Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wonderful Geysers


snot, pink eye and Christmas-colored vomit pictured. Not for the faint of heart.

'Twas about 3 AM this morning and I had just finished nursing Phoebe. She sighed her little sigh and turned onto her back. I sighed, turned over, and heard a sound not unlike Mount Vesuvius. Even from the light of the bathroom I could make out the geyser of puke coming out of her mouth.

Scott wakes up, dancing like a Ninja on fire and yelling, "What happened? What happened?" I informed him that Phoebe threw up and was, in fact, still puking.

GET THE PUKE BUCKET!!! He screams, running somewhere but not sure where. Scott's affinity for the puke bucket in times of child chunk-blowing is hysterical. There can be a toilet 8 feet away, but somehow the puke bucket somewhere in the kitchen is more enticing. Maybe because it's sort of playing hard-to-get?

Scott spends a few five-minute increments in the laundry room piling things into the wash, and I smell the scent of bleach wafting up through the rafters. The man is nothing if not OCD about germs. To his endearing credit, he never gets sick.

This morning Lucy comes running into our bedroom. "MY EYE WON'T OPEN!" She shrieks, and now she is the one dancing around like a ninja on fire.

I give her some pink eye medicine, and we go on about our day.

Later, Lucy and Asher bounce around on the couch and Lucy loses her front tooth in the cushion. Now she's freaking our about that, so I do what any forward-thinking mother would do... Get out the favorite game of my grandparents when they were biding long winter nights on the barren North Dakota prairie (or a regular farm), Rummikub... the "fast-moving and action-packed tile game". Or at least that's what the box says.

Asher is excited to play and starts to say, "I need to" but he doesn't finish the sentence because this happens:

Scott is muttering about vomit-bowl preparedness and Phoebe is licking my toothbrush.

When they say "you're having a baby! Here's what you need to know!" They don't talk about days like these...

Still, I will always remember when Lucy was 11 months old and got the most horrible case of Rotavirus ever. She puked all over Scott's new shoes.

Somehow I think Rummikub will always remind me of my happy little son posturing for his next great move until the vomit makes him sad.

Somehow I think I'll miss these days, and the husband doing the dancing Ninja while yelling about vomit bins.

This really is the in-between stuff, no?

It's still good.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Facebook lockdown

It was so good for me when I was off of Facebook last April for 5 weeks. I'm doing it again. I just need to recenter, refocus, re-energize.

I love debating and hearing different points of view and playing the devil's advocate and all that jazz, but sometimes it just feel so HEAVY and too much.

The circumstances of our new little girl's being here (she's 5) are alot. They're sad. She's already asked to call us Mom and Dad.


That is so sad to me...

What isn't sad to me is the way my kids have welcomed her with open arms. Lucy insists she sleep in her bed, and she and Asher play all day long.

I just need a breather. On Friday a friend and I got into a bit of a heated debate over gun control. Honestly, I think we were both shocked at the news of the shooting and took it out on each other.


Just what we all need to be doing now, right?


Court for our newest girl is on Tuesday. Right now she's just in Police Protective Custody.

5 little mouthfuls of teeth to brush. They were all lined up in a row, and Scott was busy.

My brother's girlfriend sent us her old Wii, and an outfit for Phoebe. The crowd went WILD! Thank you,  Billie!

Here is Scott, setting it up:

Tomorrow we will go to the store and go outside for a bit, just do normal hum-drum things. I like hum-drum and I like blooming where I'm planted and stopping to smell the roses and all that jazz.

I also enjoy stopping by the ol' blog to write down some snippets.

I just used the word "snippets".

That is also sad to me.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

this girl

Yesterday my heart was just so broken about those babies in that kindergarten classroom.

I mean, I know I wasn't alone.

We got a call last night for a little kindergarten girl who needed a place to stay.

I was looking forward to a quiet bed time, wine, and Sherlock. Not in that order, of course.

I said she could stay here. Of course, right?

I mean, if there wasn't any room in the Inn for Jesus, how great is it if I say no to a 5 year old with no home?

She is here, trying to help Scott figure out how to set up the Wii. We went to see Santa today, and she says she has never met him.

"He's a pretty great guy," she says.


"Aunt Rachie? I'm gonna be pretty sad when I have to leave here."

Sienna, taking very seriously her visit to Santa's train

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I am about 99% sure that Teapot called Phoebe a b*tch this morning.

I put her in time out, she said it three more times, each garnering her a time out, and I've not heard it since.

Ah, foster care...

I *will* say that I had to leave the room after I said, "Teapot, did you just call Phoebe a b*tch?" She responded, all excited, "Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!" like I would be really proud of her.

I walked around the corner and giggled to myself.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Georgia O'Keefe

I'm writing tonight because I've just done a bunch of Christmas cards, I drank too much caffeine after 4 pm, and I'm just plain happy.

For so long I've struggled to be "happy", to be calm, at peace, to feel comfortable in my own skin.

After Phoebe was born and I had to deal with surviving the tumultuous waves that crashed over me in the experience of being a survivor, I never thought I'd be able to feel whole again...or at least whole in the way I felt before hand.

Time can cure most ills...I suppose that adage is, well, an old adage because it is true. If you had told me 16 months ago that today I would be happily enjoying life with my little toddler, barely giving a thought to what happened the day she was born, I would most likely have 1. had a panic attack and then 3. broken down into tears.

"But I'm broken!" I would have told you... "and I'll never be whole again!"

I suppose I was partly right in saying those things. I was, for all intents and purposes, broken that day. I lost a part of me and I had to be ripped open and stitched up again...the first time for her to live independently outside of my body

and the second time, for me to be able to live and breathe and love within my own.

Without that surgery, and without that experience, I am realizing now, 16 months later, I wouldn't be the person I am. I wouldn't have the depth that I do, the calm, the lessened desire to have to be "right" or "have everyone love me" or "be the best mother or wife ever".

Somehow, I've realized, it's just been enough that I have existed...barrelled through the hard times, even when the hard times were me sitting at Sonic with a friend, pouring my heart out to her about my uterus and everything I felt I had failed at...and her, listening, nodding, sipping at a Cherry Limeade.

Another friend, on Phoebe's first birthday, brought Diet Coke and flowers.

I've surrounded myself more with these kinds of friends, the kinds of friends that could let me be, and breathe, in peace, and I've realized that this whole situation has allowed me to let go a little be good to myself, to realize that I am only one person and, EGADS! I don't have control of the universe and I'm silly to think I ever did.

In those first months, news of a successful birth or a happy pregnancy sent me over the edge. "Why didn't SHE have the problems I had?" I would think bitterly, crying into my pillow.

Lately, in the past few months or so, the thoughts silently lined themselves up like soldiers, behaving and pleasant. They would exit my brain and be thoughts like, "Oh, what a cute baby!" "I wonder what they named him!" "I am so glad to be done with that baby stage!"

and truly, I am. It's a sigh of relief to know that I never, ever have to encounter another ultrasound room again...another least of a baby, you know.

Because I am being birthed, in a new way, every day. and silly as you may think it is, imagining me coming out of a Georgia O'Keefe vaginal flower, (ok, I am laughing - the Nyquil is kicking in)...

just remember that God will deliver you, too.

It will take time, and you a part of you will always be quiet, and still, and retrospective...

but then that huge, other part of you will be wondering, and amazed, and so in love with a Creator who redeemed your story into, well, THIS...


this watching that baby you never thought you'd see beyond those minutes in that frantic room as they tried to save you...

watching that baby grow, and grow, and grow into a gorgeous little toddler...

painting her toenails and watching her feel some of your good old Kansas driveway pavement under her dirty, pudgy little irresistible feet...

and you are so busy soaking up the moment that you can finally

and gloriously

leave the past behind.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I think that it does matter.

Yesterday I picked Teapot up from her respite placement after my 8-day break. (I use the term "break" loosely, as I do indeed have 3 other minor children who have trouble wiping their bottoms on their own).

As I pulled up, she tore out the front door with her respite foster mom close behind. "MAMAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!" she screamed. She nearly bowled me over with her excitement, and at that exact moment I felt a huge shrill of guilt screaming in the back of my brain.

This kid, this baby, hugging your knees? This child was the one you weren't so looking forward to coming back and picking up?

I picked her up and she kissed my face and hugged my neck so tightly I saw stars for a minute.

"Go hoooooooooooooooooome?" she whispered, hot little breath in my ear.

"Yes, Baby, Go home! Nina (my mom) is at home. Do you want to see her?"


and on and on it went.

She fought with Asher over a Dunkin' Donut particle left over in the back seat, and Phoebe giggled and pointed at her the whole way home: "T, T, T!"

Of course the re-adjustment period at home was a little brutal. She was wild and crazy and swinging her arms and hugging everyone and asking me for an orange, and then another one, and then another.

"Your bottom's going to hurt, T-Bird, and then Granny will report me because your bottom has such a big rash!"

"GRAAAAAAAAAAAANNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" she yelled.

and more hugs.

So, I guess I am realizing that just because a foster care placement is hard doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

I am realizing that, in her little world, I am her constant - her stability.

When she wakes up in the morning, she calls to me from her room.

When she goes to sleep at night, I am the last face she sees.

That has to matter.