Monday, August 29, 2011

In Capoops

These sisters are in cahoots.
Rather, I should call it "in capoops."

Although CM is mostly potty trained, inevitably she decides to drop a load in her pull-up at nap time.
And so does our usually constipated, JJ.

H and I walked in there on Saturday, and the smell darn near knocked me over.
What's worse than one messy diaper...two!

H and I each took one and set up camp with two changing pads, Kroger bags for trash, and a pack of wipes between us.

J came in and stated, "Now I know why there is a mommy and a daddy in the family.  Because if you have two babies poop in their diaper at the same time, they each can change one."

Well now you know why?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Funnies: Too Many Puppies

J: Not everyone has to have babies, right?

Me: Right.

J: Because we gave Grady (our dog, fyi) a shot so that she couldn't have puppies, right?

Me: Well, yes.  Sort of.  Why?

J: They should give those dogs in the book one of those shots too.  They have TOO many puppies.  That is why we are not allowed to go the doggie adoption place because we already have one.

Me: Yes, but what book are you talking about?

J: The one Grandma read to me (several days prior).

Me: 101 Dalmations?

J: (With a slight tone of disgust.) Yeah, they have TOO many puppies!


First of all, we have read that book to her quite a few times in her 4 year life.  I wonder how long she has been pondering doggy birth control??

Second of all, I wonder if she's noticed that we have quite a few "puppies," also know as children, at our house.  I don't think she'd be a fan of the Duggars.  Who knows?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sharing Saturday: Community Clean up and Food Pantry

My fearless Wolf Scout son and den leader husband, spent the morning doing a Community Clean up at our local park.  Yard work and trash clean up made for a productive and sweaty morning.  The guys had fun and gave back a little to the park we love.

Also, we got an email with an urgent plea from our church's food pantry for food.  They had many families coming for help and report that the food received from government money was less than normal.  We are delivering some extra groceries to help stock up the pantry once again.

It makes me feel a little silly, when I find myself in front of my fridge or pantry and say, "We have nothing for dinner."

Praying for the many families, struggling to feed their families everyday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vision Board

Thanks to Oprah, here is my vision board from several years ago.
I came across it when I was filing some papers.  I remember making it after watching a show where a woman wrote her goals on paper and buried it in Africa (I think)...leading to her ultimate and overwhelming success.  The board didn't cause all of that, but it was a tool to be intentional about her future.

Finding mine, although not buried under a rock but rather under 15 pounds of paperwork, made me smile.
Has it worked?  Where am I now? How has my vision changed?

I have listed each of ones I included...
  • Listen (with the picture of the Caucasian woman talking to the African American boy):  I have tried to be better with giving my kids eye contact when they talk.  Still need to work on actively listening instead of forming a response in my head too quickly.  I believe at the time of creating this board, we were planning to adopt a son from Ethiopia.  Funny how things we have 2 African American daughters added to our bunch!
  • Lend a Helping Hand: Definite progress here.  We are trying to be more involved physically and financially with others in need and we have tried to bring the children along with us.  Ther is always more we hope to do.
  • Rise to the Challenge: I am in the throws of this now.  I am praying that I can meet the challenge of raising these 5 children and be woman I am meant to be.  We will see where I am in a few years.
  • 4: This one cracks me up.  It is funny, each time H and I have a plan...God changes our mind.  If I were to redo my board, it would say something like, more!
  • Flexibility: This is hard for me in certain settings and in other situations, a piece of cake.  I have told others that I am a type-A at heart yet God gave me these kids, and now I am a C- at best.  Sometimes we bend so we won't break.
  • In Praise: Always needs more focus in my life.  This will always be a goal of mine.  I try to tell myself that I am not overwhelmed but over-blessed.  (Sometimes it works.)
  • Worry-Free: Never gonna happen my friends.  I however am trying to let go of more things and give it to God to resolve.
  • Vacations: Oh yeah! I love to go on vacation and we have done okay with this.  I am already looking up large beach houses for next year with H's whole family. Now, to spend a little time with just my husband...
  • Be brave. Be smart. Be you.: Hard to say since my children have sucked out several of my IQ points :)  Still corny. Still welcoming chaos. Still dramatic.  Still a little forgetful.  Still hopeful.
  • Sweet Dreams: Don't know where I was going with this one...maybe I was sleep deprived at the time.  Oh well, yes I need to be better about getting to bed and getting up a better time.  My poor hubby needs this too from me.
  • Comfort: Since losing my mom 3 years ago, comfort and relief have been things I have longed for.  Not a day goes by without a feeling of loss yet I now am comforted by memories of a our very close relationship.  I could not have done this without the love of others.  Thank you all!
  • Mother: Continues to be my proudest title.
  • ADOPT: Still an goal that we are desperately chasing...Come on aleady!
  • Fun Activities: We definitely try to do this with the kids.  I should probable plan more fun activities more myself, with the hubby and friends.
  • Pick Up a Friend: I try to keep in touch with friends via phone, Facebook, blogs, etc.  I could be better at remembering what they are going through and be more thoughtful.
  • No Back Talk: Witty comebacks...okay.  Rude...not.  This goes for me or my kids.  We'll need to keep up on this for the next...well forever really.
  • Change Habits:  Still lacking in the healthy habits department as well as with reading the Bible.  This vision board is a good reminder.
  • Get Free Stuff: I must have been having a foreshadow of episodes of Extreme Couponing or something.  Don't know, but I am not rolling in the free stuff.  I don't even like sending in rebate forms.
  • Afford It: Maybe I thought that I could afford things if I "get free stuff."  No seriously, we are doing fine and goals are in place.  Now to find a new job to keep it going.  I believe, at the time, we were fretting over how to finance the international adoption that we were planning.
  • Each Day She Prays: I usually pray as I wake up.  It sort of sets my focus for the day and starts me off in the praise department.  Otherwise, I am praying whenever I need to.  I must work on praying more often for a first line of defense (so to speak) vs. after I have complained to my husband or friends.
  • Dinner? Done.: I was talking about this with H.  Now that school has started, I want to do more meal planning.
  • You can make a difference. We will continue to try to use our time and skills to help in small ways.  Sharing Saturdays (see posts) have helped us as well.  As foster parents, we feel as though the difference is being made in us as well.
  • Dare to Explore: Maybe I should actually take the cake decorating class H got me for a gift.  Otherwise, blogging was a new area for me.  It has been about 6 months and I still enjoy it!  We are choosing more and more that activities with 4-5 small kids can be done.  After all, if we wait until they are all more independent, the two oldest will be approaching more difficult tween/teen years.  Now or never, right?
  • Faith: Growing everyday.
  • GOD: At the center of the vision board and will continue to be. 
  • A Table for Everyone: We finally got one at Ikea when we remodel.  See the picture here!! Plus it has 2 more leaves.  Come on over for dinner.  I'll call for pizza, of course.
As for the future, most of these words represent my intention for our family and our future.  I may get out a magazine and add a few things. If nothing else, I have to change the 4 to a 5!

What would your vision board say??

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011


    I am in a mood.

    I was just taking a quick break to catch up on some reading (of blogs) before I clean up for tomorrow's early morning therapy session and visit from J's preschool teacher.
    Then, I just needed to stop, which is weird because I love to do this.

    Just for tonight, I can't look at any more beautiful and artistic photography, read eloquent and clever posts, or admire/envy the creative projects that others are or have created.  

    This usually totally inspires me, but tonight, not so much.


    I am tired, have a few mundane things ahead of me tonight, and I feel a bit crotchety.  I don't seem to have time for the creative projects that I used to do.  I can't post a picture of my kids for a simple, quick and enjoyable post.  My photography is nothing special, although my little models usually are.  Although, I have thought of adding or changing things on the blog, I haven't had the energy to research the how-to's. 

    I am not sure where my corny jokes and late night energy has gone tonight.  I am sure it will pass.  
    Sorry to be such a BLAHger.  (Get it?  BLAH-ger...the corny is coming back!)

    So, just for tonight, I am not going to look for inspiration.  
    I am going to clean, have a beer, and go to bed.  In the morning, I am going to leave Pissy Krista behind...
    and get my blogger-fix tomorrow.

    So here's to anyone who has had a momentary funk and here's to a better day tomorrow. 
    Good night all!

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    They Are Trying to KILL Me!

    Today is the first day of school for L and PT.  J doesn't start her preschool program for a few more weeks. Everyone had breakfast, clean clothes, new backpacks, a good night sleep (minus the extra sleep), and each made it to the bus on time.  No tears.  A good start to the day, I might add.

    Many parents can't wait for this day...not me!

    The school has taken from me the two kids that I can rationalize with, some of the time at least.
    It has left me with 3 children, all girls, who are all born within 2.5 years (4, 2, and 1 year old).
    Today, these children whom I love with all my heart are mere SAVAGES.

    The scene has included a toddler who is navigating a colossal transition, following me around so closely while repeating "Mommy" and "Why" so many times that my head is spinning.  Now JJ, loves CM so much that she follows her around, thus follows me around too.  Not to mention, my heart fills with guilt for not having just a little more patience with this.  I carry her, hug and kiss her, smile, read books with 3 on my lap, answer a million questions, and constantly break up squabbles.  Did I mention that we have had some trouble using our words vs. our hands or feet when we are frustrated?  Was I expecting my 2 year old to skip this lovely stage?  Unrealistic I know.  Insert, more guilt.

    I eventually sent my hubby a text saying the following... 
    "Is this parenting or am I watching a cock fight?"

    He called and I relayed to him that the kids are essentially trying to kill me.  I complained...
    I am trying to find multiple time-out spots at the same time while trying to keep JJ safe.  I made sure everyone was entertained and asked J (yes I know she's only 4) to help me by making sure no one opened the basement door while I grabbed the laundry.  After all, she is the only one who can open it.  She agreed, and I literally ran downstairs.  Within 2-3 minutes, J and CM came downstairs tattling on each other.  Something about spitting!  I freak out because I don't want JJ to fall down the steps.  I climb over the stack of laundry and make it up the steps.  NO JJ!  Where is the baby??  I run to the stairs going up to the bedrooms that is blocked by a gate for safety.  The gate is moved and JJ sits at the very top of the stairs with her sisters up in their rooms.  AHHHH!

    We all survive this incident, I got out the crayons, the music toys, turned on Sesame Street, gave more hugs, and intervened to prevent or breakup more silly squabbles.  As I was reading another book, J snuck up behind me and put her ice pack down my shirt to be funny. AHHHH!

    When they were playing quietly, I folded a little laundry and the girls' "Mommy is accomplishing something radar" went off.  The older two climbed onto the couch, onto the folded laundry while JJ grabbed what she could reach and pulled it onto the floor.  AHHHH!

    H interrupts my tirade to tell me, by the way, "I am being sent out of town for a day or so in a few weeks."  I did not have a supportive response.  Poor guy. It isn't his fault but at the moment, I didn't care.
    Good thing he is forgiving. (Right honey?)

    Now my dear readers, doesn't that sound like they all are really trying to kill me??

    I got off the phone.  Within minutes, I got a message to confirm what we had suspected.  My current job no longer needs me to work my one day during the week because of over staffing.
    Add to to-do list...find new job.

    I went on to make lunch, give more hugs, and count the minutes until glorious NAPTIME!!!

    My friends, I know that there are moms out there having real problems today.  I am just a bit dramatic, and my troubles this morning were just funny when I added them all up and a bit overwhelming.  I wanted to write about them before I became rational.  I am feeling much better already.  Thank you left-over pizza for joining me in my brief pity party. I need to run before blissful naptime ends!!

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Sunday Funnies- more J'isms

    Here's a couple quick J'isms, because she is at that fun
    age where what she says constantly challenges us to keep a straight face.

    1) On vacation, after a previous day of long hikes and swimming, J proclaimed, "I spent all day outside yesterday and I am NOT doing that again!"

    2) H and I were talking in the car when we overheard J telling her siblings a story about something.  We heard her say, "Then they take their wienies and ...."  She looks up at me as I turn around to find out what the heck she is talking about and reassures us all, "The food not the body part!"

    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    Sharing Saturday- Giving Back to School Bash

    Today we had a good time hosting a (Giving Back) to School Bash!

    Here's the invite that L helped make...


    Please join us this Saturday August 20th, 2011
    From 3-5pm

    For fun, drinks, and lots of sweets!
    Make a plate for your family to take home!

    We will be accepting donations for Crayons to Computers,
    An organization that helps put together a free store for teachers in the Cincinnati area to get much needed supplies for their classrooms.

    Items needed include:
    pencils, pens, crayons, glue, filler paper,
    construction paper, folders, scissors, rulers, notebooks, copy paper

    Cash donations: Your generous, tax-deductible contribution to C2C will enable 
    them to keep their shelves stocked with the basics.

    Let’s celebrate the beginning of a new school year by giving back.
    Let us know if you can come and feel free to tell a friend.

    I looked at our dining room table the other day and it was overflowing with new school supplies.  

    Backpacks, lunchboxes, scissors, folders, fresh new pencil, crayons and markers, binders,
    notebook paper, folders, sharpie markers, dry erase markers, index cards, baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, baggies, paper towels, and erasers.

    This list is in addition to the $36 each for L and PT's school supply fees, 
    and J's $105 snack fee for preschool.

    We can't forget the new shoes or clothes that were tossed in the cart in honor of "Back to School."

    Don't get me wrong.  I am not complaining.  The kids enjoy picking out new supplies and we believe in our school district and their use of our money.  I just found myself wondering what a mom that is struggling to pay bills feels like buying all of those supplies.  I would guess that the whole experience is a little more dreadful rather that being good moment to share with her child(ren).  I also thought about all the teachers that are facing budget cuts and have students who have no money to buy supplies so 
    they are opening up their own wallet.

    That is where Crayons to Computers comes in.  They run a free store for teachers to "purchase" necessary supplies for their students and classrooms.  

    For our(Giving Back) to School Bash, friends, family and neighbors stopped by with donations of schools supplies and cash.  In exchange, we had a spread of desserts and some lemonade to share.
    It was a lot of fun and we had a good turn out.

    All of these great people filled up 2 boxes with supplies and donated $170!!!
    My very generic goal was $100 so we are so excited!!
    PT even left a message on the driveway in chalk.
    (It says, "Bak sale for chariti")
    Thank you so much for all of the donations!!
    Also thank you Dad for helping us chase the kids!!

    I hope that everyone has a great transition back to school.  I realized that tonight is our last night before I have to remind everyone that "It's a school night."  I am a little bummed.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    I am seeing RED!

    I have been informed that court today was essentially a waste of time.  I can't give details but transcripts were not fully complete ("all except the last few pages") and there were critical people that did not even show up to court.  Scheduling of course was near impossible so they will try again in October.  
    After 5 more months of waiting for this, we wait again.
    No progress.

    I am seeing RED.

    I have had many jobs.
    If didn't show up...I would not get paid.
    If I didn't complete my responsibilities...I would get fired.
    If I didn't complete my report within the guidelines of the law...I could get sued.

    In this case, where vulnerable children are involved, there seems to be no consequence for making children and families wait.  For unpreparedness.  For accepting that "this is the way it goes sometimes" is good enough for children.

    I am seeing RED.

    There I've said it.
    Can't say that I feel any better but now I will get back to the daily business/chaos of taking care of this family.
    There is no time to dwell.
    I have no time to wait.
    Thanks for prayers for the kids.  Keep 'em coming.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    On My Mind...

    1) This was in our Cincinnati Enquirer this week.  I loved it.  I don't remember ever really yelling much...then I had kids.  I try to minimize it but sometimes, sadly, it works.

    2) I found these adorable pot holders in my mailbox today.   Tricia surprised me with these to match our new kitchen. Her friend from Hitched and Stitched made them.  I LOVE THEM!

    3)  Most importantly, I have a few prayer requests.  Please consider praying for the following.
    • A friend's mom ("MW") is having surgery tomorrow for a broken elbow and shoulder.  Also pray for her family and medical staff.
    • Baby Ashley and Baby Emily as they continue to fight infection in the NICU.  May they grow strong and may their heart murmurs improve!  Also for their parents, family, and medical staff.
    • Braden T, age 10, who is having an involved surgery tomorrow, that is expected to take 15 hours.  His siblings, parents, family, and large medical team also needs our prayers.  His recovery will take several weeks.
    • We have a court date tomorrow.  Please pray for wisdom for the judge and participates, may they be prepared, and for there to be a good decision made that is truly in the children's best interest (God's will be done).

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Sunday Funnies: STOP THE CAR!

    On vacation, we spent a lot of time in the car.  
    This always makes us a little nervous because a couple of our kids (and me) tend to get car sick.
    This is why I got really nervous when J suddenly shouted out, "STOP THE CAR!"

    I thought for sure that she was going to get sick.  I wasn't ready for what she said next.


    We all started laughing.  
    She didn't think that it was that funny.  
    After all, to her it was a real emergency. 
    She was in quite a bind. :)

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Sharing Saturday- Serenity Horse Rescue

    Our church picnic this weekend was so much fun. 
    There was a potluck buffet of course, but also face painting, a colored hair spray station, 
    bounce house, music, and PONY RIDES.

    The best part, it that it was all free.

    Our older two loved taking a short ride on the horses while the little ones loved petting them.
    The horses were from the Serenity Horse Rescue.

    There initial statement on their website reads, "Serenity Horse Rescue is dedicated to providing sanctuary, rehabilitation, and adoption for horses that have been abused, neglected or are unwanted."

    As I have written before, our children especially L, love horses.  They were more than enthused to place a donation in the jar to help Serenity Horse Rescue with their mission.

    READERS:  I would love it if you would send me a comment with suggestions of worthy organizations that we might consider as a family for our future Sharing Saturdays.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    We Have a Winner

    I have essentially fallen off the blogging map this week.
    Hubby out of town, sick kid, and hours spent making an scrapbook of our vacation on 
    Shutterfly have taken over my little windows of opportunity to write.

    Today, L and I had a good time teasing each other.  It was a little battle of quick thinking.  
    Follow me to discover the winner.

    L has a pair of flip-flops that she LOVES.

    The above mentioned shoes STINK.  We are talking air pollution/make me gag kind of stink.  Today we purchased some new flip-flops that she LOVES (on clearance, of course) that do not stink.  I told L that when she put her new shoes away, she could just throw the old ones in the trash. Makes sense, right?

    L's whined as if I was asking her to give me her a kidney or something... "But I love them."  "You can just wash them again, right?" "Well, no I don't really know what I'll do with them."

    We bantered back and forth as she playfully begged for me to keep those nasty shoes.  
    She was clearly trying to see if I'd cave.  So I did.

    "Sure honey, you can keep them." I said.  Accepting defeat...or so she thought.

    Then when she wasn't looking, I cut the strap that goes between her toes. Hehehe.

    This is what she later found...

    Yes, I totally stooped to a new low.  
    She was shocked!  She smiled and said, "But you said that I could keep them."

    "Yes, honey but I never said that you could still wear them :)"

    We laughed.  The battle was over.  I won. 
    I am officially the Most Immature Mother Ever!!

    NOTE: When I went to take a picture, she added this little note.

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Sunday Funnies: It's a Little Sink

    We chose to stay in a cabin up in the mountains during our vacation to Gatlinburg.  
    We found a beautiful cabin online with 3 levels (with 53 steps in total), 2 bedrooms + a loft and tons of activities like air hockey, pool table, and a rock wall in the basement.  It had it's issues which I'll save for a later post, but it's listing boasted a lot of "bells and whistles."  
    Fancy showers with multiple jets and even a bidet. 

    It was a good thing that there was a lot of bathrooms because after a long drive up the mountain, everyone seemed to need to use the bathroom at the same time.  The bad thing is that J couldn't reach any of the sinks so we'd hold her up while she washed her hands or she's stand on a small trash can that was turned over.

    On one of the last days, I was rounding up towels in the kids' bathroom and J pranced right in, grabbed a bar of what she calls "slippery soap", and effortlessly started washing her hands...
    She even found a nice little spot to keep the soap.
    I shout, "No! That's not a sink.  It's a toilet."  J looks at me like I was crazy and stated that this is where she polishes her new found rocks too.

    I have NO idea how this darn thing works but I know for a fact that a little sink it is not!  I scrubbed her hands in a real sink and reminded her to never wash her hands in the bidet again. 
    (Then I got the camera, of course.)

    She wasn't shook one bit.  She thought it was funny.

    Obviously I did too.  Hope you do too.
    I am linking up this older post today (April 2, 2013)
    as a part of Finding the Funny
     hosted by My Life and Kids.
    If you've never joined in or stopped by, go do it!
    You will laugh your butt off.

    If you are visiting from there, take a look around.  I'd love to have you back sometime.
    I can be found on Facebook.
    You can also find me as ticket4thetrain on Twitter and Instagram.

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    Sharing Saturday- Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l Park

     We just returned from our vacation to the Gatlinburg area.  We had so much fun!  The place where we spent a lot of time was the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

    It is free.  It is huge.  It is unbelievably beautiful!

    This is where I wish that I posted pictures of the kids, because we got some great pictures.  Instead, here is a few of the treasures that we observed.

     I don't know what the heck this bug is but it was close to 4 inches and it traveled on our car for quite a while.  Stubborn little bugger.

    Petting beautiful horses on the auto-trail of Cade's Cove.

     Wild turkey...the animal not the whiskey.

     Breath-taking views.

     More breath-taking views.  These pictures do not do it justice.

     Deer in the field.

     Little bear cub came up close.

     Then I started to worry, "Uh, where's the mama bear??...Get back in the car!"  
    This was only one of MANY bear that we saw.
    (Most of which were too close to our cabin for comfort.)

     Laurel Falls
    The kids and I took off our shoes and waded in the cold water after a long hike.
    (More on this hike in a later post.)

    This is just a little taste of what the park has to offer.  If you are planning a trip, check out their website.  There is great information and the welcome center has a host of information and helpful rangers.  The kids can even participate in a Junior Ranger program.

    This week we want to give back to the park a little so we will be making a donation through 
    the Friends of the Smokies, here.  

    Another way to contribute is to purchase things at their bookstore, here.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    This Is How We Roll: Roadtrip

    Sometimes I feel like our minivan resembles a clown car.  It only gets worse when we go on a roadtrip because Heaven knows that I am not traveling with these four by plane for a while.

     We have found a few things really helpful for traveling with 4 young kids...most of which get car sick.

     1) We gave up using suitcases...too odd shaped to fit with this gigantic Sit-N-Stand stroller.  (There is actually an umbrella stroller and a baby backpack behind it, too.) 
    The bins fit really well and we can stuff a lot into them.

     2) We don't have a ton of bells and whistles in our van, but the storage in the floor of our Dodge Caravan is priceless.  We store swim gear, jumper cables, diapers, and groceries that are odd shaped under there.

     3) DVD player with headphones...a must!  They can watch a DVD, while H 
    and I listen to a book or music CD.

     4) This drawer under the front passenger seat if full of little novelties (PEZ dispenser, Etch-a-sketch, ring pops) that break up the trip.  In the past when we have traveled really far, we have had a new movie, magic trick toys, or travel games in there. We just break up the trip a little bit with little surprises.

     5) Each kid has a back pack that they fill with their favorite "stuff" to keep them busy.  This usually includes things like a DS, books, little toys, a lovey, sunglasses, small blanket, etc. 
    If it doesn't fit, they can't take it.

    We also move around the car seats so that one bigger kid is with a smaller kid.  This way they can help reach their cup for them or open a snack.  L's backpack has a few toys for JJ too.

     6) Of course, we pack snacks and extra batteries for their DS or headphones.   As for drinks, we usually fill up a sports bottle with ice water for each of them to drink along the way
    ...or until then next Happy Meal with a drink.

    7) Last but not least, for our easily car sick family...we have gum (Anyone tried the Dessert Delights?  Sounds gross to me but the kids love it.), Dramamine, and if all else fails, plastic bags. 

    I know a lot of you are traveling this summer or have traveled with kids in the past.  Got any suggestions you'd like to share.  We all could use the help.  

    For now, this is how we roll.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    She's More Important

    The conversation was so casual that I can't even recall how it lead to our son PT stating very matter-of-factly something to the tune of JJ being more important.
    I assume he meant more important than he and his siblings.

    I felt my heart drop and knew that I couldn't come across too defensive or he'd stop talking.  I calmly replied, "What makes you think that buddy?"

    PT went on to state that she just is very important because she is going to be adopted.  He added that she also needs lots of therapy too. 

    I could tell that he wasn't seeking attention. He wasn't upset or sad or even jealous.  He wasn't trying to give me an emotional kick in the gut.  He just stated how things looked from his point of view.  Frankly,
    I sort of get why he might have felt that way.  JJ gets a lot of attention for being the cutest 4th baby ever, not to mention, we don't look a bit alike.  But less noticeable, people including us, talk a lot about our journey with her in foster care and hopes for adoption and her newest developmental gains.  Also, just by being a toddler she has a lot that we have to attend to. 

    He doesn't remember when he and each of his siblings were the baby of the family and they got a ton of attention too.  He doesn't know how much thought and effort goes into raising each of them based on what they need at that moment.  He can't always see me writing, talking, and praying about him.

    I sincerely thanked him for sharing that with me because I told him that when he tells me these things, it helps me try to be a better mom and to clear up any misunderstandings.  I had a conversation with him and his sisters to let them tell me what they thought and to reassure them that although we all have different needs, no one person is of higher importance in our family.  No matter how families are built, they are meant to support each other and each member is absolutely critical.  That's why God built our family this way.  I thanked each of them for opening their hearts to foster care and adoption too (in kid terms of course).  I told them that I was so impressed with all of the help that they give JJ to help her learn new skills. I just told them how much I love and need them.  I told them I was proud of them.

    They seemed to get it. I hope.  I figured it couldn't hurt to hear how important they are to me again, right?

    Then I prayed.  I prayed for guidance in parenting them in a way that everyone feels important and loved.  I want to meet everyone's needs.  I never want them to underestimate their value.

    I don't know if any of you can relate, but I know that being a parent to several kids with very different needs can be so overwhelming sometimes. 

    It is so worth it.