Friday, February 28, 2014

Surgery update

After a night of discussions we decided that the best option for our LeiLei is to have a traditional anesthesia induced procedure which will take place at our Children's Hospital. Did I mention, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this?... Well I do.

There were a number of factors that led us to this decision. I think in the end this will be what is best for her. I personally think it will be harder on me to see her in a hospital setting as opposed to a surgical center. But this is not about me.

On another note... Hubby raised just shy of $700 for that young man who is battling an extremely rare cancer.  Way to go Baby!!! I love you!!! Sorry girls, he is all mine...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

It looks like LeiLei will be having toe surgery sooner than anticipated

The one aspect of parenting I dislike the most... Making decisions on behalf of your children that will forever affect them. I am having to make one of those decisions right now, there really is no decision to make I just need to come to peace with something.

Last Fall I took LeiLei to have her little toe looked at. To me it looked like she had an infection up under her toe nail. The Doctor took X-Rays and felt based on the X-Rays it was a bone spur. So he told us that at some point it was going to become painful and she would need to have surgery to remove the bone spur. Well over the past month her little toe nail has really become quite 'yucky' looking. So I went ahead and took her in today to have it looked at once again.

The Doctor told me that her toe nail is a complete loss. As far as what is going on under the nail, that is still to be determined. He thinks we need to deal with her discomfort immediately which means removal of the toe nail. As a woman, I cant tell you how sad that makes me. I don't get the opportunity to have pedicures as often as I use to, but when I do I really enjoy it. It makes me feel very girly. As a mom and a woman knowing that my daughter is about to forever lose a nail, I am sad. My daughter is beautiful, she is young and innocent and has no flaws. To have to make that decision (as a parent) is just breaking my heart. If I could remove one of my nails instead, I would.

My next decision is whether to have this done at a surgical center, or at the Childrens Hospital. Hubby and I are really going to have to talk about this tonight. There are definite pros and con's to both locations. The best case scenario for this procedure is that they remove the toe nail, and we go on with our merry life. The worse case scenario is they remove the toe nail and out pops bone. It gives me the chills just thinking about it. So in theory she could be up and walking around that same day, or she could be off her foot for 10 days.  I am still trying to wrap my head around the keeping a 4 year old down for 10 days concept. Especially because we are going to be in Spring at that point and my kids are going to want to be outside. Not only will I have to keep her down, I will have to deal with her siblings a  4 year old and a 2 year old that will not understand why their sister is getting all of the attention. Ugh...

I know ten years from now I will barely remember this ordeal, but for right now I am a bit worked up over it.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The generosity of men...

There is something different between the generosity of a man and a woman. As a woman I hate to admit this, but there is. I am sure many will disagree with me on this, but this is what I have found to be true. Let me also say that I know there are women that give without thinking, and I know that there are men that will not ever give a dime. Todays story involves men that didn't even think twice. My hubby came home with quite the story of generosity yesterday.

My husband was recently told about a young man that is in a battle for his life. Last fall this person was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. So rare that only about 200 are diagnosed each year. They have been aggressively treating it, and recently he was quarantined at a Childrens Hospital for fear of infection. This touched my husband and for good reason. My husband understands that battling cancer is not all about medicine, it is also about your mindset. 

So yesterday while at work he decided to tell his crew about this young man. A young man that none of them have met. He thought it would be great if they could raise his spirits by getting him a gift card to one of his favorite stores. They all agreed, and next thing you know my husband had raised $450.  I was blown away when he told me this story. This is where (embarrassingly) I think men and women are different. He was telling me that no one guy gave under $20.00, to which my mouth dropped. I will be the first to admit that if I had been asked to give money to a stranger I probably would have given $5 or $10... I can almost guarantee it would not have been $20. So the fact that these men opened their wallets and handed my husband $20 or $40 just blew me away. Looking back at my life experiences I think this happens quite often. Men tend to give without thinking or worrying. If there is $40 in their wallet and someone really needs it, they will give it. Let me speak for myself and not all women (I don't want to offend anyone). If I was asked, and I had $40 in my wallet, assuming it was two $20.00 bills... I would only give one. I would have excuses or reasons as to why I need to keep that other $20. The guys gave, without thinking or worrying about how they needed that money.

I am so grateful that my hubby acted on this. Its not easy to ask for money, especially when its for a stranger. He is going to continue to try and raise money until Friday, I cant wait to hear what his grand total will be. Most important I hope that the recipient will be able to use it soon. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall when he gets to use it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thank you Melissa & Doug for continuing to make great kids toys!

I feel like my kids have every toy under the sun. From remote control cars, Leap Pad Computers, talking Elmos, Doc McStuffins kits, to Barbies you name it, they have it. What I find ironic is the toys that seem to capture there attention and imagination are the simple ones. We spent a good chunk of our morning playing with the basics. Thank goodness for the company Melissa & Doug who continue to make old school toys. My girls are four years old, and they are really enjoying this Wood Puzzle set. They would fiddle with it here and there last year but this year they are loving it.
They are still in the 'fiddling with' stage of their sewing cards, but they are now able to lace the string in and out all on their own.
Are they not eating the all American kid lunch??? PB&J and gold fish crackers.. I know, just slap the mom of the year banner on me now.
Honestly they were totally content with these activities, but the sun was out and I wanted them to get out and stretch their legs. We had our first real snow fall of the season yesterday, barely enough to brake out the sleds. Last year, we were sledding every day it seemed. This year my kids have been so disappointed. I secretly enjoyed the little amount of snow, and the mildness of our winter. But I also understand we need a snow pack if we don't want a summer drought. 
Quite honestly, the property sure does look pretty with snow on it!
JayJay is the master of snow angels!
For the moment they have all been waiting for.... Sledding.

Shortly before this picture JayJay did a face plant in the snow, the kind of face plant that puts a mom into a full on sprint.  Lets just say she might be sporting a shiner over the next few days. The poor thing slid off the saucer and hit a frozen dirt clod that was exposed (since the snow is not all that deep) face first. I couldn't get to her quick enough. On the bright side we decided against the ice pack since her face was already partially frozen.

Hope you are all having an action packed day like us!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Francis Chan... "We have a God who is a Creator, not a duplicator"

"Be careful not to turn others' lives into the mold for your own...We have a God who is a creator, not a duplicator."  ~Francis Chan

Years ago hubby and I were blessed to attend an incredible church. It was not a super fancy church, nor was it in the high rent district. It was your average industrial building looking church. Average from the outside... This average church had an incredible pastor that has since moved on to make quite the name for himself. He forever changed my thoughts on church. His name is Francis Chan, and if you ever have the time to 'Google' him, I warn you... You may be forever changed.

So when I was surfing the web today, and I came across this random quote my mood lifted and a smile crept across my face. I do tend to spend time (more than I care to admit) reading and researching other mommy type Blogs. I have to remind myself quite often that these mommy Blogs that seem to portray the perfect life are probably allot of smoke and mirrors. Lets face it, you cant be perfect, happy, make the perfect meals, have the perfect kid friendly craft projects, and run a marathon backwards seven days a week. So when they portray these perfect lives on their Blogs, they are really doing a disservice to the rest of us mommy's.

Who am I to say they are not living the perfect life seven days a week. I just find it highly unlikely. I am sure many people read my Blog and think man her life is a drag or maybe some of you think it's perfect. You know what?... Its not. It is neither perfect or a drag. It is perfectly flawed, absolutely crazy, mind numbing, fun, adventurous, filled with love and I wouldn't have it any other way. I might call my kids funny names like Ding Dongs, Goobers, Energy Thieves, but let me tell you... They are my world, they are my babies and I would do anything for them. I try to keep my Blog real, not every day is a great day. Not every day is a bad day. But at the end of every day, I thank the Lord for my energy thieves, and I thank Him for giving me a life that is so uniquely ours.

So Francis Chan, you are so correct. We have a God who is a Creator, not a duplicator. I hope and pray that nobody reading my Blog, is using our life as a mold for their own. That being said, if you are inspired on becoming Foster Parents like we are... Do It!!! You will not regret it. I am always here to answer questions, and pass along a few pointers.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mommy Juice, Red Wine and Mommys Little Helper

It does not happen very often, but every once in a while you end up with neighbors that become really good friends. We are so lucky to have that experience. Imagine my surprise yesterday when my three kids and I barged in (not completely unannounced she had read yesterdays blog post so she was prepared, but I think she was secretly hoping we were coming to help her clean house, HA!), and she said, "we got this for you"...
I could not get over how funny it was. She actually explained that her hubby had come home one day and told her about this wine he had found, and how it would be a good gift for me. She did like any good wife would do, and told him to go back to the store and get it.

Kids and I spent an hour or so over there, and by the time we left they were cold (probably has to do with the fact that they wanted to play outside, and I let them, in the 32 degree weather). Not sure if you know what happens when kids get cold, it somehow affects their brains and their ears. They go crazy, and they stop listening. So by the time we left I had three ding dongs that complained the entire walk home. Something crazy comes over you when you are walking home in the cold with crazy kids and a bottle of red wine in your hand. I came close to prying the cork out of the bottle with my own two hands. If you know what I mean!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I hereby declare...Its the weekend!!! Now lets feed the goats some Ritz Crackers...

Its the weekend!!! Yahoo... Some weeks just drag on, and that was this week for me. But now its the weekend, hubby is home, and all the kids (knock on wood) seem pretty healthy.  I don't plan on leaving the house at all, and I am thankful for that.

This is how I see the weekend playing out.
I see feeding the goats Ritz Crackers....

Baking cookies... or just eating the batter!

walking to the neighbors house (neighbor if you read this, consider this my courtesy call), 

and of course housework, in our future. 

It is so relaxing knowing that there is nothing on your plate for two entire days. Because let me tell you, come Monday we will be hitting the ground running. I already know that it is going to be, one of those weeks. I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend...

Friday, February 21, 2014

One must clean their canvas before they start a new masterpiece

I am a mom, I am a busy mom. Sometimes I am busy by choice, but most of the time, not. By five o'clock every day I find myself scratching my head wondering what just happened. Where did my day go? Why is my to do list not finished. How in the world is it possible to do two loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, a quick vacuum of the house every day and yet still not ever feel caught up?

I was once again asked how I squeeze in "me" time. Even though I don't want to, I set the alarm for 6:15 a.m. (most mornings) just so I can have one cup of coffee in peace. I also use that time to do my daily devotional. On the days that I am not able to squeeze in "me" time, I find that my entire day seems to be a struggle. It doesn't matter what your Religion or Beliefs are, I think everyone should put aside a few minutes every day to catch there breath, have a cup of coffee / tea, and focus. Prepare for the day ahead, or look back on the day you just had. My kids have an art easel and I watch them put time and energy into their masterpieces and usually more times than not, they run to get me so that they can show off their work. What always amazes me, is that I no sooner praise them and they are already taking the eraser to it wiping every inch of their canvas clean to start on their next masterpiece. My "me" time is much like that eraser. I put a lot of time and energy into my family every day and I need a moment to think about and completely erase what has just happened in order to start new. My kids don't start a new piece of art on top of an old piece of art, even they know better. You will not be able to see anything, all you will have is a mess on your canvas. If I don't get the chance to erase then I will be adding all sorts of stuff onto an already dirty canvas. Those are the days that I struggle, those are the days that I express tired mom, cranky mom, not so much fun mom, can we trade this one in for a new mom, mom characteristics. I am not saying that my coffee and devotional are a cure all, there are days when I look at the clock almost with dread because I know my kids will be waking up soon. Its usually in that moment that I pray.. Please Lord change my heart, because it is not in the right place. Please give me patience, help me control any feelings of anger that might arise today, fill me with enough love that it spills over to my kiddos. It is usually at about the time I say Amen that I feel a calm come over me and that is when I know we will be o.k.

Today I knew Ademan and I would have some time to kill in town after we dropped his sisters off at school and finished our errands. So rather than walking around Target and spending money we don't need to. I decided he and I needed some time alone at our favorite (maybe not his but definitely mine) cupcake bakery. We walked in, ordered one cupcake and split it. We spent a good 45 minutes there enjoying our cupcake and having a pretend tea party thanks in part to the owner who has a mini tea set.
She (the owner) actually came over and spent time with us. She knows us well, as she is the one who has done the cupcakes and cakes for all of our adoption parties as well as a few birthday parties.
In order for me to be in the moment and to have moments like this with my babies I need to have cleaned my canvas. I need to have rid myself of worry, concern, fear, anxiety, all common emotions that many of us let control our lives. For me, that can only be done by spending some quiet time in the morning when I can pray to my Lord and say "I surrender, I release it to You"...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Every day I learn something new about raising adopted children...

So today, JayJay realized her nose was brown, just like her brothers. Just as quick as she told us her nose was brown her sister decided to ask me what color my nose was. My reply was "white kind of like vanilla, yours JayJay is brown kind of like chocolate". We sat there on the floor for 4 or 5 minutes discussing our noses. The truth is, for a moment, my heart sunk because I realized that she is starting to see herself as different not the same as mom. Thank goodness she is only 4 years old, and her attention span is that of a gnat. Here is the humor I found in our conversation... She only realized that her nose was brown, not the rest of her. At least I get to slowly work on the color difference topic.

There are many things I am learning (as we go) about raising adopted children. First and foremost, no two adoptive parents do things the same. There is no guideline or checklist on how to raise adopted children. What works for one adoptive parent may not work for another adoptive parent.

Share your childs story with them in age appropriate language. Before our conversations began I was a bundle of nerves not knowing how one can possibly dive into this conversation. Truly I would get so worked up about it that I would almost shut down. Now I realize its not that difficult. Start early with appropriate language. All of my kids know they are adopted, but lets get real... they don't REALLY know what adopted is. That doesn't mean we don't talk about it. We have made the word adoption a very common word in our home, not a taboo word. Hopefully this way it will not come as a complete shock to them.

Do not speak bad about your childrens Birth Parents. My husband and I really don't speak much about our childrens birth parents. When we do if the topic is not child appropriate we wait until they go to bed. Truly, we don't speak bad about them. If anything we think that their situations are very sad. The few occasions that we have spoken about them usually on the way to a visit or after a visit we speak very nicely about them.

If you have the opportunity to continue some form of a relationship with the Birth Parents, do it. We are lucky enough that two of our children get to see their mom two times a year. Our other daughter does not have that advantage. Our child gets to see all of us in the same room, all getting along respecting each other. Having a relationship with the birth family does not mean that child is not yours, it just shows that there are many people who love them.

Just because your child does not look like you does not mean they are not like you. Tell your child about your similarities. Both LeiLei and dad have the same eye color. Both JayJay and mommy have big feet. My childrens eyes light up every time we talk about similarities.

When asked if they are your adopted children. Always clarify that they are your children that happen to be adopted.

These are my children. I will forever love them, and forever let them know that I am here for them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Back to the grind

Well back to real life... It was so wonderful having my mom here for a weak, but now it is time to get back to our daily grind. She was no sooner on her way home, and I was back on the phone dealing with my endless medical insurance woes. I am keeping my fingers crossed but we may have actually taken a giant step forward yesterday, I might be able to put all of this behind me very soon. Lets just say the ER Physicians Network got caught lying to me yesterday, and so my Insurance Company (with me on hold) stepped in. They were claiming the Insurance Company had not paid them when in fact they had. I have been dealing with this for 5 months, dealing with the fear of being turned over to Collections (they threatened that every month), dealing with the thought that I might actually have to pay this bill when in reality I was not responsible for it. I wish I could go after them for all of my wasted time in dealing with this matter over the past five months. I know I need to let it go, and just be thankful that it is almost over.

I am in the midst of trying to gear up for what is going to be a busy month ahead of us. Ademan alone has an appointment with the gastroenterologist, an upcoming swallow study at a Hospital on the other side of town, and his weekly Physical Therapy. LeiLei has an appointment with the surgeon who is going to work on her toe, because unfortunately it is getting worse, and she also has her weekly behavioral therapy appointment. Sammie our dog will need to go to the Vet to see if she is having any organ failure with this new medicine she is on. Not to mention I need to squeeze in a Dentist appointment for myself, and all three kids have upcoming dentist appointments. That is just what I have scheduled, who knows what else will just pop up. Like todays hemoglobin tests that I completely blanked on... ooops! Good thing I received a reminder call, although I am sure my kids would have been more than happy if mom had missed that one.

My to do list is also ever growing. Every year right before Spring I come to the realization that I have many nearly finished projects, projects that need to be completed before Spring.That is when the scramble begins. Yesterday I spent a majority of my day listing items on Ebay. My craft room was a bit out of control, I have bins, yes bins of fabric that I am realizing I will never use. So I decided it was time to sell the fabric on Ebay. I have a hard time getting rid of anything in my craft room, so I am telling myself that if it all sells, I get to purchase a small greenhouse to properly start all of my seeds for my garden. Please sell, Please sell, Please sell... Unfortunately that is only one item on my To Do List which seems to grow by the day. Am I the only one who goes through the Pre-Spring scramble,or do you do it too?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Back to our regular scheduled program...

Well, our visit with my mom is almost over. I don't know where the past week has gone. Between shopping, eating and visiting the time just flew by and we were so fortunate to continue our mild winter while she was here. Even though its a mild winter we are still stuck with indoor activities, hence all the shopping.  If all goes well she will be back up in four months and by then we will be running around in tank tops and flip flops. That means trips to the park, picnics, and gardening. Yes, I will make her help out in the garden! In all actuality we might try to schedule LeiLeis toe surgery around that visit so that I will have an extra pair of helping hands.

Yesterday, the girls really enjoyed baking with their Oma. I purchased a Duff cake mix, pink marble, the picture on the box made it look really cool. Newsflash, unless you follow the directions exactly... be prepared for a little different outcome. Our pink marble cake ended up being more like a Pepto Bismol looking cake. Thank goodness four year olds don't care.

My little Bakers in training!

Four year olds only last so long, before they have to get their wiggles out.

The Pepto Bismol cake was ready to be covered in icing.

The finished product... I am not sure if we made Duff proud, but I know my girls had a great time and that is all that matters!

In the words of JayJay... I ate it all gone... Well, no denying that!

Tomorrow we will begin the task of getting back on schedule. Our routine was thrown out the window when Oma / Grandma arrived. At least it was for a good reason. Now back to real life, and our regular schedule. My kids thrive on a schedule, they do good with routine. In all fairness so do I.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My House Party package arrived! Time to start planning for my Joanne Fluke Blackberry Pie Murder mystery party!!!!

The UPS man had quite the delivery at my house on Friday. I must say, while he unloaded his truck I had one of those scratch your head moments. His delivery kind of summed up my life (at the moment). Box #1 a wine delivery, Box #2 our monthly supply of diapers, Box #3 my Joanne Fluke House Party package. Wine, diapers, and a book.... Yep, that pretty much sums me up at the moment.

I am not sure which package I found more exciting. You see we were getting close to running dangerously low on diapers and any mom will tell you, you do let out a sigh of relief when the next box arrives. A bottle of wine, when you are not expecting one, very exciting! The package I have been waiting for, my Joanne Fluke Blackberry Pie Murder, House Party package... So very exciting!

My mom was in town when they all arrived, and you should have seen her and I as I opened the Book Party Box. It was like two little kids at Christmas. I heard her more than once say ,"oh man" because unfortunately she will already be back home when I have the party.

Now that I have my party pack, I can start planning. Menu planning, and decorations. If you know me and have been to any of my parties you know I tend to go a little overboard. Not only do I get to start planning, but I also get to start reading!!! Yahoo!

Check out this party pack... A signed hardcover copy of Blackberry Pie Murder, two soft cover copies of Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, Pepperidge Farm cookies, Twinings teas, and a Tito's cocktail shaker. For those that don't know, Tito's is a handmade Vodka, out of Texas. I love small batch handmade liquor. One of my favorites is Dry Fly, but I am thinking I am going to have to get my hands on Titos. Enough about that... Although I could write an entire post on some of my favorite small distilleries.

Back to the party business...As you all know I am a huge Hobby Lobby patron. This gives me an excuse to dash off to Hobby Lobby tomorrow and pick up a few decorations. I can't wait! I will also be calling my favorite Bakery to place an order for some Red Velvet cupcakes, and to see if she will custom make some Blackberry cupcakes.

You might be wondering about the cocktail shaker. There is a recipe card behind it for Blackberry Pie Martini. As a good hostess, I am thinking I might have to test run that recipe before the party. A book that has a mystery, recipes and a cocktail to go with it? That is what I am talking about!

This has been a fun adventure for me. I was honored to have the Authors son contact me, via my Blog. Imagine my surprise when I saw that he had posted a comment here on my Blog. He then promoted my Blog on his mothers Facebook page, which was more than I could have ever asked for. It is important for me to write this Blog. If I can help one more child get adopted out of Foster Care, than this Blog will be a success. It takes word of mouth and help from all of my friends to gain an audience large enough to eventually start helping. So again I thank all of you for reading and following us on our adventures. I also want to thank those that have promoted my Blog on their own Facebook pages, you too are helping.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Brand new Barbie bag, Dora slippers, and Hello Kitty slippers, my girls are giddy with delight...

The bird has landed!! Code for Oma (Grandma) is here. We were succesful in keeping it a surprise, you should have seen their excitement when they found Oma sitting in the airport. We have been running ever since. We hit a record number of thrift stores today, and found some great finds.
Look what JayJay and LeiLei scored at our local ARC store.
Of course every kid has their breaking point. At that point the best thing to do is hide in a dressing room and make monster faces. 
Lots and lots of monster faces.
a cheeseburger and chicken nuggets usually fixes everything.
We even scored a train track with magnetic train cars. As for clothes, lets just say my washing machine is going to be running non stop for the next day or so. My best find of the day was a Michael Kors top that was nearly new for $1.50... I would share a picture with you but at this point there are mounds of clothes in my living room, and I could not tell you where it is. 

If you have not hit your local thrift stores lately, let me tell you.... You are missing out. I even found a Banana Republic Cashmere sweater (no pills, no shrinkage, and not streched) for $3.99. I can hardly believe it myself but we are going for round two tomorrow.

Dont fool yourself, even though my kids are having a great time with Oma, they are a mess... Two days of no schedule (no nap) is starting to mess with them. They are bordering on super crazy, head spinning, split personality, crashing... I think tomorrow we will have to real it in a little early in order for my kids to not spontaneously combust. I want to be home early anyway, because I think I am receiving my House Party package tomorrow. Yahoo!! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

I am sooooo excited!!!

Its Monday, and I am sooooo excited! In less than 24 hours I will be picking my mom up from the airport. I haven't seen her in six months and  I am totally excited. It has been so incredibly hard keeping it from my kids but we decided to make it a surprise. I cant wait to see their reactions when they see her at the airport.

As you know last week I came down with some bug that is going around. So instead of spending the weekend cleaning my house in preparation for my moms visit, I rested. I would like to say that I am feeling all better, but I am not. At least I am feeling good enough to enjoy her company.  We have an action packed week ahead of us that includes, junktiquing, thrifting, dining, and maybe a cocktail or two! Cant wait to show you picts of our "treasures" and fun over the next week.

Since I have put it off long enough, it looks like I need to get around to cleaning our house. Before I go... Rumor has it that I should be receiving my party box from House Party this week. Which means I will have the new Joanne Fluke book in my hands in a few days... I will keep you posted! For now, I am off to clean. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Now is not the time for a cold!

As luck would have it, my mom is flying in to visit next Tuesday and my entire family has a cold, thank goodness its not the flu, but none the less we are sick. For those of you moms and dads out there who have ever stayed home with more than one sick kid (while you are sick) understand the mental tole it takes on you. Therefor I am throwing in the towel , and am not even going to attempt to right a big post today. Instead I am re posting Our Second Foster Placement which I wrote right before Christmas, so unfortunately many people missed it.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hopefully by Monday I will be feeling better, and Blogging away!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Would you take a pay cut to keep your team together?

Today was an exciting day for those who live in Washington. The Super Bowl Champs came home to their victory parade, and rally. Many wondered what that would look like, and many were caught off guard when at least 700,000 people filed in to downtown Seattle. Watching it on T.V. I thought there was something remarkably quaint and cozy about the entire thing. There were no barricades (700,000 people and no barricades) there was no ticker tape, there was no opulence. Just a team riding on Ducks (these really cool land/water vehicles). During the broadcast they made it very clear that many of the high payed players were willingly taking pay cuts this coming year in order to give the lower payed players a raise. They wanted to keep the team together, and they felt that taking a pay cut would ensure keeping all of the players together. How crazy cool is that? What NFL team has been able to say that coming out of a Super Bowl win they were able to keep their players, and some of their big earning players would be taking a pay cut. Isn't it normally the other way around? Aren't they normally demanding more money?

It really made me think. If you worked for a company that had an amazing year (in regards to revenue) and you had a large part in helping the company achieve it, would you voluntarily say to the CEO, you know, instead of giving me a raise why don't you give it to someone else that might really need it.

Then it hit me... A year and a half ago, I was forced into that decision. You see a year and a half ago is when we were given less than 12 hours to decide if we would let Ademan into our home. You are probably wondering about the raise/pay cut comparison... Well you see, at that point our girls were 30 months and 33 months old, so almost 3. They were starting to be independent and I was starting to have a bit more free time. The burden was not as great, and I was enjoying it. Almost like a pay raise, because a raise is a reward for putting in time and energy. So my reward at that point was me being able to finally catch my breath. Then I was forced into a decision about keeping a family together. (Kind of like a team). Was I willing to make that sacrifice (pay cut) in order to keep/put a family together. Was I willing to forgo my raise in order to have baby brother stay with us. My answer was yes.  Lets get real, kids are expensive, so yes there was technically a pay cut. My husbands salary now had to accommodate one more dependent. We were willing to do it, because I believe the end reward is worth it. We might not have a Lombardi Trophy sitting on our fireplace mantle, but I do have three little trophies that call me mom. I know when they are adults I will not remember the sacrifices I made, in order to make their lives better. I will not remember that I could no longer afford mani / pedis, I will not remember that I had to get my hair done every 10 weeks as oppose to every 6 weeks, I will not remember that I was shopping at Walmart and Thrift Stores for clothes as oppose to boutiques. I will remember milestones, feeding tube removals, potty training in two days, Christmas musicals at school, tender moments between sisters and brother. That is what makes me proud.

Those Seahawks players should be proud. They are making decisions that we can all relate to. They are not (yet) "celebrity" athletes struggling over decisions that don't mean a thing like should I buy the Lamborghini or the Maserati? Don't get me wrong if someone works hard, I believe they can do whatever they want with their money. What I am saying is that it is just refreshing to see them behaving and making decisions that will have a positive affect on others. Way to go boys!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Do I need to wear the parent Dunce Cap?

I would give anything for 24 hours of compliance from my children. I swear I must have been absent when they taught the 'How To Be A Good Mommy With Kids Who Obey' class back in school. Oh that's right, nobody shows or teaches you, which is why most of us spend many a moments contemplating sitting in the corner, rocking back and forth, while sucking our thumbs to self sooth ourselves. I am sooooo having one of those days. Actually, I have had quite a few of those lately.

I am having such a struggle with JayJay.  Our behavioral therapist has assured me that this is quite normal, but gosh darn it, I have not heard any mom complain about what I am about to share with you. 

While trying to help LeiLei with her struggles we have apparently allowed JayJays love/self confidence meter to fall into the dangerous red zone. I didn't feel like I was treating her any differently, and in all reality I wasn't. The problem is that we upped the praises with LeiLei so much, that the amount of praises JayJay was receiving was far less (even though it was no less than before, it was now less in comparison). This resulted in a backlash. When I first talked to therapist about it I was explaining that she was starting to throw 20-30 tantrums a day. So we kind of came up with a way to start building her back up.

It worked for maybe a nano second. This is how bad it has gotten.

This morning while getting the girls ready for school I decided to make Pillsbury Grand Blueberry biscuits. When they were finished I placed them on top of my cook top to cool. The girls and I then began our hair routine in the bathroom, (or so I thought) I dint realize that JayJay was no longer in there with us. Next thing I know JayJay comes into the bathroom and tells me she burnt her tongue. My first thought was, I told you not to touch the biscuits, I told you they were hot, blah, blah, blah. Then I asked her what it was she burnt her tongue on, and she said it was the thing I took out of the oven. WHAT??? I marched her into the kitchen and made her point to the item she had placed her tongue on, and sure enough, it was the cookie sheet. She placed her tongue on a blazing HOT cookie sheet, and yes the cookie sheet was out of reach. She apparently drug a stool over so that she could reach it. So, I iced her tongue and off to school she went.

I was so hoping that I would return to pick up two happy girls. I kind of did.... They were happy... but should not have been. Shortly after class started the teachers assistant told JayJay it was time to put her Crayons away, to which she said ,"NO" and then proceeded to brake every crayon in half... WHAT??? Then while they were having show and tell JayJay was having a hard time waiting her turn. Teacher told her a few times that she needed to wait her turn, her response... taking her brothers sunglasses (don't ask, its what she wanted to take to show and tell) and braking them in half. WHAT???

We had quite the conversation on the drive home from school. For some reason I could just tell that I was not getting through to her. We had lunch once we got home, and then I put them down for quiet time. She was awfully quiet during quiet time, and that should have been my first clue... When I went in there after about an hour and a half LeiLei and Ademan came flying out. JayJay said she wanted to stay in her bed...Hmmm. I looked right at her and said "JayJay did you have an accident?" she said "No"... Hmmm. 
Me "JayJay we have talked about lying, are you lying right now?" 
JayJay, "No"...Hmmm... 
Me "JayJay look me in the eyes, did you have an accident?" 
JayJay "No"...Hmmmm...
Me "JayJay are you lying to me?"
JayJay "Yes"
Its odd, you are almost more stumped as to what to do when they admit to lying. She then preceded to tell me that not only did she wet her undies, but she also pooped in them. It took every bit of self control that I could muster up to not freak out. That was the last straw for me today. I made her clean herself up, I made her throw her big girl undies away and I made her get dressed by herself. Sometimes You have to wonder what the heck am I doing wrong? I know that no two kids are alike and no two parents have the same parenting style but my goodness I would love to know that I am not the only one feeling like I should be wearing the parent Dunce Cap...