Summer Friends Recap #2

This is my friend Laura and she LOVES getting her picture taken! :-)    Let me tell you about Laura, she has been one of those silent warriors who has advocated for her son.   Her son was born healthy but as he reached puberity some serious medical issues began to arise.   He has everything from heart surgery, to kidney issues and most recently had to be air lifted to a hospital due to uncontrolled seizures.   That is alot for one mama to take!   My heart just goes out to her because I know how hard it is as a mom to watch your kids suffer.   Laura has handled everything with such poise and grace.  Both of her son's are amazing young men, she and Cliff have done such a great job raising them.   It was so timely the weekend that they came to the cabin because I was in the thick of things with Kai and it nice to be able to talk with someone who has been there and understands the obstacles.   She gave me the motivation to push on and to keep advocating for Kai.  

I met Laura through Dan.  Laura and Dan were neighbors and their families were very close friends.  Laura and Cliff spend Christmas Eve with us, they have become like family.

I just love this picture of Morgan and Katherine

Our summers would not be the same without Mark, Gina, Blake and Morgan down the road from us.  Dan and Mark were best friends growing up and having cabins close to one another has re-kindled that bond for them.   Gina is the nicest person in the world and makes me look like the meanest mom... Honestly, she is the sweetest person in the world!  Morgan and Blake are always up for jumping off the boat in the middle of the lake.   They are two great kids!

Summer Friends Recap #1

I met John when we first moved to Minnesota and we have been friends ever since.  In one word, John is a gentleman.     

He has a soft spot for our two little guys.  Isn't Kai's smile priceless?

Sue and I met when I worked for the St. Paul Companies.   We have been friends a long time.   Sue is one of those people that you invite to your cabin and you feel like she is hosting you!   She brings all these wonderful bake goods, brings dinner one of the night, she is a workhorse and she is extremely helpful with the kids.   I was giving Kai a bottle and Sue sat down and said "ah I think I will sit down and relax a few minutes".   She sat for less than 60 seconds!  I said, I thought you were going to relax and she said, "I did!".  Friends like Sue make me feel very lazy! 

Johanna is a foreign exchange student from Germany who is staying with Sue and Dave.   She had gotten here on the Thursday before Labor day and this was the following Saturday.   I have never seen three people more comfortable with one another, Sue, Dave and Johanna just hit it off instantly.   It was amazing!   Johanna was fabulous with the kids!  Bei fell in love with her!   I wish I could have kidnapped her for the year, they definitely hit the jackpot with her.   Bei still asks when we can see "that girl".  

Dave makes the best ribs in the entire world!   He is always amazed at how many ribs I can put away.  Honestly they are the worlds best!  Dave was a drummer in a blues Band for over 20 years.   Going to listen to Dave's band was one of the fun ways that we would spend our weekends before we had kids.  

I wanted to share with you pictures of some of the friends that we have had up at the cabin this past summer.  We are so blessed to have such good friends.   Most of our friends we have known for 20 plus years.  


Kai Kai Sweetie Pie Recovered

I need to add Allergist to Kai's team of medical professionals.  This is a picture of Kai last week when his mouth was so swollen up along with all the hives all over his body.  He was just pitiful last week with his stomach flu.  It broke my heart to see him in such pain and discomfort.  I have to admit that one of the things that got me through last week with Kai is I kept thinking about who would be there for him in China if we had not adopted him?   Who would hold him and bath him and kiss on him when he wasn't feeling good?   He just needed to be held alot last week and I am grateful that God chose me to be the one to bring my Kai Kai Sweetie Pie comfort.  I just LOVE him so much! 

This week he is back to his smiley happy sweet little self again

When Kai is sick his gross motor development regresses dramatically.  During his illness he couldn't walk without falling after taking a step or two.    Isn't that the most adorable little face...can't you just hear the squeal of excitement?

Look what I caught this little guy doing this week...playing hopscotch!   His gross motor skills have come back full force and he is doing great again.   He continues to amaze me with his tenacity to overcome so many obstacles.

These two are pretty much inseparable these days.   They spend every waking moment taunting and terrorizing each other in a very fun and playful way.  I am really appreciating what Elvis is doing for the kids and how much fun they have with him.   

Jeannine, you have always been my best audience my entire life.  Loved the comments, they made me laugh!


The Great Rudini!

Rudene is a diehard Packer fan! 

Dan and I met at the University that we both attended in Wisconsin.   I remember clearly the first time that I met Dan's mom, Rudene, it feels like it was yesterday.   We met his parents for lunch after several months of dating.  I don't know why but I was expecting Dan's mom to be a fat old farm lady from northern Wisconsin.  Instead there was Rudene, the direct opposite of a fat old farm lady.   Young (44 years old), nattily dressed, vivacious, confident, fun, outgoing, happy, smart and a loving mom.   Wow!  I was impressed!  And some 20 odd years later I continue to be impressed with Rudene. 
If I was told that I could only use one sentence to describe Rudene it would be "Servititude with a happy heart."   I don't mean servititude in the indentured servant way, rather Rudene gives of herself selflessly every single day.   Rudene truly gets pleasure out of serving others, making other peoples lives a little bit easier by the things that she does and making people feel good about themselves after spending time with her.  She has a wonderful way of building people up and making them feel good about themselves.   There are alot of people that say that they don't mind serving others but Rudene is different.   I really think it is what motivates her and fills up her emotional tank.   I have never heard her grumble about the things that she does for people, she is always the first one to say she can help you out and she does it all with a smile on her face and honestly that happiness in her heart just shines through! 
Everybody who knows Rudene knows she is an over the top cook and baker!  She keeps an immaculate home, which to this day intimidates me because you all know how I like to clean, and has beautiful flower and vegetable gardens.  
Rudene LOVES her kids.   So much of who Dan has become is due to his mom. They are very similiar to one another.  Bright, inquisitive, detailed-oriented and gregarious, just to name a few attributes they both share.  One of the most important qualities that Dan took from his mom was the ability to make other people feel good about themselves.  It was that ability along with his humorous personality that attracted me to him.   I've learned through watching both Dan and Rudene that when you feel confident about yourself, you are able to build others self esteem up.  Rudene has become a good and trusted friend.   Rudene thank you for so many wonderful years together, you are a very special person in my life.



Do any of you have an arch rival?   A nemesis?  Well I do!  The worst part is that he lives with me and his name is Elvis!   Let me preface this with I agreed to the dog and it was a mutual decision by Dan and I.  Let me also add that I live on about 4 hours of sleep and my reasoning skills are dull at best.   Anyway, the day that we got him my mom happened to call me.  Now I knew that there were going to be a few people that were going to react to us getting a dog and I fully expected my mom to be one of those people and she didn't disappoint.   So I said to my mom on the phone, "Bei loves the puppy that Dan bought him."   And my mom said, "What puppy?  It is not a REAL LIVE breathing puppy is it?"   Yes mom it is a real live puppy.   Then the next things out of her mouth was "well you know it is going to pee and poop!"   Yes mom, it has already pee'd and pooped that is what dogs do.   Okay, I'll admit I said it kind of condescending like duh?  Hello? Like I don't know it is going to pee and poop?    Fast forward two days into our new lives with Elvis and I want to say that dog is a PEEING and POOPING machine!!!!   I swear that dog pee's and poops every 20 minutes!   And besides eating the food that Kai has dropped I have never seen the dog eat any of his own food! 

 I'll spend 15 minutes outside with the darn dog saying every 30 seconds "go potty, go potty, go potty" and nothing.   He promptly comes in and pee's on the rug!  While I was dealing with exploding diapers with Kai last week, guess who was puking all over my house...yes my little buddy Elvis!    This week he tried to bring in a dead bird into the house.   I had to outwit him to drop the darn thing so he wouldn't bring it in...and then I had to discard the bird.  Eeek!  Now I have two little ones teething, Kai and now Elvis.   Both love to chew on everything.   The clincher for me though was when I was cleaning out a toy that Kai stuffs all sorts of things in.   You are suppose to hammer balls into the top of it and then watch the balls wind their way down through the next opening.   Kai sticks everything it, so I have to unclog it constantly.   I had it upside down and things were dropping out and I saw a little black super ball and wondered where we got it from because Kai could choke on it.   Hmmm...doesn't feel like a super ball and didn't smell like a super ball after I squeezed it a little...darn Elvis!    So mom let me re-phrase my snarky comment to you  "what were you saying about a puppy?" 

Don't let that cute little face fool you...he is diabolical!  Don't worry I love him...a little.


Digging Deep

These pictures are not from the middle of the night

These are pictures of Kai from the previous week when he was feeling well

This little sweetie is kicking me in the arse this week.   He has the stomach flu which means that he is up all night screaming bloody murder.   The only way I can calm him usually is to give him a bath.   So we have been taking baths at 1:30 in the morning or sometimes it is 3:30 in the morning.   I'll do anything for him not to scream in pain.   Kai is not one to have some tiny little tummy ache...oh no...this kid pushes the limits on everything.   So he not only has gut-wrenching painful to watch stomach aches but he also is covered in some god-awful hives!   Once again these are not tiny little hives, instead these are humongous 3 inch by 4 inch swatches on his back or his entire neck will be covered in hives.   This morning we woke up and I looked at him and his poor upper lip was swollen huge along with that area between the lip and under the nose.   Ugh...this poor little man is going through life the hard way...nothing is ever easy with him.   I finally took him to the doctor and he is now on steroids.   The lack of sleep can definitely wear on me and that is when I have to dig deep.   Dig deep within myself to overcome my selfishness and wanting to be crabby at the rest of the world for my lack of sleep.      I always warn Bei when I am tired and crabby.   I tell him "Bei, I woke up this morning and I found my crabby pants on and I can't get them off."   In a way I kind of think I am a better parent when I am tired and crabby because I don't put up with any nonsense, kind of like how our parents parented us.   No negotiations, just do it because I said mentality.   I am hoping that Kai gets over his stomach flu and we can get back to our normal interrupted sleep which is going to feel like heaven.

Hearing Aids Update - Kai continues to wear the hearing aids and is doing really well with them.   I am so proud of him and how he is handling it.   He still claps his hands when he see's that I am going to put them in his ears.  He is so sweet!


School Daze

First Day of Kindergarten

Bei goes in the mornings and I pick him up around noon or I mean 11:55 because there is no "around" at the Catholic School.  

Kai and cousin Morgan playing together

I had been talking to Bei early in the week about him starting school.   I asked him who he thought would cry harder him or me when he started Kindergarten?  He said he would try not to cry but he thought he probably would anyway.   I told him it was okay to cry if he needed to and there was no shame in it.  I also tease him and tell him he doesn't need to go to school to learn to read and write, he can just stay home with me and just be dumb the rest of his life.   NO WAY!  He told me he wants to go to school to learn!   Good deal kid! 

So I was prepared for the first day to be a little rocky for the both of us.  However some how we ended up being late!!!! for the first day of school!!!! Yikes!  I guess when they say 9:00 a.m. they mean in your seat and ready to start the day!  It definitely isn't like pre-school where getting close to the arrival time is good enough.   Ugh...punctuality is over-rated in my mind, but I got the picture loud and clear by the clenched teeth smile from the teacher when we walked in.   Anyway, there was no time for tears, it was  put your name tag on, sit here, good-bye I love you and off I went.   No tears from Bei and on my way home I was thinking what just happened?   I am suppose to be sobbing!   On the second day I saw all the fun that we had missed the first day, school crossing guards, parents dropping kids off, buses lined up, kids greeting each other...it was fun to be a part of it!    Unfortunately Bei was a little teary-eyed on the second day when I left and so was I.  The good news is that when I picked him up he told me his second day was even better than the first!  I am so happy for him and feel that we found the right school that fits his personality.   Plus he LOVES his teacher which is always a big bonus.   

Just a quick note for those of you following Kai Kai Sweetie Pie's hearing story.  We received his new molds on Wednesday.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!   I KNOW!  How can someone love ear molds?  But I DO!  What a difference these new molds make!  There is absolutely no feedback and the new audiologist Jennifer also noticed that Kai Kai Sweetie Pie has shallow upper ears, so she added a hook to the molds so they stay in his ears better.   They work perfectly!!   She is one of those medical professionals who goes ABOVE and BEYOND!  


Hurrah for Beth!

The frog den that has created so much fun and excitement at our cabin

Poor Matt, I think he thought he adopted another kid that weekend.   With Dan and his back in so much pain I was trying to help Dan more than normal with the boat and the cabin and then I leaned on Matt and Beth to help with Kai!   So THANK YOU guys so much!  

This little munckin was so sweet.  Her name is Minah and she was adopted from South Korea also in 2010!   If I wasn't paying attention to her, she would run over and whap me on the leg like saying "pay attention lady...your eyes need to be on me at all times!"  

These two got along like best friends!

Chloe had said something silly about the guy in the book's "underpants" which Bei thought was funny

 Hmm...I wonder what Doe Doe (Sarah) would say about Chloe moving in on her man?   I can hear her now "No! Bei Bei! No!

Chloe loved driving the boat

Hurrah for Beth!  She wrote a really nice blog about our visit with them at the cabin.   I've been meaning to come back to that weekend and write more because we really had the best time.   I am sure that we will make it an annual event to spend time with the J family.   Everybody could not of gotten along more beautifully.   Anyway I am taking the lazy way out and linking to her blog because she captures the weekend perfectly!  http://talesof2princesses.blogspot.com/2011/09/our-trip-to-wisconsin.html#comments


Speech Therapy Approved!

Kai LOVES to be outside!  And mosquito's LOVE Kai!  Unfortunately Kai has sensitive skin that reacts dramatically to bites.   This week he was put on a steroid for a bite that made his eye swell up that he couldn't even open his eye.   All summer long Kai has looked like he has gone 13 rounds with M&ke T&son. 

I won't lie, the day after I wrote the Advocate post I made several phone calls and gave everyone a tongue lashing for their on-going incompetency.   I obviously had gotten myself riled up by the post that I had written.  By writing it out, I realized how long this issue had been going on and how much I was being jerked around.   The good news is that the very next day the speech facility company called to tell me that the insurance had all the information now and that they had already paid for the outstanding speech therapy claim.  By the insurance company paying the outstanding claim I will assume that they will pay for the speech therapy going forward.   I can't wait to get Kai Kai Sweetie Pie's new ear molds on Wednesday and then start him in some intensive speech therapy!!  Please pray that Kai's speech comes together for him and he quickly learns a language.