Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Time My Son Made Me Buy Junk

It's an interesting feat to take the boys out to run errands.  But errands must be done so errands must occur with kiddos in tow.  I really shouldn't be complaining though.  Running errands in China is 10,000 times more difficult!

I took Micah & Sam to Barnes & Noble to return a birthday present I bought for Kevin.  I set both buddies up on the counter to prevent them from running away while I finished up the transaction.  Micah immediately dug into the "Wouldn't you like to add some expensive junk to your purchase?" box.  And since the packaging looked exactly like a bag of fruit snacks, he ripped it open.  Instead of fruit snacks, however, he was disappointed to find this:

That is most definitely a pancake key chain no bigger than a quarter.  His syrupy smile is mocking the fact that I had to pay $4 for my son's compulsiveness.  And Barnes & Noble laughed themselves to the bank for their clever marketing that takes advantage of fruit snack obsessed children and mamas who refuse to buy them leashes but really should to keep them in one place during errand day.

Yes, my guilty son.  That $4 pancake is coming out of your future allowance!  But in the end, it really is $4 well spent because I will laugh every time I see that ridiculous thing attached to my keys.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

One of those kid-mania posts

That third child of mine had the audacity to turn four months old last weekend.

His hobbies include:

Smiling & laughing

Grabbing his toes

Staring at stuff

And hanging out with people who love him

He likes to watch news with Pop in the evenings.

Micah is an extremely nurturing big brother.  He brings Hudson blankets, toys, and asks to feed him the way mama does.  A little weird but very sweet.

Nana declares that Hudson looks like a girl and needs a haircut.  Daddy agrees.  Mama wishes she had a low-maintenance bald baby.

G just thinks he's the cutest thing ever.  Mama doesn't mind that she says so daily.

We won't even talk about the fact that he's still wanting to eat in the middle of the night.  But, for your sake, there are no pictures of that! 

It's a pretty thrilling life for a four month old.

I never thought I would do this but I will commit the ultimate mom-blogger offense: post his monthly stats.  25.5 inches (74%), 14.5 pounds (40%), and 16" head (14%).  The numbers don't lie: he is in fact his daddy's son.  Long, lean, with a little head.

Speaking of his little head, our pediatrician was concerned that a flat spot on the back of his head might mean he has a disorder call torticollis.  That's where muscles on one side of his neck are tighter than the other, preventing him from having full range of motion with his head.  We've been referred to see a physical therapist, so I'll go ahead and add that to my list of doctor's appointments for the boys.

Despite yet another medical set-back with our boys, we're thankful for our little Hudson and for the joy he brings to our circus of a family.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Decade Lived

Today is the beginning of a new decade for that husband of mine.  To close out his roaring 20's, I wanted to say a few words about that lanky dude with whom I do life.


The most vivid example to demonstrate what kind of a husband Kevin is took place on a tame movie night.  For some reason, I chose the middle of Mission Impossible 4 to unload all the problems I saw in our marriage.  To this day, I'm still not sure why.  After Kevin had been blind-sided by my state of our union address, he responded by saying, "I'm sorry.  I had no idea you felt this way."  He didn't get defensive.  He didn't get angry at me for my bad timing in interrupting a laid back evening over heavy matters.  

That's my husband.  Who loves me in my eccentricities & faults.  Who makes me laugh with his own eccentricities (like reading Linux user manuals during date night--weird!).  Who makes me turn more to Christ as I try to respond to his faults with patience & grace.  Who is always willing to grow & be changed by God in order to be a better husband and friend to me.  


I've always heard it said that you fall in love with your spouse all over again when you become parents.  Either that or you argue over things you never did before and are so tired after 7 PM that you can hardly carry a lucid conversation.  Or maybe it's a little of both.  It certainly is in our case.

I love watching this man with our three sons.  I love the thought that they will grow up to be like their father.   I love that when God threw us into the deep end of the parenting pool, Kevin was right there beside me with his arm floaties strapped on.

The best word I can think of the describe Kevin as a father is involved.  He changes diapers, he gets up in the middle of the night, he knows the words to Micah's favorite songs.  He plays with the boys and draws them to himself with his warmth.  Kevin has always said he wants to be a father to grown-up sons and little girl daughters, but I think he handles himself so well with our boys during these younger years.  The daily games of Tickle Chef and Ride On Daddy are laying the foundation of their future relationship as young men relating and looking to their father for guidance and love.  I'm thankful that Kevin is the kind of man who is committed to our sons and their needs during every stage of their life.

(Even little Hudson, who is still pretty boring)


I've gotten to see a lot of Kevin the son-in-law in action during the past few months that we have been living with my parents.  Sometime I think he puts me to shame in the way he seeks to serve them & know them.  When you've known your parents for your whole life, sometimes it seems difficult to come up with new things to talk about.  Kevin always come up with a new question (what's the best & worst purchase you've ever made?) or scenario (if it were the end of the world, who would you want on your team?) that helps me get to know my own parents even better.    He willingly participates in Corbin family traditions and even eats popcorn for dinner every Friday night, despite the fact that he protests its validity as a real meal.  My mom even asks him to feed the dog before asking me.  I'm thankful for a husband that loves and cares for my parents as much as I do.      

So there ya have it.  30 years of a regular guy whose life has been a blessing to me and so many others. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Kind of Aggies We Are

What do I value more?  

Loyalty to my alma mater or free clothes from the grandparents?

See for yourself.

Kevin & I went with my parents to the UT/Wyoming game last weekend.  I will say that after not going to a football game for nearly 10 years, it was nice to sit down without being hissed at and leave at the 3rd quarter without being called a 2%er.  

I do love A&M.  I really do.

But maybe I just love comfortable spectating and how handsome burnt orange looks on my buddies' brown skin a little bit more.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Coming In & Going Out

Perhaps you mistook my blogging silence to mean that we were in the throes of relocating back to China.  Both fortunately and unfortunately, that's not the case.  The company we work for requires a pretty extensive medical clearance process that our oldest two buddies haven't yet passed, so we're still here in America, going to doctors appointments like it's our full time job (because it kind of is right now!).

The fortunate part about this delay is that we're able to get the boys the best care possible.  My medical vocabulary has been increased with words like eosinophilia (that would be for Micah, whose tummy made friends with a parasite and spiked his white blood cell count), strabismus (both of dear Sami's eyes have a slight drift to them), and orofacial myofunctional skills (those refer to Sam's inability to keep his mouth shut and the drool in.  It's like Niagra Falls of his chin.).  That doesn't even include the endocrinologist we've repeatedly seen for both boys' thyroid issues or the cardiologist we visited for Sam's heart murmur we didn't even know about.  It's like doctor Grand Central Station in our family!

To treat his lazy eyes, Sami is wearing an eye patch for an hour a day.  He really is a good sport about it and wears it for the full time without ripping it off (usually).  Though yesterday he did announce to me very definitely that he was "all done eye patch."  

A big sticker on your face with sparkly soccer balls and airplanes definitely creates sibling envy. 

So now I am an equal opportunity patcher.

Next Thursday we'll also start speech therapy with Sam once a week for the next month.  The goal is for him to strengthen his mouth & jaw muscles to help him keep his mouth shut.  I am looking forward to getting the individual attention with him as I work alongside the speech therapist to learn how to help him.  Recently, I've noticed so many middle child realities in Sam's life, namely the fact that he's battling it out with Micah to get a word in and battling it out with Hudson to some quality snuggle time.  So some one-on-one time with him should do us all some good (especially his shirts, which end up soaked in drool by lunch time).

All of this makes me think of Pat Robertson's recent unfortunate comment about adopted children potentially growing up to be weird.  In our case, they might just have a gazillion health issues.  But it's not even an option for us not to get treatment for Sam, even if he isn't "our" child (oh how I loathe that vernacular!).  Because he is our child through and through.  He's worth the time, energy, and potential career change that all of this might cost.  He's worth it to us because he is our son, adopted or not.

The unfortunate part of this delay is that we're really longing to be back in our China home.  Not that we're not enjoying quality family time as we're still living with my parents, big blue skies, and the start of football season.  We are certainly grateful for that, but we have very little sense of rhythm or routine here.  We didn't really set down deep roots of community and connectedness outside our family because we weren't planning on being around for so long.  Now we feel kind of like drifters, strangers in a familiar land.  I've nearly forgotten how to manage a home, how to cook, and don't even ask me how my Chinese is faring through this extensive absence.  

When we first returned from China and I was lost in the thick of reverse culture shock (why is it that everything in America is so big--big houses, big cars, big people?!?), I was encouraged by this verse:

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. 
~Psalm 121:8

God was faithful back in February to keep me during our "coming in" season of adjusting back to American life.  Surely he is just as faithful to keep us during this prolonged time of "going out."  So we will trust in the unknown wisdom behind the timing of it all, soak up the goodness of God's unchanging character, and take advantage of every extra G & Pop hug that we can get.