Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Three Months Home with your Family!!!

Three months ago, we flew in the Jacksonville and met your forever family for the first time! Oh how far we have come since then! You are a Mongold now...through and through....and we love you with all of our hearts! Thank you for coming to our life!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

80's music....long ago...but I still LOVE IT!! :)

The new music is a tribute to the late 80's!! When I graduated High school. With our 20 year reunion celebration this summer, it has brought back many a wonderful memory! Oh...and a few not so wonderful ones too! ha ha ha! That darn Kevin Kopp....Dumped me right before the Cardinal Ball! ha ha a ha :)

Anyway.....mostly good memories I swear! And so for that...I am dedicating this month to the songs that I know every word to....that I danced that special dance to....that I played in the car as we cruised around town!! Music was so important in those years! Some of the songs I was looking for didn't exist in the player I use! CAN'T IMAGINE WHY?!?! ha ha ah....but these were good ones just the same. When I hear them it takes me back to a time so long ago...and these tunes can make it feel like just yesterday!! :) Happy 20 years to all my high school buds! I am so happy to have so many of you still in my world! I love you guys!! ......Sing along....We built this city......whooo hoooo....we built this city on ROOOOOOOOOOOOOCK AAANNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDD ROLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! :) Whoo hoo!!

Friday, March 20, 2009


I spent some time last week with a girl from STeve's boat (Trish). She is 30 and has a child - that is one year old. Trish is now pregnant with her second child. Her husband is the engineer on the boat that Steve is on. This is the job that STeve had when Kyle was born and when Will was born. Spending the day with her really brought back memories of a life that I used to have and that i remember very well. Two babies, early thirties, no school or sports, just stay at home mom stuff.....all of it. I remember her life as if it were yesterday....yet nothing about my life now even sort of resembles that time anymore!

I heard her concerns and her frustrations with her life. And I understood them. Because of who I am today, I would not have the same problems anymore....but that makes them no less important. But I do know that in a few years...she too will look back and probably see her life as a journey that will change her in many of the same ways that I have changed.

After she left my house, I spent a few min thinking of who I used to be, and of how much I have evolved ...and wow....It sure made me realize how much has changed in the past 10 years! 10 years ago....I was dating steve....working full time...and now I am a mom of 4 with not job? Yikes...I guess it is easy to see Why I have's my take on the how!

10 years ago I......

...had trouble getting to work by 9am. I would hit the snooze button 10 times and then rush like a bat out of hell to make it to work 15 min late!

....never even gave a thought to a life without a career.

....smiled all week at the anticipation of a Saturday night out.

....took many trips and vacations....and we were so "fly by the seat of our pants" each week as to what our next adventure would be!

...thought seeing a movie was a normal weekend activity and breakfast out....was a necessity!

...wondered if I would ever have a family.

....looked forward to eating out every weekend. And saw no reason to cook when I could easily afford to go out for dinner and the choices were awesome in the place where I lived.

....had a truly clean house. A bit of cloudiness on the shower door could ruin my day. And if there were any brown areas around the base of a know I must have had Mono! The floors always looked like they were just put in and everything had a place! And to top it off...I had a plan of progression for the decor in each room. I had to like where it was now...but always needed a plan for what was next to better it! :)

...had nothing in my life to keep me from doing exactly what I felt like doing at any given time. Stay home...go I had no idea that there was any other way to be?

...I often doubted the value of my opinions and ideas. At work, I most always waited till everyone else had spoken before I offered any ideas of my own. A silent observer of sorts...but not based on any grand plan for success...based mostly on self doubt and a timid nature. And often....when the time came for "Renee's Thoughts"....I wanted to speak my mind, but was too afraid to do so...and the ideas stayed in my own head!

...I ran each evening after work, then ate dinner, then went out for drinks, then danced, then went to bed.

5 years ago I.....

....would get up at 4am....give my 9 month old a bottle....and then go back to bed till I heard Ben calling for me in his crib around 9am. Then I would rush to get dressed and showered so I could make a 10am gymboree class or take a trip to the mall or sams club...just for something to do!

....dreamed of owning my own business....and missed my career a bit. Didn't really want it back....I knew I could not leave the kids....but missing my work and my past purpose did give me pause for frustration and a bit of sadness at times.

....could not wait till my mom came to visit so that she would watch my kids while Steve and I had a quick dinner out at ANY local restaurant. She was the only person that I would trust with my kids...and even her...I could not let drive them anywhere in the car or I would feel physically sick!

...considered a trip to see my grandparents in PA a vacation! (isn't it?) And we planned 6 months ahead for anything that involved leaving a 10 mile radius of home.

...Could not wait to see what new movies came out on "on Demand" every weekend! And Steve started his Saturday morning we never even thought about eating out anymore.

...secretly knew I wanted at least two more kids...but with a 9 month old and a one year old...decided that I better keep that hush hush for a while longer.

...I didn't cook a ton, but I had a handful of good meals that I knew Steve loved and at least four times a week I would prepare something from the heart!

...had a clean house. Now you may find some blocks or Thomas trains under the couch, but as far as clean...still clouds....shiny floors....just a bit disheveled. I just started buying baskets and putting toys in there....looked more like decor than a mess to me!! :)

...became kind of a schedule freak about naps and feedings. A realized that a baby without a nap made everyone around them miserable. Yet I wanted my alone I had to time everything in unison with Ben and Kyle and that took some real effort and planning. But heck...with no job...I had plenty of time to take on that challenge!! :)

....I realized, that much of what I had to say in this world had value. And so I spoke my mind most always. Maybe too much? Steve called it "coming out of my shell"....I don't know what caused my opening up, or where the confidence came from, but I found that speaking my mind often ended in good. And so I continued to do so when it was called for.

...bought a double jogger and ran around the local neighborhoods each morning and kept in shape while my kids napped and ate snacks. It had to be done in the AM because by 6:30pm (my previous run time), any self motivation was sucked right out of me by the two little monsters that needed every ounce of my energy!

NOW I.......

....set my alarm for 5:25am so that I can blog, do dishes, finish laundry and take care of the dog...BEFORE my kids wake up at 6:30 for school. And I jump out of bed when the alarm goes off because I don't want to waist a single min of alone time! :) No snooze needed!

...feel so free some days now that I have sold my business...I remember the work and how demanding and unforgiving it was and while I miss parts of it....I love that nothing takes me away from tennis lessons, cub scouts, baseball, basketball, parks, beaches....and all of those things with my babies...who are growing up so fast that I can't believe it. I will take being poor and unmotivated for now! Only for now.....but for works!

...paid a service to find a great babysitter the second I move to Florida to assure that I am available for necessary things like school meetings, navy functions, and weddings!! I met her once and took the heck off!! ha ha ha And furthermore....A night out for no reason?....hmm...who has time for that!! :) And my sitter picks the kids up from school....drives all 4 of them to practices and the park and I don't even call to check in? Yikes...I've come a long way here!! :)

...don't even think about taking a vacation or a trip unless it is spring break or summer break - and even can only work if there are not camps, sports, or parties that we "need" to attend!! :)

...fall asleep so early that I can't even keep up with the hour long TV shows that I DVR...and we have not watched a movie in a VERY long time! :)

....somehow talked Steve into two more kids and now we are so outnumbered that we have given up sitting down for a while - and feel like we are running a circus most days....but we can hardly remember how we handled the slow pace of one and two year old? And I laugh when I think of how hard I thought it was....back 5 years ago!! :)

...Don't cook - is terrible! Yogurt, bananas, and a turkey sandwich is considered a balanced meal at our house these days.....and soup and gourmet!

....don't have a clean house? I clean for company.....and once every other week because I start to crawl out of my skin...but as a general rule...if I have vacuumed and I have clean laundry in some basket ...somewhere....I have done a good job that week! :) And I really do feel fine about it.

..need a calendar to run my life, as each day is different, and each day has more than I think I can possibly get done when I brows my to do list in the AM! Yet it all gets done and all of the Mongolds seem happy and healthy and played out at the end of every day! Thank God for that Calendar! :) Meals may not be on any schedule...but we still do eat and bath each day!! :)...or most days....I think?

...think I probably could lend a valuable opinion or point of view on some situations, but I am so busy running around that I completely forget to mention the thoughts in my head..when they are needed, wanted and or relevant. By the time I remember that I had something to say...the situation is long gone...and it is a mute point. And so once again...most of my ideas...stay in my head...but in this phase of my is for a much different reason.

...try to get to the gym - the one with CHILD CARE (because no jogger stroller is big enough) in the mornings when no one is sick. Yeah.....not a definite plan of action for top shape...but it is what I can do and it is ALL I can do right now! And i have kind of accepted that in this phase of my life...a few extra pounds might just have to be ok!

Friday, March 13, 2009


So let me start with a little background - or this will NOT be a cute story!! :)

When we first came home with Josh, he was VERY sensitive. If you looked at him wrong, or walked in his space.....took him into a room that he didn't want to go in....gave him food that was not perfect...(you get the picture)...he would Whine. And it was almost a cry...but not quite...eyes squinted shut - with a loud "EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" that seemed to go on forever.

At first we just let him whine it out. But at some became quite we started looking him in the eye and in a firm but kind voice - we would say "All done Joshee" And most often...he would open his eyes and just STOP. That quick! When we realized how fast we could make him stop by just simply saying "ALL DONE JOSHEE" it was just the tool we needed to stop the madness.

After this worked for a while, he realized that sometimes he just wanted to whine...and the "All done" did not ALWAYS work. So we started a new plan - plan B if you will....where we would count backwards from 5 (4, 3, 2.....1) and at one - he needed to sit on the time out chair if he was still "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" ing away.

Well it only took a few time of this chair till all we had to say was "5" and he just would stop as quickly as the "All done" used to work. And since this new plan, the whining has come to a minimum and is reserved mostly for days when we don't have time to nap, or we have not had our fill of food!

So the story goes....Josh and I were driving home from the YMCA today and he was very tired. Needed a cat nap as soon as we got in the door. His cold is running him down and I knew he was in a delicate mood. So he asked for his "Bah" (bear) and I didn't have it. And with that for an answer the whining started.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHH...Momma....EEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" And to that I said "All done"....and the response was just more EEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So I say 5, 4, 3 ....nothing. Still whining. And so in a not so proud mother moment...I chose to do what every book says is WRONG with a capital W!! I Whined back at him! Yep....just as loud as he was whining at me.

And all of a sudden....he stopped whining and got a huge smile and said "Momma....AAALLLLLLL DONE!" And with that he burst out laughing! Well I couldn't stop whining was too I kept it up.....and he stopped laughing...pointed his finger at me and said "Momma ........FIVE"! ha ha ha ha ha.....oh my...we both laughed the whole way home!! :)

Shelli joked that josh was going to be in preschool learning his numbers and when the class said "5" out loud he would run for a chair!! :) That may not be far from the truth!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Hunters visit!!!

The Hunters came to visit this weekend for Shane's 7th birthday! What fun we had! Perfect weather, beaches, fire pits and s'mores, eating out, hitting the town and just enjoying each others company! A wonderful weekend and I am so sad that it is over! :) Here are some great pics of our fun! :)

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to our little Joshua Song....

Happy 2nd birthday to our little miracle Josh! I don't have a ton of newborn photos of you to post, nor do I have memories of your birth and your infant years. We are lucky enough to have this one infant photo of you... makes me laugh...not cry!?!?! ha ha that sad or what!!

What I have for you is so much different. I have three years of a journey. Three years of knowing that there was something out there that my heart was waiting for. I can never really explain why, but once I started this process...I could not quit. With all the waits and hurdles and ups and downs...I could not quit. My heart was full of love for my family, but there was something missing. A hole that needed to be filled. I had no idea what, who or just was!

And on September 23rd - Kyles 5th birthday, I finally saw the light that would fill this last empty place in me. I saw you! Your big eyes, your scared look, your sweet face.....I knew that day...without one once of doubt...that you were who we had waited for. You were "why" we went through this journey.

I walked to school up hills both ways to get to you in China! But nothing could stop me.

December 15th 2008 is a day I will remember for all of time. It was the day you were born to our family! The day I first held you. You cried and you shook and your little heart was broken to leave the only home that you ever knew. But I had so much confidence when I looked into those big brown eyes of yours, that your new life was the place you were destined to be! With us! A Mongold boy! With the love of a mother and a father and three wonderful brothers! You were sad that day, but I knew FOR you...that you were truly coming home!

2.5 months you have been in our lives and it feels like you have been here forever! I can't wait to see your face every morning. I can't wait to see what you will do next, what new word you will learn! I love your Chinese dances and your passion for any kind of music. I love that you are smart and silly. And yeah...i may get mad when you play in the toilet or smack your brothers on the head...but that is just me being a mom! Your mom!! :) Forever!! :)

We love you Joshee Song and I thank you with all of my heart for finding us and for allowing us to be your family! Our journey brought us to you and most people who know me understand that I don't have the most "romantic' view on life. Not sure that things happen for a reason, not sure that things are meant to be. Rather I feel that good things are worked for and I believe that we create our own happiness. God has given me the tools to make the right decisions and to be the best person that I can be...and I feel it is my job to use these tools to create a wonderful family and life for us.

But...the big BUT.....for the first time in my life...when I look at Josh...and how he fits like a glove into our world....I wonder? Is he meant to be with us? Maybe he is? Has he always been ours...and I was tested by the hurdles of this process to be sure that "I" was worthy of having him? Maybe! Truly - Maybe it is this way. After all that we have been through this last three years...I'll say this one thing..."I'll never discount it...I'll never say never again!"

We don't know too much about Josh's life before us. Where did you come from? I'll never really know! I found this comment recently on a post by a woman that visited Josh's first home when she traveled to get her daughter. Her little girl was older and wanted to go back to the SWI to say goodbye to her life there......Vicki wrote, "I can only say being here and seeing first hand, the children really are loved and well cared for. I can only describe the orphanage as a star among dark, the city is soooo incredibly poor, you can see rubble, the street is all broken, the creek water trashed lined, amazing difference from the bigger cities, but the orphanage is bright, clean, nannies attentive, loving.My guess is they give them what they have. And a ton of love, as much as aunties can give, they NEED parents, but second best is the love of many nannies and they do NOT lack that." (Vicki 09)

I have such gratitude for the people that took care of Josh while we worked to get to him. This little man knows how to love. He wills say "I lush you" and kiss and hug me with such emotion and such real feelings! Someone taught him this. He felt love before us...and for that...there is no word that could give the proper praises!

It's going to be a crazy life with this family Josh...but we love you and you are ours! Lucky does not begin to describe it! My heart it so full.....I feel family is finally together! May I never lose sight of how blessed I am! Happy Birthday little man! WE love you!
And I want to add something dear friend Midge made such a wonderful comment on my post and it made me realize that I forgot one very important thing in this blog! It is because of a special mother - who cared so much for her son...that she gave him up to find a better life! How hard that must have been - unimaginable in my mind! What sacrifice she was capable of because of her love for her little boy! We think of you on this day and we thank you. I wish so much - and I have wished it most every day since we first received Josh.....that we could let his biological mother know that he is loved, cared for, provided for......I wish so much that she could know that he has a wonderful life and parents that will give him the moon! I hope that she feels a bit of peace today - a sense of rest in her heart! Josh has been found....and it is because of this wonderful person.... that we have him to love!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Maybe I did want girl???? ha h aha...ok....truly - this was not my idea! Will said...we need to be girls now so that Kyle does not laugh at us when he gets home!! :)