Tuesday, June 29, 2010

some pictures..











my fiesty little kids...I finally found the pictures of Lilianna's pink hair. It was all out by the time she got home last weekend...so sad! but probably a good thing! The boys..especially zeb love some photos being taken of them!
Just thought i would share since I finally found them!
Tonight is my last call night as a resident and hopefully i won't be called back in in the next 5 hours...if so...Ihave finished my life as a resident...now to sleep!

Monday, June 28, 2010

renewed hope...

OK...kind of a cheesy title. Our chaos is increasing my the hour! We will survive though! Today, I heard that someone got a visa in Ghana...no it wasn't me and I don't know who it was....but an adoptive parent DID get a visa!

For weeks, I have heard of no visa's getting through the field investigation. Our field investigation was completed 5 weeks ago...so maybe we are getting close. I emailed the embassy today to see if we could get our visa's. I figure it doesn't hurt to ask right?!

In the past, before the field investigation, visa appointments would be on Tuesday and the visa would be issued on Friday...so I will be hopeful all day tomorrow that my email will remind someone that we need our visa's and they call for the passports so they can issue the visa. Then when it doesn't happen tomorrow I will remain hopefull because Wednesday is a big embassy day. So I have some unexpected hope this week...love it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The month of chaos begins...

I picked up Lilianna yesterday morning and my mom in the afternoon. Picking up Lilianna went really well ..except of course I ended up driving about 30 miles past the meeting point to get her because he was running late. Everytime I pick her up from her dad's i always worry that she is going to be upset or sad or something. her dad always acts like it is the end of the world and she always is so excited to see me and asks if Zeb is in the car and then I have to remind her to say good bye to her dad. Don't get me wrong...I know she loves him and I DO think it is important for her to spend time with him.
We made a couple of stops on the way home. The first place we had to stop was for gas...we went in and she wanted 50 cents to try one of those claw games and amazingly she won a little tiger. She got in the car and wanted to call keith and tell him that she had one something from the claw game. It was pretty random that she wanted to call Keith.
Then we did some serious damage at the Carter's and Osh Kosh B'Gosh outlet stores. I am a sucker for a flowered tunic from Carter's and Lilianna is willing to feed my weakness! haha.

Lilianna was so excited to see my mom at the airport and everyone was excited to see Lilianna when we got home. Randomly throughout the day..Zeb would give Lilianna a hug and say 'I am so glad you are home to my house leelee'.

keith has been an insane preparation monster for the last week...getting very little sleep. He left this morning for boy scout camp for a week. By the time he gets back..the movers will have packed up the house and have even packed or at least started to pack everything on the truck. So he has been super stressed out trying to get everything on his list done...which as you can imagine...is totally impossible. My honey knows how to overschedule himself and expect himself to be superhuman...it is one of his spiritual gifts...to demand too much of himself!

So tonight...the kids are totally out of sorts....Lilianna is home (which is awesome...but takes a little reacclimation by her to the rules..if you know what I mean), Benjamin misses Daddy something fierce (he screamed "daddy" every time I laid him down in his crib for like 3 hours at bedtime), my mom is sleeping on the couch in the living room (which is totally awesome she is here....thanks mom!). All of this is breaks in our tenuous routine and to top it all off...I am a nervous wreck which makes me less than flexible and fun loving! So chaos this week in Birmingham and then the move and then chaos in the unpacking...then we decided to have houseguests our first weekend in our new house...we don't even have enough places for the kids to sleep and we have chosen to sleep 5 more....not to mention starting a new job.
The weekend after that Lilianna is going to girls scout camp for 3 days then the next weekend is her birthday and the next week is boards.

I am soooo blessed to have this chaos and I am gratefull everyday for the blessing in my life that allow me to have these great opportunities....truly I am....but I will be glad with July is over.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Childlessness at record high

Childlesness at record high I saw this on Yahoo news like 5 minutes ago. Apparently childlessness is increasing across every segment except in among women with advanced degrees where childlesness has declined by 32%. I was blown away by the statistic that only 9% of women have advanced degrees. The only disturbing thing about this article is that women who have adopted children are counted to be childless. I have spent the last 10 minutes trying to figure out how to email this bozo...or the pew research center and complain about that.

Seriously, I am a little pissed off about that....if you have children you have children and thus are not childless (yes I know I sound like mojo jojo from power puff girls)....but apparently there is some jerk of a researcher who is...well..an idiot.

So now I am off to take my kids...one of whom apparently doesn't count according to Pew Research center.....out to dinner.

Soil erosion is real!

On my way home from work today it started storming really bad....like cars pulled over to the side of the road driving 20mph on the highway with your hazard lights blinking storm. I got off the interstate and start driving home the small state highway to my house. And as a got to about a block of my turn off...there was red clay colored water pouring across the street. The street wasn't washed out but a thin covering of dirt enriched water was pouring across the street. We have had lots of thunderstorms like this one and I hadn't seen this before.

So I make my turn and there is red clay colored water POURING through the drainage ditch and giant puddles in the roadway...I immediately stopped with visions of my parents seeing me airlifted by a helicopter out of a flood and saying "what an idiot..her parents must be so embarrassed"...however...upons closer evaluation...the dirt made it look worse than it was.

About a month ago a guy on the second street rented some kind of heavy machinery and deforested his half an acre lot on the side of the hill and put a manufactured home on it...sitting up on cement pylons on a giant flattened hill of red clay. I can't wait to drive back by there after the storm and see how much of that hill washed away...because there was some serious erosion. The difference in patterns of rain water flow was amazing.

In other news...today is Keith's last day of work and my mom is heading into town tomorrow to help with the move. I am also picking Lilianna up tomorrow...yeah...Zeb is soooo excited that she is coming home. He has been asking everyday for the last 2 weeks "When is my lilly coming to my house?" On Sunday, Keith and O leave for boyscout camp...so tomorrow night will be the last night Keith and I sleep together in our first house together. My angst over that one is for another post!

Hoping next week will bring news of my daughters homecoming!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

what have I been up to...

This happens every couple of months...I don't have any pictures or anything too exciting to post about and my blog lays empty and forgotten..much like all of the clothes I outgrew sitting in my closet.....
It seems ironic that I am not posting because there is really so much going on in my life. I finish my residency in less than a week. When I first started medical school it seemed like forever. I remember when Lilianna was born I figured out she would be 7 when I had my first real job...now she is really almost 7. Boy do I look 7 years older hah!

This blog has been really cool for me...like a journal or diary. I can look back and see what I was doing when Zeb was born...when I didn't even know about him...or what I was doing when Zoe was born. I wish I had a journal from 9 years ago so i could see what I was doing with Alex was born....I was working for Harrah's new orleans, getting my MBA and working on my medical school applications. No journal....but I did have dial up internet...oh the joy! haha.

So right now I am on a cardiovascular anesthesia month which is good and bad. The cases are really intense and it is way cool to see hearts stop and then watch them start back up again an hour later...you can look into the chest and see if you give calcium they beat stronger....etc. It is just cool. However, the rotation itself sucks because you never know when your case is going to start when you are going to get off etc. I have become spoiled in this residency because you know when you are not on call...you are out of the OR at 3pm. It is nice to have predictability. I was second call last night...which means I will be the second person to get called in from home if there is an emergency case...or 2 as the case may be. However, the normal staffed hosed me into starting a case that I wasn't assigned to that they knew (as did I) would take forever. So...all of the paid normal staff ..including the first call CRNA was home in bed by 8pm and I was in the OR until 430 this morning. Not that I am bitter.....hahaha.

Anyway, I have one more call and I have 2 more regular days...tomorrow and Monday. Then I am done. It is a little bit intimidating to think of being done...but it is really exciting.

off to bed....I have a 7am case in the morning and who knows when it will really go...if it will go...or what time I will be done! Whatever those answers maybe doesn't change the fact that i will need to be at the hospital at like 430am to start my set up....ug.

In adoption news......nada. We know nothing more about the visa's for the girls. i am beginning to think that they are never going to do anything and I really am curious at what point do we start DOING something...asking for help from our lawmakers, maybe Angelina Joli could visit them or something and help out! How long do we JUST WAIT! I am such a doooer not a waiter. Another Beacon House family is headed to court tomorrow for a travel order and if you could please add her adorable little girls to your prayers tomorrow it will make a difference. These sweet little girls need their mommy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

another week...

Another week is done and still no word on visa's for my daughters. If you look on the ticker...you will see I have been waiting 10 weeks for the visa's..of course our court date and the day they became our daughter legally was 18w 4 days ago. The last 10 weeks are due to OUR US government. I understand they want to investigate...but they had all of our documents and COMPLETED an interview with their living bio uncle over a month ago and they are just waiting on ...I don't even know what. It is just cricket's chirping over at the US Embassy visa unit.

Keith and I were playing with Benjamin last night and he was rolling around on the floor playing and laughing. Keith and I were taking turns just playing with him...holding him above our heads while we lay on the ground....bouncing him on my legs and flipping him over my head. He was just laughing and climbing all over us. I really wanted Zoe there to do the same things. To have my undivided attention while I swing her around and over my head singing pop goes the weasel. UGGGG by the time she gets home she will be too big for me to swing around (well hopefully I am exaggerating some!)

So, paradoxically and against my strong dislike of work right now...I wait anxiously for the week to start instead of end for the small hope that we might hear something about visas. Although I am sure this weeked will be a ton of fun!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

147 million orphans

I have a tote bag and a shirt from 147 million orphans. However, I recently read a new number from The Organization That Shall Remain Nameless...that said there were now 207 million orphans. I am so happy that that organization has spent millions of dollars on getting an accurate count while not interceding to improve the lives of these children at all...but that is another post.

207 million wow. Could the number of orphans in the world really have increased that much since 2008 or 2007 I can't remember which year the other number came out..but either way...WOW.

This morning I received an email from another Kyrgyzstan adoption mama that is advocating for an HIV+ baby girl in an eastern european country so I popped on over to Positively Orphaned to get contact information. I have been staying away from all photo lists etc because once your heart is broken for orphans and once you have adopted 3 and have 6 children...really what is one more...and that can be dangerous! haha.

Right now there are a ton of babies from Eastern Europe and Russia on the website. Probably if you are reading my blog...you are an adoptive mom....but maybe not. Maybe you just happened on my blog for some other reason and you are curious about what is on the positively orphaned webpage. Hop on over there....be moved. Maybe you are an adoptive mom and haven't been thinking about going through it all again...hop on over there you may be inspired to give it another go.

Do you have a bunk bed that has an open bunk? do you have baby clothes that your youngest has outgrown? Do you lack a family birthday for the month of June and really want to have something to celebrate in that month? There is now an adoption tax refund instead of a tax credit..so the year you complete your adoption you get $13,000 from the government. Are you convinced yet? 6,000 children are orphaned every day because of AIDS and 30,000 children will die today from malnutrion and preventable diseases......how bout now? I will bake you some delicious chocolate fudge chunk brownies and mail them to you....how about now?

That's all I got....but seriously pop over to positively orphaned and be moved by the beautiful children who desperately need a mom.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Potty pirates...


Tonight I was in the boys' bedroom playing with Benjamin while Keith was in the bathroom with Zeb. They were taking an awful long time because Zeb is still pretty reluctant with the old poo poo ing in the potty chair. I am not so much with the patience...I would just keep them all in diapers until the shame at Kindergarted potty trained them real fast...sometimes peer pressure is a good thing! haha.
Anyway....I walked into the bathroom and found Zeb ...the potty pirate and dad making up a pirate necklace to go with the eyepatch.

What a great weekend..

Nothing like a really craptastic week to help you appreciate the weekend!


Here are my babies at the train museum. Yeah it is the weekend.


Here are taking a short train trip....you can't tell from the picture...but it is about 125 degrees with humidity around 99.9%...ok I may be exaggerating a tad...just a tad. We did get a pretty good breeze on the train through.
Our trip to the train museum was an all day affair. We stopped to get Krispy kreme donuts on the way home...yes I am fat and on a diet...but keith got a coupon for a free dozen donuts...so diet be damned! Then we went to Target and bought some new summer clothes for the boys....and yes....they wantes matching clothes and shoes. I only indulged their desire to match with this on shirt and their shoes.
We had a great weekend.
As a small aside, over the weekend, Zeb started telling us stories about when he was in Kyrgyzstan. Obviously, he doesn't acutally remember being in Kyrgyzstan..but he will start out the story like this..."one time I was in kyrgyzstan and mommy came to visit me and gave me some yogurt" (which is one of the things we talk about when we are looking at Kyrgyzstan pictures). Or "one time when I was in Kyrgyzstan mommy and daddy flew to kyrgyzstan and mommy said "my zebby" and gave me a hug". These will be at completely random (at least to my eyes) times. We almost always have a laptop on the kitchen table and whenever Zeb wants to look at pictures he asks and we open them up and all look at them...so we have seen Zebby kyrgyzstan pictures a million times, pictures of the new house a million times, etc. So I am not sure why it seems so odd to me that Zeb is all of a sudden vocalizing things about Kyrgyzstan and stories from his lifebook (ok I don't really have his lifebook together...it is still completely unput together in the bottom drawer of my dresser...but the stories are told and the pictures are all digital on the kitchen table...isn't that good enough!).
I recently read something......I don't even know where I read it....it was by an international adoptee about the point at which his "lifestory" ceased to be a cute little story about red threads and mommy flying over the ocean to pick him up and adoption started to mean that he was different from his brother and sisters.
So Zeb's new -ish desire to be twins with Benjamin and his new-ish vocalizing things about "one time in Kyrgyzstan" has been sending me into overanalyzing mode. Meanwhile, Keith said that he things Zeb just likes saying kyrgyzstan because it is a fun word to say. I think that Keith is probably right...chics are complicated...dudes are pretty uncomplicated!

Oh yeah and Zeb slept in underwear all last night with no accidents...go zebby!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Complaining...complaining...

It seems like the only I think I do on this blog anymore is complain....I feel like that is all I have done all week. I am remembering what it is like to be an angst ridden teen all over again. I have no real good reason to be so aggravated. I mean I have a lot of little reasons....

but nothing to really explain how ridiculously angry I am at the world right now. Mostly work has been hugely annoying....not as bad as it could be but annoying. I have worked greater than 12 hours every day except today starting around 5am. Granted in residency there have been months..even entire years where I expected and happily (or at least unangrily) plodded along working 80 - 100 hours a week. I even knew that the likelihood of being hosed repeatedly on this rotation was high...so I have come into this rotation knowing that there was a possibility I could be working 12 hour days or longer. So even though work is annoying it can not possibly be the only culprit for my anger.

I did get out of work early today. My case ended at 1145 this morning and I was so excited about heading over to Taziki's for the friday special...which is super delish...and I get a page that we had teaching rounds...so now not only do I not get to go eat lunch at Taziki's...I don't get a freaking lunch at all. I get to go look like an idiot in front of my peers when I unwittingly sit in the hot seat. So I am sleep deprived, starving and the focus of rapid fire questions from our attending. Seriously!

So when I finally got out of there I just headed home..starving (which probably explains all of the random crap I bought at walmart on the way home). Half way home I was so overcome with anger that I just started screaming. Contrary to popular belief that whole primal scream thing is really not that helpful.

I really can't figure out why I am so worked up...I know a big part of it is work, but I think I also miss the pink haired firecracker, Lilianna. I don't feel anxious about the move and I feel totally at peace with the waiting going on for Alex and Zoe right now. Seriously, as far as stress levels go...they are waaaaay down. But something is doing a number on me this week. I know... it must be time for looooong introspective bath with chocolate chip cookie dough and loud music.

In good Kyrgyzstan news......I just found out today that our postplacements for Zeb are now only for 3 years instead of 14 years so we have our last one due in August and that is it for post placements. I had no idea and I am sooo excited about it. I mean really, writing up a post placement every 6 months is not that arduous..but it is one less thing I have to remember to do. So it is pretty cool!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weigh in time

OK...I fell off the diet wagon already. We went out of town this weekend and there was snacking in the car and possibly a 900 calorie medium hot fudge shake from dairy queen...and boy it was good - allegedly.

and...I haven't bought my sports hula hoop..but I am going to hop on over to amazon.com when I finish this post and actually buy it. Online shopping is soooo superior to cleaning the house or doing the laundry which are the main things waiting for me right now! I also haven't actually ridden my bike since last Wednesday (we were out of town from Thursday right after work until late Sunday night..and I can think up some good excuses for Monday and Tuesday...just give me a minute!).



The official one week weigh in is 154 lbs...yes that is right...in trying to lose weight, I have managed to gain 2 pounds. So my new plan is to take lasix every wednesday morning and then weigh myself in the afternoon..ahhaha..just kidding. I suck....apparently I suck on full sticks of butter and sippy cups filled with bacon grease.

That being said....tomorrow is another day.

In other news....the US Embassy in Ghana has all of the paperwork for our daughter's visas and we are literally just waiting on them to decide to issue them. Waiting stinks...not quite in the same way cleaning the house and doing the laundry..but still. It is really suck-y to be waiting for no apparent reason. Also heard that things might be moving in the Kyrgyzstan adoption world - I certainly hope so! There are 65 little kiddos who are out way past curfew!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I miss fitting into my clothes.....

Yes....I have a closet full of clothes that are too small. I have some very nice clothes. I wore the same size clothes from the time I was 17 or so until I had Lilianna. Then right before I was pregnant with Ben...I mean like for 4-5 months I could fit back into my clothes. Right after I had Ben I could almost fit back into my clothes...and then the slippery slope of an aging metabolism.....AUGHHHHHHHH! (insert Michelle falling off a cliff here and fattening up enough to break my own fall)

I have always been a snacker...but I have always been really active and I was formerly blessed with a pretty fast metabolism. The snacking stayed the same....ouch.

Yesterday I saw someone reference sparkpeople and I had no idea what it was..so I googled it and it is an online community for helping people live healthier, get in shape...and/or lose weight. So I filled some stuff out to see what I would need to do to get to MY size...in weight at least. I can consume between 1200-1550 calories a day and have to burn 560 calories a week. I have no idea how they came up with those numbers...but I'm game.

The menus are a little unrealistic for me right now...so I am thinking about the Special K diet...it is something like only eat special K cereal for every meal...i could totally do that! haha. I do have some Special K protein bars that are pretty good.

I also saw that 50 cent lost a ton of weight for some movie by going on the liquid only diet...umm...ok not interested in that one!

Anyway...this is my official public weigh in...I am an embarrassing 152 pounds and my goal is 135 pounds by my anniversary (August 26). Basically 12 weeks to lose 17 pounds. One of my friends at work suggested a sports hula hoop....seriously.

So it appears my losing weight plan is this:

An end to the endless snacking...a ton of special K, walks after dinner, riding bikes with Keith at night (stationary) and sport hula hooping. Oh yeah...I am totally going to need to get an Iphone with the calorie counting application on it for my diet....and possibly wii fit. Just kidding about the wii fit the last thing my kids need is another excuse to NOT go outside to play.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homeschooling

Keith and I are delving head long into homeschool curriculum for Alex. We talked a lot about K12...it looks really thorough...but it is SOOOOO expensive! I have 2 friends that use K12 and really like it. I have read lots of reviews on it and it appears people are mostly happy as long as they are not using it in conjunction with a public virtual school. It was definitely high on our list when we started the in depth investigation last week.

Once we started looking, I started to get more excited about creating our own curriculum instead of jumping in with K12. These are the things we are investigating...

1. Sonlight core
2. Saxon Math
3. Just Write
4. Usborne World history
5. Wordly Wise

I am still taking suggestions for science...anyone? I am actually still taking suggestions for any area! Also looking for a book with a nice comprehensive and concisely stated goals for each year of school...for instance, i would not intuitively have known that money concepts and telling time is first grade. Which is why we are looking hard at full curriculum's right now instead of totally piecing together our own. I understand that tomorrow at 10am the "common core standards" come out for the common core standards initiative and my thought was that might provide some guidance....so I am looking forward to perusing that tomorrow.

Lilianna uses Time for Learning to augment her public school, we have been doing that for this entire year. She does a lot of the Math and Sciences on time for learning and really likes them. The problem is that she can pass the quizzes and get throught the material, but she is not retaining a lot of it. Even though I know she has studied places (tens, hundreds, ones...) in school and passed that section in Time for Learning..she does NOT get it. She also lacks understanding of money (she must get that from me! haha)..the other day we were at KFC and she wanted 4 quarters to get something out of a machine and she asked for 4 quarters. I told her if she could tell me how much that was she could have it. I figured that would be no problem for her....she tried and kept guessing and couldn't put it together. So then I tried to break down the math for her and even write it down. She definitely should know money better, and addition better. She got all A's this year and is heading up to second grade with a couple of huge gaps in her learning. She has also completed the money section in Time For Learning and did well on her quizzes for money...so I am pretty sure that Time For Learning is not the best method for Lilianna to improve her math understanding.

We are still waiting to see where Lilianna will be going to school next year and quite frankly, after looking into homeschooling for Alex, we have no qualms about homeschooling Lilianna too. In fact, I see a number of advantages to it. The conversation is still ongoing with Lilianna as to whether or not it would be the best choice for our family to teach her at home also.

It just seems like everything about homeschooling is more efficient. The curriculum and lessons are individualized, you get immediate and responsive teachers (me and keith), the teaching time is much shorter without all of the fluff that goes on in school. Schooltime is quicker, there is more time for good quality extracuricular activites (i.e socializing with other kids). They meet and interact with kids that have the same interests as them... not just the kids that happen to be in their class and sit next to them (quietly for 7 hours a day I might add). I think there is also an advantage to separating socialization from learning time. Having been to a women's college, and from personal experience, I am well aware that a girl's socialization at school is not always a positive thing when it comes to actively learning.

I think that once you formally turn yourself into your child's teacher, everything becomes an opportunity to teach...everything becomes a lesson. You seek out lesson opportunities on your vacation, a simple question at dinner or while driving becomes the impetus for quick lesson on the digestive tract or the lungs. So while school time is more condensed...more time is spent in educating your children.

I am rambling in my usual way...synopsis....hit me with your favorite homeschool books, software, planning tools etc.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power