The other day I caught Kai happily sitting in Dan's briefcase, playing with some cords.   You can see how delighted he is that Bei has come to join him. 

For the first 2 months of Bei's preschool, Bei would either cry and/or the teacher would have to physically take him off of me...break my heart!   The teacher kept reassuring me that he was making progress and she guided me to create a dropoff routine...she has been such a saint!  Well anyway, several weeks ago, I dropped Bei off and expected the same drama and instead he said 'bye mom'.   And there has been no more drama.  I am so very proud of that little boy!    Recently I asked him why he doesn't cry anymore and he said 'because I know you are going to come back'.    I am amazed that he is that in touch with his feelings and can articulate it.  However, it makes me so sad that he really worried that I wasn't coming back...that has been his reality already in his short life.   I can't change Bei's past, but I can build a future for him and Kai where they can trust me no matter what the circumstances are, I will be there for them. 

Another big change for Bei is that he now LOVES Kai Kai Sweetie Pie!   If you would have asked Bei several weeks ago if he liked his brother, he would give you a straight-up 'No'.   We have not been overly pushy about 'forcing' him to like his brother.   We believed it would come when Kai could interact and engage more with Bei.    About a week ago, Bei announced out of the blue that 'I love Kai'.   He ran up and gave Kai a hug.   I was skeptical, but I have to admit, he has pretty much changed his tune.  Everyday, he is loving on Kai and plays and interacts with him.   I haven't put the pieces of the puzzle together that created the change in Bei, but at this point, it doesn't matter.   I like it! 

Remember mid-November, I wrote that Kai is walking?  Right after that he had the febrile seizure, he regressed in his developmental growth significantly.     He became all wobbly and shaky again.   The best way to describe how Kai looked when he moved or tried to walk is to compare him with those dolls that have those round joints at the elbows and knee's and their legs and arms twist and turn in places that are not humanely possible.   Sometimes he would be trying to walk and his legs would be going in directions that I thought would not only be impossible, but it should hurt most people.  He is like a gumby doll, the Neurologist said he would make a great yoga instructor some day.   Anyway, that has all changed this past week.  It is like a switch was turned on and he is standing up all by himself in the middle of a room, he is walking along walls, standing for long periods of time and attempting to walk again.   He is my miracle baby!   Is it wrong to admire your child?  Everyday I am blown away by the feats and accomplishments of this child.   And then on top of his strong little work ethic, is the sweetest, most loving personality.  I fall deeper in love with Kai Kai Sweetie Pie everyday!


More Medical...

 I love this picture of Bei and Grandpa Builder Bob!
What a beautiful face!

When I looked at my calendar tonight for the month of December, it wasn't full of doctor appointments like the past two months.   Some of the doctor appointments were scheduled, but many of our doctor visits have been unplanned visits.   Kai has had chronic ear infection that appears to be resistant to the normal amoxicillin.   He was treated with 3 different antibiotics each one stronger than the next with the last being an IV.   Hmmm...are you thinking what I am thinking?    That the reason why Kai (and me) can't get a good nights rest is because of this chronic ear infection?   So, I scheduled an appointment with an ENT doc and Praise the Lord, they are going to put tubes in his ears!   I am so excited for him!   I'm just thinking that the fluid in his ear is affecting so much of who he is, balance? sleep deprivation?  babbling/talking?   They also told us he has a mild hearing loss and that they can only test his good ear.   The doctor said they won't know if he has true hearing loss until the tubes are in.  To be quite honest, I was really impressed with how well he did during the hearing test because he was hearing alot better than I thought previously.   The other concern with Kai has been his teeth.  He has what is commonly called bottle mouth.   It is where they leave the bottle in the mouth of a baby whose teeth are developing and the teeth don't form correctly.   We were at the cabin the other weekend and all of a sudden I noticed that Kai now has a big gap between his two front teeth.  Dang!  His teeth are disingrating in front of my eyes.   Kai is missing the enamal on his two front teeth and then the next two on either side didn't develop properly.  As he is put under for his ear tubes, a pediatric dentist will come in and cap his 4 teeth and check for cavaties.   Hurray!  I know it is crazy to be excited that your child is going under anesthesia but I think these are such important things that will change his life.   So please pray for our little Kai Kai Sweetie Pie that his surgery that is planned for mid December goes well.



It is that time of year to give thanks for all that you appreciate.  I wanted to give thanks to those people who have touched our lives and have influenced it in the positive.  I really appreciate the people that have been there to offer their help and also those who have just been there with a kind word or phone call or some advice when needed.   All of it has help me keep my sanity these past 6 months.  

 I am so very grateful to my husband that he works, so I can stay home with the kids.  Dan not only has a strong work ethic at work, but he is a work horse at home too.  He can never sit still.   He always says he should be skinny because he is alway moving and it is true.   But those who know Dan, also know where the extra pounds come from...it rhymes with Deer.   The thing I appreciate the most about Dan though is the fact that he is present with the kids when he is home.  He isn't on his blackberry or hiding out in the garage, he is engaged with the kids and you can tell it energizes him.   As a husband, I love Dan's personality, he makes me laugh alot.  He see's the funny in about anything and everything, which makes going through life with him light and fun.

Both Dan and I have been blessed with the most wonderful families.   It also was one of the reasons that I was attracted to him back 20 odd years ago.  His parents are the most loving and giving people that you could possibly meet.   I am so grateful that Bei and Kai have such wonderful grandparents.   I am extremely grateful also to Dan's brother Mark and his family, Gina, Blake and Morgan.   They have been so supportive of both children, but were able to give Bei his first taste of independence by having him down to their cabin all summer long.   It built up alot of self-confidence for him.  I'm so thankful for those positive experiences of indepence for Bei prior to going to pre-school.

I am so very grateful for my mom, because she is a one of a kind type of person.   Funny, self-deprecating, sharp-tongued, witty and gives the best advice that a person ever needs.   As you have read in the blog, she will give me the swift kick in the arse that I need at times.   I listen to her advice because I know that she loves me unconditionally and wants the best for me and my children.  

Both Dan and I come from close sibling groups, we are close to our brothers and sisters.   My brother, Nick and sisters, Nanette and Jeannine have always been my support system my entire life and even though we live in three separate states, we continue to turn to each other for support, but most of all friendship.

The thought of moving from my neighborhood sends a shiver down my spine.  Yes, the house is on the market, but it hasn't sold yet.   I think it is because God knows that I need my wonderful neighbors who have been so supportive and helpful to me.  Georgia, Maria, Sheila, Sue and Jocelyn have all helped me at different times when I have been in need.   Never once did I feel that they felt put out.   Whenever one of them helps me out, I always think of the phrase 'It takes a village.'   And with family not living close by like the old days, my neighborhood has become my village and I'm fortunate to have such caring neighbors and friends.

I have to do a special shout out to my dear friend Becky.  That girl did more to keep my sanity in line than anyone.   She always has a smile on her face and in her voice.  She never sat still for two minutes and even though she knew that I couldn't do much because of Kai, she always called to include me.    Whenever we were together, she never hesitated in helping with Kai or Bei, even though she had her hands full with Nick Nick.    She was just a very fun person to be around and I am so happy that we became friends.  

I can't even express to you how grateful I am to the International Adoption Clinic, specifically Dr. Kang and her contact Beth Andrews.   Those two people have changed the course of Kai's life because they have been responsive, compassionate and advocated for this little boy in need of medical attention.   When we have been throw into the fire by other medical centers, I have called them and sought their help.  They have embraced us every single time we have called.   Most recently they met me at the ER after Kai ran a 105 temp and had a grand mal seizure.   The called the ER for me to tell them that we were coming and we were able to walk right in.  As true as their word, they both came to check on us and make sure that Kai was going to be okay.  They have gotten Kai his seizure medication when Kai's neurologist kept forgetting to call in a refill.   They have gotten me doctor appointments with doctors that had waiting list.  I consider them a big part of my support team and I am so thankful that they are a part of our lives.  

Boys getting pulled around on a rug by cousin Elly
Lastly, I am so grateful for my two little men in my life.   I love them sooooooooooooo much more than I ever dreamed possible.   They bring alot of LOVE and JOY in my life.  I am so grateful to God that he chose me to be their mom.   I feel that I am the luckiest woman in the world!  And for that I am thankful!


Being Claimed and some exciting news....

Do you remember when we first got Bei, and I had shared the story of a woman that adopted 4 children and she said at some point you get 'claimed' by the child as theirs?   Bei instanteously 'claimed' me the first day.   The bonding with Kai Kai Sweetie Pie has definitely been a different journey than Bei's.  Besides all the multiple development and medical issue's, Kai seemed lost and anxious at times.  He could not be content just sitting in my arms for even the shortest period of time.  He was over the top active and constantly seeking stimulation.  There was a lack of contentment about him.   Reaching out for every and anybody to take him and not finding the peace and comfort in his own mama's arms.    Bonding is always on the child's terms, so I have been patiently waiting to be claimed by Kai and it has paid off because I finally feel claimed by him!    It has taken 6 months, but it has come, in the small things, like wanting only his mama when he is tired, wanting only me to feed him, wanting me to hold him and not reaching for everybody else.  But even more importantly, he has seemed to have found contentment and can sit on my lap and just be still.   My sister came to visit yesterday and we haven't seen her for over a month and she walked in the door and looked at me holding Kai and she said "he is finally yours."   I was so excited that someone else saw it too that I almost cried.   Don't get me wrong he is still a friendly little guy and will go to most people, but when he is tired he wants me and it feels incredibly good to be claimed by him.     
So here is the big news about Kai...drumroll please....Kai Kai Sweetie Pie has officially taken his first steps!!!   The fun part is that he walked first for my mom and niece who are visiting from Chicago.    He stayed up last night til almost midnight walking from person to person and smiling and giggling because he was so proud of himself.   I have to admit that his big ole head literally gets to be a little heavy for him and it sways him but once he builds up his core and neck muscles watch out world!   The physical therapist always says "for Kai there are no problems, only solutions."    If you saw how busy this kid was and how hard he works and how focused he is, you would be awed and amazed by him.   He definitely has the Krueger work ethic!  I'm proud of my boy!
The pictures are of Bei and his two cousins, Elizabeth and Taylor making cookies this weekend.
Morgan and Bei sitting together.
My house is small so it is easy for me to keep an eye on my children at all times, but for a moment this week I couldn't find Kai.  He had been in the bathroom but I didn't see him in there any longer, so I searched the two bedrooms, kitchen and living room...that is it...there is no where else to look.  I went back to the bathroom pulled back the shower curtain and there sat Kai Kai Sweetie Pie.   He must have taken a header into the bathtub because I don't think there is a graceful way for him to get in the tub by himself.  


Bigger Pictures

Kai escaping once again...

Bei feeding the animals

This post is actually a test of a new feature, that gives more editing control to the blogger.   Let me know if you like the larger pictures.     


:Fall Pictures

Our friend Lily came over and trick or treated with Bei. They had so much fun!
Bei loved being a dragon! Kai hated his pumpkin outfit for Halloween, so we took the picture and off it came. On Sunday he was diagnosed with his 3rd ear infection. Hmm...perhaps we are onto the culprit of the sleep issues with him. Tubes may be in his future.

I love his messy little face!

Our beloved playmate, Nick Nick moved this week to South Carolina! I can't express how much we are going to miss them. Becky is one of the most happy and genuine, salt of the earth people that you could meet. I feel fortunate to have met her. There is a reason God chose her to be Nick's mom, they both are very special people.

A friend told me a while back to get Kai in for pictures before he lost his "baby-face". I think I am too late on that one, he has definitely moved into the toddler phase. Kai can stand on his own for up to 20 seconds...my baby continues to awe and amaze me! Go Kai, Go!

When I looked at this picture, I realized what a growth spurt Bei has had recently.


My Hero!

Kai's name in Chinese means Victorious Warrior Coming Home after War.   We definitely gave him the right name because he is fierce, courageous, adventurous and is my little hero.  When I think back to where he was in April of this year developmentallyand emotionally and where he is today, his progress is beyond belief.  The turning point for his progress was when he was diagnosed with seizure disorder in late August.  As most of you know most of the children being adopted from China are medical Special Needs.  When we decided to expand our family, I have to be honest, we wanted a child that had minimal special needs.   We found Kai and he fit that criteria perfectly, he was 6 months old when we first reviewed his file and was diagnosed with external hydrocephalus.   External hydrocephalus is usually a bruise and small collection of fluid on the external part of the brain and is considered a benign condition.  It normally corrects itself by age 18 months.   We had Kai's CT scans reviewed by two separate neurologists and they both said there was no fluid and he appeared perfectly healthy.  What we didn't know was that he had undiagnosed seizure disorder.  In order for you to understand how far this little guy has come, I have decided to devulge more detailed information about Kai's medical issues. 
The first time I saw Kai, he was beautiful, smiley, and happy just like the pictures showed.  But something was amiss, something beyond his severe developmental delay.  He didn't seem as connected to his surroundings or me as he should be.  There were times that he seemed to be spaced out, his breathing would be shallow and he would turn blue, specifically around the mouth and eventually bubbles would come out of his mouth.  I didn't know at that time that what he was having was called Petty Mal Seizures.    As the weeks went by, Kai and I were bonding alot slower than I had expected.   I feel fully responsibility for that because if you remember with Bei I had these strict boundaries that nobody could hold, feed or comfort Bei.   With Kai that all went out the window.  I was jet-lagged, tired from lack of sleep, exhausted from the constant physical demands of carrying almost a quarter of my body weight and I now had two kids who both were physically and emotionally needy.  But I felt like it also had alot to do with this "spacing out turning slightly blue thing too".    In August Kai took a knock to his head, which turned out to be an odd blessing.   It appeared that the knock to the head heightened his seizure, which made the seizures much more tangible, something that I could actually video tape, which I did.   Remember, the saying "Pictures paint a thousand words", because they really do!   In my initial meeting with the neurologists I tried to describe Kai's seizures, but I felt dismissed by the doctor.   Unfortunately, Kai passed out during that visit with the neurologist and he totally focused on him passing out.   And I was like ya, ya, he passes out but that is not why I am here...there is something else going on here.   I left feeling frustrated and somewhat defeated.   However, for the second meeting I  went armed with video of the seizures and "wa la" Kai was put on anti-seizure medicine that day!   His seizures are considered generalized seizures which is more moderate than a petty mal, but not as severe as a grand mal seizure.   
Now here comes the best part...Kai changed almost instanteously with medication.    He is super independent, he is tenacious, he is smart, he is courageous beyond belief.  This week I put Kai in the car, it was his nap time and he was crying.   As I was driving I reached my right arm around my chair and lightly rubbed his foot.  He jammed his foot into my hand and stopped crying.  When I pulled my hand away, little cries would peep out of my little guy.  Okay, I will rub your foot my little warrior as I drive.  And to see his face light up when he is able to stand a few seconds without falling is priceless, he is so proud of his own accomplishments.   Watching him in his 2 hour therapy sessions every week is amazing.  I don't think any other child would have the tenacity and sheer willpower to work as hard as he does without fussing.   The therapist tell me he is going to be perfectly fine because he is so driven.  And he is!  Because boy you better not help him if he doesn't want it because he will rip his arm out of your hand so fast and will show you that he can do it himself.   I am so blessed to have this victorious little warrior in my life!!!!   


Uncomfortable Conversations...

Let me share with you a conversation that Bei has been having with me daily for the past several months; "Mom, I don't want to die" Bei will say in a pleading voice. "You aren't going to die, Bei." "I want you and me to die together mom" "Okay Bei, I already have told God and he knows that" (wink wink God...we really don't want this to happen) "Mom, why aren't you ever going to die?" (Oops...did I say that once?)
This is a conversation that we have daily and every angle I take at it won't seem to put it to rest. So this weekend all of us are driving in the car and Bei starts his daily dying conversation "Mom, I don't want to die." "Okay, Bei, you won't". "Mom, I want you and me to die together" Dan interrupts him and sternly says, "Bei that is enough, we don't want to talk about dying every day. I don't want to hear another word of it". I am grateful to Dan for stepping in and ending this exhausting conversation, but I start feeling guilty. I'm thinking poor kid just wants to understand dying and I don't know how to answer the question. I am going to have to think of a way to bring it back up to him so he doesn't end up in therapy over the fact that his parents wouldn't let him talk about dying, morning, noon and night. But I should not have feared...after about 5 minutes of total silence in the car, I hear Bei say "Mom?" "Yes honey?" "I don't want to die..." I guess the kid won't be in therapy after all...he is a persistent kid!



If you ever wondered why you don't ever see pictures of the boys together, the top 4 pictures pretty much answers that question. By the way, Kai usually wins as you can see, he finally escaped!
The next picture is of Bei going to the state fair with one of his cousins Gina who we call Saint Gina because she is the sweetest nicest person you would ever meet. I gave each of the kids money to spend at the fair, so what does Gina do with hers? She buys a bunch of gifts for Bei and Kai. She is a very sweet girl!

Dan came home about two weeks ago and said he wanted to move...what? where? when?...now? Good Lord Dan don't you think we have had enough changes in our lives in the past two years??? We built our house as newly weds so we have been here a very long time! To get our house ready for sale, I went into Project Management mode and came up with a three-pronged strategy; fold the unending piles and piles of wash that refuse to fold themselves, second - throw as much junk into the dark recesses of the nearest closests and then clean the house like it has never been cleaned before. It seemed like a reasonable approach to me, however since I was feeling overwhelmed I called my super-organized, workhorse, friend Terrie and asked her if she would spend a day with me getting my house ready for sale. So Terrie comes in and she starts pulling everything out of my kitchen cupboards and I mean everything! Uh...Terrie, there is alot of work to do, let's get folding and hiding the junk. Nope, she said that we need to declutter, organize and clean the kitchen, starting with the cabinets. Uh...isn't that where we are going to be hiding everything??? Wrong again! She informed me that people will be looking in my cabinets to see the amount of storage space. I call my agent and she confirms Terrie's message to me!!! For a non Type-A person like myself I think this is crazy-talk! I'm starting to hate the TV network HGTV, which I believe is the culprit of all this "showroom house" madness. Why can't people all accept that we all live in our houses and there is clutter, dust and unscrubbed toilets? Oh how I am missing the old days right about now. I can see how the first call from my agent is going to go; I will be putting the final touches on my Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onion and Cabbage soup, when I get a call from the agent saying they will be here in 10 minutes to show the house. It may look like a "showroom" house but it definitely won't smell like a "showroom" house!


Preschool Trauma

Bei and his "villianous" teacher! Actually, we feel very blessed to have her as a teacher she has a passion for children and it just exudes from her.

Perhaps this blog should be titled "Preschool Melodrama." I took Bei to his first day of preschool on Tuesday of this week and it was all going well until it was time for me to leave. Bei started crying and didn't want me to go. Somehow I dug down really deep and was able to walk out of that school and leave my crying son in the hands of his teacher. I have to admit that I didn't cry...I SOBBED all the way home! It was the most awful thing that I had to do. As I drove home I decided that I was going to form an organization with the Acryonym MAP and it stands for Mothers Against Preschools! It was going to be a revolution that will sweep the country, rallies would be held everywhere! This whole concept of children being taken from their mothers by these villianous preschool teachers at the age of 4 was just ridiculous in my mind! However, I got home and I spent the next 2 hours cleaning the house and having one on one time with Kai Kai Sweetie Pie..hmmm...maybe, just maybe, this 2.5 hours, twice a week thing where those really NICE ladies watch your kid is a good thing??? Well Bei did not like school at all and spent the night in near tears telling me how he did not want to go back. It broke my heart and I told him not to worry about it that we would figure out something. In the meantime I receive an email from Bei's teacher that says Bei settled down within 10 minutes, enjoyed painting with marbles, made a new friend named Easton and was very verbal asking lots of questions throughout the 2.5 hours that he was there. I question Bei and he told me all the things that he liked about school...so there is hope! We went back today and there were tears by him, not me, and lots of smiles when I picked him up! So you may wonder what made a wimpy mom like me able to walk out the door when my baby was crying??? I am trying to avoid the scenario of Bei attending his prom when he is 17 years old and someone saying; "So who is that old lady with Bei and his date?" "Oh her?" "That's just his mom, she goes everywhere with him". As much as I would like to attend Bei's prom, I think I owe him a normal childhood. Therefore, I will do my part of starting to tear at the apron strings a tiny bit.


Little Miss Large and in Charge!

"Large and in Charge" is what I called little Miss Anna who came to visit this past week. She is a 15 month old pint size dynamo who wanted to dominant Kai! She came in on Monday afternoon and she swatted Kai, she tried to bite Kai, she kick Kai and then next she would kiss Kai and then hug Kai and then back to the agression again. By the way, she did this all with a smile on her face like it was the most natural thing in the world. What did Kai do? He swatted his hand at her like she was a fly, and wasn't fazed by her at all. This cute little dumpling is Kai's youngest cousin, my brother and his wife's "oops" baby. But there is nothing "oops" about her, she is pure JOY and LOVE. As you can tell I was smitten with her and wished we all lived closer because she made me laugh alot.

We are all seeing a big difference in Kai since he has been put on his anti-seizure medicine. This week alone the neurologist increased his dose and in that I can see even more improvement. The way I say it is he seems more "bright eyed and bushy tailed". Tonight he and Dan played with a ball and we both saw a side of Kai that neither one of us has seen. He belly laughed for a half an hour straight, Dan would throw the ball softly into Kai's stomach and Kai would throw his head back and laugh really hard. If you have not met Kai it is hard to explain except to say you can tell things are connecting better for him. Another great update recently was that Kai is truly starting to crawl. I was so grateful that Dan's parents and brother Mark and Gina were able to witness his first crawl because they have been so incredibly supportive of Kai. I am also grateful for my sister Nanette because she came and helped with the kids during some difficult doctor appointments and then gave me a much needed reprieve by letting me run errands and even getting a pedicure! Both of our families, along with our friends have been so supportive and we really appreciate it! I get the sense that everybody is rooting for this little boy. I also have to Praise God because I promised Him if he would help get Kai diagnosed quickly I would give Him all the Glory. I believe that prayer is really powerful especially when it comes to children. God hears us!

On to our other little man and what a little man Bei is developing into...confident, loving, kind, funny and just the most well adjusted kid. Next week he starts school! Yikes! I already warned him that I'm going to cry. And we all know that is because I'm NOT well adjusted! The good news is that I really think he is so ready for school and he is very excited!

Lastly, I need to share some great news with all you prayer warriors out there. At Nick Nick's last doctor appointment they flew out to New York fully expecting that he would need Chemo treatments again, but the doctor had good news. He said "the tumor was all but gone". Yeah! Please keep him in your prayers!


Kai Kai Sweetie Pie

Doesn't Dan looked Terrified of that fish??? This was Bei's first fish that he every caught and it was all on his own! He loves to fish!

Yep, that is what we call our little guy "Kai Kai Sweetie Pie." The first 1,000 times I said it he would giggle and do his Irish dance for us, but now he looks at me like "come on lady come up with a new one." Well our little Kai Kai Sweetie Pie is always keeping us on our toes. Most recently he was diagnosed with Epilespy or now they call it Seizure Disorder. We are in the midst of many doctors appointment, EKG's EEG's, and therapy. I actually have a funny blog written in my head about all that we have gone through with Kai from the very beginning, however I won't be writing that one because I'm feeling much more reflective and sentimental today. I feel so incredibly grateful to God that I was chosen to be Kai's mother and that He has that much faith in me to take care of this very precious and special child. This little gift from God that was abandoned at birth, left for 14 months with apparently very little physical contact, who could not hold his head up, lift his arms, grasp my finger, babble, passed out at the drop of a hat and had epileptic seizures. I feel very honored and blessed to be his mother. I just LOVE him sooooooooooooooooooooooo incredibly much!!! His special needs seemed to have bonded us even closer together. I wanted to share with you a writing by Erma Bombeck that my friend Becky gave to me and I think it pretty much covers every mother regardless if the special need is a learning disability or cancer. We have all been chosen to parent the children that we are given, give your little one or big ones an extra tight hug today!


By Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by choice, some by accident, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew.

Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia.

Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with cancer."

The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."

"Exactly" smiles God, "Could I give a child with cancer a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But, does she have patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it."

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has it's own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she believes in you."

"No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps -"Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone.

I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side."

"And what about her patron Saint?" asks the angel.

His pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."


Kai Update

I want to shout from the roof tops because I am so excited; Kai's development has really taken a leap forward.   The first thing that happened is that he can know sit up from the lying down position...that is huge progress!   He will scoot around a little when he is sitting to play with his toys.  He also is standing up by hanging onto furniture!  And is trying to walk when you hang onto his hands...imagine Frankenstein's first steps.  Plus, he now is holding onto me when I hold him, so I am not carrying around a 25 lb sack of potato's.   I sure hope I don't lose my pipes that I have developed by carrying him.   And he is now babbling up a storm.  Now we just have to work on his sleep issues...please pray!  
Again I request that you lift our little buddy Nick Nick up in prayer.  He is having another go around of treatment today because the last Chemo treatment was not effective.   They are really in a battle to keep his sight since he is already blind in the other eye.    


And then he grew up...

For some reason I was under the misconception that I was in total control of Bei's development including his independence from me. However the reality of life somehow likes to come along and kick me along side the head every now and then. The first time I realized I wasn't in total control of Bei's every thought and therefore his life, is when he told me he wanted Alison to be his mom. Let me fill you in on the details of how that all went down. We had spent the morning with Alison and Savannah swimming in our pool. I had noticed that Bei was all over Alison the entire time. Climbing into her lap, hugging her and wanting to be by her all the time. We had just gotten home with Kai and I attributed his need for physical attention to the fact that I was busy with Kai. The odd thing about it is that Bei doesn't know Alison that well, they recently moved into the neighborhood and he had no prior relationship with her. So, Alison and Savannah left and Bei and I were having lunch, when Bei mentioned that "I think Alison should be my new mom and you can be Savannah's mom." Uh...no...that is not how it works....Bei kept insisting that he wanted Alison to be his new mom. Okay, I admit, I started getting jealous... "Bei honey, what do you like about Alison?" Bei's response was "Her skin." Her Skin? "Mom, why is her skin brown?" What? "Mom, why is Alison's skin brown?" Let me describe Alison to you...she is a young, blue eyed, thin blonde with what I would call beautiful sun-kissed skin. You know the kind, it is golden year round and doesn't look like she will ever age... Okay, now I am a scorned mother...he is insisting on a young beautiful mom with unwrinkled, sun-kissed skin and instead he has me! What I really wanted to yell was "If Alison is your mom she isn't going to give you 65 popsicles everyday or let you eat Cheetos for breakfast and she is a bad driver and...and...and...I would make up stuff if I had to...sad on my part, I know. But I gained my composure and instead I said, "okay after nap time we will talk about Alison being your new mom". This next part is kind of mean on my part, but I wanted to nip this in the bud; After Bei woke from his nap, I cuddled him and then said, "okay, lets go get a suitcase to pack your clothes and you can pick two toys out to bring to your "new mom's" house. The rest of the toys are staying here. I sure will miss you Bei." Bei smiled and said that he wanted me as his mom after all. Wheww...that was a close one! Okay, it may be trivial stuff to you all, but it was the first time that I realized that I might not be the "total cats meow" in Bei's world.
So onto the second kick to the head. Recently we were at our cabin and Bei went to visit Dan's brothers kids who have a cabin 2 miles down the road from us. Now, Bei hasn't spent much time away from me. We have never had a babysitter even, but he has gone down to Mark's cabin for an hour or two at the most. Anyway, he was down there for several hours when I asked Dan if he would go down and pick him up. To be honest, I was missing him! Dan came back and there was no Bei. Uh oh...where is Bei? He had gone to Shell Lake with Mark's wife...big uh oh...panic set in for me! I knew he was tired and would fall asleep in the car. I worried that when he woke up he would be scared and cry and scream for me. And to top it off, he didn't have his blankee with him. I started calling Gina, then Mark, then Gina and then Mark and then Gina and finally got a hold of Mark a while later to find out that indeed Bei had fallen asleep, but woke up from his nap with a smile on his face. Hmmm...interesting...why does he cry when he wakes up with me??? Anyway, I got into the truck and drove down and as I pulled up to their cabin, I see Bei and Morgan in the yard. I started waving furiously at Bei, I just missed him so much! He gets this mischievous grin on his face, grabs Morgan's hand and runs the other way around the house. I think I just got a 4 year olds version of the finger. He comes around from the corner and I go to him and kiss him and hug him and tell him I miss him and he says. "Mom, I'm having fun, I want you to go home." What?? I ignore his statement and say "Did you miss me?" "Nope!" Huh? Maybe he didn't hear me. "Did you miss me Bei?" Nope! I decide to let him stay a little longer and I end up talking to Mark and Gina for a while. Bei needs me in the bathroom and sadly I start badgering him. "How much did you miss me?" And I show different measures with my hands. And he says "Nuthin" I'm crushed! But the idea starts creeping into my mind that this is a good thing. This has been my goal all along, I just needed a kick in the head to realize that Bei's self-confidence and independence are a good thing for the both of us. Nobody said I have to like him growing independent, but I promise I will stop badgering him every time we are separated and will support his independence in the future...I admit, I stumbled the first two rounds but will come back in full support in the future. Nobody said raising kids was easy, it is actually very very hard! But I am loving it!


Family Pictures

Once Uncle Nick picked up Kai he wouldn't go to Dan or I...little rascal!
Now where are the keys Uncle Kevin to start this machine??

Bei loves diggers and loaders and all types of machinery...thanks for the ride Uncle Kevin!

Beautiful Baby!

Matt and Bei check out the Koi fish in their newly created pond

Kai loves to boat!

This was a much needed sisters weekend with our husbands. There is something about sisters, that they are able to fill up your emotional cup and give you the boost to keep going. Not to brag but I really have the two best sisters in the world! Lucky me!


Just Pictures

The blue dye in these ice cream bars from the Ice Cream Truck guy should be "outlawed". It takes days for the blue to come off of Bei's lips!
Kai on his first train ride out of Spooner, Wisconsin with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Dene.

The entire gang was in town.

Look who came back for a visit...Huckleberry!


Old Country Buffet

I'll start this blog out with a diaper update. Whenever I open Kai's diaper it is a regular ole smorgasbord. I could post a sign outside that says "All you can eat $6.99". Honestly, there is always a ton of food in his diaper. I will open it right now to prove it...Yup, here is some cheese, some crackers, huh? an entire T-Bone steak?? I knew I was missing one at dinner tonight. Seriously, he is just one of those messy kids. His face is always messy, his clothes always have food on them even though I change him 3 to 5 times a day. I do give him a bath every day so he doesn't start smelling like rotting garbage...at least he has that going for him. I really love that little guy but he physically exhausts me because he wants to be held constantly and look at his little face, how could you not want to hold him. He is my little doll!
Now the other son, mentally exhausts me. He talks incessantly! Hmmm...I wonder where he got that from??? But here is a typical conversation with Bei while we are reading a book about tractors and combines. Bei says, "Mom how does that Combine work?" Me with my limited knowledge says, "The corn goes in here and and comes out there". "No Mom, what happens in there that big red part?" I want to answer "Son, it is a mystery to mankind and nobody gives a crap." But I say, "I don't know". And that is never good enough, Bei's response is always "Think about it mom and then tell me." And then he waits for me to tell him, he won't let it go. So I always do my best and try to give him the detail of what I know. Poor kid is going to be a wealth of misinformation.
Lastly, I ask that you please keep our little buddy Nick Nick in your prayers. His last eye treatment did not heal his eye and he now will have to do Chemo at his next appointment. He is our sweet little buddy and we need him to be able to keep his one good eye!