Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Love in 100 words or less

This is my submission for Bridges: 100 Words: Love. Entries are due by Oct. 2nd, so there are only a few days left to participate. All the info can be found here. I some how edited and re-edited and finally settled on exactly 100 words!

My idea of love has changed so much over the years. During my earlier days, love was that giddy, dreamy feeling I got when a guy noticed me. As I approached my thirties, I looked at love from a whole new perspective. Love is secure and innocent, but at the same time completely frightening. It can feel warm like the summer sun on your face or icy like dark winter rain. Love is joyful and free, but also unforgiving and astringent. I was never able to comprehend the vastness of love, until I experienced loss. But still, I love again.

Monday Night Football!

Baltimore lost to Pittsburgh 20-23 tonight. Joe had a good game and was 16/31 with 192 yards and his first touchdown pass! The Ravens played really well and I think dominated the game - it's a shame the final score didn't reflect that! The announcers were all impressed with Joe's confidence and his grace under pressure. He isn't easily intimidated or pressured! Go Ravens!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

No Soccer Sunday

Brian's soccer game was rained out - the field was too wet and muddy. It was not actually raining at the time of the game, so we got to watch the eleven year old boys play. They play on the full size field and were able to take advantage of the turf field in our town. Brian knew a few younger siblings there to watch too, so he spent more time playing than actually watching. It was a good game anyway! It is neat to watch the older boys and see where Brian's team will hopefully be in a few years!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Block Party '08

We spent the whole afternoon at our town's block party today! There were tons of those bouncy-jumpy things for the boys. There was a laser tag game and a rock wall to climb too. Of course plenty of food and treats too! As you can guess, we didn't stray too far from the ride area. My mom stayed with Justin for his nap so I got some time with the older boys. It is nice to sometimes have some freedom to do older kid things and not be held up due to the baby. After his nap I went and picked up Justin - he was just in time for ice cream!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kickball Soccer

Brian had soccer practice tonight. They did the usual laps and drills and sprints. Then their coach divided them up into two teams. He put one in the field and told the other to line up behind a cone. Then he made two squares with cones in the field and on square in front of the boys in line. He called it Kickball Soccer!

The team in the line got to kick first. They had to run to the first square, then to the second one and score at the last one. The team in the field could only use their feet to pitch and catch and pass the ball to try to get them out. But the players on the two bases were like goalies and able to use their hands to try to get outs. They could also punt it to the player on the other base to try to get an out!

They boys had so much fun and didn't want to stop playing even though it was getting to dark to see! I thought that the coach had read this game in a book or seen it online. But he made the whole thing up himself. And even dragged his family to a school yard after dinner one night to work out the logistics of it! I hope the kids get to play it again! I am sure their begging will win the coach over one day soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Consignment Shopping

I decided a few weeks ago to start taking some of the clothes that Justin outgrows to a consignment shop. Basically, you take the items, they check for stains, and then they put it on a rack to sell. If the item sells, I get 50% and the consignment shop gets 50%. Not such a bad deal. And an easy way to make a few bucks with minimal effort needed on my part!

And I have found some great deals for my boys - and future girl too! I got Brian a long sleeve Under Armor mock neck shirt for $6.00! I got a few sundresses and cute jumpers for a few dollars each! And I got Justin that Fisher Price Bounce Around Zebra ride on toy for $10.00 - it retails for about $40! And all things are like-new and gently used!

I have tried selling things on e-bay but it is so hard to get to the post office a few times a week. And then you have to deal with the people. You know the ones that expect the item shipping out the next morning, overnight express but only want to pay $2.95 for shipping. I have no idea why people need a baby outfit within two days. I say if you want it that quickly get your butt to the store and pay retail! I may try it again some day, but for now I have had my fill of mean, ignorant people!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Allergy Woes

Brian came home from school today very upset. The had a birthday celebration for one of his classmates. The treat of choice was Munchkins from Dunkin' Donuts. Well, with his tree nut allergy, his teacher would not allow him to eat anything without a label. While I do understand that the school has the job of keeping him safe when he is there, I also know that I told them he has the donut holes all of the time. And for the record he can have soft pretzels - which also come without a label! Ugh! I feel so bad for him. But, it is a good life lesson, and as I explained to him, things could be worse!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sean's back to school night

Sean has the same teacher for Pre-K that Brian did, so back to school night was not too exciting for me. But I did get to see some of his pictures and where he sat etc. His teacher said he was doing a great job but like most of the other kids, could be a little talkative at times.

Hey, when we are talking about Sean, I will take a little talkative over what it could be! He seems to be doing well and getting along nicely with the other kids! I hope the rest of the year goes this smoothly!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Food

I had to laugh while walking the boys to school today. Brian and Sean had each had pancakes and a glass of apple juice for breakfast. The pancakes, of course, were home-made. Well, not that morning. But I do make all of our pancakes and waffles from scratch. I just make a few dozen at a time and freeze them. No, not because I am one of those wholesome moms who doesn't believe in microwaves. I do it out of necessity for Sean's food allergies. And it is good for the wallet too!

But, allergies set aside, it does make me feel good. I know love went into their pancakes and waffles. And they were made with healthy ingredients - whole wheat flour, soy milk, eggs, and a dash of canola oil. I feel like I have given them a better breakfast than Auntie J of the l'eggo people. I am not saying their products are unhealthy. Just not as healthy as mine are!

So, back to my original story...Justin usually sleeps in a bit in the mornings. By the time he gets up, I barely have time to change him, make him a bottle, and strap him in the stroller for the walk to school. When it is raining he gladly has his breakfast in his car seat! (No comments about my 16 month old on a bottle please.) This is good because he gets a bit more sleep and also good because there is just a little bit less chaos in the already hectic mornings.

As I said, I had to laugh on our walk to school. Here was baby number three at the mercy of everyone else's schedules. He had his bottle of milk and half of a Pop Tart - where he found that, I don't want to know. He could probably find a few Cheerios in the stroller or car seat for the ride home too!

I remember with Brian and even with Sean, making them great breakfasts of waffles and pancakes. Eggs and oatmeal. Fresh fruit cups and even a cream cheese dipping sauce for it. Homemade oatmeal and sliced bananas sprinkled with a bit of sugar.

But what Justin has that Brian and Sean didn't is two big brothers that love him very much. Brian was so little when Sean was a baby. It is really neat to watch how great they are with him. Little brothers are cool - even if they do eat old Pop Tarts and neglected cereal!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Franklin Field

We had so much fun at the University of Pennsylvania football game! I think Sean's favorite part was the the blow-up bouncy thing they had set up before the game. He must have gone through it at least 30 times! Then the boys got tattoos from cute cheerleaders - they are still to young to appreciate pretty young girls catering to them!

We found our seats and settled in to watch the game. Penn played really great but lost in overtime to Villanova. I think the final score was 14-20. I didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes, but after the 3rd quarter they play the school song. The end of the song talks says "Here's a toast to dear old Penn" and then all of the people in the stands throw toast onto the sidelines. They even have volunteers making toast and handing it out before the game. All of the kids - and adults - enjoyed this! I think the boys were aiming for the cheerleaders - bonus points! I read that the students used to toast real drinks and this tradition was invented during Prohibition, but other sites say it was started in the 1970's.

After the game we got to meet one of the players, Jake Lewko, that used to work for Brian. He took us up to the top of a parking garage where his family and all the other player's families were tailgating. We had a beer and some chili - well the boys had doughnuts and soda! They boys, their friends, and a few cousins found a football and had a little pick-up game! It kept them really occupied. All were well behaved so the night was a complete success - except for Penn's loss, but they still played hard!

Sean entering the bouncy football thing
the stadium
the end zonemeeting of the mascots
they boys loved the helmet car
throwing of the toast
the toast zamboniBrian and friend Noah with his brother Jacob
watching the trains after the game

a group shot

More Soccer and football

Brian's soccer game went really well today! He played great and even scored his first goal! I was so happy for him. He jumped up and down once he realized that he scored. Then he ran back up the field with his fist in the air! I could have cried I was so proud! Not that we emphasize scoring, I always tell him to just try his best and to always give 100%, but it was great to see how happy he was! His team eventually won 5-1.

In other good news, the Ravens won again too! They beat the Browns 28-10. Our nephew Joe had another great game. He was 13/19 for 129 yards but had two interceptions. I don't think I will ever stop being amazed by his talent and skill and composure. It is wonderful to watch him play!

Roc to the Vet!

Roc turned 10 this summer, so each yearly visit to the vet now scares me a bit. I am afraid that they will find something and tell me he is sick. But, my fears are unfounded for now. Roc is in perfect health, aside from putting on a few pounds. We have Justin to thank for that. He is constantly throwing food to him and shoving stuff off of the side of his high chair!

Roc got his rabies and distemper shots and is good to go for another year! Wonderful news! I still remember that hot day on July 5th when we got him. It had to be close to 100 degress and here we were in an unairconditioned animal shelter. No kill of course! We looked at all of the dogs and even took a few out to play with in the yard. None seemed like the right fit. Then the guy suggested a dog to us. He said if he didn't alreay have three dogs that he would take him home. We decided to give one more dog a try.

I knew Roc was the dog instantly! He had come from a family with kids who couldn't keep him anymore. The only negative listed was that he could climb chain link fences to escape - I liked this dog already! Roc came out into the yard and greeted us with plenty of licks and a wagging tail. He chased a ball and even dug in the dirt! Sold! We filled out the paper work and were accepted. But, we had to have a leash and a collar to bring him home. Brian thought we should return the next day, but one look at me told him differently.

So, to make a long story short. Animal shelter fifty dollars. Petsmart two hundred dollars. Life with a good dog, priceless!

Friday, September 19, 2008

He speaks!

Justin is finally adding some words to his vocabulary of cave man like grunts. He doesn't use them very often but his mispronounced syllables are like music to my ears. His uh-oh is very clear and precise now. He says mom more clearly too. And he added bot (bottle), grandmom, more, hat, and bus! He is on a roll now. Oh, and he also says yum when he wants something that you have to eat or drink.

This whole not talking thing is so foreign to me. Brian and Sean were close to speaking in sentences by 16 months and he is just starting with a few words. I know neither is better than the other and they all develop in their own time and to their own potential. It is really strange to have a less verbal child! But what he lacks in language he makes up for in happiness. Justin is almost always smiling, well unless he doesn't get his way! Seriously though, most of the time he is so laid back and easy going. He is happy to just be, wherever that is!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I have had a few successful jewelry parties in the past few weeks. Slowly but surely we are adding to our adoption fund. It is so hard to save tens of thousands of dollars, especially with three kids. On top of the usual mortgage, utility, and student loan bills, there is so much more that drains our bank account on a daily basis!

It seems like someone always needs to see the doctor, then there are prescriptions and over the counter pain relievers. School trips and PTA memberships. Sports teams and special soccer clinics. Gas and car repairs. Broken window blinds and stained carpets. Lost sneakers and shin guards to replace. Three kinds of milk - 1%, whole and soy - each week. And food, don't even get me started about how much food! Room parent donations and teacher gifts. Diapers and new jeans to replace those outgrown over the summer. School portraits and birthday snacks. Tickets for the school fair and the town block party. Hot dogs and burgers at sporting events. Cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. Ripped curtains and ruined blankets. I could go on and on forever!

I know that we will find a way to have the money in time. We still have a little over seven months - most healthy child referrals are taking about a year right now, but things can change at any time. We will have tax refunds and year end bonuses to look forward to!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This morning Brian and I got our fingerprints done at the USCIS office in Philly. The trip there at 9 am was not as bad as I thought it might be. Luckily the office was a bit north of center city so we didn't hit the rush hour traffic. We even arrived a bit early, which turned out to be a good thing for us.

We walked in and there were a ton of signs saying no cell phones or cameras were even allowed in the building! We first stopped a desk and our appointment papers were checked. Then we each had a form to fill out and then take to another desk. Our forms were checked, along with ID and we were given a ticket with a number, like at the deli counter, and told where to sit. Our wait was only a few minutes until our numbers were called.

Once our number was called we had to sit int he last chair in a line of chairs. When the first person got called, the rest of the line had to get up and move down one chair. I found the whole thing to be quite comical. It was like an assembly line!

The actual fingerprinting was easy. All the prints were scanned, no more black ink to try to get off! It was neat to see the prints come up on the computer screen. And it automatically told them whether or not the print was acceptable or not. This is good, because now I know the prints were good and won't have to be redone! They did have to do a few fingers more than once, but in the end all prints were accepted.

I think we were only in the office for about 30 minutes total. As we were leaving, the whole place was filling up, so I am really glad we arrived 15 minutes early! Now we sit and wait, again. I have heard that NJ is taking about 12-14 weeks for the clearances. So that puts us in mid to late December. Maybe an early Chirstmas present! Still in plenty of time for an early Spring referral!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brian's Back to school night!

It was great to see Brian's classroom and some of his work. I got to sit in his seat and look through his books. His teacher seemed very nice and pleasant. We got to leave him a note to read tomorrow! We didn't really get to talk to his teacher - that time comes in November for conferences. I am really not to worried about this - his conferences have always been easy. It is Sean's I am a little worried about!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Today I asked Sean where he put my car keys. He ran to the car to unlock it after school. He told me, "Mom they are in the hold cupper." Yep, there they were in the cup holder next to the drivers seat!

I love when kids make simple mistakes with what they say - definitely entertaining for the parents and others who are listening!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

One and One

Soccer went much better this week! We won 5-1! Brian had a really good game and I was really proud of the way he played. Brian didn't score, but all of our goals were scored by different people, so that was really neat! It was nice to see them so happy and enthusiastic after the bad loss last week! The boys seem to be figurinCheck Spellingg out a little more each week and it is great to see them all improve.

No football for Joe this week because of the weather in Texas. We don't know yet when they will make it up! Next week is home against the Browns! Go Ravens!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chu-Suk Celebration

Chu-Suk is one of the biggest holidays in South Korea. The meaning of Chu Suk is described as "bountiful abundance." It is said to be like the American Thanksgiving. Many people travel to visit family home towns. There are a lot of specific foods that are prepared. The theme of the day is basically to just have fun.

There was a local celebration only a few minutes from our home, so the boys and I decided to check it out. As we drove into the parking lot Sean yelled, "Whoa! We drove to China! That was fast!" I know, I know. I will have to have a talk with him! Luckily he got it out of his system while he was still in the back of the van!

When we got there, we saw the last few minutes of a Taekwondo demonstration. Brian and Sean were hooked! They went over to the Taekwondo booth and got some information on classes. The instructors taught them how to kick and punch. They even each got to break a board! The amazement on their faces was priceless. One guy asked the boys if they wanted to take classes and they both said no. I later found out it was because Brian thought he would have to go to Korea to take classes! I had to chuckle at that one!

I tried some dumplings that were really good! They were very doughy and had a sweet kind of barbecue filling. Yum! They boys opted for a hamburger and chips! I got to meet a woman that I have only known through e-mails before. She is with the same adoption agency as we are and they just got a referral of a cute little girl last week! It was so nice to put a face to her. She was so nice and I hope we get to meet up again soon - minus my boys! She is a Mom to four boys, so when they acted up a bit, I knew she understood!

There was some singing and dancing on a stage. Almost all of the songs were in Korean. As we were leaving, we went to the Korean supermarket to browse a bit. Some things were the same as I see in our grocery store - Fritos and Fruit Loops! And others I have never seen in a grocery store before frog legs, hearts, whole fresh squid, black chicken, a lot of duck, and some things that I had no idea what they were. Most items had labels in both Korean and English so that was helpful. I got some giant sweet rice cakes - I believe they are made in the store and they were so good! They boys each picked out a candy - Sean picked lollipops and Brian picked apple gummy candy. I later found out that the candy they picked was all made in Japan!

I think a good time was had by all. It was quite an experience though. We were definitely in the minority, which was so different from what we are used to. The music was different, the language was different, the sights were different, the smells were different, and the food was different. It really gave me some perspective as to what our daughter will be feeling when she comes to the United States. I can only imagine how weird and scary everything will be to her. And the difference is that I know that me feeling out of place and lost was only temporary. She will be so young and I am sure will feel really confused and alone for some time. All we can do is to love her and assure her that we will take care of her, and hope that she learns to accept and trust us sooner rather than later.

Brian and Sean eating burgers

Sean kicking - and breaking a board

Brian admiring what his kick did

Friday, September 12, 2008

What is that Smell!

I have been searching for a smelly object in Brian and Sean's room for a few days now. It smelled like a hamster cage that hadn't been changed in far too long. It was an old urine smell. On the first day that I discovered the smell, Brian had wet the bed and I was sure once I got his sheets washed that the smell would go away. Nope.

So, the next day, I started walking around their room sniffing. I just couldn't figure our where it was coming from. The odor seemed to fill the whole room. I pulled out things from under their bed, in the closet and in every corner. Nothing. But the smell remained. I opened all the windows and turned on their ceiling fan. But the stench would not go away.

I figured there was a lost night-time pull-up somewhere but its location was still eluding me. I opened drawers and searched to the bottom of toy bins. I looked under their dressers and in the bookshelves. I pulled everything off of Sean's bed and even looked between the beds and the wall. Again, nothing.

Last night Justin was playing in the boys' room. Brian brought him down and I was getting him changed for bed. When I took his shirt off I smelled that same stink that was in the boys' room! After smelling each body part of Justin, I found that the disgusting odor was coming from his hands. I quickly washed them in the sink with soap and hot water.

After I put Justin to bed, I decided to search the boys' room again. Since the smell was on Justin's hands, I knew it had to be something he touched. I knew that it was not hidden somewhere. Brian and Sean were asleep and was trying to quietly look in their room. I walked around picking up different toys and things to smell them. I could not find the source of the smell anywhere. I tripped over a football helmet and Brian sat up in bed. I told him to go back to sleep and realized my quest for the stink would have to resume during daylight hours.

I was thinking about giving up and figured I would come across the smell one day! Then I went upstairs this morning to get clothes for the boys to wear to school. I picked up a few pieces of chalk off the floor that went to their easel. I tossed the chalk in the little bin attached to the easel and noticed that something was off. The chalk did not make any sound as it hit the plastic bin. I looked up and realized that the bin was full of liquid. I could feel my blood pressure rising by the second.

As I bent down to take a closer look, the horrible old urine smell almost knocked me out! I yelled for Brian and Sean to come upstairs. At first they both denied knowing anything about it. But Sean's eyes told me otherwise. He finally admitted to peeing in the bin. He said, "I couldn't make it all the way to the bathroom." Understand that the bathroom is right across a four foot hallway from their room. He then told me, "I didn't pee on the floor!" I am not sure if that would have been better or worse. I surely would have found the wet spot earlier than I found the easel bin full of urine.

Again, never a dull moment in the house with Sean! As weird as it may seem, I am not at all surprised that he did it and then didn't tell anyone about it! The worst part for me is that Justin was playing with old urine soaked chalk! At least he didn't put any in his mouth! See, I can find the upside to anything! Just trying to keep it real in the adventures of parenting!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

I cannot believe it has been 7 years. I remember being in Babies R Us with Brian. He was only six and a half months old. I was in line and someone was talking about a plane crash. I really didn't think much of it. I got in the car and had a cd of The Cranberries in so there was no radio. I got home and changed Brian. I then put him upstairs for a nap. I got a drink and clicked on the TV. For the next few hours I just stared at the TV in disbelief. I think sometimes I am still in the same state of shock when I think about the events of that day.

I only know of one person whose life was lost when the Towers fell. Her name is Danielle and she was a year older than me in school. I played softball with her and she was in gymnastics with me too. Danielle was such a great person. We were not in touch after high school, but the thought of her being gone still saddens me. I really don't have any words...

Just take some time today to remember and fly those American flags high and proud!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Secrets of the Wash

I have, for a while, been searching for the perfect laundry detergent. I have been on this quest because it seemed to me that whenever people returned clothes to me, that they smelled so much better than mine ever did. I bought the pricey detergents, and the cheaper ones. I tried many combinations of fabric softeners. I used powder and liquid. I even bought of those cool balls that adds the fabric softener at precisely the right time. But, try as I might, I just couldn't seem to replicate that smell. You know that clean laundry smell that just makes you want to bury your face in a warm towel. How this power to have great smelling wash escaped me, I had no idea.

I asked friends which brands they used and tried them too. No luck. For a bit I was convinced that I needed one of those new high efficiency washers. But that is not in the budget at this time. I guess I would be forever sentenced to regular smelling wash. Now don't get me wrong, my wash doesn't smell bad. It just doesn't take me away to a far off place like in the commercials.

Then one day I discovered the secret. As I was folding clothes, my nose was suddenly awakened. That smell. That glorious smell. I held each piece of laundry to my face before I folded it and breathed in its freshness. I had done it! But I had not used or done anything differently than before.

When I did wash the next time, I could not replicate the smell. Now I was really frustrated. I was so close, and now nirvana was slipping out in the rinse cycle somewhere! Where could I have gone wrong? Maybe that last load had less smelly clothes in it? Maybe it was all the dirty little boy clothes robbing me of this ideal aroma? I could not think of anything that made sense!

Then after repeating this cycle of great smelling wash and okay smelling wash, it hit me! When you take the clothes out of the washer right away and then dry them, you get that wondrous bouquet of fragrance. So, the secret was with me all the time. Do wash in a timely manner and it will smell better. When it sits in the washer for a day, or 2, it doesn't quite smell as it should.

Sometimes I do get the fragrance I had sought after for so long, and other times life takes over and I have to re-wash a load because it sat in the washer for more than two days. I did quickly learn how to get rid of the sour smell from leaving wash in the washer for too long. I just wash it in hot water and pour about a cup of vinegar in at the start. It works every time and the clothes do not come out smelling like vinegar!

Maybe as the kids get older, and I have more time, my wash will smell perfect every time. But for now I will find joy when I do wash in a timely manner and a smile will grow on my face I as fold the fragrant bliss that some call clean wash!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Cannot Be Allergic To People!

This was a wonderful conversation at 7:40 am this morning. It is always great when kids fight, scream, and whine before 8 am! Please note that in all dialog below that screaming and whining should be understood in each line.

Sean - You are making me sick!
Brian - No, I'm not!
(repeat the above lines until you want to run away while pulling out your hair and screaming, then continue)

Sean - Yes, your fart butt is making me so sick!
Brian - Farts cannot make you sick.
Sean - Yours do!
Brian - You can only get sick when you are allergic to something!
Sean - Well, I am allergic to you then!
Brian - You cannot be allergic to people.
Sean - Then I am allergic to your farts!
Me - Sean you fart too and no one acts like this.
Sean - Well, I am not going to fart anymore.
Me - That is impossible.
Sean - Well, I haven't farted in like 20 hours!
Brian - (laughing too hard to comment!)

As for me, as usual, when it comes to Sean, I give up. As for Brian and Sean, they both lost video games for two days and didn't get to watch a show before school today, even though they were ready early! As for Justin, let's just hope he doesn't pick up on everything he hears! Wishful thinking, right?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fingerprinting Appointment!

I cannot believe it! I wasn't expecting these letters for about two weeks! But they came! Today! Brian and I have to go to Philadelphia to be fingerprinted next Wednesday the 17th. It is for the I-600A Advanced Processing form that we mailed at the end of July. Once the fingerprints are taken, it should be about 10-12 weeks for our approval. So, we will now be waiting on another letter! I hope our fingerprints are good and that we don't get a letter telling us we have to do it again!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Soccer and Football!

Two big games today! Brian had his first travel soccer game and my nephew Joe started in the first game of his NFL career! Joe's game was at 1:00 pm and Brian's was at 3:30. We listened to the first half of Joe's game on the radio at home. We got Sirius just to be able to hear the games since we don't get Baltimore games on our local stations! It is going to be hard not seeing him, but I guess the next best thing is listening!

After half time we had to go to the soccer field and I brought the radio with us. We got the "boom box" so we can hear it away from the house and car! Joe had a great game! He was 15 for 29 with no interceptions, and passed for 129 yards! He even rushed 38 yards for a touchdown!!! Go Joe! I heard an interview with him after the game and I could hear the excitement just exploding from his voice! We are all so happy for him, and of course so proud!

Brian's team played well but lost 3-1. The other team was really good and you could just tell they had a lot more experience than we did. Brian had 2 shots on goal and one assist! So, all in all, he had a great game! The couch wants him to try goalie next game and he is not too sure about it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Dog's Eye View

I have no idea what Justin was thinking but this really was too cute for words. Roc was eating a rawhide chewy and Justin kept leaning down to watch him eat it. I don't know if he was just being silly or really trying to to study Roc's way of eating!

Then he was just being a stinker standing on the couch. He knows he is not allowed to do this and you can tell by his face that he knew he was getting away with something!

getting a better look
I wish I knew what he was thinking
look at me!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Ear Infection That Wouldn't Quit!

I think I forgot to post last week that Justin got his first ever ear infection. The allergist noticed it at his appointment on the 30th. I felt really bad not knowing. Justin had been sleeping fine. He did have a runny nose and was a bit cranky, I just figured he had a cold. The allergist said he had a double ear infection and that his ears were really red and the right one had fluid in it. So, he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. The antibiotic had a weird name and it was not the usual pink one that Brian and Sean had before.

Well, today has been 6 days on the antibiotic and Justin began to feel miserable again. This time even the outside of his ears were red and warm to the touch. He was clingy and whiny and began pulling on his ears by mid morning. I called his pediatrician and went in to have his ears checked. She told me they were both still infected and as red as a fire truck! I felt so bad for Justin, again! She was so surprised that he was napping and sleeping normally. She said he was one tough kid because it usually hurts more to lie down when you have an ear infection!

She gave me a prescription for a new antibiotic and I went to fill it right away. This was one step up from the pink stuff and hopefully it will do the trick! Wait, let me rephrase that - it had better do the trick! This poor kid should have been feeling better after about 24-36 hours and he here is almost a week later and still in pain. And that is not even counting the horrible diaper rash and diarrhea he has had from the antibiotics. And now he has to endure that for another ten days! Poor guy! The doctor said to call if he is not feeling some relief by Monday. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Ball Pit!

Justin really loves balls - as did Brian and Sean. It has been all three of their favorite toys - and still is! I wanted to try to find a small pool to make a ball pit, but it is too late in the season in NJ! So, we improvised and made a ball pit out of cushions! Justin was a bit tentative at first, but within minutes he was diving in head first! These pictures are from a few weeks ago, they were suspended in my camera and I totally forgot about them! You can tell from the big smiles on his face how much fun he had. Another fun thing was trying to throw all the balls out as his brothers raced around to pick them up!

Justin laughing
showing me the ball
balls, balls everywhere!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Day of School 2008

We had a smooth start for the first day of school! Brian and Sean were up early and ready for school with plenty of time. They were so excited - and a bit nervous. Brian went had to be in first and he got in line and quickly began to talk to his friends. He was excited to see them, some he had not seen all summer. When the bell rang, he filed into the building and gave me a smile and a quick wave. I waved back and managed to keep the tears back. My eyes did water a but nothing ran down my cheeks this year!

Sean's first day was a bit different. Brian and I got to go with him for a classroom tour. We spent an hour with him getting to know his teacher and looking at the classroom. Sean loved the snack and the hermit crabs! I know tomorrow will be more difficult when he goes in alone! Well, more difficult for me anyway!

Brian and Sean

Brian, Sean, and a not happy Justin
Brian in line

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

USCIS Letter!

We got our letter today from Immigration that just basically let us know that our paperwork was accepted and we should be getting another letter soon to tell us when our finger printing appointment will be. I am so excited! Each little thing seems so small separately but all are needed to get our baby girl home next year! So, I celebrate both the small and the big steps! Hurry up finger print appointment! I expect the letter in about 10-14 days, I am going by the timeline of a friend and she is about two weeks ahead of us in the process!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

I thought I might celebrate Labor Day by telling the stories of each of the boy's births!

Brian was long overdue (11 days) when I checked into the hospital late on Tuesday, February 2oth to be induced. The plan was to put a medication on my cervix that evening, to start Pitocin the next morning, and to have a baby sometime in the afternoon on Wednesday the 21st! It sounded great to me and I went to sleep with thoughts of seeing my baby the next day.

The medication did nothing to change my cervix, so Pitocin was started the next morning. It didn't take long before I was experiencing contractions. In a short time, they were 2-3 minutes apart and the peaks were off the chart from the monitor. After a few hours of 'toughing it' through the contractions, the doctor wanted to check my progress. If I was past 3 cm, they would think about doing an epidural. No such luck. My cervix had not really changed much - they told me a finger-tip dilated and 70% effaced, baby was at -4 which is still really high in the pelvis. Ugh! They proceeded to turn up the Pitocin a bit. Ugh again!

The contractions got even stronger and lasted longer than before and I was still without medication! At about 5 pm, I had only gotten to about 1 cm and was 80% effaced. So, they decided to turn off the Pitocin to let me sleep and start again in the morning. So much for a baby today! The problem was that when they turned off the Pitocin, my contractions didn't stop. The nurses gave me some kind of medication to help with the pain and to help me sleep. It only took a few minutes before my head was dizzy and I could not complete a sentence. I was a very strange feeling. I slept a few hours and then woke up when the medication wore off. The nurses gave me something else to help me sleep and the next thing I knew it was morning.

The Pitocin got started again and I hoped for the best. At about lunch time the doctor came in and I was almost 2cm and 90% effaced. Woo-hoo, progress! They decided to use a foley catheter to help my cervix to dilate. This was a small rubber tube that was pushed through my cervix and then inflated with saline water like a balloon. The hope was this pressure would dilate me further. By late afternoon the foley fell out and I lost my mucous plug. I thought it was another great sign! But when the doctor checked, I was still just a little over 2 cm, she said she would say 3 cm if it made me feel better!

This was now two full days on Pitocin and a night with medication on my cervix and I all I had to show for all of that pain was almost 3cm! I was about 90% effaced still but the deciding factor was that the baby was still very high in my pelvis at -3 station. After a lot of tears and thinking, I told them I would consent to a c-section. I could not believe it. I just peeked my head into the surgery room during the hospital tour. I was so sure that I would never need it!

The problem now was that there was a snow storm and a major accident occurred on a highway near the hospital. So, there were no anesthesiologists available to do my epidural! I had to wait a few hours, but understood them being needed for emergencies first. I was in so much pain and so tired while in recovery that I didn't even want to hold Brian. I remember worrying my Mom because I didn't even want to open my eyes. I told the nurse I was in pain and had contractions like labor again, she said it was to be expected. A bit later I told another nurse and she checked a few things. She found out that the Pitocin to help me contract a little after surgery was turned up too high. She turned it down and a bit later I began to feel so much better. They surgery went well and Brian was born at 6:34 pm on February 22nd!

Sean's story is so much shorter! He was due on August 25th and I scheduled my c-section for Monday, August 18th! It was so nice to know that I wouldn't be two weeks overdue this time! The weekend before we were finishing up last minute baby things. Then I got a call on Sunday from my OB. There was scheduling problem and I was not being bumped to Tuesday the 19th! I was really upset at first, but then after all of these months, what was one more day? My c-section was planned for 10:30 am but we had to be at the hospital around 8:00 am. Everything was going well and we got checking in quickly. A nurse came in to tell me I was next and I started getting excited. About 35 minutes later, they were wheeling me towards the operating room. Right as we were about to turn into the hallway, I was quickly pushed back into the room. There was an emergency c-section and I was being bumped again. A little over an hour later, it was finally my turn. This time the surgery was so much easier. I guess it was the two days of labor on top of the surgery that made the recovery so hard! Sean was born at 12:05 pm on August 19th!

Justin's birth was the only one with no complications. He was due on May 9th and I was scheduled for Thursday, May 3rd at 10:30. I was not bumped or rescheduled this time! The surgery did take a bit longer because of some scar tissue, but that was not a problem. Again, the recovery was even easier this time! Justin was born on May 3rd at 11:28 am.