Thursday, October 29, 2009

10 months home....and a year since we started our travel planning!!

One year ago....the day before Halloween....believe it or not...is a dark time in my life? When I think back, I can remember the feelings as if it were yesterday. It was the day before we said Goodbye to Daddy for 3 months, and it was the day that the Agency called to say that we would most certainly be traveling in November or December to bring JOsh home. And no matter when we traveled....both options...would be without my other half?!

I remember looking at the referral pictures and being filled with so much joy! Our baby was almost home! But the other side was, "How the heck was I going to get him here???". How was I to manage 3 little boys, a trip to China, Thanksgiving and Christmas....all in a town/state that we had lived only a few months and truly knew almost NO ONE!?

I doubted myself a bit more during these months than I ever have before In my life. My emotions were on high and EVERYTHING made me feel like crying! But as life requires....I pressed on. Never giving up because my boys needed a Christmas that was fabulous and my newest baby boy needed to come home.

I could not act on my fears...I just needed to find my time to cry and then get back to the paperwork and planning! NO ROOM FOR ERROR....AND NO POSSIBILITY OF FAILURE! It was a long two months.









Now fast forward to 10 months later......





Miracles do happen!
I know I am tough and all and a military wife...etc.etc....but one year ago, even my dear friends knew that I doubted myself. And truly...I think EVERYONE was a bit scared for me, but putting on a strong face because that is EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED!
And now...I have my baby boy....and I almost can't remember a time without him!
He is healthy, physically in tact, funny, silly, smart, cute, energetic, and an all around joy to be with!
I have adoption friends that I know in my heart will be a part of the rest of our lives!
Ben, Kyle and Will have a brother that they adore! (Well...Will adores him 50% of the time anyway).
I wish so much that I could have known how it all would turn out....I wish I had had more faith in my calling to find Josh and bring him home. But I am human and that is that! But the most important lesson in the last 10 months - to me .....
When I am called to do something, something that is present in every part of my being....the path may not be easy...but the end will bring hope and joy! I will forever take this with me in life! ...And I can thank Josh for so much - he is everything to us....for he will always be my reminder that anything is possible, and that following your heart......will have hurdles and back slides...but it will get you where you were meant to be! You just can't quit! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The power of my perception.

the other morning I am running a bit late and needing to find something to wear in a hurry. So I grab my favorite jeans - throw them on ....and ....oh nooo......"I LOOK FAT". I FEEL YUCKY IN THEM?





Well that is the worst, because these are the pants that always make me feel better? I then try on about 3 more pair of pants...am in a full sweat....everything looks terrible...and I am even later than late now?





Ever have this happen?





You all know that I have been trying to make some lifestyle changes to take some extra weight off these days. Well....CLEARLY....if my jeans look that bad on me...I am not having much success?





I decide that I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! I am getting on the scale....admitting to myself that I am not doing enough and i need to try harder...and gosh darn it...I am not going to quit...I will take off this weight! I am going to feel good about myself. So I want to SEE the damage...the lack of success with my own eyes...Heck - I already feel like CRAP...might as well have a visual reality check!





So I hold back the tears...walk to the scale and what do I see? Yep. 2.5 weeks of lifestyle change and 6 REAL pounds gone?





Well goodness....maybe I am not a failure? Now the tears that I was fighting have quickly dried up and I am happy happy happy!





So in my happy place, i realize that If I was later than late 5 min ago...I am going to be embarrassingly late if I don't just put on some clothes...and get out the door.





I run into my room and put on the first pair of jeans that I had started with just 15 min before...the ones that started the lump in my throat and my feelings of self defeat!





And I throw on a top...look in the mirror and think....wait a minute...These jeans actually look just fine. Easy choice. They are the ones that make me look the best! I will feel good walking out the door - YEAH!!!





So I ask this: How? did these jeans that made me look HUGE just 15 min ago....suddenly flatter me? I mean...sure I have lost a few pounds...but I didn't lose a few pounds in 15 min. This was the same body that tried them on with the first time.





Anyway - my point is this. I am humbled by the power of my perception. My insecurities actually made me see something that was not there. Or maybe the opposite...my new perception after being on the scale...made me miss what was really there? ha ha ha ha Either way...my perception changed the way I felt...the way I walked out of the house...the confidence that I took with me all through the day.





And I am in awe of the power that our mind can have over our physical being. So to you I say, no matter what your frustration today, do not, for ANY Reason, discount the power of the 4 inches between your ears! Look there first. I'm guessing...the answer that will free you from at least some stresses - lies in your noggin!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mommy and her China Baby!







October fun!

Just some random shots from our October outings!!
Ben swing a piece of rope that he found in the woods...and yes...someone eventually got hurt! :) The rope did NOT come home with us.





Alas...will could not find the PERFECT stick? Nothing helped ....so we just let him whine for an hour till he got it out of his system!


Building a rock fort takes all brain power!


Our rock fort Supervisor!







Josh LOVES his new toy!!


We didn't love the need to have our arms and legs covered last week. This is Josh embracing cold weather clothes! And today...86 degrees? Glad we fought through that lesson!

I don't know if I can make it mom....????
NO PROBLEM! We continued this ride for about 30 min! And PS.....60 degrees this night...and NO SOCKS! He WILL NOT WEAR THEM! :) Makes him cry so hard that he shakes? Remember the days when we could not get his socks off of him? What up with that!?





Who's older? Oh yeah...the one with NO TEETH!







He claims he is riding the kiddie rides so Josh does not have to go alone? Hmm...looks like he is having a pretty good time for a chaperone! :)





Must have been a fun day off roading on the beach..we had some TIRED boys!
And no...josh does not suck his thumb...he is just imitating his favorite people! :)

Our soccer star with mommy work out head band on and a red Gatorade mustache? So cute.....to his mom!! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Find your Box to Check. (my ramble for the day?)

I went to a group gathering this morning called Mom to Mom. I could go on forever about how much I learned and what super people I met...but you would probably get bored...and never read my blog again....so I will just talk about one small thing the we discussed in the small group portion of the group.



Many of my friends are stay at home mom's. Some work part time while being a mom, and yet others try and work full time...but still be mom, 100% of the time. So to all of you - I write this.



Being a mom is truly a never ending job. A job that we work harder at than anything we have ever done...yet a job that has no end...no weekend...no promotion. The laundry might be done...but the glory is short lived.....yep...one day later...there it is again! The dishes might be out of the sink, but sure enough - those little monsters eat again and you are back to the drawing board! Homework might be done for the week for one kids, but what about the other ones....and just when you get theirs done...It's Friday again and that folder comes home with a whole new set of challenges! And so I could go on and on and I am sure you could to.



Now - liken this to the life you had before kids. On Friday - work was done until Monday. If you hated your job you could quit. When one job become mundane you could look for a more rewarding one. When a report was done...it was off your plate. When you cleaned your house, it stayed clean until you had a party - and well..that was worth getting it dirty for! :) Many boxes on your to do list...and many checks in them at the end of the day.



So you become a mother and the "old" you.....has to somehow merge with "new" you...to do a job that is not as final...has no bonus based on good performance....has no award for perfect attendance.....has no paycheck at the end of the week. And what's more...you can't quit! So how do you know you are successful? When do you feel that feeling of "Yes...that is done....and the weight of the world is now off of me? Well...the long and short of it is. You don't get to feel that way anymore! Not without some real effort and planning anyway?!



We love those kids. We live and breathe for them. We say we want to be alone and then we are calling the sitter three times to make sure our babies are OK! So yes...we LOVE what we do. Better than we loved the "old" job. And we love our lives....better than we loved the "old" ones. but this new life comes with some very unique challenges. Holes, if you will, in our self esteem, in our stamina, in sometimes in our hearts.



The lack of recordable success factors often leaves us feeling like we have not accomplished anything...or enough of anything at the end of the day. We have no measure of success on a day to day basis. Sure...a please to a stranger, or an A on a test, but I am talking - true "day to day" work...no real measure of success...just a never ending supply of work. We have feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness and self judgement when we see our efforts as falling short of the mark. Causing holes in our being...and emptiness within. And some days...these holes can seem to take up most of our being or at least a larger part than we would like. And then what?



Well, you know WHAT...kids have a mad mommy, mommy has a crappy day, daddy comes home and has a grumpy wife...and everyone goes to bed a little less than happy! And all you care about is that they are all in bed and you are ALONE! :) Those days end...thank Goodness...but they live with us and carry over into the next day a bit each time. Or at least they tend to in my life!



So this is the light beam that struck me today...with the help of some friends... It seems that If I find some some areas in my daily life that "when not completed" leave holes...maybe I can ...anticipate them....plan for them....then maybe...just maybe...I can check enough boxes in my day to feel successful!! Not like the old days....but a middle ground that could bring my "new" and my "old" self full circle. Complete - box checked!



Hmmm...what did I love about my old, controllable, systematic life...that I feel is lacking in my new mommy life? Well...I loved order, clean, crisp, order. Probably not going to find that with four boys....but let's narrow it down a bit more....what SPECIFICALLY did i love about the order? Is there any part of that old me that I could tweak and find a new "perfect" order?



For me....clean floors, empty counters, and organized piles. That is what I always did first when I had all day to come to order with no distractions. And so it begins with me. I now profess, that if I take 20 min, to put dishes away, laundry is the right baskets and baskets int he right place, quickly mop the floors and vacuum....I can check my "life's in order" box for the day!



No guilt if the kids eat PB&J for dinner....because yeah....that was less than perfect...but my day as a whole was a success and that minor nutrition flaw will be made up with eggs and fruit for breakfast tomorrow! See...I think this is really going to work!



Today I started my duties at 2pm and by 2:20 I was at the bus stop...box checked!



I plan to think about this time allotment in the morning...while I am looking at my calendar. So much to do today, but wait...there it is.....30 free min before the kids get home. And so I make a mental note to fit my organization efforts in to that time. If I complete that task, check that box, then I can have that feeling of "job well done and complete" - time to play. And then I can play with my whole heart and not with the feeling of inadequacy that I had not tended to the order of our home! 30 min.....and I get to feel like that? Yep....definitely going to keep this up!



I challenge to find a box, in your life...that you can check each day. The box that makes you feel like you have done well, completed the "important" task, successful! I would venture to guess that for most of you...it is not mopping the floors! But hey....I'm nuts and I accept that! What's your box...and how will you be sure to check it?!?! :)


Is it Thank you notes one week, studying for an hour a day, running. Whatever it is....make it something that truly is such a huge part of "you" that without completing it...you feel less than successful. And Goodness knows... you don't have to share it. We are all nuts and what makes us each feel whole is all over the spectrum!! :) Just make it REAL to YOU!



And I know this is one small idea...in a crazy, very complex life system that we all have. But hey...one idea today is better than none!! :)



And lastly I say this. When child no longer needs a diaper, when your baby is out of preschool, when you toddler learns to walk, when your baby graduates high school or when your daughter chooses the perfect date for the prom.....let this be your celebration time. Let these mile stones tell you that you have done GREAT. You have been promoted and your long hours have paid off! The work you did, the lessons and values you instilled, the way your parented.... proved successful! Hands down...a perfect project complete! Throw parties, celebrate like you won the lottery. Because in many ways...you have! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Josh had a successfull day!

Just a quick note to say that Josh did so well today. The biggest problem of the day was the blue pair of socks that they made him wear? Yeah...sent him into a tizzy that took 45 min to calm down. He HATED those socks!! ha haha. As for the surgery, a SUCCESS!

Only one stream of pee now. Can I get a HU....RAH! So many people in the Y daycare and at Josh's school will LOVE this big success!! :) And my pant legs can finally stay dry all day long. (that stream that went right got me every time!) And what is more....there is something about always having a little pee on your leg that just makes you feel like you always need a shower!! :) So to that I say - whoooo hoooooo....glad that is over!!!!

He is in very little pain, no cath or any tubes needed, just staples that will dissolve over time!

Other things we learned today while he was under the knife....it seems that Josh's testicles are now growing correctly. Nothing wrong with the family jewels...but the surgery he had in China did not place them correctly. So in the spring, we will have them moved a bit! Another pretty easy surgery and that should be the last one for a few years!! :)

The doctor was so great and so happy with the progress that Josh has made! I truly believe things happen for a reason and quite possibly....Dr. Earheart is one of the reason that we moved to this area! He has done amazing things and we are so blessed to be in his hands! :)

Thank you for all the calls and prayers and positive thoughts today for our little man!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Help out the Henan Project...

Hmmm....wouldn't this be a nice OCTOBER photo for a calendar!!!??? hee hee



The blow message is from the Adcox Family! They are the founders of Henan Kids International and are doing so many many great things for the orphans in Josh's province!! :) This message is two fold.


1.) For all of my adoption friends that have beautiful children from Henan....please send Emily some pictures of your babes!!! What a better tribute to the place that gave them to us!! To raise money with their beautiful healthy smiling faces....money that supports the children that are still waiting in Henan!!


2.) For those of you that do not have Henan babies (hee hee... a larger portion of readers!!) Please think about buying your 2010 calendar from the Henan Kids website! We have submitted Josh for a spot on the calendar!! who knows...maybe!!?? ha hah a



"Hello all- my husband and i are the co-founders of Henan kids International- a non-profit that raised money to help the orphans in henan (www.henankids.org) We have 2 big fundraiser projects coming up-- one of which is a calendar I will put together of all the kids adopted thus far from henan. If you have already brought home your sweetie-- please send me 2 pictures-- esp. seasonal ones (halloween, xmas, easter, summer, 4th of july, etc)and include what orphanage your child is from. please feel free to copy this post and share it with anyone else who has adopted from henan.thanks!emilyemadcox@qwest.net"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two weeks......7 days....goes by in a flash...but can change so much!

I have a friend who just had her husband deploy for 6 months, a sister with a newborn and a one year old that has decided that sleep and stroller are not for her anymore, a friend who is potty training her child and a family member that is making some lifestyle changes...and to them I write this.

And so I believe....two weeks is the magic time! It is really a very short time. If vacation is in Two week...then we feel like it is tomorrow! If we only have two weeks left of school...then it is all but over! Two weeks till you give birth....we call it "the end".....Two weeks till daddy comes home...and I start my preparation!

But somehow...that short time, can also feel like an eternity when we are trying to lose weight, grieve for a loss, change a habit, toilet train our kids, prepare for a marathon, get back in shape...etc. etc.

And so I have this theory on the value of two weeks. I agree that it take 21 days to break a bad habit...but it only takes TWO measly Weeks to get your self going naturally in the right direction!! :)

For example: When my husband leaves for an extended period of time, the first two weeks seem so hard. I wonder why the garbage can did not magically make it to the curb in garbage day, and I wonder why the dishwasher did not unload itself? The thing that Steve does for me on a daily basis become habit and therefore when it is gone...I take on that load alone and the load seems overwhelming.

But somehow, at the end of 14 days, the garbage gets out, the kids are clean, homework is done and that passing time has allowed me to take in all of these new responsibilities and make them my own. After this time frame, I no longer think about what used to be...and the new load becomes a part of me! While I miss his company, the job becomes my own and I am a peace with it!

Likewise, if one of my kids is exhibiting a behaviour that needs to be changed, often I find myself correcting them for a few days, and then losing sight of the end goal of change. When I do this...the behaviour rears again and again and seems to bring down the mood of the whole family.

On the other hand, when I work for a full two weeks to stay on top of the behaviour, work to change it, reward the good, squelch the bad....it seems that this behaviour is now off the radar for good! Heck...when you potty train a child....each individual day can feel like an eternity...but I find myself marking the start date and the progress on a calendar so that I can keep in check that it had only been "4" days from the start! Because what I know is that I need to push through 14 days of work...and at the end...I will have a fully trained potty goer!

Checking the calendar helps...because a time of change, or sadness, or suffering...can feel like a lifetime. But because I have faith that it takes this certain amount of time to push through, to begin to move forward and passed....it helps me to keep a check on the "actual" amount of time that I am dealing with and therefore gain some control over the bleak feeling of possible failure that looms over me!

For me...I need to lose the 10 pounds that i have gained since i moved to Florida. Need to do it...it is not good weight, healthy weight...my clothes don't fit, and if affects my daily mood and energy level! And two days ago, I started on a diet plan. It is healthy, yet forces me to change eating habits, exercises habits (or lack there of!) and I am sore and hungry and i feel like the last two days have lasted a week!

But I am keeping close to me that two week rule! I need to stick with this at all cost. In 14 days, the hunger will not be as bad, as my body will have gotten used to the decrease in calories. My legs won't be as sore because my muscles will be used to the increased running and squats!

I'll report my success or failure to you all - I promise that! But what i know is that if I can change my patters to ones that are healthy and beneficial....if I can do this for 336 hours...I can really make the change that I so desire over time...I can change the rut I am in....

Here's to counting down the days...and my true hope of success!! :) And may the two week rule bring you all peace as you work to make your worlds a better place in all ways!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Update on Will....

It has been 11 days since Will had his little surgery and I am happy to report that the world is a better place here at the Mongold house. The fluid in Will's lungs is at a normal now. Just sounds like he had a cough and is recovering. He is back in school, and truly almost back to normal. Still a bit more tired and in need of a nap more than usual...but other than that...he is eating cheese and crackers again....cheese sandwiches.....cheese slices and cheese sticks....seems to be our normal crazy guy again! :) Oh...and the good news is....HE CAN HEAR!! He tells me to turn down the TV every night and when I yell for him he will say, "I'm right here mom...lower your voice!" Yeah...if he only knew right??

Thanks for all the calls and prayers and positive thoughts! It feels good to this mommy to have her baby feeling good! Yeah!!! Time is such a blessing isn't it?! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September family fun!

Stealing Cumquat's from the neighbors tree...and he truly does not care!! :)
But they don't know that!




Yucky - not ripe yet! ha ha ha

Kyle turned the big 6!


A huge storm drove us from our beach day! But if Josh gets to smush in the back of the jeep with his brothers...nothing can make him frown! not even HAIL pelting him on the head!


Making the best of the storm! :)




The top was down on the jeep since we did not expect this downpour..so the kids drove home with their towels on their heads to keep from getting rained on!

Soccer nights means just mommy and Josh home. So we did some Chinese food for a treat! Kid still LOVES it! :)


A ferry ride to the Museum of Science and History in Jax.


Red Yoshi came along for the trip. This is Jacksonville Landing where we had lunch and hitched the ferry!
Dino eating daddy made Josh cry!


No kidding...it is Zoltar? Will wished he could be a little pain in the bum...and I think he got his wish!! :) ha ha ha
Largest gum ball machine I have ever seen!! :)


Kyle's DREAM MACHINE!
Guess Josh is trying to help me take care of him? Where the heck did he find these???
Walking in the "city"! Can you find the blue "Bah" in this photo!!??

Nope...daddy with Ben on his shoulders is NOT as tall as a sky scraper!


Our little soccer stars!

Look how proud Will is to be on the same team as his idol - KYLE!
And yes...we wonder why Kyle pulls his pants up to his boobies? Truly...the shorts are not too small? Interesting sense of style my little man has? Yikes!