Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It made me laugh

I saw this on a bumper sticker today, and now I see they have Tshirts as well!

Super Kids



Enjoying the "Superman" and "Supergirl" capes my mom made them....

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Problem With Making Plans Ahead of Time

Is that it always seems like the event is far away. Like back in May? April? When my family decided to have a get-together in the North GA mountains over Labor Day. Sure! Sounds fun! I will think about it in August.

Or two weeks ago, when we discussed who would sleep where and meals and all that fun stuff. Sure! Sounds fun! I will think about it in 2 weeks.

Then tonight I was thinking about Kydon being in school again this weekend, and I should come up with something for us to do so I don't go crazy. And then, OH NO- that far away weekend thing is THIS WEEK! I have to leave to go there in, like, 2 days!! And I haven't even thought about it! Not good! And WAY too many all cap words and exclamation points!!!!!!!

Here is my list of things I have to get together in 2 days (and please note that I can barely get myself dressed and looking presentable most days, forget accomplishing anything else).
  • Grocery shop, get all the food for the meals I am providing, plus snacks and drinks, and exactly how much diet coke will I need for 3 days?? On vacation, without Kydon? 2 cases? Four?
  • Pack: Clothes, shoes, etc. for me, Abigail, Aidan and Jack. Plan to bring plenty of extra for all the dirty-ness we will be reveling in.
  • Wash laundry so that I can do above packing.
  • Find and bring bedding, sheets, towels, pillows, etc because we are staying at a cabin without those things.
  • Do more laundry so I can bring above linens.
  • Don't forget soap, shampoo and what-not, just in case I don't have enough to remember.
  • Hunt through long lost camping gear to find marshmallow roasting sticks
  • Find and charge camera battery. For blogging purposes, not for preserving memory purposes, :)
  • Finish reading Breaking Dawn for the second time, because I just won't have time while on vacation, and even the second time around, it is totally sucking me in!

Plus I have to take care of all the phone calls I agreed to do this week, because I didn't have anything going on!! I can't believe this has come up so quickly with almost no thought from me. And I can't believe that I am sitting here posting when I should be running around doing some of these things! Actually, I can believe the last one.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

If they held a popularity contest.....

I would totally win. Hands down! Growing up, in school, at church, I was never one of the 'popular' kids. I had great friends, but I always wanted to be really, really popular.

Well, now I am!

Everyone wants to do things with me, talk to me, and follow me around! If I eat something, everyone wants a bite! Because *my* oatmeal tastes WAY better than their oatmeal! If I sit down, at least 3, sometimes 4, other people want to sit right in the same exact spot! They jostle for position, and end up in a combination of on my lap, behind me, and next to me. They want to be as close to me as humanly possible. Because I am just that cool.

If I ever try to leave, or do something on my own, believe me, there is great wailing and crying and some really upset people. They do NOT like me to leave, because I am really, really cool.

In fact, there is such a high demand for my attention and to talk to me that we have established a really intricate system of turn-taking just to talk to me! Everyone has to wait patiently, and when it is their turn, they get to say one sentence. I respond, and then it is the next person's turn. It is the only way we have found to keep peace, because otherwise everyone talks to me at once, and they all scream and yell to try and talk to me the most!

With great popularity, comes great responsibility. I have to bite my tongue when I feel the pain of flying elbows and knees when they are jostling for the closest position to me. I might have to read all the books, and put on all the pajamas, because apparently no one can do it as well as I can. And it is nice that I am the first one they call when there is a problem, day or night, but I do sometimes lose a lot of sleep.

I always wanted to be the most popular girl around, and now I totally am. Yay for me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yummy

Yummy. That is how I think of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. The first book, Twilight, started slightly slow, but when you get hooked, there is no going back. Twilight was... yummy. New Moon, yummy. Eclipse, well, just yummy. And Breaking Dawn? Yep, yummy.

(*side note: now that I have typed and read yummy about 7 times, it is starting too look like a really strange, odd word. Yes? No? Ok, what was I talking about??)

I liked Breaking Dawn. Stephenie Meyer is a fantastic storyteller with a fabulous, fun story to tell. And really great characters. These books are THICK. But with only about 10 words per page, and double spacing, you can read these 700 page monsters in a week, easy. For most of us Twilight fans, it only takes a day or two. I am going to try to review it without giving too much away, for those who still haven't read it!

Things I loved about Breaking Dawn specifically:
  • I finally liked the Bella character. I didn't dislike her before, but I just didn't quite 'get' her. But now I do. And I liked her. A lot. I thought she improved greatly in this book.

  • I like that as the ending book in the series, it ended. Definitively. I don't have a lot of "but what about this" running through my head. I liked that it was all tied up in a neat little bow (even if getting there was a little too good to be true in some places). I liked that it ended, and it was happy. That is how I wanted it to end.

  • I like that Bella had a power. And I LOVED what it was. It made her other little quirks make sense, and it totally fit who she was. Great job with that, Stephenie, because I have been thinking for about a year about what it could be, and all the things I came up with weren't nearly as great as what it ended up being.

  • I liked that she finally gave up even mentioning the stupid 'human friends' of Bella's. Let's face it- they were never even friends!! Give it up already!! And she did.

  • I liked seeing Edward stressed out a little. Haven't seen much of that, and it was pretty fun.

  • I like that they are written for young adults, and it is just like a little fun treat to read them. It doesn't tax my brain, or make me think to much, it is just a fun little world that I can think about now and then. Like a yummy little chocolate covered rice crispy treat for my brain.

Things I didn't like about Breaking Dawn:

  • Foreshadowing. Ok, foreshadowing is one thing. Beating me over the head with it was quite another. By the time each of the plot "twists" happened, I felt relief, just because she could stop all the hinting telling you what was coming. Enough already. And I have talked to people who weren't surprised by the first twist, but were by the second. Are you people kidding?? The only explanation I have for that is that you were reading it so fast that you didn't process all the words, because COME ON!!

  • Second only to the annoying foreshadowing was the annoying NAME. You all know what I am talking about. Take the two worst names in the book, and combine them to form the super-horrible yucky name, then reject all the semi-cute nicknames. Ugh. Hated it.

  • I am still not loving Stephenie's writing. I think she is a fantastic story-teller, with an amazing story, but her writing is ehh.

If you have not read this series, I would really encourage you to do so. The wonderful world of humans, vampires and werewolves is not one you will want to leave! Thank you Stephenie Meyer, for sharing your thrilling dream with the rest of us!


**And Rebecca, if you haven't read it yet, I can send mine to you as soon as I finish my second reading of it! Just let me know!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Preschool Power

Abigail's first day of preschool. She had no qualms about leaving, and we had no qualms about sending her. It is just the right thing at the right time, and it wasn't sad at all! Here are some 'first day of school' pictures:
When I picked her up, she was glowing! So proud of herself, and you could tell it had been a great day. She is so proud that she has learned to write her own name. Although she has been working on writing letters, and has done all the letters that are in her name (and I've tried to get her to write her name with no success), she seemed simply amazed that she could WRITE her OWN NAME. So adorable the way she says it. :)

Her preschool teacher wanted all the parents to write a little letter telling her about our child, and try to help her get to know them. I am including what I wrote, so I can have a copy of it, and also so Abigail's birthmom can read it. The rest of you can feel free to skip it- it is just the bragging of a parent! :)

******************************************

Dear Teacher,

Thank you for taking time and effort to get to know our Abigail! We are all excited for her to be in preschool this year!

Abigail is very smart, and is very ready and excited to learn. Because of our family dynamic (she has twin brothers who are just one year younger than she is), she often gets held back a little, and sometimes is treated younger than she is. So she is quite ready to be "big" and go to school! Abigail is also very social and friendly, and will enjoy all her new friends.

Abigail thrives on routine and knowing what to expect. She also is very proud when we give her responsibilities and will try her hardest to do her best job.

From a very early age of 1, she has loved reading books. She always brings books for us to read to her, and has her favorites memorized. She also loves to collect things- whatever she can find to fill her many purses! We call her our little "squirrel".

Thanks once again, we are looking forward to working with you this year!

Sincerely,
Shanna

****************************************

A note about this letter. On the meet the teacher day, we were mingling, talking with the teachers, showing the kids the room, etc. I was standing next to the teacher when one of the parents came to talk with her. She spent several minutes describing in detail all of her daughter's faults (manipulative, won't share, not easy going, controlling, etc). The teacher tried to reasssure her, saying that most 4 year olds had those behaviors, etc. But the mom was adamant that her child was very difficult and the teacher was really in for it.

Now, perhaps this mother had a valid point, and her daughter had some extreme behaviour issues that needed special care. But I kind of doubt it. I kind of think she was just a normal four year old (partly because when she was listing some of the things her daughter did, I was inwardly nodding my head that Abigail did some of those things too). I was struck with how sad it was that the mother wanted the teachers first impression of her child to be negative. And how she just kept emphasizing the negative, and never really got around to all the positive, wonderful, amazing things about her child.
So I was thinking, maybe these letters to the teacher are to get to know the child, and maybe they are to get to know the parent! Is the letter 10 pages, typed, single spaced? Is the letter a hastily written 2 sentences on the back of a scrap paper? Do you only mention negative things? Are you gushing about how your child is the most exceptionally gifted child ever created? It makes me wonder what she is thinking about *me* as she reads my letter! Now, is that self-centered, or what? ;)

Vocabulary Lesson

Today's vocabulary word is: Animal Braver.

Animal Braver: (noun) One who is not afraid to play outside, even in the presence of various animals (see brave).

Example: Mom says "Hey guys, I just saw a tiny snake slither under the fence, and I'm going inside". Abigail responds "Mom, we aren't going inside. Even if there is a snake, we are Animal Bravers. Now we are going to go poke spiders with sticks".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Self Portrait

Abigail has recently learned that she can take pictures using our camera. I knew that this day would come, that she wouldn't be satisfied with just looking at the pictures we took, but get the idea that she could take them herself. So I try to let her, sometimes, within close supervision. Usually she takes pictures of the TV, "so we can remember this".

Today she got the idea to take pictures of herself. She would very carefully line up the camera, make a crazy face, take the picture, then evaluate and see what needed to be improved. This was her favorite:
After she saw this picture she got so excited and was showing it to everyone, talking about how she got it just right!

I also liked this one:


Friday, August 15, 2008

An Unspectacular Tag!

My friend Katie tagged me, so here goes:


The Rules:
  • Link the person(s) who tagged you.
  • Mention the rules on your blog.
  • Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
  • Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them.

1. I am crafty, but not creative. I like to make things, but I am not good at thinking of ideas. But I can copy really, really well. I just take a picture of something I like, and I can generally reproduce it. That is something I like to do- find a picture or an idea, and re-create it. All the fun without having to think too much!

2. I like a lot of other stuff in my ice cream. Vanilla/chocolate, etc. all by itself I probably wouldn't even eat. Peanut butter, any kind of nuts, cherries, swirls of carmel, marshmallows, fudge, cookie bits... now that makes ice cream yummy! The more the merrier!

3. I wear glasses/contacts. I think I got them in 4th grade, and I am pretty useless without them. My eyes don't change much- I think I have had the same prescription for almost 10 years now, but without them I am pretty blind.

4. I like my hair. It can be curly, or straight, or somewhere in between. It doesn't always look that great, but I like the way it looks, and I like the color and the style of it. I know most girls don't like their hair, but I like mine.

5. I cannot sing. At all. Horribly off tune. And loud. I quite often offend the ears of those around me to the point where even polite people will ask me to sing a little quieter. Even the kids ask me "Mommy, please stop singing. It not nice".

6. I would like to be a runner, but I don't like to run. Running seems so fun, and cool, and such a great workout. I have tried many different times to train myself to run, but I hate it. And I'm not good at it. So I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I really don't even want to be a runner. I just wish I liked it, because it seems so cool!

I'm not going to tag anyone, because I just barely did a tag for 8 people! But if this looks like something you would want to do, feel free to participate!

Tamales

Kydon has been wanting to make tamales for many years. A few months ago, he bought a bag of corn husks, and they have been staring at me ever since. So this week I decided to make them. I used this website. I will have to say that it is a very detailed website, and gives very good directions, but I think it is a case of trying to make something simple, and instead it seemed much more complicated than it actually was. Now that I have done it, I realize it is pretty easy and I will be doing it again! It isn't hard, but there are steps that take a long time, so if you are going to make them, start early in the day.
  1. Cook your meat. I used a slow cooker, so this should be done before you are actually ready to make the tamales. After the meat is cooked and shredded, you mix in some oil and spices. I was hesitant to use the amount of spices in this recipe, so I did everything in about 2/3 of what they said. But it wasn't spicy at all, so next time I will use the full amount. I did this the day before, and just put the meat in the fridge overnight.

  2. When ready to make the tamales, soak the corn husks. It recommends 2 hours, but other things I read said soak for a few minutes. I did the 2 hours, and it was easy to work with.

  3. While the husks were soaking, I made the masa. This was very, very easy. Just a bunch of cornmeal, some oil, more spices, and the broth from cooking the meat.

  4. Spread about 1/2 c masa onto the husk, put a little meat on top, then roll and fold. I think it took me about 10 minutes to make 40 of them.

  5. Stack the tamales in a steamer, then steam for about 2 hours. This was the other step that took a long time. We didn't have to do anything except make sure the water was replenished, but it took a long time.

  6. Eat! We served it with corn and Spanish Rice, and the rice was a big hit.

This made about 40 tamales, and the kids each ate 1/2, Kydon and I ate 2-3 each. So I put the rest in the freezer. From everything I've read, they freeze very well. Another yummy freezer meal!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Did I shop in the wrong section??



I swear she wasn't pregnant before I bought this shirt.... but now I'm not so sure!!

Sticks, Stones, and Monster Trucks

My kids all play rough. It isn't just that they play rough, but they like to play rough. And for all of you who have gender stereotypes, I will tell you flat out that Abigail is by far the roughest. Is it because she is the oldest? Perhaps, but she was far more aggressive at all the ages the boys have been then they are/were.


I wonder sometimes why they are like this. I think it is partially due to our family personality. I think it is fun to run and be loud, and get a little crazy. It is partially due to our family dynamic. They have to fight and be loud and demand attention to get all they want. I know they feel competition with each other, and I think that is pretty normal for having 3 almost the same age. And it must be partly just their personality. You know, when faced with a difficult situation, do you fight or run away? Abigail is a fighter. All the way. I think Jack would be more inclined to flight, but sometimes you can only take so much before enough is enough. And Aidan is not one to back down.


And despite all my attempts at being referee, and enforcing family rules, they now can draw blood. Abigail hit Jack with a stick horse, and gave him a bloody nose. This made him angry enough to throw his most prized possession (monster truck), and gave her a bloody lip. And I'm not quite sure who to put in time out.

So instead I took their picture.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

08.08.08 (a little late, I know, but I was busy!)

In honor of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics being held on 8-8-08 here is a fun tag that I got from my friend Jessica. I am glad that I was able to watch the opening Ceremonies, several days later than it was broadcast, but it was amazing.

8 TV shows I Love to watch:
-The Office
-ANTM
-The Olympics. I get serious Olympic fever. It is taking over my DVR, and I don't care- I don't want to delete any of it!
-Ugly Betty
-Hmm... I think at this point I would have to start naming cartoons, so I will stop at 4. Is that cheating?

8 restaurants I love:
-El Porton
-Charley's
-California Pizza Kitchen
-McDonalds. I can't help it- anywhere that has a place with air conditioning and a place for the kids to go crazy while I chill out can't be all that bad. My dream idea is to have a place with actual good food and entertainment (and supervision) for the kids. McDonalds has half the equation, and sometimes that is enough.
-Marietta Diner
-Geez, 8 is more than you think. We used to eat out all the time, but now it is more pain than pleasure, so we usually avoid it.

8 things that happened today:
-Made pancakes for breakfast. Aidan is a pancake fanatic, and he will eat almost an entire batch by himself. I usually triple the recipe, just to have enough for everybody.
-Abigail gave Jack a bloody nose
-Jack gave Abigail a bloody lip
-I tried to go grocery shopping with all 3. Not something I usually attempt, but we were getting desperate. Got about 6 things in the cart before I got fed up and had to leave.
-On the way home from the grocery store, I didn't want to face going home with a bunch of out of control kids, so I decided to drive around for a little while.
-While driving around, I went too fast through a school zone, and got pulled over by a cop. Luckily he only gave me a warning.
-Came home and played in the sandbox, where Abigail threw sand in Jack's mouth, he threw sand in her eyes, and Aidan took off all his clothes and threw them over the fence.
-When Kydon got home, I left for an hour, and came home when they were all in bed. Am I limited to 8 for this one? I could list a whole bunch more! I didn't even talk about them destroying their rooms instead of taking naps, or the wonder that was meal time!

8 things I am looking forward to:
-Abigail starting pre-k next week
-Jack and Aidan starting pre-k next year (there isn't a time limit on this, right?? After yesterday, I am looking forward to getting a break getting them out of the house giving them more intellectual stimulation)
-Kydon being done with school
-Visiting friends in Florida. Again, it might not happen for a while, but I think about it a lot.
-Getting to reconnect with some old friends next week.
-Figuring out how to make Tamales. I started yesterday, but it didn't happen, so I'm going to try again today.
-Reading good books. Just finished Breaking Dawn (review coming), and I'm in the middle of A Prayer for Owen Meaney (loving it).
-Being caught up on the laundry. If I do 4 loads today (2 down already, 2 to go), then I can get back to my usual 1 per day. It just stacks up SO fast!!

8 Things I Love about Summer:
-T shirts
-Warm weather
-going barefoot
-swimming. The kids LOVE the pool, and it makes for a fun activity that we do as often as possible!
-turning on the hose for an afternoon of play and happiness.
-ice cream. We go to the local ice cream place. The kids get a free 'baby' cone, and we usually have a buy-one-get-one-free coupon, so for about $3, we can all eat ice cream!
-watermelon and delicious fruit
-eating fresh salad for dinner

8 Olympic Events I want to see:
-swimming
-gymnastics
-fencing (more for Jack and Aidan who love sword fights)
-water polo. Don't understand it AT ALL, but it is fun to watch!
-diving
-track events
-cycling
-volleyball

8 things on my wish list:
-Go to Boston someday
-house cleaning service
-TV nook in our bedroom with comfy chairs, and a flat screen tv
-trailer for our wagon
-paint
-new clothes that actually fit after losing a bunch of weight (yay!)
-a non-compromised immune system
-new glasses

8 people I want to do this same thing:
-Melinda
-Jen M.
-Kim
-Amy
-Caroline
-April
-Ali R.
-Astarte

Monday, August 11, 2008

What to do on a hot summer day

Last Saturday, after the parade, we were ready for some fun. But it was hot! So we decided to do one of our favorite activites from last summer. We went to the Centennial Olympic playground in downtown Atlanta. And played in the water. And to make it even better, we took Marta (the public transport train) to get there. Aidan could have died happy after just the train ride. :)

Jack was the easiest to get pictures of!
Here he is punching the water spouts with all his might. And saying 'hi-ya' with each one.

Waiting for the next round of spray.




I cut off the head, but I love that I caught her mid leap!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

The happy ending

This weekend was our local Families Supporting Adoption regional conference. I have been involved with FSA for 5 years now, and was very involved with coordinating and planning this years conference. I love it. I love being involved with helping people with adoption.

I will never forget 5 years ago going to our first conference. At that time, we were very deeply private about our infertility struggles, and had only told very very close family members that we were having difficulty having kids. It was not something that I was ever comfortable talking about. At the same time, it was something that I had been struggling with for years, and it was becoming very difficult to overcome. I remember going to this conference, and just being surrounded by people who were going through exactly what I was going through! They felt the same things I did! They had the same struggles, and the same desires, and the same difficulties. I don't know if I can even describe how freeing it was for me to be able to finally talk about it. Now I can't seem to shut-up about it, so you can see how much it changed me! :)

As we have been helping/attending these conferences for 5 years, we have been able to see families grow. I think this year it just struck me so clearly that I am able to see miracles and happy endings happen year after year. Last year, in August, at the last conference, I spoke with length with a couple who only weeks before had experienced a failed adoption. They had spent several days with the birthmom and baby, had held the baby in their arms, and just a few hours before they thought their baby would be home, they learned that the mother had decided to parent. They were devastated. I remember crying many tears with them, as they expressed their loss and hurt, and remembering when I had gone through something similar, and remembering how much it hurt. When I saw them this year, they were beaming. Their grins lit up the room, as they told about their two beautiful boys, age 2 and 4, who were now a part of their family. They once again made me tear up, this time with joy. A great happy ending!

Last year I also spoke with another girl who had tried to adopt through foster care, had 3 failed placements, and a failed match with a birthmom. She didn't come this year, but I saw some gorgeous pictures of her holding her new little girl, obviously overjoyed to finally have her arms full. Another happy ending!

Another family who has been waiting longer than we even had been involved with adoption, was busy with their 6 month old, and a family who has a daughter the same age as Abigail, and has been trying for another ever since, was sharing their experience adopting their most recent little girl. 2 more happy endings.

I also spoke with many other couples, some waiting for a long time, some just starting out, and battle-weary from infertility, some just figuring out what it is they want to do. As I spoke with them, and shared emotions, experience, and listened to their stories, I couldn't help but think that in years to come I will be seeing their happy endings. It is hard to have hope, and it is hard to realize, after so much loss, that their happiness will come, but as an outsider, it is like watching little miracles all around. I can't wait for next year, to see their joy, to share their heartache, and to help them celebrate happy endings.

Friday, August 8, 2008

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...

The other day, driving in the car, Abigail announced that she was going to marry Carter (her cousin). Aidan wanted to know who he could marry, and we suggested Baby Ellie (another cousin). He told us that baby Ellie was too wittle, and that he would marry Caroline (the only other option if you want a girl cousin). I then asked Jack who he would marry, and he responded "I marry Mawinda. Me really wove her". As funny as we thought that was, we told him that Melinda was already married to Uncle Matt. His response? "Ok, I marry Unco Russell". We told him you have to go to California for that. The conversation then denigrated into how fun it would be to fly on an airplane super fast.

Then yesterday, Aidan was playing with his "baby"-

He is adamant that Caroline is this baby's mommy, and that he is the daddy.
I have to admit, it isn't far from my expectations of first cousin marriages!! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Parade, take II

Trying again to see a great parade this year! Every year the city next to ours puts on an 'Old Soldiers Day' Parade in August. Since the last attempt was pitiful, I knew we needed to try again. We went, and it was great! Tons of candy, lots of flags, funny cars, marching bands, and patriotic spirit. And we weren't the only ones watching! Enjoy some pics from the event!









Have I mentioned I love adoption?

My life has not turned out the way I thought it would. I think I'm not alone in this. I'm pretty sure that a lot of the purpose of life is getting thrown curve balls and seeing how we react to them.

I started trying to have a baby at age 22. By the time my first baby was born, I was 28. And my second and third babies came when I was 29. I have no doubts that God wanted my family to be exactly how it is. I have no doubt that for whatever reason, He wanted our kids to be very, very close in age. And I have no doubt that if I had been given these children at age 22/23, I would not be the mother I am today. Without years of longing, and working, and trying and wishing for kids, I would not have been able to appreciate them on those days you feel so unappreciative.

I think that I am pretty much normal when it comes to mothering. I do my best, I love my kids with my entire being, and they can drive me crazier than I would have ever thought possible. This sounds pretty similar to most women I talk to. I know that having adopted has not changed in any way the relationship I have with my kids. I remember meeting the twin's birthfamily, and someone asked me if I ever felt like I was raising someone else's kid. I was able to tell her that I never feel like that because it wasn't true. Abigail is my daughter. It wouldn't be possible to love her more, or feel more like her mother. Jack and Aidan are my sons. They just are, and I know that it wouldn't be any different if they were born to me.

I am not just happy that after we couldn't conceive, we were able to adopt. I am actually glad that we weren't able to conceive, and that we adopted. I think this life, and this family, is better than what we would have if we hadn't adopted.

I love their birthfamilies. Without going into a lot of personal details, I am forever bonded to them. I was there when they decided that their baby- who they conceived, loved, grew, and sacrificed for, would need more than they could give. I am incredibly humbled to think that they would trust *me* to raise *their* baby, and give them all that they would need. I was there when they said goodbye, they placed that little precious life in my hands, and gave me the gift of being a mother. Those are moments that will stay sacred in my heart forever.

I love that my children have a great biological heritage, and a great adoptive heritage. They have a few extra people who get that proud glint in their eye that only a parent or grandparent can get.

This weekend is our annual adoption conference. It is for anyone who has adopted, or wants to adopt, but mostly what we see are couples who are beginning to move beyond infertility, and are starting the process to adopt, and need some help figuring it all out. Couples who have been waiting and wishing and longing for a baby. The couple that we were just 5 years ago. When I talk to them, and meet them, and share things with them, it takes me back to all those feelings I had. It takes me back to the longing and wishing and hoping. It makes me tear up to think about how grateful I am to be a mother. It makes me drive home a little faster than I usually would, and give three amazing kids huge hugs and kisses. It makes me a little more patient, a little more loving, and a little more appreciative of the fact that even with all the work, I wouldn't change a thing.

I am excited to go to this conference. To meet and talk with other adoptive couples, and share my stories and experience. To lend a shoulder to those who are feeling despair. To rejoice with those who are celebrating. To reconnect with friends who I don't see very often, but feel a great connection with.

It is a wonderful reminder, once a year, of how lucky I am to be Mommy to 3 kids.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Calling for Backup

Yesterday was one of those days where I had all sorts of plans and projects and fun things with the kids planned down almost to the minute for the whole day. Then, before we could even eat breakfast, we noticed something strange on one of the kids (side note: I won't be posting details here, so if you want to know more, send me an email) and ended up spending the day visiting doctors, emergency room, and then coming home to crash for a few hours. A day spent with stress and worry and a little craziness. (Second side note: Everyone is fine).

Last night as I was recovering (a la eating brownies and ice cream), I started thinking about how grateful I was for all the "Back up" we have. I had a husband who was able to stay home from work, take care of kids, be at the hospital with me, let me take a nap. I have a wonderful brother in law and friend who were willing and happy to take over and help with kids all day long. And do so with fun and good times.

I have a mom who coordinated to take care of the other two kids with herself and my sister in law. We ended up not needed that plan, but it was there if we did. She also stopped by just to make sure everything was ok. I have 2 other sisters who would have dropped everything to help if we had needed it. And I never even got to the point of calling the 5 or 6 friends who I could have called if needed.

I was able to spend the day completely worried and stressed about one child, and hardly even had a thought about the other two. I knew they were well taken care of, and beyond that, having a fun time with people they adore. I didn't have to think or worry about them. And when I came home, and was exhausted from being up all night and stressed all day, I took a nap for about 3 hours, not even worrying about any of them.

It makes me realize even more how connected and dependant we all are on one another. When a crisis comes up, there is an entire network of people to help and support each other. I am grateful to all those in my network, and I hope I don't need to use it again for a long, long time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New family rule

Thought I would update our 'family rules' with a new one that was added today:

When people from church (Home Teachers) come to visit, everyone has to wear pants.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tag!

I was tagged by Lisa!

1. The sink:

I can't wait to get our granite counter tops, big nice sink, and new faucets. The white and gold just is not my thing. Don't really have any timeline for when it will happen, but I hope it is soon...

2. Toilet:

Didn't really thing anyone really wants to see my toilet. Right?? It is just your basic white porcelain. So I thought I would show another decorating disaster that I can't wait to fix. Pink and cream stripes with gold flecks. And more gold faucets and framed mirror. The previous decorator in this house must have hit a bargain sale on all the awful gold.


3. Laundry Room:

One of the most used rooms of the house. Needs new floor and paint (hmm... didn't mean to turn this tag into a to-do list, but this is what I think of when I look at these pics). There are usually a lot more piles of clothes. :)


4. Inside fridge:
Kind of empty... time to go grocery shopping!

5. What are your kids/spouse doing right now?

Kydon is at work. Aidan is fixing his "Marta Train" (bike) with his "tools" (straw).

Abigail is making slides to perform gymnastic tricks with the couch cushions.
It is 9 am, and since Jack didn't sleep last night (trying to do night time potty training, and he couldn't go back to sleep after I woke him to go), he is still sleeping.

6. Favorite shoes:
I had a hard time picking a favorite. I don't wear these very often, so I don't know if they are my favorite from that standpoint, but I do like them a lot and think they are cute.

7. Favorite room:

I love Jack and Aidan's room. It is well painted, cute with black bear decorations, and has good furniture.

8. Closet:


Pretty empty. I recently took out 8 bags of old clothes to goodwill. Also kind of sad to see my sewing machine all packed up on the floor and the sewing supplies in bins at the top. I wish they were out and being used!! Maybe one day...

9. Dream vacation:

I can't just pick one! I would LOVE to visit so many places- Germany, Italy, China, Australia, Egypt, Mexico, Spain, Brazil... it might be easier to say places I don't want to see! :)

10. Self portrait:

I'm not going to tag anyone, because this was way harder than I thought!