Saturday, March 31, 2012

When moms get to laugh














I probably don't laugh as often as I should, but when I laugh because of how ironic a situation is it's even better.

I felt probably about the same way my mom did when I used to leave all of my clothes on my bedroom floor, as a teenager; clean or dirty.  Then, when I got my own house I turned into this OCD, crazy clean fool.  Well, today I witnessed it.  I'm always getting onto the kids....sometimes maybe more than I should, about getting into my car or coming in the house filthy or what I deem dirty.

Last night we bought Cole his first car.  Nothing special, just a 9 year old Grand Prix, but it only had 102,000 miles, sounded good and was beyond what I consider gross and dirty.  And I broke my rule of not buying from a smoker, but it was a decent deal; barring the car will run for awhile with no major issues.  Today since I was washing and waxing my car for the year Cole decided to pull his up and clean his; after he got his turkey for the day (it's youth turkey season).  I had to laugh as he was trying to vacuum it out and Chase decided to help and then I heard it.  Cole told Chase not to get in his car with his shoes like that and then made him take his socks off because they were too dirty as well.  Then he took his own off to clean it.  I will not tell him how funny this was for a very long time for fear he'll stop, but it was really funny!  I told Brian and he just busted out laughing.  Our slob kid might actually take care of his car.  Precisely why I was pretty pushy about Cole being totally satisfied with what we ended up buying.

So after about 3 hours of cleaning and Brian and I joining in the effort it's clean.  There was nicotine stains all over every knob and dial in the control panel.  Cigarette butts in the ash tray and ashes everywhere.  No burn holes, oddly enough.  There were soda and/or coffee stains all over the floor and it was just dirty.  A dirty I hope I never have to clean again.  We even employed a toothbrush to clean out the nasty crevices that contained what looked like soda and tobacco remnants.  We scrubbed with soap and water to get all the vinyl parts cleaned.  Then Cole put protectant and shine on the whole thing.  We scrubbed the carpet after spraying it with cleaner and brushed off the ceiling, yes the ceiling.  We vacuumed every inch of it.  It now looks pretty sharp and doesn't smell near as bad anymore.  It will air out over time.

Cole did realize how gross smoking is.  He noted the guys apartment and the yellow, stained walls.  And Cole realized he didn't want to end up like that poor guy.  I'm hoping this experience was really good for him.  Sheltered lives can be good, but sometimes they need to get out of their element to see how others live and realize what they're thankful for and might want in life.  He's pretty excited about his car and I'm glad to see it, because it's not like we can afford another one like this if he doesn't take good care of it.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm left with nothing left to try

And it's all okay with me.  I have tried so hard for so long to figure out why I struggle to breath sometimes.  As of Monday I will have done everything medically possible to figure it out.

I went to a pulmonologist today.  My doctor had told me to go last year and I guess I just never got around to it and needed desperation to force me to go.  He did a chest xray and lung function and it was all fine.  Great!  In the end, he said he thinks it my allergies messing with my sinuses.  Okay no new information there.  He said, though, there is a chance that it could be clots in my lungs.  He said it is possible (though it seems remote to me) that there are small clots in my lungs making it hard for me to breath.  He said the only way to know is a CT.  He also wants a CT of my sinuses to make sure there's nothing else going on there that we're not aware of.  So, while it will cost (chaching) I know I will have exhausted all of my options.

I asked him if I should go back to allergy shots and he told me it probably won't do any good after this many years of shots.  I asked him if I should have another sinus surgery and he told me he though I just kinda had bad genes here and in the end there's nothing I can do but make myself comfortable.  I told him I wanted as few meds as possible and NO steroids.  I've gained enough weight after years of steroids and don't want to do all this stuff to my body anymore.  He said the vitamins I've been taking and the nettipot is all good.  He said to keep it up and take some mucinex everyday too.  He said it won't hurt me, but will make my life a lot more comfortable.  I take it almost everyday anyways.  So, in the end, after I get the all clear from my CTs I'm good to just go on with what I'm doing now, which means some struggling to breath, but not constantly second guessing myself.

This is all good....to me anyways.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Inviting thoughts in?

Am I inviting thoughts into my kids' head if I ask them questions?  Is it leading?  Or am I just trying to keep it open and at the same time calm my internal fears?

I'm pretty much sure it's the latter.  I asked Kaelin, since she's the oldest and can convey her feelings to me better, what color she thinks she is.  We don't talk of race or color often, but every once in awhile I bring it up.  She said she's 'white'.  I compared my skin to hers and showed her that though our skin is pretty much the same color she is Asian, which isn't really a color, but race is sometimes likened to color.  I told her that when talking of skin color people will say Asians have 'yellow' skin.  She just shrugs and says she understands.  I only bring this up to make sure she's aware she is Asian and to be comfortable with it and embrace it.  I know it sounds silly to those outside adoption (interracial anyways), but I don't want her to wake up one day, look in the mirror and go 'oh crap I'm Asian' and be upset along with a multitude of other possible, relevant feelings.  And again  I know this sounds crazy that she's going to wake up one day and realize this, but a lot of Asian adoptees eventually view themselves as twinkies or bananas...yellow on the outside, white on the inside.  This isn't necessarily bad, but some adoptees perceive it negatively while others just see it as a reality of who they are or how they are viewed by others since they can never be truly Asian in culture.  We could try hard, but we're not Asian and we can replicate what it's like to grow up in a household with Asian parents.  We know this...so we embrace their culture and love it.

I asked her if anyone ever says anything to her about being Asian, Korean or if they just call her Chinese since most Asians are likened to Chinese by a lot of people.  She said no one says anything.  I even went out on a bit of a limb and asked her if anyone ever pulls at their eyes around her.  She didn't understand.  I showed her what some might do to her one day, hoping no one does, and told her that's not okay.  She can be a little naive and while naive is a good place to be sometimes, I was that way growing up, I don't want her to be naive in this area.  Not that I ever want my kids to pick every fight over every idiotic comment or connotation, but I do want them to be aware.  This sounds weird coming from a white mom, but when I was younger I had kids that pulled their eyes at me and made fun of me.  I guess partly my dark, dark eyes and then when I smile my eyes squint.  I know it impacted me some, then, because I used to look in the mirror of our hall bathroom and practice smiling without squinting so no one would say anything anymore.  When I was growing up blonde hair with almost black eyes was VERY different.  Now I see women like me more and more. and I was fine as I got older when I was younger, but when I was very young I definitely didn't like being different; as little as it was.

I know I'll never get this ever so complicated parenting thing right, but oh I try.  Moms think it's complicated to parent anyways and sometimes I try to deny that adoption made it more, not complicated, but intricate.  Adoption does put a different swing on things and while it sounds good, in theory, just to love them and bring them up, it won't work that way.  It's naive of me to think that curiosity will not be piqued out of any of my 3 younger kids on where they came from, who they came from and you can't just shut them down and tell them "it's in the past, don't worry about it".  I have no right to do that.  Just like it wouldn't be good for a child with a medical condition to not see a doctor, ignoring this piece of their life is not good for their mental health.  It doesn't have to consume them or us, but it has to out there, in the open and ready for discussion at any time.  And by bringing it up and asking my own questions I'm hopefully getting them to realize that I'm here to talk when they need to or want to.  Little by little, I get more questions out of Kaelin.  Just little questions, but I'd rather them be a little at a time so she has time to ponder and process all of 'her' information.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Voice of Love

All families who have adopted from Korea were asked to make short videos for the Voice of Love project. They are planning to send the videos to the South Korean government in an effort to allow them to hear from adoptive families and adoptees as to why adoption is important.  The Korean government has been reducing the numbers of children allowed for international adoption for some time.  I believe it's around 10% every year.  This doesn't mean there aren't any children that need adopted, it means they're trying to curb the numbers.  The only problem, is now the children are waiting longer and eventually, they could potentially end up without families at all.


This is our little video.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

brotherly and sisterly love....????


















Brian had the girls last night because he had to take them to religion class and pick them up. I stayed home with the 3 boys. This morning I told him I just had to tell him a funny story about the big boys from last night. He was like 'no, no, I have to tell you a funny story about the girls first'.

So he goes first and tells me how he was quizzing Chelsi on who was singing what song as he always does because she knows almost every artist. Kaelin told Chelsi that she needed to watch more CMT because she wasn't as good at it as she used to be. Chelsi sort of took offense and apparently waved her hands up in the air by her head and said 'well at least when someone asks me who sings a song I don't say Jason Aldean to everything'. BURN!  Note:  the hands went in the air waving just as she was saying 'Jason Aldean'....I could totally picture it.

I was sitting with the boys and a commercial came on for 'Hunger Games'.  I asked them if they had read the books and Cole said he had and Chase is reading one of them now.  So I asked what the story was about and Cole starts in telling me everything and right when he got to the part Chase was on, Chase sticks his fingers in his ears and starts yelling 'la, la, la, I can't hear you, la, la, la'.  I really was pretty funny because Cole just kept on going.

Those are the little moments I live for.....my entertainment.



It's Gotcha Day week

for my 2 favorite girls!  Kaelin's was Monday and Chelsi's was today.  While we don't really do anything major I had taken the girls to a free showing of Dolphin Tale on Saturday and then I took them for ice cream for their Gotcha Days since none of their brothers were with us anyways.  It was a really nice outing regardless of our very wet and stormy day....we lost power for 4 hours later that afternoon.  But, just more excuses to play games and pick up pizza since we couldn't cook.

It was a good movie, with good company and good ice cream, but since I have no idea how to get a photo from my phone (yeah I finally bought a real one late last year) to my blog I don't have a picture.  It's on facebook....that I figured out.

Love my girls and many more happy Gotcha Day memories.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shoulda, woulda, coulda
















I hate that.  I know something's coming, whatever it may be.  I plan it all in my head, how it's going to go and the conversation that will take place.  And after it's all said and done, I do nothing.  Everything I mean to say and do, I don't.  I'm always afraid of sounding dumb or saying something really wrong.

We had Cole's Make a Wish meeting tonight.  The two young ladies that came out were very nice.  They tried so hard to pry out of Cole his favorite anythings.  He wasn't very giving, but Cole...well that is Cole.  Outside of hunting and fishing, he doesn't have any major sports or hobbies.  No things he has to do or see.

They asked for his wishes and he told them Korea as #1 and Cabelas as #2.  Now that they're gone, I'm having all these panics.  Just on the very off chance he gets granted for us all to go to Korea, I'm nervous.  I mean really we were planning to go there one day, but I really didn't think it would ever happen, if it does.  I didn't think we'd have the money or Cole's heart surgery would come up instead, whatever.  I figured we'd end up not going.  So now that I'm even entertaining the idea of them granting it, I'm sort of freaking out.  I mean, Jaemin and all his freaking out issues on a plane for 13 hours?  I want to believe he'll do better than I think.  And what about Brian.  if we end up on a plan to Korea that's not got much room for him to stretch he just doesn't do well since his accident.  I'm sure I'm just nervous and totally underestimating them, but it still leaves me to worry.  I'm so great at having no control over a situation anyways.  Anyone who knows me knows this is when I freak out.  :)

I'm sure he won't get it, so I'll have to try to remember that and let myself destress.  I should have told her about Brian's issues and Jaemin's issues??

Breathing again.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Those 1 Time Diseases??


















I'm starting to wonder how true getting certain things once in your lifetime really is.  Chase showed me some bumps on his chest and stomach last night and I realized he has a very light case of chicken pox.  They were mostly on his abdomen, a few on his arms, neck and jaw line.  Then, his legs were covered with poison ivy, so it's hard to say if there was anything there or not, but they seemed to pretty much stop at his waistline, from what I could tell.

I called the doctor to see where he was on his vaccine for it and they said he'd had one at 2 and then again at 5 when he entered kindergarten and he doesn't need anymore right now.  I told her I thought it looked like chicken pox and she said it was funny because just a few minutes before I called she had another mom call with a 12 year old boy (Chase will be 12 in a couple of months) that also seemed to have a case of light chicken pox.  Hmmmm....me thinks they need to rethink the way this vaccine is set up.  Starting to wonder if I should have his titres checked.

Then, as I was telling a girl at work about it we got onto the subject of Kaelin and how even though you're not supposed to be able or shouldn't get chicken pox after getting the vaccine or from the vaccine she got it just a few days after getting her vaccine at 1 years old.  Just a real light case.  Then, a couple years later, before kindergarten, Cole got it and she got it again, but worse...still not terrible.  How are you supposed to know if you're immune to it if you get it a couple of times and the vaccine?  So this same girl who got the vaccine for chicken pox and still managed to get chicken pox twice, also had fifths disease twice; confirmed by a doctor.  I even questioned the doctor when I took her last month and she looked at me funny and said "yeah, you're only supposed to be able to get it once".  So weird!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Make a Wish Meeting Soon













The Make a Wish folks called tonight to set up our first meeting.  They will come out later this week to talk to all the kids to find out what all the likes and dislikes are and to talk, in-depth, to Cole.  We got the packet from them late last week and went through it to see what to expect.  Since Cole's top wishes originally were a car to drive when he turns 16 or a hunting trip and they can no longer grant those he had to rethink.

The packet says they need 2 wishes in case their number 1 can't be accomplished.  Cole told us tonight that his #1 wish it for us all to go to Korea, to which I'm very proud of him for, but don't see how they can possibly accomplish that for a family of 7.  I asked him if he had a #2 he really wanted and he said no, not yet.  He's really been struggling with this.  I told him just to tell them the truth that he doesn't have a #2 that he really, really wants and then they can help him figure something out.

I asked him if he really wanted to go to Korea and he said 'yes'.  I didn't really know he'd thought that much about it. He never talks to us about it.  Teens are so non-verbal....like having a toddler again.  I guess this should be interesting to say the least.  And while I do know of a family of 7 that were granted the trip to Korea, I think they were just lucky enough they happened to find a donor willing to pay for the entire trip.  What are the chances of this chapter finding that person?  We'll see.  All I know is we had to have copies of our drivers licenses and the kids' birth certificates (all 5) ready for the meeting, so Brian did that Saturday.  Aren't you impressed?  Brian figured out how to use the scanner, so I wouldn't have to.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rolling with life














Still looking for a car for Cole. It's definitely not easy finding something you feel is safe enough for your 1st child and in a budget of about $2500. Hoping we'll find one in the next several months. Still glad we started early.

Beginning to get estimates on replacing our roof, gutters and screens after last weeks hail storm. Have to talk to someone about the truck yet too. I hope the weather calms down. It's not awful, just a pain in the rear! Our roof will never have time to wear out if we get bad hail storms every 7 years that takes it out.

Work, is work. I'm a little worried because we think my boss had a minor stroke today. I'm a little worried about her, but trying to stay optimistic until we hear everything from her daughter. Hopefully tomorrow will bring good news. Hate to be selfish, but I don't care to get a different boss right now.

I talked to Cole this morning and asked him if he had his list or any ideas ready for when the Wish Granters team calls. They called 4 weeks ago and said they'd be contacting us in 4-6 weeks, so it should be very soon. I reminded him of that. He said he had his wish ready, which surprises me. I asked him what it was and he said "I can't tell you". I said "why, do you think I'll be mad?". He said "no, I just can't tell you". He's just like his dad, so who knows if he was just trying to be hard to get along with, thinking he was being funny or if he just really doesn't want to tell me for whatever reason. Not like I'm not going to eventually find out.

Let's see....quarter 3 is over and the kids are doing well. Chase had all As. Kaelin had 1 B and the rest As and Cole had Bs. Hopefully Cole's 4th quarter will be slightly better. He's capable of so much, but as long as he's happy, right now, I'm pretty happy. Chelsi is getting referred for gifted testing next year. Her teacher said they usually don't put you in the program until 2nd grade and she didn't know if they'd have her wait or not, but she wants her tested. We'll see I guess.

Chelsi's had 3 weeks of gymnastics again and is loving it. She's the only one in tumbling this session, so she's getting 1 on 1 for an hour every week. She's learning to perfect her cartwheels and do backbends and handstands. I think she can do it, if she'd just keep her legs straight and trust herself more. She does really enjoy it, so I'm happy.

There's nothing better than knowing the kids have rules and structure and are finding contentment in their life. It leaves me with a lot of peace. Maybe it's just this spring weather, but it's just been so peaceful lately. I'm not on as much medication for my allergies, no asthma meds, pretty much only vitamins and life's been better!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Help

Okay, those that 'really' know me, know I have problems reading and therefore hate it with a passion.  I can't even read a short article without losing interest.....on any topic!  It kinda stinks.  I just have so much trouble with comprehension and always have that it's like someone's torturing me with some horrible device if I even think I have to read something. 

So, Lois brings in "The Help" for another girl to read, but she's already reading something else.  Since I haven't seen the movie yet and really want to, but by the time it comes out on cable it will be a few more years, I say that I'll try it.  I mean, I can always try and since I really want to know exactly what the story is about it's worth the try. 

Who would have thought that me....who has only finished about 4 books in my ENTIRE life, and I use finished loosely, finished a 500 page book in 4 1/2 days.  I stayed up late reading.  I couldn't sleep.  When I did sleep I dreamt about the dang book.  I'd be trying to figure out what's going to happen next in my dreams.  Then, I'd wake up all made at myself because A. I wasn't sleeping well dreaming so much and B. I was getting things mixed up in my head creating the book ending in my dreams.

I finished it tonight.  I read the last 70 pages and didn't want to go another night like the last few.  I totally ignored the kids, bad mom, but I just had to finish it for my own sanity.  I had to know exactly how it turned out.  Now I really can't wait to see the movie because it's the first time "I" get to be the one who can compare the book to the movie.  Hopefully, I can remember until it comes out on cable.  Really wish we had a video store around here.

Lois, by the way, if you're reading this I totally blame you for my lack of sleep.  ;)  Enjoy Florida!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

You sleep in you bed

That's what I got told last night.  Hard to believe that less than a month ago I was struggling to get some sleep because Jaemin was waking up every night and sleeping in my room and has been for 1 1/2 years.  Hard to believe all it took was reasoning with him to get him to stay in his own bed.  Reasoning with a 3 1/2 year old?  Can you really do that?  Apparently sometimes, at least.

Jaemin doesn't even try to come in my room.  Occasionally, he has a bad dream and cries at night, but that's it.  We just have to go in there for a second and it's not every night.  Last night Brian put him to bed and I came in there to tell him good night and I laid in his bed for a minute and he tells me "you go sleep in you bed, I sleep in my bed".  It makes him sound so big.  And remember when I told him to stay in bed 'til the sun comes up and that's when he can get in my bed.  Well, that works well on the weekends and he gets up as early as the sun and tootles around the house until someone gets up to keep him company.  But, weekdays are another topic.  He fights us tooth and nail to stay in bed.  He suddenly absolutely adores his bed and his sleeping time.  If you turn on his light he jumps out of bed, turns it off and covers his head back up. 

Once he gets going he's ready to go and good mood as ever.  It's time to watch the Lion King and he goes around the house singing "eeeiiihhhhaaaa peanut!".  This is what he thinks they're saying on the beginning song to Lion King.  You know the one where we all think they're saying "pink pajamas penguins on the bottom".  I think it's really called "The Circle of Life".  It took us two weeks to figure out he really was saying peanut and that he meant he wanted to watch Lion King and not Jeff Dunham.  :)



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy, happy birthday baby

To my oldest baby who turned 15 today.  You are the happiness I discovered in the darkness.  When we lost our first baby and found out we were having you shortly after, the world was so much better.  And it got even better the day you were born.  I never thought I'd be happy or life would be so great and you proved me wrong.  I know you have so much potential and if you have confidence in you natural abilities and personality you'll be fine and do great in life.

Love you very much.

Mom


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Broke Family

Of course, I jest when I say broke because there is a savings still and we are still very much trying hard to get to Korea.  But sometimes when I see my excel spreadsheet budget dwindling down, in my head, as unexpected expenses come upon us I think of the show "Two Broke Girls".  If you've never seen it, it's about 2 girls trying to save up money so they can open a cupcake business.  At the end of each show it pops up their savings amount from the last show and either goes up or down, depending if they lost money or earned money that episode.  And, of course, as it goes up or down it sounds like the old cash register that used to be at our tiny town's local grocery store when they had dime candy and an antique register. 

Brian called me today because we've had insurance adjusters coming out.  Last week was a hail storm and the truck's paint was chipped so the guy came out Saturday and said, yes it's hail.  We also asked them to send out someone to check our roof to make sure we didn't have any damage there.  I didn't think we did, but wanted to be sure it was reported if we did.  Brian happened to drop by the house today as she was leaving and she broke the news.  We do have roof damage and we have 2 years to have it replaced.  Here's the kicker.  Our company only offers homeowner's insurance with a $1,000 deductible.  So, in my head, there I was at work, seeing my excel spreadsheet and our Korea savings going down by $1,000.  And if you knew how many years it takes us to save $1,000 you'd take a gulp too!

Such is life!

Monday, March 5, 2012

my big boy....



















My first born will be 15 on Thursday.  Where did the time go?  Tonight he got his Varsity letter in wrestling.  It was kinda nice because they did freshmen and sophomores first and just had them all come up.  There wasn't supposed to be any clapping until they were all up there and coach went through his little spiel for each kid (he wrote something specific to each kid and what he though of their past and future).  When Cole was called the other boys clapped for him.  I thought maybe it was just because he was the last freshman to get called, but when they did the other grades they didn't clap like that.  They all know of his heart condition...kinda hard not to since you have to strip for weighins and they asked when they got curious about his chest scar.

I think Cole felt a little freeing when he finally told his teammates at some of those first practices.  He's never talked about it with any of his classmates and hadn't even told his best friend until about sometime last year.  He just is sort of quiet with personal things like that.  I think it surprised him with how supportive they all were and in return I think they were surprised with how tough he was.  He never gives in regardless...never weakens....always tries his best.

And tomorrow night, Cole gets his car.  We committed to buy a 1998 Blazer last night from someone that lives nearby.  And while it has a couple hundred thousand miles (close to anyways) it's in pretty nice shape and seems to run nice.  Though I had to figure out the ticking it was making and it seems like we will need to change the multi-function switch.  It's okay...the part is about $85 and I think we have some help for putting it in.  Otherwise the internet says it could cost $300 to replace.  We'll get it in.  He's SUPER excited.  It's really want he wanted and we got to stay within our budget, including taxes, so we're pretty happy too.  Now, we just have to hope that he gets some good mileage out of it before the motor goes.  We know it will eventually happen, but hopefully we get a monetary breather first.  It does look pretty nice for a 14 year old vehicle.

It was desserts only tonight and Jaemin LOVED the selection.  He really loved the green icing cupcake!