Saturday, May 31, 2008

As promised--pictures!

Rauan and some of his hockey teammates
Alihan in the fridge--one of his favorite spots
Julia and some of her school buddies

Friday, May 30, 2008

Medical Update

Just a quick post to let you know how Alihan did today at his craniofacial appt. Well, first of all the ear wax removal was pure HELL!!! I don't think the MD and her nurse-whom I work with all the time and have the h ighest degree of respect--believed me when I told them a couple of weeks ago that it wasn't going to be fun. The reply was--oh we do it all the time. Spoke too soon! They got alot of ear wax out, but I have a few new bruises, Kari (the nurse) probably got the arm work out of her life, and MD worked up a sweat! Poor Alihan--he has broken capillaries on his face and neck from struggling. Unfortunately, they didn't get all the wax since it's packed in so bad. So, when he goes under for any further repair with the cleft and for the penis snipping (Ted has to take care of that appt.-- I refuse to), he's going to get the ears cleaned out good! The hearing test went well. He has a slight hearing loss--most likely due to the wax that's still there. Alihan will see the famous Dr. Del in a couple of weeks. She was on vacation in Maui. I tried to get her to pack me in her suitcase so I could get some beach time--but that was a no go.
I'll post some more pictures later. Right now I have this cute little 4 year old boy hanging on my arm smiling at me. I think I'm going to go play with him.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Five years

5 years today. 5 years today we offically stopped being a couple and became parents and a family. What a journey! As some of you know, the road to parenthood was a rough and difficult one before we brought Julia home--and some of it was rough afterwards too! Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing. I would go through that Hell for each and every one of my children. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, wonderful children, a great family and I have some of the best friends in the world.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gotcha day 5 years

Five years ago tomorrow is when we took Julia out of the orphanage in Ulan Ude. Who would of thought that little 15 pound 12 month old girl would turn into such a butt kicker. I'm sure most of the people that look at this blog haven't heard Julia's story. She is truly a 'survivor'.

Ok! Besides 3 people who reply on a regular basis, everyone else is lurking too much. Here is a news story about Julia by Angela Bettis at WISC TV. She is a great person and I am glad I was able to meet her. The record number of replies to a post is 9 for this blog. I swear if this video doesn't top that, there will be no more video's. Oh yeah, if you couldn't tell TP hijacked the blog again. JP will hurt me later, but I still do all the video downloads. We are really proud of this story, so please let us know what you think.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Busy Week

This has been quite the busy week for us. On Monday I took the kids to the zoo which was really fun until Alihan threw a temper tantrum and head butted me. Not lightly either! I was wearing my glasses (the new constant in my life due to too many years of abusing my eyes), so I received a lovely bruise right across the bridge of my nose. We trotted right out of the zoo, me walking Alihan out while he is crying and carrying on--Julia and Rauan following but trying to look like that didn't belong with the crazy lady with the crooked glasses and the screaming kid! Tuesday Aunt Mimi came up to help because--as usual--the Pritchard family had 3 places to be and only 2 parents. So, Aunt Mimi took Julia to her spring concert (yes she decided she wanted Aunt Mimi--could it be a zoo flashback?) and mommy took the boys to their skating lessons and daddy went to softball. I finally FINALLY have some half decent skating pictures. Belle also made her trip to the vet--where she was duly admired. We are now short 5 pairs of shoes and this am she took out the shoelaces on my tennis shoes. The blinds in our bedroom also have a nice half circle chewed into each side--resulting in a full circle. All I can say is she's all puppy! Boy, having children mellowed me out. Belle is more in love with the kids every day and it is just plain fun to watch her and the kids play. Wednesday and Thursday were back to work for me and then yesterday I took a trip to Chicago to see my sister Suzanne and her family. We picked up mom on the way. Went out to eat, kids played with their cousins and then we made the brave attempt to leave the boys (Robbie, Rauan, and Alihan) with Uncle Jeremy, while us girls did a little shopping. I admit, I was a little nervous since grandma has really been the only one to watch Alihan since he came home--but my worries were all for nothing. Rauan and Robbie had a blast playing and Alihan got a English language lesson from Uncle Jeremy--walking through the house pointing at stuff and learning the English word. We came home to happy children and a happy--but tired--Uncle Jeremy. Our shopping trip was a success--even finding a 2 piece swimming suit for Miss Julia's little body that fit both top and bottom and the bottom wasn't falling off that teeny little butt! And, bad mommy, matching yellow striped polo shirts for the boys. Ted took a look at those, laughed and shook his head.

I'm off to work my weekend again along with Memorial Day. Another busy week ahead of us--but Friday, Alihan gets to go to the craniofacial clinic and once there--get that nasty earwax out of his ears. Yeah--that should be fun. I'll be medicating myself later.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend everyone! Looks like we might actually get some warmth and sunshine here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A new puppy

It is amazing the difference a puppy can bring. Besides the chewed up shoes, chewed up toys, chewed up whatever she can find. I forgot what teething is like! Loki is acting like a puppy himself which is just a joy to see. I knew he was lonely--this just verifies it. Elkhounds are such pack animals. And I'm trying to figure out what this submissive stuff is--she sure isn't submissive here. I've noticed that with strangers she is--but not with us. She LOVES, absolutely LOVES kids! Belle also has the most wiggly butt I've ever seen. Does that tail ever stop wagging?? She has been awesome for Alihan. He informed me today that Belle is HIS puppy! So much for the little boy that screamed and carried on when an animal was near. We still had some issues at the dog park--it's hit or miss with him. Interestingly enough--the bigger the dog, the less fear Alihan shows. Well, now we know for sure that he is a Pritchard--we're weirdos. But fun and happy weirdos.

Julia had a birthday party today at a gymnastics place--thus missing the soccer game. Which Ted kept guilting me over. But socialization is so important for a girl her age. He'll get over it. But, according to Ted, Rauan came out of his shell at soccer and really started kicking some butt! I got to talk to some of the moms and interestingly enough, none of us plan on letting our children go to LaFollette high school. As I've said, if I can't get Julia into Monona Grove, the house is going on the market and we're moving. DeForest was mentioned a couple of times. We'll see. Alot can happen in 7 years. But--if we move--I'm not settling for anything but 3 large bedrooms (4 if possible), minimum of 2 baths (one being a nice master bath), a good kitchen since I'm really spoiled now with my fancy appliances, a good size yard (fenced of course) and I would love--really love-a porch. Think I'm hoping for too much??

Anyways, I'm baking right now. The funeral is tomorrow for our med flight nurse and his wife has asked that anyone on our floor who wants to do something make bars or salads for the "reception" afterwards. So, brownies and bread by Janiece! Julia helped. I'm not going to the funeral--no childcare, but at least I can do something. My heart hurts for my coworker.

Here's a few pictures of the kids and Belle at the dog park. We're still keeping her on the leash, even though the dog park is fenced, just because she is still learning. Loki was off running. He never gets too far--he's another boy that loves his "momma". Such a smart furbaby. Oh yes and Alihan enjoying a sundae too. We're really Americanizing him!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Before I go any further, I would just ask that everyone say a prayer for the families of our University Med Flight crew that were killed this past weekend. I work with the wife of one of the crew members and needless to say, the employees of UW hospital and AFCH have all been affected. These wonderful men gave their lives to help others. There is no greater gift and no greater love then to help those in need.

My baby girl is 6 years old today. My oh my--where did the time go? She has been one of 3 greatest blessings Ted and I have received. When I think of 6 years ago we thought that our dreams of having a family had been destroyed and now--we have 3 of the best kids in the world. Plus we are experiencing the exhaustion of parenthood--to the max! Julia had a pottery party with some of her friends. 6 year old girls are so funny! Giggles and more giggles. She got quite the collection of infant items to take to AFCH's childlife department. Plus, someone gave some $ so they can purchase what they need. There is always a need for the childlife department--besides the floor patients, they also work with the siblings and any child that comes into the emergency room.

We also have our new addition, Belle. She is so sweet and the kids just love her! Alihan has been so positive with her. Boys and their dogs! Truly a classic! Loki, our male elkie, likes his new little friend. They love to putter around the backyard and they have met Max, the labradoodle that lives behind us.

Here's a few pictures--Julia's referral pic, one when Ted and I first met her, a current pic with her best friend Levi (you've come a long way baby) and our newest addition.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another family addition

It has been hard on poor Loki being the only dog in the house. Elkhounds are pack animals and female dominated. Poor guy--doesn't have a female elkie bossing him around. So, as always, we're adding a little more craziness to the Pritchard household. Belle, a pretty little 6 month old elkhound will be joining our family, thanks to the John Nelson elkhound rescue group--the same group that gave us crazy silly loving Loki. The current plan is for me to pick her up on Tuesday. So, Tuesday I load up 3 kids, pick up mom and drive to the Chicago area. Yes, I am close to certifiable! But life is fun!
This mom has also laid her foot down. The kids (including the big one) are now going to fold their own laundry and put it away. Mommy the servant is slowing down a bit. I'm sure that there are going to bumps and bruises along the way, but learning responsibility now is better then 14 or 15 years down the road. I think Alihan will do well with it. He loves to help me. Rauan--well his attitude is a coin toss. Now Julia. Humm that one will be interesting. I wonder how many temper tantrums I will have to go through because she doesn't have any clothes to wear--of course, her basket of clean clothes will be overflowing. Good thing the warm weather is here/coming because she can get away with wearing a little less.
Oh and the kids will have swim lessons this summer. Julia and Rauan in their regular levels and in the big pool. Alihan is in the wading pool with the thought of just getting used to the water. I think that will go like the shower--total hate at first and now he asked constantly to take a shower and can't understand why he can't be in the shower for an hour at a time! Oh kids!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It just warms the heart

As much as things have just ticked me off lately (see yesterday's post), the generosity of people-and the amazing empathy I've witnessed, just simply amazes me. Alihan is our third child. I never expected anything from anyone. And yet, first I receive the check from my co-workers and then yesterday I received a gift card from the kindergarten moms at St Dennis--where Julia goes to school. I can hardy believe it! If that wasn't enough, yesterday I received a phone call from an old friend--who, as my family has grown larger and I've run out of time, I haven't seen as much as I would like. She and her husband picked up Ted, me and Julia when we first came home. They never had children and as her husband was explaining yesterday, as they are working on their wills, they have decided to leave their money to charity. They would like me to be the contact point for whatever percentage/amount is left to adoption assistance so it can placed in a good charity. Holy moly! Maybe we have made a difference beyond these incredible children. God willing, they will both live to a ripe old age and spend it all--but just the fact that they have thought about it and that our adoptions have had this effect on them just makes me speechless. Ok ok, I know that doesn't last for long. But, isn't that incredible? More children can be helped. And isn't that what it is all about? Children are the future and it's our responsibilty--not as Americans or Catholics or whatever nationality or religion we are--but as humans on this Earth(or as I put it world citzens) to do what we can to help ensure that the future is at least decent for them. Ok, off my podium. I'm still amazed!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oh for good God's sake--vent

So, now if this isn't a laugh or a kick in the ass I don't know what is! After two unsuccessful tries at registering Alihan--where the paperwork was sent back for the absolutely stupidest reason, with a barely legible explanation--I gave up and sent everything to Frank Foundation, along with a check for $150 and let them deal with it. So, that was well over a week ago. So I contacted my agency, concerned of course since his passport was in there and, as we all know, what could happen with this adoption, has. So, I get an email back today saying that the registration was closed last week (huh????) and that they haven't been able to register any children since the government is changing things---AND I SHOULD BE PATIENT! Now that just ticked me off a little. I have a whole litany of what I would like to say in regards to that--but I'll hold back. We've been screwed out of money, lied to, treated as if we were a burden while in Krygz and just generally overall messed with--and I'm told to BE PATIENT!! Give me a fricking break (I'd like to use another word, but for the sake of everyone I'll hold back). We spent well over $40 grand for this adoption and were basically treated like shit by the Frank Foundation. They can take their "patience"" and shove it. I love Alihan and don't regret him for a minute--but there just comes a point where my "patience" runs out.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

No reservations

Well, yesterday Alihan had been home for a month. To celebrate (and because I work on Mother's Day -as always!), I told Ted we should go out for brunch today. Plus, it will get Alihan into a new environment so he can learn a little more. I have to say I was so impressed with the kids. They behaved so well and Alihan, surrounded by food, was in heaven. I took this picture outside the house just before we left. Yes, I am a total geek and they are matching outfits. I have to have something to embarass them with when they are older--besides the fact Ted and I will be at every dance/social they have in high school--and maybe dance and smooch infront of their friends!
Speaking of food, Alihan is eating nonstop! On Friday, he puked a little bit (in the minivan of course) and I swear it's because he overate. I hate to limit food because I think it will eventually settle down. I was talking to a mom today with 10--yes that is not a typo--10 adopted children. She had the same issue plus hoarding and the chipmunk cheek issue. With Rauan we had the hoarding and chipmunk cheek. For those of you who don't understand, the kids will literally hold food in their cheeks after eating because they never know where their next meal is coming from. Very common in older child adoptions. I used to find the nasty stuff with Rauan.
We also bought a new computer desk this weekend. The kids have caused serious damage to our computer--hence no sound and the new keyboard. And soon we'll have a new screen since Rauan decided to play ball in the house resulting in a large black circle on our screen. So, Ted is taking the old computer and setting it up for them and all their games.
Oh, and Mala, I think our boy has yours topped now. Let's just put in this way--hockey sticks and windows do not work well together. Nor do hockey sticks and your sister's forehead! This would be Rauan--Alihan is "learning" these new tricks--heaven help me! Of course, Alihan is a climber. I better get to know the ortho guys at Children's cause I'm sure we'll be seeing them a few times.
Pictures on Tuesday of my skating monkeys!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ted's wish has come true!!!

First I apologize for the lack of pictures. I totally forgot the camera.
Alihan is up and going on ice skates! Not just any ice skates mind you--hockey skates! And he is among the rare breed of children (of which Julia and Rauan are) who laugh when they fall on the ice! Just from my brief experience as an ice skating parent (devleoping the bleacher butt to prove it), for a young child that doesn't seem to happen.
For those of you that know Ted he had dreams that Julia would be his hockey princess. I literally threatened him so he wouldn't put her on the ice too soon--in my opinion too soon. But, eventually she got on the ice and then busted his dream. She wants to figure skate. Damn--there goes my paycheck for the next 10 years. Anyways, so here comes Rauan who couldn't even walk cause he was so fat and then he has to be the least graceful person in the world. I mean literally he trips over nothing. So, ok Julia is skating might as well get Rauan out there too. And he falls. And he falls some more and more and more. His butt saw more ice then his feet. And he laughed when he fell. Sigh--there goes the hockey player. BUT WAIT---he got good. And I mean GOOD!!! Everything clicked and then he started playing hockey. He is so powerful on skates. I hadn't been able to watch him for a while and Ted kept telling me how good he was. I finally got a evening off and my mouth literally dropped open when I watched him skate. YES--Ted has a hockey player. Ok we are already living at Madison Ice Arena--so let's try Alihan. He sure seemed to like it. Big old grin on his face. Ted is thrilled and I have a bad case of bleacher butt. Madison Ice Arena has a direct line to my bank account. Marie...more hours please. I'll sleep when I'm dead.
Geez, when I think what my life was six years ago. I honestly have to say infertility was a blessing. I didn't think so at the time--but God gave me a wonderful gift through the infertility. I love my life and I love my life with my family more then anyone can ever imagine.
Ok--I'll get pictures on Tuesday and hopefully they won't be too dark.