Sunday, May 22, 2011

End of the world

Ok....I think we have all figured out we are still here! I read an article on Friday that interviewed a family. The mother and father believed that Saturday was the end of the world and their three teenage kids didn't believe it. The mom and dad and made the kids leave school and drive to times square to stand around with signs about "judgement day". What I thought was strange about the family dynamic was when the mom was interviewed she said something like....well it is the end of the world and wish my kids were going to go with us to Heaven but apparently they aren't I guess some things aren't meant to be. Ummm....that is a pretty messed up way to parent. I mean if these parents truly, truly believe that their children are going to spend eternity in Hell...they should have been at home trying to convince them of whatever it was the parents believed was going to keep the kids out of hell. Seriously, what kind of message does that "whatever" attitude send to the kids! Instead the parents wanted to stand in Times Square wearing sandwhich boards....priorities people!

The kids were embarassed and the teenage daughter was talking about a party she wanted to go to Saturday night but thought her parents probably wouldn't let her go. I would think after they were willing to let her go to Hell they would be willing to let her go to a party.

I want to know what happened to that family! Did the daughter get to go to the party?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Random Zeb

Last night a worn out Zebby asked me if you only get adopted once. I told him yep and in a joking way grabbed him and gave him a big hug and said "my zebby" which is from his adoption story ( I grab him and say "my zebby" and then daddy changes his poopie diapie - yes it is a glamorous gotcha story!haha).

He said he wanted to go back to Kyrgyzstan and get adopted by us again only this time bring his star doll and then he started crying saying he missed his star doll. Ok. We bought him a sage minkee twinkle baby bonding doll that Shannon took over for him ( I think it was Shannon) when she picked up her son in April of 2007. We have some pictures of Zeb with his doll that plays on a screen saver on one of my computers. We picked him up at the beginning of August and the doll of course was no where to be found and even if it had been we wouldn't have insisted on bringing it with us.

He has mentioned that darn star doll more times than you can even imagine. Sooo last night I finally ordered him another one. Bad mom...I should have ordered one and brought it with us when we picked him up at the babyhouse. If we ever do an infant adoption again (ummmm....never....but I don't say that...you are just asking for it if you do! haha), that will be the way I roll.

Anyway, our sage minkee twinkle baby bonding doll is enroute...I also got a Lilac one for Zoe. They have tan faces, but none with dark brown faces...that is unfortunate it would have been really cute for Zoe. I probably should have gotten one for Ben too but he just got a super awesome monkey from babies r us.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Faking it...

Ever have one of those moments where you feel like you are still a kid and faking being a grown-up?

I totally had one of those moments after I started Alvin and the Chipmunks for the kids and popped some popcorn. I was walking to the drink fridge and had that moment.

I spent most of my 20's feeling that way, but I haven't had that kind of moment in a long time!

Today is the last day of my vacation and it is the first day in 2 weeks that it hasn't been rainy and cold. I picked up the kids from school and we played outside. The pool people made it to our house last night around 6pm to open our pool..so our pool is officially open and it looks sooooooo inviting. Well the pool part at least. We are still in the process of clearing out the insane overgrowth around the pool - Keith cut down a ton of trees and brush around the pool, but there is some more refining to be done....all the crazy ground covering juniper and cactuses (cacti?). Why exactly they planted cactus around a pool is beyond me! I might take the kids out tomorrow to play and clean up around the pool. We never actually cleaned out the pool house last year and it may be missing part of a wall in the back where the pump goes into it! haha. It is a mess. We might clean up around the pool house if it is not inundated with wasps...I don't do stingy things!

Pumpkin (one of our 6 cats) joined us outside today...he brought down a little squirrel to play with so he could hang out and play with us. Then a little bit later we rescued (for the time being) a chipmunk from one of our other cats. Hence the big push by Zeb to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. Wednesday night Keith and I came home to Jeb (another one of our cats) eating a bunny. A BUNNY! I didn't even know cats ate bunnies. I was very disturbed. Anyway...this summer our little predators are in full swing. This is their first Spring/Summer...they are young and apparently they are going to keep our rodent and bunny population down. I hope they take out frogs too...because I hated having frogs in our pool last year.

For Mother's day, Keith and the kids got me a new Purple Martin Bird house. We have one in the front yard and they bought me a new one that Keith put up in the side yard and it appears that some of the puple martins have moved in over there at the new pad. Hopefully the cats don't take out the purple martins!

So here is the evidence that I am actually a grown up:
1. I am excited about puple martins moving into a bird house I got for mother's day
2. I am excited about cleaning out a pool house
3. wrinkles, gray hair and maternity clothes..haha
4. I am getting ready to balance my checkbook and that oughtta do it
5. I got the room assignments for work on monday...bummer! I do LOVE my job...but I could really groove on staying home a little bit longer!

Pictures must be taken this weekend for postplacements so maybe I will get some of the pool house and puple martins. Then in like 6 months I will get around to posting them..haha!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some pictures






Yes...these were taken a long time ago too! Zeb and Lilianna built a snowman all by themselves. I made lagman all by myself and Zeb didn't like it! haha. I think I am going to make it again on thursday if I can find my awesome recipe from Shannon. I was just craving it today.

I might post some more pictures. I need to take some for Alex and Zoe's postplacement.

The world's longest delay





this is the world's longest delay in posting Christmas pictures!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

by the way.....

It was interesting to be at a gathering for the last 2 days where WE were the lightweight parents with ONLY 6 kids! haha. I think Keith was getting a little bit competitive....like "I am tough enough to handle 14 kids too"! hahhaa

Orphan Summit

Keith and I went out of town from Tuesday morning until Friday night. It was lots of fun. Tuesday we drove up to Lexington and met with our social worker to work on finishing our homestudy. We only have a couple more things to get together..our medical forms and the cats' medical forms (seriously ridiculous if you ask me!) and two more letters of reference.

Just a quick gripe here.....apparently to include in our homestudy that we are open to special needs...it will cost us $150 more. How backwards is that. It is $150 more to be open to special needs...In my opinion an adoption agency should try to make it easier for a family to be open to special needs...not more costly. It actually really makes me mad that a Christian adoption agency has the gaul to charge it's clients more for that. It doesn't seem very Christ-like to me.

Anyway, after our meeting we went SHOPPING! Did we shop....oh yes we shopped. We got a little cuddly bunny papasan swing which is the newest generation of the lamb swing that was the best baby investment I ever made with any of the kids....Benjamin would probably still be sleeping in it today if we could have figured out how to reinforce it for a 30 pound 2 year old. We bought a new infant carseat....we decided to retire the orange chico carseat after it's 4 year run as the official pumpkin seat. We bought a ton of clothes with a couple of preemie outfits to ward off evil spirits. We bought a couple of outfits for some of the other kids at the Carter's store....I hate that kids eventually grow out of Carters...it just doesn't seem fair!

I also bought 3 pairs of shoes. Keith wanted to buy some shoes so we went to like 4 or 5 different shoe stores and he didn't find any....but I bought 3 pairs....oooh yeah!

On Wednesday we headed up to Louisville for the Orphan Summit. I enjoyed the general sessions a lot but we made some poor break out session choices I think. We went to one Empower to Connect session which was really, reallly good. I think we are going to try to head to an Empower to Connect Workshop in Nashville later in the year. We could certainly use help with Alex! Of course, as all good parents, we left that session feeling like the worst parents in the world! haha. We also went to a great lunch session addressing the politics of international adoption with a panel from JCICS, CCAI, and NCAF. The representative from JCICS opened talking about the waiting Kyrgyzstan families...how surprised were we! haha!

On Wednesday night we ate at the Melting pot.....mmmmm. It was super good. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of room in my stomach for food. This was by far the most delicious trip to the Melting Pot for us though. yum.
Thursday we crashed out after the conference and watched some tv.

Friday we drove home and got here right before bedtime so we got to spend some time with the kids. My parents stayed with the kids while we went out of town and they did awesome with the kids. We are soooo lucky that we get to do this every once in a while. I am thinking that finding a babysitter for a 3 day trip for 5 kids wouldn't be all that easy! haha.

It will definitely be a while before we can afford another shopping trip!

Monday, May 9, 2011

my vacation...

My 2 weeks of vacation started with my pager going off at 516 this morning and the house supervisor telling me that one of the surgeons was calling me in for a pediatric appey.....ummmm...I am on vacation NOT CALL! I am glad I had my pager on so I could straighten out the mix up...but then I turned it off! I was sleeping so good too. I finally went back to sleep but had a dream that I had to go in and do an epidural. Got up and got the kids ready for school.

Now Lilianna and I are trying to get a weeks worth of Math done today and a couple of hours of Science, Art and History. All of the language arts stuff can be done away from the computer and my mom can work with her on those while we are out of town! I am very excited about our short vacation.

We are leaving tomorrow for Lexington after we drop kids off at school. Tuesday will be a meeting with our social worker, then shopping for baby stuff, and dinner at a Mongolian BBQ (LOVE those). We might even go to a movie.

Wednesday morning we will meet with out social worker again then drive to Louisville. We have a preconference meeting at 1-4pm...then dinner and a free concert at the church our conference is. I am really excited. Then the conference is on Thursday and Friday. We had such a great time at Together for Adoption 2 years ago. There isn't going to be a day for sleeping in but that is ok!

The last breakout session on Friday ends at 415 and then we will head on home. We won't get home until after bedtime probably. It is no trip to Playa del Carmen like the other anesthesiologist who is on vacation this week..but I am really excited!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Christian Alliance Orphan Summit

I am officially on vacation for the next 2 weeks....yeah! Next week we are heading to the Christian Alliance Orphan Summitt in Louisville and I can't wait. We are taking some break out sessions on starting adoption/orphan care ministries and we are taking some break out sessions on the empowered to connect pathway. I am seriously looking forward to those sessions.
Every time we seem to make some progress with Alex we find more issues. We had been having problems with finding toys in Alex's bed. She would steal them from her brothers and sisters and hide them in her bed. Very institutional I know. That has diminished and then in the last week, we had been noticing toys randomly showing up places and messes magically appearing overnight...so today we figured out that Alex has been getting up in the middle of the night to go play.
I know in the grand scheme of things and older child adoption this isn't that big of a deal. But of course there is the lying, and acting out that accompanies the discovery of these events. The question is what we should do about it? Is it a big deal?
The thing that is the big deal to me is the lying and the disrespectfulness to the toys she played with at night...a lot of them have mysteriously turned up broken in the last week (before we discovered her nightly visits to the land of unsupervised toy breaking). Most of these toys are Lilianna's toys that were delicate and for older kids so we moved them out of the playroom and the girls' bedroom to keep them from getting broken or stuck in little 2 year old trachea's! So it was another of many examples where Alex has negatively affected Lilianna's life.

Honestly, it is really difficult working on attachment (my attachment to her) when she keeps doing things to hurt the other kids. I know it is not something that people talk about...but it is hard for me to bond with my kids....It has been hard with all of my kids bio and adopted. It has taken me months with most of my children to really attach. It has been even harder with Alex because she does these things which create feelings of protectiveness in me towards the other kids. I am doing the old tried and true fake it til you make it. Everytime we figure out another layer of lying I have to question and revisit who I think Alex really is...how much of her "personality" and her behaviour can I believe or does she have an elaborate plan of manipulation in progress.
Then, of course, is the inevitable perception of everyone outside our immediate family. You know the ones...the "oh she is sooo sweet, how can she possibly be in trouble...clearly you are strict, over reactive, and mean mean parents....Alex is such a poor baby". Keith actually got into a fight on the phone with one of Alex's teachers when we refused to let her go on a school field trip to the movie theatre. OK...what chaperone is going to watch Alex (a large 9 year old) as if she were a 4 year old. Alex is more likely than our 4 year old to walk right out the front door of the movie theatre and into traffic.
That being said, I really do believe that Alex is a sweet little girl who loves her brothers and sisters. She has been through a lot and has issues to process so to speak. She has lots of things to learn and hurts to heal so that she isn't sad on the inside. I do not for one second have any regrets about how are family has come together. It does, however, get frustrating at times. Our issues are small in comparison to some of the issues other parents have....and I am not talking about adoptive parents...I am talking about all parents.
I know we will get there and everytime we have a problem I do remind myself of the problems we HAVEN'T had to deal with and that in itself has been a true blessing. We decided to adopt older children and more children because we love being parents and it is such an amazing blessing to see kids grow and change and become these special and different little people. Sometimes I wish we had a litte more free time and less stress so we could enjoy them a little bit more! haha.

Critically looking at our life right now...are we ready for the arrival of another baby....ummm...NO! Are we ready for Kyrgyzstan to reopen and for Aaron to join our family....um....NO! Are we ready to even plan for company.....ummm NO! but I have an ace up my sleeve. That's right....I have 2 weeks off. I have a cape that says "Super Mom" on it and I am not afraid to use it. We are going to come back from the Orphan Summit with plans and goals and new tools. Then I am going to whip this house into shape and whip our household into a well-oiled machine. OK....that might be a little bit unrealistic...but I am going to pray and plan and make my expectations match what is actually possible. I am going to clean and I am going to organize my house, our clothes, our time. It is going to be a productive 2 weeks.

I have rambled on for quite a while! I am disappointed and overwhelmed at times...but apparently I am also pathologically optimistic!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blessings...

I love it when it rains. I love the sound of the rain. I love the amazingly unbelievable lushness of the trees around here. They are soooo green and there is steam that rises out of the hills. We have a birdhouse in our front yard that purple martins have moved into. They are not necessarily the prettiest birds...but they have a beautiful song and they kind of glisten a deep purple in the sun.
We have lots of other birds that flit around in the rain chirping.

Other things that make me happy include Ben's completely floppy bad news bears hair cut. Watching 5 little kids play hide and seek together...completely playing together with no fighting. Yes it can happen.

There are days when there are so many things to complain about and be unhappy about that all you can do is be grateful for the little things that remind you how lucky you are. It helps when the weather cooperates and gives me a nice rain storm.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Exhausted

I am slowly climbing out of the giant hole of my to do list and many things are left undone! I read a blog post somewhere that basically was "I feed my kids and if anything else gets done it is a big bonus". Haha...I keep trying to remind myself of that as I look at all the toothpaste smeared on their bathroom countertop and the laundry.
I actually have one laundry basket that is consistently filled with clean clothes that need to be folded. I am reminded of the burning bush that is not consumed. I keep putting the clothes away and it does not empty. No matter how many times I take it up the stairs it ends up back downstairs in the middle of the living room (which is just merely feet away from all of the Easter baskets still sit).
I have started to be pretty good about getting 2 loads of laundry done a day...of course that is why the laundry basket is always full...one load makes it unfolded to the basket and the other sits in the dryer.

I swept 2 saturday's ago and one day I hope to vaccuum...it is a long shot but it might happen .... one day.

Keith and I have gotten pretty good at keeping up on Lilianna's school..but involves a lot of Lilianna staying up after the other kids go to bed and working. We are caught up though. Next week I am going out of town (yeah a short vacation to the Christian Alliance Orphan Summit) and the following week Lilianna is going to visit her bio dad. So we are going to have to move ahead. I am going to have to send work with her to her Dad's this time. I hate to do it because they don't get a lot of time together and because I am afraid they will lose it! haha.

We have been spending a lot of time at the ball fields and will be heading there in about 30 minutes for Zeb's tball game (which is hilarious by the way). Every baseball or t ball day (which of course is almost never the same night!) I pray for rain. I know it is wrong...but it is like a reprieve of 2 hours to work on something like homework or laundry.

There are people that do way more than I can fit into a day and I am in awe...but instead of feeling like a messy, unproductive old troll...I am trying really hard to feel good about the few things I can accomplish. Of course, I still have the messy, grumpy old troll look that pulls it all together!

Off to pack a picnic lunch for our trip to tball tonight (please rain...please rain...please rain...it HAS been cloudy all day).

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power