Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is it too late to back out?

Today James and I went to my appointment with the ENT. For the most part it went well. We had to wait over an hour to see the doctor because he was running behind. When we did get in we talked about our different options. Several times the doctor kept saying that he usually does not do theses two surgeries together. They are both abrasive and are difficult recoveries. He kept trying to decided if we could get away with only one of the surgeries. After rechecking my throuat and nose about five times each he decided that we had to do both and that it would be best to do them at the same time. He did say that it would be a difficult and painful recovery (that's just wnat you really want to hear). Also because he is doing them at the same time then I will have to stay in the hospital. There is concern for swelling and bleeding so when they are convinced that those things are under control then I can go home. Recovery is 2 to 4 weeks. I can't be alone for the first week and then I am on strict restriction for the second week. If all goes well then the next two weeks should go pretty well.

We are hoping that the kids will be able to go to my sisters for a few days but that is still to be determined. I'm still not sure how to take care of things for the 2-4 weeks that I will be down. I am a very independant person and I know that it will greatly challengly me to have to rely on the help.

I have also never had surgery so this is all new. I am praying that this surgery will really help. The doctor says that I should be able to breath so much better. At this point I have one good nostril to breath through and a small opening in my throat. When I go to sleep that small area in my throat basicly closes off. That only leaves the one good nostril. Either way I am just praying that the pain and expense is woth it. I really want to be healthy for the James and the kids. I really do not want to back out but I have to admit I am a little anxious. I know "be anxious for nonthing". I'm trying to put that verse to heart.

By the way I still intend to post about our trip but I want to post when I am able to add pictures.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We made it home late Monday night. It was so good to be home. The kids were really excited to see their daddy. I was very happy to see him too. The last three days of the trip Noah said daddy, dad, and da da hundreds of times. It is all he would talk about. We drove up and when he saw his daddy he smiled from ear to ear then gave him a giant bear hug. After that he would have nothing to do with James. I even told Noah that he either had to let dad help him or go lay on his bed. He chose his bed. I think that he was trying to punish his daddy for not being around for the past week. James didn't take it personal and was real patient with him.

I'm excited to post about our trip. I'm trying to ficure out how to download the pictures we took. We borrowed a camera because my battery was dead. I do not have the equipment to download off this camera so pictures will come soon. We also came home very tired and have a sick boy. I took him to the doctor Tuesday becasue he was still running fever and had not eaten in two days. He is still not eating-won't even eat a popsycle. He's already lost almost 2 pounds. Pray for the little guy, he feels miserable.

I will post soon. Right now I have a little man that needs his mommy and I'm just to tired to put thoughts together. Noah has been up most of the night for the last three nights.

Prayer request- I have my appointment with the ENT tomorrow. It is a surgery consult. We will be trying to make decesions and I think schedule dates.

I hope everyone is having a great summer. If your thinking of heading to Texas you should know that it is stinking hot there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

San Antonio here we come!

No postings over the next week. All my attention will be focused on family.

James, the kids and I will miss you soooooooooo much! You are such an awesome dad and husband. We hope that you had a wonderful father's day. See you soon!

We love you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Things that make you go hum?

I have to post about this before I forget.

The other day I was doing dishes and Noah came in the kitchen. I noticed that he was studying the floor really hard. I asked him what he was looking at and he said "look it's a spider". I looked at the so called spider and said "no it's a rolly polly". To that he responded "don't eat the bug"? I said "that's right don't eat the bug". He stood there a second and repeated to himself several times "Noah don't eat the bug, don't eat the bug". I have to admit I was laughing inside yet troubled by the fact that we had to have this conversation. I quickly realized that the reason we were discussing this was because he had actually considered eating the bug. This should not surprise me...I just still find it hard to believe that he had to talk himself out of the desire to eat this thing. Oh well at least he's learning that he should ask first and eat later.

The other thing that we are up against right now is that he has figured out that he has an opinion and he voices it a lot. We hear "don't help me" several times a day now.

Packing and more packing

The kids and I are trying to finish packing today. We have a busy weekend and then we are leaving early Sunday morning. We are going to load the van Sunday night so that we can just get up and go Monday morning.

I am trying to pack a weeks worth for three in two small suitcases. This is a huge challenge for me. I usually pack the whole back end of our van with seats up. James and I made it to Guatemala to pick up a baby in two carry ons and two back packs total. If I can do that I can manage this. I preparation to leave I washed all of Noah's bedding. He chews on his blankets and they always stink. I wanted to take his Thomas blanket because that is the one that papa and mimi gave him. I had already put his cars blanket in the wash along with his other blankets. The only one on his bed was his Thomas blanket. When he woke up I put that blanket in the wash too. He came down the hall and saw me putting it in the wash. He quickly crabbed the blanket and said "don't wash percy". I told him it was yucky and that we had to wash it. He was upset. He kept telling me over and over that I was not going to wash percy. I won the battle by telling him he could put it in the washing machine and that he could push all the buttons. I also told him that he could put it in the dryer when the timer goes off. I don't know if I've mentioned it before but Noah is obsessed with doing laundry. So obsessed that he drives me a little crazy with it.

I really need to go...I have so much to do today and need to be in bed early tonight. Kayla and I are going to do the route tonight so that James can have the night off. He has a 7:15 t-time in the morning and it's Father's day weekend so we wanted to give him a break.

By the way we have a big surprise for the kids but it's a big secret. I can't wait to post about it when we get home.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not exactly what I would have planned....but still a great day.

I really did not start the day with huge expectations. I really was just looking forward to remembering a very special day that happened two years ago. Most families do not celebrate gotcha day but for us it symbolizes the day that we first held him. His birthday is still very important to us and we want it to be special to him but we do not have any memories of that day. Also for many families they had either fostered or met their child previous to their gotcha day. James and I chose not to visit because at that time adoptions were being processed through quickly and we knew that once we held him and bonded with him in the flesh that we would be of no use in our lives back here in the US. So that day is the day that I first counted his ten little toes (I had never even seen a picture of them), touched his soft baby skin, and became familiar with his smell. It was just like the day I gave birth to Kayla and realized that she was really mine and that I got to take her home with me. That day he became real to us-instead of a dream.

When we celebrated our first gotcha day last year we were in Colorado. James, Kayla, Noah and I left early that morning and drove to the Mountains. We headed up to San Isabel National Forest where James and I had spent a lot of our time growing up. I use to work at the resort and we wanted to take the kids there. I remember trying to have a restful memorable day thinking about the day we met Noah and how a year later we were in a place where it all began. (James and I met in Colorado). Instead I had a screaming one year old that was throwing tantrums and taking all my energy to contain. I could not even focus on the warm fuzzy feelings that I had experienced a year ago. By the end of the day we were exhausted and we could not wait to send him to bed. It was still early and he was throwing another tantrum so I took him to our room at James' parents hose to calm him down. At that point I had decided it was best to just put him to bed early. After I put him in his pj's he cuddled in tight and I began to rock him. He had not been rocked to sleep in a few months- he preferred it that way. So I figured it would last a few minuets and then I would put him in his playpen. To my surprise he fell asleep in my arms and I began to sob. The poor little guy was soaked in my tears by the time his daddy came to check on us. One minuet I just wanted him to go to bed and the next my heart was overflowing with memories of the first time I held him and rocked him to sleep. I held him for a very long time and I am so glad that I did. I'm not sure that I have had that opportunity more than a few times since then.

For those that know our little man they know that he is in constant motion. He can not even sit still to eat. He must always be moving. The little guy has no concept of personal space. I have the broken toe nails to prove it. I can not begin to tell you how many times a day I ask him to settle down and be still. If you don't he just continues to wind up tighter and tighter. Even at that he is still moving.

It is a new year and another gotcha day. Here's a run down. We left early this morning so that we could help a friend get her vehicle to the shop. We were actually up and ready on time. The kids were fed and all was going according to the plan. We had prepared Noah that today was a special day and we gave him his adoption bracelet to wear. James wore his to work and Kayla and I wore ours too. Noah's was too big so we put it on his ankle. It was too cute. I will post a picture of it tomorrow. We have been talking to him about gotcha day and how he lived with his grandma Alicia until mom and dad could fly to get him. He loves to see pictures of the plane. It took me a while to catch on but this whole week he has been telling us that he loves airplanes. His room is done in planes so I thought that he was finally taking an interest in them because of that. Any way he really like to talk about Guatemala and how he grew in mommy's heart. He knows that sissy grew under mommy's heart in her tummy and that he grew in my heart. Today when a friend asked him about his special day he told them that he grew in mommy's heart and that he was born in an airplane. If you ask him where he was born he will tell you in an airplane. Now we understand why he suddenly likes airplanes.

While we were waiting for the van to come out of the shop we went to the mall to do some shopping. When it was lunch time we all picked a place and ate at the food court. I was rally torn and I have to say that I wish that I had gone with my gut instinct. Noah wanted Chick-fil-a so that is what we got him. Kayla and I decided that we would eat Chinese. That is where we usually but I kept thinking that I should go to Subway or some where else. Chinese was what Kayla wanted so to make it easy that's what we ate. This time I decided to try the sweet and sour chicken. Bad idea. I gave Kayla a few pieces and then I had the rest. As I ate the chicked it just didn't seem that good. It was really hard to chew and well I will spare details but I should have known there was a problem. Because you did it in sauce I really had not taken the time to look at it. Finally something told me to look at the piece that I could hardly bite through. Yep- it was raw. Noah had eaten the rice that it was laying on and Kayla and I had eaten the raw chicken. I do not know how I could have eaten what I did. I really thought that it tasted wrong but decided it was probably just there recipe. Again I will spare the many details but I did get physically sick after I realized what just happened. The big shock came when the mgnt did not take the situation seriously. He kept saying that it was fine that they had cooked it for 8 min. I stood there and showed him the raw chicken - not bloody but raw. He refunded my money and I asked him what if my kids get sick? He still did not take it serious. Later I made a phone call to the health dept. and they too did not seem to be very worried. They asked me what I wanted them to do. I said that they needed to be aware in case people became ill. We were served the last pieces form the pan so you know that others were served. So other than the fact that it will be some time before I can even think about chicken, not sure I will be eaing sweet n sour any time soon I am just praying that the kids and I do not get sick.

The rest of the day was just filled with mom stuff. Noah pooped in his pants for the first time today. I did not realize it until it was all over me and him. He did not get a nap so dinner was a little emotional. We took him to Applebees since that is where we ate dinner the first night we met him. Our first pictures out with him were at Applebees. Dinner was also late because James had to work later than usual. After he got to the restaurant he got a call from a client and he had to go back to the office (the client left the keys to his rental car in James office). At that point we called to let the rest of the group know that we were going to be late meeting them for ice cream at DQ. To top of the day we had many boo-boos but thankfully none that required stitches.

So this year I officially feel like a broken in boy mom. I have been peed on, pooped on, stepped on, and the list goes on and on. I now know not to expect warm fuzzy feelings. Non the less they are still wonderful feelings of praise and gratitude to God for allowing me to be this little boy's mommy. And at the end of the day he still screams out " I love my mommy" and backs it up with a big kiss while stepping on my already torn up toe nails. I love being a boy mommy...but now it is time for me to go and refuel.


We Gotcha You!

Make photo slide shows at

Two years ago today we were pacing the floor in our hotel room in Guatemala. We still had not heard from the lawyer and the hours were passing us by. Then finally the call came and it was time to meet our baby boy. He was more handsome than we could have ever imagined. I knew who he was the second we stepped off the elevator and I saw him smile. It was all I could do not to rip him out of his foster mother's arms. My patience paid off and before long I was holding my new baby for the first time. He kept smiling at us and then began to kiss my check over and over. I was in love with this little man more than I could have ever imagined and now it was real. I will never forget that first smile or his sweet smell. I had waited 6 months to feel his warmth in my arms and to touch his soft brown skin. As I have said before that day I met an angel. He was my angel. I will never forget how precious his life is and I will never stop thanking God for choosing us to be his family.
Happy 2nd Gotcha Day ~ We Love you Noah Scott!
Mom, Dad, and Issy

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Are we crazy?

One week from tomorrow Amber and I will be leaving for Texas with 5 kids in tow. That's right 5 kids. This should be interesting with an 8 month old, two year old, 5 year old, and two teenagers. James will be batching it for a week. After our trip to Thailand for 17 days he can not afford to take any more time off. I will be staying with my parents when we get there. Mimi and Papa are pretty excited. We will see if they still feel that way when Noah leaves. He is so much fun and a good little boy but he sure is active. I am excited for them to see him again. I am also excited for Kayla to have time with them too. We have several fun things planned. The two big kids get to pick a "BIG" activity and we are planning trips to the zoo, Alamo etc. The bummer part of this trip is not having James there. We are not use to doing things separately but this was the only way I could get down to see my parents this summer. I am not looking forward to such a long drive but it beats the drive we made to Colorado last summer. I am not the worlds best traveler but I think it will be worth it. I am hoping that the trip will be kinda of relaxing. Either way I am sure that we will have lots of fun stories to share.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Remembering a good friend and celebrating the new normal

Noah is trying to hold on just long enough to finish his last bite of "burger cheese"
Just barley made it!

Today we headed to see some good friends. We have been planning for a while to go to Amanda's new home that she had built for her and the kids after Erik died. We have talked about it so many times and just have not nailed down the time to go. I am really glad that we finally just set a date and that we were able to make it happen. Our families had talked about having a BBQ when E was born and Noah came home. We have learned the hard way that tomorrow is not promised to us and that you should not put things off. Erik was killed in a tragic accident the day before we returned home from Guatemala with Noah. We never got to have that BBQ. Ironically we are only a week away from the 2nd anniversary of Erik's death and Noah's gotcha day. Two years ago we drove those same winding roads with a new baby (he was 6 months old but he was new to us) weeping as a family over the loss of such a great man. Our family was finally complete as another family was torn apart. We were trying to bond with the son that we had prayed 8 years for and trying to comfort our grieving daughter. At the same time we were parallelized with grief ourselves.

Today was full of first and new normals. We went to the cemetery for the first time where Erik was laid to rest almost two years ago. His grave is so peaceful and it is just what he would have wanted. The home that Amanda had built for her and the girls is amazing and full of charm and love. One of the new normals was the new man of the house. He and Amanda were married about 6 months ago. He is kind and he loves the Lord. He has been so good for this family. We can tell that he really loves the girls and that they love him. It was a blessing to be in their home and see how God is putting together a new puzzle and filling their home with joy and laughter once again.

We had a wonderful meal and great fellowship. It was so good to see the two girls and how much they have grown. It felt as though they had never left. Kayla and C would play in the yard every day and wait for Erik and James to come home form work. Amanda and I looked forward to watching E and Noah playing in the yard one day too. Today it was like the kids had always been together. Since Amanda moved right after Erik died and E was only three weeks old we did not get to know her like we had hope. Never the less it was like we had seen her everyday. She gets that from Erik.

Today as we drove home we were reminded of that time when our hearts were parallelized with grief and that with God all things really are possible. There is hope and there is a peace that surpasses our understanding. God continues to heal this family and ours as well. The memories are easier to process and the new normal...we have learned to accept that sometimes that is what life deals you.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Let the summer fun begin!

Today JT spent the day with us and we decided to get our summer off to a good start. It seems like we have been so over loaded and all we do is tell the kids later, not now, or we just can't afford it right now. So today we threw "some" caution to the wind and headed out for a fun day. It was not a very expensive day but it was packed with a lot of much needed fun.

When JT got here this morning we just sat on the couch and talked. We had a lot of catching up to do since we had not had any one on one time together in a long time. I use to care for him full time while Kayla was still enrolled in school. JT would come early in the morning and then we would take Kayla to school. We would then spend the whole day together playing and hanging out. Some days we would just sit and snuggle all day. We even took our naps together. He was kinda spoiled. He even had his own closet at my house and he would come in his pjs then I would dress him after breakfast. I cared for him from the time he was 4 months until he was about two. Eventually I had to give up caring for him because we had made the decision to home school and his little brother had come into the world. It was too much for me to have two little boys and teach school full time. Kayla was needing constant instruction at that time. JT's life was a gift to me at one of the most difficult times in my life. His mom and I began to try to conceive at the same time and we talked of raising our little ones together. She asked me early on if I would keep her child if they got pregnant. At the time I was working for the school and planned to quit only if I got pregnant. Well long story short they conceived right away and well we still have not conceived. That was over 5 years ago. (By the way I am so grateful that the Lord didn't give into my plan). I did decide to quit my job and stay home with JT. It was the best decision I ever made and God used this little boy to fill a whole in my heart. JT has always called my aunt ange and his mom has always considered me to be like a second mother to him. I have always considered him to be like a son to me. He is such a precious little boy and will always hold a special place in my heart. Okay I know that I am already off track with this post but I have to share one more thing about JT. When the church had my baby shower for Noah I invited his mom to the shower. I really though that she would come alone because it was being held at the country club. Instead she brought JT with her. When I saw Laura come in with JT I began to weep uncontrollably. He came over and gave me a hug and I just wept and wept. I will never forget having him there to celebrate that day with me and my family. He brought me so much earthly joy and God had allowed him to be such a special part of my life. I love that God still allows us to be close and that he still smiles that devilish grin every time I see him.

Okay back to our day. We decided to call some friends and meet them for lunch. After that we took the kids to Chuck E Cheese. This was our first visit to the new one. The kids had a blast. I thought that we would never get Noah and JT off the big jeep. After Chuck E Cheese we did a few errands and came home to put Noah down for a nap. We played some more and then JT's dad came to pick him up.

Noah had a late nap and Kayla went to Planning commission with James. They are going to start having a mini date after each PC meeting. This week they went to eat Thai food. I let Noah sleep for a while and then we went to Sonic. After that we went to Walmart to buy groceries. I am not sure why but he was so excited to go to Walmart. He sang to me and talked to me the whole time. He kept asking me "mommy sad"? I would say "no mommies not sad". Then he would say "mommy happy"? So I would say "yes, mommies happy". We repeated this over and over again. If Noah does something naughty then I usually tell him that mommy is sad. He seemed to enjoy the fact that he had been making good choices that day and that mommy was happy and not sad.

We got home form the store a little after 10pm. As soon as he saw James he came in and told him all about his trip to Walmart. He just jabbered and jabbered. After we put away groceries I read him a story and I asked him if he had a good day. He said "yes". I asked him what his favorite part was (expecting hi to say Chuck E Cheese) and with a big smile he said Walmart. I guess what he needed more than any thing that day was to have him mommy all to himself and to know that she was happy. I guess he noticed the "sunny" in my heart.

"Cloudy in the sky ~ Sunny in our hearts"

This morning I had to be up early because my nephew was going to spend the day with us. I woke up pretty early and had some time to kill before JT got there so I was catching up on emails and such. While going through one of the emails I received I came across a video clip of S.C. Champman, Maria, and Shaoey. The video was done while they were on spring break. Shaoey was sick and she continues to remind her dad that she is under the weather. S.C and Maria are trying to be playful. At one point S.C. points out to his girls that even though it is cloudy out side they are going to have fun. Eventually he tells the girls that "it may be cloudy in the sky, but it is sunny in our hearts". At that moment God spoke so clearly to me.

As I continued to read through my emails and catch up on blogs I came across the following words from Beth Moore on the LPM blog. I posted them below.

"Regardless of how convinced we are, God has not placed us in control of our environments nor are we responsible for how everyone is behaving or how things will turn out. He is still God and, yes, even over "this," whatever your "this" may be. His, Beloved Siestas, is a LARGE SHIP. Something much bigger than we can picture is going on from a God's-eye view. Our trials are allowed so that Christ may be formed in us and then, through us, to serve that greater purpose. Worry always and only forms thicker flesh in us and weights us down until we cannot walk where the Spirit would take us. I've come to learn from God that worry is a waving red flag to the enemy. It is a dead giveaway that the person owning it does not trust God. The shield of faith is down. So fire when ready. Every time we're tempted to take it all on and worry something to death, let's say aloud from the depths of our souls, "I choose to trust You, Lord. I choose trust. I choose You."

So by 8am I have been soaked in words of wisdom concerning worry and encouraged by a little girl and her dad to set aside those gray skies and let the sunshine beam forth. I really needed these words today. I need to remember that I have the Hope of Christ within me and that alone is bright enough to out shine the enemy...even on the darkest days. Evey time I choose to let my circumstances weigh me down the enemy has one more opportunity to strike. One more arrow makes it's way through and one more wound is in need of care. So if I know this to be true and I believe this then why is it so difficult to stand in the midst of these storms? I'm still searching for those answers but for now I am trying to cling to these thoughts and stand remember that I can choose to trust the Lord and that I can choose to let his light shine. The last thing I want is for the enemy to feast on the flaws of my flesh.

I am going to post about the rest of our day in the next post. It seems like the two should stand alone. Please continue to pray for our family. We know that God will work all things for good for those that love him and are called according to his purpose and we stand on that promise.