>>Monday, June 26, 2006<<

I took this from Elle's post about Birthday's. Elle, I hope you don't mind!. Elle is another one of my blogger friends and her birthday was the day before mine. She celebrated it in style with her husband doting on her. My husband did the same thing. It was very special and it meant a lot to me.

I finally found something that really explains how I feel about birthdays. I have always enjoyed celebrating any and everyone's birthday for as long as I can remember. Even my own. Not for the presents or the attention. But, I believe that birthdays should be celebrated because it is a TRUE celebration that person was born into this world and has graced us with their life. So, thank you Elle for posting this on your blog. Because now, i can finally express why Birthdays mean so much to me.

From Here and Now - Living in the Spirit, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Birthdays need to be celebrated. I think it is more important to celebrate a birthday than a successful exam, a promotion, or a victory. Because to celebrate a birthday means to say to someone: “Thank you for being you.” Celebrating a birthday is exalting life and being glad for it. On a birthday we do not say: “Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.” No, we say: “Thank you for being born and being among us.”

On birthdays we celebrate the present. We do not complain about what happened or speculate about what will happen, but we lift someone up and let everyone say: “We love you.”

I know a friend, who, on his birthday, is picked up by his friends, carried to the bathroom, and thrown clothes and all into a tub full of water. Everyone eagerly awaits his birthday, even he himself. I have no idea where this tradition came from, but to be lifted up and “re-baptized” seems like a very good way to have your life celebrated. We are made aware that although we have to keep our feet on the ground, we are created to reach to the heavens, and that, although we easily get dirty, we can always be washed clean again and our life given a new start.

Celebrating a birthday reminds us of the goodness of life, and in this spirit we really need to celebrate people’s birthdays every day, by showing gratitude, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, and affection. These are ways of saying: “It’s good that you are alive; it’s good that you are walking with me on this earth. Let’s be glad and rejoice. This is the day that God has made for us to be and to be together.”

>>Tuesday, June 20, 2006<<
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina
So, I am a little delayed in talking about the Carolina Hurricanes winning the Stanley cup!. I am behind in just about everything!!

But, I have to say that even people who don't like hockey around here....everybody became united during this time. It was pretty cool.

I am way behind (2 weeks to be exact) in posting. I know everyone else understands how fast summer is flying by!. Nikolai has been home now for almost 2 months. It feels like a lifetime ago that we were in Moscow. He is so a part of us now that there is never a thought that he wasn't there from the beginning.

I have to say that I miss Moscow. Many of you that have been may ask me Why?. For me, it was such a special time in my life. It went beyond adopting our son. I miss that.

I just had my 37th birthday and for some that is old and some that is young... for me, a part of me still thinks that I am 21 and then my body kicks in and says "Girl...you feel like 90!!"

On the weight loss front, I have lost almost 17 pounds. Things are going slower than they were. I know that is the right way. But, I am not good with slow weight loss! :)

Our wedding anniversary is this week too and I love my husband more than I did the day we married. I can't imagine life without him.

Our summer is busy with activities, working, me STILL plugging away on my screenplay, and learning how to keep up with 3 very active children under the age of 6 and who constantly have colds. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment.

I hope you all are well out there in blogland! Drop a note to say hi and tell me how you are doing if you get a chance...

>>Monday, June 12, 2006<<
Just wanna have fun...

That is what our gang likes to do... going to ballgames, playing with bubbles, riding around...I haven't uploaded any pictures of the trampoline and swimming. That is their favorite thing to do.

Little N is as bald as ever....EXCEPT, I will have to say that he is growing out some hair and it is coming in blonde. Those that never met us and don't know we have adopted will say to us
" they all look alike", even those that know we adopted say how uncanny it is that he looks like his sisters. It wouldn't matter to me what he looks like...he is a doll baby.

We had an interesting situation come up at the NC Ukrainian/Russian Adoption picnic yesterday. We were all in the pool and one of the little boys that was adopted came up to him and asked all about him and what his former name was. Little N was very interested in this boy. He kept reaching out for him. N reached out to the little boy with his right hand (the one that is deformed) and the little boy screamed. He apologized profusely afterwards, he said it just scared him. He thought N had been burnt bad or something. I explained about how N was born that way. The little boy was great about it. I realize that most people have never seen a hand like N's. I suppose that we are so used to it that we don't even notice it. We have never really noticed it.

We did take N to the hand surgeon and they said that they could do surgery on his hand. However, one of the fingers that is welded in with the middle 3 does not have a bone. So, they will be able to seperate, but, he will only have 4 fingers. He is so good with his hands, that I can't even imagine them being seperated. But, I know it will be for the best for his future. It just pains me to think that he might be teased one day. But, I fully believe in not making a big deal out of anything. If you are not freaked out...others won't be.

Just like the other day, N has taken to the water like a fish. We are going to have to watch out for him. He likes to go out on his own. I have to remind him "Hello, you just learned how to walk....lets take it easy son!" :) Our girls were and are just as independent. Whew!. Busy household!

Hope all is well with everyone!! Anything new in anyone's life? Love to hear from you!!!

>>Saturday, June 10, 2006<<
Hockey Madness!!
I know that my girl Elle is out there and my new blogger friend Sheena from Australia daring our Carolina Hurricanes to win the Stanley Cup. :) (Elle, you know I am giving you a hard time)
This is only Game 3 and Carolina is in Edmonton right now....but, I am hoping for the best for the 'Canes!!

I have to say that my week has turned out well despite how it ended as of last week. S is back at home and doing great. She had her birthday party today that we had to move from last weekend. It was actually a lot of fun!. It is funny how kids work. We rented one of those Moon Walks. It was this big inflatable castle. We thought that the kids would love that!. They barely used it. They were fascinated with everything but the inflatable! But, yet...if we are at a place where there is one of those...they will break their neck trying to get in. Go figure!. But, they all had a blast.

Believe it or not, Potty humor is still king. Who knew? Seriously. The kids who came to the party got a "Whoopie Cushion" in their gift bags. The main reason we got that was because when S was in the hospital... B got her one to make her laugh...not only did it make her laugh..but, everyone who visited her. So, that is what we got. And let me tell you something...we gave it to the kids and they didn't stop playing with that toy. The laughter that was around was incredible!. I couldn't stop laughing because they were all laughing so hard. Our dog Lilly couldn't figure out what was happening and she started running in circles. Believe it or not...all of the adults were laughing too. I have laughed more today than I have laughed in a long time.

Baby N is loving life right now. We took him to the pool yesterday and I think he is a fish. If he had fins..I would never see him again! :) They had so much fun. It is so nice to have a few great days after such a crazy time in our lives.

AND another great thing that has happened...I think I mentioned that I am on the South Beach Diet. It is coming up on 3 weeks and I have lost 15 pounds! WOO HOO!. Ok...so, i have about 60 to go. But, I can't look at it that way. I am just thrilled to have those pounds gone!

I have to run now....The 'Canes are in the 3rd period and my nerves are shot!!! :)
>>Monday, June 05, 2006<<
All Hell has broken loose...

in our home!!! Sometimes in life...you just have to laugh hysterically or you really will cry!

S got out of the hospital this afternoon. Thank goodness!!! She is feeling much better, but, after they pumped lots of meds in her and her having gone under sedation twice...she is a little off kilter the last 2 days.

And now since she is feeling so good...she is bouncing off the walls...and then crying over everything. So..there is that scenerio. The next scene is when we came home from the hospital...Little M and Baby N were so excited to see her. Then Baby N saw me and started crying uncontrollably...like "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING LEAVING ME AGAIN?!?!" Then Little M was jumping up and down as well as our bulldog from excitement and they collided and next thing you know there was screaming and crying and blood. Don't know which one of them bit her tongue..her or the dog. So, at that moment....all three children started to cry.

Not your quiet cry, or your pretend cry...but, the kind that shatters windows.

While my mom watched the kids for a second during the scream fest..i decided to go to the mailbox. Only to find a collection notice of a payment that was supposed to be taken care of by the insurance company. If I could find tears, I would have cried. I think they are scared out of their pants to come out of my face.

I went back to the screamfest...and as of 7:30pm tonight....EST...it just ended. They all are asleep.

So, if you can't laugh about it...what can I do? Ya know? Can't wait until tomorrow when we take Baby N to the urologist to have his "man parts" checked out because of his birth. Can we say "ticked off". So, i don't foresee the hell being stopped from breaking loose in the near future.

I think I might go and buy a wig. I am quickly going bald. :)
>>Saturday, June 03, 2006<<
You are never given any more than you can handle....
that is what I am told a lot. Especially these days. S is still in the hospital. I am sitting right next to her. We are on Day 3 here. She is peaceful at the moment watching a Barbie movie. But, that can change in a moments notice. I have learned a lot about how pain affects a child. S has never been admitted into the hospital...so, this is new to me. I have never seen her like this. She is very tearful and then in hysterics and then screaming at me and then hugging me and then quiet.

As someone mentioned in my last post....what a rollercoaster ride we have been on. Somehow, I have managed to stay incredibly calm. How does that happen?. I think there must be this trigger in all of us in a time of crisis that we have this flight or fight instinct. Especially when it comes to those I love...I fight. I would take it all away from her if I could. It is terribly frustrating that I can't. But, I can try to make life a little easier for her in here.

I keep thinking these antibiotics will have really taken affect on her kidney infection by now. I think they have done a really good job....but, she still hurts. But, from what I am told about a kidney infection...it is really painful.

But, back to the part about "God never gives you more than you can handle.... " God must have mistaken me for someone else :). I know I can handle it and am handling it. But, what I am struggling with is.... WHY us? We have had SOOOOOOO much happen to us in the past 6 years. Major life changes....Moving across country, moving again..., pregancies..one of which landed me in the hospital with eclampsia and little M in the NICU, then me being laid off from a major job, death of my father in law from cancer, my own fathers amputation and cancer, me being in the ER more times than I can count and at least 4 major surgeries in 2 years. Little M in the hospital last year for pneumonia, this year S for Kidneys and Little N is now sick and now Little M.

I don't tell you any of this to feel bad for me or to feel sorry. I just can't help but wonder what is going on. My Mother in Law is so positive. I wished that I was more like her. She always says that "Hey...you made it through it all...it is over and behind you and look on the bright side" So are my sisters and brother...they are always cheering me on. My sister called yesterday and told me "God knew that you could handle it..." I told her that He picked the wrong sister...because I don't feel that strong.

I will write more later... I am headed home to take over taking care of our other two little ones that are sick. B will be here with S. I will be glad when we are all back together again.

Thanks for all of your well wishes!!

>>Thursday, June 01, 2006<<
Our little girl is in the hospital...
I tell you what...it seems like it is one thing right after another in our household. I have been sick with this H Pylori thing taking tons of antibiotics. N and M have had a stomach virus. Hubby is taking care of everyone and working a stressful job. He is amazing at all that he is doing.

I took S to the ER early this morning for severe stomach pain. She has a massive kidney infection. They are keeping her here fin the hospital for several days. I am lucky that I found a wireless connection.

I just wanted to ask for everyone's prayers and/or good vibes being sent our way. I feel like we are being majorly tested. But, like my sister called to tell me today....God doesn't give us anymore than we can handle. He sure must think I am strong!!!

All my best to everyone... I will be back in touch in blogger land!!!