Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Whew!

















We forced Cole, totally against his will, to go to the doctor today.  I met my yearly deductible and his knee was still giving him trouble after the 12/8 injury, from time-to-time.  I took him to the school's sports medicine doc who decided he needed an MRI.  He said that since it hurt when he moved to a specific position it was either a bone bruise or meniscus problem.  This was the only way to be sure.  Got the MRI done 3 hours later and back to the doctor to see what the deal was.  Thankfully.....very thankfully, it was just a bad bone bruise.  He said he can wrestle up to what he can tolerate and it will eventually heal.

No surgery necessary.....yay!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012
















As with every family holiday there are some fighting with the stress.  Last night was Brian's grandmas with all the aunts and cousins. I sort of dread it just for it's uncomfortableness.  It's just a different environment for me to handle.  No one's really rude or anything like that; it's just me.  We left shortly after dinner so we could go to the local church.  The first song was Away in a Manger which Jaemin had just learned at daycare.  He belted out every word as loud as he could and you could hear him above everyone.  It was pretty cute.

Today was our laid back Christmas Day.  Since Brandon isn't coming home with E until tomorrow we're not having my side's Christmas until this weekend.  That meant we only had to go to Brian's mom and dad's this morning and then come home for naps and have the day to ourselves to kick back.  We did the same thing we did last year and just ate junk food and played games and watched movies.  We had cheesecake, wings, toasted ravioli, little smokies, shrimp and carrots for health.  :)  Tonight we decided to have ice cream sundaes to top it all off.  We squeezed in Home Alone (kind of a tradition with the kids) and watched Jaemin's new Christmas present from his grandma, Madagascar 3. We played a round of Headbands and 2 rounds of Apples to Apples.  They had a REALLY great time playing games and we had a ton of laughs.  I wish I had pictures of everyone wearing their headbands, but decided it was time to focus on us and not in the back taking pictures.

They all got really fun gifts and though it's still not as spoiled as some kids they were really good with them all and are very thankful.  So far, from us, and 3 grandparents they got iPods, the cases for them, tons of games (Apples to Apples, Headbands, Hungry Hungry Herd, Thomas Trouble, etc.), Madagascar 3, Brave, Barbie stuff, Dance games for the Wii, Bass Pro gift cards, hunting stuff and books.  Their iPods have all been updated, synced and are ready for their play.  The girls may have gotten used iPods (handmedowns), but they know enough to know they're fortunate to have those.

I'm thankful to have thankful kids.  They told me they had a really good time today and that's the memories I want for them.  It wasn't the gifts that made the fun, we opened them last night.  It was the playing games together and eating together that made them have fun.  Cole even mentioned the food we were eating wasn't anything I would normally ever buy.  I said I know.  He said "that's what makes this special."  You got it!

It was nice.  Here they are today....happy and healthy.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Sometimes


















being a parent is not so rewarding.

I'm finally feeling better 2 weeks after influenza and bronchitis.  Literally yesterday was my "I know I'm better" day.  I was no longer nauseous and extremely fatigued.  I could barely get through the day for the past two weeks.  I've never been so tired.  Now, I'm back to myself.

And now that I have energy, I guess I have the energy to let things bother me and worry me again.  Why is it that kids can make a mom feel so inadequate?  I mean most of us do or at least really try hard to do our best.  We try to give them the right amount of nurturing while letting them get a little further out on the ledge and while you're doing that your teenagers make you feel as bad as they possibly can.  The little kids?  They still love holding your hand and adore you.  Chelsi still respects me and cares about disappointing us.  Jaemin loves to kiss my cheeks, my nose, my forehead.  Not the big kids.  The teens and preteens live to worry me and then when I try to discuss I get eye rolling, disrespect or disgust.  At times I begin to think Cole's starting to outgrow some of it, but maybe it's because he's getting his way?  I don't mean we're giving in or anything like that, but he's ultimately happier because he made his way back to Varsity wrestling.  He cares about the way it looks, regardless if he wins or loses.  I wish he could see past that importance and realize that being on JV is sometimes a necessary stepping stone like college is to having a better chance at a stable livelihood.  Don't get me wrong I'm pretty happy that he didn't fight me on registering him for his first shot at the ACTs for April, but at the same time he has such low expectations for himself.  I find myself constantly trying to build him up, yet sometimes I wonder how hard he really tries to help himself and in the end that's the only thing that will help his life.  Chase gets irritated at me for lecturing Kaelin on her continuous lying to me.  I understand it gets old.  Trust me it gets old, but it's necessary to do it until she gets that it's not worth lying over really stupid little things.  Chase is definitely at tween that thinks he's always right, but has totally normal annoying habits and gets irritated at everyone when everyone gets irritated at him.  Kaelin is fast on his heels of tweenhood.  She's so impulsive and trying to get her to just slow down seems to be such a trying part of her and my relationship.  I don't want to break her, but break her of this habit so she has better control over her life.

Needless to say my little chit chats with the older ones have increased.  Cole mostly seems more open to them, but maybe he's figured out how to humor me?  He's definitely smart enough for that.  Kaelin's much the same.  Chase snaps back.  He takes offense.....he's too much like me.  Why is it that our kids get my worst traits?  Why can't they have some of the good ones?  If they only knew, really knew, just how much I worry and want the best for them.  I really want Cole's grades to be a B average so he can get the discount on his car insurance and earn us paying 1/2.  Regardless of some teachers desire to make school miserable and see how many kids they can fail without reasoning through why they do poorly in areas (that's another day for that one).   I don't want to see Chase struggle so much.  He does study hard most of the time, but I think he got my and Megan's poor test taking skills and that's not a good thing.  Kaelin does fine grade wise for now, but I'd like to see her care more for others.  I tell them I know they're not perfect and I don't expect perfection, I just worry about the bigger things that can really impact their future lives.  I pray for the best for all of them and pray that some of the stuff we talk about sinks in.  I pray that they realize I'm not trying to be a nag, I just care.  I pray that they realize I don't enjoy disciplining them by grounding from their favorite things for what seems like constant, I just want them to learn.  I pray one day they realize just how much I love and care for them and that they realize that they are my everything and their happiness is so important to me.  Like I told Kaelin the other night.  It's easier for a parent to not punish than to punish.  Those who don't, don't care.

God, please watch over my kids and protect them and help them to make good, kind, caring decisions throughout their lives that are for the better of everyone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the mend and catching up





















Hopefully, Brian, Cole, Chase and Kaelin had their influenza vaccines early enough to avoid catching it.  I caught it.  I spent 5 days in bed and was completely miserable!  Body aches, fever, chills and then it turned into severe bronchitis.  I went to the doctor by Saturday (the 4th day) and she said she caught it before it went into pneumonia, but I need to start getting that vaccine too.  She said I shouldn't get it every year.  She put me on zpak, but it wasn't the actual pak.  It was 3 pills at 500 mg each.  That's double the standard and it made me nauseous!  Between that and the 60mg of prednisone/per day.  I'm still not very hungry.  Good way to lose a little weight before Christmas, I guess.  I have to say, though, it works.  I'm getting all the gunk out and only left with nauseous and really, really tired.  Work wears me out, but I get home and have catching up to do from being sick for so long.  I have literally never felt that bad.  I could have cared less what the house looked like or anything.  I just rested in my bed constantly.

I am fortunate that I think everyone realized just how bad it was when I stopped talking AND moving.  Chase would take care of supper when Brian needed to go to Cole's wrestling matches and the girls would see if I needed water.  Chelsi and Jaemin would spend a little time keeping me company since they'd already had it.  Jaemin tried so hard to pound on my chest to get the junk out when I got into my coughing fits.  They were all so good.

Then, Brian calls from Cole's wrestling tournament an hour away.  I'm so glad he left me to be with him.  When his opponent shot at him, he hit Cole's knee hyperextending it.  The coach thought it was a blowout, but the trainer said if the swelling and pain subside after a few days he should be good.  We iced it, gave him NSAIDs, etc.  His coach says now that it's getting better he'll let him start practicing next week.  I don't know that that means matches or duals, but practice at least.  Thank goodness there doesn't seem to be any ligament damage.  The trainer said his knee seemed stable.

Long week and getting all this over with just in time for Christmas.  Back to completing the shopping, wrapping and planning!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Cards - Check!


















Seriously was wondering if I'd even do cards this year.  I had been fighting off a sinus infection and/or cold for over 2 weeks.  It wasn't just your standard sinus infection either.  I was miserable and just kept using my nettipot, etc. and I feel pretty good today; even after only getting about 4 hours of sleep last night.  Yep, my eyes were peeled wide open at 1am.  I do NOT know why.

Then, as I was feeling bad, we Jaemin and Chelsi with influenza B.  Chelsi was out of school for 4 days, but did pretty well through it.  She's still pretty stopped up though. Jaemin scared me a bit more when he spiked that fever, but he's better now.  The Tamiflu seemed to be a massive waste of $$.  I have Jaemin back on acid reflux meds and he's finally stopped coughing constantly and then puking snot up.  Gross I know.  That's been going on for months now.  He even put himself to bed before 7:30 tonight and was out like a light.  Poor boy has some major catching up to do.

Before we're in the throws of wrestling season, I ordered the kids into their pjs by 7pm so I can do our annual Christmas card picture.  Have some pity on Cole.  He's 15 and way too cool for this.  Preview of the awesomely, perfect card below and here's the picture that made the cut.  I really love them when they let loose a little.




Thursday, November 29, 2012

Not such a bad day




















Let me precursor this by saying when I don't feel good, I'm exceptionally grouchy.  I'm well aware of this and I try to do better, but sometimes, I forget to think about it and it gets the better of me.

So, staying home with two sick kids, not feeling good myself and having the washer and printer break wasn't such a great time.  I was up later than planned with Jaemin because my poor little boy's fever spiked last night.  I walked by his room to check on him and could hear him whimpering.  I asked him what was wrong and he very clearly told me his head hurt.  I felt his head and it was on fire. I gave him ibuprofen and he threw it up 5 minutes later.  Then, wondering how much he tossed, I gave him another 1/2 teaspoon just so his temp would decline some.  He was shaking so bad and so miserable.  I held him until it went down a little and then Brian said I needed to sleep with him to watch him.  He slept really well until 3 am when I felt him and it had shot up again, so I rotated to the tylenol.  He threw that up too.  I sat with him, holding him for a bit, since it just rattles him some and then he went back to sleep and slept until 9 am.  This is the boy who's promptly up by 7 or 7:30.  He went to nap easily at noon and slept almost 3 hours.  His fever's better, but his mood goes in spurts and I think the Tamiflu is upsetting his stomach some, so we're scaling it back a little.

I've had a cold for 2 weeks and it's really run me down.  I can't seem to get all of the congestion out and it's making my body feel really tired.  Then, I decide to at least print my coupons for the weekend in case I feel good enough to grocery shop (surely by then, right) and the printer's broke again.  2 months ago the printhead clogged and Kodak had to send me a new one.  Worked great until today.  They tried to have me fix it while they were on the phone, but it wouldn't so they decided to send us a new printer.  No charge.  Then, I washed our darks (this is a daily chore here) and washed Chelsi's sheets with it since her fever was finally, permanently, down on it's own.  I get it all out and found a piece of plastic in the washer. Sure enough a fin had broken off the agitator and the other 2 are breaking.  I called where we bought it and they looked to see if they had a broken Fisher-Paykel that they could give us the agitator from, but since they rarely break, they had none.  They could order it for $50 and this was the cheapest I could find on the internet too.  I called the company and they said they would send us a new one out of goodwill if I supplied the receipt.  Wouldn't you know, I keep EVERYTHING, but the receipt for this large purchase was gone.  I'm guessing I thought it was pointless after it was out of warranty and threw it away.  I think we've had it for about 4 years.  I called the store and they said they would look, but I gave up when they didn't call back because we sort of need a working washer with 7 people.  I called the company again and told them we'd just have to pay for the part and they put me on hold.  He came back on and said 'guess what, we're just going to send it to you anyways".   WOW!  Awesome customer service.  They were nice every time I talked to them.  If I can get another 4 years out of that agitator I can handle buying a new one after that if we have to, but since Cole's car is in need of repair, I really was hoping for no more unexpected bills.  YAY!

Now, to bed early, my husband says.  I need to get better.  I have one more sicky to stay home with tomorrow and he and I will do nothing tomorrow.  I will just knit while he watches TV.  Got 1 baby hat down for the Korean babies at the adoption agencies, many more to go.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2 down, hopefully the other 3 won't go

Jaemin's fever started in this evening.

I thought I had a great idea since all of the other 4 were on Tamiflu to keep them from catching it from Chelsi.  I 'thought' I'd take them in to get the flu vaccine.  It takes 2 weeks for it to take affect and their on Tamiflu for 10 days.  They were all well, so the doctor gave all 4 the vaccine.  2 hours later Jaemin has a 102 temp.   GREAT!  We're going to change his to twice a day since that's how often Chelsi is taking hers.  Hopefully, it will speed up his recovery.  I can say it was probably a $40 waste for her because it hasn't done anything yet.  Going on 3 days of fever and it does not let up with meds, it just goes down a little.  This med is about $150 before meeting your deductible.  Luckily ours is met and we're only paying 20%.   Multiply that times 5!

Hoping she can go back to school sometime this week.  She misses it and was so excited when Kaelin brought her homework home.  Really just hoping none of the other kids get it.

Almost there





















I'm almost completely done Christmas shopping.  I only have a stocking stuffer left, but that's not much to look for.  Those are small gifts.

Sitting here on the couch, since Chelsi has influenza, and thinking we did really well getting within our $100/kid budget.  I pretty much always stay in it.  I think a couple of years ago I went about $20 over on the big kids.  That's a rare occasion.  I save all year for Christmas, so it's important to stay within our budget to keep me in our monthly budget.

We got the big boys $250 iPods for $180.  But, since the girls wanted their 3G 8gb iPods for Christmas, that keeps me in budget on all 4 kids.  I know some people don't think it's right giving kids used gifts, BUT I don't necessarily agree with buying 7 and 10 year olds brand new iPods, so we're even.  I have the boys' new iPods all synced up and ready to go.  They are to turn over their iPods and Otterboxes a couple of days before Christmas so I can sync up the girls' iPods the way they would like them (their kinda music and apps).  Jaemin's big gift is an awesome PowerWheels Jeep Rubicon.  It's normally about $250, but got it the two-seater for $179.  I had to take back last years piece of junk, off-brand, four wheeler and since I got back over $100 for that, I put it towards this years' gift for him.

Kaelin asked if she could have a new Webkin since hers died a couple of years ago.  So, I thought it would be cool for her and Chelsi to each get a kitten Webkin and then we can load the app on their iPod after Christmas and they can tend to them on their iPods.  Great for the Korea trip.  They were only $8/each.  I had bought the boys some camo shirts for stocking stuffers on clearance earlier in the year; maybe $3 or $4 each.  Cole is getting an extra KU shirt since I found one his size on clearance for $2 and he outgrew his old one.  They do have to get a Santa gift, so even though I went over on each, I stayed within overall.  I found a watch for Chase for $18 when it was normally $35 for a Timex sports watch.  Cole's getting a gun cleaning kit I found for $9.  I found the cutest little bracelet at Kohls for Kaelin's stocking stuffer and she picked out a watch on clearance at Penneys on Black Friday that was in her school colors.  I'm just under $500 after the $100 back from last year's gift for Jaemin.  Exactly where I wanted to be.

Since I also shop for grandma's, if they ask, I found good deals for them too.  Found a Thomas the Train Trouble game and a cool color changer car and launcher for great grandma to give Jaemin.  Got 2 Barbies and Barbie clothes for Chelsi from great grandma.  Snagged a Just Dance 2 Wii game (found one in like-new condition from Amazon) for Kaelin from great grandma.  Great grandma's also getting Cole the rattling horns on his list (when Bass Pro finally went free shipping for the first time I've ever seen with no limit) and Chase is getting the outdoorsman book he wanted and treble hooks.  Great grandma's going to be awesome in ours house because all of these items were tops on theirs lists.   I even found the big boys the western boots and hunting boots they'd wanted and waited long enough for REALLY great sales to stay in their grandma's budget.

Lastly, I got some super cute little girls jeans and a ballerina Barbie for the little girl in our adopt-a-family at work.

I think overall a LOT of the kids' list items will be under a tree somewhere by the time, us, Santa, grandparents, etc. get the gifts for them.  Cole's the only one that's a little harder since he has so many more expensive hunting items.  We can really only afford one per year and since he's getting the iPod, it's just not possible.  He'll have to save the list for next year and see if he still wants the items.  I don't think he'll be disappointed though.  We may not spend near as much as other families, but their still fairly spoiled....in my mind and totally content, so that's all that matters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#8 Thankful


















I'm thankful, today, that even though it stinks that the truck broke down and it cost money, we found someone to do it on the side and while it robbed me of my Cole's tire money, it was at least money we had.

#7 Thankful




















I'm so thankful Dr. R called to confirm he took Cole's case to the team and they agree his surgery can still wait.  So, unless anything major happens we don't go back until January 2014 (1 year).  Then, he'll probably have to have the full work up with MRI, EKG, echo and stress.  And he may very well have it that year.  He still doesn't think he'll make it through high school and that will be half way through his junior year.

We shall see!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Forgot how easy it is

to cook ham.

We threw some sliced ham, pineapple and brown sugar in the crockpot all day.   I whipped up some .38/lb sweet potatoes, some turnips from the inlaws garden that were about to go bad and some steam broccoli and dinner rolls.  So easy, little mess and so yummy!

I love that the kids rarely complain when I cook!

#6 Thankful

I'm thankful that 5 days a week I get to laugh watching Ellen Degeneres!  Of course, that means I'm thankful for DVR or I would never get to watch it since it's on while I'm working.  So funny!

#5 Thankful

Thankful I have a daughter that decided that knitting is a fun little hobby.  She has made her own scarf and is now working on making one for her teacher's Christmas gift.  And she picked up quicker than I did!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

#4 Thankful

Missed yesterday's.  We decided since we never take the kids out to eat anywhere, we would take them all out to celebrate my promotion at our favorite place.  It's our favorite, but it's a very rare treat.  I'm thankful it was even better than usual last night.  They make the best Chinese food anywhere!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today was a little different




















kinda good different though.

If you know where I work you'd know how hard it is to get a raise.  But, today I found out I got promoted!!  Reclassified really, but more money and a different title.  I had applied for the reclass this summer because of the duties I'd assumed awhile back.  These don't get approved very often and if they do they're after positions get vacated or they take so long the employee forgets about them. Believe it or not 5 months is really, really fast.

I came in after Cole's appointment to a note to see my supervisor ASAP.  She brought me to her supervisor's office and they both looked so serious I got worried. Not sure what about, but worried.  They handed me an email and asked that I read it to make sure I agreed.  I kept thinking what the heck did someone say about me.  But, it was the email from personnel saying what my salary would be and that I was approved.  It's not a huge increase, but enough that I can put a little more in Brian's retirement, so I'm glad.  And maybe, after my 6 month increase, enough to also cover adding Brian to my insurance for 2013.

Cole had a good cardiology appt.  Just different.  I took him again this year because technically he's supposed to go once annually.  But since we had been in February and our deductible was met it could save us money if he doesn't have to go next year.  If he's good to go after today he can wait until January 2014.  Today he felt his ankles checking for edema.  This will be one of the first signs of failure if he gets outward signs. So far he has no major symptoms, but we all know he's on borrowed time.  Really he's way past that.  15 years after your first tet repair and still not having a valve is totally unheard of.  I asked him if he'd make it to age 20 and he said he didn't think so.  He did his echo and EKG and said they looked like his right ventricle was tolerating the leakage still.  He said that basically (since he has no pulmonary valve) his valve is wide open and just contantly regurgitating everything.  But his ventricle is still working well enough.  We talked about surgery times and I told him the time of year, if we have enough time to make a choice, will be up to Cole so he can enjoy whatever time he wants to.  Cole told Dr. R that he wanted to hopefully wrestle his senior year even if it meant missing his junior year.  Dr. R told him he could actually return to wrestling 6 months post surgery.  I was so shocked.  Cole, though, decided a little more soberly tonight that he wants/needs his surgery before he's a junior to give himself more time to acclimate his body back and then wrestle his senior year.   He's hoping for surgery this summer now.  It seemed so far off until today!

I know we're getting close because Dr. R said he's taking Cole's case to present to the team.  He said he still feels good just watching him one more year, but he was to make sure the other cardiologists and the cardiothoracic surgeons agree.  So he will be bringing Cole's MRI from 2011 and today's EKG/echo results for them to give their opinions.  He's going to call me next week and let me know what's going on.  Cole said if he can't have his surgery next summer he wants to wait for the next one.  He said he just doesn't want to wrestle if he doesn't have a year to recover.  I think he's starting to get a big nervous in the reality of it all.  I'm only nervous that he's nervous.  I don't want him to worry too much, but that's like someone telling me not to worry.  It's not fair to say that to someone in this situation.  Your baby is everything and this isn't tubes in their ears or something minor like his appendectomy.  This is OPEN-HEART SURGERY!  It is scary and serious.  He's only 15!

But, we'll wait until next week and see what he says and then we'll have a better idea of what's going on.  Regardless, I know our time until surgery is now very short.  As I look forward to him graduating from high school in 2 1/2 years, I know that some time in that time he will go through a major thing in his life and he will be scared.  I can try to reassure my baby, but he's still scared and he has the right to feel that way.  I just can't believe it's almost time.

I had also asked him if this was Cole's last open-heart since once he has his conduit in and he's just about full-grown he should be able to get valve replacements by caths after this.  He said unless things really change a cath replacement will save him 1 or so over his lifetime, but it's definitely not his last open-heart.  This is why his heart holding out for 15 years without a surgery is so big.  It's so bad for you and your heart to have multiple open-heart surgeries.  And as of today he's put on 20 lbs in the last year and is now 5' 11".  And he's still growing!

#3 Thankful

I have a little boy with sensory and other issues, that we don't even understand.  But because of his sensory he likes and begs to be tickled before going to sleep and yet while most people would not be able to sleep after being tickled, he falls right to sleep after it.  I love him for knowing how his body works and I'm thankful for him.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#2 Thankful

I'm thankful that I was given two older boys that I can enjoy the time I spend going to the orthodontist every month with them.  They have such great sense of humors and they can be really sweet when they're one-on-one with me (or in this case two-on-two).  They make me look forward to the other 3 growing up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back up and running

Our internet's been down for awhile.  Our modem broke and I had to wait for delivery and haggling with the phone company over price.  That's an ordeal in itself.

So, now that I have it back, I had been wanting to start my thankful posts again for November, but kept forgetting to post at all and then the sinking abyss of the internet occurred. 

#1 thankfulness post for 2012

I am thankful for my family.  Both my brothers, sisters, parents, etc. as well as my children and husband.  Even on the worst days, because every family has them, I love them all very much.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Controlling the budget

We butchered a 1/2 a cow last Spring.  Sadly we are already out of all of the ground beef and down to some steaks and roasts.  I'm not a big steak eater, so I usually use them by slicing them into Korean or Chinese dishes, etc.  Sometimes Brian will make me something else while he and the boys (and sometimes the girls) eat steaks.  Well, my budget doesn't say beef yet.  It says that we must wait until next Spring or it costs entirely too much for the year. 

First I gave Brian an sermon about us not needing two pounds of beef for every meal.  We can cut back on our meat intake and substitute.  So, I've been pretty much in charge of the menu most weeks.  This is where Brian struggled anyways.  He made the same old, same old every week because of lack of planning and time.  I don't complain because he cooks.  However, money is my department.  I had him go to Aldi and get a bunch of cheap chicken breasts, a friend gave us several more pounds of ground beef as payment for some help at the farm and now we have a deer in the freezer along with some ground turkey I also had Brian pick up at Aldi.  It's only around $1/lb, so it goes further financially and the deer is SUPER cheap. 

Brian now has to abide by my rules of no more than 1 lb of meat per dinner.  That means approximately 3 chicken breasts or 1 lb of ground meat per meal.  He can always fry up a 1 lb of turkey or deer and mix with a pound of beef and it's enough for two meals.  I go through a recipe binder I keep.  I take a cheapy binder, put in sheet protectors and any time I see a recipe I like online or in a magazine I put them in there.  Super easy and now we have our favorite recipes readily available.  I make a menu before I grocery shop.  Sometimes it's based on sale items, sometimes it's just what I feel like making (depending on how much we have going on that week) or just feel like stretching out to something different.  I usually pick up about 5 or 6 items; some quick and easy, some a little more time consuming.  I take the weirder ones (Brian likes very basic recipes).  Brian doesn't like to adlib on recipes and I do.  I will make mine on the weekends or my days off and he takes the other nights.  Sometimes, if I really have time I'll cook up some of the extra dishes on the weekend so Brian only has to finish them. 

It's amazing how much stress this relieves for us.  Brian no longer calls me at work because he doesn't know what to make and he knows when he walks in the door what's for supper.  We can have meat thawed and ready to go.  We never were much for eating out, but this makes you not want to because you're not having the same, boring, meal week after week.  And my favorite part is when I get to cook I throw in a lot of fresh veggies and the kids never ever notice.  They eat veggies fine anyways, but I get a lot more in there to take the place of the missing meat they were use to.  We eat pretty darn healthy with these meal plans too.

This is one of our little tips of getting by, a little less stressed, when parents of 5 work fulltime.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Those days are gone



















It was nice when Cole was bringing his lunch to school everyday because.he said our leftovers we're healthier.  But I forgot how expensive it was when he was getting school lunches and extras for w growing boy before he decided to cut weight to wrestle.  He was so disappointed last week after the hydration test to find out he can no longer lose weight.  I was a little relieved with hie heart and his height and weight.  It didn't make sense to me to cut but since he was just doing it by eating really healthy I was trying to be supportive.  Now he's eating everything in sight again.  He has a new higher goal and he seems happy again.  I know he's already put the few pounds he lost back on again and I think a few more at hie height will really look good on him.  Back to eating us out of house and home again!   :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Addicting New Hobby and OCD

OCD never helps if you find a hobby you can actually stand.  I mean I know better than to ever start scrapbooking because there's really no end to it unless you stop snapping pictures of your babies.  That is NOT going to happen.  I asked a girl at work if she would make some scarves for the girls for next year's football season.  Instead, she offered to show me how to use a loom.  I started it on Thursday for just a couple of hours and had it almost half way.  Last night I finished the length and found videos on how to take it off the loom and tie the fringe.  Kaelin LOVES her new scarf, so after I finish Chelsi's matching scarf Kaelin wants yarn of her own so she can learn how.

I did really good last night.  I got the scarf knitted, which is actually relaxing and fixed the slow draining sink in my bathroom.  My Lord the girls lose a lot of hair down that sink.  Even got Jaemin's hair trimmed up.  I dusted this morning and had other things in mind, but I just couldn't look at the dust anymore and had to do it myself since the men of my house are youth deer hunting and now I'm paying for it.  Allergy meds or not, nothing keeps me from reacting to dang dust.  I really hate being OCD, but it's true you just obsess over it.  Which means you get things done really fast (aka the scarf), but it's so annoying to yourself and others.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

The kids made a HAUL!  Since there was a football game tonight people were trying hard to get rid of their candy (us included).  I'm going to stop buying more than 1 bag of candy to give out because we only get enough for about a 1/2 a bag.  But, Jaemin finally got into it and had fun.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkins....not so scary

We opted for painted pumpkins for the little kids this year since I end up carving anyways.  We still had some fingerpaints, so I figured that's about as good as it gets and they could make as much of a mess as they wanted to since they're washable.  Jaemin didn't really care for the end result of a mess on his hands and wanted them washed as soon as he was done.  Chase didn't do the elaborate bass picture on his pumpkin that he did last year, but he still decided to carve one.  I didn't help at all this time.









Close your eyes and sleep

Jaemin was doing his typical flapping and fidgeting in bed at naptime.  I stopped and told him to close his eyes like I always do.  He put his hands over his eyes like he always does.  But, this time he fell asleep that way.  So cute. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

How do you deal with 5 kids and a fulltime job?

I get comments about working fulltime and having 5 kids all the time.  Trust me I don't love to work, it's a necessity if we want to pay our bills and keep our modest home to live in.  I'm also not a perfect mother, but I do try to do my best. 

One thing we do try to do is make a menu.  It helps tremendously if you have a menu to shop by so nothing goes to waste.  So, we try to make a list of about 5 things for the next several days that consist of a couple of fairly simple to make meals (aka quick) and some more extensive ones.  This keeps us out of the boring rut we sometimes get into leaving no one wanting to eat because dinner is BORING.  Plus, before work we can have something thawing so it's that much easier to start dinner when you walk in the door after work.  Of course, during the week this is Brian's job since he is home the earliest.  I take the menu on the weekends.  This past week we had sausage/broccoli pasta, enchilada casserole, teriyaki chicken, parmesan chicken and a couple of other yummy meals.  We like to load them with miscellaneous veggies and the kids eat them right up.....in the recipe or not.

Another thing I do is my job at work.  While there is something to be said about the stress lack of money can cause, there is also stress in stressful jobs that no matter how much you try not to bring it home you do....just because you may hate your job.  I don't love my job as in I'd rather not work...duh, but I don't hate my job.  I'm appreciated and though because of who my employer is I can't be compensated with monetary rewards my supervisor openly appreciates me, trusts me and gives me job satisfaction with all of this.  There was another job that was possibly going to be coming up soon (hasn't yet) that the person over it has been talking with me about me looking into it.  I really had seriously considered it because it was working with something I currently do and one of my favorite pieces of my job.  I thought that would be perfect; a huge raise and doing more of what I enjoy if I have to be there anyways.  I recently was put on a project with some folks in that area and realized that it's not what I thought.  Because of the way they run things it wouldn't be working with what I thought and I think there would definitely be personality conflicts.  After a remark that was made this week by a potential coworker I realized it's not worth that.  It's not worth hating who I work with, possibly getting belittled on a daily basis when I do know what I'm doing and allowing someone else to possibly take credit for my work.  I may not have money left after paying our bills, but at least I don't have extra headache and stress.  Money's overrated when it brings on extra stress.

So, yeah, moms CAN work and be present for their kids, but if you don't make the best use of your time, organize and prioritize (just like at work) and keep a job that minimizes stress, not maximizes it, you may not enjoy your life too much.  Life has it's ups and downs, but I do enjoy it because I enjoy my kids and I don't know that I would if I had all this stress I was bringing home and flying around by the seat of my pants.

It's all good....even when it's not.  Keep telling yourself on bad kids days...."as long as we have each other and our health".  I remind myself of this a lot.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Anthony Robles on Ellen























I saw that he was a wrestle and had Cole run upstairs to watch.  Anthony seems like such a well-rounded, mature young man with great advice!  He said everything I've said to Cole a million times every time he's been bullied or dismayed because of his heart condition.  When Anthony said he didn't begin wrestling until his freshman year it was perfect for Cole to hear this kid started late too and really exceeded his dreams because he motivated himself, didn't feel sorry for himself and pushed himself daily without letting 'challenges become excuses'.  Perfect advice!  I hope this young mans gets so much in life.

http://anthonyrobles.com/

Next therapy

We asked the school to take a look at Jaemin again this year, since it's been a whole year and his delays can get bigger as he ages and that's when he's finally qualify for therapy.  We didn't ask for a formal evaluation, but just to check in on him.  The OT came in while he was in speech and agreed he's very weak in his upper and core and that's affecting his ability to grasp a writing utensil hard enough to really control the writing.  She asked that we have him do more tummy time to color, more exercise, more of the same we were already doing. 

We've also been in contact with Holt International USA because they currently have a 1 1/2 year old boy waiting for a family that sounds exactly like Jaemin and they're unable to diagnose as well.  They said they would let us know if Korea or his new family (when he's matched) finds a diagnosis so we can at least have something to look into.

For now, we're back to more brushing therapy, more pushups, bear crawls, etc.  He HATES it!  I did buy him the color wonder markers so he could lay on the rug in the living room and color and he thinks those are pretty cool.  But last night he was in one of his moments where he couldn't stay still and they ended up being thrown around the room. I brushed him hoping that would help, but not a lot.  So, I asked one of the coaches for kids club wrestling if Jaemin could participate in practice even though he's a year shy of old enough.  I'm thinking that he could find a it fun to exercise with other kids around.  Hopefully, this in combination with getting him a ball to sit on will help.  I agreed that if he got in the way of practice we would discontinue, but it's still feels worth it to try.  He's so energetic so hopefully this will be a good fit.  I never had intentions of getting him into sports SO young, but if it's for his greater good and a form of therapy seems like it's worth trying.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I hope the bad grape didn't spoil the bunch

We just got handed our playoff team and it's the team that the kid on our team kneed the kid on their team.  After watching that lady confront one of our boys (not even the boy who did it) I'm nervous of what kind of antics they could pull because they're mad and it's so fresh.  What if the refs think our whole team is bad because of this kid?  I knew it was none of my business as to what the coaches did to punish the culprit, but now I really do want to know that they at least made him apologize to the kid and the other team; if only to protect the rest of our boys.  We still deserve to win Wednesday and hope we do.  We almost one that one and it was SOOOO close.  The kid who did it won't get to play that night and hopefully we can pull it out this time.  It would make the boys feel so good.  Praying for the boys right now.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Last Game

We're done with the last game of the regular 2012 season.  However, we now are in the playoffs and since we're not ranked too high we have an away game at night, during the week.  That's going to kinda stink, but I want to go watch what could be their last game.  I really love games like today.  When they're pretty much blowouts you get to see kids play that don't typically get to play as much or in Chase's case he gets to play offense a bit instead of defense.  He didn't make any touchdowns, but he got some yardage for them and broke an almost tackle on his way.  He says he almost had an interception on defense, but when he jumped up his shoe came off.  The referee was pretty much laughing at him.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Time's flying


















I'm not exactly saying when you're having fun, but nevertheless it's going by very quickly.

Kaelin got the Responsibility Character award this month.  Very proud that my girls are such good citizens in school.  Responsibility surprised the two of us since she's a tad flighty, but hey, maybe she's different in school.  YAY!

Chase and Cole had their orthodontic visit and Chase decided to do away with the green bands and he went with pink and black.  I talked him into pink for Breast Cancer Awareness and then he decided black too.  Looks good and the boy isn't afraid to sport pink!

Everything else is just coming along.  We're still waiting on Cole to get all Bs so we can give him his cell back, give him his letter jacket and he can have a little more freedom.  One test and the progress set him back.  He was on the tippy top of that C when his College Prep Chemistry test got the better of him.  I guess he better learn some better study habits.  He's not very good at that yet since he's never really studied before.  Tough lesson to learn as a sophomore for sure.

Jaemin's speech is really coming along.  He still really struggles with certain letters and sounds, but his sentences are slowly getting longer, more complete and more understandable.  Glad his therapy is helping.  Now, we get to start doing more OT exercises at home.  The school's OT checked on his light pencil grip and is planning to give us a list of exercises we can try doing with him to strengthen his upper body (arms and core).  She's suggesting an exercise ball he can sit on and watch tv, like adults use.  So that's our next purchase.  He's getting more patient and willing, so I think his therapy is helping him along.  I can see progress....slowly, but surely.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Who done it?

Saturday's game was rough in multiple ways.  First, it was a ranked team and we're, well, so-so.  We had a chance and were just not handed the upper-hand.  First they shorted us 1 minute in each of the first 2 quarters.  Then, when there were close calls it was in 'their' favor.  But, we were still rising above until the end.  You would think when the game was over, it would just be over.  We were proud of the boys for winning so close to team that good, but someone....supposedly kneed a kid on the other team in his boys.  The coaches were defending the boys to the other team and no one saw anything.  This boy was on the ground crying....very loudly.  He had also been crying very loudly (he was huge) every time he got blocked to the ground during the game, so hard to say if he was a little dramatic.  So, now the question is; who done it?  One woman from the other team came running and confronted one of our boys.  She was yelling and a really hateful woman.  Tonight the boys were questioned about who did it since no one from either team actually saw it.  Chase was in back of the boy that was accused by the woman so he said he knows he did not do it.  Some have their suspicions of who could have or may have.  Maybe the kid was upset he kept getting blocked by a smaller kid and this was his way of getting back at that kid (the kid who Chase knows did not do it)?  I do hope that IF the kid really did get hit the coaches find out.  That kid does NOT deserve to be on the team and ruin the reputation for the rest.  The one thing I DO know is that I don't have to worry about my kid.  I know every parent says it, but I truly 120% know Chase isn't even capable of it.  I told him tonight after practice how this incident made me realize how thankful I am to be his mom and never even have a doubt in my mind that it couldn't be him in a million years.  He hugged me so big and smiled.  I think it made him feel really good to know that I really believe in him.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

2012 Reminder

I'm not totally disappointed that my mother-in-law really wants an 8x10 photo of the kids every single year.  It gives me an excuse to force the big ones to just get dressed and let me take their pictures.  The girls will allow me to do that anytime...but the boys, not so much.  They'll do stuff for grandmas, that they won't do for me.  I'm now all finished with 2012 reminders of my babies.























Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No internet break



















forced internet breaks are great to an extent.  We went down on Thursday and came back up some time Monday.  It was nice to find other things to do, but I had Kohls cash to print before it expired, Chase had homework he needed the internet for and I couldn't print any coupons.  But, we all survived.

So, what's changed.  Really nothing.  No exciting time in our lives.  It's been a miserable week at work.  Everything that goes wrong with our providers is being blamed on me, by the provider, of course.  My boss 100% backs me up because she knows it's not anything I can do anything about....just circumstances....but I understand their passion.  Hopefully, tomorrow's better.

Got snarked at by our school's superintendent for having any concern of kids waiting on the front steps of school because the doors are literally locked until 7:30 while teachers and staff (and the principal herself) parade their kids through those same doors into the warm and safety of the school right in front of those kids.  I respectfully asked if they insist on their kids going in if they could just use the side entrance, but that's when I got the snarky remark about it being all about me.  I just know my baby and her friends don't understand at their ages the fairness of this.  To be honest, I struggle with it.

Chase had a good football day Saturday.  He made his tackles as cornerback and then went in as the back up runningback on offense.  He never got a TD, but he got some yardage for them and a sore hip.  I hope the other two runningbacks are better for this Saturday.  I wouldn't really want him playing both sides all the time at this very young age.



We're working on a grade issue with Cole.....or should I say Cole's in charge of straightening it out.  Hopefully he's ableto so I don't have to, but we'll see.  It's a big misunderstanding that cost him a grade because of another student's bad attitude and lack of any work ethic.  I did finally find Cole some jeans that fit.  They finally were delivered last week.  29x34's.  He could have used 28s, but unless I wanted to pay $60 (at least) I couldn't find any.  If the boy grows anymore, we're in big (I mean tall) trouble.

On to the rest of September.  There may not be much, but I hope it's better.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to #4 & #5

Yep, my last two babies have birthdays on top of each other.  However, since they are 1 days apart I want to try as hard as possible not to combine them to make sure they each get their own day.  It's not like we have big birthday bashes every year anyways.  So, Jaemin got cupcakes and Chelsi got cupcakes and before we ate supper we had them blow out their candles so dad and Chase could be there for it.  My sweet little babies are now 4 and 7.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Make a Wish Update



















So, after 7 months of not hearing from Cole's wish granters, I thought I'd just email the local office to get an idea of how things work.  He was asking questions, I just couldn't answer.  They emailed me back and said while the wish granters are supposed to periodically update you on what's going on, they may not have been because we had put down our dates for next year and we're too far out yet.  I now understand why they say they grant most wishes in 6 months.  It's because the physician has to be contacted to make sure the wish is safe for the child, in whatever condition they are currently in, and then the wish can go to the board and be granted.  The approval from the physician is not good for more than 6 months.

She let me know that they plan to contact our cardiologist around November or December so that he can go in May, our first choice.  At this point, we don't suspect Dr. R to say no, but as most parents to heart kids, you also know that you never know anything.  I asked about finding out if Korea is even doable and if they don't anticipate it is if he can go ahead and have his 2nd wish instead, to go to Cabelas this year before wrestling season.  She basically told me that if Cabelas is his one true wish they can change things and arrange for that, but she said generally, unless a doctor says no to a wish for health or safety reasons they will most often get their one true wish.  Of course, this is barred if someone wishes to meet a celebrity or something like that where the celebrity has ultimate control.

So, we're just letting things ride out to see if by the end of December he's either granted Korea or for some reason he gets Cabelas instead and we'll reevaluate what we'll do then.  We're going to try to do both, if at all possible, since Cabelas is not far from here, even though we've never been.  I don't know we can actually afford to go to Korea, but if we can we'll do that as well.  If he gets Korea, we'll let him find something at Cabelas we would never normally do.  Anyone that knows us knows we do NOT over spend or lavish our kids with gifts by any stretch of the means.  We really do just want Cole to feel ever so special one time in his life.  He knows he could have had a worse life or worse case scenario for his healthy, but it doesn't take away his hurt of not doing things other kids can do at this age.  I hope one day he really does understand this and accept it, but for now he's a teenager, that can't see past it. We're doing our best.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My sweet, smart little girl

Chelsi's 1st grade teacher emailed me to let me know she got the Respect character award for this time.  She said "Chelsi shows respect by listening attentively, being considerate of her classmates feelings, using good manners, encouraging others to do well, and by playing fair."  So proud of her!

On top of that, the teacher over the gifted program called to to let me know that she spoke with the school psychologist and principal and because she scored 99% on the reading test and a 94% on the math test screen and then went on to score a 120 on the Wechsler IQ test.  She is now accepted into the school's gift program at age 6 and 1st grade.  WOW!  So much for delays from being born 10 weeks early, etc., etc.  

I can't wait to write our letter next year for her Korean mother, to leave in the file, so she knows how smart her daughter is.  No one can take credit for this, on Earth, except Chelsi and at least one of her Korean birthparents.  My good little girl.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

TOUCHDOWN!!

What happens when coaches finally give a quiet boy a chance to show them what he's made of?  That quiet little cornerback intercepts and runs 70 yards for a touchdown!  This is the 1st touchdown of the season!  I was so glad I had my camera in my hand just in case and had no idea what was going on when I looked in the viewfinder to see the ball in my son's hands.  Everyone loves watching him run.  They all tell us he runs like a deer or gazelle.  He has long legs and a really long stride, so he looks slow, but he covers a LOT of ground.  There was no one near to catch him, so he made it clear of everyone the whole way.  His sweet name was announced many times for all of his tackles too.  I hope he has a great school career in football since he really does enjoy it so much, even when they weren't playing him for the first 5 weeks.  He earned his spot!

Interception from before the 30 yard line.





He's in and they're celebrating their first touchdown this year.  

 This boy is always on the bottom.