Wednesday, February 24, 2010

UK takes on Single Mom Stereotype

Solomother posted an article that I think it is important to share. :)

Every once in a while, the UK dailies will crop up with a rash of angry readers, mostly male, complaining about single mothers as spongers, soaking up council flats and government money, living in luxury while good people break their backs for a pittance. Some of it is downright nasty..... read the rest here., i'm bloggy today!! ;0)

Yes, She's Mine

I was thinking of changing my China adoption blog title (not this one) to a new one to better describes where we are today vs. where we/I was, say, 4 or 5 years ago. Then, I decided just to update the look of said blog... for now, without giving it a name change.

But then, last night, T (of all people, again) were having a conversation that disturbed me. :(

A little background... I was attempting to date a guy had problems in the past with someone accepting his son as a part of the family. How do you handle blended family issues, if/when they are posed type stuff.

So, T said... of course, Melissa, you wouldn't have a problem with blended families... we're not yours...

What?? Not mine? Who's not mine?

To which, I responded... yes, Lil M is mine. And then she retracted and said, yes she's yours... but I can see she struggles with those ideas. She really believes that family is by blood, for good or bad.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think that T has a problem with our family. She's trying to make her way just like we are. And she's gone through way, way more than any teenager should have to in their life. So, I do try to take it all with a grain of salt.

But that my foster child thinks that this family is not "real" just because I didn't birth either of them is.... Ouch. I might have to revisit the whole adoption blog name thing... and one thought/suggestion had been to re-name it to "Yes, She's Mine".

The positive is... yes... it is a true statement.

The negative's... well, I'm not trying to negate any birth mom's feelings, or any adoptees' feelings for that matter. Oh, and I don't believe in the whole ownership of children, and this title implies that.

Today, I'm feeling like it is not my responsibility to educate others. And, yet it is, if I want to be an advocate for change. It starts with one person, right? Comments like that hurt. Plain and simple. They hurt those of us who have worked so hard to have our own family... and especially when that family looks different from others.


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WFMW - decluttering

I'm not the first, nor will I be the last who is trying to de-clutter their houses, their lives. Right? So, I thought I'd write today about how I'm going about that... and maybe it'll help someone else along the way. :) Please go to We Are That Family for more great WFMW ideas.

1. Go through your mind and think about the stuff you use every single day. Ok, now... that stuff is untouchable.

2. Now, think about the stuff you use occasionally. Why do you use it? Out of need or guilt? And by guilt, I mean... do you use that item just because someone gave it to you, but it's not really something you love? Let's see an example for me... my panini maker. Now, I wanted one really bad. But the one I was gifted isn't quite what I wanted. But I used it anyway, on occasion. The question is... do I keep this one just because someone (my Dad, in this case) gave it to me? Hmmm... must think about that.

But that's the point. In the de-cluttering exercise for me, it is crucial to figure out why and how I think about the items around me. And then determine if I really need that item. Maybe it should be replaced? Or not.

3. Think about the stuff you put "away" for the next season. You know, those clothes you put up for summer or winter? Before you just grab that box (if you ever do), make a mental note to yourself to pick out at least 5 things that can go away. Because, seriously, you're going to probably buy 5 things this season, aren't you? Of course you are. :)

4. Think about the stuff that you haven't looked at in some box somewhere for at least one year. Is it mail? SHRED it. Is it "stuff" you're holding onto? Why?

Reasons for me are - baby clothes. I want to keep some baby clothes for Lil M just to have for her later. And some others I want to keep "just in case" I can adopt/have a second child. Part of my de-cluttering process this spring will be to go through ALL of those clothes and pick out what can stay and what must go. I don't need a ton of that stuff. I think I will pare it down to one box of keepsake stuff for her and one box of "just in case". Trust me. This will be paring down. :)

What about the other stuff you've kept "just in case"? Tools, old sheets, old baskets... old crap. Go through that crap and just start tossing. Really. You don't need this stuff. It's the most expendible of all the areas, right? And, it's been said many, many times... if you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it. Pare it down to a box. Not three. Not ten.

Now. My problem is my sewing room stuff. The sewing room has been dismantled so I could foster T. I have bins and bins and bins (no joke) of fabric and quilting items. I should go through this one more time (already have once and gave at least two big boxes to goodwill)... but, for me, I am not quite ready to do this.

So, sometimes you need to get your head around what you can do, and leave the rest for the next round of de-cluttering. There is no sense in having an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to this, or you might just not even start. It's better to get rid of some, than to not even begin.

I'm sure you have some other ideas?? Share, please!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not worth it

It is just not worth it for me to date right now. There I said it. Men are pigs (sorry Tom), and I have better things to do with my time than to worry if they like me or not. Seriously. And, somehow I've been feeling like I'm the one with the problem. I'm not. They are just not worth my time.

So there you have it.

Ok, so I'm editing to add the more important part. A good friend of mine mentioned to me that I get "stuck" when I get into a relationship. And by that, he means stop dead due to fear. And, he'd be right. And I haven't worked on myself to fix that. On the flip side, not one person I've ever dated has ever seemed to get that or me at all. I've picked the wrong men, and before I date again, I need to really sit down and figure out who the right one might even look like. And, see if I can get past my own fears.

btw, thanks, Joe. You really helped me today. :)


Monday, February 22, 2010

Gray day

The snow is starting to melt here, which is nice. And it's warmed up a bit, which is also nice. But it's definitely gray out there. I wonder if the weather is going to start getting better any time soon.

I need to get to the grocery and write a weekly menu. I'm sort of bored with what we've been eating, or not eating, lately. I haven't used a menu since T came to live with us, and I think it is about time to re-start that. Suggestions? (ok, except beef or pork, please.)

I wonder how others get through the winter blahs... maybe I need to go buy a sun-lamp. :) J/K. I probably won't do that, but I've heard that some people swear by them.



Sunday, February 21, 2010


Lil M, T and I had a fun time taking random pics last night. We didn't really do anything other than that all weekend. Sitting here in my reflection time, I'm even more convinced that life doesn't feel very fair sometimes. Don't get me wrong. My life is great. My life is greater than most, even. But do you ever feel like there's that elusive thing that's missing? Or that you can't do? Or can't get right? That's how I feel tonight. I'm frustrated with myself. Oh well.

God is good. I know that somehow my life will work out the way it should, even though I don't understand it.

The one thing I'd like to figure out? How to grow old and not do it alone.

I do have Lil M (and T, right now). But someday she will grow up and be on her own. Maybe I will try to go ahead and start a 2nd adoption, but that isn't the only reason I'd like to do that. Regardless, there will come a point... maybe God will be merciful and help me figure out how to be in a relationship with someone by then. If not, please, God, help me to figure out how to not be alone.

There you go. We all have our fears and our "stuff". I do believe that God is loving and merciful and wants us to be happy. So, I will continue to work toward my being faithful, hopeful and joyful. :)

I will tell you that Lil M and T definitely are great to have around. We got to be silly last night and Lil M is growing up so fast. She has the most beautiful spirit, that girl. :D She's my angel.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Reflection Lent

Do you recognize the Lenten season, or Lent? I'm not Catholic, but I do recognize the importance of this time of year and am more reflective because of it. I believe everyone should take time out of their busy schedules and lives to reflect on themselves, their lives, and most especially... their relationship with their Maker.

For me, I accepted the Lord into my heart many years ago... And, while I don't go to church as often as I'd like and am way more liberal than when I started my walk... I do really enjoy taking this time to reflect. I think it helps to remember what you and God have been through in the past to help you get through what you will go through in the future, if that makes sense.

And God Is Good.

In my own life, God has blessed me beyond measure. I have Mia to prove that. And even in the dark days that I had to go through, I have ended up being able to be Mommy to one of the most amazing little persons I've ever known. Thank you God.

I'm also learning more about myself and my life by being a Foster Mom. That's been different and it is something I am thankful that I have God on my side for. I'm taking it one day, one situation at a time and so far I feel like I'm at least doing my part. And, I feel like that's what I need to focus on with this endeavor. Not worry what will come of it, or not come of it. What decisions the kid(s) will make or not make. But, have I done my part? Did I do what I was able? I'm trying to keep that answer a yes. And so far, it is.

Beyond all that, people can be mean, they can be difficult, disappointing and negative. But then there is God. God not only prevails, S/he helps us to succeed when we are unsure, but put ourselves out there in Faith. Sometimes, life makes it look like failure, but even in those moments I believe something good can come. And don't get me wrong, I have quite a few of those moments. We all do. But then there is something amazing that can happen that would never have happened if life turned out the way you thought it was "supposed" to.

Instead of living in the disappointment, I choose to live in the Hope and the precious moments I have been given.

For those who have been given much, much is required. I pray I'm doing my part, because I do believe I've been given much. Thank you, Jesus.

Also, I'll share my favorite scripture today... just because I'm in this reflection mode.

Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction,
and faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

May this Lenten season bring you much reflection, a deeper relationship with Christ, and peace.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So much snow

We've gotten a record-breaking 21.8" (or more) of snow for the month of February here... between yesterday and this morning, we've gotten probably 8 or 9", on top of last week's snow. It's crazy. If we get much more, we will break the record for the most snow in the season, according to the weather man on the local news. Yikes.

We're all a little cabin-feverish and ready for the snow to be over.

Lil M has been having fun with Mommy home, though, today... she has been playing dress-up and with all her babies (animals). I think she likes it when I work from home.

I need to clean the driveway YET AGAIN today. :( ugh. They did finally plow my street, but they blocked me in... even though, I had cleaned off the driveway yesterday and there's probably 2 or 3" of snow on it... I had cleaned off the bottom as well as I could, knowing they were going to plow it right back there. Dam* them. That's the hard stuff to get off, too.

Oh well... every thing else is moving along just fine. If you're snowed in... hug your babies. If not... hug them anyway. :)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My own time

I was thinking about his coming Monday and wishing I had the day off by myself... but school will be out and, of course, I won't be by myself. Then, I thought about how much I love Lil M and how I love spending time with her any time! I do not have any bad feelings about fostering... but it has been a big adjustment for all of us and sometimes I like my alone time. lol

Speaking of Lil M, she has been a bit more emotional lately, which is kind of odd. She has always been pretty easy to make smile or laugh, but lately she's been more giggly (which I love) and crying more. I think the crying is because of a) the family change and/or b) she wants me to hold her, because she knows that if a baby cries, someone will hold the baby... she tells me sometimes that Monkey or Meow are crying and I tell her to hold them to get them to not cry... I'm trying to get her to use her words, but it's a work in progress. And she does it when she knows I might be upset with her for something... so, I guess it could be all three reasons. We'll figure it out, though. :)

Ok, so one adorable thing this week... I shoveled snow yesterday (not so adorable), and Lil M stood at the window and every time I looked up at the house she would wave and say I Love You Mommy (T said she was yelling it, but I couldn't hear her, just read her lips). I mouthed it back... and waved. ADORABLE. Seriously. :D

I love that amazing little one.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Budget stuff

On occasion I like to look at my debt - income ratio situation. Actually, I look at my finances all the time. I'm an odd bird. I like to know what's going out and coming in and if I'm on track at all.

Life took a few unexpected turns the past 3 years or so, and now I'm finally feeling like things are getting sorted out. I believe if a person is going to live (and, better yet, thrive) on a budget then you have to be super-diligent with it. I am not perfect by any means, but I've come a long way in my adult life in this area. :)

I'm still keeping monthly necessities to as much of a minimum as I can. I've even considered giving up my Netfl!x, but I don't think that $9 a month is a big deal. It's when you have SEVERAL of those things that it becomes a real bill to worry about. Money has been pretty tight around here for awhile, and I know that $10 is nothing really... but it sure can add up quick. (try adding up all your "little", insignificant expenses sometime)

Anyway, having another person in the house, the electric/heat bill has gone up considerably, as has our food bill. These are to be expected. Question is, how or if either can be brought back down at all. The electric bill is always much higher in the winter than any other time, even in the summer, for me.

No 'aha's' here... just thoughts. The one thing that has been of concern is my dependent account and having to pay daycare out of pocket this month, as opposed to that acct. That takes a bit of planning, 'cause DC ain't cheap kiddos. lol.

I wonder how people handle daycare if they got divorced and their child has to be in full-time DC vs at home. I mean, that'd be all of your child support, I'd think... or it might not even cover the full cost. Of course, I do not have that concern, but I do wonder how others handle that.

The past 6 weeks has given me an idea of what kind of costs might happen if I had number 2 permanently... that's sort of scary financially... but doable. Definitely would require more planning and diligence than even now.