March 30, 2012

It's Like This and Like That

My kids could be classified as certifiably nuts at least 94.6% of the time.  Truly, they could.  At least once a day, I think, "Holy moly.  These tiny people are messed up!"  And then they go and surprise me and do something all awesome like help me make dinner...

Is anyone else as surprised as me that this experiment with knives didn't end with a trip to the ER ?
It was kabob night.  I have a bone to pick with whoever it was that said, "If your kids are involved in the prep work, they will eat whatever you put in front of them."  That person is pure crap with kids who probably also poop glitter.  Because I don't care how many veggies they chopped or how cool it was to spear squash with a skewer, my kids were still not touching grilled zucchini with a ten foot pole.  But meat on a stick?  Well, that's a different story.  Meat on a stick = good.


And whatever it is about grilling that suddenly makes a man capable of cooking dinner also equals good.


That lean, mean, grilling machine also turned the big 3-4 a couple of weeks ago.  It was a real throw down event as evidenced by the fact that people began taking their shirts off during the party.

Yesterday, my grandmother (who has been keeping my kids some during our foster care meetings) called to discuss the issue of my children's chronic nudity.  I say they are kids and they are probably fine.  After all, I'm not sending them to school nekkid or shopping with them in Walmart with their privates dangling out.  Her defense was, "Yes, but even Adam and Eve had a FIG LEAF!" *sigh*

In other news, our beloved Kentucky Wildcats are in the final four.  They are playing their arch rivals (Louisville) for a shot to be in the championship game.  Essentially what this means is that in Kentucky right now, people rooting for opposing teams are beating each other up while they are hooked to dialysis and the state government has pretty much shut down. Do you want to know what I think about it?

  
Yep- that's me, fast asleep during the second half of the last UK game.  I found this picture on my phone.  I think the mister took it and could be planning to use at as some form of blackmail.  I'm beating him at his own game because I'm sneaky like that. Mwuhaha.  Prior to falling asleep, I was all about the game and paying homage to our star player, Anthony Davis- who has become famous for his giant unibrow.


But, when these people don't schedule games until 9:30 at night, I just can't stay awake, even if I am startled back to life every few minutes by someone screaming at the television.  I'll give five dollars to the person that can tell me in a way that makes sense, why certain people think that yelling at a magic talking box will make a team play better.  I'm considering it one the universe's great mysteries.  Like Stonehenge.

One thing that is not a mystery?  The adorableness of this "present" that appeared on my doorstep.


Sadie and her best pal just love to do stuff like put Miles in a basket with a blanket and pose him like he's a little doll or something and then take his picture. He eats it up, so I suppose being left on a doorstep a-la The Chipmunks style isn't psychologically damaging his little former orphan heart too badly.  No harm no foul, right?  After all, he doesn't look like damaged goods to me...

However, they may be justified in confusing his doll like status because with these glasses on I think he could totally pass for a Cabbage Patch Kid.  Man, wouldn't adoption be so much easier if we could just tell our kids that they sprouted from a cabbage patch?  Or even explaining child birth?  That's it.  I've just made the executive decision.  I'm erasing all prior history and until I decide otherwise, it is now official that ALL of my children (including the ones I gave birth to) came from the cabbage patch. (because ewwww... who wants to think about being conceived?  Not me!) And on that note, I've also decided that I must now go and teach my children how to dance the cabbage patch because it's a critical life skill- like math or brushing your teeth or removing rodents from your hair. 

Happy weekend!

March 29, 2012

Preppin'

Our last foster care certification class was on Monday night.  Our last home consult with our social worker was this morning.  This means- it's happening. We are just inches away from becoming foster parents. And it appears to be happening faster than we think.  I thought that we would end up caught up in paperwork for the next couple of months waiting for some mystical approval from some Oz like creature who works for "the man".  I must have made this up in my head.

Only this morning, when we asked our darling (seriously, she's darling) social worker when they might start calling for placements she said, "Oh, it could be as early as tomorrow."  What the what? We were thinking July or so. I laughed the other day when I posted on Facebook that today was going to be our last home consult.  One of my sweet, seasoned foster mama pals said, "That means the foster kid stork will be calling you on Friday."  I laughed it off.  When will I learn to listen to the wisdom of these wise women who have gone before me!?!

Anyway- now we are in that lovely area between a rock and a hard place.  We have an out of the country trip coming up in the not too distant future.  And while foster kiddos can absolutely come on vacation with us with their parents' permission, they unfortunately aren't allowed out of the US.  Something about, oh, I dunno, a little thing called child trafficking/smuggling/etc. So we are trying to make the call on weather to go ahead and open our home to placements and risk having to send them to respite while we are gone (which could be confusing and traumatic to the kiddo who is just getting used to us and our house) or waiting a few months until we get back to start accepting placements at all or maybe just opening to quick, temporary placements (if that can even be predicted!) so that we can have some kids here but they will have gone back to live with their Grandma or whoever by the time we go out of town.  (God Lord that was a run on sentence if I ever saw one, but I'm too tired to figure out how to edit it!) You see, we really didn't think we'd be approved until after our trip anyway.

I know it may sound dumb, but this decision is plaguing me.  It's kind of like when you buy a new bike and a new helmet and pull up to the starting line all ready and full of fire and then you just sit there twirling the tassels on the handle bars.  Some parts of me are ready to ride already!  And some parts of me are totally content to keep sitting at the starting line a little longer because it's safe here.  I like safe.  Unfortunately- very few blessings and very few extraordinary things ever happen when you live life in the safe zone all the time.

Either way we go, we are trying to get ready for when that first call comes.  We are working on stockpiling extra girly undies, toothbrushes, sheets, and other things we may need along the way...

We are putting together an extra bed for the little girls who come here to lay their sweet heads...


And we are learning that it is totally possible to fit a full sized mattress for said bed in a minivan full of kids...


But most of all, we are having a lot of hard conversations- with ourselves and with our kids.  We went into this thinking that we were absolutely going to adopt and we weren't even going to consider fostering any kids who didn't already have termination of their parental rights.  And now, we are finding ourselves being more open to having kids who may come and go.  Don't get me wrong- we want one to stay eventually, but that may mean that we love on lots of kids for a little while before that happens.  We are still trying to prepare our hearts for the possibility that this may not look like what we originally thought that it would.  We are trying to help our children understand that we may have some guests for a while who we will love like a sister, but who might go back to their birth moms and that that's okay.  It's hard helping them wrap their brains around it. It's hard wrapping my brain around it. 

Oddly enough, after all of our talks about third world orphan care, international adoption and how indigenous foster care is one of the best options for kids, I'm swallowing my own pill.  I'm trying to drink my own kool-aid.  If I preach it for other countries, I better darn well be prepared to do it myself, right?  I'm trying to embrace that we might just be those people who are the ones who are supposed to stand in the gap for a while for these kids.  And ya' know what?  I feel honored.  I'm not dumb enough to think that this won't be the hardest thing we've ever done, but I am just dumb enough to think that we may be blown away and have our socks blessed off beyond our wildest expectations by the kids who come and share their lives with us for a while.

So, I'm going to take those cute new peace sign sheets out of the package and wash them so they are nice and soft- ya' know- just in case ;-)

March 28, 2012

Checking in- Week 8

Dude.  We killed it on Nutrisystem this week.  Yep, that's a little braggy, but we are celebrating some major victories this week.

I'm on week 8 and my darling husband is on week 3 of the plan.  I stayed stuck at 10 pounds lost for 3 whole weeks.  But let's be honest.  After 6 weeks on any kind of plan, one get's cocky.  I convinced myself that I *knew* this plan and therefore didn't need to chart my food or water intake.  After all, I *knew* what I was supposed to eat every day, right?  Unfortunately, that's when you either end up eating to much (or in my case, I think I actually ate too little) and your body says, "Hello!  You aren't giving me exactly what I need!  I'm going to hold on to everything here because I'm not sure what's going on!!!!" 

We all know how that goes!  Usually, after those three weeks of stagnant results on anything that I've previously done to lose weight, I'd give up at this point.  But this week, I made the decision to not give up.  I pulled out my handy, dandy Nutrisystem App on my phone and tracked my food and water this week.  I went to the fruit market and loaded up on fruit and veggies.  I gave myself a stern reminder that swapping out 90 calories of fruit for 90 calories of chips was not helping my body be as healthy as it could be. After all, this is about health for me, not finding ways to cheat the system!  A friend of mine posted this on FB this week:


For me, that is SO true.  I LOVE my Nutrisystem meals.  I feel just the right amount of full afterwards.  It's my snacking that defeats me, can I get an amen?  This week, I snacked appropriately, didn't allow myself to get hungry and stayed hydrated.  And, I MOVED more.  This is always a hard one for me.  I find that I don't sit down very often, but I'm also not really putting my body through enough in my day to day to give it a workout (unless you count lifting full laundry baskets as weightlifting.)  I will never be a runner and I don't really want to be, so instead of jogging, I got outside and played more with my kids.  Who knew 10 minutes of freeze tag could be so exhausting?!?!  I'm hoping as the weather continues to get nicer, this can be a bigger part of our normal day.

It's helps so much to have my husband on this plan with me.  Losing weight and getting healthy with a buddy is always helpful.  Nutrisystem has a great friends and family discount- so if you want to get fit with a pal, it's cheaper (and you can split the savings!)

One last little thing- lots of people ask me how the food actually tastes.  It's yum.  Truly.  There are few dishes that I've tried that I'm not going to be the president of the fan club for, but for the rest of them? They are really good.  Here's a pick of my plate from a couple of days ago.  Chicken and dumplins. (and a lot of them!)  I paired this with peas and our first watermelon of the season. Delish.


And now, the big reveal....
This week, I was down 3.6 pounds for an over all total of 13.6 pounds lost. (Holla!)

Kamron was down 5 whopping pounds this week for a total of 8 pounds lost.  He'll be blogging next week (the shock!) about what he thinks about the plan from a "manly" point of view.

Nutrisystem is extending their rock star 40% off plan, so if you want to join us, now would be the cheapest time!

Disclosure: In exchange for this review, I was provided at no cost, the full Nutrisystem plan.  However, all opinions are honest and are my own.

March 27, 2012

God, Anger, and what a silly song taught me about justice for the orphan

On Sunday, a silly, little song made the world make sense to me.

For the last almost two and a half years, our adoption has shaken my faith.  It has been a reminder that we live in a tragic and fallen world.  I've seen that quote, "Adoption is bringing the gospel to your living room" and I've wanted to embrace it. But too many times, it feels more like it is bringing the hurt of the world into my living room. It has made me question God more than at any other time in my life.  I wish that I was one of those people who could see God in a nice little package when it comes to the orphan crisis.  I envy those people desperately.  But more often than not, I find myself wresting with God about how he can sit up there while so many children are suffering.  And now that we are finished with our foster care training, I find myself asking God how he can create people who are going to one day beat their children, burn them with cigarettes, and then make them sleep in dog cages.  I find myself saying, "God, if you know every move that each of us will make when you knit us together in the secret place, why would you knit together something that could be capable of such evil."  Me and God?  We wrestle a lot. 

I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks because I don't want to question Him.  I know that I serve a big God who has shoulders broad enough to bear it when I question, but I don't want to have those doubts in the first place.  I thought that after years of feeling this way, that I would find some peace but it didn't seem to come. I found that my anger at God over the lack of justice for innocent children and the suffering that children endure daily at the hands of a fallen world served to create an enormous gap between me and my maker.  I couldn't make myself take that leap and I minced words with God more than one about how he didn't seem to be standing in that gap for me.  I heard the cry of the church to serve the widow and the orphan and while I'd focus on that call, I found myself so full of rage that there were even orphans to begin with.  I was constantly taking this to God and hearing nothing.  Not a whisper, not a verse placed on my heart, nothing.  

I told myself it's because I'm a crappy Christian.  I curse too often.  I drank too much in college.  I sometimes talk bad about people.  Sometimes I'm mean to my husband.  Sometimes when my kids say, "Mom, I need a drink" for the four hundredth time, I say, "GEEZ!  CAN'T YOU PEOPLE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR FIVE MINUTES!" instead of parenting them with grace.  I don't always spend my money in a way that reflects my values or God's values.  I find myself saying bad things about the church.  I'm a fallen person.  No wonder God doesn't want to let me in on the secrets of the universe.  Yet, I love God with my whole being. And despite the fact that 99% of the time I'm a crappy Christian, I know that HE sees my heart.  I know that He loves me, not despite my sin, but because of my sin.  He takes it on willingly and without question.  But I just couldn't in my mind reconcile a loving and just God when I measured him against the orphan. 

Then I heard the song.  It's a simple little song.  We used to sing it in youth group when I was a teenager.  I can still remember our youth minister and his wife be-bopping around the room to this little ditty. The words went like this:

Come, and go with  me, to my father's house.
It's a big, big house
With lots and lots of room.
A big, big table
With lots and lots of food.
A big, big yard
Where we can play football (TOUCHDOWN!)
A big, big house
It's my father's house.

As a teenager, that song meant NOTHING to me. Yeah, it was fun to sing.  But going somewhere with enough food?  Or a yard?  I had that here on Earth.  What's the big deal?  I missed out the entire blessing of that simple promise because I couldn't look past my own Earthy abundanceI wonder how many of God's promises I miss out on because in this world of overabundance I'm not forced to rely on Him?

But for the orphan?  For the child foraging for food in the garbage?  For the child watching his mother die slowly and painfully from AIDS?  For the child who can never get beyond the rumbling in their stomach or the cough in their chest to have a day of fun or a day of carefree living? For the child who has never known the nurture of a mother or father?  For that child- this promise is everything.

And all of a sudden, it made sense to me.  THIS is the justice for the orphan. There will be a house with ROOM.  There will be a table with an abundance of food.  There will be play and laughter and community and BELONGING.  And most of all, there will be THE father, claiming EACH child as his own.  That is the justice.  This?  This suffering?  This unimaginable plight of the orphan?   The overwhelming burden that I carry?  That you carry?  It is but a blip in the big picture- a mere speck in the infinitesimal expanse of time.  It doesn't make sense.  It probably won't ever make sense.  But knowing that there is justice for the orphan somehow makes it more manageable to wrap my head around.

I know that this promise is simply the basic message of the gospel.  But I'm a slow learner.  It's taken me a long time to see this message of promise and hope in relation to the orphan. It took a silly kid song for God to finally show me how he is standing in the gap for the fatherless.  There is a beautiful promise.  There is hope.  There is a big, big house- it's my Father's house. There is justice for the orphan.

This photo was taken in February 2010 at an orphanage in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  In all the dozens of times I've combed over my pictures from my time in Congo, I've never noticed this picture of this precious child holding God's promise for her justice.  She has a room prepared just for her.  It's all sparkly and girly and cozy.  It's in my Father's house.  Come and go with me.

March 23, 2012

In case I forget...

This is one of those posts that is pretty much just for me to remember some of the silly things that go on in our house.  Since my kids' baby books are essential blank, I'm hoping to be able to look back here to find out all the little things that happen in our lives.  When I'm 80, there better still be dinosaur technology that will let me see this blog so that it doesn't turn into a lost art form, like the 8 track, or 8 millimeter film.  On a side note- if you want something to stick around, don't put 8 in the name, obviously it must be a nickname for technological death.

So- on to the remembering...

- Sadie has named her body parts.  Her armpits' names are Amy and Lisa.  Her belly button goes by Meldon.  She is getting too old to want me to share any of her life on this blog any more, but I had to make this one exception because this is something I want to remember to tease her about in her wedding toast (because I will be her matron of honor, dammit!) 

- When asked if Noah had named his pits, he said that he couldn't because half of his parts were girls and the other half were boys and he wasn't sure which was which.  My mother says this qualifies him for therapy.  I say I'll let him sort it out when he's a confused adult on his own dime.  Either way- I want to freeze him at 5 years old forever.

- Miles is becoming quite the prayer.  I haven't yet figured out if video taping his prayers is sacrilegious or not- so for now, I'll just write it.  It goes something like this:   Deaw Jesus, zezezezezezeze airplane, zezezezezeezeze vacation, zezeezezeezeeezee my house.  Thank you for Miles.  Thank you my bwudah, my sistah.  zezezezezezeeezeze Amen!   Evidently, he is a main ideas kind of boy and the other words don't matter enough to say so he just makes a joyful noise and peppers it with the occasional important word.  Kind of like the teacher in Charlie Brown. Wah wah wah wah wah.

I love those crazy little boogers.

March 21, 2012

FORGO

This journey of adopting and subsequently blogging about it has put us in a position to make friends from all over the place.  There were lots of people who read our story and would email a word of encouragement or email with questions about how they could adopt.  I loved the spirit of community that we were apart of.  One day, almost two years ago, I was at the bottom of my rope in those early days with Miles.  I spouted off an emotional blog post that was more raw than I'd ever been.  I wondered if we were going to make it.  That's when Scott and Darcy Pentzer walked into my life.  Scott and Darcy had never left a blog comment before.  They had never once emailed me.  But when I was barely clinging to my sanity, I got an email from these strangers from Idaho that just had a few lines in it that said they wanted to send me something in the mail.  They promised me that they weren't creepy (and I believed them) and I gave them my address.  I didn't think much of it and went back to struggling just to make it through the day to day.  It was an awful time.

In about a week there was an envelope in my mailbox from Scott and Darcy.  In the envelope was a gift card to a local house cleaning service.  All this from strangers that I had never met- people seeing that I had a need and they wanted to meet it for me.  I knew I loved these people instantly :-) You see, Darcy and Scott have this way of seeing people's needs and trying to meet them.  They truly are just genuine and loving people who have a passion for pouring into people.  They went on to start the adoption process from the Congo and I loved watching them post facebook updates about where they were in the process.  Then one day last April, I was up really early.  I was driving to Orphan Summit VII where I was supposed to be a speaker.  In my head, I was going over some things I wanted to make sure that I said when my phone rang.  It was Scott and he was super pumped.  I think our conversation went something like this:

Scott:  (In an excited, fast voice)  Megan!  It's Scott!  I need to talk to you about something!
Me:  Yeah, what's up!
Scott:  So, I'm in this business club and we have this idea for an app and it's going to change the world.
Me:  Uhhh, okay?
Scott:  No really.  It's called FORGO.  This is top secret and HUGE and exciting and this is going to change how people give to charities and, and, and...
Me:  Wow- this sounds really cool.
Scott:  It is. It's in the developement phase and then there will be the beta... (and this is where it got all technical and I have no idea what else was said in this department)

A few months later, things really started cooking on their idea.  I started getting these "top secret" emails with the plans and screen shots of this revolutionary new app that was being created.  I got to watch this thing in it's infancy all the way through to it's birth when it hit the web last month and it truly is the coolest thing EVER.  Scott was NOT lying when he rambled off that this thing was going to change the world.

Here is the premise:  We all make dozens of choices every single day about the way we live.  What if we used the power of those choices to impact how we give?  What if we were walking through Target and decided to walk past (FORGO!) that Starbucks that we get a coffee from every single time?  Could we turn that $4 cup of coffee that we had already budgeted for and turn it into a catalyst for social change? Yes!  And what if it was as easy as pulling out your phone RIGHT THEN and having an app that would send that $4 to a project that was making a difference in the lives of people all over the world.  And what if everyone decided that they could forgo that cup of coffee and send the $4 to someone who needed it?  Could we not harness that and work together to move mountains?  YES, WE CAN!



Scott sent me a late night journal entry about his thoughts on the FORGO project and I wanted to share it with you so that you could see the heart and the intention behind this amazing project:

from Scott Pentzer (co-creator of FORGO):

Why Forgo: 02/11/2012

“What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now.”
-- Jesus (Luke 6:24)


For much of my life, I read this verse and others like it, believing it pertained to celebrities and magnates with exorbitant resources. A trip to Congo and many sleepless nights made me realize it pertained to me.


I am among the 1-3% wealthiest persons of the world. Not because of my income, but simply because I have a bed and access to clean water. To realize I am just like the man to whom Christ spoke in Luke 6:24 is a horrible feeling.


When did retirement become one of life’s biggest goals? When did comfort become the deciding factor in all major decisions? What happened to living like foreigners in the land in which we live (1 Peter 2:11)?


I am guilty.


These are the thoughts that have invaded my head over the last three years. I am tired of the game. I’ve reached financial pinnacles. And, I’ve recorded unrecoverable losses in recent years. I’ve found that neither plenty nor poverty – by American standards – have satisfied my soul. But giving, in either financial condition, has set my heart free.


The Forgo application is built for the person who realizes that he is, in fact, a rich person.


We are a group of men who believe God wants to use our collective gifts to do something for justice. We debated ideas such as trips, raffles, donations and various other modern giveaways. But God used a fireplace:


One of our team members had plans to install rock around their fireplace. They had met with contractors, received quotes and were ready to start the project. Just prior to wiring the funds to the contractor they’d selected, neither he nor his wife had peace about the decision to proceed. They knew God was using the fireplace to teach them something – something much larger than either of them realized. Ultimately they re-routed the funds to an organization they are both passionate about, enabling the lives of others to be impacted in a meaningful way. They didn’t dip further into their resources to make a donation: they had already virtually spent the money on a project. Instead, they made a lifestyle decision to forgo the rock around their fireplace.


Simple lifestyle decisions to benefit others: that’s what Forgo is about.


This one divinely-inspired event – the fireplace decision – is the premise on which the Forgo technology is built, and serves as the benchmark for moving forward.


The Forgo technology provides a fork in the road for funds to be routed from something of temporary value to one with eternal impact.


Forgo is simply technology, nothing more. Its impact is up to God; our plans are 100% surrendered to His purposes. In the coming weeks and months, we will prayerfully select projects and organizations to support whose values we share. We invite you to tell us about your favorite causes. Together, we’ll tackle these issues one lifestyle choice at a time.


We started this project to impact lives for Christ through social justice issues. It is the core of who we are and where we intend to go as group. We will not gauge our success by the number of members or dollars given. Our success will be found, instead, in the marriage of joyful giving and social justice done: as we are released from the bonds of our consumerism, we will liberate others from the chains of poverty, hunger and trafficking.

Now Forgo is available to everyone!  You can check it out and start seeing the power of how your small decisions add up to impact social change. In the month since FORGO has been live, the funds for 4 wells in Haiti have been raised! (there are multiple projects featured) And one more cool thing?  Through this Saturday, there is a $10,000 dollar for dollar match.  So if you FORGO that drive through sweet tea and send your $1 through FORGO, it will automatically become $2. Or if you decide to take your kids to the park instead of to a movie and you FORGO the $10 you would have spent on a movie ticket- it will become $20.  I don't know about you, but I think that is pure awesomesauce.

I've had the app on my phone for a few weeks.  It makes it so easy to give.  When we can't always sit down and budget the funds we wish we could give away, FORGO makes it possible to give small amounts at a time from money we would already be spending.  FORGO is a lifestyle.  I challenge you today to download it and start seeing your choices add up beyond your wildest imagination.

From your mobile phone go to:  www. forgo.it or simply scan the QR code below.  HAPPY FORGO-ING!

March 20, 2012

Truth, Dare or Death

When we go out in public, Miles overwhelmingly garners the most attention from strangers of all of our kids.  Part of it is that he's tiny and cute (and brown).  The other part is that he is ridiculously outgoing.  He will not let you get away without having a conversation with him or giving him a high five. 

But in our home?  At home, he's the youngest kid that gets snowed by his older brother and sister.  He's at the bottom of the pecking order and his brother and sister are figuring out that they can a) blame the youngest for anything that goes wrong and b) convince the youngest to do whatever they say.

Lately, Sadie and Noah have been very into playing truth or dare.  Their truth questions just kill me.  They are silly things like: "Have you ever kissed a mouse?" or "what's your favorite popsicle?".  Those are some scandalous questions, no?  But somehow, this game has evolved to now be "Truth, Dare, or Death".  When Sadie and Noah play, no one EVER picks death.  I believe the "death" option is their generation's equivalent of the "triple dog dare". 

Miles was beginning to have that 3rd child left out feeling whenever the big kids played this game and so they finally allowed him to join in the Truth, Dare, or Death fun.  Miles ALWAYS picks death.  Yesterday, when Miles and Noah were playing, Noah convinced Miles to eat black pepper for his death challenge.  Miles grabbed the pepper shaker, loaded up his hand with a heaping pile of pepper and licked it off.  He was totally unphased and I think that Noah was little shocked that eating pepper did NOT, in fact, kill Miles dead on the spot.

Today, Noah was taking a bath and I could hear Miles sneak into the bathroom with him.  All of a sudden there was a lot of commotion and I ran in there as fast as I could.  There was a nekkid Noah sitting in the tub looking rather proud of himself and there in the middle of the bathroom floor was Miles.  The kid was soaking wet in all of his clothes dripping all over the place.   I thought that he had fallen in and I immediately made a big fuss over him.  But then the truth came out.  I asked Miles what happened and he said, "Noah say-ed me death my clothes."  Yup- Noah's death challenge was for Miles to jump in the tub fully clothed.  And when I found this out, there nearly was death. 

Needless to say, I've declared this game outlawed.  What this really means is that the children will now probably torture each other on the down low- just as it should be.  In about 20 years, I'm just imagining how many stories will start out, "Mom, we didn't tell you when it happened, but this one time..."  I can't wait.

Checking in- Week 7

I'm just wrapping up my seventh week of Nutrisystem and the mister is starting his 3rd week.  Four weeks into this, I was down 10 pounds and feeling fabulous.  Three weeks later, I'm stalled out at 10 pounds lost.  I can't seem to get over that hump!

The good news is that I haven't gained.  Even after a week on vacation I was able to maintain, so I'm chalking that one up as a positive.  While we were out of town, we stuck to the NS breakfasts and some lunches but mostly ate "vacation food" (read fried food and cocktails!) for dinner.  So I can't complain to much about not losing. However, we were much more conscious of what we were putting in our mouths- even if we did have a few splurges.  Our typical vacations include buffet breakfasts (which we skipped this time) and burgers for lunch (we opted for lean sandwiches this time) so we are learning some good trade offs.

Kamron is down three pounds total (for his 2 full weeks).  We've both decided that tomorrow is the day that we recommit to this!  For me, that means drinking my 8 glasses of water.  I find that if I drink the water, I'm less likely to get the mid-day munchies.  For Kamron, it's overcoming the late night eating.  For both of us, it's cutting out the dining out!  It's been kind of hard because yesterday was Kamron's birthday and that has meant lots of dinners out with family and of course- cake! But, the excuses are over and we are back to our healthier ways.  Here's to good health for next week!

Disclaimer: In exchange for this review, Nutrisystem provides me with their food delivery program.  However, all opinions are completely my own.

March 18, 2012

Catching Up and Having the Blahs

I have a major case of the post vacation blahs.  It doesn't help that within 12 hours of being back, I had all three kids in the doctor's office.  One has a wicked case of bronchitis and an ear infection, one has a nasty sinus infection and the other is covered with a rash that feels like sandpaper.  They are all loaded up on antibiotics and allergy meds, but they are all still coughing their heads off.  It sounds much like I would think an Olympic coughing contest would sound like. Sadie would totally take home the gold medal.

In addition, I have had this little problem with the absolute worst name imaginable: sea lice.  It's not really lice.  It's what they call it when you inadvertently walk through a school of jellyfish larvae.  Those larvae sting you just like their adult counterparts.  I ended up covered in stings on my arms and legs.  It itched like a mofo and hurt all the way down into my bones.  Not to mention that the angry red rash looked really pretty.  The last little stings have just about disappeared, but I think that I'm going to petition that the powers that be call this little problem something else, because "sea lice" is ick! 

Sea lice and all, I'd still love to be magically dropped back in Florida.  Every time we go on vacation, I always think, "Why don't we just sell all of our stuff and move here?"  Somehow we never do.  I now if we moved somewhere tropical, it wouldn't be all vacation all the time, but a girl can dream, right?

Here's the thing:  vacations with children are a lot of work.  But it's a good kind of work.  Rubbing sunscreen on wiggly kids is not any one's favorite job, but I'd pick that over laundry any day of the week.  Now that I'm home, I can't pick between sunscreen application or laundry.  (First world whiny problems, I know!)  So yesterday, in an effort to delay my entry into the real world, I left all of the suitcases scattered on the floor, convinced the kids that they could go one day with no clean undies, and crawled in bed and watched about a million episodes of The Big Bang Theory off of the DVR.  I'm doubting that I can get by with doing that for a second day (but it sure is tempting!)

Since we missed one of our foster care certification classes while we were out of town, hubby and I have a day full of make up paperwork to complete before tomorrow night's class (yippee, right?!)  We started out with all kinds of pep about these classes.  Then somewhere around week 4 they kind of started to drag.  Our class has a very typical group dynamic- there is the person that takes up insane amounts of class time asking questions that only pertain to them and not the class.  There is the person who speaks up after ever comment made by our teacher because she once knew a teenager who was in foster care so she is obviously an expert.  And there are the people who sit there freaking out that the workers with call them with a child who is black/Hispanic/gay/HIV+/blah, blah, blah.  And then there are the rest of us.  It's kind of fun now that we've all gotten to know each other in class.  When one of those afore mentioned people goes on a tangent, we all collectively put on the glazed over eyes and tune out.  You can literally see it happen.  We only have two more classes left.  I am pretty excited about those.  Our workers have done a great job of preparing us for the worst case scenarios, but these last two classes are parent panels- people telling their real life tips and stories about being foster parents.  If there is anything I love more than hearing people share their personal stories, I don't know what it is.

Hopefully, it won't take us too much longer to be approved to have another kiddo in our house.  I'm estimating that it could be May or June before our homestudy is written and our home is officially opened.  In the mean time, we are still trying to find a new place to live and trying to sell our house.  We met with a builder about building a house and this is beginning to seem like the way that we will go.  (I may have had a mini panic attack just typing it!)

In pure randomness, I am completely obsessed with this song and have listened to it on repeat for almost an hour this morning.



Time to go medicate the sickies.  Ciao.

March 16, 2012

Hello, Vacation!

I'm baaaaack!  We just got home to KY after a fantastic week in Marco Island, Florida.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love that my husband's company allows him to earn two totally fabulous vacations a year so that we can travel like crazy people?  I do.  I love it.  I love that my hubby works so hard to make sure that he qualifies for these trips.  I love that my kids are perfect little travelers.  I love that they thrive on a mixed up routine of staying up late and drinking Shirley Temples and dancing on the beach until the wee hours.  I love that they are water dogs and sand castle building machines and up for pretty much any adventure we can throw at them.

I had every intention of blogging while we were away.  But, well, somehow it seemed more important to spend that time soaking up my family.  I went one whole week where I only checked my email and Facebook once a day and didn't even lay eyes on another website.  Not only am I shocked that that alone didn't kill me, but I was also shocked at how liberating it felt to not answer the phone or emails or keep up with the latest drama on the interwebs.  Plus, it was a great reminder that documenting stuff is great- but living it is even better.  We packed a WHOLE lot in on our 6 days at the beach!

We played in the pool a TON!




We lounged around on the beach, wading in the water and building sandcastles:





We went on a fan boat tour of the Everglades (which was SO cool AND I got to cross something off of my life list!)






We had a little impromptu photo shoot outside of our gorgeous hotel on our way to dinner one night:




So- I had this little article published in the April issue of the Ladies Home Journal.  I kind of freaked when I saw it on the newstands in Florida.  You should go pick up the edition.  I'm just sayin'.


We took a catamaran to a remote shelling island.  There was an abandoned "hippy community" that had all eroded away with the exception of this cool hut house.  Noah went nuts collecting shells.  That boy spent most of the vacation hunched over combing the beach for shells to add to bucket.








And here are a few more of my faves:














Related Posts with Thumbnails