Sunday, November 28, 2010

change of plans

So I didn't actually go and frost Zeb's puzzle cake last night....I went to bed. It was very nice. Of course when I woke up at 5 am and my husband and daughter still weren't home it was difficult to get back to sleep! They finally made it by 530 am and I swear this...never again will I let my husband make that kind of plan again. EVER!





I didn't sleep very good and pulled myself out of bed to get to the soundcheck by 9 this am at church. It was the big debut of the praise band...by big..I mean we did one song! But we did have a fog machine - does that count as pyrotechnics? Zoe was up and wondering the halls when I got up so I just got her dressed and took her with me. She did really good she just kind of hung onto my leg while we practiced and then ran around all cute. Deborah took a cute picture of us as we were waiting for church to start. Well, at least it is a cute one of Zoe! haha.

She definitely spends more time with that little sparkle in her eye than she used to!

I remembered the song and didn't fall down in the middle of it so it's a win for me! haha. I really am enjoying playing so I am looking forward to Wed nite practice and playing next Sunday.

Today is Zeb's birthday so after church we went to McDonald's. Now that we are all dave ramsay financial peacing...a trip to McDonald's really is a big deal! The kids played for a little over an hour and had a great time. We got home around 230 and I still had to frost Zeb's cake. It took me a while. I don't really know how to decorate cakes - but I do a pretty good amatuer job...nothing good enough or bad enough to be on cake wrecks. Although the first birthday cake I made for Zeb was a lion and I unthinkingly placed the giant one right in the ummmm...groin? of the lion (see it here!). Still not really cake wrecks material. We did take pictures, but since my computer died I am at a loss on what to do with them!

We barbecued...which is always fun when it is super cold or rainy out since our grill is INSIDE in a little built in pit in the phoenix room...LOVE IT! Then opened presents...Zeb got a ton of cars things...because he just loves cars...still. He also got a Toy Story 3 leapster 2 game which made Ben run around going "Buzz Lightyear...I'm buzz....zzzzzzzzz" insert 2 year old holding his arms straight out in front of himself bearing down and gritting his teeth (trying to fly). I was worried he might valsalva himself into unconsiousness.

Then it was off to bed. It was a pretty good day! I am on call tomorrow so I don't have to go into work until 11. I promised Lilianna I would take them to school tomorrow though so I am going to have to get my exhausted butt out of bed. Which is probably where I should put it now!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankfulness

I have had a really, really crappy week. The internet abounds with happy and gratefull posts...everyone is thankful for something and I am writing this post to remind myself that I am thankful for things too. This week has been crappy...did I mention that already!?

I could drone on and on about all of the things I have to complain about...but just know I am exhausted and even though Keith has let me sleep in at least 2 days in the last week - sleep is not changing my exhaustion level by much.

SO...here goes the power of positive thinking.

I love my job...even when I am in a foul mood I recognize that this job I have is pretty sweet. I love what I do and the people I work with are pretty great, the hours are fantastic and I get paid pretty well. So that is a win in the job category and I am very thankful for that. I think there are very few people who enjoy their jobs as much as I do. Usually the people that enjoy their jobs this much work a lot more hours and are work - a- holics which is definitely NOT me!

I love my house. It needs some updating and there are definitely things I could complain about..but the kids get to drive their bikes up and down our long driveway and we get deer and turkeys in our yard all the time and rabbits and turtles and who knows what else. Our pool needs some updating but it was so awesome to spend time with my family in the pool and be able to see and hear the birds while floating in it. My house is a total win too. There are definitely things that could be improved upon...but the stuff that really matters...the location and the topography of the property is super wonderful.

I love my church. Everyone there is sooo super nice. Even though Keith and I are really shy and really overwhelmed by our kids right now...they still make an effort to include us in things. I get to play bass in the praise band which has been a huge source of joy in my life in the last 3 weeks. I forgot how much I totally love playing with people. Our church really cares about our community and has great projects we can get involved in...when our kids are not drowing us..haha. Oh yeah...and they have french vanilla creamer at the little coffee stand (love it!). Mostly I love the people, the messages are ones my soul needs and the community activism speaks right to my heart.

My husband is hot. That's right. I am still ridiculously in love with my husband after 3 1/2 years of marriage, I still like him and think he is a babe. I could complain about him all day...as all wives could...haha....but I could never face a day without him. My husband is THE number one biggest blessing in my life.

My parents are right next door and that is awesome. My mom saved me from totally losing my mind tonight by laying with Zoe while I laid down with Ben so the 2 year old cry-off could cease before my head exploded. Then she hung out while I went to the store to buy the stuff to frost Zeb's birthday cake. He turns 4yo tomorrow...my baby boy is so mature (and yet sooo not).

The kids...ok I am thankful for the kids and it is days like today I have to remind myself how much I love them and how cute they are. Seriously, today they were not so much with the cute. I know I am blessed with wonderful kids and when they work me as hard as they have been the last week I feel like I have been blessed with way more than I deserve. Ok that wasn't sarcasm in the way that I usually write it! What I mean is that I feel that I do not deserve to have these great kids - that they have gotten the short end of the stick! I am not nearly as patient as I need to be and as I should be. I sometimes imagine how awesome they would be with a good mother instead of one who barely gets by!

Ok...I am feeling a little bit better. I am exhausted, it is 11pm and now it is time to start decorating Zeb's birthday cake for tomorrow. I can't sleep anyway because my blessing of a husband spent 8 hours in Birmingham today playing at the mall with Lilianna and Owen and now won't be home until 4am. How am I suppose to sleep with 2 of the things I am thankful for are on the road (after being awake for 18 hours and only 4 hours of sleep the night before!).

So frosting, decorating and worrying. Also, church tomorrow is the big debut of the praise band so I have to be there at 9am for sound check and final practice.

I am thankful and lucky and grateful for all I have.

It may have worked.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas

Cindy Lajoy has a wonderfull post today on the meaning of Christmas. Last year they were in Kazahkstan bringing home their newest 2 additions and had a very different Christmas. This year they are approaching Christmas from a place of giving of themselves not giving STUFF.

I have such a resentment of all things stuff and my resentment grows at Christmas time because we buy so much stuff for our kids. Don't get me wrong - I love to see my children excited and happy - I just don't want Christmas to be all about getting stuff. I know it is my responsibility to teach them to find joy in other things. So that is going to be my goal this holiday season...to work on taking the dependence on stuff out of the Christmas recipe for good cheer.

Read Cindy's post - it is really a good topic to talk about and I hope to have some time to talk about it with Keith tonight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Small rant...

The church we went to in Birmingham was great - I really liked it. I had some spare time (believe it or not) and I wanted to get involved and do things at the church..but there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities that called to me.

My church here (what up DCC) is soooo totally fantastic and has things all the time that I really want to get involved in and participate in (like the Operation Christmas Child packing tonight)...but I have too many kids! haha. I don' t think I would have been much help if I had shown up with 4 kids (3 under 3yo!). I guess i should be thankfull that my husband lets me go to praise band practice once a week!

I wish I could go help with set up on Saturdays, I wish I could spend more time being involved there because it is fun. Things will be a lot easier in 2 years. Two 4 yo, a 5yo, 9yo and 11yo will be an entirely different story! I am way over diapers, bedtime battles and not being able to decipher 2yo speak. yes...I am over all of those things. When we were getting ready to move I was all sad and weepy about getting rid of baby clothes...especially the super cute preemie carter's puppy outfits that Benjamin wore..."oh no more babies - how sad" i said....yeah umm...not sad anymore! I can always give those as gifts.

Ok my rant about being a prisoner to my 2 year olds is done...at least they are in bed and I have the luxury of time to myself to blog on the matter!

awkward Usborne moment..

Day 2 of homeschooling Alex and we whip out the Usborne People of the World book for page 8-9 or something like that. The first sentence is People from Asia are mongoloid and the dark skin people of Africa are negroes. UM...I don't use those words...I don't want my children to use those words and I am pretty sure I am offended by those particular labels - i certainly don't want my children called either of those. I read in my head way faster than i read out loud so i did some quick editing. Guess I need to do some reading ahead and make sure I really approve of all of the parts of the books!

Am I crazy or does anyone else take exception to those terms?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Class is in session

Ok - I just couldn't wait to dive into the Sonlight books so Alex and I started today. She seemed to stay a little more focused today with actual books in front of her. We didn't have any Math because we are still waiting for out math stuff to get here. We worked for just under 2 hours not including bible study and reading aloud book (Charlotte's Web!).

Zeb kept asking if he could get new schoolbooks and wanted to do Alex's workbook pages. I am in...the P4/5 looks pretty good. One of my favorite books of all time is on the reading list for that curriculum. It is one of Keith's too - we randomly hit upon the topic of that book when we were dating (ok we only dated for like 3 weeks - so not a lot of things fall into the category of things we talked about while we were dating!).
Before I start filling up our bookshelf with Sonlight curricula...I should probably wait and see if Keith likes it and if it works for us longer than one day!

Besides school today we had a pretty fun day. The weather was beautiful so we spent quite a bit of time outside. I managed to keep the house clean (it is a miracle) and everyone was in bed asleep by 8pm. Zebby is sick...he has a terrible cough, is uber run-down and has a little fever. If it were not Saturday night I would probably be preparing to take the little guy into the doctor tomorrow. I feel pretty confident he has a pneumonia...I hate trying to decide if I should call in an antibiotic for him. I would just rather take him to the pediatrician...but it is a Sunday tomorrow. UG! I will probably call in some high dose Amoxicillin. Maybe I will send my friend Ryan a message on facebook and see what she thinks I should do!

I am rambling so I should probably go to bed! Good night all...looking forward to day 2 of school tomorrow!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Books!

Today we got our new Sonlight curriculum for Alex. I am soooo excited about it. There are so many fun books. Lot of Usborne books and little fiction chapter books- worksheets and schedules to organize in a big binder (love doing that). It is very exciting.

Alex helped me check all the books with the invoice and started picking out her favorite books that she wants to read. She is really excited and I hope that sticks for a while!

Keith is going to do most of the homeschooling - but I am jealous and might start some this weekend before he has a chance to get his grubby little paws on my cool new curriculum....I mean Alex's cool new...oh who am I kidding. I want them! haha.

We got the core 1 which is for K-2 and ages 6-8. This is our first foray into the world of Homeschooling - but I am really excited about it. We didn't get the math program through Sonlight...I think they use Horizon's - I can't remember. I think we are still discussing Saxon vs Math U See...although I am pretty sure we are leaning toward Math U See for this year at least. Until we make a commitment we will probably just keep on with the Time 4 learning.

I need to head off to bed...it is getting late and this week wore me out!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I killed it...

I killed my computer. Yes, my husband will attest to it...I am a computer killer. This isn't the first computer I destroyed...but it is by far the cutest. My cute little pink acer is dead. keith may be able to bring it back to life...he is good like that!

I had my first practice with the new DCC praise band. Our director had sent me an email to practice one song .. so I practiced it and felt pretty comfortable with it. It was Matt Maher song "Love will hold us together"....great song! I showed up at practice and he handed me a chord sheet with the song in a different key...so the first time we played it through I kind of stood on the stage and fidgeted uncomfortably hitting one note...it was awesome. Then he pulled up the song in the key I had learned it in and said...oh we are going to do it in this key. So the next time through I was able to play it. I am so not a bass player yet! haha.

It was really fun though - I had forgotten how much I like to play with other people. I am really looking forward to this wednesday when we practice again. I am on 2nd call so I may not make it - but I am going to try really hard. We are working on another song...that I totally love...Chris Tomlin's Our God. I love the part "if out God is for us who can ever stop us and if our God is with us then who could stand against". I have been struggling to drop it a step... but I just got an email that he wants to play it in E (which I think is going to be easier..yeah me!)

We had a great weekend. O was here and Lilianna was at her bio dad's house. I think Lilianna had a good time and she came home with new shoes...yeah! She also amazingly didn't get into trouble at school on monday. Normally she comes back and her behavior is all out of whack...but she had really, really good behavior yesterday.

We have been having great luck with everyone going to sleep at night...except Benjamin of course who would rather eat nails than fall asleep and miss anything! He is still a huge struggle to get into bed...Lilianna was the same way.

We finally ordered our Sonlight Curriculum for Alex...I am so excited about that. We have been doing an hour or so of Time 4 learning with her a day to kind of get her used to doing school work and to keep school in her vocabulary so to speak. She is doing better with staying motivated and actually trying to do the work. She really wants to go to school with Lilianna so that is motivating!
I can't wait until the stuff gets here!

Lilianna and Alex got new bikes from Grandma and Poppy last night and I know that they are so excited to ride them today...it is real gloomy and rainy this morning so I hope it clears up before this afternoon. Lilianna has ballet tonight so she won't have much time to ride her bike anyway.

That's about all going on here right now...we are still plugging along with attachment with Zoe...but it is going amazingly well. Actually, even though I ranted a couple of days ago about being exhausted...our transition is going amazingly well. Don't get me wrong...there are still many moments of ummm...pandemonium...in my home - but overall, it could be soooo much worse and I am very grateful and feel very, very blessed that everything is going as well as it is! Of course, I am mostly well-rested and at work right now! haha.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a quiet night...so far

Keith is out of town this afternoon - home soon..thank goodness. He went to drop Lilianna off with her bio dad for a long weekend and to pick up O for a long weekend here. O doesn't have school Th and Friday so it is a good deal for us!

I got home from work around 1ish and watched Underdog with the girls and then Alex worked on some Time 4 Learning. She is zooming through the Kindergarten level stuff now that she has decided that learning is fun not work! At least the kindergarten stuff is fun. I think we could probably do first grade and start moving up...but I want to keep it fun and I think there are still some simple kindergarten type concepts that she hasn't been exposed to.

Zoe didn't get a nap today so she was starting to get a little tired when we headed out to get the boys around 4. We stopped at poppy and grandma's on the way home from school for about an hour and then headed home. Had some dinner (and there are lots of left overs...yeah!) and sat down to watch Cinderella at around 630. Ben and Zoe were out cold by the time it was over so I sent Zeb and Alex up to get ready for bed and then carried Zoe succesfully up and laid her down followed by successfully carrying Ben up and laying him down. Which means at 809pm all of my kids were in bed! WOW

SO for the last hour I have been practicing my best rock and roll moves with my bass....I mean umm...practicing ...ummm...some of the songs for the praise band at church. We have a brand new building and the first meeting for people interested in being in the praise band is tomorrow. I am not a real bass player - but it is fun and we will see what happens. Hopefully no one that is actually a real bass player will show up so I will be in! haha. It is amazing how easy it is to remember when to kick and jump in the air...it is a lot easier to remember that than to remember what the notes are!

I always hate it when Lilianna leaves to go to her bio dad's - I miss her! It has been a really long time since she went to see him. She will come back on SUnday and then leaves again the following weekend for the week of Thanksgiving. Then she will be back and it will take us a month to get her behavior back to acceptable! She always backslides after visiting New Orleans. Maybe it will take less time to get her back up! We shall see. Be that as it may...she is the sweetest most compassionate little girl. I am such a lucky mommy.

Back to the bass....what fun. Of course it would be more fun if I wasn't huddled in the corner of my dimly lit (half of my light bulbs in the bedroom are burnt out!) bedroom with my computer playing songs at the most minimum volume audible.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Issues creeping up...

This morning we made it to church...yeah! Our church just moved to a new building so it was a pretty exciting morning there. Did I mention that we have French Vanilla creamers at the little coffee bar...yummm.
We got up around 8ish (after a 45 minute prelude to up-ness by Benjamin at 322am) and had bacon and eggs for breakfast courtesy of me....mom rocking the hot breakfast. Then we ran around crazy and tried to get ready. While Keith was in the shower, my job was to get all clothes out and ready and start dressing the girls. For some reason the girls took a really...really long time so the boys were not directly supervised...I heard them running around and playing. When I was finally done with the girls I headed out of their room to a naked 2 year old boy and Keith picking poop up off the hallway floor....oops. Mom gets a fail for getting the kids dressed this morning.

Benjamin had taken off his diaper then pooped, then walked through it onto his and Zeb's bed and then sat on the bedspread and tried to wipe the poop off his feet with his hands...want anymore details - yeah me either. It is a good thing Keith found it. If I had walked out of the bedroom and found that I would have totally lost it. I think my head could very well have exploded. We have had problems with Ben taking off his diaper and running around talking about using the potty chair...getting on and off the potty chair a million times and not using it. We have been a little permissive of it because we want him to start using the potty chair. However...the hammer has now come down about walking around without a diaper on!

Somehow though, we cleaned everything and everyone up and still left the house on time. As we walked out the door keith made the comment that we were getting the hand of advanced parenting...HAHAHAHA.....however, we did make it to church on time!

In other news, Alex has been very quiet and it has been hard to get her to speak loud enough to really hear her. Today we discovered that she can talk loudly, forcefully, and look you in the eye...but only when she is lying to you. At least we have clues as to when she is lying. She also likes barbie and doll clothes. She likes to take them forcefully, horde and hide them and doesn't give a second thought to hurting anyone's feelings in the process. Oh the opportunities we have to help Alex grow. She is full of energy and I know her soul is sweet - she is going through so much right now and I think she sees our house as a new place to survive in. A new place to try to learn how to beat the system, get what she needs, get what she wants and try to be in charge. I know she doesn't get the family thing yet.

As far as parenting goes, we are kind of strict. I am not sure how this is going to play out - we are prayerful for sure.

Zoe is doing better - she is starting to act like a 2 year old - being playful and getting into trouble - haha. Today she actually got up from lunch and instead of being glued to me - followed the other kids into the playroom for about 45 seconds. Then came running back. Her temper tantrums are still manageable and redirectable (we are on day 2 of successfull redirection - hurray). Her love tank is still close to E though....we are praying for that love tank to fill. She is saying a lot more words and is saying "thank you" when we give her anything...which is big in our house!

Lilianna is as sweet as ever and full of love for her sisters. I think her feelings were very hurt by Alex today and she is just baffled why her sister wouldn't want to play and share and why she would hit her hands away from her own doll clothes pile. Lilianna gets special mommy time today and tomorrow for that one.

Zeb is acting out a little bit at home and being an annoying little brother where he used to be Lilianna's number one playmate. I foresee that Lilianna will start spending more time playing with Zeb again - so I think that Zeb's acting out is going to decline. He is still sweet little zebby zeb with an annoying little brother twist!

Benjamin is doing better too - Keith and I spent extra Ben and Zeb time on Saturday thanks to the help of my awesome mom and Ben really responded to that. I am also a lot more thoughtfull about carrying 2 2year olds instead of just one. Ben and Zoe are actually getting alot pretty good. Even though Zoe is a month older than Ben she is functionally younger than him. They run around and play peekaboo and tickle each other and do that great thing where they just chase after each other and scream.

Mom is going back to work tomorrow...weird and sad. I am exhausted and feel like somethings are getting better, some things are getting worse. I am questioning every parenting decision I make and worry about all kinds of things ( I think that is what mom's do - right?)

Keith has it all under control. That is just the way he is built I suppose.

I read a blog once that was brutally honest about all of the issues her daughter was having. She said she wished she was one of those adoptive parents who had a wonderful easy time of it and was ready to start another adoption. Instead, she said the adoption of her daughter had disrupted their family is so many inexplicable ways that she was just heartbroken. Zeb's adoption was sooo easy and he attached and integrated into our family so well that there is no comparison to his adoption and the adoption of his sisters. They will be work and it will be work for everyone in the family. Even though I knew in my heart that it would be hard work and it would be advanced parenting - I don't think I fully appreciated the kind of work until today.

Bootsy, Smokey, Jeb, Tiger, and Pumpkin...ok they are fine and they have a new cathouse that Keith built for them last night to keep them toasty warm I totally have to take a picture because it is totally amazing and really toasty warm inside. They have definitely adjusted to the girls..haha.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just to clarify...

The girls are doing remarkably well...much better than I had anticipated actually. Everyone is sleeping well at night and eating well and starting to laugh more and just be happy more. We are not trying to run a full school schedule for Alex or anything crazy like that. We are reading books and doing Time 4 Learning because our other kids think that online site is fun and it is educational too so that is obviously a plus!

Today, Alex and Lilianna spent time hanging out in a fort they made in their room reading and Alex is getting a lot more excited about reading mostly because Lilianna is infectiously in love with reading and it is contagious.

I ventured out with the girls today to a birthday party for the only other little girl in Lilianna's class. It was kind of a bold move - I took all three girls to the party. It was at a photography studio. When the guests got there everyone got little cheap black tank tops, tiara's, feather boa's and put their name on the list for makeup and photo shoot. Alex and Lilianna both were models for the afternoon and Zoe just cuddled with me (we had one melt down which resolved rather quickly).

We really pushed our luck by eating dinner at my parent's house after the party. When we first got there I was sure we had pushed the excitement of the day a little too far when Zoe had a melt down the first 5 minutes we were there. However, she pulled it back together really quickly. Today, I seemed to be able to work the meltdowns so they didn't last as long...we will see how my strategy works tomorrow I suppose! haha.

There are moments when I am exhausted emotionally and I just remind myself how lucky we are....

Now lets talk about skin lotion because I have got to find something that works on my daughter's skin! Suggestions?!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yes...we are still alive.....barely!

So today is my last day off of work - I head back on Monday. I really do like my job, but I wish I had a little more time to spend at home with my family - it has been nice and hard work of course!

Zoe's lovetank is on empty. She just follows me around and has to be in the same room with me at all times. This is much improved from touching me at all times a week ago. Sometimes I can leave the room to run get something as long as I am not gone too long. It is wearing me out. I don't mind it when we are out in public with just the girls because this type of child is way easier to handle in the grocery or the doctor's office. Someone asked me if she is this good all the time. You know sitting quietly on my lap playing with my hair and babbling to me and laughing. She is so good on the outside in those situations.

If she were the baby, the ONLY baby..then there wouldn't be any problems. But she is not - there is Benjamin who up until last week was my baby. My one and only little baby and he was a mamma's boy (in the good way...the independent do everything myself but love to give my mom hugs more than anyone else kind of way). Ben used to just say my name..Mommy, mommy, mommy and when I said "Yes Ben" he would say " I love you". He used to say "I Love you mommy" 50 times a day. Now he doesn't want me to change his diaper even and is hitting people at school and even spit on a little girls toy at school. YIKES!

Today, I dropped the kids off and Keith stayed with the girls and I just spent 20 minutes alone with Ben and Zeb at the school playing with them and cuddling with them. Benjamin finally started giving me hugs and kisses and saying "I Love you, mommy". The boys are just babies and the Zoe attention grab is really hard on them.

This evening Benjamin wanted me to carry him so I picked him up and sat him on my lap on the couch. Zoe was across the room and saw Ben in my lap and came running over and crying in her super annoying to the point of infuriarating two tone whiny cry (no seriously...let me tell you how I really feel about that cry...it is working me..please pray for me!). I kept holding Ben and Benjamin said "No mommy...Zoe on your lap instead...I like this pillow" and scooched off and laid his head down on the couch pillow and patted it. I tried to move him back onto my lap but he said...NO MOMMY - ZOE Lap. My poor babies...all of them...I need more mommy and bigger lap! So I am eating more M and M's to do my part! haha.

Alex is a challenge in a whole different way. One of her BH classmates is in about 2nd grade per her mommy..but after working some with her...she is about Kindergarten and totally and completely uninterested in learning. In fact, after working with her for 2 hours on very simple concepts - she told Keith that she didn't want to learn anything. She puts forth zero effort most of the time. She has very limited reading..she can sound out very simple words but if it gets even remotely difficult she just starts guessing and completely quits trying to actually read the word. We are using Time4Learning and if we don't go through every little exercise with her she just starts clicking and doesnt even try to listen or answer the questions. She is sooo sweet and sassy and I know she is smart..we just have to figure out a way to motivate her...so pray for her education motivation too!

Today was a good day mostly. Everyone has been going to bed the last two night so that is a total blessing...I hope I didn't just jinx the rest of our weekend!

Zoe's stool came back with Giardia and Campylobacter. Campylobacter is reportable to the CDC so I am expecting a phone call from the CDC any day now.HAhahaha. Campylobacter is one of those bacterial infections you get with food poisoning. I seem to recall it is the one you get from the egg salad at the 4th of july family reunion picnic. I could be wrong...if anyone is studying for USMLE step 1 or 2 you can correct me! haha.

I am off to balance checkbook and see how bad it is.....ug!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power