Saturday, March 27
After a lovely day of poo scooping to get a stool sample for Micah, we went out to eat with both sets of grandparents. We did a little celebrating then headed home to pack and get the little ones in bed.
Today we got up later than usual and got everything else packed for our trip. We didn't even leave the house until after lunch but it was good not to be rushed. I've never done a 5 day trip with 6 kids before, not have I ever packed so last minute for it. But we had so many little things come up this week that it was very go, go, go and I had time to do little else in the way of preparing for the trip other than doing laundry and maing a mental list.
We are here, though, and even that was not without issue...
Apparently I booked a smoking room without realizing it.
No other double bed rooms are available that are non-smoking and there's no way I was staying in a smoking room, especially with 3 kids with respiratory issues! So we are all nice and comfy in a king room instead.
Since we brought 2 playpens anyway and Lynae is sleeping with us, it worked out. N and K have the open up couch, E and M have playpens, L has her carseat and is with us, and I brought extra blankets knowing B might be better off on a pallet on the floor than falling off a bed.
And so starts the adcentures of the Cornish family vacation!
The boys (except M) went in the pool tonight and enjoyed it after the little ones were winding down for the night so all is well in the world :) Tomorrow we' re off to Busch Gardens if the weather holds up and my parents will be joining us for a night to watch the kids for us on Monday morning!
Friday, March 26
This morning I took Micah to the doctor for the loose stools he's been having for the past 3 weeks or so. ENT thought it residual from his surgery, but it's gone on too long.
I can honestly say I've never had to deal with stool samples before, but the past few weeks I have been very grateful for disposeable diapers!
Thankfully everyone else is well and micah is still happy and pleasant amist the stench :)
Wednesday, March 24
The Mynormalfamily.wordpress.com blog is only going to be for people that I know in real life for now and I will only share things that I'm allowed to share there. I am keeping it 'real life' people only for security purposes since our son-to-be is in foster care and it is required.
But for those that said you'll miss my blog... I'm not really going anywhere :) Just adding on a little something for those I know personally! Thank you for all the kind comments and e-mails, though! I hope you'll stick around on this blog :)
Tuesday, March 23
Please understand that this is done as a protection to my son and family as well as to others in the system and that it is not anything against anyone following my blogs publicly. We want to work within the boundaries that have been laid out for us and respect the rules given to us.
If you know me in real life please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you back the password. Please use the subject PASSWORD on the email. Thanks for understanding!!
Kristopher has had an infatuation with snakes this week after seeing a black snake in the yard last weekend. He's told me twice that he saw a snake only to reveal the tarp under the planters or-- nothing at all- to be the culprit. Today my mom picked the kids up from school since Mike and I had a meeting and he was looking for an elusive 4 leaf clover in the front garden (yes, I need to weed!). He came in and said "there's a snake out there" then went about his business. I mentioned to my mom that he's been fabricating snakes lately and it's a thrill and kept going. A minute or two later he went to the dining room window and said "there it is mom!" Sure enough, there's a 3' long black racer winding its way through the garden then taking a look at us. He provided entertainment for Brianna and Kristopher for a good 30 minutes from that window view and Kristopher was very glad to have 'his snake' back to visit for a little while.
Emma has decided now that we know she can sign, that she's going to impress us :) Yesterday at PT she kept telling me no. Nonchalantly... Mrs. J and I would say "take a step, c'mon! You can do it Emma!" and she'd not even pick up her hand and would just quietly sign 'no' next to her leg and stand there. Such a sweet little thing, but goodness 'no' wasn't the first word I was hoping for :). At the table tonight she was a monkey. Over and over again she'd tell us Emma monkey. I say the kids are being monkeys when we're playing rough and tumble and they're climbing around on us. I guess she took my comments to heart!
Micah has decided that he has the sweetest smile around (and anyone around would be hard-pressed to argue with him!) and will smile at people when he thinks he might get his way now. He's doing great waiting at the baby gate for permission to go in the kitchen (he's not allowed in the kitchen because we don't want him to 'escape' from the house and he's in love with the front door!). He'll stand by the gate when it's open and if anyone walks by he'll just smile at them then walk right in "under their watch". I don't think anyone realizes what he's doing until all of a sudden they say "Hey, he's in the kitchen again!" 'Lil stinker's got a killer smile!
THANK YOU! :D
The next ones offered by our hospital aren't until May and we'd like to see him more before then!
I love, really love having all the photos of the kids lining this page, but it's been about a year since I put it up and it's way out of date!! Lynae isn't in any of the photos and I can't stand that she's 6 months old and 'left out' of the blog layout. So it all shall go for a time! I will try to make another layout that is personalized in the future, but for now, we'll stick to cute and free and different :) And so you have it... green stripes and flowers and ribbons. And a 45 second change-over. The pictures didn't disappear, they're just hiding :)
I was able to get the certified letter from the post office yesterday and Emma had her first PT session in several months. She did great! She is very close to being able to stand up from the floor without assistance or holding on to anything. Now it's time to start padding the house! Or maybe just her head... if you see pic's of her with a cute little helmet on... you'll know why! (no, we don't have a helmet for her but I'm not kidding when I say that it may be a necessity!)
N had his first guitar lesson yesterday and Robert (my brother) taught his first lesson :) I think both the men had a good time and N is very excited about it! I was actually SHOCKED to hear that he is able to play several chords and isn't having difficulty getting his fingers to hit just the right strings and not the others around them. That's generally something that takes some time to learn but he seems to have an aptitude for it. He has some things to work on and practice for the next 2 weeks before they'll have another lesson. I think they're both enjoying it!
Kristopher is a silly little kid! Yesterday he brought his lunch to school then left it in the classroom when they went to lunch. Not the end of the world, he bought a lunch (I prepaid a few) and he brought his lunch home. I asked him to put it in the fridge for the next day then took Emma to therapy. When I came home he asked for a PBJ sandwich before soccer practice which has been the general dinner for him on practice nights so I made it for him. When I was almost done he told me he needed to make his lunch... I eventually found out that he ate his sandwich AFTER school instead of having just a snack. Grandma thought he hadn't had lunch. Then I find out that he even bought a PBJ sandwich for lunch! That kid ate THREE PBJ sandwiches yesterday! It's no wonder he was complaining of an upset stomach at bedtime...
Monday, March 22
Oops, I didn't get here to post... but we had a great WDSD! We went to church in the morning then to a picnic with lots of other families that all share that extra little 21st chromosome. The kids were all great despite the rainy nasty weather! Last night we hung out at the house, did laundry, had a quick easy spaghetti dinner and just spent time together. It was a nice day :)
This morning I've been on the RUN! After getting all 6 kids into the car and off to the elementary school, Emma and Kristopher went in to class. Then I unloaded the other 3 little ones and N and we signed in to go watch the Field Day games that Emma's class was a part of! We only could stay about 30 minutes before needing to get N to his school, but we saw Emma do the "softball throw" which was actually a tennis ball. She threw it the right direction, and that's half the battle ;)
Then off to middle school for N. Then down to the lab to get Brianna and Micah's annual bloodwork done. Emma's is still needing to be done too! The phlebotomist there is really good and as people were complaining for the wait beforehand, they then went out singing her praises that she was so good. Kinda makes you wish people would hold their tongues in the first place... But I guess the priase is more meaningful when the person was previously disgruntled? Dunno...
Then home, and we missed the mail truck! I'm waiting on a certified packet of paperwork and missed it on Friday. No letter in the door or with my mail today so maybe the regular postal worker didn't have it? I don't know... but I'd like to get them today so I can read through them before the meeting where we're going over them tomorrow! Ah, well... we will get them eventually.
I also FINALLY got my FBI checks back. It took a good 7 weeks for them to process them. WHEW! But now I have them and that is good ;)
Today's going to be good and busy... Mike's mom will be here to watch the kids for a little bit so I can pick up the elementary kids and bring Emma to therapy for an hour. Her first time back since before Christmas! Then Mike will bring N home and pick up K for soccer practice. He has to eat before then which usually makes M and B want to eat too. Soccer runs 5:30-6:30. At 6:30 my brother is coming over to give N a guitar lesson. We'll see how it goes :) The kids all go down at 7:00 and Robert and N will be on their own to practice! Busy but good.. everyone always enjoys Mondays! :)
And we enjoy Tuesdays too where I won't let ANYONE schedule ANYTHING after school!!
Friday, March 19
- I'm starting to feel better.
- Lynae is starting to feel better.
- We finished the 'classes' for the MAPP and next week is the graduation!
- We have a confirmed date to get the description of our matched child.
- We are working on a date to MEET our future son :)
- I got a wonderful surprise in my email last night that made my day-- week rather... Ok, several months, I admit it!
- The dynamic in our home continues to be wonderful with our visitor and all the kids and we are very happy about that.
- Michael starts softball season tonight with a double header and the weather is BEAUTIFUL for it!
- Lynae found a pacifier on her exersaucer tray last night and picked it up and popped it right in her mouth. Maybe not big to you- but wonderful to me! :)
- Micah is doing great in school and we are very pleased that his aide has been hired for the remainder of the school year! She has to take a week off to 'renew' her contract to stay and much thought and consideration was put into the substitutes for her time off. We are SO glad to have each of the people that will fill her shoes during that time :) One happy Momma!
- Kristopher is loving soccer and having something that's his. Even if I did forget that he had practice last night until his grandma showed up to take him. It's good that 6 yr olds are so forgiving (and don't mind eating hotdogs in the car on the way to practice!).
- This week I attended an IEP that I think showed great potential and an educational team really looking out for the best interest in not just an IEP plan but a future. I was so impressed to see the team come together in that way. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall for it! Thank you M for inviting me!!
- Today I sat down and wrote out the many ways which E's teacher has provided a level of excellence above and beyond our expectations and has helped Emma to meet goals which some healthcare professionals have said she would never achieve. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to speak so highly of a teacher and that Emma can experience that level of commitment and knowledge at school!
- Brianna just went MIA since I started this email and I'm 99% sure that she has opened the playdough bag (not the containers- sometimes weak OT skills is a blessing) and has dumped at least 2 puzzles.
- I managed to RUN OUT of diapers for Emma and had to steal from the diaper bag to diaper her yesterday and this morning. Time for a Wal-Mart trip!
- Today I bought 7 gallons of milk and hope to not have to shop for milk for a week. I'm sure something else will come up and I'll have to go to the store (esp. for our trip) but at least it won't be for milk! Or diapers :D
- I booked a hotel today for a trip to Tampa during Spring Break!
- I found a young lady to go with us to Tampa and give us an extra hand with the little ones :) Such a blessing as long as we can figure a way to fit everyone and everything in the car (never thought that would be a problem with our big car but... 9 people a triple stroller, 2 wheelchairs, a few pack 'n plays, and luggage for everyone... might be difficult!)
- Mike had his first softball game tonight and lost by 1 run, quickly followed by his second game of the season where his team won by slaughter rule. It was great to be back at the ball field and to see the other families from church.
- Micah is a little lovey thing and wanted nothing more than to be held and keep putting his cheek up to me to get kisses at the ballfield!
- Emma wanted to stand- ALONE. She did not want anyone to touch her or help her, and she did great for a long time. She also sat on the bottom bleacher step (not the bench, but actually using the bench like a table in front of her) and watched the majority of the first ball game that way!
- N and I took the 3 little ones to the park between dropping of K and E at school and when N's school started and Brianna just about froze! She does NOT like being cold!
- N has really stepped up and gotten more comfortable with the kids. He'll now scoop any one of them up and have them sit with him or wipe noses, hold their hand to walk (which is a bit tricky with his crutches but he's figured it out!) and try to anticipate their needs.
- I talked to two of my brothers in one day which never happens. One has a lawn business and is going to take on our lawn for the spring and summer. The other plays guitar and agreed to teach N a little to see if he likes it. I look forward to seeing them (and my sister in law) more frequently!
- I think when we sit back and look at all the good things it helps to put life into perspective and it's much needed sometimes... especially after a week of being under the weather :)
Wednesday, March 17
wondering why I put up with some of the things I do
coughing coughing and coughing
and then listening to Lynae cough too
and sitting some more
because if I don't then I cough
lectures about being respectful to people even when they're not there
reading at the park between driving
and a communication device
coughing coughing coughing and coughing
looking for a hotel for vacation
realizing how weird it will be for 8 of us to go on vacation
and that no hotel rooms hold 8 people (but they will!)
confirming we can meet the little one we're matched with soon
looking at cell phone plans
looking at different cell phone plans
trying to figure out what all the rules are and making phone calls about phone plans
questioning many things
doctor's appointment (not for the cough)
and that pretty much sums it up! Not exactly the most exciting blog post... :D
But that's what I've been up to
Good news: Micah is NOT sick. Just Lynae and I. LOVE his new aide and all the kids are doing well in school. Even the one with a detention. We're very proud of all of them! :)
Monday, March 15
Right now I'm just playing around with the Wordpress format and trying to learn what I can do there. I don't know much about it and it's not as 'simple' as blogger. It has a lot more options but in a way that makes it harder! I don't know WHY, but somehow I haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to playing with it either...
But to answer about the passwords and such, I literally posted just saying "can you read this please let me know" :) I tried out different posts w/ different passwords then attempted to access the posts to see what it acted like and whether one password unlocked them all, etc. It doesn't, and that's a neat feature as I could have some posts that are semi-public and some that are even more private and just use different passwords for them.
I do NOT intent to have the entire blog go private, so no worries there!
If anyone uses the online version of Wordpress and wants to give me a quick tutorial of how to get around in there and maybe even answer a few of these questions, I'd appreciate it!
- Can I use a downloaded template when using the online version? I can't figure out how to do that if I can...
- Are there other tools in WP (online, not hosted on my own) that I should check out?
Sunday, March 14
Brianna might be doing a bit of the same, but she's had upper respiratory 'rattles' since December... and yes, we've been to the dr 3x and have a referral for pulmonary who won't see her until mid-May.
So we wait.
It's always hard to figure out WHO is really not feeling well in this house too...
Thursday, March 11
But for now, you're welcome to come visit me over on My Normal Family to see a little tidbit about us on a blog I just opened up! If I make an official switch over to that blog I'll post a permanent link here. For now, just testing the waters as the other format allows private and password-protected posts. This would be helpful so that I could share more about our adoption that cannot be public at this time! :)
See you there!
Tuesday, March 9
- Called CMS to ask them whether the enrollment for medicaid for the 3 kids should be done with their "plan" and how that works.
- Talked to the 'nurse' who began explaining then decided he didn't understand it himself when I asked a question
- Talked to a financial assistant person who told me that most likely medicaid won't actually help us any because it won't pay a coinsurance or copayment that our private insurance leaves us with. Next year it would help cover our deductible (but we've almost met that already).
- Also learned in the last few days that our primary physician and the ENT that we see won't even bill medicaid as a secondary, so those costs would come to us anyway (even for the deductible).
- Financial person said she didn't know the answers to (most of) my questions either and took my name and # to call me back... sometime.
- Called Medicaid as the CMS financial person told me to do and they said it is not marked that we have a private insurance. She says we have to call social security to get them to mark or not mark that we have a private insurance...
- Medicaid representative went through all 3 children's files and marked them that I'd called and I'm calling SS.
- Called SS who said that she had nothing to do with our insurance and she doesn't have a way to access that system or anything else. They only know that we're eligible because of her. That's all!
- Attempted to call back medicaid but got a busy signal on 3 different occasions.
Monday, March 8
I haven’t used ‘albums’ before in posting, so would love some feedback on whether this is a good format or not! Here’s a try :)
Here are some pic’s from the day before surgery, pre-op, and after at the hospital
Kristopher had his first soccer game this weekend! He’s #5 on the maroon team :)
Saturday we went to another Special Olympics Young Athletes meeting and all had fun!
Today after school we played in the side yard. We even found some tiny baby bunnies! And their nest… I hope they are ok! They scared me pretty good rustling around in the leaves pile before I knew they were cute little bunnies instead of snakes! One of the down sides of living in the woods—though I like the bunnies :)
And I got some close-ups of the kids this afternoon too :) Some of the kids were cooperative… some not so much :)
Emma carved out a trail behind her scooting around, Lynae escaped from sitting in the carseat and decided to play in the dirt (without ever fussing so I didn’t realize she’d escaped!), and Micah decided to go back on lick-streak… first the bin, then my jeans while he gave me a hug…
Now… tell me what you think of the albums??
Friday, March 5
Overwhelmed some days is a good way to get back to our knees, right?? :) I often think "Ok, God, you got my attention!" when my kids are misbehaving and I realize that I've not responded how I should have. I also know VERY well that God will give us more than we can handle... ALONE.
But sometimes that extra pressure from a whiney child is just what we need to turn back to God and look back at what we're doing and why...
I have 5 kids ages 7,6,4,3, and 5 months. Yesterday we were matched with another 3 yr old. 3 of my kids have Ds and so does the new little one. New little guy will make 3 non walkers and 5 in diapers. I'm not exactly sure what God's plans are but I know that His plans are not our own an His grace is sufficient!!
So my advice is just to keep walking, one step at a time, and don't forget that when you fall down, your knees aren't such a bad place to be...
I hope I can remember that as each day goes on!
Yesterday after dropping the kids off at school I stopped in just for a minute to pick up paint from Mom. Then came home and painted two wooden backboards for clothes/backpack hooks. I actually had a little time at HOME! Soon after finishing that I realized that during school drop off I'd missed a call and had a voice mail waiting- the little boy's social worker :).
I had a chance to catch up with a friend after that and get a few things done around the house as well. And it's her birthday too, so happy birthday Chris!
I made a birthday dinner for my mom since she watches the kids on Thursday nights for our MAPP classes. Baked chicken with cheese and sauce with carrots and sliced peaches. Hopefully it tasted ok... because Mike and I grab fast food and eat on our way to class on Thursdays :). Mom kept the three girls and N, Kristopher went with Mike's dad to soccer practice, and Micah we farmed out to Mike's mom since he's still not feeling well. He took his favorite puppy, Scout, and his boppy pillow along with a playpen and I think all was well in his world! He was home in bed and sleeping when I got home anyway!
Today Mike brought K, E, and N to school so N can do a make-up quiz before school. I have NOTHING on the schedule until 1:30! Time to hang all the laundry and maybe take a nice long walk. It's a BEAUTIFUL day here... high of 64 (once we get past the 40 mark it will be beautiful anyway!).
Thursday, March 4
Yesterday the match-meeting was held for a 3 yr old little boy in the foster system that has Ds. We were one of three families that opened our home to him and we were matched!
We've got another 3 weeks of MAPP classes (after tonight's) and then we can meet him. We are excited (and extremely nervous :) ) about what God has planned. We did say YES and He is holding us to it! When He's driving it's all ok though...
I have no idea what I can share at this point but wanted to at least tell the news :)
Tuesday, March 2
It's been a great start to our week! Sunday I took K, N, and L to church then to Wal-Mart (and McD's) then home. We worked on some bookcases, got ready for the school week and just hung out as a family for the afternoon. N and I worked on his make-up work for math and I remembered how much I love teaching! Even more fun when you have a kid that catches on pretty quickly and is actually listening to learn it :)
Monday Mike brought K and E to school then I followed an hour later out the door to bring N to school. Was that only yesterday?? LOL I called my mom to pick up K and E because all three of the little ones were sleeping when it was time to go get them. Mike's uncle came over and looked at our pool and pump setup in the morning and the kids got down a little late to nap. We really appreciated his uncle's expertise and advice on the current setup though!
Monday afternoon we got back from getting N at school around 4:40 and got dinner in Kristopher and him into his new SOCCER clothes! He was so excited to go to his first practice! I did dinner with the other 5 kids and baths and bedtime. Mike and K got home just before bed. N spent almost the entire evening on homework again but is doing well with it.
Tuesday dawned bright and early and I keep thinking it was yesterday (it's 9:20 tues NIGHT now...). Mike took K, E, and B to school then I took N later on. I was going to go by the bank but Micah wasn't feeling well and I decided to head straight home instead. We hung out at the house today, I attempted to lay down (didn't work much) and then was back out the door to get K, E, and B at 2 then went to the bank... then back out at 4 to get N! We had a quick dinner and Micah slept through it. It's been just a go go go kind of week.
Tomorrow is a big day though. Tomorrow is one of those days that you look back on and say "we made it through!" Four years ago on March 3rd we were digesting the news given on March 1st that Brianna has Ds and we were told that she also needed open heart surgery. That afternoon, my 14 month old "nephew", E, moved in with us for an undesignated amount of time. I was a children's pastor at the time and had a bonfire at a student's house that night as one of our ministry events and I remember trying to keep my composure while sharing with our volunteer team what was going on in our lives that moment. All the while trying to keep my 25 month old son, 14 month old nephew, and 2 month old daughter away from the fire. Ok, so the 2 month old that wasn't so hard for!
Anyway, that day the reality struck as one of the most difficult, stressful days of our lives. It just kept heaping on, it felt like. And we didn't know what 'normal' might be like for our family going forward. Four years later I'm glad to say that 'normal' for our family is just perfect... better than I could have dreamed it would be.
And tomorrow, oddly enough, is the meeting that the 3 yr old 'local' little boy is being matched at. We are one of many families that have offered up our home to him and we will likely find out tomorrow whether they have found a home for him among those 'petitioners'. We will welcome him in with open arms if we are chosen... and we will be glad for him to have found ANY home if we are not. I do believe they will find a home within the many that have offered so I'm glad for him that tomorrow will be a step toward getting to be a part of a family!