Thursday, September 25, 2008

New bike

Mason is now the proud owner of this very cool dirt bike! Thank you Nana! He had a great dinner- Hawaiian chicken, sweet potatoes, corn, fruit kababs, and chocolate cake...mmm.... He had a great time with his cousins....thanks to our family for helping him celebrate. I have no idea what the deal is with this underlined blue font. I guess I will try again later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Mason!

Yesterday was Mason's birthday. I really think he completely forgot until I told him in the morning. Very little reaction. Then at breakfast, to Ashtyn "Ashtyn, do you know what? Today I am four, just like you." To which she responded "No, Mason, I am six- you are four." Suddenly four wasnt good enough- he spent the rest of the day telling everyone he was six. He also expected some other immediate changes- he had to measure up with Ashtyn to see if he had grown 3 inches to be the same height as her...he reported that now that he was 4 he could now swim underwater without a life jacket (we really do need to work on that one). He also announced that now he could stand on his hands....and proceeded to demonstrate with some success :)

I have to confess- I feel kinda bad. In the past, we always set aside the actual day of our children's birthdays for something really special...there have been breakfasts with Mickey, the princesses, and Shamu, train rides, trips to Disney and Sea World...but yesterday...nada. I had a Bible study that had begun last week that I really wanted to start...inventory in the Awana office to do...groceries to get (for his family bday dinner tonight at least), A to pickup from school, homework to supervise, a dance class to shuttle to (daddy kindly took this one over), and a house to clean for company. We did squeeze in lunch at every preschooler's favorite fine dining establishment...McD's! And he got the batmobile he was hoping for. And Mommy agreed before we even got the the grocery store that he could choose a new hot wheels monster truck (after all, it was his birthday...he got to celebrate by pushing his sleeping sister in the stroller while I drove the cart). And Daddy did take Mason to pick out his new skateboard while his sister was at dance class (read between the lines- we never got around to picking it out for him ourselves!) He does have skating to look forward to this weekend, and that family dinner I mentioned tonight. I do feel like I am letting them down not making the fuss I used to over these special days. But then I think of all the kids in Kyrgyz orphanages and around the world who get nothing at all, and I get a little perspective. We have it pretty good.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pictures


She climbed into the chair to steal Ashtyn's breakfast!


Climbing again, this time onto a bench in her room...a gift from Kerry when Ashtyn was what...2? Perfect sized again! The dolls get tossed to the floor.


Daddy's little helper...he's a mini me for Shaun!

Big brother.


How do I accomplish those pigtails? By letting her do this while I work on them!

Catching up

I am becoming a slacker! Keep meaning to post, but thinking I should wait until I download pictures...that does not happen as often as it used to. So I think I should just post anyway. Right now I am online, waiting for the Awana Store website to load...it is beyond sloooow today, and I have a bunch of uniforms I want to get in for my club before next week. Our club is still going great- I have admit it is all b/c of God's grace and awesome leaders! Still reaching record numbers. I have received a book from Family Life on starting and orphan ministry...it is full of great advice. I am working to move through some of those steps, trying not to let life get in the way...but it usually does. The kids are all doing pretty well...

Kenzie is a riot. Her new fav toy is the shopping cart- she practices walking behind it and pushes it all over the house. It is so good for her- she is getting closer to actual steps every day. Still needs to work on balance, though. I suspect she has added "dog" and "baby" to her word repertoire of "mama" "dada" and "babye!" Hard to say for sure. She loves to give kisses, and it is so funny....she starts smacking her lips to show you she is wanting to kiss you...then she leans in with a wide mouth, usually with her tongue sticking out. They are big and wet and sloppy, and we are all always fighting over her trying to earn one! She also "hugs" by basically just leaning across your body, usually when we are sitting or lying down. If she crawls over and sits next to you, so has to sit right next to you. She practically climbs on you...or the kids...or the dog...and scoots in as close as she can possibly get. She is into everything. By far, my most mischievous child (and if you know Mason, I am sure you are surprised by that!) Remember this incident? That is Mason around one year old with lipstick all over him! Kenzie's current obsessions are actually a little more worrisome. She loves to pull plugs out of the wall (really need to get some new plug covers). And she loves to put anything she can around her neck. Yikes. Purse by the door?- Kenzie is wearing it as a necklace. Camera case within reach?- on it goes, trailing underneath her as she crawls to us to show it off. Ashtyn's dress up necklaces, scarves, the vacuum cord as I am vacuuming. I really have to watch her, the child is going to hurt herself.

Ashtyn is doing somewhat better with school. We have has several heart to hearts, I am trying to make sure she knows she can talk to me. She is getting out of the car much more willingly, and has admitted that it isn't that bad. But she still seems to be complaining of phantom illnesses...I am assuming to try to get out of school. Tummy ache? Children's pepto for you, and off to school! Sore neck? Motrin and school! I keep telling her that school is really important and she cant be missing if she isn't really sick...the kind of sick she will pass around to other kids. This is the same kid I couldn't convince that is was OK to skip one day off school to go out for a day on the lake with her aunt and cousin who were visiting from out of town last year. I know it will get better with time, as she gets more comfortable with the routine and grows closer to her teacher and classmates. I do feel for her in the meantime though.

Mason is doing good...really looking forward to his upcoming birthday (thank you for the card Kerry- he was so excited to get his first bday card!) He is going to be such an extreme sports kinda kid. For is fourth birthday, all he wants is a dirtbike and a skateboard! Crazy boy. He is getting more real friends at Cubbies, and I am hearing about his imaginary buddy Zacky a little less. Although there is always a Zacky story to share if Ashtyn starts talking about her friends at school. Zacky must have 9 lives...so far he has been eaten by alligators and attacked by sharks, but he keeps coming right back. Yeah, the line between real and imaginary is really blurry for Mason. Thankfully he has stopped talking about his "new mommy and new daddy" that live in NC. I guess he finally agreed that we would miss him too much!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ministry

So, Awana is off to an amazing start- over 100 kids the first week, and 94 even on Labor day weekend! I am excited to see what God has in store for our club this year. He has blessed us with an amazing group of people in leadership, and I pray he will continue to equip us to meet the need.

I have been feeling God's nudging towards a new ministry for quite some time now. I have explored it some, but overall I have pigheadedly told him that I just cannot take on anything else right now...I have enough. And he has reminded me over and over that it is His plan I need to be worried about, not my own- he will equip me where he has called me. So I am trying to move forward in his will and establish an adoption/orphan care ministry at our church. I have been doing my homework online, and have ordered this book for more inspiration. But what I can really use right now are ideas from all of you. Does your church have anything like this? What do you do? Do you wish they did? What would you want them to do? I do know that I want it to be a support for foster and adoptive families, a source of information and perhaps inspiration for families who are thinking about taking that step, and a chance for other families to come alongside and support foster and adoptive families, and help in orphan care worldwide. No problem, right? Help!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Post "Labor" day report

Three posts in one day- a new record! I read this on Smiles and Trials- a blog I have become completely fascinated with. Thought it might be fun to try myself. The idea is to give a "Labor Day" report on all of your children- bio or adopted. For bio kids- how long were you in labor? Overdue? How much weight did you gain? Did you find out the sex? How did you know you were in labor? Where did you deliver? Drugs? C-section? Episiotomy? Can you dig up a picture? For adoptions: How long to complete? From where? Age at adoption?

Ashtyn Jade- April 13, 2002. I gained over 60 lbs with her- yes-over 60 (all gone within 8 months- the wonders of breast feeding!) I did find out the sex, but only a few weeks before delivery (begged and begged for another ultrasound- it was considered non-essential- I used my dad's heart condition as an excuse) In total, I ended up with 3 ultra sounds- one at 12 weeks to determine due date, the one I begged for so they could "look at her heart" (and I could find out her sex)- and then at one of my last appointments I was measuring small (even with the 60 lbs, strangely), so they wanted to check on her- she had just dropped...she had so much hair they could see it in the ultrasound. I went into labor 10 days early- mostly b/c we were moving and I was up and down scrubbing baseboards and patching picture holes in walls. It was a very light, very bearable labor all day...went to the military hospital in Jacksonville, NC after dinner b/c I thought my water had broke. They treated a burn on Shaun's hand and sent me home, saying they would see me at my appointment the next week. We returned a few hours later- turned out I actually know what I was talking about and I really was in labor- I think I was about 7 cm by then, and progressing rapidly. They never even got a chance to put in an IV line- Ashtyn was born, 8 lbs even, at 4:04, delivered by a Navy doc who I had never met, who couldn't have been more than 23 and had to be talked through the episiotomy by the nurse. No drugs, no problem.
Mason Reid- September 22, 2004. I think I gained around 40 lbs with him- better, still a lot. He was closer to his due date- maybe one day early. I did find out the sex with him- I am so impatient! Cant remember how may ultrasounds- maybe 2? I know there was a 3-D one- so cool! Again, I had a very long, but very mild early labor. I had a doctor's appointment early in the day anyway, so I tried to get her to guesstimate when he would come. Shaun was working for the railroad at the time, she he was out of state and I was worried sick he wouldn't make it back in time. I meet my mother-in law for lunch- she took Ashtyn with her to spend the night. Shaun made it home...still no progress. I remember walking around the lake in Celebration at some point...when was that? When we went to bed on the 21st I was still having contractions, but they were irregular and infrequent, and mild enough to sleep through. They woke me in the middle of the night...I woke Shaun right away, told him we needed to go now. My water broke on the way to the hospital. He was born literally within ten minutes of arriving at the hospital- he was lucky there was no traffic or he would have been born on the side of the road. He was delivered by the first midwife they could grab and pull into my room- no idea who she was...didn't notice her much- I was just glad someone was there to catch him. No drugs, no IV, they didn't even convert the bed into a birthing table. It was insane. He was 8lbs 3 oz, and absolutely perfect.
Mackenzie Azima: We applied to CWA in April of 2007. We learned of Azima in August of 2007. She was born July 17, 2007, full term and 7lbs 1 1/2 oz in Sukuluk, Kyrgyzstan. We held in in our arms on Dec 20, 2007. So that was an 8 mo "pregnancy" with no major complications. I have to say that while my paper pregnancy was shorter and less physically demanding than my physical pregnancies, the paper pregnancy was much more trying emotionally. There are so many unknowns in adoption, and so many things that are out of your control. Yet it is just as rewarding in the end!
Happy late Labor Day to all of you...what's your labor story?

Sigh of relief

Whew! Thanks for your hugs and prayers- it worked! No diabetes, not even a UTI. She actually just needs more fiber. Did you know that constipation is the most common cause of frequent urination in kids? I didnt- I am sure you are all so glad you know that now! As far as the anxiety about school goes- could be contributing to the problem I suppose, but the problem could also be compounding the anxiety at school- so hopefully getting a handle on the bathroom thing will help a lot. And I continue to be in close contact with her teacher- she is very supportive. So we will do everything we can to make first grade a great experience! I think maybe I have a little perfectionist on my hands- just like her mama!

Mama's worried

So I think the new school year brings some level of anxiety for everyone. New teachers, new classmates, new expectations. Ashtyn has been overall cooperative about school, but not super excited and eager like she has been in past years. She is a very bright little girl, and makes friends easily, so school has never been an issue for her. So I found it very concerning this morning when they had to practically drag her out of my car crying. She couldn't tell me why she didn't want to go to school, just that she didn't want to go. So I have spent the morning speculating what it could be. First grade is harder...I am sure it is more focused, there is more work...she has homework everyday. And while she is bright, she works at her own pace...which is sometimes painfully sloooww. Maybe she is finding it hard to complete assignments? And she has pretty high expectations for herself. She told me she cried a little yesterday when she didn't know the answer on a test (she couldn't read the question I think). I think they are doing those begining of the year evaluations...the ones that just track what level they are at so they can see their growth throughout the year. Her teacher responded in a very appropriate way (it was one of those one on one evals), telling her that it was alright, to just look it over and make her best guess. I told her not to worry, that as long as she tried her best we were so proud of her...I was sure she did just fine...and if she didn't know a word, she should just do her best to sound it out. The entire thing seemed to upset her very much, and I could offer little comfort.

Now let's add to that that she just got glasses. She looks adorable, mind you, and she was super super excited to need them. But her enthusiasm has waned, and she told me the other day that she liked "The old me, without glasses." I told her she looked beautiful in her glasses, and I liked her either way. Could the kids be making fun of her? She hasn't told me they are.

Perhaps my biggest worry is possibly related to both of the above- and perhaps TMI. She has also been having to go to the bathroom a lot in the past few weeks- at least every 20 minutes or so. So having to get up and go to the bathroom could be causing her to miss key instructions, and fall behind (especially when she already works slow). Could she be getting a hard time about that- maybe her teacher thinks she is faking to avoid work? ( I emailed her this morning) And my biggest worry- could this be a symptom of juvenile diabetes? Hopefully I wont have to worry for long- we are off to the doctor's for testing this afternoon. So please, if you have a moment, pray or my baby girl. I hate that she is going through all of this, and I am worried sick that this is more than a UTI. Thanks.