Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good talk

Had lunch today (updated- actually yesterday) with my friend Ellen... we had a good little talk. Actually, no talk with us is little. lol. :) So, I've decided I should write down some more of my thoughts on everything that's been going on lately.

First, I am kind of in a unique position to be able to make the decisions I can make for myself and my family right now. And every decision I make is with prayerful and heartfelt consideration. I don't do it because I'm trying to be saintly or because I think I'm better than any other human being on this earth. And, I will say that I do make some decisions based on my own selfish wants or my own perceived needs.

I first got involved in foster-care (read: went through the training) so that I could 'family build'. I didn't really set out to do this temporarily or to take older children. But things change, right? And, now I've got a 17 year old with me right now. I don't have to accept placement until next week... and I've gone back and forth, back and forth on whether or not to accept it or not. I've definitely had my fears with this one. And, not even substantiated ones... just the "unknown", mostly.

You know what I find most interesting (read: disturbing)... just how for or against foster care people are. I mean, I thought the perception about adoption was bad. The negative perceptions about foster kids is just astronomical. Of course, then there's the other extreme... people who seem to think I will be a bad person (inferred) if I don't take the placement (since there is nothing wrong with her, but her "age"... and she is helpful... and it's only a few months...and if I "can't make this one work, how could I make any one work"... which is hugely unfair). Very interesting, indeed.

IF I decide not to take placement... or if I DO accept placement... it's really no one else's right to judge me.

The good thing is that my friends and family who have met her so far seem to like her. And likewise. She even said she had fun going to Frisch's tonight!!! HAHA. So, maybe she does like being here. Wonder how she might do when she gets back to school, though.

Right now she is organizing her room, though. :) I don't think I've ever known a teenager who liked to organize so much, lol.

Peace.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

On point

Page of Swords Reversed
You need to learn to trust people. Relax your expectations a bit. Not everything can be equal at all times. Inequality may be the deciding force in this situation, and you must accept this. A need to be more spontaneous. Free yourself from the rules and regulations. You are seen as steadfast and unwavering in your judgment. Throw caution to the wind and live a little.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More time

Christmas was good. Lil M, *T* and I went to my sister's for Christmas Eve and Day. *T* said it was the best Christmas she'd ever had, and that she's never gotten so many gifts. Then she said, it was unfortunate that she couldn't have had that kind of Christmas with her own Mom. I agreed. I am glad, though, that she enjoyed being with us for Christmas. That was my biggest goal... to make her holiday a nice one. And, it wasn't just about me and what I did... it was all of my friends and family. They were absolutely wonderful to her...

She's been moving things around the house and trying to get her room set to her likes. Apparently, she likes to move things around a lot. I don't. But I'm trying to accommodate her on that as much as I can. Some things, I just won't budge, though.

Lil M seems to be getting used to the idea that T is here and she seems to like her. Speaking of Lil M. She had a great Christmas. She got so wound up by shopping, wrapping presents and then getting a TON of presents...and then hanging out with everyone. She was wired for sound. I had to try to get her to come down a notch today, and will again tomorrow I think. She also needs to realize that even though T is nice, she still has to listen to me. I'm law around here.

I've asked the foster agency to give me more time until I have to decide if I'm going to take placement of *T*. Everything is fine so far, except she was 1/2 hour late getting back from her home visit tonight. I told her she gets one and only one warning. There is no excuse for being late, and to me that shows lack of respect/trust. On the plus side, she did call (5 minutes late)... and they gave me some excuse that her Mom needed gas. To which I replied, it doesn't take a 1/2 hour to get gas.

I guess I'm concerned mostly that I do not have teenager experience and she's going to try to run over me. There is a lot less control with a teenager than there is with a toddler. And I'd expect that... but I'm not sure if I'm really equipped to handle it. On the flip side... it couldn't hurt her to be with a woman like me for awhile. She might not like my rules... but in the long run, I think she might realize that there really are women (like me) out there who are independent thinkers and doers. And that she doesn't have to cave into a lifestyle her family brought her into.

Also, I realize I could make the decision on Monday. And that T only needs placement until October, so it's not a several year prospect, just a few months. Which does ease my mind, a bit. I'm going to see how this goes, and if it goes well, I could likely do it again. If not, then I might take a break for awhile.

Please send up some prayers.

Peace.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Worn out...

So, I did get my first foster placement today. It's been a long day! We met her about 2pm and went straight to the store to get her a few things. I'm sure we'll do that a couple more times this week until she gets settled. But so far, so good. She is, in fact, a 17 year old girl, and she's taller than me. lol. She seems nice. Let's see how we do this week, it'll be an adjustment for all of us for sure.

My dad has wanted us to go see Christmas lights tonight, and I left it up to T as to whether or not she wanted us to go. She said she did, so we made the drive. It was freezing cold out, but we all had fun. I left my camera in the trunk of the car, and only got some pics on my phone, which was a bummer, oh well.

She's off this week from school, so I'm going to let her stay at the house during the day without us. Trust-building for sure. lol. I think she'll do ok. She's already talking about getting stuff more organized around here. Too funny. :) Hey, if it makes her comfortable, more power to her!!

Will write more later.

Peace.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Placement

So, I guess soon I'll know who my true friends are and which ones think I'm beyond nuts. :)

I've accepted a temporary placement of a 17 year old girl starting Sunday sometime. Temporary, in that she'll be with me at least through next week. If things work out for all of us, she'll stay here as a placement for awhile. Please send up a prayer for all of us, and I'll certainly keep everyone updated.

She's significantly older than I thought I'd ever accept, but I am a licensed foster parent and I figured I have nothing to lose by accepting a placement. If it doesn't work out, they'll find her a different placement.

This, of course, is part of the reason the ex-bf and I broke up. Maybe I'll decide this route is for me, or I'll decide it's not, but I need to leave the door open. So, to my friends and family out there, please be patient and open if you can. :)

I'm excited and very nervous. And the first thing I had to do was call them back and ask if she could stay with someone else next Saturday because my Mom is coming to my house and she is particular. Since she only comes once a year... I figured it best to not rock that boat.

Peace.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Santa

So, Lil M told me tonight that Santa is the reason for Christmas. And I can tell she really thinks that... even at 3 years old... and I wasn't very happy about that, of course. But, it is sort of understandable.... Santa is EVERYWHERE.

Well, I'm not going to be the most popular person here soon, 'cause this Momma has to put a stop to it. I'm not getting rid of Santa completely... but sheesh.

So, how do you de-santa Christmas????

Jesus is the reason for Christmas, and I need to teach Mia that... starting now. :)

Peace.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Appreciative

So, I never thought about how much my grandmother actually helped us when we were little. Today, I went to buy a bed to put in the 2nd bedroom. It was $249 (including tax and delivery)... for a twin bed - mattress, box springs and metal frame. No headboard.

Then, I remembered that when we were young, my grandmother went out and bought Sis and I brand new beds... twin beds with mattresses, frames and box springs... AND headboards. TWO of them. Egad. I have to wonder what that set her back. And, for this moment, I'm so thankful. Maybe she paid it forward so I would someday. :)

Of course, we were family and she always did right by us and my Mom. But still. She always had to do double. Think on that for a bit. :)

Now, I need to go get some extra sheets, a water-proof mattress pad (just in case) and maybe a bed skirt. I remember our beds always being decked out. Now I understand the appeal.

Sort of scary that I bought a bed for a potential-child before I spent the money on one for me. I've had the same bed my step-mother gave me 20 years ago, and it was used then... HOW SAD, huh???? LOL

So, next year it is important for me to save up for my own new bed. WITH a headboard ('cause I don't have one of those right now either). And maybe a new TV. ;-)

Peace.

emergency placement call

So, I got my 2nd emergency placement call today. It has to go through the channels, and there are other families available, so it isn't necessarily going to happen... but I should be ready this time, regardless. This is for a 7YO girl. The bed I ordered is very basic, but I figure if I do get the referral, I'll go get some cute (but cheap) bedding. Or, use what I have, but I don't have much in the twin-bed size, so eventually, I'd have to get something anyway.

**Updated - the referral went to a non-therapeutic home... so, not a go this time. But I'll be ready if/when they call again. Of course, I still do feel a little bit let down.

Other than that... just getting ready for Christmas. :)

Peace

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Back on the Run

I ran one day last week, 3.1 miles... and then tonight I ran 3.6 and did pilates for 15 minutes. I'll probably hurt a bit tomorrow... but it was good to get a good run in. Even if I can get this done a couple of times a week right now, I'd be very happy. :)

This week has been OK so far... I bought Lil M a Christmas dress over the weekend, and it'll be neat to see her wear it. I should have bought it earlier, since we already went to a Christmas party, but that's ok. :) Her dress came with a doll dress that matches, hehe, and now I've got to figure out which doll can wear it!! That's going to be adorable. Ok, I'll step back from the adoring gushy mommy moment here. lol

It feels like it's been a long week and it's only Tue night. I can't believe Christmas is almost here... the lady at daycare laughed (not meanly) at me because I said that part of Lil M's gifts will be from me and some from Santa... but mostly from me. :) She thinks I'm nuts. You know... go with the flow Melissa. It's JUST SANTA. ;-) Seriously, she wasn't being mean, and she didn't say all that.... but I could tell she was probably thinking it.

Peace.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WFMW - coffee online

Today is Works For Me Wednesday... so, please go check out some great ideas from other bloggers.

My WFMW thought today is about coffee. I love coffee. But, I don't always like the coffee at the grocery store. Sis started on Boca Java last year, which is an online coffee company, and I actually like their coffee really well. So, this year, I've been ordering coffee online, on an 8-week schedule. Just one or two packs at a time, but it is convenient and I like it. :) So, that's what's been working for me. Kind of a little thing, but it takes the thought of what kind of coffee I'll have to get from the grocery, or go to a specialty store.

Peace.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unplugged and back...

I took a few days off computer-land... Had a great Thanksgiving with my family. I hope all of my family and friends had a great Thanksgiving, too. ...and, now I'm back! :)

We had two turkey dinners Thursday, then went through the black-friday ads and to Meijer (to see if we could pick up a friday ad, but they wouldn't give us one). We went shopping at 1am... to Toys R Us.

YES, WE ARE THAT CRAZY.

Have you ever attempted black-friday? or Toys R Us on a black-friday? lol it was nuts... but we got what we wanted and it wasn't terrible. The line to check-out took us about 2 hours to get through, but Sis stood in line with our stuff while her friend and I continued to gather loot. :) We all got what we went there for, so that was a huge success.

There was one lady, however, who brought her infant child (yes, a baby) to the store in the middle of the night... and we all thought she was beyond nuts (and, yes, in a bad way). As we were walking out... and I was carrying (ssssh, don't tell Lil M) a toy kitchen set, that was about 4 feet tall (and i'm only 5 ft tall!! it was just really long, but lightweight)... i accidentally walked into said woman's "baby carriage", as she called it... i just barely bumped it and the woman went ballistic. OMG. That was bad.

(btw, the stroller was...you got it... on wheels...and i didn't touch the actual baby... but you would have thought i hit the baby the way she yelled at me and threatened me!)

Other than that... not too many crazies out.

We hit another local anchor store in the mall and were done with our shopping by 6:30am or so. And we did good. Really well, actually.

Anyway, did you know LEGOS are so expensive one must almost mortgage their house, give an arm or leg or first born child to buy them? Ok... i exaggerate... but some of those kits are like $100 or more!! We got them for $59 and $42 (sis and i both bought one for my nephew... again... SHHHH!!! LOL) .... i hope he likes them! sheeesh.

We did not, however, go to Walmart. There is a new one in town (just moved from an older building to a newer one) and you would think that place was selling crack it was so popular. The ENTIRE parking lot was full. That. That, is no exaggeration. Our friend went in to get the $3 pajamas... and walked right out. She said the line was so long that it was absolutely not worth it. So, we left. (which, btw, we knew was going to be the case... they were even giving people parking tickets for parking along the back because there were no spots. Good Grief!!)

I got lots of other cool things for Lil M... and I'm sure she will like them. :D

Let's see...what else. I got caught up on a couple of my shows.. Law & Order SVU and The Good Wife (new this season, and really, really good!!).

Sis and I had a couple of excellent talks this weekend about our formative years and memories (or lack thereof)... and Christianity. Not in that order. lol And had some good quality family time. I'm blessed, that's for sure... Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to her friend Brian for watching the kids for the night so we could go shopping. :) He's a good man. Lil M had an absolute blast playing with Chase and his kids. I think she wore them out!!! :)

Peace.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It Smells Delicious, Mommy

Happy Thanksgiving (eve)... I baked some more today, so I could use up the last of my pumpkin and so we would have some yummy treats for tomorrow. I got home a bit early and started the bread. Then I went to get Lil M. When we walked in the door, she said... "It smells Delicious, Mommy"!! :) That's my girl!! What a way to make a Mommy feel good, that's for sure!!

I ended up making 4 loaves of bread (one sweet and 3 not as sweet - but my favorite, so far), some muffins and two pies. The pies are a little overdone, I'm afraid. But, it was my first attempt in probably 8 years or more to make them from scratch (ok, except the crust). I wasn't convinced they were done, but apparently, they were! Oh well. Hopefully, they'll taste good anyway.

The muffins were a little bit of an experiment, too. I tried one and they were fine, but not quite as big or fluffy as I had hoped. C'est la vie. Such is life. lol.

Anyway, I am extremely thankful for my daughter and our life together. I am also thankful for my family and friends. May God bless you and keep you all your days.

Gobble, gobble... and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Peace.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fell out

Well, Lil M seems to like her new bed OK. She, however, did fall out of it last night. So, I had to put up the extra rail I had (a temporary side-rail you can use on any size bed)... and that seemed to help. She, unfortunately, had two accidents, also. Oh well. We'll get there sooner or later.

I didn't get any more baking done today, but will probably tomorrow. I also didn't take Lil M to see that movie yet, but might also go tomorrow. We'll see. I really want to see it, but just didn't feel like going out.

I specifically want to make some oatmeal chocolate chip (coconut?) cookies... that'd be a treat. :)

Peace.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Growing up

Lil M is 3 years, 2 months old... but she's been content to sleep in her crib up 'til now. A friend of mine gave me her son's toddler bed, and so I moved it into her room tonight. She's graduated to a big girl (little big girl!) bed!! :) Let's see how she does...

On the potty front, she's been doing better this week, again. Last week, however, was kind of a nightmare... she had several accidents all of the sudden (regressed, I guess). But, looks like we're mostly back on track. I'm betting the new bed will help, too. Let's see. :)

I still need to get a bed for the 2nd bedroom, but now I've got her in a toddler bed and the crib is still in her room, just in case I have a need for it.

I've been a baking machine these past couple of weeks. Pumpkin bread, banana bread, pumpkin-oatmeal breakfast bars (turned out like muffins, just in a different form)... it's been great. I've got enough fresh pumpkin left to make at least some more cookies, bread and pie for Thanksgiving. :) It was a big pumpkin! LOL. Well, and I had some butternut squash that I made into bread first, which turned out just as well, IMO.

This is still National Adoption Month... and tomorrow, I think I'm going to take Lil M to see The Blind Side, for National Adoption day!! I'm so excited about this movie. I hope you all will go see it too!

Peace.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leaves, Leaves and more Leaves

Lil M helped me last night pick up leaves and put them into bags... we had a whole bunch!!! It was craziness! :) She was such a SUPER BIG helper! She would say things like:

Mommy, please help me.
Please hold the bag for me, Mommy.
Mommy, I hold the bag for you.
Mommy, get a new bag please... lol

(...and many others i can't remember right now. we ended up with 9 or so big bags filled with leaves!!)

She was quite the little director, I'd say. And along those lines... Ellen told me Sunday that Mia will likely be just like me... (in that similar vain)... hmmm methinks that may or may not be a good thing?!!! ;-)

Anyway, our Monday turned out great and it was great for me because she was the greatest little helper ever. Such the big girl! And, boy, did it tucker her out!! She went in, pottied, ate, and then crashed on her floor!! LOL

Please go check out other Perfect Mondays Moments here.

Peace.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New pics

I'm planning (hoping) to print that first one out to send with Christmas cards.

Mama Mia!

Had some pics of Lil M done today. They turned out really cute. :) We went to have her 3 year old pics done... and ended up having those, some fall pics and Christmas pics done.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

So, Lil M is working on potty training... for her/us, this has been a long-term committed effort and not a "weekend" deal. In other words, I didn't take a 3-5 day concentrated time period and say that she WAS going to be potty trained then and only then. I decided to do this in stages.

First, we got rid of the diapers during the day. Kept them during naptime and bedtime. (right at age 2)

Then, got rid of them during naptime. (probably 2 and 2 months or so?)

Then moved to pull-ups for nighttime only. (maybe only a week or so of pull-ups during naptime, so also 2.2 yr old?)

Now, we're out of pull-ups for nighttime... (3yr and 2 mo) and attempting to stay dry both day and night!! :) So, we've been doing this for about 2 weeks now (almost). I ask her if she wants to wear a pull-up and she says no. So, I say... well, you know you need to not go pee in the bed or in your pants. Ok, she says.

The latest conversation last night...

Me - Do you need to wear a pull-up?
Mia - no
Mia - no Mia pee in the bed (don't you love it when 3 YO's talk about themselves in 3rd person?) lol
Me - you're right!! :)

So, SHE said it to me first. :) She's definitely getting it... understanding and accepting that's she's not going to have an accident in her bed. She has had two overnight accidents last week (from memory)... otherwise, we're doing pretty well, so far! At least she seems to be understanding the goal, though!

I will say that I am one of "those" Mommy's that limits what she drinks in the evening, after like 6pm. I have an easy-going child, so I can do that. Others can't. Since she's been dry for a few nights now, I eased up a snad last night, and let her have a little more to drink. :) Which I will continue to do, as she gets better and better. And don't get me wrong, this is just after 6pm, to encourage nighttime dryness.

So, there you have it.

Peace.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Steven Curtis Chapman

I love Steven Curtis Chapman. He and his wife, Marybeth, just seem amazing to me. They adopted from China three times. THREE. He has amazing music, always has, IMO. They also have a foundation to give grants for adoption.

Here is their site : ShowHope.org

He is also participating in Orphan Sunday tomorrow at 4pm CST, and I already posted that link, but here it is again, just in case. :)

Interestingly, I accepted prayed the sinner's prayer when I was 15, but I really became a believer when I was 21 at a(n) SCC concert. Actually, it was during his opening act, but they are no longer together. I did, however, think SCC was wonderful back then, too. Anyway, they hadn't adopted yet, and I had no idea that they would walk down a similar path as I have with adoption. (I would go back to China in a heartbeat if they'd allow singles again!!)

Anyway, I really do find them quite amazing and beautiful spirited people. And amazing advocates for Adoption. I do not find it coincidental at all that his new song was available this month. :) (It is about one of their daughters, whom they lost to a tragic accident in 2008... which happened, strangely, on my birthday)

Peace.

Adoption Month and Weekend update

Tomorrow is what some are calling Orphan Sunday... Here is a link to a webcase tomorrow at 4pm central. I will continue to try to post a few things here and there for National Adoption Month.

Cry of the Orphan

Lil M and I went to see my friend Misty last night and got to go to a VIP event at a Hallmark store... it was cool. I couldn't sleep last night, though, and that sucked. Today, I took a nap to make up for it. lol.

Lil M wanted to get in her baby swing tonight, and so I let her (since she, amazingly, still fits!!) ;-)

Peace.

Friday, November 6, 2009

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. I am sure the intent was to honor adoption, adoptees, and all members of the triad. But here's the thing. There is no glamor in adoption. Adoption is a necessity because people are well... human. We make decisions every day that affect the children born in this world. For better or worse.

Adoption is a blessing for many and heartbreak for so many others. It is a choice and it isn't. Some families do not "choose" to give up their children willingly. There is corruption in adoption. This makes me angry and sad and disgusted all at the same time.

When you adopt you hope and pray that everything is above board and perfect. You want to believe that you are creating your own family out of love. And, I do, personally, believe that is how most of us go into adoption. I want a family. I either can't or choose not to have a biological child, therefore, I will adopt. The problem is not having the dream. It is ignoring the reality of our children. They didn't "choose" to be here, in this place with us. We chose them, selfishly or ideologically or both. It doesn't matter the source after you adopt.

We MUST respect their feelings and concerns and their reality. We must respect our children.

I believe that I am truly blessed to have Lil M as my daughter. One day, though, she might not feel the same way... or she might want to know more about her birth situation. That is HER story and I will respect what she does or doesn't want to do with it. I also feel a responsibility to our world's children who are orphans or in the foster/adoptive system. I think we need to encourage our Legislators to work for more Therapeutic care for these families, where they can, and work harder towards reunification.

I can't fix the world. And other countries have their own issues and needs. I do believe, though, that if we can find reputable agencies to work with who sponsor children, work towards their growth, possibly family reunification... definitely a change in attitudes toward children put in this type of position... stop making them "invisible"... change attitudes that they have against single women or widowed parents... Help the children stay with their families if at all possible...

Not that I don't THANK GOD every single day for the opportunity I have to raise my daughter. I do. And I believe when Scripture tells us to take care of the Orphans and Widows...

But wouldn't it be a great world if there was no *need* to even have orphans or widows?

World peace. That's what I want. :)

Peace.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Hermit

I found the online FB tarot program today... and this is what it said for me for "yesterday" specifically:

The Hermit
Time for convalescence. Need to be alone with one's own thoughts. Need to cultivate oneself before interacting with others. Focus on inner wisdom. Loneliness. Emotional separation from others or oneself. Time to draw one's world in and simply exist for a while. Separation from partner for one's own mental health. Quiet is needed. Wisdom of older male coming into focus. Seek counsel of wise ones around you. Seeker of truth. Caution. Detachment. Prudence.

I'd say that was pretty darn accurate. I only did this for fun, btw, I don't put too much stock into tarot cards... but the ones for today were dead-on right.

Today's talks about volunteering... which is good because this is National Adoption Month, and I have been trying to encourage others to look at adoption and foster care and sponsoring children in need.

Six of Cups
Focus on kindness to others. Time to volunteer in your community or give your attention to a project that needs your unique talents. Someone close to you needs your help and assistance. Harmony. Stability. Time to appreciate what you bring to other's lives. Enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Possible philanthropy. Surround yourself with beauty. Contentment. Engaging in play with others.

Peace.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kitty-cat princess

Happy Halloween!! Today was my login date (LID) in 2005 for Lil M!! So, it is particularly special for me. :)






Peace.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin muffin recipe

I want to try this recipe, but doubt I'll make them tonight! ;-)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese (room temp.) and
3 Tbl. maple syrup or honey
Set aside

In a large bowl, place
1 cup honey or maple syrup (we like honey)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 stick butter - soft
2 eggs
Mix this well
Add:
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 ts baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
Mix until well blended

Now fold in the cream cheese filling very gently.
Fill greased muffin tins or lined muffin thins 3/4 full.
Mix 1/2 cup nuts with 2 Tbs. brown sugar and sprinkle on top (I double this...just cuz-yummmm).

Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly brown on top.

Peace.

Aloha Friday

IslandLife808 blog does an Aloha Friday that I thought I'd participate in this week. Here's her definition:

"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response."

Her question is:

If someone offered to buy you lunch today, where would you go?

My answer:

I would go to the Cheesecake Factory and get a turkey burger and a big giant piece of cheesecake!! :)

Go check out other great answers here. Or feel free to post your response on my MckLinky too!!

Peace.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Still shell shocked

There are so many things I'm feeling right now. After an almost 2 year relationship with Scott, I got a 'dear john' letter in my email on Sunday night... and am still just shell shocked, to say the least.

First, let me say, I am not a perfect person. Not by a long shot. And, frankly, I think I needed him more than he needed me these past 2 years. How he stuck by me through all the crap I was going through is beyond me... but now ...when I thought I had more to give and wanted to try to figure out how/if we might have a future together... now he leaves.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

color change

I changed the color of my blog... the other one was feeling a bit drab... wonder if anyone will notice or care?!! :) (also, don't be surprised if i change it back...)

Also, I know that I say that Sis will post, but she's really only ever posted once. I will certainly try to get her to post again, but for now... you're stuck with ME!

Today, I met some guys that I used to work with for lunch at a local Pizza place... YUM. It was good catching up with them.


Tonight, Lil M and I will be having our 3rd play-date this week. We're on a roll... mostly, 'cause Mommy doesn't want to sit at the house and mope. (ok, well, technically... last night was just dinner and the night before we were attempting to put the toddler bed together, but play-dates sounded more fun.) It will be great to see Carol and her daughter Kate tonight. Hopefully, I'll remember to take my camera and get a pic or two. :)

Peace.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another no pull-up night

So, Lil M is really working on nighttime potty training... she has told me every night for the past week, except one, that she didn't need a pull-up. We had 3 of 4 nights dry... then pull-up (and dry), then just slightly damp...and last night was a bust. Totally wet.

But she wanted to try again! My little trooper. :) So, let's see how she does.

Peace.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Temporary Placement

I thought I might have an emergency, temporary foster placement today... it was going to be 3 kiddos (5,3,1)... and, again, it was just temporary. But I did try to get ready for it, and now I'm a little sad that they won't be coming. They were placed with a different family, which is fine.

What happens is that the Agency calls me to see if I will accept a placement. When I say yes, they send my homestudy to the State Agency Worker... and that person gets more than one homestudy... then they the State worker decided which family to place the child(ren) with. In this case, they went with a traditional DCBS family. No biggie. 3 kids would have been a little tough, but since it was a true foster situation, I felt OK about it.

Oh, and the fact that I had a crummy night last night. So, I was trying to forget about all that...

A friend is going to come help put the toddler bed together tonight. :D Woohoo! And, another is going to let me borrow a twin bed... plus, Mindy has one I can use if I need it... so, I will have at least one twin bed soon. The agency has already asked me about two other placement situations, but they weren't emergencies, so I will probably figure that out tomorrow or sometime this week.

Peace.

Lentil Loaf?

I am considering trying something new this week... a 'meatloaf' made out of lentils. I love beans. What can I say... we eat them because Lil M and I both really like them... and, that works, too, because I don't have a super-love for most meats. Normally, I'd make meatloaf out of ground turkey. But I'm considering trying this recipe. :)

Vegetarian "Meatloaf" with Oats Recipe

Serves 6

Takes 10 minutes to prepare and 30-40 minutes to cook.

This version of Lentil Loaf is a classic. It is high in protein, yet free from soy. It is flavorful and has a lovely texture - this loaf is a perfect starter vegetarian dish. Appreciate lentil loaf for its unique taste - it doesn't try to copy the flavor of meat.

Because Vegetarian Meatloaf is smaller than a turkey, there is plenty of room left in the oven for roasting vegetable side dishes like sweet potatoes, turnip, or squash.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (19 oz.) can lentils, drained, rinsed, and slightly mashed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup rolled oats (quick or large flake)
  • ¾ cup grated old cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ – 2/3 cup spaghetti sauce or barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ – 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix lentils, onion, oats, and cheese in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the beaten egg and mix well.
  4. Add the sauce, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour/scrape the lentil mixture in. Even out the top surface with a spatula or fork.
  6. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until top is golden and crispy.
  7. Let cool at least 5 minutes.
  8. Turn out onto serving platter and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Variations:

Add chopped celery, different sauces, different cheeses (or no cheese!) or try more traditional poultry spices instead of the Italian ones. Serve with all the 'fixins: mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, squash, and salad.


Thoughts or suggestions (if you've tried something like this)...are welcome. :)

Peace.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bread...made of squash

So, I made butternut squash the night before last... and I figure it is pretty close to pumpkin, so why not use it in my bread recipe...?? Yep, I'm crazy.

Oh, and I didn't have any flour in the house. How is that possible, you ask? Well, I haven't baked in awhile and I don't like to leave it just sit forever, so apparently I was out. So, what did I do? I took oats and ground them in the blender/processor attachment. Yep.

Friday, October 23, 2009

pumpkin bread recipe

Found this recipe tonight (here), and am thinking of trying it tomorrow with the squash I cooked last night (or the can pumpkin I bought)... just to see how good it is. :) 'cause, it looks darn good.

I was thinking I might use canola oil, but somehow I think I need to go get some veggie oil instead.


Preheat the oven to 350.

1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup water

Mix all the dry stuff in one bowl. Mix all the wet stuff in another bowl. Then mix them together. Easy.
Grease and flour a loaf pan. Dump the batter in. Bake it for an hour or until it is done in the middle.

Toddler bed

Lil M has had 3 dry nights in a row. :D Shall we try for a 4th tonight? Let's!

What I need to do, though, is put up her toddler bed. It's actually a 3-in-1 bed (crib, toddler, full size) that my dad and I bought for my nephew when he was born. He isn't using it currently, because he is using a twin bed (that was my grandfather's). I've been procrastinating... this doesn't feel like a fun chore. Oh wait, fun and chore don't really go together, perhaps that's why I haven't done it, yet. ;-)

Besides that, the other fun-filled excitement for this weekend is to organize my sewing room / 2nd bedroom.

No, I haven't gotten an update about the possible placement from my agency yet... bah.

I will post pics once I get things done! :) Because... well, I know just how exciting it is and how much everyone cares that I get these stupid chores done. ha! ;-)

Peace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pull-ups, and I don't mean exercise...

Lil M has not worn diapers in almost a year!! Woohoo! She has, however, worn pull-ups for night-time... She's not even worn these for pretty close to that year mark during the day.

Well, this week she seems to want to go pull-up-less at night. So, I'm letting her... She has had 2 out of 3 dry nights... and I'm hoping tonight goes well, too. :)

Now, hopefully, I've said this before... but Lil M just turned 3 in August, so I'm not too worried about the overnights... she seems more and more ready, though, and I will definitely encourage that!

The day was pretty good. Had my work review (6 month) and it went well. I have a great boss who seems to understand me pretty well. That's amazing for a change.

I called the agency to talk to someone about my fears of the placement... and they listened and encouraged me. But didn't push. That is always nice. I'm now waiting to see if the state will allow him to stay with me, regardless of my decision, until/unless I have the medical training they want. Thanks Beautiful Mess for the advice today!! :D You ROCK!

Oh, of course, MK... she's a great IRL friend... and very patient with me! God love ya! (actually, i have wonderful friends... of which...without you all, I'd go crazy!) oh wait, maybe I'm already there...

...so, I guess I should go clean the sewing room more now. but ... um, no. Off to beddy-by time! ;-)

Peace.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yep, it's Wednesday

This week and last, I've been trying to figure myself out a little more and more. I haven't had any major revelations, yet, though. ;-)

I was presented with a potential placement (foster to adopt) yesterday and am not sure what I'm going to do yet. It is a 12 YO boy with type I diabetes (juvenile) and it's a little scary. At the same time, I feel like I should consider it, so I am. I have the option of taking him for a weekend to see how I might handle everything (without him knowing it would be a potential placement)...and if I do, I need to get the 2nd bedroom ready now!!

Oh, let's see... I bought some butternut squash this weekend when we went to the pumpkin patch, and I cooked 2 of the 3 of them. I think I might try to make a pie out of it tomorrow, but I need some evaporated milk. I know it isn't pumpkin, but it seems mild enough and might make an interesting pie. :) Who knows... or I might see about making a pumpkin (type) bread with it.

Peace.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Self-worth

So, have you ever thought about self-worth? I mean... people go on and on and on about love. Love others. Love yourself. Or not. But it's all about love.

And I mostly agree with that. Love is good. And it is certainly something I espouse to do. ;-)

But it has occurred to me recently that I don't feel so "worthy"... worthy of expressing my own needs and wants. Worthy of not only expressing them, but demanding them as an equal person among all of my friends and family and anyone else on the street. Yes. I am worthy. Not just lovable, but worthy.

And oddly, I've always felt like someone else's needs were more important than my own. Why? I don't know. This isn't even the 'mother' or 'woman' complex. It is really just a core feeling. Something I've felt since before I can even remember... and, yet, it is just not right. I mean, really. It is important to love other people. But it is also important to know and love yourself. And part of loving yourself is acknowledging what your own needs are and realizing that it is OK to have those needs. It is not being self-righteous or even selfish in the normal negative connotation. It is just realizing that you are equally as worthy as those you love and defend and take care of.

And when we put ourselves down and let other people lord over us, it is not good. I believe that is what it is, "Lording". Putting others before your own self is like putting them on some type of pedestal ... like they are better or greater than you and your own self and your own needs.

And that's exactly what I've done my entire life. Even when others can't see it, it's been my modus operandi (MO). And when others can't figure out my needs, then I get upset. Why can't they see it? ... well, they can't see it because they can't read minds and if I don't tell them, how do I expect that they will see it???

So, this is what I'm trying to learn... and it probably sounds super easy for some people. And those people would probably think me nuts for even bringing up the subject. But, I have to be honest with myself... I need to learn that I am worthy just for being me. I am good enough as is.

Isn't it interesting the things we learn as we grow up and how convoluted our self-perception can be? I would really prefer not to pass this learned behavior on to my daughter. So, I better figure out how to deal with it now! :)

Peace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reunion weekend

Here are a few pics from my reunion this past weekend. I had a great time getting to see all our classmates...




Peace.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Montessori School

I'm considering putting Lil M in Montessori school... but am not completely sure this would be beneficial for her. She is 3 and I think by next year she will likely be bored at daycare... even though it has "preschool" for a couple of hours each day. I just don't know that it is enough...

We went to a function the other night where there was a child a little older than Lil M (approx 3.5 years old) and he had a really rough time with his speech... he apparently doesn't know his colors or counting either or ABC's... Lil M, on the other hand, can count to 20, can say all her ABC's, knows a lot of colors (even colors like gray and silver), and can recognize most of her alphabet in writing (capital letters). I didn't think this was too much to ask of her, and am quite proud, of course, but it does make me wonder if she'll be bored with daycare soon.

Of course, then there is a "real" school schedule to deal with, like holidays and week long breaks and such.

Regardless, I'm going to keep teaching Lil M at home and if she's ahead of the other kids, so be it. ;-)

Peace.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I did it!

The last day of the month might just be a good day for me. :) When I adopted Lil M, my dossier was logged in on Oct 31.

Well, as of today, Sept 30, I'm licensed to be a foster parent in my state!!! Yeah!! And, actually, the goal is foster to adoption. So, let's see what happens.

Now, I wait for a placement. :) Oh, happy day!! I'm so excited!!!!

Peace.

Wordless Wednesday

ok, not totally wordless... first day we arrived home and Grampa was holding Lil M (at the aiport)

Peace.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Alpacas

We went to an Alpaca farm today to see our friend Amy, Becky and Eli.



We went later than I thought, because it's been a bit of a bad day. We did enjoy getting out and seeing the animals, though. She got to pet them, and at first thought they were horses. She really enjoyed running around the farm. Playing with a kickball and Becky.

They had teddy bears made of the alpaca fur... man, they were the softest I've ever felt. Expensive, so I didn't buy one, but really neat.

Peace.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Almost Certified or is that Certifiable?

I've got two more things to complete and I will be a fully certified, licensed foster parent. Let's see what happens from there.

Not much else to report here except that I'm still figuring out how, when, what to do about the addition of a second child (not necessarily the same thing/avenue as the foster parenting route, but maybe).

I tried to contact an agency here in the US and they never did send me an information packet. :( bah.

Lil M has been having fun with her paint set that she got awhile back. She seems to really like to color and draw. Or maybe it's that she likes to draw on herself, specifically. ;-) who knows. Looks like it's going to be more of the same this week, though, because it is so wet out. Rain all week... ugh!

Peace.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birth Mother Question

I've stolen this post from Digging to China...(who got it from a Children's Hope Int'l newsletter) because, I too, believe this is one of the most wonderful posts about a birth mother discussion experience I've ever heard of.

"This is one of the most beautifully-written posts I've ever read on the topic of addressing the birthmother question with a young child. It's written by Jean MacLeod."

I wrote the beginning of this article several years ago, and have used it a few times in other places to describe the moment I realized I was parenting in deep water...

~ By Jean MacLeod


"Mommy, why didn't I grow in your tummy?"

I looked my three-year-old daughter square in the face and gave her the speech that I had rehearsed in my head for as long as she had been mine. The speech was short, gentle and sweet. I told her about her birthmother in China, how much she had been loved and how much we loved her now.

"But, Mommy, why didn't she keep me?"

I took a deep breath and explained that I didn't know for sure, but that it might have had something to do with the China rule about having only one child. I described a few other possibilities and ended with my proclamation of faith – that we were meant to be a family, that I was sure that her birthmother wanted her to have a family for always, and wasn't it wonderful that we had all found each other to love.

Coming down from my poetic rhetoric, I smiled winningly at the tiny figure in overalls and waited for my hug and kiss. What I got: a look of icy outrage, arms folded in haughty disbelief, and an attitude that screamed "what a load of c***!"

I was unnerved. This was supposed to be a mother-daughter bonding moment where we celebrated becoming a family. A moment of sadness was allowed, but then things were supposed to be joyful and loving. Why was I feeling like I had tried to tell a sixteen year-old there really was a Santa Claus? And how could a three year-old see through all of my carefully worded, positive explanations? I believed what I was telling her about her birthmother... why didn't she?

She didn't because she had lived her story and somewhere, deep inside, she knew the whole truth. My "old soul" little girl understood that a happy adoption is built on a heartbreaking loss long before I did, and she was cutting me no slack.

Clearly, my daughter's birthmother wasn't going to be explained away. I slowly realized that I would be living with a powerful ghost of another mother, and that this ghost needed to be acknowledged, embraced, and disarmed. My daughter needed some sort of a relationship with her birthmother, and she needed me to have an understanding with her birthmother, too.

So, I invited my daughter's unknown, invisible, Chinese birthmother to tea.

Properly, of course, with a formal invitation dictated to me by my three year-old. In the backyard, we set up a child-sized table with three place-settings: tea-cups, cookie plates, and party napkins. Another tea-cup was quickly added for a favorite stuffed mouse who was a late RSVP. Lemonade tea was rapidly dispensed (formalities like small-talk pale with the preschool set when real teapot pouring is allowed), and we got right down to business.

"So, birthmother," I said to the empty chair to my right. "How are you doing" I'm thinking you might be missing your little girl. I know she misses you.?

My daughter nodded, and I asked her if she had any questions for her birthmom.

"Why did you leave me?" she asked directly to the space occupying the third chair.

"Why did you leave her?" I echoed. "Was it because you couldn't care for a baby? Did you have "big person" problems? It was a very sad thing for your baby girl. I think it might have been a very sad thing for you, too."

My daughter nodded vigorously.

We continued to chat about our day, the vast amount of Oreos eaten by Mousie, and the birthmother's magical trip from China? But my daughter was unusually quiet.

"Is there anything else you would like to ask your birthmother?" I inquired, watching her carefully as I pretended to sip my tea. My daughter went completely still, and I guessed at what she needed to ask and what she needed to hear.

"Birthmother," I said. "We want you to know that you are always welcome in our home and in our hearts. You are part of our family. But your little girl is *my* little girl to raise, and she will live with me until she is big and is ready to leave. You cannot ever take her back to China. This is her home now, and I am her mom, and I love her very much."

Then I left my child-sized chair to put my arms around the little girl with the enormous feelings; it is overwhelming to deal with big grief and big relief at the same time. In voicing my daughter's secret hopes and fears I had validated her connection to two mothers, and had begun my own long process of learning to deal openly with the painful side of adoption parenting.

The ghost? She still lives with us, mostly peaceably, nearly ten years later. We've felt her genetic legacy, as my daughter leaped into puberty. We've seen visions of her in the mirror, as my daughter grows into a beautiful young woman. Our joint acceptance of the ghost gave my daughter some power over her past, and allowed me to view the birthmother as an ally, instead of an enemy, during times that adoption compounded the emotional turbulence of adolescence. The three of us exist together, but only I remember that the three of us once attended a symbiotical summit meeting in the garden, and that we officially sealed our forever relationships with a splash of tea, and cookies.


Copyright 2008, MacLeod, All Rights Reserved
Jean MacLeod is author of At Home in This World: a China Adoption Story, and co-editor of Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections and mother of three daughters, two of whom were adopted from China through Children's Hope. From one adoptive parent to another, Jean shares her wisdom here in the monthly e-news and in the annual Children's Hope Newsletter.

Thankful Thursday

I know somewhere out there someone does a Thankful Thursday post... I just don't remember where, lol, so I'm going to do my own. This is pretty normal thanksgiving for me. ;-)

I'm really thankful for my friends... it is really awesome when they have your back, no questions asked... for the little things and the big. I have great friends.

I'm also thankful for Lil M. Every day, I'm thankful for her.

You know, I've been reading some articles this week about corruption in adoption. Specifically, some adoptions in Ethiopia. :( But then, someone sent me some articles about China, too. So. In that vain, I'm very thankful for Lil M and I pray that her family in China is OK and there was no wrong doing. I don't believe there was, but, well, we may never know.

Peace.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today we remember

I was sitting in a class with my co-workers 8 years ago this morning when everyone's beepers started going off. At first we thought it was nothing, but very quickly we realized that a NY tower had been hit. We all rushed to a conference room with a television and witnessed the tower falling. Then the 2nd tower was hit and fell.

Oh My God.

Silence.

Horror.

That day was a defining day in our history. And, may we always remember what our service men and women went through to keep us safe. May we always remember the volunteers, firemen and women, hospitals, police... EVERY ONE OF THEM. Every single person who helped, prayed and fought. I still pray and hope they have been able to move forward in their lives after that devastating day.

May God give us Peace.

Blessings.

Find other encouraging September 11 posts here.

Peace.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Swagbucks

So, I've posted before about a site called Cashbaq.com that I have been using this year. I really do like it, hence, it is linked on my blog. I've been reading about quite a few people using something called Swagbucks lately. So, I'm going to try it, starting today. Please feel free to try it along with me. :) Looks like it is legitimate.

Here's my referral code if you're interested:

Referral Code

Looks like you get points for doing searches and things. Those add up to prizes. I promise to post if this turns out to be a dud, but so far, I've heard/read good things!!

Peace.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Blessed

I'm sitting here tonight reminiscing over the last 2+ years with Lil M... and just completely realizing how blessed I am and have been. I can't believe just how little she was when we met and how much she's grown!!!

I'm still praying about a 2nd child, but I'm so extremely thankful for my daughter, it isn't even funny. She is so amazing to me. Her personality has always been so sweet. And, I especially love it when she gets jealous or tries to "protect" me (from the dogs or whatever she sees as something not good for Mommy)!! LOL It's pretty darn adorable.

Anyway, I'm just really happy tonight realizing just how lucky I really am to be able to be her Mommy (always and forever, as I always tell her).

Peace.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

That face!

This week's show and tell... please go check out the others! :)


You'd think that something was wrong when she made that face... nope, she was just opening a present. LOL But she's been making this face recently, and I just had to share.

Peace.

Monday, August 31, 2009

scripture quote

Happened upon this today on a blog I read... wanted to save it.

“Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?”
2 Corinthians 2: 14-15

and this one:

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48.

Peace.

Birthday Bash!

We had a really fun day on Saturday with family and friends. Lil M turned 3 on Thurs., and I planned her party for Saturday so we could do it up nicely. :) And, that we did!

Before everyone came over for the party, we had our own present opening party that morning. :) It was a safari themed party... and eventually included Dora, Boots (the monkey) and Swiper. The little kiddos, of which there were 4 total, got to color, play on the back porch with all the tricycles and cars... and get Monkey and Lion temp tattoos, as applied by my nephew, Chase! He was great with the little kids and seemed to have a good time, too.

Lil M really seemed to enjoy having everyone over and loved everything she got! She looked great in her cute little dress and white shoes! She blew the 3 monkey candles out in 2 breaths... and loved the cake and ice cream! :)


I just want to say that we are truly blessed to have the friends and family that we do. We love you all from the bottom of our hearts!!!

Peace.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Not the flu

Lil M was sick yesterday and the night before last. She had a bit of a fever (100.5) and threw up at daycare two different times. So, I brought her home and then took her to the Dr. yesterday afternoon. He said she probably had a little stomach virus, but not the flu. The flu test confirmed she didn't at least have that. Thank goodness.

So, we're staying home this morning for a little bit, maybe all day depending on how she feels. But so far, she seems to be feeling a little better. She didn't eat much of her banana this morning, so we'll see.

I was pretty cranky yesterday, just felt bad for her because she was sick on her birthday. Yep, she turned 3 yesterday. :) Here's crossing fingers that we're both OK for tomorrow's birthday party!

TGIF.

Oh, besides all that, she was 27 lbs and 35.5" tall, which still puts her in the 40th percentile, like she's been the whole time. Nice to be consistent.

Peace.

PS. now my stomach isn't feeling so good. :( Potty issues, and not throwing up... but that's not good either. i hope it passes as quick as hers seemed to!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

recipes i want to try

homemade chicken tenders

egg&cheese drop biscuits
(except i'll use turkey sausage or bacon)

man, they look yummy. :)

peace.

WFMW - Toddler Chores

Cleaning the house as a single Mama can sometimes be a little tricky. ... with a 3 year old (tomorrow) in the house!! So, sometimes I try to pick times of the day that Lil M is asleep or eating or watching her show to get chores done.

Other times, I let her help. Things she can help Mommy with (which, of course, is all relative)!!

1. sweeping the kitchen floor with a broom,
2. putting folded clothes in her own room, or on mommy's bed, or in the kitchen for me,
3. putting her toys in her toy box (nightly),
4. putting her dish(es) in the sink when she is done eating. she can't quite open the refrigerator herself, yet, so she puts her leftover drink on the counter, too,
5. picks up the weekly newspaper from outside and puts it in the recycle bin,
6. helps mommy get the mail and brings it in,
7. helps mommy unload the dishwasher, by taking things (not knives) out of the dishwasher and hanging them to me to put away
8. helps mommy unload the groceries. she can carry up a light bag from downstairs to the kitchen, and then she takes the items out of the bags for me, and i put them away.

What a great little helper I have. :) This works for me!! Go check out other WFMW ideas!

Peace.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

basketball camp final day

Here are a couple of pics from today's camp. I think Lil M liked it, but an hour each day for the 3 days was more than plenty for a 2 year old!! :)





Peace.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

basketball camp

So, I got Lil M into a 3 day (1 hour long) basketball camp for little kiddos (3/4/5 YO). She's actually still 2 years old, but will be 3 at the end of this month. She's done pretty well, so far. Day 1, she played a lot, and really looked like she was enjoying herself. They were all on the big basketball court.

Day 2, she played some, but not as much. They moved the smaller kids to the small basketball court that has walls about as high as the kiddos and made it much more loud. About halfway through, she decided she would rather be with me than to play with a basketball. So, all in all a good day, but after the halfway point it was harder to get her to play.

The interesting thing is, I was OK with it either way. As you should be, you say? Well, of course. But when you're in the middle of it, you don't always know how you will react. Or how she/they will react. The very cool thing was that she didn't just sit in the middle of the floor and have a meltdown (not that she ever does that, but i could almost see it coming)... and instead she came to me and only wanted Mommy.

When thinking about attachment and whether or not our adopted kiddos really feel safe and loved, it is a great feeling whenever she wants me and me alone. It is definitely what I think is 'supposed' to happen, and when it does, it's a great feeling. The other great feeling is to know what her limits are. I felt like I could push a little more at one minute and then a few minutes later I knew she was done. There seems to be a balancing act with that, though, and I could see how she could get overwhelmed quickly. That's all about being a toddler.

I wonder what the Three's have in store for me/us. lol.

Day 3 of her camp is tomorrow. I also wonder how she'll do then! I think this makes me even more determined to get her into a dance/tumbling class, so she has different experiences in the next few months! :)

Peace.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Saddens me

My thought for the day....

You know what saddens me?

When a so-called friend says they don't want to be your friend after you had to take a stand for yourself in a bad situation.

When women put other women down for their choices of motherhood or non-motherhood.

When someone allows the harassment or oppression of another.

When a Working Mother or a SAHM puts the other down for their choices.

I'm sure there is a lot more to say here, but these are the ones that come to mind. It is my opinion that we should build each other up in love. We all have our unique gifts and talents and we should encourage our fellow human beings to pursue theirs as well. And we as women should help each other when people are mean to us and to our fellow mothers/sisters/daughters/friends.

Peace.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

President Jimmy Carter

I'm so pleased with our former President Jimmy Carter for coming out against the Southern Baptist Church (SBC) against the subjugation of women.

In his words:

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world's major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

......
The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

Here's a link to two articles, one written by him and the other about his decision to leave the SBC.

Losing my religion for Equality

Jimmy Carter leaves church over treatment of Women

Frankly, the more I read about him, the more I like him. :) I am so pleased that he continues to do good work!!

I've been reading so many different kinds of articles and blogs lately about the subjugation and demoralization of women, even in our own country. It makes me SO sad and, actually, angry. I really believe that his taking a stand against the SBC is just awesome. :) He has his own foundation - The Carter Center - and he's won the Nobel Peace Prize. We could stand to learn a thing or two from him and his wonderful wife, Rosalynn, IMHO.

Peace.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Batiks and goal

I just remembered that I have some absolute gorgeous fabric at home that I haven't found a project for. It is this earthy colored batik fabric... batik fabric is basically hand dyed and the dye is layered on. It is contemporary looking, but not something that won't look good years from now. It was very spendy to buy, and I have had it for probably 3 years or more now sitting in a drawer.

I need a new project or goal. Maybe making myself a quilt for a change might help. So, I'm toying with taking that fabric out and cutting it into simple squares and sewing them together to make a top. I sort of feel like it should be a fancier pattern, but I'm not sure I want to get too fancy with my first project back. But, I might look up patterns tonight and see what I think I can manage. Else, it'll be squares. :)

Even just to get an idea of a project seems somewhat appealing to me today. I need goals. And I have none right now.

Peace.

How do you do

So, it occurred to me today, yet again, that my life is different than it was 2 years ago. Different does not mean bad. It's definitely been a good thing. But some things have taken a backseat either due to energy level, time constraints, just having adequate mommy time... etc. And I'm wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way.

How do you keep up, or do you, with some of the things you did pre-baby??

I used to quilt all the time. Not now.
I used to run all the time. Not now.
I used to travel all the time. Not now. (this one is for races, family, anything really... just pick up and go)

I'm trying to get back into something, but am not even sure I want to do the hobbies I once did. Is that normal? But I haven't found anything that I like as much or better to replace them. So, I'm sort of feeling stuck.

Anyway, looking for thoughts and ideas from others who've maybe gone through something similar...

Peace.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cat...and not Manna


I have had my Manna girl (cat) for 15 years now... crazy. She is suffering from a thyroid condition right now, and has lost a lot of weight. I've been giving her meds for a few months now, and need to take her to checked again soon. Money, money, money... but I love her.

Anyway, today a cat walked up to my neighbor's house...they both asked if it was mine. It wasn't. It is a white and tan/grey calico. They tried to convince me to take her. So did Mindy and Chase. She's pretty. She has blue eyes... and has been laying on the couch with me all evening. But is it YET MORE MONEY if I keep her. Good grief.

I haven't made a decision yet.

Peace.

Monday, July 13, 2009

One with Two

I have my nephew this week, so he can go to a baskeball/sports camp. He started this morning, and I'm hoping he's having a great time! Surprisingly, this morning wasn't much worse than our normal mornings... of course, it is just one week, but it does sort of give me hope that one day I can be a mommy of two.

I've got to figure out how to get Maggi (my sheltie)'s stake back into the ground tonight, as well as mow the yard. But I've got dinners figured out for most of the week, I think. I'll stop by the store before picking up the kids... then we might do dinner and the park (if I have enough energy!! LOL)

Peace.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Show and Tell


Another blogger friend has a Show and Tell wednesday thing going on. I don't usually participate... but after looking through some pics, I really thought I ought to do it this week!!! :) Please go visit the other participants over at her place, too!!! *PS, I'm using her graphic, 'cause she's a Mel and some folks call me Mel, too. :) Hope she doesn't mind!!

Our Show and Tell: Mia and her happy face mirror.

What is so special about a toy mirror, you ask? Well, it happened to be one of the very first toys I took with us to China for her to play with. The nose honks, it is a happy face, and she can see herself in it. What more could a girl ask for?!!!!! :D It didn't hurt that it was small and portable! (my sister and Mia are probably the only two people the world who even remember it, besides me, of course!)

So, last night I was pleasantly surprised when she found it in her box (after removing every single item from the box, I might add, so she could put her animals in there...which she never did actually do!!)

I was so pleased to see her interested in the long-lost-toy, if even for a moment... after 2 whole years! :) And, of course, she looks adorable making faces. hehe.


Look at me... aren't I PRETTY!!! hehehe

Peace.

Savings Make Cents: WFMW: Oatmeal Bars

Savings Make Cents: WFMW: Oatmeal Bars

Kitchen Cleaners

So, a quick note to say that I went to the store last night and got a Clorox kitchen cleaner last night... thought I should get something "real" in addition to the vinegar solution I use in the kitchen. Just let me tell you - that crap stinks!! I mean, literally. I can still smell it and I'm not even at home. It is just WAY too strong. So, either I'm going to dilute it, or just use it for outside or something.

Back to the vinegar I go!!

Oh, Sis asked me how to make laundry detergent, so I thought I'd post it here, too. It is a dry detergent, I haven't made liquid stuff, yet.

2 cups grated Ivory soap (or bastille, but I just use Ivory and it is great)
1 cup Borax*
1 cup washing soda*
Mix well

Use 2 TBL for a regular to large load of laundry. It if is extra soiled, use 3 TBL.This does NOT make suds in the wash...but, it cleans just fine!!! :)

*Both Borax and Washing Soda can be found in the laundy aisle at your grocery store, at least it can at Kroger.

Peace.

Orphans and Widows

I read a great post today about a ministry that helps Widows. Please read it here, and prayerfully consider helping.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Peace.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Absent

I guess I've been a bit absent lately!!

In the land single parenting, one thing that is different than if you had a partner is that all decisions and responsibilities are carried out by one person instead of two. Ok, duh. But here's an example. Summer day camps and working. Us single folks have to work (unless you're blessed to be independently wealthy... not here), so when summertime comes, you have to figure out what to do with your little ones if they aren't in school. With Lil M, she's still in Daycare, so it's not an issue. but with my Nephew, well... it's something that needs to be done.

So, Sis got him into a YMCA program for part of the summer, and I got him into two sports camps - one is a basketball centric one, and the other is more general. I think he's going to love it. :)

He came down this week and hung out with Lil M and I and we had a nice time. He comes back in a week or so for his baskeball camp. I hope that goes well, too. It's kind of nice to get to have some concentrated Auntie M - Chase time!!!

Not sure if we're going to see fireworks tonight. Might try to find some. Otherwise, it's just a relaxing weekend here. Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!

Peace.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Adoption day

Last Friday Lil M and I celebrated our 2nd adoption family day. Well, I did. She doesn't quite know what it all means yet. :) But she will! I treated us, and sis and nephew, to Indian food and Starbucks. I know it wasn't Chinese food for our anniversary, but it was a treat. :) We all love Indian food. Yes, even Lil M had some!!

It's been a wonderful 2 years together. I just can't believe how fast it's gone and how much she's grown!! I'm still completely happy with the decision to go it alone. I know people find that odd, but it works for me/us.

Here's to another 2, 10, 80 years of family days and happiness Lil M!!! :) Mommy loves you.

Peace.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chicken potato corn chowder recipe

I made a new recipe... and sort of made most of it up myself! :) Here it is. It turned out quite good. I think the key is to put the milk products in toward the end and turn it on simmer.

1lb chicken (cooked and chunked)
10-15 potatoes (i wanted this to be predominately a potato soup)
2 cans corn
4 cups or more of chicken broth (to cover the potatoes - i used chicken broth that i had made from a chicken before. you can use water here, but i think it gives it more flavor)
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 can condensed milk
1 cup milk

I cut up probably 12 potatoes (peeled and cubed) and put them in a pot of chicken broth only (probably 4 cups) - bring to boil

I took about 1lb of grilled chicken breast that i cooked the night before... it was cold, and i cut it up in small chunks.

Added 2 cans of corn
Added the 1lb cubed chicken
Added some spices - maybe 1/4 tsp onion powder and dehydrated onion, pepper

Then after about 20 minutes,
add 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
add 1/2 can of condensed skim milk
add about 1 cup of whole milk

Turn on low and cook until the potatoes are done. :) Season to taste.


Peace.