Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Days!








We went back up to the cottage last weekend. The kids had a blast! They all just love it up there! It's amazing how content they are throwing rocks into the water, and collecting shells, really, hours of enjoyment!

Caroline was happy because she finally got to see Sue! And Emma seems to have gotten over her previous shyness around the cottage folks! She was chatting up a storm to Chuck, and took many walks to say hi to Max the dog.

Caroline spent some time playing solitare with Nana Ree...who says solitare is only a game for one? Caroline even taught Nana Ree her special way to cheat!







And here are the pictures of Caroline's teeth, or lack there of! For some reason my computer is not uploading my pictures, so I need to email them to Jud and then upload them to blogger from his laptop which is a bit more time consuming...I'm affraid my dear 7 year old computer may be on it's last leg! This along with the fact that my new Camera had to be sent in to Nikon for repairs so we are back to using the old camera for awhile...isn't it always something!






For the most part our days are just filled with fun! I've tried not to schedule much for the summer, to give the kids time just to play and have fun! They seem to really be liking that idea so far...three weeks into summer! I'm sure it won't be long before the fun of playing with eachother wears off! Here's a few more pictures while it lasts!







Friday, June 20, 2008

Ouch!

We've had a busy few days...


Caroline had a dentist appointment this morning to pull out her 4 bottom front teeth! They were not showing any signs of coming out anytime soon, and the new teeth had already started coming in behind them, so the dentist thought it would be best to take them out!

I know Bubbie, who just left on a trip, is going crazy with worry! But the brave little girl did amazingly well! Here's the story from Caroline...my tough little girl!


Before I went to the Dentest I was very nerves,but before long,
I felt better.I didn't feel the shot he gave me to put my teeth to sleep!
He twisted all my four bottem teeth one at a time and one by one he yanked them out!!!it was so exiting! I can't wait to put them all under my pillow tonight!





After the dentist we went to UPS to send finally send off our dossier! Talk about blood sweat and tears! I spent the day yesterday organizing all the documents, then photo coping them and at last writing a few really big checks! Now that's an OUCH!


Oh, and I got my nose pierced! I know what is a mother of 4 doing getting her nose pierced right? Honestly, I don't know why, it's just something I've always wanted to do and always found a reason not to. So, I did it! And yes, OUCH! The kids were really funny when I showed them...the girls, especially Caroline, love it...the boys, rolled their eyes and told me they thought it was weird!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Drought in Ethiopia

This is something that has been weighing on my mind as well as my heart...

I can't even find the words to express how horrible the conditions in Ethiopia are right now.

It seems unimaginable, as we worry about the rising gas costs and poor crops leading to corn shortages in the United States, but it is happening right now. Children are starving.


This is from the UNICEF website

UNICEF makes plea for additional resources to help stave off malnutrition in Ethiopia


SIRARO DISRICT, Ethiopia, 2 June 2008 – UNICEF estimates that 126,000 children are in need of urgent therapeutic care for severe malnutrition in Ethiopia, and this number is likely to climb as more harvests fail.

The agency also estimates that 3.4 million Ethiopians will need food aid over the next three months, and that 6 million children are in danger of malnutrition.

A United Nations food summit to address the global food crisis will begin in Rome on Tuesday. The World Food Programme projects that $147 million will be needed to feed children at risk in Ethiopia.

Impact on children

One recent morning, over 300 children and their families formed a wide arch across the compound of the Ropi Catholic Church here in Ethiopia’s Siraro District. They were waiting to receive their rations of life saving therapeutic milk (F-75).

Consecutive failed rainy seasons, steep hikes in food prices and a lack of resources for prevention and response mechanisms are all having a devastating impact on children and families living in the drought-prone districts of Ethiopia.

“We had nothing to eat after the corn crop failed,” said Dureti Degefi, one of the mothers at Ropi. “I am telling you our story because they say you will listen. My stomach is hungry. And my baby is sick. We need help.”

Filling the ‘capacity gap’

Many of the Ethiopian children in need of immediate therapeutic care are receiving treatment at centres like the Ropi facility. But Ropi is already at maximum capacity, and the stream of children and families coming into therapeutic feeding centres across the country continues unabated.

“A child with severe malnutrition is in immediate danger of death,” said UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Ethiopia, Viviane Van Steirteghem. “For the moment, NGOs are working in 55 woredas [districts], and they are, together with government, providing the capacity to take care of about 40 to 50 per cent – but there is a big capacity gap to take care of the remaining children,”

The farmers of Siraro District are among the more than 3.4 million Ethiopians affected by the drought who are not covered by the national safety net programme, which distributes food aid to 8 million Ethiopians each year. And while the rains have returned to Siraro, community members are still months away from being self-sufficient. They will need immediate assistance to survive until the next harvest.



Additional therapeutic food needed

Outside of the Ropi compound, outpatient treatment for severe acute undernutrition is under way. Malnourished children come with their parents to have their nutritional status checked and to receive a week’s ration of the ready-to-use therapeutic food, Plumpy’nut.

The use of therapeutic milk formulas and Plumpy’nut is preventing the deaths of thousands of children across Ethiopia, but resources are dwindling rapidly. Close to 2,000 additional metric tonnes of Plumpy’nut will be needed over the next three months.

“Five years ago, when we were facing a similar drought and nutrition emergency, we had very little capacity on the ground to respond, and we lost many children,” said UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia Bj√∂rn Ljungqvist. “Today, thanks to the commitment and actions to ensure that children should not die of preventable causes, led by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and supported by the World Food Programme and UNICEF, we have the capacity to respond and can save the lives of thousands of children. To do this, however, we need resources.”


Initial response is encouraging

Since UNICEF and others called the world’s attention to the emergency situation in Ethiopia, donors have begun responding. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department has contributed $1.8 million, and so far $5 million has come from the Humanitarian Response Fund, a pooled emergency system set up by donors in Ethiopia. In addition, the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund is providing funds for the purchase of supplementary corn Soya blend.

This initial response is encouraging, but much more is needed in order to avert a wider disaster. The current estimate of the funds required to respond to the emergency needs of children in Ethiopia stands at $50 million.

If the situation continues to deteriorate, however, that figure could grow.



Here are a few more articles worth reading.

UN news

CNN

BBC

African Press

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day!

This year on Father's day, I've been thinking a lot about the role of a father...

and how it's changed over the past years...

Fathers, for most of us, are the ones we seek approval from the most...and yearn for their approval...

A father's word's are the one's that stick with us throughout our lives...however hurtful or inspirational they may be...

We look to our fathers for guidance and acceptance...

even today, the most powerful memories I have of my own father... are those of me making him peanut butter toast when he worked third shift...and the times at the cottage...oh, the cottage...and of course my wedding day! Things I'll never forget!

Fathers make us who we are...and the parents we become...


...long gone are the days of dads going off to work and coming home at the end of a long day to a drink and an obedient wife!


The times, they are a changing!


Many of today's dads are actually the primary caregivers for the children!

And the dads who aren't able to stay home, and are off to work long tireless days away...well, life has changed for them as well!

Dads of today are involved in the everyday of their children's lives.

Starting from the beginning, they are in the delivery room, often involved in some sense...men of today change diapers, help with midnight feedings, help with all the tough decisions like bottle or breastfeed, wake the baby to keep the schedule or let them sleep to keep the peace, pick them up or let them cry it out...oh yes even tonight, we had a cry for "daddy come wipe my booty!" The times have changed!

Yes, the role of FATHER is not an easy one...

But here is one man who does it all so well!







Jud is such an amazing Father!

Over the years his job (at M&I not just at home!)has gotten increasingly more stressful and difficult (as he keeps getting promoted!) but he consistently shows that family comes first.

Jud comes home every day HAPPY and excited to see the kids, and they greet him at the door equally overjoyed to see him! Jud is always there for school functions, and tries to arrange his schedule around the family calendar...he is always trying to make things easier for me...he still does a great deal of the cooking, especially on weekends, when he takes requests from the kids even including pancakes in specific shapes, (including all letters and most animals!)

Our kids adore, and respect him. He is the silliest, funniest, goofiest daddy, and all of the kids look forward to playing and spending time with him.


Jud and Caroline had a special night out tonight...just the two of them. And boy did that create havoc amongst the gang! They all wanted to know when it was going to be their turn to have special daddy time!









I knew when I met Jud he was going to be a good dad... But really, I never expected this. Every time he brings that special sparkle into one of the kids eyes, I fall in love with him all over again!!! I love you baby!


Here is a tribute to the greatest dad I know! (with a little help from Caroline!)

We all love you Daddy! (even typed by Caroline!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Me, the movie critic!

Last night was a big night out for me! One of my friends was nice enough to invite me to tag along to a girls night out with a group of her friends...

It was really great to get out of the house for awhile, and be with other people...but it left me wondering, just how much have I changed?

We went out for dinner and exchanged the usually mom talk. How many kids, how old, what school, that sort of thing. Things I like talking about and like hearing other people talk about.

Then after dinner we went to see the Sex in the City movie.

Now, this is a movie had looked forward to seeing. I used to watch the show...I thought it was fun to sort of live vicariously through these women, who I had always thought seemed to have such great fun and exciting lives.

But last night, I don't know if it's me getting old or too much into mom mode, but I thought the movie pretty much stunk!

As I drove home after the movie, I wondered, did the movie really capture what the show used to be and represent? And if it did, why did I feel so differently towards these women? I used to watch the show and would try to identify with them in some way, but as I watched the movie last night, not only did I not see any similarities in our lives but I also felt like I was judging these women and their lives...perhaps because in a way I felt like they were judging me and my life.

There were a few things that really irked me. One was how many times Miranda, the busy attorney mom of 1, kept referring to stay at home mom's in such a negative way. Do people really still think that staying home means eating bon bons? And then the fact that everyone made such a big deal that Charlotte was finally by some miracle, pregnant...like now she was finally going to be a mom, even though she had adopted a daughter five years earlier...I thought it was hurtful.

So, anyone else that saw the movie, is it just me? am I PMS-ing or did this movie stink? The whole time I just kept thinking, come on there is more to life than labels, shoes, and having sex with other people! Isn't there? I couldn't stand how self involved and self serving these women who I once admired were. Did they change, or have I?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Could this be the one?

Could this cute little face be the one that keeps getting us sick?










Yes! We are pretty sure that Sam is a carrier for strep! Caroline, Jack and I all are on antibiotics...I finally insisted on Sam and Emma being tested as well, even though they weren't showing any signs...the result was, Sam was positive! He'll be retested after his course of antibiotics to see if indeed he is the coulprit!

You can see why it doesn't take long for things to pass from one kid to the next around here!




Monday, June 9, 2008

Catching Up

Today is a catch up day! I'm reading all the blogs I love but haven't read in awhile...I'm catching up on all the laundry from this weekend...and I'm spending some great time coloring with Sam and Emma...so far we're off to a good day! Sam and Em are busy right now so I have a few minutes to catch up on posts!

Not really any new earth shattering things happening here. We went to the cottage this weekend, as always the kids had a blast! It's so funny how much they love being up there, even when no one else is there! Not even Nana and Papa where this weekend. It was just us and Mr. Jolly, the neighbor who the kids adore...it may have something to do with his treat jar, but I'm not sure! Caroline was a little bummed that Mrs. Jolly wasn't there because she loves to color rocks with her. But she had fun collecting lots of rocks and shells instead.

We also stopped in Green Bay for my nephew's graduation party so we got to see lots of family and the kids were able to play with some cousins for awhile.

Sketchy boy had his stitches out this week and has resumed his position on the back of the couch! He's even back to chasing Sophie around the house!

Oh, and in the adoption news... on Friday we got the documents we were waiting for from the secretary of state, and we have our approval from INS and now our petition is being forwarded to the US Embassy in Ethiopia! So I have a little catch up to do making sure we have everything we need and then the dossier is done! It sure took us a lot longer this time!

One big thing, Jud was recently promoted to Senior Vice President and National Sales Manager! Way to go baby!


That's about it! Off to the piles of waiting laundry!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fun with Bubbie and Zaide

We had a great and highly anticipated weekend with Bubbie and Zaide this weekend. For the past two weeks every night before bed Sam would ask "after the next day are Bubbie and Zaide coming?" The kids were all so excited to see them both, but the boys have a particularly great bond with their Zaide! They barely let him in the door before they "attacked" him!

I think after this weekend Zaide is going to need a little R&R the boys literally had him running all weekend! Lots of tag and hide and seek, a few lessons from Jack on how to play the Wii, even a walk to feed the ducks!




















Caroline enjoyed her time with Bubbie as well! They read some new great books, and did a lot of bird watching, it's their new thing together! Caroline is so excited about it, she has her own binaculars and bird journal...she even had to call Bubbie today to talk to her about what type of duck she saw! It's pretty cute!
















Bubbie taught Caroline and Jack how to play solitare which they both thought was pretty cool! They also played quite a few rounds of old maid and had a pretty intense game of pick up sticks!

















Emma was just happy to be in on everything! But she especially loved blowing bubbles with Bubbie and painting with all the new sidewalk paints that Bubbie brought.




















It was a really great weekend, the kids were all so sad to Bubbie and Zaide go! Luckily we'll see them again in a few weeks when we head to MN for the CHSFS picnic!