Tuesday, February 28, 2012

gratitude

Today I had a moment of the most profound type of gratitude for all of those people who saved my life in the hours after Phoebe's birth.

Thank you, Dr. K, Anesthesiologist, for pushing everyone to get me into surgery. Thank you for saying, "She doesn't HAVE 5 minutes!" when more ultrasounds were ordered and for trying to get me out of the room so quickly that there were actual gashes in the wall where you were slamming my bed against it. Your quick actions may have saved my life. Thank you for laughing a bit when I asked you if you knew what blood type I was. I needed the humor.

Thank you, perinatologist Dr. B, for NOT putting me on heavy-duty anticoagulants during my pregnancy, even though I repeatedly asked you to. If you had, the bleed-out would have been that much faster and, well, bloodier.

Thank you, Dr. S, for telling the ladies at the book club you were hosting to get started without you. You ran some red lights on the way to the hospital. I will not complain. Thank you for laughing with me when I told you to "throw that damn thing in the trash" when you asked me if I realized you might have to do a hysterectomy. Thank you for showing me your vulnerability, tears of anxiety in your eyes, holding my hand while telling me it was time to knock me out for surgery. Thank you for stopping the bleeding and for saving my life. Thank you also for allowing me to try for a VBAC, but then also being OK with a repeat c-section. In hindsight, the VBAC was NOT the best thing for me. Thank you for letting me follow my own intuition.

Thank you, Nurse T, for holding my hand. You told me to look into your eyes and you said, "I'll take care of you." You helped me through the scariest (to date) moments of my life. I have asked Scott since if he remembered you, because I find no record of you at the hospital. Thank you anyway.

It's because of all of you that I was able to change my baby daughter's diaper,

help my 5 year old son brush his teeth,

text my husband on his business trip,

brush my hair,

wave a goodbye to my daughter as she trots happily into the school building under an aqua sky.

Because of your quick thinking, *I* get to do those things.

I am so, so eternally grateful,

so full of the purest form of gratitude.

I think it's time to get out the thank-you notes

Monday, February 27, 2012

stalker

Last night I watched you sleep.

I did it, I watched you sleep. All three of you. It's so cliche!

Lucy, I started panicking over our only having you in our home for a scheduled 11 more years before you face the big bad world alone.

I watched you sleep. I slid my hand under the back of your shirt, feeling your heart beat beneath your ribs.

I often think about how, if I could have taken a sneak-peak ahead to you at 7 years old, 7 years ago, I would have been so relieved.

Phoebe, I actually didn't go into your room, but I stood outside your door and prayed for you. I love you so much. I love that you just got your first tooth and that you're always feeling the edge of it with your tongue. I love that you say, "Dada!" whenever he walks into the room.

I love to breathe in the experience of you, every day. I love your patting of *everything*. Except for bananas. You detest bananas.

Asher, I walked into your room and saw that you were spread out over the top of your comforter. I foisted you up, all 43.5 pounds of you, and snuggled you beneath your comforter.

Then I crawled in beside you. I kissed your earthy-smelling dirty little boy head, and I breathed a prayer of thanks for your life.

For all three of you.

Adoption Opportunity

If you live in my area and are an adoption home-study approved family interested in a baby girl with Down Syndrome and AV Canal Defect to be born in April, please email me!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Damn you, Webers!

Jake Weber: whipped husband on NBC's "Medium"
I have three very dear friends, all with the same last name.

Damn those dear friends!

I like to think of myself as an island, a stoic isle.

I really don't *need* to hang out with other gals. It's nice, but I like to stay home, too.

The three Webers (and some other ladies, mind you, but I think it's pretty funny these three dear friends all share a last name) are very dear to me.

When one of them moved away 6 years ago, out of my state, I cried. She married Scott's best friend and moved back to her home in California. I couldn't blame her - she was living in the ghetto in the foreground of the Anheuser Busch factory before she moved back home, but still...

Damn that Weber!

Another one brought me a plant from Trader Joe's and some ice cream balls after I told her I was ready to run into oncoming traffic due to a bad week. She is British and has a killer sense of humor and understands the big words I try to impress her with. She took me out for an impromptu pedicure this afternoon. One of those, "I'm showing up at your house in 5 minutes!" type of things. My toenails are now "Dutch Tulip Pink".

Damn that Weber!

Another one is always inviting me to her house and feeding me dinner. Our joint dead babies and love of teeny, tiny bottles of wine sealed the deal.

Damn that Weber!

Oh, Weber ladies, how you barrelled your sneaky ways into my heart.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of a Weber.

Maybe that's why we have one of these?

Friday, February 24, 2012

pat the bunny

Phoebe, mid-pat
This morning I called Helen and told her I couldn't come to her house this morning. Phoebe is grumpy because she has hemmorrhoids because she's super constipated because I fed her too many soda crackers because apparently I've never had a baby before.

Helen told me in no uncertain terms that I need to extend myself some grace and be OK with staying home all day, just getting housework done or sitting in Scott's ugly easy chair, gazing outside and sipping coffee while Asher runs around with marker on his face.

She also ordered Asher and I outside to have a tea party on the front lawn, but I'm thinking her 85 year old frontal cortex conveniently forgot that it's 32 degrees outside.

I love Helen. Spending time with her is like seeing an older version of myself, less anxious, more grace-filled. I'm a soul softened by time, experience, and perspective. I have forgotten the things that aren't important and I remember the things that are.

I've still been feeling sad, anxious.

Kids are the perfect antidote because they really could give a rat's behind how you're feeling. They need to be fed and they want to play games and they tell you that your breath stinks because they know you love them and they know they can say stuff like that.

Phoebe is 7 months old. Most mothers would be sad about this, the pages turning in the baby book, the most obvious indication of passage of time, but I really get excited when my kids are a mite more than small food receptacles/pooping machines.

We recognized about a week ago that Fi (I write Fi because writing "Phoe" is just a little strange) pats things.

Someone proclaimed about three days ago, "Hey! She pats what she likes!"

Her high chair, Cheerios in the morning, her big brother, her diaper.

Pat, pat, pat.

The shags on our living room carpet, her toes, the tube of Desitin.

Pat, pat, pat.

the Valentine gift bag she has come to expect during her morning diaper change, her Glow Worm, her green and white blankets, Scott's whiskers.

Pat, pat, pat.

A pat from Phoebe is her little proclamation to the world: Hey! This is so cool! This is amazing! I LOOOOOOOOOOVE THIS, YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

I was wandering around this morning, looking at my messy house, the full sink, the kids whose brains I get a bit overwhelmed with trying to instill moral values into on a daily basis. Am I nagging them too much? Do they know I love them? Do they even *like* me? Did I offend someone on Facebook before I deleted my account? Do all my friends know how much I appreciate them? Was I mean to Scott this morning? Will Lucy be mad I didn't pack a lunch for her today? Is the laundry molding in the washer? How could anyone but a horrible housekeeper ask herself that question?

I sigh.

Then, I feel it. Softly, on my shoulder:

Pat, pat, pat.


She pats what she likes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

depression

Depression and anxiety are like mean girls. I just watched "the Help", and I've decided that Depression and Anxiety are like Hilly and Elizabeth, whispering behind their hands and giggling and sharing in secrets that only they are good enough to share together.

For the last few days I've been feeling really, really down. I've been trying to figure out why. Here's what I can come up with:


  • spring-like weather always brings back memories of the death of a high school friend, Ryan. Since his death I've struck up a friendship with his mom and dad and we write yearly. I just think about him and wonder what he would have been like today and the memory of those awful days after he died are brought up by this beautiful weather. Seasonal memory.

  • too much Diet Coke - I'm addicted

  • too much Facebook - also addicted. I will be at Target, enjoying my day, and then think, "Oh, I have to tell everyone on Facebook about this," or "Wouldn't that be a great picture to post to FB? Phoebe is actually in an outfit that isn't covered in strawberry jelly! I should post it!" and then I'm scrambling around in my bag for my camera and I realize that this is all quite silly and I should just enjoy the moment and not feel the pressing need to tell everyone else about it. Sometimes moments are meant to be private. Also, I don't want to constantly be comparing/measuring myself against other people, finding myself lacking. I do that enough in my own head that I don't need the help of a "social utility tool". Let's leave middle school in the early 90s. My friendCole figured this out 178 years ago and she has never been on Facebook, not once. You are smart, Cole! I actually deleted my account instead of deactivating it. Did you know that Facebook sells your personal information? To the highest bidder? I've been reading more about it and it disturbs me that there are strangers out there who know more about my day than my own husband does. Also, it was a really hard decision to quit. That should be some sort of indicator that it needed to go. How many moments have I lost out on because I had my nose in someone else's photo album, instead of listening to Asher say, "Mama, why is it taking Phoebe so long to grow up?"
I don't want to miss those moments.
  • too much talk radio - I want to pull my hair out listening to the insanity that is the presidential debates, our society's neverending attack on Christianity (loss of all sorts of religious liberties included in that parcel), and...well...let's not even get started on the news!

  • not enough time with my head in the pages of my Bible. no excuse for this one. Why do I THINK I'd feel anything but crappy if I don't fill my head with the truth of God's word? DUH, RACHEL, DUH!

  • caffeinated coffee - just imagine a writhing neuron with bed head, and that is me.
So: right now Pheebs and I are going for a walk. We talked to a lovely man today at Target who battled on the beaches of Normandy. HE was just in love with Phoebe and I let him give her a kiss.

If I'd had my nose stuck in my cell phone, staring at my FB page, I would have missed out on that awesome conversation.

We're off for a walk. There's an estate sale up the street and we definitely need more crap! 

What makes you depressed? What are you going to do about it?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

eHarmony giveaway

It's not at all too late to enter the eHarmony drawing for a $100 gift card here!

Lots of thoughts coming to you on depression, anxiety, fostering, facial hair, and mothering.

I'll write something once my thoughts come together enough to form themselves into cogent sentences.

Monday, February 20, 2012

never again to Build-a-Bear



note to reader: I am trying to make a tongue-in-cheek point...that "things" are not bad, but 
when we become so obsessed with them that we turn into beasts while waiting in line for them,something's wrong. I was looking at Coach purses the other night online, so I really would be the pot calling the kettle black if I said that no one should buy anything nice. I do notice a cultural obsession with STUFF and I was playing into that. The weekly advertisement section should show us that. We have a society that only works when people buy, buy, buy...and perspective gets lost. This sort of post is hyperbole: 
Hyperbole (play /hˈpɜrbəl/ hy-pur-bə-lee;[1] Greekὑπερβολή, 'exaggeration') is the use of exaggeration as arhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.[2]

Enjoy. I enjoyed writing it.


*******************


I try to avoid the mall at all costs because, well, it pretty much makes me crazy and I want to take everoyne's shopping bags, poring over the contents inside and asking questions like, "Do you REALLY need this $58 sweatshirt that says "Sexy" on the butt from Victoria's Secret, mother and your 16 year old daughter?" or "Did you REALLY need that $228 coach diaper bag to make your life complete, pregnant mother-to-be?
But instead I took them to Build-a-Bear, like any good little American consumer.
My jaw dropped when we got there and the line was OUT OF THE STORE.
RECESSION?
Not at Build a Bear, my friends...
Never at Build a Bear!
We waited in line for 24 minutes and finally got to the front. While we were waiting, the woman in front of me with the out of control 4 year old and $83 worth of merchandise in her hand said, "Man, she's just addicted to this place. I suppose it's better than some addictions a kid could have!"


"What," was my fictitious response, "Like prostitution? Buying underwear that says 'sexy' on the butt at Charlotte Russe? Candy corn? What possible other addiction could an American 4 year old have that is worse than this?"
We finally got up to the front of the line, and our lovely bear attendant, Sharla, was all smiles. She took her time with the kids and pointed out that Asher is a visual learner (something I apparently could not figure out until the conference). I asked her if she wanted to be a teacher and she said, no, she'd like to be a fashion designer.
She's working at the perfect place! I just KNOW Vera Wang started out in that well-worn bear-making seat, designing bear clothes.
Meanwhile, the people behind us were tapping their feet impatiently, sighing, looking at their watches. It was so uncomfortable but then I relaxed and remembered, dang it, that I am paying  $4.73 a minute for this experience, so they can just chill the heck out. Whispering to each other that this is taking way toooooo long while the 2-year-old melts at the feet, and the comic absurdity of the situation hits me:

You are getting upset, to the point of rage, over what is essentially a piece of MATERIAL! YOU COULD BE ONE OF MILLIONS OF LITTLE GIRLS GETTING YOUR CLIT*ORIS RIPPED OFF IN RWANDA OR A SOLDIER FIGHTING CRAZIES IN AFGHANISTAN WITH SAND ALWAYS IN YOUR TEETH OR THE SEVENTH CHILD OF A PROSTITUTE OR A CHILD BEING BURNED BY CIGARETTES OR A MILLION OTHER THINGS...


PERSPECTIVE, PEOPLE! PERSPECTIVE!

We were done cuddling the bear's heart and dancing around in a circle to promote good love juju for the bear's well being and I was faced with the unlovable task of PICKING OUT CLOTHES FOR THESE GODFORSAKEN BEARS.
Somehow, I've been duped into paying more than I pay for an entire outfit for my 6 month old to buy material to put over material that is covering cotton filling.
Can you imagine the guys who first thought of the Build-a-Bear idea?
"Hey, Bob...what if we created a store where people came in, picked a piece of material, filled it up with cotton batting, then bought more material, clothes, I suppose you could say, to cover the material they've just filled up with cotton? We could charge, oh, I don't know, maybe $15 a square inch, and people would be clamoring for this product. What do you think?"
"I don't know, Charlie, sounds like a scam."

*sip, sip*
24 years later, there are Bob and Charlie, glugging Mai Tai's on their very own private island, while I wait around in the hell that is Build-a-Bear for my kids to look up at me with sad brown eyes while I tell them, "Hey, kids! Look! Build a Bear can work at Dairy Queen! This outfit's only $5!" (Yes, Build-a-Bear has a clearance aisle, and you can bet your skivvies I found it)

I got out of there spending $6.64, thanks to Gift Cards. 

never again to Build-a-Bear.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

eHarmony trumps wife beaters and a Trans Am


When I think about internet dating and the first dates that stemmed from the internet, I try to block out memories of my experiences right at the brain synapse where they begin so they can't haunt me in my dreams. Some highlights of first internet dates from my early 20s:
  • There was the guy who was showing me around his basement after a date at a bad Mexican restaurant. It was lit with just one bare light bulb with a string hanging from it. He turned to me and said, "Hey! I could do anything to you, and no one would know where you were!" Then he laughed as though that were the funniest thing he'd ever come up with. I was out of there faster than a french fry in a Happy Meal.
  • Another guy brought me a rose, and then we sat at a restaurant for three hours talking about his ex.
  • The third guy said he'd meet me in the parking lot of a local department store. I was supposed to follow him in my (getaway) car to his next stop, a Bruce Willis concert. Up he drove replete with bad hair, mustard yellow Trans Am, and wife beaters covering the seats. As I followed him to our next stop, I "accidentally" took a right turn when he took a left.
So. Where were we?
When you think of internet dating you probably think of scary guys and desperate people: Not true! I have several friends who have met their matches on eHarmony, the premiere dating site for singles. eHarmony provides better first dates, allowing you to meet someone you can't wait to see again. The difference between eHarmony experiences and those experiences above (I did not use eHarmony, can you tell?) are that eHarmony has a selection process that helps choose those people that are best for you so you can have dates of higher quality. I would much rather have dated 3 princes than 20 frogs, wouldn't you?

Meet my friends Chris and Renae. They’ve been married for six years and just adopted their first child, Annie Hope, last May. Sit back with a cuppa Joe and read about Renae’s experience with eHarmony:

I started my membership in January 2004. and I was matched with Chris in September of 2004. Normally when I was matched with someone I would wait a little bit to see if they'd initiate the closed questions, but if they hadn't within a few days, I would. Each step can take a few minutes to a few days depending on schedules and how quickly each person responds. Most of the time it was anywhere from three to seven days. Chris and I went through the whole process in a few hours and were instant messaging via computer by later that night. It was kind of unreal.

We instant messaged off and on for a few days until I headed to Philly for 10 days to visit my girlfriend. I didn't log on to instant messaging for a couple of weeks. Toward the end of October I finally logged on again and saw Chris on there. I was thinking, "I'd better tell this guy I didn't fall off the face of the earth.'' Turns out Chris was thinking at the same time, "I don't want her to think I'm desperate; I'm going to wait for her to IM me first."

And I did. We IM'd for over three hours. Oy!

At the end of the night, I told him I couldn't spend 3 hours IMing like that every night, so we made plans to talk on the phone the next night. My girlfriend was there that night visiting when Chris called. I talked to him for a bit, then she talked to him for a bit and gave her blessing, and then he and I talked some more.

Three weeks later we met for the first time. I drove over to the same friend’s house, and he drove over from Michigan. Instead of flowers, he brought me a huge Hershey bar-um, Mr. Perfect! We went to a local restaurant, and while we were waiting for our table this couple got in a knock-down, drag-fight in front of us. Crazy! We spent the rest of the weekend together.

We got engaged less than three months later and married one year and six days after our first date. When you let eHarmony know that you got married as a result of their site, they send you this sweet commissioned bowl from Tiffany & Co.! If you look directly down on it, it looks like a bunch of intertwined hearts.


I would absolutely recommend eHarmony to a single person wanting to find "the one"! We have several friends in our extended circle who met their spouses on eHarmony after we recommended they try it. Chris is so perfect for me. He's patient, and we have a lot of qualities that complement each other. And one seriously funny thing-he wanted someone who didn't like roller coasters, and I was SO down with that!”

My last internet date was the day before I met Scott at a church singles group that met at the back of a bar. Were it not, I think I would have tried eHarmony. My parents would have breathed a sigh of relief! Ladies, Gents, step right up and choose the quality of eHarmony dates over the quantity of dates you could meet from other internet dating sites. Have awesome first dates with people selected with you in mind, and meet someone you can’t wait to see again and again!
eHarmony works!!

BlogHer and eHarmony are teaming up to offer one lucky reader a $100 Visa gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment answering the following question:
  • What is the most important character trait your partner must have and why?
Rules:
No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 2/14/2012 - 3/15/2012.
Visit the BlogHer.com eHarmony page to check out more blogger success stories and for more chances to win!

Monday, February 13, 2012

guv'ment check

One of the annoying things I hear about foster care is that lots of people do it "for the money".

I'd like to meet these people who bring very scared and very sad little children into their homes at all hours of the day and night. For the quite awesome rate of $0.79 an hour, they pour themselves tirelessly into little souls that very well may go back into the hot messes they just came out of. Social workers, family visits, disrupted sleep.

Hey! If I worked at McDonald's, I wouldn't get to see what meth does to a person's teeth over a period of months! It literally turns them into little stubs! I want to see some sort of time lapse of the process on Youtube.

If you're doing foster care "right", that money goes toward taking care of the child. Clothes, food, warmth for his or her room, gas to go here and there.

I guess I haven't met the people who "do it for the money".

I also haven't met the woman who throws the kids in the basement and collects the monthly check:

We have a little foster baby for a few days. She is SO sweet!

Think of George Jefferson, only as a baby. And a girl. Same pattern of baldness though.

It's awesome.

In other news, after I ate Lucy's cupcake I woke her up in the morning with the news that the cupcake had too much sugar. I made a peace offering of some M & M's.

Tune in next time, when I tell her she's getting a puppy for Valentine's Day and give her some pencils instead.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

a moral dilemma

Yesterday we went to a lovely birthday party hosted by my friend, Big Lucy. She is actually anything but big, but she is referred to as "Big Lucy" in our house so the littles around here don't get confused.

The party entailed lots and lots of sweets...m&m's, homemade sugar cookies, chocolate covered pretzels in pinks and reds and whites and my favorite, gourmet CUPCAKES:

Everyone else was skinny and had maybe a strawberry or a sip of water.

I made up for the non-eaters.

It's kind of like in an economy, see: you have the producers and the non-producers. I sat there, sitting in my chair, looking at the non-eaters and seeing an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.

I could be an eater and help out! Help out I did.

There the kids and I were, digging in. (I dodged out of this picture, because, well, EMBARRASSING!)

The birthday girl played the part very well and was quite delighted with everything received:
Her mother posed with an empty chair because the birthday girl did not want to oblige for pictures:


There I was, having had:

  • one cookie, pink frosting included 
  • one chocolate/peanut butter cupcake (HEAVEN)
  • 6 chocolate-covered pretzels
  • M&Ms (lost count how many)
  • Diet Coke - asked for Diet Coke right when I arrived and chugged it like a true addict
The party favors were passed out and we headed for home.

Lu oohed and aahed over the cupcake she was given, a pink-lemonade flavored cupcake with a gummy lemon slice on top.

She begged me to let her eat it last night, but I told her she needed to wait until tomorrow (which is now today) and she could have it then. "OK, Mama! Sometimes things are even better when I have time to look forward to them! Isn't it good to wait?"

Yes, Lu! Yes, it is! 

Flash forward to last night, Scott and I watching the worst Netlix movie ever, Insidious. It was somewhere between the seance involving a hazmat helmet and the dumb clown music that my  mind began to wander. It wandered right on over to the top shelf of our local refrigerator. 

This is what Lucy had to look forward to this morning:
crumbs
There is a special place in hell for people like me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

i have to be doing something right

This morning I met with the teachers at Asher's school.

I must preface this by saying that I was in education myself and it's embarassing to be called to your kid's school because of something you are doing wrong - which is definitely the way I viewed it.

My kid turned 5 years old last month and he can write his name, but he can't tell you how to spell his name. He can count to ten but other times he gets confused as to what number comes after 7.

I managed to take a shower this morning and put mascara on and a little lipstick, but then I got in the car and realized that I had a moustache from the cherry Kool-Aid I drank. (Yes, I literally drank Kool-Aid this morning - Crystal Light).

I didn't want to look like total ghetto mom so I put Phoebe in something cute and tried to look at least presentable.

During the meeting I tried not to cry and his teachers were gentle with me. They're awesome. They were more gentle with me than I am with myself. As they were talking, saying things like, "He could work on letters this way, or you could try this with numbers,"

all that was going through my head was,

"You idiot. You're a former behavior teacher and you couldn't figure this out? How could you successfully teach other people's kids but you can't figure this out with your own son?

What kind of mother are you? You took care of someone else's kid for 9 months but you can't even figure out that your own son should probably be able to spell his own name by the time he's in kindergarten?

What must your husband think about you?

How is your only son going to feel, MCS (Middle Child Syndrome), only boy, and you couldn't be bothered enough to think up creative things like having him write his name upside down or creating a catchy jingle for spelling his name?

You're so selfish! You're a failure! Just give up already!

He's only little for so long and then he'll be older and you'll be sitting there thinking of all of those missed opportunities where you were reading a book and YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN TEACHING HIM SOMETHING!


This is what my internal monologue sounds like. It sounds like that all the time. And then when Scott says, "We should have Asher on more of a schedule; I think it would help him!" what I hear in my mind is, "You are a horrible parent! I can't believe I married you! How could you not see this yourself?"

It's interesting that if I talked this way to someone else it would be considered verbal abuse...

yet I take it from myself all the time.

So.

If you must know, I cried on the way home, consoling myself with a large Diet Coke and a cherry pie at the McDonald's drive through.

I was at a stop light, wondering if I looked ok or if everyone there was wondering why I looked so trashy, and then I started laughing. I was thinking of Scott asking me not to wear my "dump pants", as he not-so-affectionately calls them, because they sag underneath the butt due to overwearing and it looks as though I took a big sh*t in them.

His words, not mine.

I love my husband, you guys.

Anyway...here we are.

It hit me while the teachers were talking to Asher at the end of the conference that he's not  a baby any more! In my mind, he's still 3! But only he's not...he's 5! He's big enough to do SO much more for himself that I do for him instead. HE should be able to get up in the morning, get himself dressed, get cereal, all WITHOUT whining. Mornings don't have to be a struggle. I should put all of that responsibility squarely ON HIS shoulders, not mine.

He can handle it.

Anyway, I think about Facebook and friends and magazines and all of the garbage that tells me that I'm a crappy mom because I'm not making all-organic food for my kids, or because I let them watch tv, or because my house isn't 100% clean all the time, etc., etc., and I got to thinking...

we just do what we do. We love on our kids, we do what we think is right for them at the time, we don't give in to guilt, we let past mistakes motivate us to do better in the future.

So, this afternoon, we're going to head to Mardel to get him some "learning materials". He'll be all excited about that.

Onward and Upward, kids.

Onward and Upward.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nate Berkus

Still waiting to hear on whether or not we will have Finn in our home.

In the meantime, we have our very own Nate Berkus. He is very interested in all things paint, all things color, and all things craft. I promised him I'd take him to Hobby Lobby this morning while Lu is at a birthday party.

Look how he decorates his door:
Personalities are so interesting, aren't they? He is all into design, organization, how things look. Lucy? Not so much.

Right now he's asking me to change his pillow case so he can "set" his bed.

Do you have a kiddo who likes that kind of thing?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

mercy

The social worker called this morning and she sounded "off". I soon learned why.

Finn has to go to a foster home for medically fragile kids.

He suffered horrific abuse and is now medically needy, which is why he is back in care.

At some point we may get him when he is no longer needing such intense care.

I don't have much more to say, but this is teriffically depressing.

OK, hurting people hurt people and Jesus offers more grace than I do and all that jazz.

I know this passage relates to causing little children to go astray as it pertains to causing them to sin, but how can one who does this to a child NOT cause that child to then make horrible choices as a result of not being loved? Love and security - so basic and so necessary to human development:

Mark 9:41 - 50
41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
Causing to Sin
42“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. 43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.c 45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.d 47And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48where
“‘their worm does not die,
and the fire is not quenched.’e
49Everyone will be salted with fire.
50“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

I now have a very burdened heart for Finn, even moreso than before. Would you pray for him along with me? I will update you as vaguely as I can if I ever get more information on him.

May God have mercy on whoever did this, whoever does this to HIS little children, thousands of a times a day.

May God have mercy on their souls.