Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jeffrey

My Jeffrey.
I love that he doesn't mind having bubbles on his face.
I love that he doesn't know he is sitting in a purple chair, thanks be to his sisters.
And I love that he has no clue that there is a poop on his shoulder (which is why he is in the bathtub in the first place!).
Most of all, I just love him.
:)

Friday, December 4, 2009

caught red-handed

Tonight, Karin had her potty treat while in the bathtub. I was excited to have my camera with me to capture any fun photos. Well, looking for the perfect photo-op, I decided to just snap some shots of her eating her lollipop. After she was in bed, I looked over the photos I took, and giggled like crazy to the series of pictures below. If you don't know Karin, and want to know what she is like, this pretty much sums it up:





She's too funny.
Gosh, I love that girl.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ele-fun...

Karin got a new small stuffed animal at the zoo this past weekend. She is a little more than obsessed right now (not as much as her "mama" though, of course). This morning, as we were about to leave home for a doctor's appointment, she just had to get her baby elephant, as she calls it. She finds it fairly easy, but frantically says:
"Where's the mommy elephant?" With a worried look on her face.
The search begins.
We find the slightly bigger stuffed elephant, that she has had for quite some time. Her mood changes instantly.
"This is Karin Elephant," she says while holding up her small weekend prize.
"And this, this is Mommy Elephant," she exclaims with a very big smile on her face.
She then hugged both into her chest, and rocked them lovingly together.
I love it.

Priceless


It is amazing how much you can love someone so tiny.
How you would gladly give up your life for theirs.
I don't think anyone can quite put into words what a child brings into your life.
The hardest, most beautiful job in the world is being a mother.
It can take so much, yet leave enough for you to still give more.
What a wonderful privilege.
I am proud to be called "mommy" by these precious children.
I simply cannot get enough.
:)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Evolution of a cry...

Black Friday turned out to not be so black after all. Christmas came a little early for me this year. Jerome and I are notorious for not being able to hold onto gifts very well. True to form, my exhausted husband came home after shopping all morning (and all night), bearing many gifts. With a sheepish grin on his sleepy face, he wanted me to see his gifts to make sure I wanted them. I will never turn down a gift from him; he can be better at Christmas shopping then most women. So my dear husband spoiled me with:
a Compaq netbook
and a Nikon DX 3000
I was shocked. I barely mentioned that I would enjoy having a better camera to take pictures of our kids. So he decides to go all out on me. I was almost speechless! I played with it all afternoon. And I am so excited about my laptop, because this one is all MINE! I normally had to share, which was fine, but sometimes I would go several days without seeing it. So I hope this will entice me to blog a bit more!

This is how my evening was spent...

My poor Jeffrey was crying out for my attention, but instead of picking him up, I just HAD to document it first.

Cruel? Maybe.

Sad? A little.

But Oh-So-Cute!






Sorry Jeffrey! I love you, honey! One day you will understand :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sick


Not a very fun week. My kids are sick and I am sick. I think that may be the worst combination. It started Wednesday with Karin's ever-so-slight cough. I knew it. Maybe it was my few years worth of mommy intuition, but I knew she was sick, or at least headed that way. My intuition was verified that night when she woke up crying, coughing, and sounding horrible. I felt terrible for her. I was hoping the worst would be over by the weekend, but it was not. After a trip to urgent care on Saturday, a double ear infection was confirmed. Ouch! She was very happy to see a doctor to help make her ears feel better. Then, to make matters worse, Jeffrey and Baby G. were full blown sick by that night. Got to love those germs. That same night (which seemed like forever), my body gave into the war as well. So here on Monday, not one is better yet. But, we are trying to keep our spirits up. I have Christmas music blaring on the radio, and it is seeming to keep everyone happy. I love the holidays. I hope we are all up and kicking by Thanksgiving. It is always a great start to Christmas. :)
By the way, the picture above is of Karin last Thanksgiving. Our very silly family decided to dress up as either Pilgrims or Indians. Karin was my little Pilgrim girl. She looked adorable. I love it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sad


Tonight I am sad. I had a wonderful day with my kids. A peaceful night followed, but brought with it a time of reflection. A nice way to spend a quiet night for me is to watch a few episodes of different TV series. I have been watching a particular series for quite some time now. It is what I look forward to when all is settled. So tonight, all alone, I watched my show in anticipation. But in the show I am watching, someone suddenly passed away, and the lives involved were rocked. Knowing it was fiction, I tried to reason a way to think past it, but eventually became engaged. I was sad. To say I was sad may be an understatement. I cried. For 2 episodes! The thing that struck me the most was watching a mother grieve for her child. She was upset, but when told she was an inspiration for her strength, she responded "Jesus Christ is my strength." I know this strength. I had to use it many times for many grievances, particularly with death. My Lord has had to pick me up many times, from things I could not move past on my own. How thankful I am. Losing a child would be the utmost hardest thing for me. My parents lost a child, and I am sure there are days that they still ache for her warm body. I hope to never experience their type of grief. However, God has blessed them in all ways imaginable to bring honor to her death. She opened in their lives, the possibility in caring for children in her same condition. Which in turn, blessed my heart and opened my eyes to the same. I would not be same person I am today, were it not for hardship. And I know, my God would not bring me this far to let me down. He will be with me always. Through the good and the bad; Through new life, and life taken away. So even though I am sad, and may remain so until tomorrow, I know while I sleep, my Jesus will give me strength for tomorrow. Thank you, God.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big Day!

Today is a big day...
My very sweet daughter has completed both required tasks of potty training.
What a big girl. :)
I am so very proud of her.
If you want to meet a doting mom, that is me this very moment.
This is her accomplishment.
And she knows it!

Big things with my children always makes my mind wander a bit. My children are ever-changing. Jeffrey has started eating cereal this week, and is loving it. Baby G. is taking big leaps of development each month, and now Karin has mastered the Potty. It's a blessing to watch your children grow as they need to, and see how they shine individually. It can be a reminder too. That these children are entrusted to me for such a short time. It is my job to teach and help them along their paths, so that they become the young adults God has destined them to be. My husband and I are often asked how many children we would like to have. As easy as this question is, it can be a difficult one to answer. Our desires may be different than other families when it comes to kids. We are on the ride of lives right now, and are just sailing along with stride. We are waiting patiently for another foster child, and would gladly accept one any day. And, as far as natural children, God willing, we are not done that way either. I used to think in numbers what our family would comprise of, but now a number wouldn't be the right way describe us. We will have naturally or otherwise, the specific children that are supposed to be in our family, regardless of a number. For I live for big days like this. Its what drives me to get up each day and care for our children, with all that I have. And I would love to be the witness of many more days like this.

That is my desire.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Through a child's eyes...


I often wonder what it feels like to be her.
Almost 3, with the world at your fingertips.
An imagination that brings excitement to the most simple activities.
An intense love for others.
Quick to forgive and forget.

We can learn so much from our children...


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Update


My sweet baby Karin and I.

Well, I got my results from my biopsies of my scope last week. Turns out, as we expected, that I do have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. I am so relieved to finally know what has plagued me for so long, and am looking forward to feeling better.

Karin is doing great right now. She had finally gained 2 pounds when we went to her Allergist a couple weeks ago. I was so happy! She had been the same weight for at least 5 months.
Every couple of weeks, she introduces another food into her diet for a trial. Her body is doing so well with it. She has been weaned from all of her EE medication, and now just takes medication for her Asthma.

This afternoon, Karin and I built a big castle with her blocks. We were both very quiet concentrating on finding the perfect place for the next block.
If I seemed stuck, Karin would offer, "Right here, Mommy!"
My favorite was when she would rub my arm gently, put her head on my shoulder,
and say, "I love you, Mommy"

(Sigh)...

Those are the sweetest moments. I hope they never end.


And the BIG news of the week:
My sister and I witnessed Jeffrey sitting up for the first time. I had to take a picture so people would believe me. And she is not holding him up!
Go Jeffrey!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!


Tonight was Halloween. As we have done in the past couple years, we celebrated my niece Bailey's 7th birthday. Complete with pizza, cake, presents, and trick-or-treating. Thank goodness for my awesome friend Nicole. She came to my rescue and lent me some costumes for my kids. With the week I had, there was little time for figuring that aspect of the day. With a rough start to the day, we were looking forward to a great night.
In addition to Karin's bunny costume, was a giant bruised goose-egg on her forehead, caused by me. She was coming out her door, I was going in, and the result was not good. At least it upset her enough to get some good rest before we went out tonight.
Poor baby. I felt terrible.
But if you know Karin, she bounces (literally) back to normal in an amazing way.

Jeffrey, my little sweet pea! He is so yummy :)

My beautiful sister, Nora.

Here was Bailey opening up her presents.
Karin and Austin had to help her out.

Jeffrey fell asleep right before we left for trick-or-treating. He woke up about half-way and finished like a champ. He loves being outside. Typical boy. :)

Sweet Bailey showing off her loot.

My mom and Jeffrey cuddled for a few minutes after we were done. This was about 3 minutes before his major meltdown that lasted until we got home.
I think maybe he had enough excitement for one night.
Jerome and I, however, were very excited because we got to raid their candy bags after they were in bed.

The best thing about Halloween for me, is to know that we are getting closer to Christmas.
I can be quite festive.
If you have been to my house since the middle of September, you would have seen my Fall Tree. In actuality, it is my Christmas tree, decked out in fall decorations and lights.
It stays that way until Thanksgiving, where it turns back into my red (of course) and gold Christmas tree. I am sure it looks a little surprising to see a tree up in the middle of Autumn. But I REALLY like it.
Thats all that counts, right?

I want to illuminate memories that my children will always cherish. I hope it brings forth a magical sense to their little imaginations.
Oh, how I adore their innocence.
There is nothing sweeter.

Karin

I ran into these pictures tonight...

This was Karin on Halloween 2008.
My dad had gotten her this adorable doe costume at Bass Pro Shop about a month before. I was 6 weeks along with Jeffrey at the time. I am excited that he and baby G. will be in on the festivities this time. So much has changed this past year. So much that I am thankful for. Two more sweet and beautiful children joined our family, which is like a dream for me. Karin, my little actress, has become even funnier, if thats possible. This was her in the same outfit a couple weeks back.

She wanted to wear it to bed, but with panties over it. I laughed so hard I cried. She is hilarious. They say laughter is the best medicine, and I get my daily dose with her alone.
What more do I need?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Payback


When I was a small child, and I was angry with my mom, I would write her notes instead of talking. The first note would usually say "I hate you" while it was thrown at her. The one following a couple of minutes later would be, "I'm sorry, I don't really hate you, I am just so mad!" Of course, I am appalled at my behavior! How horrible is that? I am sure it had to hurt her feelings. I am so sorry mom! She likes to jokingly remind me of this time and time again, saying one day it will happen to me. Today was that day...

Tonight while trying to put Karin to bed, she decided to talk back to me. Something I do NOT tolerate in my house. So the natural consequence for her, was to not have Jerome read her any books before bed. Harsh, I know. :)
So after the crying stopped, and all was quiet, I went to tuck her into bed. This was how I conversation went:

Me: "I love you, baby."
Karin: Silence.
Me: "You're not going to tell me you love me? Say, love you mommy."
Karin: Silence.
Me: "Do you love mommy?"
Karin: "no."
Me: "Are you mad at mommy?"
Karin: "yup."

Payback stinks.

Twilight


You know when you are in the middle of a deep sleep, and you get awoken suddenly, and the world seems like its spinning? Like there's a deep sea of objects, shapes, and colors swirling around, but its hard to make certain of anything in particular? Well, welcome to the world of conscious sedation. Whew. It is a trip to say the least.
I wish I could say that the picture above was me in the middle of my twilight sleep, however this was the picture of my rattling nerves while waiting to be called back. I look a little unkempt. :)
I was silly and spent the night before researching conscious sedation. My Karin had two scopes done in the past, but was put completely under for the procedure. I didn't know what to expect. I had ran across a woman asking if anyone else had felt the entire procedure while supposedly under C.S. She had noted that she felt every sensation of the scope and could not stop her natural gag reflex. Yikes! I think I literally felt my stomach drop when I read that. Again, not the best idea to look at horror stories a mere 12 hours before my EGD. I have learned my lesson.
Jerome took a couple pictures of me before I went back (I think he secretly thought it was funny), to have a copy of my face to show Jeffrey while I was gone.
Before I knew it, I was in the procedure room and was asking a ton of questions...
"Will I feel it?"
"Will I be awake?"
"How long do I have to wait to nurse my baby?"
"Will you tell me what you see when I am done?"
I am sure I asked more than this. I am quite the question asker!!
They explained that I will technically be out, but will still have control of my breathing. I have watched EGD's during my rotations in nursing school, but never was on this side of it, so this was all new to me. I think I would rather be back on the observing side though. :)
Anyways, the nurse turned out the light, and put the medication in my IV. Within seconds, the room was spinning. I remember saying "Oh wow, I can feel it already......."
And I was out.
The next thing I remember was broken images of Jerome, Jeffrey, my Doctor, my sweet recovery nurse, and my vomiting. Yuck. My body does not like medication very well. It responds, but it responds with a vengeance. I slept most of the way home, curled up like an infant in the front seat. My wonderful husband then carried me to our bedroom. I would have slept on the floor for all I knew, but at least I found my usual spot amongst my pillows. The next few hours, I slept the worst of the medication off. When the grogginess waned, I could feel a spot in the back of my throat that throbbed. Luckily, this only lasted until the next day.
Now two days later, I feel great. Like nothing happened. We have to wait for the results of the biopsies. He found esophagitis in the lower third part of my esophagus. That at least, is manageable with medication. So now we wait, which we are very familiar with. Karin's first scope looked normal, but the biopsies are what determined her EE. I am hoping this is not true in my case.
Are you wondering what my children were up to during my twilight sleep? This is what....


Looks like they did fine without me. However, poor Jeffrey must have post traumatic nursing syndrome because he will not leave me alone now. Thank goodness for pumps and freezers! Baby G. was in the care of my fantastic nurse Rosie. I love my nurses! They are awesome.
All is well in the Myers home!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Free Bird

Ever have a fussy baby? Well my fussy baby LOVES being in his birthday suit. It changes his mood within seconds. If that was the only thing that would change our mood, it would be a scary world! So Jeffrey, enjoy your skin as long as you can. There will come a day when it won't be so cute to run around nude. I love you, son!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blog Stew


Our small family has been quite busy this weekend, hence the no blogging. Throw 3 more children in our mix and things like blogging go out the window. What a fantastic reason though, huh? Highlights of our weekend are included, but in no particular order. Think of it as blog stew, a whole mess load of small tidbits jumbled together to make one great post. Enjoy...

The beauty of being foster parents, is that we can get a call for a child at any time, for placement or respite. This weekend was a respite call. We have had the honor of a providing respite for a child all weekend. It is such a unique experience to open your home and hearts to someone you have never met. We are getting better at it with each step. This was a success.
To add to our ever-bulging Myers home, was my niece Bailey and nephew Austin. I love these kids.


Karin had a great time playing and chasing them around yesterday and today. With every bed taken, Jerome and I had the never dull experience of both Karin and Jeffrey in our bed. Let's just say, I didn't get the best quality of sleep. But totally worth it! Jeffrey is a normal tenant of our King-sized bed, but throw in a very long 2 year old, and things get interesting. I swear, their legs and arms must grow another foot in the presence of sleeping parents.
However, walking around the house with 6 beautiful children sleeping, is like heaven for me. I almost have to make myself stay put, so I don't keep going around in circles checking on everyone. Its like my mothering turns into auto-pilot once all is still. I love it.
Also, there is nothing like being told you are the best cook for making Hamburger Helper. Thanks Bailey! I didn't think a 6 year old could boost my esteem so much. :) I guess one pound of hamburger, and one pan, does equal one tasty meal!
But nothing can top the pure sweetness of a 5 year old child. Austin found a bead in our car on the way to church. On the drive to meet his mom, he commented "Hey Betsy, this bead has 2 holes in it! Now I just need a yarn or a string to make my mom a necklace!" How precious is that?
Now to end with a bang, I just have to throw in a picture with Karin and her mama (stuffed monkey) so all of you can finally put an end to the suspense...

I know you were just dying to put a face to the name! I promise there will be more to come with these two. Karin adds "mama" in all sorts of fun mischief.
Well, I hope you had fun taking a bite of of my very colorful blog stew. Stay tuned, because the Myers home is never bland! There will always be enough to share. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Toys

The most endearing quality about Karin is that everything she does is BIG. She jumps higher, talks louder, and loves stronger. Her animation amuses me, and I hope it never stops. Her facial expressions and body language can tell you how she feels at every moment.
So tonight as I was doing my nightly routine with baby G (foster daughter), Jeffrey was watching me on the floor. I had turned on our Ipod in the background, which is like a moth to a flame for Karin. Within about 10 seconds, there she was, ready to jump and dance. Until she saw Jeffrey on the floor. She must have thought that was an open invitation to play. So in her very creative mind, she decided to bring him some toys. All while muttering,
"Jeffrey, here are some more books!"
"Jeffrey, I'll be right back. I need to go get mama." (her stuffed monkey)
"Here Jeffrey, do you want some blocks?"
Did I mention I love that girl?
So after I had intervened with "Ok Karin, I think Jeffrey has enough toys," this picture was taken...
Jeffrey was loving every minute. Until however, he rediscovered his new favorite toy of the week...
His feet. I adore him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I feel your pain

This is a letter to my sweet Karin:


Hi sweetheart. I hope you know how much I love you. I need to share with you some heartfelt thoughts. It may help you understand how you have greatly changed my life, in all ways possible.
When I was just a couple of years older than you, I knew something was different about me. I would feel sick after most things I would eat. I didn't understand why horrendous heartburn, chest pain, and trouble swallowing was a part of my daily life. Most people have no idea that I even have this problem, because it is so hard to explain. So I have kept it quietly locked away, in a place where I have given up hope that it could fixed. Until now...
Something changed almost two years ago. You started to get sick. In the course of a few months, you were very sick. I knew something was wrong. A healthy child does not throw up everyday. So the searching began. It finally ended with an answer to prayer. We saw a doctor who was able to scope your esophagus and find out what was wrong. This was entirely bittersweet. We finally found out what was hurting you, but knew it would be a long road to a normal life. Even now, you are not able to enjoy the foods other children can, but you have such a sweet approach to it all. I can count on one hand the times that you had trouble understanding. God has given you a very special gift, despite being dealt with a difficult journey.
The hardest part for me, was the thought that you were feeling my pain. I had always told the people I confided in, that I would not wish my problems upon my worst enemy. And I meant it. However, there you were, my baby, following the same path as I. Yet, you have taught me through this experience, that I have some hope. That there may be a name to what I have experiencing all of my life. That with help, I may finally feel good inside.
So, here I am, a week away from being internally scoped to get answers to my lifelong questions. If you can go through it twice so far, then I can surely follow in your footsteps, and endure it myself.
I must apologize in advance however, if the results are what the doctor expects. I am so sorry that somehow I have passed this trial to you. Although, I promise my love, that I will be there for you, to help keep you healthy. For you know, that above anyone, I have felt and know your pain. I love you so much more than you will ever know.
Love, Mommy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Clean up, Clean up...

This afternoon, I was cleaning my house. Karin was playing with the dogs in the back room, which we call the "Garden Room."
I decided to clean the garden room last, and moved on to the other parts of the house.
In the middle of my cleaning, I noticed it was unusually quiet in my otherwise noisy home.
I went to check on Karin, and found this...
Well, let me just say, that she rounded up nearly every little thing I have in that room, and put it in very specific spaces on the floor. She color coordinates, sorts, and will not stop until she has the "perfect" place for each thing. She is just like her mother. I am so proud. :)
Below, this was taken at bath time tonight. I just thought it was cute!
I guess it goes with my "clean up" theme as well!
I love my Jeffrey.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A tribute


Last night, my mom and I were talking about all the loved ones we have lost recently. Oh, how its still so fresh in our minds.

My parents foster adults, and last June they lost Jeffrey. Jeffrey was a fighter. He had made it through so many trials throughout his surprisingly long life. I loved him so much, and helped to take care of him. I was fortunate enough to be one of the few who was with him when he passed.
In the picture below, he mustered enough strength in one of his hospital stays to give me a kiss on the forehead. One of the last things he said in the hours before he died was that he wanted me to name a son (if I would have one) after him. Three months later, I was pregnant with a boy.


Earlier this year, we lost my Grandpa and Uncle Bob within weeks of one another.

Grandpa lost a battle with Parkinson's Disease, but was able to be at home when he passed. I cherish the special moments I had alone with him, in the days before his death. He was so peaceful despite the obvious challenges that came with his disease.

Uncle Bob was surrounded by his immediate family in Washington. My heart still mourns for his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was so loved.

Grandma, Uncle Bob, and Grandpa

Then in May, my Grandma suddenly suffered a stroke and was in a coma that same evening. What a shock to our family. She passed away the following week. Our family had to pull together to get through the difficult time. I am so thankful for them. She was a wonderful woman.


Grandma with Karin as a baby

Of course I cannot forget to mention another little girl, Salia. She was another child my parents fostered and lost almost five years ago. I was at the hospital when she passed away. She was such a sweetheart. I will never forget her little laugh. Her death was very difficult, being the only one after my biological sister Karin.

Karin died when I was seven. It still feels like yesterday sometimes. I truly believe that she is the drive behind my heart's desire to care for children with special needs. She was my best friend. My daughter has been named after her.

All of this encourages me want to take advantage of my time here on earth. Life is too short for bad attitudes and wasted opportunities. Even when days are difficult and I am spread thin, I am gently snapped back into reality when I think about all I have. I have lips that can kiss my children as much as I want, and a warm body to cuddle them with. How blessed am I??



Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Prince(ss)


This morning as we were getting ready to leave for church, the kids were playing in the living room. I was preparing Karin's food to take with us for the day.
Suddenly, Karin ran in and said very excitedly, "Mommy, a princess!"
At this point, I was thinking she was either talking about Jeffrey or mama (her stuffed monkey).
She would not leave until I followed her into the living room. I walked in and saw the image above. You should have seen her face. She was so proud of herself! She thought she had made a pretty good princess. :)


Although to me, I thought he looked more like Miss Chiquita Banana...