Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yearly Kid Maintenance

I keep trying to upload more pictures but Blogger is not cooperating. These are Ahren's boots. He loves to wear them, but he will wear them without socks for hours and then his feet STINK so bad it makes me gag. Stinky feet and chemically rubber smell combined. Nasty!

The boys have been spending quite a bit of time in the tub lately. The weather is so perfect right now and they spend hours outside playing. No getting by with a wipe-down. They practically need to be de-contaminated. I figure in a couple of years we will have to have the septic tanks dug out since there will be a 2 foot deep layer of sand and dirt in the bottom. 
This afternoon the boys have check-ups at the new pediatricians office. Just normal yearly maintenance, rotate their tires and such. I don't think they will get any shots, but I'm not sure. It seems like every time we have check-ups they have come up with some new vaccine. 

I sent the records release form to our old pediatricians office along with a letter to our old doctor explaining why we switched. I hope it makes it to her. I have the feeling that if the awful/rude office staff sees it first it will disappear. I may just have to make a personal visit. I really liked her, but she needs to know what the rude staff is doing to her practice.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Saw the first few photos from Ahren's portrait session this past week. I have to tell you, I cried when I saw them. Suddenly, it seems real that he is here. Really here. Go to Misty Green's photo blog to see the pix she posted. 


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Potty Training

Ahren has decided that he wants to go pee pee in the potty. On Thursday, when nanny checked him and he was dry, she asked if he wanted to pee pee in the potty and he said yes. he ran into the bathroom, sat on the little potty and peed right away. He was sooo proud! Then on Friday, he went almost all day dry, peeing in the potty all on his own. I had him in cotton training pants and he never had an accident. Today, Sat. , he went most of the day in training pants with no accidents. This afternoon at nap time he got a diaper and poo poo'd in it. We aren't pushing it, but we do cheer him on and reward him. He is doing it on his own. I never thought we would even try until  months from now, but he has a different plan. 

In addition, when we picked him up, he still got a bottle every 4 hours, with cereal and sugar in it. By the time we got home from Guatemala he was on 2 bottles a day. Well, he decided he didn't want the nap one anymore a couple of weeks ago, and then in the past week or so he decided he didn't want the bedtime one. He wants a drink of juice like Levi instead. Then right to sleep he goes. Not a peep or a fuss. 

Tell me, can this really be true? Can this child just assimilate so easily, want hugs and kisses, be happy and well-adjusted, laugh and play and understand english so well after just one month? Is he for real? Was all the pain of the process something that guaranteed us this fantastic forming of family? Seriously, this child laughs and hugs and kisses all day long. Can this be real??????

Friday, September 26, 2008


Catchy title, huh? That's about as creative as my brain can get today. I think I have a Hurricane Hangover. I just can't seem to get my mojo going. Between bringing Ahren home, being off of work and the hurricane, I feel really out of it. Everything is fine, just a-kilter in my world.

Now, to the anonymous poster who left me a message that there would be 'no poo at my zoo'.....I am MAD. Mad as a hornet. Why am I mad? Because I wanted to think of that! Hah! I snorted out loud when I read it!!! Too freakin funny, and true too! Add in all the cheese these kids eat, and it's a wonder there is any poo at all.

Funny things heard around my house this week: (You get to guess who said what)

1) Get your fingers out of each others noses.
2) When I get home I am not going to wear any underwear.
3) Get your butt out of your brothers face.
4) He's my little toddler pirate buddy.
5) Hey, there's a bump in my nose. I think it's a burger. Or a crabby pattie.
6) Ats my Daddy.
7) Hey, where did all the bananas go?
8) I nakey!

Answers 1-me, 2-Levi, 3-Me, 4-Levi, 5-Levi, 6-Ahren, 7-Katie, 8-Ahren.

Ashley is coming this weekend. Woohoo!!! I miss that girl something fierce! We are going to have family portraits done, too. I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Bunch of Monkeys

They were being entirely too quiet. here is where I found them......

All of us who share Nanny chip in bringing snacks, etc for all the kids. This week we were all on the same wavelength (that, and it was one of the few fresh fruits we could get) and we all bought bananas, including Nanny. We ended up with 25 bananas for 4 kids (ages 5, 3, 2 and 1) I figured I would be baking banana bread later in the week. What I didn't count on was the fact that these kids are a bunch of monkeys! By the end of the day yesterday there was 1 banana left. Levi wants you to know he ate the most bananas, which I guess makes him the Monkey King!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

No more Ike

We are almost back to normal around here. School may open tomorrow (pleeeeeeze) and soon we will have drinkable water out of the taps. Other than that, life is good!

So, today, you get a regular old boring update on life in Chaos Central. 

Captain Jack L. Sparrow showing off his sword skills.

Little Captain Jack looking adorable in his 3-cornered hat. 
Spontaneous kisses for his sister. 
Cupcakes with icing made from neon ectoplasma. (Seriously, this stuff is labeled 'not found in nature') Note the lack of shirt on Ahren. Mommy ain't no dummy!
Enjoying the cupcake. I'm not sure he understood it was a treat and not an art project......

Dressed in their matching Ed hardy shirts and Diesel shoes. I have shamelessly stolen Candy's idea and have ordered them each a pair of Lucky jeans. 
Here are a few of my observations from the past 10 days.

1) If they say to get out, do it. Don't expect someone to risk their life trying to save you during the eye of the storm as you stand waist deep in water on the second floor of your home and call for help. (True story)

2) They say to have 3 days worth of supplies for a reason. Don't get ticked off because 24 hours after the storm you still don't have someone handing you ice, water and free meals and your power is not back on. 

3) The only thing not in short supply after the storm was beer. 

4) People who tried to cut in line at the PODs and gas stations should be shot (actually, considering this is Texas, I'm surprised none of them were shot!)

5) The people who stayed in the mandatory evac areas or went back against advice and are now whining because there is no power, water, sewage or anything should SHUT UP. You are hampering the efforts to restore these services because now the responders have to bring you ice, water, food and medical care instead of fixing the island. (To be honest, almost no one is whining, but those few who are.....I have no sympathy for them. Call me hard, but people were risking their lives to try and save people who refused to follow orders.) 

Friday, September 19, 2008


We got power back on finally. I about cried. Seriously. Even though we had a generator and were able to keep food cold and run the TV a bit, etc, it wasn't easy. I was running out of ideas for meals that could be cooked on a burner on the stove by flashlight with limited fresh food. 

We were able to stand in line and get gas and bottled water, but we didn't need meals or ice so we left that to those who need it. Our water is still not drinkable and if I boil it it is tinted brown and forms a scum on top. Yuck! I have given the boys baths but I don't feel like they are clean. Less stinky but not really 'clean'. I feel the same way. Chris has been going to work each day, so it's just me and the kids most of the time. Katie has been a fantastic help. We have been getting out of the house for a little while every day and that has helped. Just searching for groceries or open stores has been fun. We found a Target running off of a generator and had lots of fun buying junk. We came home with a pair of crocs for Ahren, a new movie and some snack food. The grocery store near us is up and running, but the shelves are empty (except for beer....huh?) We were able to score some fresh milk and some bananas one day. Yahoo! I would kill for a salad right about now. 

This is NOT how I planned the bonding time with Ahren, but I have no choice but to deal with it. He is doing well. His personality comes through more every day. He is now throwing very normal 2-year old tantrums but responds well to how we handle them. As his communication skills get better he is getting less frustrated. He is funny and comical and still a walking disaster. I can't tell you how many times a day he rams his head into things or falls down. Part of it is he is just so incredibly BUSY! He is now very jealous if I hold anybody else. He tolerates me holding Levi, but wants to get his own snuggles too, but If I hold Mina or Holly, he is mad! 

And now, for his shining moment. Mina just finished potty training and still likes to watch the potty video we have. We turned it on last week and they were watching it. Mina wanted us to set out the little potty for her to sit on. The whole time, Ahren was watching her very intently and watching the video. Then he took his diaper off, sat on the potty and peed! I hadn't even thought about potty training. I figured we would wait at least until after Christmas but now I am rethinking that! Now, in the past week, twice he has told us poo-poo before he goes and then filled his diaper. He has also learned to strip himself naked (yelling Nakey the whole time) so it may be time. 

Things Ahren is saying in english:

eat, nakey, banana, mine, yes, Mommy, Daddy, Kay-Kay, Levi, let me see, that's my Levi (looking at a picture), JoJo (dog), stop it, poo-poo, pee-pee, Mina, Nanny, juice, cheese, this, and many more. 

Things Ahren loves:

Bananas, chicken, sprite, scrambled eggs, Levi, baths, brownies, making us laugh, tickles, his high chair, Kay-Kay, ring-around-the-rosey, coloring, my cell phone, Daddy and Mommy, going bye-bye.

Things Ahren hates:

Being told 'No' and naps. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pictures, finally

Remember, we are 1 county above where Ike hit shore and we got a lot less damage than areas south of us. Max winds at 100 mph and way too much rain, but still very lucky. Oh, and no power yet. No school, no work, kids going insane.....you get the picture. 

And with that, I bring you pictures!

A house in our neighborhood about to go under water.
Gee, I wonder why we still don't have power?
Trying to stay cool and entertained any way we can.
Breathing treatments by flashlight. He is so much better today, and so is Ahren. Hooray!!
Water over the road in our neighborhood.
This is a normal drainage ditch on the left, with flood waters all around.
At the bottom of our street is a little lake that these houses sit along. The water was coming out of lake and coming dangerously close to the houses.
Trees were literally snapped and twisted in half.
This is a sign that sits on the bank of our little lake. Well, where the bank used to be.
Can you see how this tree just twisted? That trunk is big enough around I wouldn't have been able to stretch my arms around it.
Damage to the framing on this house was relatively minor.
Happy boy! Both boys slept through the worst of the storm and seemed more upset about no TV than the raging storm.
Huge trees just uprooted everywhere.
During the eye of the storm. Eeerie...
Playing Candy Land by flashlight. Don't ask me why Ahren has the light shining in his eyes. Little goofball! 
There is a gas station near us that had gas yesterday and people were lining up and waiting for hours to get gas. The police had it all set up in a pattern and were directing people. Thank goodness we stocked up. We did find a grocery store yesterday that had power and got some supplies. They had all the cold and frozen food locked up but we got lots of snacks and some fresh fruit and the makings of killer guacamole. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Getting along

The water is back on and we were all able to take a bath or shower. I can't tell you how good that felt! Even just 2 days of no AC and it being 90 degrees and near 100% humidity make you NASTY! We will be boiling the water if we need to drink it, but for now we still have plenty of water stored. We were able to splice the generator into the septic system and pump out all the storm water so we can flush toilets again. Add that to the NASTY list! The cold front came thru and last night we all slept like babies with the windows open. The constant hum of generators around the neighborhood was our music to dream by. 
We are located one county away from the coast directly where the hurricane hit. The eye travelled right over us (more on the eye later....spooky!) The worst of it was from 4-5 am as the front wall of the eye hit us. The constant roar of the wind was horrible, but the 100 mph gusts were downright frightening. The whole house shook and you could feel the pressure suck the air right out of the house. It was pitch black and the power off, which made it even more frightening. As the eye passed over us, it suddenly got calmer, and the rain just came down. it felt weird, like the air pressure was really low and as the sun came up it was an odd grayish-green color. Every once in a while the wind kicked up a little, but nothing like the 60 mph sustained winds. We are actually incredibly lucky to just have minor tree loss and no power. We drove around some and the damage is incredible. Even seeing the pictures on TV doesn't do it justice. The sheer magnitude of the damage around here is overwhelming. I can't imagine what it is like further south. 

Both boys are sick. Levi started with a cold last week, but it has settled in his chest and we ended up having to do breathing treatments to open him up. He still has some residual problems from having RSV as an infant so a chest cold makes asthma like symptoms flare up. Ahren is getting the cold and has been running a fever of 102.5 without medicine. We are keeping him full of meds. But just imagine, 2 sick boys with no TV or computer games, in this heat. Oh yes, good times. Oh, and don't forget hot, cranky Mommy and Daddy. 

I can't get pictures to load. Maybe later or tomorrow. I have some good ones!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike...Holy Cow!

Just a quick update while we have phone line and generator on. We are OK. Hot, tired, dirty, but OK. No water, no power, using rainwater to flush toilets. Minimal damage to our property. Water is coming back on in bits and spurts but has to be boiled. No cell reception but out land-line is working some of the time. 

All I can say is that the power of Mother Nature is mind blowing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pix before the Hurricane

Here are Pictures! 

Big Sis loving her some Lil Bro. 

Ahren was eating and Katie decided his hair was getting in his way. He thought it was hilarious!
Baby Holly doing everything she can to NOT take a nap!
Ahren loves to sit on the little lawn tractor. Wait until Poppi can take him for a ride on the real tractor!
Levi has unique fashion sense. Apparently cowboy boots go with everything. (I didn't intentionally take a pic of his behind, he just bent over as I snapped the shot!)
Come Poppi, come with me!
Baby Holly really got into arts and crafts time. Thank goodness for non-toxic art supplies!
What is it with my kids and making faces for the camera?
Big man checking out the equipment. Yep, I think this will do'er. 
Look at that sweet face. My little cuddle bug.
Brothers. I knit this blanket and the boys think it is really fun. It is soft and stretchy and perfect for pal-ing around under.
Look Mommy, I am coloring Dora. 
Nanny has the perfect size lap for all her kids.
We have had this little train and track for several years. We got it out this week, charged it up, and Ahren is having a blast. 
Happy Meal and Happy Boy. (Again, the faces?)
Yum, warm chocolate chip cookie. She is so INTO it!
Ahren is a button-pushing fool. Levi is trying to play a game and Ahren pops the DVD out every 3 seconds. (Levi just laughs!)
Every morning, as the boys wake up, I let them come lay in our bed and watch cartoons. They think this is terrific and I like that they get a little transition time before they hit the ground running.

Hurricane Ike is headed straight for us. We are a ways from the coast so safe from the surge and flooding, but our area expects winds of 110 mph and widespread power outages. I may be offline for a while. We are sheltering in place (as recommended) and have our supplies all stocked up and ready to go. We are treating it as an adventure, but playing it safe. 

Monday, September 08, 2008

Quick update

I have been off-line since last Thursday and it has been killing me! We are in the process of having the site work done for our barn and basketball court and the workmen accidentally dug through our phone line. I called the owner of the company and gave him what-for and made him come out to take a look at it. Then I made him try and fix it himself! Poor guy was out in the afternoon heat yesterday digging holes all over trying to find the broken end of the line. (For those of you who don't know, my husband is the owner of the company...hee!) He finally gave up and I called the phone company today. We should be all fixed up by the end of the day.

Things continue to go really well around our home. Ahren is adding new english words every day. He says catch, push, eat, shoes, banana and many more. He and Levi are still playing well most of the time, but a few squabbles have broken out. It's normal type stuff so it is a good thing.

Thanks for all the info and such on Ahren's physical development. I know he definitely needs to build up his muscles and that is a large part of his problem, but it's not all of what is going on. His foster mother first identified that something was wrong a year ago and he had been seeing an orthopedist in Guatemala. He has already seen an ortho here, and the plan is to give him 2 months to build muscle and then have him tested more extensively for CP. That way the lack of muscle tone will interfere less with the findings. He is already getting stronger and not falling quite as much. We let him go barefoot in the house so he gets more foot and ankle development. The braces/boots he wore really inhibited that.

I am working a couple of hours today, just testing to see how things go and trying to stretch out my paid time off. I am about to head home so this is going to be short and no photos. Once we are hooked back up at home I will catch up in a big post!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chez Chaos (and loving it!)

The cast of Characters at Chez Chaos:

Nanny - the most amazing woman who is The baby Whisperer
Levi - main purveyor of toy destruction and comic relief
Mina - age 3, total Princess and ruler of all she sees. She keeps all the boys in line.
Ahren - new addition to the mix, an unknown entity but doing his best to keep up
Holly - age 1, thinks she is as big as everyone else and the one most likely to climb herself into a situation she can't get out of by herself

Here is a glimpse into the typical day around these parts

Monkeys mimicking each other
We stole a page from the Book of JuJu and had a fingerpaint/shaving cream party on the patio
I'm not sure if this is a hug of affection or a chance to wipe his hands on his brother's shirt
A work of art in progress. Note the teamwork!
The 3 amigos, so proud of their work
I am not sure what was messier, the paint and shaving cream or the Cheetos at snack time.
Master Clown and leader of the pack. He thinks it up and then everyone else does it.
I don't think Ahren has ever gotten messy like this before. he was a bit unsure about it at first, but was soon enjoying himself like the other kids.
When I went to wash the paint off it left colored stains on their skin. I had this moment of panic that I would end up with 4 kids looking like someone had beat them. Luckily a little soap in the tub and it all came off. Whew! See Mina? This little girl is so beautiful and so smart. 
Holly, caught on a toddle-by while playing. She is a huge personality in a tiny little body.
This is one beautiful little girl. 
What is hair looks like when it's combed and moussed. You can't believe how incredibly soft it is. Soft and shiny. I may be a tad biased, but isn't he just GORGEOUS!
My beautiful boy. I still can't believe it!!!!
Ooooh, can you see that sparkle in her eyes? She is a hoot! Seriously, she controls all the boys. 
The little three while Levi is off at school. This was the 0.00001 second all 3 were in the same camera frame.

 I have a quick vent to get off my chest (quick because some people and some things do not deserve to get more of my time than a few seconds).  PBJ has been gone for 11 days. During that time we have gotten lots of conflicting information (no surprise there). Then, earlier this week, we get our monthly update from the agency. They stated they were waiting on the medical report but here were new pictures of our daughter. Puzzled, I opened the photos and see a child I do not recognize. Granted, she was a cutie, but not our daughter. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Oh how wonderful and caring our agency is. How supportive. How attentive to our needs. I had been dealing with this un-expected twist pretty well until this. Salt...in...the....wound...bastards. Sorry for the bad word, but I want to say sooo many more, maybe even make up a few new ones!!!!!!