Monday, June 30, 2008

A zoo trip

It's been a fun day. Finally the weather is cooperating with us and Wisconsin is having a summer. Grandma came up today with cousin Robbie and we toured the zoo. Chewie is doing so much better. No meltdown today--of course, the promise of ice cream helps! The goats ate from his hand (with Grandma's help) and the zoo train is now open--it tours the children's zoo.
Tonight, momma got to play adult again and went to Pedro's for a baby shower and I had a margarita! I forgot what it is like to dress up and have adult conversation. I even had heels on.
Julia has another loose tooth, right next to the first one. I can see her adult tooth peeking out. Julia's has an appt. with her dentist on Thursday to have some fillings--so she'll get to show her the holes. For those of you that wonder--why the heck are you filling baby teeth--here's why. Cleft-affected children, especially those with a severe unilateral cleft as Julia's tend to have narrow palates. If the teeth collapse from cavities--you lose space and there are issues with getting spacing for the bone graft and making room for adult teeth--meaning more work for the orthodonist later (and more expense for me). I hope that makes sense. Also, internationally adopted children tend to have weaker teeth. Prenatal nutrition, poor nutrition while in the orphanage, little to no dental care, and lots of sugary treats lead to bad teeth. Add into that the issues with the cleft--and, I know the children's dentist really well!
Tomorrow--the pool again! We're supposed to hit around 86 degrees tomorrow. I hope so!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A few more

My MIL sent some pictures--so here's a few more of the wild ones! These kids just crack me up. (I say this as I hear them yelling at each other upstairs). I'm officially back at work tonight and I need the rest!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More pictures of the baptism

Michelle's mom just sent me some more pictures that I just have to show off. The two brothers--now who can resist that??? Deacon Dave had the children bless the baptismal water with him (it had already been blessed--but this was an added bonus!). Then, of course, the children. So cute! If I get any more pictures, I'll add them on.

Alihan's baptism

Today was Chewie's baptism. He did alright until it was time to put the water on his head and when Caleb was holding him he started to freak out. So, mommy ended up holding him over the baptismal fountain--and my arms hurt now! He's gettting heavy! After that, he was fine until we started to walk to the back of the church--towards the fountain--and he started crying again. Once he realized we were doing pictures, he was fine--in fact, he was just a ham for the camera! So, we have pictures with his godparents, Caleb and Michelle. Michelle was Julia's babysitter when she came home. Levi, Michelle's daughter, is Julia's best friend. Michelle and I hit it off and I couldn't be happier to have her part of our lives. We plan to keep each other company as our two wild ones get into the teenage years. That's Julia and Levi together--the inseparables! My nieces and nephew were there too--gosh they are getting BIG! We got a nice picture of mom, dad and godparents together too! We had a picnic at a local park afterwards--of course, the rain didn't stay away. But Chewie got his chance to play in his cake.
Just for the record now--we have 2 Islamic Catholics and one Buddhist/Russian Orthodox Catholic in our family. We live understanding different beliefs and the children, while Catholic, are taught to respect and try to learn about the other religions of the world.
I have to take Chewie in for his "official" picture in his cultural clothing. Ok--it's also partly from Sears--but we tried. Julia has a beautiful picture in her Buryat outfit, Rauan in his Kaz pants and vest--now Chewie. He has grown so much in 2 months that it's getting a little tight and the hat barely fits! Of course, Julia grew so quickly that her hat was sitting next to her instead of on her head.
This week, it's back to work. I can hardly believe how quickly the week flew by. But, there is now mulch around the play system, stone under the deck (much easier to do BEFORE you put in a deck, but that's us!) and a few odds and ends done. Next vacation in July--YEAH!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Doctor's appointments

This AM, Alihan saw Dr. Mount. Those of you around this area have probably heard me talk about the fabulous Del Mount. She is the plastic surgeon I work with and am totally impressed with her. Plus, the kids love her--particularly Rauan. Anyways, he's going in for surgery sometime soon--revise his lip (I told you it was crappy repair job) and rotate that nostril up on him--his poor little nostril is so flat that I don't know how he can breath. I know there is some sleep concern issues--but I do wonder if that is repaired if it will help. Time will tell. However, first he has to go see the urologist because Ted wants him circumcised. Please, no throwing fire balls at me. There are medical reasons for it--especially is the foreskin gets caught in a pants' zipper. So, we are trying to get this all lined up so ENT can clean out his ears, urologist to snip him (ouch!), dentist to do a good examination while he is under and then plastics repair. They are going to plan on keeping him overnight. I wondered about taking him home--but Dr. Del is right--he will probably need IV fluid--probably a little zofran (anti-nausea), etc. It won't hurt for me to be at my unit overnight--experience life on the other side! She also heard the noises from Julia's nose while Julia was talking--yep, probably looking at surgery there too. Hummm--one of these surgical times, I think it might be Ted's turn to stay overnight!

I'll keep everyone updated!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spoke too soon!

Just before swim class--Julia wiggled her tooth (with her cousin's encouragement!) and out it came. My toothless wonder! So, the toothfairy is paying a visit to our house tonight with $1 and a Little Pet Shop toy since it's the first tooth.

Here is Chewie with his cousin Jemma. And a picture of what happens when Aunt Mimi tries to keep the boys entertained in the van on a trip to Galena. A little war paint for the road done by his brother Rauan. I thought I would throw in a picture of Chewie at his swim class. I can't believe how much he loves to swim!

They do grow up

Miss Juju wants to announce to the world she has her first loose tooth--bottom right side. Surprisingly right on schedule--surprisingly because most cleft-affected children lose teeth later then average. So the tooth fairy will be making a visit--and no it won't be $25 as the grandma tooth fairy suggested! Inflation hasn't raised it that much!

Monday, June 16, 2008

more pictures

Well, since it's cold out (mid 60s) and breezy, what the heck here's some more pictures. Nice one of flooding--that was a bike trail and road which are fairly high up from the Rock River in Janesville. The others are of Chewie and him swimming--one at Monona pool and one at his grandparents. Also the results of him swimming--Chewie and Bubba passed out in the back of the van! Swimming is a very happy thing for mommy and daddy! Plus, Chewie is an all American boy--climbing a tree on the Wisconsin capitol grounds!

Previous post

Ted would you get your own d--- blog!!!
By the way, this is what he does at work. Don't you wish could do that? Janiece--who owns this blog!!--was running around taking care of stuff for Alihan's baptism--which by the way, why don't people rsvp anymore--and taking care of adoption details. I think I should cancel my vacation and go back to work--then I'll have more free time!

So true, so true......even the short people in the house

Men Are Just Simpler and Happier People

If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.

When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50.None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337.A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Women love cats.
Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.

A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children.She knows about dental appointments and romances, best friends, favourite foods, secret fears hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man should forget his mistakes.There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

holy moly

I can't believe 3 years! He looks so completely different. For those of you who didn't know us then--Rauan gave us a few issues. #1 being giradia that took over a year to get rid of--oh that was nasty. He also was violent. Threw things, hit things whenever he didn't get his way. It was rough. But, he is totally different now. Occsionally temper issues but I would say he is probably one of the sweetest kids on earth--loves to snuggle with his momma--which of course makes him smart too! OMG--and hair like silk! He came home with the nastiest hair. Now it is literally like silk. Shows what a good diet will do!
Oh yeah--Chewie overcame his fear of water. We acutally had a afternoon that was relatively decent here and we went swimming. The boy LOVED it!!! Ok, so I have my figure skater, my hockey player--and now possibly my swimmer??? (actually Julia and Rauan are big time swimmers too). But he took to water like a duck to water.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Belated 'gotcha day' and burnout

This week 3 years ago, Janiece brought home Bubba. Boy has he changed! With the celebration of Rauan's and Julia's gotcha days, I started to reminisce a bit. It's funny how I would go back to Ulan Ude or Karaganda in a minute, but I would rather lose my male parts than deal with the facilitators from Bishkek again. Perhaps it's just the fact that I am burnt out. Between working, coaching the kids, and heading over to Kyrgyzstan twice, I have been on the run since last October. Well let me be the first to say that I may have over-extended myself a bit. JP is already saying "I told you so!" As of this weekend, I am free again. I am starting to question as to whether I want to keep coaching, as I really don't think that I am very good at it. When the kids grow up, will they remember me coaching or just being their biggest fan? Plus I am sure JP wouldn't mind if I took time off. My biggest fault as a coach is that I am so worried about keeping things organized and fun, that I never really know if what I do makes a difference. I can never tell if the parents think that I am helping their kids. Plus when I am coaching, I am always harder on my kids and I don't know if that is fair to them. Well the good thing is that I have a few months to clear my head and have some fun with the family again. I will be the first to say that I love Rauan and I will be forever appreciative to Elena, Olga, Boris, and everyone in Kazakhstan that made our trip a pleasant one. Happy Gotcha Day Bubba!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Praise God--Alihan's registration is finally done and here with me! We also have COC. Monday--passport for him and renewal for Julia's.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Here comes the flood!

So, we avoided most of the flood. However, some people I know did get hit. We just heard the part of I-94 is closed off due to the concerns with the Rock River overflowing. This reminds of the floods down in Missouri in I think 1994? when some of the hundred year old graves floated up. I remember driving on I-70 and there were a couple of sections where the interstate was covered with water. So now I guess it's just our turn. I was going to take the kids up to the Dells next week, while my niece Jemma was visiting. They have the coolest jet boats for touring the lake. Well Lake Delton is gone. Burst the dam, blew out the road and went into the Wisconsin River. Current thought is that it won't be full again this summer. Maybe next year.
Today, finally seeing the sun again. I knew it was there somewhere. So, the kids and I went with Ted to his softball game. He played and we walked over to the playground area. For those of you that know the area--Warner park is where our hometown baseball league plays (Madison Mallards) and where Rhythm and Booms is---in other words, it's a HUGE park. So, here's a couple of pictures of the flooding there. That USED to be a soccer field. We took the kids to the Chocolate Shoppe (ice cream) after the game. I figured I had burned some calories:) Yeah--they were happy.
On Wednesday, my SIL were supposed to go to Galena to check out some things for her upcoming wedding. But Ted was having a panic attack about getting the kids back on time for their soccer game. So--to save ME some stress, we've rescheduled. Instead, Monona pool opens up tomorrow. FUN FUN! We're going to test our Chewie on a pool. He likes showers now--so gotta try sometime. Aunt Mimi (SIL) is coming to the rescue for the challenge of 3 kids, one not so sure of the water and one stressed momma. Me stressed??? Nah-never.
By the way, Chewie has gained 4lbs (at last check) since coming home. When do you think he'll start transferring that to height???I know it took Rauan at least a year. I'm a little concerned because his stool is still floating--formed but floating. I know--gross, but look what I do for a living--not much grosses me out. Giradia(ova and parasite) was negative. Anyone have any ideas? I want those nutrients to go to him not some bug.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


So, I'm at work last night and I get an email from Ted. Julia is sleeping over at her friend Tori's house. Julia and Tori are both from Russia and met last year in swimming lessons. They became fast friends even before we knew about the connection. As my friend Wendy said once--adoptive families sniff each other out!. Anyways, Julia and Tori play soccer together. Last night after practice, they decided to do a sleepover at Tori's house. I just heard from Tori's mom and it sounds like they had a blast--not much sleep but lots of giggling. My little girl is growing up! Well, I suppose it was time. Levi has slept over here with Julia--so it was time for Julia to sleep at someone elses house besides a relative. Sniff sniff.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Busy couple of days

Along with warmer weather comes the end of certain things and the start of new. Today Miss Julia graduated from kindergarten. Very bittersweet moment for me. As most of you know, I've been working extra to pay for our new minivan (which the kids have already trashed--but what else is new?). Along with that, I've been able to spend a bit more time chatting with my coworkers, many who don't know my history with adoption and what led up to it. So, alot have been watching the video of the Channel 3 broadcast and I've been reliving Julia's adoption. I keep thinking of what brought us to each other and how my life has changed in the past 5 years. Now I have the class of 2020, 2021 and 2022 living in my home. I told Ted today we should add one more and make it the class of 2023. Yeah--didn't go over so good. No--we are done. No more money, no more room in our house. Depending on how things go in our school district--we might have to move to accomplish the class of 2020 goal--in a decent high school. That really puts the brakes on any more adoptions.

So, after Julia's little ceremony, we finally took the baby gifts from Julia's birthday party to AFCH child life. Julia was excited. Then it was off to a speech evaluation for her. While I love my work in craniofacial--speech is something I am lousy at and working hard at getting better--but I honestly don't think my talents lie there. So, I asked the speech therapist, whom I think quite highly of (and they are all excellent) to evaluate Julia. I think I keeping hearing hypernasal speech--but I'm around her all the time. Well, low and behold, Shannon valiadated what I have been hearing. Basically, it means Julia's palate is too short and when most of us talk, the palate moves to make the air go out our mouth instead of our nose. Her air is going out the nose. So, she's going to start speech therapy offically next week. I hope to avoid surgery because depending on what needs to be done--there is a risk of her developing sleep apnea. This is the problem with me loving craniofacial so much and having 3 cleft-affected children--I know too much and it makes me nervous. So, we'll be busting our butts with speech therapy and everyone please say a prayer that the speech therapy works to resolve this hypernasality.

Alihan is growing too. Thank goodness for the warm weather because if his legs start growing--we literally live in shorts and swim trunks here. I won't have to worry about the high water pants issue for a while. I think Bubba might be growing too.

Here's a few pictures. I know, alot of Julia but she's been a busy girl. Julia is with her best school friend Anja. Of course, Levi is the best friend forever--but elementary school girls!!! One of Chewie on the slide with another girlfriend. Her brother plays soccer with the kids. Of course, we have to show off his new haircut too. And one of Bubba at soccer. Boy is he going to be a heartbreaker. Heaven help me!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Well, it appears that Alihan's nickname has developed. Julia is known as Juju, Rauan is Bubba(for the obvious reasons) and Alihan is Chewie--specially named by Bubba. It seems to be sticking--who knows why???