Friday, August 28, 2009

Vacation Day 5

The last day of vacation we spent at the Ohamo zoo--which is fantastic. Two thumbs up! Then we returned to Hilary and Tim's home where we had pizza. Yummy! Then back to the hotel for the pool and hot tub--where Hilary and I were very naughty and ate chocolate and drank wine while in the hot tub. Shhheeeessssshhhhh! Yes, rule breakers!

The activity of choice--and Julia just doesn't give up. Excellent example for the girls!
Yes, Hilary beating on my child---and him laughing his butt off!
A gorilla decided to scare the crap out of all the children by jumping up against a window. Yes, I'm pretty sure I saw the damn gorilla laughing afterwards! Out of all the children--the one who laughs (besides the daddies!!) is Chewie. Poor Mia cried--but being the brave girl she is, decided to check things out again--after a suitable time frame of course.

Ohhhh, look at the fishies!

Now isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever seen??

Hilary getting down to their level to explain things.

Follow the leader--onto a narrow little rope bridge.

Yes, as always--all children love Ted. My understanding is this is high praise!
The next day we drove back to Madison--and yet again I thank God for the dvd players. Saved a few children's lives. We had a blast and can't wait for the next visit--when hopefully we can get Hilary and Tim back up to Madison! (hint hint)
And yes my dear Mala--we are trying to figure something out!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Meaning of the iris

Per Hilary's request: Irises are my favorite flower (second stargazer lilies). There are alot around my house--in many many colors.
So, when we started the adoption process--first with Julia-- I was surpised by the amount of irises around our house when we came home with her. Then with Rauan, at the orphanage, during the 5 weeks we spent there, we watched a bed of irises pop up from the ground and go into full bloom during that time frame. When Chewie came home, the irises were just starting to pop out of the ground. So, irises with the kids' names just seemed right.
Now, in my opinion, is the freaky part. I started researching irises to find the perfect one. Which I found on my HospiceCare calendar--but that's another story. While researching I found the meaning of the 3 beards on an iris. Sends shivers down my back. Hope (Julia), Wisdom(Rauan), Faith (Chewie). Hope--that we would have our family and hope for the future. Wisdom--seeing the beauty behind this fat stubborn temper tantruming throwing little boy. Faith--my father is watching over us from heaven and showing that life does go on, plus trusting in faith for this "older" child. I know I know--you can find meaning in anything--but still.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We interruppt this broadcast

For a few fun things!

First off--I finally did it! I guess this seals the deal--we are done with 3 children. I personally think it is beautiful. Yes, Julia's 2nd grade teacher gave me some awesome advice this am--"remember to breath"! And the first day of school! Rauan looks a bit anxious doesn't he? He did quite fine and was bragging about his reading skills later in the day.
And the two are posing together. Julia had to have a Hannah Montana backpack and had to have a look a like Hannah Montana outfit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vacation Day 4

Couldn't get the pictures to load last night--so waited to try tonight. So, Thursday was a relaxed day, pretty much the kids playing in the backyard--and wearing them out (yeah!!). Later in the day we went to a large playground, then dessert first for supper at a ice cream parlor in downtown Lincoln. The girls then walked down to a little Russian shop and another shop that sells stuff from around the world. I'm drawing a blank on the name. The boys went to watch the trains and check out a train statue. The kids were exhaustd, so we headed back to the hotel and ordered in some dinner--with a micro brew that was really good--and I'm not big into microbrews! Slides, slides and more slides--what more can a kid want???
Another adult to corrupt them! (or is that just a big kid???)

Hilary swinging with Anara--aren't they cute?? I remember those days.

Again--more slides.

The princess telling me exactly what she thinks of mom constantly taking pictures. Yep--she's developing the "attitude"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vacation Day 3

Of course the pictures downloaded the opposite of how I wanted. Oh well. On day 3 we drove from Higginsville MO to Lincoln, NE. As always, with our luck, the dvd player decided to die. There is no way on this earth I was going to survive over 4 hours in a van with 3 squirmy children. Wal-Mart, where are you???? Got past Kansas City, made it to St. Joe's, plugged Wal-Mart into the Garmin and off we went. Found Wal-Mart and low and behold, dvd players on the cheap. Well, sanity being a necessary thing--I bought 2. One for the middle seat, one for the back. I'll tell you, best damn money I ever spent! What? What is that I hear?? NOTHING!!! Nothing but Hannah Montana and the Incredibles (remind me to buy headphones). AAAAhhhhhh. So continued our journey and arrived at Hilary's house. 7 kids under the age of 7. Can you imagine??? Tim arrived shortly after and Hilary and I took off for the hotel to unload the luggage. The case of wine was wet on the bottom--so we of course had to look through and see if there were any leaking bottles--since that one would have to be opened right away and checked to see if it was still good(hiccup). I honestly think the plug on the cooler opened--but let's just go with the wine. 7 kids means 7 hungry children. So, shucked corn, cooked steaks and we all had a good time to say the least!
Dinnertime--one view of the table.
The other view. Yummm fresh corn on the cob.

Nothing is complete without a greeting from Penelope the chicken, Tyler's best bud! If I didn't have the dogs and cats (mainly the cats) I think we would look into having a chicken. She's pretty sweet--and very tolerant!

Ok, let's get this corn ready. I'm hungry!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vacation day 1 and 2

Vacation started out with a bang! Our son who usually is up at the butt crack of dawn had to be woken at 8 am--and then told his daddy to "please shut the door I'm tired." UUUMMMM==WHAT??? Who are you and where is Rauan???
So got the kids going and we were on the road by 8:30 am with a minimum number of 4 letter words. I admit I did fall asleep for a while when Ted drove through the exciting state of Illinois. Before St. Louis(like a hour before) I took over the driving because Ted hates to drive in big cities--and it really doesn't bother me. Of course, the kids are learning some new terminology--but, otherwise.
So, our luck, we end up in the biggest fricking downpour I've seen in quite a while. Ended up pulling over in lake St. Louis and waited it out for 30 minutes or so. Two days later Ted tells me that tornadoes were spotted in the area and yes he say that on the blackberry put didn't see the sense in telling me. Thanks alot dear!
Got to Higginsville, checked into the local Super 8 and went to see Chari and family. Let me tell you--this is alot like coming home. Visited with them that evening and the next day and Wednesday we were on the road again--this time to Lincoln. Here's a few highlights--on my new camera of course. I'll update more on Lincoln tomorrow. Yes, gotta keep my readers reading!
No visit is complete without a trip to the river down by Dover. They got like 8-9 inches of rain all at once so the Missouri river was giving quite the show. Here's Chari with the boys.
Julia my little animal whisperer. I don't think there is an animal that doesn't respond to her gentle touch--and she loves them all. This is at Elden and Vicki's place--where we made the boys run and they also got to climb in Zach's treehouse!

Hey--boys and their trucks!

Every child needs to experience playing on train tracks. Yes, closely monitored, but there is definite joy in finding stakes and throwing rocks. And Rauan showing off his Polar Cap tattoo (on his neck)

Ahhh yes, the river. I know my father watches over us in heaven--but we're lucky enough that we have Bill (my FIL) and Chari's dad (Elden) to give my children the wisdom and joys of having a grandfather--and my security. I'm lucky to have such great men in my life!

No visit is complete without a visit to Baltimore Bend--the winery in Waverly that we love. Two thumbs up!! And Hilary was appreciative of their wine too (see gotta live those cliffhangers!). Yes, yet again I left there with a case of wine. Hey--the way it breaks down for me--that isn't much over the months between visits! And the kids love the sparkling grape juice--which I of course invested in 4 bottles of those.
More later!!

Ahhh Mr. Zach with Julia and Chewie. Can't forget about these beautiful people!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lest anyone say anything--here is another love of my life--and the newest baby--Belle. Yeah--she doesn't like to sit still for long--but she loves me, loves Ted, loves the kids--wants to love the cats, who are having none of that! Such a sweetie! Look who isn't scared of fireflies?

And we can't forget the oldest baby (no not Ted) and my sweetheart, Loki--who is Julia's love slave, Rauan's buddy and Chewie's horse (yes Loki is that tolerant!)
And I know some of these pictures aren't as good as I would like--class is Sept. 1!

Before children--this was (and still is) my baby, Sneaky. Yes, this is on my pillow-where he sleeps every night. I deal with the swish swish of the tail and the frantic yowling because I'm not getting to bed in time to suit him! Hummm, who runs the house??? Ted's favorite saying is "there's something not right with that cat--normal cats don't get that attached" Well, abnormal attracts abnormal. Summertime, the living is good and the redneck water slide comes out.

My kids--easily entertained by landing in a mud puddle!


And summertime means late evenings and catching fireflies. Childhood is magic time.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Well, I said this was going to be about the challenges of raising 3 cleft-affected children. Here's the newest one.
We went to the craniofacial clinic yesterday--you know, my 3 for 1 deal. Last week when we saw the dentist, she mentioned it was time to start talking about palate expansion on Julia. Well, I know that the orthodontist was going to be at clinic yesterday, so I made a request to see him. Great guy--young, soft-spoken, likes the kids. We brought in Julia's xrays--the full one that shows all the adult teeth squished up in her gumline. So, he took a look at both and said yep, time to start the palate expansion. And then he started talking about her adult teeth--in particular the one where 3 adult teeth are where there should only be 1 adult tooth! And where there should be an adult tooth (noncleft side) there isn't one. So, she'll need to see an oral surgeon soon to have some work done there. Now Julia is no dummy. She knows exactly what is going on. So, while I spent some time discussing the $ issue (after all I have 3 kids all in a row that are going to need work and this isn't covered by insurance) Julia digested all of this. We left then and took the kids to the Daisy cafe and cupcakery (which is super yummy). On the way there Julia started crying a bit and wanted to know "when is the bad stuff going to stop happening". Now if that didn't break my heart. I wanted to start crying with her. This tough little girl who has endured so much, who falls and gets right back up again and still has more empathy in her little finger then most have in their whole body--she just wants to be done. How do you explain to a 7 year old that this is something that has to be done, so she can talk, eat and look like other people? I tried to tell her that this was actually good. If she was still in Russia things wouldn't be fixed and here she has a family that will help her and a medical team that will bend over backwards to help her grow up healthy and so everything works right. And that mommy and daddy will always be there with her. I think it was some comfort--for her. I'm still reeling from it. I probably am not much good at helping her through all of this since I am too close to the situation. I contacted the social worker on the craniofacial team and I'm going to see what I can do to get a counselor for her. Someone who she can build a relationship with who can guide her through the next 10 years of her growth. And maybe help keep me sane.
I hope what how we've handled it is right and someday she'll understand all that has happened. How does a parent know what to do? How do we know what is right? Each child is so different, but some of the same challenges remain. Deep breaths mommy and just keep going.