Friday, February 29, 2008

Random Thursday thoughts posted on Friday because that's apparently how I roll...

RT 1- I am not a pretty woman. I am still all swelled up on the left side of my face-- which has resulted in a black eye.

RT 2- I did not get the temporary crown this time, so it's back to the Flipper (fake tooth.)

RT 3- My mouth is still really swollen and sore so I can't wear said Flipper, so I am workin' it all backwoods style with a big gaping hole in my teeth. (See RT 1... "I am not a pretty woman.")

RT4- The nausea is gone so it's back to counting on the ice cream "sticking" with me on the scale. (Crud.)

RT5- My mother-in-law is my hero. She came over yesterday to watch the kids, do my laundry, and make HOMEMADE chicken noodle soup. Yes, folks, even the NOODLES were homemade. It was a fun afternoon project for her and the kids-- using her pasta machine to make noodles for the soup. I swear she is Superwoman. She saved the day yesterday.

RT6- My father-in-law is my other hero. He came over the day before and wrangled all the kids while Nick took me to the surgery. My kids actually prefer their grandparents to their parents so it worked out well.

RT7- Nick is my other, other hero. Man, he takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. I so married up. He has had to put up with so much drama from me lately it's not even funny. And really, his family is so great that even if he wasn't that great of a husband, it would STILL be worth it to have access to his parents. :)

RT8- I am like an elderly person with how many medications I am currently on-- this morning it was 2 Antibiotics, 2 Effexors (the anti-depressant I take), 3 ibuprofen (for swelling) and 1 Vicodin (for pain.) I actually had to get another glass of water because I couldn't swallow them all with one.

RT9- Since I am still not feeling well we decided we wouldn't do our usual Friday night pool date, which we knew was going to upset Nia so we told her she could pick one of her Barbie princess movies and we would watch it together as a family. I regretted that statement as soon as it was out of my mouth. I am going to probably need 2 Vicodin to get through that... And I will probably slip Nick one too if I am feeling generous.

RT 10- Mt. Dirty Laundry is almost scaled. One more load to go in. ThenI am left to scale Mt. Clean and Folded Laundry, which I hate almost as much.

RT 11- I have about a billion unread emails in my inbox as I haven't really been checking emails much in the past two days... I'll try to get back to you all this weekend...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Two enthusiastic

THUMBS DOWN! That's my review of Valium.

So yesterday (Wednesday) was my dental implant surgery day. Okay guys-- totally bit the big one. The way the dentist talked about it I was thinking it was going to be a walk in the park... plus I was putting my eggs in the "Valium basket" to calm any nervousness I had about the dentist.

Here's the deal-- totally didn't work. Well, the more I think about it, I do think it's possible it took a little bit of the edge off, but NOTHING like I was expecting. I was expecting to feel awesome and relaxed and drowsy... nadda, nope. I think I get extra nervous because for whatever reason, my body "uses up" Novocaine really fast. So I am always nervous that I am going to start feeling what they are doing. Which happened yesterday. Twice. So I had to get THREE doses of Novocaine throughout the process. And by the very end, I was starting to feel them doing the last few stitches, but it wasn't too bad and I knew I was near the end.

Here's another gripe. The way it was described to me I would have a SMALL incision to help get the old root out before they did the actual implant. Yeah, well, I was thinking a millimeter or two-- one or two stitches. Yeah, no. There's THREE incisions. Two in the front of the gum, one in the back, and they are at least 1/2 inch each. That's like and inch and a half worth of incisions and LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of stitches.

And the icing on the cake-- it would seem I have a bit of a stomach bug on top of all of this. I had a bit of a stomach ache yesterday, but I was just assuming I was feeling nervous. Well, as soon as I got home from the surgery, I started puking. (And that was BEFORE any pain meds or antibiotics that I am taking to prevent infection in all of this.) At first I thought it might be from the Valium, but apparently not, since it seems to be sticking with me. So I am trying to time my medication the best I can right AFTER I puke, so that I have a good 45 mins or so of not vomiting so it can have a little time to get absorbed. (And you can imagine how great this all feels on my gigantic totally sore and bloody incisions.)

I know I am totally whining. This just isn't at all what I thought it would be. Unfortunately, I am too old and too far away to have my mom come and nurse me back to health like she did when I was small. Nick is a great nurse, (very patient with all my whining and accommodating to all my needs) but he has those pesky three little children of ours to tend to.

The upshot is that I can eat as much ice cream as I want as per doctor's orders. And since I am throwing up pretty regularly I won't even see that on the scale. (I know... I am a sick individual.) And the truth is, I have switched to applesauce since I think it's easier on the old stomach.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today I am scaling Mt. Laundry...

It's bad folks. That's the one chore that you're totally screwed on if you get behind.

PS- It's actually worse that it looks.
PPS- There's a special game in these pics... try to find Strom (our dog) in one of these pics.
Edited to add this pic: Now that the laundry isall sorted, I am thinking at least 12 loads here - plus the one in the washer and the dryer-- so 14? Wow, we're North American for sure!

It's 3AM

Actually, 3:17AM.

And for once, I have been sleeping pretty well.

Josiah, not so much. He's in a new routine of waking at least twice a night. This time he doesn't seem to want to go back to bed-- just happy as a lark playing and babbling. And the icing on the cake is that he only napped for about an hour yesterday ONCE. Don't babies need like 18 hours of sleep a day or something???

Heck, I would settle for 10. Or 8. Or right now, another3??? Come one J-man...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Does anyone else think this is funny?

So I go to Walgreens to pick up the Mangine family's eight (or maybe ninth?) prescription of the month. Yes, literally. We've had a sick month. But I digress...

So the pharmacy bag that Nia's prescription is in has these following words on it:

We can print your prescription label instructions in many languages, including:
Arabic
Chinese
English
French
German
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Portuguese
Polish
Russian
Spanish
Tagalog
Vietnamese
Ask at the pharmacy counter today.

Okay. If you don't read English (therefore necessitating a foreign-language label) how are you going to read the bag that tells you about this program?

I must be missing something.

And at the risk of sounding VERY ignorant, what the heck is Tagalog? I have never even heard of that language. You bet your biscuits I will be googling that one...

Edited to Add: Tagalog is the language spoken in the Philippines. Who knew? (well, probably Filipino people know... and probably lots of other people did to... public school didn't really serve me too well apparently.)

REALLY disturbing dream

Last night I had a really, really disturbing dream. It was too horrific to describe, but it was one of those dreams that leave you feeling kind of "spooked" throughout the next day. Ever had that feeling?

The point of me sharing this is that I was struck this morning by a component of the dream which now is getting me thinking. The "bad guy" in the dream was the crazy bad guy character in Silence of the Lambs. (Not Hannibal Lector, James Gum, the guy who was killing women to make a suit out of skin-- blech.)

I can't stop thinking about that this morning because seriously I have not seen that movie in YEARS. Yet, it is still (obviously) deeply ingrained in my memory. I have probably seen that movie twice in my life-- it's not something that I watched over and over and over. (like I did with My Cousin Vinny-- I could recite that WHOLE movie.)

So what's the point? Well, I am not sure yet. But it has gotten me thinking about the things I put into my mind especially when it comes to "entertainment." Now this is probably going to sound REALLY harsh and legalistic, but humor me for a second. If I watch most of what is on TV or in the movies I am LITERALLY entertaining myself with images and tales of sin... the very kinds of sin that Jesus went to the cross for.

Now, I have logically argued that as an adult and someone who has "wisdom" and "good judgment" that I can watch these things and they will not tempt me to sin in these ways. That's true in a way... I have never desired to kill a bunch of girls and make clothes out of their skin. However, last night I was dreaming about this very character. He was a character who was doing horrific things to me and people I loved in my dreams.

I might have some sort of "control" over my conscious thoughts and actions. But what about my unconscious thoughts and actions? What about the dreams and random thoughts that just seem to POP into my mind with a will of their own? What kinds of things am I feeding my brain?

And what would God say about that?

Well here are a few thoughts he might have (has had) on the matter:

Romans 16:19
Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

Psalm 101: 2b, 3a
I will walk in my house
with blameless heart.
I will set before my eyes
no vile thing.

Hmmm...
Am I innocent about things that are evil? Or am I so engrossed in a TV drama that I can't wait until the next episode to see what will happen. Earlier in the year Nick and I got sucked in by a particular TV series on DVD. We spent HOURS (approximately 24 of them:) watching season 1 over a few weeks. We talked about the characters when we weren't watching and were TOTALLY into it. And really, the only reason we haven't started the next season is that we have so much going on that we know we will waste too much time on television when it's not something that we feel is valuable to us. We know our personalities enough to know that we can't just watch one episode here and there when we have an extra (ha!) hour, our minds will again become consumed by it, we'll stay up too late... you know the drill. Our decision NOT to watch season 2 had NOTHING to do with the body count of several dozen, the kidnappings, rape, drug abuse, etc. (ie evil) of the first season.

So, no. I am not being "innocent" to evil. I am entertaining myself with it.

Am I setting vile things before my eyes?
Well, obviously I am. (See above paragraph.)

I don't know what all of this means. I really, really don't want to be one of "those Christians." But if I believe the Bible is true (which I do) how do I justify this?

Any thoughts?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Circumcision, Snow White & Electrocution

How's THAT for a title? Today was an adventure-- as it always is here in the Mangine house.

Here are some high"lights" (the "lights" thing will be funny later)

Nico zipped his little"boy part" up in his sleeper this morning. From the sound of his screams, I am pretty sure it hurt. I let Nick handle that one because I don't have a whole lot of experience (well, none actually) with this kind of injury. Afterwards I was feeling pretty good about our decision not to circumcise him, or it probably would have been A LOT worse.

Nia went to a princess birthday party today and she dressed up as Snow White. It was fun getting her ready. We rolled her hair in those pink spongy rollers last night and she had a miserable night sleeping on them. But as her Nanny regularly said to her mommy as a child, "It hurts to be beautiful." :) Seriously though, isn't she PRETTY?Nick electrocuted himself. Again. (The story of him doing it the first time is too long and boring to share right now, but again, for the record, this IS the second time.) So how did he do this you may be asking? He stuck a metal Leatherman tool into a live light socket to retreive pieces of a broken lightbulb. (Like you do.) Apparently there were sparks flying out from the center of the room so far that they hit all four walls. He's fine (thank you God) but the Leatherman has seen better days.

So, you may not want to ask him for help if you have any electrical work going on at your house. However, you would want to ask him for advice on being a great dad. Because he totally rocks at that. Which is how I would prefer it. I can always hire an electrician...

Check out this pic of him reading to Josiah today.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Since I missed "Random Thought Thursday" YET again

Here are a few:

RT1:
I think it might actually BE impossible to go to BJ's (or Costco/Sams, whatever) without spending $100 or more. Now that being said, I do have a baby so diapers, wipes + formula are $65 of that right off the bat.

RT2:
Nia and I are in the midst of a "challenge." She is trying to stop sucking her thumb and I am trying to stop biting my nails. We're about a week in. I am doing better than her. :) She just sucks off all the paint that's supposed to deter her from sucking. (Which is no small feat as the number one ingredient is cayenne pepper extract.)

RT3:
I have recently discovered I am a very jealous person. I HATE that in me. I wish I could be genuinely deep down HAPPY and JOYFUL when great things happen to others instead of wishing it was happening to me. SUCH an ugly trait.

RT4:
The past two nights I have been Ambien-free. It sucks.

RT5:
Tonight is pool/campout night. Which reminds me. I had better get going because I probably had better shave go my legs...

Placebo cream

Nia has figured it out that she gets special attention when she's sick (which she has been a lot lately.) So I think she may be going through some withdrawal of being the center of the world. Therefore, she's been whining and carrying on and complaining about every little thing. For instance, last night as she was stuffing her face at dinner she was insisting she had a belly ache and wanted her temperature taken even though I could tell that she was fine just by feeling her.

Well, the newest thing is that every little teeny tiny scrape always "itches really really bad." Last night she was insisting that it was "interrupting her so much that she didn't think she could eat anymore." She begged me to put some medicine on her scrapes.

So I had a stroke of brilliance, knowing that we're dealing with a little hypochondria here and I put some hand cream on it and told her that she was definitely going to need some "placebo cream" for those. Throughout the night she would find other "injuries" that needed some medicine on them-- bruises, papercuts, scrapes... they all got placebo cream.

The funny thing is that I make her actually use the words, "placebo cream" since it apparently really helps. The great thing is that you can use anything you have handy and nearby-- hand lotion, diaper cream, antiobotic ointment... it's ALL placebo cream.

I have been daydreaming all day long about how funny it will be when she learns the meaning of the word, 'placebo.'

Is this wrong?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Survey says...

mixed reviews.

So Nick claims he really liked the Bacon Apple Pie. (Which doesn't surprise me because he will eat anything-- EASIEST husband in that respect.) He ate two slices at the elder meeting. There were two slices left. (Out of 8.) So four slices were eaten by others. So at least one person abstained since there were 6 people there including Nick. One person told Nick to tell me it was good.

That all being said, I tried a bite of one of the leftover pieces this morning and pretty much hated it.

So I gave it to my kids for breakfast. They are having some trouble getting it down. Which, to be honest, surprises me, especially in Nico's case. Last night at dinner he mixed his yogurt, his applesauce and his lima beans. And he actually ate it. Have I ever mentioned that kids are gross?

So, I probably won't make it again. But it was fun just for the novelty of it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bacon Apple Pie

Yes folks, you read it right. You are looking at a Bacon Apple Pie.

Nick had snack duty tonight for the elder's meeting (meaning I had snack for the elder's meeting) and given Jonathan's recent blog post heralding bacon, we felt the need to make a snack food with bacon. This recipe intrigued me and I had to give it a shot. (Especially since my husband has an unhealthy affinity for bacon... and by unhealthy I am not speaking of artery-clogging/heart disease unhealthy, I am saying it's pretty disturbing how much he loves bacon.)

My only frustration is that the bacon shriveled up (like it does) and the lattice didn't end up covering the whole pie. Oh well. If that's the worst thing that happened today I am in pretty good shape, huh?

I will let you know the verdict tomorrow.

And hey, I sent along some vanilla ice cream too, so if it's really terrible they can have plain ice cream.

Disclaimers first

Disclaimer 1:
I was thinking this morning about my vent yesterday. I love to blog and find it therapeutic, but as I read over things I realize how much I complain. And most of my complaining is about my kids. I have this tension when I write on my blog-- I want to be honest and truthful-- this IS what my life is like, but at the same time, I never want to appear that I am not thankful for my kids, or my husband, or my life. This is just real life stuff. Know what I mean?

Disclaimer 2:
I complained quite a bit about our adoption yesterday. I hope that wasn't offensive to anyone. Here's the deal. Adoption is NOT an easy road. It just isn't. There is a lot of red tape. There is a lot of cost. There is a lot of waiting, and heartache, and loss. HOWEVER, none of that even comes close to comparing to the INCREDIBLE experience of having Nico as a part of our family. He's an amazing kid. He's an utter joy. He's so much greater than I imagined, even in my happiest daydreams, that he would be. I would wade through red tape and pay this off my whole life if necessary. (and it may actually BE necessary :) And that would be okay.

Okay-- my disclaimers are done.

Just a short thought for today because my head isn't all the way around everything I am thinking here... Okay, yeah, the Bible. It's mind-blowing. When you start to dig in, the consistency of the story of redemption from the beginning to the end. Holy smokes. (literally.) Every time I "discover" (ha!) something "new," my mind gets RE-blown. God orchestrated the Bible with such amazing attention to detail. Everything connects to something else... You know when you see a good movie, or TV show, or read a good book where there are all these plots and subplots and then in the end everything comes to together and it all makes sense? Or when you read a celebrity magazine that draws all these arrows between whose been married to who and it just turns out to be this crazy web of lines and arrows? Yeah, it's like that times like a jillion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Major vent

So there's not a whole lot worse than having to sit in a crowded Social Security office for three hours.

Unless you have to sit there with three kids. Then there's not a whole lot worse than that.

Unless you had NO idea it would BE three hours, so you were ill-prepared from a snack/bottle/activity/hard liquor standpoint.

THAT was my morning.

This just brings to mind YET ANOTHER inequity that takes place with adoption. With my biological kiddies, they brought me a form to fill out while I was still on painkillers in the hospital after birthing my babies. Then, magically, a social security card turns up in my mailbox within 10 weeks. No more paperwork, no hassle, no drama...

However, should you choose to add to your family via the miracle of adoption, there are seemingly UN-ending hoops you have to jump through. And you have to jump through them perfectly right, or you will have to go back to start, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

And don't even get me started on the costs. Just when you think the end is near, nope. You're wrong. It's ALWAYS something else.

Oh, you want your adoption papers in ENGLISH? Well, your dossier wasn't re-translated back into English. You can hire a translator to do that.

Oh, you want your child to be a US citizen? Sorry, you need to re-adopt him to do that.

Oh, you want to re-adopt your son so he CAN be a US citizen? You need to have TWO follow-up home study reports to do that, even thought Haiti only requires one. And oh, by the way, the fee for the citizenship form just about doubled. And did I mention you would need to have your dossier translated into English to do that?

Oh, you want to claim the US tax credit for your adoption to pay off the money you borrowed for the adoption since you knew this was a "sure thing"? Sorry, you have to wait until you re-adopt Nico in the US before you can claim that.

Oh, you want his name legally changed to the name you've been calling him since you decided to adopt him? You have to wait until he's re-adopted and THEN GO WAIT THREE HOURS AT THE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE (AGAIN!) TO CHANGE IT!

Sorry, I am just venting.

Speaking of venting and of the Social Security office... There are some CHARACTERS there. Like the guy who was sitting there talking about how he was going to vote for Hillary Clinton because there was no way he was voting for a black man for president. Hey, the guy is entitled to his opinion, but you would have thought he would have looked around and noticed the room was probably at least 3/4 black people and he would have had the sense to keep his racism to himself.

Sheesh. I need a nap.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I need to be far more like my son

"There was no child I loved better than the others,
but I looked at that one differently some days..." Girlyman

That quote is by a really cool band that Nick started listening to a few months ago. I can totally relate to that thought. Different days it applies to different kids for me. Today it's Josiah.

MAN, I love this kid. He's amazing. He's pretty much always happy. He smiles incessantly. He's so easy-going and chilled out. This is a kid with heart disease and pretty much constant ear infections. Even so, he LOVES life. I want to be like that when I grow up.


I think my husband just called me a cow.

Now, I can't be sure of this.

Let me set up the scenario.
Pretty much every meal as soon as we all sit down to eat, say the blessing and get a bite of food on our fork, one of our children needs something-- more to drink, another fork since they threw theirs on the floor, ketchup... it's always something. And it tends to get kind of infuriating because in the past, by the time we get our kids all the way settled, our food is cold.

So... we've decided that we will get the kids set up in a reasonable way before we start our meal and then they aren't at liberty to ask for something else until we (Nick and I) are done eating and then we will help them if they want something else.

That doesn't mean they don't still ask.

Now, if you know my husband, you know that he's an incredibly logical and stubborn fellow. He always has a reason why something is right or wrong and he will fight 'till the end on it. So, this morning we were eating breakfast and, of course, Nia needed something... more juice, I think???

Nick says, "Nia let me share something from the Bible with you. It says, "Don't muzzle an ox while it's treading out the grain." "

He went on to explain how if you don't let the ox eat some of the grain while it's treading it out, then it won't serve you well. And then he said that we (Nick and I) are the oxen in this scenario...

Hmmm... in my last post I claimed I wasn't a fan of the term "smokin' hot" to describe a woman. I think I prefer that to ox.

Apparently I need to get back to the gym. Which, incidentally, would be my JOY if all my stinkin' kids weren't sick all the time. I suppose I could go in the morning before Nick left for work as I used to do, buI have been in such an Ambien-induced hangover each morning for the past two weeks that just hasn't happened. Fortunately and unfortunately, my prescription is all used up in 2 days, so I will have plenty of time to hit the gym in the middle of the night.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My top 10 favorite blogs: (in random order)

10. Mind Doodles
Things I like about this blog: I love the title and tagline, clever and creative use of words. Kris is seriously a great person and an awesome mother. She has A LOT to offer novice moms like me.
Things I don’t like about Kris as a blogger: We hang in the same circles a lot so she might beat me to good post ideas… :)

9. The Domestic Un-Goddess:
Things I like about this blog: She’s funny. It has adorable pictures and funny stories about my nieces and nephews, whom I love like crazycakes.
Things I don’t like about Gretchen’s blog: It’s pink and cute and mine is black and boring. (Not that black is bad—dude, stop being so racist.)

8. Jonathanbow.com
This is my pastor’s blog. He’s a pretty cool cat. Smart, great leader. Totally real guy. Devotes entire blog posts to his son’s flatulence—now come on, that’s funny.
Cons of Jonathan’s blogs: Hmmmm…. Not too much bad to say. (other than I am not a fan of the term “smokin’ hot” which he regularly uses to describe his wife, which, incidentally, she IS extraordinarily beautiful… I might just chose a different term to describe my wife if I had one.)

7. Greg Goebel:
This is my cousin, Vicky’s husband. I love this family. He’s a pastor of an Anglican Mission In America church in Georgia. I wish they were my next-door neighbors because I am pretty sure we’d be best friends. (Well, I’d like to think we would be.)
Things about this blog you might not enjoy: Greg is really wicked smart, so it’s a bit heady. You may, like myself, find yourself not really understanding what he is saying.

6. Confessions of a Tired Supergirl:
I don’t know this lady, but she could be me. My friend Adrianne pointed me to her blog. It’s really funny. Discusses the joys and perils of mothering from a very real place.
Things I don’t enjoy about this blog: She’s much funnier than I am and I find myself wishing I had thought of some of the things she says.

5. Confessions of a CF Husband:
If you haven’t seen this blog yet, you need to check it out. It’s an amazing story. The guy who writes it is named Nate, who is a worship pastor on the Outer Banks of NC. His wife is named Trish. She has Cystic Fibrosis and is awaiting a lung transplant at Duke. A little over a month ago he and his wife had a baby about 15 weeks premature. So baby Gwennyth is also at Duke in the NICU. This is his story about basically living in the hospital with his wife and his daughter.
Cons: Really sad stuff, but in a good way if that makes any sense.

4. HCH:
This is the Haitian Children’s Home blog—all the bi-weekly updates get put up here so you can find info about the day to day goings on at the home.
Con: Is only updated bi-weekly and you’ll find yourself wanting MORE!

3. Stephen Claybrook:
Steven is our worship pastor at Crosspointe. In addition to being a really, really gifted musician and vocalist, Stephen is a dad and a regular guy. His blog is a compilation of music tips, his Rubik cube obsession, and proud daddy moments.
Cons: Could stand to have far more photos of his adorable daughter, Darby.

2. The Life and Times of the Mangine FIVE:
Dude, this chick is a MESS. Totally insane stay-at-home mother of three. Never has a clean house. Yells at her kids a lot. Husband’s been accused of a felony.
Cons: Absolutely nothing. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll thank God you’re not her.

1. ???? What’s your favorite blog to read??? Let me know!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Random Friday thoughts

Since I missed Thursday and accidentally did them on Wednesday...

Random thought (RT) 1: I was going to do a review of my favorite blogs yesterday but that never happened so... I will hopefully get to it this weekend. If not, Monday it is.

RT2: Baby food pureed peaches are GOOD. Seriously. I love them. Unfortunately, so does Josiah. So it's kind of a contest in our house as to who gets to them sooner. As I sit here writing this, I am drinking a smoothie made out of frozen strawberries and a jar of baby food peaches. Delish.

RT3: It's no fun missing a tooth. Now, I do have a fake tooth I can take in and out. My dentist refers to it as my "party tooth." I wear it pretty much 24/7 unless I am taunting my children with it. (I take it out and touch them with it and tell them I am going to "bite" them.) Feb 27th is when I get the implant put in. Now this does entail getting a titanium screw inserted into my bone, but the GOOD news is that I get to take Valium that day. Woo Hoo!

RT4: I am kind of mad at my pastor Jonathan. He gave this message about greed last week. Which sucked, because as it turns out, I am pretty greedy. He talked about the whole needs vs. wants thing. Apparently he didn't know Target now carries Converse sneakers. I have to walk by them like every time I am in Target now and remember that I don't need them. So thanks Jonathan, now I have a coveting problem. :)

RT5: Now that I am have three kids I am pretty sure I am out of puberty. So why, I ask you, am I BREAKING OUT like crazy???

RT6: Saw the movie Juno. It was interesting to watch it from the perspective of an adoptive parent. Liked it a lot . I cried and cried at the end-- like my chest was actually convulsing up and down. (I did manage to keep it mostly silent, except for the sniffles and snorts...)

RT7: Gotta go now. I am making wilted spinach salad for dinner.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Gretchen--

You think I am cheating? Hmmm... Well. Check this one out...

684 words

Touch Typing



You shouldn't be surprised I am such a speedy typist, I majored in communications. (And in an unrelated story, my husband majored in computer programming.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I am a speed demon!

Check this out GRETCHEN!!!
Boo Yow!
102 words

Touch Typing

My tying speed and other Thursday thoughts

Borrowed from my sister's blog:
59 words

Touch Typing



I am going to make it a rule that on Thursdays I always include random thoughts:

Random thought 1:
I was at the dr. today and I was reading in a Parenting magazine. They had a little funny snippet on how to handle bragging parents. My favorite comeback when someone is bragging about how smart their kid is, "Yeah, well, my kid is cute." Nice.

Random thought 2:
I ate like it was my job last week.

Random thought 3:
I had to stop listening to the Radioathon because I was getting too depressed, so.... therapy might be in my future.

Random thought 4:
Nia had her Valentine's party at school today. Nick observed that Valentine's Day has become less of a time to show someone you love them, and more of a participatory even. Nia had to (well, didn't HAVE to) bring in Valentine's for everyone in her class. (You can't just pick the kids you like anymore... :)

Random thought 5:
I enjoy blogging.

Check back in tomorrow for my top ten favorite blogs...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wow-- neat story

They are talking right now about a little girl named Nevaeh who had a thymus transplant at Duke 7 years ago. She's completely normal now-- just graduated from Kindergarten.

Josiah was a thymus donor after his surgery-- that was one of the cool things about his story. Because of his heart surgery, we were able to donate his thymus to a child without an immune system.

Good therapy

Most of you know that our lives have pretty much been a whirlwind since Josiah was born.

I have lately been feeling all the stress of Josiah's surgery/hospitalization kind of catching up to me. I find myself thinking a lot about that time, or looking at the pictures and when I realize I am doing it, I make myself think of something else or not look at the pictures because it's so hard to think about. The memories are very raw because it was such a scary, uncertain time.

So this morning I turned on the radio on the way to the gym and the annual 101.5 Wral FM Radioathon for Duke Children's Hospital was on. If you've never listened to this-- it's pretty much the saddest thing ever. (You can listen online if you are not local.) There are dozens of stories of children who have been at Duke the past year. Some really happy endings, some really sad endings, some whose ending is still not certain. Listening to these stories from Duke (where Josiah was treated, of course) brought back so many memories.

So I came home from the gym crying, of course. I turned on the radio when I got home. And I cried some more. And Nick said to me, "Maybe you shouldn't listen to this. I can tell it's really upsetting you."

And I realized, finally, that I have never really let myself just cry about and grieve over that time. We had to tough it out and rely on adrenaline for so long. So it's entirely possible that if you call me anytime before Thursday evening, I will probably be crying. I just want to feel all these emotions, because I don't think I am accomplishing anything by trying to make myself not feel them.

I have no idea if this will be beneficial, but it feels right. If it doesn't work, I am sure I will end up in therapy. But at this point, a donation to the Radioathon will probably be cheaper. (And I am all for that, because as you know from my post yesterday, I am very cheap.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nia does NOT have a problem with excessive humility

Today Nia was sitting down playing with her Barney "laptop." It sounds much more high-tech than it is. It's a laptop-shaped toy and you put different plates in it and then it asks you questions about the different scenes on the plates. Things like-- "How many flowers are in the picture?" or "What color is the water fountain?"

So Nia was sitting there and she was doing a great job-- I listened to her get several in a row correct and I said, "Nia, you are really good at that game."

And she said, "You know what, mom? I am."

Awesome.

Product Review

Let me start out this review by saying that I am pretty much the cheapest person to ever live. I HATE paying full price for something. And if I ever do, it's usually because it's something we really need, or have really wanted for a long time. I shop mostly at Goodwill and consignment sales, and occasionally a sale rack at Target.

Now-- this might all sound like image management. And perhaps it is. But it's not a humility thing-- I am not playing the martyr here. If anything, it's a pride issue. I LOVE flaunting the good deals I get. And I come by that honestly (which is an awful term because of what the opposite would imply) as my mom might be the only person alive cheaper than me.

So with that background-- I give you my product review of Last Blast Mascara.
I have seen commercials and print ads for this mascara for the past several months and I was intrigued by the design of the hard plastic applicator. It looked like it would really be superior to the soft plastic (nylon??? I don't know what it is!) of traditional mascara applicators. I thought it would lead to less clumps and offer beautiful lashes that didn't stick together in a Tammy Faye manner.

Well, I was wrong. It's really bad. Clump city.

The thing that REALLY irks me is that I payed full price. It was $7. SEVEN DOLLARS! That is two pairs of slacks for Nick at Goodwill. That is seven sleepers at a consignment sale at 50% off day. Let's face it folks, it's HALF a copay for the bajillion doctors appointments my kids have. (three appts. last week alone-- and that was just Josiah) That's one week of lunch club.

To quote a very good friend of mine who was recently disappointed by some money she'd spent without the expected outcome, "It's like I just took that money and flushed it down the toilet."

So ladies (I am assuming this would only apply to the ladies... I don't know the lifestyles of all my blog-readers) step back from Last Blast Mascara. Don't believe the commercials. It's not worth $7, and probably not even $1.75 if I was to get it 75% off.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fun website





Want to put your kid's face on the cover?
http://covermaker.parenting.com/

Great quote

I am reading the book "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. I heard that it was an Oprah book club book and was reminded that years ago my sister and brother-in-law gave it to Nick.

I must admit at 973 pages, it's a little daunting as I generally only get time to read 3-4 pages in a sitting lately. However, I just kept hearing how great of a book it is, so I started it.

It took me a while to get into it, and I might not even be totally into it yet, even though I am on page 138-- but I am getting there more each time I read it. Oprah talked about it like she couldn't sleep at night because it was so good and had to read more. Again, so far that's not been my experience, but we'll see as time goes on.

Okay, so the quote I like.
The set up is two monks (Cuthbert and Philip) talking to one another. Cuthbert is trying to convince Philip to seek after the position of Prior of Kingsbridge, but Philip isn't sure he's experienced enough.

Cuthbert says, "When you are thinking, please remember this: excessive pride is a familiar sin, but a man may just as easily frustrate the will of God through excessive humility."

Interesting, huh? How often to we let the sin of excessive humility dampen the work that God has us to do? Sometimes I think I am prideful about humility. How twisted is that? I am still thinking about it, so probably I will have more thoughts on that later.

Totally off-topic Post Script: The message today at our church was SO great. I will post the link to where it can be downloaded when it's available... Our pasto, Jonathan, is a really gifted speaker and has a way of making important Biblical concepts very relevant to our lives. I am feeling my toes stepped on a little bit today, but in a good way. (if that makes ANY sense...)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bonkers

a short story by Gwenn Mangine

Nia and Nico and their baby brother Josiah had a Mommy who loved them very much, but most days they drove her bonkers!


Mommy, I just spilled my milk!


Mommy, Nico just peed his pants!


Mommy, the dog just ate my peanut butter and jelly!


Mommy, I need a wipe!


Mommy, Josiah just spit up his lunch on the carpet!


Mommy, Nia snatched my train!


Mommy, the dog's tail is stuck in the dust buster!



Morning, noon and night they inundated her with thousands of questions always starting with the same three words...Why can't I? When their mommy woke up in the morning, she had every intention of being a good mommy, and lovingly guiding, teaching and correcting her children. But as the day wore long, her patience for these questions wore shorter and shorter.


Why can't I... swallow the toothpaste?

“Because toothpaste has fluoride in it. Fluoride helps keep your teeth strong so the sugar bugs can't make cavities. However, too much fluoride can make you sick, so we don't swallow it, we spit it out.”



Why can't I... have ketchup on my waffles?

“Because ketchup has too much sugar in it... Here, have some syrup instead.” :)


Why can't I... play the piano now?

“Because the baby is sleeping..”


Why can't I... wear flip flops today?

“Because you'll freeze.”


By mid-afternoon, their mommy gave up on trying to come up with intelligent-sounding answers to the questions asked by Nia and Nico and their babty brother Josiah. So for the rest of the day she used the phrase, “Because I said so.”


Why can't I... paint the dog's toenails?

“Because I said so.”


Why can't I... have marshmallows for snack?

“Because I said so.”


Why can't I... do ballet on the coffee table?

“Because I am the mom and I said so.”


Why can't I... sit on Josiah's neck?

“Because I said so.”


Nia and Nico and their baby brother Josiah usually weren't satisfied with, “Because I said so.” And so they would sometimes grumble, “Hmph! I can't wait until Daddy gets home!” Weary from her long day of kid-wrangling, their mommy was apt to whisper under her breath, “Neither can I.”


At six o' clock, Daddy would walk in the door, and from then on it was a whirlwind of activity. First was dinner, then dishes, walking the dog, a bath, pajamas, teeth brushing, books, prayers, and finally off to sleep. (Hopefully.)


With Nia and Nico and their baby brother Josiah all tucked in for the night, their mommy put a load of laundry in the washing machine, took some chicken out of the freezer for the next day's supper, brushed her teeth, and then sleepily stumbled into bed. Her mind raced through the day. The whining, the complaining, the accidents, the injuries, the fighting, the biting, the tears...


She sighed as she looked over at her nightstand where there was a picture of Nia and Nico and their baby brother Josiah. All of a sudden an unplanned grin broke out on her face. The picture of her smiling kids made her remember the laughing, the sharing, the kisses, the hugs, and the “pleases” and “thank you's” that were also a part of the day.


As she turned off the light, she said her own bedtime prayer . She prayed that she could be a better mom the next day... even though she knew that Nia, Nico and their baby brother Josiah would almost definitely drive her bonkers.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

And once again, ladies and gentlemen--

The Mother of the Year Award goes to... (drumroll)

GWENN MANGINE!

It's been mad nice outside this week (thanks to global warming, as was pointed out by my sister Gretchen.) So today the kids and I played outside for probably 3 hours. We played on the swingset, worked on our T-ball hitting, base-running, rode bikes, rode scooters, chalked up the driveway-- the whole nine yards.

Here's Josiah having a ball swinging:And then here's Josiah this evening:
At first when I saw him after nap I thought, "Wow, he must have a high fever, he's really red."
So I felt his forehead and he was cool. I thought, "Maybe he's having a reaction to the antibiotics"... and then I remembered the three hours outside, sans sunscreen.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I let my eight month old son get a sunburn. I am now cursing that darn global warming I was so thankful for earlier in the day.

Mama Love and other Thursday thoughts

When Nia wakes up in the mornings she likes to snuggle.... and before bed... and in the afternoon... and pretty much anytime she feels tired, grumpy, mad, sad, happy... She will come up to me and say, "I need some mama love." And we snuggle (always with a blanket, because she will insist on it.) She's a pretty snuggly little kid. Which is great with me. Especially because she was a very UNsnuggly baby.

This morning the boys wanted in on mama love too.I am thankful for quiet moments like that in my crazy life. I am thankful that my kids still want mama love even though I scream at them pretty much every day, no matter how I vow each morning I won't.

I am also thankful for a God of grace, who helps us in our times of need. Mine have been abundant lately. I am thankful for a God who loves me even when I am an ungrateful wretch of a woman, a wife, a mother... I so don't deserve it. But I guess that's the point of grace. I don't know about you, but I SO need a Savior.

Hey, if you think of it, please pray for little Josiah. He has ear infections AGAIN. (still?) He's getting Rocephin shots for three days in a row in hopes we can clear them up. He has literally not had more than 4-5 consecutive days without ear infections since his first one on Dec 5th. So between the 6 Rocephin shots he needs to get and the 2 Synagis shots (RSV prevention since he's a cardiac baby) he's having 8 leg shots in 3 days. He's been crabbier than usual, which makes me crankier than usual (see above for my need for God's grace.)

I don't think I ever processed how hard being a stay at home mom is until recently. Don't get me wrong-- I don't want a different job-- I just want to be better at this one. :) Well, I guess the only way to get better at it is more OJT, huh?

My sweet niece, Evie...

...is a sinner. :) She's awful young to have nude pics of her on the internet. And that MOUTH on her?!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Um, my baby is smart

Yesterday I taught Josiah the sign for "more". He's so cute.

So hilarious.

Our friends Danny and Leann in Haiti have 2 of "their own" kids (Riann is biological and they adopted Jabez at birth in Haiti). Then, of course, there's the 23 other Haitian kids that live there at the Haitian Children's Home with them. The long and short of it is that Riann is the only white kid around for miles and miles and miles. Probably the only white kid that lives in Jacmel.

So with that background you have GOT to see this post about what Riann did the other day. I seriously LAUGHED OUT LOUD.

http://pyesinhaiti.blogspot.com/

There are a lot of reasons I want to be like my dad

My dad is an awesome, Jesus-loving, hard-working, truly amazing person.

However, I am discovering an area I really DON'T want to be like him. His sleeping patterns. My dad (like his dad before him) suffers from terrible insomnia. We wakes us raring to go at 2 or 3 AM. It doesn't matter what time he goes to bed, no matter how hard he works the day before, he's tried several sleeping medications, he's had a sleep study done. But still no luck. So he's resigned to this pattern (much like his father before him was) and goes to bed about 8 and gets up around 3AM.

Last week after being really frustrated with not sleeping I called my doctor who gave me some Ambien. It was really great the first few days. However, here at day 4 or 5, it doesn't appear to be working. I did fall asleep and slept for several hours, I just woke up about midnight and can't get back to sleep.

So-- I am about to discover the convenience of a 24 hour gym.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Most of our pics..

Back in October when we were in Haiti it rained and rained and rained and everything got wet. That includes our digital camera. The screen went out on our camera and so we don't have any way of seeing what we're taking pictures of--- we just basically point the camera in the right direction and hope for the best. The thing is, it's not like a film camera because there's not even a viewfinder on our camera.

Therefore, most of the pictures I have taken recently look a lot like this:
and this:
and this:
and this::)

Apparently we're THAT embarassing.

Yesterday afternoon Nick and I took the kids to see the circus animals unload and walk to the RBC Center. After a huge delay we saw them. While we were out Danny (our friend from Haiti who is visiting us) too our Christmas (Valentine's) lights down.

Wow. I wouldn't think that it would be that easy to embarrass a Haitian missionary, but apparently we did. :) (just kidding, while we were out he called and asked if he could help us by doing that for us-- we do appreciate it.)

When we got home Nick said, "It's really sad to me that Danny doesn't love Jesus enough to keep celebrating his birthday."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Okay, this is awesome...

My friend Jacque sent me this story--
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hKJ582oyhDtrM5ZE9zD0t09KTwEAD8UJE87G0

Apparently I am not the only one grossed out by having nude images bombard me and my kids at the mall...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Nia singing (and drumming lol) in Creole

Okay, is it just me, or is this adorable? (And no, I didn't slip her a Trozadone, she just was singing that slow so she could keep her "rhythm" going...) And, in case you were wondering, yes, those ARE empty formula cans she's using for drums. Put a little unpopped popcorn in them, tape the lid on and you have a snare drum!

I don't care how immature this makes me sound...

... watching constipated babies try to "work it out" is really funny.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Here's why I love...

... having a friend who is fluent in Creole... Our friend Danny is visiting from Haiti this week.

I keep getting new insights into my little Nico. For a long time now whenever Nico is done at the dinner table he has been saying "Di Di." He used to have no problem saying "I'm done" but then he just transitioned to saying "Di Di" all the time. So this pretty much infuriated Nick after a while. He would look at Nico and say, "Nico, Di Di is not a word. No one understands what you are saying."

So tonight we were sitting there eating dinner and when Nico is done, he says, "Di Di." Danny then says, "That's a Haitian thing. Di Di is like slang for 'I am all done.'"

Well, I guess the joke's on us! :)

Danny is staying all week so I look forward to what else I will learn. (Plus, he's an easy guest-- I don't have to put out matching dishes or anything.)

Friday, February 1, 2008

CHECK IT OUT!

One of my very best friends, Kris Stoner, just started a blog. She is the Children's Minister at our church and (although she claims NOT to be) AN EXTRAORDINARY mother. (Her kids are the proof... seriously, the two greatest teenage girls I have ever met.)

Check it out... I promise you won't be disappointed!
www.krisstoner.com

And yes, Stoner is her real last name. We've been friends so long I forget that's a really funny last name. Yesterday when we were brainstorming Titles/taglines for her blog I suggested, "Mindtrip: Parenting from a Stoner's perspective." She went with something else though... I guess that's fine.

Evie update

So yeah, like I mentioned before-- Evie's surgery went great.

Here's the text and a photo from my brother-in-law Chris:
Everything went AMAZINGLY WELL and Evie is doing great. They didn't run into any complications what so ever. Evie did really well leading to to the surgery despite the fact she had not eating at all in the morning. The doctors did not have to do a blood transfusion or put her on ventilator because the surgery itself sent well. The mass itself come out in one piece and very easily as we understand it. Evie is obviously in pain but just before I left the hospital she was starting to really come around and do some of those cute things that babies do. Melody's mom is in town and got a hotel right by the hospital last night and thus Melody was able to leave for 5 hours and got some sleep. Now that she has rested some she too is doing well. I would say the only thing that has been a little difficult is there is "no room in the Inn" and thus Evie is still in recovery since no rooms/beds are available. (We are told she will get one later today.) As far as when she will get out we are not sure yet but our best guess is Sunday or Monday..... alot depending on how the next 48 hours go. All in all we are feeling very very blessed and again want to thank you all for the encouragement and prayers!........ the Lord has been so God to us!
Obviously continue to keep Evie in your prayers as she recovers. Pray that the Lord would take her pain away and that the recovery would be speedy!

Life Lessons

I am learning a few new "life lessons" these days and I thought I would share them:

- You need to be far more organized than I am if you are going to have 3 kids in a 1200sq ft. house.

- You need to be far more organized than I am if you are going to have 3 kids in one bedroom.

- You need to be far more organized than I am if you are going to have 3 kids.
(are you detecting a pattern with the above 3 life lessons?)

- It's pretty much a useless endeavor to take a 3 year old boy anywhere you need him to be quiet and/or well behaved unless you are really feeling like you want to get mad.

- Kids DO repeat things their parents say. Don't use the word "fat"to describe ANYTHING or ANYONE (even yourself) NOT EVEN ONCE unless you want your 4 year old daughter constantly questioning loudly whether or not someone is fat.

- Once you've been accused of kidnapping your own child, you tend to be a little more defensive. For example, when you are checking in at the gym with your three kids and they ask, "And who do you have with you today?" You answer, "My three KIDS. Yes, this is my son. He is black. Is that a problem?" (Hypothetically speaking, of course.)

-The Woolite P.O.D. is an absolute must for anyone with kids and ANY amount of carpeted/upholstered surface in their home. If it's carpeted, it WILL get peed, pooped, or barfed on.

- It is too your benefit to use only red and white Christmas lights. Hey, did you know that we are the first ones in our neighborhood to have our "Valentine's Day Lights" up?

Thanks for your prayers

Evie's surgery went great. More later.