Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in Review

A Year in Review

This year has been very busy, filled with many firsts, exciting adventures, and full for all. We have also faced challenges, learned valuable lessons, and battling trolls.
The year started off with tons of fundraising events to help with the adoption of Veronika and Gavyn, park picnics, kite flying, Easter Egg scavenger hunts, and school events. In June, my husband and I flew to Veronika and Gavyn's birth country. After court, Mark returned home to be with our older children while I remained with the babies until we were able to fly home in mid-July. 
After getting home we had fun picking berries at a berry farm, celebrated Veronika and Gavyn's first birthday, attended Veronika and Gavyn's first Buddy Walk,  Celebrated Brandon, Tamara, and Britney's birthday, went to a Grist Mill where Brandon was able to churn butter and we all got to enjoy some delicious fry bread, went to a local state park for hiking and water fun, went to a pumpkin patch, got to go trick-or-treating, had a wonderful Thanksgiving, went to the tree farm to pick our Christmas tree, and had an amazing Christmas.
We feel so blessed. Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

First Christmas Picture Home
Big Sister and Baby Brother at the Tree Farm
First Christmas Hay Ride
Christmas Tree all Decorated

Daddy and his littlest babies
Mama and her sleepy babies
Sweet Girl

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Standing up for Yourself

I was looking through my emails when I noticed that someone had commented on my last post about our current doctor. I have the comments moderated so my older children who read my blog do not have to sit and listen to hurtful or ignorant things being said about their family.Normally, if it is something that I feel is not appropriate I will just delete the comment. Today I woke up in a slightly different mood however and I want to address what was said. You see, I made a comment that I did not feel the doctor was taking time to get to know my children. He is our pediatrician and I feel that he should be taking time to know each one of them, not to just breeze into the exam room listen to their heart, hear about their symptoms and try to diagnose as fast as possible so he can move on to the next patient. I want him to keep up to date on how they are doing, not just hazard a guess.
So in response to what I posted, I got this lovely comment...

" Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Dear....": Wow! I pay doctors to give me their professional medical opinion, not to blow sunshine up my butt. The sooner you realize that the world doesn't revolve around you, the better off those kids will be."

First off,  Anonymous, there are a LOT of doctors out there. You should NEVER see a doctor that you do not feel comfortable with or who is not addressing your concerns. While a doctor may have their own professional opinion they are not God, they DO make mistakes, hence why a LOT of people go get a second and even third opinion when they do not feel what their doctor is telling them is correct.

Secondly, we have physical therapist and occupational therapist that work with our children on a weekly basis that have done assessments about where they are developmentally. Seeing my children for 3 minutes does NOT qualify a doctor to make a realistic professional medical opinion about where they are developmentally. It is very hard for two babies to crawl all over and pull to a stand and show all their skills while being forced to lay on a table to be examined as they are being poked and prodded by the doctor. 

Also, as a parent, it is my job to stand up for my children. To be there to speak on behalf of their rights. To make sure they are being treated with respect and dignity. I will make sure my children get the best care possible.  We are paying the bill, and our insurance company has many doctors under their plan, so why would I be so ignorant as to stay with a doctor who does not take the time to get to know my children? One who is very hard to get ahold of when my kids are sick.

Maybe that is how you want to raise your kids, if you have any. But I want my kids to have the best doctor I can find them. Does that mean that I will always like what they say? NO it does not. What it does mean, is that the doctor we will see is going to take the time to listen to what the symptoms are, they will take the time to ask how they are doing, and IF they do not know what is wrong with my child they will ADMIT it and maybe refer us to a specialist or they will tell us they will do some research on it and get back to us.

So you do what you want with your health and the health of your family. As for me, I will find a doctor who actually cares about my children and will listen when we have concerns. We will do our best to make sure our children are comfortable in the doctors office and get the best care we can find.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Dear Doctor,

You are not taking the time to get to know my children. Before you try to slap a label on them, take a bit of time to get to know them. Do not assume because my 17 and 15 month olds wants to put your stethoscope in their mouth that they are mentally at a 5 month old level. LISTEN when I tell you how amazing she is doing and how much progress she has made since being home. Notice how well they are sitting up compared to the last time they were in when they could not sit up on their own. Ask how they are doing at home, do not just throw your papers at me that are to tell me about development, trust me, over the last few months I have more paperwork thrust at me than you can imagine and I really do not need 5 copies of the same paperwork.
Comment on things like how well they are doing, and how much they are growing. And for goodness sakes, get a REAL measuring device so you know how long my kids really are! I would love to have an accurate record of their height but with you having them lay down on the exam table and are having your nurse draw lines at their head and feet, that is just not working. After all, I am sure my child has not lost 2 inches since their last visit.
If you give my child a shot and they have a reaction to it, at least pretend to be concerned. As a parent, I am very against doing things that I know hurt my child to begin with. Immunizations are one of those really gray areas for me. When my child gets immunizations and then breaks out in a fever and spots all over her whole body and we take her in to see you the next day about it and you send us home saying "just watch it", I am not feeling encouraged to take her back to get more shots the next time.  When I call back and report that the spots are spreading, and request that you call me back, please understand that I am a concerned parent. My child is in pain and uncomfortable. Unless you know 100% what is the problem, shouldn't you be a little more concerned instead of just acting like it is no big deal?
When I tell you that we have a family history of something, do NOT make a comment that makes me feel like my family is a freak (because we have had different reactions to meds and shots than most of your patients)and since this child is not my biological child I don't need to worry about that happening.
WE are paying YOU! We are lining YOUR pockets. We can very easily find another doctor. In fact, We are already looking right now.
Thank you and Have a Nice Day!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday Memories and Traditions...

Thanksgiving at our house is quite different from how it was when I was growing up. While it is just as special, and I would not trade it for the world, I certainly did have some very good memories of Thanksgiving at my grandparents house with almost every member of our extended family present.
If you can not tell how old this picture is by the clothing alone, let me point out that I am the little one being held in the back and that might help you guess the year. And that was only SOME of the family, I think a lot of people just refused to get in the picture because I know there were a lot more people there.
Years went by, we all grew up, but we still went over to grandma's for Thanksgiving. In case you are wondering, I am the one in the red and white near the front of the picture. Everyone would bring something, the turkey would be cooked at my grandma and grandpa's house and sometime during the day all the ladies and kids would take a walk around the neighborhood, sometimes exploring trails, other times just to burn off some of those extra calories. And the guys, they always would entertain us with a tackle football game played outside in a field by the house. We would all sit around while dads, uncles, and cousins would tackle each other to the ground and try to stop the other team from scoring a goal.
But times change, grandkids start having their own families, grandparents pass away, and somehow, it is no longer the same. I miss those years. The time spent with cousins, the time spent seeing aunts and uncles that live out of state. But, I had my own family and we had to create our own memories.
Most of my family lives on the east coast or in the south, so we have a quieter meal at our house, I cook all the food on my own, starting with the pies the night before. I love cooking and actually look forward to this day all year round. It is a peaceful time, a time to celebrate all we have, but it is us as a family, being real. We don't have to be prim and proper, we dont have to get dressed up. It is a come as you are, be as you are kinda day, with yummy foods to snack on while everyone waits with anticipation for the big meal.
We make our own traditions...
 gingerbread houses,

 baking cookies for Santa,

Cutting down our own Christmas tree at the tree farm..

And if it snows enough,  making giants snowmen with friends...

No, my children will not have the same large family gatherings on holidays that I did growing up, but we have our own traditions and are making our own memories. We are loving life, and living it to the fullest, and feeling blessed for what we do have. It isn't like my childhood,  this is my children's childhood. One with parents who surround them with love every change they get and make sure they never doubt for a moment how much they are loved.
This year, we were blessed to add two more little ones to our Thanksgiving table and can hardly wait until Christmas.
And one day, our kids will talk about their memories growing up. I hope they remember, even if their traditions become different than ours, how special and magical their holidays were when they were young, just as I remember mine.