May 30, 2010

Recent Conversation

Noah finished his mother's day out program last week. His teacher told all the kids about how they could come back next year as bigger kids and learn all kinds of new things in preschool. So Noah and I were talking about how he'll learn his letters and numbers, etc. He was seemingly unimpressed. This was evidently not the kind of knowledge he was hoping to acquire. Noah said, "Yes, but what else they will teach me? Do you think they'll teach me how to do cool new tricks with my wee wee?"

Ummm... I am pretty sure that is not in the curriculum!

May 27, 2010

Slip Slidin' Away

When my mom was a little girl, she wanted a cotton candy machine. For some reason she never did get one. I can remember several times as a kid hearing her say how badly she wanted a cotton candy machine. I couldn't figure out why in the world she didn't just go out and buy one. Well, when I was a kid, I wanted a slip n' slide. Bad. I would have traded my much loved, massive collection of Lego's or my little monkey brother (or both!) if I could have only had a slip n' slide. To me- it was like the Red Rider BB gun in A Christmas Story. But you know how parents are... those things tear up the grass... they waste water... blah, blah, blah. So I never got a slip n' slide. But I never stopped wanting one. So today when I was in Target and I passed the slip n' slides, I thought to myself, "I am an adult. It's my grass I'm tearing up. It's my water I'm wasting. Doggone it! I am going to buy one of these suckers!" So I did! However, now that I am a grown-up, flinging myself face first on the hard ground on a piece of plastic doesn't really seem like a good idea. So I just let the kids play with it. They had a ball and I achieved my life long goal of being the proud owner of a slip n' slide.

We set it up. And soaped it up (because that's what they always do in the movies). Only Miles decided to soap up himself, instead.




Then it was time to play...








One of our favorite things about Miles is the way his lip quivers when he gets chilly. The cold water really got the lip going today. But don't feel too sorry for him- it was almost 90 degrees outside! (There is no essential audio in this short video if you don't feel like pausing the playlist)





When we were finished sliding for the day, the kids realized that we had forced a ton of night crawlers out of their holes with all of our water wasting. So they went on a worm round up.



Sadie and Noah took those worms over to the swingset and I thought that they were burying them in the sandbox. However, I realized (all to late) that they were actually performing worm operations. Those poor worms got hacked to pieces with plastic sandbox shovels and their guts got strewn about the back yard. I have evidently not done an adequate job of teaching respect for all of God's creatures.

But all in all, the slip n' slide was a fantastic purchase. If this is a preview of how wonderful summer is going to be then I can't wait for it to start! Now- if I could just convince Kamron that we need a pool!

May 26, 2010

I Adopted A Werewolf

I have never seen a child who is as affected by the phases of the moon as Miles is. It is like I adopted a werewolf instead of boy. I have never really been the kind of gal who paid a whole lot of attention to the phases of the moon- but one time I wrote a post on how my kids were just going psycho with their behavior and someone told me to check what phase the moon was in. Sure enough, it was a full moon. Every time there is a full moon the kid just gets his pampers in a wad. Well, the full moon is not until tomorrow night, but Miles is preparing for it early. It's pulling on him like a mutha fatha (right, Corey!?) He is being so bad that even Sadie said he was being "a butt". By noon I was on the phone with Kamron telling him about how his youngest was turning into a full fledged thug. When Miles gets bad, he gets really bad. He terrorizes everyone around him. He screams and hits and pushes and bites and just pretty much makes every one of us miserable. Luckily- this doesn't happen that often. But when it does...Oh. My. Lord. Watch out. It may have gotten so bad today that I may have even looked the other way when Noah got so tired of Miles pushing him around that he kicked him like a soccer ball. I'm just sayin', I may have done that.

So here's to hoping that I survive until the moon finishes doing it's thing!

May 25, 2010

Oh, Intel

You guys, I have had the privilege to be a part of something really amazing over the last week. I have said many times on this blog that great things can happen when people unite together to fight for a cause. If you are not a person as submerged in DRC activism as we are, then maybe you don't know Lisa Shannon. Okay- I don't "know" her personally, but she is kind of a goddess in the world of DRC activism right now. She is the author of the phenomenal book A Thousand Sisters and is the founder of Run for Congo Women which raises sponsorships for Congolese women to get started in their own businesses, care for their children and be self sufficient. Because we all know that when you empower a woman, you change the world. When I think of the work that Lisa and others are doing, I can't help but think of my sons' birth mother. If she had had an advocate, Miles may never have had to be an orphan.

At the heart of the problem in DRC is the battle over mineral mines. All the little components in our computers and cell phones make war lords who control mineral mines in DRC tons and tons of money. They control these mineral mines and the trade routes by which they are smuggled out of Congo by using terror: rape, mutilation, and destruction to force the populations to work in the unsafe environments, and support the work of these rouge militias. They use the millions of dollars they make in the trade of these minerals to buy more guns. More guns, more violence, more terror...the cycle continues. (You can click HERE to see a video of how conflict minerals get from Congo into your phones.)

Recently, the House and Senate have been taking notice that just maybe it is not a good idea to allow these conflict minerals into our electronics. The senate passed a bill to help eliminate conflict minerals. They have proposed HR 4128 which will force electronics companies to be transparent about where their minerals are coming from. It will call for companies to show their supply chain. This will keep companies, like Intel, Nintendo, Sony and dozens of others from being able to get away with using conflict minerals. The bill is on it's way to the House. In the process, there are countless numbers of ways that the bill could get weakened and rendered inefficient, unless we step up and say we want the bill passed as it is. Earlier in the week, some internal documents were leaked from electronics giant, Intel, showing that they were orchestrating a back door lobbyist campaign to try to weaken the bill. They wanted all the parts of the bill that actually held them accountable for their supply chain stricken from the bill. Lisa Shannon got wind of this and began orchestrating a "takeover" of Intel's facebook page. Hundreds of us wrote on Intel's facebook wall that we wanted them to support the bill as it is written and go conflict free. For some crazy reason, Intel absolutely freaked out and stopped allowing us virtual protesters to leave comments on their public space, in some cases, they actually deleted our posts. They later apologized, but will not agree to meet with anyone associated with the protest or stop their attempts to weaken the bill. Through these actions, Intel employees and fans of Intel were educated about conflict minerals- and education here is key. The crazy part of all of this is that INTEL HAS ADMITTED THAT IT WILL COST THEM LESS THAN 1 PENNY PER PRODUCT TO USE ALL CONFLICT FREE MINERALS, yet somehow they still will not do that. They are showing the world that human life is not worth one penny. The latest campaign is to send pennies directly to Intel. Obviously, they need the money. If you have some pennies and a stamp lying around, I urge you to make a huge statement by mailing your pennies to Intel. Here is what mine looked like. (You can click to enlarge.)



You can mail your pennies to Intel at:
Intel Corp.
c/o Suzanne Fallender
2200 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054-1549

Show them that their consumers think it is worth a penny to save lives! Emailing is great, but the power of a letter goes for miles. If you want to send a letter with photos- here is my permission to use pictures from my trip to Africa to mail to them. If we are facebook friends, there are also tons of pictures on there.

The fight is on to reach out to other giants in the electronics industry, too. Today the target is Nintendo. If you are a facebooker, go to Nintendo's wall and urge them to go conflict free. The power of this movement is huge! Companies are on the defensive here. If we can keep up the momentum, they will know we mean business! If you want to keep up with which companies are being targeted each day and do your part to ensure that the computers and cell phones you buy in the future won't be tainted with Congolese blood, you can visit my girl Monica's blog Letters To Congo. It is an all activism site designed to orchestrate the masses in a targeted movement to eliminate the crisis in Congo. Some other great resources are the Enough Project, and Lisa Shannon's A Thousand Sister's Blog.

If you are even reading this blog, you are using conflict minerals in your computer. The good news is, that since we are all guilty, we can ALL do something to stop it. Thank you all for caring!

May 24, 2010

Are You Babysitting?

I've been thinking about this post for a while. I probably won't do the topic justice, but here's my attempt.

In our house, it has never been a given that I would be able to attach to our children no matter how they came into this house. I have run the gamut on attachment, which is something I am not very proud of. When my Sadie was born, I loved her instantly. We bonded and she was mine from the first minute. My pregnancy was easy, labor was easy, and she was the most delightful baby. We had no issues what-so-ever.

But then Noah was born and it wasn't so easy. When Noah was born, I am pretty sure that I had undiagnosed post partum depression. When he was born, I essentially felt nothing. He cried all the time and I couldn't sooth him. He had an array of sensory issues and he couldn't be held or comforted. For the first 18 months of Noah's life, we were in pure survival mode. Let me tell you, love does not blossom very well when you are in survival mode. We struggled just to get through the day to day. For a year and a half, I wondered how in the hell our lives would ever be normal again. After being home with a screaming baby all day, I would take all my frustration out on my husband and that was a big strain. I felt guilty and like a bad mother. After all, mothers are supposed to be just ga-ga over their little babies, right? I had thought of what would happen if I just got in the car and drove away from all of it. I finally had to make the conscious decision that I was going to have to put on a smile and deal with my life. I thought I could "fake it until I make it." I pretended like Noah was awesome. I pretended like I was insanely in love with him. I made a choice to like him. And then, it finally started to click. It is not that we didn't love Noah before. We did. But it was hard. In fact, Kamron and I have both completely blocked out those first 18 months as a family of four. Part of that makes me sad, but mostly I think it was essential to being able to move on and move in to a place where we had genuine love for our family of four. Because eventually, it did happen and we did get to that place. We, thankfully, didn't stay in no man's land forever.

So when we started getting close to bringing Miles home from Congo, I was nervous. I would never have admitted to anyone that I was scared that I wouldn't love him. I was so relieved when I first laid eyes on him and I felt overwhelming love for him. Looking back, I think that it is hard to not love an orphan. For me, at least. I saw Miles, so tiny and malnourished and sick and my hero complex kicked in and it was hard not to love him because he needed me so desperately. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I wondered how I would feel about that little baby when he wasn't so sick, or tiny, or orphaned. Would I still love him? I was kind of surprised when we got home and that love did not diminish. But the truth is, even though I loved him like crazy, Miles did not feel like my child.

I was talking to my social worker the other day who has also recently just adopted 2 children. When she asked how we adjusted in the very beginning, I told her that I couldn't lie- I felt for a long time like I was just babysitting Miles. She said, "Thank you for saying that! I felt the same way!" Hmmm... I'm not the only one- only no body talks about it. Because it makes you feel like a bad mom. Just as with Noah, I had to fake it for a while. I was afraid to tell Kamron how I felt because this child was the one that I wanted so badly! So why didn't he feel like my child?

I think that for the first several weeks, we got so many weird comments in public because I feel like my eyes and my body language just begged for people to ask me about our family. I think that I needed to hear myself say out loud that Miles was my son. I thought that if I said it enough, I would start to believe it. In so many ways, he felt like a stranger. I didn't know how he liked to eat, to be comforted, to be held and what made him happy. All those things that mothers are supposed to know about their kids, I was totally in the dark about. That first month of adjustment was hard. When Miles cried, I had no idea what to do. When he walked around screaming, I couldn't make him stop. But after a month or so, we got into a routine. We got to know each other. And the relationship bloomed from there. And now we ALL feel like a family. But it is not always instant- no matter how your children come into your family.

One thing I learned from this experience, is that you can't put too much pressure on yourself to attach. We don't expect our children to be able to attach right away, and we can't expect the same thing from ourselves. Sometimes, that right away, angels singing love happens immediately, but I think that (even though most people won't admit it) it is more the exception than the rule. Don't be afraid to take it slow and cut yourself some slack. Just as you can't expect to be best friends with the stranger you just met in the grocery store, you can't expect to instantly feel like "mom" to the little stranger who is now in your care. And that is okay! You are not a bad person! These things take time. Don't be afraid to give yourself that time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

May 19, 2010

Derailed by Mrs. Smith

About a month ago, I was totally motivated to get my rear in gear and get in shape. But then this happened to me...


And now I am just a little bit obsessed. I swear, these frozen cobblers are the bomb diggity. You see- I made one for myself for my birthday. I sat down with a bowl of steamy yummy cobbler goodness and watched the premier of Glee. Well, then the next Tuesday rolled around and I thought to myself, "Self. Last Tuesday with the cobbler and the Glee... those were good times. We should do that again." So I popped another frozen cobbler in the oven the following week. And the following week. And the following week. And now I think that I am 5 weeks into this terrible Tuesday night habit. One serving of cobbler a week would probably not be that bad, BUT luckily unfortunately no one else in my house will come near this scrumptiousness so that one serving turns into breakfast, lunch and dinner for me every day until it is gone! Grrr... I think I need a blackberry cobbler intervention.

May 17, 2010

Mugshot Monday

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Hmmm... since no one had any ideas for posts, I suppose I will just write about one of the loves of my life. There are a few moments in this thing we call parenting that will make you swell up with pride and want to shout from the rooftops how proud you are of your child. One of those moments happened this weekend with my Sadie.

For weeks we had been planning on having our benefit yard sale for Congo. After hearing us talk about it for a while, Sadie asked if she could have a lemonade stand at our yard sale. I think there is nothing cuter than a kid with a lemonade stand. But the kicker was that she wanted to take all the money she made at her lemonade stand and donate it to charity. She came up with it all on her own. She planned it out for weeks. She recruited her great-grandmothers to do an insane amount of baking so she could sell baked goods. She convinced me to buy her cups and supplies for her so that she could make more profit. (I was more than happy to oblige!) She worked for hours making signs and making donation containers. And she talked about how awesome it was going to be to send her money to Africa.

When the day of the lemonade stand rolled around, she could hardly contain her excitement. She woke up at the crack of dawn, set up her table just so and got to work. She poured cups of lemonade, peddled cookies and loaves of bread and made a killing! Her sweet friend that lives next door bounded out his door by 8am to come over and help her. As they watched their donation jar fill up, I heard them talking to each other about how they couldn't believe how much money they were making for Africa! Those kids totally got it. I was so proud I thought I would pop. Their enthusiasm for helping and giving back was contagious all day long. My daughter's lemonade stand project raised almost $200 for children in need!



I want my kids to be smart, but being smart is not everything. I want to teach my kids to excel in their activities, but being first is not everything. But being a compassionate person? Showing love for ALL people? Despite what the world says, in this home, THAT means everything.

It seems strange to say this, but there are so many times I find myself trying to emulate Sadie. To be only 6, I'm telling you- that girl has got her stuff together. She has the patience of a saint. She is completely selfless. She shows genuine love and compassion for everyone she encounters. That girl is going to change the world. She was born with such amazing qualities. Now, if I can only find a way to help her preserve them through those dreaded teenage years...

If you haven't checked out Sadie's blog yet, stop on over. She's quite a hoot. (And to those of you all who have left her such sweet comments or signed up to "follow" her- Thank You! It is so important to foster positive self esteem in our girls and your comments have done just that. You can visit her at http://sadiebugshugs.blogspot.com

May 15, 2010

Whoa Nelly! 200 Posts!

I love milestone posts! This is my 200th post! Woop Woop! I've been blogging for 10 months. In that time, we've been read in 61 countries by almost 50,000 of our closest friends. Kind of blows my mind that anyone thinks we're even remotely interesting.

So here we are. I kept trying to think of something monumental and clever to do with the 200th post. For the 100th, I did fun facts about myself. For 200, I've got nothing! Seriously- my creativity is kaput.

And my mind and my body are dog tired from hosting our yard sale for the Congo today. The good news is, though, that we raised almost $1000 for kids in need in the DRC who are desperate for it!

So since I am not feeling up to coming up with anything and I feel like I've already blogged about everything under the sun, I could use your help! What do you want to read about? Got a burning question for me? Got a topic you want me to discuss? Leave me a comment and let me know. Nothing is off limits I'll pick a few of the comments and write about it for post number 201. Stay tuned! And thanks for commenting!

May 13, 2010

Be The Change

I get stressed out. I get discouraged. I get tired and sometimes I give up- for a few minutes. Then I get up, dust myself off and get back to it. I don't think I will every stop advocating and fundraising for the Congo no matter how frustrating it is sometimes. It takes up a lot of my time, but it is worth every minute. And the reason that it is worth it is because change is happening!

Do you remember the post I wrote about a month ago about the crimes committed by the Lord's Resistance Army? About the children they were burning alive, about the women and children they were kidnapping, about the men they were mutilating? It's a hard story to get out of your brain. I also asked you to email or call your senators and text Hillary Clinton and ask them to do something about it. Now, I have a little tracker buried on my blog that shows me when you click a link on here. I saw just how many of you clicked off this blog and found out how to contact your senators. It was a LOT of you! And several of you left comments saying that you contacted your senators. And several of you have emailed me and said that you actually got letters in the mail from your senators about what they were doing to bring about change in the Congo! I call my senator's office so much, we are all chummy. The day after I did that post, the person who answers the phone at my senator's office told me that they had a high volume of people contacting the senator about the Congo in the previous 24 hours. That was you guys! You made your senators take notice! My heart did a huge smile! (Ironically enough, my senators are on my speed dial but I had to call my sister-in-law on mother's day to find out my mother-in-law's phone number! Weird, huh?!)

Last night, all of our hard work started to pay off! Last night Congress passed the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act that calls for the US to lead the international effort to end the threat to innocent civilians by the LRA. This is HUGE. The passing of this bill tells these warlords that they can not continue to get away with killing innocent people. It puts pressure on the international community to take action and create change.

Senator Jim McGovern felt so moved by this legislation that moments before the bill passed he gave a shout out from the House floor to all the grass-roots activists who made this bill a priority for Congress. He said, "These Americans, thousands of them, understood that the children and people of northern Uganda, the DRC, and southern Sudan have no voice in Washington. So they were determined to become their voice. They realized that these African children and families were invisible to Washington policymakers, so they decided to make them visible. They realized there is too much suffering, too much pain, too much destruction, too much killing in this region of Africa so many thousands of miles away – and that there was just too much silence here in Washington. So they built a grassroots and national movement of hope for peace, for justice, for reconciliation, for reconstruction, for the recovery of the human spirit. To which I can only say a great big, "AMEN!"

A healthy, prosperous, safe Africa is essential for the global economy and for global health in so many ways. This is just one small way to help make that happen. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to care! You all are awesome!

If you are local (around the Louisville, KY area) we are having a benefit yard sale this Saturday to raise money for the orphanages we support in Congo. (You can email me for our address) We asked our church, our friends and neighbors and complete strangers to donate items for us to sell and they came through with flying colors. Our basement can't hold another thing! And before we've even sold the first item, the yard sale has made $350 in monetary donations. It is so awesome to have such a supportive community surrounding us and rallying behind the voiceless in the DRC! Thank you for the role you've played in that! I really do think I have the best readers a blogger could ever ask for!

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

May 11, 2010

Sadie is a blogger!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in this house! After school today, Sadie asked me if she could write her own blog. ( I LOVE this girl!) I thought it was a great idea. It's wonderful writing practice for a beginning writer and great typing practice, too! So my 6 year old now has her own blog. She picked out her own background. She picked out her own blog name. She said her blog is going to be about the adventures she has with her brothers. So if you'd like to be a reader of Sadie's blog- you can check her out at:

http://sadiebugshugs.blogspot.com

Mom's Club

This past weekend, we went to a little get together with some friends. We have all been friends a loooong time. Friends who've known each other since we were all single people. Before the kids. Before the hips started to spread and the boobs headed south. We used to be the kind of people who would close down the bars. Now we think we're rebels when we close down the zoo at 6pm. It always cracks me up when we get together, how much all of our lives have changed. Now, we are all somebody's mom, somebody's wife. The conversations all used to revolve around "us" and where we got our hair cut, what kind of new makeup we were wearing, who was running a big sale on bikinis. (I think we'd all rather die now than show our stretch marked stomachs and c-section scars in bikinis!) Now it's all about our kids. Who's pregnant. Who's kid is sitting up. Who's kid has reflux and which store is running a special on diapers. It's a different life. We do occasionally sit back and laugh at ourselves and wonder how in the world we all became so monumentally uncool. In stark contrast, our husbands haven't changed at all. They still sit around and talk about what will happen when they hit the big time and become rock stars (like that's ever going to happen!)

Even though we don't all get together all that often, I love it when we do. I always come home realizing that I am not the worst mother in the world and everyone else is just like me! There is something cathartic about all sharing our shortcomings as mothers that makes us feel united and boosts our self esteem. Because learning that you are not the only mom who totally loses it every now and then, is a little comforting. Here are some things I learned from our little moms get together.

*We all hate the mom who does the count to three thing. As in... "You better get your clothes put on by the time I count to three! One... Two... Two and a half... Don't test me on this... Two and three quarters...Don't make me say three..." Yep- she bugs the crap out of us.

* We are all guilty of throwing our kids the elbow when they won't get in the carseat. You know, when they get completely stiff and just slide out the bottom of the seat when they don't want to get in? We all admit to giving them a good elbow right in the hip to bend them into submission so you can strap those little rascals in. (And no- this does not hurt them- just forces them to fold in half like a greeting card!)

* We are all much nicer in public than in private. When our kids stand up in the front of the cart while we're checking out at the grocery and the freaked out old lady behind you starts screaming, "Miss! Miss! Your baby is about to jump out of the cart!" We will scoop him up and hug him and say, "Oh sweetie! Be careful! You'll hurt yourself!" and then you love all over him. However- when you get to the car you start going all psycho on him and say, "Don't you ever do that again. You hear me!" Because we are all secretly thinking that if they actually do jump out of the car that they will make us look bad and we will totally lose face in front of the whole grocery store!

* Us stay-at-home moms are all guilty of yapping our husband's heads off from the moment they come in the door because we are starved for adult conversation.

* About 50% of the time we would be more than happy to cash in our stay-at-home mom status for a job where no one would drool, poop, wipe boogers or puke on you.

* We all go to bed feeling guilty that we are not doing a good job raising our kids.

* We are all delusional to think that at 5:00 when the significant other comes home that we will actually be able to turn the children over to him and we can have a moment to just breathe or go to the bathroom in peace. It somehow never works out this way and we think to our selves that maybe said significant other would have been just as useful if they had stayed at work. Somehow, though, we develop amnesia about this and the next day we conjure up the grand delusion all over again. I am going to call it the 4 pm delusion.

* The other thing that happens at 4pm is the great clean up. It is this mad rush to make the place look at least somewhat tidy and organized before the spouse comes home. That way said spouse will think you worked hard and were efficient all day. (Never tell him you bribed the children with candy to get them to pitch in!)

* We all say that we are going to get together more often. Somehow it never happens because the reality is that it is a whole lot of effort to peel of one's sweatsuit ensemble, shower, fix hair, scrub and dress dirty children, find clean underwear in the massive pile of laundry, pack up the diaper bag and actually drive across town to get together. Shew- it makes me tired just thinking about it.

* We will almost all admit to not really liking babies. It sounds bad, but I like children way better when they are toddlers and a little bit more independent. I am not a fan of walking around with a baby attached to all various parts of my body all day long. My mom told me when I was in high school that she liked me so much better as a school aged kid than when I was a baby. At the time, I let that hurt my feelings and now I totally get it.

* We all agree that we respect our moms so much more now that we have our own children.

* Not one of us would trade any of our kids for all the gold and riches in the world. However, being tempted with our pre-baby bodies, pre-baby sleep and social schedules and pre-baby sex lives may make us consider a barter.

* We all agree that talking about the challenges of motherhood are taboo and somehow make you seem like you love your children less. That is just complete bull to me. I love my kids more than anything but will be the first to admit that they will completely be the death of me.

All in all, though, being a part of the 'mom club' is probably my favorite club I've ever been in. But some days it sure would be nice if I could find someone else to be the president of this club and I could just be a household member at-large!

May 10, 2010

Whatcha Doin'?

Since I had to take a forced break- here's a snippet of what you missed in the Terry household last week.

*Miles got in about 6 billion teeth. Seriously, his whole mouth is full of pearly whites. He cried and screamed and beat his head against the dishwasher so many times I decided to take the kid to the doctor. He had a double ear infection. And secretly I was so doggone happy! Because we can cure ear infections- we can't cure a cranky temperament. He's pretty much back to his happy self now thanks to some good ol' pink bubble gum medicine.

*Noah fell out of the top bunk bed in the night a few days ago. Ironically the fall never woke him up.


*I had to give Sadie a serious lesson about boys last week. One of her best male friends decided he was going to tell everyone that he and Sadie were boyfriend and girlfriend! (I thought I had years until this crap started!) Sadie told this little rascal of a boy that he should have told her that she was his girlfriend before he told everyone else. I speeched her long and hard about how he better ask, not tell, and that she was not allowed to even think about having a boyfriend until she was at least 32.

*Miles and I took our first little road trip together so that we could spend some time with some visiting Congolese friends. It was a fantastic day! Since we were so close, we drove on to Kamron's grandparent's house so they could finally meet Miles for the first time!


* GranMary had a birthday and we got to celebrate with Mexican food (our favorite!) and then a birthday party/mother's day lunch at my Granny's house. Happy Birthday, GranMary! Here we are making her cake (from scratch- because my mom always orders Italian Cream Cake and unfortunately they don't make a mix for that!):


*We've had gorgeous weather here, so we've taken a few trips to the zoo and spent hours and hours playing outside with the neighbors.




*I hired a babysitter! For my sanity I am having her come over to keep the kids one day a week for the summer. I am so looking forward to this! Plus- I know that they get bored with just me all the time, so this will be great for everyone!

*My paypal account finally got turned back on (and they released my eBay money that they have held hostage!) after our little raffle we had to raise money for Haiti and the DRC. Since January, I have been marked as an illegal gambling operation. It took hours on the phone and hours on email trying to clear up with paypal that I am just a mom fundraising from my kitchen. They had me sweating bullets when they told me I was going to have to refund the over $5000 we raised. I kept telling them- "But I already donated that money! It is in Haiti and I am not calling them and telling them that I need it back!" Finally, I told the Paypal people that I was not opposed to hiring a lawyer to clear this up if I needed to and lo and behold, they opened up my account again! I hate Paypal- but I LOVE ebay so it would be hard for me to orchestrate a ban on Paypal. I will definitely hold a grudge against them though.

*And speaking of lawyers...I saw a commercial last week for an attorney named Kevin Crook. Really! Would anyone hire this guy? There is also a financial guy in our town with the last name of Swindler. I think I'd find a new job. Or have my name changed.

*Since I take a million pictures a day of my little nuts, here are a few from last week:








May 09, 2010

They call me mom

This mother's day is such a stark contrast from last year. Last year, it never occurred to me that mother's day could be anything but happy and joyous. I am ashamed of how naive that was of me. I am so fortunate to have a mom that I have a great relationship with, both of my grandmothers, and even a great-grandmother who are in my life. I have had a whole myriad of women in my life, who although not my moms, have mothered me and molded me and taken me under their wings.

But this year is different. I think that my eyes have been opened to the fact that there is a whole spectrum of emotions for women on this day. There are new moms full of joy and wonder. Moms who have all their children around them who enjoy all the hustle and bustle of a home full of love. But there are also moms who have children resting with Jesus. Moms who's own mothers are no longer here. Moms who's only memories of their own mothers is painful. Mothers who try their hardest to parent traumatized children who don't return their love. Mothers who are yearning for children they don't yet have in their arms. Mothers who are missing the children they relinquished for adoption.

And this year, I am just not sure where I fit on that spectrum. In some ways this has been the most wonderful mother's day I've ever had. Sadie fully gets that this is the day to dote on me. She spent all afternoon in her room yesterday making homemade cards for me. She and daddy took care of the littles this morning so that I could sleep in til the blissful hour of 8 o'clock. I was awakened by giggling children carrying in sausage biscuits on a 9x13 inch baking pan so they could give me breakfast in bed like they see on all the TV commercials. And I reveled in it. I loved that so much energy was spent on making me feel special. I am truly a blessed woman! But somewhere mid-sausage biscuit, the tears started coming for Miles' first mother. I have thought about her all day. I have said countless prayers for her today. I know that without her, I would not get to be Miles' mom.

So today, we planted a flower in our front yard in her honor. I want this to be a tradition in our home. I want the flower we plant for her every year to be both a sign of thanks for the life that she gave to our family and of her importance to us. I hope that wherever she is today that she is well and that she feels our prayers, our love and our gratitude.



And since my children just left with Aunt Kennethia, I am off to pamper myself with a Mother's Day nap! (AKA- the greatest gift of ALL!)

May 07, 2010

Back in Business!

I'm baaaaa-ack! Did you miss me? Are you even still reading or did I lose all my readers? One of the worst things in the world to do to an Internet/blog addict is to take away their computer. I will tell you now that it was not pretty. One week without my online support system of bloggers just about did me in! I thought that without my computer time everyday, I would get all kinds of stuff done around the house. But no. I mostly just walked around in a trance with all the full blown withdrawal symptoms of a person addicted to much stronger things than technology.

So after taking the fried computer to the shop and finding out that the repair would be costly, I realized that I was going to be forced to buy a new laptop. And if you know me, you know that I HATE to spend money. I stress about spending money to no end. So a big purchase like this made me wish I was one of those people who just happened to have a Valium laying around the house.

Finally, I could take living like a pioneer no more. Today, Miles and I loaded up and went to Best Buy- which for me, is just a warehouse of indecision! Miles walked around and looked everything and said "uh-oh" and something that sounded like "Oh Damn!" to each of the salespeople. I am not sure what it is that he was trying to say, but I am pretty sure that he didn't intentionally cuss out the staff. They didn't take it personally, and helped us pick out a brand spankin' new laptop.

So now here were are, back on the grid! And it is sooooo good to back back! Forgive me if I write a million posts in the next few days trying to catch back up!

May 04, 2010

Put me in time out!

No- I'm not dead. My computer fried itself on Saturday night and I am finding it ridiculously hard to try to blog this from my phone. So a forced bloggy break, it is. I am experiencing horrible withdrawal symptoms! I will be back soon with gobs to say!

May 01, 2010

My Old Kentucky Home

It's the first Saturday in May, which means it is Derby Day here in the Bluegrass State. I am so thankful that My Old Kentucky Home is filled with these little ones...




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