Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How do you spell 'discombobulation'?

Remember when I said I had found peace. Yeah, that. It's gone. Pffft. Out the window. It has been replaced by angst, worry and fear. Ahh, my favorite bedfellows. They are well worn friends by now. I knew it was too good to last. At least I got to enjoy it for a while.

Katie is sick again. It's the return of the hamburger tonsils. I think her spring break ski trip is going to be spring break tonsillectomy instead. I was hoping she could last until summer, but that isn't looking good. The doctor actually winced when she looked at her throat.

Levi is loving school. He wants to go every day now. Wahoo! He is a nut though. We have been trying to teach him his phone number and address and he is having NONE of it. If I ask him, he makes up something as the answer. Even if I say it and ask him to repeat it, he gives a nonsense answer. But he explained to me what metamorphosis was the other day, showing me a cacoon in a book and everything. He even says the word correctly. But repeat his phone number? Forget about it!

This weekend is the first Cheer Nationals so Katie and I are heading out of town. It will be a long weekend of butt sitting, ear splitting and fun knitting. Ahhh!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Goodbye Glenn

I wasn't able to say much yesterday about this wonderful man. I was just too upset to be able to do it and to say what I was feeling. Still having trouble with that, so instead you get some pictures. I came to know these wonderful people on our journey to adopt Ahren. We share the same agency and same looong and difficult adoptions. Thru the journey we have shared we have all become fast friends. An extended family of sorts, the ties forged strong by adversity.

This is Glenn and his wife Lil, with Hayley on the right (adopted as an infant) and Lexi on the left. This was on our big visit trip in October 2006 to visit Lexi.

Glenn coloring with Lexi in the hotel lobby. They are working on princess pictures.
The bubble-blowing assistant extraordinaire. See how he has the bubble solution poised for quick re-loading?

I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to a dear man. Glenn Z. was a man who adored his family, who had a heart of gold and who held a special bond with his grand-daughters. Today Glenn became an angel. I find it unfair that he was taken home to the Lord before he got the chance to see his last grand daughter home with her family. The precious child that he has loved and fought so long for, prayed for and planned for. I don't profess to understand the ways of life, but I find this sad. Glenn was a wonderful man, why couldn't he have been rewarded with this one last wish coming true? Glenn, we love you and you will be greatly missed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Life at the ranch

Two weekends ago Levi and I did a little craft project. A guy I work with came up with this, and it's brilliant! It's Reverse Tie Dye. You start with a dark colored cotton t-shirt. (Wally World, 2/$5) Tie them up with lots of rubber bands, and throw them into bleach water. No messy dyes, no stained hands, no colors that bleed when you wash them. Just magical shirts and lots of fun. I used about 1/3 bleach and 2/3 water, soaked them for 3-5 minutes, then rinsed the heck out of them with clean water. Then I removed the rubber bands and threw them into the wash.

This one was a navy blue shirt to begin with.

And this one was a dark green before the treatment. Levi thinks they are ultra-cool and I got a sparkling clean sink and fresh smelling disposal to boot. Thanks Robert!!
Levi has a wicked imagination. Here he is being a cow. He is moo-ing. (Didn't have the heart to tell him the difference between a bull and a cow...)
Operation Kiddie Korral was in full swing last weekend. With the warm weather around the corner it was time to make a safe play area for the kiddos. That's Levi behind the fence helping his Dad. My next project is to coat the fence with a thick layer of white enamel to look good and prevent splinters.

Just when I think I am about to strangle her, she does something incredible and I am filled with pride. Last night was sophmore academic night at the high school. It was all about planning for college, preparing for the entrance exams, taking the right classes, etc. There are 8 required classes, in addition to the math/english etc, each child needs to graduate. Katie is on her last one. Unlike the rest of her friends, who took all the fun classes last year and this year, she took all the required ones and is now planning on taking advanced placement courses and earning college credits in the next 2 years. She has signed up for the honors plan, where you take extra credit classes and can graduate with commendations. She has even been nominated by her english teacher to take AP english and comp next year, which is a senior level course. There were lots of parents there, but not very many kids. Katie wanted to go, I didn't have to drag her along. She listened and absorbed all the info and we discussed her options on the way home. Then I called the cellular company and ordered her replacement phone ($50 since we have insurance) and it will be here tomorrow. She is really a great kid. How did that happen?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

For sale: One slightly used teenager

Katie: Mom, you need to take me to Sprint. I have to get a new phone. I NEED my phone. I can't call you or anything.

Me: Oh you poor baby! I will get right on that. Not.

Katie: Mo-o-o-m, I NEED my phone!

Me: Your irresponsibility does not cause me to have an emergency.

Katie: Mo-o-o-o-o-o-o-m, call them NOW.

Me: La la lal allaallllaallla I can't hear you.

About once a year something mysteriously always happens to Katie's phone, necessitating getting a new one. We have insurance so it's not too expensive, but it has definitely gotten way beyond annoying. A couple of years ago a rock got accidentally 'dropped' on her phone, destroying it. Last year it was stolen and vandalized at school. One phone just quit working. Now, it ended up at the bottom of the hot tub. This is the girl who will be driving next year and she can't even take care of a stupid phone. How am I going to let her have a vehicle?

Updated to add: She cranked up the pressure for a new phone by telling me, "Mom, what would happen if I got kidnapped? Or in a car wreck? I wouldn't be able to call you." She knows I am still freaked out about her car wreck last April. Darn kid. Thank goodness for insurance, that's all I can say. Geesh, how can I love her and want to strangle her all at the same time????

Levi had a great day at school yesterday. He told me he made a sun out of a paper plate and studied his sight words. Then he volunteered that he was never going to get in a fist fight with a girl again. Um, what? The teacher had no idea what he was talking about. (Luckily!)

When he was at the doctors on Monday, I had her check him for anemia. He is fine. Apparently he is really just that white and translucent. Poor kid. He has finally gained a little weight too. He weighed in at a whopping 39 pounds. He hit the 50% mark! Of course that was with heavy clothes on, but we will take what we can get. I have been getting him to eat lately by telling him he needs to grow bigger to be able to ride more rides at DisneyWorld. (Hey, if bribery and tricks work, use 'em!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Random photos for random reasons

Levi watching TV in his easy chair.......dig those cool socks man. I taught Levi to play hockey using a swiffer and a plastic golf ball. He managed to score a hat trick in dust bunnies! (Elle, Levi says he loves hockey and soccer is for wimps! Too bad there's no ice anywhere near here.)
Just in case you ever wanted to know what hair looks like when you put it up into a pony tail/bun  wet and sleep on it. Scary.

Random catching up

Levi had a check-up yesterday and he had to get the last of all his immunizations. I had forgotten that 4 years old was the magic age of the last boosters to get them ready for school. Poor kid had to get 5 shots, and we hadn't missed any. They just keep adding things. Plus, the chicken pox and something else used to be combined, but not anymore. His poor little legs were pin cushions! He did great, cried a little and said he hates shots, but held still and braved his way thru it. His reward was a trip to the dollar store where he got a big bag of worthless crap for $10. Katie's mad because she got 3 shots a couple of weeks ago and she didn't get a bag of worthless crap. Honey, you wouldn't want the cheap stuff. We both know that bag of stuff for you would have cost WAY more than $10!

Speaking of expensive. Guess who managed to have her cell phone knocked into the hot tub? Ding ding ding, you are correct. Miss Katie. Why was her cell phone on the edge so close to the water? Well because she might just get a very important text message that required immediate action. It is still drying out in the hopes it begins to work again. If it doesn't, I am going to replace it with 2 tin cans and a string, and if she's lucky I will make sure there are no sharp edges.

Levi has a sniffly nose, so I told him not to touch baby Holly, not even a little. He looked at me and asked if he could still touch himself.

The new puppy is doing wonderfully! She is extremely smart and every time I take her out and say Go Potty, she does! She still has some accidents in the house, but she is doing so well. Plus, thanks to everyone who gave advice on the food. We switched her to a premium brand and her poo poo got harder and she quit going 6-8 times a day. She is a total comic, too. She and Levi are quite the pair!

Levi is loving school. He waivered a bit last week since he knew he had to get a shot to go to school. But once I convinced him he had to get the shot anyway, he decided school was 'great'. He had his first classmate birthday party on Saturday. Now people, let me ask you, who holds a little kids birthday party in January OUTSIDE? I mean, this is southern Texas, but the high was only 50 and the wind was blowing. We lasted about 1.5 hours and then had to leave. We didn't even have coats with us because who in their right mind would have a birthday party in january OUTSIDE?????

Levi is now planning his own birthday party. Poor kid doesn't realize it is 7 months away. He wants a Spiderman party with balloons (not the water kind) and a big blow up slide without water. He wants cake and a big pinata. Life is so easy when they are this age. Katie wants a live band and a new car for her birthday. Dream on girl!

We received an update from the agency about PBJ's case. It's almost comical, because it is the same information I told them in October, and November, and again in December. Anyway, the issues keeping her case locked up are that 1) the birthmother is Mayan, speaks a different dialect and is also painfully shy, 2) her documents have her listed as mute, and 3) the social worker thinks she might be mentally delayed and may not understand her rights well enough to relinquish a child. Apparently the attorney talked to the social worker and she is willing to fix her report to indicate the birth mother does understand, and that it should take about 3 weeks to get done (the report, not the case) I have no idea if the BM is deaf and/or mute. I have no idea if she is mentally delayed. For all I know she could be an alien. (No, not the build-a-fence to keep them out kind of alien, but the creepy Area 51, UFO-flying kind) I was told way back in October that they had already had the hearing in front of the judge and that the judge was ruling favorably. Oh, but wait, he decided to go on vacation for 6 weeks without signing off on our case. Come on people, do I look like I just fell off the turnip truck? (Don't answer that!) If the judge had already ruled why would they be waiting for a social workers report?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Good Heart/Bad Heart

I try very hard to be a good person. I am not perfect, and I know this, but each day I strive to do my best and be my best. Sadly, I am failing. Here is a bit of the dialogue I hear in my head:

Good Heart: Oh look, someone just got out of PGN with a 5 month old baby.

Bad Heart: That's not fair. Why them? Why not us for once?

Good heart: They are going to enjoy that tiny baby so much. Awwww.

Bad Heart: I hope that kid has colic and projectile vomiting!

GH: It's good to see that the system really works sometimes.

BH: I hope their baby is BUTT UGLY!

And so it goes. I cannot seem to shut off that bad voice in my head. I am beginning to wonder just how good of a person I really am if I harbor this nasty little personality inside of me? Can I blame it on the stress of adopting? Has it caused me to develop a split personality? Or was this evil little persona always there????

Levi had a great day at school (his words) but again was exhausted. I am wondering if he might be coming down with something. This morning his cheeks were bright red. Hmmm, maybe Fifth's Disease? I'll have to keep an eye on him. He has a doctor's appt Monday.

OK, help me out here. How do you explain to a pig-headed 15 year old that if she keeps running her mouth one of these days she is going to piss off the wrong person and get her butt whooped. Um, don't you remember Big Chunky? Her mouth runs without the gears engaged. She thinks she is hilarious and so do her friends. Barbie with a tude. She is going to end up Barbie with a black eye.

Her mouth doesn't just run to other kids either. She and Haleigh think it is hysterical to say the most outrageous things to Nanny. One day they asked her what sex was like. Nanny is in her sixties and she has lots of experience with kids. The question didn't even phase her. She wouldn't answer them, but they also didn't get the satisfaction of getting her all riled up. They are forever coming up with things like that. It's a good thing they are so darn adorable, but those mouths. Ugh!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just another day in the loony bin

A phone message I received this morning from Katie: (Note, spoken really, really fast)

"Mom, this is Katie, I think I just got written up and I might get ISS (in school suspension) but it was over something really stupid. I love you. Bye"

I got this message before the school day had even started. The only thing I can think of is she got in trouble on the bus. What, my sweet angel do anything stupid on the bus? Couldn't be. Oh, except for the time she stuck the kotex pad painted with red marker on that kid's back and freaked him out. Or the time someone opened the emergency exit while the bus was moving and everyone got in trouble. And there was also the time she lied and said her name was something else to the driver and got busted. ...........well, maybe she could have done something stupid...........

Levi decided yesterday that he hates his new school. Out of the blue. Just like that. I asked him why and he said it's because they don't have naptime. Huh? Then it dawned on me. He has to get a Hep A shot, which is a new school requirement. He has an appointment for Monday. He overheard me telling Nanny about it and said he didn't want a shot. Being the brilliant one, I told him he had to have it for school. Duh! How many kids do you have to have before you stop making stupid mistakes like that. Then again, is there any guarantee I would actually stop making stupid mistakes????

Update: Katie is not in trouble, whew! Apparently she and some friends were making faces at, and I quote, 'This really stupid girl' they don't like, and the girl reported them. Only the girl added a few embellishments. The principal's office wasn't buying it, and dropped it. For once, common sense prevailed. Now, I need to work on Katie's social skills.

Sorry folks, but I had to delete the chicken photo. I need to edit it and make it a bit more family-friendly. Time to whip out those mad photo shop skillz!

Wait, Here it is, all edited! You can't even tell!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monkeys and Goofballs

I don't think I ever showed you what the dogs got for Christmas. When I saw this I just KNEW we had to have it. Now if Chris would just let me put that old toilet full of flowers out in the yard...

There are a bunch of monkeys living in my house. On Monday, they ate 6 bananas. That is a normal amount. I usually have to buy bananas 3 times a week. Even Max the Sheltie loves bananas and will steal them from the kids if they don't watch out. See what I mean? A bunch of monkeys.

I frequently find surprise pictures on the camera when I download them. This time there was a whole series of these 2 making faces. Goofballs. Probably on a banana-induced high.....

Yesterday evening was much better. I even got to cook supper. How sad is it that getting to cook the dinner I planned constitutes a good day? And it wasn't even a very creative meal! Baked chicken and a mediterranean pasta salad. Poor Levi, he fell asleep without dinner again! At least this time he had on his jammies. I wonder what they do in that 3 hours of school that tires him out so much? I think I am going to have to feed Levi earlier on school nights. He is skinny enough already without skipping meals!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Frustration-ometer was pegged

First I would just like to re-iterate that I love my kids. Truly. I would never sell them to the gypsies, send them off with the circus or send them out to play in the street. But there are days... and yesterday turned into one of them.

Work has been horribly busy. The kind of busy where at 2:45 yesterday, after having been at work since 7 am, I finally ate some pretzels and a diet drink and called it lunch. Then I got out of here late, fought the traffic thru the massive construction zone and pulled up to the house, at which time the top of my head popped off and my headless body rolled out into the dirt. Not really, but what I saw about caused me a coronary. The 26 saplings that I had potted so lovingly over Thanksgiving, carefully labelling each pot with the type of tree so that I could place them appropriately later on, were scattered all across the ground, ripped out of their pots and pots laying everywhere. My first thought was the deer had gotten them, even though I had them on the cement next to the garage. But then I realized whose handywork I was looking at, and I stomped into the house bellowing LEVI! He admitted he had done it and he spent the next 30 minutes lying in the hallway crying because he was in trouble. Yeah, no sympathy here, boy. You can just lay there while I repot, randomly, the trees.

While this is going on, Kaytee and Haleigh are trying to get someone to give them a ride to the gym so they can work out. Nanny is watching kids, I am potting trees, Mina and Levi are both crying, the puppy is crying, and the phone is ringing. I get the trees all back in soil just in time to see the girls running down the driveway and climbing into a red truck. Both nanny and I run after them asking who is driving, do we know him, when will they be back, who is picking them up, etc etc etc. Turns out I know the boy well, so that is OK. They will call me to pick them up.

Holly gets picked up, then Mina's mommy comes, and about then we realize Nanny has a very low tire. I get the emergency pump out of my car kit and we start blowing it up. Chris gets home and saves the day with his monster compressor and guage. Nanny finally hits the road terribly late, hoping she makes it OK without a blowout or a flat, and we head into the house. The girls haven't called even though they have been at the gym over an hour. I call and they tell me they aren't done but the boy can take them home. But wait, I have all of Haleigh's school books and backpack in my van. So I run up to the gym, but they are in the tanning beds, so I head to the grocery store and grab the things I forgot the day before, and head back to the gym. I find Kaytee, give her the books and head home.

I was starving and crabby. It's now 7:30 pm, my dinner plans are ruined, I microwave pizza bites for Levi and serve them with some fruit. Microwave leftovers for Chris (He is so sweet, never minds whatever he gets to eat) and can't even remember what I ate. I throw out corn for the deer, get the mail, feed Steve the turtle, take the puppy out, etc etc etc. I get Levi in bed and get his new backpack all set for school.

And then I face planted in bed and didn't move until time to do it all over again today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stream of Consciousnous

Our Nanny asked me the other day if I really believed we would ever bring Ahren and PBJ home. She wasn't being mean or even offensive. She cares just as much as we do and it has been a long, hard road for all of us. Do I believe we will? Some days I do. Some days I don't. It's not a lack of hope, or faith, or even despair. It's more like it's just that what will be will be, and we cannot force the outcome. Maybe what I am trying to say is that I have come to a place of peace where I accept that it may not happen. I haven't cried a tear in several months. I dream about them, but the ache is gone. I still love them with all my heart, but I haven't been tearing myself up over it. I don't know why this change occurred. There was no moment of revelation, no epiphany, no life-altering moment I can put my finger on. Just peace. We'll see how long it lasts.

I have been working to once again update all of Ahren's dossier. It has become a twice-yearly event in my life. Once for Ahren and once for PBJ, each year. This is the third time for Ahren's. I should have had it done months ago, but I just couldn't bring myself emotionally to do it. It's almost finished now. I remember the first time. Getting all the documents was so exciting, so thrilling and so fun! Once I had the whole stack completed I felt so accomplished, as though I had just given birth to a child in paper. We were ready for our referral, our first glance at our new son. Oh how exciting that time was. I was convinced that adoption was the easy way to add a child. Oh how wrong I was. Nine months of pregnancy, 6 weeks of bedrest, 18 hours of labor, a c-section, all the painful parts of having a bio-kid were a cake-walk compared to the pain of these adoptions. Plus, they offer you DRUGS when you are in pain. So far no one has offered me anything to deal with the pain of these adoptions. Hah! I need a reverse-epidural. Something to block the pain from the waist up!

Ahren. Darn that kid is cute! Those curls and those eyes. Plus he is the sweetest huggy teddy bear ever. Never cries except when the food runs out and you don't shovel it in fast enough. If we ever do bring him home, no matter how old he is, he will be spoiled in a way that makes Paris Hilton look neglected. And sweet, sweet PBJ. I just want to hold her and never let her go. Protect her from every bad thing out there in this world. I want to build her a little princess bubble and keep her safe. I am so happy to see the sparkle back in her eyes. She is quite the little charmer, that one. If we ever bring her home I predict she will have her Daddy and her big brothers dancing to her tune.

Peace of the heart. Full of love and patience right now. I pray this feeling lasts.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quiet Sundays are the best!

The weather has been absolutely perfect this weekend. Sunny, warm, a breeze, blue skies....ahhhh, it feels like spring even though it is early January. The strawberry beds are doing well and we have bluebonnets popping up all over the back forty. No mowing until they have bloomed and set seed for next year.  I am planning a rose garden full of antique roses, just behind where Ashley is sitting in this picture. Between us and the barns. I will make a large raised bed, with some sort of arched structure in the middle for climbing roses, and little walkways between the sections. The roses do best with lots of air circulation so the paths will allow better air flow plus access to the plants. Then there will be a flagstone patio under the pine trees up further, with some stone benches. Should make a very nice resting spot. 
I have kind of a 5-10 year plan for the landscaping. Eventually it will involve lots of paths and little gardens all over the property. I like plants that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds and hopefully won't be so delicious that the deer mow them down. 
Look at these happy kids, just hanging out together in the yard soaking up the sunshine and the love. I wish Sunday would last for a week.......

Friday, January 11, 2008


My folks called me last night to see why I didn't blog yesterday. Well, it could be because I spent all day running around like my arse was on fire. Or it could be because I had nothing to blog about that wasn't either whining or pathetic. Or it could just be I fell off the face of the earth and spent the day in a time-continuum where I was doomed to repeat the same task all day long and yet never really got anywhere. Turns out it was all 3!

Levi didn't have a ride to or from school yesterday, so I went to work, then left and took him to school. Went back to work, then left and picked him up from school. Then went back to work and left to pick up Katie and take her to a hair appointment. I drove back and forth on the same construction-riddled road all day long and still ended up in the same place at the end of the day. I managed to get everyone where they needed to be on time, and get all my work done. As a reward, I stopped at the grocery store and bought brie, almonds and puff pastry. Toast the almonds, place on top of brie, wrap in puff pastry and bake. Serve with warm french bread and wine. Yummy yummy! I even made a puff pastry dessert to go with it, but I was so full of cheese I tasted a little and that was all.

I am trying to like my hair, really I am. I like the cut, I think it is cute and sporty. I just don't like it on me. (There is nothing cute or sporty about me anymore!) I do happen to think when it grows out just a bit and I can spike it out all around the sides I will like that much better. I have a theory about this haircut. You see, I think it's a plot to infiltrate the US with cells of hairorrists. Demoralize the US citizens one bad haircut at a time. Very clever and evil. Hit us where it hurts the most. Our pride. Oh and Dad, thanks for asking about my wig. You are so funny. Maybe you and Katie could start a comedy routine.

Levi is loving school, but it seems to wear him out. I guess being so good for 3 hours straight is tough on a little guy. The teachers say he is wonderful, perfect behavior, so sweet. That takes a lot of effort! Last night he fell asleep before dinner and didn't wake up until 7 am this morning. I have to admit he slept in his clothes, too. I wasn't about to wake him up to try and get him into jammies. He went on his own and crawled into bed and fell asleep right away. I was fixing dinner and Chris came to tell me he was out like a light.

I dreamed about Ahren the other night. I was in Guatemala and waiting at the hotel for him to be brought to me. I waited and waited and he didn't come for a very long time. Finally, they brought him, but I couldn't touch him. All I could do was look at him. He was so close and yet still so far away. A perfect metaphor for this adoption.....

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I am begining to like my haircut. It was just such a shock! It's super easy and sporty but it tends to stick up all over if I don't paste it to my head. I bought some new products to play with. Might as well have some fun with it!

Yesterday was a huge success at school for Levi. If you remember back to the end of summer, we tried him out in a daycare/school 2 days a week. He had gone to a pre-school the year before and done well, but becasue of the hours it was difficult to get him back and forth. This new daycare/school had longer hours so I could drop him off in the morning and pick him up later in the afternoon. Well, it was the end-of-summer, last-hurrah party time at the school and they had all kinds of extra special events scheduled. They were also switching around teachers and staff, so in 2 weeks he had 3 different teachers. At times, one teacher would have 2 classes with a total of 25 kids and it would be loud and crazy. He does not do well with loud and crazy, he tends to get very timid in big social situations. We had also recently moved and I am sure that added to his anxiety level. In those 2 weeks he began to have nightmares, wet the bed, bite his fingernails and have major meltdowns when it was time to go to school. Although the school director advised me to make him tough it out, I saw a kid getting way too stressed out over something that was not necessary, so I pulled him out.
But, the little goober still needs some structure and socialization to get him ready for school. It was up to me to find a solution. Our friend's daughter goes to a tiny little school located near our house that seemed to fit the bill. Plus, her grandmother could run him back and forth. Only problem is that the school is super hard to get into. Openings are rare. With only 12 4-year olds in the whole school, you can imagine those spots are hard to come by. Then, over the winter break, one child moved away. Woohoo! We got our chance. I talked to his teacher and the director about his bad expereince in the fall and they promised to help him adjust and not repeat that type of situation. he was so excited to go, but apprehensive too. We got there early, introduced him to the teacher, showed him around, and he happily said good-bye to me. I picked him up at the end of the class and his teacher said he did great, was a little quiet, but made some friends and had fun. He was grinning ear-to-ear. He learned the letter M, which was already one he knew and could spell some words with. Did you know that 'muffin' begins with M? He does now! I had tears in my eyes as we drove away.

It's a good thing he will have school 2 days a week. It's good for him but even better for Nanny. Yesterday afternoon she called me in a panic becasue Mina had locked herself in the bedroom and Nanny couldn't get the door unlocked. She had been in there for about 15 minutes when she called and I was able to talk her thru unlocking it. Mina was totally undisturbed by the whole thing. Levi kept yelling thru the door telling Mina to unlock it, and Mina would say 'No'. Baby Holly was crying, too. Poor Nanny, she had a really rough day. Mina, that little minx!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I can't believe I am showing you...

All the highlights and color I previously had are gone. Who knew my hair was really this color? All these years I thought it was Loreal #10! Hah! Funny thing is the gray at my temples (caused by adoption stress no doubt) looks like highlights. Maybe I could get used to this....  

Today Levi starts at a new school. This one is small, small classes, small school, no daycare. I am starting him out 2 days a week 9-noon. He is excited which is a good thing. After the trauma of the last school I was worried we would be dragging him kicking and screaming to elementary school years from now. He desperately needs the structure and social interaction, and nanny needs the break. Yesterday he shot shaving cream all over the sink, colored himself and Mina with markers, destroyed my deoderant and wrote on an important document I had on the table. If things go well at this school, I will add more days and hours later on. They also have a school that goes up to 5th grade, and I like the idea of private school. We'll see...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Starting to laugh...

Y'all are a bunch of sadists, wanting to see a picture of my bald head! I'll see if I can't snap one tonight and post it, just so everyone can tell I am NOT exaggerating. Seriously, the only word I understood from her as she cut my hair was 'bushy'. I walked in the house afterwards and told my husband this is NOT what I wanted, and he said, "I bet not". I am one step away from a crazed-Brittany scalping. Bravely, I slathered what was left with styling products this morning, put on lots of eye make-up and earrings and headed out the door (without a hat). Now I am hiding in my office! You want to know the worst part? I figured she cut at least 2 pounds of hair off but this morning I had lost nothing. Now that is not, not, not fair!!!!!

Note to my sis, Dana: The last time I had hair this short I was 5 years old and I hated it then. Everyone thought I was a boy. All because I have thick, curly hair and Mom didn't want to battle me about it. And to think this time I did it to myself. Doh!

Happy Birthday to Ashley and Ahren today. Ash is 13 and Ahren is 2. Happy Birthday my babies!!!!!

I got some info on the new registration with the Central Authority issue. The PGN is meeting and madly working to get it all up and running as soon as possible. Their goal is to have it set up and all cases registered before the end of the month. It should only cause minimal delays in the current cases. That's the way it goes in adoption. Up and down, up and down. Someone should install seat belts for this ride!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Just call me Bob

Today, I was in the errand running mode and one stop was a haircut for Levi. I cut his hair most of the time, but every once in a while I need a professional to straighten it up and then I am good for a while. We cruised into 'Instant Cuts' where we have been many times, and signed up. There were only two women there, one who was asian and barely understood me when I gave her our phone number, and another woman who also experienced english as a second language but who seemed in charge. The 2nd woman called Levi, I explained what I wanted, and she proceeded to reproduce exactly what I wanted. He looked adorable! 
  Knowing I was also way overdo for a cut, and seeing how well she did, I asked if she would cut mine next. I explained that I needed a lot cut off since I was way overdo for a cut, explained how I wanted it and relaxed in the seat. I was watching Levi in the play area, making sure he was OK, when I suddenly became aware of a chopping sound. Now my hair is thick, super thick, so this is nothing new. It practically takes a chain saw to cut my hair. But when I looked, the woman had just whacked off the hair on the side of my head to about 1/4 of an inch!  OMG! I realized that she was not 'shaping up the cut I had, but had embarked on a whole new style and there was no turning back. I watched as mounds of hair built up on the floor and my head was revealed in all it's egg shaped glory. 
  The longest hair on my head is now barely 1 inch long. Seriously. I have never had it this short since I was 3 years old. Katie took one look at me and told me 1) I looked OLD, 2) I looked masculine, and 3) maybe another salon could help. She suggested I wear a hat. All the time. I was torn between crying and laughing, but more on the crying side. All my curls are gone. There is no hair to tuck behind my ears. I can't even run my hands 'thru' my hair in frustration. And NO you are NOT getting a picture. Arghhh! I know it will grow back, but not before tomorrow, when I have to be seen in public. 
  What am I going to do???????


This morning I was sitting in the over-stuffed leather chair in the living room, knitting in my lap, relishing the calm and quiet of early morning, when I dropped a needle down the side of the chair. I slid my hand down after it and what my fingers touched caused an involuntary shiver down my spine. It was squishy and crackly and fuzzy all at the same time. Ugh! I put down the knitting and got a trash can and started to delve into the 'treasure' of the chair. I pulled out food wrappers, a half-eaten bag of mini-muffins, some fuzz-coated licorice, a dozen yo-gos, parts of cookies, a piece of mozzarella cheese, a few un-identifiable things and the earring I have been missing. I was tempted to take a picture to post but then I realized that it was incriminating evidence that could be used against me in the court of house-keeping. Apparently, some child/children have decided that the chair is a viable option to the trash can, and to this I say GROSS! Later today I am going to check the cushions of the couches, but I just couldn't stomach it this early. I wonder if Rubbermaid makes furniture???? Something that could be hosed down at intervals and suitable for small children???

Thanks for all the advice on the puppy. I am going to start transitioning her diet. She is on what the breeder recommended, but it does indeed contain corn. She is doing well at the potty thing and loves the praise. We have a designated potty spot outside and she is figuring out what it is for. Now if I can just get everyone to remember to take her out every hour. (Yeah right!) She is also learning not to bite our toes and ankles. When she does we tell her No in a firm voice and if she keeps doing it we hold her down briefly and tell her no. She stops right away and looks so sorry! She is truly adorable and wants to please us. Perfect combo in a puppy!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Welcome to the Zoo

Can you believe how sweet this little girl looks? Well, I have news for you. She is a monster in sheep's clothing. A pointy-toothed, crazed, pooping, mess-making monster. Oh, she may look adorable, but her poop stinks so bad it could gag an elephant. Just what is in that special puppy food anyway? Toxic waste? I know what you're thinking. How could something so small make much of a mess? Well, believe me, she is a poop machine, and every single time she goes she manages to plant at least one furry paw in the mess and spread it all over. She suffers from terminal dingle-berries hanging from her tiny bottom, too. Poor thing has been getting daily baby-wipe baths to try and keep the stench down. This weekend she is getting a bikini-trim and I predict she will not like it, but it is necessary! 
And then there is Steve, our Red-Eared Slider. Steve is a Terrapin,  or semi-aquatic turtle. Steve is a picky eater of the first magnitude. He will not eat turtle food or fresh veggies. He wants fresh meat. We decided to add a couple of aquatic frogs to the aquarium for company and he promptly ate them. He is deceptively fast and can scoot around the kitchen in no time. He spends his days floating in the water and sunbathing on his rock. He makes no noise, doesn't poop on the floor and does not have teeth, pointy or otherwise. I think I like Steve.  

Panic at the Disco

Today the Joint Council issued a statement (very brief) that states that all adoptions in Guatemala will be stopped until they can be registered with the new Central Authority. This is the first step in implementing the new Hague compliant rules, and although they have continually said they will grandfather in all cases that were in process before Jan. 1st, no one is sure how this really will play out. People are in a panic. I can practically hear the wringing of hands, nashing of teeth and wailing this has created.

Am I upset? Nope, not in the least. You want to know why? I knew this was coming. We all knew changes were imminent. We all realize it is going to be a rocky time with no guarantees, so why freak out? They will get the Central Authority set up, register cases and be back on track soon enough. This is a GOOD thing! I am so sick and tired of the corruption in Guatemala. The wholesale trade of children as a huge money-making business. Something has to be done. Someone has to make changes to ensure the children are protected, cared for and have their best interests at heart. I would rather go thru one more year of hell waiting for my own children and know that many, many others are benefitting in the long run. Yes I want my kids. Yes it tears me up to have to wait even one extra day, but I see the big picture. I have seen the children who have no hope of ever being adopted. I have seen the 'throw-away' kids that aren't cute, aren't perfect or have some paperwork issue that traps them in a life of hell. As much as I yearn for my kids, I can't get those other faces out of my mind.

I refuse to give any more of my energy to worrying about the political climate in Guatemala, to worrying about things I cannot control and to worrying about all the 'what ifs'. I will not give the power to those fears. I am a duck and it rolls off my back. I am saving my energy for other, more important things.

Everyone take a deep breath, shake it off, and give it a day or two and it will all change. It always does.....

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I don't do New Year's resolutions. I learned a long time ago that I suck at them. I never make it past the first week, and I end up hating myself. So I long ago resolved to never do New Year's resolutions. What I do is to have daily resolutions. Things I want to incorporate into my every-day life, in small ways, in order to try and be a better person. So here goes:

1) I resolve to do at least one good deed a day. Let someone out into traffic, hold a door for an elderly person, etc etc.
2) I resolve to practice patience. Practice, practice, practice until I might eventually actually FEEL patient!
3) I resolve to show love for my family in a million small ways.
4) I resolve not to be resentful that I am taken for granted as the Mom. I chose this job, so I can't complain that I have all the duties that come along with it.
5) I resolve to find a way to teach my children to flush the toilet.
6) I resolve to not sweat the little things, to pick my battles and to let go of the un-important crappola.
7) I resolve to follow the adoption rules as lined out by Krystal (See Brayden and Parker in the links)
8) I resolve to always think about why a person is acting a certain way before I respond, to consider that they might not mean something the way it came out, that they may be hurting from something else, or may just be ignorant. I will treat them with kindness and compassion even if they do not treat me that way.

And some bigger resolutions:

I will NEVER move again. They will have to bury me in this house, cuz I'm not doing it. Ever. Period.

I will NEVER set my heart on a schedule that I perceive will happen when it comes to adoptions. I have learned my lesson. It's not over until it is over, even if you are told you are next to be signed off and will be bringing home your child in a 'matter of weeks'. I will not, not, not, get my hopes up.

I will NEVER give up. Just too stubborn. Too dedicated. Too in love to ever give up.

So there, it's all in writing so you can remind me when I fail miserably on occasion. (Especially the adoption rules. Man, those are tough!)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome 2008

Today starts a new year. Last year was hard. It started off with major layoffs at my company. The proverbial rug was pulled out form under our feet and we have struggled mightily to find a new normal. None of us will ever again have the level of comfort we enjoyed prior to that day and that is the kind of uneasiness that wears on you, day after day. Then came the night of Katie's car accident. The sound of the life flight helicopter is seared in my brain. Again, my level of comfort as a parent will never be the same. As an adult, I know that bad things can happen in the blink of an eye, but the reality of that is so much more intense and unsettling than I ever imagined. 

There was the arrest and filing of federal racketeering charges against Agency #1, leaving us to wonder how we would be able to complete Ahren's adoption without an agency. (Turns out it is pretty much the same, just no middleman in the communications and money) Then knock-out after knockout on PBJ's case. The final blow was when we found out we had been sent to Minor's court for an investigation because they had flagged the case as fraudulent. The black-hole of investigations. Geez. There is no telling how long or if forever the case will be stuck there. 

Then in October, we get the call that PBJ is deathly ill and may not make it. I flew to guat to discover the horrible truth of her condition. A fractured skull, brain damage, life-threatening seizures, swelling and fluid surrounding her brain. It felt like a dream, a bad dream. I did what I had to do, leaving only when I was sure she was in capable hands and with the thought I would be back within days to bring her home. 

Now 2008 is dawning, bright and shiny, full of hope and dreams. We are starting it off with a bang of good news, with Ahren's pre-approval. Two years to get that step accomplished! Each milestone we pass is so much sweeter since we have waited for so long.  Even after all this time, hope flares with each bit of news. My heart swells with the feeling that we are getting closer, ever so slowly, inch by inch.