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.