Sunday, February 27, 2011
That having been said, we were all sitting at a restaurant on a Sunday after church. "PT" cracked a joke and instantly got laughs. Without delay, "L" looks at me with a mildly condescending glare and states, "Mom, "PT" is nothing like you....He is actually funny." Needless to say, the laughter just got louder. At my expense, of course.
In honor of "L's" wit, I wanted to also tell you the latest joke that she made up.
What did the Lego Robot say when he landed on Earth??
Answer: I come in pieces.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I also took some time to sit down with the kids and we browsed some websites to generate ideas for future causes to support. "PT" knew right away what charity he wanted to support this week. However, he graciously agreed to allow me to suggest that we support Aunt Tricia. She is a mother of 3 kids, ages 3 and under (crazy too, obviously), works four days a week, and is training for a 10k as a SoulMate in support of Girls On The Run and blogs about it. She even host a "Bows and Booze" party as a fundraiser. GOTR is passionate about encouraging young girls to have positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development as they train to walk or run at a 3.1 mile event.
Now, you all know that I only run if I am being chased so I am not going to give that kind of support. We are donating to her fundraising efforts and will cheer her on. We will also being praying for good physical and emotional health for Tricia, coaches, and girls participating.
I also encourage you to check GOTR and the SoleMate program for yourself. If you would like to donate, check out the link to her blog, above.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Sounds great doesn't it? I am really excited but there seems to be a little self-doubt/guilt, which in motherhood, there is always more than enough to go around. First, I know how much we miss my husband when he is gone for work. I also know how hard it is to meet everyone's needs on a daily basis much less when the spouse is outta the house. I haven't traveled by plane since we were the proud parents of only two children and the oldest was 3....she is now going on 9 years old. I have only been away for one night at a time for continuing education classes or to be with a friend at her mother's funeral. "H" and I haven't traveled together without the kids since "P" was 3 months old (He'll be 7 in April.) and that was a must for his job, at the time. We missed the kids but had a blast. "H" and I were planning to escape for a long weekend to NYC last spring to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. So what stopped us? Our sweet baby "JJ" arrived and we were more than happy to hold off for a while. We haven't yet pursued it because we are hoping to adopt her first. And frankly, finding care for 4 kids with lots of appointments and a dog is a little daunting.
I love being with my family and I enjoy this chaos of our own making. My husband and children are all I've ever hoped for and I am blessed. However, I must admit that, over the last few months, I have felt the weight of managing a household; raising 4 kids; participating in multiple weekly therapy and doctor appointments; missing my Mom; maintaining relationships; working part-time outside the home where I take care of other people; being a Girl Scout leader; meeting the demands of being a foster parent, as well as feeling the emotional strain that enduring the "process" while hoping for an adoption has overwhelmed me at times. This is not intended to be a list of complaints just a statement of my reality. The unfortunate truth at our house is that my mood positively or negatively impacts the overall mood of our household and I have been a little less positive lately. Wow, that is power I never expected! Now to use it for good not evil...that is the challenge.
So why am I going...and why without them? Simply, mommy needs her own business trip. I need to refuel and recharge. I need to regain a healthier perspective. I need to enjoy some uninterrupted conversation with a friend of 17 years. Also, I need to have a little fun. After all, in the plane, don't they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first before you try to help others?
I have to thank my dear husband and friend for suggesting we do this. My husband never hesitated when I asked if I should take her up on the offer. (Thanks honey.) He is very capable of running the show, so I don't have worries there, except that the kids won't want me back after a weekend with him. I just don't know what to expect when I can pee alone with the door shut and not have to cut up meat for other people. I don't have to be at one appointment or fill out one piece of paperwork. Best of all, no winter coat!
Well this blog has been therapy enough for me. I feel the self-doubt fading. I am now feeling pumped. (Yes, I still say pumped.) This is a great opportunity and I plan to make the most of it. I know that I am going to miss my little stinkers and the hubby like crazy, of course. They know that I love them no matter where I am. I just hope to return a little more refreshed and energized. After all, they all deserve my best. Ft. Liquordale- here we come!!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I think that it is a great idea to encourage guests at a baby shower to bring their favorite book to build the baby's library. It could also be used as a gift basket for a 2nd or 3rd pregnancy. The baby and the siblings can benefit well together.
I want my kids to love books, and I am sure that there are many more great ones out there than I will ever discover. Actually, I wanted to take a minute to highlight a few that my kids enjoy but are actually useful too, so here we go! I'd love to hear if your family has discovered some good ones too.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Don't get me wrong, I value honesty. It is necessary to have real relationships. I also know that I have stuck my foot in my mouth more than once and have wanted to go back and erase something rude that I have said. However, generally I try to be nice and I think most people do too. I don't think that it is over-rated. I feel like it is worth the extra effort to find a way to give someone honest feedback with a little finesse.
Sorry, just one of my little rants! By the way, I don't really like your hair. No offense.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
A few months ago, "H" and I were talking about weird and dangerous things that kids do in college. I joked with him that I feared that "PT" might do something crazy so he was going to have to live in our basement and do online courses only. In enters, "PT" and I say to him in a pitiful voice "PT, if I ever let you go to college will you call Mommy everyday? Please." The kid just paused for a moment, tilted his head to the side, showed his puppy dog eyes and replied, "Of course Mommy. I'll call you... I'll call you butt!"
What?? The kid just totally pulled me in and burned me with his comeback, and I never saw it coming. "H," while poorly holding back his laughter, told "PT" that what he had said was inappropriate and rude, however, funny. He apologized and we moved on. I am sure that there will be more to come. I'll be sure to share.
Here's a funny I found online today....
Rule # 1 Anything we said six or eight months ago is inadmissible in an argument. All comments become null and void after seven days.
Rule # 2 If we say something that can be interpreted in two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other way.
Rule # 3 It is in neither your best interest nor ours to make us take those stupid Cosmo quizzes together.
Rule # 4 You can either ask us to do something OR tell us how you want it done -- not both.
Rule # 5 Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials or time-outs.
Rule # 6 Christopher Columbus didn't need directions and neither do we.
Rule # 7 When we're turning the wheel and the car is nosing onto the ramp, you saying "This is our exit" is not necessary.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
...that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Behind the scenes we all have little tips and quirks that make our houses run. This time, I have decided to share a few about straightening up (a.k.a. "hiding crap") at our house. My goal is to get everyone to kick in so that the kids learn to take care of their things and I don't get so overwhelmed by the mess that only 6 people and a dog can make. I'd also love some feedback from you how you handle it at your house.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
2) I wore “Forest-Gump-like” braces on my legs for a few years due to orthopedic problems when I was a toddler and was put into dance class to help as well.
3) I was preparing to declare myself as a theology major the same day I found out that I was accepted into the Occupational therapy dept.
4) I love to play card and board games...especially Sequence.
5) My sister is 11yrs older than me.
6) I am allergic to everything outside that is green and grows and most animals such as cows and snakes (so the childhood allergist found out).
7) I used to cry and get nauseous...even get sick due to fear of my first grade class, teacher, and having my lunch stolen.
8) I walked head long into a no parking sign when talking to a friend on a major street on the West side.
9) I am forgetful at times, so 25 things are difficult.
10) I have been on 2 cruises yet I was too young to even have a margarita on board. I'd love to go again and take Howie.
11) I have been to Hawaii and loved it.
12) I like being near the ocean but not necessarily in it....the sea life scares me to death!
13) I can put my whole fist in my mouth....gross, I know.
14) I took a meditation class in college and spent a lot of time napping instead.
15) My maiden name replaced my middle name when I got married.
17) I love volunteer work and wish that I was more involved in it now.
18) I do not have good sense of direction.
19) I told my Mom that “H” was Mr. Right-now vs. Mr. Right....I was sooo wrong. He's the love of my life.
20) My 4 children are my greatest source of hope, vulnerability, love, laughter, entertainment...and don't forget stress.
21) We have wanted to be adoptive parents for 8 years.
22) I have fantastic friends that I love to spend time with- phone, email, or in person. Thank you girls!! You are so supportive.
23) We planned on having only 2 kids.
24) Our kids' first and middle names are derived from family names.
25) I considered the military when I was looking at colleges and scholarships. I would not have been good in the military. Instead, I married a military man.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Check out my before and after pictures below. I welcome advice and tips. (FYI- I can't photograph her beautiful face for privacy reasons but have taken some photos of her hair only. Believe me, she's a knock out.)
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Those of you who knew me as a child and now as an adult know that I enjoy going to church. Now don't get me wrong, I am frequently tempted to sleep in or just stay in my pajamas all day, due to the often hectic weeks we have. At times we miss church due to illness, events,or travel. Also, I am sure that we could be more involved in the congregation yet, for now, it is a part of our regular routine on Sundays.
I have no intention on giving a sermon about what I believe or why I believe it. Nor do I plan to tell you what you should do or believe. There are much more skilled and wise people for that. All I know is that I go to church for a number of reasons, both spiritual and practical. First of all, I am a Christian and I feel like I want and need to know more to support my faith and enjoy celebrating the many blessings in my life. Second of all, I like to have my kids exposed to, God, not just from me because, frankly, they rarely think I know what I am talking about. But on a more practical note, while my children are learning and having fun, I am able to sit with my husband and recharge and refocus on bettering myself and our life together. Also, we like that our church has lots of opportunities for community service and kids programs. We only wish that we took better advantage of some of the opportunities available. Thinking back, it actually was our church bulletin, 8 years ago, that got us talking about and pursuing adoption, therefore, leading us to our littlest blessing, "JJ."
First hand, I have experienced my faith helping me through some tough times in my life. I know that it works for me and I want it to work for my family. I do not go to church because I feel like I am better than others when I do. I do not go because I think that attendance at church, alone, is the way to Heaven. I do not go because I worry what the other people in my life or at my church are thinking of me. I simply am a very flawed person and I need all the help that I can get!
We live in a world where millions of dollars are spent every year on very reputable counseling and self-help books and seminars with different ways to improve the individual. This is my self-help and has been for many others throughout history. It is tried and true. Basically, most people have goals that they want to achieve, want to be good people and to make a positive impact, want to love and be loved, and like me, make a lot of mistakes. I know that it will come as a surprise (ha ha) but I am not perfect. I love a crude joke, can be quick to anger with the ones I love most, and can be self-centered... just to state a few of my flaws. I find it helpful to be around others that are seeking some of the same things. Some people do better out in nature or at home in meditation to get closer to understanding, God. I say, to each his own.
People criticize Christians because they have observed behaviors contrary to the teachings. I get it. We all are hypocrites at times. I just want to try to improve and to be more thankful. After all, church isn't for the perfect it is for the sinner. So the next time you see me doing or hear me saying something that is contrary to my beliefs, like yelling at the kids to "HURRY UP! I MEAN IT!! WE ARE LATE FOR CHURCH!!" Please forgive me. I am a work in progress.
Friday, February 11, 2011
I have decided to kick this one off with a recent story when my lovely 3 year old, "J" let her competitive side rear its ugly head. In order to paint the picture fully, you must know that "J" has the fairest of skin and bleach blond hair and can look terribly sweet and innocent...at times. During the winter months, you will find her, along with her sisters and I, sitting in the stands for 2-4 hours cheering our 6 year old, "PT", onto victory at various wrestling tournaments. The girls get bored so I usually pack stuff to do and tons of snacks. As a rule, I make them stop what they are doing when "PT" is wrestling so that they can cheer him on. Well, "J" did just that a few weeks ago. I was not paying a lot of attention to her yet I could see her pumping her little arms in the air and could hear her repeat a simple chant. I bent down to hear her more clearly and was horrified at what I heard in her loudest preschool sized voice..."CHOKE HIM! CHOKE HIM!"
I quickly looked around at all of the parents around me that were from other schools to see if they heard too. If so, I knew right where the exit was. I stopped her, corrected her, and gave her ideas of what was OK to chant. She just looked at me like, "What? I'm cheering like you told me to." By the way, he won and no parents attacked me with their cow-bell.
Let it be known, we do not cheer like that nor do we choke our kids at home so I don't want to hear any of you saying, "Where'd she learn that?" I am telling you that this kid is gifted in the way of surprising us with her words and actions. The only thing we can think of is that a few weeks earlier "PT" was choked in a match and it really upset him and he lost that match. She had to have known that it wasn't a good thing and she just didn't seem to care. She just wanted him to win.
That was a proud moment for us as parents. However, "H" and I find our selves laughing about it quite a bit when no one is around. That kid is a hoot and we are in trouble in the future! Has your kid embarrassed you recently or is it just me??
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Seriously, this show was what brought me out of blogging retirement. To be fair, I have only seen a few partial episodes of this show and it totally fascinated and horrified me. I observed parents, who lived very modestly, drop $5,000 or more on costumes, tanning, nails, dental veneers, elaborate hair pieces/extensions, and pageant coaching. Keep in mind; most of these kids are under the age of 4! I saw some of the little girls stomping their feet, bossing their parents around, and even being bribed to smile. What is so beautiful about that?? What kind of talent or personality competition is that??
As a foster parent, I can be written up if I am observed to have my laundry detergent or kitchen cleaner left out on the counter vs. in a locked cabinet. I have to take hours of training before becoming a foster parent and have to maintain continuing education hours as well. Don’t get me wrong, I am not arguing with the efforts to protect our vulnerable youth, however, I found it strangely insulting that biological parents all over the country can put FAKE hair, eyelashes, and teeth on their toddler, coach them on flirting with the judges, cover them in hair spray and tanning chemicals, and coat their little faces with make-up and proudly boast that their daughter is in the pageant circuit without any child services investigation!
Please tell me that I am not the only one that thinks that a “beauty pageant” for toddlers should include pig-tails, cute pajama category, and Sunday dresses. Otherwise, isn’t just a costume contest??
It has been over a year since my last post!! That is pitiful, but I honestly can tell you that a lot has kept me busy. We were so excited to bring our newest addition, “JJ”, home from the hospital just in time for Christmas in 2009, as a foster child. Our deepest prayer and desire is to adopt her and be her family FOREVER. I often say, “She doesn’t belong to us but we belong together.”
My calendar is filled with the kids’ bus stop drop off and pick up times and various appointments with case workers, supervised visitation, pediatricians, allergists, neurologists, occupational therapy, physical therapy, early intervention, W.I.C., preschool, playdates, and ballet, of course. Then at night or on weekends, there is dinner, homework, girl scouts, cub scouts, wrestling, teacher conferences, church activities, family outings, blah, blah, blah. As a foster parent, I also have paperwork to complete each month and 40 hours of continuing education to complete every 2 years. Professionally, I continue to work outside the home one day per week and one weekend day per month, and don’t even know how many hours of continuing education I still need by June to keep my license. On top of all of that, I can’t stand to have the house messy!
I have to admit that the last three years since my Mom’s death, and this past year in particular, have been the most physically exhausting and emotionally demanding, yet blessed years of my life. I love being a parent to these four uniquely cool kids. Yeah, my days are packed but I have a great man to share this chaotic life with. Our “zone defense” parenting skills are being challenged and are improving everyday. Don’t get me wrong. It is not all rainbows and sunshine and at times I contribute to the chaos. More than once, “H” has walked in from work and I have had my head on the counter with tears in my eyes and “J” saying, “Can someone get the crying baby?” He just walks in and asks what needs to be done…and does it. He actually consoled me one day by saying, “Would it help if you went back to work more?” Funny thing is, that he was being nice because my day at work is often times easier and requires less multi-tasking than my days at home.
So what am I doing writing this blog? Honestly, I am probably avoiding doing something more mundane like cleaning toilets or hanging up laundry. But seriously, I enjoy writing and it feels like I am talking to an adult for a few minutes and anyone who knows me knows that I like to talk. (Sorry!) I actually got a kick out of re-reading my old posts. It is like the journal I never kept.
So where have I been? I have been living and surviving a very wonderful year. I am starting to be more hopeful that an adoption will occur in 2011 and I am settling in to the vision of these 4 kids completing our family. I have been smiling, playing, laughing, crying, worrying, and obsessing at times. All the while, I have been trying not to let day to day tasks swallow me up. I love talking to my friends on the phone, checking Facebook more than I should, indulging in some mindless T.V. on DVR, and spending time with friends or my husband whenever possible. Maybe I will continue to write a little too. I hope that you all are having a blessed year as well.