30 December 2010

Will Start Catching Up Soon

It's been a VERY hectic 3 weeks that I've just begun to wrap my head around now that life is calming down a bit.  It started out with Eriks birthday party and ended with Christmas.  There's quite a bit that happened in between including a visit from grandparents, loss, our own trip...

I'm hoping tomorrow I can post about Eriks birthday party.  Thanks for being patient.  My New Year's resolution is to be a better blogger.  Among other things.

10 December 2010

Christmas Funk

I used to never feel this way.  This is the 3rd year running that I have not been excited for the holidays.  I blame it on the move to Georgia 1 week before Christmas in 2008.  We showed up here around the 16th of December.  The house was filled with boxes that would not be unpacked in a hurry.  As much as I wanted to get unpacked, we had to pack suitcases to go up to Indiana for the holidays.  Even once we got to my parents house the spirit wasn't there.  The past few weeks prior had been a whirlwind of Lane leaving his job in Arkansas, Eriks finishing the semester at his school, packers, movers, etc.  Life was a complete blur.  I was also having a hard time leaving my home.  A home that I actually still own.  It was so warm and inviting.  It smelled fantastic every time I walked in the door.  The walls were painted warm, happy colors.  The house we live in now has this bland doctor's office beige on ALL the walls.  We could have painted but it's not our house.  We rent it and it would mean we'd have to paint the walls back when we move out.  No thank you.  I wish we had had more time to look for a rental but also in the winter, there's not much to pick from so we picked the house that we thought would be the best for us.  The house has some problems that the landlord is in no hurry to take care of - including the roof that leaks above our master bedroom.  The roof needs to be replaced but he's trying to figure out ways to just limp it along.  I don't get that considering the landlord is planning on moving into the house after we move out so I don't know how long he's going to put up with a leaking roof if he doesn't take care of it before we move out.  I've spent the past 2 years trying to make it feel like home but it's not.  It never will be and it hurts that I never could.  We have 6 months left in this house and then life takes us down a whole new road.

At this time last year I found out that the battery in my pacemaker was almost dead and I would have to have a new one put in so right after the New Year I went and had it replaced.  I was worried and couldn't look past the worry and get excited about Christmas.  And I should've been.  My daughter was finally home from China after a long wait.  I had may kids and my husband, what more could I want, right? 

This year we've dealt with a lot with Eriks.  We're still waiting for answers and if I talk about it, I'll get angry.  So I will leave it at that.  My pain issues over the past few months have made life on certain days absolutely miserable.  Today is one of those days.  I'm hurting a lot today.  I spent 2 hours waiting to see my doctor on Tuesday to be told, "We'll do some blood work."  Well DUH!!!  I could've told you it would take blood work to figure it out.  I was furious I waited 2 hours and wasted my time.  In the 14 years I have been married to Lane, this is the 1st place I've ever lived and had to wait more than 45 minutes to see doctors.  Seriously, if you have medical issues and you want good health care and short waits, don't move to Atlan.ta.  I have seen specialists at Johns.Hopkins, M@yo Clinic and U.C.Los.Angeles which are 3 of the top medical facilities in the country.  Not a single wait over 30-45 minutes at any of these facilities.  I'm always waiting here.  I end up wasting half my day or more going to the doctor here.  With my pain issues getting things done has been difficult.  When I'm hurting I don't want to do anything.  And we all know how crazy things are this time of the year.  Not only do you have all your normal tasks to complete you have about 1000 more on top of that!

Lane got strep throat almost 2 weeks ago and wouldn't go to the doctor until 5 days after he started complaining about it.  By that time, he had shared it with me and last weekend I spent my Sunday morning at the urgent care clinic rather than at church with my family.  It's going to be awhile before he gets to live this one down since he knows that when I get sick, I get really sick.  That's why it's important to go to doctor ASAP.  I don't need to contract it.

I realize my life as a military spouse is about to come to an end.  Not that I really care.  I think I'm actually feeling relief that my life won't be controlled anymore by Uncle.Sam.  But I'm worried about Lane going to law school.  What if it's not really what he wanted to do or he finds he doesn't like it?  I'm concerned about living on less money and making sure all the bills get paid.  What do we do if after 3 years of law school no one wants to hire Lane?  Lane knows I feel this way.  This is really the only thing about life after the military that scares me. 

I was also dealt some blows with a few of our animals this year.  Syd, our 13, almost 14 yr old lab was diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis this fall.  We can't travel without him because it could be so severe that it could kill him.  I don't want him dying in a kennel while I'm off on vacation.  I could never live with myself if that happened.  Luckily the episodes that cause the paralysis aren't happening too often but there could be a day when they do happen frequently.  Then the day before Thanksgiving we got the news that George, my 13 yr old kitty is in the early stages of kidney disease (kidney failure).  We had to put him on this expensive prescription food so his kidneys don't have to work so hard.  The vet is optimistic that he'll live another 3 yrs but there's no guarantee.  We'll have to do routine blood work every 6 months to check his kidney function.  Those of you who know me well know George is my baby.  There are days I love him more than Lane.  I think it has to do with the fact that he doesn't argue back.  I could have the worst day in the world and he'll curl up into my lap and make it a little better.  And he's super weird.  An oddball, just like me. 

The tune "Where Are You Christmas?" by Faith.Hill has been running through my head.  So where are you?  Why can't I find you?  This has always been my favorite time of year.  I love Christmas more than my birthday.  I'm praying that next year my Christmas spirit will be back in full swing.  I'm hoping the move does me good.  I will miss those who I met and became friends with here but it's not home.  My heart doesn't live here.  I'm hoping it lives in Indiana. 

30 November 2010

Giving Thanks

It was just a quiet Thanksgiving here at our house this year.  I cooked for the four of us but made enough food to feed 14 or more.  The leftovers were good while they lasted!  The kids watched a little bit of that big parade in NYC and decided to make up a marching band of their own.  It was stinking cute watching them build instruments and then march around the house.

Around 2:30 after hours of cooking, we sat down to eat our delicious meal of turkey, dressing, potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls and homemade cranberry sauce.  Not really trying to toot my own horn but I was proud of myself for making everything from scratch.  Well, except for the rolls.  I was not going to take time to do bread.  I thank Pills.bury for doing the work there!

We spent the rest of the day watching football, talking to family on the phone and eating dessert.  It was nice to spend our last Thanksgiving as a military family by ourselves.  It's hard to believe that this time next year we will be back in Indiana having Thanksgiving with family there. 

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your families!

22 November 2010


I haven't been myself lately.  It started about 3 months ago or so and has progressively gotten worse.  I brushed it off at first and when it began to get worse, I chalked it up to the changing seasons.  The weather was getting cooler and thought my stiffer joints was weather related and once I got acclimated to the cooler temps, I'd be OK.  How wrong I have been.  I'm still hurting and the pain is getting worse.

So let me rewind a little bit.  A few weeks after we returned home from our 2 1/2 weeks in IN visiting with family, friends and Eriks attending camp I started to wake up with sore, stiff feet.  At first I kind of thought maybe my plantar fasciitis was back since it hurt to walk.  But the pain wasn't in the muscle(s) on the bottom sides of my feet where plantar fasciitis occurs.  The pain was more in my toes, my ankles and the tops of my feet.  After a week or so, the pain subsided so I thought it was gone, whatever it was.  Then on random days I'd wake up again with stiff feet.  Then I began to think that maybe I was positioning my feet in weird ways while I was sleeping.  I am a rather awkward sleeper who puts herself in strange positions while I sleep because for me they're comfortable.  Also after having my sternum cut in half twice to have heart surgery, finding positions that support my chest while I sleep have been key.  It's amazing how not being able to put weight on a rib cage that has been wired shut when you sleep has you finding interesting and comfortable ways to sleep.  I still can't sleep full on my chest it hurts and the wires are still wrapped around my sternum.  It will take years and years for them to disintegrate.  I actually use a small travel-size pillow to support my chest when I sleep.

Not long after that I started waking up with a stiff neck, shoulder and back pain.  Luckily this has gone away for the most part so I'm not really sure they are correlated.  However, there are days from time to time that I wake up with back & neck pain so severe it causes migraines.  Luckily it's been a few weeks since the last time I had the back & neck pain.

Fast forward to 3 weeks or so ago.  The foot pain has gotten worse.  At the end of October or early November there was about 2-3 days straight where the pain was so intense in one of my feet that it was radiating up my leg to my knee and my hip.  I was hobbling on it severely.  Sleeping was nearly impossible and after 2 days of very little sleep, I just broke down.  It got a bit better but in my left leg the pain is constant in my foot, ankle and knee.  Sometimes my hip gets bothered.  It varies from day to day.  The right foot and ankle are sore but so far, no extensive radiating up the leg.  When all this happened I also began noting pain in my hands when I woke up.  It was stiffness and not easy to grasp my fingers into a fist.  Well the stiffness in my hands has not gone away at all.  I'm trying to spend less time on the computer but it seems as though almost everything I do requires me using my hands.  Opening things with lids has become difficult.  And of course my husband has to close everything tightly so there are times it's really difficult for me to open things.  I'm finding when Lane is home, I'm handing off more and more for him to open.  Why cause pain when I don't have to.

Since the pain has gotten worse and I'm realizing it's not going away, I finally called the doctor.  Bad news is I can't get in until Dec 7th.  So I have about 2 weeks until I can get seen.  My best guess is that I've developed arthritis.  But that's just a guess. 

Being in pain really stinks.  I don't think anyone, Lane included really knows how much I hurt.  I've been hiding it.  Unfortunately, the pain has caused me to become really impatient.  Especially with the kiddos and I hate it.  I don't want them to see that I hurt.  I don't want them to see me wince as I go up and down the stairs.  I'm really cursing the 2 story house we're renting because of the stairs and because the idiot who designed the floor plan made the stairs extremely steep.  I've always cursed the steep stairs but even more so now. 

When I have my answers, I'll post them.  Just send lots of patience my way so I can get through the next few weeks.

15 November 2010

Been a Few Weeks

Not much has happened within the past few weeks so that's why I've been MIA.  The weather for early November has been glorious.  Our temps have been in the low to mid 70's for the most part.  Today however it's 55 and rainy.  But I can't complain about the rain.  We have a severe shortage of rain for the year.  From what I know we're in the neighborhood of 8-10 inches behind in the precipitation department.  The rain that will fall today and tomorrow is very, very welcome. 

Emi is getting more into role playing.  She's spending more time cooking at her kitchen, rocking her babies and playing with her dollhouse.  It's so cute to see her cover up her babies and put her finger in front of her mouth in a shushing gesture.  Then she makes the sign for sleep.  Emi is also into everything!  Her latest is she's gone onto our desktop computer and renamed a bunch of files that we now have to figure out what they are.  The result is that our computer is now password protected so she can't just climb up, jump on and start clicking away.  Never underestimate the intelligence of a 2 yr old.  We didn't have this issue with Eriks so we didn't think Emi would cause trouble either.  WRONG!

We have one really great piece of news to share.  It involves this:

On Saturday, Lane received his acceptance letter for law school.  He'll be starting next fall.  We're moving back to Indiana next summer definitely now.  We were about 95% sure but of course nothing was final until we got word that he got in.  Now we're house hunting.  Scary!  After a 15 yr absence, I'm going home next June.  It's definitely weird to know that we won't be moving every 3 yrs anymore.  In the 40 some years Lane has been alive he will no longer be a nomad.  He grew up a military brat and then joined after college.  Even in college he was a nomad because he was in a work study program splitting his time between TX & NM.  The kids, well at least Eriks because Emi doesn't quite understand yet, are excited.  He's ready to be with his cousins and grandparents. 

Can't believe Thanksgiving is next week.  Emi's up from her nap.  Time to go get her!

01 November 2010

Halloween 2010

Emi & Eriks had a blast this Halloween!  Last year Emi was just about 20 months when she went trick or treating and really wasn't super sure.  This year she started out slow and wasn't super sure what to do for the first 2-3 houses but caught on super quick.  It was funny to watch her chase Eriks up to the door.  No matter how much we told Eriks to slow down and wait for his sister he wasn't having any of it.  So Lane had to go to the door with her.  My mom came down this weekend so she stayed at our house passing out candy while we took the kids around the neighborhood.  It was nice since it was the 1st time EVER we've both been out with our kids.  Next year we'll be back in Indy and we'll be able to take the kids to my parents house for trick or treating. 

Digging through her treats for more candy!

28 October 2010

Searching for a Pumpkin

Last Saturday we had glorious, nearly 80 degree weather.  We still had yet to get our pumpkins for Halloween so we took the kids to a local pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkins.  It was really busy but still really fun.  The kids liked looking at the farm animals and especially the hayride to and from the actual area where the pumpkins were.  We only found 1 pumpkin there that we really liked that wasn't too small or too big so we had to find more elsewhere. 

Enjoy the photos from our outing! 

26 October 2010

Expect the Unexpected

Last Thursday night after putting Emi down I was getting myself comfortable for the night.  Changing into pj's, etc.  While I was doing so Lane came in and said, "Go peek at your son."  My first reaction was, great, what is he doing now since a fair share of his activities include naughty behavior.  When I peeked out of my bedroom into his, I did not expect to see what I saw.  It made me feel guilty for thinking the worst.  So what did I see?  This.
For those of you don't know, Eriks is saying the Rosary.  As most of you know or now know, we are Catholic and that Eriks attends a Catholic school.  We began teaching Eriks how to say the Rosary when he was about 3.  He's now saying it on his own in English & in Latvian no less!  I was very proud of him when I saw the above photo.  I'm hoping his godparents are proud too.

Eriks does have his fair share of missteps.  We're still waiting on a diagnosis on his behavior.  I'm not going to get to into it because it's going to make me mad.  His doctor has been unable to reach his teacher to speak with her.  The doctor says she's calling his teacher several times a week without being able to contact her and she's not returning Dr. L's calls.  His teacher is married and a mother so I'm trying to figure out why she isn't returning the docs calls.  If this were her kid I'm certain she'd expect her child's teacher to respond to the doctor.  It has been 2 months since Dr. L started trying to contact her.  What even baffles me more is that Dr. L also wanted to talk to his kindergarten teacher from last year and she was able to speak to her easily.  By the way, his K teacher is a single mom of 2 boys who are very active in sports.  Eriks talked about all the sports they played last year.  Before the school year I had talked with some 1st grade parents who were not impressed with her.  I'm not getting a warm fuzzy feeling from her either.  Eriks likes the other 1st grade teacher much more, but he adores his classes' parapro.  We have parent-teacher conferences on Friday so we'll find out why she's not responding.

17 October 2010

Emi's First Haircut

I have been letting Emi's hair grow since she came home from China last summer with the exception of trimming up her bangs myself to keep her from looking like a shaggy dog.  While in Dallas we took Emi to get her 1st haircut.  It was an adventure to say the least.  She can't hear without her hearing aid so trying to get her to do what she needed to do via signing was not going to cut it for her.  She was OK the 1st couple of cuts but after that she wanted none of it.  So she ended up sitting in my lap while I tried to keep her head straight to get her hair cut.  I also thought a hair cut would do her good in helping her hair grow faster.  She was really happy after it was all over with and liked her haircut.  Hopefully the next haircut won't be as big of a chore as the 1st one.  I wish I would've been able to get a better picture of the back of her hair because it was pretty long.  The sides were short but the back was long.  It's almost as though she was sporting a mullet!

She looks so cute her in her little flippy bob. 

12 October 2010

Texas State Fair

Emi and I just got back from a girls' trip to Dallas.  Lane's sister and her husband adopted their son, M in March and I had yet to meet him.  They also moved into a new home last year that I had yet to visit.  So we left the boys at home and jetted to the Big D. 

It was a very busy visit but I enjoyed every minute of it.  The temps in Dallas were unseasonably cool.  Only in the low to mid 80's.  Usually this time of year it's still hovering around 90.  Our 1st day there we headed off to the Texas State Fair.  This was Emi's 1st time at the fair.  Period.  She had a blast.  If you've never been to the Texas State Fair it is HUGE to say the least.  It is an all day excursion.  Marla and I tried a fried margarita.  It wasn't as good as we expected.  It was pretty much a strong margarita poured over a fried piece of dough.  We thought maybe it was going to be some margarita flavored dough that was fried but it wasn't.  I would've been happy with the margarita without the dough in it.

Emi loved everything that was going on.  Unfortunately there weren't that many animals left at the fair as the judging was pretty much over and people had taken their livestock home.  That was a huge bummer.  But Emi loved seeing Elsie the cow and her baby Beau. 

Emi and M both crashed on the drive back to the house from the fair.  They had a good time.

03 October 2010

The Kids in Pictures

It's been awhile since I've posted photos of the kids.  I have been swamped over the past 2 weeks.  Last week I had to have the brakes replaced in my car.  That was an expensive trip to the mechanic but it had to be done.  Emi has a cold this week that she has shared with both Lane and I.  Although hers is far worse than ours.  I'm hoping that I am nearly over mine but I have been coughing up junk and I sound like a frog. 

Emi and I leave the boys on Tuesday as we jet off to Dallas for 5 days.  We're going to visit Lane's sister, Marla and her husband and their son, M.  I have yet to meet M and he is nearly 7 months old!!  Eriks & Emi met him in early June while Lane and I were having a ball in New York.  They also bought a new house last year that I haven't seen either.  So the girls are going to leave and have some fun for a few days.  Grandma & Grandpa (Lane's parents) are coming up from San Antonio next weekend so we'll get to see them too!

Eriks only has 2 more soccer games this season.  Right now they stand at 1-2-2.  I'm hoping the last 2 games are wins.  But if not, that's OK too.  Eriks has grown as a player so much more this season that he did when he was playing in the Spring.  We're proud that he is doing so well in soccer.  He's doing well in school too.  His reading level has grown a lot as well and is now requesting to read Magic Treehouse books by himself! 

Emi is doing well.  She is signing more which means we are having to learn more signs to teach her.  Speech is still slow but at least it is progressing.  There are definitely more sounds coming out of her mouth, we just wish they were more recognizable.  After we return from our girls trip, we will look into doing speech therapy 2x's a week rather than just one.  It will be better for her if we do.  Emi is getting sassier by the minute.  I've tried to get her attention while she has been engrossed in other things and will look at me and sign and say, "No".  I also scolded her for not listening and she pointed her finger at me and gave me a lecture back in her babble.  It was so hard not to laugh at her. 

 Reading the Sunday paper with daddy after church last weekend.
 He has such a sweet face.  I just wish he would stop thinking the world was always out to get him. 
I have no idea what happened here.  I was doing something and I turned around and saw this.  Luckily, my camera was out and she was more than happy to continue posing.  She is so stinking silly.

23 September 2010

When Will Adoption Ever Be Portrayed in a Positive Light?

A fellow adoptive mom that I am friends with on FB linked this on her FB page.  I am raving mad!  I'm a little annoyed that time after time, the media keeps bringing these stories to the forefront.  It gives adoption naysayers fuel to say adoption is a bad idea.  Why doesn't the media do story after story of positive adoption situations?  Because it doesn't draw viewers in and nobody cares about those of us who have had happy endings to our adoption journeys.

I think what I'm most ticked off about is some of the comments I read posted by others on this news story.  Let me share some of them.

"This is a wonderful story. Now this child can grow up with his real family and real father. He is a lucky little guy. Now he will be with who he truly belongs with. I was apalled to read the adopters comment of, "once he was born I new he was mine". That baby wasn't hers. How absurd. And the adopter father coming out and saying that the real father should have decided he wanted his son before he was born. Where do some of these adopters get off thinking that people have to decide if they want there children before they are born? This isn't there place. Do they think they have rights to children that aren't even born? They are not in charge of other peoples families. So happy that these judges are finally get it. Real family is always the best. Every human being deserves this."

This one above made me the angriest.  He truly belongs with a guy who has a history of violence and has been arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.  So much better than parents who according to the law in order to adopt had to go through a criminal background check in both the state of Indiana and in the state of Ohio as well as an FBI background check.  How do I know this, I had to do it on more than one occasion in multiple states including - Maryland, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Georgia.  Every state requires it in order to adopt.  Sure, "real" family is always the best.  Who cares if they're violent, abusive, do/sell drugs, steal, etc. So mad I could scream!

"Wow. So the family knew the biological father wanted the baby 17 days after birth and then refused to give him his child all of this time? This is so terrible for the child, but it looks like it was caused by the family attempting to adopt. I can't believe they said the problem was that the biological father filed before they did. The child was rightfully his - not just a prize up for grabs for the first people to file legal papers. The real problem is that they've been keeping someone else's child all this time against their wishes."

"To anyone who feels that Grayson shouldn't be returned to his biological father is crazy. For one there's nothing that states he left a pregnant woman on the side of the road (lookingout) and the story states that he was arrested not convicted. and SO WHAT IF HE WAS, does that mean that he shouldn't raise his son? We don't know the whole story. Why did the mother chose to give Grayson up in the first place? When the father came forward after 17 days the Vaughns should have done the right thing. The only thing to do was to give Grayson back to his father. I pray for the Vaughn family that they will find a way to come to terms with what has happened. However if they wouldn't dragged this out for three years they could probably have anotheer child by now. This was an awful thing to have happened, but think about what Grayson father was feeling."

I am so sick of the misinformation on adoption.  In one of the comments someone actually said this boy was SOLD to the adoptive family!!  I get annoyed that people think we buy our children.  Not annoyed, angry.  Furious.  If they only knew what all that money is really used for.  We don't pay for our children.  We pay for all the paperwork to get done correctly and LEGALLY!

I'm sick of all those people out there that don't think my kids are my real kids because I didn't give birth to them.  Biology is the least of what makes me a parent.   I'm leaving it at that because I'm not in the mood to go off on a tangent about "real" parents.  I've met my fair share of "real" parents that are not deserving of the kids they gave birth to.

In the case of this poor little boy, the state of Ohio and his biological dad failed him.  The state of Ohio failed because if he (birth father) filed a petition of paternity why did it take the state so long to reunite them?  Seems to me, once paternity was established they should've started the process of making sure the biological father could truly care for this child and require contact until placement.  Instead the boy is now 3 years old and without any sort of transition is being taken away from the only family he's ever known and placed with a stranger.  If the biological father was so gung-ho on getting him back why didn't he attempt any communication with him?  If anything the biological father is treating this boy like property and staking his claim.  How tragic for this boy who was loved by a wonderful family and is being forced into the arms of a stranger staking his claim all in the name of biology. 

I'm stepping off my soapbox now. 

09 September 2010

Complete Chaos

That's my excuse for not blogging and I'm sticking to it.  Eriks started school almost a month ago and my to - do list is getting longer and longer and no end in sight.  So here's what you've missed.
  • Eriks is doing awesome in the 1st grade.  He really loves it and his reading is getting better.  He did a computerized test recently to see what his reading level is and for a 1st grader he's average.  Doesn't surprise me since we never pushed any summer reading.  I kind of regret it.  But he's getting better and better every day since his homework requires him to read 20 minutes a day and we're sticking to it.  We're also getting closer to a diagnosis for Eriks and his issues.  We've got it about 90% nailed down but there is yet some further testing the psychologist wants to do.  We're doing gymnastics again once a week and Eriks is really kicking butt in it.  His natural talent and ability to throw himself into multiple cartwheels, round offs, handstands continues to amaze me every day.  His movement is so beautiful and precise.  Like he was born for this sport.  Friday night and Saturdays are taken up with soccer.  Another sport he really enjoys and he always wants to be in the game.  He doesn't want to take a break for anything.  His athletic ability period makes me envious.  Eriks was under the weather for 4 days and thus instead of having a long Labor Day weekend had a Labor Day week and was home for 6 days!  His private school had an in-service day on Tuesday and he just went back yesterday. 
  • Emi is definitely a 2 yr old.  She's into everything and is definitely testing the boundaries.  We do the 3 strikes and you're out with Emi as we did with Eriks at this age.  We ask you the 1st time to stop doing it, the 2nd time we tell you to stop and if we have to say it a 3rd time it's punishment.  Emi's learned the game so well that when we get to the 3rd time, she giggles and runs away as you go to get her for timeout.  So frustrating and funny at the same time.  Emi is still doing speech therapy once a week and is becoming less and less of a compliant student.  She wants to do it all on her time and has started pouting when she doesn't want to do therapy.  Talk about frustration!  She just doesn't understand the benefit this has for her.  Our signing is moving rapidly.  I learn a new word and she picks it up quickly.  I'm afraid that soon I'm going to have a hard time keeping up with her.  Her spoken speech is also coming along but slowly.  We're guessing she has the vocabulary skills of a 10-12 month old.  There are only a few words she says but she is progressing and that's the direction we want to move in.  The words that she can say with us understanding her are "dog, no, up, more, Eriks, mama, cow, moo, amen, hi".  That's all I can think of right now.  She can sign way more than she can verbally say.  She got used to having her throat open to her nasal passages and thus isn't closing off the back of her throat when she talks.  We're going to see the Speech Pathologist next month to figure out how to get her to do what she needs to be doing.  At times it is frustrating for her to not be able to say what she wants and it's frustrating for us to not understand her.  Emi was recently featured in our adoption agencies newsletter.  You can go here to see her photo.  She's in the Fall 2010 newsletter.  We were honored to be asked to have her photo featured.  The only bummer is that I wish the would've used a more recent photo.  The one in the newsletter is about a year old and was taken a few weeks after she came home.
  • I'm hanging in there.  The kids are keeping me super busy because Lane is working a lot.  I'm definitely hoping for a bit of time away soon to unwind.  Hoping for a weekend getaway soon by myself.  I'm looking forward to just getting a pedicure right now.  I also turned my hobby into a part-time job.  I became a demonstrator for a company called Stampin' Up! whom I adore.  I've been a user of their products for 12 yrs now.  My motivations were to get some time away from the house.  Lane gets 8-14 hours a day away because of his job so why can't I get 2-3 hours away for something I love?  The other motivation is the extra money.  Lane will be starting Law School next Fall (God willing) and to have a little bit of extra income besides what we'll get from retirement and living expenses from the GI Bill would be a nice bonus.  I have a website set up at Stampin' Up! where you can shop with me.  Here's the link if you're interested in taking a look at what the company has to offer. 
  • Lane is crazy busy with work.  He's getting to the point where work is a huge PITA.  Lane doesn't like waiting around for things to get done and unfortunately, this goes on a lot at work for him.  Production has been ramped up this Fall and there's a lot coming off the line so he is going to be super busy.  I think it was a blessing in disguise that he turned down starting Law School at Georgia State this Fall.  He has a new boss and I don't think Lane would've liked saying, "I have to be done by 4 so I can leave by 5 to be in class 3 days a week."  That so would've not floated.   Lane's working on his application for Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis.  He's doing the early application so that if he for some bizarre reason doesn't get in, we can go to plan B.  Whatever that is!  We're hoping to hear by December if he got in or not.  So keep your fingers crossed that it all works out for him.
  • Syd our 13 yr old lab isn't doing so hot.  On Tuesday he was diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis.  This is the definition of what it is: 
    Laryngeal paralysis is a disorder in which the nerves that control the muscles and cartilage that open and close the larynx (voicebox) do not function properly, causing voice changes and difficulty with eating or breathing. The larynx is located in the back of the throat. Air moves from the mouth or nose through the larynx, and into the trachea (windpipe). Normally, the laryngeal cartilages (also known as the arytenoid cartilages) are pulled open during breathing. In laryngeal paralysis, these cartilages do not open and close properly, making it difficult for the animal to take in air normally.
    He's had what we call breathing episodes for months now.  Unfortunately, they've gotten worse.  He's had more than 1/2 a dozen in just the past few weeks alone and 2 on Tuesday.  It seems like he's having an asthma attack because he's wheezing and just can't get air into his lungs.  The problem is those flaps are not opening to allow the air into his lungs.  It is so painful to watch him have an episode.  Surgery isn't an option at his age because there could be complications.  The biggest one being if they tie back the flap(s) then he has the possibility of getting serious pneumonia and dying.  So we're in the process of getting him on steroids to help.  The problem with the steroids is that he has to be taken off of the arthritis medicine because it doesn't mix well with the steroids and can cause deadly stomach ulcers.  So instead of the arthritis meds he's on pain meds which pretty much knock him out most of the day.  The goal right now is making Syd as comfortable as possible for however long he has left.  As of right now, our plans to travel over the holidays are non-existent.  With these issues, it's just not safe to kennel him anymore because the paralysis could cause asphyxiation.  I know someone out there is going to think I'm selfish for putting my dog ahead of visiting our families for the holidays but it is what it is.  If I kenneled Syd just so I could go visit my family and he died, I'd never forgive myself.  He is a part of my family and I have to take care of him. 

    That's it for now.  Sorry I've been MIA for so long.  Hopefully things will settle a little and I can get back to some blogging.

12 August 2010

Swimming Fun

While away for 2 weeks the kids spent a lot of time in my parents inground pool.  They love, love, love the water.  Eventually when the time is right, we too will own a house with pool so the kids just have to go out the back door to get to the pool.  Both kids are fishes.  After watching Emi this summer I am seriously going to be looking into a toddler swim class so she can learn to swim.  At my parents house she was crawling along the edge.  She also kept stepping off the last stair to touch the bottom.  The problem was the water was over her head if she stepped down.  But did she care?  Noooo!  She thought it was hilarious.  We also had a get-together one day with the kids' cousins and friends.  And about the time we were wrapping everything up, a thunderstorm hit.  It was a great afternoon and I'm looking forward to next summer when I will be home for good spending more time with my family and friends.
My mom swimming with the kids.
My cousin Rob's kids S & E.  They are really cute kids.  S looks like his Grandfather (Rob's dad) and E is the spitting image of her father.  I always tell Rob that E is him in a dress!

08 August 2010

Laila's 1st Birthday

While up in Indiana the kids and I were able to celebrate my niece, Laila's 1st birthday with her.  In all honesty it was planned that way.  I wouldn't miss Laila's birthday.  It's hard to believe that a year has flown by.  My parents within 2 weeks or so last year had 2 new grandchildren.  Laila loves cake and couldn't get enough of it.  We loved watching her eat it.

06 August 2010

Week in Michigan

With the exception of last summer we have spent at least a week up in Michigan at my parents "summer place" up on Clear Lake.  It's nothing fancy.  Just a permanently parked trailer with a very nice deck in a great setting.  Eriks attends camp for a week at Garezers, the Latvian Camp there.  We love it there and are waiting for our own trailer space to open up so that we don't have to room with my parents anymore.  Cell phones rarely work there and forget about internet.  It's a very peaceful and relaxing place to spend a week unwinding.  Eriks has a great friend also named Eriks that he has gone to camp with 3 out of the past 4 years.  They would've been together again last year if it hadn't been for Lane's adoption trip during camp.  Next year they will be together again and they can't wait.

Eriks has a 1st while we were there.  The Friday afternoon after camp was over, my uncle M who has a boat took Eriks tubing for the first time.  He is hooked.  He loved it and I loved watching him have so much fun.  Unfortunately, the silly mommy forgot her camera and has no photo proof.  I'm still kicking myself.  There's always next summer!

Here are some of the photos from our week in the woods.

Emi found a woly worm and loved it.  She loved having them crawl on her hand and up her arm.
Eriks and the woly worm climbing up his arm.  If you look back at my old blog you can find a similar photo.  It's a tradition we've done every year up there.
Her future's so bright, she's gotta wear my cousin's shades!
Singing at camp with some of the other kids and counselors.
Eriks and his friend Eriks and K.
Being silly with Eriks's sister A who is Emi's new buddy.  A is 4 months younger than Emi and they will be at camp together next summer!
Dancing in the rain.  We actually ended up stripping the kids down to their birthday suits, grabbing the shampoo and soap and giving them a shower!  They loved it!
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