Tuesday, May 24, 2011

focus on the family has very boring writers

we got into foster care because of the "wait no more" conference held by focus. they took surveys and then later followed up and have asked us if they can use our story. i said sure and sent them a brief story. ok...not so brief story...and they just wrote back with the "cleaned up" version.

bwahahahahahahaha! i'm pretty sure i will never be selected to be a writer for focus for many reasons. i use the word "stirrups" when explaining why infertility treatments weren't for us. and i'm rather straightforward in my writing style. and i'm pretty sure focus cares if they offend people in their pamphlets and information. uuuuum we don't share the same writing philosophies. i figure if someone wants to read my opinion i can give my opinion. must not work the same for non-profit-bible-based organizations who have hundreds of people waiting to rip them to pieces.

just for kicks i'll give you the short focus version of our story...does this even SOUND like me???
“We had already filled out our international adoption application when some friends mentioned the Wait No More conference. We were not expecting it to be about adoption from foster care. The conference helped me see that every child needs the love of a family. By the time the last speaker spoke I was in tears and my husband was silent. We looked at each other and said "This is it." Three years have passed and we have been fortunate enough to finalize on the adoption of both our daughter and our son this past November. We feel like we have been called to wrap ourselves around these kids and love them and their families.”
so proper and polite. gag! but alas, i will sign so they can use our story for other hopeful foster parents.

Monday, May 23, 2011

just going to the park....seriously???

this weekend our HOA built this AMAZING play structure. there used to be a white barn that got infested with bees so they had to tear it down. in its place they put a sand pit. we loved it. then last tuesday i was sweeping the front porch and a guy walked up and said "sorry, i'm just getting these flyers out." and handed me a flyer. i think i heard angels singing a chorus about the same time. it has been something i've been dying for. a park within walking distance. it's awesome. saturday we went over to check out the progress and holy cow-i see i'm not the only one dying for a park over here. there were probably 20 families over there. dads helping out. moms watching the kids jump on the play equipment in heaps on the ground.
so sunday we scurried over to play only to find signs up that read, simply: "not until monday". ha!
this morning we ate breakfast, got dressed and rushed over first thing. it was awesome. there's only one piece missing...some sort of bridge but they'll get it installed later in the week. in the meantime we can play on it. it has 5 slides. 3 of which are all sorts of bumpiness.
they also are working out the kinks to the sprinkler system. um. we helped work out the kinks. there was water on the slides. water in the sand. water spraying every direction. i moved the boob stroller out of the way numerous times only to come back and find that i moved it right in the line of fire of the next cycle of sprinklers. i tucked my cell phone into the canopy of the stroller only to find that it was then sitting in a pool of water later. i had taken the dog and her ball thrower. she's now covered in wet sand and has been left on the front porch, along with the boob, to dry out. my cell phone crackles every time i open or close it or push a button. and when i looked over to tell karyssa, for the 5th time, to come out of the sprinklers, she was hunched over saying "mommy...potty!" "in your pants??" "yup" "do you have any left to go?" "yup" "this is why i asked you before we left if you had to potty!!!" at that point i realized i couldn't put her back in the wet boob or she'd just finish peeing in the stroller. so i took her pants off, squatted her over and told her to hurry and pee in the grass. (i'm pretty sure THAT'S against HOA regulations.) in my defense, when i asked her about going potty before we left she said she didn't have to go...she's sort of like a camel drinking when it comes to peeing. she really can go a LONG time before she has to go, so i believed her. but she is 2...i shouldn't have believed her.
after a few more minutes of all of that nonsense and i packed up our circus and came home.
now for our next trick we're gonna go to the store and try to use up some wic checks. *sigh*

edited to add: while we were at the store using those wic checks up my email got hacked. *sigh*sigh*

Friday, May 20, 2011

it's all my mother's fault.

well, i did it. in case anyone is wondering and you live in the state of colorado elevations credit union has my full endorsement. bellco...could use a little work. and maybe a few more processors or a few less marketers. it took bellco a week and still couldn't do what elevations could do in a day.
that being said, i am now the proud new owner of the volvo and i have to say......i'm LOVING it.
i did cry. and it's all my mother's fault. when we were little she personified EVERYTHING. i have to say she did raise 4 very empathetic children so she must not have gone wrong but seriously have i mentioned i can't even buy a christmas tree?
for real.
we have a fake christmas tree because year after year paul and i would go to the christmas tree lot only for me to leave in tears because of all the trees "that gave their lives to be picked and we weren't chosing it." it is nuts. i am aware. but when we were little my parents would take all 4 of us kids to the christmas tree lots and we would wander around whispering which tree we liked never mentioning the ones we didn't then we'd all climb back in the car choking back tears as my mom talked for all the other trees we didn't pick. she did this to lots of inanimate objects or animals. sometimes she'd get us rolling with laughter talking as if she were a cat. or get us just on the verge of tears talking as if she were a tree, or a park bench, or anything that she thought needed personifying. it is this reason that i had a hard time tonight. but i made out like a champ until we drove away, and i looked over to take one more look at my car and blew it a kiss and broke down into tears.
oh good god. i'm crying right now.
it was such a great car and like i said, i found myself in that car. it held a lot of memories...and even a couple secrets. this afternoon when i was cleaning it out i found a couple tokens from our little clepto foster daughter. oh how i miss her laugh. and the time i was making vegan ice cream for the above daughter and her sister and as soon as i got the tofu ingredients in the ice cream maker it went capoot. into the honda we went to ace to get the ONLY ice cream maker in town. that night it RAINED and RAINED. the next morning, late as usual, me and the 2 girls hopped in the car then hopped OUT of the car screaming "why are my pants wet?!?" we looked up and i realized in my haste to get the ice cream made before the ingredients went bad i had left the sunroof open. and then the most special memory of all: picking karyssa up from the hospital in that car. wrangling the car seat into that car with the case worker, neither one of us having a clue how to install a baby seat, in 95 degree weather in july. *sigh* (asher was brought home by the case worker.)
after i looked over and blew the honda a kiss i cried and cried. but then the light turned green and i took off in my new car that rides like a cloud! my little white cloud!! it's gonna be amazing!! and like my friend juju says "we're gonna make new memories in our cars."
ooo-and i might add my new mother's day bracelet shines beautifully in that car.

the dang camera keeps focusing on my dang freckles! it says karyssa and has her birthstone, then asher and his birthstone, then me, then paul. the stones look BEAUTIFUL together.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2 going on 17...and other bits of news

i took the kids swimming today. it's the 4th time we've gone swimming since i got asher his floatie suit. they both have one. they look ridiculous in them, like i'm terrified of the water. but really it's because they both go full speed ahead in opposite directions. karyssa is FEARLESS in the water. she does summersaults in the tub and i'm not exaggerating. so when i go by myself i put both of them in their little floatie suits. the first time i couldn't take my hands off asher. he just rolled around in the water bobbing with no particular end up. the next time he got that there was a method to the madness. then last week he realized he can keep his head above water and he figured out how to stand up once he fell onto his belly. today he swam. he SWAM for crying out loud. how in the world does a 15 month old figure that out?? i still have to plug my nose (although i don't let the kids see me do it because i don't want them to be cursed with that.) but i let go and he waved his little arms and he kicked his little legs and he GOT to where he was trying to go! if it's straight ahead of him. if it's to the side he tips himself over that way and then floop right onto his back. so we got some work to do but i'm so excited he swam today! i'm determined to take them every week so they will be comfortable in the water.

then i put them in babysitting and worked out myself. i accidentally got on a machine today that looked like an eliptical machine-my favorite-but it worked more like a stairmaster. it was sort of like i ran bleachers for 30 minutes. whoa. won't be doing those again until i'm ready for a butt blaster. last week i made the mistake of swimming only and boy that did not go over well with miss thang. each week i get a little better at this whole process. i got them out of the pool, gave them showers, lotioned them up, gave them snacks (that was my brilliant new idea this week) then took them to babysitting and they both did great! when i went to pick them up the woman that runs the babysitting said "wow she's quite a big girl huh?" and i was like "oh ya, she's going on 17. i'm scared." she said that karyssa was trying to play with the older girls, they were maybe 4 or 5, but they didn't want to play with her because she doesn't talk so they thought she was a baby. and she's tiny too so it's not like size helps her anti-baby appearance. *sigh* gotta work on that speech therapy stuff. not that i want her to be a big girl, but i don't want her to be shunned by other kids because "she's a baby". my poor baby. oops-wait...i mean, my poor big girl. and then we came home and she insisted on making her own PBJ for lunch and she did it! she needed help with the peanut butter but she did the rest herself. i was a little shocked. she's 2 for pete's sake!!

i love those little biscuits. they are my best friends.

oo-and side note-this is kinda random-i came home and my mother's day present was on the front step. although i have been instructed NOT to open it until paul gets home. this is gonna be a long afternoon!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

i'm letting my brand new car go.

i hate to say "out with the old, in with the new." or "move over bacon...now there's something meatier." or "there's a little more to love in a plumper." there's just NO nice way to say it.
*sigh*
i'm letting my brand new car go.
after 11 years of INCREDIBLE service....it's time to (i can't even say it) upgrade. it's not that i want an upgrade...to say that is to imply that my honda is a lowgrade. it's been an AMAZING car. i still see it as the brand new car i drove off the lot. it was the summer of 2000 and my legs were itching for a roadtrip. so i went to the local honda dealership and slapped down $1,000 and said "i want a civic in plum with a sunroof and cd player." that was that. a few days later in came my car on a big old truck and off i went. i drove all OVER the country. boston, florida, colorado. that was when i fell in love with colorado. i'd never been here before. my parents always went to texas or florida for family vacations. and by the time i got back to illinois 20,000 miles and 3 months later me and my car had bonded. i mean BONDED. i think it's safe to say i found myself in that car.
i bought a 4 door so when i had kids it would be paid off. little did i know how long i'd have it paid off by the time i finally had kids!
a few years later it had it's first nose job. paul was driving and some idiot (i don't usually call people idiots unless they deserve it) pulled off on the LEFT side of I-25 south and "Mad Sexy" in front of us slammed on her brakes and in we drove to the back of her. i know she was "Mad Sexy" because the back of her window had a humungous sticker that told me so. we still joke about how neither mad (for our benefit) nor sexy (just an observation) she was.
i know about every service it's had or oil change it's missed...oops! i know EVERYTHING about that car.
so with great reservation, i announce the new-to-me car that will attempt to fill the honda's shoes.
it's a volvo. and i love how safe it is. it has an amazing carfax report. i have faith it will be a good car. it can fit one more car seat into the backseat and has 2 more seats in the way back that fold down. so when karyssa's 14 and no longer needs a booster seat she can sit back there. the boob stroller (my 2nd bob stroller) will fit in there with out having to wrangle its tires off. and we will have a way to drive extra kiddos around in the near future. and it still gets good gas mileage.
i assure you there will be tears when i have to hand over the keys to the honda and actually walk away and leave it at the dealership. it truly will feel like i'm leaving a child somewhere i'm not supposed to leave a child. i hope the next person loves that car as much as i have.
i do know that karyssa is loving the volvo. when we had to leave it at the dealership while we work out financing she cried "whiiiiiiiiiite!!" for about 15 miles. *sigh* girl loves an upgrade.

Monday, May 16, 2011

top 10 things i wish people knew about me when i'm using WIC checks

1. wic checks and food stamps are 2 totally different things.

2. actually, yes, i am married to a mexican. just as much as i'm married to an american.

3. i love my "effin' half breeds" as much as you love your little wasps.

4. i get wic checks until my kids are 5 years old wether my husband makes $100 a year or $100,000 a year. if you've got a problem with it you can adopt your own child from foster care.

5. i will not apologize for choosing to adopt through foster care because of all the assistance that comes with them.

6. i bought these pants from a goodwill store in florida 3 years ago, these shoes are from target 5 years ago and my shirt is so old i have to wash it every time i wear it and yes, i'm wearing deodorant.

7. i don't buy the kroger brand because i'm so poor, i buy it because i'm so frugal and i found out i love kroger brand of everything.

8. i can hear you huffing and puffing when you see me give the wic check to the cashier.

9. i quit a job making more than i ever thought i'd make to take care of my babies, i did not have babies so i could live off the system. if you only knew my struggle just to get here you'd realize what a jerk you're being.

10. i know you're judging me because you are ignorant and that is why i am not screaming 1-9 at you. it's not your fault you have these thoughts about people using wic. there are a lot of people who do abuse the system, i just happen to not be one of them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

the little things i *LOVE* about my son

because karyssa talks she gets posted on the blog so much. some of you might be wondering if i even like asher. and i do. so here are a few of the little things i love about him:

>when he was a baby he had horrible skin which then turned into eczema when he was just a few months old. after we got some prescription creams his eczema went away but this little freckle/mole on his ankle stayed. i love it.


>he smells like honey ALL the time.

>he doesn't sleep as well as karyssa. this should be a negative but i love the alone time we get at naptime.

>he does sleep well in the mornings and when he finally wakes up and i come in the room i love the way he RUNS to the end of his crib to get to me faster.

>he growls all the time. it's so very very boylike.

>he can double fist a passie like nobody's business. watch below.
video

>his favorite toy is anything long and walkable. the bug net (although he walks with it in front of him like he's pushing a broom), or the play vacuum, or the kiddie broom, or a play lawn mower.

>he could kazoo before his first birthday.

>he lets you know when he's proud of himself.

>he is the happiest baby i've ever met. smiled and laughed non-stop until he turned 14 months. now he has opinions but they're not a downside.

>when you catch him doing something he's not supposed to do he leans over, with a passie in his mouth, and growls through the passie and smiles so big his nose scrunches.

>he. is. SO. tolerant!!

>even though the therapists picked on him for months before i'd had enough, he hit all his milestones way early. except teeth. he finally got his last 4 teeth in the last few weeks making a grand total of 6 teeth and he's 15 months.

> he sucks his bottles and his passies out the side of his mouth like a cigar. little mobster.

>when he's sick he's the best snuggler. otherwise you gotta get 'em on the run.

>i know i've already said this one but it's worth 2 points-he smells like honey. it's his natural smell.

>i love the way he sleeps on his tummy with his butt in the air.

>he plays with trucks and cars now and sometimes he makes the "rrrrrrrrrrrrr" or "mmmmmmmm" (when the passie is preventing the "rrrr") sound.

*sigh* there are so many more that i just can't think of at the moment. i love calling him "my son" and knowing that he's stuck with me forever.

Friday, May 13, 2011

the most tactful response ever

today i went to the park with my friend suzanne and baby g. and there was a woman there with blonde hair and her dark as night adopted child from africa. it was clear that she wasn't the birth mom because even if the birth dad were the darkest skinned man on earth it would be genetically impossible to have this dark of a child and be her birth mom. which, of course, leads to questions. which usually leads to more questions. and anyone that makes eye contact is then forced into the Q and A session of this baby's origin and then *gasp* a nosy nelly mom did it. she asked the dreaded question to all adoptive parents. we all know it's coming but most people with a shred of tact stop themselves short before asking "so...do you know her story?"
ok..this would be equivalent to me walking up to your best friend, with you standing there, and ask what the most painful/humiliating/rip the bandaid off moment has ever been in your life. i will only say this once: IT IS NONE OF YOUR FREAKING BUSINESS!!! if you want to know "someone's story" adopt a child yourself and know that child's story. if that doesn't clear it up for you it would be equivalent to me grilling you on the night of conception of your birth child. do you want to share that intimate moment? probably not. does it matter if you were doing it missionary or doggie? again no. NONE OF MY FRIGGIN' BUSINESS.
so next time you are at the park, or at the store, or at story time at the library and someone walks in with a child you suspect might have been adopted why don't you open with how your child was conceived instead of starting with how their child came into their family.
suzanne and i were both very impressed with the woman's response. as you can tell mine would not ever qualify for the most tactful response ever. hers was simply this: "we do know her story, and we want her to be the first one to hear it." and upon hearing that i wanted to be her best friend. as we all know, i could use a little more tact.

Monday, May 9, 2011

my american idol version of what happened

i know the other mom has her version of what happened on friday. so read this with a grain of salt.
our town does this thing on fridays, tiny town, and it is for toddlers/preschoolers to come and there's big wheels and tricycles and gymnastic equipment and blocks and balls and you name it - it's a sensory overload for preschoolers and an AMAZING way to get energy out of both kids. for that reason we like to go. buuuuut my only problem is some of the other moms.
once a woman i refer to as saggy tits mom, i know this because regardless of her size she refuses to wear a bra, warned all the other moms that karyssa liked to tear down the blocks. yes...yes she does. with fervor. they are blocks. i'm pretty sure it's half of their job, the other half being to be built up, of course.
then there's the gestapo. she's not a mom...she uh, er...actually works there. i found that out AFTER i told her i "appreciated her concern but wasn't open to advice that day." that was when i had baby huey with me and gestapo told me he shouldn't be allowed to cry for so long on the, apparently, hot commodity carpet square at the end of the gym that is there FOR babies his age. he cried for an hour and a half no matter what i tried and the second he'd almost stop another mom would swoop in to save the day. they were all well meaning. but as i said, he cried for an hour and a half. so if every 5 minutes when he was just about to stop you can do the math on how MANY moms were judging the fact that i was having to let him cry it out. he finally stopped crying when my friend amy held him for the last 20 minutes we were there. *sigh*
which brings me to last friday. there's a little boy that comes from time to time. he's known as being a bully. his mom is known for being a boss. she sits around with her eyebrows up and her mouth pursed together as if she's trying to keep a penny between her teeth and her lips. she has another son who's just a little bit older than asher. both of her sons were in scooters...the younger one was behind karyssa, the older one was in front of karyssa facing her and the boss was standing behind her older son, her feet were practically, if not definitely, touching the back of his scooter. i was keeping an eye on the situation because it didn't look good but i was hopeful that she wouldn't allow anything to happen since she was so close AND they were the only 4 people on that end of the gym. but then i saw him stand up, lean over his handle bars and begin to scream in karyssa's face. not scream words-just scream "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" karyssa just sort of looked at him trying to figure out what it meant. was it a game? was he mad? was she safe? was she supposed to scream back? i walked over and knelt down beside her and said "are you ok sweetie? that was kinda scary, huh?" and with that she got off her scooter and ran off to play somewhere else. i stood up, looked boss in they eyes and said "could you please not let your child scream in my daughters face like that again?" she snickered and said "what?" as if i were as nuts as she was innocent. i repeated myself and she said "i didn't even see it happen?" most people would walk away at this point but i've had it with her. i said "give me a break! you're standing RIGHT HERE!" she then realized i wasn't backing down. and i realized it was out there...i might as well finish it. then she said "they're just kids!" and i said "you can boss around every other kid in the place. watch your own kids!!!" she said "who?" and i said "my friends kids were right in front of us when you told them to go play with other toys. you do it all the time and i'm sick of it. WATCH YOUR OWN KIDS!" to which she had no rebuttle other than "chill out!" i'm pretty sure 10 years ago she would have put up her fingers in the "L" shape on her forehead as if to say i'm a loser. it was about that mature of a situation. myself included.
and i'm trying trying trying not to be like those american idol contestants that screech out their auditions only to come out in tears saying "they just don't know true talent." and i'm sure the other mom has her version that makes me look like the american idol contestant. but for now i feel like i have protected my little baby bear and NOBODY better mess with my babies.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mother's day.....blech!

in the past i have hated mother's day. don't get me wrong, i don't hate my mother. i love my mother. she's funny and adventurous and she taught me the best there is to know about teasing. after all she was a little sister. it's just that in years past i'd been anticipating mother's day since the dreaded christmas season. being childless and having nothing but tumbleweeds in your belly makes the holidays the worst time to be alive! and for some reason we need a holiday every month! thanksgiving, christmas, new years, valentines, st. patty's day, easter, mother's day, memorial day, father's day, fourth of july, august is holiday free-other than going back to school, labor day, halloween...did i miss one? everyone else wrapping presents/making costumes/decorating eggs for or with their kids and getting gifts from their kids months and months of endless holidays surrounding kids in a vicious cycle. i hated it. so last year when we had both kids, but they weren't officially ours yet, we were afraid. i was afraid. i didn't even want to pretend the holiday existed. so, we didn't. paul took a harley ride with some friends and i stayed holed up in the house with the kids like hostages. we haven't been to church in years on mother's day. i HATE when churches hand out carnations at the door by well-meaning children from the church asking each woman "are you a mother?" i mean really...IS there a more painful question for a woman struggling through infertility? no. not. at. all!
so this year i was determined to jump in with both feet. not look back. no feeling sorry for myself. no pitty party. i want gifts from paul and the kids and to be treated like a princess all day long. not have to lift a finger or change diaper. it's gonna be MY DAY!
well, i've already been in tears three times. WHY? i don't get it. this is a happy year. it's finally my turn to celebrate mother's day. no pitty parties. NONE! *sigh*
stupid mother's day. i WILL learn to celebrate this day dammit!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

games

we play a lot of hide and go seek around here. these are three of my favorites from today. all in a row. i love watching her mind grow and absorb new concepts. later, if i'm brave enough, i'll share what else happened today. but for now i'm trying to pretend i did not just get into a fight with a stranger about her bully kids.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mortified...and giggling

karyssa just came to me with wet underpants. so we did our usual drill of running to the potty to finish up but she had nothing more to do. hmmm...and she smelled curiously like poop. hmmm. i wiped her butt and there was a little bit there but not the usual amount. hmmm. so i went outside to investigate and found this. on the front porch.

which means she took her underpants off after pottying and finished up in there!!! lord help me if any of the neighbors saw!! sooooo sorry emily! i am as mortified as you are that the tractor scooter has been so defiled. after staying as quiet as possible so i didn't break out into an all out cackle laugh i explained where it is and is not appropriate to poop with out mentioning inside and outside. after all, we are huge campers and in a few months she IS going to have to poop outside...just not in the scooter. yuck! it has been bleached.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

i love after a babysitter leaves and....

i go into karyssa's room and kiss her and she smiles in her sleep.
i tell her before i leave "when i get back, i'll come into your room and kiss you so you'll know i'm home. ok?" tonight she shook her head yes really quick because i no longer have to grill this into her head because i do it EVERY time i come back when she's sleeping. she knows the drill. but every time she smiles. and i LOVE it!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

she knows i love her!!!!

i tell karyssa all the time that i love her more than any other little girl in the whole wide world. and then i ask "did you know that?" and she ignores me.
well tonight i said it again (for probably the third time today) and then she did her normal ignoring and change the subject thing and i said "karyssa, don't ignore me...." and she stopped, looked right into my eyes and shook her head yes.
for the first time ever!
she KNOWS i love her! she KNOWS!!
*sigh* i cried.

more on why open adoption sucks.....at least today.

today my case worker was by and mentioned that her son was terminally ill. i asked if he was one of her biological children or adopted children and she clarified and said "not that it matters" and sort of waved her hand in the air as if she were shooing away a fly. and i thought for a minute...why did that question come to mind? and i realized why.
because in his last days, if he were one of her adopted children, i would assume that she would feel the need to share him since i have been encouraged by the county to have an open adoption with my own children's birth families.
if one of my children were sick i would feel like i would need to share, in some sense, their last days with birth family. i might need to mention that her son is a grown man...it's not like he's 7.
and in a way, i feel duped. infuriated. led astray. if I have to share MY babies...why would she not have to share HER babies? after all, she IS the one who encouraged me that an open adoption is the way to go.
and all over again i question our decision to share. to have an open adoption. to let the birth family back in after they had been shut out by the same people that suggested that i share them.
hmph. and you can guaranty i'll be talking to paul about THIS when he gets home.