Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Monopoly woes

I was at WalMart this past weekend with my mom and they had some board games on sale. I picked up Monopoly and Life, with the hopes that Kevin would be willing to play them with me. In the past he has always grumbled about not liking Monopoly, so we've never played together.

Sunday afternoon we played and I won--by a landslide! Monday he went to work and researched Monopoly strategies (gotta love Wikipedia) and I have not won since. :( We played Monday night and then again last night. Last night it was his hotel on Marvin Gardens that did me in. (Bummer when you have no source of income except for passing "Go" because all of your properties are mortgaged.)

Let it be known that I WILL win again. I had some bad luck last night but I think my strategy has gotten better (I can read Wikipedia articles too as it turns out). When my mom and I would play, we played "nice." No crazy strategies to block people from getting a monopoly, etc. But when I play Kevin, it is war.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving in pictures

This was taken at 9:30 p.m., the night before we were due to leave for Grandma and Grandpa's house. Anna had been in bed for hours although apparently not asleep. She came out of her room wearing shoes with her PJ's! When I asked why she had shoes on, she said "So I can go bye bye to Grandma and Grandpa's house!"

Biniam and Yosef in the kitchen before Thanksgiving dinner. Realizing the flowers aren't the most manly backdrop but the boys are man enough to compensate. :) (Yosef latched onto that doll, which used to be mine, shortly after we got there and never wanted to put it down.)

Anna before dinner.

Biniam is such a happy little guy!

Grandma, Anna and Biniam watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Note that Anna is "taking pictures" of Rudolph with the new toy camera Grandma and Grandpa bought her. I don't know why but this picture cracks me up!

Biniam loves his grandpa--it is the cutest thing!

(It occurs to me that Yosef has the fewest pictures taken of him this time around. It just seems to happen, but not to worry, next time it'll probably be one of the other kiddos!)

Heldt Thanksgiving and updates

Our Thanksgiving was nice and relaxing, although the days leading up to it were not! I was still sick with the stomach flu, and trying to get stuff ready to go spend a few days at my parents' house is not easy when you don't feel well. Not to mention I had the dreaded glucose tolerance test Wednesday morning...10 oz. of horrible lemon lime in less than 5 minutes. (While at the lab I got a call from Kevin saying Biniam had thrown up that morning. Ugh. However, he ate his breakfast and was his usual crazy, energetic self so we took it to be a fluke--not so smart as you will soon see.)

Somehow though, Wednesday evening we ailing Heldts managed to have the car all packed up, the kids bathed and nestled happily into their carseats, and the house locked up. Kevin and I were midway to the car to climb in ourselves when it happened...Biniam threw up all over his freshly-bathed self and his carseat...

SO we got Anna and Yosef out of the car and inside (poor Anna was really traumatized by the whole experience) and put on a video for them. I gave Biniam another bath while poor Kevin tried cleaning up the carseat best he could. A long time later, we reloaded the kids in the car (this time we laid a towel over Biniam just in case) and FINALLY set off to my parents'. Luckily they only live an hour away. (Biniam was fine the rest of the trip, must have just been the tail end of the flu for him or something. What was not fine was how the car smelled. Or the way those carseats are designed to be the most difficult things to clean.)

Fortunately the time at my parents' was a lot of fun--it was our first Thanksgiving with Yosef and Biniam! Our time there included lots of stories being read, the kids got their usual wheelbarrow ride from Grandpa, and there was lots of food to be eaten. Biniam is a little "Grandpa's boy" and spent tons of time cuddling with my dad. It is so neat to see our sons bonding with extended family and friends and forming those relationships.

Random Heldt updates:

Yesterday Anna moved up to the next Sunday school class at church, which she liked. They are working on learning "Away in a Manger" to sing at church in December! I am so excited about this (I know, what a dork) as it's the first "performance" for any of our kids in anything. I can't wait to see Anna up there not singing with all the other little kids not singing, but looking cute as can be.

I am quite pleased that Seinfeld Season 7 is out--why do they wait so long to release each one? Don't they know it doesn't take an entire year to watch each season? (For us it probably doesn't even take a month!)

We are finally all healthy and somewhat back to normal (though much of my house is in shambles, yuck. I hate getting behind on housework.) I'm 28 weeks pregnant today and have not yet grasped the reality that I will have a baby within three months. I wonder when it will set in?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My poem

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I have three kids, each of them two....
and the stomach flu.

I think the highlight of my illness was, while Kevin was at work and I was kneeling in front of the toilet with Anna hovering next to me--no privacy with three toddlers!--Anna proceeded to say very matter of factly, "Don't throw up on my toes, Mommy." Thanks for the tip, Anna!

It has, overall, been a brutal last few weeks for the Heldt clan! Luckily I am about all better, which is good for a number of reasons, including the fact that I am getting stir crazy and tired of killing time watching the ridiculous TV!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The arbitrary (sort of) birthdate

For parents of internationally adopted children, it's very common to not know the exact birth date of your child. In Ethiopia specifically, birthdays are not culturally significant like they are here, so it is not uncommon for even non-orphans to not know their birthday.

We had to choose a birthdate for Yosef and Biniam, because the one that AAI assigned them was clearly wrong. When the boys' birth mom relinquished them in December of 2004, she put on the form that they were one month and 15 days old. So we decided to just count back from the date the form was dated, which put the boys' birthday at October 28, 2004.

We had initially hoped to give them a birthdate that was significant somehow--but had a hard time finding something, which I felt disappointed about. The other day though I resumed my quest to find something special about October 28, and lo and behold discovered that on October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland. Pretty amazing, huh? I think October 28 is the perfect day to celebrate the birth and gift of our sons Yosef and Biniam.

(They also share a birthday with Bill Gates.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Some updates

Sorry my posts have been so sparse lately; this has been a brutal couple of weeks. Anna is potty-trained now however, which is awesome. It was relatively easy, because she's old enough to understand everything and hates to have an accident, so when presented with the choice of using the potty chair or going on the floor, she will choose the chair.

Last Thursday however, what I had assumed was a terrible diaper rash (and what had precipitated the potty training) had gotten much worse, lots of blisters, etc. (in spite of the fact that she hadn't worn a diaper in days) so that evening I opted to take Anna to see the doctor at Urgent Care--I didn't want to have to wait until the next day, or later, to see the pediatrician (honestly this rash was HORRIBLE) and this way Kevin could watch the boys. I had been frantically looking around online to see what her condition could possibly be and concluded that the only thing it could be was a skin infection called impetigo (common in little kids.) SO, we saw the doctor, who looked at the rash and said "This is odd" (must be a technical term they teach you in med school). He said he had no clue what it was (at least he's honest?) but to put hydrocortisone cream on it and see if it goes away. I told him I thought the rash was really nasty and asked point-blank about impetigo. No, he told me, impetigo would look different. Um, okay.

WELL, over the weekend it kept getting worse, spreading, just horrible. Poor Anna was in so much pain (the blisters hurt to the touch), especially when she'd have to sit down on the potty chair. I didn't want to go back to Urgent Care because the doctor is clueless so we just toughed it out. And I do mean "we"--it is AWFUL to see your kid in that much pain. Finally, yesterday, I got Anna in to see one of the pediatricians in the practice. He looked at one of her blisters for about a split second before saying, "That's impetigo."

GRRRRRRRR! "Dr. Mom" had been right all along. I told the pediatrician about the other doctor, but this guy just shook his head and said no, that guy was not a pediatrician, so sometimes they don't know. BUT, I remain annoyed because every time I've been at the Urgent Care there have been several children, often toddlers, waiting to see the doctor. Impetigo is pretty common and straighforward, and adults get it too, so I'm wondering why this guy just totally wrote it off, sentencing my kid to three extra days of pain (and a co-pay for a whole lot of nothing.) He should probably be familiar with the basics.

SO, Anna's on antibiotics, will no longer be contagious after tomorrow, and hopefully things will return to normal around here. Meanwhile Biniam, Anna and I are all getting over colds. We're having a little birthday party for the boys Friday night, I have my montly prenatal appointment that morning, and we have our final postplacement visit with a social worker tonight.

Which brings me to my next update, about the boys' readoption. Thankfully, FINALLY, a solution has been reached (and one that doesn't involve suing somebody). The agency who did the interstate compact for the boys (essentially the people who picked up after ATWA's error in February) is now bailing us out of this situation too, and can legally do so because they were inolved before. Whew! The executive director of ATWA even apologized and assumed responsibility for the whole thing, which was much appreciated. So time to get cracking on all the forms I have to file with the court. I've been sitting on it for about a week due to the craziness around here.

So that's the latest with the Heldts.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Two long days

I know, I have not blogged in forever. We've been busy, I've been tired, and I am now currently knee-deep in the process of potty-training my daughter. Fun. Sort-of.

On the upside, she doesn't have "accidents" and totally knows how and is usually willing to use the potty. On the downside, she inherited all of her mother's stubborness and can apparently "hold it" all day long if she wants. It's been 7.5 hours today to be exact. What this means is that she won't nap (I won't put a pull-up or diaper on her for naptime because she will just hold it until then, and therefore there would never be an opportunity for her to use the potty.) It's only day two of the potty-training (I'm basically using the "potty train your kid in a day" method even though I've never read the book myself) and I realize I should remain optimistic and be glad that I'm not cleaning up accidents. However, I'm EXHAUSTED and wondering how long this kid can hold out. (But I can be stubborn too and I WILL remain consistent with this, there is so no going back now!)

Funny thing is, I was so not in a hurry to do the potty training thing. I don't mind diapers all that much and life is crazy enough as it is right now. However, Anna got a HORRIBLE contact rash from her Pampers diapers (I mean truly awful--another HUGE reason I won't put a diaper or pullup on her for naptime yet) and so I'm committed to doing it now. So all this week we are staying home and trying to get this thing mastered and her rash cleared up.

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