September 30, 2010

Mc'Lovin

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post about all the things that were totally bugging me.  So- to keep some balance, this post is all about things that I am lovin' right now!

1.  Miles' psychologist.  I love her so much, I could almost make out with her. (Okay- not really because, ya' know- I'm not into kissing girls, but I do so love her a lot.)  She GETS it.  She knows her stuff about RAD and trauma and she sees right through Miles' utter charm and attention seeking behaviors and gets to the issues.  She's practical and she reiterates to Miles about every 30 seconds that mom rocks and we need to love on mom.  Of course she uses all kinds of therapeutic approaches to this- but let it just suffice to say that she makes me feel like a rock star instead of the piece of doodie that our attachment challenged kids can sometimes make us feel like.  She is a HUGE treasure.  So glad we have her on Miles' therapy team.   

2.  Fall wardrobe updates.  I haven't had anything in my wardrobe updated in forever.  Actually, I take that back.  I do get new Spanx every time I feel the elastic start to break down in the old ones.  Because dude- if you haven't already picked up on it- I LOVE me some Spanx.  Okay- so here is my favorite thing that I added to my closet this fall:

I picked up this cardigan at Target and I may just wear it every single day because it matches everything and is the only trendy thing I own.  (How bad is it the the trendiest thing I own is a cardigan. Uggh. )I tried to take a picture of myself wearing it, but I just had this really dorky "I'm standing here smiling waiting for the self timer to go off" kind of look on my face, so I decided to show the model wearing it.  She's probably wearing an extra-small.  I snagged a large because I have boobs and muffin tops and those kinds of things don't fit in an extra small.

3.  Current Favorite Foods:  Kettle Chips (yum)  Candy Corn (double yum)  and my Mamaw's homemade banana bread.  It is the bomb diggity.  If I can wrangle up my Mamaw's permission, I'll ask if I can post her top secret banana bread recipe so that you can make some this weekend.  It just tastes like fall.

4.  Favorite Blog Quote of the Week:  "Nobody loves you better because you used yourself up."  (Taken from this post on the BlogHer page.)

5. Gal Pals:  The ones I have in real life and my "virtual" ones.  Right now I am having the best time ever watching the emails fly back and forth between the 14 women going on our retreat in 3 short weeks.  It is like an instant little community.  So much stinkin' fun!

6.  Current Favorite Blogs
             Money Saving Mom- tips and tricks to score major freebies and deep discounts.  Yesterday I was able to get a free, no strings attached 6 months subscription to the Wall Street Journal because of her tips.  Score!
            Our Little Tongginator-  adoptive mama.  great writer.  And she says y'all (A LOT) so she's a gal after my own heart!)
           Amazima- an amazing 20-something living in Uganda and being the hands and feet of Christ to the people there.  This woman is truly one of the most inspiring people I've ever read about.

7.  Music-  Our 4:30 in the afternoon dance party playlist has consisted of lots of Black Eyed Peas, old school Willie Nelson, and Lady Gaga.  I know that I am way too old to be enamoured with a pop star, but I think that Lady Gaga is just the coolest thing to walk the planet since Britney Spears.  Gaga is coming to a town really close to us in the spring.  Is it really bad that I'd just about give my left lug nut to go? 

8.  TV I can't live without this fall:  Modern Family, GLEE, The Office and the old standby- Grey's Anatomy.  I am also currently hooked on old reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.  I find that the longer I've been married, the funnier that show gets.  I also throw in an episode of "Little House on the Prairie" every now and then because my husband says I'm grandma-ish like that.

9.  Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Benadryl for the kids at the first sign of a bad  behavior allergy day.  It is like a miracle wrapped up in liquid form and put in a bottle.    

10. Antidepressants! Dude- I feel like myself again. Can I get an Amen!   

September 29, 2010

New Address

Look up at the top of your screen.  Did you notice?  We got a new blog address!  That's right, folks- because I think that I am cooler than I really am, I finally bit the bullet and I now have my own little corner of the internet.  Now you can find us on www.millionsofmiles.com/!  If you type in our old address you will just get redirected.  (So they both still work.)  Millionsofmiles.com just seemed a little snazzier to me than that long ol' address we used to have.  Plus it is way easier to remember!  Woot Woot!

Pink Donuts, English Lessons, and Jail Time

My children have had their share of moments lately.  Last week my six year old found a button I picked up at the BlogHer conference this year.  I came home with a mirage of buttons, but she happened to seek out the one with a picture of a big, happy cervix on it.  Yes, you read that right- a cervix.  It was for HVP awareness and said in big letters "SAVE THE HOOCH". 

Girlfriend wore that hooch button proudly at school and who knows where else until I realized that she had it on.  I am all for her knowing how to take care of her "hooch", but really, the button kind of weirded me out on a girl that young.  Plus- she thought the cervix was really a pink donut. I'm sorry- if you aren't old enough to distinguish a cervix from a donut, then you probably aren't old enough to sport a "Save the Hooch" button in the first place.  Somehow, though, no one seemed to notice that she even had it on.  Or maybe, they too, just thought it was a pink donut.

Which brings us to Miles.  Miles has had so many ear problems that he can't very well distinguish high and low range sounds.  It is making learning English a little on the difficult side because he doesn't hear what we are saying the way it is supposed to sound.  Therefore, he repeats words like they sound to him.  As part of his speech therapy we are trying to help him learn to label things by saying them over and over again and trying to make him associate words with their meanings.  The other day we worked on body parts for what seemed like forever.  Our day sounded a little something like this:

Me: (while flapping my arms wildly)  Miles!  These are your arms!  Say "ARMS!"
Miles: Ass.
Me:  Close.  ARMS!
Miles:  Ass.
Me:  Arrrrrrms.  Hear that rrrrrr sound?  Try again.  Arrrrrrrms.
Miles:  rrrrrrr...Ass

We go in circles like this for a long time...

Me:  Okay- lets try another.  FEET!  ( I wiggle my feet like a nut)  Can you say,'FEET'?
Miles:  B!tch
Me:  No Feet.  Fu Fu Fu Feet!
Miles:  B!tch
Me:  (getting louder- for some dumb reason thinking that will all of a sudden make him understand) FEET!!  FEET!!
Miles: (also getting louder)  B!TCH, B!TCH!

And then we go in circles like that for a long time.  I am thinking that I will hold off on teaching him "fork".  Hopefully, my child will stop cussing like a sailor when he gets tubes in his ears and can hear what we are saying.  Amazingly , though, he has the phrase "big butt" down pat.  He says that one with stunning clarity.  It is his only two word phrase.  Go figure.

And not to be outdone by his brother and sister, we have Noah.  Noah- oh, sweet Noah- gets out of the car in the dropoff line at preschool yesterday and turns and says loudly as he's going in the door, "Bye Mom!  I'll see you when you get back from jail!"

WTF?  Or should I say, "What the fork?" as I die of embarrassment.  By the way- I went to Walmart- so maybe he wasn't all that inaccurate!

September 28, 2010

Run For Hope

My friend, Rael, is a runner. Actually- she is a marathoner.  Just thinking about running a marathon makes me break out into a nervous sweat.  If I'm being honest, just thinking about running period does that to me.  Anyway- Rael is about to embark on something amazing!  She is running the Chicago marathon in a few weeks to raise money for an organization that is so near and dear to my heart- Our Family Adoptions (OFA).  OFA is the awesome humanitarian organization that helped us bring our Miles home.  Don't let the name fool you- none of your money goes to complete adoptions.  It goes to aid those left behind in Congo.  OFA supports 7 orphanages in Congo and is the sole support for hundreds of children.

As any adoptive parent knows- you feel a strong pull toward your child's birth country.  But Rael has not adopted from Congo.  She just knows that their are children there suffering who need our help.  And to me- that makes this endeavor that much more special.  She is a runner who said, "Hey- I can run.  But not only can I run, but I can really make a difference by doing it!"  I LOVE that!  Do what you are good at and use it as a vehicle for CHANGE!  Because if I've learned anything over the last 2 years on this journey it is that each of us in our own way can impact change!

Just as an aside, I'd love to pump Rael up for the race. I can't imagine running 26 miles! Please leave her an encouraging comment on this post.  I'll print out all the comments and send them to Rael before the race so that she can feel you pulling for her as she raises lots of money for the 5 million orphans in DRC! I'd love to send her a ton of support- so please- comment away and let her know you are rooting for her!!!

Please take a couple of minutes to watch Rael's video. It is inspiring.  Makes me tear up every time I watch it. If you feel led to give- please do so. Even $5 or $10 makes a difference. Know that all your money will go to an amazing organization who is doing remarkable things for the orphans left behind in DRC. They are literally saving lives every single day.
 





You can click HERE to donate securely to the RUN FOR HOPE.  Please put RUN FOR HOPE in the notes to seller.  Thank you!

September 27, 2010

Screw Your Big TV!

My daughter is having a couple of her best gal pals over to play today since there is no school.  Both of our guests are super sweet little girls.  However- one of them is feeling a little feisty today.  She walked in here and said first thing, "My house is a whole lot bigger than this house.  I have a lot more room to run around and play than you do."  I just kind of looked at her and grinned.  Sadie had no idea we were even being insulted.  Then Sadie wanted to take her friends down to our basement to play school.  Our basement in not finished but our kids usually have a great time playing down there.  Our darling little guest took one look down the basement stairs and exclaimed, "Oh!  It looks really dirty down there.  I better put my shoes on before going down there."  Grrr.  Again, we let it slide.  But the next time something ugly came out of our guest's mouth, Sadie didn't let it go.  The conversation went  a little something like this:

Sadie:  Mom, can you come in here and hook up the DVD player so that we can watch a movie?
Guest (as I am starting the movie):  Our TV is a whole lot bigger than yours.  I mean- our TV is really big.
Sadie:  So what?  Can you blow bubbles with your gum?
Guest: No
Sadie:  Well.  My daddy taught me how to blow big bubbles with my gum and you can't do that.

I LOVED that zinger.  I really wanted to say, "Take that!  Screw your big TV and your big clean house!"  But I kept my mouth shut and quietly was very happy that my little girl stood up for herself.  Because evidently, to a first grader, being able to blow big bubbles is uber important.  It was just enough of an insult to keep our little guest from saying any more mean things.  And now they are all upstairs giggling and playing beautifully together and being as sweet as tea (like only southern gals can be!)

September 26, 2010

Sunday Drive

When I was a little girl, my mom and dad would load us kids up in the car and they would drive all over God's creation on Sunday afternoons. I thought they were SO lame. I can remember being 10 or 11, sitting in the back seat thinking that my parents were acting like really old fuddy duddies taking in the scenery and driving way to slow down the narrow country roads.


Fast forward 20 years and stop.the.world. I've turned into my parents. (How does that happen?  One day you're 15 and swearing up and down that you will NEVER be like your parents, and then BAM- it just sort of happens...and you're mostly grateful for it!) I find myself now thinking that it has been a really good Sunday if we've had time to just take an hour out of our busy lives to drive around way too slow on narrow country roads. Kamron and I (sometimes) hold hands in the front seat and look at houses and dream about where we will be in 5 years or 10 years. We nearly always travel the same roads, and somehow our journey leads us right to this little alpaca farm that is nestled in the middle of the country. For years, we've been pulling the car over on the side of the road and rolling down the windows so the kids can yell at the alpacas from the backseat. The sign on the front of the farm gives a phone number to call for farm tours and we've always said we'd love to do it- but it always turns into one of those things that we just never remembered to call about.

Well, yesterday we found out that today is actually National Alpaca Farm Day. Who knew? And that lovely little alpaca farm that we've passed on leisurely Sunday afternoons was open to the public today. So we hopped in the car after church and headed out to meet the alpacas. Turns out, alpaca farms are not that exciting. But that didn't stop our kids from having a great time! Even Miles loved the alpacas and he hates animals!





Once you've seen one alpaca, you've kind of seen them all. They don't do much. Just stand around and look kind of goofy. Some have better hair styles than others, but for the most part, they are all the same! Luckily, there was a hammock and that was everyone's favorite part of our Sunday adventure!




It truly is the little things in life. Like spending a Sunday afternoon at the alpaca farm.  I am constantly waking up and reminding myself that life is what's happening to me- right now. This very minute. Not 5 or 10 years from now. I am trying my best to learn to live in the here and now- despite the chaos of raising 3 small children. Because I know that in just a blink of time, the children will be old enough to sit in the backseat and complain about how we are driving too slow on a Sunday afternoon looking at "stupid" stuff. They'll realize that I am really lame and they'll rebel.  They'll want to spend Sunday afternoons with their friends or doing anything in the world but spend time with me. So I'm trying to savor this time- while they are still little enough to think that I know everything and I'm still cool. I know I won't be able to fool them forever. I know the day is coming where Kamron and I are driving on narrow country roads all alone on Sunday afternoons- talking about how we miss our kids and reminiscing of when our children were just knee high to an alpaca...


"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
-Author Unknown

September 22, 2010

Gamey Winners

Okay- so I take it from this giveaway's response that y'all are not gamers!  Random.org chose our winners for us on this fine evening.  They are...


and

SFRJENKINS- who always leaves me such nice comments, but I don't know who in the heck she is because clicking on her name in the comments leads me nowhere!  Is she a blogger? Or the president of Bulgaria?  Or an astronaut?  I don't know- maybe she'll identify herself!

Email me your addresses and full names to meganterry01@aol.com and I'll get your games to you!

P.S.  Mom- I am sorry that you never win.  One of these days when I'm rich and famous I'll buy you a pony or a cotton candy machine to make up for it.

Serenity

Every now and then, there are moments when everyone is together on the same page.  No one is fighting.  No one is compaining.  Everyone seems connected and we all fit together.  There is love. And in those moments life feels oh-so-perfect...

September 21, 2010

90 minutes of mind blowing bliss

Get your mind out of the gutter.  I'm not talking about that.  And seriously- who has the time or energy for 90 minutes of that anyway?  I feel good about myself if I can muster up enough energy to roll around for the length of a TV commercial break. (TMI- I know.)

What I am talking about is the 90 minutes I got to spend today completely and utterly ALONE!  Noah was in preschool this morning and Miles was at his developmental intervention group.  So I had precisely 90 minutes between drop-off and pickup in which to do whatever my heart desired.  First thing I did was crank up music I can't listen to with my kids.  You know- stuff with cuss words that talks about doin' the dirty and other craziness not appropriate for little ears.  I don't know why, but it totally fulfills the rebel in me that needs to get out every blue moon or so.  Then I drank a delicious, foamy, billion calorie coffee drink.  I felt like I was really splurging.  Breakfast for me lately has consisted of whatever Little Debbie snack cakes are in the cabinet.  I don't even like them but I just can't stop.  Especially when it comes to those prepackaged brownies with the colored candy chips on top. If I eat enough preservatives, I'll stay preserved forever, right?  One of these days I am going to grow up- I swear.

Then I strolled around T@rget for a loooong time.  I looked at all the things that I never have time to look at when I have 3 kids screaming at me about going to look at the toys and books and the endless request of "Can we have a pretzel?  Or an ICEE?  Or popcorn? Or...or...or?"  I found some super awesome things!  First of all- I found the coolest things for the laundry.  I loathe dryer sheets with a passion.  They get everywhere, aren't very green and the box of dryer sheets always get buried under the piles of clothes in the laundry room.  Same thing with those dryer balls.  If they get lost in the mound of clothes- there is no hope of finding them.  See what I mean? And this is kind of considered a good day.  I know- I suck.  Oh well.

These are the clean clothes.  You don't even want to see the dirty clothes pile.
Maybe I should stop blogging and start doing some laundry :-( 
 So I found these fabric softener things that are like bars of soap that you stick with a magnet inside the dryer and they last for months!  Problem solved!  I also found these sparkly flip flops! (Ignore the bad pedicure.  I decided this morning that it was more important to shave the inch long spikes off my legs than paint my nails.  Don't judge.)


These babies were clearanced out to $1.87 and I am madly in love with their shininess!  Made my whole day.  Maybe now I will retire my other flip flops- which if you will remember- blew out about 2 weeks ago and I have been hot gluing them together every time I want to wear them.   Again- I suck.  And I am cheap.

Then I tried on clothes and got frustrated.  I have negative amounts of style.  Zero- zip-nada.  No style sense whatsoever. I thought that last weekend's marathon of the Rachael Zoe Project on Bravo may have helped a little but- nope.  I am still clueless. I am in desperate need of a wardrobe intervention.  I'm getting tired of my summer "uniform" and need to come up with a new winter "uniform"  If I see something I like in the store, I need someone to coordinate it for me.  I can't match stuff up at all.  And all the display pictures in the store matched up every top with leggings.  And I am sorry- but all those brownies for breakfast have made my badonk-a-donk way too fat for leggings.  Plus- I know that under those long tunic tops, leggings give everyone camel toe and that just stresses me all the way out. (Wow- I am on a roll with TMI today!)

My last little treasure I found was this:


I am beside myself with this organizational score.  Coordinating 3 kids at two different schools, with five different therapists , and doctor's appointments for a kid with a whole team of specialists for his million different ailments left me feeling like I had no idea where I was supposed to be all the time.  Now I have all the info I need in one cute little place!  Go me!  Plus- at the bottom of that calendar it says "GIRL'S RETREAT".  And OH.MY.WORD!  That makes me so happy!  Our weekend mom's retreat is sooooo close! I am having so much fun getting to know all the awesome ladies as we email back and forth!  (BTW- donations for pampering these women are starting to come in and I am getting so pumped about it!  I know that most of them never do a thing for themselves- so I can't wait to spoil them.  If you want to help me do that- it's not too late.  See this post for the info.)

Oh- and one of the best parts of my time alone this morning... when my highly caloric coffee kicked in and I needed to visit the potty- I did not have wrangle three kids into a small stall.  No one tried to stick their hand in the toilet. Or flush a million times or talk about poop or wee-wees at the top of their lungs.  No one sneaked a peak at my next stall neighbor and my butt was the only one I had to wipe!  Woo Hoo!  AND I get to do it all over again next Tuesday in 6 days, 16 hours and some change... (but who's counting?!)

September 20, 2010

Survivor Guilt

Survivor guilt.  Oh God.  Who am I kidding?  I didn't "survive" anything.  I didn't live through an earthquake.  I'm sitting here in my kitchen which is painted the happiest shade of yellow and listening to the hum of my refrigerator that has ice in the door.  And there is a stove and a dishwasher and clean water running out of the faucet.  I don't starve on a daily basis.  My cabinets are full of enough food to feed the whole neighborhood.  I don't dodge men in the streets with machine guns on my way to fetch water for my family. I don't live in fear that I will be brutally raped in my own home or that my children will die from a mosquito bite or from hunger because I can't provide for them.  

So why, seven months after returning from Africa do I still feel like I "survived" something?  Those seven days in Congo gave me a glimpse.  Just a glimpse.  But that glimpse shook me to my core.  The images I saw there haunt me when I close my eyes like a ghost hiding in the corner.  The faces of the dying children I held there wake me up at night and call out to me.  They say, "What are you doing for us?  Can you find someone who wants me?  I need a mom.  I'm hungry."  And then I wake up and I am in my cozy house, surrounded by things that make my life easy and convenient.  How do I live with that?  How can I not look around at the excesses in my life and in our society and be anything but disgusted?

Those seven days changed my life forever, and not always in a good way.  Those seven days have brought on fits of guilt that no amount of prayer, medication, or reasoning can take away.  And that is why I feel like I've survived something.

I look around at my life.  I look at my bank account.  I look at my chubby cheeked children.  I look at their schools.  Hell, I even look at our roads full of potholes and even in their worst state- they are better beyond anything that I would have ever found in Congo.  And the injustice of it all breaks me down.  It makes me sick.  It makes me question everything.  When I throw food away, I want to cry.  When I complain about how my health insurance didn't cover a certain medication, I want to smack myself. When I complain about how my daughter's free education is too easy for her, I hear myself and want to cringe. Because how does this even begin to compare with life on the other side of the world?  How dare I complain when there are children starving.  How dare I feel inconvenienced when there are people in Africa (or Haiti, or South America, or countless impoverished places) who walk days to see the one doctor available for thousands of people if they are lucky?  How do I justify my feelings when there are children who would die for the opportunity and luxury of going to school instead of spending hours a day fetching fire wood and buckets of dirty water?

The truth is, I feel disappointed in myself.  The week I spent in Africa made me question everything I thought I knew about life. Before I went, I wanted it to change me.  I wanted to come back and figure out how to live simply- to let the extraneous clutter around me go.  To let the drama go.  To figure out how to focus on the small things and how to live in a state of gratitude and thankfulness.  But then I got back and I found myself just wishing that I could "shake" the Africa off of me. I wanted to go back to my normal life where despair and hopelessness were just ideas in the abstract instead of things that I was actually confronted with. Because living as an entitled American is so easy.  What is hard is living the life we were meant to live in service to others.

What I saw scared me.  It scared me that I couldn't "unsee" the things that give me nightmares.  I went from wishing for that mountaintop experience to trying to survive it.  Because seeing poverty like that- it breaks you down.  It would be easier to just forget it.  However, I don't feel like we are called to live cozy lives.  I feel like we are called to step out of our comfort zones and be a voice for the voiceless.  The truth is, though, that I just don' really know what that looks like and all of my attempts just seem futile.

Being in Africa broke down my faith in ways I never imagined that it could.  Seeing the suffering made me question my God.  I found myself, and after all this time, still find myself saying, "God- where were you in Congo?  Where were you when I was holding those dying babies?  Where were you when I saw the starving children combing through the garbage on the streets?  Where were you when I saw the grown men drinking out of the sewers because there was no clean water?  Where were you!?"  Everything in my being wants to hear, "... Megan... I was in those beans that hundreds of people bought for you to deliver.  I was in those cans of formula that people from all over sent for you to take.  I was in the hugs given to those children in their last moments.  I was in those smiles and giggles the orphanage children gave while they were playing with balloons for the first time."  I want to hear it.  I so do. But I don't hear it. And even if I did, it doesn't seem like enough.  It's never going to be enough.

And in that longing to be enough, do enough and say enough, I'll keep trying to make sense of what I saw.  Because I know it all happened for a reason.  I know that part of it is reliving it and sharing it and spreading the word.  And part of it is trying to still learn how to live a life of gratitude and thanksgiving.  And part of it is just surviving.  Because some days, when the enormity of the injustice of it all just weighs you down, all you can do is breathe in and out, and pray and hope and do what YOU can do to make a difference... and hope that the tiny, inadequate stone that you throw out into the water  makes ripples beyond your wildest expectations.


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

September 18, 2010

Saturday Snapshot


I think all of that running water made Noah have to pee.

September 17, 2010

Game Giveaway

How about we do a little giveaway on this fabulous Friday?  I always think it's fun to break up the regularly scheduled programming!  You know what else is fun?? Family game night! Our kids are still too little for 100% participation, but the big kids are really starting to get into board games.  So today- in the name of family togetherness- I'm giving away...



AND

Mastermind Towers and Mastermind!  I love educational games.  Both of these games are designed to help develop logical thinking and deductive reasoning.  Mastermind is for ages 8+.  My kids are a little young for it but it is really neat.  It is a code breaking game and kind of reminds me of a more intricate Battleship game.  Perfect for older elementary kids- and way better for their brains than mindless video games and TV!

But the game that impressed my socks off was the Mastermind Towers game- designed for little kids (ages 6+).  I am always leery of age requirements because some of my kids lag behind on age appropriate skills.  But this game can be geared up or down for age/developmental appropriateness and special needs.  The premise of the game is to use reasoning skills to guess what order your opponent has put their animal cards in.  The instructions for the game say to use 5 cards.  But we very easily adapted the game for our younger kids by only using 3 cards.  I LOVE games that you can do this to.  (Keeps me from playing a certain color orientated "land of sweets" game a million times a day, too!) 

Both of the games are of very sturdy construction.  Cards are sturdy, heavy cardboard and are really durable.  They could stand up to classroom use- if I were a teacher I would totally have these in my classroom! Super fun and super educational. 

We had a great time playing them with our kids!  Family time without being plugged into something is absolutely priceless.  Here are my boys doing a totally cheesy promotional photo (yes, my husband will be mortified- but he's cute, isn't he?):


I will be giving away one of each of the games.  If you want to enter to win-

HERE ARE THE RULES!

1.  Leave a comment on this post with the phrase "family fun" in it for one chance to win.
2.  Leave a comment and become a follower of this blog for two chances to win.  Tell me in your comment if you are follower.
3.  Leave a comment, be a follower and blog, tweet, or facebook about this giveaway for 3 chances to win.  Again- tell me in your comment if you did this.


I will be drawing a winner on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 7pm EST and will announce the winner shorty after.  I'll use random.org to generate the winner.  Good luck and thanks for playing!

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by Pressman Toy. I was given these games by Pressman Toy for free to review and I get to keep the game at the end of my review period, however the opinions of these games are my own honest thoughts. 

September 16, 2010

Oh The Joy

Today's challenge:  Keeping my cool while my attachment challenged/traumatized child desperately fights to have control of all situations.

In the last few days, my darling child (do ya' hear the sarcasm?) has "forgotten" how to eat and drink.  He puts things in his mouth and then plays dumb to the fact that he needs to chew and swallow the food so he just lets it all run back out.  He just sits there with his mouth hanging open and this "what are you going to do about it" expression.

He's also "forgotten" how to walk and is now walking in this strange knee-locked walk that he designed to get attention.  He gets this glossed over look when he's walking like that so I know that he is doing it out necessity in response to some deep feelings.  He just doesn't have the communication skills to articulate it.

Whoever says that little children are not smart, has obviously never parented a child of trauma.  Dude- he is the smartest and most conniving little one I know!

I know the right thing to do here is ignore the behavior and be more intentional in helping Miles feel secure when he's doing those things.  Yada, yada, yada.  Later rinse repeat.  But my toolbox feels empty.   Can you RAD moms out there leave a comment and give me something more practical for a non-verbal kid in these situations?  I am trying to walk that fine line between setting clear boundaries for him while also being understanding and empathetic.  I'm stumped and depleted today and all the tiny manipulative behaviors are adding up and driving me batty.  Please and thank you.

September 14, 2010

Go SPOON

Our little Miles came home from Africa severely malnourished. The day he came home -as a two year old- he only weighed 13 pounds.  Now at 2 1/2 years old, he is holding steady at 20 pounds (the average size of a 12 month old). He is still undetectable on a growth chart, but is trying his best to catch up!

We are now the featured family on the SPOON Foundation's adoption nutrition website!  The SPOON Foundation is an awesome adoption resource helping families navigate the malnutrition waters.  They have amazing information about how malnutrition affects brain development and behavior.  They also have great info about how adoptive families can prepare for the nutritional needs of their child before they come home as well as diet tips and tricks for the adopted child's first year with their new family.  SPOON also develops feeding programs for orphanages (yay for good works!) It is overall, an A+ resource in my book.  Check out their website!  If you scroll down to the bottom, you will see Miles' cute little face and you can read our nutrition story!


What a difference food makes.


Miles- the day I met him


September 12, 2010

I'm on a rant

I usually try to keep this blog a happy place, but every now and then a girl's just got to complain.  So today, I'm thinking about 20 things that just bug the crap out of me.

1. I hate the fact that I have had a cold that I just can't shake.  I especially hate this because after having two kids the old fashioned way, I wet my pants about every third time I sneeze or cough.  You know what I mean- it comes on ya' too fast to halt and cross your legs and clench.  Grrr... annoying.

2. The word "fart".  All the neighborhood kids say "fart" like it's the hot word of the week.  I just hate the way it sounds.  We are a "toot" kinda family.

3. People who offer to have you over for dinner and then expect your children to eat things like pickled beets. 

4.  Combing hair.  Everyone in this house cries when their hair gets combed.  I think I will shave everyone's head. I'll start with my own.

5.  Intolerance.  Burning Qurans.  Burning flags.  Prop 8 controversy.  The "N" word.  When we will learn that we are all just people with beating hearts and the desire to be loved and understood?

6.  Yo Gabba Gabba.  In my opinion it's the most annoying children's show on TV.  Oh- and the theme song to Sponge Bob.  Because really- it doesn't make any sense to live in a pineapple under the sea.

7.  Hard toilet paper.  We have kids who don't understand how much tp is too much to flush, so our plumber recommended this specific kind of toilet paper to help our flushing problems.  Unfortunately it feels like wiping with tree bark.

8.  Skinny jeans.  Oh lord- 98% of the population looks horrible in these and they are the only kind of jeans that any of the stores are selling this year.  I hate that the mid rise boot cut has become the  new "mom" jean.  I mean, am I so wrong that I don't want the top 2 inches of my butt crack showing or that I actually have thighs?  I am growing monumentally more uncool by the minute.

9.  Checking out with hair lotion and the sales person saying something like, "Oh, did you realize that this is for ethnic hair?"  Ummm, yeah.

10.  I hate when there is no chocolate in the house.  That spells a major catastrophe for me.

11.  Switching closets over from summer clothes to winter clothes.  Just shoot me now.

12.  Watching couples fight or sext each other on facebook.  I do not care what you are going to do to each other when you get off work.  Keep it to yourself.  Gross.

13.  Twitter.  I have been twittering (is that the right word?) for a month and I just can't figure it out at all. 

14.  The fact that once you have more than one child, they all blame the mess/fight/crying on the other ones.  We have serious "Not Me" syndrome going on in our house right now.

15.  I hate the fact that my six year old daughter already wants to be on the phone all day.  We are so going to be in for it when that girl turns into a teenager.

16.  Fighting with the insurance company.  Took me a week to convince them that a strangulated hernia surgery was not a "cosmetic" procedure.  Duh.

17.  How hotwheels cars, neighborhood children, and dirty dishes multiply at exponential rates. 

18.  All the news reports on bedbugs lately.  Freaks me out.  Kind of like how the PSA they used to show you about lice in grade school made you scratch your head for the whole rest of the day.

19.  People who sell old underwear at yard sales.  Not cool, people.  Put those in the trash.

20.  Whiners and complainers.  Put a fork in me- I'm done.

What's bugging you today?  Feel free to get it off your chest.

September 10, 2010

Burnout

In the life of every blogger, it must happen.  You just get a little sick of blogging.  You run out of stuff to say.  You just don't feel like it.  You just get blogger burnout.  Yep, that's me lately.  Hello, my name is Megan and I am experiencing blog burnout.  Grrr.  Must. Find. My. Mojo.  (so I can stop blogging in bullet points!)

*We are still all going through the allergy junk.  Noah's has progressed to this gross croupy cough.  Miles' congestion settled in his ears and he now has a double ear infection...again.  This is the 4th ear infection in the 6 months since he's been home.  I'm no genius, but I see tubes in that boy's future.  It could also explain why he has been the most whiny, annoying child on the planet for the last few days and why he flunked his hearing exam today.  Hello, round 645 of antibiotics.  Good thing we have Walgreen's stock.

*Noah started his first day of preschool yesterday.  Yee Haw!  He was so pumped to get to see his friends!   Isn't he cute?  I could just sop him up with a biscuit!


*I got "recognized" today in public for the first time from my blog.  I'll tell ya'- I felt like a total rock star.  A woman we'll call J. came down the hallway at the audiologist's office saying, "Wait! Wait! I read your blog!" (J- here's your shout out!) She introduced herself and met the kids and I left feeling like Kim Kardashian or Britney Spears or something. 

*My brave and lovely neighbors have offered to let the big kids come over and camp at their house tonight.  They are setting up a tent inside the house and eating lots of junk food.   Without the kids here on a Friday night, I am anticipating going to bed at 8:30.  Yeah- I know.  I'm a rebel!  

*One of my husband's clients gave him a zillion apples the other day which we turned into all kinds of pies.  Here is Kamron sitting at the table peeling all those apples.  Have you ever read the book, The Five Love Languages ? I am 100% "acts of service".  Forget giving me diamonds or flowers- if you run the vacuum for me or peel my apples, I would gladly welcome the troops home for Christmas in a heart beat.  That is why this picture just thrills my soul.                                      


* I need a weight loss intervention.  Even my sweatpants are getting a little tight and I am not yet desperate enough to put Spanx on under my sweats.  It's just not gonna happen.

* Sadie is starting Girl Scouts in the morning.  I am so excited for her.  She has HORRIBLE social anxiety that she has been working on in therapy.  So when she came home begging to do Girl Scouts, I did a little happy dance.

* I know that it is Friday and long ago I started a Friday "Adoption Corner" series.  The burnout has caused it to fall by the wayside.  Damn you, burnout.  One of these days I will resurrect the series.

* Last but not least, my friend Jamey (who I actually got to meet once in real life!) is hosting a raffle.  The proceeds from the raffle will go to a family who is having some trouble raising the funds to complete their Ethiopian adoption of two older children.  The grand prize is a MamaEnat handmade blanket.  The raffle says that it is for an Ethiopian flag blanket, but Jamey is soooo awesome that she said if any of my Congo mamas win it, she will make you a Congolese flag instead.  Or China,  or wherever else in the world you want your flag blankie to be from.  How cool is that?  I get so in awe of people who can make and create things.  So head on over to Jamey's blog and buy a raffle ticket.  They are only 5 bucks each and you will be helping to unite a family.  Go get ya' some.

MamaEnat Ethiopian Flag Blankie modeled by the adorable "Little Miss".

September 08, 2010

I caught the fast food bandits

As much as I'd love to write a great, earth moving, important post- I just can't!  I am in allergy hell and can hardly open my red, itchy eyes or move more than a millimeter away from the Kleenex box.  The boys are plagued, too.  It's the price we pay for living in the Ohio Valley- aka, the "allergy capital of America".  Oh well- it was a good excuse for me to drug up the boys with Benadryl and put them down for a looooong nap today while I sat on the couch and clawed my eyes out and wiped my nose a million times. 

So today all you get is a picture.  This was the mugshot that was taken when I apprehended the fast food bandits.

Be back tomorrow with more to say and hopefully not in an antihistamine induced fog!  Later, gaters.

P.S.  Lots of you kept emailing me wondering where the music on my blog went.  I added it back on- but it doesn't automatically start playing.  (Because I get that not everyone has the same taste in music as me!)  You can go to the tab on top labeled "my music" and listen till your heart's content.


September 07, 2010

A Sweet Little Story

Once upon a time, there was a darling little boy named Kamron...


...and a sweet, little girl named Megan.


Kamron and Megan grew.  They grew until they were teenagers.  Kamron was gawky and awkward, with pimples, a mullet and a car as long as a boat.



Teenage Megan was a wee bit rebellious and her mom would probably say that she had an attitude...


Miraculously- those two made it through those teenage years and went to college.  One night they met in a bar and fell madly in love.


They were inseparable.  They went on lots of dates...


...tried out some strange hairstyles...


...and had lots and lots of fun!


Megan pestered the bejeezus out of Kamron until he finally asked her to marry him.  Lucky him her!


Then they had a huge, beautiful wedding.



Somewhere along the way, they added three crazy rugrats to make them one great big dysfunctional happy family!


And here they are now- celebrating eight wonderful, wild, and crazy years of marriage today.



Happy Eighth Anniversary, Kamron!  There is no one else I'd rather go through the ups and downs, the trials and the triumphs with than you!  Here's to 50 more years.  I love you!
-me

September 03, 2010

Can you help me?

I usually don't make desperate pleas on here, but I would really love your help on something!  As most of you know, our mom's retreat is coming up in 49 days! (Who's counting!)

We have a huge conglomerate of amazing women coming on this trip.  Foster moms, single moms, working moms and moms parenting special needs children/children of trauma/attachment disorder/etc.  They really are doing the hardest job on earth.  I think that they truly deserve some pampering and some VIP treatment.  I am working with some corporations to sponsor some items for goody bags for these real life hero moms. 

Do you have things you'd like to donate? (we'll need 15 of whatever it is)  Are you a cosmetic rep who would like to donate samples/products.  Are you an etsy shop who would love to donate some of your handcrafted goodies?  Do you make something super cool (jewelry, soap, beauty products, stationary, etc) that you'd like include?  Do you own or do you work for a corporation/store who would like to donate products/services/ gift cards?  Did you make a million adoption fundraiser t-shirts and want to blow out 15 of them?

I can guarantee you that these women going on the retreat deserve the pampering and goodies you donate.  But I want to also make it worth your while.  When the retreat is over (October)- I'll do a huge post describing everything in our goody bags and well as links to where everything came from.  This would be a great opportunity to plug your shop/store/business/fundraiser!  Consider it cheap advertising!  I'll also be putting together one extra goody bag to give to a lucky reader who doesn't get to go on the retreat to help you generate some buzz about your business.

Can we help each other out?  If you have things you'd like to donate or have ideas for me- please email me at meganterry01@aol.com.   Thanks a million!!!

September 02, 2010

Lazy Blogging

I took four kids (my three plus a spare) to the dentist today.  Miraculously- it went super smooth but was totally taxing.  So forgive me that today I'm just bullet posting!
  • I found three gray hairs this morning.  They were like little curly wires that stood up on end commanding attention. Crap. I don't mind aging at all.  In fact, I am looking forward to most of it.  But the gray hairs- not so much.  Seeing the grays reminded me that it was time to pluck that one renegade black hair that grows out of my chin.  It is so thick it can barely be called a hair.  I think I shall from now on refer to it as the big black pipe cleaner that appears on my chinchilla.  I swear, I can pull it out and it seems like it grows back by the very next morning! Why in the world does that happen?  Weird. 
  • When Noah asked me the other day about where babies come from, I'll admit that I said, "Africa".  So then he asked me how old he was when I went to Africa to get him.  Hmmm... guess I got busted on that one.
  • For my Cincinnati mom's retreat gals:  Only 50 more days!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!! 
  • Sadie informed me that she wants us to get her a sister.  And not just any sister.  She insists that this be an older sister who speaks Spanish.  How's that for specific?
  • This afternoon, I blew out my flip flop.  Luckily I did not step on a pop top or cut my heel and have to cruise on back home.
  • My diet pepsi consumption has reached an all time high.  I am pretty sure that I will achieve toxic levels of aspartame in my blood at any minute.
  • I bought everyone in the house new undies (except for the hubster) so that I can now go a loooooong time without doing laundry. 
  • I won an Africa shaped cookie cutter in my bloggy friend Lisa's giveaway!  It came in the mail today which means I will probably be nerdy and make Africa shaped cookies all weekend.  And wash them down with Diet Pepsi.
  • I am thinking about surprising Sadie at school tomorrow for lunch.  The last time I showed up to eat lunch with her, Miles had only been home a week and he puked all down the lunch line.  Good times.
  • Miles called me "my momma" today and I almost cried.  Happy.  Happy.  Happy.
  • Kamron announced today that he wants to give Miles a mohawk, some gumby gold chains and send him out for Halloween as Mister T.  I think I'm going to have to put my foot down on that one.

September 01, 2010

Love is Hard

A few months ago and several feet down in the trench, I found this song and listened to it on repeat for days on end.  I thought about the words to this song so many times during the challenging times with Miles.  I wanted to share this song with you all.  It goes out to all the moms raising our attatchment challenged children.  Because... if love was easy, it wouldn't mean anything.  Keep trying- keep loving. 


Sibling Love (And Hate)

It is no surprise that I love to read and write.  My daughter, Sadie, shares those loves as well. For a six year old, she really expresses herself well through writing and drawing.   I get so excited when she sits down at the table and writes things like this:

Translation: Sadie- I went to my Papaw's and got an egg.
This is her account of going to her Papaw Johnny's to gather the eggs that his chickens just started laying.  She brought home two of the eggs and babied them and carried around with her wherever she went.  She even took them around the block to show some of the neighbors.  She was so stinkin' proud of those two eggs until... one of her stinky brothers broke one of her eggs all over the living room floor.  That mishap resulted in this little note to said stinky brother being found:

Translation: You are the meanest boy on Earth! 


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