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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fun Stories

I didn't want you to think life has been all that bad.  We've had a few great stories in the past few weeks.

First, Amelia brought home her 9th green in a row today!  She's doing so great!

I've seen a lot of spiritual growth in my little man this year...and it's rubbing off on Amelia.  He used to pray "Thank you God for the ambulance.  Thank you God for the person hurt.  Thank you God for healing the hurt person.  Amen."

Now he prays like this "Dear God, Please heal my paper cut.  Please use your mighty power to heal my paper cut."  Way too cute.

I sent him to his room not too long ago because he was super cranky and I'd had enough.  When I let him out he came running to me with a huge smile "MOM!  I was in a bad mood and I prayed to God and He made me have a good mood!  Now I have a good attitude!"  So cute.

And at the dinner table today we were talking about the rain and how he wants the rain to go away.  I reminded him that the rain helps the grass grow and feeds the flowers.

Eli:  Amelia, do you know where the rain comes from?
Amelia: Da sky!
Eli: No, God!  I'm going to fly up to God and say 'Stop the rain'
Me:  Eli, you can't get God...He's all powerful
Eli:  I'm going to go up there and punch Him in the eye!

What a clown...

And, the best for last...the kids took the cars for a spin this weekend.  First ride of the season  (and, yes, Eli's knees are sticking up really high.  I'm thinking this is the last year for the McQueen!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

You're not my friend

So, as I'm processing the IEP meeting and deciding what God's trying to teach me (which is leaving me feeling a little blue), we had a rough morning.  Not because of anything the kids did...they were great.  We were at Amelia's school this morning in line.  She said "HI" very enthusiastically to a girl in her line (they line up at the door until the bell rings).  The girl turns around and in a very snotty, I'm better than you, eyes rolling while taking a step back from Amelia and says "You're not my friend."  Broke my heart for my little girl.  I could see the hurt, even confusion in her eyes.  And, honestly, I didn't know what to do.  Should I have asked the girl questions (her mom was distracted by a younger sibling so I don't think she heard.) like "Oh, I'm sorry you're not her friend.  Why not?  Did she do something to you?"  But I just let it be...

I'm going to have a chat with my daughter after school today.  I'm going to tell her that it's never OK to treat someone like that.  And that God wants us to be nice to everyone, even those who are mean to us (interesting that we're studying this in I Peter right now).  And that it's OK to be sad when someone treats us in a harsh way.  But she did the right thing by not responding at all and just ignoring her and turning away.  Perhaps this girl doesn't know God so she doesn't understand why we should be nice to everyone...Amelia's kindness could be the way God shows her who He is.  Maybe I'll challenge her to befriend someone who doesn't have many friends because she knows how much it hurts to be rejected.  I'll also let her know that we can't control anyone else and how they treat us.  But we can control our response to those who reject us.

Maybe that's what God is reminding me and reteaching me right now.  Ouch.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

IEP Meeting

I thought I'd update you since I've finally sort of caught up on life.  About a week after we came back from Florida, I got sick.  Really, really sick.  As in I didn't eat anything solid for a week.  I was drinking about 60 ounces of Gatorade and doing my best to keep saltines down.  And, yes, it's taken me this long to get back in the swing of things.

Eli had a cough for about 3 weeks.  Nothing big, so I really wasn't all that concerned...until he started complaining his throat hurt.  Off to the doctor we went.  He has bronchitis with a secondary infection (sinus...again).  Any suggestions on how to keep sinus infections from coming back again and again?!  I'm already giving him a fish oil supplement every day and taking him to the chiropractor.  Not sure what else to do.

I've noticed that for about the past month (since we got back from FL) Amelia has really settled down.  She's still immature (what 6 year old isn't), but it's a more "normal" immaturity if that makes sense.  We've started to have some good times together and it's really encouraging.  She's such a good helper, so I'm putting her to work every chance I get.

I really wish I could figure out how to make my videos smaller.  I have a great video of her working on numbers.  We'd been focusing on 0-15 for quite a while using flash cards.  She still has a hard time identifying numbers without them being in order, but for the first time she was able to place them in the right order!  I'm so proud of her!  So we kept doing that for a while and now we're working on numbers 0-20.  She still can't count very high, but she's getting it slowly but surely :)

We're also starting to transition them in to playing in each other's rooms.  We kept them apart in the beginning because Amelia was putting small things in her mouth and because they couldn't communicate with each other.  They're doing great!  They have to ask to go in each other's rooms and the room "owner" has to be in the room playing with them.  AND no toys in each other's rooms!  That keeps a lot of arguing from happening.  Slowly I'd like to give them more and more freedom with this.  But I have to make sure she's safe first.

Today was my meeting with Eli's OT, PT, and speech teachers.  We're determining the course of action for next year.  It was both encouraging and discouraging.  On the one hand, everyone said Eli is a very determined, hard working kid who is very smart.  He's surpassed their expectations for this year.  And they all said that considering his diagnosis, he's quite impressive.  BUT he's still on the low end in his class and will probably have a hard time next year.  Sigh.  He's also going to receive special services to help him with his classwork since he'll require more time to complete things.  I know they try to keep this from being a stigma for the kids, but it's still hard for me...I feel so bad for my kid knowing that life is always going to be that much harder for him.  Everyone also said Eli has a very strong competitive side, which is good and bad.  Good in that it drives him to proving he can do something, bad in that he may start getting frustrated that he can't keep up with his peers.

The teacher said Eli had an easy transition in to Montessori, and that he's with a great group of kids.  There are 7 kindergartners in his class, and they all look out for each other (they're placed with 3 & 4 year old preschoolers and are their "buddy"...they help the kids follow the rules, etc).

But I'm still sad for my little man.  Honestly, I don't think he even notices that he's behind his peers and getting extra help.  He's such a little trooper.

Love those kids.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Many in our society are gearing up for either a lucky or unlucky Friday the 13th.  I've never bee superstitious, so to me it's just another day.  Well, maybe not for today.  Because it was 3 years ago on Monday, April 13th that we were whisked away from our apartment to wait for an hour for court.  And it was 3 years ago that a judge declared me a Momma.  But not just any Momma...a momma to a sweet hearted, smart and happy boy named Eli, who would become my little buddy.

I remember after court thinking "Ok, so I'm a mom...now what?"  It was surreal and quite the whirlwind.  And I might have cried a tad bit (which I never do).  And maybe, just maybe, I haven't stopped being weepy ever since.

There have been many changes and challenges in the past 3 years; selfishness that needed to be shed (and more still being shed!), surgeries, addition of a sister (that he asked for!), and hospital visits.  But I wouldn't change anything.  Because all the whoopla solidified us as a family.  And I do so love my family :)

Read about our court day here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vit D anyone?

Thursday evening we left for sunny, warm Florida.  And, yes, we drove.  Straight through.  With two children.  And, yes, we're nuts.  At least we didn't bring the animals!

We arrived a little delirious, but happy, on Friday evening.  We're staying in my husband's aunt and uncle's house with my mother in law and her boyfriend.  It has a pool.

We've spent most of our time here in the pool.  Amelia was really nervous about it at first, but warmed up as the days went on.  In fact she's almost swimming already!  And Eli is going nuts jumping off the side of the pool and dunking his head in the water trying to swim.  Crazy kid!  He's not afraid of the water at all :)

Tonight we ventured out to the beach.  This was Amelia's first experience.  She loved it!  We only stayed a little while since we had been in the pool all day.

Do you think they love each other?  I can't tell :)

Papa and Amelia...first step on to the wet part of the sand.  She didn't like how her feet were sinking in at first.  

Grandma Karl and Eli checking out a parasailer in the background.  He was really high!

Papa, I'm ready to go.  Can we go back to the house now?

My feet...I really was there!