Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update on Little Will....


Will had his tonsils and Adenoids out last Friday morning. He was a trooper, but there was a complication from the anesthesia and he ended up with a large amount of fluid in his lungs. Guess I should know more about the "why" of it all, but I don't. I do know that this is a rare but possible side effect of anesthesia and it is on the waiver that you sign before any surgery.

His surgery was early in the Am and I watched all of the other out-patient "patients" leave and more come in...and we were still there? We were eventually able to come home that evening.

Will did stop breathing at one point just after surgery. His heart did not stop - so it could have been MUCH worse...the bells and whistles of his monitoring machines got the docs and nurses to our side very very quickly! They gave him a shot of steroids to help the lungs fill up and little by little his blood pressure began to rise. After about 6 hours, we were at a safe place again. Several breathing treatments and additional steroids helped to get him there.

I kind of wished they would have kept him, but there was also some peace in knowing that they felt he was ok to go home.

After a kind of rough 4 days, Will is finally out of bed and watching TV with Josh. He has a bit of color back! It feels so good to see him moving around! We will fight the impending pneumonia for the next couple of weeks with high doses of antibiotics and lots of fluids. If we can keep him away from bad germs and keep him coughing up this CRAP...I think the light at the end of the tunnel will show itself soon!! :)

I'll post another update soon and I am quite certain it will be all good news!! :)

As for the tonsils and adenoids? Well...can't even see any signs of the adenoid removal and tube placement. As for the area where his tonsils used to be....it hurts!! :) ha ha ha...poor guy....he can't really even talk? But this part we have conquered before with Ben and Kyle and so I know it is all worth it in the end!! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Please no new shoes mommy...PLEASE....

So this morning Josh puts on his "only" pair of shoes and says, "Mommy...shoe hurt!" So I try dumping them out - assuming that there was sand in there. And nothing came out. So I put it back on his foot and he said it again?

I hold the shoe up to the bottom of his foot and realize that my boy CLEARLY needs new shoes! I mean...they don't even sort of fit? For the record...he started out in a size 4.5 when we got home last December. In February I bought him the current 5.5 blue vans. Well today....yeah...size 7! I am the worst mother ever! Same darn shoes....different size! Life has to improve for him right!:!:!

Anyway...blah blah...not even the funny part of the story. So we go into the shoe store and I explain to the girl that his shoes are too small. She of course asks what size and I admit that he has never had his foot measured by anyone other than me..holding his food up to the bottom of a shoe? So we sit josh down on a stool and ask him to take off his shoes.

Well at this point I can tell he is getting nervous. Starts biting at his nails...eyes glaze over...but I just think...whatever....he'll understand in just a sec that we are only measuring his foot.

Well....boy was I wrong?

The girl at the shoe store goes to grab the prehistoric metal shoe measuring contraption...same on they used when I was two....and as she gets close to Josh with this THING....he just loses it. I mean...body shaking....curled in the fetal position on the stool....gagging....eyes closed.....crying so hard that there is no noise...no breathing. So I am of course kind of looking around at the ladies shoes...and when I realize what is going on...I run over.

Try to talk to him...but he just shakes...no noise....no breathing....still no breathing.....about to smack him on the back for fear he will pass out (no joke) and all of a sudden...he takes a gasping breath and screams, "NO NEW SHOES MOMMY....PPPPPLLLLLLEEEEEEEAAAAAAAASSSSSSEEEE".

Oh my Goodness...saddest thing I have ever seen. The girl seriously thought we were crazy. I did no explaining just told her we would wing it and to bring a size 6, 6.5 and 7. When she put away the evil shoe measuring device...The crazy Josh went back inside and happy "I get new shoes and the world rocks," Josh came flying back to us!! :)

Crazy life huh!?! ha ha aha

good enough...

I was asked yesterday by Kyle's teacher (at a Parent teacher conference)..."How do you handle 4 kids under the age of 7......who are ALL BOYS?"

My answer was simple...and it even surprised me when I came up with it so quick. I told Mrs. Robbins that I had to learn the art of , "Good enough."

Steve and I joke about this "art" all the time...so it was easy to explain when she kind of looked confused ;

The old Renee thought that giving 110% was the only thing acceptable. And now...in my new life...I believe that giving 110% when it is POSSIBLE - AND - BENEFICIAL TO THE GRAND SCHEME OF LIFE, is necessary. If it is not POSSIBLE...then we find out what is possible and that is good enough. If it does not benefit us in education, healthy, love....etc....then we do it based on the time we have...and the resources we have... and that is truly - 110% - GOOD ENOUGH!

So if my toilets and car are not always be as clean as they used to be, and if the grass is a bit long and my pants should have been hemmed before I wore them..... If the kids hair should be cut, and the laundry should have been put away and maybe this shirt was worn once before...... If all of that stands true, yet instead we head to soccer, read, exercises and play....well.....that will no longer affect my day! That is good enough and I believe that day to be a success!

I think this philosophy emerged in my...and it did not come overnight...but I am truly grateful that I have it...and it makes my life with 4 boys under the age of 7 - DARN FUN and PRODUCTIVE!! :)

Here's hoping that all of the wonderful mom's in my life...can implement this philosophy into parts of our crazy, hectic, relentless lives...and go to bed quickly....without as many worries or regrets! We all have to start somewhere...and I start with this! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A big wonderful year.....

Kyle's 5th birthday with his little brother at Step by Step preschool - one year ago today!

Alligator being removed from our back yard last October.
November trip to the Florida Woods!


Our sweet sweet boy!









The joys of Christmas!












A new little brother to love! And Kyle loves him with his whole heart!


A winter on the beach.


Still hates getting his picture taken!










Kyle graduated from Pre-K?! Sniff Sniff



He always has fun!



Took the trip of a lifetime!












The first day of Kindergarten? Another sniff sniff!!


He's our crazy man.....he is so necessary in our lives! Without kyle...where would the fun be...the craziness...the unconditional love that he shows us all...the patience....the laughs! We need Kyle in our lives so very much and I thank God for him every day of my life! Happy Birthday little man! We love you more than words can say!! :)



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One year ago today


Today is the day that we saw our little Zhang Song for the first time! :)
the e-mail read:
"Here is the information on Zhang Song, an adorable little boy born March 4, 2007. Please review his file and let me know tomorrow if you would like to consider adding him to your family!"
It took us about 30 min to finalize our answer...and that is only because i could not get Steve on the phone!!
11:25am....that's when I got the call that told me to go to my computer and pull up this sweet face!!
And forever our life will be a better place!
Joshua song is such proof that life can change in an instant! :) And in such wonderful ways!
We love you Joshee Song!! :)

Happy Sisters Day to you all!

Sister
Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Love the ones who don't just because you can.
Believe everything happens for a reason
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Kiss slowly.
Forgive quickly.
God never said life would be easy.
He just promised it would be worth it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I have learned in the past year of my life....

It has been one year since the day we left our little paradise on Larkspur Lane. In some ways that time feels like just yesterday and in other ways, I am in full realization that it has been a whole year. I have learned so much about myself in the last year. When I was running the other day I was thinking about some of the ways that i have changed and some of the things that I have learned. I have moved many times in my life, but nothing as significant as moving after 13 years of being in one place. This has been one of the hardest things I have done in my life so far and one of the most changing events for who I am.

I learned that a 4 hour drive is "next door" and an 8 hour drive is a blessing!

I have learned that driving your kids to school at 7am is bleak no matter where you live. But with 3/4 of our drive with an ocean front view of the waves and sand and birds...it somehow makes a normally relentless routine somewhat inspirational.

I learned that judging a book by its cover is an honest and calculated way to weed through a full library of books. Let's be honest...the title and small clip on the back of the book tell you so much about what you are going to read! And by the late 30's, you know what you like. But....it is always important when using this method of sorting to remember that if a book keeps showing up in front of you....you might want to say....the content does not seem like it would be all that much of a match to my tastes....but maybe it is here for a reason!

I learned that in the face of great change... a part of you is lost and a part of you is gained. And it is up to you to monitor and sculpt the gain that fills you. Because the space WILL fill up without your consent if you are not on top of it.

I have learned that when getting to know new people who have no history or basis for you what so ever.....it makes you listen to yourself talk more. Your words and how you present are ALL these new people know of you....you are not a friend of a friend...or someone who you know the family and our kids play and we are just meeting....you are truly NEW and therefore creating a full picture of yourself for this new person with everything that you say! Not that I would change what I say to fit the situation - I am who I am, but I have just been much more aware of ME and I listen to Me more than I used to!

I learned that I have taken for granted some huge parts of my life, and that sometimes it takes being ripped away from them to TRULY appreciate what you had. And with that said, I truly believe I am an appreciative person? And yet somehow...despite that...moving to the far south has STILL taught me this.

I learned that new friends are awesome, but there is ABSOLUTELY no replacing or even finding friends that know and love the WHOLE you. Not at this age! There is too much "you" to be learned by someone that is just coming to the show.

I have learned that there are many things that I absolutely LOVE about a small town!

I learned that it is admirable to give your WHOLE self to you children and your family...but it makes you fat and sucks out your energy. And it is very easy to go that direction without a support group to remind you that "you" are important too!! To that end....finding the YOU in life again....on your own....may just keep it in the top ten list for life? One can hope??

I have learned that I can love a child that did not come from my body, with as much passion as those that did! I always assumed it and felt confident in it...but now I KNOW for sure that it is true.

I learned that life is truly harder at every turn when you feel alone. Being along and feeling alone are two very different things. That distinction will be forever ingrained in my being after this move.

I learned that a safe place for your kids to ride a bike is far more important to me than living on the beach? Can you believe I said that??

I have learned that I don't mind humidity, dog size bugs and alligators if it means I don't have to have cold weather!

I have learned that sharing a life changing event with other folks will forever imprint them on your heart. I can pass/speak to the same person at the YMCA every day for a year and never make a connection, but I can spend two weeks with someone in China and think about them daily.

I learned that 4 kids is my perfect number.

I learned that the 4 walls you live in are just that...walls....it is the love that you have in those walls that matters. Never again will any ONE house be important to me! Only the people that come along with that location! :)

I have learned that the phrase "Distance changes things" is not always true.

And along those lines I have learned that Distance can actually grow relationships. When you take the "easy" out of a relationship and that bond continues to grow....it is then more special than it could have ever been prior.

I have learned that as life goes on..."time flies" in an understatement.

I have learned that true friends and family are ALWAYS in your heart and your mind. No matter how long it has been since you have given them a hug.

And I have learned that life has a path, and in the face of change and uncertainty, it is NECESSARY to have faith in life's path. It is necessary to work hard, press forward, do your best, love with your whole heart, look for your purpose....but all with an open heart. Because your next mission - the next way that you can make a difference.... is hard to see when so much uncertain fills your head and heart. It is like a clear moment on a rainy day. So easy to call it a "rainy day" and to miss that hour of sun that could have - would have - changed the way you saw that entire day!

My heart is larger having gone through this move. My whole being is less structured and more open to anything. My faith in my life's path has grown and my appreciation for all I have is at a high. This move has been good in so many ways. Hard...yes....but overall, a life changing event that will forever have created another part of who I am.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Smiths and the Mongolds....TOGETHER AGAIN!!

9 months after leaving each other in China and heading off to our REAL lives with our families....The Smiths and the Mongolds (minus daddy) were able to reconnect in St. Augustine Florida!! :) Whoo hooo!!!



....It was our last night in China. And we sat in the hall....Angela, Sarah and Myself. We knew we had to get up early...and we KNEW we should go to bed...but the reality was...this was our last day to be together. I know, I for one...had a huge lump in my throat all night. I wanted to get home...but I did not want to say goodbye to my friends!


Did I want to go home in the worst way possible? - HECK YES!!! Had we been waiting for this moment for 2.5 weeks??!! HECK YES!! ONE MORE NIGHT away from our children and friends and family and home......and yet somehow...it was not the victory that I had thought it would be...in some ways?



In my two and a half weeks in China I fell in love with a little man that I already held dear in my heart ! In the time leading up to my trip, I had hoped beyond hope that it would be this way! I hoped I would bond with Josh in my China time....And I knew I was already in love! I had prayed that he would love me back and that really seemed to be the case! All seemed to be right with the world as we packed up to head home. All goals accomplished and I was so very grateful for all the blessings that were bestowed on me.



As I sat in the hall that last night in China I felt so thankful that my prayers had been answered. But in this time, something else happened....my heart also opened up to a few more people. And this I had not really expected. The Smiths, The McClintocks, the Swansons, the Coles, The Altermats, The Angerhofers.......... I had new friends. True friends from the heart! We shared something so much bigger than ourselves during this time. We shared ups and downs and tears and laughter. We shared the joys of our new children, the crazy paths that led us to them, and the unconditional love that we had for them!



I fell in love with a spunky little crazy lady named Maya....and the sweet face of Leah. Josh learned to play with his "China Sisters!" I fell in love with the smiles of Michelle and the determination of Alex and his darling brother Own (my boyfriend for 2.5 weeks). I fell in love with Princess Mya and her excitement for her new family and with Peyton - Josh's Xinyang Sister! It was an adventure that made me a different person, a humbled person, a better person, and it was so much more rewarding than i could have ever imagined!



I feel so lucky that I was able to see Leah and the rest of the Smiths this past weekend!! That time will forever be cherished! Thank you to all of my China family that helped me when I was alone, supported me when I was down, and shared such a perfect time in my life with me! And thank you so much to the Smiths for making the time to come see us! We can't wait till the next time!! We love you!! :)









7 kids + 3 adults = crazy times!!!



Josh does not hug easily. His family...yes...but not others! He could not get enough of Jeremy and Leah!









And of course Will was teaching the little ones about the dark side!!: ) ha ha ha



And Elijah (are you proud of me Eli???) and the boys had so much in common! They were fast friends! I sooo wish we lived closer because the two 7 year olds have so much in common!! They would truly enjoy being friends!



Sunday, September 6, 2009