Sunday, August 30, 2009
I wanted to stay with the superhero theme in his bedroom, so I did his name and then I made a silouhette out of a photo I took of him in a superhero cape last summer. I think I probably showed that photo here several months ago. I just did some tricky Photoshop work on it to make the silouhette and then I cut it with my vinyl cutter.
It's super fun and Matthew loves it!
Josh got his hard cast on Friday morning. It was a painful appointment because they had to do more x-rays and it's still hard for him to move his arm too much, but he got through it. They let him pick the color for his cast and he couldn't decide between blue and green, so they did it in blue and green stripes, which he's thrilled with. Casts are much more fun than they used to be when we were little, aren't they? There were no fun colors when we were growing up!
Anyway, he seems a lot happier with his new cast because it's lighter and easier for him to get around in, so I think life is going to get a little easier around here. He's can go back to school on Monday, which he's looking forward to.
Here's a picture of him that I took yesterday with his new cast:
So now that things aren't quite so crazy around here, I'm back to working on some Clarissa projects. I've been trying to decide how to decorate the walls in Clarissa's room for quite a while and I've had a really hard time making up my mind. I've had some ideas about vinyl lettering, but what I wanted to do was really specific and I finally decided that rather than find someone who could do it for me, I would just buy the machine and do it myself! I love vinyl wall letters and there are a whole bunch of projects that I want to do in my house with them.
I've gone back and forth about buying the machine for a while and yesterday morning I decided that it was time to just go buy it. So yesterday I pretty much spent the whole day learning how to use it and designing my very first project! I did Clarissa's name above her bed, and then below that I did her Korean and American names in Korean. It's not quite done yet, because I'm still going to add a little design in between the Korean words, but I took a picture of it to share anyway. I'll take another picture when I decide which design I'm going to use in the middle. pardon the crappy picture. I'm going to take better ones when I get the whole room done.
So now I'm all excited to start labeling everything in the house with vinyl letters. :) Today I'm going to do Matthew's name on his wall in kind of a superhero/comic book font that will look nice with the Superhero theme in his bedroom.
Then that got the bug in me to redo Josh's room, which is way overdo for it. When we moved here I painted both of the boys rooms in a light blue and then figured I'd do some more decorating later. We've now lived here for almost five years and I've never really decided how I want to do Josh's room.
So I sat down with him and we picked out some really cool things. I'm not going to do it now because I want to get the rest of the adoption stuff out of the way first, but once Clarissa is here and settled, I'm going to get his room finished. Now that we've figured out what we want to do it's just a matter of painting and buying the bedding and decor we picked out.
We decided to go for kind of a red, white and blue Americana theme. Pottery Barn has some star bedding that I LOVE and we picked some really cute Norman Rockwell sports themed posters for his wall that have a lot red, white and blue in them. I'll do his name in Red vinyl lettering and I can put some white vinyl stars on the wall. Here's our idea board, with the paint colors, samples of the artwork and the bedding. It's going to look really cute when it's finished!
I'm really excited about getting that done! I'll post photos in a few months when I get it finished.
So those are the exciting projects I have going on here these days! Now that our I600 form is done we estimate that we're about a month away from traveling to Korea! I can't believe how close we are!!! So these next few weeks are going to be busy while we get bags packed and finish up all Clarissa related projects. I need to buy diapers and baby gates and make sure she has enough clothes and go through the baby toys I have in storage and finish babyproofing the house and there are a million other things on my list.
It's going to be a really busy month, but I couldn't possibly be more excited about it!! :)
Saturday, August 29, 2009
We're now on the the next step, and I don't understand the details of it enough to explain it at the moment, but I'll read up on it today so that I understand what it entails. There's nothing we have to do, it's just waiting for another round of paperwork. I'll explain it better once I've had a chance to fully understand it.
I have a TON more stuff to talk about, Josh got his cast on yesterday, I'm working on a big fun project for Clarissa's room and the rest of our house today and we've got lots going on, but I'm going to wait until later to post it. I'm going to take some pictures of Josh with his cool new cast, but my camera battery is charging at the moment.
At the moment I'm going to go back to my project with a huge smile on my face! Having I600 approval is a gigantic load off my mind!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I've been trying to find things to keep Josh busy and something to keep him from being completely bored while he's resting. A few days ago I was trying to think of a movie or a TV show or something that I could watch with him and I remembered the old Nickelodeon cartoon "Doug." Remember that show? I always thought it was funny. Anyway I checked Amazon and they have it on DVD so I took advantage of my Amazon Prime membership and got free second day air on it and it arrived today. Josh had never seen it before, so we had a good time watching it together for a while. That's pretty much the biggest thing we accomplished today. :)
Oh, we did have another fun thing happen today! Matthew came home from school today with a packet of get well cards from all the kids in Josh's class. Josh absolutely LOVED reading all of them. All the kids in his class took the time to draw him pictures and write him little notes and it really made him happy. We're going to save all of them in his memory box. It was a much needed boost to his day.
Oh! And according to one of the cards, the mother of one of his classmates reads my blog! I don't know who she is (at least I don't think I do?), but hello to whoever you are! :) Hopefully we'll get the chance to meet sometime this year. Thank your son for his sweet get well card, it meant a lot Josh.
So that's all the news from our house. For dinner tonight Shawn is picking up take-out from the Chili's that just opened up around the corner from our house. New restaurants keep popping up all over the place around here and we've enjoyed trying them out. We have to support the businesses in our area, right? (That's code for "I really didn't want to cook tonight".)
And now I have the Chili's baby back ribs song in my head....
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Josh is at the doctor with Shawn right now getting a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. In the midst of the pain he's been in this week with his arm, he seems to have developed a cold. It started out as the sniffles and then a little cough, and then a BIG cough, and today he's been really wheezy and miserable. Shawn just called me from the doctors office and said that the doctor doesn't like the way his lungs sound so they're going to give him a breathing treatment and then they're going to do a chest x-ray.
I've sort of reached the point this week where I'm so ridiculously stressed out that all I can do is sit here and take deep breaths and remind myself that surely it has to pass soon, right??
Poor Josh, it just breaks my heart that he's having such a hard time right now. The pain in his arm seems to be a lot better, but he doesn't feel well, he's bored, he's tired from not sleeping well with the cast on his arm and all the coughing he's doing and I think he's just had enough of it. I hope that he doesn't have pneumonia and that it's just a bad cold that will clear up on it's own soon. I guess worst case scenerio we head back over to the hospital and spend some more time with the nice people on the peds floor. I wonder if they offer a frequent visitor discount.
So that's what's going on here today. We're all kind of cranky and exhausted and stressed out and life isn't all that fun here this week. Hopefully Shawn is going to call me back in a few minutes and say that everything is fine, Josh just needs some good cough medicine and that he'll be fine. I think Josh has been through enough for one week!
UPDATE: It's not pneumonia, it's bronchitis. Still not fantastic, but I'm relieved that it's not pneumonia. The doctor gave him some medication and hopefully he'll be feeling better soon.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The surgery was at 8am, and it went well. Josh did well with the anethesia (My biggest worry) and everything went smoothly. The doctor showed us the x-rays of the break and we got a better idea of how it happened. Josh inherited a weird family trait from me. Our elbows hyperextend. We can bend our elbows at a weird angle and it always freaks people out. Josh inherited it, but Matthew didn't.
We've always looked at it as a funny genetic trick that we inherited, but apparently people with elbows that hyperextend are much more likely to break their elbows. The doctor said that his best guess is that when Josh fell he put his arm out to catch himself, his elbow hyperextended and bent backwards, which snapped it. Ouch.
The break was at the very top of his elbow and the doctor was concerned because of the growth plates there. If it doesn't heal correctly he risks his arm not growing right. So in the surgery they lined the bone back up and put pins in it to secure it while it heals. He gave us x-ray photos of the his arm with the pins in it and it's kind of cool in an icky sort of way, lol.
He arm is all wrapped up from shoulder to fingers in a big soft cast. They can't put a regular hard cast on it yet because his elbow is likely to swell for the next few days and they need to allow it to swell and go back to normal. On Friday we're going to go back to the surgeons office and he'll take the soft cast off and put a regular fiberglass cast on it that he'll have to wear for the next month or so. After that they'll take it off, take the pins out and he'll probably have to do a little physical therapy on it to make sure that he gets his range of motion back.
The doctor said that he can't go back to school until they put the hard cast on it, so he's going to spend his second full week of school at home. Not a great start to the school year! We'll stay home and watch lots of movies.
Anyway, all in all I guess things could have been worse, so I'm glad that it all went well. We're at a great hospital with great doctors and nurses and he's been well taken care of.
He's resting now and once they decide that he's alert and doing OK they'll probably let him go home. He's still a little groggy from the medication and still in some pain, but he's doing OK.
So there's the update on our very eventful day. Hopefully things will be less eventful after this! :)
Friday, August 21, 2009
I got a phone call from Josh's school this afternoon letting me know that he got hurt at recess and needed someone to pick him up. Apparently he was walking across a balance beam at recess and lost his balance and fell and hit his elbow on the metal bar and then landed on his arm. We took one look at it and went to the ER.
After many hours at the ER they confirmed what we already suspected. His arm is broken just above his elbow. They thought they could probably just cast it and send him home, but once the orthopedic doc had a chance to look at the x-rays he decided that it needs a pin in it.
So here were are in a hospital room. They've admitted him for the night and they're doing surgery first thing in the morning. He's got a brace on his arm for now, and an IV in his other arm, so he's pretty uncomfortable. They've been giving him morphine which seems to be helping with the pain, but he's still had a pretty rough day.
He's really scared about having surgery and it breaks my heart. This is the first time he's really had any major medical proceedure done. It's the first time either of my kids have had surgery or stayed overnight in a hospital actually.
Thank goodness that we have wonderful friends who have jumped in to help. My two good friends have traded off watching Matthew this evening and he's sleeping over at one of their houses tonight so that we can be with Josh. This would have been a lot more difficult without such good friends.
So tomorow morning we'll be sending our sweet boy off to surgery, which I'm really not looking forward to. It's one of those times as a parent where you wish that you could just step in and do it for them. I'd take the pain for him if I could. It's hard to stand by helplessly when I know how much he hurts.
If everything goes well he can probably go home tomorrow night, so that he can sleep in his own bed and I can spoil the crap out of him until he feels better. :) I told him that I would put the little TV in his bedroom for the next few days and I think that almost made the whole experience worth it for him. :)
So now Shawn and I are going to cram ourselves into the tiny extra bed in Josh's hospital room and attempt to sleep. One of us really should go home but we both want to be here, so we're just going to have to get extra cozy tonight.
I'll post again after his surgery tomorow.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I heard something and I've been told not to discuss it so I've deleted the info from my blog. Some day I'll be able to tell the story, but not now.
Everything is good and I hate being cryptic, but I don't want to jepordize anything.
So that's all I have to say about that. :) Now let's all pretend that I never said anything. :)
Friday, August 14, 2009
The kids are are getting settled in school and they seem to be adjusting well. They're making friends and they come home happy every day, so things seem to be working out. Although I did find out something mildly irritating yesterday! The whole reason we started thinking about switching them to the new school was because at the end of last school year we were told that their old school would no longer be bussing in our area. I was really stressed out about that because with Clarissa coming in a couple of months, bussing is going to be a huge help to me this school year. I stressed out over what to do about the bussing problem, we finally decided that this new school has enough pro's that switching would be a good idea and then I stressed out over whether or not they'd get in.
Then yesterday I found out that the old school changed their mind and they ARE bussing in our area this year! And now we have to walk past their old, very convienent, bus stop to get to their new, not convienent at all, bus stop. Bleh. Oh well, the new school is good, the kids have lots of friends there and I think that things are going to work out just fine. The new school and the old school are extremely similar, but the new school has more friends from our church there. So I guess switching makes sense anyway.
So once I finally got my kids off to school I got all ready to start tackling some projects around here...and then I got sick! I really haven't felt well for the past couple of days. I'm super tired and achy and my stomach is not happy with me if I eat anything. So I've kind of just been laying around stressing over the fact that I have things to do and I don't feel well enough to do them.
But Matthews birthday is tomorrow and I have birthday stuff to do so this morning I dragged myself out and got all the birthday shopping done, so we're ready to celebrate tomorrow. We're not having a party with friends, but we're going to do something special as a family. I told Matthew that he could plan the day tomorrow. Whatever he wants to do is what we'll do. So maybe we'll go see a movie or go to the zoo or go to Chuck E Cheese or something. I'm sure that Matthew will come up with something fun. :) I can't believe he's going to be six already! Time is really flying by.
In adoption news there's not a whole lot new. We got a call from the USCIS office yesterday letting us know that our fingerprint approval is done and that they received our I600 but haven't started working on it yet, but should be in the next few days. I was actually super impressed that they called. She even gave me a number to call her back if we have questions. Most USCIS offices aren't so friendly or accessable and won't allow you to call them directly. So I feel pretty good about the I600 process going smoothly. I hope that in a few weeks we're approved and on to the next step. So far our whole paperwork process has been really smooth and snag free and I'm really grateful for that. I've heard enough horror stories that I've been really worried about it. I'm kind of a nervous wreck these days anyway, so I've been really glad that the paperwork hasn't given me one more thing to stress about.
I'm going to be SO glad when this is all over and we finally have Clarissa in our arms. I've lived and breathed this adoption for two years and now that we're in the home stretch I'm starting to burn out a bit. Not on thinking about Clarissa, of course, but just all the paperwork and the money and the logistics of getting her home. I'm just really anxious to move on from this and start the new and wonderful chapter in our lives. I look forward to the day when I can wake up in the morning and not just wonder what Clarisssa is doing but actually look over and see her sweet face. That sounds like Heaven to me!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Last night the kids excitedly laid out their school clothes and we got their backpacks all ready and then sent them off to bed. Matthew (who claimed not to be nervous at all about starting first grade) couldn't get to sleep and kept coming into our room to talk to us. It took him a while to finally get to sleep.
This morning Josh was up by 6:45 so that he could get ready. School starts at 9:05. :)
Needless to say it was a whirlwind of a morning, with nervous kids and plenty of picture taking. Shawn even took the morning off work so that we could both take them to school and get them settled.
I think they're going to be happy at their new school. We saw a ton of people that we know, which is one of the reasons we switched schools in the first place, so I think that made the kids feel better. They'll find friends quickly and I think they'll be just fine.
It's weird to be home alone though! It's really quiet and I can't help but wonder what the kids are doing and if lunch went OK and if they've found someone to play with at recess. I miss them!
This morning I took a bunch of pictures of them so I thought I'd share a few. We have a tradition of taking the same photo of them on the front porch every year on the first day of school. It's fun to add the new photo every year and see how much they've grown. I was shocked at how much Josh has changed when I compared his new photo to the previous ones. He looks so grown up this year! Even Matthew has changed a lot since last year. They grow up so fast!
So here are the collages of their first day of school photos and some others that I took this morning:
Monday, August 10, 2009
So starting Wednesday I'm home alone! That's going to feel strange at first. I think it will be good because I'll be able to get a lot of things done, but it's going to be strange having the house so quiet all day. It will give me a chance to get the house ready for Clarissa though. I have a lot of work to do to get this house babyproofed before she gets here. Ususally when you have a baby you have several months before they're mobile, so you can kind of babyproof as you go along. But bringing home a baby who is already crawling and may even be walking before long is going to be a different story. Our house is big and there's lot of room for a crawling baby to roam. I've got some serious baby gate shopping to do.
So that's what's going on around here these days. Right now I'm just focusing on getting through these next few hectic days getting ready for school and then I can go back to thinking about adoption projects again.
I'm really looking forward to having Clarissa home and having all of this behind us. I feel like our lives have been on pause for a long time, just waiting for this adoption to happen and I'm looking forward to moving on to the next phase in our lives. I know that having Clarissa home will present us with a whole new set of challenges, but I think I'm ready for it. Bring it on.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Today's package was a big packet of info about our trip to Korea. It pretty much covered every question we could possibly have about traveling to Korea to pick up Clarissa.
In the middle of the packet were a few photos of the Korean agency where we'll go to get Clarissa and one photo was of the room where we'll most likely see our daughter for the first time. I took one look at that photo and started to get teary. This is actually going to happen. In a few months we're going to fly halfway across the world and sit on that very couch in that very room and meet our daughter for the first time. Thinking about that gives me butterflies in my stomach, tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I'm SO nervous but SO excited! This is going to be an amazing journey.
In the packet was information about how to choose a hotel, how to book plane tickets, what we need to pack for Clarissa, info about passports and immigration and currency exchange and Korean taxi's and so many more things that I think my mind is going to explode from all the information I processed today. This is actually happening!!
This is an insane thing to say given how long we've waited, but I feel like everything is happening so fast! All of a sudden here we are reading information on how to book a flight and places to visit while we're in Korea and what to expect when we meet our daughter for the first time and I just can't believe that we're finally here! Clarissa only exsisted in my head for a very long time and in a few months she's actually going to be in my arms. We made it!
So ready or not Clarissa, here we come! :)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
First of all, we got Clarissa's six month well baby checkup report. She now weighs 20.5 pounds!! She's the chunkiest baby ever, lol. We also found out that she has two teeth!! She's getting so big! I was happy to read the report and hear that she's developing well, but a little sad that we're missing out on all her milestones. I can't wait to get her home.
Which brings us to update #2! I got an e-mail today letting us know that we got Clarissa's emigration permit approval, which is one step in the paperwork process that I didn't expect to see for another few weeks at least! I usually see I600's approved before EP approval. What that means is that we're crusin' on the paperwork!! If things continue at this rate we may actually be travelling sooner than we thought, possibly in early October!!
This is big news at our house today!! I'm praying that our I600 gets approved quickly because if it does we really may get Clarissa home a lot sooner than we thought.
It's suddenly seeming very real!! After all this waiting we may actually be holding Clarissa in our arms in less than two months!! YAY!!
Monday, August 3, 2009
This morning I woke up determined to get some things off my to-do list so that I could clear out my brain a little and cross off some of the things I've been stressing over. So this morning Josh and I did some school shoe shopping online and got the best deal on new school clothes! Famous Footwear is having a BOGO 1/2 off sale, plus there is a 20% off discount code floating around PLUS I had a rewards card that gave me $10 more off. So the kids officially have school shoes and it didn't cost me a fortune. I can check that off my list!
Then we went over to Old Navy and did some school shopping. It's ingrained in my brain that you have to have a whole new wardrobe to start school every year (Because growing up I always DID) but I was going through my kids clothes and they still have plenty of things that fit and are in great shape, so we pared the school shopping down to the bare minimum today. We got few cute things, the kids are happy and I can cross that off my list.
Then I called the new school that the kids are hopefully going to and found out that the secretary will be there tomorrow so if I call then I can hopefully find out if my kids have gotten in. I'm looking forward to crossing that off my list tomorrow, especially if they both got in. That's going to make my life muuuch easier when school starts.
So I'm getting there. I'm marking stuff off my list and clearing out some space in my brain. Aaahhh, it feels nice. :)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
So we're officially in August, which means another month has gone by and I haven't gone crazy yet, so that's good, right?! Let's see if I can say the same thing at the beginning of next month!
So I'm sitting here looking over all the things I have going on this month and I'm hitting panic mode a little. Sometimes when I have so much to do it overwhelms me and I don't know where to start.
At the moment I'm working on the monthly newsletter and calender that I do for my church job and that's stressing me out a bit. (actually, at the MOMENT I'm blogging in an attempt to ignore the things I'm supposed to be doing...) I have a whole bunch of things that have to be done for my church job at the beginning of each month and this month for some reason it's stressing me out a bit more than usual.
Then it occured to me today that my kids start school again in 11 days. Normally I'm extremely organized about the beginning of the school year. I'm a big bargain shopper so normally I have school clothes shopping done way in advance, I have the school supply shopping underway by now and it's all fine.
This year I'm not even a tiny bit prepared. I haven't bought school supplies, I haven't bought the kids any school clothes and actually at the moment I don't even know which school my kids are even going to! We're in the process of switching them to a new school this year (that story will require it's own post on a later date) and as far as I know right now Matthew is still on the waiting list, but I think that Josh got in, although I'm still not positive about that. I'm hoping that next week I can get someone from the school on the phone to tell me what's going on. There's a possibility that my kids will be attending two different schools for a while if we can't get Matthew into the new school, and that's just really going to complicate my life.
Then Matthew reminded me today that his birthday is in 15 days. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't thought about a party or done any planning for that yet. It's on my list of things to do. I feel like a bad mom.
I also somehow volunteered my backyard for a church party later this month and at the moment my yard, which I'm normally extremely picky about, is not exactly in party shape. My garden is growing nothing but weeds this year, my roses need pruning and it's not really a pretty sight back there right now. So I'm a little stressed about getting that ready in time.
Plus at the moment I'm just consumed with the adoption. Honestly, my brain is in Korea right now and I think it's going to stay there until we finally go pick Clarissa up and we can FINALLY move on to the next phase in our lives. This adoption is so mentally exhausting right now. There's not a whole lot that physically needs to be done, I'm just constantly stressing over whether the is paperwork getting approved quickly, I'm wondering if they've done the medical test on Clarissa that we requested, I wonder if she's gotten her care package yet, I wonder how she's doing and if she's being loved and if she's happy and if she's developing OK...it's all on my mind 24/7.
I'm also totally stressed about the finances of all of this. Between back to school stuff, Matthews birthday, saving for our trip and all the rest of it, I feel like the money is going out faster than it's coming in at the moment and that always stresses me out.
It will all work out fine, it's not anything that won't resolve itself in time I just feel like I'm juggling more than I can handle at the moment with everything we have going on. I have to remind myself that I do this sometimes. I start making a mental list of every single thing I need to do and even though I don't need to do it all today, I start to panic that I'm not going to be able to get it all done. I WILL. I always do. We've been through crazy times before and it's all worked out and this will too. I know that, sometimes I just give into the meltdown for a bit.
Ok, so now that I've written all that down, it's out of my head for a minute and I can back to working on my projects. One at a time, right?