Well, it came and went. So I guess that means he is officially a Kindergartener? According to him, yes! According to me, not so fast! I'm going to relish the next couple of months before I face reality and admit that he is no longer a baby, toddler, or little one; but is in fact a big kid. Just let me bask in my denial! He may not have participated in the program, and yes he did cry through the majority of it. But he did graduate. Lucky for me, performance anxiety or not, he knows how to turn on the charm for the camera! That allowed me to get some more pleasant memories of the day! Congratulations Braeden, we love you, our adorable little big (almost) Kindergarten boy!
I couldn't resist playing around with this one, it's my favorite graduation picture!
So, clearly this post has 2 parts. Yesterday was a busy and eventful day here in Drosche Land, especially for Amy and Braeden. I'll try and cover it all here with a minimum of rambling and tangent-taking! Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Part 1 - You may remember from the last post that Amy was awaiting exploratory laparoscopic surgery. Well, the surgery occurred Thursday morning, earlier than we thought. As it turns out her doctor did in fact find an adhesion just as he thought he would. It was a simple and routine repair that took only around 30 minutes. After coming out of recovery and meeting their post-surgery requirements she was able to go home yesterday! She is currently pretty tired and sore, but doing very well. I am doing my best to be a helpful nurse so she can get as much rest as possible. Probably one of the coolest parts of the surgery is that the doctor gave us some wicked awesome pictures of the adhesion! Like from actually INSIDE her body! It is amazing what modern medicine and doctors can do, totally amazing. I'm thinking of framing the pictures or posting them to Facebook, I am totally in awe of them! On a side note (not technically a tangent since it has to do with Part 1) the staff at the hospital, Memorial Hermann Memorial City, are awesome! Last year we were totally blessed to have some great nurses and staff taking care of her and this year was exactly the same! You may also remember me frequently blogging about the hospital food last year. Well I did once again partake in it, although I did not have any of the hummus this time. Instead i had a great Greek salad for dinner the first night and a tuna salad sandwich for lunch the next day. Yum! As nice as the staff and food were though, it is of course great to be back home. I stayed home with her again today since it was her first day after surgery and she still cannot do a lot. We stayed downstairs to avoid her having to go up and down but tonight she was able to make it up and in her own bed. I can't blame her for missing it. It'll be nice for things to begin to get back to normal again. This is the end of Part 1.
Now would be a good time to take a break, use the restroom, or get a snack. I'll wait. Ok, ready?
Part 2 - Yesterday was also a momentous occasion for Braeden! It was his Pre-Kindergarten graduation! Amy was pretty upset to miss it and insisted i go and videotape it, which of course I did. I'd like to say that everything went off without a hitch, but I'd be lying. His stage-fright once again got the better of him. He walked in with his friends just fine, but once he got to the front of the church and had to walk up onto the stage area, he lost it. I have to give it to his teachers, they tried their damnedest to get him to participate, but to no avail. I taped the whole thing though because it was a big day for him regardless. He got 2nd place for running the most laps in PE! An award he sort of accepted as he was carried by his teacher to receive it. He also went up to get his "diploma", again with the help of his teacher. But when all was said and done it was a great little program and they kids were of course adorable. By the time I packed up my things and made it to the little reception he was fine and back to himself. This was great because it allowed me to get some great pictures (Sunday Snapshot!)! All in all I am still proud of him and truth be told we sort of expected it to go this way. But, what are you going to do? You just have to make the recording into a super cute movie in iMovie (which I totally love now), laugh, and move on!
So, I think that covered everything from yesterday. A super busy day and we are all still a little exhausted from the events of the past few days. However we are all together again and will settle back into normalcy as much as possible. Amy is recovering, Braeden is growing up, we are all back together in our house, and Rex is taking Immodium (he is once again undergoing a bout of intestinal distress). I do have to thank all of our family, friends, and coworkers though for their thoughts, prayers, and help over these past few days. It has been amazing to receive it all and we a very grateful, thankful, and blessed. It took a lot of people to make these past few days bearable despite the craziness and we thankful for each one.
Oh, one last thing. The night I stayed in the hospital with Amy I smashed my finger super bad in the fold-out chair/bed thing. It blackened up immediately and I almost passed out. It's all good now though, just nasty looking and swollen. I've never done that before and I am hesitantly waiting to see if everyone who says I will lose it is right?!?! Aaahhh! We will see.
All is well, I think the rain is stopping, in Drosche Land.
It pours. And let me tell you, right now I've got my slicker, galoshes, and umbrella cause the water is rising! I'm blogging tonight from Amy's hospital room. What?!?! Yes, something has been brewing here in Drosche Land for the past few weeks but I have yet to post about it since we weren't so sure. However, now that everything has come to head I feel it is time. See, about a month ago Amy started having some sharp pains in her side. Uh oh! We immediately thought, with the help of other symptoms and WebMD, that it was her gallbladder. I mean, we were well aware that this could happen and was common among gastric bypass patients. So, bummer, but at least we were prepared. So we thought. She began a series of tests and procedures to find out what could be causing the pain. Everything seemed to be pointing away from the gallbladder though, but we're stubborn so we continued to look to that as an answer. The pain would get severe but then at other times it would be fine. This proved frustrating for Amy as she had pain but no answers. Finally, this past Monday we went in to see her doctor, I went with her as the heavy (don't laugh, I did!) and for support. We totally, once again, were expecting to hear that he was ready to remove her gallbladder. That's when HE put us in our place. Nope, not the gallbladder. Instead, it was something called adhesions on her intestines, or so the doctor thinks. His solution? Exploratory laparoscopic surgery to see if there are adhesions and if so, repair them. Apparently adhesions are very common among people who experience abdominal surgery. This threw us, especially Amy, for a loop because it was not according to our plans. Then he said he could do it the next day! Yikes! Well, that didn't give us enough time to prepare so we decided on next week. Little did we know HE would be reminding us that not everything is on our schedule.
Flash forward to today. The morning brings Amy some pretty bad pain and she calls her doctor, who is not in. They tell her to go to the ER, as does our school nurse. So off we head, spending the day in the ER as she undergoes more tests that ultimately lead the doctor to the same conclusion - adhesions. However now he decides to admit Amy and we are staring down the fact that she will likely have the surgical procedure tomorrow. Of course the thought has crossed our minds that maybe we should have scheduled the procedure for yesterday and not tried to force our schedule on life, but you live and you learn.
But the drops keep coming. Tomorrow is Braeden's Pre-Kindergarten Graduation! So, we have also had to face the harsh reality that Amy will miss this occasion. I will be there with the camcorder to catch everything so she will be able to see it. However, I have the usual gut-wrenching anxiety that he will not do so well. Only time will tell though as I hope and pray that he gets up there with his friends and joyfully celebrates.
But wait, there's more. Remember this is May after all and we are smack in the middle of wrapping up the school year and beginning summer plans. Throw that craziness in to boot. One last thing? Sure, why not? As I ran home to get clothes and whatnot so I could spend the night with Amy at the hospital I discovered that Rex messed his kennel. HA!
So, that brings us up to date I think with the happenings here. It's always something and this latest adventure is just continued proof that life is what happens when you're making other plans. So true! On the upside, the hospital has cable and I am now addicted to 2 new shows on TLC - Extreme Couponing and Pawn Queens. You should totally check them out!
For now though it is time to head to bed with thoughts and prayers for all kinds of peace and comfort tomorrow for us all. We will see what it brings!
Well, I know you have all been waiting on pins and needles for some pictures of Braeden's birthday celebration! Well, the wait is over! See, I took tons of pictures on the actual day of his birthday but I was waiting until we had his party before I posted any pictures anywhere. Due to the crazy May schedule we postponed his birthday party a week so everyone could make it. As it turned out all was fine. Amy and I ended up getting him tee ball materials: a real bat, real balls, a tee, and wiffle balls. We also got him tickets to an Astros game that was today so he technically had a birthday weekend! As great as all the pictures were from the entire 3 days, I am choosing the ones from today's game because we had such an awesome family time. The tickets included a hat, a hot dog, and a drink! What more could a 5-year-old ask for? As much as he loves soccer, he is totally obsessed with all things baseball right now so this was right up his alley. I must pause though for a moment to acknowledge the irony that Braeden is my little doppelganger with one exception - his love of sports! HA! So, we had a blast today and made it 5 innings until we were full-on in the sun and the kids were done. As you can clearly see below though this was definitely a birthday to remember. The roof of Minute Maid was open so the pictures, taken with my handy iPhone, turned out great! Enjoy!
Braeden and his Astros hat! Yes, we bought new t-shirts to wear to the game too!
Jackson looking cute in his hat!
Stoked about the game!
They each got a special ball too since they were unable to catch any during the practice/warm up! :)
Jack chose to gnaw on his hot dog, sans bun, but he loved it!
Braeden and his hot dog, no Dome Dog but it was pretty good!
As you may know, if you follow our blog closely, we have somewhat of an adoption guru. She and her family are amazing and her blog can be found here. We have been following her blog for quite a while now and, although we don't actually know her, we feel as though we do know her very well. I've also linked to her site via the button at the top right on our blog. She is also the one I link to every Sunday via the Sunday Snapshot. So, it can be surmised that we admire her a lot. She has some awesome journeys and stories to tell about the children she has adopted from China. Her faith is also pretty inspirational. Well, the prayers I'm asking for via this post are for her and her family.
See, they have been on a roller coaster adventure as they work to bring home their next two daughters from China. All seemed to finally be working out, falling into place. However, they received some pretty devastating news on Monday. One of the girls they we in the process of adopting has passed away. You can read about it here. Just a few weeks ago they received the LOAs (Letters of Approval) for both girls and were looking forward to travelling to get them in the coming months. All of that has suddenly changed, their world has been turned upside down. Their daughter's name was Esther. She was a Waiting Child with some scary and intimidating heart defects. That didn't matter to them though. They saw the beautiful girl God had created, perfect in his image. Their daughter.
I can't even wrap my head around this event. I can't begin to imagine how they must feel or how they will begin to grieve for her. I know there is a greater plan, His greater plan. I'm not sure plans in situations like this are ever fully realized by us. They have been in our thoughts and prayers all along. This only intensifies now as they mourn their loss. So, I also ask, if you have a minute to spare, visit her site and/or say a prayer for them. They are going to need all the prayers they can get in the near, and far, future.
I'll be honest too, this has Amy and I thinking about Margaux. About the fact that she is waiting. We are waiting. Both for each other. It's scary. It also brings to mind the many orphans out there, both international and domestic, that are waiting. Waiting for their forever families. Waiting for the love they have yet to fully know. Waiting for the spiritual, emotional, physical, medical, and mental help they need. All of these children remain in our prayers as well, including our dear little Margaux.
People still ask, and will probably always ask, us why we chose to adopt. There is the easy answer about wanting more children but physically not being able to pursue that route. There is also the answer mentioned in the previous paragraph. There are so many children out there needing families. It has been placed upon our hearts to do this. He has called us to do this. That is honestly how we feel and is how many people in the same situation feel. It's both simple to understand, yet difficult to fully explain.
As I write this my mind wanders to Margaux. I'm ending my day today here at 9:34 pm CST. She has already begun her day tomorrow and it's 10:34 am there. Maybe she's eating a snack. Maybe she's playing with toys or with friends. Maybe her caregivers are reading her favorite story. Maybe she's outside enjoying the partly cloudy 64 degree weather. The one thing we do have in common is the fact that we are both waiting. For each other.
So, I close by asking once again for your prayers for the wonderful family I've mentioned in this post. Prayers also for their other daughter, Poppy (love that name!), who is also waiting for them while they wait for her. Stop by and check out her blog if you'd like. She's an incredible writer, photographer, Christian, and person.
All is well, saddened and praying, here in Drosche Land.
So, I'm pretty blessed. My boys are pretty blessed. With what you ask? More like with who? Amy! She is an amazing wife and an awesome mother. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always do her justice by acknowledging her awesomeness and just how lucky we are. But she is, and we are. Cooking, cleaning, budgeting, playing, laughing, loving. You name it, she does it, and does it well! Trust me, it's not easy being the only girl in the house with us three boys, and I'm sure she'll attest to that! Luckily she won't be alone for much longer. I can't wait to bring Margaux home, for many reasons. One of course we honor today, I'll get to see yet another wonderful mothering side of Amy as she loves, provides for, and takes care of another one of our beautiful children. This week's pictures are some I took of Amy and the boys and I think they're pretty fitting for today. I had to include the originals and the ones I played around with, I just couldn't decide!
All is well, thanks to a wonderful mother and wife, in Drosche Land.
Well, Thursday was a big day here in Drosche Land, especially for Braeden. As you know from the last post, he turned 5. Yes, 5! Can you believe it? I sure can't. I still am finding it amazing that he is so old, and so are we! The day came and he bolted out of bed, super excited and ready to start his day. So excited, in fact, that we ended up opening his presents before we left for school! Soccer may be the sport he is playing right now, and he loves it, but he is quickly becoming obsessed with baseball. So, we (Amy's awesome idea) got him a real bat, a tee, some wiffle balls, and some real baseballs. He wanted to start playing tee-ball this summer but with it being so hot we have promised him that he can begin in the fall. There aren't many summer leagues out there anyway so it works out. It looks as though we have a little sports fanatic on our hands. You know he doesn't get it from me!
He had a great day at school, sharing his cupcakes with his class. He was excited because there were both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, with several colors of frosting to choose from. He thought this was best because then his friends could each get exactly what they want! Cute huh? The people-pleasing (unlike the love of all things sports) comes from me! That night we headed out to our favorite place, the wonderful La Finca, to celebrate. Yum! Then it was back home for his dessert of choice - brownies and vanilla ice cream. The best part of his birthday may have come the next day when he said to me in the morning, "Daddy, I feel it, I really feel 5 today!" I beamed, as did he. Friday I stayed home with both boys because Jack was sick again with a sinus & ear infection! He seems to be on the mend now though thanks to time and antibiotics. Let's hope he stays that way!
So, our newly-turned 5 year-old is currently insisting that he won't actually turn 5 until his party this coming Saturday! He is definitely ready to milk all he can out of this birthday! The actual day, his party, and then on Sunday we are taking him to an Astros game! 3 days of celebration! Woo hoo! But hey, you only turn 5 once right? Amy and I, the night of his birthday, discussed how he did suddenly seem older to us. Was it the fact that he was? That he was now 5? Or have we just finally come to the realization that he is growing up to be an awesome kid right before our eyes? Whatever the reason, we accepted it, gladly. We are proud of him and love him so very much. Our 5 year-old!
All is well, with 5 times the fun, in Drosche Land.
Tonight is a turning point here in Drosche Land. See, it is the last night where we will officially have 2 babies, toddlers, little kids, or whatever you'd like to call them. Tomorrow we will have just one of the aforementioned and one big kid. Braeden turns 5 tomorrow! Wow! As if turning 30 didn't make me feel old, now we have a 5 year-old? How did that happen?! Obviously I knew this day was coming, eventually. But I mean, wasn't I just rushing to the hospital from work, changing a diaper, or buying baby food? Somehow when I wasn't looking that little baby started to grow and suddenly here I am, staring at a soon-to-be-Kindergartner! This momentous occasion is somewhat easy to handle because I still have Jack, my little squirrely Jack. Then comes Margaux! But what happens when they all pass this milestone? Then I'll just be the blubbering parent of kids! Truth be told, as hard as it is to watch them grow up, I am enjoying it a lot. It is amazing to see him change and become his own person. Doing things for himself, learning new things, making decisions on his own. Wow!
If you think I'm this bad now, wait until he turns 18! I can't even begin to think about that! Right now he is fast asleep, eagerly awaiting morning when he can announce that he is finally a full-hand (rather than just a handful!)! The cupcakes for school are on the counter, ready to go. Store-bought again this year despite our best efforts to make some. He was actually going to let me bake some but since May is so busy and we went and watched Jared's last baseball game of the season tonight, homemade was just not feasible, again! But he is super excited about them and that's what counts.
So, I hesitate going to bed because I know when I wake up he'll be 5! Silly I know, but I'd like to prolong the inevitable just a little bit more! I think I'll take a trip down Memory Lane and look at pictures from when he was born! Don't tell anyone, but I do that every year before his birthday. Just a way to remember it all and celebrate the great gift that God has given to us!
Ok, so here I am again. A day late and a dollar short. I have been a bit absent from blogging lately and I am missing it something awful. It's just that things have been busy here in Drosche Land. Can you believe that it is May already? I can't. May for a teacher is like April for a CPA. Countless more things added to the day, yet the same amount of hours in which to get everything finished. Then I went and made the mistake of counting down the days left in school with my class today. 18 17 now! AAAHHH! Enter anxiety. Alas, before I know it the year will be over and things will begin to slow down as we settle into summer mode. But I digress into my long-winded explanation for my infrequent postings.
This past Saturday was Trinity's annual Step by Step 5K. This is a great community event we hold where all proceeds benefit TLS. I didn't bring a camera this year so I don't have any pictures of the actual day. Although you will have to trust me when I state that I ran (ok, jogged) 1/2K beside Jack. I know it's not much, but I try to avoid running altogether unless I'm being chased by a bear or have gotten caught in the rain sans an umbrella! Anyways, prior to the big day we have a kick-off at the Downtown Aquarium where people pick up their race info and we get free admission into the Aquarium and all of its attractions. Free is always good! The boys love the train ride, Ferris wheel, and looking at all of the fish. This time we even got to see them feed one of the huge white tigers! Being at the end of a school day I didn't have my camera, so my iPhone stepped in to document the fun! Enjoy! All is well, I'm back!, in Drosche Land.