Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying goodbye

2010 was a good year.
We watched in amazement as things 
progressed with our adoption of our babies.
We saw God provide in ways we weren't sure
were even possible.
We learned that nothing is impossible for Him!

It's a little sad for me to see 2010 leaving.

There's comfort in resting in the same place where
you have seen the Lord working. 

Reminding myself that there's nothing magical about
a number on the calendar, I still see the new year approaching
with a little twinge of sadness.

Here are some of my favorite memories of 2010:

  • Finishing our homestudy the first week of January!
  • Being approved (finally) for our babies on 1/21!
  • Getting our dossier turned in!
  • Business trip to San Antonio with my parents!
  • Getting our dossier approved, and received in Ethiopia!
  • Hearing we were being grandfathered into the one-trip program!
  • My first niece was born! (We have 5 nephews!)
  • Our monsoon yard sale that brought in amazing, much needed funds!
  • Every message of hope, prayers sent, and happiness from people we know, and those we have never met!
  • Being gifted thousands of dollars in the form of grants and unexpected checks from our family!
  • Every time someone traveled to Ethiopia and returned with news of having hugged my babies and telling them we are coming for them!
  • Photo updates
  • Watching our four kids at home getting excited to meet their new siblings
  • Trips to the pool as a newly unemployed mom
  • Anniversary trip with Hubby
  • Getting our very own Embassy appointment and learning we would wind up traveling with the mom of the "girl in the cow sweatshirt".
  • Sitting in the airport restaurant after checking in for our flights and talking with my hubby.
  • The Ethiopian taxi ride to our hotel at 1am
  • First (shockingly strong) Ethiopian coffee
  • Meeting the Holt staff, laughing with our travel group, and the visible excitement on all our faces
  • Seeing and holding our children for the very first time!
  • Meeting their birth parent
  • Taking custody and feeling like a first-time Mom again
  • Their first shower (THAT was hilarious!!)
  • Arriving home and hugging my big kids!
  • Our first morning in the house as a family of 9!
  • Fumbling through Amharic words and being corrected by a 5 year old!
  • Sweet little oiled-up brown babies fresh from the bubble bath!
  • Big kids teaching little kids
  • Annual Labor Day trip to local theme park
  • Birthday parties
  • Learning to "do hair"
  • Wolaytinga songs
  • The little girls singing "Our God" really loudly on the porch while handing out Halloween candy
  • First Thanksgiving - "Mommy, dis BIG bila!"
  • Shopping for the kids' yearly ornament in the first snow!
  • First Christmas!
I know it's a long list...
and I know it's not complete!

Here's hoping for another great year in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Medium-thick skin

I've been doing some thinking lately on the comments people make when we are out and running around.

When we first started this whole adoption thing I wasn't familiar with the terminology
that is appropriate or not and I certainly didn't think I could have
possibly offended anyone with an innocent question.

Since being in the process I have been reading about other people and their journeys, and I eventually became aware of certain phrases that boil the blood of adoptive parents.

Not normally being a very "P.C." person,
I tend to take these type of social mores as a general rule of thumb,
and then do what I am comfortable with.
For example...
the whole "African American" vs. "Black" thing.
No one has ever referred to me as anything other than "white"...
certainly never German/Irish/Native-American.
I am personally a little "over" trying to please everyone with our labels.
My children are who they are.
When I fill out a form at a doctors office,
I normally circle "African"...
and leave off the "-American" part...
even though they ARE American by virtue of
their immigration status.

Hence, my confusion with the whole
"positive adoption language"
thing.

Some parents call them
"birth family"
or
"first family"
or
"biological family".

The only one that bugs me is
"real family"... as in,
"What happened to their REAL family?"
Yeah, that's offensive on a couple of levels.
First:
If you have the right to know,
you already do.
Second:
We are their real family.
I know what you are asking,
but THINK about what you just said.

Some people ask if I have any other
"natural children".
I heard this yesterday.
"Obviously, you are not the natural mother of this child."
Ouch.
As for excusing this one...
I'm working on it.
I have no happy little reply,
nothing to say...
except I should send out a general warning to anyone who
feels comfortable enough to ask questions of me in this way...
my "filter" is gradually being flipped into the "off" position.
Next time I may go full-on sarcastic and
ask if "by natural, do you mean
he doesn't appear as though he grew in my uterus?
Or are you saying my son is a cyborg?"

I do have some thick-ish skin growing a covering
over my heart though.
When I hear someone talk about
having my "hands full"...
what used to bug me now just
makes me think, wow - they think I am a SUPER mom!
And I check to be sure my cape isn't showing.

When someone wants to talk about adoption
when I am not prepared to have that conversation at that moment...
I try to envision myself being able to impact the life of more
orphaned children who may now have a family
because of a conversation I chose to have
on my terms.

I'm not saying I'm perfect,
but I am learning that not everyone
with something stupid coming out of their mouth
has malicious intent.
Sometimes they are just as ignorant as I was
just over a year ago
and I need to have some grace.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Their first Christmas!

Christmas was
wonderful!
I may have had a slight
teary mini-breakdown on the 23rd
just thinking about how grateful I am that
THIS YEAR
my babies are
HOME.

THIS YEAR
we aren't begging some
committee somewhere on the west coast
to allow us to be their parents.
We ARE the parents.

THIS year
we weren't 
looking at grainy photos
with sad eyes
and sickly bodies.

THIS year 
we had squeals of delight,
laughter that brought tears,
and overwhelming
gratitude.

Sure...
we had our bouts of
"oh my gosh they are
SO overwhelmed
and
SO tired
and 
SO needing a nap!"
but mostly
it was lots of fun!

Hearing #6 walking around
the house all day on Christmas
repeating
"Happy Birthday Baby Jesus! 
Happy Birthday, baby Jesus!"
like the last line of the traditional birthday song...
just too sweet.

Baby Boy 
terrified of the tennis-ball-sized
toy chipmunk
that squeaks
and races across the wood floors...
but thinks flying down
the toy roller coaster
is lots of fun!
Go figure.

And #5,
who thought she 
was going to get to 
"hold baby Jesus"
on Christmas
since it was His birthday
after all!

And the bigger four...
they were very sweet too.
They enjoyed helping the littles
decide what to open next,
putting their toys together,
and teaching them how to play with them.
Learning to use a Sit-N-Spin is a big skill, you know!
We had a VERY Merry Christmas!
Do you see my baby boy??
oh THERE he is! Under all that packing paper his sister is throwing on top of him!

Why can't I have a pink tricycle?

Extreme coastering. Take one.



Monday, December 20, 2010

My Favorite Things (at 4:20am)

Having been told that
my posts have been somewhat
"ranty"
lately...

I thought it was time for a 
change of pace!

So, instead of telling you about the bone scan for baby boy,
and the SUPER rude lady in the waiting room with her poorly-phrased questions,
or the funny thing that a 2nd grader said at the class Christmas party...
I will tell you about my favorite things!

It's hard to find much in the way of
"favorite" things before 6am...
but...here goes!

Since my sweet baby boy has decided that
the 4am hour is the new 6am hour...
I love this:
My coffee pot!
Sing with me now...
"Tumble out of bed and
stumble to the kitchen,
pour myself a cup of ambition,
yawnin', stretchin' try to come to life..."
(If you don't know this song...
shame on you.
Stop reading my blog and go google 
Dolly Parton, 9 to 5.)
Only my song would be titled 
4-9, but who's counting.

Another favorite thing...
I don't actually HAVE these slippers...
but considering the cold tile floor in the kitchen...
I think they would make me happy.

Next on the list...
I can't find a photo online of the grey fuzzy blanket
that stays on my couch for cuddling under 
on cold mornings when it's still dark outside... 
but I highly recommend having one of your own.

Next...
Whichever one of these three wakes me up in the pre-dawn hours.
Okay, so they aren't really lower on the list than slippers, coffee and a blanket.

Most mornings lately, it's the baby boy that wakes up around 4:20.
I get him and put him in the bed with hubby and I and pretend like he is
going to go back to sleep for another hour or two.

He likes to wiggle around...
presumably trying NOT to go 
back to sleep.

And he asks me
over
and 
over
and
over again..
if he is 
"Mommy's baby?"
and I say
"Yes... you are mommy's baby."

It's very sweet.

(Don't get me wrong...
it would be sweeter at 6am...
but it's sweet.)

Another favorite thing?
Chuggington.
It's a relatively low-irritation cartoon that
baby boy really likes for some reason.
He won't sit still and watch very much on TV
but he likes this show. 
And it's on really early.
And there are no singing/dancing/goofy humans.

What I do NOT love early in the morning??

An early Christmas present he got from
his grandparents.
Yeah. 
I don't know what I did to them to deserve this toy.

But, sometimes... 
when he's home...
this guy comes to the rescue.
He's my MOST favorite of my favorite things.
Isn't he handsome?
I know. You can't have him.

Sometimes he wakes up with the littles
and entertains them
while I "sleep in" (till 6).

Sometimes he comes and sits on the couch with me
and we watch the news 
and drink coffee
snuggled under the fuzzy blanket.
And on those days,
pre-dawn looks a lot better.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What the heck?

What is going on?
Have we landed on an alien planet??
What is wrong with people??

First the shooting at the school board earlier this week...
countless other horrible stories on the news...
things that just break your heart.

Then I read on my friend (and pastor)'s blog (his blog is here)
today about this lady who is suing Mc*Donald's
because she can't say "No" to her
kids since the marketing makes her kids want
 Happy Meal toys??
Give me a flipping BREAK!
Anyone who can't just keep driving
and tell their children NO to McD's
doesn't deserve to be a parent.
I mean, FOR REAL.

What's next??

Sue the candy people
because your kid has cavities?

Sue the toy people because 
your kids are convinced they 
NEED a new whatever-talking-toy?

Or worse...
just give in to every little thing they ask for
because you are a WIMP!
Create an entire society of people with entitlement issues
because they think they "deserve"
EVERY LITTLE THING
they want
just because.
(Oh wait.. we already HAVE that.)

Being a parent MEANS
setting limits,
saying NO,
being unpopular.

And while I'm getting all over people's business...

How about this one...

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!
To celebrate this year I thought I would
buy pointless things for people
who don't need them
or want them
with money I don't have
while forgetting 
why we have this holiday
and stressing myself out
so bad
that I need medication
just to get through
this month.
Happy Birthday!

UGH.

But wait! There's more!

I am so OVER middle schoolers and their
feigned interest in breast-cancer awareness.
On the news today was a story about
kids at a PA middle school being expelled for
wearing awareness bracelets that say 
I (heart) Boob*es.
The students say its all about
"Breast Cancer Awareness".
Hogwash I say.
My son earlier this year wore
another student's jacket
(a girl) 
which happened to be baby pink.
Every day.
For "breast cancer awareness".
Uh huh.
How about Breast Awareness.
That sounds more accurate to me.

Like posting a cartoon photo on facebook
is going to stop child abuse...
or posting what color bra you wear
will bring awareness to anything 
other than your bra color.
Seriously???

Get a real cause.

Do something REAL
for a REAL person
who has a REAL need.

Because...
it's not about me
or you
or McD's
or presents under a tree
or any 
other stupid
"Slacktivism"
they can dream up.

It's about being Jesus
to a world in 
SEVERE
NEED.

Heaven knows we need it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

EVIL, I tell you...

Baby Boy...
poor, sweet, precious baby boy...

He much prefers to just stay warm.
And dry.
And not in need of mittens.
INSIDE the house.

But, being the good mom that I am...
I thought I would be interrogated in an unkind way
someday in the future
if there were no pictures of him
in his first SNOW!

So I took him out... all bundled up...

and snapped photos while he expressed
his displeasure.

He was wearing like 5 layers of clothes.

However... 

OTHER small children LOVED the snow...
(#6.. hugging the snow)

AND this one loved it too!!
(#5 kept saying "Me snow I love!)

And we had some neighbors over to play outside...
we were the only weird-o's playing in the snow at night
but by morning it had turned a little crunchy!

First snowfall... CHECK!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Perspective

I have always loved Santa!
I love the story,
I love the spirit,
I love the fun of playing the game.

I love opening my stocking the MOST
on Christmas morning
and I love the magical sparkle in my 
children's eyes when they see the
crumbs on the plate and the 
letter left behind addressed to them.

I mean,
I make reindeer food to sprinkle in the yard.

I have always loved these things!

However...
this year something is different.

The littles seem to recognize Santa,
but they have no history with him.
They don't have any concept of Christmas morning.

For the middle two who still let me think they 
believe in Santa...
I have a hard time explaining how it is that

Santa only visits rich kids.

I mean, seriously.
Think about that for a second.

Just over a year ago, my babies were literally starving.
To death.
They barely had clothes,
had no shoes,
and they were dying.

But Santa didn't bring them anything.
He didn't put a tootsie roll bank in their stockings.
He didn't leave them a blankie
or a snuggly stuffed animal.
He left them without gifts
and took presents to all the
rich kids around the world.

Without giving my husband any reasons to say
"SEE! I told you we never should have done the
whole 'Santa' thing!!"...
maybe this year, we will really be able to focus
on the
baby.

Because, you know what??
Santa failed my babies.
But Jesus saved their lives,
held them on cold nights,
wept when they were sad,
and kept them safe from dangers in the night.

Jesus didn't put candy canes 
in their stockings,
but He put them in our family...
and that, my friends,
is
truly
MAGICAL!!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Feeding the crowd

When I write my "how to survive your first year of adoption" book (ha ha...)
there will be at least one chapter dedicated to meal times.

I wrote yesterday about "self-care" and on that list 
was the need to plan meals
so that I don't self-destruct.

The problem with "meals" at our house is that
my littles eat like Hobbits.

How do I mean?

Well...
"Hobbits eat at least seven meals known as breakfast, 
second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, 
afternoon tea, dinner and supper."

Yep. Sounds like my children!

Breakfast - the meal eaten around 6am when I am getting the big 2 off to school.
Their bus comes at 6:40, so I have to prepare something FAST, 
and normally warm since it's dark and like 20 degrees outside at that time of "day".

Second Breakfast - the meal eaten around 7:30 when 
I am getting the middle 2 off to school.
Their bus comes at 8. This is a little more 
flexible and cereal is a common request.

Elevenses - Some sort of snack... which is actually not at 11, but more like 10.

Luncheon - Yeah... lunch. Around 11-11:30, depending on how soon
I can get my act together.
This usually leftovers from the night before, 
PB&J or something fast if they are cranky 
and need to go to bed ASAP.

 - - - Nap Time!! - - -

Afternoon Tea - Snack once they wake up from naps.

Dinner - The snack they think they should also get when 
the kids get home from school and are eating a snack.

Supper - Our ACTUAL dinner.

As you can imagine, it's difficult to plan meals, grocery lists, and budget on this type of schedule.
I like to keep lots of fruit in the house for those in-between meals/snacks, but that's not always possible without many, many trips to the store during the week. 

So for other Hobbit Mommies out there...
here are some of my meal/snack go-to items.

Breakfast/Second-Breakfast:
Other than cereal (which is normally the generic brand of O-shaped stuff),
we do scrambled eggs and cheese on flour tortillas (good on the run),
Egg sandwiches,
and sometimes a slice of apple with cinnamon-sugar 
rolled up in a crescent roll and baked.
These are our less-messy choices for school days.

Snacks before lunch and after nap:
You know those cute little bathroom cups 
that only hold about 2 oz of liquid?
Well they are my portion-control for snack time.
I fill them with O-cereal, pretzel sticks, a few animal crackers,
or whatever small snack food I have on hand.

Lunch:
As I said, a lot of days this is leftovers.
Some days, we need nap-time to come quickly...
and on those days I throw together a sandwich or tortilla roll 
and a small piece of fruit - 
sliced apples, orange slices, grapes, or half a banana.

Dinner:
Confession... I HATE dinner.
I hate cooking dinner when Paul is out of town.
I hate cleaning up after dinner and I would prefer to feed 
everyone ice cream and just be done with it.
However... I realize they need to eat an actual meal...
so I cook simple food for dinner.
Sometimes its convenient food like pizza, 
corn dogs (don't judge me), 
or nuggets...
other days its something requiring more effort 
than opening a bag from the freezer.
Some of my go-to dinner solutions are
Baked pasta (like ziti - but made with whatever I have on hand)
Roasted chicken with rice and vegetables
Tacos
Fajitas
Mexican "lasagna"
and
Fried Rice

 I should add the little note that
I can't eat gluten.
Gluten is in most of those dinner items...
which means I make something for me.
I am easier to please.
I grab a bunch of lettuce, 
some lunch meat, some cheese and whatever
and dip it in homemade honey mustard.
Sometimes I eat the same leftovers I had for lunch.
Sometimes I have cereal.
Sometimes I have gluten-free oatmeal.
Whatever...
I don't really care.

BUT...
when Paul is home...
he cooks wonderful, magical things!
The other night he made fish tacos and beef tacos
 and Mexican rice! Yummmm!
He makes delicious soups in massive quantities so I have
plenty of leftovers for the week, which is super helpful!

So... there you have it.
A glimpse into our meal-time "routine"!
Any other tips you have are very welcome!!













Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snowflake Sweatshop

I love paper snowflakes!!

Clearly, I have passed along this love.

I have my own sweatshop now!

Mwoohoohoohahaha!!




Perhaps it IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Self-care??

There are women out there in the world
who make it look easy.
Some of them have twice as many kids
as I have, and the photos I see online and in magazines
look like they have a team of tiny fairies flittering
around their homes all day picking up stray socks,
dog fur clumps, dust bunnies, and dropped cheerios.

I am not that woman.

I currently have socks on my coffee table
because I probably picked them up off of the carpet and 
then laid them down when I picked up 
something else.

I have not vacuumed today 
(and we have 7 kids and a giant furry beast of a dog).

I have unfolded laundry curing in my rocking chair
more in the washer and dryer and still more waiting to get washed.

I didn't bother to make my bed this morning.
Or most any other morning.
Because, seriously...
who is going to see it??
(Hi, Mom... sorry. But it's true.)

So, when my friend Jamey gave me a blog topic
of "self-care"
("You know, how you take care of yourself so you don't burn out")
I thought she might be losing her mind.

Take care of myself???
Seriously??

Ha.

There was this one day that I thought I was going to be all
organized and stuff...
so I made myself a "to-do" list.
Vacuum
Dishes
Take boxes to garage
put summer clothes in attic
change sheets on beds
fold laundry
put laundry away
shower
clean hallway chalkboard
declutter toys in playroom
bring potted plants inside

And do you see the problem??
Other than the dead plant on my porch...
I didn't get to cross of "shower" on my list.

So my sarcastic genius friend Jamey tells me
to write a post about my PLAN for self-care then.

Ah HA!
Another to-do list.
Since I am clearly in need of such a plan...
FINE.
I'll give it a go.

Honestly, it is HARD to think about taking care of
yourself when you have 7 kids, a husband and a dog.
It's hard to carve out a few minutes to do something
that puts energy back into ME because I know there is 
the ever growing list of things everyone ELSE needs.
The laundry that never ends...
The dishes that multiply like caged rabbits...
The homework...
The floors...
The toys...
The piles of books, paper, magazines, catalogs..
The THINGS that everyone leaves all over the place...

Those things all sabotage any plans I have of taking care of ME.

What this leads to is...
bitterness,
discontentment,
anger,
frustration,
self-pity
and 
irritability.

Who likes those things?
Not me.

SO.
A plan.

A realistic plan.

I'm thinking that for starters:
  • I will eat breakfast before 9am.
  • I will take my vitamins regularly (working towards every day).
  • I will get dressed with shoes on and be prepared for whatever comes up.
  • I will use nap time wisely (shower, relaxing project, etc) and to my advantage.
  • I will plan menus since meals are a constant stress on my brain.
  • I will make chore lists for the kids and stop feeling bitter about them not helping with things I have not asked them for help with. I know they don't pick up anything unless told, so I need to just write it down and stop feeling frustrated.
I know...
It's no major breakthrough...
but I think it will help.

No promises, but I MIGHT decide to make my bed, too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Yokay?

The truth about adopting "older" kids
is that they do have baggage.
You were right all along!
They come with their own circumstances,
their own ideas,
their own opinions,
their own tastes,
their own memories,
their own fears,
their own everything.

And then you plunk them down in the middle
of YOUR ideas,
your opinions,
your tastes,
your memories,
your fears,
your everything.

And sometimes things clash.
Sometimes you just flat out FORGET.
You wake up one morning and you FORGET
that you are dealing with small people with baggage.
It's easier than you might think.

I forget that they have witnessed sickness.
I forget that they know all about death
and disease
and suffering
and hunger.

And I go and get sick.

Achy back, coughing, losing-my-voice, 
feel like just sleeping all day...
sick.
And I'm missing my other half this week.

I stumble through the day...
trying to keep things under some
semblance of control.
I realize I am getting worse,
not better,
no matter how many bottles of 
magical vitamins I consume.

I let the oldest make 
PB&J for dinner,
I slice the apples.
I haphazardly do teeth brushing
and pajamas
and be sure not to kiss them on their lips
as I say goodnight
even though I always do.

I walk into the hall coughing
and trying to catch my breath.

And there is this little voice.

"Mommy... Nay!"

He needs me.
He needs me to feel secure,
to feel comforted,
he needs me to be near
so he can fall asleep
and know he is safe
and secure
and loved.

So I delay my plans of a blissfully
early bedtime
with the heating pad,
some ibuprophen, 
and perhaps some cough syrup concoction...

and I go sit next to my baby.

He immediately stops crying once I enter the room
and just says "Mommy, stay?"
How can I not?

When the cough returns
he sits straight up in the bed.
"Yokay?"
"Mommy... yokay?"

Is it fear in his voice?
Is it concern?
He was so little when he would have witnessed
the trauma that brought him into our lives...
does he somehow remember?

"I'm okay, baby. Go to sleep."

"Yokay? Mommy yokay?"

"Yes, Mommy is okay. 
Lay down..."

He asks about Daddy...
He's at work.

Minutes pass.
He's watching me.
I breathe shallow, slow breaths
to try to keep from coughing.

"It's okay, baby. Go to sleep."

Then I start to feel his body relax into his bed,
his breathing gets slower and deeper
and I know he is finally
able to relax
and sleep.

So now I drown myself in potions,
magical lotions,
syrups and pills...
and pray that I am better tomorrow.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Last year

December 3, 2009
After the emotional couple of weeks we had experienced...
the super "high" of finally applying to an agency...
the super "low" of finding out the normal wait times had doubled
between the day we faxed our application and the day we got our packet of info...
and the "low" of wondering "NOW what?!?"...

After those things had settled a bit...

Someone asked me if we had considered "Waiting Children".

Believing they were all going to be teenagers with 
super difficult emotional issues we weren't prepared to deal with... 
we had not considered "Waiting Children".
Well... my curiosity got the best of me.

I googled "agencies with Waiting Child listings".

And what I found...
after mere hours of searching a few agency websites
was this:


Clockwise from top left... #5, #6 and Baby Boy #7.

They were tiny.
They were precious.
And they were perfect!

One year ago today...
It's amazing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pretty cool!

December 2009:



December 2010:

Isn't that cool?
I sure think so!


Monday, November 29, 2010

"Outside lights off"

In another installment of 
"funny things the kids say"...
#5's term for "it's dark outside" 
is "outside lights off"
or sometimes "no outside lights on".

Many times she says things a little backwards...
like "Me Mommy I love"
which means
I love you, Mommy.
(I'll take it!)

and Six will tell me:
"This no I love."
instead of
I don't like it.

It's amazing how much English they are using now!

As I was sitting and detangling Five's hair yesterday, 
she casually told her Daddy and I that: 
"In Ethiopia, outside lights off, doggies eat."
When we asked for clarification...
she made this low growling sound.

Yikes.

When we asked her what they eat...
she named herself and the other two littles.

Double yikes.

As they are speaking more English...
we are learning more about their life in Ethiopia.
Some things we can't even fathom here in the USA.
Our dogs don't typically pose a threat.
We don't have dogs coming to steal 
our children away in the night.

We don't have to worry about SO many things
that my babies had to worry about.

Have you ever had to worry if you were going 
to be able to feed your children in the morning?

Have you watched someone die of Malaria?

Yeah... me neither.

Their history is difficult.
Their stories are often hard to hear.
But watching them chatter in either language about 
the lights on the tree...
or hearing them try to sing along to songs on the radio...
I am SO thankful that I get to walk them through these things.
I get to be the one to hug my girls and tell them that they 
don't have to be afraid of the dark anymore.

And that our giant fuzzball won't EVER try to eat them.
She is a SUPER picky eater.





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Triggers

Trigger
(N) An event that sets off a series of thoughts, feelings, 
emotions or sometimes physical reactions 
based solely on a memory. 
(Dictionary according to Chrissy)

Before we adopted our three kiddos,
I had my own set of triggers.
It might be a smell,
a sound,
a phrase,
a tone of voice...
but there are things that "set me off".
And not in a good way.

I have a friend, Lisa, who knows a lot about "triggers" too.
If I am having a bad day, I can call her and say...
"There was this 'trigger'..."
and she understands.
Her advice?
Since she's one of the most Jesus-loving women I know...
she says "trap the crap".
(Which is a reference to the verse 
"take every thought captive" 2 Cor. 10:5)

I love my friend and her way of saying things
so that they stick in my head.
I sometimes need reminders to trap the crap...
especially when I have let the trigger take hold
of my entire brain and send me head-first
into a hurricane of emotion.

My problem is this:
my three littles can't identify their own triggers
and they can't communicate them to me
and I can't help head them off
because I don't know where they are hiding.

This morning it was raining outside.
Was that the trigger?
It was dark when 5 and 7 woke up.
#6 slept in until 6:05am.
Was the darkness the trigger?
Whatever it was...
wherever it was hiding...
Baby Boy had a big food meltdown this morning.

I know my babies know what it is to be "starving".
I don't allow that word anymore out of the mouths of my first four.
I guarantee they don't know "starving" like the littles know "starving".
The first four barely allow their tummies to growl... much less...starving.

Maybe he felt a little hungry and the hunger itself was a trigger.

Crying hysterically, 
Big huge tears,
Clinging to my legs,
BEGGING for milk, water, food of any kind...
it was PANIC.
I saw PANIC in his eyes.
Horrible.

It was horrible.

And it took me a minute to remember his past.
To remember that he knows starvation.
To remember that he knows the feeling of being hungry
and not getting food.
He knows drinking unclean water.
He knows...
WAY more than a baby boy should know.

So once I saw what was going on...
and identified the source of the problem...
He got a bottle of milk,
with a little extra cream,
a handful of cereal on his tray
while I made his favorite...
pancakes with apple butter.

And he ate several.

And we hit the "reset" button
on this trigger.



Monday, November 22, 2010

Career Day

Dear School District,
This past week my oldest child was allowed to participate in a field trip to a local Career Day presentation.
He was really looking forward to this field trip.He even wore a suit!
He was excited about seeing the abundance of career choices presented to him that day, and was looking forward to meeting people in the community who are the leaders in their respective fields.

Of particular note was the inclusion of the local Bail Bondswoman... Grumpy's Bail Bonds... in the career fair.
(Yes, bloggy friends... she was there... running the booth.)

While I am certain you weren't intentionally letting the kids know that you expect them to wind up in jail in their near future...
(*yes, that's a coupon.)

and I am SURE you didn't mean to appear to promote underage drinking by allowing the 8th graders to return home with lovely parting gifts such as:

(Beer Cozy)
I am just wondering... exactly WHAT WAS her inclusion in career day supposed to be promoting?
Do you think I want my son to aspire to Bail Bondsmanship as his career of choice?

Were there other lovely career options as well?

Were there professional "Hit Men" present with large breasted women hanging out of their shirts people handing out brochures and free beer can cozies?

How about the "Lady Of The Night" booth?? What kind of free gifts were they offering?

I hear there was some guy with a big scary looking snake...
I am hoping he was a herpetologist. 

My 8th grader wasn't sure.
He spent all of his time in line waiting for the free gifts from the scantily clad bail bond woman.

Sincerely,
Chrissy

********EDITED TO SAY:
I do not NOW nor do I hope to EVER need the services of this or any other bail bonds person. Thank you for your concern over the fees... but this was simply a post written out of sarcastic outrage over this particular local character being included in the middle school career day for my child.