Saturday, March 29, 2008

The End of Break

It has been a great spring break! My storage area is amazing! I can actually see what is where and walk into the room again! :) I took pictures and listed many things on eBay, and have many more ready to go. I've shipped the things that have already sold. I LOVE my new glasses!

And then yesterday, our last week day of break, the day Braeden was to stay home for our action planned day, he woke with a fever of 103.7! Once the meds kicked in he did well, but only ate one bite at IHOP and FELL ASLEEP on the bench of the booth!!! lol! He did so great at his picture session and we got some great ones. I can't always say that with him! :) We did make it to the movie and the kids loved it!

Of course, once bedtime hit and he was asleep for a while, that fever rose once again. He was just radiating heat! I brought him to bed with me and alternated his meds throughout the night along with no PJs and some cool cloths on his forehead. Then at 3:15am Girlie woke crying. I went in to reassure her, and SHE was burning up!!! Got her PJs off and some meds in her and got her back to bed. I was BEAT today! She was pretty much fine today and only had Motrin this morning. Braeden did ok during the wakeful times of day, but he was warm again at naptime and didn't even want to get up. SO unlike him! He usually doesn't even take a nap! Once his meds after nap kicked in again he was fine and ate a great dinner, but we'll see what tonight brings. My poor bubba! :( If he is bad again tonight I'm going to haul the crew to ER in the morning to get him some meds. He keeps saying his throat hurts, so I'm not sure what it could be. He doesn't get sick often, and you know he is really sick when he does. Hopefully we'll be good come Monday!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008


PS - Friday I had an eye appointment and ordered new glasses and a pair of sunglasses. $420 later I was happy with my selections, but bummed about the money! :( Oh well! They just came in so I will be picking them up today!!! Yay!

Organization Overload

It's spring break here. That time of year when many are vacationing and working on their tans. This year I decided to keep the little ones in day care and work work work on my house!!! It's hard to believe, I know, but it's quite difficult to really get some good work done with two 2 year olds! :)

My biggest task: Our storage room/area. It has become a disaster. There are bins and bins of clothes. Most of which my kids have grown out of, some which I find at thrift shops and are HUGE deals, all of which has been gone through lately in an effort to switch out closets and get those spring/summer/next size stuff out of bins and into closets. That also means I have to get what was in closets back into bins. This "obsession" with clothes began when my very first foster child came to me with the clothes on her back and nothing else. She was to get a clothing voucher, but it took a little while. She had on disgustingly dirty sweat pants and shirt that were also way too big, no underwear (4 1/2 years old), boots that were dirty and huge, no socks, and a huge and filthy coat. I wanted to just throw it all out, not knowing what could be lurking within. BUT, I had NOTHING. I didn't even have one thing she could wear until we could get to a store. It was late, she was scared, I did not want to go to a store, but I didn't have a choice. Since then, I have compulsively picked up very good clothes at extreme deals at some wonderful thrift shops my friend and I frequent. I've gotten Tommy swimsuits for 30 CENTS, Gymboree items with tags still on for less than one DOLLAR, etc. BUT, it's time to part with much of my JUNK! I've become an eBay selling fiend! :)

I just posted a pair of Keen waterproof sandals that I found last week at the thrift shop and bought for 75 CENTS. Someone emailed me and wanted a Buy it Now, within 1 hour of my posting. He bought them for $20!!!

Back to my organizing craze of the week... so that's what I'm doing. Organizing needed to be done anyway and my space has been dwindling, so I am hauling out major amounts of things to give away or put on eBay. Much of it will wait to be listed until Fall/Winter, but there is lots for now too. I'm keeping a lot, don't get me wrong, but getting rid of tons. I still want to have things if a new little one comes to stay for a while. I have decided recently to really focus more on boys. I have more room for boys, and I think Olivia just needs to be the only girl for a while once Girlie leaves. So, I'm mostly getting rid of my girl things, but keeping a couple outfits in each size "in case". :)

Friday I began the cleaning and sorting. Monday Olivia and I went thrift shopping with my friend J and her daugther. There were some things we needed, mostly for Olivia for this spring/summer. I found some great items and got her an awesome pair of Lands End boots to match her winter coat next year. I paid $4 and bought the same boots in purple for her for this year on eBay for almost $20. Tuesday we went scrapbooking at a friends. I've been working on Girlie's lifebook and really got a lot done. Today it was back to the organization. Olivia and I dropped the others at day care and then picked up some much needed items: 4 storage containers, 2 laundry baskets, a tall cabinet like one we have already in the basement, a corner tool stand (rakes, etc), and a shoe shelf for in the laundry area. I thought I would never see the end of this job, but I really have worked hard today and can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel!!! Yay!!!

Tomorrow I plan to work like today and hopefully complete my task. Then Friday I am going to keep Braeden home as well. We are going to go to IHOP, on my parents, for breakfast to eat off of their WHO menu. Then, he is going to get his pics done in the morning, I haven't had new ones of him since his adoption in Oct 06! We are then going to go see Horton in the afternoon. Should be a fun day to end spring break. Not much of a "break" per se, but a great sense of accomplishment!!!

Happy Spring!
Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Greetings

We had a wonderful morning and hope that you did also. The egg hunt and basket finding was a hit. They received a few small toys, new pajamas, and some candy. It was such a treat for them to get to eat candy before breakfast! Olivia's was almost gone (she and Braeden received a little more than the other two!) by the time I looked to see what she had. :)

As they played with their toys, Braeden could care less about the travel Lite Brite right now that I thought would be such a hit, I made breakfast of sausage patties, scrambled eggs, and cinnamon sugar toast. I think once Braeden sees and understands the Lite Brite he will love it. :)

We had a leisurely morning and the kids did great. We were up and going just before 7 and didn't have to leave for church until 10. I am pretty sure Olivia was up most of the night waiting for the Easter Bunny, as she usually is on days like this. Unfortunately her body doesn't handle sleep deprivation well at all and we had a major meltdown as we were getting ready to go and trying to take a few pics of the dressed up crew. We barely made it to the 10:30 service. We did get a few pics and then I got a great one of Olivia and Braeden after we returned home. She enjoyed church and put things back into perspective and was a "new kid" again. :) She did go down for a nap and is hopefully snoozing away as we speak.

All in all a beautful and blessed morning. We are still looking forward to a dinner of ham and sweet potato casserole this evening! :)

Here are the kids with their now full baskets...

Liam: "Hmmm... maybe if I put this in my mouth the wrapper will just disappear and the peanut butter egg will just melt into my mouth..." He then did just that, but it didn't work!!! lol

The "after"... (After church)

May you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Easter Day!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Preparations

We are Easter ready... Outfits are set out and ready for church and the kids' empty baskets line the dining table... Just waiting for the Easter Bunny to make an appearance and fill them up! We read a great book that my parents sent for Easter titled What is Easter? It really helped explain it in kid friendly terms.
The kids are excited about Easter. Well, Braeden and Olivia are excited, Girlie keeps asking, "We get candy???" and Liam hasn't a clue, but fun it will still be. It flurried today, but no snow like they received north of us. I'm glad the boys have pants and long sleeves and that I got the girls cardigans for their dresses! :)
Thursday was Liam and Olivia's appointment at the neurology dept at University of Chicago. It went really well. I LOVE their neurologist, he was/is great! His focus was all on Olivia, questioning, finding out what happened when, etc. After her meds were increased the beginning of the month Olivia hasn't had any other issues with her legs. The neurologist said that we are still on the low end of dosage ability for her, so there is plenty of room to increase still if we need to. He said that as far as activities, they want kids to retain as "normal" a life as possible: no restrictions as far as sports. BUT, she is not to take baths, only showers, she is never to lock the door of a room with no windows or a way in, especially a bathroom, and she needs to have someone by her if she is swimming. Which really means no lessons, unless they are one on one, so I'm glad she has already had lessons and progressed as far as she has.
The neurologist then switched to Liam and completely focused on him. I asked if it was possible that it was an environmental issue since both began seizures at a similar time, but he doesn't think so at all. He is concerned that Liam's seizure over the summer did not correspond with a fever although the last one did. He said that many cases of nighttime seizures in young ones typically correspond to a loss in speech development, but from what I shared with him it didn't sound as though that has occured. He gave me specifics to watch for if there is a "next time." He wants to see the results of the testing that was done last summer and the time recently he was in ER so I'm having those faxed there on Tuesday after I look them over.
He wants to see both of them this summer, in July for a clinic visit and for testing. If Liam has another episode between now and then he wants him to get testing done right away, otherwise we can wait until July. All in all is was a great visit! :)
Monday, March 17, 2008

Make a Wish revisited

I talked this week to the wonderful people from Make a Wish. I hadn't heard from them since we spoke in November, so I emailed just to see where we were at. I felt bad even emailing, but they were so courteous and great about it. The ship playset Olivia had originally seen online and had a picture of is a little too too pricey, which I figured. :) BUT, they work often with a company that they gave me the website of to see what I/Olivia thought of the ship that they had. It is so great!!! I told them that honestly she will be thrilled with ANYTHING! It is all such a blessing, no matter what! But the ship is so cool! It looks like it has two swings on top, and they have many types of swings to choose from (she wants a baby one for the little kids! :) ), a slide, a ramp, a play area, etc. This is it... (Be sure to click on the Ships link below the pic of the castle.)

Pirate Ship Playhouse

They said that once Olivia decided for sure what she wants on it, etc that it wouldn't take them long to do. Wow! God is good!!! :) A place to play this summer! :) Anyone want to visit??? :)
Saturday, March 15, 2008

Weather Craziness

We had some gorgeous days this week! Even got out and went for our first walk of the season. It was beautiful, yesterday especially. And today, the day we are going to our community Easter Egg Hunt, today it SNOWS!!! Yuck! I'm tired of snow. It's not sticking, I'm sure it won't, but it's yucky just the same! :) The kids still had fun though! :) (Our friend K is in the back by Braeden.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Alarm Woes Cont'd

Well, wouldn't it just figure. After getting up so early yesterday because of all the time change stuff, then renting Martian Child for my mom and I last night and staying up late to watch, God wanted me to get some sleep. :)

I must've forgot to SET MY ALARM!

I woke and was surprised to see some light through the window. Maybe the fact that it was 6:49!!! had something to do with it! Mind you, I am usually up between 5:40 and 5:50, even on weekend when my alarm doesn't go off, and we are usually out the door between 6:50 and 6:55!!! I flew out of bed, grabbed the boys (Braeden was NOT happy and was crying and crying about getting dressed), got Olivia to get up and going, pulled Liam in the bathroom as I washed my hair (no time for a shower!), dressed myself and Liam while grandma helped Braeden, and we were out the door at 7:08! Whew! I don't know how we did it! The good thing was that we had decided already to have Girlie stay home today so Grandma could spend time with her (Liam tomorrow) before she leaves tomorrow night. Also, Liam has a well-check today after school and the time will be cutting it close so that will be one less stop as she is in a separate day care. So we had one less stop this morning too which helped. Oh my though, what a morning!

(Yes, it can be described hilarious I GUESS Julie! :) )
Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Forward

The springing forward is not fun! :)

I have a travel alarm that I have been using while my mom is here. It's an atomic clock, so you don't set it, it sets itself. Well, I woke Sunday morning to Liam talking up a storm. The clock said 6:30, so I thought it was "technically" 5:30 still and they need to sleep!!! They boys were up, Girlie was up, I got up. I had already set the kitchen clocks and what a surprise to find that it was 8:10 when I finally came down!!! My atomic clock did not set itself!!! This was not good. Especially as Olivia's meds are given every 12 hours, at 7, and I was going to up the time to 7:30 (technically 6:30) and had already missed that. What a start. I stayed in pjs all day, but did get a lot done at home. I completely overhauled the boys room, moving the trundle toy drawer out as a low bed so Liam is ready when we switch to the big boy bed. :) Then had to rearrange the whole room, reorganize (who knew one under bed drawer could hold so much!), and put to rights. Then I put away two baskets of clean clothes in their room as well. Whew!

So last night, no one wanted to go to sleep. It took the kids forever to quiet. When I went to check on the boys, Liam had no pjs on anymore! And this morning, same for girlie! It is NOT that warm yet people! I couldn't get to sleep well either and am paying for it this morning. Last night my travel alarm still had not changed, so I switched it to mountain time so that the time was right. WELL, guess what!? It switched over night, so instead of going off at 5:40, it was actually 4:40 and I had NO clue until AFTER my shower!!! Then I went and lay back down until the real time I needed to get up. I am so tired!!!
Saturday, March 08, 2008


Interesting couple of days.

Yesterday at school I looked into renewing my teacher certificate. It's up next July '09 and the requirements are kind of steep. When all this changed about four years ago I was just switching from my initial certificate to my standard. You are required to keep up to date with professional development in an attempt to keep teachers updated in teaching methods/styles/etc. You can take graduate or continuing ed classes, or build up CPDUs. They are basically credits for doing things like attending workshops, participating on committees, etc. They told us "Don't worry about it, you will always have enough CPDUs and that's because they gave them out, along with the documentation, for everything. Our teacher institute and inservice days, committees, etc. Well, I just didn't pay close enough attention to the fact that they stopped giving them out for everything. I go to a few workshops per year and just didn't think much about it. I woke up this week thinking about my certification and worried and I wasn't sure why. So, I checked into it yesterday. I'm in trouble. I have 32 CPDUs. I have to have 120!!! I can register more due to some other activities lately and I may be able to get some for our Niagra trip this summer. I had already planned for us to visit an orchard which has an underground railroad "compartment" and was going to use pictures, etc for school. I'm still going to be short CPDUs. So, I most likely am going to have to take one or even two online courses!!! Talk about time and money! I can be reimbursed after the class, but it's upfront money which stinks, not to mention time. Yuck!!! It's my own fault though and I know better for the next five year go around! :(

Also at school yesterday our sewer backed up into the school kitchen. It was so disgusting! Luckily I wasn't by it much. They had to set up a cafeteria line in our entryway and brought the food over from our middle school for the kids to load up on and then eat in our classrooms. It was an adventure to them! :)

(Of course this was also the morning I broke my glasses! No appointment scheduled yet.)

I did get two things listed on ebay so that was a plus. I am going to try to set aside any/all money I make on ebay and our local consignment place to start an adoption fund. I have felt so drawn to adopting a child with Down Syndrome lately. I just know that at some point I really want to do international adoption. It wouldn't be for a while, but I would love to experience that side of adoption. I love the Reeces Rainbow site. It's all children with Down's. You can also donate money to help with the cost of these adoptions. Many of these children live in countries where they end up institutionalized if they are not adopted by the age of 5. That floors me!!! I thought our world was more advanced than that. It saddens my heart.

Today I had a nurse come over to assess me for my new life insurance I just purchased. I thought I had to have a urine sample and blood test, but was pleasantly surprised it was just the first - no blood test!!! I did have to step on a scale however, and think I may have traded that experience for the blood test if I could have! :) lol

I also am soo soo soooooo excited to announce that I now have a sitter for when my kids get sick!!! I had asked at church if they knew of anyone and was given the name of someone soon after. I called her a few days ago and she came over today to meet us. She is a stay at home mom with twin 16 year olds. She also has a 28 year old not living at home anymore. She has thought about returning to work, but isn't ready to yet and thought this would be a way to maybe make a little as well as helping out someone. She said she understands, she's been there. Her husband didn't understand her wanting to take care of someone's sick kids, but she told him she knew how it felt and wanted to help. I'm so thankful. She seems so nice and the kids did well around her. I didn't tell her about Olivia's HIV, but I figure she's rarely sick and if she is the one who is staying home I will probably stay with her. Even if she stayed with Olivia and didn't know, there wouldn't be a risk to her, but I did feel kind of bad not telling her. I just don't know her well enough yet. If she ever asked about the meds or anything I would let her know, it's not a secret, but it's still hard to just bring it up like it needs to be announced or something. If that makes sense?

Then, tonight, a first for our home. Have never had bathrooms shenanigans with any kids before. Tonight I was helping the littles with brushing their teeth and the sink was filling with water. I pulled at the "stopper" but it wasn't going down. Then, I saw it, a tiny piece of toilet paper floated to the surface. I asked Braeden if he put something down the sink??? Yes, he put toilet paper down. Not happy!!!!! I have Drano so I'll wait for it to go down and then will try that. I am going to kill him! :)

Also, Olivia started feeling sick today. She has managed to stay away from the flu and such when the rest of us had it. She had a slight temp this morning and said most of the day that her stomach hurt. I had her sleep/rest most of the day as that is what the rest of us needed and she ate really well at dinner. Hopefully it will be something quick and won't lay her out for a long time.

What will tomorrow bring!? :)
Friday, March 07, 2008

Murphy's Law

Doesn't it just figure.
I had known that I should get in sometime soon for a new eyeglass prescription as it has most likely changed, but that's not something you should HAVE to do, especially when you are doing so well on your finances and so close to paying everything off!!!
This morning I was cleaning my glasses and they broke! Snapped right in half! Yuck!
Thursday, March 06, 2008

Boring Days

Well, it's a good thing. Our days have been pretty boring. Nothing extraordinary. Routine of school/work/day care/dinner/reading/etc. I even was able to spend the evening with a good friend last night whom I don't get to see a whole lot. We went to dinner and a movie (Juno - very good movie!). While I was gone it was slight chaos of course. The worst was probably when Girlie took both of her hands and simultaneously slapped Olivia from both sides of the face. She is just not very good if I'm not around. The other night when I was gone she got out of bed and slapped Olivia. What's that about??? So much aggression.

On the funny side... Our house is fairly small. The whole 1/2 story upstairs is all the boys'. While my mom is here, she is staying in my room and I have an inflatable bed upstairs near the stairs while their beds are on the other side of the room. Many times when she comes she stays on the futon in the basement as it's pretty comfortable, but it's just too cold right now down there! Well, I think some little boys were jumping on my bed at times and one morning I woke with my rear against the floor. I reinflated and then the next morning I woke up flat on the floor, no air left! Braeden saw this and said, "Mama, your bed is out of breath!" lol too cute!!! I proceeded to buy a new one needless to say and so far it's holding up well.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008


We have an appointment for both Olivia and Liam on Thursday, March 20. It's the day before spring break, go figure, another day off! Plus we have to go back then on the 24th for Olivia's "regular" clinic appointment, but at least that will be during break so no time off. I'm glad they got them both in at the same time and even earlier than originally planned however. I just want answers. Liam's I think is fairly straight-forward, just frustating that it took so long and that it took me, the "foster parent," to put two and two together for them with his brother's history. Olivia's is where I want answers. She says off-handed things now about hoping that she "doesn't shake and fall off the bed," things a 6 year old really shouldn't be worried about. At least it will come soon enough, but what will really happen I wonder at one appointment??? Answers hopefully...

My Aunt

I just got word that my aunt passed away this morning. She is my second or great aunt, not sure exactly, I've just always known her as my Aunt "N". I believe she is my dad's aunt??? I didn't see her a lot, once a year at family reunions, and we exchanged Christmas cards, but I will never forget her. After sending out my letters to friends and family explaining Olivia's HIV status, etc, she called me. The one and only time and it meant more to me than I could ever explain to her. She shared how wonderful she thought it was for us to share this information and how blessed God sees us. Her words of kindness and blessing and love were so perfect, and so needed. God used her in a very real way during that time to help me to see clearly His plan for Olivia and for us. I will miss her dearly.
Monday, March 03, 2008

Prayers and Blessings

Huge blessings and lot of prayers this week.

I have continued working on my finances and refiguring our budget and plan for the next year fiscally. Last week I had dropped off my tax information to have it done and submitted for our refund. I figured out about how much I should expect, based on what I've received the past two years since we've been able to deduct foster children. I added Olivia's adoption and some day care expenses this year, but thought it should still be similar since it was approximately the amount of tax that was taken out of my pay. Well my taxes were completed and ready for me to pick up this Friday. I was floored. My jaw about hit the floor as I saw that I was to receive 3,000 MORE than what I had anticipated!!! What a HUGE blessing! God is showing that He has seen how much I have been working on taking care of what He has given. Based on this, and the money we should all be getting this summer if the extra refund comes through, I should now be able to have all debt, including my car, but not my house PAID off by summer. By July 2009 I should be able to save $5,000 in an emergency fund (since I depleted my current one with all the sick days I've used) and save almost $17,000 for a new car!!!! With my trade in I should have about $20,000! Wow! That is so unreal to me! HUGE BLESSINGS!!!

Then there are the prayers. Olivia's leg has started up again. If you remember, her seizure ordeal began by her leg not working right shortly after she would go to sleep at bed or nap time. She had a day while my mom was home with the boys while they were sick where she went to the nurse's office at school saying her knee was weak and she was walking funny where it would kind of give out on her. I listened, but thought it was more of a case of grandma being home with the boys and her wanting to be there as well. I asked if she could ride out the day which she did and was fine the rest of the day. On Saturday she went to lay down for a nap, and shortly into it called out for me and said that her leg was "shaking" and she couldn't move it. She was ok after and has been since, but I of course called her doctors right away. They had said that her seizure meds were on the low end of therapeutic, so they increased her dosage today. They are also trying to get an appt for her with the neurology dept where she has not been yet. They aren't having luck getting her in for March 24, they said, which is the next time she is going up for an appt with them, so I let them know that we already have an appt with the neurology team for Liam and that if they could get them both at the same time that would be very helpful. So we'll see... Either way, lots of prayers please. I don't understand this situation being seemingly under control and then starting all over again from the beginning. It feels like deja vu in a not so good way. But I know that God is good and that He can heal Olivia of any of this.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you