Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Year Ago Today:

We were on a KLM flight in route to Ethiopia via Amsterdam to pick up Maritu and Mamush.   In honor of our glorious event, I think I'll post re-caps of our time in Ethiopia.

This is my "other half" at George Bush Intercontinental airport waiting to board our flight. There aren't any pics of me for two reasons: 1. I'm always the one taking the photos and 2. I was so nervous!
I don't like flying, much less flying for 16 hours. I had never flown over a few hours before, and I wasn't sure if I'd have a panic attack or what. Needless to say, airport security wasn't called on me for any panics, drug overdoses, or drunkenness. Of course I didn't sleep the entire flight! I do have to say that flight was the smoothest I had ever been on! What I would suggest to anyone that may be a novice like I was, is to drink lots of water, and avoid caffeine because I battled nose bleeds from the dry air. Don't worry about packing any drinks if you fly KLM. They feed and water you so much that I was sure I had sprouted a few inches. (Okay, maybe I did sprout laterally!)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I just noticed a few hours ago that my Blog's template went nuts. I'm not sure what I did to it, but I guess I did it when I signed up for posting via my cell phone...oops! Not only did I have to remember how to revise my template, but now I'll have to rewrite some of my lost posts, so bear with me and check back over the next week for posts that happened between our court date and Christmas. Until then, I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday spent with family and/or loved ones...

As you can see, we had a great morning with the family on Christmas Day. We were only missing my sister and her family who have such a hard life living in Hawaii...NOT! But after looking at this picture again, I can see now why my sis doesn't claim me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

29 and Holding...

Holding on to every body part that sags! I need a few more hands because I can't keep up anymore. Not really. This is just Holly's silly attempt at humor on her birthday.

Here is our "girls only" picture that day. Everyone is smiling because we were all joking about hiding my real age, but I found out later that the joke's on me. They were laughing because my oldest was busted for posting my age on MySpace.

This picture is Sher with her friends Mark and Rodney.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two things that don't go together:

Snow and Soccer!

Last year, I blogged about my kids playing in the snow with all of our neighbors at 5 o'clock in the morning. So, I thought I'd never post about that again, but boy was I wrong! It snowed Friday! In southeast Texas! No, our kids didn't get to enjoy it this year because Curran had her district soccer tournament in Houston, so I had to drive in that mess. Uggghhh! Me driving in the snow, is like people in San Diego driving in the rain...we aren't used to that kind of stuff! We did make it safely, and I left the kids home with Daddy so they could stay warm. I'm not sure who got the better end of that deal? Me with Curran's first came at 7:30am when it's 29 degrees outside, or Daddy with all the kids and no electricity! Anyway, we dropped our first two games 1-0, so it didn't matter that we won our next two. The fun part was knocking Jasper out of the State playoffs in our last game. They deserved it after one of their girls was talking smack on the field about hurting our goalie, and then did (fractured hip)! I guess what comes around.....goes around. And people think soccer isn't a "real" sport! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oh Happy Day!!!

Today was the day that Maritu and Mamush became US citizens! We went to court this morning and the process was simple. We even had their names and birth dates changed. The hard part will be getting the Certificate of Citizenship for them with the changed dates of birth. If anyone is interested, I'll post as we cross that hurdle. It was really neat for us because we had the same judge that we had for our older girls when they were adopted. He even remembered us! We brought him a picture taken on that date to post on his bulliten board because it's not many times that judges get to see good cases. Also, he got to see that the decision that he made 10 years ago was a great one!

Monday, November 16, 2009

District Playoffs Or Bust

Customized Soccer Jersey -

It's official! Curran's team will be vying for a seat in the state soccer tournament. They can win this seat by placing first or second in the district tournament. Gooooooooooo Panthers!

Friday, November 13, 2009

No Answers Yet

We finally pushed and pushed until we got our consult from the endocrinology department at Texas Children's Hospital yesterday. It wouldn't have taken near as long if my adoption agency could or would have given us any information on Mamush. You see, if you didn't know, Mamush was in my agency's care for 14 months, yet, we have zero information on him. There is not one weight or length measurement! I made a post over a month ago pleading for anything to help our doctors figure out why my 2 1/2 year old still looks like he's not even a year old. I immediately received an email from Grace that sounded concerned. She said she would try to get me what they had, but I have heard nothing since. (I didn't expect any info.) So, we will be playing a real-life game of Clue...with very few clues.

Here's what happened at our appointment...Nothing! No, really we knew that this would be unproductive because of the lack of information. Now, we have to rule out causes for his lack of growth hormone, and the next step is waiting for a GI consult. GI will have to determine if Mamush is not absorbing his food, thus causing his body to be in starvation mode, hindering his growth hormone levels. I do not have Job's patience...

Saturday, October 31, 2009


What fun! Halloween on a Saturday! And this was Sheridan's first year to trick-or-treat, along with M&M. You know, as I'm sitting here writing this post, I just realized that I should have dressed M&M as "M&M's", since that is how I refer to them. Darn! Maybe next year... Anyway, this day started out as a typical "soccer Saturday." Skylar won his game, but Curran's team lost their game. This puts them in second place, and we don't know yet how many teams will advance to district playoffs. :( So, we wait and see, but this is a plug to not get yourself in that position. Every game and every point count. Bummer! Next, I frantically came up an idea for a costume for Maritu and threw it together. I am NOT a Suzy Homemaker, but I have to say that I didn't do half bad. Maritu was a precious Minnie Mouse; Mamush, an adorable Pirate; Sheridan, a batty Bat Girl; and Skylar, Anakin Skywalker (Anakin was good for a short time. He just let greed and power cloud his thinking, but you see, I believe he turned his life around in the end.). Curran helped Daddy and I with the babies but then had to leave her uncool family and attend a party. Poor Cullen was stuck at a band competition until about 10pm. I guess she could have gone trick-or-treating because some pre-teen boys thought it okay to ring our bell shortly before 10pm!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More pics...

In my haste, I forgot to add these pics from the parade. The one where Maritu has her hands on her face is because of the sirens from a firetruck...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Homecoming Events

Last week was another busy week for our entire family. On Thursday, Cullen had Lights Out practice. Let me just tell you how amazing Vidor's homecoming halftime show is! I'm not sure of the year that the tradition began, but I know that Vidor had a lights out halftime since the 1960's, and here is how it goes: First, the homecoming court is announced and the queen is chosen, then on to the exciting events... All the lights in the entire stadium are turned off and the band, drill team and twirlers perform their routines. SO, you wonder how they do this in the dark? Well, the band has flashlights strapped to their legs and glow sticks on their hats. The brigs do something similar, and the twirlers twirl with fire! But the excitement doesn't stop there because fireworks that rival those at July 4th explode in the sky during the performances. You just have to see it to appreciate it! It is a standing room only event. Oh and no the babies did not like the show. Maritu hid her face in Curran's chest under a blanket and screamed the entire time. Mamush was feeling the effects of catching the "bug," so he was disinterested. We were praying he wouldn't vomit at the game...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Goes Down Must Come Back Up

That was true for food that Skylar and Maritu ate today! UUUUGGGHHH! Both kids are sick, and I just hate when kids vomit. I hate to vomit myself. I get so emotional. I don't know how people become bulimic. Yuk! And this was Maritu's first time to vomit. She was so pitiful and scared. She just cried and cried.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Soccer Saturday

I think this will become a regular Saturday title...

The only bad thing about soccer Saturdays is when your kids have games at the same times in different cities! That's what happened today, so Ken and I had to split up. He got to take Sky and Sheridan to their games, while the babies and I watched Curran's game. First though, I had to pick Curran up from region choir try-outs. (Curran says she cracked. Well, if her choir teacher would change her from a soprano to an alto, she'd do better because she's NOT a soprano!) Then it was straight to the game. I expected her team to not perform well because it was homecoming for Lumberton last night, (I hate to say that Vidor rained on their parade...) and I was right, at least for the first half of the game. I'm not sure if that's why the kids couldn't get anything done, or the fact that the coach changed up positions. Curran played mid-field in the first half. Thank goodness, however, the girls woke up in the second half. Curran ended up with another Hat Trick and was the only one that scored!
Sky and Sher's game didn't have the same outcome. :( Sky's team lost 0-6, and Sher's team played a U-5 boys team, and there's a world of difference in that one year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things People Say

After the last post about people asking if my children were my grandchildren, you'd think I had my share of crazy questions, but you'd have "thunk" wrong... :) So, here's my list to date with what I thought in parenthesis:

1. Are those your grandchildren? (Do I really look old enough? ...yes, I am technically)

2. Are you a foster mom? (They can't be mine?)

3. Are those your children? (I don't kiss my neighbor's kids like that.)

4. Who are you baby sitting for?

#4 was actually the latest, and it came from a black man, where as the others were from white people. He was a cop at a volleyball tournament for my daughter. I didn't hear what he asked at first, but after he repeated it, I chuckled. He was shocked when I said that M&M were mine. He even asked me what my neighbors thought. Truthfully, I don't know, but they all know that I was adopting from Ethiopia for a year before the kids actually came home. I guess they know me well enough that they know better than to say something to ignite my spark (or spunk). (I'm like a lioness protecting her cubs, as I imagine most mothers are.) No, really, I live in a neighborhood filled with children of all ages. "Family" is very important to those that live around us. And, I think the man had a new found respect for me after I graciously answered his questions. I don't really get upset when people stare or ask questions. Actually, I'd rather they ask. Hopefully, I can touch someone's heart with my answers...Maybe I can change their preconceived notions...Hopefully I can teach M&M how to respond when they grow up and face these same questions...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Time For Botox!

You know it's time for Botox when...

You are asked twice in two weeks if your children are your grandchildren! Oh my!

When I finally got over myself, I realized that people probably ask that, not because I look old, but because my children are a different race. Still a convincing arguement for spending money on needless things... lol!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Soccer Saturday

Another busy weekend filled with soccer games, volleyball tournaments, and Olympic Development Training.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wins, Wins, And More Wins!

Well that title is just a tad deceptive because Skylar lost his soccer game 2-0. He did get two shots on goal but just couldn't capitalize on the opportunity. Also, Sheridan's age group doesn't keep score, but she played the entire game for two kids that cried. Now Curran was the day's big winner. They beat Jasper in soccer again! The score was 2-1. That was Jasper 3rd loss ever! I have to say that their team showed better sportsmenship with this loss.

As soon as her soccer game was finished, we had to rush to Austin Middle School in order to make it for her team's 2nd game in the volleyball tournament. Vidor lost their first game, but came back and won the next two to get the consolation trophy. Whoohoo! I guess I might date myself because I am surprised at how much the game has changed. When did the scoring system change where you could score when you weren't serving?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Sport

Yes, my 12 year-old is finding time for another sport...volleyball! She begged me to try out, and since the majority of her soccer team plays volleyball, I knew we wouldn't have a hard time with scheduling. What I didn't know was if she'd actually make it. Sports are so competitive these days, but she made the "A" team. What I like that our school does is that no team is set. You can move up to "A" team, down to "B" team, to the alternate team, or no team. That means that the girls have to work to keep their positions, and those that work really hard have the chance to move up, just like in our capitalist society. (I do hope we keep this as opposed to the move to a socialist society. It encourages hard work!) And for the record, we lost our opening game to PNG...Bummer!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Soccer Update #1

You know, if I wouln't let myself get so far behind, I wouldn't have so much to say!

Soccer kicked off the last weekend of August with the Beaumont Youth Soccer Association's Kick-off Classic tournament. Curran has a new soccer team this year. We decided to go with Hardin County's team because I felt the coach had the qualities Curran needed. Tommy, her coach, has just the right mix of being able to push her but also praising her efforts, and it showed this weekend. Her team won their U-13 division by defeating every opponent. She had to play against her old team, but they all hugged her and said they missed her. Awww! She also pulled a soccer "hat trick" in the second game by scoring 3 goals! We even beat Jasper which is ranked 2nd in the state in Division II. Their only loss ever was by us! Now if we can just beat them Saturday during our regular season play...

New News!

Yes, I know I haven't posted lately. I get so busy with my children's activities and medical visits that I procrastinate to the extent I feel I can never catch up! However, I received some news today that prompted me to post. First, I have to say that Mamush's CT of the head and renal and heart ultrasound were normal. That's great because I am always prepared for surprises. We did have some drama around the CT of his head though. His pediatrician ordered it without contrast, but when I went to the office for the procedure, they informed me that it would be with contrast. Instead of calling my husband and fussing for not preparing me for Mamush's stick, I just assumed all was okay. The nurse (I guess) tried 3 times unsuccessfully to get iv access for the contrast, but I guess the good Lord was watching over my little man. You see, he has abnormally small airways, and the contrast could have, unbeknownst to me, caused life-threatening airway constriction due to the dye. When we were finished, and I called my hubby to fuss, he became alarmed and "---- hit the fan". That's when I learned of what could have happened... Yikes! So anyway, all is okay and the tests were normal. This just means that we haven't found another birth defect which is a good thing! What we did find out was that Mamush has growth hormone deficiency! Well no wonder why he looks like he's not even a year old! Yea! This is something we can treat, although daily GH injections aren't fun for anybody! How much will that cost? That is the $50,000 question right now, but we will find a way. That's all I know at this point. We are STILL waiting on getting a pediatric endocrinology consult, and I guess we will need to go back to the genecist now too. (We were waiting until Texas Children's got their new equipment.) Thanks to all who said they would be praying for our family. I finally have some more answers and am thankful for that...

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Tests

Today was supposed to be another routine catch-up shot day at our pediatrician's office. We go every 4-6 weeks for a couple of shots because I can't bear to inject a child 4 or more times, and also because I don't feel that there is certainty with respect to the causes of autism. I'm trying to be safe, not sorry. Well, the week before school starts is NOT the time to decide to get shots! Thankfully, our pediatrician always gets us in a room quickly, but today we spent 2 hours in the examining room! Uggh! Two hours in a small, bare room is not fun with two two-year-olds that didn't get a nap or lunch!

So anyway, our pediatrician decided that Mamush is not growing properly. Duh! He's no where near the growth chart. Can you imagine the stares I get when people ask M&M's ages and learn that Mush is two, but looks like he might be 8-12 months? And I can't offer any explanation because I don't know why. Well, Mamush is now getting a consult with a pediatric endocrinologist at Texas Children's. I don't look forward to the drive or the madness of the Houston medical center, but I'll just have to make a pitstop at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant. Mamush also is getting a CT of his brain, and an ultrasound of his heart and kidneys. If you are reading this post, then please say a small prayer for us. I'm really not even sure what to ask for?

Friday, August 14, 2009

How You Change

Funny how after learning about something and then actually witnessing it that your attitude can change from indifference to passionate. I know how I've become aware of situations, but I got to witness how this adoption experience has changed my husband. You see, Wednesday night he picked up two of our children from a church function where these teens and pre-teens were having a food fight for "Crud Night." This really struck a chord in my husband's heart, so much so that he texted our pastor to express his concern about the message of wasting food when so many people in the world are starving. My husband had "diarrhea of the mouth," as I do most of the time, so I can bet that his wording wasn't as eloquent as I know he can be, but he was passionate. Anyway, he received a reply that seemed nonchalant, which added fuel to the fire. Now, our pastor is a very caring man that would give someone the shirt off his back in the blink of an eye, but that is not the point of this story. The point is that I can see how this experience has changed us. I even cringe now when I see a news report about how someone broke the world record for baking the largest cake or what not. What happens to this cake? Does it get thrown away? Even food-eating contests bother me... I have seen first-hand what malnourished children look like. Maritu's first pictures showed a child that was emaciated. I would bet she was days away from dying had she not been abandoned and taken in, but she's a fighter. Those pictures serve as a reminder of the plight of many children and the hope that we can shed awareness to this problem. In light of what we have experienced, I hope our family can become better advocates to help people become conscious of these kinds of things...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

6 Months Home

Maritu and Mamush have been home for 6 months! I have another post-adoption visit scheduled. It still feels like yesterday that we were blessed with a great trip (if you disregard our agency's mahem) to Ethiopia and two amazing children. They have grown so much! Well, Mamush hasn't physically but that's not what I mean. We are working hard on their language skills. I'm so glad I have used "Baby Sign Language" with my other children, so I had already planned to use it with M&M. They pick up signs so fast! I wish I knew more. Yes, they talk more, but still not as much as they should, but that is where ECI comes in. We now have a speech therapist once a week, for now, to help out. She has suggested that the kids should attend a Mother's Day Out program to interact more with kids there own age. I wonder if this is too soon. I guess I have to read up more on bonding to ensure that their needs are met first before I worry about speech.

Anyway, just a little medical update: Maritu and Mamush are allergic to milk! No, not just like you get as you get older, but the kind of allergy that manifests itself in other ways. When we took the kids off milk, Maritu's junk in her lungs cleared, and Mamus's eczema and diarrhea too. Mamush cannot even eat anything prepared with milk, or we face Montezuma's Revenge! So, I have learned to read labels well. Now, our problem is Sheridan. Sheridan loves to feed the babies, so we always know when she's gone behind our back and given them a bite of her food or left her sippie cup lying around. Well, I guess that really is not our only problem because I forgot to mention how mobile the kids are. God must have been preparing me for the babies with Sheridan because they are much like her! They will find the least little toy to push or stack in such a way that they can reach in places that they don't belong. Any food left on cabinets is free game! One would think I starve my kids, but if you doubt me, then you are welcome to spend 5 minutes carrying Maritu! She's solid!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


What could one hate more than snakes? A snake in my house! Yes, this is the 3rd snake that my husband and my Pops had to rescue me from. It was coiled up on a bath mat near our shower, and I probably came within inches of stepping on it when I turned the shower on. I saw it when I went back to the shower to see what I had heard fall to the ground. I guess it's time to get a cat or something...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can't Keep my mouth shut!

I'm not sure if that is good or bad, but it is me. So, I must have split personality disorder because I have decided to make my blog public again. So what gives? I dunno. I guess I feel the need to share with others my experiences, good and bad. Many others keep their experiences within their families, but I feel that others need to hear the good, bad and ugly in order to make informed decisions, or maybe just to know that there are others out there with similar stories. So, once again you will be able to read my non-politically correct musings.

(And Dad, if you decide to see what's going on in my world, know that I'm praying that God will touch your heart.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's Only Been Two Months...

I know. I know. I've received a zillion emails about why I've stopped posting. I guess the number one reason is that I didn't want my absent-tee father reading my blog anymore and I've fixed that by making my blog private. If he wanted to know what was going on in my life, then he needed to make that phone call! He has 4 grand kids that he has never seen, and one of those is the spitten image of his childhood photos. Let's pray he doesn't grow up to act like him!

So how have things been? Hectic! Well, what do you expect with 6 friggin children at home? lol! There's definitely never a dull moment. Well, Mamush had surgery. He went in for ear tubes and a circumcision. It seems a circumcision is very controversial nowadays, and let me just say that Mamush had phymosis, so the procedure had to be done, BUT we had planned on doing it anyway! Both procedures are simple routine procedures that take about a couple of minutes each, but for Mamush, it wasn't all that simple. He had to be intubated and had an IV placed in his arm after being put to sleep. Why? Because is circumcision was a complicated case and his tubes too! He didn't get tubes. His ears were too small. They just cut his ear drum and drained the fluid. We also found out that his airway is like a preemie too. The anesthesiologist told us that he will probably have issues all his life. I am heart-broken! It hurts to know that you cannot fix some things... Other than these medical issues that we are dealing with, Mamush is a great kid. He is curious, happy, loving, stubborn, and determined. I have to say that he has even grown 3 inches! He still is no where on any growth chart, but at least he's growing!

Maritu has her issues too. She still has junk in her lungs. Breathing treatments and antibiotics have not helped. Next comes allergy-testing... She also is still having food issues. She stuffs her mouth like she hasn't eaten in weeks. She also doesn't chew her food. You would be amazed at what she can swallow whole! I think I'm going to bring this up at our next pediatrician visit. Other than that, she is a big and precious girl! She has a smile that lights up the world!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Butt Dust

What, you ask, is 'Butt dust?' Read on and you'll discover the joy in it!

"The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget.... this particular Sunday sermon...'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. 'Without you, we are but dust...' He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, 'Mom, what is butt dust?'"

Hope it made you smile!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Before I Was a Mom...

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts..
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put him/her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
Every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Catching Wild Pigs

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in The last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While we continually lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When Our Babies Hurt

It's tough parenting when everything is okay, but even harder when our babies are sick and we have to make unpopular choices in their best interests. Today Kenneth and I had to do just that because Sheridan has been really sick, and we suspected pneumonia. Sure enough, when Sheridan was examined, her pediatrician confirmed that diagnosis. I was just hoping to skirt by with the lab stick, but after the doctor saw her results, it was two more shots for her-Rocephin and Decadron. If any of you have ever had a Rocephin shot, then you'll understand the pain involved. She cried. I cried. Then she threw up. Ewwww!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Today we began the Texas Early Childhood Intervention program (ECI). This is all new to me, so if anyone has questions, then email me because I am learning as I go. If you are in Texas, then you can get more information at or call 1-800-628-5115.

ECI is a state-run program that promotes development in a child under the age of three.

1. First, you get a referral, usually from a heath-care provider, but if you suspect your child is developmentally delayed or has a medical or physical condition, you can contact the agency.

2. You have an Intake Evaluation in your home. (This is what I had today for M&M.)

3. Service Plan Meeting (IFSP) and family cost share agreement. If your child qualifies, then there is an income-based cost chare. If you agree to let ECI bill your health insurance, you will incur no fee for 6 months, even if your insurance denies payment. After the 6 months, then if your insurance even pays a dollar, they still will not charge you.

4. Delivery of Services which can include but not limited to assistative technology, audiology, family counseling, Health services, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and transportation.

5. 6-Month review of the service plan

6. Annual assessment of the IFSP and cost share

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Houston Amharic Class

Ethiopians are truly amazing! Debbie, our Houston-area planner, put together monthly gatherings for families with Ethiopian children. I missed the first event last month because I was in Addis Ababa picking up my children, so there was no way the fever I had the night before was going to keep me from February's gathering! I left the children home with Daddy because he had baseball tryouts (hehehe), and I cruised on over to the DSM Ethiopian Orthodox Church for an Amharic language class given by Dr. Mammo Woldie. He is a professor at Texas Southern University that teaches statistics. What an awesome and patient man! Well, it seems his wife and several others had prepared a fabulous lunch for us too. We dined on yesiga wat, gomen, yemisir alich'a, iab, and injera, of course. The Ethiopian saying is that a woman worth her salt values her cooking, and Dr. Woldie's wife is truly his crown! I even had a doggy bag prepared for me, and boy did Maritu and Mamush devour the contents.

So what did I learn in the class? Well, I learned that Amharic is crazy hard! Okay, well I already knew that! Still... I did learn that even though Ethiopians may have lived in the US for many years, they hold on to their traditions and value their culture. We felt welcomed, and there was concern that our families are given the means to help instill the Ethiopian culture into our children's lives. Once again I have evidence that I chose the right country!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Weeds Are Growing!

Two weeks ago I measured the kids because I have heard stories about children coming home and growing like weeds, and it is truly amazing how much these two have grown. They have sprouted an inch and a half each in the last two weeks! See what a little love and some nutritious food will do?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Beginning

Yesterday was our first pediatric specialist appointment in Houston at Texas Children's Hospital. In case you aren't aware, the hospital is phenomenal! We had our ophthalmology consult at 10 AM, but I just have to laugh at this because I just can't believe it keeps happening to me. No, obviously, our appointment did not go smoothly. Somehow we were signed in by the receptionist under a patient's name that had cancelled their appointment. Don't ask me how this happened! We filled out paper work, gave an insurance card, and even paid our co-pay with a credit card. After waiting two hours and noticing that people that had just signed in were getting called, I made my husband find out what the problem was, and that was when we had found out the error. Somebody is truly trying my patience, and I'm failing the test miserably... Anyway, we didn't learn anything really that the opthamologist here didn't already tell us except for the fact that we need to patch Mamush's bad eye for 2 hours a day in order to get the best eye sight that is obtainable to him which probably won't be much. So, his next visit is with the genetics department in March. On a good note, Mamush amazed me again. In the waiting room, there was a fish tank, and Mamush signed "fish". I only signed this to him last week when he was in my OB-Gyn's office with me. Can you believe he picked it up? Truly amazing!

Of course we ate at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant while in Houston. It is the first time we have taken the children to a restaurant, so I guess that Ethiopian food was appropriate. You ought to have seen Maritu doing the shoulder dance in the restaurant, not to mention that both kids went to town on the food! We had several people ask us about the kids. One older lady even came from in the kitchen and spoke Amharic to the kids. I wonder if they understood...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And The List Goes On...

My babies amaze me constantly. Here is a list of English words they say:

1. Momma

2. Daddy

3. Bye

4. All done

6. Nose

7. No

8. Mamush says "sister" and "Skylar"

They also can sign the following:

1. shoe

2. sock

3. eat

4. bath

5. milk

So, as you can see, we've had no problems with communication. They seem to understand what we say and follow commands. They are just little sponges!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Free and Clear!

Gosh, I wish we were "free and clear" with debt, but I'll take the kids being free from and clear of that nasty parasite known as Giardia! Yes! I forgot to mention that if any of you have children that ultimately test positive for Giardia, then find a compounding specialist. No, don't go to Walgreen's or CVS. All they do is crush Flagyl tablets and mix the powder with syrpalta. That will NOT mask the hideous taste. Trust me on this if you don't believe another word I say! So why a compounding pharmacist? Because they usually belong to a group called PCCA (Pharmaceutical Compounding Centers of America) that formulates recipes for situations like this. There is a certain form of metronidazole (not tablets!) that they use with less taste problems. I had absolutely no trouble getting the children to take their medication for 14 days. The downside can be that some of these places don't accept insurance, but that was an acceptable trade-off!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Look! I can do it!

I just wanted to share with everyone, especially my beloved family in beautiful Hawaii, how far my Mamushay has come. Here is the proof!

Friday, February 6, 2009

On A Sad Note...

(Sorry all. I assumed, and we all know what happens when you "ASS-u-me", that my readers would see that the above text is a clickable link... So, just click on the words and you will be brought to a news article from Ethiopia.)

Update: It gets even worse because the darn link disappeared.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Locked up

We had to put these gates in our house last year because Sheridan was a "busy" child. Here's what Maritu and Mamush think of being confined to only 2000 square feet of our house (Life is so hard!):

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Look Mom! No Hands...

Mamush showed me today what a lot of hard work and a new environment can do for you. We were in the kitchen tonight when Mamush just went from a bear position to standing on his own. Then he took 8 steps to me! Oh my goodness! I was squealing. He was squealing. What a wonderful surprise! I guess the playing (Don't tell him that it's really "exercise.")that we do is strengthening his muscles. I'm just assuming that he hasn't been walking before now due to his lack of musculature. I don't think the fact that he is blind in one eye would affect his balance? I have a cousin who is blind, and he was walking at a normal age. Heck, we used to play hide-and-go-seek. Trust me. It wasn't cruel to play that with a blind child. I was always amazed that he could find me!

Maritu is also walking better. She started as soon as we got home, and I made the comment about her looking like a drunk Michelin baby, but my husband said she walks more like Frankenstein. He's right! Don't tell him please. I don't say that much.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Need Help!

Okay, if you have never commented before on my blog, please speak up now! I don't know what to do with a picky eater. Mr. Picky is also known as Mamush. He now refuses most foods which he didn't do when we first brought him home. The only things he will eat are oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, and cottage cheese. Period! He will go without if I don't feed him one of those things, so what do I do? Do I not give him one of those foods? He is iron and protein deficient. He gets a daily vitamin plus his iron supplementation. If he was malnourished, he has been well-fed for the last year. I did witness him doing the same thing at the transitional home, but I don't know how they handled it. I don't have a problem with him just eating 3 foods. It makes it easy for me, but what is best for his health? He is a stubborn little boy. I'm so torn.

I almost forgot to mention that Maritu has no problems eating what Mamush won't. We have yet to see her turn down any food at any time! In fact, she starts screaming when she sees that she is half-way done. It's just like clock work. Maybe that's because she was grossly malnourished when she was taken into custody? Does that stay in a baby's mind for over a year? Or does she just like to eat? I do! ...especially chocolate!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Two-Letter Word

I'm sorry if anyone wanted to see the video from last night's encore performance. I will get it up if I can find a spare minute. It's just that I can't seem to learn to say that two-letter word "no." Each year I get asked to take photos of the dancers during their performances, and I make a DVD of the pics (Yes DVD! I take that many...) and Beaumont Civic Ballet sells them for a fundraiser. I have yet to finish my photos from December... I told them I wasn't sure I could do it in a timely manner due to the children coming home, but they still wanted me to do it. Then, I also took on the task of taking pictures of the high school girl's soccer team. I had to do that one! If I didn't, then those girls would never have their pictures in the paper. Girls sports always gets the shaft! Maybe soon I will learn to use that two-letter word.


Today was a long day for all of us. I actually had the better end of the deal. I took Curran to watch the Vidor varisty girl's soccer team play in the Central tournament while Daddy got some bonding time with the little ones (hehehehe). Well, they're still alive, or should I say "He's still alive," so I guess everything went okay. Here's a pic I took of a controversial "high kick" call.

If that's not a "high kick" coach, then show me what is...

After the tournament, it was off again to watch Curran in her encore presentation of "Hard Knock Life". I have to say that it was just as good as last year!

Watch for yourself...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Never Fear, Sheridan is Here!

If Mom can't fix my hair, I'll ask my older sister!
I'm sorry I didn't have time earlier to post much other than Mamush's "Michael Jackson" moment. I brought the 3 younger kids to the pediatrician for shots, and I ended up having chest x-rays done on Maritu and Mamush at the hospital. I even had Kenneth come with us, so maybe he would pull some strings to lessen the wait time. By the way, he's just worthless!!! lol! We had to have this done though, or the government might come and take our kids and put them in foster care because they feared they had TB. If they really did have TB, then I'd hate for the Health Department to know that the 400+ people in church the last two weeks, all the people on the KLM flight from Amsterdam and Ethiopia, and all those poor immigrants that were in that long line at immigration in Houston will have to be quarantined too! No, I'm just joking, but the Health Department said that they wanted a chest x-ray. I was thankful they didn't make us go to the Houston health Department for another TB skin test. That was a posssibility too. I mean, how many tests does one have to go through before the result will stand? Well, hopefully the phantom TB issue will be resolved now. Then we just have to get through all of these consults that Mamush's many doctors have requested: genetics, opthamology and neurology.

I Want To Be Like My Family

I couldn't help snapping this picture and making a joke about it. You see, I heard my teenager yelling , "Mom, they made a mess!" So, I went to see what all the fuss was for, and I was tickled when I saw that Mamush had gotten into the chalk for our pool table. Maybe he just wanted to look like his family?!!? lol!!!