Friday, September 30, 2011


The title pretty much sums up this post.

I have been pulling together all of the documents needed for readoption in our state. Luckily, we can represent ourselves instead of hiring a lawyer, but it is still going to cost us $320, plus the fees for birth certificate filing and several other fees for paperwork, all told it should end up around $600. Boo. But then we are offically done with money towards our kidlets, and what's a little more when we've already spent as much as we have? For those interested, all told, our adoption set us back about $34,000 for our two babes. That includes an agency switch to get into a Congo program, so we lost about $4,000 there, and massive airline ticket costs, to the tune of about $7,000. Yikes, but if it's God will, the money will be there, cause trust us, money does not grow on trees at the Nelson household.

Should have known that Truitt would have a massive poop blow out this morning, because last night his farting woke me up from sleeping and I was wearing ear plugs! Just as I was trying to dash out the door (dashing is a huge joke, I dash no where with this many kids!) for a docs appt., I go to pick up Truitt and change him into a cute little outfit before he outgrows it next week, and I discover that he has pooped every where. Seriously. My sweet little bundle of love only poops approximately every 3 days, and yes I knew today was "the day", but it usually happens at night. And Kembia was still in her booster chair in her jammies. The good news is, I moved with remarkable mom speed and only left the house 7 minutes late, and got to my appt. only 2 minutes late, and the doc was late anyways so it all worked out.

Ava's reading goal for last week for her third grade homework was 80 minutes. She read 476. Yep, you read that right. She is a bonafide bookworm. I don't know if I should be proud or horrified because she is a reading recluse. But I was EXACTLY like her growing up, and probably would still be reading like a psycho if it wasn't for the small fact that I have 5 children.

I have started using outings to help Owen with his letters since I am not doing that great at home. It goes something like this: by the kidlets a snack at Target so they don't all scream from being in a cart whily Mommy shops, walk around getting what I need and asking Owen to find the letter A, C, R, etc. It is going pretty good. He knows all of the sounds the letters make, but not what the letters are. Did I do that backwards or what?

We got Kembia's adoption report from the U yesterday. She is in the 1.7% for weight, and get this, the .53% for height. Is it really even worth recording a percentage on that scale?! And her weight percentage was after she gained 4 pounds from being home. My MIL joked that they probably would have said she didn't even exist if we had gone before those 4 pounds were gained! Yet somehow she is fitting remarkably well in size 12 month clothing, which leaves me to wonder who decides what sizes are correct if she is smaller than 99% of kids her age?

Moyz has learned the word uh-oh. Only he doesn't really say the words, only makes the sounds like he is saying the words. hilarious. It is also the only word he says. Kembia has 4 words in her repertoire (I don't think I spelled that right), they are: daddy, duck, dog, and stick. All very important words, don't ya think?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


He sort of resembles an elf- in a good way!

They LOVE bath time

See all of those pine needles? The are food, just like the live frog he tried to eat.

My kids' favorite hangout, literally.

She loves the camera

Just like his daddy

I always think that she is going to fall and then we will have a broken arm, or neck.

What do you mean they don't look like their dad?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The dreaded medicine cabinet

So I have a confession to make. When it comes to bathroom products of all the various types (lotions, shampoos, hair clips etc.) I may have a slight problem.

You see, if I get something but absolutely hate it, I end up just tossing it into the cabinet thinking that if I am desparate later I will use it. I found Jergens glitter lotion from COLLEGE, way at the back. I graduated from college in 2003. I put it on to see if it was still glittery, yup, but it smelled disgusting, you know, like 8 year old lotion.

I also found various make-up items in there as well. I buy it thinking that I am going to use it, but then I never do. My daily make-up regimen consists of mascara if what was leftover from the day before isn't still there, and eye liner if I am feeling particularly spunky.

Since the kidlets got home, and Truitt was born, it has hit epic new proportions of disaster when you add in all of there various skin creams and special hair care. Chris has been saying for a long time that we need to clean it out. But I just haven't been up to it. Now that I feel like we are finally hitting our stride (praise Jesus!) I had to have some bigger ambitions then "get dressed for the day"

So yesterday, that was my bigger ambition. clean the medicine cabinet. Shooting high here at the Nelson household. Just to be completely fair, I had two goals yesterday, the medicine cabinet, and getting the sticky hand off the ceiling that my kids threw up there to see how long it would stick. Do you know the type I am talking about? It's a long, sticky thing with a hand on the end that you can whip at things and it will stick there. It's been on my ceiling for the last 4 weeks or so. Because it is hard to drag a chair over to it and get up to pull it down.

Anyway, here is a little glimpse of all the crap that was in the cabinet.

This took me half the day to clean. I kept getting distracted. And then the kidlets kept crawling in to see what I was doing. So Chris finally took all the kids minus Truitt outside to play "deer hunting". this is a game where they pretend to be deer, and Owen climbs a tree and pretends to shoot them with a bow. Moyz and Kembia mostly tried to eat leaves and stuff. I think they probably thought their dad was insane. I know that's what I thought!

Oh, and Kembia has taken 2 steps. It doesn't look normal for such a peanut of a thing to be doing that! I think we will have two walkers pretty soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


So Moyz is on his second type of Giardia medicine. Not necessarily because the first one didn't work, but when you spit up most of the doses, it's kind of hard for it to do what it has to do to get rid of the parasite. He literally barfed a dose up the other day. And they even flavored it grape, but both the doctor and the pharmacist warned me that it tastes bad. This has also made it harder to get his iron in him. He sees me coming with the squirter, shuts his mouth and turns his head the other way.

Apparently I am messing with his face area way too much. because now he also pitches a fit when it is time to put his face cream on. Ah, the joys of medicine and children.

And then there is Kembia, who for some bizarre reason doesn't mind the iron. But the ear drops? Better squirt those in there quick or the girl wigs out. Quickiness also applies to diaper changes, be fast or beware the screaming.

I cannot wait until it's time to get the flu vaccine. That will be super fun. Originally I thought I would do them all in one fell swoop. But I think that probably won't work given how they all freak out with shots. Don't exactly have enough arms for 3 screaming babies. Of course, if I do it in shifts then that means loading up all of the kids and traveling twice for shots. And since now I try to avoid going anywhere at all costs (my friends are calling me a hermit, and I keep reminding myself that it's only for a season.....) I don't know what's worse, traveling twice or a bunch of screaming babies that I can't soothe all at one time. Hmm. I will have to think about that one.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Annoying things at my house

I have been working on two big projects here at the Nelson household. Neither of them are very much fun.

The first is cleaning out my pantry. I'll post pictures below, but just to warn year, there might be a couple OSHA violations! I have avoided this job since the kidlets got home. Compounded by the fact that Chris, for who knows what reasons, likes to stick things in plastic walmart and target bags so you have no idea what is in it, it was going to be a tough job.

But since I now realize that I have four things of whole wheat angel hair pasta, and 5 containers of green enchilada sauce, it is about time I clean it out!

The second not fun thing I am doing is going through my clothes and trying to find things that fit me so I don't have to wear maternity anymore. This also really stinks for several reasons 1. my boobs are too big for all of my shirts due to breast feeding, and 2. my hips are too big due to pushing a child out through them, not to mention the weight that I gained.

I'm close to making it. Most of my pants I can either squeeze and button the top, or am close to that, but then I have the affectionately called "muffin" top. Wonderful. And lucky me, I think I am as small as I am going to get without trying. My body has this wonderful way of dropping weight pretty quickly and then stalling out forever at about 10 pounds away from where I was. I know, people are saying but he's only 6 weeks old and you are breast feeding. But, my body is a spaz, and this is the way I role. Don't know how I am going to find time to exercise with 5 kids. And new clothes in a bigger size are not in the budget. Guess I will have to bite the bullet and watch what I eat. Pooh. And no, I am not posting pictures of the second undertaking! At least this time around my feet didn't stretch half a size like the other two pregnancies.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

This might help you

Thought I would make a small list of things that the U told us when our kids had their appts. I know some of these things have baffled other families that have adopted out of Congo.

- If your kid had scabies and you treated him, be on the look out for tiny, little pimple type bumps. We noticed these on Moyz and he would scratch at them. They would pop out randomly on his body. What his were/are is proteins leftover from the scabies mite still in his body. So while he doesn't have scabies anymore, until the proteins break down they still irritate him. There's some fancy name for it, but I don't remember what it was.

- I know I mentioned Moyz's impetigo before, but I'll put it here again. If you child comes home and has small blisters that pop and look like craters and he itches at them, take him in right away and get Mupirocin for him. It's an antibiotic cream they prescribe to put on the sores. It's caused by Strep and Staph bacteria. You probably want to put band aids over the sores until you can get them to the clinic.

- Kembia coughs almost every night, most of the time not very bad. She tested negative for Tuberculosis, so we knew it wasn't that. Turns out it's reflux. We're just keeping an eye on it, so no medicine yet. I know several families who's kids ended up with reflux as well. the cough puzzled them and doctors for quite awhile.

- Moyz has what's called atopic skin. Basically what this means is that it is sensitive to the max. He has dermatitis on his face that we are treating, and his legs get so dry they turn grey (I think this is pretty common for darker skin), plus he has these little black circles on his legs. They almost look like freckles. Turns out it's just his sensitive skin. The derm said use CeraVe lotion and aquaphor. These are both fairly impractical. CeraVe is $16 at Target, and if you slather your kids in Aquaphor then they are one giant, greasy mess and they touch everything which in turn becomes greasy. Our awesome doc at the U said she also has atopic skin and uses Curel Intensive lotion, and if she's really bad, then a 1:1 Curel and Aquaphor. This is much more economical. A big giant thing of Curel is only $9 (still expensive for this household!) or she also uses Vanicream which is a little more expensive then Curel, but both are cheaper than CeraVe. Vanicream is sold behind the pharmacy at our local Target, but it's not prescription.

- While at the U, we met the first white person/foreigner ever allowed to adopt out of Congo. They made an exception for her 9 years ago! She had lived and worked in Africa for a long time, and she adopted two little girls that were conjoined twins. They were separated in London, and then went back to Congo to finish their adoption. They are both doing awesome and we got to see pictures ot them. Their mom is one of the docs. at the adoption clinic. It was neat to be able to talk briefly with her. We asked her about hair care and she said straight up Olive Oil and coconut oil, and Carol's products, which are expensive but last a long time.

Anyway, hopefully this will help some of you. All of this medical stuff has been interesting to say the least. I think we are finally on the up-swing! Although we're headed back to the Derm for Moyz's face, poor kid, we're still trying to find the right concotion to help his sensitive face!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

U of M adoption appt.

We had our University of MN adoption appointment today. I have been looking forward to this for quite some time. Usually they like to see families 2-3 weeks after they come home, but due to their business and timing with us, it has been 8 weeks before we could get in!

All in all, it was very reassuring. Both kids are showing good signs of attachment, and they gave us some helpful advice when Kembia freaks out. Moyz is strong, but we need to do some occupational exercises with him at home to help him build up his core and then he will be able to move his muscles a little quicker as far as reflexes. They said this happens a lot with kids from orphanages, and once they are in a family who works with them improvement happens extremely fast. We definitely have seen this with both of the kids, but he needs just a little more help. He gets to do some fun exercises on a bouncy ball that keeps him just off balance and requires his stomach muscles to tone up which in turn will help him with lots of things. And because he modify crawls, he acutally uses different muscles other than his core and kind of doesn't help his situation, but they weren't worried about it, but why not give him help if we can?

He also tested positive for Giardia on the 4th stool sample. So my advice to anyone adopting is if you think they have a parasite, keep testing. The first 3 were negative but we just felt that something didn't seem right with his stomach. It seemed huge and gas filled and he would occasionally have black poop, which a lot of time people mistake for lactose intolerance, which it can be, but it also can be parasites. Fun!

Kembia is "really tiny". Not even on the international growth charts. However, she is close to being on the curve, so we will continue her high calorie diet, and both kids go back in December for some more testing and for a check up. Physically she is only just a little bit behind but doing well, no exercises for her. We also need to go back to sticking formula into anything possible when she eats given that she won't drink milk, even chocolate. Dark skin doesn't absorb Vitamin D very well, and um hello, northern climate so they have two things going against them. So we need to try and get as much into her as we can.

We were so grateful to be able to talk to the crew of people evaluating them and make sure that what we are doing at home is what we should be doing. One thing that I really needed to hear is that during times when Kembia is spazzing (of which there has been GREAT improvement), the doctor told us that it is important that she see us, but she doesn't need to be happy. She then elaborated and said that it doesn't mean that we even need to be holding her during that time, but that what Kembia is afraid of is that she really likes us now, even if she doesn't know that we are "mom" and "dad" and that she is afraid that we may not be there later. As long as she can see us, that is the most important thing, not necessarily that we are holding her, although if we can, that is awesome.

So for example, last week Chris and I were both cutting up veggies for supper, and she really wanted to be held and we couldn't. We were right there in the kitchen with her, around two feet away. She pitched a royal fit. We said comforting things to her like mommy and daddy love you and we are here for you but we can't pick you up right now, and eventually she calmed down. The doctor said that is right on track and life doesn't always allow for us to hold our new kids 24/7. It was good to have someone smart in this area reaffirm this for me so perhaps I can relax a little bit about not being able to hold them all the time and that they are headed for RAD. I also got a couple of really good adoption books that people suggested and that has been helpful too. We pass items back and forth using our mouths and making eye contact, and I will stick a cracker or cheerio just on my lips and she has to grab it from me looking me in the eyes and using her mouth. We do it with Moyz too and he thinks it is just about the funnest thing ever.

I did finally get my Ergo, and I have to admit that I am glad I sprung for it. It still sits a little up high on the kids, I could maybe get an infant insert, but in a couple more weeks I think it will fit both of them perfectly. I absolutely love the way it fits, and they both seem to like it. Funny when they have had enough of it and I put them down on the ground, they never yell and want me to be with them! Apparently, there can be a thing as too much holding for them!

On a side note, I tried to comment back to those of you who liked the pink chandelier, but I am seriously computer stupid, and it said that I wan't allowed to make comments on the blog. I don't know how that is because it is my blog, but I should probably figure it out. So for Verouna who had the lime green kitchen, oh my word I think that we would get along! And Jo, I totally just made the bed for the picture so it didn't look like I was a complete sloth! But that is one of my post- adoption goals, I know, shooting high here. But somehow my bedroom feels so much more clean if the bed is made. So that is my goal, to make the bed every day, we'll see how far I get!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pink Chandelier

Last week I took Ava out on a "date". Mostly we went to thrift stores to find baskets to put diapers and wipes around the house and have them look semi-organized. We also stopped at Home Depot and wandered around for an exceptionally long time. I have been trying to make bracelets out of hardware and bungee cords and things like that.

We wandered into the light section and there was this brass chandelier on sale for $18. I have been scouring second hand stores and goodwills for some time now hoping to find a light that I could redo for our bedroom. 18 bucks is a pretty good deal, espeicalliy since that is what they are sometimes used, so I picked it up along with two cans of pink spray paint.

I know, you're all thinking pink? But I figured it would be a good color to contrast the others in our bedroom, and luckily, my hubby just sort of rolls with the punches. I loooove it. My hubby said that it looked better than he thought it would, but did I know that if we ever move that I would probably have to take it down so when people came to look at the house they weren't freaked out? Since we have zero plans to move currently, and I believe in decorating to make myself happy, the pink stays!

I also have plans to make a light out of two metal plant hangers with that weird fiber stuff in them for the bedroom, so stay tuned for that one!

Here she is in all her glory! (Ava totally wants it when she has a room of her own!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sour Milk

continuing on the breast feeding theme....

Last week I made some fantastic salsa, chopped up everything good, put it into a bowl, and presto! Pure awesomeness. Then it was time to feed Truitt (again). He makes a face like I had just offered him maggots instead of something yummy. I could not figure it out. But okay. We'll just try the other side. Same thing. I had no idea what could be wrong but I was starting to get worried.

And then I remember that I had cut up the jalapenos without gloves.

Can someone please give me the mother of the year award?! Just what every 3 week old needs, breast milk with a side of jalapeno juice. I quick handed him to Chris and jumped into the shower and scrubbed ferociously. Then I licked my own fingers, I know, it sounds weird, and I kid you not, there was still a faintness of jalapenos. But the good thing was, not enough to make Truitt not want to eat.

In other news, someone has turned the switch in Moyz and Kembia, because the kids have decided to spend the last two days trying to crawl around our house as fast as possible. Even Kembia. She has left me in the room to crawl to a different room and play with toys. I am in shock. And totally happy. She still has her "moments" but to watch her leave me, holding Moyz no less, and be just fine and happy is a pretty amazing moment for us.

Here's a picture of them trying to escape. They love this spot. And once I think Moyz must have seen a squirrel out the door because he rocketed back to me as fast as possible doing his screech that meant some type of animal was definitely going to eat him!

Monday, September 5, 2011

One Month Old

Truitt is officially one month old today. I remember with Ava, one month seemed like a humongous achievement. I kept something alive with my boobs only. Considering I was the first of my friends to have a child, and didn't live near any family, this was a considerable feat!

And apparently my whole family is adjusting to the breast feeding thing. Owen informed me while looking at his chest that his nipples were "tiny", and that "they were not food nipples". Oh my word. Can you just hear the laughter that was begging to come out? Instead I calmly behind my laughs told him that no, his weren't food nipples because boys and men aren't able to feed babies. God gave that job to the mommies.

Still getting up a couple of times a night. Bummer, but I didn't have any other kids that slept through the night until around 6 months, of course I have several friends who's babies slept through the night at 2 weeks. I cannot even imagine the bliss that that must have been!

And we have oficially moved into size 1 diapers. Newborns are so tiny and giving him heat rash, but the ones are just a little too big. Heat rash vs. pee leaking out of the sides occasionally, not sure which one should win!

Anyway, that's what's new for us on this fine Labor Day. Ava starts third grade tomorrow! Can't believe another school year is ready to go.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Check Ups

First off, thanks so much to everyone for their thoughts and advice and especially your prayers for us. It is so great to have people praying for us and we are so thankful!

We had another series of check ups this week. Truitt and Moyz both went in, and then Kembia was weighed as well to see how she was growing since she was so small.

My man Moyz, who I am proud to say, is actually on the growth charts! I know not to put too much stock into growth charts, but it is nice to have one kid on it! He rang in at the 35% for weight, and 15th for height and head size. The funny thing is, at 22 pounds I felt like he was humongous, apparently I have forgotten how big kids are at 1 years old, because technically he is on the small size! But he has grown a ton, his pediatrician was so proud of him.

Kembia, my tiny little Kembia, has gained 3 1/2 pounds since she has been home! I am not too surprised given the way she eats, sometimes it seems like she eats as much as Chris and me do! Her face has filled out a ton and she's actually getting little rolls on her thighs!

And Truitt is running about the middle for babies his age. And he has a raging case of baby acne. Poor kid, it looks terrible, and I think he has it the worst of all my kids. But other than that, healthy as a horse. He's getting lots of love from Moyz and Kembia though, they love to kiss him although it's more like a giant lick from Moyz!

And some other great news is that the last two days have been really great with Kembia in terms of her crying when I leave the room. She even watched me open the door to go down the stairs and watch me shut the door and go down twice and didn't scream one time! I am super proud of her. Now I realize that her attachment is a process and that two days certainly does not mean that she will not be screaming on days, but it has been a good two days for us, and I am proud that she has been comfortable enough to watch me leave and be okay with it.

Here's a few pictures for you guys to enjoy!

This one is of Ava and Owen when they came up the stairs to tell me they were playing dress up.

Miss Kembia and those little cheeks that are a-growing!

My man Moyz, coming to check the camera out!