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...