Monday, March 31, 2008

Bouncing Back

Well, my weekend of pathetic-ness (hey, it's my blog and I can make up words if I want to!) was highly successful. Emotionally and mentally anyway. I think that taking this time to do a mental course-correction was exactly what I needed.

Jo, I don't know how you did it, but you actually made me laugh!
My mother even commented to me how that quote was so funny! Thanks. I needed that!!!

I spent the weekend doing all of the things I have to in order to keep my family running. Then I used the rest of the time to do the things I really love to do. I spent way too much money on plants (3 trips to the nursery and 3 very full van loads worth) Chris helped and we made a melon patch. We have 12 hills of watermelons and 12 hills of cantaloupe. I laid out a large bed off the front corner of the house and bought all the perrenials and some annuals to fill it, plus the soil amendments, mulch, fertilizer, etc. I bought the big metal turtle statue I have been eyeing for over 2 years. I bought a trashy novel (oh shaddup, my brain is stuffed full of serious important things every day at work. I deserve a little brain candy!) I knit a little bit. And I got into the kitchen and created! I made peach cobbler, I made ribs, I made homemade egg noodles and I have meals planned out and ready to go for a full 2 weeks. I am jealous of folks like Elle who have menus planed ahead of time and are so organized. She is my inspiration. I have one twist though. I don't have the meals assigned to days of the week. Instead I have a list and can then pick and choose as the whim suits me. Oh, you say you had italian for lunch? Well then we will not have italian tonight. I also don't have to say 'What do you want for supper' and get the usual response of 'I don't know'. I point them to the board and say Pick. Voila! And if they don't pick or can't agree? They are on their own (except Levi, who is easy anyway)
Levi was my little buddy most of the weekend, but he has also been having a really hard time listening lately. This leads to much frustration on my part and not-so-much fun on his part. We hired a babysitter for a few hours Saturday afternoon so I could go get my haircut, get some shopping done and buy groceries. I thoroughly enjoyed my time alone, even if it was doing errands. He also enjoyed having someone entertain him. He ran in the sprinkler, played with the neighbor boys running up and down the hills of dirt behind the house they are building next door (the neighbor boy's grandparents house, who gave their permission for playing on the dirt mounds) and then more sprinkler time to undo the dirt damage.
Chris got his barn all staked out now that he has the final plans. I have to laugh, though. It started out as a large metal shed and is now pretty much GINORMOUS with a 100 sq. foot covered patio and a 40x40 basketball court. There will be a full bath in it, an office and a guest room/suite. Plus room for the tractor, etc etc etc. It will also have a second story at the guest room end. We still have to get it approved by the homeowners association, but there are bigger ones in the neighborhood already. Funny, I hear the sounds of Tim Allen grunting in the background. More POWER!!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The tears are flowing....

Even though I am full in the throes of self pity, life still demands so much of me. This morning I had to get up early, take the puppy to the vet, buy plants at the nursery, work in the yard, buy groceries, get my hair cut, water plants, etc etc etc. Life doesn't stop for a pity party. So I made the best of it. As I did what I had to do, I thought about things. Contemplated the why's. Realized that the world wouldn't stop for me no matter how much I stomped my feet and complained. For an instant I began to feel better. And then. In an instant. My rug was pulled out from under me. 

I have a song. A song that is so special to me and to the journey to Ahren. Every time I hear it I see his face. I feel his sturdy little body snuggled next to mine. I hear his deep hearty little laugh. The song is 'God Bless the Broken Road'. As I pulled out of the grocery store lot, that song came on and I cried like a baby the whole way home. Huge, hot tears that burned my throat and stung my eyes. I am still crying. I can't seem to stop. It is so totally unfair. I have always believed. been faithful. Done the right thing. For heavens's sake I was the PERFECT KID who all the teachers loved!!!!! I did everything right! So why am I left to suffer? Why? Why? Why??? 

Is it time to quit? I can't quit. Ahren and PBJ don't have that choice. Ahren is adorable and adoptable, but PBJ is damaged goods now. Cute but not 'normal' anymore. What would happen to her? I couldn't live with myself if I ever gave up. We have decided that if the kids are never ever coming home, we will still support them and their lives 100%. If that is in Guatemala, in a foster family, well then so be it. We will still make a mark on the world. We will still make a difference in their lives. I hate to settle for that. It's not what I want. But it is better than the alternatives.......

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's my pity party

and I'll cry if I want to! I have decided to allow myself a nice weekend of wailing, teeth gnashing, whining and asking Why? I try so hard to keep my spirits positive, look on the bright side and rely on God to have a plan and reveal it when the time is right. But hey, I am only human and a human can only take so much. It has been 2.5 years now we have been on this journey. Our son is no longer a baby and is quickly passing toddler as well. The longer it takes the harder it is going to be on him. I can't get any info on his case. Nothing. Good or bad. Just an information vacuum. I get lots of info on PBJ but none of it really makes any sense. At times it sounds really good but then nothing of substance happens. 

Add to that the issues with the new laws that Guatemala is trying to implement to regulate adoption better. So far their attempts have gone something like: 1) Decide that a new entity called the Central Authority must oversee all adoptions 2) Do not appoint anyone to actually WORK in the CA 3) Finally appoint 3 people, who then promptly get fired 4) Hire more people but do not give them any offices to work from 5) Decide the CA has to register all cases but no ideas how to do that 6) begin registering cases but change the process daily/hourly and make everyone keep re-doing it as things change, 7) Try and remove all of the head people at the PGN 8) chaos, chaos, chaos

I am a person who likes to have a plan. I keep lists, I check things off, I like things to progress in a linear fashion. I like things to be fair and correct and right. I can accept some deviations and some unknowns, but a process that is ALL unknowns and un-controllable is an assault to my very senses. To accept the fact that there is NOTHING I can do to affect the outcome is so very, very wrong. I want to be able to DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!! But the reality is I can do nothing. Not one darn thing. And it hurts me to my very soul. 

I have a deep seated sense of religion. I believe. I live my life every day by those beliefs. But...I am having a very hard time with Faith. Trust. Leaving it up to the unknown force of God. I am weak in this area. My faith has taken a severe beating.  My God would not leave children to die horrible deaths when they are loved by other families. My God would not let children suffer. My God would not have let PBJ be so hurt and yet lay there for a day or more in pain, until she was seizing and almost dead. That is not MY God! So why? Why, why, why? The children are innocent. They are not the bad guys. They cannot learn from this. So why do they have to suffer. It makes me so angry!!!!

So this weekend I plan on exorscising these demons. I will HATE and Question and despise and be utterly Ugly about it all. I may even KICK a few things!!! (Inanimate of course) I will say nasty and terrible things. I will be the epitome of Nasty!!! And by the end of the weekend I will be clean and pure and full of strength again. Ready to fight the fight, the fight of the right. Because my children need me to be that strength, for their very lives! And LOVE is stronger than all of the negative feelings. AMEN!!!!!!

Oh No, Levi's Been Tagged

Princess D has tagged us (Levi). Here are the rules. List 10 random things about yourself, then tag 10 more people.

1) I like to sleep nakey. I always get my jammies back on before I come out of my room, though.

2) I like to wear my pants pulled up practically to my armpits, which causes my Mom to yell, 'Mrs. Loobner' and laugh. Anyone know what she is talking about?

3) I hate it when my Mommy cuts my hair, but I really like it when she takes me to the haircut place and they do it. I'll hold still for them.

4) I'm afraid of heights, but not shots. I don't cry when I get shots, even when I got 5 recently.

5) I behave very, very badly when my Mommy gets on the phone. I make sure I get her attention by being loud and naughty. Then she shuts herself in the closet and I don't like it.

6) I don't get to see my Daddy enough. Every morning I wake up and ask my Mommy if my Daddy is home. I like it best when it is a Mommy and Daddy day!

7) I have the best big sisters ever. They love to play with me and buy me surprises. They also like to teach me how to be cool and do things like 'chunk the deuce' and say things like 'butt-munch'.

8) I hardly ever eat supper. I don't like to eat much ever. When I do eat it is usually fresh fruit or veggies and cheese. Mommy says I have to eat a vitamin every day. She bought me Spiderman ones and they taste good!

9) Ssssh, don't tell my parents but I know how to turn the sprinklers on all by myself. I am a big help and watered the yard for them. I don't know why it ended up running down the street, though?

10) My doctor calls me her little Jimmy Neutron because I have such a big head. The doctor worried about my head for a long time until she saw my Daddy. Then she laughed. My Mommy says 'he has a big ol' coconut!' I am just like my Daddy!!

I am too lazy to tag anyone. If you read this, consider yourself tagged. And no yelling, 'One, two, three, not it!'. hah!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Teaching a Child to Drive

The title of this post should be 'Oh Dear God Please Help Me!!!' My biggest problem is trying to sound relaxed and confident while Katie is driving. She is really careful and listens to what I say, so that's not the problem. It's just me. Inside my head is a whirlwind of dialog that goes something like 'Too fast too fast slow down turn now brake brake brake no no no speed up speed up use your blinker not her now turn' and sounds like it is being said by the Chipmunks at super speed. I try not to grasp the handle on the door with whitened knuckles. I try to give encouragement and softly worded corrections, but I can feel my hair turning gray on my head.

I let her drive from the high school to Wally World the other day. We stopped for gas and she learned how to pump her own and pay for it. Then we proceeded on and parked in the lot. I got out of the car and looked over at her to see her also standing outside of the car ready to head into the store. I waited a few seconds and them softly went 'ahem'. She looked at me blankly, looked around and then realized she had left the keys in the ignition and the car running!! I laughed so hard I may have peed myself. I drove home from the store, but only because she wanted to eat a snack on the way. This weekend is going to be Parking Camp. I am going to take 2 plastic garbage cans and her to the local empty parking lot and teach her to park. I will use the trash cans in the position of cars in the spots next to hers (both parallel parking and regular parking) and then let her practice getting in and out without destroying the garbage cans. I may have to take the video camera for this one. This might be Americas Funniest Home Videos fodder.

Her throat is a bit sore still but tons and tons better. So good that she was craving a Buffalo Chicken Salad and actually was able to eat some of it. She was practically floating on air afterwards. Her taste buds have come back too, so she was able to enjoy it. It's funny how important food becomes when you can't have it. (Much like going on a diet and then becoming obsessed with food.....Not that I have ever done that..hah!)

Speaking of appetites, Steve has become an insatiable pig lately. He has learned to beg for food by digging at the glass of the aquarium until we feed him. When I reach in to give him some dried shrimp he lurches up out of the water to meet my hand. He even has Nanny trained to feed him during the day. (She told me she fed him yesterday because he was 'actin a fool') Last night I think I heard him oink. Seriously. Every weekend Levi and I catch minnows in the pond for him and he goes absolutely nuts over them. He is very very fast when he is going after live food. Luckily we have the pond or we would be making trips to the pet store every week to get him fresh food. I think he may be destined to live in the pond, but he is so fun I hate to let him go!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bad Words and Practical Jokes

Levi is officially into the 'bad word' phase. Luckily, even with older sisters, he doesn't know many truly bad words. His favorite is POOP. Everything is poop this and poop that. The word poop pops up in songs, conversations and random moments, and it invariably leads to hysterical giggling. Just wait until he discovers the hilarious nature of farts. (And how am I ever going to be able to keep a straight face????)

Speaking of poop, it reminds me about some practical jokes our family has played on each other. Five or six years ago I purchased a small rubber dog poop at a joke shop. That little pile o'poo has been used in many interesting and creative ways over the years. One year it found it's way into Katie's pillowcase when she went to a sleepover. Picture her pulling out her favorite pillow and a pile of poop falls out. That's some funny stuff! (Chris pulled that prank) When we went on our final walk-thru of our new house last summer, Chris wanted to bring along the poo and place it strategically on the carpet. Then watch as the builder noticed it and about had a stroke! (Unfortunately he forgot the poo prop. ) Everyone thinks my sweet hubby is so quiet but they really don't know him very well. It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for! 

PBJ starts physical therapy next week, twice a week. This is to help strengthen her legs and get her using them more. She is almost 18 months old now and intervention is the key. I am thrilled this new doctor/foster supervisor is being so pro-active. I also sent him money to buy her a walker and some other things so that she could get the exercise needed. She has come a long way but still has a lot of catching up to do. We are still waiting to hear what the judge has decided now that he has all the reports. Of course he was out of the office for 10 days for the Easter holiday. Arghh! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I have a favorite saying that I use all the time. It goes like this:

I felt sad,
For I had no shoes.
Until I saw a man,
Who had no feet.

Whenever I get down about the long adoption process and all the pain and anger it has caused, I think of this saying. Just recently it was driven home to me in a very personal way.

Let me introduce you to Dustin, a teeny tiny little peanut who is a miracle of huge proportions. You see, just weeks into my friend's pregnancy she began to experience serious issues. Many months of bedrest, medications, doctor's appointments and a boss who kept threateneing to fire her for having to be off work for so long. She fought a valiant battle against the odds and was able to deliver him at a point where he could survive. He spent lots of time in the NICU struggling to survive and grow and fight off the terrible complications preemies face. But he fought and he made it!!! A true miracle in the flesh.

Then things changed. Abnormalities in his bloodwork kept popping up. He wasn't growing well. Something was wrong. They received the devastating news that he has an incurable genetic disorder that is extremely rare. Only 1 in 1 million chances of having it. It's so rare that a prognosis is impossible to make. There is one new medicine in clinical trials that offers some hope. Otherwise, there is no known treatment. The good news is that they discovered it incredibly early. Most kids are not diagnosed until they have end-stage kidney failure. Because he was preemie and watched so closely, they have discovered it much earlier than normal. There are dietary limits than can help, supplements that could help, and the hope of the new drug making it to the market in time.

My pain is nothing compared to the pain his family is dealing with. It puts it all in perspective doesn't it? So please, if you have a moment, say a prayer for this little guy and his family. They could really use it now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hey, where did my weekend go?

Levi has always been a really fun kid, but let's face it. He is 4 1/2 years old and there are days that go like this:

Levi, put your shoes on.
Put your shoes on.
Don't throw that.
Stop it.
Come here.
Put your shoes on.
Watch out, you almost hit me.
Don't swing that.
Put your pants back on, please.
Don't hit that.
Put your shoes on.
Stop it.
I mean it.
Where's your underwear?
Get down.

That was Friday. All day. He wasn't being bad, just being active and all boy. By the end of the day I was totally frustrated. I felt like everything that had come out of my mouth all day had been negative. I escaped to the bathroom so I could have just one minute of peace, and then the questioning started. Mom, where are you? What are you doing? (Building a rocketship out of rutababgas....duh) What is this? (then louder) What is this? (and even louder) WHAT IS THIS???? (Like I can see what he is pointing at/holding and can answer him) So much for 60 seconds of peace.

Earlier this week, he walked behind the rocking chair just as nanny stood up, and the chair rocked back and hit him in the head. Thunk! He stepped away, rubbing the spot on his head, and said, 'Wow, I didn't see that coming'.

We spent the weekend outside. I have to say my son has his very first ever tan line! Of course it's a farmers tan, but I am so proud! My littlest albino does have pigment in his skin after all! Of course, what I am calling a tan line is just the barest hint of a color change, but I can see it. There is hope for him after all! We may actually get to visit the beach someday (Don't laugh, I bought him a sunscreen full-body suit last year just to visit the water park for a couple of hours)

We had the most glorious weather this weekend. Three full days of awesome-ness. We planted flowers and bushes and cleaned out beds. We played in the yard and caught minnows for Steve to eat. We mulched and watered and fertilized and trimmed and edged and etc etc etc. Each night we were all exhausted but happy. Even Joli got in the swing of things. She may look like a little foo-foo toy but she is all dog. I gave her a bath on Friday and by Saturday evening she was filthy and had sticks stuck to her, not to mention a brief episode in the pond to leave her sweet smelling. What am I going to do with her?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Flatulence and Global Warming

Passing time by passing gas, plus fun fart facts!

By Dr. Billy Goldberg and Mark Leyner
Dr. Billy Goldberg: The past eight weeks of my life have revolved around gas. On Jan. 22, I welcomed my second child into the world, a beautiful baby girl. It didn’t take long to realize that she was gassy like her daddy. In the wee hours of the morning when she was wailing from overwhelming intestinal distress, I had a revelation. I came to realize that we can mark the different stages of our life by how we handle our flatulence.
My poor little newborn desperately needed to let one rip. This is how we begin our life, unable to get them out.
Then comes adolescence – a stage where we are thrilled to let them out. Oh, the hilarious joy of the public fart! But BEWARE if you are in Camden, Maine. The Camden-Rockport Middle School has issued a ban on intentional flatulence – gas-passing students are threatened with detention.
Next comes puberty and we enter the phase of frantically trying to hold them in. I can just imagine my sweet little girl all grown up on a dinner date, squirming to prevent that embarrassing unintentional release.
Life gradually becomes more and more complicated and we find ourselves increasingly awash in uncontrolled flatulence and odor. We begin to reach for the Beano and even find ourselves considering the purchase of Odor Control Nether Garments. One of the many indignities of the aging process is that loss of muscle tone occurs – even around the anal sphincter. Yes, that is why an older person has a harder time holding ‘em in.
Leyner has his own unique theories on everything and I am sure this is no exception.
Mark Leyner: I have never been inordinately intrigued or amused by farting. Of all the bodily effluvia and excretions, I’d probably rank intestinal gas pretty low on my list of favorites. I much prefer tears, spit, pus, ejaculate, rheum, colostrum, etc.
That said, this ban on “intentional flatulence” at the Camden-Rockport Middle School has all sorts of ramifications that do fascinate me. For instance, how does anyone prove “intentionality” when it comes to farting? Will the school district hire forensic gastroenterologists to analyze air samples or study surreptitiously obtained audio recordings of the boys’ flatulence to try and determine whether it was deliberate or accidental? Obviously, there are various illnesses and food allergies that can cause flatulence.
On the other hand, what if a person willfully, premeditatedly, and with malice aforethought, renders himself potently flatulent? What if a middle-school student loads up, before school, on a breakfast of beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and sauerkraut? Can he then claim that the farting was something that couldn’t be helped, that it was “an accident.”
But there’s an even more profound philosophical and legal question to ponder. And that is: should farting constitute a mode of constitutionally protected free speech? If not, what necessarily privileges one orifice (the mouth) above another (the anus)?
Is there some overarching moral imperative that justifies society’s anathematization of the fart? By what usurpation of basic liberty can the state proscribe the natural expressiveness of the sphincter and the anus? In other words, can a fart be “art”?
In the end, the Camden-Rockport Middle School Fart Ban may very well be a First Amendment issue. I think that this could result in a landmark Supreme Court case. This could be the Roe v. Wade of flatus. But I urge all Americans to bear one thing in mind: justice may be blind, but it’s not anosmic. Dr. Billy Goldberg: I don’t know what I can add to that. Maybe we can just end with this list of fascinating fart facts:
• On average, a fart is composed of about 59 percent nitrogen, 21 percent hydrogen, 9 percent carbon dioxide, 7 percent methane and 4 percent oxygen. Less than 1 percent of their makeup is what makes farts stink. • The temperature of a fart at time of creation is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. • Farts have been clocked at a speed of 10 feet per second. • A person produces about half a liter of farts a day. • Women fart as much as men.• The gas that makes your farts stink is hydrogen sulfide. The more sulfur rich your diet, the more your farts will stink. Some foods that cause really smelly farts include: beans, cabbage, cheese, soda and eggs.• Most people pass gas about 14 times a day.

6,600,000,000 people

3,300,000,000 liters per day

231,000,000 liters of methane at 7%

297,000,000 Liters of CO2 at 9%

528,000,000 Liters of Greenhouse gas per day

190,080,000,000 Liters of Greenhouse gas per year

I guess these guys have discovered the real culprit behind global warming!!! Let's see, in our attempts around here to be more green we have super energy efficient windows, appliances, furnace and AC, changed all the bulbs to mini-fluorescents, have low flow toilets and shower heads, and recycle. Now we have to ban beans from our diets and hold in the gas???? Can't I just plant some more trees???????

Update on our rising star

I talked to Eileen Koch and she is just the nicest, most down to earth person. She is very interested in Katie, says she has that fresh-faced girl-next-door look. What she suggested was starting with a management contract that would allow her to send Katie's info to agencies and auditions here. Then, if she did well and was interested in LA, we could talk about possibly coming out there for pilot season and getting more serious about it. No money up front, no pressure, just hook her up with some legit opportunities around here and see how she does. She also said if we were ever in LA to look her up. She owuld LOVE to meet Katie and introduce her to some big names in the business. I may just have to schedule a trip to go visit my sister, who coincidentally lives near there.

Hey Sis, are ya up for some company? And a road trip to Beverly Hills?????

I need your help!

The agent that is interested in Katie is going to call me today. I searched the California BBB and got nothing. I have googled and seen lots of news about this person and her company, but it is just press hype. Help! How do I find out anything else?

Her name is Eileen Koch, she runs a public relations firm in Beverly Hills and NY. She represents such people as Carmen Electra, Jamie Fox and Mila Javovich. She has been in the business for 17 years. Her website is I don't even know what to ask her or what she will want. I haven't told Katie. I need to figure this out first. I am sooo in over my head!!!!

Oh great blogger buddies, help me!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Working moms get the shaft

Hey, if any of you have questions, I will put together a Q & A post this weekend and try and answer them all. I am a pretty open book and not easily offended, so feel free to ask away.

I have a huge pet peeve to vent about today. Why does everyone schedule kids activities during the weekdays when us working mothers don't have a chance of getting our kids there? Swim lessons? T-Th at 11 am. Little Chef's class? Wed at 1 pm. A weeklong science camp? 9-3 daily. What is the deal people? A lot of women work outside the home, more and more all the time. And we have kids. Kids who want to learn to swim, take tumbling classes, go to camps. I know, I could quit my job and stay home so I was there to run them back and forth, but then I couldn't afford to sign them up. Besides, I have been a single mom and if I didn't have a career I would have been living on welfare and sponging off all of you. So people, those of you who run these programs, drag yourselves into the current century and realize that there are LOTS of working mothers who would be signing up in droves if you offered classes outside of the business hours.

Katie had a really rough day yesterday. She has hit the point where the scabs are drying up and pulling away. She called me crying begging me to do something, which left me nearly in tears because I just can't make it better. Hopefully today she will have turned the corner and be getting better. Ashley is still being wonderful taking care of her. I am amazed at how well my girls get along. Maybe it is because they live apart, or maybe they are just different enough to be able to be good friends.

The agent in Hollywood has indicated she is very interested in Katie. Now I am doing more homework and if everything looks good, we may fly out there for an interview. I am keeping it low key intentionally. This really isn't the industry I want any of my family pulled into, but if she could do a couple of small things and put the $$ in her college fund, that would be cool. And fun. I also slipped in a picture of Ashley witht he ones I sent. Might as well give her a shot too!

We have a 3-day weekend coming up and we plan on doing major yard work. Besides getting the existing beds re-worked, we want to make beds to plant pumpkins and watermelon, plus more landscaping, etc. Then there is the new brick patio and rose garden to start on. Grass seed to sow, treat the pond to get it ready to stock, etc etc. That is my idea of the perfect 3-day weekend. Sad but true. I love the outdoors. I love plants. I love dirt. I love sunshine. It's going to be a good one!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And we wait some more

I got an update from the agency for Peri Brynn. They got all the information and doctor's reports together and delivered them to the judge on Thursday (as I suspected, that was the big meeting) Now we wait. The judge can take as long as they want to make the final decision. The idea was with all the medical issues revealed, it might speed things up, but there is no guarantee. In fact, there is no guarantee the judge will rule in our favor. I did get word that the last interview with the birth mother that took place went very well. With an interpretor she was able to explain why she felt she could not care for the child and what she wished for the baby. I know some details, but that is Peri Brynn's story and not mine to share. I am proud of the birth mother though, for continuing to fight for what she wishes for her child. This has not been easy for her. She is young and scared, extremely shy, uneducated and all on her own in this. I just wish I could have been there for the interview. What a precious memory that would have been, and something I could share with PBJ.

I have been trying to get an update on Ahren's case for several weeks, but have nothing. I have called, e-mailed, called and e-mailed, etc etc. No response. You would think that after 26 months of this I would know better than to expect an update. Hah! Did you know that Ahren and Ashley share a birthday? She calls him her mini-me. How wonderful it would be if next year we could have a big two-fer birthday party. Maybe I will pin my hopes on 2010.....

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ashley Nightingale

Ashley is a natural born nurse. She was anxious to look after Katie this week and is doing a fantastic job!!! In fact, she is doing such a good job that katie had nothing but praise for her. It makes my Mommies heart proud. 

So why don't I post about Ashley as often as the other kids? Because she lives with her Dad I don't get as many photo ops of her, plus I don't get to be as much a part of her day-to-day life as I would like to be. A couple of years ago she asked if she could live with him. My gut reaction was NO WAY, but I gave it a lot of thought. We all went to a child psychologist to be sure this would be in her best interest and the doctor felt it was a great way for her to feel some power over her life and to bond with her Dad. (I secretly hoped the doctor would say she NEEDED to stay with such luck) He is really a great dad. I have no doubt about his ability to care for her. I am just selfish and wanted to keep her here, with me! Well, that's not a good enough reason to deny her the opportunity, so I packed her up and off she went to her dad's house. I miss the heck out of her every minute of every day, but she is doing great and is becoming a fine young woman. I want what is best for her, even if I have a hard time with it!!

Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I, myself, am not Irish, but my sweet (albeit bubble-headed) former Mother-in-Law was 100% Irish. So my girls both have a healthy dose of the Irish in them. So here's to the heritage that Ann O'Reilly Nelson has given my girls. Long live Ireland!

Katie is hitting the worst part of the recuperation from her surgery. Her throat hurts horribly, the pain meds only help marginally and she is not eating. At the hospital, she was 5'8" and 121 lbs fully dressed. She just doesn't have much body fat to support her through this. Her Dad went and got her some 'Weight Gain 2000' protein shakes and is trying to get her to sip a little off and on thru the day. He has bought every thing possible that she might eat, but after one or two bites the pain stops her. The good news is that in the next few days she will turn the corner and start feeling better. Oh, and her tongue is numb and she can't taste anything. That isn't helping.

Chris worked yesterday so it was just me and Levi. We went to Home Depot, loaded up the van with flowers and got one flower bed all done. Then we took nets and caught minnows in the pond to feed to Steve. This time we did not bring Steve a polywog. We will leave those to become bullfrogs, safe from predator-ic turtles. (Predatory? Predacious??? Yeah, I done been to college...) Poor Levi was falling asleep before dinner time again. He makes up for it by eating a lot during the day so I am not too worried, but then again, he was wearing a size 12 month shorts yesterday. At 4.75 years old, the kid is 43 inches tall and 37 pounds. Just like Katie. And every inch is muscle. Where do they get that?

We got confirmation that the 'big meeting' for PBJ happened on Thursday. We just don't know what the outcome was or what it means to our adoption. We are anxiously waiting for news today. I don't know what is worse. No news, or just a little hint of news. I think I'll just go back to banging my head on the wall for the time being......wham, wham, wham.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A day in the life of Levi

Up early (6:30 am) raring to go.
Drank juice, ate crackers.
Played Whack-A-Mole with Daddy.
Ate breakfast, raisin toast.
Helped mommy clean Steve's tank. 

Helped Mommy clean Katie's bathroom and bedroom. Was in charge of collecting all the loose change we found and adding it to our change jar. Cha-ching!
Asked 4,000 questions, to which the answer was 'I don't know'.
Ate lunch.

Picked the first strawberries. (Sorry about the blurry pic, the battery was dying) 
Watered the strawberries, tomatoes, peppermint and spearmint plants and everything else.
Got his shoes muddy (Thank goodness for Crocs)
Got more than his shoes muddy.......

Got hosed off.
Flew his airplane kite. 
Came in for a bath. 
Ran around naked smacking his fanny and yelling 'Hooo hooo hoooo.' (No idea what that was about) 
Told to put on his underwear 27 times. Finally got dressed, only later to discover his underwear still lying on the floor. Sigh.
Played Elefun until the batteries died. 
Caught some minnows and a giant polywog (tadpole) in the pond. 
Placed them in Steve's tank. Had lesson on how a tadpole turns into a frog.
Watched Steve eat the tadpole. BAD Steve! Sigh. Promised Levi we will get another tank for a tadpole.
Ordered dinner from local Mexican restaurant. Queso....YUM.
Too tired, climbed in bed before dinner arrived. 
Convinced to eat a little dinner. Three bites??? Maybe?????
Relaxed some with Daddy and conked out early.

I wish every day was Saturday.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I miss Katie!!

What a pathetic mess I am. You would think I had never been apart form her before! She keeps calling me to ask questions. 'My tongue is numb. Is that normal?' Yes. 'I can't taste anything. Is that normal?' Yes. 'The little thingy that hangs down in the back of my throat is swollen. Is that normal?' Yes. I guess that even though her dad is taking great care of her, she still needs me. I miss her soooo much. 
So today I am tackling the cleaning of Katie's 'space'. She has her own bathroom upstairs and she is responsible for cleaning it. But......she's 15 and her cleaning skills need some fine tuning. She does a pretty good job most of the time, as in I don't have to call Haz Mat. So every once in a while I get in there and give it a good scrub. I scrubbed the shower, toilet, floors, baseboard, sink, mirror and anything else I could reach.  I straightened out drawers, threw away all the empty containers and wrappers that were stuffed in odd places, and popped in a new air freshener.
I didn't stop there. I proceeded on to her room. First step was to pick up all the clothes off the floor. I couldn't tell the dirty from the clean so it all went to the wash. Then I stripped her bed and threw all the sheets and duvet cover in the wash too. I put away a basket or two of clean clothes (Oh, now I get it. Clean clothes stay in the baskets until they are worn then get dumped on the floor. Makes perfect sense. So what is the dresser and closet for?) I picked up and straightened things, dusted and emptied the trash. Then I got a bright idea to look under the bed. Holy Moly, I think I saw Jimmy Hoffa!!! I retreated, got a large garbage bag and a long stick and went back in. Empty water bottles, tags off of clothes, underwear, shirts, socks, a toothbrush, two packs of take-along toilet seat covers (seriously) and her white belt. I straightened out her vanity and cleaned the mirrors. Next I want to attack a couple of spots on the carpet and vacuum (twice, probably) I will re-make her bed, add a new air freshener and leave it looking perfect.  Maybe I will take some pictures so I can remember this moment in history.....
Today our 4 year old showed me how to open a child proof bottle. He wanted a spiderman vitamin so he just helped himself. All the vitamins and supplements just moved one shelf higher, and I will be installing a child safety lock later today. Everything else in the house is already under lock and key. Maybe I should add a few booby traps????
We are at the peak of planting season here for things like trees, etc. I don't know if I mentioned the latest tree purchase we did. I had gotten 26 small trees last Nov. and placed them in posts until it was planting season. Then, just a few weeks ago Chris discovered a local tree farm that was having a huge sale. They advertised $8 for 8-10 foot tall oak trees. We headed up there in the truck and came home with 16 oak trees and 6 crepe myrtle trees, and they were even bigger than what we thought they would be.  Below is Chris next to a newly planted Live Oak (or maybe a Burr Oak) tree. Does that look like an 8 foot tall tree? And it was $8!!! All in all, 47 new trees.  That sounds like a lot, but you have to consider that we have 3.5 acres and 1 tree. We have a long way to go to create the park-like yard we want. We are on the 5 year plan (which may be like my college degrees and drag on a bit longer....)

Friday, March 14, 2008


Katie is surprised by how sore her throat is. I don't think there is any way to tell someone how it's going to feel if they have never experienced anything like it. She is being a trooper though. We are keeping her medicated and hydrated and she is in good spirits. Good enough that she still wanted to go to her father's house for spring break (although she now admits she won't be doing anything but hanging out on the couch and watching movies) It KILLED me to let her go. Not because i don't think her Dad will take good care of her, but because a sick child should want their Mommy! Then again, I could use some sleep. The night before surgery i didn't sleep well, and last night I obsessively checked on her and gave her pain meds, water, ice etc all night long. 
The Children's hospital is downtown in Houston. We are not. Not even close. Without traffic it took me an hour and a half to get to the hospital. We got out of there right at the beginning of rush hour. Not good. I was alone in a mini-van with a semi-comatose child in downtown Houston rush hour traffic in poor weather and I HATE driving. It took me over 2 hours to get home. The last part of it with Katie awake and trying not to vomit. I dropped off her prescriptions on the way and Chris, bless his heart, went back and picked them up.  (Yes, I took that pic while driving, but no animals were harmed in the making....) 

Now for the funny story that occurred during this adventure. (You knew there had to be one!) They had finally called me back to recovery. Katie was moving a bit, and they got her to drink some juice and then she was out cold. The nurse wanted to lower the bed so I could sit in the chair beside it. She went to press the pedal and bring it down, but only the foot of the bed moved lower. She fought with the levers for a minute, mumbling about the stupid bed, then gave it a great big push..... and the foot of the bed went all the way down and head stayed at the top and katie began to slide out of the bed. I jumped up and grabbed her (she being completely oblivious to the situation) and the nurse began yelling, Help, Help, this bed is broken and she's sliding out. Two more people came to help and after struggling for a couple of minutes, during which they shook Katie all around and she didn't notice, they finally got the head of the bed down. And then I lost it. I didn't yell. I didn't get mad. I started laughing! I threw my head back and guffawed! The others all began to laugh too, maybe because they realized I wasn't mad, and maybe because they saw the humor in the situation. The only thing I am sad about is that I didn't get a picture, I was too busy holding onto Katie. And laughing........

Thursday, March 13, 2008

She's home

The surgery went well. The doctor had figured that by Katie's age her adenoids would be gone, but what she found was large, 'gunky' adenoids, so those came out too.  Normally by the teen years they have shrunk to nothing, but I guess if they have suffered chronic infections then they can still be a problem. 

She is in a lot of pain and has an upset stomach (so far no vomiting) and she keeps pleading with me to give her some medicine to make it feel better. She's already had codeine and morphine. What else can I give her? Oxycontin??? A shot of Jim Beam??? I hate it when I can't do anything to take the pain away. Bad Mom!!! Sometimes a kiss just doesn't fix things. 

It's going to be a long night......

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Silly Boy

On Monday evening as I was cooking dinner, I reminded Levi that the next day was a school day and that his friend Brandee was coming over to our house afterwards to play. I also reminded him that after dinner would be bath time and bed. He was so excited that his friend was coming over he refused to eat dinner, and instead headed straight for the tub while ripping all of his clothes off. This is the same child that went for 3 months without getting into the tub last fall (he did bathe, just NOT in the tub). Oh the power of a cute little girl.....

Yesterday I asked him what he learned in school and he proudly proclaimed 'The letter E'. So Levi, what starts with the letter E? He thought for a minute and shouted 'Seafood!'.
Tomorrow is the big day for Katie. Tonsillectomy city, baby. They are supposed to call me today to let me know what time to be there and where exactly to go. We are having it done at Texas Childrens downtown and I predict we will have to be there uber-early. At least that way we will miss the traffic. Katie is glad to be getting this done, but I am having some mommy-worry issues. I know, I know, it's just her tonsils. Minor stuff. My head knows it, but the rest of me just isn't believing it.......
Updated to add: Kim, I just read the account of your surgery and I feel so much better. Thanks for sharing that with me. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my chest.
Last week they took PBJ to several appointments (not sure how many) some of which were medical specialists, at the request of the judge. I have been trying to find out what happened and what is next but all I get are vague tidbits. We tried to call the new atty yesterday but he was out of the office and will be out all day today too. Supposedly there is some big meeting scheduled for tomorrow. I am hoping this is the report being presented to the judge for his final decision, but I don't know. Why did I ever think that 'fast-track' would actually be fast when it involves Guatemala???? I should really know better by now. I never learn apparently.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Portable DVD players....the best thing since sliced bread! The four hours in the car flew by for him.
Nintendo DS helped the boys pass the time in the hotel. We had Saturday afternoon free, and since Katie's Dad was there the girls went with him to the mall (where else?). Chris, Levi and I spent the afternoon enjoying the weather and the sights.

Waiting for the trolley
Lunching on the Riverwalk
The river

Took the boat tour

Got a little time to relax

Then that evening we all went out for dinner at a nearby mexican restaurant and got to listen to an Eddie Money concert playing in the plaza next to us.
Then Sunday morning it was back at the convention center. Here is Katie and Ashley with their Dad. We are all good friends so we do things together like this fairly often.

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Their performance is 4 minutes long. That leaves a LOT of time to sit around and wait. Yawn!!!!

It's a tradition to decorate your vehicle for Nationals. We got a lot os stares on the interstate....

Here is what the girls wrote over the driver's seat. Smexy? I have no idea. Either they can't spell or it has some meaning I probably don't want to know....... Luckily it rained that day and the windshield wipers made it unreadable.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm so tired

First, I have to do a shout out to my Sis Dana. Happy Birthday!!!! I had to call Mom the other day to confirm which day was your b-day and which was Dad's. The only one I remembered for sure was Mitzi's (March 3rd) Guess you know where my priorities are! Love you!!!!!!

What do you get when you combine a weekend of cheer competition, a 4 hour drive each way and the spring-forward time change? A really grumpy Mom! I have to apologize to my family. Sorry guys!!! (I wasn't that bad, but I was incredibly tired)

This competition was very different than any we had been to before. I didn't really know what to expect. When we checked in the first day we saw that the stage was set up in a big convention hall, with dining chairs lined up for the audience. (Seriously, the kind of cushioned metal chair that is used at large dinner functions) It was very small. And expensive. We ponied up the 100k to get in the door (OK slight exageration, but we had 3 adults, 2 teens and a child, at $25 per day... and they only accepted cash) Levi wanted a snack so we went and got an apple. $1.50 for an apple. Highway robbery!

The teams we competed against we had never seen before. (I alwasy saw WE because it is a group effort between the athletes and the parents) We had no idea what to expect. Our girls had to go early in the morning because one girl had something else to go to that afternoon, so we got to go out of order. This usually hurts a team in the scoring, since there is nothing to compare to and the judges are fresh. The girls absolutely nailed it. One tiny error with a touchdown in a tumbling pass, but otherwise it was awesome!

Later that day the other teams in our category went. The first team looked beatable, but were really very good too. The second was also really good, maybe a bit better. Then the next team came out and they were jaw-dropping, gasp for air, PERFECT. I'm sure my mouth was hanging open. I had goose-bumps. This was by far the best looking team we had seen all year. Not that our girls aren't good. But this team was going to be really hard to beat.

The next day we learned we were 0.1 point behind them. Incredibly! Just a tenth of a point!!! The girls were kind of down, though. They had seen the other team and were intimidated by them. The morning was spent raising moral, building up energy and getting them fired up. Again we had to go out of order for one girl, competing much earlier in the day than the rest of the teams. They took the floor and I screamed so loud I think I ruptured something. The music started and they exploded with energy. They jumped, they flipped, they danced, they tumbled and when it was done there had only been one tiny error any of us had seen. This was absolutely their best 2 days of competition ever.

And then we waited. We couldn't leave until after the awards, even though it was hours away. We had to check out of the hotel room so there was no place for Chris and Levi to hang out and the noise in the convention center (even with earplugs) was way too loud for Levi. He and Chris played outside most of the afternoon (great weather).

Then it was time for the other teams in our group to perform. First team up: awesome. Next team up: awesome. Last team up: the ones in 1st place by 1/10th of a pt. - Flawless. Perfection. Our girls began talking about a 3rd or 4th place finish. They weren't terribly upset about it, they accepted that some teams just might be better than they are. They have had a fantastic year with 5 1st place finishes and 1 2nd place finish. They earned a National title at a huge competition. It was all good.

The awards went quickly. Soon they began calling out the teams in reverse order for our category. Fourth place - not us. Third place - not us. Second place - US! The girls had pulled off a 2nd place finish against the toughest competition they had ever faced. We learned later that the scores were only fractions apart. We were all so happy.

We were waiting outside for the girls to be released to the parents when I saw one of the worst examples of 'poor loser' I have ever seen. A mom from our own gym came storming out, with her 10 year old daughter running along behind crying. The mom was screaming at her. Yelling something like 'You are in such trouble!' The girl was crying and saying, 'What are you trying to do? Rub my face in it? The other team was just better'. They stopped briefly during this exchange and then the mom wheeled around and took off practically running, the little girl began to run to keep up, and the mom left their 2 year old son just standing there. Another mom yelled at her that she had forgotten her son, she slowed briefly and he bagan to follow and then she just kept going. Unfortuantely, I just stood there like an idiot and didn't say anything. I was in shock! Did that just happen? This is the same mother that at an earlier competiton when her daughter's team got 2nd place she punished her. That is ABUSE! I am going to go talk to the coaches at the gym. I don't know if they can do anythign, or if they have already tried, but this has to stop. My heart breaks for that little girl. Her mother is a monster.

So people, there you have it. One team of girls pleased as punch they took 2nd place. One Mom furious that they took 2nd place. And who is the grown-up????

I will post pics tonight.

Katie - I am so proud of you. You not only work hard and always give your best, but you have a great sense of what is important in life. You are so beautiful on the inside. Thank you for being my daughter.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Casa Angelina Donations

In the past I have written about the beautiful orphanage and school we support in the mountains of Guatemala. This is a place for the kids who would be on the streets, unadoptable, thrown aside and doomed. Casa Angelina is a wonderful example of not just 'giving a man a fish, but teaching him to fish'. The children get an education, a home, medical care, dental care, eye care, and learn to love the Lord. They are changing these children's lives in a way that is miraculous. It runs completely on donations.

Recently they sent out a wish list of sorts for items they need. They are using most of the monetary funding this year to build another group home on the campus so they have little money left for school supplies, clothes, shoes, toiletries etc. I took the list and we went shopping. I now have 2 16 gallon rubbermaid tubs full of things (over 100 lbs of items). Soap, shampoo, underwear, socks, art supplies, notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers. You name, I bought it. I have had the tubs packed and ready to go, hoping I would be making a trip soon so I could deliver them myself. Instead, I am shipping them out today to another person who is going soon. A person right here in Houston, heading down to volunteer his time and talents. Thank you Rick!!!!

I have a great big smile on my face picturing those precious kids watching as the boxes are unpacked..... Life is fantastic, isn't it!

I wish I had the nerve....

Yesterday I was waiting pateintly in my car while Katie ran into a store to grab something on the way to cheerleading practice. La la la, Levi and I were happily singing along to the CD when a woman came whipping in front of us and pulled right into the handicapped spot. No handicapped license plate, no handicapped sign hanging from the mirror, no indication she was anything but lazy and taking the closest spot. She then proceeded to hop out of her car and throw her lit cigarette on the ground as she walked away. This was no kid, either. This was a fully mature woman who apparently believes the universe revolves around her. Ooooh she made me mad!

And then I noticed it. She left the window cracked on her car. Her BRAND NEW car. And that's when the idea hit me. I was going to take that lit cigarette and pop it back into her car and let her just enjoy it a bit more...... I looked to see if anyone was around. I looked for video cameras. I watched to see if the people at the desk inside the nail salon could see me. I took off my seatbelt. I was going to do it. I hoped it burned a big hole in her seat. Maybe left a horrible stench for her to enjoy. Bwah hah hah, I was evil!!!

But I couldn't do it. With my luck her car would have burst into flames, they would arrest me and I would go to jail. Oh but how I wanted to do it!!!! Stupid woman.

As for PBJ, I know her case is confusing. I spend most of my time just trying to figure it out and keep it all straight. Her case was in PGN, submitted in January 2007. It made it all the way through until it hit the director's desk. It was at that point that they saw the word 'mute' written across the birth mothers documents. You see, she was born in her village, not a hospital. She has no birth certificate. Later, as a young adult, she went to the Civil Registry to register her existence. But the Civil Registry she went to didn't have a Mayan translator, so it was difficult to communicate. They wondered if she was mute because she couldn't really answer their questions, so they wrote it on her document. I know this is true because I have spoken to the Consular General of the US Embassy in Guatemala and he spent time with the PGN director looking over our case last October.

Her case was sent to the Court of Minor's, a section of Family Court that is a higher authority than PGN. PGN is actually a government office (not a court system) that oversees adoptions. If a case gets kicked out to the courts then it is studied with a fine tooth comb. This is more like the system they want to set up in Guatemala since it would hopefully put a stop to a lot of the corruption there. If the courts approve the case, then it supercedes PGN. One strength the courts have that PGN does not is they have actual investigators that go and pull the originals of documents, interview people and dig deep. I feel confident that if the court rules our case is valid and the BM willingly relinquished the child, that it is the truth.

So we wait. She was supposed to see the gov't specialist yesterday. I will get confirmation of that later today. Then we wait some more. In the meantime, I spend my time thinking about all the doctors I need to have ready to see her the minute I get her home. We are fortunate that Texas Children's Hospital is close and that they have a large multi-specialty clinic just a few miles from our house, with a complete therapy program (OT, PT, etc)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Patience, Hope and Fears

You would think that by now, more than 2.5 years into the adoption process, that I would have mastered the art of patience. I am better at it now than I used to be, but that's because I used to have ZERO patience. I have a smidgen now. Not much, just the littlest flicker of patience. Boy oh boy does that little bit get a workout though!

Although PBJ is seeing the gov't specialist today, it is highly doubtful I will hear anything for at least a week. The specialist will write a report and then the report will be sent to the judge (probably via slow mule mail) and then the judge will review it and make a decision. This could take anywhere from a week to years, and I am NOT joking! So patience, don't fail me now.

The other thing I am working on is hope. I am afraid to get my hopes up. Each time I do and give in to the rush of happy emotions, the fall down again is just that much harder. I do better if I stay numb. Unfortunately, I am a hopeless optimist and I can't help but get my hopes up. Especially this time. Is this too good to be true? Is it real? Can it finally happen that we will bring a child into our family????

I guess it's a good thing that we are extremely busy right now. This weekend is the final championship of the cheer season and we have to travel out of town for it. Then next week Katie has her tonsils out. (Poor baby!) The next 2 weeks will fly by.

Here are a couple of things Levi has said recently that have kept us all laughing (and wondering....)

Come here you little buttcrack (said to the puppy) .....(where did he learn that word? Katie!!!!)

Put some clothes on, Dude. (driving in the car, out of the blue)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A little news

OK, the suspense is KILLING me. I will let you know what is up with PBJ. First, a bit of background info. Her case was sent to investigation in the courts because the document of the birth mother (called a cedula, replaces a birth certificate for those born at home) had the word MUTE written across the bottom. If she is mute, how did they interview her for the social workers report? They had a hearing in late October where they brought in the BM and a translator and learned that she is not mute, just speaks a Mayan dialect and is very shy. The judge wanted the corrected cedula and all would be fine. 

Then, during this time, the Guat coordinator for our agency began stealing all the money, the attorneys didn't get paid, nothing was done and our case sat. I was told at the time that the judge went on vacation for 2 months, but that was the coordinator covering her deceit.

Now we have a new lawyer assisting our case. Not a stellar lawyer, not the cream of the crop, but apparently someone decent and trustworthy although a bit slow (thank you google) This atty went to the judge and asked what was the hold up. The judge first said he would schedule a new hearing, one which I could attend. (Oh how I looked forward to that!) But after pushing the judge, he agreed that all he needed to see was the corrected cedula of the BM and he would be fine. Last Thursday they brought the BM in with her new documents and she saw the judge. 

Then, the amazing part began. The judge listened to the medical info our atty provided and decided that this case would need to be fast-tracked if the info was true. he gave the atty until Monday to provide the medical records (which they did) and scheduled an appt with a gov't specialist for tomorrow. if they confirm the diagnosis, they will fast-track her case and get her home ASAP. The US Embassy already agreed to fast-track her case in October when I approached them, so once we have Guat approval things should fly. 

Is it possible that the powers that be could possibly, finally be thinking of the best interests of the child? I hope so!!! Isn't it about time? This precious baby girl has been through so much. Let her come home. Be loved. Be cherished. Be cared for in every way!!!!! Please?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Very Cheery Attitude

Katie's team was in 1st place after Saturday's competition. Honestly, I thought they would be 2nd or 3rd after watching them and the competition. This time was really tough. One team they were competing against normally competed at a higher skill level but they dropped down a class for this competition.

On Sunday the girls were absolutely rocking the routine. They had to go last since they were in 1st place, and the 2nd place team had pulled off a near-perfect routine. Then the unthinkable happened. One girl went late on her tumbling pass and ran smack dab into the girl going the other way. Splat! They were both OK but there was no way the judges could have missed that. They walked away with 2nd place and their first defeat of the year. It didn't really bother them. The only thing that got them all riled up was the girl who made the mistake came off the floor screaming at the other girl and blaming her. First, it was just a mistake, and secondly, the other girls didn't put up with the 'blame game' as they called it. I thought that was pretty cool.

As we were walking into the parking lot, late at night, there was a family walking ahead of us. Their little girl was carrying a big trophy (you can actually buy your own if you want one, the one they win goes to the gym) and as she walked past our car she swung the trophy around and smacked my car, twice! Katie, who was in front of me, yelled at the little girl, 'Hey, that's my car. Don't hit it! Get away from it!' She said it in a very mean sounding voice, and I'm sure she meant it to freak the little girl out (She was about 8-9 yrs old) Suddenly her mother came bustling around their truck and started yelling at Katie. 'You don't talk to my daughter that way. Who do you think you are? etc etc' I shoved Katie into the front seat and slammed the door. I saw the Dad yank the trophy away from the girl and start to scold her, so I can only think he must have seen her do it. I calmly told the other Mom that her daughter had accidentally hit my car swinging her trophy around and I'm sorry my daughter yelled at her. The Dad said something to the Mom and then she apologized. Whew. I thought for a minute I was going to have to do a Cheer Mom throw-down in the parking lot. Then again, I have some pent up angst from all the adoption crap that I could have drawn know, Whoop-A$$ therapy. The Texas way.

As for PBJ, tomorrow. Tomorrow. I should have news tomorrow. Things are changing very quickly, and it all seems to be going in the right direction for once. I'll post it as soon as I know!!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Don't jinx me!

There is very little about competitive cheerleading that comes with moderation. The kids (boys and girls) hit the floor and give 150%, they throw themselves thru the air with little regard for their safety (often making us parents gasp and whimper in fear) The uniforms are extreme, with skirts so short that they 'show their biscuits' and bare bellies. And glitter. There is glitter in my van, glitter in my kitchen, glitter in the dryer, glitter in my pores. Glitter glitter everywhere. But the most extreme? The make-up. Doing cheer make-up is an art form involving glue, glitter, blush that stains the skin and lipstick that is made form some sort of material not found in nature so that it stays on forever and only comes in shades that would shock a nun. How do you know when you have it right? Well, you put on enough so that your little girl looks like a street walking Ho, and then add some more. (Katie and I joke about that all the time, since she usually prefers a very natural look) Here is what the eye makeup looks like. Do you know how hard it is to get that much glitter on an eyelid and no glitter in her eye? Only once so far this year have I gotten glitter in her eye, and that is amazing. 

So as you can guess, this is another cheer weekend. This competition is here in Houston so we have the advantage of no travel and no hotel. Our gym doesn't travel much, which is one reason I like them so much. The travel gets old really fast. There is another gym close by that is higher ranked and really well known, but they travel so much. Las vegas, Oklahoma, Dallas, Florida. It's just too much. 

In other news, the Publicist/Agent in LA has asked me for more pics of Katie. I sent them on Friday. We have talked about it and if we never hear from her again, it's still been a really wonderful experience. How many teenage girls can say that they got noticed by a Hollywood scout? In a mexican restaurant in a weeny little burb in the boondocks outside of the city? If the publicist/agent wants more, then I will take everyone advice and contact the BBB etc and check it out thoroughly. (I am so silly. I think if I do it now it will jinx her!)

Just like I can't tell you the pending great news about PBJ because it might jinx it.......