November 29, 2010

Spinning Our Wheels

*Warning- I'm whiny today.*

I spoke too soon about how lovely Thanksgiving was.  While Thanksgiving was delightful, the fallout that has ensued from Miles over the holiday has us all feeling like we are trapped in a hamster wheel.

I've heard that holidays/birthdays/special occasions were especially tough for kids who've come from tough places.  We saw a little of that when Sadie and Noah celebrated their birthdays and Miles was ticked off.  But two whole days of people oohing and ahhing over Miles and his "adorable" attention seeking behaviors has him reeling.  Coming back down to real life where we don't feed into those attention seeking behaviors has Miles so mad he can't see straight.  He has melted down, is back to hating me (or at least acting like it) is making no eye contact, is refusing to eat, acts like he can't remember how to walk/eat/use a spoon/drink from a cup/etc. The child regresses to very early infancy. Meal times have been a major fight.  We've been video taping these things for Miles' psychologist.  Watching them back is disturbing.  The hour long meltdown with intense screaming (no tears) and drool all over the place while thrashing around on the floor refusing to put weight on his legs is my personal favorite.  I can't wait to see what the therapist says about it.

So forgive me for taking the day off from blogging.  I've got a little one that needs copious amounts of parenting today.  BTW- last week Miles got in two of his 6 year molars.  Wonder how old this tiny kid really is?  *sigh*  Three?...Four? Twenty-five?... Your guess is as good as mine.  Malnutrition is a thorn in my side.

P.S.  You should check out the Millions of Miles facebook page today.  Just sayin'.

November 27, 2010

"Homemade" Donuts!

One of my favorite memories as a kid was having our annual "cousin's campout" at my grandmother's house.  All the cousins would sleep in a big tent in the backyard.  We'd take a jaunt down to the creek to play and roast hot dogs then we'd stay up late swapping stories and tormenting my tired Granny.  But in the morning when we'd wake up, we'd run from the backyard into the kitchen, where my Granny Sadie would be making homemade cinnamon donuts for the mass of cousins.  It was one of the only times all year that she would make these.  Days ago, Noah started begging to make donuts.  So this morning, we made our special "homemade" donuts and I shared all my special memories of my cousins with Noah while we made our special breakfast.  Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Cousin Campout Cinnamon Donuts:
Ingredients:
vegetable or canola oil
plain refrigerated biscuit dough**
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
**(flaky layers and Grands will not work)


Directions:
1.  Pour about an inch and a half of oil into a pan and heat on medium heat.

2.  Lay all the biscuits out and poke a hole in the middle of all of them.  We use a pineapple corer.  But I've also used the tops to medicine bottles, tops to giant markers, etc.  Just make sure whatever you use won't contaminate your food!


3. Drop the holey biscuits into the hot oil in a single layer.  You will know the oil is hot enough when it bubbles and sizzles when you place the dough in. 

4.  Cook the dough until it is golden brown underneath- usually about 2 minutes.  Flip dough over to cook other side until it is also golden brown. Cook all the donuts holes at once- they only take about a minute.


5.  Pull the dough out of the oil with tongs and drain on paper towels.

6.  Fill a large plastic baggy with the sugar and cinnamon.  Drop the dough into the bag and SHAKE coating the doughnuts evenly.

7.  Enjoy!






Variations:  Roll in powdered sugar or you can also make chocolate iced donuts.  Instead of cinnamon and sugar, use a can of chocolate icing.  Hint: if you heat the icing in the microwave for a few seconds, you can just pour it on the donuts.

November 26, 2010

The one where I go so excited I forgot my...

Thanksgiving was a wonderful holiday around here.  We got to spend some time with both sides of our families.  It was the most low key, no drama holiday we've had in recent memory- just fun, food and beautiful times around the dinner table with our families.  The littles enjoyed playing with their cousins and I loved getting to stare at my adorable, little nephew.  It was an all around glorious day.

Then this morning rolled around.  My darling Sadie asked for a hot item this year for Christmas.  Since the kid never ever asks for anything, I really wanted to try my hardest to make this one work.  You all know I am a glutton for a bargain and the world's largest retailer was running the item as a doorbuster this morning.  The deal was too good to pass up. I strategized for a week about my Black Friday shopping strategy.  Last night while I was listening to the freight train that I call my snoring husband, I was mapping out my moves in my head.  I was pumped up and ready to score some deals.  So this morning the alarm so sweetly played harp music to wake me up at the ripe ol' hour of 3:30 am.  That is also known as "Oh my God o'clock" in my book. 

I rolled out of bed, took off my pj pants, threw on some jeans and left on the sweatshirt that I slept in.  I swept a toothbrush across my grill and slapped some concealer on my monster zit.  I was out the door within 5 minutes of waking up.  I drove to the store, walked back to the electronics section and scored a ticket to get the item that I wanted.  I went and stood in line to wait for the store to start passing out the items.  While I was standing there hunched over my cart, my phone starts buzzing.  (I had a great time texting with my girlfriends at 4am!)  I reached down into my cart to get my phone out of my purse.  As I did, my arm brushed across my chest and there was all kinds of jiggling that happened.  I thought, "DUDE!  Why are the ladies bouncing around like that down there?"  And then it hit me.  In my haste to get out the door, I had neglected to put on... a bra.  Whoa.  The girls were roaming free in public. Not pretty. In my defense, I was in Walmart where people don't always look so um...human?  I fit right in.  It's a good thing no running was required in my quest to get my stuff.  I would have knocked some people out.  I am soooo classy I can hardly stand it.

Yep- that's my name.  Megan Free Boobin' Classy Terry.  Don't wear it out!

Here are our turkey day snaps.

My crew in the back.  My mom and step-dad in the middle, my brother's crew in the front.

My step-dad, David, and Miles

My brother and my Granny Sadie

who are those people?

Don't even think about swiping my cupcake!

November 23, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

Here's a smattering of what's swimming through my head.

  • Lately I want to eat green peppers on everything.  Like- I wake up thinking about eating peppers and go to bed thinking about how I can incorporate more peppers into my day.  It has become and obsession.  And no- I am not pregnant.  I already checked and that's a big ol' NO!
  • Noah has now seen three different doctors about his hearing loss.  He's lost 50% of his hearing in his right ear and about 25% in his left.  His right ear is so bad the audiologist said that his eardrum doesn't vibrate at all when sound hits it. Next step is getting tubes to see if draining some of the fluid will help him be able to hear.  Which leads me to my next point...
  • We've met our $6000 deductible 8 times over.  That's what happens when you bring home a sick child from Africa, have another get a virus that lands her in the hospital for four days, have 4 surgeries, tuberculosis, 3 people on allergy shots and several stitches.  Thank you Lord, for health insurance-  even if it is crappy insurance that costs us an arm and a leg. Hopefully they can fix Noah's ears before the deductible resets on January 1!
  • 75 degree weather in November is making me very happy.
  • Today I had my 90 minutes of weekly free time.  I made a list of things that I needed to do and get during that time, but I accidentally went off and left the list on the counter.  So instead, I had a sugary, overpriced cup of coffee and looked at Christmas decorations. 
  • I scored a $9 pair of boots online last night.  I got so excited about them, I snagged a pair for my mom too!
  • One of my favorite etsy shops let me be the guinea pig tester of their new promo code system.  I got all of my shopping done for the enormous team of teachers and therapists who keep my children ticking all at 40% off.
  • I realized last night that I haven't read a grown up book cover to cover since Miles came home in February.  Before he came home, I read at least 2 or 3 books a week.  Now I only read pertinent sections of books pertaining to special needs and parenting attachment challenged children.  I think this girl is due for some good fiction.
  • Today was pajama day at Sadie's school.  I think that pajama day is the best thing to happen to our morning routine since toaster waffles.
  • I am so excited about putting out the nativity set that I bought while I was in Africa.  It is soooo beautiful it brings me to tears.
  • I really think that my boys would be good drummers and I am trying to decide if a drum set should be on Santa's radar or if that might just drive me to the nuthouse.
  • Thanksgiving is only 2 days away.  I think that any day that revolves around gratitude and mashed potatoes is a winner in my book.  It is hands down my favorite holiday- except for the year that Sadie was born and I was only 9 days postpartum on turkey day.  I was a hormonal wreck and I knocked over a two liter all over the dinner table and I cried for hours non-stop after that. 
  • Sadie and Noah were discussing Justin Beiber at dinner the other night when Noah proudly announced that he had "beaver fever".  Typical man, huh?
  • I hate seafood.  Just thought you should know.
  • Tomorrow I am going to drive 3 hours with the littles to go and visit my friend Ellen!  I can't wait!  She is the funniest person to ever walk the planet. I just know that I am going to laugh so hard, I'm considering buying some adult diapers on my way to her home.
  • My house is a disaster and that's okay, because making turkey crafts and holiday baking are way more fun! 
  • Noah just informed that he wants to go Disney World dot com so he can meet Mickey Mouse.  Not Disney World, mind you, but Disney World dot com.  Travel advertising is evidently in the 50% of things he can still hear.
  • I'm out of thing to bullet blog about. Ciao.

November 22, 2010

An Open Letter To My Children

Dear children,

It goes without saying that I love each of you immensely.  I love each of you for vastly different reasons, since you are all such neat, little people with your own big personalities.  I may be biased, but I think that you are three of the most beautiful children in the world.  You are amazing, you are wonderful, you give my life so much purpose, blah, blah, blah.

Now that that is out of the way, let's get down to business.  I am laying out some new rules around here.  The following are effective immediately. 

1.  My name is Mom.  Not mooooo-ooooom.  Not momm-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.  Nor any other variation where you whiningly exaggerate any part of my name.  If you expect me to answer, you may call me "Mom"  "Mommy"  or "Your Majesty" from here on out.

2.  I am not a short order cook.  If you want to eat, you will eat what I cook when I cook it.  Do not say "Gross, will you make me some chicken nuggets instead?"  The answer is "NO!"  I am not McDonald's.

3. Do not complain to me that your favorite purple shirt, dinosaur pajamas, or cozy jeans are not clean.  You are welcome to do the laundry anytime you like.

4.  Some toys can not be glued back together.  Don't freak out about it, just stop breaking stuff to begin with.

5.  You may not have friends over every single day.  I don't care how much you cry and talk about how bored you are.  I am not a babysitting service for stray children!

6.  This one is just for Miles:  DO NOT SPIT!  One of these days I may just surprise you and spit back.  And I spit like a cobra- look out.  You've been warned,

7.  Banish the words, "He hit me,"  "Can I have a snack, again" "He's poking me!" and "You never let me do anything fun!" from your vocabulary.  Those words serve no purpose except to make Mommy blow her stack real quick.

8.  When you see smoke start to come out of my ears and eyes- RUN!  Do not stick around and keep pestering me.

9.  Do not throw a fit when it is green shirt with yellow polka dots and blue stripes day at school and I refuse to go buy you a new outfit to fit into the corresponding color day.  I will gladly cut out construction paper polka dots and stripes and safety pin them to your shirt, but I will not go buy a new one.

10.  Do not ask me for a quarter every time you see a machine full of junk at the exit to a restaurant.  If I have to pick up one more tiny man attached to a defective parachute or one more plastic ring that is split in half, I will scream.

11.  You must use toilet paper when you go to the bathroom.  When I walk in the bathroom and see a "surprise" left in the toilet and no toilet paper, I will get suspicious.  Do not lie to me when I ask if you wiped your butt.

12.  When I say, "Come here, let me wipe your nose/change your diaper/give you your medicine/clean your face", do NOT run in the other direction.  I will hunt you down.  And even though I am old and 25 pounds overweight, I will beat you in a foot race around the living room any day of the week.

13.  Don't run away with my cell phone.  I know that playing "Angry Birds" on the iPhone is super fun, but it is mine and I don't share my technology very well.

14.  If I find any more of those plastic popsicle wrappers in inappropriate places, I will make a lifelong permanent ban on popsicles.  Just FYI- life can go on without popsicles.  You will not die.  I promise.

15. Stop beating the crud out of each other while I am on the phone.  The phone ringing is not your cue to become Kung Fu warriors.

16.  Do not wipe your nose on the couch.  Or the bedspread.  Or the bathmat.  Or in my hair.

17.  When you spill something on the carpet, please tell me.  I will gladly help you wipe it up.  Do not pretend like it didn't happen and then 3 days later confess when I freak out that our whole house smells like mildew.

18.  My checkbook is not a drawing pad.  Neither are the walls, the refrigerator or the cabinets.

19.  The living room curtains are not tug-o-war ropes.  Do. Not. Touch.

20.  Last but not least:  Stop growing up.  Stay little.  Stay sweet and innocent.  I love you all just the way your are at just the ages you are right this minute.  This may be the hardest rule to follow, but try really hard on this one, okay?

Love,
Mom (aka- Your Majesty)    

November 21, 2010

Country Fried Kids

When Kamron and I got married- he was a city mouse and I was a country mouse.  Or as Donnie and Marie would put it, "I'm a little bit county... He's a little bit rock n' roll."  Which is why I just had to laugh a little bit when we went to Papaw Johnny's today and I saw my civilized, concrete jungle lovin', stock broker husband get behind the wheel of a four wheeler.

I am a firm believer that kids need fresh air, woods to roam in and space to just be wild and crazy, screaming kids. Oh- and wild adventures on a four wheeler through the forest don't hurt either. Isn't that what childhood memories are made of, afterall?





Mom's need space to be wild and crazy people, too.  This is what happens when I get my country on.


This little guy refuses to get on anything that goes fast.  So he just walks around the woods with his walking stick like an old man.


And even though he's been a bear all day, how you can possibly resist this cute little face?



Man, oh man, I love those little, country fried kids.  I could just sop 'em up with some gravy.  Quick, someone do something to pull me out of redneck mode before I cook up a possum, shoot bb's at a tin can, and take a leak in the backyard!


November 20, 2010

The 3 hour diet, a winner, and a big jump

Wednesday, I started gearing up to start a diet.  By gearing up, I mean I loaded myself to the gills with everything that I'd probably not allow myself to eat once the diet started. .(Yes- I know that is ridiculous logic!)   I'd set yesterday as the start date. Around 8am I announced on facebook that the diet had started.  By 11:30am I was foraging through the cabinets for any scrap of chocolate I could find.  After lots of digging I found about 20 chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag shoved in the back of the cabinet.  They looked like they were at least a year past their prime.  "No problem," I thought. "I'll just get a giant spoonful of peanut butter and bury the stale chocolate chips in there to disguise their staleness!"  It was all very pathetic.  Very tasty, too, but totally pathetic.  Then since I'd already "blown it" I decided that I might as well eat the leftover pizza in the fridge (leftover from my great two day loading phase!) since by all means, I couldn't let it go to waste.  I had also decided that during this diet, I was going to stop drinking my beloved Diet Pepsi's cold turkey.  But I had to wash the peanut butter and pizza down with something and water just didn't cut it.  So I guzzled a few DP's.  So all in all, I only lasted about 3 hours on this diet.  And just to further prove that I really wasn't motivated to do anything at all good for my health here, we topped it all off with Krispy Kreme donuts this morning.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow (or next week, or in the New Year...)


I also want to say thanks to everyone who entered the final retreat giveaway!  It was my most successful giveaway ever- so thanks for sharing it with your friends.  The winner of the huge, super crazy giveaway is...

Cassie!  I am so excited that Sadie drew out Cassie's name.  Cassie's 2 year old son just celebrated a year of being cancer free!  I can't imagine being the mom of a child battling cancer.  I will be so happy to send that box of happiness to Cassie to help her family celebrate this huge milestone! (If you'd like to read her family's journey through childhood cancer, you can read their Caring Bridge site HERE)

One last little thing...  Noah wanted me to put this picture of him up.  He's really proud of how much air he got on that "big jump".  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!




November 19, 2010

Looking Towards Thanksgiving

My prayer for this season of Thanksgiving:

In this season of harvest and abundance, Lord, I give you gratitude.  For all of the blessings in my life, I am truly thankful.  Father, while I eat Thanksgiving dinner, surrounded by more food than is necessary in the company of my closest friends and family, may I be ever mindful that there are those who are hungry and alone.  Continue to break my heart for the things that break yours.  May I not get so caught up in my thankfulness for the things that I have that I forget those who have not.  Teach me to not be complacent.  May I not walk the other way when need stares me in the face, but instead, reach out my hand.  Remind me that to whom much is given, much is required. Thank you, Father, for your blessings.  May I in turn be a blessing.  Amen


                                                                                   photo by Tom Stoddart


November 18, 2010

I Lied

Yep. That's right.  I lied.  I said that I would never ever in a million years wear skinny jeans.  I've said a hundred times that skinny jeans were made by Satan himself just to make us curvy girls feel like crap about ourselves.  But I caved y'all.  I bought some boots at Target (which were a steal at $29!- take that Uggs!)  Once I bought the boots, I needed some jeans that I could wear them with. (I'm feeling very "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" right now.)

I went into jeans crisis mode until I saw a friend at church who has a body similar to mine wearing skinny jeans.  And they looked cute.  So I stuck my hand down the back of her pants and fished for the label, got the brand and then went on a quest to find those suckers and see if I could squeeze my butt into them.  Amazingly, I found 'em at TJMaxx for the bargain price of $16.99.  Hot diggity dog.  Curvy girls can evidently wear skinny jeans, too.  Granted I don't look as cute as my 100 pound mother does in her skinnys, but such is life.  (And seriously- why in the world didn't I get her petite genes?)  Mother's curse us in ways they don't even mean too!

I felt dumb taking a picture of myself.  But I had to make Babbling Abby proud.  So here is the end result.  Complete with hips and butt and all squeezed into some $16 jeans.
 And yes- the only full length mirror I have is in the bathroom.  The only way you can see your whole self (which quite honestly, I never really want to) is to stand up on top of the toilet.  My tiny side kick came in there with me.

 It is a good thing that child is cute because he has been on a 48 hour quest to make me miserable.  It has been one of those periods of time where I'd rather go to a job where all I do is poke myself with red hot pokers for 8 hours a day than stay home with Miles while he acts out of control.  Trama and Attachment can kiss my butt.

On a funny note, I washed and detangled his hair the other day and it dried kind of Don King-ish.
Once Miles got the tubes put in his ears, I mostly wash his hair in the kitchen sink so I don't have to mess with putting wax in his ears.  When he's laying there on the counter with his head over the sink getting his hair washed, I can't help but giggle everytime.  When his hair is flowing back and wet, he looks just like Reverand Al Sharpton.

Noah has taken up painting. He told me that he was going to paint a picture of our family.  He painted me first, then asked if I would help him paint our dog, Emma.  Then he painted Daddy, himself and his sister.  The only person missing, was Miles.  So Noah drew this little blob at the bottom of the page.  I said, "Oh! Is that Miles? He's so cute and little!"  To which Noah replied, "Well, really that is our pet jellyfish.  But I guess you can pretend that it's Miles if you want to!"

So here is our family as Noah sees it- pet jellyfish and all.



That about wraps it up.  We are laying low until Miles stops raging.  He was sick on Sunday and Monday.  During that time he was super snuggly and lovey dovey. Plus- we had Sadie's b-day in there and she got lots of attention.  Miles can stand it when someone else gets attention.  These last few days of pure chaos are obvioulsy fallout.  Hopefully he'll snap out of it soon and we can return to our regularly scheduled programming!

November 16, 2010

"Happy Birthday, Sadie" AKA "Kmart Made Me Pregnant"

Today is my sweet Sadie's seventh birthday.  I will never forget finding out that I was pregnant with Sadie.  Kamron and I had been married about 5 minutes months and were doing multiple (and by multiple, I mean we were doing ALL) things to prevent babies.  In February 2003, we got a new puppy.  After about a week with the puppy, we looked at each other and said, "In no way can we handle a kid!"

February 2003- with our new puppy, Emma
Fast forward about a month to March 2003.  On a Monday, Kamron started a new job.  On that Wednesday, I accepted a new job.  On that Saturday night, we were going to throw a party for Kamron's 25th birthday.  A couple of hours before the party, I was shopping in Kmart for a few last minute party supplies.  As I was walking through the aisles, it suddenly occurred to me that it had been a loooooong time since that thing that tends to happen to women on a regular basis had happened to me.  In fact, it had been well over two months since that had happened to me.

Holy rusted metal, Batman.  Right there in the middle of Kmart, I panicked.  I ran to the pharmacy aisle (literally, I RAN!) and picked up a pregnancy test.  For some dumb reason, I thought, I can't take this test home- Kamron will absolutely freak out when he sees me walk in the house with this!  So I left my cart right there in the middle of the pregnancy test aisle, jetted through the checkout with my pregnancy test and made a beeline for the Kmart bathroom.  I flung open the door to the bathroom and looked around.  Gross does not even begin to describe it.  It was one of the most disgusting public bathrooms I'd ever seen.  I ripped the pregnancy test out of it's little box and tried to hover over it without touching anything.  (In retrospect, I probably should have built a toilet paper nest, but hindsight is 20/20)  That first drop of pee hit the stick.  I swear, if that pregnancy test could talk it would have shouted right then, "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!   YOU ARE WAAAAAY PREGNANT!"

I looked at that little stick all pink and full of plusses and about passed out.  Then a thought ran through my mind,  "Wait, I'm not really pregnant.  This test is just contaminated because this bathroom is so dirty." Cause- you know- pregnancy germs were just running amok and contaminating everything in the whole bathroom.  So what did I do?  I ran right out of the bathroom, picked up another pregnancy test, zoomed through the check out again and for some dumb reason, went right back to that same dirty, contaminated Kmart bathroom to do a repeat.  (Yeah- I know.  My reasoning was flawed, but dude.  I was 22.)  If test number two could talk, it would have screamed, "HOW STUPID ARE YOU???  YOU ARE REALLY GOOD AND PREGGERS!" 

If you remember, I was terrified to even take a pregnancy test home, because I knew Kamron would freak out.  For some reason, it did not occur to me that announcing said surprise pregnancy to my husband 3 hours later in front of all his friends and family would also maybe freak him out a little bit.  But that is exactly what I did.  I wrapped up that gross pee stick (why do we do this?  It is so unsanitary and quite frankly a little nasty!) inside a baby bib (that I picked up on my way out of Kmart!).  And I gave him that box to open in front of God and everyone.  Instead of freaking out, that sweet hubby just looked at it dumbstruck, like, "I'm a grown man!  Why in the hell do I need a bib?"  But then his sister started screaming and hugging me and I think it finally sunk in.

I don't really remember what happened next, it is kind of a blur.  There was lots of hugging, Kamron and I sitting on the front porch crying, and cake.  That's all I remember. Oh- and there is this picture that Kamron's dad took of us on that night.  If you look up "smiling through shock" this is the picture that pops up :-)
 But through all that shock, several month later, we were lucky enough to get to be the parents of the most amazing blessing.  She came into this world tiny, but her heart has always been huge.  Just goes to show, sometimes the best things in life are the most unexpected.

Sadie- 1 week old


And here she is now- turning seven.  I can hardly believe how the years are rolling by.

Sadie- we love you, sweetheart.  You are one of the biggest joys in our lives.  Here is a little interview that you and I did on the eve of your seventh birthday.  Hopefully- when you are all grown up, you can look back on all the things you thought about when you turned seven, and giggle and remember all of our happy memories.  We love you, Sadie-bug!
Mom:What do you want to be when you grow up?
Sadie:a dentalist. you know a dentist person

Do you want to get married when you grow up?
uh... yeah, I do.

Do you want to have kids one day?
Yes.  I want to adopt 2 kids from Africa and then if I ever have to have a kid I probably would have to work really hard. Like get a job or something.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?
(Many giggles)  There's not a good answer to that.  I don't know.  Should I say something about my personality?

What is your favorite thing to do at school?
writing and math

Do you want to have more brothers or sisters?
Um... yes.   I wish I had a sister

How do you like to spend your free time?
watching TV and playing games

What is your favorite thing about mommy?
she's sweet

What is your favorite thing about daddy?
that he likes a lot of things that I like.

Who are your best friends?
I have lots of best friends but I am only going to pick four.  Alexis, Lucy, Gracie and Alyssa

What is your favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday is Easter because it's about God.  And the Christmas because that is the day Jesus was born.

What is your favorite thing about your brothers?
they are funny and cute

What do you think that high school will be like?
It will mean having lots of homework to do.  I will meet new friends and I might still have my old friends with me.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Africa because I think it will be really cool and South Carolina.  There's no really good reason but I just want to go to South Carolina.

Do you like your name?
Yes, but I wish my name was Abigail Sadie instead of Sadie Abigail.

* I asked Noah what he liked about Sadie and he said, "I actually love her."
* I asked Sadie's BFF Alexis what her favorite thing about Sadie is and she said, "She's friendly and she's my best friend in the world."

November 15, 2010

A Crazy Huge Giveaway!

As much as I've loved giving away awesome goodies these last few weeks, all good things must come to an end.  Today- I am blowing out the rest of the awesomeness.  The value of this giveaway totals over $200, making it the biggest, most valuable giveaway I've ever had. Lucky you!  I don't care who you are- if you've been reading here since the beginning, or just found us today, I'd love for you to enter! 
Here's what you can win in this last round of retreat giveaways:

Calling All Scrapbookers!  Becky Higgins (the scrapbooking goddess!) so generously donated a Project Life Scrapbooking Kit as a door prize for our ladies- and she is also giving one to YOU!  The Project Life Kit includes everything you need to document the life of your family for an entire year. 


Project Life makes scrapbooking really simple.  Just add your own pictures and journaling and voila- instant scrapbook!  It makes it so easy for those of us who are- ummm... shall we say creatively challenged.  (And time challenged)  Plus- if you know anything about scrapbooks, you know that scrapbooking can be expensive.  Project Life makes the process affordable.  With everything you need, and at only $49.99 it is a great value! These kits make perfect baby shower gift or great Christmas presents for new mommies! To read more about Project Life and for ordering information, visit http://www.beckyhiggins.com/projectlife/kit.php

Pearl Earrings: I think that pearl jewelry is one of the most elegant things a woman can wear.  Pearls of Grace donated beautiful pearl earrings for the retreat gals!  They are stunningly gorgeous!  The Pearls of Grace earrings that I wear all the time are a dark grey.  They are so classy!  The pair that I chose to give away are pink pearls.  I know that breast cancer awareness month was last month, but we can keep the breast cancer awareness spirit going with these beautiful pink pearl earrings, right?! 

Pearls of Grace also makes Swarovski crystal jewelry.  The craftsmanship on their jewelry is impeccable and the designs are so unique!  For more info, visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/pearlsofgrace2010

Mama Bird Pendant:  One of my dearest friends, Annie, is the absolute, hands down most creative person that I know.  She can take a piece of junk or an old ratty t-shirt and turn it into a masterpiece.  Our mother's retreat inspired her to create a bird's nest pendant for all the "mama birds" on our adventure.  How awesome is this:

The nests are made out of wire and pearls.  I attached mine (with it's three little eggs representing my three blessings!) to a ribbon, but it would also look beautiful on a chain, or on a charm bracelet.  Just seeing this necklace brought one of our retreat moms to tears at how tender the design was.  For ordering, contact Annie at stewgard@insightbb.com.  Or to see some of Annie's other creations check out THIS album

Godiva Chocolates!  Also from Annie-a sampling of GODIVA CHOCOLATES!  Delish!

New Horizon's Coffee:  If you are going to eat good chocolates- you are going to need a great cup of coffee to go with it.  I am so in love with New Horizon's Coffee right now.  They are a Christian owned coffee roaster specializing in fair trade coffees.  When I opened up the box of coffees they sent, I almost died and went to heaven because the smell of that freshly roasted coffee was sooooo good.  Then I ground some up, brewed it and drank it and I died and went to heaven a second time.  New Horizon's sells coffees from all over the world.  Unfortunately- they are doing a little maintenance on their store and they aren't taking orders right now, but I will remind you when they re-open so that you can get some New Horizon's Coffee for yourself!  For this giveaway, they are giving you a huge bag of a whole bean coffee blend that they roasted especially for our retreat.  Plus- we're throwing in a New Horizon's mug.   As a matter of fact- I am sipping some right now as I type this.  Seriously- some of the best coffee I've ever had in my whole life!
   
Avon!  My friend, Tonya, is an Avon rep extraordinaire!  She's giving you some fabulous Avon products, including a HUGE tube of Avon Moisture Therapy Hand Cream and  Avon Moisture Therapy Intensive Lip Treatment. 

I don't know about where you live, but here in KY, winters are dry and brutal on the skin.  I've got my Avon Moisture Therapy Hand Cream right by my sink and I load up after hand washing.  And since I go through tubes of chapstick by the dozens, my lip therapy is sitting right on my nightstand ready for my nighttime application.  For info about the whole line of Avon products, or to order from Tonya- visit her Avon homepage

Live-Inspired Cards:  Everyone loves to get some love through the mail.  Live-Inspired has such a cool selection of books, cards and gifts for every occasion.  They are giving you a package of gorgeous, artful greeting cards designed by Tracy Paul. 

The set come with 6 beautiful cards (all different designs) packaged together with a ribbon.  These make perfect gifts or are perfect to help you brighten someone's day through the mail! To see more Live-Inspired Gifts- check out http://www.live-inspired.com/

HOW TO ENTER!
Here's the low down on how you can win all of these super cool items- the more you do the more chances you have to win:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite item in the giveaway (1 entry)

2. Become a follower of Millions of Miles via Google Friend Connect (on the left)- tell me in the comment if you are a follower. New or old- I'm glad you are here! (1 entry)

3. Leave a comment about this giveaway on Millions of Miles' facebook page . (You must "like" us first before you can leave a comment) (1 entry)

4. Blog, tweet or facebook about the giveaway with a link to this post. Leave a comment and let me know you did this! ( 1 entry)

5.  Suggest that your friends "like" Millions of Miles facebook page as your status.  Be sure to tag Millions of Miles! (1 entry)

6. Follow me on twitter. Leave a comment here and let me know your used id. (1 entry)

 I will choose a winner using a random drawing method on Friday, November 19th at 9pm EST.

Thanks a million to every single one of the wonderful people who made all of these goodies possible.  The women on the retreat felt like absolute rock stars because of you!  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! 





 

November 14, 2010

Replay

Every now and then, I go back through the archives and see what we were doing at this time last year.  I found this post from this same week in 2009 that I wanted to re-share.  At the time that I posted this last year- we only had one set of special needs in our home.  Now we've added another set of special needs full of developmental delays and emotional scars.  And yowsa!  The words of this story seem so doubly true...

From "Life In Holland"  originally posted Nov. 19, 2009

I am a serious researcher. I always have been. Term papers were never a problem for me because I get obsessed to the point of madness when I want to learn about something. So when we learned about Noah's sensory processing disorder (SPD), I threw myself into researching and learning everything I could. But no matter how much research you do, nothing can prepared you for what it feels like to have a child with special needs. It feels hard. It feels like sometimes your heart is being ripped out of your chest. It feels like sometimes you want to find the nearest heavy object and throw it. It feels like you live on a different planet. And sometimes, it feels amazing and rewarding and feels like how parenting is supposed to feel. (For previous posts about Noah's SPD click HERE.) Noah is finally coming down off of a crazy, 10 day, out-of-whack, drive your mama crazy period. He seriously can not control the volume of his voice and the sound of him in the past week has just about made me blow my stack. He also decided around this same time that he can only tolerate sweatpants and pajamas. He absolutely will not tolerate underwear or jeans or turtlenecks or just about any other article of clothing. It makes him scream bloody murder. I felt like the biggest BI@*H when I was giving instructions to people who wanted to buy him clothes for his birthday. "No denim. Only fleece or jersey material. And it can't have elastic bands on the bottom of the legs, etc. etc." I realize that it makes me sound like a crazy, pushy mom, but I have to do what I think is best for my son. Yesterday he informed me, as he strutted naked all day, that he had "quit his clothes." And yet, I realize that because SPD is so misunderstood, many people look at Noah's crazy behaviors and quirks and think that he is this way because of a lack of "good parenting" or that we "just need to make him do what we want him to do." Believe me- if it was that easy, I would have done it by now! It is sometimes really hard for me to not get mad at him for things that he can not control. I know that Noah would not choose to be "different" if he could help it. But at times, I still lose it. I find myself wondering what our lives would be like without all the yelling and the meltdowns and the fights about putting on coats and clothes. Then I ran into a story that helped me put it into perspective. I saw this on another blog that I love and I wanted to repost it because it just helped me tremendously to read it. I think that this story is so applicable to just about anyone who is a parent of a child who has any kind of special needs- be it RAD, SPD, ADHD, PTSD, cancer, diabetes or any other kind of thing that makes our kids unique. Because, even though it's a lot of work and it's a lot different than I anticipated, I've come to LOVE living in Holland.


WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by Emily Perl Kingsley.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

November 13, 2010

The winner of the second round of retreat giveaways is...

Kiara from

Kiara- get me your address and I'll send you a little love through the mail :-)
Stay tuned on Monday for the last and final round of retreat giveaways!  It's a doozie!

November 12, 2010

Passive Racism

On Sunday, one of my favorite college gals came into town to interview our family for a paper that she is doing on adoption, racism and human development.  One of the questions that she asked us in the interview is how adopting a child of a different race has changed the way that we parent- and on a bigger level- how we live.

After considering this question, I realized that we are more outspoken about shutting down racist attitudes, comments, and stereotypes than we were before.  While I never thought about it before, I was so guilty of perpetuating racism by simply being passive to racist comments.  In other words, I thought that I was not being a racist if I didn't laugh at someone's racist joke.  Or if someone made a comment that perpetuated racial stereotyping, I wouldn't agree with them.  But I also never disagreed.  And in terms of social justice, I think that being neutral is the very worst form of racism.

Neutral shows that you just don't care enough to have an opinion.   Our silence so many times is mistaken by those committing acts of racism as solidarity.  I can remember during the last presidential election being around a group of elderly people.  As they watched television coverage and debates, they would look at Barack Obama and say things like, "He seems really smart, for a colored man."  And while inside I was screaming that of course intelligence has nothing to do with color, I said nothing.  Looking back on that, I am so ashamed that I didn't speak up.  And I am ashamed for all the times that I said nothing when someone made a derogatory joke about being black/religious/gay/female/overweight or any of the other labels that we use to judge people.  In not laughing or agreeing, I thought that I was making a statement.  But really, in my silence, I told people without saying a word, that I was tolerant of racism.

Since our son came home from Africa, we've heard a lot of comments on race.  Most of them are well meaning.  You have no idea how many times we've heard, "I had a black friend in high school," or "he acts just like a little white kid!" These people usually think they are complimenting Miles. Ummm... yes- sadly we are still in this place in America where people haven't had friends of a different race in over 30 years and still compare one's "whiteness" as a mark of supremacy.

Before we adopted, some people were blatantly mean about it.  Once we were told that we had "no business raising a black child."  But what I've learned is that people fear what they don't understand.  Once Miles came home and added a splash of color to our neighborhood, people's tunes changed.  They realized that he is just a little kid, who likes to play outside and run around with the other kids.  He's just as smart.  He's just as sweet.  He's just as easy to love.  For so many people who have never had meaningful interaction with someone outside of their white bread world, Miles busted down some barriers without even trying.   He just had to be himself.  He showed so many of the people that didn't understand us wanting to adopt transracially, that kids are just kids and people are just people. 

Our intent with our son is never to exploit his race. We love that he's black.  We love his culture.  We love his hair and all its teeny tiny curls.  We love all the things that make him unique.  But, it is not his job as a child to make people think differently of black people.  Somehow that just happens as a bi-product of his very existence.  I also get that as a white person, I will never understand the racism that my son will experience.  I can sympathize with him, but I can never empathize because I have never felt that level of discrimination because of my skin color.  But my hope is that by trying to stand up and speak out on injustice and discrimination, I will be able to show him that I am trying to make his world a better place and that I care about what he will undoubtedly experience.  If there is anything that I have learned from this whole experience, it is that we can not remain silent.  Never again will I let silence speak for me as a passive form of racism.

 To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

November 10, 2010

What's Up With That?

  • What's up with kids that puke in their sleep and don't even wake up!?  Every time I have something projecting out of my body- it wakes me up.  Duh.  So I don't get how kids can wake up covered in vomit and not even know it happened.  They chalk it up to the hot dog fairy coming to throw chunks of yesterday's lunch into their hair.
  • What's up with finding over a week's worth of half dissolved tuberculosis pills stuck under Miles' pack and play mattress.  The kid must be at least 3 1/2 years old to have the wherewithal to pull off that stunt- especially since he gets his meds at least an hour before bed.  So now he's coughing and I immediately think he must have active TB (not really- but I gravitate toward the dramatic).  I saw all those half eaten pills stuck all over the place and I had horrific images of that kid in The Poisonwood Bible who dies because she hid her malaria pills.  Comforting, huh? 
  • Same boy that hoards his TB pills also hoarded an almond in his mouth for an entire day.  I don't blame him- it came out of an Almond Joy (GROSS!) and it was miraculously still in his mouth about 6 hours later.  Gotta love food issues.
  • What's up with skinny jeans? I've lamented them before on here, but yesterday I actually tried on a pair.  I'm a size 10.  Up 15 pounds, I'm still a 10.  Down 20 pounds, I'm somehow still a 10.  I would have needed at least a size 43 to get those skinny jeans over my calves much less get them to button.  Stupid trends.  I may never get to be that person who wears boots over top of their jeans.
  • What's up with runny noses this time of year?  I mean, where in the world does all that snot come from?
  • What's up with security objects? Miles has decided that for the last 2 days he needs to carry around this removable bra insert that he found. His favorite thing to do is wear it around on his head like a yamaka. And it sticks to his hair like velcro. Weird.
     
  • What's up with my 6 year old already asking for a cell phone?  Yesterday, I told her that she couldn't roller blade around the neighborhood by herself because she might fall and I wouldn't know where she was to be able to help her.  Her response, "Mom- if you would just get me a cell phone, you wouldn't have to worry about that." Ummm... hell to the no.
  • What's up with me getting ready to cook dinner every night and realizing at the last minute that I am always short at least one essential ingredient?
  • What's up with daylight savings time? Is daylight in such danger that it really needs saving?  I love feeling ready to wake up by 5 am, but this feeling like I need to go to bed at 4:30 in the afternoon is for the birds.
  • What's up with hearing so much Paula Abdul on the radio lately?  Is there a Paula Abdul revival going on that I'm in the dark about?  Hearing "Straight Up" takes me right back to the 5th grade talent show where every single girl group in the school did an interpretive dance to that song. 
  • What's up with people thinking that stay-at-home moms have all the time in the world? No- I do not have time to plan all the class parties, head up your committee, save the world and still have time to blog.  I choose blogging.  I know- pathetic.
  • What's up with me being so cranky today?  Yikes.  I can't blame it on the cycles of the moon or body.  I'll just blame it on the kids.  Or the husband.  Or the dog.  Yes- that's the ticket.  It's all the dog's fault.

November 09, 2010

Little Treasures

Just wanted to share a peek of the photo session with the littles.  I know that I am biased- but I think they are cute as a bug's ear!  This was our first session with a real live photographer. (Instead of the department store teeny, tiny studio and 12 year old wanna be photographers.)  Three kids is two too many to shove into one of those little rooms, so we opted for outside shots at my Granny Sadie's farm.  That farm is home to me.  It is the one place that I have left in my life that hasn't changed over the last 30 years.  It was really special for me to have my children's pictures captured there- on those hills where I ran as a child, in those barns where I played hide and go seek with my giggling cousins, on the rock wall that my great-grandfather lovingly maintained for decades.  I will treasure these forever!









Special thanks to Lizzie Loo Photography for such great pictures!

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