Thursday, November 22, 2007

Home (sick) for the holidays

Hope everyone's having a happy Thanksgiving! We're holed up here in the germ-o-sphere that is our home. (Originally had plans to have Thanksgiving with my parents, but had to cancel for obvious reasons.) Kaitlyn came down with our flu yesterday morning but seems to be on the mend. Yosef and Biniam remain healthy--somehow, knock-on-wood. There will be no turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy or pumpkin pie for us today. There WILL be much resting, consuming of jello, and watching more mindless TV.

Honestly I feel really thankful this year...thankful for little Kaitlyn and what I can only describe as the sheer joy she brings to our home. For the way God watches over her, for the way she smiles and plays and is the sweetest little baby in spite of how ill she's been for the last several months.

I'm thankful for my two little boys and that God's plans for their lives included us. I'm really enjoying getting to know Yosef and Biniam better and better and seeing their personalities develop. I'm continually in awe of where they came from and how God has provided for them in spite of what was a very bleak past. They crack me up and I can't wait to see what God has for their futures.

Thankful for my little Anna she really coming up on four years old? I feel like we figured out this motherhood/baby thing together--when I found out I was pregnant I'd been just married a year, I excitedly left the Cal Poly campus for good after getting my pregnancy confirmed at the health center, no clue about babies or raising kids but madly in love with the little girl God was giving me. I love her sense of humor, sweet spirit and huge heart.

I'm thankful for my husband Kevin. He's a great man, amazing daddy, and my bestest friend. We have so much fun together and I love how at the end of the day, no matter the vast amount of laundry, dishes, or children :), we're on this adventure together. He keeps me grounded and sane. Probably because he makes me laugh.

I've decided I'm really thankful for hope. When I look at the more difficult things in my life right now, or in others' lives, the one constant is that God is in control and I can put my hope in Him. I won't see all things put right in my lifetime, but eventually they will be.

Anyway, I hope you all have a truly blessed Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and hope.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Well as of 3 am this morning, BOTH KEVIN AND I HAVE THE STOMACH FLU. It is just awful, definitely the most sick we've ever been. Anna's still a little sick too. Yet somehow we're still alive...and thanking the Lord that we have two bathrooms.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The good stuff

In spite of Anna's being sick, we've had fun this weekend. Saturday morning I took Yosef, Biniam and Kaitlyn to a friend's birthday party in SLO. It was so fun! Anna was really disappointed that she missed it, but she had lots of fun at home with Daddy. (Anna tells me that they played a chicken video game and "Don't Spill the Beans.")

Later that evening I decided to involve the kids in a cookie-making project. We all made my friend Lisa's chocolate chip cookies...yummy! My kids love to help me bake (and eat! Great recipe Lisa--and I feel oh-so-healthy eating them! :) )

Today we stayed home from church and I got started on my niece's Christmas present. I'm making her a little apron using this tutorial. Yes people, I actually DO own a sewing machine--I just haven't used it in two and a half years! I'm not particularly crafty, but I'd like to do more, and these aprons are just so fun. (Rachel I guess now you know what Aubrey's getting!)

I love simple family days where I'm reminded that this is what life's about. Way too often I find myself wishing that this or that were different, but ultimately, it doesn't get better than this. It really, really doesn't.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Not ten minutes after our growth group Biblestudy left on Wednesday night, we heard panicked screaming and crying coming from Anna's room. We ran (yes, ran!) in there to find that she'd just thrown up! She had a fever, threw up again a couple hours later, and had a couple more times where she thought she was going to but didn't. Needless to say, Mommy is pretty sleepy! Ever since then she's had a fever and been vomiting on and off using the nifty basin thing we gave her. She keeps a cup of water in her room too and manages her illness quite well, if I do say so myself! (She's three going on about twenty three I think.)

When I was growing up, whenever I was sick, my parents always pampered me and made me feel so cozy and nurtured. This is something I really want to do with our kids, too. So Thursday I made Anna a special "bed" on the couch, where she got to eat her breakfast. I made jello, she watched Cinderella, talked on the phone to Grandma Perruzzi, and got lots of rest. She's always been a great patient--no whining, in good spirits. Kaitlyn gave her lots of smiles that day, and Wednesday night after Anna threw up, Biniam woke up and wanted to pray for her. So sweet!

At any rate, we're making the most of it and enjoying the extra cuddling, vegging out, and watching way too much Seinfeld!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kaitlyn's health...again

Okay so a few days ago Kaitlyn broke out in yet ANOTHER bacterial skin infection (number four, to be exact, but who's really counting anymore?) We met with the immunologist yesterday to go over her bloodwork, and her immune system is healthy as can be! She's developed amazing responses to the vaccines so it would appear that it's not an immunological disorder. I expressed my frustration with the whole mess and he was totally understanding, but did say he thinks very highly of our pediatrician (who he knows) and said he'd send his kids to him if they were young. He also said that he knows that "Joe" (funny to hear your doctor referred to by their first name) will know the right thing to do. That made me feel a LITTLE better.

After our appointment with him we headed to our pediatrician "Joe's" office where he took a culture (hooray)--we'll hear back in a few days. He recommended a special soap to put in her bathtub and we talked about antibiotics, etc. The danger with these skin infections is ultimately if it gets inside her body--into her GI tract, etc. (people have recently been in the news for dying from a MRSA infection.) He seemed to know a lot about antibiotics and said that methicillin-resistant staph often basically have to be blasted with combinations of antibiotics to get rid of it. He put Kaitlyn on some strong stuff and for a longer duration, so we'll see. Meanwhile she's happy as a clam and seemingly unphased by the whole thing (until you go to change her diaper or give her a bath, then she cries and wants to itch, poor thing.) I hate that she has to be on antibiotics in the first place, but MRSA is a huge deal and it's not something to mess around with.

Lately I've found myself completely exhausted, emotionally drained, and weary of this whole thing. I sometimes find that I'm angry with myself for not being able to make it go away; it's like, I'm her mother and I'm supposed to protect her! But she is so happy and full of energy these days, and that makes me feel hopeful and encouraged. I was just telling Kevin today that she is so just "one of the kids" now, playing in the toy basket, cruising all over the house. It's hilarious! She can also pull herself up to standing, though remains unable to get into a sitting position--quite interesting. She's loving solid foods these days, but still loves to nurse too, so I'm not too sad.

I'll be sure to post an update when the results come back. Thanks to all who've been praying for my sweet baby girl--this has been (and continues to be) a long road, and I know God will use it for good in the end. I confess that entrusting my children to Him is really difficult for me, but He is faithful and loves my kids more than I can imagine.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Since very early on in the adoption process I somehow (not remembering how!) started getting to know Shelley. It's been so neat seeing their family grow, reading their blog and emailing back and forth (except I don't have as much time for either these days!) I love knowing there's another young, big family out there and that we're not alone. :) Anyway I read this post today and it captures so much of what I think and feel.

Somedays I just wish I could be normal

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Iraq's children

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.---James 3:17-18

I believe I'm a Christian first, and American (a distant) second. Lately I've felt terribly sad that so many Iraqi men, women, and especially children have been maimed, killed, and displaced on account of actions my country has taken. I don't care to debate whether we should be there or not (honestly I have no clue, if I did I guess I'd be working at the pentagon or as an advisor to the president!). However, I feel terrible that our Iraqi brothers and sisters are suffering and scarcely anyone mentions them. For some reason I get the impression that it's unpatriotic or unChristian to care about people from Iraq.

As Christians I think Christ compels us to care, and to love, and to remember that the kingdom of God looks and works differently from anything here on earth. In God's kingdom, we love our enemies, love our neighbors, give food and drink to those who need it regardless who they are or what they believe.

World Vision has worked in Iraq for some time. They have put together these videos that I hope you'll take the time to watch. What an opportunity the church has right now, to reach out and bridge the gap between Christian and Muslim, rich and poor, to put Jesus' love into action. Anyway, please watch these clips and pray for these children (and maybe consider contributing towards Iraqi relief efforts!)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Trick or treat

Another Halloween has come and gone. This year we continued our Heldt family tradition of making and decorating Halloween cookies. Oh, and eating them of course!

On Halloween night the Gibsons (including ADORABLE baby Henry in his sweet bear costume) and my parents came over for pizza and trick-or-treating. So fun! It felt kind of chaotic wrestling four kids into costumes, but was of course totally worth it--our kids had a blast! Anna just could not get enough of the trick-or-treating. She loved ringing the doorbells. My dad did a great job of helping Yosef and Biniam navigate the festivities.
Then we returned home, candy in hand, to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." A good time was had by all!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ahoy mateys!

Gearing up for Yosef and Biniam's birthday party this Friday night--they just turned three on October 28th. We're having a pirate party and our kids are SO excited! Every day Anna asks, "Is the pirate party tonight?" In spite of the fact that I waited WAY too long to mail out invitations, people are actually coming and I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be extra festive because people are coming dressed as pirates if they want to.

I really wanted sweet Kaitlyn to have something "pirate-ish" to wear but couldn't find anything, so I bought these great iron-on transfers at Michaels and ironed a big skull/crossbones onto a long-sleeved white onesie. Would have turned out perfect, except my iron has steam holes on it! I read all of the instructions (which were rather extensive) but it said nothing about that. (I'd never done transfers before, obviously.) SO FRUSTRATING, but hopefully she'll still look okay--I think I'm going to try to doctor it up a little. It's just on the black part.

I've had fun finding stuff to put in the goody bags, like temporary tattoos, gaudy rings, and other assorted loot for kids. My kids' parties are always just big get-togethers at our home--I don't plan games or structured activities at this point. I figure kids this little just like to eat food and run around. I realize this may have the potential to be boring, but my kids always seem to have fun. I also like to do evening parties, because my kids are pretty much exhausted if it's close to nap-time.

Anyhow that's what I've been up to lately. I'll post Halloween pics sometime soon, too. We've been enjoying these yummy Halloween funfetti cupcakes that I made for the kids this past weekend (what is it about boxed cakemix/frosting that tastes so good?! The frosting is actually photography is not my strong suit!)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Were you in the Santa Maria Macy's today?

If so, then maybe you saw me make a complete idiot out of myself!

The "up" escalator was out of order, so I had to take the yucky elevator to the second floor (in hopes of finding some Martha Stewart muffin pans.) Well, when I was ready to leave I got on the "down" escalator (which WAS working) and as I started going down, I noticed the big Martha Stewart emblem above some Christmas stuff that I hadn't seen yet. I love looking at her things and I thought, how hard can it be, I'll just go up the four or five steps of the "down" escalator (as opposed to riding all the way down, hiking back to the elevator, etc.) AND I FELL. My shoe and purse went flying, I somehow managed to scramble up and grab them, and kept pressing on towards that dang Martha Stewart sign. I think I stumbled again (it's all a blur to me now), but somehow I managed to make it up and quickly dashed over to hide behind some merchandise. No one saw me, thank goodness!

Needless to say I'm completely sore--my hand and legs got scraped up, my ankles hurt, and I seriously think I nearly lost a toenail. I guess that's what they mean when they say, "shop till you drop!" (Also needless to say, I really enjoy Martha's line at Macy's--perhaps a little too much.)

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