Tuesday, July 24, 2012


We have no car (still in the shop) and I want to shoot my face off. We tried going to the park and Teapot kept running everywhere, Lucy and Asher fighting, Phoebe getting sunscreen in her eyes. It was so much fun. We are back and I got a big drink of water for myself (more healthy than Diet Coke, which will kill me within two years) Phoebe spilt it everywhere, Asher got sunscreen in HIS eyes, Lucy can't find any pants (they're all in the wash or stuck under her bed with the spider she claims was in her room last night and THAT'S the reason she couldn't get to bed).

A friend asked which car I've been driving since our van is in the shop. I told her that I have been driving my imaginary 2013 Honda Odyssey EX, fully loaded! My children don't spill drinks in it, or stuff french fries in the seats, and i drive it around all day, air conditioner blasting, "running errands" to frivolous places and spending all of my imaginary money!

I need a Facebook break AGAIN. 

Please don't try and tell me that you have NEVER posted something on FB just to impress someone else or make them jealous. If you say that, I will tell you you are lying, and I will be 151% right.

Facebook is the perfect arena in which to be passive agressive and vague. If someone actually calls you out on what you are doing, you still have enough wiggle-room in which to say, "Oh, I didn't mean to do that at all!" and you are, for all purposes, off the hook.

I realized that all it does is make me 

a) annoyed with someone else and their political views, which are, of course ALL wrong, and I Need to set them straight with stupid "wall photos" that somehow will have them correcting their left-leaning ways and apologizing to all of the rest of the world by the close of business today, or

b) annoyed because someone's status update is the following: I grew an all-organic, pesticide free, non GMO rutebaga that I grew from the drippings of my nether regions or, "I'm so blessed! My life is so perfect! I can't believe I got so lucky to marry the man I did! I'm going to Belize for 45 days and I will take photos of my feet at every beach I attend and post them on Facebook" and then "I can't wait to homeschool!"

and I want to murder myself. :)

There needs to be a super HONEST Facebook. You can only post EXACTLY what you are doing. For example, 

"I made spaghetti and meatballs from scratch, and my children won't die of cancer like yours will!" 

the post would be, 

"I forgot about dinner until exactly 4:45 when the world inside my little house was exploding. I looked in the cupboards and found an expired box of macaroni and cheese, some Pixie Sticks, and a bag of french fries that expired when God was a baby. While throwing the aforementioned items at my children, hoping they'd survive, a door to door salesman knocked on the door. My daughter opened it and invited him in, but I was only wearing a bra. "

Last night the kids were FINALLY asleep and I thought I'd watch our favorite show with Scott until I got the brightest idea in the universe to try and replace my cracked iPod screen.

2.5 hours later and I had contracted a sudden need for Lasik eye surgery and this:

My version wasn't quite so organized and I accidentally ripped the volume button cord. Scott came upstairs, saw me huddled over the iPod, crying, and whispered, "BUY A NEW ONE."

"But I was trying to saaaaaaaaave moneyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" I sob, while trying to locate a screw the size of a 3 week embryo.

He walks back downstairs, and I realize that a) He's either really mad or b) He's a guy, and he told me what he thought, and I need to pack it in and go watch my show.

As any rational individual would do, I listed it on eBay and had it sold for $100 within the hour to some guy in Russia. 

I will mail the old iPod off to Vladimir, and then I will change two diapers, find swimming suits for children who are apparently unable to keep track of them themselves, and sit down with a good book.

Only to be interrupted by screaming, of course.

Hey, it's all just a day in the life.

Friday, July 20, 2012

bracelet winner!

C. LaEase! You are the winner of the bracelet! Please send me your address so I can get it out to you! :) pipsersmom@gmail.com

Baby Man

I watch you sleep.

You are the third of my four babies, and though I don't see you every day, you took a piece of my heart when you left.

I love to watch you sleep.

Awake, you are into everything, stubborn, and irresistably sweet.

Asleep, you dream of being into everything, of saying "no", and of macaroni and cheese.

You were mine for 9 months,

you've been gone for 9 months.

I feel so blessed to have been able to have you for a time again, to watch Asher dote over you and say, "I love my baby brother."

I remember getting the call for you - having you dropped off. Your cord hadn't even fallen off yet. You were THAT new. You were perfect.

You were only ours for a time.

Fostering has blessed our family so much - YOU have blessed our family so much.

In an hour, your Daddy will pick you up. He adores you. He and your Mommy want to raise you to love God.

Next week, a judge will decide if THEY will be your parents forever.

Oh Man, little guy.

I hope that judge says "yes".


Thursday, July 19, 2012

First trip around the sun.

I'd been so nervous about this day.

I've cried many tears over this past year - tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears I couldn't even articulate.

Some days I felt like I hadn't gotten past square one, even, and other days I felt like I'd gotten past it only to come 'round again.

I don't have anything deep to share, only this:

I got through this day.

I didn't just get through it; I beat this day into submission.

The highlights:
1. My sweet friend Rach bringing roses and Diet Coke. We had a 5 hour play date and really didn't discuss anything much. I can just be *me* around her. I love that.
2. I made cupcakes. We ate cupcakes. Phoebe loved hers.
3. My sweet friend Cole. We met for pedicures and I now have bright orange toes. Then we went for coffee and then we went home. Scott and I are drinking the Sangria she gave me. She also gave me another huge gift - her recollection of that day.
4. My sweet friend Quinn, my aunt Mary, Rach, Cole, Big Al, Mom, Lucy, Aimee, Dawn, JJ, Minnesota Amy, Cousin Amy, Claire, Megan, Sarah, Sara, Emily, Lyss, Kristy, Dre, Billie, Amy, Renae, so many people who knew this day might be hard and who called, wrote, or emailed me about it. THANK YOU.
5. My sweet sister in law and her husband have been waiting for "the call" for babies from foster care. Tonight they just tucked in their new little girl and boy. 

I watched my girl wake up. She didn't have a clue it was her birthday, but I sure did. I snuggled her, then looked at her again. I got out the old photo albums to see how much like one-year-old me she looks at this age (alot). The kids did crafts (super ghetto ones) and played outside in the sprinkler. Here are some photos:

Pheebs in the shirt I wore on my first birthday

Phoebe crawling away from the camera in her dirt covered diaper (she'd been outside, you see)

the kids gluing pine needles to rocks (making Hedgehogs, of course)

Meeting of the minds

Asher's clever solution to a leaking ship

Bath for the birthday girl.

My girl is sweet and sassy, sublime, serendipitous. She reminds me so much of me and she looks to the right and my breath catches in my chest at the way she looks so much like her Daddy.

I love this girl. I love her. I love watching her standing so proudly at the edge of her crib, and I watch her throw her furiously ineffective temper tantrums, and refuse to nurse because the other babies around here use sippy cups and dammit, why can't she, too?

She has now, you see, taken her first trip around the sun. She's a bit more educated than she was yesterday.

I watched her play outside this morning, furiously crawling after her brothers and sisters. I watched the way she saw a goal and she went after it, unaware that sometimes fate has other plans.

There's a parallell somewhere, there. The morning of July 19, 2011 I entered that hospital a different person than I left. It's time to put that experience where it belongs, in memory's treasure chest. I'll take a cue from my girl and charge ahead.

Life is for the living.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012


A few weeks ago my friend told me that, if I went to my Shrink Lady, she'd send me a big basket of goodies. She stayed true to her word, and about two weeks later a lovely Priority Mail box OVERFLOWING with goodies arrived at my door.

Yesterday's party was better than I ever could have dreamt. My beautiful baby girl, just 5 days shy of being one year old. We celebrated the fact that I didn't die that day, and we celebrated her. There was a bounce house, a balloon lady, 92 sunshine monster cupcakes, and a face painter. I made the most adorable magnets as party favors for the guests. You must see to believe.


Life is a rhythm, did you know that? One moment the sun is shining on your back - the birds are chirping - God finds favor when He looks down upon you. The next? You're in the pit - you're bound and shackled before you could even turn around - the one who is shackling you knows where to hit you where it hurts. He knows how to breathe into your ear those lies that keep your heart trotting along into fear's abyss. He knows grief, and he wants to KEEP YOU THERE UNTIL YOU SAY UNCLE.

Scott gently pulled me aside yesterday morning and said, "I know you're enjoying putting together this party, and you've been a force, working so hard this week, making things special for the kids, making special dinners for me. I just want you to be OK when you hit a wall next week and feel really sad. You know the "down" is coming, right? You can't avoid it."

I knew he was right but all I could say was, "It'll be fine."

Yesterday, after the party, it was great. We sat there in the fading 5 o'clock sunlight, proud of how well the party went and eating every minute up. We've got 500 pictures to show you. :)

The thing is, I knew this was coming - I knew the SADNESS was coming. I knew I wasn't going to know how to handle this week - and in truth, I don't. I always would sort of roll my eyes when people would talk about anniversaries - but now, here, I get it. I get the heart racing, panic-feeling, tightness in the chest. I get the "what ifs" and "why did that happens".

My mom innocently showed me a picture of our family as it was, one year ago today:


I want to warn myself about what was going to happen in four days. I want to tell that girl in the picture that she's going to lose that little boy and she's going to lose her ability to have children and she's going to experience something that's totally, completely, 100% out of her control. I want her to understand that, but I don't know how to tell her. 

This week I'm planning on redecorating our bedroom, deep-cleaning all of the floors on the main level (it's only 600 square feet, so don't get too freaked out), and filling the "play date" calendar to bursting so I don't have to think. Thursday night a friend is coming over and we're going to sit over drinks and chat. Or, maybe we'll go out for pedicures.

I don't know how to handle the magnitude of emotion I'm feeling. I want it to all go away. I remember Shrink Lady asking me, "Are you ever mad that you survived?"

"YES! ALL THE TIME! ALL THE TIME!" then, split-second later...but that's so messed up, isn't it? I mean, I am so THANKFUL to be alive!

And then she said, "But you kind of feel like the surviving spouse...you're angry that you've been left to pick up the pieces while the other person goes on to glory."

That prompted 15 minutes where I cried so hard that snot landed on my hand. I've been seeing her for 6 years, and she gets paid $125 an hour, so I didn't feel too badly about the state of affairs.

I want to be positive, I want to be happy, I want to MOVE FORWARD. I will tell you that moving forward in an authentic fashion is hard. I fear the judgement of anyone reading these words and I want to slap the disclaimer: "My blog is just a portion of me...it's where I tend to go when I'm sad...life is generally good and happy and very full and fun!"

This week Baby Man is back. His foster parents are gone and we have him here. I think, having him here the exact same week all of the craziness happened is making this week even more poignant and hard, in a good way. That doesn't even make sense, but I'm too lazy to hit the Backspace key.

Still, I feel the need to write the words. They heal me, and they help me.

Words set me free.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hey, Mommy!

We were watching Hoarders this morning and Lucy said, "Hey, Mommy! Those people are messier than you!"

Later, when the lady was saying Goodbye to her 50 sh*tting birds, Lucy said, "Hey, Mommy! That is how you will be when you're old!"

I can make our house look really clean, but if you open the cupboards you will find random things. I decided yesterday to clean out the "linen" closet (Who has linen any more?) and today I dumped out the contents of the family room cupboards.

I always look at something and think, "Hey, I may use this some day! I don't want to have to buy another one when I need it!" I ask you: Who in their right mind wants to track down another one of those eyeglass repair kits, or get rid of birthday cards that could some day be upcycled during childrens' craft hour? (We have CCH every day, don't you?)

*cough, cough*

So, yes. Alot of..."I may use this some day!"


When I asked Scott if he thought I was a hoarder, his response was, "I think you're just one well-timed tragedy away, Doll!"


Whenever they bring the OCD specialist on the show in all her bleach-blond, grayish, butt-length peroxided hair glory, she says, and I quote, "Alot of times we see cases where people with OCD exhibit hoarding compulsions after traumatic events."

Scott just turns over in my direction and smiles. (A full body turn, not just a head turn, so I know he's serious about his humor.)

This is when I remind him that he's crazy, too. He:

1. Doesn't want me to get a tattoo because he's afraid of hepatitis
2. Won't go into swimming pools right now because he's afraid of Crypto

I can't think of any more right now, but then I went through each and every family member on my side and told him aspects of their personality that make them crazy.

I mean, really! Everyone is crazy, right? It's all just to varying degrees.

My mom clings to this period of time in high school where I kept my room spotless as evidence that all hope is not totally lost.

"Remember, Rachie, in high school? You kept everything all put away! It looked so nice in your room, and there were no gnats flying around!"

I don't have the heart to tell her it lasted two weeks.

When the woman on the episode we watched last night talked about her hoarding, she said, "I went into the hospital to have my baby on his due date and he didn't have a heart beat. Then, I went home and started buying my girls everything they wanted, because I realized how short life is."

I felt the air sucked out of me and Scott said, "Well, that's just crazy! Why would that make her keep all of that stuff?"

See, the thing is, we're all broken. We're all afraid of feeling hard feelings and we all turn to things that, for a little while, help make those feelings more manageable.

Just an observation, I suppose. I'm good at beating myself up about my keeping things tendencies.

How long do you keep things?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Just call us the Flanders

Teapot is still here. She's been with us for 3 months. She is super sweet and super hyper.

Today I found out that her little sibling, due soon, may be coming into care as well.

Um... I am not sure how they do that, if one sibling is already in custody.

I didn't ask.

Needless to say, things are busy around here and I like it that way.

Less time for obsessing over dumb things.

In other news, Lucy stays up late into the night with nothing but the hallway light to guide her. I saw her with her Bible open one night. Her journals are hilarious. Apparently she's been reading Leviticus and decided to take it to heart:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

thanks Daddy!!!!!

This photo was among the 179 pictures my dad captured on the day Phoebe was born. We kids were always complaining about all of the photographs my dad was constantly taking: sports events, birthday parties, walks in the park, vacations. My Dad had no idea how much he was blessing me as he took these pictures.

Of course, as we have aged and look back on all of the photos and videos from over the years, we're not complaining now.

I had asked him to bring his camera and document, but I had no idea that he actually did it in the craziness of the hours that ensued. During this particular moment all I remember in my body was searing pain. Something didn't feel right and my blood pressure would not stop dropping.

I was minding my own business, snooping through his photos on his computer when we were at his house the other day. I saw an album titled, "July 19, 2011".


Phoebe's about 40 minutes old in this photo and Scott is handing her to me in the recovery room.

The only way I can adequately describe how it felt to happen upon all of these photos my dad took on the day of her birth was exactly how I suspect the woman feels when the seventh lottery ticket number is called. She looks at the television to make sure she heard correctly, looks down at her ticket. Head bobs up, head bobs down. Unbelief.

Stomach drop.

In a good way.

Um, Dad? I take back EVERY SINGLE TIME I complained, rolled my eyes, or just had a generally bad attitude about you taking too long taking pictures:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

surprise memories

Oh, Man, you guys.

Over the years we've ALWAYS complained about how many pictures my dad takes. SOOOOO MANY! We'd have to hold the fork midair before the first birthday cake bite, smile in the icy cold as e organized us around the perfect Christmas tree, saws in hand...

Here's the thing.

You hate having to wait to have a picture taken


the year-mark of a traumatic event is arriving and you were minding your own business searching for refrigerators (yours broke this morning) on your dad's computer,

and you see 158 PICTURES and 7 VIDEOS

of the day you can't remember...

and you are super excited.

I'm gonna share some pictures soon...

check out my beer post.


The sermon this morning was about how alot of Christians turn things into black and white issues that really aren't. Like drinking. More on that later.

Why do humans like to do that? Turn issues into problems with an "us vs. them" mentality?