Friday, February 29, 2008

The Public School System

The schools have changed so much since I was in school. I can't keep all the rules straight anymore. For one, no peanut products are allowed at snack time or lunch time. This is in case another kid is allergic to peanut products. I can understand this but shouldn't this child that is allergic be taught what NOT to eat? Of course when I say this it comes back that some kids are highly allergic and even if a drop of peanut butter is left on a table, they can have a reaction so now every kid is banashed from eating it.

Then there's the cupcake and cookie issues. Nothing can be baked at home and sent in for the kids. The reason behind this is there may be a hidden allergy again, whether its peanuts, wheat germ, etc. In April when Logan's birthday arrives, if we take cupcakes for all the kids, I have to buy cupcakes from a store where it has a label attached of what all is in the cupcake.

Snack time - only healthy snacks allowed. I'm all for healthy eating but we're talking about kids here. We're being told we can not send a prepackaged bag of cookies or chips as a snack. Bananas, fruit cups, other fruit products are okay for a snack. This week some of the other five year olds got onto Logan for taking in a granola bar with chocolate chips. Logan told them it was healthy b/c it had low fat written on it - funny he's reading labels now. I told him if his teacher says he can't have granola we'll stop sending it but just hearing it from the kids was not keeping me from sending in a granola bar. What's the difference in the cafeteria serving a bowl of marshmallows, raisins and chocolate chips at lunch time? I've seen it the past two times I ate lunch with Logan at school.

The latest rule that Logan broke that took him to the principal's office was saying the word "shoot". It was taken in context that it was a threat to another kid b/c he said "I'll shoot you if (blah, blah)". He admits he says it. He was sent to the principal's office b/c he admitted it, not that an adult heard him say it. I grew up in the country and always had guns in the house. I knew what a gun could do. I know I said "I'll shoot you" several times but meant it in the way someone else might say "I'm gonna getcha." It's just a saying and I believe Logan said it in that context b/c he doesn't realize why that was wrong b/c a five year old probably isn't going to understand what death means and how shooting could cause death. I guess the schools have to take this serious now with all the shootings that have occurred in schools. What's next? Will he be suspended if he goes to school and says he's going to use his lightsaber to chop off someone's arm? It's pretend. Logan's going to pick up sayings and probably repeat. He's five. How can I make sure his mouth doesn't get him into more trouble? Keep him locked up? No friends? No family? Just recently the playgroup I'm involved in did a survey asking if we had guns in our house. Even our pediatrician's office asks this on their forms now. When I was in high school, there were kids riding around with shotguns in their trucks on a rack but now my kid can't even say anything related to shooting amongst his classmates. Logan would never hurt someone. Yes, he has a temper but he's not a bad kid but his mouth can get him into trouble.

In three more years I'll have three more in school. Ugh! What will the rules/restrictions be by then?

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Madelyn stinks. She really smells bad. After her surgery, Madelyn started developing an odor and green snot. She always has snot but this was even nastier. So, Tuesday she was put on antibiotics. The smell is still here. Ugh! Everytime she's close to my face I want to gag. Earlier I went into the playroom where they all were and I thought there was a stinky diaper. I looked in all three rear-ends and nothing. The smell was her stinking up the room. This smell worries me. She's only been on antibiotics for two days so I'm sure a doctor is going to tell me to give it a few more days if I call AGAIN. I don't think any of the boys have ever had a smell like this from an infection. We have a f/u appt next week with the ENT. I hope this smell is gone before then.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Our Adventure out to Eat

We ventured out with some friends of ours to a local Chinese Buffet. We were the star attraction there. Actually, anywhere we go with three one-year olds, we are the main attraction walking in. This time we stood out a little more. I dressed all the kids in their t-shirts we bought in China that had in Chinese the words for Big Brother, Little Brother and Little Sister written on them. The host and waitresses loved the shirts and called them all by the name in Chinese. We are the family that restaurants fear will show up. For one, we have three that throw food on the floor and make lots of messes. Two, don't advertise to us that under age of 6 eat free. Then, on the same coupon, buy three adults get one free. Well, our family of 6 ate for the price of one adult buffet (we had three other adults in the party). I think Nate, Andrew and Madelyn stuffed themselves with noodles and mandarin oranges. Logan didn't eat that much but he did gobble down dessert. I think Tony and I were just excited we had other adults to talk to at dinner for once and the kids were entertained by the food and our company.

Madelyn was diagnosed with a sinus infection prior to our meal. It's probably a result of having the ear tubes put in so she's on a high dose of antibiotics. I hope in a few days we may start seeing what Madelyn really looks like without snot pouring down her face.
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Our Mei Mei - The Happy Side and the Grumpy Side

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Special Day Sweet Stuff

Yummy! The three little ones got to dig into the pink icing going on Madelyn's cupcakes this morning.
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Yep, I've really lost it....

Just last week I posted this.

Well, as I was looking at our bank statement yesterday, I discovered I had paid the ENT twice. After I realized I had left a check laying on my desk last week for what I owed the ENT, I called them that day and paid by phone. Turns out I had also paid them by check. I had written two checks. I knew I mailed something but I never guesseed I wrote two checks. One I wrote with the name of the practice with Ear, Nose, Throat spelled out and the other I wrote ENT. I really do have mommy brain. Anyway, I know we're paid up with them for her surgery. I have to wait on insurance to pay before I can get a refund now.

Happy Gotcha Anniversary

One year ago today we were in Chongqing, China meeting our precious daughter for the first time. This morning I took some photos of Madelyn in her Gotcha Day outfit that Xiushan SWI had dressed her in. All the girls were dressed alike. Madelyn's outfit fits her better this year than last year but the pants are still a little long. She has short legs but long torso. We are hoping to go out to eat tonight at a local Chinese restaurant to celebrate our Family Day. Unfortunately it's not the same type of food in Chongqing.

Madelyn isn't feeling so good on this special day. I called the ENT doctor and they think she's picked up a virus from what I described and it's not due to surgery. She has a horrible cough, still has lots of drainage from her nose and just isn't herself. I may still take her to the doctor if she doesn't get better just to make sure it isn't something else. I don't want anything else contagious floating around this house like the stomach bug we just got over.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Another reason why I hate to drive

In the past few years I've developed a fear of driving, mainly on highways. I know what it is, I'm terrified of having an accident with all of my kids in the vehicle. Most of the time that I drive, I have at least one of my kids with me if not all four. I am so afraid of something happening to them, not so much myself as I am afraid of hurting them especially if it was my fault.

Today I was given another reason to fear driving. One of my step-brothers was in a car accident during the night. I received a call this morning that he has broken his back and was going into surgery. That's about all I know at this time. He definitely needs prayers today.

Several years ago my grandfather was hit by a car while he was crossing a road. I think it was the same year that one of my cousins died from injuries from a car accident. I think I have some good reasons why to fear driving.

Now when I am a passenger with Tony driving and we're going through heavy traffic, I have to do something to take my attention off the road. I can not watch the cars or watch Tony switching lanes so he'll usually give me his phone which has internet access and I'll check my email or search for something online to keep my attention off the road. I would never survive living in the big cities if I had to drive. I'm sure I'd be taking some sort of public transportation everywhere I went.

Many prayers to my brother and his family right now.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Madelyn's Surgery

Madelyn had her surgery this morning. She had tubes put in both ears and the doctor removed her adenoids. He also looked up her nose with his scope and didn't see anything out of the norm except congestion. Hopefully the removal of the adenoids will help with her nasal congestion. She was crying and restless after surgery until she got into her daddy's arms. She is home now recuperating and trying to walk but she's still in a drunken state and wobbling.
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spaghetti Faces

I took these photos a few nights ago and forgot they were on my camera until now. I actually took photos of all of our faces but I'm only posting Andrew, Nate and Madelyn. Tony's photo scared me, mine looks like a ghost and Logan just looked like plain ole Logan. These three were just too darn cute with sauce all over their face.
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Mommy Brain again....

I was flipping through the papers for Madelyn's surgery and found the check I wrote to the ENT for what our insurance will not cover. I wrote this on 2/13 and mailed least I thought I did. I mailed an empty envelope to them. I remember taking it to the mailbox and making a 2nd trip back to the mailbox b/c I forgot to put up the flag. I need a new brain.

Just got a call from anesthesia

Anesthesia nurse called today for Madelyn's pre-op. I think this was the first time this nurse had ever interviewed a China adoptee. She asked me about Madelyn's history with the first question being "Was she a full term birth?" I said "I don't know. She's adopted." She asked "so you don't know if she was born full term?" I explained to her she was adopted and we don't know much of her history prior to ten months of age. She went on to ask about family history. I had to explain to her we don't know and how she lived in an orphanage for ten months of her life. This nurse was stunned and had no idea how to fill out her paperwork for family history. I went on to tell her we don't even know if April 23rd is her actual birthday.

Madelyn will always be stuck with explaining this the rest of her life. Anytime she sees a doctor, has her own children, etc she is going to be asked these same questions over and over. How horrible to have to explain to every nursing staff she encounters that she lived in an orphanage for nine months if we go by finding date but she was adopted at ten months. I didn't tell this nurse she was abandoned but that we just don't know anything prior to ten months of age except that she was considered a healthy infant.

Madelyn is scheduled for surgery at 8:30am and we'll be at the hospital about 7am. I think she'll be fine and I can't wait to see the results. I think she is going to feel so much better with tubes in her ears.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sleepy Girl

Madelyn isn't sleeping well these days and I'm pretty sure I know why. She is having some of her worst snot days. I was diagnosed with double ear infection today so if she feels like I do right now, she can't lay down in bed so sleep just isn't happening at night. This picture was taken after lunch today. She woke up as I tried to take her to her bed but I think she went back to sleep. I can't wait for her surgery Friday. These tubes are hopefully going to make her feel so much better and I hope they can find a reason why she stays so snotty.
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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chinese New Year Festival

A few weeks ago I had planned on meeting a family from our travel group at the CNY festival at Wake Forest University. Due to the sicknesses this week and other things we canceled. However, this morning, I left the two sick boys at home with Tony and took off with Logan and Madelyn because I really wanted to go and check this out. We picked up a friend of mine to take with us. Madelyn was not that happy there. It was very loud, and the noise bothered her a lot. She was super whiney. We only stayed about an hour and did all the crafts and the kids got to hit the drum a few times. We didn't even stay for the dancers, mock wedding or anything else. I think it will be something Madelyn will enjoy more in a few more years but for now it was over her head, plus it was during nap time.

Before we left, we decided to get some lunch. Logan asked for tacos so we stopped at a Mexican restaurant. We got a few looks with Madelyn going in with her traditional Chinese red dress but most said "awe, how cute" and she had to show off telling everyone "bye-bye" as we walked out the door.
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Friday, February 15, 2008

I need a sign like this...especially after this week.

We are NOT sick-free. Andrew vomited again last night. We had just sat down to eat some Chinese take-out and I had taken two bites and out came everything Andrew had taken in all day. Nate may possibly have tonsilitis again. He acts like his throat hurts and his breath smells just like it did a few weeks ago when he was diagnosed with it. AND Madelyn, her nose will not stop running today. I think she could have filled a 5 gallon bucket today with snot.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We've almost gone 24 hours without ...

poo or vomit or both. Yeah!!!! If I make it until about 4:00, I think we just might be rid of this nasty bug that has been making its way through my house since Saturday morning. I was the only one that didn't catch it. I felt like I might be sick a few times but it must have been in my head b/c I never had to take off to the bathroom. I'm still trying to clean up everything to make sure we're rid of the germs. I need a vacation after this.

ps. I weighed all three tots after bath last night to see how the bug affected them. Madelyn is still over 30lbs but Nate and Andrew both weighed in at 27.2 lbs. The boys definitely had it worse than anyone else here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Please tell my mommy to buy me some shirts that will fit over my big belly" .... Madelyn

Just yesterday I was going over body parts with Madelyn and she can say Eyes pointing to eyes, nose pointing to nose, ear doesn't come out that clear, and she didn't get the lip part either but she pulled up my shirt to uncover my belly and said "big". Thanks Madelyn.
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Monday, February 11, 2008

Tubes in, Fluid out

Madelyn is set for surgery on 2/22 to have tubes put in her ears, possible adenoidectomy and is having a nasal endoscopy while asleep. We don't have a true reason why there's still so much snot but the tubes could help or the doctor may find something while doing the endoscope. He mentioned many children born overseas do not have their noses suctioned after birth which could cause some problems. That does make sense this could be Madelyn's problem with her snot issues and difficulty breathing through her nose and always clearing her throat. I'm definitely hoping this will cure the constant runny nose.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Agh, it's not getting better

After I wrote the last post I walked into the living room to find the boys playing with toys. I thought to myself, "awe, they are getting better" to later smell something. I picked up Andrew and poo slid out of his pants and covered me waist down to my toes. I ran to the changing table dripping poo all over the floor. I had poo between my toes (and I didn't vomit but wanted to). I stripped off first so I didn't have poo touching my skin that didn't have to and then stripped off Andrew cleaning him up.

After I finally got Andrew dressed up again in clean clothes, covered the floor in towels so they wouldn't step in it until I got the carpet cleaner out, Nate pukes from the loveseat to the fireplace as I am walking back to my room to put on more clothes. Tony and Madelyn are the grocery store during all this and I call him about in tears.

Sick, Sick and waiting for the other four to get sick

We learned a lesson about taking the kids out in public places during stomach bug season. Remember my posts that we went to the park and YMCA nursery this week? Yesterday morning both boys woke up really sick and I'm betting they picked up germs at one of these places. Nate had exploded with diarrhea EVERYWHERE - himself, crib, floor, wall and even into Andrew's crib. Andrew had vomited into all these places. We didn't know this until after I had just cooked us a big breakfast Saturday morning, something I rarely do. We thought all the babies were just sleeping late not knowing they were sick and quiet. Needless to say our food was cold by the time we got around to it. We had to bathe the boys, strip down cribs, open windows to air out the place (since we had a showing on our house yesterday), and wash walls - actually Tony got to do most of this while I took care of them downstairs and kept the kids out of the way. While we tried to eat, Andrew vomited at the table and Logan almost did after seeing it. Tony later took both boys to the doctor and they got shots to prevent nausea. Andrew covered my vehicle with vomit twice before they made it inside the doctor's office.

This morning the twins are still sick. Andrew is like a zombie and Nate just has little cries and both are snuggling with us lots. They are pitiful. I asked Tony if he wanted to take bets on which one of us would get it next or if we would get it at the same time and if that happened what would we do with the kids? Logan and Madelyn are still well. I'm spraying everything with lysol and wiping down what I can with clorox wipes but I'm sure we'll all get it later. Madelyn drank from Nate's cup this morning. It's hard to prevent cup sharing with those three.

At least it's this weekend everyone is sick and not next weekend. I hope the bug is all gone by next weekend b/c we have plans to go to a Chinese New Year festival at Wake Forest University and meet with another family from our travel group. Tony and I also get a chance for a date next Sunday. We'll definitely need it after this week of sicknesses.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

BIG News!

Nate, Andrew and Madelyn stayed in the nursery the entire time I was at the YMCA today. YIPPEE!!! Does this mean maybe I can go back as a regular daytimer when there is nursery hours? maybe even put them in a nursery at church and none of the workers have to come get me in ten minutes?

Madelyn was having a day without snot - most know this doesn't come often and is one of the reasons she is seeing the ENT next week. The YMCA nursery will not allow snot-nosed kids, even if it is clear, so I took the chance today at seeing if all three would stay. I stayed for about 1 1/2 hours and no one came to get me. They were all ready to leave though when I got in there. Nate was crying b/c another kid was playing with a car he wanted to play with. They said Madelyn patted him on the back as if saying "it's okay, all better."

Do we attempt another try at church? Hum? Will they make it through the nursery long enough for us to hear a sermon again? Think I better try this out at the Y nursery more. At least this way I'm not wasting my time getting them all in church clothes to only drive there, unload, and return back home in a short time. I've done this too much in the past year that it's just easier to stay home.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Good Day

A good day is a day spent with little yelling, no screaming, no blow-outs, and everyone has fun. We actually had that this morning. This afternoon might change but as for now I can honestly say it's been a good day. I took Nate, Madelyn and Andrew by myself to one of the local parks. We were there for over two hours. I took a picnic lunch and the kids ate at the picnic table (and off the ground but at this age that's not easy to prevent). They played on two different sets of playgrounds, briefly sat in the swings, and ran all over as far as I would allow it. Nate got smacked by another kid and cried for a little bit and Andrew fell off the picnic table and bit his tongue but that's all the injuries we had, still a good day even with these boo-boo's.
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Monday, February 04, 2008


All stay-home moms especially those with multiples would understand my excitement at mailing off preschool applications. Today I'm mailing off forms for Nate, Andrew and Madelyn to go to preschool at the church preschool Logan went to when he was two and one month of the three-year old program before we moved away. Since we're moving back to that area, I'm enrolling these three tots two-days a week for three hours a day. I'll get six hours of freedom a week starting this fall. Time to do child-free errands like groceries or doctor/dentist appointments, time to clean house without them messing up behind me immediately, time to stop and think and maybe regain some years back to my life. It's still another 6-7 months away unfortunately, but hopefully we'll have sold this house by then so I can send them to this preschool.
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Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Greatest Show on Earth

Tony and I had a night out with Logan last night to the Circus. We had a great night with dinner out (no highchairs, no food throwing and no screaming), rode the new train into uptown Charlotte (just so Logan could experience a light-rail train ride) and had a wonderful evening watching the show. One of these photos is our view from where we were sitting. I bought nose-bleed seats but we actually had a pretty good view of the circus. We were there early so was able to watch the pre-show and we stood right at the roped off area. Asia, the star elephant, was within arms length of us. I think Logan enjoyed the pre-show just as much as the main show. I would love to have more outings with him and one day the others will be old enough we can all go as a family and have fun.
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Can I blame this on being a parent of Multiples?

Yesterday, I thought I smelled a dirty diaper, so I asked "Who made a stinky?"

Both Nate and Andrew ran to the gate that leads to the changing table, so I had to check both of them.

I bent over, and checked Nate's Diaper, then turned so I could check Andrew's as well.

During that turn, something went "Sproing" in my lower back, and it hasn't been right since. Overnight this went from bad to severe. I can just barely sit or stand up, and I'm flat on my back in bed now. Probably all day at the rate things are going.

When I go back to work Monday, how do I explain that I threw my back out changing diapers?