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, January 27, 2012

January Days

I didn't want anyone to think I was complaining about the poop incidents...I can't get the picture of Eli naked and shivering in a pool of poop water saying "Hi Mom!" as I opened the door to the bathroom like it was completely normal.  And every time I think of it I laugh out loud, which has rendered a few sideways glances.

Life goes on, and the craziness continues.  Some have said I have quite an adventurous life.  But to me, my life is just my life and we go through what we go through.  You know, like teaching your daughter NOT to straddle the toilet seat to pee, or lie to me about forgetting her shoes at school.  And reminding your son NOT to say someone's name and tap them on the shoulder a million times.  If they don't want to listen, they don't want to listen!  Sigh.

We got the kids report cards this week and I can't help but feeling a little discouraged.  Maybe I should be doing more with them at home, but I don't know what to do with them.  Amelia only knows about half of her letters, although during her testing time she hardly knew any of them.  I think she had test anxiety.  She's still having a hard time with being easily distracted at school, which makes her a distraction.  I'm starting a new thing with her. I told her yesterday morning in the car that one of the many things that makes her really special is her thoughtfulness and helpfulness.  Maybe she could choose one person in her class each day to be really thoughtful and helpful towards.  She seems really excited about it and got a good report yesterday.  I told her teacher what we were doing and she seems to think it's a good idea.

And Eli, well, as smart as he is, he's still behind where he should be.  His handwriting is really good (graded on a curve because of his CP), and his math skills are great.  But he still doesn't get the rhyming thing, and he's behind in reading.  And his social skills need improvement.  I don't think this is any major concern-the teacher hasn't called us about anything yet.

Eli has been really in to talking about adoption lately.  He loves to hear stories about his and Amelia's adoption, and I'm happy to tell him.  He took out his photo album (which is falling apart!) and we talked about all the pictures.  We went through my blog today and checked out some of the videos of him at the orphanage and our first year home with him.  And he asked "Mom, tell me your adoption story."  Talk about shock!  I told him that Bop is my tummy mommy and I wasn't adopted.  "So Bop and Grandpa Stobie are your mom and dad?"  Yep.  Not everyone was adopted, only the special kids.  He smiled his really big I like that answer smile and went on to the next subject.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Poopy Day

I woke up this morning and knew it was going to be one of those days my mom told me about.  I was running late, although not too late to be very concerned.  I picked up my normal snail's pace just a little (much to the delight of rushing suburbanites).  I drop Amelia off and Eli says "Amelia I'm going to miss you at school."  Heart warmed.

Then I learned that a friend of mine is not well and I'd have to do some stuff without her for the Bible study I'm in.  Not a big deal...that's why I'm trained and there's one other lady that helps me out (we're kind of a rockin' team!).  And really, I'm concerned about my friend more than having to do a few extra things.  The morning went really smooth, few hiccups, and my friend got to stay home, relax and know that things were taken care of.

After the Bible study, I got Eli, dropped him off at school (seconds before the teacher came to get them) and went home. I ate lunch, watched TV, and got the dog ready for a walk.  Brring, brring!  The phone rang just as we were heading out the door.  "Mrs. Moser, this is Eli's teacher.  He had another accident.  He says he can take care of it himself, but I wanted to call you to make sure.  I'd hate for him to stink or walk around with poop stuck on him."

I thought about it for a minute and decided to see if, in fact, my son could handle it.  Off the phone, walked the dog (quick 15 min since I haven't been out for a while), and was in the beginning stages of poop pick up in the back yard.  The kids sled (out because we had snow for a millisecond, then it melted with the ridiculously warm weather we're having) had rested very nicely on 3-4 huge, mushy then frozen, piles of poop.  EW!  And 4x EWWWWW!!!!  So I haul it to the side of the house, out of site so the kids don't see it, with plans to somehow disinfect/clean it (and by me, I mean my husband).  Back to picking up poop.  Almost done.

Brrring, Brrring!  "Mrs. Moser, this is Eli's teacher again.  He's decided he needs you now."  Ok...I'm on my way.  Be there in 15.

Throw my stuff together and I'm out the door.  It's 1:40pm.  Get to the school in 8 mins, to the classroom, straight to the bathroom (2nd time this has happened this year so I know exactly where to go)...and find Eli naked, shivering and with poop still on his toosh.  And his leg.  And maybe a few spots on his feet.  There's water on the floor and I'm sort of wondering where it came from, but it isn't my first concern.  A better mom would have, well, I'm really not sure...what does a sane person do in that situation?  I, the over tired been here before crazy mom, laughed.  But I hid it well enough that I don't think Eli heard me.  Maybe I was hoping the teacher didn't hear me (the bathroom is attached to the classroom and only has one stall at a time).

So I'm scratching my head trying to figure out where to go from here.  OK...let's see your booty.  Yep, still poop.

Eli:  Mom, I tried to flush then water went all over the place over the toilet.

Pause for dramatic effect (it took a second to sink in).  Realization hit, I look and, sure enough, the toilet is jam packed with poopy toilet paper.  Then I look at my feet.  Then I look at my son's feet.  His braces on the floor, the bag of clean clothes, luckily still closed, also wet and on the floor.  And I gag.  Um, we're taking you home, son.  This is poopy water and you've been walking in it for how long?!

So I peek my head out the door to let the teacher know I need a plunger.  She said don't worry about it, we'll call the janitor.

And, yes, my son is still standing there naked in poopy water (most of it drained in a drain on the floor though, I think.  I'm choosing to add that to my memory if it isn't true).  FINALLY, while noticing my son's chattering teeth I pull myself together enough to get him dressed and home we go.

Eli:  Mom, I got so many poops out I'm hungry again.

Where does this kid come up with this stuff...he is too much!  We get home; I wipe him down, put him in the tub and head downstairs to clean up his poopy clothes, very much dreading seeing what is hidden in the plastic grocery bag.  First his shirt...nothing.  Then his socks...nothing.  Then his pants with boxers...oh man, this is going to be a disaster!  The boxers didn't have much in them because, well, they're boxers with no elastic on the bottom.  And on the trip down his leg the mesh on the inside of the pant leg had managed to collect most of the poop, explaining the poop on his leg.  Go ahead and try to imagine smooshing poop out of the inside of that..I dare you.  Don't try this at home, folks.

We only have an hour to get him cleaned up, so I get him out of the bath and whisk him away to pick up Amelia.  Amelia's teacher nodded me over to her.  "She got an orange today during her specials.  Both her art and library teachers said she was wild and not listening."

Now, I ask you, why do my children have to have bad days together?!  And yes, they were in bed before 7pm.

Sigh.  Breath in.  Breathe out.

Smile  :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

School Update

I'm working with Dave to reduce the size of some of our videos from Christmas.  We have lots to post on here, but they won't upload!

Amelia is still having a tough time in school.  And she's having a tough time telling us the truth about it.  BUT I did get some encouragement by sitting in on her class time.  (Last week the kids had Monday off and half days on Thurs and Fri.)  I got to see her ELL class time, which was great.  There are only 2 other kids with her during that time and she has lots of independence while being closely supervised (if that makes sense).  And then during class time I got to see how the teacher teaches numbers and spelling.  And I was impressed.

I've often wondered how teachers dealt with kinesthetic learners, those that can't sit still like my gal.  She had a CD that taught numbers while moving your body, then another song that taught spelling with hand motions.  I was thrilled!

The teacher said she did much better focusing while I was there...and she wasn't really all that focused.  But I can tell her teacher really likes her, and that makes a lot of difference!

I also asked about her friend E, who I'd never met before but she talks about nonstop!  The teacher said she's a good friend for Amelia to have...and after meeting her I'd agree.  I'm so thankful she's seeking out good kids and not the rebels!  Phew!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Save Valentin

I came across this story.  A family is trying to raise funds for an adoption to save a little boy from a horrible destiny.  Would you be willing to contribute?


Christmas Day 1

We started our Christmas gift opening on Thursday, Dec 22nd because we didn't want to overwhelm them on Christmas Day.  They each got to open two gifts.  And because they fight over who gets to go first for EVERYTHING, the kid to open the first gift opened one, the second kid opened both, and the first kid opened the last one.

I think next year I'm going to wait to put most presents under the tree until Christmas Eve, but I may choose one or two to place under the tree before hand.  Not all of the videos would upload...these two are too cute!

And for good measure, proof my girl is Ukrainian ;) We were joking with her about staying at the table all night.  Check out the attitude!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Calgon Take Me AWAY!!!

It's been a long week.  School started back last Wednesday.  We were at the doctor on Thursday.  Amelia has a bronchial infection and Eli has a sinus infection.  So off to the drug store we went.  Friday I got called by Amelia's school about her immunizations, which made for a long weekend.

I finally spoke with someone from the health department Friday evening, who tried to bully me in to getting the vaccinations updated asap.  I explained that there have been 3 cases of lice, one case of pink eye, one of 5th disease and now MRSA...all this year.  Yet SHE'S posing a risk?  Hogwash.  I stood my ground and she relented (after 30mins) and told me what to write on the form.  Then I emailed the principal to make sure he knew what was going on.  Everything seems to be in order now.  If not, we've been in contact with lawyer who specializes in this sort of thing.

Monday was the first day of BSF and I so enjoyed it!  Dave stayed home with Eli so I could attend the fellowship time with the other leaders...I love those ladies!  And I'm very thankful Dave was willing to do that for me.  We had some contractors come in to work on our basement Monday...my bathroom is getting closer to being done!  I'm really looking forward to not sitting in pee.

Monday I picked up the kids.  BOTH of them had a rough day.  Eli was refusing to participate.  "I don't want to".  The school called because it's never happened before with him.  He's usually a hard worker.  Amelia had a very disruptive day.  I got a note home I had to sign.  We dealt with it by taking both their computer and TV time away (we really don't have time to use them during the week anyway, but they haven't really picked up on that yet...smile).  We fed them dinner and put them to bed early.  Which wasn't really early because we didn't get home until 6pm from Amelia's tutoring, then the chiropractor.

Tuesday I reminded Amelia to be obedient and not to keep others from learning.  She did great.

Eli had a little accident at school because of the antibiotics, and he was pretty upset about it.  So I went to the school and helped him out.  Then went home to not cook because the gas was off in our house (contractors were working on the gas lines), which I wasn't expecting.

Apparently our little chats aren't working because Amelia got another disciplinary note sent home today.  She's in kindergarten so they aren't really disciplinary, but I'm so happy the teacher isn't blinded by Amelia's sweet eyes.  We came home, ate, did one page of homework and she went to bed....only to throw her animals across her room and get out of bed to get them.

Sigh.  It seems as though she isn't getting it.  I really don't know what to do with her!  Reasoning doesn't work because she can't communicate still.  She's getting better, but still isn't quite there yet.  Taking toys away isn't working.  Taking away TV time, making her go to bed early.  Nothing seems to affect her.

Her teacher said she was being silly all day and it seemed like she wanted attention or a reaction from the other kids.  She thought that maybe she was trying to be "cool"...I can totally see that in her.  So I'm wondering if this is a confidence thing.  I had so much more time with Eli before he went to school.  I don't get any time with just Amelia because I always have Eli.  Perhaps I should pull her out of school once a month for a mother/daughter fun date.

Calgon....take me away!!  My brain hurts!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Leading up to Christmas

December is always a fun month for me...it's the best time of the year!  I love everything about December, including Christmas music.  We have a couple in our neighborhood who decorate their home in all red and green lights...and LOTS of them!  

Dave's birthday is December 7th, so we celebrated Friday night with gifts (hand picked by the kids), which included a Superman t-shirt, just like one Eli has.  So Eli insisted that Dave wear it for our Christmas picture.  We also had brownies and ice cream.  Mmmmm...  And we sang Happy Birthday, much to Amelia's delight, and helped Dad blow out the candles.

We started our Christmas season by going to Bronner's Christmas Store to get Amelia her very own stocking.  We had already taken out everyone else's so we wanted to take care of this sooner than later.  Last year we let Eli choose his and get his name put on it.  So we wanted to do the same for Amelia.  Eli chose the dog stocking...Amelia chose the cat stocking.  Silly kids!

Bronner's is overwhelming for any adult, so I knew it would be a lot for Amelia to handle.  Our first stop, for lunch, was Zehnders Famous Chicken Dinners.  We've tried to go before, but there's always been an hour + wait.  And with little one's, that just isn't doable.  But this time we were in the door really fast!  And the food was GREAT!

We let the kids pick out their own ornament.  Eli got a Karate kid and Amelia got a gymnast.  Perfect for them!

Eli is REALLY in to superheroes.  This is Eli being Batman using his jacket as a cape.  I'm not sure why he has a hat on, who knows.  But he started getting red marks on his neck so I had to put a stop to it...so funny! Katie...THIS is why I told you to get him the capes!!  (I'll show pictures in another post, but he did get superhero capes from my sister in law and brother...he LOVES them!)

And this is my attempt at getting a Christmas card out.  Don't worry, I'm still working on it!  Considering I just got November and December birthday cards out about a week ago, I would guess you should have them by the end of February.  Something to look forward to!

My husband is sitting on a stool eating with the kids, who thought this was so cool!  LOL  What a great dad :)

I have lots and lots of pictures of the kids cuddling together.  They're really great friends and they miss each other when they're in school all day.  They have moments that aren't fun, but for the most part they get along great...so sweet.

My mother in law and sister in law came in for a visit.  We did Christmas gifts with them, which worked out great.  All I hear about now is how Amelia's favorite color is yellow...just like Grandma Karl :)


My sister in law and two nephews came in town for Thanksgiving.  We were SO happy they were able to come!  The kids tried as hard as they could to stay up for them...but they got in about 30mins too late.  Eli was a grump and Amelia was passed out on the couch, so we put them to bed around 10pm.  Aunt Wendy got in about 10:30pm!  When the kids woke up they could barely contain themselves :)

I think the TV was on for this picture...which explains Eli's grumpy face.

We ate turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, and rolls.  Mmmm...it was delicious!  And on Saturday we had to go cut down our tree.  This was my nephews first tree cutting experience (I think!).  It took us a while to find a full tree that was small enough to fit in our house.  And we succeeded.  We picked out a gorgeous tree and put it up in our house.  

The following weekend Dave took the kids to ACO hardware store and found these great stuffed animal digital picture animals.  We put some pictures on them and they sleep with them.  Amelia has a dog, and Eli has a monkey.  

And we started the Christmas season with a gingerbread train.  Messy, but fun!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Legal Advice

So I'm on the verge of pulling Amelia out of school and homeschooling her.  The school called today and told me that she would be "excused" from school if she didn't get updated on her vaccines.  I. am. so. sick of vaccines!  The poor girl has been home for LESS THAN 6 MONTHS and she's supposed to be up to date already?!  I have words I won't type to say to the school.  And while filling out a waiver for vaccines (with shaking hands because I'm so frustrated!!!!!) I was told that her being adopted and home for 6 months and getting HUGE fevers after every shot and the fact that she got 7 SHOTS last month and that she has a bronchial infection and is on meds right now won't get the waiver approved.  I'm calling the health department once I get the number, but I want to know my rights...Any legal advice here?!  I'm at my wits end!  I get these stupid notices every couple of weeks and it HAS to stop.  I'm spacing out the vaccines with the over sight of my pediatrician and doing what's best for my daughter...Grrrrr!!!!