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Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 1 back to school...

This semester will be busy for sure!!!  I had an appointment with the nursing adviser today and it turns out that the math I am enrolled in will not count towards the "residency" points for my nursing application because it is a pass/fail class.  The problem is that all other math classes offered this term conflict with my A&P class or the children's schedules. Well that is with the exception of Calculus.....and I am NOT retaking that one - once was enough!

So my options now are to take an extra class this term or add another class in the winter term (in addition to Genetics and A&P II) ...neither one is really a great option.  So I figured that I am going to bite bullet and opt for a PE class this term.   I really do not want 11 credits but the way I look at is that at least 7 of my credits should be relatively easy.   The math class is primarily self-guided, show up and do your work kind of thing and for PE - well what can I say, at least I will get exercise 3 days a week ;-).  The bonus to taking the PE class now, is that I will be completely done with all the general credit classes required for the nursing program.  So if I get accepted to the local program, I only have the nursing curriculum to concentrate on.

So for the next few months ... my nose will be in the books!


Back to school today...

Classes start back up today and I am SO ready to get going.  I am taking A&P and math ... here is to hoping that I will not be completely buried in homework by the end of the week.  Nah who I am kidding .. of course I will be :-)

I had a great birthday weekend.  Beautiful and sunny out all day Saturday ... an excellent day to try out my birthday present at the bird estuary.  My honey got me a kayak.  Love it!  It will be a great way for me to work on my upper body strength ~ my only conundrum at the moment is learning to get it on the top of my car by myself!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, September 21, 2012

All about perspective...

In my last post I wrote about my hurt feelings.  In the overall context of life ... my feelings are just that mine.  Putting a little more thought into it, a better term may have been disappointment.   I never expected daily, weekly, or even monthly contact ... but I did expect some level of contact.  Just a little news ... a girl can dream ~ maybe one day it will happen :-)

All I am doing is giving a voice to something that has been weighing on my heart.  In the grand scheme of things, I feel certain that N is well cared for and loved beyond measure.  He is a blessed little boy and I treasured the time I carried him.

Treasure the journey ~ enjoy the moments - and live life without regrets.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hurt feelings but I would still have done the same...

Fall is here and my birthday is near.  The change in season is a reminders that two years ago, I was gearing up for a transfer with L&J to help them complete their family.  The transfer went perfectly but life is not always perfect ... Still I believe in miracles and that every life circumstance will teach us something.  It may not always be lessons that we want to learn but none the less we will take something away from all situations.

Since the birth of my first child, my birthday wishes has always included happiness for my children and my sweet little surro babes.  This year I wish that little sweetheart N is growing bigger, hopefully stronger and more joyful to his beautiful family day by day.  Some days I think a lot about N&J - it is a funny feeling of holding someone so close at heart while still letting them go. 

I often wish that I would hear some news and my feelings are hurt that I do not.  Then I think maybe this is how it would have been even if all had been perfect, after all that is the chance you take with surrogacy.  Sometimes I think back at our emails and conversations laced with intent of keeping in touch...and wonder how I could have been so mistaken in what was yet to come.  Then I think that life and circumstances just got in the way.  Loss is hard and my journey with the twins ended in ways none of us wanted.  So many thoughts clouds my head when thinking about it....retracing steps of the last days of my pregnancy and then of the days to come after.  So many unanswered questions ... too many to count ... maybe I should not have left for NY the night I did, maybe I should have kissed little J's sweet cheek before his surgery.  Maybe I should have held little N closer that last time I saw him.  Maybe a few more minutes of holding him tight before taking L and him to the airport would have been ok - but I did not want to make them late.  Had I known then what I know now, maybe I would have held on just a little longer instead of the hasty snuggles in goodbye... but is that not how we always think, that there will always be a next time?  Reality is that sometimes there is not a next time.

Truthfully ... had I known, that soon I would never hear news again, I would still have done the exact same things.  I would still have spent hours pumping milk because even though it was time consuming and heart breaking, I wanted to do everything I could to make a difficult situation just a little bit better.  I would still have driven those many times 4-5 hours round trip just to catch little glimpses of two sweet little ones, to bring up milk to them, and for a chance to catch up with L to see how she was holding up.  I would still have spend hours and hours praying for all of them and I would still have given Little N my hasty snuggles to ensure their timely arrival at the airpot.

Life goes on and time heals .. or so so they say.  I do feel much stronger and better than I did a year ago.  If nothing else, time does provide perspective.  But I have learned something that I wish no mother ever had to learn.  Loosing a child ~ even one that was just mine to love for a brief time ~ is not something that you can ever be healed from, it is something that you have to learn to live with.  It changes you profoundly and life is never again the same. 

I have so many blessing in my life .. so much joy that I am grateful for.  Still at times an iron fist remains locked around part of my heart and closes in so tight that I can barely breathe.  My heart will always have ragged edges, and a piece will forever be missing ... but still it remains overflowing with lots of love for all the incredible, beautiful, talented, spirited and wonderful baby feet that I have been blessed to carry deep inside below my jagged heart.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Busy busy busy...

Homework x 4 kiddos, soccer and volleyball, 2 lovely doggies that wants to run and play, keeping up the house .... and as of next week adding my own school and homework to the schedule ... I have my work cut out!!  But it is all good...busy is great and while my to do list never ends or even seem marginally shorter even on a productive day, I feel ever so fortunate for all the wonderful blessings in my life.

Our exchange student arrived on Sunday and just a few days in, she is doing fabulous.  Her English is very good but I know it will still take her just a little bit to feel fully comfortable hearing herself speak another language all the time.  She had her first day at school today.  It was a bit overwhelming with all the new impressions, things to remember, and homework.  So after a little while, I banned homework for the day as she needed to get some rest.  She seems very sweet and I hope she will enjoy her stay in the US.

With all the kids of to school today, it was time for a bit of catch-up for me in order to get ready for school.  I start on Monday so not much time left before I really need to kick in back in to study mode.

I also went to meet with the volunteer service coordinator at our local hospital today.  I have been wanting to get some community volunteer service in and figured that the hospital will be a great place to do it at.  So now I just need to wait for my criminal background check and drug screen to come back and then I can schedule orientation.  My hope is that I can volunteer in some capacity that will give me a little bit of patient exposure. 

It has been a long day today and I am ready to hit the pillows and conquer more of my long list of "fun stuff" to do tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adding the "Warrior" title to my name...

Rio and I have the Warrior Medals to prove it!  We ran the Warrior Dash together last Sunday and it was so much fun having someone along for the run.

This is before the run .. check out the nice clean shirts and the horns!


After shot ... well we definitely have the mud requirement covered ..  Rio did a complete face plant in the very last mud pile :-)



Don't we just look awesome?

Back to the grind...

In more ways that one!

My fall term classes start soon.  I am ready to get back in the thick of it.  I will be taking Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) and basic algebra this semester.  Yes I did say math!!!  Ughh!!!  I have both Finite Math and a Calculus class taken for my previous degree; however, the math requirement for the nursing program must be fulfilled within the previous 5 years ... so here I go!!  Hopefully it should be an easy class although I know it will be a lot of busy work.  Actually it might be a nice review and enable me to help the kiddos better as they are advancing in to more complicated math in school.

The downside to having to take math is that I will be on campus 5 days a week for this term.  Yikes!  That means out of the house every single day ... busy!!!

I also need to set a new fitness goal.  I have been slacking a bit during the last month of summer but I have maintained my weight below 130 and I am happy about that.  Today my scale reflected 124.2 .. woohoo - I do not even recall when I saw that number on a scale!

So here is my new goal.  Back to running 3-4 days per week, strength training 3-4 days per week, and my abglider ... EVERYDAY!!!  My goal for now will be to make it down to 122 lbs.... actually it would be great if I could make it to about 150lbs with a sweet babe in my belly but since that does not appear to be in the cards right this moment...I will strive for letting go of a few more pounds.

Wish me luck ...


Friday, September 7, 2012

Surrogacy update...

While I am updating, I figured I might as well get a little post in about this as well.  Here is where we are at:

Hurry Up and Wait.....

Will it ever happen ... I don't know.  Life happens and some times other things get in the way.  What I do know is that insurance issues seems to be straightened out .. but now we are waiting on the attorney.  Hopefully soon ... things will move forward. 

To make sure that I am still healthy and set to go in the event we do move forward, I just had my usual annual OB check-up as well as a visit with my primary care provider.  Labs and pap results should be back soon and hopefully all looks good.  My primary care provider did have me go in for some further testing on my abdominal aorta as she thought the pulsating was very prominent on my belly.  Well the ultrasound went fine and all looked well - the technician said it is because I am so skinny ... now that made me giggle as I have not really been accused of that before ;-)

Appreciation...

So this posting have been in the works for a little while now.  I really needed some time to reflect and think through a recent incident.  No one in this world is perfect ... and I know that while I strive for perfection and I often expect perfection ... I am FAR from perfect!!

I recently made a huge faux pas .. and truly, I should be have been skinned and hung out to dry.  I was mortified at my own indiscretion and the fact that it happen so quickly.  The realization of what I did just sting and I feel terrible about it.

Let me preface the below with saying that I have a total new-found appreciation for parents who are dealing with food allergies in their children.  What most of us take for granted, the ability to eat what ever we like at any given moment, is so not the life for parents of allergic children.  They always have to be on watch ... always have to read labels ... always watch what other people around them are doing and bringing close.  While it surely it is something that becomes second nature because it has to.  It must be exhausting because dangers can lurk anywhere even when good intentions is all that is present.  A child may be at risk for adverse reactions and any parent will know that watching your child, any child, in trouble is no fun - regardless of what the situation may be.

On a recent overnight away, we visited some friends whose children are severely allergic to various things ... including eggs and peanut butter.  I have known this for a while, and during the visit we spent a good amount talking about it and the allergy trials that they are currently a part of.  Given my new line of studies, hearing about the trial is very fascinating to me and especially as I just took a nutrition class over the summer too.   The fact that potentially through exposure, tolerance levels can be increased and the risk of reactions can be lowered, is amazing.

Anyway...the morning comes along and the kids are hungry.  Since we were away from home, we had a cooler packed with some stables that we take for granted in our life and the kids wanted their usual oatmeal.  While pulling out the oatmeal, I automatically pulled out a couple of boiled eggs and Rio had the PB to make a quick sandwich (this is one of his go to meals) .... well what a boo boo.

My friend comes in the kitchen, takes one look and announces that we are just an "allergic parents" worst nightmare!!!  And YES the realization hit me full on - WE WERE!!!!  How the heck did I not mentally connect my brain to my actions.  Yes it was morning time and the needs of my children were primary on my mind (one of my friends children were already gone to pre-school and the other had already had breakfast) ... but I felt so utterly disappointed by my actions.  The act of simply and quickly wanting to feed my children could pose a risk to their children.  My actions were to tied to my usual habits.  My second nature of doing what we normally do kicked it when really I should have been thinking.  Well a fanatical and big time clean-up impulse hit me right then and there...the need for me to eradicate any little trace of egg or pb was instant and severe.   Luckily we were at a very minor portion of their kitchen (small area of the counter top and sink) ... but trust me when I say, every possible surface that may have been touched was wiped down with cleaner.

Needless to say - I felt like a horrible horrible person.... and my friend if you are reading, please know that the next time I see you ~ I promise, promise, promise to leave egg breath and pb at home!!!

Pinch me ~ we have a family addition...

I am cannot believe how quickly it all happened with our foreign exchange student!!!

Last Thursday I inquired about the program through http://www.cetusa.org/ as I had heard via Facebook that there were in big need of host families as many students were still waiting for placement for this year.  Well the ball got rolling quickly....and in the matter of a week we went through a whirlwind!

Informal inquiry, formal application, criminal background checks, psych screening and in-home visit, phone call with the children and hubby, review of student profiles, choosing a great student for our family ...  and yep placement of a student!!!  That was in one week!!!  Ok now let me breathe for a moment .... deep breaths ... in and out!!!  I am adding another teenager to the clan :-)

All I can really do is just laugh ... thank goodness I have a great husband and wonderful children who are so loving and accepting when I come up with these crazy insertions to our daily life!

I should mention that we have hosted an exchange student before, so this is not completely new to us.  I love opening our home to others and bringing different perspectives and new culture into our family.  It is such a wonderful way for everyone to learn and expand horizons.  We truly hope that our new "daughter" from Thailand will be a blessing to our family and we hope to bless her with a wonderful experience in the US for the next 10 months.

We are excitedly awaiting her arrival details ... it will be very soon, maybe as soon as Saturday :-)


Vacation, Miss V and visit with a friend...

Summer break ended with a fun vacation to California.  I needed to renew my passport, and as Denmark have gone to biometric passports as of January 1, 2012, my only options were to go to New York, Chicago (yep should have done that one before we moved back to the coast had I only known about these new requirements!!) or Palo Alto, California.  Well Palo Alto was the closest option and we could incorporate a trip to San Francisco.  I have been wanting to visit there for a long time so off we went on some family fun.

We left the coast on Tuesday and started off with getting new tires on my car in Portland.  Then we collected Rio from work and headed south.  We had a week filled with lots of fun!  We saw the Redwood Forrest .. which is amazing!!  We visited the Trees of Mystery in Klamath California where they have a 36 foot tall talking statue of Paul Bunyan and his bull.  It was hilarious.  The kids would shout out questions and the statute would "talk back and answer them."  They also offered an amazing canapy ride through the Redwoods and all the kids loved that.

From the Redwoods we headed further south to Palo Alto and San Francisco.  We got the City Pass for the San Fransisco attractions and our weekend was full!  Friday night we did a boat ride on the bay, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz (I really wanted to get on the island but tickets were sold out).  Saturday we went to the Exploratorium - the kids loved it - and the aquarium on Pier 39.  Then we went on the famous trolley ride and to the Rain Forrest Cafe for dinner.  Sunday we spent at the California Academy of Sciences which again was just an incredibly fun place for the kids to explore.  There was so many things to see and do - I am making my list for next time ;-)

We just had a great time together and saw lots of fun stuff along the way.  Rio flew back to Portland on Sunday to return to work.  Leaving me to do the ride home alone with the kiddos.....it was just fine - but long!  But hey we are used to that!!!

On our trip we got to visit with Miss V and her family ... what a treat!!!  The babes are getting so big and they vocabulary is just exploding.  It was just so much fun to talk to and play with them.  It was wonderful to chat with M&M as well, and I feel so very appreciative that we still have contact.  To be given a window to look in on a sweet little miracle that I helped nurture is truly a blessing....and my heart just melts over little Miss V's cute little smiles.  Thank you guys .... we had a nice visit.  Sprinkler and all!!!

I also got to visit with another friend on the drive back home.  Back in the fall of 1995, Rio and I purchased our first computer ... you know, the big box, that was incredibly expensive and totally a waste of money (at least if you asked my mom at the time!!) ... and we got hooked up to this incredible thing called the internet.  Well the internet led me to AOL's chat rooms and there was a Danish Forum.  In there I "met" Rikke ... she had come to the US as an exchange student and found her prince ;-) ... well here we are 18 years later and until this summer we have only shared an online friendship.  On this trip, I had the opportunity to meet her and her lovely family face to face.  It was just a lot of fun.  With true Danish hospitality, they opened their home to us and we came there for dinner and spent the night before heading back North.  Our visit was too short ... but I hope that we can remedy that sometime as I would love to spent more time with her....fun fun fun!

Back home again ... we were gone for 7 days ... 7 days of no computer time for me!!!  What a great and wonderful ending to our summer.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kids are back in school...

Woohoo....back to school was yesterday and the kids were excited.  Well at least two of three were excited!  Olivia was lamenting that all she does in school is sit and do work ... yep that is school for ya little girl :-)

With the kids back in school, I have some catching up to do!  But first...I have exciting news.

We are the proud parents of an extra teenager - Supawadee from Thailand will be joining our family for a 10 month high school exchange.  We are excited to welcome her here very soon.

...Let the mayhem continue :-)