Friday, August 28, 2009

They Learned This From ME?

Lately my cell phone has been acting up-- again. I am well known for being rather hard on my cell phones. I miss the very first one I owned. It was massive, but I could drop it, the babies played with it, it survived my diaper bag, and was still in great shape after many years of use. Since that phone it has been nothing but trouble. I have a hard time getting my phone to last until I qualify for a new phone. This has left me with quite a collection of old phones.

A few weeks ago my dear children found this collection of phones in a drawer. They acted as though it were Christmas. Each of them picked out a phone and ran to find purses to hold their new phones. Even little JuJu babbled on her phone.

For days there were many creative rings for the phones heard at all hours. There were countless conversations with each other, with family members, with imaginary friends. This, though, was my favorite overheard conversation:

Bear: sings a crazy tune
Banana: ignores her
Bear: "Banana, your phone is ringing."
Banana: (dismissively)"I know."
Bear: sings louder
Banana: silent
Bear: starts babbling on about something.
Banana: (in a rather taunting tone of voice) "Why are you talking? I denied you!"
Bear: (quite cheerfully) "I know, I'm leaving you a voicemail!"

Since my cell phone has died, again, dh was kind enough to do a little digging and ordered me a new one. The website gives this description:
"designed for on-site field services. Built to withstand harsh conditions, it is certified to Military Standard MI-SID-810F, withstanding dust, shock vibrations, rain, humidity, solar radiation and altitude and temperature extremes."

If I were a betting man, I still think the odds are I will find some way of destroying this phone as well-- especially with the help of my girls. Heaven help us when they are old enough to need cell phones of their own (thankfully this is many, many years away :) ).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

While out for lunch

Banana, my exceptionally bright fourth grader, is deciding on what she would like from the Chinese buffet line. She politely declares, "I'd like teriyaki beef not the human (Hunan) beef."

Wise choice my dear and I will stick with the General Tso's chicken.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wound Ever So Tightly

I was telling a dear friend the other day that I feel a little like a guitar string that just keeps getting tightened, and tightened, and tightened. I am wondering when I might just go plink and break in two. So far I am hanging in there, although I'm really hoping the tightening will subside soon.

Despite the rough start to my sister's last week, she ended on some good notes (pun intended). Her recovery from LVAD surgery has gone really well. She still has a long road, especially with a transplant looming. Right now we are all just so thankful this surgery has gone as well as it could.

Our first week of school could have gone better. My poor children had to deal with a mother who was dragged kicking and screaming from an all too short summer in which only a quarter of the "To-Do List" was finished. To add to that, this mom is riddled with anxiety about how she will pull off the second semester of school with two new little ones. Her response to the anxiety is to push, push, push for a really successful fall semester. If the first week is an indication, we are in some real trouble.

Not only is this mom suffering from these emotional woes, she is hormonal. Seventeen weeks pregnant hormonal. You know, the tired of looking so fat, constant headache, can't get comfortable, overtired, and still suffering from morning sickness hormonal. To add to those physical woes, she has an ear infection in her right ear that is now making its way to the left ear.

The guitar string continues to tighten...

On top of these, this silly mom was trying to be super-cool, fun mom and signed her two oldest girls up for fall soccer. Banana is at her first practice right now. Monday and Wednesday evenings now include scarfing down dinner (a dinner I am hard pressed to find time to cook) and heading off to practice. Bear's coach called tonight and her practices are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. So now we get to scarf dinner (assuming I actually make dinner) every weeknight for the next eight weeks. What was I thinking?

I must have been thinking how cute these girls are in their soccer gear :)

It's Almost That Time of Year Again...

Regina reminded me... Not that I wasn't already seething in anticipation. There have been more than a few refrains of Carmen Ohio sung here in the last week or so. The little ones have broken out strains of "We don't give a DARN for the whole state of Michigan."

To further build anticipation, this video clip was sent to me on FB.

I'm all for the tribute, but I still expect to win!

I can't wait till kickoff! Go Buckeyes!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From my Inbox This Morning

Congratulations! Your dossier has been delivered to the China Center of Adoption Affairs.

Now we wait... hopefully only a few more months.

In other news, Missy's surgery went well, but she is in for a long recovery. The next two to three days are especially important. Please keep those prayers coming.

We are on day 3 of our new school year. My expectation is just to survive this year, there is so much going on that I don't anticipate it will be one of our better years. So far days one and two reflect that. I already need some motivation-- even with my low expectations.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


My sister has had a few really rough days. She was tentatively scheduled to have a Ventricular Assisted Device implanted later this week. However, this morning the doctors decided she needed the surgery today because of the rough days (and nights) she has had.

She is in surgery now. It is a long procedure-- open heart. Please pray for her.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Dozen Years...

Soon to be half a dozen kids here with us, and already half a dozen praying for us in heaven.

Who could have imagined the journey we were beginning twelve years ago today?
I knew then there was only one person I wanted to embark on this journey with. Today I am even more confident of that.

I love you David.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Egg on Her Face

Remember those early days when I tried and tried to get little JuJu to eat some solid foods? Let me tell you those days are gone. Now I find it almost impossible to keep up with her voracious appetite. The only word she uses consistently is num num num. She bangs on the pantry door. She wants a snack almost all the time.

This morning I was making breakfast before dh left for work. He likes a fried egg sandwich with a runny (really runny) yolk. So when I put his egg in the frying pan and broke the yolk, I quickly scrambled it and gave it to JuJu. She inhaled it. This after eating a whole banana the girls had given her.

I then finished making scrambled eggs for the girls (yes sometimes I feel like a short order cook at breakfast), and dh put at least two eggs worth on JuJu's highchair tray. I thought there was no way that little one would eat them. She did -- then asked for more. I gave her a piece of toast and a slice of cheese, wanting to keep her quiet more than thinking she would actually eat them. She did eat them.

Then little Bophie, always our last to finish a meal, said she didn't want her eggs. She had only eaten half a grapefruit so I insisted she eat them. I turned my back for a second and I find that JuJu did Bophie the favor of eating her eggs too. Seriously, how much can one girl (who has yet to register on the growth chart) possibly pack away? And how long do you think I have before she is pounding on that pantry door asking for a snack?

UPDATE: 9:56 AM less than two hours after finishing her massive breakfast, I walk into the kitchen to find this...
JuJu is helping herself to some Mini Wheats courtesy of her three year old sister leaving the pantry door open. Good grief, where does she put it?

Monday, August 10, 2009


Last week's busy-ness continues...

My sister's appointment did not go well. They found no improvement in her heart function. The plan was to give the medications 3-6 months and then evaluate where she was. Since there was no improvement, the doctor said it was time to make an appointment to be evaluated for a heart transplant. This was really hard news for my family as it means her condition is really not good.

Missy then had a bad spell late Friday night and was taken back to the hospital where they decided she should be transferred to another local hospital to have the transplant evaluation done ASAP. She is there this morning undergoing a barrage of tests. The thought is that she will be on the list very soon. All of this has happened so quickly and I know she is worried and any prayers would be appreciated.

My mom is home from the hospital, but still not feeling well. She has a significant fever and is still pretty tired. She hopes to hear from her doctors sometime this morning. I know it is also incredibly difficult for her to be unable to be with my sister right now.

I am throwing myself into my work (always been my coping strategy) and trying to finish the mounds and mounds of camping laundry, drying out the tent, and dealing with four over-tired and cranky girls. We enjoyed camping (well most of us enjoyed it, let's just say this isn't dh's idea of fun), and I hope to post pictures later this week. I haven't unearthed the camera from the mounds of gear to unpack.

I also hope to start school next week so this is my last week to prepare my house for the craziness to start up again. I am hoping for a productive week as we are no where near ready at this point. If that wasn't enough, we also have a few snags in our adoption paperwork to clear up. It is going to be another crazy week...

Almost forgot the good news. My appointment on Thursday went well. I had seen this little one's heart beat many times, but had yet to hear it. That wonderful sound... Thursday there was no difficulty finding it. I even felt a swift kick (at this stage a good bump) when the doctor first listened with the doppler.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Busy Week

Mom has been in the hospital since Friday. It seems she had the perfect storm of maladies-- gall bladder troubles, stomach bacterial infections, and others. It looks like she will be going home tomorrow, but has to go back in for surgery when she is feeling stronger.

The final adoption paperwork (I-797 giving us permission to adopt a foreign child) was supposed to arrive early last week, instead it showed up Monday requiring us (and by "us" I mean dh) to hurry and get it notarized, certified twice, and overnighted to the courier in New York. A couple hours work and a small fortune in postage and fees later, all of our paperwork is out of our hands and sent to the adoption agency. Hopefully on its way to China sometime next week.

Aunt Missy has a big appointment today, another echo, and will know more about how she is progressing. I know it has been weighing heavily on her.

I have another OB appointment tomorrow. I know I should have already breathed a sigh of relief about this pregnancy, but somehow (it could be past experiences) I am still nervous-- not as much, but still apprehensive. I also have had a headache for days, I hate my sinuses. The rain and changing weather always cause me such misery.

On top of all this, I am trying to get us packed for a summer camping trip with some other homeschooling families. The last time we went camping, Banana was only six months old. I am a little out of practice, and the kids add a whole new level of being prepared. When it was just dh and I, we could make do. Going with a group is nice knowing someone is bound to have whatever I forget. It also makes me worried I will appear as some sort of slacker mom for not having everything I need, organized, and easily at hand. I am sure it will all come together-- right?

Last night while watching old episodes of X-Files (a new find for us), one of the characters had a near death experience and saw her dad who told her he would trade all his medals, commendations, and promotions, for one more minute with his little girl. That reminded me how blessed I am this week. I have time with my loved ones. I would prefer that wasn't in the hospital as much as it has been lately, but I'll still take it. This camping trip may be a crazy amount of work, but the memories my girls will have make it totally worth it. In many ways, I am so blessed to be busy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The End of the Staycation

Dh had some unused vacation time that he would lose if not taken before the end of August. While it would have been nice to carry over a little more vacation time for next year (you'll recall we have quite a few big events coming next year), he had to take it.

We both like to travel and have really enjoyed our family trips, but with an adoption to fund, the possibility of needing a new car (we're about to outgrow our minivan), and the other costs associated with adding two new family members next year, we decided to be frugal and stay home.

Our Staycation--

The Good: my basement is clean, my kitchen cupboards are clean, Bear's computer is set up and ready for school, we went to daily Mass as a family almost every day, we had a fun trip to the State Fair, dh got some much needed computer gaming time, and it has been fairly relaxing.

The Bad: I did my best not to nag so only half my to do list was finished, my house is a disaster (why is it so hard to maintain basic chores when Dad is home?), and it still didn't really feel like a vacation.

The Ugly: the last few days of our staycation were supposed to be spent at a local waterpark with Grandma, cousins, and other family, but instead has been spent at a local hospital. Grandma has been throwing up since Tuesday, she went to the doctor and is now in the hospital until they can figure out what is causing her misery.

Another friend whose family also took a staycation this year reminded me that a staycation is better than a nocation... I would have to agree.