Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Few Mistakes

In my previous post I talked about something that has been on my heart since I was a teenager. I talked a lot about International adoption. I sent the link along to the one adoption ministries that I mentioned in that post, Reece's Rainbow, to make sure it was alright that I used photos from their site and to just share my message.

And I got back a great letter from one of the graphic design directors who took the time to look my post over. She thought my post was great, which is awesome! But there were a couple things I was deeply mistaken on and something I think MANY people who've never actually been deep into the throes of adoption realize. So I'm going to copy and paste part of her message with her clarifications because I feel they are so important and eye-opening:

The one thing you mentioned is that the parents give up their children... it is more than just parents rejecting their child. For some countries, the parents aren't given a choice. But the thing to remember is that there is a lot of religious and medical misinformation in these countries. For one, the doctors tell the families that the child will not do anything but be a strain on them and ruin their family. Also, in their religion, a child with special needs is considered a curse on the family so the parents are afraid of their own child. That is why raising awareness is so important but also why we need our advocacy to be tempered with grace.*     (*emphasis mine)

Also, you mentioned that the costs for adoption are high but the orphanages get that money. That isn't true. The majority of the costs for an international adoption go to the various US government departments. There are fees for the social worker and agency to do the homestudy, then there are fees for all of the many many documents that compile the dossier, there are finger printing fees and fees to obtain criminal background checks. Then there are fees to the US for the actual approval by the US gov't to be allowed to adopt and bring a child from another country to the US, and the fee for US immigration.

There are also fees in the actual country you adopt from, those fees are for the facilitator who helps the families and the facilitators work HARD for the money they get. They are working from the wee hours of the morning til late into the night for the families. But your dossier needs translating and there is a fee for that... the country itself has their government departments for adopting and there are fees for that and then on top of that there are the travel expenses. Most times the appointment date given by the country is only a couple of weeks away so the families are not getting discounted flights. And of course, they need somewhere to stay in country so there are accommodation expenses. As well, there is the cost of the child's medical appointment and visa, things they need in order to fly out of their birth country and be allowed into the US.

Overall, the orphanages get very little money. 

I was recently reading through Threefold Blessings (she adopted three toddlers all at once!) and she mentioned in THIS post how they were giving the orphanage a gift of diapers. She also mentioned that in the country she adopted from, the Ukraine, each orphan is given a bank account from the government and deposits are made so that if and when the child leaves the orphanage they have some money to get them started in life. It is custom for those adopting through Reece's Rainbow to close out those bank accounts and donate that money to the orphanage. It's a GREAT post and she tells it so much better than I can relate as she was there so go check it out!  

So I'm kind of sad the orphanages don't get a lot of the money because I know they need it to continue to care for the children who are still there and not yet adopted. By adopting and donating gifts and/or closing out the bank accounts for your adopted child(ren) to donate that money you'd be building a deeper relationship between the orphanage with Reece's Rainbow. Not to mention you'd be helping out those children still left behind waiting for their new mommy and/or daddy! (I forgot to mention - LOTS of eligible adoptions for SINGLE MOMS).

If you missed my last post check it out HERE. I'll be editing out the mistakes I had make so no one finds my post and assumes things in error.

And I just have to share the Child of the Month because he is so darn cute I could just squeeze those cheeks! 

Alexander - (Down Syndrome)

I just shared his link to my Facebook simply by clicking on the Facebook icon on his page! Get the word out. Babies and children are counting on us to help them!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One of the most amazing commandments...

When we think of commandments we automatically think of 'The Ten Commandments' but there are more exhortations than those ten. There is one in particular that strikes a chord in my heart.

James 1:27 states: "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."  (New American Standard)

Several blog posts ago I mentioned that Daniel asked me what my dreams were and I had to seriously think about it, had to remember dreams of old and new dreams that have crept up. And I promised to touch back on those dreams once I got my thoughts more collected. 

Before I ever met Daniel my dream was orphans. 

I have always had a very special place in my heart for them. It has been prophesied over me that I was going to be a mother to "the unwanted" and "the undesirables". I would design orphanages in my free time and envisioned my life as a director of an American orphanage where we'd bring in children from International orphanages and give them better housing, food and medical care. I have lost a lot of sleep over these children. This was before I had Internet, before I could actually go online and SEE their names and faces. Before I realized the gravity of the orphan situation in the world. 

The truth, folks, is that kids and babies are dying in orphanages. I just shared a button at the top of this post for an 11-lb little girl who is 3-years-old!!! My Abigail probably weighed 11 lbs when she was 2 months old and sweet Carrington, left to die in an orphanage in Europe, weighs that at 3 YEARS old. Please click on the button and follow their story which is being updated by a family friend (if you click on her profile you can read all about her adoption journey to her own beautiful, adopted daughter). 

I cannot adopt right now or I'd be filling out the paperwork this very moment. We don't meet the financial requirements. But I can pray, I can donate, I can advocate. I can help spread the word about the devastation happening. We are actually called by God Himself to take care of these little ones. 

"Whatever you have done to the least of these you have done unto Me!" - paraphrase of Matt 25:40

How GLORIOUS to do unto God what you do unto these children when you pray, donate, advocate or start the adoption process. And if you read that entire story in Matthew it will give you chills, seriously. God cares  about these little lives. I know many non-believers and maybe some believers say, "WHERE is your loving God if these children are dying?!" And the real question we need to ask is, "WHERE am I that I am NOT helping?!" God didn't do this to these children. What is being done to them started when their parents laid eyes on them and decided they weren't "good enough" or they just simply could not afford the medical care required to keep them alive. Sometimes parents are not allowed to keep their baby or their religion views their child as a curse because they have a disease or disability. What is being done to them is done by the care givers over them. We have a free will to make our own choices and sometimes innocent people get hurt and become victimized by the careless acts of other people. When we begin to advocate and adopt these children we are doing exactly what our loving God desires for us to do! It is what He would do Himself! We are ambassadors of Christ.

Daniel and I are going to begin donating to Reece's Rainbows. It is an adoption organization that provides adoptions for what the world considers the "highly undesirable"; those with Down Syndrome, HIV and other serious conditions. We can't donate a whole lot but what little we have we are giving. I hope this post builds an inferno of passion in your heart. Look through the photos of actual children awaiting families on this site! 

Look into their eyes just pleading for a Mommy and a Daddy to come and take them away to an actual home with their own room, maybe with some siblings.

Having the Internet has been such a blessing because my dream of helping orphans has been rekindled several months ago. It has also opened my eyes, as I just said, to how devastating the orphanages can be to these children. Children who are more severely ill and getting "too old" to be adopted will be institutionalized if they aren't adopted in a certain time frame. This means they will not be adoptable any longer. This means they will be in an institution which is typically far worse than the conditions of an orphanage. For the severely ill it means being confined to a bed until they die. Some of the older orphans will be turned out of the orphanage to fend for themselves, typically with the label of 'orphan' and 'HIV+' which will make it very difficult to get honest work.

I know not everyone desires to adopt nor are in a position to adopt. But you can help simply by sharing with others or by donating $20 a month (skip Starbucks a few times this month or pack a lunch). 

Some faces I was dreaming about last night:

Oscar (has Down Syndrome):

Josephine (has Down Syndrome):

Lauren (is HIV+):

Arlene (has toxoplasmosis, hydrocephaly, episyndrome, hernia):

Photos were taken from the Reece's Rainbow website.

This is my dream: to see children come home to a family who will love them unconditionally and give them a real chance at life. It was my dream when I was but a teenager, before I had an idea of the bigger picture. I believe it is a God-given desire that burns in my heart for these children. I don't know why I waited so long to take action. The more I read, the more faces I look at, the more I realize that there are more and more children waiting and waiting... is what I think is driving me to action now. 

Now I'm praying for God to increase our finances but for a purely selfless and yet also selfish reason. I want to bring some of these babies home! We only need about $10K more a year and I know God can do it! 

I will be showing my daughters these children in the days to come and explaining why we're donating money. No matter what passion burns in your heart get your children involved. Because we desperately need to pass on compassion to the next generations.  

What is YOUR passion? What is your charity? What is your dream?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Very, Very Special Day!

On March 23, 2007 I went to bed with contractions that were still a little too far apart to rush to the hospital. I went to bed in anticipation, hoping to be woken up with my water breaking or with contractions that were intense enough to let me know 'it was time'! I woke up to the latter.

I called the on-call doctor and he told me to go on to labor and delivery. I decided to take a shower first and when I told Daniel the doctor said it was time for us to go in he started running around like a headless chicken. He didn't know what he was doing and finally remembered to call his parents to take Elaina.

I was too excited to eat anything (in retrospect that would have been a really bad move; EAT before you go or take protein bars with you if you're not giving birth at home!). We hopped in the car and off we went. I invited my mother-in-law to Abigail's birth so she followed in her own car.

When I arrived at the hospital I was put in bed with an IV and the monitors around my belly, BP cuff which was so uncomfortable to me. Being on my back in labor is the worst and deprives baby of oxygen, puts pressure on the spine, etc.. I was breathing really well through the contractions but asked for the epidural anyway. I was too scared to give birth without the epidural. They put me on Pitocin as well, without consent.

Abigail - 4 yrs old

I ended up vomiting about 5 times in labor, which I contribute to the epidural and Pitocin along with not eating anything, though women who have neither epi or Pit can vomit in labor as well. That's just my personal feeling about my experience. Anyway the doctor broke my water at some point and three hours later I was pushing. The epidural was wearing off so I could feel a little bit. I was on my back pushing with nurses yelling to hold my breath while counting to ten. My baby girl was born very purple and screaming.

I held her for a few seconds before they took her and began washing her at the sink. When I got her back she just cried and cried but it was a different cry. It sounded different, she sounded like she was in pain. My mother-in-law thought so as well and whispered to a nurse that Abigail seemed to be crying like she was in pain and the nurse brushed her off. The next day we found out Abby's collarbone broke during delivery when the pediatrician came in to check her out...

Despite her traumatic birth she ended up being the most joyous baby you'd ever meet. Always smiling, always happy, always content. She didn't want to co-sleep and ended up sleeping in her own bed, through the night, at 2-months old. She made me want a dozen more babies like her! She was also a wiggly little thing; always kicking her feet. She did this really funny thing as a baby where she'd purse her lips and spit! I called it her "duck lips" because her lips looked the a duck's bill.

Always smiling and happy

Happy 1st Birthday

Easter 2008

Abigail looks just like Daddy!

4th of July 2009

You are the joy of my heart. Your laughter is contagious and comes from your toes! I love all the silly things you say and come up with though when you argue with me I'm reminded of another ornery little girl (me!). You may look just like your Daddy but your personality, your imagination, your joy reminds me of me as an innocent little girl. I love eavesdropping on you when you're playing and talking to your "babies" and imaginary friends. I love how you pray!
You were a content baby and you're [often] a content child. When you get excited you scream so loud it pieces my ears! And when you're happy you laugh so hard your little body shakes. You're very compliant most of the time and eager-to-please but sometimes you have some sassy attitude, ha ha! I don't think you ever do it intentionally. You probably pick up your sassyness from watching and listening to your Momma!

You're already so smart! You picked up the alphabet and colors really fast. You also started talking sooner than your sisters at just 7 months old BUT you took your time learning to crawl and to walk because you were just so laid back with life.  You are entering a completely new phase - from baby to toddler and now to preschooler. And I cannot wait to see how you blossom and grow.

I will always love you, always have my arms open to you. You'll forever be my baby. Forever...


Happy Birthday, Abigail!
March 24, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Building Our Nest

I don't know if it is because spring has sprung or because I'm pregnant and have this strong desire to begin putting our home together to welcome another addition but....... I've gone a little nesting/spring cleaning crazy. We decided to go with moving Elaina and Abigail to our third story (if you read my last post I was debating on rooming situations for all the kiddos).

Elaina picked a pink for her room and Abigail picked purple. We have to save up almost $1000 just to replace the windows up there so I'm trying to sell some things I've had stored (and forgotten about) or just don't use anymore.

So anyway, back to my crazy cleaning. I have been dragging stuff down from our third story to our first floor laundry (our laundry room is the size of a small bedroom). I'll be storing what was up there in the laundry area. And I've been dragging what was in the laundry room, which doubled as a playroom, up to the third story. I left all the heavy stuff for some guys to move, no worries! I know my limits and actually feel great because I took my time and only took what I could handle.

I don't know why I chose this week to do all of this because Elaina is home all day for spring break (so I have three to look after, not two) and Abigail's birthday party is this Saturday! Her actual birthday is this Thursday. She is going to be four! She's my sassy girl, reminds me of me!

I've decided Zoë will move to the bigger bedroom since it is already pink and it has more room. I hope she transitions well! I'm really nervous about this part because I just don't know how she'll do with moving to a big bed AND a different room AND losing her big sisters to the third story around the same time. The bed she'll be getting from big sister is one of the bunk beds and it already has rails on it. It's too big to fit in the nursery so to a new room she will go! Won't happen for a few months but prayers welcome!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break is here! And some baby choices...

My oldest is officially on spring break and I have no plans except to get her new shoes. I hope the weather stays spring-like for the break, too! I'd hate for it to turn back to cold or chilly. Any ideas for what we can do on spring break that doesn't cost anything?! Daddy doesn't have a break so it'll just be the girlies and me.

Right now I have a lot on my mind. I'll list them in bullet points. I need to get them out of my head!

1). I go back and forth with what to do in regards to my prenatal care and birth. Do I stay where I am with midwives who deliver at the hospital? Do I interview potential home birth midwives? Do I visit the two birth centers I've found (that are Christ-centered to boot!)? I like the midwives I have but I do not like the hospital.

I think I'm leaning more toward a birth center setting because I know they're Christians and when you're a person of faith that does make a difference. And Daniel can bring his guitar and sing to me which would be so lovely. AND they allow water birth (hospital does not). Daniel is not completely sold on home birth and the birth center takes the insurances I carry. This may seem like a no-brainer but I still haven't made any moves to check them out. I am still waiting for 100% support from Daniel to go and check them out.

2). Bedroom situations for the kids. We are co-sleepers, at least for the first several months. I have no idea what baby will want to do. Abigail did NOT want to bed-share and was the easy baby who never cried and slept through the night (I know... but don't get too jealous because Elaina and Zoë have made up for it, ha ha). So as it stands I have no idea if I should have a nursery prepared or if we'll just co-sleep. Part of me wants a nursery ready because that is just what I do and I like having it prepared even if they don't use it. Gender will play a HUGE role in what we decide to do. I have a few options:

          -Move Elaina and Abigail to the third story rooms (which requires replacing windows, installing some kind of heat system, etc.) and leave Zoë in her room. New baby would get the big bedroom.
          -Move Zoë into the bigger bedroom with her big sisters (more cramped) and the smaller bedroom would be for new baby.
          -Move Zoë into the big girls' room and switch Elaina to the smaller room. Baby would be in the bigger room with Abigail and Zoë.
          -Elaina and baby share a room; Abigail and Zoë share a room. Might require a trundle bed in the smaller room.

So most of that is probably confusing; it's really just for me to get it out and see it. The first option is the most ideal to me because everyone will have their own space and if another baby came along while living in this house the bigger kid bedroom could accommodate two kids easily. It's just getting windows replaced, the bathroom up there in working order and figuring out where to put the litter boxes instead as they are up there. Our third story is finished with a full bathroom and two bedrooms (no doors; more of a loft-type setting but easily two bedrooms with separate closets).

3). I had another thing but I cannot remember it for the life of me. Things are always better in threes so it drives me nuts that I can't remember, ha ha ha!

So my brain is a little fuzzy and I can't make solid plans on the second thing (bedroom issue) because I want to know the gender first. The first thing I think I just need to get the ball rolling and schedule tours/interviews. But I don't want Daniel to feel like he doesn't have a say. Arg! Time to go talk to him...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big Renovations Coming!

This is the year we're paying off debt... and finally starting work on our kitchen. My kitchen is an eyesore. It's more than an eyesore. If there was an ugly kitchen contest it could win. It is also very oddly shaped because someone put in a huge bathroom (without green-rock; it's a special sheet-rock that prevents mildew and mold caused by moisture from the tub/shower) behind one of the counters. It looks a lot better than when we first moved in...

*twilight music taking us back in time*

It was the year 2006 when we began looking for our first house. We looked at dozens of houses; some of them we didn't even get out and just drove by because they were super creepy or the neighborhoods were bad. A few smelled so strongly of cat urine or cigarettes that I walked in and walked right back out.

And then, while on a walk one evening in my in-laws' neighborhood we passed by this Post-Victorian house. There was no sign out front but it looked deserted. I walked up to the front door and peered into the door. The house was empty! We called our Realtor and she looked it up; sure enough it was on the market but someone must have stolen the 'For Sale' sign out front.

First impression? Beautiful, real oak floors and trim. A gorgeous staircase leading upstairs to three beautifully-sized bedrooms, a little bathroom with a clawfoot tub. A finished third story that featured another full bathroom and two bedrooms. But when you ventured past the dining room you entered a house of horrors!

The kitchen had blue carpet that was soggy (?!) and stank really bad, the sink and the cupboards were rusted out (I have NO idea how anyone kept anything in them), the stove was absolutely filthy and the walls were caked with grease and spaghetti sauce (I think..?). There were dead bugs everywhere, too. The laundry room behind the kitchen smelled like cats really bad.

And yet out of all the houses we looked at this was the one that met almost all our Must-Haves. Our mortgage broker heard about the house and told us we had to get it. We put in an offer and they accepted ours! That is such a good feeling to know we were chosen.We ripped out the kitchen carpet and put in cheap cabinets, my husband and his mom put in subflooring. We got a new sink and faucet that I still absolutely love. It was good enough to get by. We could fix up the kitchen later when we had more money..................

Fast-forward five years and we still have the same stock cabinets from Home Depot and the subflooring (no tiles, no linoleum... just lauan board).

No more, friends! I have put my foot down. I have measured, designed and redesigned and priced and finally have a plan in place for our kitchen. After we pay off our credit card debt we're going to purchase one-thing-at-a-time if we have to in order to fix this up. Daniel is pretty stoked with the design I drew up though he needs to double check all my measurements (always good to measure, remeasure, measure again and have someone else do the same) and we have to visit Lowes to make sure the lazy susan we are wanting is the correct size.

After the kitchen... we're moving onto our first floor bathroom. It currently has half of its walls and a huge hole in the floor due to our demolition that we had to stop due to spinal issues for Daniel and pregnancy for me. But Daniel is fed up too and going to work through the pain and get that work going and hopefully done.

THIS LINK may show you the design I did at Lowe's but if it doesn't work it may have expired. The blank space in the back is where our backdoor and playroom are so I just left all that back there blank. AND the cabinet to the left of the black dishwasher is supposed to be the sink but it won't show the sink basin and faucet (so weird). And of course there's supposed to be a countertop covering the dishwasher. *SIGH* I don't know why it isn't showing up properly.

I may try to find a different room designer online (if you can recommend one that'd be awesome).

Monday, March 14, 2011

My ABC's!

I stole this from Jennifer over at MomSpotted! 

A. Age:  Just turned 26
B. Bed size:  Queen
C. Chore you dislike:  Dishes! We don't have a dishwasher but are planning renovations to include one!!!
D. Dogs:   We adopted Sam, our German Shepherd/Shar-Pei mix from a shelter. She's a girl. I don't like her name but we wanted her to keep her name since she's 5 years old and that's what she knows.
E. Essential start to your day:   Food! I get shaky and feel ill if I don't get something in me. Usually just plain cereal. When I worked at a nursing home I'd always have bacon and eggs (droooooool) but not at home.
F. Favorite color:   Purple, deep jewel-toned purple NOT lavender
G. Gold or silver:   Silver for jewelry, gold for home decor
H. Height:   5′ 3″
I. Instruments you play(ed):   I don't play. I'm instrumentally challenged. ;-)
J. Job title:   Homemaker and self-employed jeweler
K. Kids:   Elaina (5), Abigail (4 in a couple weeks!), Zoë (16-mo) and baby in utero
L. Live:   In the USA
M. Mom’s name:   Rebecca though she went by Becky
N. Nicknames:  Joy to the World, Joy Belle, Goose, Nae Nae (middle name is Renee), Munchkin, Midget, Runt (see a pattern? I'm the shortest one in my fam!), and MANY more
O. Overnight hospital stays:   My births
P. Pet peeves:  Bad drivers, repeating myself (stole that one from Jen and it is SO true)
Q. Quote from a movie:   "I love, I love, I love you..." -Mr. Darcy (okay maybe not a FAVE but I can't think of anything else)
S. Siblings:   Three bros and one sister
T. Time you wake up:  Most days between 7:30-8. 
U. Underwear:   Granny panties; sorry but they're comfortable and I'm all about comfort! I don't like underwear up my rear end all day.
V. Vegetables you don’t like:  Raw bell peppers; I like most veggies
W. What makes you run late:   My KIDS!!! Surprise!
X. X-rays you’ve had:   My teeth, my hand a couple times (slammed in van door once and slit my thumb clean open back in 2006).
Y. Yummy food you make:  My homemade tuna casserole is a yummy one, my sister's recipe for onion-topped chicken is absolutely sinful, any baked treats (I've been called a "Bakeress" many times by friends), spinach-artichoke dip, my homemade potato soup is DELICIOUS
Z. Zoo animal favorites:  Elephants!!!

Feel free to steal and let me know you did it so I can read yours! I usually don't post things like this but I feel like doing surveys. Sometimes you just like to gab about yourself, ya know?!

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's a BOY?!

I was recently sent an Intelligender kit to review and was finally able to use it this past Thursday. You can use it as early as 10 weeks but because I was taking progesterone supplements I had to wait 10 days after the last pill for a more accurate reading. Now these tests are controversial (because of gender selection) but for women like me they can be fun. They are around 90% accurate. I've had many, many women tell me that it was accurate for them with only 1-2 women saying it was inaccurate.

In the past they've been slammed as a scam and I will admit I've been a skeptic! In the end I think it's just another fun thing to do when passing the time before your sonogram. The science is interesting and with so many accurate results it definitely has its appeal.

So you pee in a cup. Then you draw up your urine in a syringe and add it to a cup that contains the crystals that react to the urine and change it a color distinguishing one gender from another. A girl result is an orange color and a boy result is a dark green color. HERE is a link to some samples.

My result? It said............ BOY!

The girl results, I've been told, are more accurate than the boy results. So it's definitely still up in the air! I'm hoping to get that gender scan the last weeks of April or the first week in May.

And I'll be giving away an Intelligender kit at Girly Girl Giveaways starting April 1st. Would make a fun "Congratulations you're pregnant" gift to a recently pregnant friend or a great little game for you if you're currently pregnant and still have time before your sonogram. Anyone can enter, pregnant or not! Follow Girly Girl Giveaways in order to know when it (and other awesome giveaways) post!

On a similar note I am over 12 weeks pregnant and today I had a prenatal visit with a midwife I haven't met before. I really liked her! We got to HEAR the heartbeat for the first time today (at my first sonogram we only saw it)!!! My heartbeat was so loud it was really hard for me to hear the baby's heartbeat. But I did hear the swish and swoosh of them moving away from the doppler. They were definitely in a lively mood. Daniel with his musical skills heard the heartbeat better than I did (musicians can just hear those quieter tones I think). This doppler didn't measure the BPMs so I don't know how fast the heart was either. So no gender guesses on that score!

Daniel and I have been thinking of baby names. Haven't come up with anything new. But we do make fun of a lot of the names we come across or their meanings. I'm pretty confident with my girl name list but still unsure about boy names. I think once we KNOW the gender I'll be more comfortable pinpointing their name.

Daniel was also recently out-of-town. He went on a missions trip and just got back the day before I took the Intelligender. The night he got back he asked me perhaps the most surprising question and one that I could only half answer...

"What are your dreams?"

I haven't thought about my dreams in a long time. And I was surprised he asked because it is out-of-character for him to ask. I think one reason for my bitterness our first year of marriage had a lot to do with sacrifice, losing my mom and dying dreams. Of course we were building new dreams! But part of me had other dreams that were put in the attic of my mind and left there until now when Daniel asked me what they are.

Every now and then I wonder what I would be doing or what I would do given the money or capabilities or just time. So I'm going to be asking myself what my dreams are these next weeks and I hope to share some concrete things and bare my soul. And I'm talking about dreams for ME, not as a wife or a mother. But as just Joy. I think it is so important to have your own dreams. While being a mother has always been a dream of mine (and a dream come true six times over now) I am definitely talking about the unfulfilled Joy dreams that I've buried away and the new ones that have crept up.

Do you have dreams? What are yours?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Things that make me smile!

With three little girls you must know that laughter fills this house (so does screaming, shrieking, yelling and every now and then... silence reigns). Mostly it is me laughing at them. Oh their antics, their silly little phrases!

Like when Zoë twirls in a circle yelling, "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Weeeeeeeeeeee!"

Or when Abigail says her prayers: "Dear Jesus, I want a baby brother. Please help my baby brother to grow strong and helfy. And to drink water and juice and pop so they can poop and pee. Amen!"

And like when Elaina says, "Abby stuck her thumb at me!" when she means 'tongue'.

I especially love it when Zoë walks over to me, all serious and just says, "Mom." Pause. "Mom." Her little eyes searching mine. I have no idea what she wants. I just parrot her back, raising my voice as I do it until we're both just yelling, "MOM!" back and forth to one another and we're both laughing.

I also love it when Zoë walks over, touches my cheek and pushes my face until I'm looking at her. If I look away she'll reach up and do it again until she is back in my sights. When she is satisfied I have looked at her long enough she'll toddle off. 

And I love it when I ask Zoë if she wants something (bath, snack, milk, fill-in-the-blank) and she says, "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" as she runs to the bathroom/kitchen/fridge/fill-in-the-blank. She also says, "Yeee-sssssss" really, really cute. Oh how I wish I could get her to do it on camera. She'll be so serious and nod really slowly as she says it, too.

I have a harder time remembering the funny things the older girls say and do, probably because Elaina is at school most of the time and Abigail is my little independent girl who likes to play by herself a lot. The big girls were pretending to be singers the other day and started singing about the most random things... and yet I cannot remember what they were! I kept thinking, "I should so remember this for later!" And then I get distracted, of course. 

Remembering Zoë's antics is so much easier because we're literally side-by-side all day long and a lot of her behavior is repetitive still. She loves to take toy cars and slide them on the ground making car noises (or trying to make the noises, at least). And she loves to pick up Barbies and make them dance around by waving them and stomping their feet on the ground and she makes them "talk". Mostly the Barbies just say, "Doo doo doo doo doo."

A really funny thing that happened today was that Zoë brought me a doll and I pretended to nurse it and said, "Does your doll want boobies?" She ripped that doll out of my hands without warning, started climbing up my lap unsuccessfully while doing her slow nod, face serious and saying, "Yyyyeeeeesssssssss". Apparently she doesn't get I was referring to the doll! LOL! I picked her up, plopped her on my legs and she just started laughing with abandon and patting my breasts. She was so excited. Newborns nurse for nourishment and hunger. Toddlers do it to bond and be close to their mothers. It was so precious! She doesn't get much anymore but it is still bonding, still closeness and touch. I rarely ever nurse her in the daytime. I only nurse when she first gets up and right before bed.

Abigail is also my expressive girl. She is constantly saying and doing things that make me just laugh out loud! I need to start carrying around a tablet and writing things as they happen. 

Elaina is more serious, more emotional. She says and does silly things, too, don't get me wrong. She IS a kid. But mostly she just laughs at everything Abigail and Zoë say and do. She's like me; I'm NOT a good joker but I do enjoy laughing at other peoples' antics. 

What do your kids say/do that make you just throw your head back and laugh?!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On the Mend

ETA - I thought I had blogged about being sick before this. I first got sick on a Thursday and by Sunday I was at the E.R. getting IV fluids. Finally better yesterday (Tuesday).

My birthday was Monday and I spent it curled up with excruciating stomach cramps and diarrhea. I was still sick. I thought I had gotten over the stomach flu but alas it came back with a vengeance just when I thought I was better. Thankfully resting all day Monday resulted in the pain going away AND scoring some pizza for dinner for my birthday. I had been eating crackers, broth and other boring food when I was able before that, for days on end. I ended up losing 6-7 lbs from this stomach flu.

The day before my birthday I was up all night long in the bathroom. So much so that I was terrified I was losing a quick battle and I ended up going to the E.R. for I.V. fluids on the recommendation of one of the midwives in my midwifery group. The fluids and anti-nausea they gave me made me feel so much better.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was the first day I finally felt like myself but I did too much, too soon. I got up bright and early for an appointment, had to drop paperwork off at another building, post office, bank to cash my birthday check, lunch with the girls, Walmart, dollar store, Hobby Lobby to spend my birthday money and a party supply store to check the goodies out for Abigail's birthday. I try to get all my errands done on the same day because of gasoline; most stores are all clustered together about 30+ minutes away. But it was just too much after being so sick for several days.

By the time I got home there was one hour to unload everything before picking Elaina up from school. From there it was homework, dinner and I made the girls clean up our third story (they trashed it! They're no longer allowed to play up there until they're a bit older). By the time I got the girls in bed I was so nauseous that the mere thought of food made me want to hurl. I ended up going to bed before 8pm (if you know me IRL you know that's crazy early for me).

Before I hauled myself upstairs to bed I was laying on the couch willing myself to feel better. I turned on American Idol and had to shut it off. Some feminine guy with long, curly hair was strutting around and flipping his hair like Beyoncé. I don't mean to be mean (okay maybe I do) but I couldn't handle that. I'm sure he's a nice person but the singing was just not my thing. I didn't watch anyone else because by that point I had to go to sleep to avoid the nausea.

Daniel got home a little while later and woke me up to make sure I was alright and already the nausea was gone but I decided to continue sleeping or I'd be up the rest of the night. Too late! When Daniel came to bed I ended up tossing and turning, wide-awake, for hours.

So this was a pretty boring account of a day-in-the-life-of me. I'm just glad to not be sick anymore and to be able to eat real food!

P.S. I'm 11 weeks today!!! My little baby in my interactive ticker looks like a mini-baby now!