Thursday, January 23, 2014

This week....

I feel like I should be typing with pauses kinda like my internet does.  We have the slowest internet.  Sure we could pay a fortune and upgrade, but we pay is too high as it is.  So I'm stuck with a lot of reload errors.....constantly!  Good thing we don't have streaming tv, you'd constantly be in a commercial break due to the streaming pauses.  Highly annoying.  I still think 7 on one router just overloads sometimes, but then again, Brian and I are the only ones up right now, so I don't think it's that.

We have survived the first week of 6:30 am weight lifting for Chase.  He enjoys being with his friends and really only has to get up a few minutes earlier to catch a ride with his dad to school.  He gets to skip breakfast, so that saves time and then he eats granola after lifting.

Wrestling is winding down.  We're down to 1 or 2 per week and he may not even wrestle this weekend, he's just waiting to find out.  Hard when the coaches son is the one in your weight class and there's always a 'reason' not to have wrestle offs.  I think it's because Cole could beat him. He did finally lose a match this week though.

Finally decided to spend the money to get my iPod fixed.  It wasn't doing any good just holding onto it, so this guy said he would do it for $50 which is actually pretty cheap around here.  Picking it up tomorrow night and we're going to give it to Chelsi.  She's so excited to have a 4g!  She'll finally be able to get all the apps to work and we're going to give Jaemin Chelsi's pink iPod.  He's so stinkin' excited pink or not.  He can finally watch all of the versions of "What does the fox say" whenever he wants.  He's been at the mercy of his siblings.  More loud singing from Jaemin coming.  One of these I will record him singing and post on Youtube!

I gave the girls haircuts this week and Brian did NOT like them.  He was fine with Kaelins.  I really just trimmed it so she could still get it up for volleyball.  Chelsi's I cut shoulder length and layered and she looks all grown up.  He said he didn't like it and then he said 'she's gorgeous'.  She is!

And....YAY!.......the furniture store called and said our furniture in.  We will be able to really fit at the table, all 7 of us together.  Kaelin won't be squashed and sandwiched so close between Jaemin and Chelsi.  Maybe Brian will be able to sleep on our new mattress....maybe his back won't hurt.  I just pray the kitchen set fits in our tiny kitchen and it all works.  I have wanted this for so long!

I just pray life keeps going on like this.....I'm enjoying it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Looking forward, looking back

While I love today and what it brings like a sweet little five year old who can break in with "I love you" to divert your attention from getting onto him.  I sort of look forward to years down the road when I see them all grown up and I have the water to just the two of us instead of sharing the pressure because the washing machine, dishwasher or another shower is constantly running in this family of 7.  I look forward to always having hot water when I take a shower, with pressure.  I look forward to not worrying about who's watching who while we run and get things done.  I'm not  sure I'll really have that empty nest syndrome a lot of older couples do.

But, I know to love where we're at.  Though in the tough times, not so much.  I look forward to skipping forward a few days to get through whatever it  is, or sometimes months.  I am trying to just enjoy the day, the time we're in.  Trying to enjoy each of their stages and changes.  It's kind of neat with a family this big.  You get to see the changes an almost 17 year old goes through as he approaches being an adult in one year.  Wow, I will have an adult child in one year!  You get to see the changes a 13 year old goes through as he really enters puberty and the teen years.  You get to see the scary changes an 11 year old goes through as she blossoms into a really beautiful young lady.  You get to see the innocence and fun an 8 year old still has and the little girl your 11 year old used to be.  And all while that is ALL going on at the same exact moment, you get to see a sweet little 5 year old boy just be ALL boy and so young and so sweet and just starting life as he gets ready to enter the real world school holds.

Try to enjoy every step of the way. That's my lifelong goal......and as I write that and say that my 16 year old is out with friends and I'm hoping what we've taught him and what he knows stays with him every second he's away from us and he makes good decisions.  So yes, while I enjoy it and try really hard to enjoy every second I'm scared to death at moments with worry of what I know other kids do hoping mine won't.   The joys of parenting come with a lot of worries.  But, I guess, nothing great is without risk.

Friday, January 17, 2014

No better compliment

than to hear an older mother (mom older than you and with grown kids) tell you you're doing a great job of raising your kids and how genuinely she can tell I love them and that she loves our family.  Now, my family does not know her, but I work with her.  Today was her last day and though we rarely talked I would talk about the kids from time-to-time.  I told her we were going to miss her at work and she hugged me and told me that because of the way I spoke about my kids she could tell how deeply I loved them and that our family will always be in her heart and prayers.  So sweet!  I will miss J.

Good Lens

Great subject.

I finally got to use the lens I bought last year for the purpose I bought it  for anyways.  I wanted to check it out on indoor sports pictures.  Specifically, Cole's wrestling.

He pinned the kid and did great.  It's amazing that this is only his 3rd year wrestling ever and has a heart condition.  He really does do well.  I know a lot of parents think a junior in high school isn't very good if they're on JV, but I think it's great.  Most of these kids have been wrestling for 3-5 years by the time they're freshman and that was his first year.  He's winning every JV match and has really improved.  I'm very proud of how strong he is and I mean that in more than one way.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm telling you

growing up IS hard!  Raising kids who are trying to grow up is REALLY hard.

We've had a couple things slam us this week with kids.  One was just something that is fairly common with teens, but I promised I wouldn't share with anyone, so I have to keep my promise.  The the kid asked to go to a cousin's house for a bonfire.  All sounds fine, but I know this cousin is 21+ and likes his alcohol.  This is not something, whether you trust your teenager or not, your teenager needs to be around with no responsible adults there.  We talked to a cop friend about MIPs and know as long as he does nothing all is well, but the longer we can keep him unexposed the better.  We asked where all his friends were and he said some were over at another friend's hanging out.  We had to switch gears because we've always taught the kids not to invite themselves over.  We told him at this age you have to speak up or you can get left behind and if you want to hangout it's okay.  He's never really gone out, so he has to let them know he's allowed to.  He texted them and then went over.  By 10pm I had a phone call that they were playing pool and wanted to spend the night.  Deal was he had to be home by 8am to do chores and he had to work tonight.

He said they stayed up to 3am (typical) and was really tired.  We told him just to take a shower, do his chores and take a nap.  I think he was feeling better after that. Some kids do really well at this point, but other have a harder time finding their  place.  I can see a lot of me in him too.  I'm always afraid of  overstepping and asking to hangout thinking someone will feel the need to say yes when they really want to say no.  I'm almost 40 and still feel that way.  The friend thing doesn't exactly get easier as you get older with this sort of personality complex.  I guess we're both just too unsure of ourselves.  I wish we were more confident people.  It would  do both of us a lot of good.

For now, I'm just happy that though he wasn't happy with me for not letting him go to the bonfire, I explained why and came up with the solution of him going with his friends, he talked calmly with me about it.  It's nice to see these moments when he can sit to find the way through or around something instead of just assuming it's a barricade and nothing can be done but get angry.  He seems to do well if you can just get him to talk.  I don't think that's always or often that easy with teenager boys.

I think the one thing for parents of teenagers to keep in mind, now remember there's  always the exception, is  to keep the line of communication open.  Tell them exactly what you expect and what the consequences are and follow through on them.  Sort of like a younger child. Then, with each day, week, month and year that you get through, count your blessings and consider the accomplishments.

And deep down when I see the behavior of other kids I realize I have some pretty good kids.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My poor oldest baby

Every mother knows that you can't protect your child from the hurts of the world, but GOD IT HURTS!

He did much better with today than I anticipated and I know he was angry, but we talked tonight about taking things gracefully, accepting apologies gracefully and being a bigger person no matter what.  As a friend at work said; it's hard enough for us full-grown adults and I'm expecting this out of a 16 year old.  He always has had to deal with adult details of life, what's new though?

I had finally gotten the nerve to call Cole's PC (pediatric cardiologist) today to find out about the MRI.  He called back right away and said someone was supposed to have called to schedule.  Okay, so let's go ahead.  They're getting the specifics but we do plan to go in February for an all day trip, no sedation MRI.  He broke the news, which I guess I sort of anticipated, that he does NOT qualify for the Melody Valve, so it's open-heart next.  I knew that the Melody required a conduit or something to use in the anatomy of the heart, but didn't know if what Cole had left of a PV (pulmonary valve) was going to be enough. He didn't have enough.  He said we could wait until summer so he didn't have to miss a day of school, but I told him that Cole and I had already had a conversation about timing.  He originally wanted to have it over the summer until he realized that if he did it this Spring there was a chance he could wrestle his Senior year which is this October.  The cardiologist agreed to move up the MRI in case he needs surgery.

I asked him what he thought after he compared last years echo and ekg to this years and he said that he had begun to see things in last years and they were still there this year.  Nothing significantly changed, but obviously there are electrical things going on there.  The MRI will verify if the muscle is too damaged to wait, failure or no failure.  I asked him if he could wait until next year and he said it's possible that's what the MRI will show, but he had the tone he gets when he really doesn't believe that to be the case.  I have this feeling he knows more than he's letting on and Cole does too, but we'll have to wait to see.  Who cares about the $1,000 for the MRI, I just want to know he'll be okay.  But, there's the chance before school lets out this year he will have had it.  I will try to purge that back where I've been keeping it all these years so I don't get over anxious

Then, about 3:12 today Brian called and said Cole was home from school.  Apparently, his 7th hour teacher decided he didn't have to listen to a 16 year old and didn't believe that he was supposed to leave early for a wrestling match 2 hours away.  The office said they announced it, but something must have been wrong with the intercom in the classroom.  The teacher didn't even try to ask the office or anything, he just told Cole he was wrong.  The bus indeed left without him on the night he was so excited about getting to wrestle varsity.  I left a message for the principal and called the coach to let him know what was going on.  They had no idea.  I guess they thought he just skipped?  The principal called me back to tell me he heard what happened and apologized.  He said he'd pay mileage if we drove him there, but I told him I had already asked Cole and since it's 2 hours away and weigh ins were in about 40 minutes from school letting out there was no way possible for him to wrestle.  He said he was going to talk to the coach and the teacher, but he couldn't imagine what they could say to not put the school at fault on this.  He told me someone would be apologizing to me.  I let him know that I didn't need it.  I was mad yes.  I was worried about how much it upset my child yes, but it was him to deserved to be apologized to.  I told him most of my concern at this point was making sure this never happened to another kid since they couldn't fix what they did.

I did follow up with an email.  I think the teacher needed to step back and realize that you don't really know a kid or people.  Of course I didn't say that, just thoughts.  He needs to know that kids aren't there to get out of school.  Cole has never tried that.  And at the very least he wasn't a jerk teenager and didn't just walk out though apparently it crossed his mind.  I told him he made the better choice.  I told him that if Cole has surgery and depending on the timing every match is a match he gets to have.  We don't know what he'll lose with surgery and I hated seeing him lose one over this sort of thing.  I'm sure he had no idea he had a heart condition.  Not many do know.  But those who don't know anyone with one don't know the things they take for granted in life.  Just like I don't know what some others don't get to do because of what they were handed in life.  I'm just trying my very best to keep this kid in the activity he enjoys, keeps him healthy, is great for his esteem and is something to enjoy in high school for a limited time.  Take advantage that the cardiologist finally caved and let him do it.  Take advantage that his heart has done well through it.  Be the kid that's rare to make it 16 years after a transannular patch with monocusp repair of tetralogy.  You don't know what tomorrow will bring, so get the most out of today.  This has been my motto in life.  I've seen too many others wait for tomorrow and it never comes.  I want to enjoy my family today to the fullest and want my kids to enjoy their lives to the fullest.  Their happiness is everything.

I couldn't make it all better for Cole when I got home tonight, but I started off with a hug and then told him all the details of the day.  I think he knew about his heart, so he just nodded, but he internalizes, so he'll fear the surgery and not want to talk about it.  That's probably best.  Only talk about it when and if you have to.  Just hopefully, he's not internalizing anything I need to know about, but I think that couple of hours before me getting home did him some good to blow the steam off....and the fact that his dad told him to go hunting which is a great hobby for stress.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Chugging Along

We're 6 days into 2014 and still chugging along.  The kids are still not back in school because of the snow storm.  We had pretty close to 10 inches, so they're out again tomorrow.  Cole did take the truck to drive to work Sunday night.  The Sunday night manager at McDonalds is not very nice and gave him a hard time about coming in because he didn't come in for ICE in December.  He stood up for himself and told her there was a big difference between ice and snow and those that live in town and those that don't, like us.  He was also the only non-manager to show up, but she was still nasty to him.  I told him that life is full of supervisors like that and just to do his best and deal with the Sundays.  After wrestling he can look for a new part time job, but make nice until then.  I'm hoping he finds one, but I told him regardless if she gets too nasty it's not worth this in high school for a minimum wage job.

It's been a long few days due to the approximate 10 inches of snow we got and sub-zero temps.  The kids are still out of school tomorrow and haven't been in school since the middle of December.  The cats and dogs are rooming together in the garage.  Oreo (the new cat) is getting used to the dogs since he's so close to them now.

We're hoping to go look at new tables again this weekend.  I'm just not sure I'm ready to spend the money, but our table is just too small now.  We've have it for over 10 years and now that the kids are getting bigger there's not enough space with the leg on each end.  So we're hoping to find a trestle table that will fit 7 comfortably.  The guy in the store this past weekend looked at us like we had two heads when we said we needed to seat 7 every night.  And yes we do eat at the table as a family every night.  When Cole has late practice he misses sometimes, but 90% of the year is all 7 of us eating together.  Our kitchen table gets a ton of use.  Now we need to find the best use for our money to find one that will grow with us, but fit in our small kitchen area.

Work is work. I made it in today regardless of the weather.  It's always quieter and kind of nicer on these days, but the commute is long going so slow because of the snow and pack snow (ice).  By the time it clears up this week we'll get more.  I always worry about Cole being on the roads.  He seems pretty cautious so far and I'm thankful for that, but there are still other drivers out there.  And crazy ones in this weather sometimes.  We did send Jaemin outside Sunday before the temps dropped.  He was so excited to go out in the snow.  He doesn't like cold much, but thinks he's something else in the snow.  Chelsi stayed out much longer than we expected too.  She's not much on cold either.  I looked out and at one point wasn't sure how Chelsi could even see.  I couldn't see her face at all.  She had a head warmer on and a scarf wrapped around her face.  She got to use her Christmas sled and boots.  She looked so stinkin' cute out there with her pink boots and cat head warmer.

Hopefully 2014 will be calm.  Probably depends on the cardiologist and what he says when he calls back.  Hopefully soon.  I'll have to call him this week if he doesn't call.  That should have been enough time for the team to meet even with the holiday weeks.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

I'm hoping for a really great year.  One where things settle down in the world and maybe society finds their way back to more simple times where not everything revolved around money and one upping, but helping each other and buying what you can afford.  I think that alone will help the world and what kids are growing up to believe is the new norm for America.

Last year was good, but I'm always hoping for better.  A better outlook for all of our futures, fun, a few more breaks.  Not that life was as difficult as others are dealing with.  I just had one of life's simple pleasures today.  Jaemin really enjoys 'What does the fox say', so we found Chase's old MP3 player from many moons ago and got it up and working again.  I downloaded the video for him, finally got it to work on the MP3 and hooked Jaemin up to it.  It's one of very few things that settles his tendencies. He really does stay still when he watches and listens to that song and video.  It's amazing.  He listened for a long time and then looked at me (actually looked in my eyes) and said "thanks for putting that on mom, you're the best, you're beautiful".  He rarely says that much all at once and it was so sweet and then he gave me a little kiss on the cheek.  So, I'm pretty thankful for 2013 bringing 'What does the fox say".

Other than that we rang in the new year very quietly as usual.  We just stayed home and went to bed at the normal time.  'Til the neighbors fireworks woke me up at midnight.  That was a 20 minute show I tried to sleep through and then woke up with a massive headache.  My TMJ and sinuses are flaring bad today.  Not a good way to start off the New Year, but could be worse, we're all together today and that's just nice.  I just sit thinking about what this year will bring.  Haven't heard from the cardiologist yet, so wondering if it will bring surgery for Cole or not?  Can we figure out a vacation we can do maybe?  I'm waiting to find out what's going on with Cole on that.  We may NEED a vacation depending on what's going on with his heart.  How's Jaemin going to do in Kindergarten this year?  That's probably my biggest fear.  Will the school really help him enough?  His sensory disorder really hurts his ability to behave in a 'normal' manner and I get so afraid that if he gets the wrong teacher that doesn't see how great he IS, they could hurt his self-esteem and make him feel bad because he's different.  What if he doesn't know how to handle all of the other kids, daycare is so limited, when he gets in that situation.  He goes with the flow almost too easily.  He is definitely socially delayed and I worry so much about him.  I just want him to be okay and safe and happy.  It's not because he's my youngest, at least not only because he's my youngest.  It's because he's vulnerable.  He's special.  I wish the world could see how special Jaemin is.  Maybe that's what 2014 could bring to me.

Well, I guess we'll see what 2014 has in store this year.  As far as me and my family and the above worries, wishes, I hope it brings more happiness, health and closeness for the 7 of us.  This is so important to me.

Happy New Year All!