Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Hilary and Tim Marquis and their wonderful children came to visit us. For those of you that don't know, Hilary and Tim met Chewie when they went to visit their daughter Anara. When I found out about him, one of the names I was given was Hilary's and from the first time I talked to her there was an instant connection. I believe with that first phone call , all of our children had just gone to bed and we were both wading through our piles of laundry (the never ending battle) while talking to each other! Moms of young children!
Last night we met up with them at the YMCA--swimming=tired children, especially after riding in a van all day! Of course, my kids were in heaven. Bubba managed to skin his nose on the wall of the wading pool. Don't ask--I have no idea how he managed it! Today, a sledding adventure! Definitely an adventure since our record snowfall was rained on producing a sheet of ice at the bottom of the big snowhill (southern exposure). Ted found a fairly decent spot and off they went. Aside from a bush that kept jumping out at the kids (resulting in a few scraps and bumps), they had a blast. And were tired. Back to my house for hot chocolate, popcorn and a movie. Then Glass Nickel pizza (yeah those in Madison know what I'm talking about) and beer. Very important stuff--pizza and beer! Chewie and Anara loved Sneaky cat. And Tyler kissed Julia on the cheek. So cute! Toby and Tyler had Star Wars helmets--so the those along with the light sabers came out. Think the boys had fun??? Chewie managed to pass out on the couch tonight. That darn bush on the snowhill kept jumping out at Mia but those cheeks were nice and rosy. I saw her and Julia hand in hand a couple of times. She needs to be around more often to influence Julia--she actually dresses the Barbies instead of Miss Julia stripping them and leaving them naked. It was a blast. 7 young children running around--the house was nosy, messy and full of life. The way it always should be--perfect. I LOVED IT--each and every moment.

Museum Day

On Sunday, since it was sunny out and the roads were clear--we went to the Milwaukee Public Museum. Bubba and Chewie loved it! Except for the butterlies. I'm not sure what it was, but both were total freaks about the butterfly exhibit. To let others enjoy--and to not listen to the boys yip and hollar, Ted took them out so Julia could enjoy it for a few minutes. She had been to the butterly exhibit when she was 2 1/2 years old. Seen pictures of the butterflies sitting on her, so she thought it was totally cool. All the kids loved the dinosaur bones. You know--for the boys, dinsosaurs are the thing right now. Might have to take a road trip to Chicago and check out the museum with the dinosaurs (I'm old and tired--the name is escaping me!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Yes, It's Christmas

It's hard to believe a year ago, Ted and I were getting ready to go and meet Chewie. Now we DO HAVE a full house!
I worked 6 days in a row so I could be off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tiring but worth it. On Christmas Eve, Emily and Theo joined us for our tradition of going to the Olbrich train show in the am. Even better--this year it was free since it was Wednesday am (score!). Not as crowded as last year--it was snowing AGAIN! We then went to Red Robin (another favorite). Emily and I indulged in Gingerbread shakes--yummy. Definite thumbs up. Rauan graduated to adult meals. After downing a child's meal in less then 5 minutes, saying he is still starving, and eating fries off daddy's plate and then daddy ordering more--yeah he needs adult meals from now on! We went home and rested a while then Julia and I left for church. Angels and shepherds needed to be there by 3:30 for the 4 pm mass--of course I think everyone for the 4 pm mass was there at 3--the church was already full and the gathering area was already filling up! Ted and the boys sat waaaaayyyy in the back. I didn't even see them at all. ( I escorted the angels to the front of church).
After church it was down to Janesville. I picked up mom and then we headed over to Ted's parents for dinner and some present opening. Lots of dinosaurs and Hannah Montana stuff (see video below--6 year old girls are sooooo funny!) Oh yes, Aunt Mimi struck again--light sabers for the boys. Yes, the emergency room knows us by name--and I'm sure they'll be seeing us soon. Not sure for which boy though. The big boy--the 6 ft. 3 inch one--was playing light saber this am with his youngest. Yes, I really do have 4 children, not 3!
Needless to say, snoring kids all the way back home. They actually slept until almost 8 am! Then attack of the children! The wii is a big hit. Now I just have save my pennies for Guitar Hero-yes I'm a geek. The boys have matching Polar Cap jackets (with their names embriodered to keep the peace), Julia is in Hannah Montana heaven and this mom got her own special gift--a 3 hour nap today! Ted got his gift certificate for a massage--he's having shoulder issues. My husband--most men that play football have knee issues--no--proving he is just as much a weirdo as me, it's his shoulders!
Now, to feed some overtired, over stimulated children and get them to bed. Maybe by the weekend I'll be able to walk through the house again--hahahahaha!

Xmas show

Here is the kids Christmas show.....

Hannah Montana

Christmas at the Pritchard household! Yep too much sugar!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day!!!

Call me selfish, but when I heard that we were expecting a major winter snow storm, I seriously hoped school would be called off. Not for the normal reasons about worrying about driving in the snow and stuff like that. St. Dennis is very close and so is Messiah Lutheran. No--I wanted school called off so the kids could sleep in--hence I would have some extra sleep time! Well, we got the snow day but did I get to sleep in? Curses, foiled again! About 4:30 am I woke up to someone patting me saying she was scared. Julia crawled over me and snuggled right down between me and Ted. I don't so much mind that--but we have a queen bed--so think about this--Ted, Julia, Janiece and the damn cat(Sneaky--who takes up a huge amount of room)--then down at my feet the other damn cat, Tasha. Ok, neither Ted or I are small people. Talk about a close family! At least I didn't get kicked during those wee morning hours--Ted did (HAHAHA).
I seriously think we will again make another snow record. Last year Madison hit the 100 plus inches of snow--new record. I think this year is going to be the same. Of course, I am old enough to remember the winters of 77, 78 and 79. Back before the warnings about snow tunnels and snow forts--my sister and I were really good at building those in the HUGE drifts we had.
Ted already blew the driveway--and it's already starting to blow shut. The kids put on their snowpants and went out to "help"--meaning they dug Grinchy (our Santa Grinch decoration) out of the snow. Later, I'm putting them in the backyard to shovel off the deck and play with the dogs---who are in snow heaven. Belle got herself stuck in the snow--casting my mind back to when Callie did that as a puppy. She couldn't get over the huge drifts in my parents backyard and I had to climb over the drifts and snow and lift her out. So, Belle is just like Callie--did that stop her?? Heck no! Loki and Belle are tearing up the backyard throwing snow at each other--just covered in it!
I'll head into work later--I'm essential personnel. Does it bother me--not a bit. I'm in town and it makes more sense for me to come in then someone who drives from an hour away--and that's when the weather is good. Besides, I'm the freak that likes work!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back to the ordinary stuff

Not that my kids are ordinary, but we've had enough excitement around here.

I go back to work on Thursday--5 days at the U and then I get to start my first day at Hospice. Tomorrow is my big exciting physical--you know, drug testing and are you mentally stable stuff. Think I'll pass??? The only part I would like to avoid is the getting on the scale. I've been baking quite a bit and you know--a good baker always has to sample what she's making. Ok ok--maybe I take that a bit too seriously but it's Christmas.
Chewie finally got to meet Santa Claus last week. I couldn't get a picture of them with Santa (like I'm going to pay 20 bucks for a flipping Polaroid), but I thought these pictures of them with their antlers on eating their pretzels would make up for it. I can not go to the mall with these kids without buying them a pretzel--I swear--it's a requirement for them! And yes Rauan was pouting over something. We had our post placement visit today and as I was telling our social worker Rauan is our temperamental genius.
Speaking of which, yes that went fine. I've worked with this agency before and we know each other quite well. How is Alihan doing? Fine. Any concerns--nope, after Rauan, Alihan's boundary testing issues are a piece of cake! Yes, they worked with us with Rauan and are familiar with what we went through. Of course, Chewie, pulling his babysittter's daughter's hair, throwing stuff at her son, running around like a madman and then spending pretty much the whole day in the time out chair might push her a bit much! Yeah I was most unhappy when I heard about that last week. Ok, I may not be the greatest mom in the world but my children WILL have manners and they WILL be polite--and they WON'T be so naughty to have their butt permanently etched in the time out chair. Ted put his little behind straight to bed and he slept for 13 hours straight. Perhaps a little tired. We'll see how this week goes. When I saw him the next morning, I told him how unhappy I was that he was naughty and I better not hear about him doing it again. He looked all sad--then gave me a dirty little smirk. Oh why do I fear that the teenage years are going to be rough--heck, just the school age years.
Friday was craft day at school and I helped out the kindergarten class. On Monday I went back to school and helped all the grades with wrapping their presents. It's nice to work with healthy kids once in a while. Today. Chewie got his booster flu shot. Now, while it was still awful and involved much screaming--it was actually better then last time. He's learning that it isn't as awful as the medical stuff was at the orphanage. Ted upset him today while the social worker was here---said something about Dom Rebunka. Chewie freaked. You have to put it together in his mind--lady here checking him out, Ted saying something about the orphanage--he was probably thinking--shit I'm being sent back! I could have kicked Ted's behind from here back to Tokmok--and I would have left him there! So, I had Chewie crawling all over me for the next couple of hours. I spent that time reassuring him that he was never going back. Again--my foot to Ted's ass.
Julia and I spent Monday night at church for a chili dinner and caroling. Julia was thrilled because there were alot of her classmates there and I was thrilled because Emily was there with her children. Emily is in the process of adopting and we've become friends through the process. To show what a small world it is--Emily is the aunt of one of Julia's classmates and also the aunt of one of Chewie's classmates (although he is in the AM program and she's in the PM program). It was just a fun night. And Emily, when you read this, I woke Julia up that night for pottie and she was smiling like she had a great dream. I asked her what the dream was about and she said about G. and playing tag with him in the foyer. She quickly added a few other friends--but it had me and Ted laughing.
It is snowing yet again here in lovely Wisconsin. And as always in Winter--Thursday, 6-10 inches of snow expected. Hopefully after I'm at work. I don't mind driving home at midnight when there had been alot of snow--there very little traffic.
Ok, I'm off to bake some more. I'll hold off on the sampling--for now!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Adopt Author/US foster care system

I need to reply to adopt author. Yes, we did consider foster care--it was actually the first adoption area we considered. And to be perfectly blunt, it scared the shit out of us! After the first meeting for foster care, we drove home and said to each other , we're not adopting. We'll be the old couple who didn't have any children and just enjoy travelling and our dogs. We had never been parents (Ted had never changed a diaper even) and we did not feel capable of dealing with what was presented to us.
I would also like to mention to adopt author, I am pediatric nurse and some of what I've seen in the foster care system still scared the crap out of me. God bless those that do adopt/foster out of the US foster care system.
Adopt Author if you had read any of my previous postings you would note that while Julia was not what we originally expected (thought healthy and a boy), for our next two adoptions we sought out special needs children. And while you mention people state they did adopt internationally for less red tape or for younger children---we did neither. The red tape we dealt with was ridiculous--and we are a licensed foster family for the US--it's required for us, so we dealt with double the red tape and our children obviously weren't younger.
I understand why people want families to adopt from the US foster care system. Perhaps someday we will now that we are experienced parents. Perhaps not with 3 very busy children. I encourage people to look at all options and make the decision on their own. There ARE issues with international adoption, just as there ARE issues with the US foster care system. An educated choice is a wise choice. Our reasons for international adoption are complex and personal, but we felt it was the best choice for us. And yes, I have read many articles,including a few you mentioned. It was still the correct choice for us. A child in need is a child in need, despite their location. Our world is growing smaller every day and the US is made of many nationalities. As I put in my previous posting, I can't change the world, but I can change a child's life--1 child at time. And I have been blessed to be able to parent.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Adoption---Blessing or a Curse

As I mentioned previously, I wanted time to evaluate others responses and gather my thoughts before I threw my two cents in, or whatever my thoughts are worth. So, here I go.
First of all, Julia's adoption is the direct result of infertility. Our desire was for a child--not a pregnancy. IVF was never pursued--the appointment was made and I cancelled it about 3 days before. Told Ted my body had enough. The decision was made to adopt--and after we had a baby then we would decide if we wanted to do IVF or not. The result was Julia. And we never looked back. I have had many things happen in my life that have changed it for the better and the infertility was just one--and I'm grateful for infertility.
Now, what some of you might not know is Julia's birth parents were married and she was their first child. Due to her medical needs, she was placed in the orphanage and made available for adoption. Most likely, Julia has full-blooded siblings in Russia. As a nurse and a child advocate, I'm disgusted that the medical system in Russia sucks to the point that this was the choice her birth parents made. My opinion was and always has been that the needs of the children come first. I am sad that she will grow up away from her native culture. Be that as it may, I'm damn glad she's my daughter. Like Maria mentioned, Julia is like me---I'm an American with Scottish, Irish and German heritage and she is an American with Russian heritage (with a little Buryat thrown in). Rauan and Alihan are Americans with Kaz and Krygz heritages. This is a country of multiple heritages and our home is such. Come into our house and you'll see Russian items, Buryat items (yurts and such stuff), Kaz items and Krygz items. As the children learn about their heritage, so will Ted and I. It's a family project. And perhaps, with us learning about each others cultures together we can foster respect for the cultures.
Now is it a blessing?? Yes, I think so. Again, it's sad that their native lands couldn't provide medical or cultural understandings for single mothers (Rauan's situation besides the cleft--Alihan's is unknown), but it's a blessing that medically we can provide some of the best medical care for them in the world. It's a blessing that their mom is a bit nuts and searches for the answers and gets them the best of the best medically. It's a a blessing that their mom and dad love them enough to find the best educational opportunities for them. It's a blessing that their mom and dad want to give them sports opportunities. For Julia, it's a blessing that we recognize that she is showing signs of a learning disability and her parents will (and currently are) rearranging their lives to make sure that she learns to the best of her ability. It's a blessing that, no matter what happens, they have a family that loves them and will care for them no matter what--and they have a large extended family that loves them and will care for them also--no matter what. It's called unconditional love.
Is it a curse? I guess that's what you view as a curse. It could have been. But, we live in a sinful world where people view children as a commodity. Until that changes--and it hasn't in all the time that humans have walked the earth--we have to make the best of it. It would have been best if the children could have stayed in their biological home situation--and their wouldn't have been medical issues and cultural issues. But, that wasn't to be. So, the next best solution was adoption. I can't change the way of the world--but I can change the lives of these three incredible children. It's a start.
What can I say? We have many members of our family that are adopted. One of my oldest and dearest friends was adopted. In my life, adoption wasn't a strange thing--it was a common place thing.
Was our adoption situation divinely meant to be? Perhaps. Now after we've completed 3 adoptions, I've found IVF would have never worked for us. The night before I received a call about Julia, I had a dream about a baby. I woke, described that baby to Ted (who wanted to know what kind of wacky weed I had been smoking--p.s--I'm a total drug virgin!), described that baby to my co-workers and when I saw Julia's picture I just about fell over. Divine intervention? Who knows? There were other strange things that happens with the boys--but I'm already getting long winded. One thing that I think is important is I've always seen myself as a mom--even as a young child I mothered everyone!--but never pregnant. Ever. Did I somehow know? Again perhaps.
The only one who can answer the question if adoption is a blessing is the child. It's their unique experience. Will my children feel that they were blessed to have me and Ted as their parents? I hope so. I know I am blessed. I am blessed to have had awesome parents, wonderful sisters, an incredible husband, great in-laws, and wonderfully blessed to be able to parent 3 incredible special delightful children who enrich my life beyond measure. Only time will tell if Julia, Rauan and Alihan feel that they were blessed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


My friend from work has tagged me. Here I go:
List these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tage 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as a link to their blog (that ain't going to work for me since the right clicker is still broken--Santa-HELP!!) Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. Favorite food--Ted's steaks hands down. Although as I drove to Middleton cycle today to get Rauan's present I saw a Sonic being buildt. I let Ted know that I'll go to Middleton cycle anytime but I will have to make a stop!
2. I'm totally uncoordinated. Total loss at sports, can't dance to save my life (even when drinking). I can walk (hike) and bike and that's my limits.
3. Grew up with a dalamation then a black lab(Lady). Lady was a total bed hog. She took 3/4 of the bed and left with an edge.
4. I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was little.
5. I'm a lousy cook. I love to bake but only around Christmas.
6. When I met Ted, I was checking out hospitals in Georgia--thinking about moving.
7. I'm one of those weird people who sings in their car. I'm a superstar while I'm driving. Thank goodness my children love me for me and not my voice!
Ok, I'll tag Hilary, Mala, Stephanie,Marie, Lisa, Elizabeth, and Emily. I know I can't link them--but just go to my blog list. Now off to leave comments!

Christmas concert

With yesterday's snow day I had to do something to keep the kids busy--so we made cut out cookies. That at least kept them busy for a little while. By late afternoon the snow had stopped and the main roads were clear so skating went on! Julia and I ended up in Woodman's getting supplies to make more Christmas cookies. Today back to school. I had hoped to clean (haha) but got waylaid but being Santa's errand girl. I also heard from Hospice today. I thought I would be taking a bit of a pay cut---I've been at the university 10 years now and I'm very happy with my pay rate--but the rate is very competitive. I have to go in for a physical, drug testing ( I hope chocolate doesn't count!) and hopefully will be starting my orientation--on the job--on the 23rd. The regular orientation is Jan. 12-14 and miracle of miracles, I'm not scheduled that day at the U. Chewie does have his preop physical on the 13th at 9 am and I explained that while Ted could take him, I am the primary caregiver when the children need medical treatments and I would prefer to be there. No problem! Just come late and they'll get me another time for that stuff--will have to be fairly quick because I have to have it before I can do any patient care. Now I love peds--but it is a hospital setting and it's difficult for them to accommodate each individual employee. I'm not sure I can handle something this accommodating--but I'm sure going to try!!!
Tonight was the Christmas concert at church. Being the total geek that I am, although Chewie wasn't performing (well he was but that's another story!)--I dressed the kids in their matching Christmas outfits. Alot of compliments. Aren't they just cute? And what you can't see is Julia has red shoes on. The boys--well, look out ladies!
I'm quite impressed with the discussion about adoption blessing or curse. At this point I'm waiting for as many opinions to be heard and then I'm going to state my case. We'll see how well I can express myself. My hope is for this to be an open discussion and let's see what comes of it. This is great--I'm using brain matter that hasn't been used in years--a little rusty but still running!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quick Update

Hospice called and offered me the position!!! More details later--but YEAH!!!! A big weight has been lifted and now I can rebuild our savings.

Humm, interesting thoughts

Snow day! No school. And Rauan was up at 6:30, refused to go back to bed and with that deep,booming voice of his--proceeded to wake up the princess (who was a bit bitchy--heaven help me on those teenage years) and Alihan--who I swear is happy even when he is cranky! I already had them outside for an hour--to save their lives and let me get a little coffee on board! It was a bit difficult to get up the hill to my house when I was driving home last night--and of course after all that, who can fall asleep. It was well after 2 when I turned out the light.
So, I'm kind of a "blog stalker". I check certain blogs daily and this one www.confessionsofj-momma.blogspot.com (my right clicker isn't working!) caught my eye and made me think. So, please read and give my your opinions. I try not to judge and I ask no one else does--this is just opinions. I do confess that I feel the children leaving their culture behind isn't best--but I think Ted and I give them so much--particularly a family that loves and adores them and unconditional love. Adoption isn't easy--but then neither is parenthood, biological or adopted. My work has shown me! So, please thoughts, opinions etc. I would really like a discussion on this issue. Gives me something to think about besides the kids destroying the house and wrestling each other!
Hopefully I'll have pictures to add later. The snow is coming down and blowing. YUCK! Why do I live in Wisconsin??

Monday, December 8, 2008

Finally Christmas!

On Saturday night, I called home and told the kids if they got the basement cleaned up, we could do the Christmas decorating on Sunday before I went to work. Honestly, for once I was hoping to get called off because if it didn't get done then--we'd have to wait until next Sunday. For those who don't know me well---I love Christmas. Not the presents and all of that---I love the lights and the decorating. So for me to wait until Dec. 14--yeah never! We also put the tree up in the basement because of A. cats who climb B. children that mess around with things C. basement is finished off with "northwoods" stuff--including fireplace and bar (which I might need !)
We got things going on Sunday, but I never got the call. Damn--the ONE time I wanted off. So, off I go to work. I'm in the elevator and my phone rings--not the notorious "Welcome to the Jungle". It's Jennifer who is charge that day. Lots of late discharges. Want off? Hell yes! Off I went back home--not without stopping at Wal-Mart first. Ted needs stuff for the soup he was making.
So, decorations are up--tree is done. Chewie is fascinated by the nativity. I caught Chewie checking out and Julia explaining Baby Jesus to him. Ted put up what lights he could--no roof light this year. I caught Tasha peeking at us though the limbs of the Christmas tree. So cute! Now get off the tree darn cat!
We have a pair of hockey skates on hold for us. Ted took Rauan down to get fitted telling him Santa asked us to check his size so he knows what size of skates to get him. Now I just have to get down there to pick them up. Madison is expecting a major winter storm tonight through Wed. am. Thank goodness I have work off tomorrow. The boys are both getting Polar Cap jackets, matching PJs (I told you I'm a geek) and I found some fun ones for Julia yesterday at Wal-Mart (to be purchased this next week), Julia's getting a Groovy Girl doll and some accessories. I bought some Pokemon cards for stocking stuffers. That's all I've been hearing about is Pokemon cards--what's up with that? The children are also getting books and we got a wii for the family gift. I have to get a few things for Chari (buddy in Missouri--she was my matron of honor) including cheese. They can't get half of the cheese we have readily available at Woodman's. Then I have to get some candy for the stockings. WOW I might actually be done!
Miracle of miracles--Ted and I have a date night planned. Stacey is done with school this week, except for some research lab stuff. So on the 17th she's coming over and we are going out. What we'll do I really don't care. I don't know when Marley and Me is coming out but I really want to see that. On the 18th, Chari's present is getting mailed and then I work the next 5 days. So, I think dinner and a movie. Maybe actual conversation???!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pajama Day

Today was Pajama day at preschool. Chewie just couldn't get it. Why the heck was he wearing PJs instead of his jeans. I showed him everything and helped him get the clothes on--but then he kept running to me with his jeans. It's fricking cold here too--so there's an extra layer under those jammies. It's also letter "M" day, so what he is holding is Dora's mom for show and tell Hey--it works and it was right there. He heads to daycare right after this, but I'm taking a change of clothes. Ted left this snowpants there Wednesday, so that's at least one thing I don't have to worry about. Chewie is turning into a typical Pritchard boy--or he has always been. At least this one didn't involve a trip to the ER. He AGAIN decided to jump down the stairs to preschool--falling on his shoulder. Tears, tears, and more tears. And scrapped knees. Do you think he'll learn??? Yeah, I don't think so either.
I again got the GI flu or a nasty case of food poisioning over the weekend. Isn't it wonderful when your husband tells you "you look like crap"? Yeah honey, love you too. Thankfully I recovered in time to do my hospice shadowing. Wonderful experience. Now they contact my references, do the drug testing (yeah Janiece control freak--drugs--hardly likely), and then set up orientation--which they are totally flexible on. It will probably be a couple ofweeks before things can get started, so let the baking and living room painting begin!
Our little angel Julia is going to be an angel for Christmas. It's an option for the school kids and Julia wanted to do it. Rauan--nope no way. I'm certainly not going to force it. He's a stubborn guy and digs in his heels.
Well, off to pick up kids. I just had to share my jammies guy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Are you one of the crazy ones???

I can't believe it. I could have left work last night and gone shopping at the outlet mall when it opened at midnight! WHAT?????? Then I kept seeing ads for 4 and 5 am. Again--WHAT???? Ok folks--internet--that's part of what it is there for--and I'm sorry--not very darn much is getting me out of bed at that time of day--I don't care how good the sale it. About the only thing that gets me out of bed that early is the kids and work. And I work PM shift--so pretty much just kids!
Speaking of the kids--Miss Julia spent most of yeasterday with an on and off bloody nose. She work me up at 7:15 with a bloody nose--just dripping. Got that stopped, then around 10 am I hear Ted saying"you were warned to stop screwing around--go get mom" (yeah--you notice the get mom part). She had been wrestling with her brothers and broke the scab loose. That happened 4 times yesterday. You would think she would learn--but oh no--she'd rather wrestle. I was so thankful to go to work yeasterday. Good job, good money, people I like, my children not wrestling and getting bloody noses or other bloody parts, no whiny husband. Yes, Ted has my flu. And we really really need a second bathroom. So much for a shower by myself when my husband has the flu.
Hospice called again today. We've rescheduled the shadowing for this coming Tuesday. I had to reschedule Chewie's flu shot, but as I told Sarah(Hospice) I want to get in there and get started. I'm eager to get things going. Maybe it's silly, but Lauren loves working there and when I interviewed the atmosphere was just so perfect--I can't even put it into words. It could be that thing that I look forward too---and I get paid for it! I still haven't given up on the craniofacial clinic--but after 2 years of volunteering with the hope for a paid position--well, let's face facts--it ain't happening. So, I'm always going to be there if they need me for a consulting issue--but I have to do something else to get paid. Might as well be something I like.
The first bit of Christmas lights are up. I'm not climbing on the roof until Ted is better and able to hold the ladder for me. Hey--I do a 2 for 1 deal. String up lights and clean the gutters. Efficient huh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sniff Sniff--another one is growing up

Rauan lost his first tooth yesterday just before I went to work--and there's another one ready to fall out any time! It seems the tooth fairy is making alot of visits to our house now.

As always, Wisconsin weather is never boring. When I left work at midnight Sunday--I could get by with a light jacket. Actually pretty nice. When I got up this am, it was to 2 inches of wet heavy snow. I asked Chewie if he remembered play with the snow with mom and dad last year and he does remember. I told him this year will be even more fun. When he asked why, I reminded him he now has a brother and sister that love the snow too (not to mention 2 hairy elkhounds--one young one with wwwaaaayyyy too much energy!). He whooped for joy! Yet again somehow I got a bunch of people looking at us like we are crazy!
Speaking of crazy, Belle--the wild elkhound--LOVES the snow, if possible more then Callie ever did. She wasn't too sure at first, but then she figured out shoving her nose into the snow and and flipping snow up in the air onto her back and whom ever else is around. Honestly, it's a revolving door here! All kids--2 and 4-legged kind, will sleep good tonight!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Soccer video

Ok I started looking through this seasons soccer highlights and found these clips that cracked me up. Who knew Rauan would start taunting?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dental appointment update/anniversary

Well, I'll start at the beginning of the day. I was able to take Chewie to school and I ventured out to Target---although I planned to hit the grocery store, Target wore me out. Quite an insult to me who fits back at anything that holds her down!! While I was there my MIL called to ask when someone would be home "just in case the present fairy dropped by". ??? Ok--well, I gave her some rough estimates cause I honestly had no clue! Home and talked to my mom while I tried to at least pick up some of the mess. I swear--my house isn't clean on the best of days, but get sick and it's impossible to wade through. Totally disgusting. Anyways, picked up the boys. While I'm loading up the dishwasher, Ted comes home with a 1 1/2 dozen roses--some really beautiful ones that are red and white mixed and other colors. While I'm on the phone making appts. and trying to leave a message at Hospice (to reschedule the shadowing--I was so disappointed I was too sick to do that on Tuesday)--all Hell breaks loose with 2 little boys fighting--AGAIN--and dogs barking. Door bell rings and it's a huge bouquet of dark pink roses, from my inlaws.! I'm serious--it looks like a florist shop in my kitchen. Too bad I can't freeze it into that way forever. Pick up Julia at school for the dentist. Get there--and of course after we're checked in--then Chewie decides to go to the bathroom. So we all toddle off to the bathroom, go back and into the dental chairs. Pediatrics dental offices are so cool. Three chairs all in one room with this cool jungle design. Rauan went off for his panoramic xray (checks the adult teeth) and Chewie sat for xrays!!!! MIRACLE!!!! And then he was perfectly calm for the exam--except he kept turning cause he wanted to look and see what she was doing. What a difference a few months can make. Julia had a bit of a breakdown when Dr. Allison came out to examine her. Not sure what was going on--she loves Dr. Allison. Maybe tired or just starting those little hormones---yes, studies do show that it can start this young, especially if children were deprived nutritionally at a young age and then got good nutrition. That would be Julia. But, since I'm a mom--I'm going with the tired.
Report card: Chewie--teeth look good. Couldn't get xrays on his back teeth (yep he's a gagger), but otherwise looks good. He even let the hygienist scrap some tarter off. Dr. Allison was talking about the underbite and what might be done. Mentioned pushback procedure (my understanding is Dr. Del is dead set against those) and the Le Forte procedure when he has achieved full facial growth (15-17). That involves moving his mid face forward through distraction. Very successful. Again, we'll see how his face changes. I've seen changes just in the 6 months he has been home.
Rauan--teeth great. Xrays showed we're going to have to do an implant of 2 teeth not just one. We'll have to replace one where the cleft was--but on the exact opposite side, where he has double baby teeth--no adult tooth. Bummer! So, we're looking at a bone graft and then implants for him somewhere around age 11-13, depends on when the adult teeth start to drop. He also has his first loose tooth on the bottom (sniff sniff)!
Julia--awesome as always. Still watching a molar for decay. One of her front teeth has a cavity but that will come out in the next year or so. So no worries. Dr. Allison talked with Julia about her "sweet" teeth and how she has to be extra careful with brushing them. Yep, again not genetically my child but she somehow got my soft teeth. Poor kid. And she has her third loose tooth.
All in all a successful visit.
Came home to a package on the doorstep. Candy from my in-laws. Yum.
For our exciting anniversary dinner, Pizza Hut. The kids were wild and the boys were fighting yet again when Ted got home. I was just not in the mood for going out to eat with wild children. My tummy has only handled small meals so far anyways. I did manage 1 piece of pizza and 1 piece of cheese bread (my favorite). So that was a positive. Julia ate some of the candy. I didn't think my belly was up that yet.
I'm planning on going to work tonight. Back to the normal routine for me. But first, I'm going to try the grocery store. If I can make it through Woodman's on a Saturday--I can do anything!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Here is just one picture I had available.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Tomorrow will be our tenth anniversary. I'm trying to decide if this is a statement of our lives together. Ted says I've spent the last couple of nights moaning from tummy pain, he is now getting sick and--get this to top everything--Chewie's babysitter called last night to say daycare was closed today because of HEAD LICE!!!!! Yes, we searched his head and nothing--thank goodness. But, I'm an expert at delousing now after the flea incident. Currently in the background our dogs barking and wrestling with each other, Bubba is climbing a chair, and then arguing with Chewie about money and I hear feet running around upstairs. Ahhh, not romantic but reality. I knew what I was getting into when I got married--well, not quite soooo extensive---which is why I wouldn't wear the blusher when I walked down the aisle. I'll see if I can get the scanner to work and scan some pictures from our wedding.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I'm so sick. I won't even get into the details except to say it's GI related and I thought my hysterectomy incision had healed--yeah NOT! I called in sick today--something I could ill afford to do. I'm hoping that tomorrow (day 4 of this) will be better and I can go into work. I went to try and eat something today and there is literally no food in the house--nada. The boys are eating machines.
Julia's first surgery is scheduled for Feb. 19. About 6 weeks after that is spring break. We had planned to travel to Missouri to see Chari and her family then. I'll have to see how everything times out. Benefit--less school missed. Dr. Del also wants to check her palate while she is out. Where the repair was done is a crease and it's impossible to tell if there is a fistula there or not. I've never see food come out of her nose--which is usually a tell tale sign. We'll see.
So, for those keeping track--January and the first part of Feb. is devoted to Chewie. Starting in February through April is Julia. Quiet winter for us? I think not. Good thing Bubba is so easy going (most of the time).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

News from Russia

I recently received news that has been heavy on my heart and I haven't known what to do. The answer came to me this am. As many of you know, Julia came to us from a beautiful area of Russia, close to Mongolia, called Buryatia. The city she was in was Ulan-Ude. While poor the area is outstanding naturally beautiful. While falling in love with my princess, I fell in love with that part of the world. We belong to an organization by the name of BRAFF, which is a bunch of adoptive parents that are trying to help the children still in the orphanages. Recently there was news of 3 children that desperately needed medical attention or would be sent to an institution-one that was for mentally ill, thus condemning them. One of our moms worked very hard and was able to get them a medical evaluation here in Madison. But before that happened--a miracle. A family came forth to adopt 2 of them, totally willing to work with their medical needs. Unfortunately, this left one little girl, cleft-affected and then another little girl came to light. A sweet little 9 year old who was playing with matches when her dress caught on fire. Her trunk up to her chin were burned. Leg, face, underarms all unharmed. This poor child is condemned to living out her life in an institution unless someone helps her. Ted and I simply don't have the finances (or living space) to help her, but I'm hopeful someone reading this might. Anna, our cleft-affected sweetheart, is 7 years old with repairs done. She needs more work, both surgically and with speech therapy. Lyudmilla is 9. Julia--the woman we worked with in Russia, says she is quite sweet and well thought of at her current orphanage. If anyone is interested, please contact me. I also have pictures. I do believe there is some financial assistance available through BRAFF.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Poop poop and more poop

Ahhh, 6 months home and still having poop issues! Not that most people wouldn't have this issue after eating clementines by the dozens! It's clementine season here in Wisconsin and Julia and Rauan love them--always have. But, by age 5 and 6 they have developed some self-control. Not Chewie. Everytime I turned around, he was shoving a clementine in his mouth. Ok--fruit is good--but c'mon! So--it was bound to happen (actually he isn't bound up at all), and, being the graceful Pritchard family--of course the very public Madison Ice Arena and Madison Polar Caps were there to witness it. Why???
Ted was just finishing up the third group of initiation players. I gathered up Julia and Rauan and took them to the concession stand (yeah I'm easy) for nachos and slushies. Julia started running up and down the hall with some other children. As wild as they have been lately--I encouraged it--use up that energy! Chewie, being Chewie, joined in. All of the sudden he went into the bathroom. Ok--no problem. Then, hysterical crying from the bathroom. Mom to the rescue. "Momma I poop". " You have to poop sweetie? Ok, (shit!), let's find daddy to get this equipment off". So, off I go to get Ted to take off his breezers and all that other hockey crap that I have no idea how to undo. We get to Ted, who is undoing his skates and I ask him to take off the equipment. So, he starts to while Chewie is still crying. Then the smell hit. Now--ok I have a pretty fricking strong stomach, but that about knocked me over. He crapped his pants. Double shit. Literally. So, let's get him cleaned off. Ted had Chewie's socks off(those knee high ones the hockey players wear) and all the sudden I (and the rest of the skating arena) heard "Je--- C----T there's shit running down his legs!" Sweet mother of God, it's a poop fest. So, I ran to get paper towels so Ted could wipe off his hands and we can wipe off Chewie's rather stinky legs. Not much we could do--the breezers were holding the majority of the poop in. Thank God, one of the other coaches (Thanks Jim!) had some plastic grocery bags. We covered up the car seat, loaded him in and went home. Into the shower--hockey gear and all. Ok, I get paid a good amount of money to deal with poop and I also have gloves. I really wish I had gloves here. By the way, the washing machine works really good!
I've found a new hiding place for the clementines. Limit: 1 per day. Until they find the new hiding place. Yes, this is why Santa does layaway and Grandma's holding house.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Just found out St. Dennis is going to all day kindergarten and they are also starting a 1/2 preK program (which doesn't matter for us, but awesome!) This is the answer to a prayer! I'm really getting fed up with not being home in the evenings and trying to schedule everything around one night a week for the kids. Ted and I never get a chance to talk--date night--now there's a dream! Anyways, this means that, although I lose some $, I can go to a 12 hour shift--day shift (7-7) once or twice a week. I think I'll still try to do a pm shift on the weekends--the 12 hour shifts are every third--so that's a possibility. We have to pay for after school care no matter what--but, by then, we'll have the tax credit refund, we won't be making two car payments, and please God, no more appliance breaking down--at least for a while. And maybe I'll be able to talk with my husband once in a while and we can actually be a "normal" family again. Of course--best laid plans......but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whistling Dixie

Driving back from hockey tonight--surprise surprise--guess who is trying to keep up with his sister? yep, Chewie is now a whistling fool! The same sound each time but he is so proud of himself. Can I expect a chorus from the Pritchard trio?
I go in to shadow a nurse next Tuesday then we'll set up my orientation schedule at Hospice. My sister is coming up next Monday to take her kids to the doctor, so she's going to take Alihan back down to my mom's for an overnight visit. Then on Tuesday I'm going to rush down to Janesville, pick him up and rush back for hockey. Bubba is going to Mr. Dave's for an extra afternoon (and he is thrilled---he loves Mr. Dave!). Ted will pick Julia and Rauan up after school and take Julia to skating. Good thing he is still in practice for lacing up figure skates! I could pay for childcare--but I'm going to avoid that until I'm actually getting paid! Which will start with orientation. The nurse I'm shadowing makes visits to hospice patients in long-term facilities and that's where they would like me to go. And the hours are fairly flexible. Can you say heaven??? There are some benefits to a flex position (no insurance and all that but hey--got that at the U). It will be great to work with Lauren again too.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Julia update

We're back from Julia's appt. and boy is she a trooper. Shannon(her speech therapist) did the scope of her throat--which basically involves stick a lighted camera up her nose and down her throat and watching how her throat closes off when she talks. It sounds worse then it is since there is a combo of Afrin and lidocaine(I think) used to numb it up first. Julia was perfect--no flinching, pulling things with her hands, or moving her head. The scope showed two things. One adenoid tissue--which she is using to close off her airway when she talks. According to Dr. Del that won't go away until age 11 or 12. The second is a gap when she tries to close things off--so the air goes up her nose instead of out her mouth. So, there are two surgeries involved here. First, one to remove the adenoid tissue. I imagine that's just a day surgery. Then, a minimum of 6 weeks later, a sphincter put in. This is so much better then a p-flap. With a p-flap there is a fairly high risk of sleep apnea (I think 60-70%). With a sphincter, it's 3%. And the effectiveness of this correcting her speech--along with speech therapy of course since its a tool --is 98%. So, now we just wait to see when her surgeries are going to be. During the time frame between surgeries--her speech is going to totally suck. So, I'm going to have to go and talk to her teachers about this and make them aware of what is happening. We also found the source of the frequent nose bleeds. A big prominent blood vessel. So starting the vaseline and Q-tip treatment. Yes, that's what I said. If that works--great. If not, cauterize the blood vessel and there is still the vaseline and Q-tip while it's healing.
Poor Julia--I think she's starting to realize how involved I am with the cleft stuff. There was a resident there who I have worked with besides the nursing assistants, multiple nurses, speech therapists and nurses, social worker (who I've known for years outside of work), genetics, audiology, dentist. Just tons of people. Everyone is saying how much they miss me and glad to see me, yada yada. God I hope I can get back there soon. I miss the clinic. Anyways, as we are walking out, I get the hand on the hip and the look from Miss Julia with the comment "do you know EVERYBODY?" with that 6 year old attitude. All I could do was laugh. Funny thing is Ted has said that to me to in the past. Hummmmm.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Second Job

Well, I can let the news out now. The interview was with HospiceCare. And it went wonderfully. They appear to be very willing to work with my time limitations. Of course, if all goes well, Alihan will be in full day kindergarten next year (it's being discussed at St. Dennis) and most of those limitations will be gone. I'm going to shadow a nurse next week, just waiting to hear the details. And for those of you that are my references--expect a call. My manager knows and is very supportive. Again--I'm so lucky!
Tomorrow is the big day for Julia. As I had mentioned, she's hyper nasal and speech therapy wasn't really correcting it. So, she's going in for the big craniofacial clinic appt. to evaluate her for further palate surgery. There's a couple different techniques and I'll let you know what is decided. I'm nervous for Julia. She informed today that she didn't want to have the "bubble gum mask" and go to sleep again. I reminded her that mommy was there holding her hand when she fell asleep and I was right there when she woke up. I won't let anything happen to her. I think that helped a bit. Sometimes I think because she is my first child I worry more about her. Of course, between her cleft and her amniotic banding--her issues are more complex then the boys. I'm just a normal mom--I want to give my kids the best chance I can. Even if that means working long crazy hours so that I can have the money thats needed, but still be there when they need me. I'm a mom--it's what I do.
So, everyone say a prayer tomorrow. Dr. Del is awesome and I know the decision will be the right one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Did you vote today? I did and I'm proud to say that I was #1000 at our voting place. I won't say who I voted for nor will I say if I voted Democrat, Republican, Green party, etc. That is a private matter and something meant for each person to decide on their own. I will say Alihan and Rauan (who accompanied me before to vote) know that this is a freedom and something men and women die for--the right to vote and the freedom to express their opinion. So, again did you vote? Please, do so and show your children the importance of letting your opinion known.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More pictures of Indian Summer

We took the kids out by the lake today. As you can see, it's all about the hat with Chewie. Guess that was money well spent. He's going to be a hat guy. If you look over Chewie's shoulder--besides the colorful trees, you can see the absolutely beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol building. Yes, it really is that beautiful here. This is on a pier out on lake Mendota. Oh and my hair stylist today talked Julia into cutting her bangs! Thank God! She told Julia she either has to wear her bangs back or trim them so we can see those incredible eyes. Julia decided to cut them. Now, if i can just get her to do something with the rest of her hair. It's so fine, straight and actually quite thick. Ok--I know it can't be genetics--but my sister Tisha has hair like that--thick, fine and straight.


Presenting Hannah Montana, Evil Knight, and Dale Jr. And yes that is Loki in the background checking on his kids. For Julia it's all about the wig, Rauan the sword (which he broke!) and Chewie--well, if I brought home Gordon I'd be in divorce proceedings!

Pictures pictures!

Hiking in Blue Mounds yesterday. We're having Indian Summer. I guess I chose the right time to work 8 days in a row in order to have time off with the kids!

Family Photos

We had family photos taken at the start of Oct. (yes that means Loki and Belle too!). Just got the CD and I'm busy ordering stuff. So, I thought I would share. Now I just have to get my family room painted so I can hang a big photo---not on messy walls!


November is

Adoption Awareness Month! So, throughout the month I'm going to mention some odds and ends about adoption. November is a special month for us because that seemed to be when all the "big" stuff happened in our adoptions--particularly with adoption #1, Julia. That's when we offically signed on with LSS and started everything for our homestudy. This November 21st will also be our 10th anniversary. I will be spending my anniversary in style--at the dentist with my 3 children!
Do you know that in 2006 China had the largest number of international adoptions with Russia coming in second (a difference of about 2000)? The majority of international adoptions are infants and toddlers. There is also a higher preference for girls.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I have an interview!

I'm so excited. I've been looking for a second job to help replace the savings that we used while I was out, plus if we want to go to the "princess castle" next year I need to save up. While there are plenty of nursing jobs out there, most want you to work with just them and/or more then 1 shift a week. Yes, I am insane, but not completely crazy. I do need sleep occasionally. Well, I've had a friend who has tried to get me to look into her current organization for a while. So, I did and I have an interview next Thursday. When I talked to the person on the phone, she sounded very willing to work with my schedule and having me work 1 shift per week. So, some more additional prayers please! I really want this to work. I love peds--but it isn't reliably giving me the extra hours I need. This would be completely different--so I think that would be a good change for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hyper kids

I'm sitting here listening to slamming doors, yelling, running feets wondering if I should go and intervene. And this is more then 24 hours before the sugar rush starts. Huummmm, now I hear a door bouncing against the wall--well there's the reason I'm going to be painting during my 5 days off in December! I don't hear anyone jumping on the beds.....yet! OOOhhhh--a screech! And this folks, is why I travelled to 3 different countries in less then 5 years and am in some serious debt. Would I change it??? HELL NO!!!! Now I go find a big mess. I don't expect a reasonably clean house for at least another 10 years. Furballs, toys, clothes, books, and newspapers (although that's Ted--so at least another 50 years of that God willing!).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Surgery scheduled for Alihan

Just got the call today. The fabulous Dr. Mount will be back from her Vietnam trip and performing Alihan's revision on January 28, 2009. While he's under, he is going to get his ears and teeth checked and also circumcised. No flames please---it is my husband's decision and I've learned to pick and chose my battles. I don't have the equipment so I can't relate. Anyways, my primary doctor is back--now part of UW health and I set up his pre-op. I think highly of the primary that is in Cambridge and she was awesome to me--and up for sainthood after dealing with me--but my doctor is now less then a mile from my house. And she's been my doctor since 1997. Makes sense.
Anyways, please start saying prayers that there are no snotty noses, snowstorms or anything else that holds up this surgery. He needs it--and really needs that nostril straightened out to help with his breathing!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My comments

First I have to say the new washing machine is AWESOME!! I've just folded clothes, since I worked last night Ted did alot of washing. They smell so good! I wonder if that machine had been pooping out on us and the fleas just finally did it in. Oh--and there is a special machine cleaning thing on it--one a month, throw bleach in and it does a special cycle to keep the tub clean. With my sports crazy family--this is just a wonderful bonus.
Ted's previous post. Humm what can I say--especially since we have replaced almost every single appliance in this house! I do think Madison has an unfair division. All one has to do is read the paper and the west side certainly gets more pluses--the schools on the west side are ranked highly and get the "bonus" monies available. It's an unfortunate set of circumstances. And to be perfectly honest--while it would benefit the children in their sports to move to the west side--I really can't see the benefit to me and Ted. And let's be honest--are the children really going to make their living at sports?? Possibly but not likely. My concern is for their education. That's how they will make their living--getting a good education. Now, is staying on the eastside going to benefit them? Who knows? We don't have to make a decision on that for a few more years--St. Dennis goes through 8th grade. And--who knows what is going to happen to the economy and Ted's job? Let's be honest--I can work anywhere. Ted can't. His job is very specific. If something happens--we have to go where he can be employed. Anything can happen. As we have found out with our appliances!
The eastside has some wonderful features. We are close to the lakes and their benefits. We are close to Woodmans--and with the boys I frequently am at the grocery store! We are close to both Ted's work and the interstate. That was important to me when we moved here. I can be on the interstate and in Janesville in 35 minutes flat. With the majority of our family there, and in particular with the recent health issues, that's a priority. And, with the exception of one neighbor, we are blessed with some incredible neighbors. Common, normal, saying poop (or the other term) when you step in it neighbors. No one tries to out do the Jones here, we're all just living our lives to the best of our ability.
So, back to Ted's original post--is it fair and free in this country? No--it isn't. But it's what we have and what we make of it. Freedom isn't free--but it's alot better then the options--some of which could be total chaos. Compromise is what it all about and that's what we do best.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are the kids really free...?

Since Alihan's former roommate Aidai is on her way home to land of the free(?) it got me thinking about how free these kids really are. Ok in the orphanage they were told what to do and when to do it(i.e Go potty now!). We strongly believe Alihan was abused in more ways than one. Since the boys are now playing hockey I really started to wonder why do we have so many rules for American kids. Many of you know that Julia figure skates. Well the only place she can do that is on the West side of Madison. Unfortunately when we looked for a house 9 years ago, we bought one on the East side close to my job. Well Ok no big deal, we will just sign the boys up for the West Madison hockey club so they can skate at the same Ice arena to make this work. Problem solved, right? Well no so fast, the Wisconsin youth hockey assoc. rules state the boys would need to skate on the east side(Hs district) if they want to join a competitive team. Great now they are being told what to do again, even though there is no way in heck they will ever attend an east side HS. We will move some day, but unfortunately the govt. screwed up the economy. Oh I could always request a release for the boys, but it sounds like it would need to be a really cold day before that is granted. So really, how free are American kids? The boys have made some good friends playing hockey and in a couple of years I will have to say: "Sorry guys, but someone made a rule and nobody really cares about how you feel!" If you ask me, parents have ruined youth sports! You have parents pushing their 6 year old to specialize in something year round to beat the 1-1,000,000 odds and be the next pro superstar, instead of just letting the child enjoy their childhood. I just shake my head, because 6 months ago Alihan was labeled as being an 'orphan', so now he comes to the US and is labeled by what side of town his parents live on. Nice! Some of this PO's me, because I have met some incredible parents in the hockey club. There have been a few that have gone out of their way to be helpful and I am really going to miss them when we are forced to leave the club. So really, how free are the kids?

I have noticed a bunch of people lurking again, some in Madison even. What do people think, am I wrong? Do we think that all these rules will somehow yield a better child than others from another country?

Oh yeah, I took over the blog again...........
Sounds like Aidai will be home soon, hopefully her mother had a better trip than the nightmare from HE-double-hockey stix I had with the facilitators..............

Ahhh C'mon now!

So, Loki has fleas. Which isn't a crisis of itself--but as I'm frantically washing stuff, the washer starts to smell. Humm what's that? Well I figured it out when I went to take the couch cover out and the tub is full of water and it won't do nothing. Dead motor. For God's sake! Can we finally have some good luck here? This is just getting to the point of ridiculous. So, the visa card got used again. I'm sure they are loving me. The new washer arrives tomorrow--cheaper to buy a new one then replace the motor on this one (which would have run around $400). Ummm--anyone have a direct connection to God cause I think God isn't listening to me anymore--or just trying to see how far I can be pushed before I have a breakdown. Now--after I've worked here at home--I'm going to work.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Can you see me blushing???

In order to be home for Ted's birthday I have totally deprived myself on sleep--working last night until almost midnight, sleeping a few hours and being back at work at 7 am for a class. A computer class no less. We didn't have to worry about falling asleep in class though d/t Janiece and her stupidity! The instructor at the start of class says please turn cell phones and pagers off or to vibrate. No worries--my phone doesn't work in the basement. Usually (see where I'm going??) About an hour into class--as we are all struggling to stay awake (at least I was!) the phone starts to ring. Guns N Roses. Welcome to the Jungle. Did I mention that I have turned the ringer up as high as it will go because I can't hear it over the kids??? Did I mention that the nursing director for the peds hospital is sitting directly in front of me?? SHIT!!!!! So, I grabbed the phone and left--mumbling "I'm sorry" on the way out. My co-worker sitting next to me--well I think she was laughing her ass off. So- Ted couldn't find his keys. Couldn't even get into the truck, muchless drive the kids to school and himself to work. Might I mention it is fricking freezing here in Madison right now?? Yes, Janiece has both sets of keys and can't leave. I seriously thought of calling a taxi. Luckily, my mom forgot to take the carset out of her car and and we have an old crappy one in the garage (not crappy that it doesn't work--just without cushions, etc). So, mom loads the kids in her car, takes them to school, comes back for Ted and Alihan and buzzes him to work. All the while, I'm back in class trying to pretend I'm not that quiet nurse in the background who has Guns N Roses as her ringtone. There goes my image.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hockey Pics

As promised, the boys hockey pics

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A few pictures to enjoy. Chewie enjoying his first hay ride--literally hay, horses and a really bumpy ride--to the pumpkin patch. We met our friends Michelle and her children Levi and Colton there and made our way through the farm. There's a HUGE corn maze which we made our way through and the children played and played. All, except me (the driver) fell asleep on the way home. Now, if we can just not have rain on Tuesday and Friday--then everyone can do their class pumpkin patch visit!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No pumpkin patch

Well, all my worrying was for nothing. It was raining and raining hard this am. I hadn't heard by 8:30--and Rauan's old boots didn't fit Alihan (when did his feet grow???), so I ran to Farm and Fleet to buy some boots for him. Can you believe he is in a size 12 already???When he came home 6 months ago he was wearing a size 8! Anyways, while I was out, the preschool called. The pumpkin patch told them not to come! So, he is going next Friday, the 24th.
It was deary here today, so I called Ted and after I picked up the boys, we went out to lunch. Times it right--Tumbleweeds(it Tex-Mex) does kid's meals for 99cents on Wednesday! The boys loved it.
Julia recovered--school today and no problems with skating. Mommmy driving on the beltline is another situation although. Now I know why I work an off shift job! I told Ted if we move and the skating continues--it's going to be close enough so I don't have to drive that awful beltline!
Back to work tomorrow. I'll get some hockey pictures up later!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My sick family

I really really want the kids to get better. I'm dealing with sick kids at home, then sick kids at work. This is a bad precursor for this winter. They are scheduled for flu shots on Oct. 30, the first day our clinic is offering them, but I'm wondering if that is going to be too late. Julia seems to be better. We're going to try school tomorrow and then her skating lesson. She only spiked her temp once early today and since then she's been bouncing off the walls. It lasted for about 48hours with Rauan--so if it holds true she'll be perfectly fine tomorrow. The one I'm worried about is Alihan. It's the preschool pumpkin patch visit and Ted is taking him. He's excited about going someplace with daddy, but I don't know if he gets the whole pumpkin patch field trip thing. We try to rotate the field trips so at least one parent attends. This is why I work PM shift. If I'm needed at school, I can do it. So, a few prayers please that is Alihan is going to get sick--it holds off until tomorrow night! I'm excited for him to have this opportunity. Ted has promised to take lots of pictures!
Elizabeth and Maria have picked up their baby girls--ok Aidai isn't a baby, but once your child always your baby! I'm so excited for them. I remember that thrill --combo of excitement and nausea--when I got Julia and Rauan. We all know Ted's feelings with his "birthing" experience (there was a loud very unlady like snort from me with this statement!). Alihan is sending a present to his orphanage buddy and he is so excited.
I have to comment, Hilary has noted the compassion in her children. Last night, while holding feverish Julia, I was reading a magazine and there was an ad for Smile Train with a lovely girl in the picture with a rather large cleft. Holy moly, did I get the questions then! She can't understand why the parents didn't fix the girl's lip, why is the medical system bad, etc etc. From the mouths of babes! Do you think it's because our children have been exposed to this other part of the world--the not so innocent part? Julia asked me again this morning about the little girl and wanted to know if I could go and fix her. I can only wish. Someday. Right now I feel very powerless. I want to do something, but what, how, where, when. I hope the answers will show themselves.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Whys and hows?

I'm not sure why I my thinking has turned into questions. Perhaps my ovaries are kicking back or maybe it's the multitude of sick children I've dealt with lately--both at work and home. Poor Rauan had the nasty flu bug (vomit and 103.4 temps) and now Julia is feverish. The big kid (Ted) is recovering from a nasty cold. Alihan--fingers crossed!

Why I mention this, when things finally slowed a bit at work last night, I showed off the wonderful family pictures we had taken. A coworker asked "how did you ever get your husband to go along with this?" It took me back for a minute because there really was no "going along with it" for Ted. He expressed apprehension before Julia's adoption--more so because he had never changed a diaper before--but the cleft issue was minor. He held faith in that the cleft could be corrected and her hand--well whatever. We would get that figured out.

Ted and I have always been opposites in so many ways. Our upbringings were very different--but similar in the most important ways. Family is first.

Ted grew up in a family filled with sports. My family--not so much. We spent our time at museums, parks, visiting family. Ted's--from what I gather--ice skating, hockey, football. Totally different. I grew up Catholic--catholic schools, church every Sunday, church activities during the week. It was the way it was. Ted went through RCIA in the early 90s, well into his 20s. I was a total geek in high school, worked through school (high school, college--both times!), and didn't really do the party circuit too much (if at all). Ted, on the other hand, sports guy in high school, sports in college, did the typical drinking, partying, girls and stumbling into class hungover. I'm glad I didn't know him then!

But then Ted grew up and so did I. Still different personalities. I'm a go to it person, Ted needs to be motivated. Well into my first nursing position, I met a nurse who was hilarious. Nightshift--you do what you have to stay awake. She talked me into meeting her brother--who was also younger then me I might add. I did and that was that. I called Chari the next day and told her I met the guy I was going to marry. Ted needed a little more convincing, but a year later we were engaged. 11 months after that we were married. Ten years later here we are.

I mention all of this because while there are differences--strong ones at that--I feel we embraces each others differences. Obviously I've become the armchair sports girl. With the checkbook. Ted and I mutually developed a love for the outdoors and the majority of our summers and weekends off are spent biking, hiking and just being outside. Ted's been to some of those museums I spent my childhood in. We've grown together. The other important thing to mention is both of us love children and family. Ted got tested pretty quickly after we met. My sister's children love Uncle Teddy to this day and Chari gave birth to Zachery soon after that fateful phone call. That Memorial Day weekend (1997) Ted got my "other family" approval. I have a picture of Ted laying on a bed face to face with Zachery. Zachery, in the middle of our wedding ceremony announce in church that he went poop! Ahhh, the memories! I also have precious photos of Julia and Zachery in a bathtub together and as Zachery got older, him dragging her around on a tractor ride. There are pictures also of my nieces and nephew(who joined us after we married) who spent weekends with us before and after we had the children. We now have a niece and nephew that are younger then our children. While Amelia is too young to tell us, Henry delights in saying he loves his cousins and they love him.

What I am saying is there was no convincing of my husband. He agreed adoption was the way to start our family. The decisions making involved the wheres and whats--domestic, international--once we found out about Julia, then can we do this special need and why the heck not? Once Julia was home, there was no going back to biological children or non cleft-affected children. If God wanted us to have biological children it would happen. We wanted children and a family. God gave us a means to be more then parents. God gave us the ability to be advocates for healthcare for cleft-affected children and internationally adopted special needs. God gave us the ability to be more then ourselves.

P.S. And Ted is the better parent. Together we are a great team.

P.S.S. And some photos of the darlings. Rauan was sacked out on the couch but Miss Julia posed in her skating outfit and Alihan showed off his shoulder pads, jersey and breezers--six years ago I would have no ideas what breezers were!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A year ago

I can't believe it. I was just looking back through old emails and I realized that on Oct. 5 we found out about Alihan (remember that phone call, Mom?) and then today (Oct. 7), Ted and I officially threw our hats into the adoption ring for the third time. It would be a week or so until our papers went out--had to get the money issues settled etc., but this was really the day that we decided. What a year it has been! And now, our little man has been home for 6 months, is in preschool, and today daycare, is starting to ice skate(hockey baby!) and is such a happy guy. And we are a family of 5--plus 2 dogs and 3 cats just to make it more interesting!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another week gone

And another busy one. I ended up working an extra 1/2 shift Thursday night--turning it into a 12 hour shift--a super busy one. I don't function too well on just a few hours of sleep. But we got a hole in a tire of the van, meaning the tire had to be replaced. At this point, I just shake my head!
Julia and Rauan had their hunger walk at school on Friday. Grandma came up and cheered them on. Chewie's school had a fire department visit about fire safety. He did well--but one of the firemen is Lance, Kelsey's dad. He's knows him very well and I think that makes a big difference. Saturday was the Fall Frolic at MIA that Ted and the Polar cap board planned for the hockey skaters. I seriously couldn't get the kids off the ice--except for food! Chewie is one determined little boy! He kept pushing himself around and actually did some "stepping", without the walker. Julia and Rauan coached him around the ice--it was so cute!
Ted took Julia and Rauan out skating again today. He couldn't get Rauan off the ice! He is just like his dad. Julia starts Tuesday with her new coach and she is joining the figure skating club. So, now we start the competitions. I'm going to try to stick it out for as long as I can--but I think eventually I'm going to have to find a position that I'm not working weekends anymore. I love the pediatric floor--but there is the reality of hockey games and skating competitions. Time will tell.
School is going great for the kids. Julia is starting in the Title 1 program again. She just doesn't want to read. I'm not sure if it's stubborness, short-term memory issues, a learning disability, or she just isn't interested. I did notice something tonight with her and I'm going to get her eyes checked--just in case. Then there is Rauan. What can I say? All I can say is that I'm glad we are in Madison because there is so many ways we can challenge him! Chewie just loves school, he loves daycare and he loves hockey/ice skating. He's a happy boy.
Oh Miss Belle is now crated while we are gone. She ate the couch, she ate my recliner, she pulled down my new curtains and snagged them so bad I have to replace them. This was all in one afternoon. Yeah--she needed to be crated. The couch is now on the side of the road. Ted's parents are replacing their couch--so we got their old one. I bought a slip cover for that--easy to wash! The recliner is now "broken in". I'm not going to replace anything until she is done chewing and the kids are done with their jumping/running/destruction stage. When does that happen???

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A new scar for Alihan

I'm cleaning and Julia and Alihan are screwing around (for lack of a better word) and I hear a "thunk" followed by Alihan screaming his head off and holding his head over my freshly folded clean laundry--which isn't so clean anymore. I went over and pick him up. Blood--all over the place. My clothes look like something from a crime scene from CSI! I ran upstairs with him, grab a towel and hold pressure against his forehead--while he continues to scream! Got the first aid kit--which was not in a good place (thanks Ted!) and tried to clean up this screaming , squirming, very bloody child. Big old gash on his forehead. Finally got the bleeding to stop after 20 minutes. It was a debate---stitches or no stitches. Finally, after Ted got home--we approximated the sides and taped the heck out of him. Ted and Chewie now have matching scars. No--not the roller blading scar. The scar from when Ted was about 4 years old, decided to play Bugs Bunny, put a pair of pj bottoms on his head (you know--ears) and ran into a thermostat. I think he was chasing his sister if I remember the story correctly. Yes--I wanted boys. I really need to have my medication adjusted!!! In the meantime, I think I restock the first aid kit. Something tells me I'm going to need it--ALOT!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Perspective-"why are you squishy mommy?"

From my 6 year old daughter with the rock hard six-pak tummy, as she pokes my jiggly tummy! Nice huh? I'm extremely careful what I say to her because I had issues with my weight when I was a young teenage--to the point my parents took me to the doctors thinking I was anorexic. Obviously that's not an issue now :) But, I see some of the stuff that goes on these days and with Julia's near perfect figure--and the future with her having her hand "different" and her cleft issues--and how mean little girls can be--I want her self-esteem strong. So, I just reminded her that everyone is built different and I don't have her athletic build. Also, mommy doesn't run, ice skate, play soccer, or all those other things that gives her the rock hard tummy.
Of course, then once Ted got home we went to the club. I just had to do something--I'm finding as I'm getting better--the more I want to work out and get stronger. Perhaps to keep up with my crazy active daughter????

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh yes first day at daycare

I forgot to mention Alihan's first experience with daycare. We've been lucky enought the last two years--but now we will be at daycare twice a week. Not a bad thing because I had planned on Alihan going one day a week anyways for social and verbal skills. So, anyways, he is going to daycare with Stacy--who has a daughter in his preschool class--plus they live just two blocks away. To make things easier, I arranged with Stacy to pick up both Alihan and Kelsey from preschool and then drop them off. Alihan was all excited because he had a "playdate" with Kelsey and Kelsey was excited because she was riding in the van with Alihan. It takes so little! So, at preschool, Alihan and Kelsey went up the stairs hand in hand and walked out to the van hand in hand. Once in the van, Alihan patted his car seat for Kelsey to sit in and he took his brother's car seat. He talked to her the whole way to daycare. Stacy told me they had a blast and he and Kelsey spent part of the afternoon eating popcorn watching a movie on Kelsey's bed--the other half was riding bikes around. I guess I had nothing to worry about!!!
Rauan also had his first afternoon with Mr. Dave at extended care. I think he got totally pooped out. He is excited to go again this week though. Right now, Rauan is banished to his bedroom because he flushed a toy jeep down the toilet (again, a 1 bathroom family!!), which daddy couldn't even clear. $150 later, we have our toilet back. Did I mention how grateful I am to Visa???? Everyone--plan on me being very very busy Feb. 1 doing our taxes to get our tax refund! Laugh or cry--I prefer to laugh since this will pass. And I know I'll look back and laugh.