Monday, December 10, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Our 2 littlest kiddos really enjoyed Halloween this year. I think they both “got it” – wear a weird outfit and people will give you candy – woo hoo!!
Since every year we try to have a “Jack” theme, this year we did this:
(Jack looks thrilled, right?!)
I think the costumes turned out really cute. I decided on the card theme but was hasn’t sure about how to do it. Dasha’s teacher gave everyone in her class a paper grocery bag to decorate to wear in class and voila! It was the perfect shape and size, and cheap too! I bought spray paint for the bags, sparkly paper for D’s crown, a foam sheet for Jack’s hat, and a paint pen. Andrew helped me print out the card fronts and backs and we called it done! Here’s the backs:
Dasha had a fun party in her class:
And a few days later Jack had his class party. Since D was out of school Jack’s teacher said she was welcome to come to his party:
Then last night we went trick-or-treating:
Enjoy guys, in a couple of days the pumpkins will be empty!
Monday, October 29, 2012
1. He’s cute!
2. His favorite thing is still his blue blanket :).
3. He sleeps in his own twin bed, every night, all night.
4. He likes to be silly, and make us all laugh.
5. He still lets me use the pirate theme for lots of his clothes.
6. Jack has adjusted beautifully to kindergarten. He likes to go, he likes his teacher(s), he likes his classmates.
7. He is finally learning to count and identify letters (upper and lowercase!). Whew!
8. Still has NO interest in potty training :(.
9. I could look at his face all day long if he ever would sit still long enough.
10. He likes VeggieTales, SpongeBob, Toy Story, and other Disney movies, in that order.
11. He likes to read stories, and will sometimes sit and practice letter-writing with me (ie do homework).
12. He eats great – likes some veggies (that’s better than none), loves to drink milk and eats a variety of foods.
13. He knows how to open all the doors in our house that go outside. So now we have to use door knob covers and come up with more ideas to keep him from letting himself and his sister out!
14. He still has a tendency to run when out. He has to be holding my hand or within grabbing range at all times. It is exhausting.
15. I love Jack’s eyes – they are a beautiful clear blue and have gorgeous lashes.
16. He’s very tenderhearted. Jack identifies when someone is sad or hurt and wants to make it better. So sweet.
17. Either everyone at his school wants to play it up for me, or they really do love him. When we walk down the hall every grown-up says hi to him (by name). When I get to talk to any of them, they tell me how cute he is, or how much they want to squeeze him. It really warms my heart.
18. He loves his siblings and now even looks for Dasha to play with. It cracks me up how he says “Dashlyn”.
19. Jack loves music. We listen to the same songs on our way to his school every day and if I forget he’s quick to remind me - “Mom, music!”. And he’s starting to sing independently. It’s hard to tell unless you know, but he keeps singing the Happy Birthday song. So cute.
20. Jack is a busy guy. He likes to go downstairs with TyTy and Andrew, or go outside, or play in his room. He still pushes matching things around sometimes, but he’s starting to use his imagination too.
21. Our whole family is so grateful he is here! We’re all better people because of him. We make it a point to enjoy the small things. We take the future more seriously. We take the present very seriously. And we laugh waaaaay more than we would without him!
Monday, October 8, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
was last Sat. I should have been worrying about the card that I would send late (I have good intentions but crappy follow through) and calling to tell her “Happy Birthday! Where did you go to dinner??”. Less than 2 years ago she was staying with my kids while Allan and I and then Madelyn and I went to Ukraine to complete Dashlyn’s adoption. Last Christmas she sat in her usual spot and watched my kids open their Christmas presents that she shopped and bought for them. In March I was bummed because she and my dad didn’t come for M&D’s birthday party. It was okay though – she was going to have back surgery and feel much better soon and then she would come visit without Dad. Those visits were fun because she would stay at our house (instead of a hotel when Dad came with her) and we would shop and eat at IHOP and get cherry Cokes from Steak N Shake (mine were diet). And I would get annoyed because her little Lifesavers wrappers would get left on my end tables and all her stuff would take up space in the bathroom and then I would start to miss her when she pulled out of the driveway to go home.
She would be getting such a kick out of how much Jack is talking now and what a big boy he is going to kindergarten. We would be planning for Madelyn’s senior year, and Andrew going away to college next year. I have plans for things I want to do to the house and I was looking forward to her input. There are so many things I was looking forward to sharing with her, so many things she’ll not be with us for, so many conversations we won’t have, so many days I’ll cry over every dumb little thing.
I miss my mom.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The 4 youngest all started on the same day, making life a little easier for once. Let’s get some pics out of the way and the next post will be all Jack – he started kindergarten this year so I have lots of thoughts on him!
Madelyn is a junior this year and Ty is in 8th grade. (M is going to hate that I posted this pic but she had her eyes shut in all the other ones!)
And then, since they are big kids, Ty went off to catch the bus and our favorite boyfriend Charlie picked up M. (I yelled at Ty when he hit the bottom of the driveway to look happy and that is what I got.)
Next it was Jack’s turn. I drive him to school about an hour after M leaves and an hour before Dasha goes. He has become IMPOSSIBLE to photograph! These are the best I got :(
He had a good day and seemed happy to be there! Good for this momma’s heart.
Dasha started preschool too. I took a couple pics in the house and thought it might be fun to take some more outside of her school, forgetting about her foliage phobia :(.
(She looks okay here but as soon as she saw how close she was to the tree the photo shoot was over!)
And some day soon, I’ll finish the post about Jack going to kindergarten.
Monday, August 27, 2012
My extra super wonderful friend Sherry moved far far away a few years ago. We try to keep in touch but of course it isn’t the same. We try to get together every chance we can (she has relatives fairly close and I drove to visit her only once so far). Last week her mom called and said that she had Sherry’s kids and did I want a visit from them? HECK YEAH! So she brought them to our house and we had a nice visit. Lunch of pizza, lots of video games, and lots of chatting! Thanks for sharing them with us Sherry and Scott, Gale and Gary! We love you!
Dasha with Gracie.
My boys with James.
And our usual pic of everyone together! (M had a babysitting gig and of course I forgot to do the pic when she was still home, dang it.)
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Jack has a history of respiratory issues. Anytime he gets a cold, here comes the wheezing. He started in with a slight cough 2 weeks ago. This past week started the wheezing. His big sis M did the same dang thing (rotten kids). So we have a nebulizer from her adventures. Our ped is great about letting us have albuterol on hand to use as needed. It is awesome to be able to just whip that stuff out of the closet and use it. I usually listen to his chest several times before we do it but the other day I didn’t even bother (I knew he needed it – I think sometimes I just like being able to use the stethoscope!). And little man was ready for it – what a good boy!
Sometimes he lets us help. Always, he likes to snuggle when getting a breathing treatment. Silver lining people.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Normally, by now we would have been at the pool several times. But this year that’s a problem. I have 2 wild little ones, and one momma vs. the 2 of them means I lose every time. We’ve been a couple of times but only when I have some help. We’ve set up the pool in the backyard or on the deck a couple of times but we have a problem with that too – we’ll cover that later. Today, M and I got the crazy idea to use our old swing set slide to make a redneck water slide! Jack LOVED it!! M did too; she went down several times. It was so cute to see her and Jack together. He kept telling her when it was her turn and when he went first he tried to catch her when she got to the bottom.
So here’s my problem -
Jack is 5 and Dasha is 4. Neither is potty-trained. Jack has ZERO interest. Every once in a great while we can talk him into sitting on the potty but I can count on one hand how many successes he’s had. Dasha is more willing to try and if I remember to take her every 45 mins to an hour, she stays pretty dry. But she isn’t usually interested in telling me when she has to go and #2 is usually done in the diaper/pullup. We’ve tried everything. They love potty videos; we watch daily. D loves to flush and get a “smartie” as a reward. I’m about to lose it over potty training. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.
But the real problem is swimming. Both kids wear a swimmer diaper in the pool. But usually, one or both will poop while in the pool! Disgusting! My new policy is whoever poops in the pool is done. We go in, get them cleaned up, they stay out for the rest of the day. (I considered making sure they went before swimming, but neither kid is a scheduled pooper, so that’s too hard.) The other kid has to wait while we clean out the pool and clean them off and then they can keep swimming. Usually, pool poop is contained within the swim diaper but ewwwwww. So going to the public pool is a problem. We’re going on vacation soon. What am I going to do with these two??? The pool poop is going to drive me insane! Any ideas? Anyone?
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I can’t even count how many pics I’ve taken of them asleep. I’m probably the only one who would ever be interested (and that is okay) but I’m sharing 2 now.
Aren’t they completely precious?! They both have the sweetest little hands. Love, Love, Love!!
My husband and I have been pretty lucky. All the kids sleep in their own beds all night long. I hear them if they fall out of bed or are sick or something but for the most part we just give hugs and kisses and make sure the covers are accessible (I cover them up – they kick them off!) and shut the door and walk away. Both little kids still have bed rails so they don’t fall out. Jack started sleeping with a night light when we started getting spring storms and he was worried, but usually they sleep in the dark, doors shut, all night long. I usually check on them before I go to bed and they are out. It’s awesome!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
We’re having a very non-scheduled summer so far. We’re looking forward to plenty of fun stuff in the next 2 months too. So far the littles have remembered that they love swimming:
We’ve gone to a couple of movies and plan to go to lots more.
We’re sleeping ridiculously late and staying up late too (my favorite part of summer!).
We’ve spent time in the backyard and I have plans to find more ways to have fun there.
I have ideas for getting our house more organized and I’m hoping to get to that soon (including painting a few walls – YAY! I love painting!).
And it seems as though I need to take more pics. I thought I was doing okay in that area but can’t find much so looks like I’m slacking off there.
And finally, thanks for all the lovely comments and notes. You guys are awesome. I don’t like feeling so needy and pathetic but I’m feeling the hugs – keep ‘em coming!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
My mom has been gone for just over 2 months now. 2 very long months. A few days ago would have been my parents’ 53rd anniversary. I was thinking of them both all day, and especially my dad, as he tried to make it though not just another day, but a very special day in his life, and one that should have involved a bouquet of flowers, a dinner out, and a time of sharing special memories.
But I’m not done. Just over 2 weeks ago, my aunt (my mom’s sister) took my uncle to the hospital. He hadn’t been acting quite right for awhile, and that day she knew something was wrong. Over several days and several tests, she learned my uncle has large tumors growing on his brain, and will not be with us much longer. I drove to visit him, in a city far away, leaving my kids and family, in an attempt to say goodbye and I love you, because I’m sure I’ve not been able to do that adequately up to now. I’ve been selfish and naive, thinking there’s all the time in the world. When I got home I realized my amazing kids wanted a chance to say bye too, so we drove up again and got home tonight. He knew who we were and I hope was happy to see us. When we left, I again said I love you. I’ve decided that whether you lose someone quickly, or have time to get ready, it sucks either way.
But I’m still not done. I knew another uncle, my dad’s sister’s husband, has not been well. He and my aunt have been fighting his alzheimer’s for awhile. I found out while I was away the first trip that he has died.
To be clear, I don’t feel bad that my very much loved family members have died and gone to live with Jesus. I know they are healthy, happy, and in a much better place than we are. But I want my mom. I know my aunt and cousin aren’t ready to spend the rest of their lives without my uncle. I’ve decided there is no good way to lose a family member, quick or time to say goodbye – no good way. I’m tired of crying, feeling like I want to throw up one minute and wanting to stuff my face the next. My kids have no idea what to do with me. I couldn’t buy mother’s day cards and here comes father’s day. The other day (well, it was a couple weeks ago) I had to leave Wal Mart because an older lady came in leaning on her cart to hold herself up while pushing it and that’s what my mom did.
I know lots of my friends have learned to live without their mom, but how?? How do you do it?
Saturday, May 26, 2012
We had a lovely year at preschool. Dasha will be there again next year but Jack will be graduating to kindergarten!! Yes, really! There’s a big kindergarten IEP post coming; just have to finish up some thoughts. Anyway, I usually try to dress the kids in pretty cheap and “get completely filthy” type of clothes for daily school wear. But on the last day I put Dasha in something cute for once, and did her hair a little prettier than usual. And I forgot to take pics before school but I did manage a couple after school – unfortunately, this is the best one:
Miss D looks little rough after playing hard at school but the shirt is cute, right?? (Thanks Ella!!)
Friday, May 25, 2012
We always have a fun time when Braska and Kinlee come to play! I didn’t get any good pics of all the littles playing together of course, but when they all sat down to watch an episode of Signing Time, I got a few cute pics of the visitors :
Thanks for coming to play friends!
Monday, May 14, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Today is the day after Easter. I won’t be posting any cute photos of the kids, wearing pretty Easter clothes and chasing down colorful eggs. As a matter of fact, I may not post anything Easter related again. I won’t ever look forward to Easter the way I did every year before this one.
My mom died last week. Out of the blue. Just didn’t wake up on Tues. Her funeral was Sat. It just doesn’t seem real and I pray daily that it’s not – let this be a terrible dream. She was the one person in the entire wide world that I knew would always be there for me. She never got to see Dasha’s hair cut. She didn’t get to hear about our trip to the zoo week before last. She won’t get to see any of the kids (except for Andrew) graduate high school, or get married. She won’t ever come visit and live on the couch for a week again. I have to live the rest of my life without her. How the hell am I gonna do that.
My mom didn’t quite understand why we needed to adopt a little girl from halfway around the world who has Down syndrome. But she wished us luck and asked what she could do anyway. She could not have been more proud of her newest granddaughter. She was sad when we found out Jack would be born with Ds. But she wanted to be at his birth and stayed to get help me and get to know him anyway (and fell in love with him just like the rest of us). She was thrilled when the other kids were born and so happy when we were all together. She loved us all more than we’ll ever know.
I already miss her sitting in her chair, her little pile of kleenexes and lifesaver wrappers, her reading glasses and crossword puzzles. No more cherry Cokes from Steak ‘N Shake, no more pj’s for Christmas, no more 60 degree rooms in July, no more envelopes full of newspaper clippings in my mailbox. There’s something from my mom in every room in my house. Neither of us liked having our picture taken so I don’t even have any of the 2 or us together in the last few years. That was really, really dumb.
So here I am, in the “I don’t have a mom” club. I hate it here.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Dasha has a very special birthdate – it’s March 21, World Down Syndrome Day! Cool, right?? However, because it was a special day, and because Dasha’s birthday is a few days before her sister’s and they are having a party together, we didn’t do a whole lot of celebrating. A little bit, but the party will be later. so I’ll post a few pics of the birthday girl on her special day anyway.
Here’s our sweet girl on our way into school :)
And here’s our little beauty later that evening, while we were singing ”Happy Birthday” to her. Rest assured, there was cupcakes and ice cream right after.
More cuteness to come!
Saturday, March 3, 2012
All the time. And I’m sick of it. I’m sick and tired. I forget things, appointments, plans. I have 582 unfinished projects. Tonight, Tyler was going to an overnight event for his confirmation class. I did remember that. However, I did not remember that he had to be dressed in nice pants. We realized about an hour and a half before he had to be there that his one good pair of pants was, you guessed it, completely missing. So while we were at Wal Mart purchasing new pants, I also got him socks and black shoes. As long as we don’t lose them, we’ll be ready the next time.
So I managed to pull a win outta that situation. But most of them, I don’t. I don’t like feeling like this. I used to be organized. I used to have lists, organized thoughts, shoot even a calendar in my head. Dates used to stick and I would remember to get ready ahead of time. Field trips, birthdays, and meetings were planned for AND attended! Instead, now every day is a surprise. I struggle daily to try to keep it together. I can’t seem to focus. I hate this. Am I just this old? Is senility setting in already? Do I have too much going in to my head? Do I need ginko? Anyone?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Several months ago, we decided it was time for Jack to have a big boy bed, so we got this:
He loved it. We loved it. He and Dasha played in there a lot. But there was a problem. Even though I measured and figured the bed would fit in Jack’s room (which it did) there wasn’t enough space left over. His room is 9x9. Small. The “hood” of the car bed faces the closet door, which would not open but maybe halfway. There was only a narrow strip of floor available to play on. It didn’t work and I was bummed. So M and I decided to take out the racecar, and put in just a regular bed. Guess what? It works!
Cute headboard, room to play on the rug, storage underneath in plastic boxes, aaaaaand, I can open the closet door!! Win, win, win. Except, did Jack like it?
This is 2 seconds after we showed him the new bed. He climbed right in and got comfy. So I think that means we have a win, win, win, win!
Anybody wanna buy a cute, blue, twinsize racecar bed????
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
When I left the room, I told Jack, “please use the coaster for your drink buddy”. So he did.
Ponytail! (There are days in this house I can’t stand the cuteness!)
There’s so much wrong with this lol! The most wrong part? It was Saturday! Not even a school day!
I told them to put everything in the bucket. They took that literal.
Guess who went to another dance? Aren’t they pretty?!?!
I have more pictures but they are on my new phone and I need to learn how to download them onto the computer.
We woke up to snow this morning! But it’s Feb, right? not so unusual. But we’ve had crazy high temps this winter so far so it was a surprise! If Jack said “snow” once on the way to school today he said it 50 times! He’s really talking more now – initiating conversation, telling me things he sees, adding descriptions like the color. It’s really great. Finally, the kid is talking!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
So we found out Jack had Ds prenatally. The next step was several ultrasounds and a fetal echocardiogram since many babies with Ds have heart issues. (40% is what is stuck in my brain but as of right this minute I can’t back it up!) Jack seemed great except the amniotic fluid was a little low a couple of times. Even his heart was great.
And then he was born. Within a few hours, it was determined that our little man had pulmonary hypertension and guess what else? Heart issues. Thanks a lot fetal echo (you worthless p.o.s.). Our baby had a small to medium hole between the upper chambers of his heart (Arterial Septal Defect – ASD) and a medium to large hole between the lower chambers (Ventricular Septal Defect – VSD). They had to be fixed. Our goal was to get him big enough to undergo open heart surgery. The problem was between the heart issue and the PH, he wasn’t able to stay alert enough to eat enough to grow. So our guy had to have a feeding tube through his nose, or a ng tube. The way he could sleep away while still getting food into his tummy. Of course the Drs wanted to keep him in the hospital as long as possible but mommy was done with that place. He was removed from the NICU not exactly against orders but I sure had to fight for him. I think they were afraid I would steal him if they didn’t let me take him! Jack removed his own ng tube a few times after we got him home, but after about a week, he was eating the required amount ON HIS OWN!
That was the end of Nov. Less than 2 months later, our sweet baby boy underwent open heart surgery. When the Dr called to say they were ready to set the date, I was a wreck. I was shopping and cried right there in the store. By the time we arrived at the hospital, I was okay. I just wanted him fixed. His surgery was on Tues.
Wed was ugly; he was on morphine most of the day and so out of it. He slept a few minutes at a time and would cry when he was awake :( . Thurs morning he was so different! They moved him to a regular room, he was only on Tylenol, and that Sat, we went home! 4 days!Thurs.
Sat., right before going home!
7days after open heart surgery!
Little did we know almost exactly 2 years later, the little girl that we would adopt was undergoing (in Ukraine) pretty much the exact same procedure! The echocardiogram shows her surgery was to repair the same problems that Jack had. Weird! And even weirder, our cardio says it was a great fix. Of course I don’t have photos of Dasha after her surgery and we weren’t there to hold her and whisper that it would be okay. I hope someone was. I am thankful every day that someone got her that repair. But her scar looks even better than Jack’s!
Both of them now have near perfect hearts – the cardiologist says so :). And today is the day, 5 years ago, that all of that started, Jan 23.
So precious! Jack loves his sister :)