Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well, since part of the purpose of this blog is education-I decided to put in a few pictures of Julia's palate expander. See that little hole in the middle? I put a hook in it twice a day and turn it until the next hole shows--1/4 rotation of the screw each time. This is actually the completed version of palate expander #1. This is going to stay in place until Feb. 9 when Julia will have another 2 appts. in one day. This will be removed, another plaster made and a second palate expander put in. See that bump up there to the right--kind of where there is a purple tinge? Yep--that's one of those 3 or 4 teeth is--and there is one popping through. I need to get stuff set up for the oral surgeon--see what can be saved and what needs to go. I'm hoping for oral surgery to take place during spring break--less school missed without any pressure, etc. Let's see what kind of luck I have with that!
And now this is one of my lovely views at my home, post Christmas! Twister anyone?? That's Ted's big foot and hairy leg--I do shave occasionally!
What do I see every night when I go check on the boys? Even through they have 2 beds and Rauan complains constantly about Chewie bugging him at night?? Yeah--the two curled up in Rauan's bed--and usually that because we hear Rauan telling Chewie to come into bed with him. Now if they could only be that good of friends in the daytime!
My little angels! One with a heck of contorted neck--how Chewie could be comfortable like that is beyond me!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Joy

First we celebrate Jesus' birthday at one of the Childrens' masses. Our Shepherds-full of joy!

The Pritchard group with baby Jesus
Our beautiful angels!
Hockey gloves!!!!!!

The skating bag with the required flashing wheels! I swear its a figure skating cult thing!
Chewie clutching a few of his presents. It didn't take him long last year to know what Santa is about--so he was eagerly anticipating this year!

Yes, the American Girl doll. First things first--fix the hair the way she wants it.
And put on the "styling" outfit. Hey--better then the naked Barbies I've fallen over!
Toys toys and more toys!!
And the proper stance is??? Chewie is our lefty so he gets a special hockey stick.

Yes, our family seems to be fixated on the ice rink.

Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 09

Merry Christmas everyone. Currently the kids are cleaning up the mess they made, Ted is cooking (yeah), the majority of the presents are wrapped, church later tonight and hopefully kids to bed early. And--just like last year--freezing rain. Remember Hilary--we promised you snow and instead ice? Yep, same as last year. Tons of snow now topped with freezing rain. Ahhhh, Christmas in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Got snow?

Welcome to the wonderful world of winter in Wisconsin. So it started snowing yesterday, then it really hit about 5 pm. We lost power about 3 am (including heat and I'm a wimp) and finally got it back around 10 am. According to MG and E, power went out at 8 pm for some and they weren't sure when they would have it back. So, I'm grateful its on now. So, Ted made ghetto coffee this am, ended up killing the snowblower while going through 17 inches of heavy blowing snow. Thank goodness for shovels and children--they think its playtime to shovel--hahaha--I predict a few years down the road the story will be different! The Christmas show--delayed until the 18th--at least late am and I won't miss it. I was damn near in tears yesterday with the thought that I might miss it, especially after Julia said to me "but mom I've been practicing so much to show you!"
So, here's Wisconsin right now. FYI--its still snowing. What a change from 10 days ago.
Out the front door--and yes, that is our next door neighbor's house--the one who likes to "entertain" in a tent in his back yard. One benefit of heavy snow--the tent collapsed. Yes, the siding is off--I have no idea what he is doing. Trust me--around here I don't need tv for entertainment.
Across the street. So much for the decorations. That's the neighbor shoveling--a hard working family. Actually kind of boring compared to some around here--I like boring.
At least the fence in the backyard is holding up. Belle was smart and waited for Loki to blaze a trail for her. Otherwise I would be digging her out. And these are snow dogs!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chicago visit

None of the children have ridden a train yet--and Chicago at Christmas is something to see. Plus the Metra on the weekend is $5 per adult all weekend--no charge for kids 12 and under. So much easier and cheaper then driving into Chicago, paying tolls, and then paying for parking. So, off to Harvard and ride the train to the downtown--right in the heart of everything! The outdoor market was a madhouse--I couldn't stand it. So outta there! We walked into Macy's where Queen Latifiah was there for the release of her new product--yep, outta there too. Rauan was "STARVING" as always. So where did we end up to eat? McDonalds. The boy is always hungry. Of course, that lead to later where he kept announcing numerous times that he "has to poop"--much to the amusement of people close to us. And a huge search for a bathroom! So, we headed towards Lake Michigan and the parks close by. Then down Michigan Ave. Where I finally dragged Miss Julia away from the American Girl store with the promise of ice cream--after an hour I might mention! It's a cult I swear. I wish I had been able to get pictures of the kids when they first say the skyscrapers. Their eyes were huge. I think that's one of the few times that Rauan and Chewie were at a loss of words. We finally got back to Harvard around 11 pm. Yes--very tired kids! We walked the whole time. Incredible!The skyline as the sun was setting. Perfect day--high 40s, sun shining.
Can you believe they still have leaves on the trees? Weird weather!
Another skyscraper--and bare trees.
Julia peeking around a sign.
Aren't they adorable?
Me, trying to be creative at the famous "bean"
How many kids do I have???
Let's see how small we can get under the bean.
Chewie was crazy over the dinosaurs!!

In other news, Julia is going to have her palate expander put in next week. First separators to get some space between her teeth, then a 2 step appt. next week for the palate expander to be placed, then weekly appts. I also have to get her into the eye doctor. I think my princess might need glasses.
I also ask for some prayers for my friend Stephanie and her family. Her brother Chad has been having headaches and after testing, a mass has been found in 2 spots. A biopsy was done last week and the results will be in tomorrow. I've known Stephanie and her family for most of my life. Chad has a young family and they need their dad. So, please--prayers. I've seen the power of prayer and I'm asking for that miracle again.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Yesterday, the children and I took numerous meals from the Madison HospiceCare office to the Janesville office, where staff members delivered the meals to individual patients and their families.  Not that it was any hardship for the kids.  We went into the kitchen to pick up the meals and talk about spoiling!!  Cookies, juice, and total fawning over the kids.  Have I mentioned how lucky I am in BOTH of my work environments?
We went to my mom's later, where she was meeting with a relator--to start getting the house ready for sale.  So, yes, mom is planning the big move to Madison, if all goes right.  House on the market after the first of the year.  Anyone interested in a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house in Janesville?  Huge yard too!
Today Ted is doing his usual cooking for Thanksgiving.  I'm a good assistant and stay the heck out of his way.  Just do the pre-holiday buying (which I didn't have to do too much this year) and then I go to work.  With much relief I'm going to work--the kids are bouncing off the walls.  I predict a long post meal walk--possibly a playground visit!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!   

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Disgusted

So Redbook--in their November issue--published an article on what is the right-size family.  Numerous families presented--all biological and blended families!  In November--National Adoption Month.  What a slap in the face!  So, I sent off a nice little email--letting them know that not all families are biological--in fact, a significant amount of their target market are adoptive parents or in some way adoption has touched their lives.  And perhaps not to exclude us.  After all biology is not what makes a family.   The choice to love is what makes a family.  

Monday, November 16, 2009


Wow--just watched the preview that was put out on the Blindside--which coming out this weekend.  Incredible.  Besides the fact that I like Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw--it just looks so awesome.  I'd probably cry the whole movie.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Middle of November.  Humm.  I have to tell you that the weather is pretty crappy right now.   But I have alot to look forward to.  First off--I have vacation this next week.  Silly me--I picked up extra hours at HospiceCare.  But that's ok.  For some reason, the stress level there is different--but I just come in and do my job and I'm outta there.  Tuesday I get my teeth drilled on.  I've stressed myself out so much that I've pretty much destroyed the right side of my mouth.  Is that crazy?  Due to stress I've wrecked my teeth but in order to pay for those teeth, I have to work more.  Crazy!
Off of me now.  The kids are doing great.  So far--no more sickness!  Knock on wood.  Julia is going to compete in the Badger State games.  Pretty cool!  And she's getting ready for her first communion.  We are definitely doing that with her class, but she has her retreat in January.  She's growing up so fast.  Rauan is still his normal self.  The temper tantrums are picking up again.  I'm not sure if that is growing pains or what.  The morning of the social worker visit for our post placement report what does Rauan do but get into a fight with his brother and shove him into a wall--causing Chewie to hit his head.  Unacceptable.  To his room until daddy got home.  Then a talk.  Oh well, we've been through this before with him and actually its improving.  He is slacking on his schoolwork too--"it's boring".  The boy is too damn smart.  Well little boy don't speak too soon--Sr. Eileen will give you a challenge.  Chewie--what can I say?  Growing and growing!  Loves school, loves his friends, loves his life.  But today while at his brother's hockey game, he decided that taking off without saying anything to mommy was ok.  Then--I catch him drawing on the video games with a marker--tagging.  I made him clean it and then it was out to the van to wait for everyone.  Home to bed.  Ahhhh, boys.   The joys and the challenges.
So, I ordered the Christmas cards.  Playing with my camera is fun--and its fun mixing things up with the iphoto on the MacBook.  The first photo is from Halloween when I had their little photo session.  Manipulated it a bit.  What do you think?  The second one is Chewie eating an Airhead at Rauan's hockey game.  The kids love those things.  Yuck.  Last one is Rauan waiting to go on the ice.  Thought it was kinda cool.
Have a good week!  

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Did you know.....

that November is National Adoption Month??  I was reminded of that today when I received a letter from Lutheran Social Services--the organization which we went through to adopt Julia.  For me it's even more significant because our anniversary is in November.  And the 4th Saturday of November is National Adoption Day--again significant because our anniversary is the 4th Saturday of the month--which of course changes--but this year its November 21.  Humm--even though we didn't plan it (original plan was for a week before but the reception hall wasn't available) do you think that this was the "plan" all along?  I think so.  
So celebrate!  Hopefully your community has an Adoption celebration.  Madison doesn't have much--but we'll celebrate in our own way with our own children--who came to us through the wonderful gift of adoption.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Give me a break!

As you can probably guess this is going to be another venting session--so stop here if you don't want to hear about it.
This morning started off crappy to say the least.  I'm fighting to get the wireless straightened out--and I'm the first to admit I'm not tech savvy.  Some kind person decided that honking their horn before 6 in the morning was a good thing.  I brought the milk in from the cooler and one of the milk bottles broke--whole bottle of fresh milk all over.  Stepped in cat puke in my bare feet, Ted forgot his ID badge and I had to take it to him--all while getting my slow slow slow children ready for school.  Normal day in paradise, right?  Get home, settle in with a fresh cup of coffee and get ready to fight the wireless AGAIN!  So what's the first thing I see--apparently a mom from school decided that our teacher isn't smart enough to do anything and wrote her an email that her daughter said my daughter spit on her--and had she contacted me about it yet.  Pardon me here while my eyes roll.  First of all--we pay for this school--I certainly trust the teacher's judgement.  If she needs to call me--she knows how to get me asap.  Second of all, mom--you have my phone number and email address--don't you think you can contact me without adding to the teacher's burden--this is a parental issue that should be discussed between two ADULT parents.  Third of all, remember there is always two sides to every story.  Your daughter isn't an angel--but me being an educated, responsible adult--works with my daughter so she can learn to solve the problems.  After all, I'm not always going to be there.  Fourth, these are 7 year old girls--they do stupid things.  Please refer to my previous comment--educate so they can learn to think for themselves.  
Ok, mom--I know you have your own concerns.  But you are educated--highly educated I might add.  You know what elementary school children are like.  What would you think if a parent keep coming to you with every single little thing?  Yeah I thought so.  I know you are worried about germs and infections--rightly so, I might add.  Remember what I do for a living?  I've seen what can happen.  That's why I vaccinate my children and teach them hand-washing, coughing into their sleeve, etc.  Also, refer back a couple of my posts--I'm pretty worried too.  Healthy 7 year old children don't get shingles.  If you are that concerned about germs--I suggest you home school.  Of course, you can be walking through the grocery store and someone can sneeze.  Again--proper precautions.  
So, mom, relax.  Let your child be a child and help her figure things out--instead of her running to you all the time to figure stuff out.  Breath a little bit for goodness sake.  This too shall pass.
Oh and by the way--Julia doesn't spit.  If it was Rauan--yeah possible.  But my daughter is kind of a weird one in that way.  She's had enough dental issues that spitting is almost impossible. Drooling yes.  Spitting no.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween, birthday parties and all that

It has been an interesting couple of weeks around here.  Besides the normal craziness, I developed a rather nasty case of the flu.  To top it off, the kids killed the computer.  So here I was home, going stir crazy because I had a fever, but wasn't really that sick, no computer and then the kids were home for a couple of days with no school (teacher conferences).  HAHA--Ted had to do the parent teacher conferences.  Sr. Eileen said that Rauan--while and extremely sweet little boy, has a bit of a smart mouth.  Hummmm--imagine that???  

For some reason I can't type under the photos to talk about them.  And I can't get rid of the underline and blue.  Hummm--more things to play with.  Anyways, first photo is one of my "fall" pictures"--of course the one with Bubba's eyes closed.  Oh well.  Second one is Julia and Henry--this one just cracked me up.  It was a jet rider game--and both of their little cheeks were just jiggling away!  Everyone cracked up watching them!  Third one is my beautiful baby sister with her beautiful baby boy--playing Deal or No Deal.  Interesting game concept.  Then Mr. Handsome.  Need I say more--except that is the happiest kid I think I have ever seen.  Last photo--trick or treating.  Some hair there huh? 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Before I get too busy and forget the wonderfulness of my children---I want to mention what happened over the weekend. Since hockey has started, we now go to 9 am mass (way too early for me--but hey, make it work, right?) That is the childrens' mass. Last Sunday, the children went to the chapel for their own little sermon. A friend of ours was out in the vestibule with his fussy little one and overheard something that he told us about later. The leader asked the children to say something they are grateful for. Only one child spoke up, Julia. Now I'm paraphrasing but Julia said, she's thankful for parents who work so hard to take care of their children. Doesn't that just make you want to break out the tissues?? Again--the good Lord knew what he was doing when he granted us the gift of infertility so we could parent these incredible children. And I'm thankful every day for that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shingles explained

As requested--and because I seem to think I need to be an expert on everything medical--here's the shingles theory in a nutshell. 5% of the children that have chicken pox before the age of 1 will develop shingles. Julia had them at 10-11 months. When we visited her the first time she had that nasty green stuff all over her spots. No one particularly knows why they reappear--but the theories are stress--body stress (colds, immunity issues like cancer, transplants) and emotional stress. Well we've certainly had enough emotionally stress here! The problem is Julia is extremely empathic--and even with us trying avoid her stressing out (I vent at work--I love my coworkers--a shoulder an ear--they are always there)--she still reads us and it shows in her behavior, attitude etc. She's also had a cold on and off for the past 6 weeks. In other words--ripe for shingles.
After having shingles, there is a 4.8% chance she'll have them a second time. The good thing--children seem to suffer less pain with shingles. Of course with Julia who can tell? She's the one who refused any kind of pain medicine after her palate surgery--tylenol was enough tough! She has an extremely high pain tolerance. And she's one tough chick! Children also appear to suffer less of the long term nerve pain issues. That's one I'm praying for! She's been through enough.
Now the boys didn't have chicken pox--so they got the vaccine. Both of them were a bit older so I'm hopeful that it "stuck" better for them. Will I give them the second booster shot? Yes, if the doctor thinks they need it. I'm not sure if shingles is on the rise or not. Maybe its just because more people talk about it. I'm pro vaccine--I've seen enough in my 4 years of being in pediatrics (and plenty seen the consequences in my years as a dialysis nurse) to want to protect my kids. Our world is getting smaller--and just because a disease is "gone" in the US doesn't mean someone from another country that is infected won't bring it in. Now there are some that shouldn't get vaccinated--that's for the parent and doctor to discuss and decide. But my children will be getting the H1N1 vaccine.
And Julia is doing much better. She played soccer yesterday and returned to school today. YEAH!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Ouch! Need I say anymore?

The whole truth

Well boys and girls---while I'm usually truthful in these posts--I haven't mentioned a few things. Today, because I am simply overwhelmed and wanting to hide my head-here it goes for better or worse.
Since May we've been dealing with my mother-in-laws very serious illness. The prognosis is very poor. My poor father-in-law has been dealing with the brunt of it. While the relationship with my in-laws started off rough,the edges have definitely smoothed and I love them dearly. This is hitting us hard.
My sister-in-law, who introduced me to my husband--and who I will be forever grateful too for that--is having issues. On Sunday everything came to a head and she overdosed on trazodone. Whether this was deliberate or accidental--it is a cry for help. She is currently being treated/stabilized.
Julia developed a rash on Saturday. We thought it was a contact dermatitis from her skating outfit. I worked all weekend--and last night got a real good look at it. Yeah--I think we have a nice case of shingles here. We're heading to the doctor's at 1 to get confirmation.

All of this is on top of the normal busy schedule of 2 jobs, 3 kids--with multiple doctor appts and sports activites, plus the normal day to day of our lives. I would like to say a normal, boring life would be nice right now. I'd even settle for halfway boring.
So, thank you all for listening and please say a few prayers that I keep my sanity--which is borderline at the best of times and currently is tipping sideways. Ted and I have been through alot in our 13 year relationship, and we'll make it through this, but really--haven't we had way more then our fair share???

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Polar Caps Fall Frolic

Just a few pictures so everyone can see how much fun this was. The kids in a hockey net--even the adults got in on the fun!
This was the typical mob scene for Bucky. At least Chewie wasn't "hanging" on him this time. Rauan is in the orange and blue shirt--Chewie is talking to the coach and he is wearing the two shades of blue.

Poor Bucky! The guy is a saint.

And of course, the princess is out there--second time that day she skated.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My little ass kicker

I think no words are necessary, except the boy makes momma proud! GO RAUAN!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


So, checking out how the new flash works on my camera. Had lots of subjects to practice on this weekend. This is from the Potosi brewery museum. Highly recommend it--and I actually liked the micro brewed beer! Beautiful area of Wisconsin. Mom had been wanting to see it since she donated some original Potosi beer glasses--and a cousin of mine was once a brew master or something. Anyways, the brewery has been restored. Checking out the train at the museum.
There is a spot in the floor that shows the water running through it--that is used in the beer. Majorly cool! And of much interest to the children.

Ahhh, the main reason for the flash---to be able to take half decent pictures in the ice arena. And no not just of Julia. The hockey season is upon us--and Bucky Badger is just dying to be a subject of my new camera techniques.

Soccer started again. Posted some new pics on the facebook page--trying to get photos to the other families--but had to put this one up--outside, cloudy with the flash on. I'm trying! Practice makes perfect right?

Monday, September 14, 2009

More photos and a palate update

Ahhh, the life of playing flag football.
And the cutest football player there!

Julia and Allie (neighbor girl) walking back from the sandbox. Playground and....

ice cream afterwards. Makes for a perfect Monday night. Monday night football doesn't have anything on us!
Palate update. So, Julia needs her palate expanded. Ok, not that unusual in a cleft-affected child. But (there's always that but), first braces to straighten out some back teeth in order to hold the palate expander in place--approximately 5 months. Then to palate expansion--which hers needs to be expanded quite a bit--approximately 1 to 2 months. Then (and this is what makes me cringe) oral surgery to remove those extra teeth in her cleft area and since her 6 year old molar is stuck-a little gum removal to see if that will help bring it through. If it doesn't--yeah, more oral surgery. My poor baby--but she's tough. Then the mention came of jaw surgery down the line--since her underbite is fairly significant. We'll see. She'll have full facial growth by that time (ie late teens) and that will be her decision. Next up Rauan as his 6 year old molars come in. Our insurance company is going to love us! (said very sarcastically)