Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back Update

Yesterday, I cancelled Noah's ear check and Keith took the kids to daycare for a few hours. He also cut his work day short to be home with us. My back uproved throughout the day. At 5 PM, I went to physical therapy and got some new exercises to help me through this rough time.

The mornings are the hardest because everything stiffens up during the night. Even though I got up at 3 AM and took meds, I was still very stiff. Had to make some adjustments to get Noah out of the crib--side down, chair for him to climb out and down. We are eating at the dining rooom table instead of the kitchen island so that I don't have to lift the Noah up to the stool. My temper is short and I have raised my voice many times already--it's only 8:00 AM! I have no patience to repeat instructions.

I will be doing the exercises and going to PT until this is gone. I have had back problems in the past and have usually been able to work/exercise my way through it but this time I just couldn't even get out of bed in the morning and spent most of the day on the sofa with a heating pad. Basically, the kids are doing their usual activites and I am moving slowly around trying to keep up as best I can.

Thank you all for your concern. I AM able to work on the computer. I have the laptop raised up on a box and stand while computering. I'll still be on the sofa with heating pad but hopefully not as much. I am using a back brace just to give me extra stability. I hope to shed it in a few days as my back is getting stronger from the exercises.

The Blog Fairy is offering $25 blogs this week. Check it out HERE to get the details. Orders need to be in by May 1 in order to get the lowest price.

Hope your days are going smoothly and painlessly. _v

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rest but No Relaxation

Well, I am sad to report that Keith and I did not make it out to dinner on Saturday. My back went totally wacky and I barely left the sofa. It is still really bad today (Sun) so we went to Urgent Care. Why is it that you can be practically imobilized and nothing is visible on an X-ray??? Currently I am taking what feels like mega-doses of pain killers. When they are doing their job, I can sit here and post. The rest of the time, I am on the sofa, not moving.

The good news is that I have had some orders for blogs to support the Starfish Kids. Click on this Starfish to learn more about the needs. All of this blog money is donated directly to them. SO, anyone "purchasing" a new blog design also get credit for a tax deductible donation.

Blog Fairy Ads Starfish Surgeries

I have a promo that is for a $25 blog design. If you think you'd like a fresh look, contact me at my BLOG FAIRY EMAIL and I'll give you the details.

Lots of appointments for Noah this week. I will probably cancel his ear check tomorrow due to my current back situation. Thursday is his first hand specialist appointment and Friday is eye doctor. Hope I'm feeling well enough to do the last two.

Mya is going to daycare during the appointments. I think she will like having a couple days with her friends. Plus, they will be going back in mid-May when I return to work. It will be nice to re-establish the connection.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mommy Uh Are You??????????

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Well, it's Bloggy Carnival time again and the Blog Fairy, Lady in Waiting, Red Thread Stitches and Kari's Kafe are all participating. So, bop on over HERE to check it out. If knowing these four are participating is not enough, be aware that there are certificates for Target, Amazon.com, Starbucks and Paypal to be won. Nikki has signed up for the ballerina tutus and the big birthday party prize. Lots of great stuff. So with 903 people participating, I can't name them all.

Now that I have posted about the bloggy give away, you probably know the answer to the title question!! Actually, the title is pobably the most often said question from Noah. Yes, he is using phrases and short sentences. It's truly amazing how God has wired these little ones to absorb and learn languages. Noah is to the point that many 2 year olds are--mommy has to translate for everyone cuz she is the one that understand most everything he says.

We are on our second day of rain showers. I would complain but the grass is turning green and the air is fresh. So, it is very pleasant to open the windows just a crack to let the clean rain air in. I really don't think any of those air fresheners has captured that smell.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Keith and I will be going out to dinner tomorrow night. Our friend, Katie and her friend, Phil, will be watching the kids. Mya loves Katie to pieces and I'm sure Noah will fall in love with her too. Katie, you're a true blessing! Thank you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Benifactor

Thank you to Kim over at Seventh Diamond for sending Noah some of her son's clothing. We are so blessed to receive these boxes of goodies. Not only do the kids get really excited to have a box to open, I get excited to see what great outfits Noah will have. AND I am so happy to have Kim as a friend.

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Again, I'd like to have a blogger gathering so that I can meet you all face to face.
Thanks Kim!

Showing off Our Green



Here is Ginger heading out to the back yard. Not great but some green is indeed showing.
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We have a VERY wooded lot. So green in April is a wonderful thing!



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Coming Out of the Closet--2nd post today


OK, it had to be done and should be done more often but what better day then when it is 66 degrees at 10 AM. Where DO they all come from??? Are they like rabbits--multiplying. After all, there are momma shoes and daddy shoes, teen age shoes and little kids shoes --both boys and girls. Whatever the case, some had definitely expired and were in need of a proper burial. The teenage shoes were all put together, you know how teenagers are. Then they took a road trip to the lowest level of our home to hang out at a place known as "Erin's Room"--very popular hang out. Some of the little shoes will be getting new owners as their current owners have out grown them. The winter shoes are retiring for the season. Yeah!!

Sometimes You just Catch a Good One




video

Monday, April 14, 2008

More Toys

Look what Daddy picked up at Target during his lunch break.
Isn't he just the best??!!





Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Reality

Thanks to all who replied or emailed me about night terrors. Nancy is the first parent of a bio child that I have "met" that had night terrors. Interesting that they started at 2 yrs old. Just goes to show that you never know and that my theory on the "whys" is probably all wrong.

Just so that you know, Mya's NTs are infrequent. Last year was pretty smooth but they did seem to return as we got close to travel. I was thankful that I had prepared my sister for them because Mya had one the night we left. Colleen said she would not have known what to do. I had told Erin to be available in case there was trouble in this area. Fortunately, Mya only had the one and the rest of the time she was fine.

One of my biggest struggles is how to explain Mya's origins to her without her taking it personally. I think all adoptive parents have a mental battle over that one. Now that there is so much publicity about child abduction and "sales" in China, that has become even a more difficult thing to explain. See this site for why I think of this: http://research-china.blogspot.com/ The author is well know for his factual information and research. So, I'm not worrying over rumors.

I think I will stick to my guns and continue to beleive and tell Mya that her bio mom was unable to keep her for reasons that we will never know or fully understand. I also tell her that her bio mom/parents cared enough to put here where they knew she would be found. Is that called strategic abandonment? Remember, China is not like America where you can drop off a baby at the local hospital, no questions asked. Noah was found on the steps of a Catholic Church. Mya was found in a Govenment building. Both places were sure to have people coming and going. Both places would allow the child to be found and taken to the orphanage.

In Noah's case, I can speculate that his parents could not afford the necessary medical care for his hand. Not all people in China have health insurance and with their system, you pay up front or no care is received. So, this is a valid hypothesis.

For Mya, being in a rural area, her parents most likely had their "quota" of children and since she was a girl, they made the difficult decision to place her where she could be found. I can't imagine feeling like I could not keep my child. Making that decision seems beyond my scope of imagination but in China, it is a sometimes a matter of economics and laws. That doesn't mean that a child is not valued. Children are VERY valued in China. However, with government imposed and monitored laws about the number of children a familiy can have and with the son being the one who takes care of parents in their old age, a son is preferred--social security of sorts. Keep in mind that it is not always the first daughter that is abandoned because the policy is often written to say one son or 2 children. So, the abandoned girls may be the second or third child. There are so many unknowns in this case that speculation is all a parent has.

Things are changing in China. The govenment is promoting domestic adoption of the children in the orphanages. This is working. I believe the number of children adopted by Chinese families is on the upswing. Another factor is that many of the current 20-30 yr olds are from the one child era and they have no siblings. So, they are allowed to have 2 children. Add to that the fact that many of the younger generation are self oriented and wanting to see the world. Many are opting not to have children at all or they are more than happy to only have one. The rural areas are slower to change the traditions but since the younger ones are moving to the city for work, there are less country people in general.

That is probably not what you expected of my post today. Maybe I will return to smiling siblings tomorrow. But since this blog is meant to be a diary of sorts, you got some deep stuff. Some day, I hope to have this all printed so that Mya and Noah will have an idea of what life was like when they were little. It is their baby book in some senses. It is also a record of my struggls and triumphs as their mom.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reality--Life is not always cutesy smiles

I debated posting this but since Mya experienced this just this week, I have decided that folks who haven't adopted could benefit from the information. Keith and I were actually discussing this topic on the way to church last night. We had never even heard of it prior to adopting. None of our bio kids had them and we don't know of anyone whose bio kids had them. What is it? Night terrors.

What is a night terror? Usually, night terrors happen about 2 hours after you put your child to bed for the night but they can happen throughout the night and they can happen during naps. Basically, you child starts to scream and thrash and arch their back as if their world were about to end. It is not a nightmare because, even though your child may look you in the eye, he/she is not awake and CANNOT be comforted. It is not advised to try to wake your child.

When Mya first had these, I did not know what they were. I would hold her tight, rock her, walk with her, whatever I could think of to do to calm her but nothing I tried worked. We just had to wait it out. Typically they don't last more than 10 minutes but those 10 minutes can feel much longer when your child is behaving this way.

Why do they happen? There are many theories, ranging from a reaction to change to reliving a horrid experience. No one really knows. My personal thought is basically the latter one. Somewhere in Mya's mind, I think she is reliving her abandonment. I think that when life is tough because mom and dad argue, or mommy is irritable or when we were preparing to go to China, or after all the hustle and bustle of an event, Mya responds with the most primal fear from deep within her psychy--the fear that she will be alone.

When Mya has a night terror, she is holding her arms out as if she wants me to hold her and she will often be screaming and say mommy and acts as though I am not there at all. Even if I tell her it's OK, she cannot hear me. If I hold her, she cannot feel me. She is not awake and I can't get through to her. When she wakes in the morning, she does not remember it.

Night terrors are just that, terrifying. Over the years, I have learned to just stay close and let them pass, keeping Mya safe. I guess, I react similar to how you are instructed to for a seizure. Then, I spend some time evaluating what has happened recently that could have triggered the behavior and try not to repeat it.

If you are adopting a child, especially internationally and especially if they have spent time in an orphanage, please take some time to become aware of night terrors and other behaviors that are common in this situation. Will you child have night terrors? You won't know until they get home and that is not the time to try to learn.

Here is a website that I found recently that could be helpful to some. It includes a list of recommended reading and other info. They also do seminars. http://www.adoptionparenting.net/page2.html

Another good resource is: http://www.familyattachment.com/ They have many great products and also offer counseling here in Minnesota.

If anyone has good resources about this topic, please feel free to post them in the comment.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Little Bandits

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We had a Western themed Children's service at church on Sunday. Here are the kiddos dressed for the part. They had animal crackers to munch on in the first picture. Then Mya decided to stick out her tongue. Finally, a shot that is useable.


Here's what they did with their time prior to church--Hey, I told you NOT to run in church!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Three Years have Flown By

I love this photo of the girls with Mya because it kind of sums up Mya's initial response to her new family. I'm so glad things have changed!
Good Morning!!
Three years ago today, we welcomed this beautiful girl in to our family. Time flies so quickly!!
When I first met Mya, I had a gazillion emotions--joy, awe, amazement, fear.
I was not fully prepared for how she would change our lives. It took me a bit to get used to having a little one in our lives again. As Keith says, they are high maintenance!
Mya is a bright, smart, pretty, charming, demanding, drama-queen and we love her to peices!!
Thank God for the miracle of adoption!!
If someone were to ask me what I have learned, it would be that God has given humans a great capacity to love! It is true that WE are the blessed ones!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

How to Spend a Saturday!

1st Softball Game


Playground near Game



Rickshaw rides!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Tradition of Sorts-Garbage Night

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At our house, garbage night is a family thing, especially for Keith and the kids.
During the winter, they pull the cans down with the lawn tractor but now that the driveway is drying out, we pulled the cans down and the kids got a ride on our shoulders on the way back up. Afterward, we all stayed outside and played for a while.

Some Changes Made

Up until today, Mya and Noah were sharing a room but that is history. Noah's nap seems shorter when Mya is in the room with him, even if she is sleeping. Don't understand it but when she sleeps elsewhere, his naps are half an hour longer.
Keith and I talked it over and since the third bedroom upstairs will eventually be Noah's, we moved a bunch of the office stuff out and the crib went in. I also put some curtains, valance and blinds that are no longer in use, in the room to make it darker during sleep times. The old rocker has been in there for a while and Keith has been rocking Noah most nights. So, Noah should be comfortable in there. Hopefully, Keith will be able to take more of his things out so that when Noah needs a "real" bed, it will all fit.
With Erin graduating next year, she will move into the dorms or some other arrangement and then we can claim her room. No worry, Carrie's room is a guest room. So she will have a spot when she comes home. Oh the things we have to consider. Now I just need to be able to do some painting. Any volunteers???

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Last Hoorah!

This is really Mya's snowman but Noah had to get in on the picture.
After the photos, Mya proceeded to eat the carrot nose!