About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Eli's MRI

Eli's MRI was successful. Hopefully we'll have the results in the next week or so.

We went to the doctor's office, which took twice the amount of time it normally would because of rush hour traffic (an hour). So we were right on time at 8:30am. They then took us back to a room where they asked about his medical history, and then gave me an idea about what was going to happen. They then gave me a liquid form of sedative in a syringe to give to Eli. I explained to him that it was medicine and it wouldn't taste good, but he needed to finish it. And he did with no hesitation. He started to get sleepy and fought it, but eventually succumbed. He was wheeled in to the MRI room, I was given ear plugs, and away we went. This is when I started to break down.

He was lifted on to the MRI machine and hooked up to monitors for his heart and lungs (to make sure he didn't stop breathing), and then rolled in to the machine, which is a lot tighter than you'd think. I was in the room the entire 15-20mins (it's really, really loud!) and almost completely lost it. Here was my darling boy, completely lifeless, stuck in this awful machine, surrounded by white. It reminded me a lot of a funeral. I just couldn't shake that visual. So I was relieved when the technician came in and told me it was done. As soon as they moved him to the bed Eli woke up and wanted his momma. So I carried him back in to the room until he woke up a bit more, and in true Eli style demanded he be allowed to hold his bag of cars to the car. I carried him, which wasn't easy with the other two bags I had. I didn't want to feed him until we got home.

The rest of the day went by really fast. We got home, he drank juice like a mad man, and then ate cheerios and some nuts before I put him down for his nap. He slept for about 2 hours, and then was up and running (well, more like tumbling). The sedative made him pretty wobbly, so he was falling a lot and running in to walls and closets. We then had the fun of riding out a really bad, really fast thunderstorm that knocked out power a half a dozen times. He was pretty loopy and wiry, so we headed to the church to hang out until Dave came to pick him up. I had a rehearsal dinner last night for a wedding I'm in...it was so much fun. Ah, adult conversation!!

Eli went in to the sanctuary for the first time! Our church is pretty big, so we have these riding vacuum cleaners that are pretty quiet. Eli kept saying "car, car" and following the guy around, weaving in between rows, figure 8-ing. It was so funny! So I'm hoping he'll be willing to join us this Sunday for a few minutes in the sanctuary, but I'm not going to push it. We'll let him tell us when he's ready.

Eli has been progressing like crazy! He can sound all the letters and is chatting up a storm with us, although most of it isn't English that I recognize. His OT is going great, and he starts PT this Wed. I'm really excited to see what the PT says.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Well, tomorrow is the big day. For some reason I'm really nervous about it. Perhaps it's because Eli's routine will be broken, and I'm not sure how he's going to react. He's going to be sedated for his MRI, and we should have answers about his brain in 3-4 days, which is pretty quick if you ask me. So if you'll pray for us that would be great.

Prayer Requests:

Eli is tired enough to allow the sedation to take full effect
The time passes quickly for me
No allergic reaction to the meds
Accurate reading of the MRI

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dave!

Today is the day we celebrate fathers. And this is the first Father's Day for us. We went to church this morning, and Abuelo's for lunch. Now Dave is napping with Eli, and we may go to the zoo this afternoon. It's going to be a fun filled day!

It's been amazing to see my husband being a father. He's the first to jump in to the sandbox with Eli, play with cars (although I suspect he's having more fun than Eli!), and swing him around. I love to see them giggling in the backyard, getting in to the mud and dirt, rolling around in the grass, and chasing each other. You can definitely see that Eli looks up to his Papa. I knew Dave would be a great father, but, wow, I'm impressed.

Not only is he great with Eli, but he's so sweet to me. When I need a break because I've been listening to a screaming child all afternoon, he takes over. He never asks the age old question "what did you do all day" when supper isn't ready (or even planned), I look like I've been in a tornado, and the house is littered with cars. He has supported and encouraged me, and he's a great example to Eli.

So Happy Father's Day, Papa! And enjoy your nap...you deserve it :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And the beat goes on...

Eli helping Papa push the lawnmower

Papa and Eli chillin on the couch on a weekend

God is good all the time. Even when you can't hear anything over the screams of a three year old's tantrum. I take this as a good sign that he's feeling more and more comfy with us. He's sleeping through storms, and past 7am. And he doesn't jerk awake when I go in to his room and turn down his music. He has started a new trend at night. He wants me to tuck the blanket around him so he looks like a little bundled up catapillar. It's so cute! I caught him passed out with the blanket still on him. It was darling :)

We started OT this past Wed. I think we're going to go once a week, but we'll see what the OT thinks. Our next apptmt is this coming Wed. And we start PT July 1st (Woohoo!!) I'm so thankful God has allowed this to happen so quickly! We saw the neurologist, who has ordered an MRI for Thursday. Eli is going to be sedated, so he can't eat anything in the morning. Should be not too much fun. The neuro seemed pleased with how Eli was doing. His head size is well below the normal range, but he said it could be due to the malnutrition. So we'll see what the MRI says. And I have an apptmt with a gate specialist to see if Eli needs braces to help his ankles straighten out on July 6th. Squeezed in between all this is a bachelorette party, wedding (that I'm in), my dentist apptmt, several chiropractic apptmts, and some play time. Phew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Eli has been a crabby pants when he gets up from his nap every day this week. So I'm trying to figure out what's up with that. Everything makes him scream. Do you want to go play in your sandbox? SCREAM (as he heads to the back door). I place him back in his room on the floor in his time out spot until he stops crying and then come in and try again. Maybe I need to try quiet games til he wakes up all the way.

Grandma Karl and Eli playing in his new sandbox...He played for 3.5 hours straight!

The other issue is that he wants to eat all the time. However, it isn't like he wants to sit down and eat a lot. He wants to eat for two seconds, then play, then eat, then play. So I've given him an hour in the afternoon to have a snack (from 3-4ish) and then he has to wait til we eat dinner. But he can have as much water as he wants.

We bought a small swimming pool for Eli, although he won't get in it because the water is too cold for him. We take his diaper off and put him in a swim suit and remind him to tell us if he needs to go to the bathroom. The first day he told us and went in his potty! So we tried this morning to put him in his undies, but he had an accident while on papa's lap. He took Eli to the bathroom, put him on the potty, but Eli didn't need to go any more. So we put a diaper back on him because we haven't stocked up on undies yet.

All in all, things are going great. I'm not the mom I thought I would be, but I'm seeing that I'm changing day by day to be more patient, and more understanding of my son. I had a day this week where I didn't feel the need to have some away time as soon as Dave walked in the door. Eli and I were having a great time playing in his new sandbox. I pray every night that God would shelter Eli from my weaknesses as a mom and a spiritual example. And God is good. Each morning Eli wakes up and runs in to my room to cuddle with me :) I love it. And I love him.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I should be sleeping....

Do you ever have one of those moments when you have all sorts of thoughts running through your head and you feel like you're going to explode unless you get them out? That's kind of how I feel right now. Where to start...

I guess we'll start with today. A rough day from the beginning. Eli got up fine, had a little breakfast and we headed out the door to get a sandblaster with Papa. That's when the fun times began. He kind of flipped out because Papa went to the car. I think he thought Papa was taking him to the store without me because he started crying and came to me and let me hold him for a few minutes. I finally put him down to get my things together and showed him we're all going together. Then when we got back, Eli and I went for a long walk (almost an hour) where he threw a fit because I told him to stop turning the music on and off (he figured out how to flip the on/off switch to the play sounds on the stroller. Not really sure I should be making a big deal out of that, but it was really annoying to me to hear two seconds of a song play over and over and over again.) So he threw a fit, which I ignored. Then when we got home he hardly ate any lunch and I put him down for a nap.

The afternoon was much the same, sans me being gone for two hours. I was whipped! Maybe I'm saying no too much, maybe he's not feeling well, maybe he's sick, and maybe it's a combination of all of the above plus some I'm missing. I know he loves me because he wouldn't stop hugging and kissing me when I got home (even between tantrums). He'd play for a few minutes, then come and sit on my lap for a nanosecond. Then play, lap, play, lap. I found myself not being able to handle his being frustrated without getting frustrated, so I tried to calm myself by praying and reminding myself that he's only 3, and that's just his physical age not his mental age.

He's starting to play with his food while eating it. I would be fine with this except he tries to feed his food to me or Dave repeating over and over again "Momma, Papa." Like, "Here, this is for you...SIKE!" Most of the time the food ends up on the floor, which he immediately wants me to pick up and throw out so he can start preparing the next bite to torment us with. It gets old pretty fast, so I've got to figure out what I'm going to do. Although, when Dave and I pray before a meal, he very quietly folds his hands together and bows like we do while looking at us to make sure he doesn't miss the part where we start eating. It's adorable!

I don't feel like I'm as silly with him as I was in the beginning (as if it's even been that long!). But I've put some things in to place to help me with that. I'm going to take an hour each week to socialize without Eli. I'm an extrovert, so I really need that time with other people, and it's too hard to get that fix while he's around. I'm constantly watching him and correcting him and entertaining him. But Dave has very sweetly agreed that I need this time and is being very supportive. What a guy!

I'm having a lot of parental doubts right now. Am I pushing too fast? Do I expect too much from a 3 year old? Is he attaching? Is it too soon for a babysitter? Should we get in to some activities in the fall? Who does he think I am? What rules should I set in to place? What expectations should I have? Am I leaving him with Dave too soon? Why does he do so great one day and the next melt down? Is it something I did or didn't do, or is this normal behavior? Am I normal for having all these thougths?

The other thing I've been thinking about, and this may surprise you from the beginning of the post, is a sibling for Eli. I wonder sometimes if that will even happen, and if it does when? How? Crazy, huh? I'm not even settled in with one, and I'm thinking of the other children I'd like to have some day. Are we ever content with what God has given us? I need to chill because God has all this in His control and in His timing. What the heck is my problem? Fatigue, check. Stress, check. God time, no check. Ah, there it is. I need my God time! I've decided Eli's nap time is NOT going to be my cleaning time or my relaxing time or my eating the chocolate I so desperatly need to get through the day. It's going to be the time I get my God nutrition. My Holy fix. My Spirit food. My mind spritzer. You get the drift.

Monday, June 1, 2009

One Month Check In

05/11/09 - 3 years old, 36.5" tall, 27lbs

Those are the stats from our first visit to the pediatrician when we got back. We've done all his blood work and only have his urine sample to collect (not looking forward to that!). We have to redo all his immunizations, which I'm really not looking forward to either. I have an appointment on Monday with the pediatrician to discuss this, and then an appointment on Thursday, the 11th, to talk to a neurologist. Hopefully all will go well and Eli won't be too freaked out!

I've been thinking about the last month of being home. (Sat marked one month for us.) There have been some ups and downs, for sure, but through it all I've loved being a mom to Eli. I've seen God's work in me, like the fact that my temper hasn't flared despite my lack of sleep and eating well. Dave and I are doing great, with only a few hiccups since being home. (Communication ROCKS!)

And I attribute my love of motherhood to God. Although I've always wanted to be a mom and knew it would be wonderful, I also knew it would be a time of refinement. Just as God refines us through our spouses, He also refines us through our children. I realized my selfishness when I married Dave, but I thought I had come a long way! Not so. Eli has made me realize how selfish I still am and how much work God has to do in me. I have to change my focus to be about how I can best serve both my husband AND my son without taking away my service to God. Yikes! No more sleeping in or participating in whatever I want. No more movie nights or dates for a while. Even so, I LOVE being a mom. Sometimes I don't think my heart is big enough to hold all the love I have for him.

It's amazing to see how my perspective of God has changed, ever so slightly. I guess you can never understand what pain our Father has in disciplining us until you have to discipline your own children. You can understand academically "this hurts me more than it hurts you" and passages that talk about discipline, like Hebrews 12:11 "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" But until you have to be the one to put that little one in a time out, or bend them over your knee, you just don't know the tears that sometimes flow, out of sight, afterwards.

We've stumbled in to a rough draft of a routine. In the morning, Eli wakes up and plays quietly in his bed until Papa gets up to take a shower. Once the water turns on I hear this "MOMMA!" Like "Don't forget about me!" I get Eli out of bed and go to the guest room, which is where I sleep with the door open...just in case...and we cuddle for about 15mins. It's a sweet time filled with hugs and kisses (he started kissing me yesterday!) and silly faces. He cracks me up! Then Papa comes and gets him and they eat breakfast together while I get ready for the day. Snack is between 9/10am and lunch is at 11:30am, followed by nap from noon-2pm. Then he gets up cranky, plays while crying for a few minutes, I scoop him up and we rock for a minute or two until he wakes up more (he won't let me do this when he first gets up...don't know why). Then he's a peach. Snack around 3pm, outside play time until dinner at 6pm. 7:30pm bath, 8pm read books and go to bed.

He falls asleep on his own, even sleeps through the night by himself now, and, like I said, stays in his bed until I get him. Pretty amazing stuff for only a week! He opens cabinets and drawers, but doesn't get anything out. He points out when we've left the baby gate that leads to stairs and the basement open. He lets me know when I've missed a step in our bed time routine. And he's a great help at bringing in groceries (doing his best strongest man impression). I try to let him help me with as much as possible because it seems to make him light up. He understands pretty much what we say, but doesn't have too many words just yet. But we communicate just fine.

I'm starting to slowly change our routine to add more things like prayer and devotions. I have this really great Bible book a friend gave me at a shower. I read a Bible story to him before nap and bed time, using my homiletics skills to recap what we learned the story before (go bsf training!!) I know Eli loves this time, too, because no matter what he's doing (crying, playing, chatting to himself) he stops and listens while Momma reads the story. And he nods his head when I recap what we've learned. "Wasn't that a great lesson about how much God loves us?" Nod. "Wow. I really like learning about how God can use even the small people for big things, don't you?" Nod. It's so cute (like everything else!)

So as our first month of being a family comes to a close, I look down the road ahead of us. I can only see so far and I wonder when the "honeymoon period" will be over. I know, despite the twists, turns, rocky roads, & mountainous terrain, I am really going to enjoy this journey. (Um, is it time to adopt more children yet? I'll take a million just like Eli!)