Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tomorrow's the Big One Year Home Anniversary

One year ago today we were in Miami, waiting not so patiently to get on the plane and pick up our boys in PaP. I am utterly amazed at how quickly the year has flown by. The boys have morphed and grown almost beyond recognition. No more are they the reticent, quiet little boys they were those first days home. Now they are full fledged Laurie's. Loud, out-going, friendly young boys who embrace life to its fullest everyday.

Tomorrow I will be posting pictures of my little boys who are growing too quickly. How can a year have passed already when the duration of our 2 year long adoption process dragged on endlessly? Stay tuned for tomorrows pics. I can't believe the difference a year can make!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When you can't figure out what that noise is..........

you need to go and find out. I knew Madison was giving Carlos a bath outside in our glorious sunny weather, but i couldn't figure out what the mechanical noise was. Seems she got tired of waiting for his puffy Sheltie hair to dry so she got out the leaf blower and decided to blow his hair dry with something akin to a jet engine. Poor Carlos will never be the same again, nor will he be able to hear.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'Ya gotta smell good for the ladies

Something has happened to Thomas of late. Seems he is beginning to enjoy being clean and not being a totally gross, smelly little boy. Soap used to be his biggest arch-rival, right up there with shampoo. He hated taking a bath/shower and would find any excuse in the book to avoid the daily rigors of getting clean.

Today he has taken a shower after playing outside of his own free will. After his shower I caught him shaving, even though he hasn't a whisker in sight, and then spraying on some deoderant. Thomas literally strutted up to me, posed himself in a pimp-daddy stance and asked me if I could smell his "Scent?" I had a hard time looking at my 11 year old son without busting out laughing. This can not be the same kid that just last week didn't see the need to take a bath after playing in the rain soaked horse manure. Richnigthder and Jerome walked in about this time and Tom asked them if they could smell him and his deoderant. They would have had to be dead to NOT be able to smell him. He had so much on it filled the whole house. My little boy cocked his head and looked at Rich and Jerome and told them, "Ya gotta smell good for the ladies!" Richnightder actually took this advice to heart, and my sweet little Jerome added the icing on the cake when he flitted off saying he doesn't want to smell good for the ladies....he wants to be a lady!

Never a dull moment!

Monday, April 19, 2010

ism's and other oddities

I really do feel lucky that I get to be at home with my kids all day and home educate them, but there is also a very real thing of too much togetherness. Marc took this week off to get caught up on home-improvement projects and to also give me a little bit of a break from the kids. It's just nice to have another adult in the house to talk to that isn't whining or screaming that he's being looked at.

Being with the kids as much as I am has given me so good comic relief. Two of my kids are naturally funny and don't mean to be. The other two kids are type A, driven, perfectionistic people who I just cannot relate to. Before I share the humor my children have shared with me, I need to add a disclaimer here. Marc and i accept anyone, including our children, should they happen to be gay, bi, or trans-gender and feel God loves us all and no one should be treated badly merely because of their sexual orientation. OK, having said that, let me share my comedy of my littlest one.

Since the moment Jerome came home, he has been telling me how he wants to be a girl. He wants to grow up to marry a boy since he will be a girl. These are his words, as a little tiny 6 year old kid. He just feels he's a girl. Anyway, Jerome wanted to wear a dress yesterday, which we indulged him in while at home, and he was running, dancing and twirling around outside yesterday letting the wind blow and billow his dress. He came inside and told me it was cold being a girl. I had to ask why and he told me that it's cold on his winky-tinky since girls don't wear underpants. Obviously he believes I go commando everyday.....which I do NOT! I guess if he grows up and still wants to be a girl we will have to teach him that even young ladies wear panties.

Thomas is just generally funny all the time. He's taught the boys to go fe pee pee on the electric fence since it seems they all like the sizzling tingle they get. What a bunch of pervs. I think this might be a strong sign we have lived in the middle of nowhere for too long.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

13 years ago today......

Our beautiful, intelligent, poised young daughter was born. I cannot believe this much time has gone by so quickly. She continues to amaze us and we can see the fire in her belly for enjoying life to its fullest. She is our treasure, our only daughter.

I know I've blogged about it before, but Jerome loves to clean the bathroom. Unfortunately I popped in on him while he was cleaning and nearly vomited at what I witnessed. My lovely little boy was cleaning the toilet, not with the toilet bowl brush but with a clorox wipe and his bare hand. He was dunking and scrubbing and dunking and scrubbing. I actually did scream and shout out, "Oh my God, stop that." He looked completely puzzled and I then had to put on a clinic for his benefit in toilet bowl cleaning.

His cleaning days may be numbered. I'm a little hesitant to let him at it again. And quite honestly the thought of him immersing his hands in a dirty toilet bowl nauseates me. End of story.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Memories in his heart

Richnigthder and Jerome have been home 2 weeks short of a year already. Amazing how quickly their time home has gone compared to the agonizingly long days we endured during their adoption process. I can honestly say that we have not had any major issues to deal with. Neither have attachment issues, which really is a flippin' miracle, and we have handled with relative ease their behavioral challenges thrown at us.

Both boys have slept well since the first days home. At first we sat with them on our laps until they fell asleep and then moved them into their beds. Then we progressed to putting them into bed and sitting in their room until they were asleep. Now, they are just like any 'ol kid. We tell them it's bedtime and they get ready for bed and yell to us when they are ready to be tucked in. Painless, effortless, easy-peasy! But you knew it was coming....there's always a catch.

For the last week, Richnigthder has been coming into our room and waking us to tell us that he is unable to sleep. We asked if he had a nightmare, a tummy-ache, or felt ill, to which he informed us no, he was just unable to sleep. Great, an insominiac at the age of 7. Just what every house needs. Finally last night as I was tucking him in and whispering Domi bien in his ear, he told me what had been causing his wakefulness. Seems he was not having nightmares, but quite the opposite. He was having very vivid and happy dreams of his first 3 years of life with his birth parents.

We talk about his birth parents everyday as he truly adored them and they loved him beyond measure. Needless to say, this makes me love Camesuze and Jean even more since I know how much they treasured their oldest child, now my son. Ricnightder has always talked about things he remembers during his first 3 years of life with them in the village in Jeremie. He was born in Abricots. Literally it is the end of the road in the province of Jeremie. From googling it I can see how beautiful it is there. But now, his stories and dreams seem real to even me.

He has been remembering and dreaming about being a little boy at home with his first mom and dad. He tells of the small house (shack) that he called home. It had 4 walls of stone and a peice of cloth for a door. They had one small bed against the wall of the one room-abode and all 3 of them slept together. He has informed me it was not a bed like we know, but rather a peice of leaves sewn together and placed on the dirt floor. He talks about how he remembers living so close to the water that crabs would crawl into his house and his mom would pick them up and then they would carry them back to the water. He remembers his dad working in a garden and playing along side him as he worked. He remembers wearing his dad's baseball cap and feeling like his dad's big helper. He remembers Camesuze rocking him to sleep and sleeping curled up next to her. He remembers Jean cutting open a warm coconut and giving it to him to drink and eat (which he still loves...yuck). He remembers playing with his cousin Gualege and Deve just outside his house in Abricots.

This child has been dreaming so vividly that he told me when he woke up he smelled Camesuze and felt her face against his. He could not go back to sleep. What worried me about these beautiful, treasured dreams/memories is the fact that I still do not know if Camesuze, Jean and their baby girl, Sylove are alive. What if they have died in the earthquake and he is sensing their presence? How do i explain this to my baby boy?? I can't go there yet.

When they brought Richnightder to the creche, it was a L.O.N.G. journey by any imagination. He remembers this also and recalls the moment he realized they were going home without him and he was to stay. He told me he was brave and did not cry because Jean was crying and he wanted to be a big 3 years of age! I believe Jean and Camesuze relocated to Port-au-Prince at this point as they were also available to adoption court appearances and to visit Richnightder at the creche. I continue to hope and pray that these remarkable people survived the earthquake and are safely together.

Is it possible Richnightder is sensing their spirits with them, or is just so intune to them thru love and heartstrings that he is forever connected? I believe in both, but so hope that Camesuze and Jean are alive and well and that their love for Richnightder is transcending time and space to reach him. Either way, he is having sweet dreams, so realistic that he is unable to sleep. I am beginning to realize the only way to get him to sleep...beside mommy's little helper of Benadryl...will be to head to Haiti someday in the near future and actively search for these people and let richnightder see that they are fine and all is well in our world.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nada, zilch, zippo

Pebbles, yesterday, still enjoying life even on chemo.
Jerome catching a ride on Lolly, under Madison's eye!

Bunny, checking the status of the world on the deck

I am making crockpot burritos for tonights dinner. It's already in there getting close to bubbling and permeating the house with an aroma that indicates I have been slaving away in the kitchen. Not a whole lot to talk about here. Life is in a bit of a lull from our usual frantic chaos.

Pebbles is starting her next 'rescue therapy' protocol in chemotherapy. Since she was diagnosed with Lymphoma in August of 2009, we didn't think she would even be around to enjoy her Christmas treats. Her type of cancer is small cell, T-cell Lymphoma both of which have the worst prognosis. Typical survival times with chemo is about 3-6 months. Her first remission was easily achieved and she stayed in remission for about 6 months. Since then the cancer has come back and her lymph nodes are swollen, yet she remains asymptomatic. Yesterday she tried Lomustine, a drug that will most likely be her last chance at extending her life.

The odd thing about dogs on chemo is that they have very few, if any, side effects from the chemo drugs. She has not lost her hair, her appetite, or her playful nature. Everyday is a good day for her....and us! She still loves to chase her balls in the yard, eat horse manure in the barn, and chase the puppies. She is enjoying life as if she were not sick. We have been fortunate to have such an extended period of time to 'mourn' her eventual loss. When the day comes when she is ill and no longer able to enjoy her days, we will be by her side, holding her head and whispering in her ear what a good dog she has been and help her slip away to Heaven where I know my Dad will be whistling and calling to her. My dad never got to meet Pebbles, but he loved all of our previous Rottweilers and I know he will be waiting just across the Rainbow Bridge to welcome her home.

When Kitty and Bunny, our 7 month old Rottweiler puppies came home I began feeding them the holistic food i was feeding Pebbles, which is Blue Buffalo. We noticed they seemed to have soft mushy stools and so last week i switched them to an Ultra premium organic dog food. They are now on "Dick Van Patton's Natural Balance" brand and it is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! It is a limited ingredient food with the main protein being Venison. It's loaded with antioxidants and it must be agreeing with them as they only poop 1x a day now and it is non-stinky and firm. I know, I take joy in life where I find it. I can't say enough about the new food and how fantastic it is. It is worth the expensive price tag. It is Super, premo, fantastico!!

Jerome has finally started to ride the horses, well, pony actually. He has taken to riding Lolly our 15 year old miniature Shetland and she is wonderful for him. She is calm, forgiving and if he falls off, he doesn't have too far to fall...approximately 36 inches. Nice weather always gets us all out playing with the horses and i love the fact we can all spend more time on them on the prairie.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

power outages, generators, homeless man and lost teeth

Alright, none of those things are techinically related to the other, just things that have occured in our lives over the last few days. Last Friday we had an unexpected snow storm that left us with about 9 inches of snow, some freezing rain and WIND! All of that caused our power to go out at 8AM and it stayed off until yesterday.

We muddled through Saturday and even got our slightly dirty selves to church for Easter, but quickly realized we needed a generator for a variety of reason. Even our church 10 miles from here lost power and so we had our Lutheran service with our pastor at the local Presbyterian church. It was a nice mixture of congregations with our Lutheran pastor leading and some dazed and confused looking Presbyterians. Secondly, we have an entire dead cow in our freezer and to lose that amount of meat would be VERY expensive. Lastly, I was nearing the end of my patience in dealing with children who had no electronic recreation. God I missed TV! After showing up for church with wet hair and 2 boys who had no clean pants, we saw the necessity of buying a generator.

We now proudly own an 8000 watt generator which illuminated some of our rooms, brought us television, and powered up our satellite internet! Oh, and it also saved our beef in the freezer! About 24 hours after purchasing our beautiful, handsome, loved generator, the lights came on...a full 5 days before the power company's expectation. Yahoooo!

Jerome has now lost 2 teeth and since he doesn't sleep with a pillow, he has been requesting that I put the baggie containing his teeth under my pillow. I kind of like this accomodation as it didn't require me to actually get my butt out of bed in the middle of the night to stuff money under his pillow and take the tooth. He now has quite the smile with 3 missing teeth and he looks darling with his crooked, toothless grin. Cute until he needs braces that is!

Yesterday I headed into town to pick up the laundry I dropped off on Monday at a place in town that washes, dries, folds/hangs your laundry for $1 a pound. Since the power had gone off on Friday and I had several days worth of laundry built up, I needed a place to get all the boys dirty clothes washed. I lugged in every last dirty thing in this house, except the boys, and it totaled 94 pounds. Do you know how long it would have taken me to wash and fold that amount of laundry?? Days I tell you. So for $94, I could hardly complain to have everything washed and neatly folded. My sister asked if I will now be selling my washer and dryer and i believe that is a distinct chance. I plan on bringing things into the laundry place now verrrrrrrry often.

So you may be wondering how the homeless man fits into our goings-on? Driving into town yesterday we happened to notice a homeless man sitting on the shoulder of the highway almost directly in front of the Highway Patrol office. I picked up the laundry, 2 gallons of milk and ran thru the drive-thru at McDonalds. I mentioned to Thomas that the man on the road was homeless, and pretty down on his luck and wondered what we could do to help him. Thomas had
his allowance money with him and I suggested he use part of it to buy the poor guy a Big Mac meal at McDonalds. Thomas did just that with his own money. We drove back to the guy on the side of the highway, pulled over and Thomas hopped out to give the man his meal and drink. The man thanked him profusely and the smile on Thomas' face was beautiful. He felt so proud of himself and he radiated the feeling all day that only comes from having done something kind for someone else. I hope he never forgets how good it feels to do a random act of kindness for a stranger. I love his little tender heart.

So that is our weeks happenings. I also am using the crockpot again tonight to make a casserole of Sherpherd's pie. It smells so yummy. The crockpot is the second best invention in the world, second only to my fabulous generator!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

the crockpot is my new best friend

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would be writing about the wonders on my crockpot. I've had the damn thing for 20 years, have usued it once in a great while, and now today, I think this thing is the best invention since the KitchenAid mixer.

Tonight Madison MUST attend Maundy Thursday mass at church. It's part of her confirmation program and since she must be there, the whole damn family is going. In anticipation of this, I got out the crockpot and threw in some frozen round steak with onion soup mix and cream of celery soup. OMG, the smell of it cooking right now is delicious. All I have to do yet is throw some rice into the rice cooker and steam some green beans and Voila, dinner.

Who would have thought that this obscure kitchen appliance that has merely occupied space above my refrigerator actually serves such a useful purpose? I just might have to use this thing more often! It should have been called the "Just throw it all in and walk away" cooker. Whoever invented this thing is a friggin genius. Or it could be that I am just a slow learner and haven't seen the beauty of this thing before as it laid dormant in the cabinet under a layer of dust?