Next stop China

Next stop China
Next Stop China!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Typical homeschooling day here.

I am so excited to announce that the curriculum books that I ordered July 5th finally arrived last night. Now to hours of reading to catch up.
School is so chaotic.
Typical day here...
6am wake up because Ethan will not sleep later!
Normally by the time Aaron leaves at 6:40 Seth has woken up and at least 1-2 of the girls are awake. Unless we have somewhere to be, I let them sleep until they wake up. Make breakfast and eat.
Take playpen to the front porch. Put Ethan in there and get Seth's shoes on. We try to spend mornings outside before it gets too hot.
Let Seth play in front yard while the girls work on Math and their workbooks. Sometimes this gets chaotic when the kids keep coming to me asking for help. Often I have one kid standing over me hovering while helping another.
9am Ethan goes down for his nap and the decibal level increases for a few minutes while he screams himself to sleep, then decreases now that only 4 kids are awake.
10-1030 Ethan wakes up and chaos again. Since we eat such an early breakfast, we are now taking a break for lunch. The girls watch tv or play while I cook a quick lunch and they can watch tv while they eat. Today they are watching Cinderfella with Jerry Lewis from the 1960s.
While they eat lunch, I normally check emails. Or write on the blog like I am doing now.
Once I am done with this, we will probably finish our cleaning chores and try to get the house in some kind of decent order.
12pm Seth gets put down for his nap. WHEW! Love his naptime. He will hopefully sleep until between 3-4pm. Try to get some more schoolwork done. Matters how quiet Ethan is being.
1230-1pm Ethan goes down for nap #2 and I go down for "nap".

I was telling Aaron last night how I hate taking a nap every day, but I really think my mind has to have this 30min-1 hour break from the constant noise. Then I told him how I woke up yesterday and so wanted to pretend like I was sleeping longer. So nice to relax the brain!

After my 1 hour reprieve, it is back to the living room to do the my reading part of school. I have to have silence while I read. I can't read with any background noise. So I just can't do it while the boys are awake. I have tried.

Ethan is up by 3pm since he rarely sleeps more than 2 hours. At this point it is getting time to start thinking about supper. Aaron gets home around 4:40 every night and he is starving when he gets home so we eat supper as soon as he gets home.

So wonderful to have Aaron home at night!

Ethan starts getting a little whiny around 6pm. Normally I get him to stay up until 7pm, because by that point, the whiny baby is driving us all nuts.

Seth then plays with us and the girls until 8pm. Many nights if it isn't too humid we will go for walks up and down the driveway. Seth loves the stroller! 8pm Seth is normally in the bed. If we have a particularly WILD kid night, then even the girls go to bed at 8pm. Even if they lie in bed and read by flashlight, as long as Aaron and I have some time to sit without constant interruption.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I think a lot of my stress lately is the debt of the adoption looming over me. Yes, we will get a lot of it back when we get our tax return next year, but on our yahoo group with other adopters, we notice a lot of them are investigated and their tax returns don't get to them until August or Sept.
So that is a long time to pay interest on them.
I am so torn... Do I work more, make more money, and decrease my stress because we would be at least making a little dent in the debt.
Or do I work my minimum hours and not really make any dent in the debt, but I am not trying to coordinate even more things in my already busy life.
Add to that, last week I had decided to work more. So I sign up for 3-7 Friday afternoon and 7a-7p on Saturday. Well, I got cancelled for both. I did go in Saturday for 3 hours and work on my online continuing education that is required every year.

Aaron was my hero Saturday though. I still hadn't gotten all of our curriculum. Many things that we were supposed to start with on day one had not been sent. I am currrently on week 5 and we still don't have things from week one. We are only studying the Civil War until week 7 and many of the things we needed were about the Civil War.
Anyway, I wrote them an honest letter Thursday explaining all of this, how I have given them many chances. How I was so behind on all of these books etc. I hate being angry, but I didn't know what else to do.
Well the representative called Sat. while I was at work. He wanted to go over all the books I had because according to him, we had gotten everything. Apparently, he sent a package with all the books I needed on July 16 and I never got it. So he was thinking I had all my stuff. I never received what he sent me, so I was thinking they never sent it. Anyway, I still didn't want to talk to him. I got home from work and Aaron said he was calling back at 12:30. My stress level shot up. I hate dealing with stuff like this. So, what did I do? went and took a nap because I had been up since 4:30am. Anyway, he called while I was laying down, and I didn't answer because I was half asleep. The phone rang again about 30 min. later. I didn't even look to see who called this time, I just went back to sleep. Well, when I got up from my nap, Aaron said the man had called again and Aaron went over all the books with him.
What a stressor that took off my shoulders. I was so happy that Aaron did that for me.
Anyway, I am supposed to be getting all of my missing books today. Then it will be reading for long periods a day to catch up.
No more interest in our house. At least no one has been asking to see it.
This is my goal. Of course it may not work out this way, but I can hope...
1. Sell our house
2. At the same time we sell our house, a very cheap, large house that has been foreclosed on becomes available. I would like this house to have a few acres, and be closer to our new church.
3. Live in that cheap house for a few years and get it paid off. (When I say cheap house, I am talking about less than 60,000) That seems crazy, but they do become available. And many times, the problems are fixable. We have been keeping up with foreclosures around here for a while.
4. Once we get the house paid off, save up down payment for another and try to sell cheap house or rent it out.
5 buy another house with some land AND city water. No need to be fancy, just needs to have room or have room to build on so we can adopt more kids.


1. Sell our house
2Find someone to rent to us cheaply for the next year or two while we pay off debt and save up for new house.
3 find a now house that is larger, closer to church, but not too far from Aaron's work.

We'll see.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I feel like I am being attacked

I am a lot better today, but this last 3-4 days, especially Saturday have been a doozy with my mood.
Normally, I am a pretty mellow person. I let things ride. I don't usually get worked up too bad.
I have no one to blame but myself, because I forgot that I have no one to please but God!
I have let little stressors turn me into someone you would want to avoid.

Up until the last month when we listed our house, I was ok with dealing with the lack of water situation. I took it in stride. I handled it well. To make myself willing to sell our house and land I have had to focus on the negative. My situation did not change, but my attitude sure did. Now it is depressing to live here and I am stressing about if we ever sell and where will we live if we do.
Also, since our house is for sale, that means attempting to keep it clean enough to show. Which a 1200 sq ft house with 7 people is so hard to keep clean. I don't want to go through 3 hours of cleaning like I did the other day when we showed it.

Add to that the lack of a support system. I can't remember who all reads this blog, but I will just say the truth. We have had very minimal support for our adoption.
There were 6 people waiting on us when we got off the plane from Ethiopia My husband Aaron, our daughters, Madelyn, Natalie, and Hannah, my Mom and a friend Sandra. That is it. There were no announcements at church that we had our children home. There was nothing in the bulliten about us becoming parents again. It seemed to be swept under the rug. A handful of friends were excited enough to even come and look at the boys when we came to church.
I compare us to others too much. I see other people's blogs where they had 40-50 people waiting for them, so excited for them. I see where their church is praying for them, helping them, supporting them, encouraging them. We just never had that. We had more questioning... Why do you keep going? Why that country? and the best "well, you got what you wanted, are you happy now?"
So I feel like I am on my own. But that is crazy because of who we do have supporting us. And that is God! Again, I forgot who I needed on my side and who didn't matter.
I have no close friends. Again, something we are hoping to remedy with our church change.
We are "weird" because we homeschool. (I know God is on my side with that)
We are "weird" because I don't want to work fulltime (the first year we lived here, you wouldn't believe how many people would come up and tell me about full time jobs that were available)

I let this all get to me. And I was a bear, let me tell you. Hopefully, I am over that. Still stressing, but praying that God will work out the details. Praying for a friend that has the same values I do. Praying we sell our house and a bigger one, happens to come available at the same time that we can afford. Praying that I will have more patience with the kids and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy instead of stressing so much.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ear Infections and doctor updates

We got up early this morning to take the boys to Birmingham. Natalie and Madelyn stayed the night with Mom because she was taking them to an activity at church this morning. Hannah, Seth, Ethan and I left the house at 7 am headed to the doctor.
I was in such a hurry to get there that I didn't get a good look at Seth until we got there and I realized that his face was covered in dried snot. So I wiped that off in the parking lot. Hannah had mentioned on the way there that he had lots of wax in his ears.
Well, I happened to look at his left ear and it was covered inside and out with what looked like more dried snot. I started to clean it too, first thinking that it was from the snot dripping all the way to his ear, while he slept, but then thought that it might have actually came from his ear, so I left it to show the doctor. Well, she immediately said that his eardrum had ruptured. I felt so bad. No wonder he couldn't sleep the other night. I knew something was wrong, but I never thought it would be that bad. He barely had run a 99 temp. Then she looked in his R ear and said that one looked like it was about to rupture. So we started him on antibiotics and maybe in a few days we will get our old Seth back. Other than that he was right on target for his age. I was also worried because he had lost his baby belly since we got home and I was afraid he had lost weight, but he had gained over a pound in the last 4 weeks, so that was good news.
Ethan started running a temp of 100.9 last night and I knew he was still feeling bad today. He has been pulling on his ears, so he was actually the one I was more worried about.
When we came 4 weeks ago, the other doctor said he had fluid behind his ears, but didn't think he had an infection. Well, since it was still there today, but didn't look bad, she wanted to go ahead and treat him too. So both of them are on antibiotics. Seth weighed 25lb, Ethan weighed 23lb.
The developmental therapist came in and said that Ethan is developmentally a 9-12 month old and here he is just 8 months. Pretty good for a baby who wouldn't even sit up or put weight on his legs a mere 2 months ago. Now he pulls up on everything and sometimes will stand alone for 1-2 seconds. All he needed was a family to get up and go!
Thankfully the rest of us have avoided this cold.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sleepy Tuesday

I don't know what is up with Seth, but whatever it is, it isn't good. Seth's normal night is to go to sleep around 8pm. And about every other night, he might wake up crying around 11pm, I walk in the room, tell him to lie down, pat his back, reassure him, he goes right back to sleep until 7-8am. But not last night.
I was heading to bed around 10 when he was whining. Wanting to make sure he was asleep before I went to sleep, I sat up reading a book. Well, by 11:30, he still was crying about 1 min. after I left the room, over and over. So, I finally just got my pillows, thinking we would just sleep on the couch. If the girls had been sick and I had held them, they would go right to sleep.
Well, not Seth. We lied on the couch over an hour, him wriggling, pouty face, miserable. Me reading a book. I gave him some ibuprofen in case his ears were hurting since he has had a cold. Finally, around 1am, I put him back in bed, gave him another bottle and went to bed myself, knowing that in 5 hours baby brother would be up.
Seth then proceeded to cry about 1-2 times an hour the rest of the night, stopping around 5 am when he finally is sleeping good. Of course, that gave me one hour of straight sleep before Ethan woke up. So that is where we are, Seth sleeping like a baby, me up with the baby, the girls asleep and me who can't wait until nap time.
I pray he sleeps tonight because I have to drive the boys to Birmingham in the morning for their doctor's appt. alone, Aaron has meetings at work all day and can't take off.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Oh how I need to get into shape. I hope that we can make a trip to the mountains of NC in October this fall. I need motivation to make myself exercise and hiking is a good one. Ever since we lived in the mountains in NC, if we don't make a trip once a fall, I get really homesick for it. It is so beautiful there. I miss it. But I don't know how our finances will be in October. We need to make a trip to SC to trim our trees again, so we might make it a combined trip. How I dread the drive with the boys.
This morning I walked a mile with Ethan on my back. Both boys love the backpack. I tried both in it and Ethan feels lighter, so he gets to ride. Seth goes in the stroller and we walk up and down our driveway. If we do go to the mountains, we will have to borrow another backpack. And I will need to get in shape with the backpack on. I came in and finished with another 3 miles of WALK AWAY THE POUNDS video (without 25lb on my back)
We still did not get all of our homeschool curriculum which was supposed to be here Thursday. It is trickling in, but the fiction book that we should have started reading day 1 isn't here yet and we are on day 9. UGH!!!!
Seth and Ethan both have colds. Seth, who is normally in a good mood, is walking around all day like it is an hour past his bedtime. He is running a low grade temp around 99. But we go for our follow up to the International Adoption Clinic on Wed., so they both will get checked out then. I know he doesn't feel good, but the whining gets old. I thought Ethan was getting better, because I hardly wiped any snot yesterday, but he is back draining today. But he is actually in a more mellow mood, I guess because his head is stopped up. He is not so squirmy, which is kind of nice.
I stayed home with both boys yesterday morning and Aaron took the girls and Mom rode with him (since it is a 40 min. drive to Decatur.)j
Aaron said the sermon was on loving orphans. I wish I could have been there, but even though Ididn't hear it, I was so excited to hear that it was preached.
Even though we know we are doing the right thing by changing congregations, this helped to cement it. They actually preached on helping orphans. !!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Few Books

Well, yesterday was the big day where I was supposed to get all but 2 books either in the mail or by Fed ex. I eagerly awaited 2pm when I knew that the mail would be here. Normally, when we have big packages in the mail, the maillady will drive up the house with them. 2pm, went to the mailbox and she had already come and gone. So no curriculum in the mail. Then around 3:30 Fed Ex shows up and I am all excited. The guy gets out with a small 8x10 envelope. With one book in it. Then about an hour later, another Fed Ex truck comes with another small envelope with 3 workbooks in it. So I probably got around 10% of what I was supposed to yesterday. We'll see if it comes today.. At least I got Hannah's workbooks where we can start working on those.
Haven't had any offers on the house yet. Maybe we will hear something today.
I am torn between thinking that if the house sells quick, we need to be looking at other houses, but then I hate to spend time looking at other houses if our house doesn't sell for months and those other houses would be gone by then.
I guess everyone probably goes through this when selling/buying.
Ethan has had a runny nose the last few days. Now it is turning green. I was hoping we could hold out going to the doctor until next Wed. when we have their follow up at the International Adoption Clinic. No fever yet, so maybe we can hold out.
Good news though, in the last 2 weeks or so, he has enjoyed (and when I say enjoyed, I mean he actually holds still and doesn't buck) while I am holding him like a baby feeding him a bottle. See, I am pretty sure, he was rarely held close to someone's chest and fed a bottle like you normally would at home. At the orphanage, because there were so many babies and so few women, the bottles were propped and the babies could lie there and eat and kick and squirm, etc. Which is what Ethan was good at. Kicking, squirming, bucking, etc. the whole time I was trying to feed him. Most times, to get him to eat, I would either have to lie him on the floor on his back and hold his bottle, or hold him with his back to my chest so he could kick while he ate. But it is apparently a very important bonding thing for you to hold them normally and look into their eyes while they eat. Which he is finally letting me do! It is so nice to finally cuddle with him!
Seth just woke up and he has a drippy nose too. Should have bought the kleenexes with lotion the other day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Change of Plans

My plans for today were to get up early, pack a lunch for all of us, pick up Mom, get the oil changed, and drive to Decatur to Aldi and Kroger for our weekly groceries. I planned to just scrap school for the day since we are still waiting for curriculum.
Well, I got up early, got the kids up early, packed sandwiches for everyone, packed drinks, and we were about 20 min. from being ready to go to Mom's to pick her up when I decided to check email before we left. Thank goodness I did.
There was an email from our realtor stating he had someone who wanted to see then house this afternoon. I am sure he would have eventually called, but by the time he waited until a decent hour to call, we would have been well away from the house.
That was about 2 hours ago. We have spent the last 2 hours cleaning and still aren't finished, but we are taking a 15 min. break. Do you know how hard it is to clean well with 5 kids? Of course the 3 girls are big helps, but the boys are just in the way. Seth would rather play with anything but his toys. Ethan just crawls around sticking anything he can find in his mouth.
Then in the midst of all of this, the sandwiches I had made this morning, and put in this soft cooler, full of ice packs...well the girls had taken them to the car before we knew we were staying and cleaning. At one point, I looked out my window and saw that 3 out of 5 of the doors on the van were wide open and there sat at least 2 cats in the front seat. Sometimes, if it is really hot, I tell the girls to leave the doors open IF we are fixing to walk out the door. So they thought we were fixing to walk out the door, so they left the doors open then forgot about it. So I walk out there to close them all and there are those dumb cats and they had eaten at least 2 of our sandwiches. I was so mad!!
Well, Mom just got here to help. Our van is full and I have a ton of stuff to donate to thrift stores beside my bed, so all that is going into her car. Ethan is in the bed hopefully for an hour or so. Seth is in the living room, "gated" in before he does any more damage and Mom and the girls are in there with him. Think I will let them have a little break so that I can go load up the give away stuff, then maybe we can finish before Ethan wakes up.
Maybe we can sell our house today!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I heard back from the curriculum people. About 2 hours later. The man, who I spoke to really had no excuse for not sending the stuff last week, even though he told me he would. So, I have been told today that all of our stuff except for two books will be here Thursday. And I got a $50 gift certificate from their website.

Still No Curriculum

Well, the mail has come today and still no more curriculum. I called our supplier and she said she would call back in 30 min. I asked if it would be coming by UPS or regular mail and she said probably regular mail. So I am waiting 30 min. to hear back from her. What is the Deal???
I will be sure and post their great excuse for taking over a month to send curriculum that I have already PAID for.
I kept the boys up until 1pm instead of putting them down at 11:30 or 12pm. What a pain! In the evenings, Seth usually does ok until bedtime, then starts getting cranky, but normally the last 2 hour before Ethan's bedtime, he is almost unbearable with the whining. He wants you to hold him, but then all he does is squirm and what he really wants is to stand in your lap and be able to lean any which way he wants. However, my 36 year old back can not handle wrestling a 22#+ baby for 2 hours. Church services are bad enough. If I hold Ethan, my whole back is in knots by the time services are over. So I am trying to get him to take a later nap so hopefully he won't be as unbearably cranky in the evenings. You might say, just put him to bed earlier. Well, he already goes to bed at 7pm and I fear if I make it any earlier he will start getting up at 5am instead of 6am. Still not liking being up at 6 every morning. He is worth it though.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Homeschooling update and more

I ordered our homeschool curriculum a month ago. I think I already mentioned that I decided to go the more expensive route so I wouldn't have to take so many trips to the library with 5 kids like we have the past 2 years. This curriculum sends you every book you will need.
At least they are supposed to.
So, I was hoping to start school on July 11 which would have been a week after making my order. Well, when I made my order by phone, the lady told me they wouldn't even start shipping until the next week, even though I ordered on a Monday. Long story short, we were finally able to start school on the 21 st of this month, even though I only have about 1/4-1/3 of the material I ordered. Every day I keep expecting to get the rest of it. Hannah is especially behind because all of her language arts is missing. So we have been improvising and working ahead in some books, so we can take a break in them to catch up with the others.
But I am MAD! Any minute I think UPS may drive up with our packages today. See, I emailed last Tuesday and told them that I was behind because they still hadn't sent stuff that I have PAID for! Wednesday late afternoon I got a call from a man that works there and he told me that he was mailing some stuff Wed. afternoon and the rest of it should be going out on Thursday for sure, except for two books, which are on backorder. Ok, I can handle that. Because he was so nice, I didn't press him for why they hold on to stuff that I have PAID for. Now it is 5 days later and still no more curriculum.
I really like this curriculum, but not enough to EVER use it again. If we hadn't already written in some of the workbooks, I would return it for a refund. And I am afraid to go off on them because I am at their mercy right now since they still have 75% of my product I PAID for.

Things are stressful right now. We are in the middle of changing congregations and that always stresses me out. There is no good way to do it. We can't leave cold turkey and not speak to anyone because we have many good friends that we want to still stay in contact with.
However, you don't want to go into depth with people who you know don't understand why you can no longer go there, because when they don't understand, they make you out to be petty and complainy. But if you don't get specific with them, they can't see that there is a problem
And why is it that everyone wants to speak to me about it instead of my husband? So, I have been stressed all week about this.
However, we love the new congregation that we will probably stay with. That is a plus!!! Bad thing is, we have gone from driving 15 min.. to church to 35 min. to church. Perhaps if we ever sell our house, we can move a little closer. We still have to stay close to Aaron's work. But maybe we can find something in between.

The kids have been doing well. Ethan still gets up around 6am (can you tell this bothers me?) Apparently it doesn't matter what time you put him to bed.
Been working on the budget! That always puts me in a sad mood too. I am going to have to work more. I signed up for 7 7-11 shifts in the past 3 weeks. I have worked 2. Actually, I would have only worked one, but they switched me to 3-7 on Saturday or I would have been canceled then also. But we really really need to money until our tax return next year. Praying already that we don't have to go through a ton of stuff like many adoptive parents we have seen who have had to wait until August or later for the returns.