Sunday, April 26, 2009

Here I go again...



If you follow my blog you know that I was "crazy" enough to do a two month TV fast last summer. Well, here I go again. Kyle and I decided to do a two week financial fast, that's right spend no money for two weeks.

I'm reading this book,The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less. It is a great book and is about something more than I thought when I picked it up at the library. It is of course full of tips on how to be, well, a cheapskate. But it is also a reflection on what most of know, spending money often doesn't lead to the fulfillment we were looking for, where spending the evening playing a game with your family can be the best time you've had in months.

While catching up on recording my monthly spending, I saw that we spent 1.5 times our allotted grocery/disposables budget. I was shocked by just how much we had gone over, although I'm not sure why, if you looked in my fridge/freezer/pantry you would know, this lady buys too much food. In my pursuit to save money, I was buying everything on sale, just to repeat it the next week and the next, never able to keep up with eating all the food I was buying. So it was the need to eat up the extra food, and spend 1/2 our normal food budget that I thought we need to do this financial fast. Kyle was thrilled-remember it pains him to spend money, ever, he never wants to know how much something costs.

Next post, our first week reflections on not spending any money.


Look Mom, hands!



I am a week late in updating y'all on Jack. Jack was given permission to take his arm bands off, he is still only allowed to eat soft foods and cannot have anything to play with that he could possibly get to the roof of his mouth, but certainly this is better. He was so excited to take the arm bands off, he spent about 5 minutes just looking at his hands and arms and moving them around as if to say, "Look Mom, I've got new hands!" I can never tell you how much your prayers and support for Jack and the rest of us during his surgery means to me, but I'll try :)

After just one week of the arm bands, my nerves were really starting to fray. Jack had been fussy, a lot. And since he is one, he cannot tell me what exactly is wrong, did he hurt if so where (he had a few surgeries at once) or is he uncomfortable, hungry (he wasn't eating great), tired (he wasn't sleeping great)? It was a Thursday morning and I was driving Kylynn to "school" at our church. And I was doing everything in my power to keep it together, I was sleep deprived, and Jack had had another fussy morning. I remember driving and saying something to the affect of, "God, help me. I cannot handle this. I'm losing it right now and I can't lose it at Kylynn's school."

I walked into our church and hear my pastor calling my name, he comes over to see how Jack is doing and tell me he's been praying for us (I had no idea he knew about the surgery), then one after another people came up to me to tell me they've been praying for us, I had never told these people about Jack's surgery, and I was overcome with a peace and gratitude. God answered my prayer so perfectly right when I needed it. He reminded me that I am not alone, that all these people love Jack and me and our praying his protection over us. Your prayers have literally kept me from losing it :)!

It won't be the last time God has to remind me to trust Him, to allow Him to have control, to give my troubles back to Him and stop carrying them around myself. But hopefully my faith and trust is growing as I watch Him carry me through another trial.

We are now focusing on Jack's size, he is quite small for his age and I am working with a nutritionist and a speech therapist to help him grow and learn to use his new mouth. The poor thing has gotten 3 or 4 new teeth in the last week, including molars, so he's still not feeling great, but this too shall pass. He has actually embraced some more solid foods much quicker than I anticipated, God again is answering my prayers in big ways. He's eaten refried beans, mashed potatoes, several cereals, pieces of sandwiches, and some string cheese. This is a big deal for me and I am praising God for this.

He is such a blessing to us. I have got to feel that complete joy again this week as he's begun taking his first steps!

video

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You crazy Texans

I call myself a Texan, I say I am "from" College Station, because I have lived here longer than any other location, but technically I am not. I wasn't born here and I didn't get here until I was 16.

So I'm allowed to laugh at our governor, who I'm inclined to think well of despite the fact that he is a bit nutty, and assume he couldn't have really meant what he said, right? I can just smile and say I may never fully understand y'all but I love y'all, you crazy Texans.

And to the outside world. Really, we're intelligent normal people down here. We are proud to be Americans and have no desire to go anywhere. We apparently elect slightly goofy Governors, but nobody's perfect, right?

This cracked me up:

Our political Quote of the Day is by Texas state Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco:

“We all knew he wanted to be president. I just didn’t know it was president of the Republic of Texas,” he said to chuckles from onlookers.


If you have no idea what I'm talking about or just would like to read an opinion article I really enjoyed on this topic, you can go to this one from The Eagle.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


A few years back I did a Bible study with a lady, that was designed to share the gospel with someone who knew absolutely nothing about God and Christianity. It turned out I learned a lot too and one thing that stuck with me was the study of God creating the earth. I had never considered before that when God was creating the earth and everything on it, He could have made it all gray, or all quiet, or all the same. I never took the time to thank God for the creativity that He shared with us when He created the world. I love that he used so many colors, that all the birds make a different chirp, that some animals are so funny looking that they make me laugh.

God took his time, his creativity, and his care when he created this earth, the trees, the oceans, the animals, and the birds. He loves His creation, the Bible says that God provides for the animals. He loved us enough to give us this beautiful creation to live in and He asks us to manage it for Him.

I don't care what your politics are, if you a believer in Jesus Christ, you have a responsibility to God's creation. How that exactly looks is between you and God, ask Him to show you what you need to do better to care for His creation. Here are some things He has shown me over the years and some I hope to work on this year.

Reduce: I'm an American. And even a thrifty one who doesn't like to shop has too much stuff. God is revealing to me that I have entirely too much food in my home, it causes things to spoil and go to waste and I am not being a good steward when that happens. I am planning on doing a grocery store fast of sorts that I read about in the next week or two (more on that later...I've yet to ask Kyle! :)

Let's try walking from time to time or riding our bike or at least car pooling. What is in the air we breathe really matters, let's try and keep it clean, and really I need the excercise!

Reuse: The things people throw away. I will never understand it. My backyard is full of "trash", our playground, our play car, a ball, and an art easel all came from someone's trash. These things look and work great but someone threw them away. Now I'm all about getting rid of things you don't need, I hate when I have too much stuff. But please donate it! Salvation Army will come and pick it up for free!

Share. Share with your friends (kids clothes, maternity clothes, rarely used tools, half the cake you baked on a whim). Share with the community, use your library for books, magazines, and movies (brand new releases! for free!!). Share with those who have less than you, too much food give it to the food bank, too much stuff give it to a charity.

Recycle: If you are not recycling and you have free, curb side recycling service, what are you waiting for? Just do it, get the free bags or crate, put your stuff in it and recycle! It is not hard. If your town doesn't have recycling, call your mayor or city council, this is 2009 it won't take much pressure for one to be started.

How about a compost bin. That is my goal for this year, to get my hubbie to make me one (he wants one too). That way I can throw away even less things and get wonderful fertilizer for my gardens.

How about you? Regardless of what you think about my views, I encourage you to pray about it. Would He have you change any of the practices in your life? My opinion is meaningless, His is everlasting.

Happy Earth Day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Family


Kyle has a t-shirt that says: "My family, made in America, with American and Korean parts" When I saw this picture that was the first thing that popped into my mind.

Okay, I admit it, this is a weak attempt to update my blog quickly :).

Monday, April 13, 2009

She's joining the circus


Kylynn got to go on a fun date with her Daddy the other night to the circus! I'm glad that she enjoyed it so much, because after the day she's having today I've decided to call them and see if she can join! :)

It's amazing


How much you love your children. One of the most pleasant surprises of parenthood is that you can be so fully thrilled and in love with this little baby.

I've done both, giving birth and adopting. One of the questions anyone considering adoption will ask themselves is, "Will I be able to love a child that did not come from my flesh and blood?" I can tell you most assuredly the answer is yes. I couldn't possibly love Jack anymore if he was born of my body. I love him no less than the child I gave birth to.

The days that I reflect and take it all in, the amazing thing the Lord has done in my life. The way he brought my son to me, I am overwhelmed. To get to love two children with this crazy love, I am so grateful.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An interruption or two



I love nurses. When I was in the hospital giving birth to Kylynn, I was overwhelmed by the way they cared for me and my baby. I always generally thought that nurses have a worthwhile profession. It wasn't until I was the patient that I realized, they are in fact the greatest determinant in how fast you recover and how good you feel. They are amazing.

However, this last hospital stay was so horrible that it was funny. The nurses, nurse techs, doctors, and various workers came into our room every few minutes all night long. I was about to slug somebody and finally refused temperature monitoring during the night, however I learned that one's wishes are not always honored. When Kyle came in the morning, I explained the fact that Jack hadn't gotten to sleep all night and he quickly took over (my hero!). He asked that the nurses stay out of our room for 1 hour so that Jack could get a small amount of uninterrupted sleep, this is what followed, I swear it's true, for some reason Kyle took notes.

7:30 Jack is dozing happily

7:36 tech 1 checks blood pressure. He is unhappy at being woken up, so has a high BP. Tech says she will come back soon.

7:50 Doctor 2 visits to check on surgery. All looks well.

7:58 Kyle calms Jack to sleep. He leaves to ask the head nurse 3 for no interruptions until 9:15. She agrees to 9:00, excepting doctors.

8:00 Kyle walks down the hall to call family and let Jack sleep.

8:06 Worker 4 noisily brings in a tray of food. Kyle returns to the room to calm Jack again.

8:14 Tech 5 enters to check the oxygen machine. Kyle manages to keep him whispering, without turning on the lights.

8:18 Tech 1 returns to check blood pressure again. Kyle sends her away quietly.

8:28 Worker 6 checks if she can have Jacks breakfast tray back. Kyle sends her away quietly.

8:34 Tech 7 wants to check the supply of gloves in the bathroom. Kyle sends her away quietly.

8:38 Worker 6 returns to see if we need more water. “No, because they are both sleeping, not drinking.” Kyle sends her away quietly.

8:57 Tech 1 returns to check temperature and heart rate. We manage to get a reading without waking Jack, but he has a fever.

9:02 Jack awakes. We call head nurse 3 to give him fever medication.

9:22 Nurse 3 brings the medication.

I still love you nurses, but really sleep is important for babies!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Mine?

Is he yours?

I get that question, a lot. It makes me cringe. I know, I know, I should not be so defensive. After all my skin in a totally different shade from my son's. My eyes are shaped differently, my hair even is a different texture.

But I cringe because I know that is not what they are asking me, it is not the question they hope I will answer. They are not confused as to whether Jack is my son or maybe a poor lost child that I happen to have strapped into my basket, while referring to myself as "mommy", and frequently kissing. No, they are quite sure that he is "mine".

What they want me to answer is how did he come to be mine. Tell them the details, was he adopted...ok that's something, but tell me more, why, how? Maybe my husband is Asian? Maybe some other strange scenario?

These strangers in the store have decided that every detail of my life, of everyone's life, is their business. After all ten tabloids tell us the details of every remotely famous person's life, so why not. They are in fact entitled to come up to me, right in front of my precious son, who will soon learn the meaning of those words, "Is he yours?"

"Yes." I always just smile and say yes. They're face is disappointed. One time a lady didn't like my answer of simply yes and further questioned me, finally asking the question she was asking all along, speaking to me as if I was perhaps not smart enough to answer her correctly the first time.

I have no shame in how Jack joined our family. No secret to keep from him. But there will be years of his life, maybe all of it, where being adopted, having white parents, looking different from others at the store will be something that brings him embarrassment, and though I pray not, pain. I know he will always know all that makes him unique, I want the fact that he's adopted to be able to drift to his subconscious, the way I know I have brown hair, am sure of it, but it is rarely the focus of my attention. I don't want him to constantly have to deal with someone questioning the family he belongs to, questioning who he is.

I need a snappy comeback, but haven't thought of one. I need something that will spread throughout our town...that lady, the one with the son born in Korea, she's a real....well you know :). What? He's mine and there's nothing I wouldn't do for him.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Post-Op

We're home from the hospital and we're all doing okay, I think! :)

We arrived at the hospital at 6am on Wednesday morning and they took him back at 7am. The last surgeon came to tell us that he was done and all went well at 11:30am. About 30 minutes later we both got to go back into the recovery area to hold Jack as he came to. I was so relieved that they let Kyle come to because it was basically my worst nightmare to be in a giant room surrounded by people who had just had surgery, while I was supposed to hold my hurting baby and hold oxygen in front of his face to help him breathe. I was so afraid I was going to pass out...remember the fainting goat analogy. Then they wheeled me, holding him up to our room, he promptly emptied his stomach of blood and then I knew, I'm definitely going to pass out. So his nurses had to take care of him and me, get me some soda and crackers and have me lay down, as soon as I got some sugar I was okay and didn't pass out afterall, but I think I'm officially disqualified for the mother of the year award :).

It was a long 24+ hours in the hospital. Jack wasn't feeling great, but most of all he wanted to rest, and for some reason hospitals make sure that you can never sleep for even 1 hour before they just have to do something (check our glove supply for instant) of great importance, and I'm talking about night time too. So he was very fussy and angry and I knew what would be best for him was to go home. Unfortunately he wasn't able to keep even water down for the first day, and then spiked a fever so they didn't release us in the morning. But Thursday, he kept his liquids down, so they let us go late that afternoon.

Now that we're home, Jack is doing much better. He is sleeping okay, but waking more frequently because he can't get comfortable, and seems to be in only minor pain. He is very fussy though, due to his frustration with those arm bands and I think hunger, he is still not so keen on eating with all the stitches and perhaps pain in his mouth. I've busted out my sling to hold him in because he is happiest if I'm holding him, he's a bit like a newborn right now, just a lot heavier! We'll probably to lots of walks and wagon pulls, because he seems to be able to enjoy those since he doesn't need his arms for that.

I am in your debt for your prayers, how amazing it is to know God was taking care of Jack throughout this process. Although I must admit God had to have a little talk with me in the middle of the night there in the hospital, I was so frustrated with Him not answering my prayer for them letting him sleep, He reminded me that I was forgetting in my frustration that He loved Jack more than I ever could and is taking care of Him perfectly, even if it doesn't look that way to me. It is amazing how quickly I can forget what I know to be true when I take my eyes off of God for a moment, I am so grateful for His grace.

I'll post some pictures of him in his arm bands soon, but right now both the kids are sleeping and I haven't showered in...well a while! :)