A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Honest, I wasn't TRYING to break last week's record of medical appointments!

A few days ago, I took a bunch of candid snapshots of the kids right after naptime.  

Well, 'after' for most of us.

Life was the usual summer routine.

Computer, books, games, snuggles...

Furby asked me last night, "Can I lay on you?"
This boy is a serious snuggle bug.

You know, just ordinary kid stuff going on.

Sam has started football practice.

And we did the annual "melt the mouth guard" thing.

By the end of the season, this thing will be so gnawed up.

Paul has been trying to get his pickup truck running again, in his spare time.  
Which there isn't a lot of.

Yesterday, he got it to start!
He then decided to put the lumber rack back on the back of it.  
This turned out to be a not so good thing.

Annaliese and I were at a follow up doctor's appointment when my cell phone started going off with Paul's ringtone.  I shushed it, apologizing to the doc.  

A little while later, I heard the text message alert tone.
So when we finally got out of the 2 hour appointment, I checked, and the text was from Paul.
"I need you to come straight home when you are done. I may have broken my shoulder."

Blink, blink.
I called him back.
He sounded like he was in pain.  
Ese and I rushed home, finding this: 

laying upside down where he left it after he crawled out from underneath it.
I left the teens at home, and the younger kids and I took him to the local emergency room.

Anyone who works in emergency medicine knows you don't want to hang out in an ER near the full moon.  I'm actually pretty happy he was only there for 6 hours.  It was quite busy.

He got some pain meds, then an xray.  Then we were sent back out to wait some more.  

Once somebody actually looked at the xray they sent him off for an MRI.
They could see what *wasn't* broken in the xray.  The MRI confirmed that what WAS broken was the scapula, or shoulder blade.  

So he's got a nice sling to keep his arm immobile while it starts to heal.
And he's going to be off work for a while.

Today, I took him in to his regular doctor (who he just saw FRIDAY for his adoption physical).
Dr. H sent a referral for him to see the orthopedic people 
and said he didn't want to see Paul again for at least 6 months.  ;)

So we should hear from the orthopedic department soon, and get him in to see what they think.
The ER doc said recovery would be 6-12 weeks, but Dr. H said it could be less than that.
I don't know if we're looking at physical therapy or not, yet.
Once he can drive (3 weeks or longer), he may be able to go back to work on Light Duty (meaning doing building inspections and such).
He's certainly in no condition to be donning 30# of gear and throwing a 22# air bottle on his back right now.  

In other news...  I took Eli to the orthodontist this morning, and 
He's Getting His Braces Off
in 6 weeks!

Not done with treatment, by a long shot, but still pretty exciting.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Busy week!

Some people think of me as a Stay At Home Mom.
Not this week.

More like Stay In Car Mom.

Monday morning, we're off to Shriners.

Hannah gets her prosthetic leg adjusted as she grows.
Usually we wait so long that she needs 3/4" in length added.
This time, she only needed 1/2".  I'm patting myself on the back here for noticing and REMEMBERING TO CALL in a reasonable amount of time.  

She also got a new foot, two sizes bigger, and a new shin piece.  
They are the "wrong" skin tone, but I figure she'll be in pants soon anyway.

The downside of this is that she outgrew almost all her shoes in the span of about an hour.

Go home, have lunch, come back to this building, next door to Shriners, for the first half of the kids' adoption physicals, with a side of lab work and referrals to radiology and sports medicine.  

Back home again.
Take Sam to and from football practice.

Next morning, back to the building above.

More adoption physicals.

Go home, walk Hannah to school.  (She missed school Monday because of her appointment.)

Time for some FOOD.
Eli and I love Trader Joe's chicken burritos, so we stock up on those.

Soon, it's time to walk back to the school to pick up Hannah.

It's not my imagination, we really have been running around a lot.

This kid, to and from football practice again.

Wednesday, walk Hannah to school in the wagon in the morning, but pick her up in the van in the afternoon so we can dash back to pediatrician's office to have Annaliese's TB test read.  (She is the only one of the kids who needed this.  It's because she turns 18 during our process.)

From pediatrician to mall, to pick up pictures.

And stop at See's Candy to use the gift card my mom gave me for my birthday.

Then dash back home so Sam can change for football practice.

While he was at football, I gave Hannah a bath and sat down with her leg and her shoe bucket, trying on each pair to see which ones she wouldn't be able to get on her new foot.  

Fortunately, when I started ordering her shoes online, I usually overshot my guesstimate of her size and ended up getting them too big, so I had a ready stash of bigger shoes that will fit her.  Really happy about this because it means I don't need to buy any NOW, while we're saving as much as we can for our adoption expenses.

Thursday is x-ray day.  
Pediatrician had told us we could have J's x-ray done here in town, 
instead of making another trip up to Sac.

So we walk Hannah to school and then go here to do the x-ray, 
only to be told that they don't do that specific scan here, 
and we have to go here:

Highlighted building for x-ray.
Shriners is on left side of map.
Pediatrician is just left of #18.

My 5th time in 4 days to make this drive. 
Fortunately, it's less than 15 miles.  
Takes a hair over half an hour.

But all's well that ends well.
We got it done, yeah!

In fact, we celebrated by stopping at Taco Bell for late lunch a treat on the way home.

Soon, it was time to walk Hannah home from school.

And take Sam to and from football again.

And then it was Friday!  (Hallelujah Chorus)
Paul came home from working EIGHT days in a row.
He's so amazing.

And this day?  Paul went for his adoption physical.  
But I didn't have to go to any medical buildings at all this day.
Just find forms, photocopy letter, write explanatory note, and wave goodbye.

When the kids and I got back from walking Hannah home from school, he was home, and we picked up the house a bit before our social worker visit.  

Yup.  First homestudy visit!  
I'm always a little nervous meeting a new social worker, but I think it went well.
One down, two to go.
Both scheduled for next month.

Late last night/early this morning, Zach called.  We talked for almost two hours.  
It was good to hear his voice.

Now it's Saturday.

I took Sam to equipment check out for football at 8:30.  

I'm sitting at my desk.
Delighted in the knowledge that I don't have to be anywhere until we go to church.  

Recharging my batteries.

So that next week, I can do two more doctor's appointments and a trip to the orthodontist.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I cried in church today.

We have this game we play in the car.  One of the kids "calls" a VW Bug, and then they tell something they're thankful for.  So we're on the way to church this morning, when Eli says, "Yellow one!" and I ask, "What are you thankful for?"  His answer made me sad, and we got to church with me feeling a little overwhelmed and a little hopeless.

When it was time for communion, I sat down with my juice and wafer and bowed my head.  I happened to glance to either side of me, and what did I see?

Samuel on one side of me, and Josiah on the other side, in exactly the same position as me.  My teen boys, who don't really like each other, and drive me up the wall some days, emulating... me.

Sometimes, when I read blogs where women talk about how their husband leads family prayers every night or does some other impressive spiritual thing, I sigh a little.  Because the spiritual thing that my husband is doing is working TWENTY 24 hour shifts this month.  He's working his tail off in overtime.  Which doesn't leave a lot of hours for home, folks.  When it gets overwhelming, I feel like I'm not enough.  Eli's flippant response in the car this morning made me feel like no matter how hard I try, I'm fighting a losing battle.

But seeing my boys, holding communion, elbows on knees, bowed just like I do, made me feel like maybe they're picking up more than I realize.  It brought tears to my eyes and strengthened my resolve to keep at it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mother Knows Best

Mom:  Sam, make sure you wear sunscreen tomorrow to football camp tomorrow,
 you're a little sunburned from today.
Sam:  I'm just red from running.
Mom:  You look sunburned to me.  I think you should wear sunscreen.
Sam:  eyeroll

Fast forward 24 hours:

Sam:  Ouchie, ouchie, ouchie!

Mom:  Sigh

Sing it with me now!

I may have been caught dancing around the kitchen to this song once or twice.

Friday, July 20, 2012


We are thrilled to announce that we are working with Wild Olive Tees!  If you use our family code, BERNARD719 we receive a portion of the proceeds of their wonderful fundraiser t-shirts.  


Here's Hannah in the Beloved shirt,

Eli in the Fear Not shirt,

And me, in the Love Others shirt.

Family code:  BERNARD719

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hannah's first day of kindergarten

Last year, Sam was the one who put Hannah on the bus most mornings while I was getting the teens off to school.  This year will be different.

School print skirt I finished yesterday (nothing like the last minute to motivate me).

Last year's backpack is still in good shape and could go another round, but she had to have a full sized pack for kindergarten.  I miss the little preschool sized Hello Kitty backpack; it's the one we filled with toys and distractions for the flight home from China.

But she can get the big one on all by herself, so that's good.  

I'd say she's pretty proud of herself, too.

After the required doorstep first day of school picture, we were off!  Hannah rolled in style, thanks to a wagon given to us by another China mama.  

Is it me, or is she little compared to her classmates?

We went in, found name tags, put backpacks away.

The teacher had us stamp a heart inside our child's palm,

Then the kids sat on the carpet squares, blew us kisses, and the parents left.

First kid, or eighth kid, leaving on the first day of kindergarten is hard.

But I had Brianna to console me.

Actually, she took some of these pictures.

So she sat in the wagon and I pulled her home for my new exercise routine.  

Just a few short hours later, it was time to walk back.

We got there a little early and Bri chose to have a seat while we waited for the door to open.

Finally, they started coming out.  
There's my girl!
Um, why is she plugging her nose??

They have to be released one kid at a time, and Hannah was #10, in the middle of the pack.  

On the way home, she told me they had crackers and apple juice for snack, they read a story, and they sang a song, but she can only sing it at school, and um, that's it.

Too cute.