woke him up.  I told him how big he was and that he was going to get his donuts.  He was THRILLED to get up this morning.  He ate and ate and ate.  He's already saying he'll sleep in his bed tonight.  But, as we learned last night what we think in the morning is not necessarily what we're thinking at night when the time comes.  And before anyone thinks Brian didn't try to help in this, I asked him not to.  This has been my war with Jaemin.  It was always me he wanted.   It wasn't my bed.  I slept in his room two nights ago on his floor by his bed and he got up several times to lay on the floor with me.  He's a mommy snuggler that for sure.

My donut boy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Long day of shopping with great rewards

I 'made' the big boys go with me shopping today.  Unfortunately, I had to do my monthly shopping and weekly groceries at once...which meant a massive list!  I was also planning on returning stuff to Kohls and checking the price on diapers at Target since I'd be out that way...oh and stop by the $1 store.  The first parts were all a bust!  I forgot my Kohls return, so the boys got out of that.  The diapers that were on sale at Target weren't as good a deal as they seemed online, but the Target brand WAS cheaper than Walmart's brand, so I got them.  I found a couple of things for little man to get from the Easter Bunny and then he can bring them on vacation with us.  All good there.

Then we were off to Walgreens to get some dental floss...real cheap.  Yep, I walked out of there with just the dental floss.  After that it was some items at Kroger, but only what was on the list from the ad.  Only if super cheap.  But, we stocked up on some cheap chips for the trip.  Last stop was Walmart.  That was a large bill, but for a month of toiletries, etc and 1 week of food it was good.

I actually came in real great on my budget today.  Surprised me with how over full the cart was.  I could barely push it after we put 20 lbs of dog food on the bottom too.  I made my lists at home and then searched for all the coupons I didn't already have.  Of course, I always print extra if I think there's a chance I might use it down the road.  Saved me $16 on everything I was buying anyways.  See we don't live in an 'extreme coupon' area where you get double dolllar coupons, triple any coupons, etc.  So, you have to be happy with this.  Plus when you're buying fresh fruits and veggies and NO processed foods it's a little harder...but I don't care.

My best deal was $3 off a Toy Story Operation game that was on clearance for $5.  Do I need it?  No, but I cut the coupon thinking it would be a great Christmas or birthday present for one of the younger ones.  So, yep, I got it for $2.  Cole used comp ads to get the donuts he wanted to buy himself for $1.09 each.  I told him I'd never seen them that cheap and he buys his own junk food, so he used my ad.  He also used a coupon I found for B1G1 Axe shower gel.  He got two for $3.  He was pretty happy with his deals, so this was a GREAT teaching opportunity.

After I got home and put all the stuff away little man woke up from his nap.  He was SO happy to see me and gave me a big 'hi mommy'.  Then, I sat down on the couch and he monkey hugged me (this is what I call it when he wraps hi arms around my neck and legs around my waist) and kept rubbing and squeezing his hands on my.  I asked him what he was doing and he kind of gave me the duh answer of 'I hugging you'.  I've never heard that from him and it was so sweet.  As in 'I love you' sweet.  Man that boy makes a tired mom feel good!  Love you Jaemin!

Friday, April 8, 2011

kiss it mommy

Just 3 months ago Jaemin was barely stringing two words together.  Every great once in awhile we'd get 3 small ones.  Now he talks CONSTANTLY!

Tonight it was "ouch, that hurt", "kiss it mommy".  And when I was done I got a big "thank you".  Way sweeter than the big ones.  And they wonder why he's my favorite kid.  ;)

Just kidding guys.


Monday, April 4, 2011


I'm in bed by 10 and Jae is ASLEEP in HIS bed. No early fight tonight..... And I almost gave in and gave paci back. That's how bad last night was. Amen!

So yeah, we're lucky

But it's still d@^^ frustrating that we have to deal with the repercussions of the injury.  I honestly get VERY annoyed when people tell me how lucky we were with Brian and his spinal cord injury.  I know they mean well, but it's not like I don't know it.  I'm reminded almost everyday.  Trust me, I haven't forgotten and doubt I'll be able to any time soon.

Meanwhile, when something to this magnitude happens to your body, regardless of what others outside the bubble see, there are things you and your family deal with that they will never know or understand and it's often enough, that there's no avoidance or forgetting. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

my boys and their spare time

I found these videos on Chase's camera card.  He asked me to put all the pictures and videos on his iPOD, but this mom was very curious as to what the videos contained.  You know, a way of checking in on them.  Most were of them sledding this Winter, but some were just well......boys.

I have titles before each set to version of what I think they're doing.  I actually heard me yelling at them in one of the clips and then they told me goodnight.  BUT, they didn't go to bed.  They continued their video making.  Oh my...who knows what's next.  What an odd sense of humor when they're bored.

Video Here

Friday, April 1, 2011

IRS and the Doctor

Doesn't that sounds like a GREAT combination for the day?  That was yesterday's day.  Well, I lie.  The IRS has been my WEEK!

First, the IRS is arbitrarily selecting adoptive families' tax returns and sending them to their tax credit review department.  In my opinion, it's an utter waste of time.  They're spending $3 to mail notices to families to send documents that were sent in with the original 1040 and then having to disperse the funds anyways.  I mean, can you really lie about adopting a human being?  It's not like we said we made donations to the church or organizations or started a business or something.  We didn't even buy an appliance or car that qualifies.  No, it's an adoption!  So, after frustratingly calling the IRS Monday to find out if I could pare down my 23 page (yes 23 pages) fax to them and getting no where, Brian faxed it all to them on Tuesday. 

Then, yesterday after a long day at the doctor, I got yet another notice from the IRS.  My favorite, oh so happy people, sent me a notice to tell me that apparently, by their records I suddenly had only 4 children...not 5.  Ummm yeah....I'm pretty sure I've had this little man in my house for almost 2 years now and in my bed for 6 months.  Yeah, I know I'm the mom to 5.  I didn't miscount my exemptions.  BTW, I use and it remembers me from year to year, so no mistake.  It filled out the additional child worksheet and little Jae was on that page all by himself as the front sheet of the 1040 only allows for 4 kiddos.  I called yet another number provided by the IRS and she asked me if I had my copy in front of me.  I said 'yes I do'....this is after I told her (when she answered) that I was so upset and frustrated with them at that point I was ready to cry on her.  She asked if I marked everybody's box and I said yes.  She said she only saw 4.  I told her the littlest was on another page all by himself.  She asked for his SSN and I gave it to her.  She found him listed a real, live person and said our child tax credit would get reinstated and I could disregard the notice.

You see, the problem with the IRS is that as they forward on your return for review, they only send the 1040.  They keep all other documentation who knows where.  My new notice taking away our child tax credit was issue on Monday; the very day I first called about the other 3 notices.  So, the oh so happy lady I talked to Monday took it upon herself to look through our 2 pages she'd gotten and send us a notice that we claimed incorrect children.  Uhhh....maybe you should have all the documentation before you make that sort of decision!  So, luckily, the lady on the phone on Thursday, was a much happier person, took Jae's SSN and put all the stuff in for us.  However, we still had to fax in his adoption decree (for the 2nd time) and a spreadsheet, receipts and canceled checks for all of our adoption expenses.  Then, maybe, if they feel nice about it we might get the rest of our return in the next 3 months.  The first 2 people I talked to on Monday sounded SO depressed and depressing.  They couldn't help you at all.  They actually read to me what I had in front of me; as if I couldn't read.  It wasn't at all answering the more specific questions I had.  As a government entity employee, I cannot even imagine being that helpful (not at all) with the constituents who call or write us.  I bend over backwards to get an answer for people that I would never be upset to put in writing.  These ladies gave the government (I don't care if it's local, state or federal) a very BAD name!

So the doctor.  Yeah, it wasn't bad as in bad doctor....just made for a bad day when it's followed by the IRS putting me in tears.  Not to mention I was dumb enough to start supper before opening that envelope I saw was from the IRS and then burnt 1/2 gallon of milk on the stove.  So bad I had to take a brillo pad after soaking it an entire day to get it off the stainless steel pot.  The doctor was just my annual allergy testing, but after spending over 2 hours at the doctors office, getting pricked over 75 times while sitting there with a 5 and 2 year old who'd had enough after 1/2 hour, I was SPENT!

March is over and April is here.  It's going to get better.