Friday, June 19, 2009


I am pretty sure I discovered a new type of therapy that is less costly and actually more fun than traditional counseling/therapy. It is called Dunkin Doughnuts!! Ummm....haven't had any in such a long time and on a whim today (while driving by) stopped and bought some to surprise the kids. Side note: one of the benefits of having kids is that you can say you are buying junk food as a treat for them while all along you are the one with the craving. It just makes you sound like a fun mom.

On to the therapy. I highly recommend it for any and all ailments. I must warn you though - it just is a band-aid for the symptom and doesn't really get to the ailment itself. Just putting a disclaimer in there so someone can't come back and blame me when their circumstances haven't really improved.

Why, you ask, could I possibly need therapy on this beautiful non-rainy (yippee) Friday? In a nutshell having a chronically fussy baby, attitude ridden toddlers, slightly (or not so slightly) unorganized house are just a few things to make me run for the yummy goodness of a doughnut! If you find that this therapy is effective for you as well just put a gift card in the mail for more doughnuts as your way of paying me for the information! Happy eating everyone!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Don't really know what the dog days of summer technically means but I am quite sure we are in full swing around here. Plenty of dirt being drug into the house, perpetually dirty children, water fights, bike riding, bubble blowing, chicken chasing......we'll get to that in a minute.

A few days ago I was upstairs and I heard the two little ones escaping out the basement door. I went out shortly after and this is what came wheeling around the garage.

Judah had come into the house and gotten a beanie hat to protect his head from a bee that he was convinced was after him. I guess the hat was going to protect him? I didn't realize Tristan and Eden had followed suit but here he sat in front of me in 80 degree weather with a beanie hat on his head. I ran for the camera because he looked so cute.

Upon arriving back outside I saw this site coming around the garage as well.
The hat, the sticks, the binkie.....I think she was pleased that she had somehow gotten past me with her binkie in her mouth. The binkies have been sequestered in their rooms. Slowly learning to live without them and they are doing pretty good with the new boundary.
After taking these pictures I took the camera inside, came back out, turned back around to retrieve the camera to capture the torturing of the chickens.
Here is Tristan chasing one of the chickens with a ruler.
Eden took over when Tristan put the ruler on the ground. The chickens have been confined pretty much all the time so having the ability to chase them around was great fun! I am of course wondering how my life must look to folks who may happen upon this blog as I am typing this. Oh well. If I start caring about what people think now I will work myself into a stew and I really do not have time for the inner turmoil.
Apparently my kids are missing winter? Hence the gloves and hats being paraded around on my children. Here is Shane in all his sweetness.
The mighty hunter on the prowl. We have had a depletion in our chipmunk population due to the increasing hunting ability of this young man. Look at that sweet smile. How could he possibly help cute little chipmunks meet their demise? I only hope there isn't a particular season to hunt chipmunks and if there is please do not turn us in. He likes making rock sandwiches with his chipmunks. I will spare you the details. Just use your imagination.

And the little miss in all her beauty. Everyone should have a small dose of Heidi everyday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Two Months Already

Just when you think you are on the brink of insanity life starts feeling a little more reasonable and manageable. This past week was the best week yet. She seemed a little more settled and content for which I am incredibly grateful! She is starting to smile quite frequently and starting to coo as well. What is it about seeing an innocent babes smile and first attempts at communicating? It grabs me every time! She had her two month check-up today and weighed in at a healthy 11 pounds 13 ounces!! Not wasting anytime. She has gained 5 pounds since birth! The vaccinations haven't made her so happy though.
I am amazed at how quickly time goes by and yet hours can feel eternal. Having an infant brings that reality home over and over.
This week has been a wonderful gift from God in so many ways. The biggest gift being that I am thoroughly enjoying my children again. I have been so tired and drained that it made it hard to enjoy life. I am walking out from under the guilt I had put on myself and am realizing that life has so many seasons. I guess Solomon did know what he was talking about.
So tonight I am not wondering who signed me up for this gig called motherhood but am instead enjoying the moments. And we have had numerous funny moments today with pictures to go along. But they will wait until next time!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pictures & A Story of Ignorance

I mentioned that Mark's sister Suzanne made Eden's cake and oh my, was delicious! I asked for a chocolate cake with maybe mint flavored filling in between the cake layers. She actually used real peppermint patties in the filling!! It was simply the most delicious cake I think I have ever eaten! I am trying to figure out how to convince her I need another one! These were the flowers on the top of the cake. The three boys of course consumed them!
Singing Happy Birthday to her. She of course was loving the attention!
A few days later Mark brought some doughnuts home from work. The next morning I was doing something in Tristan's room and I thought that Eden was being really quiet. I decided to check on her and found her in the kitchen chowing down on doughnuts. She had pushed the chair over to the counter (very quietly obviously) and was shoving them into her mouth. I couldn't be upset - it was too funny.
I think it was the same day that I found Tristan outside putting chocolate syrup on his lego train. It was a horrible sticky mess but again I somehow avoided getting upset. He and Eden had chocolate syrup all over themselves by the time it was over. So they went straight into the tub.
Now.....for my story of ignorance. A lot of my close friends and family have heard this story already but it was a real eye opener for me. I was at Wal-Mart last week (sorry Koelle) and the cashier was extremely chatty. I just wanted to get out of the store because Heidi was starting to get fussy and hungry. Parts of the conversation went like this:
Her: this your first baby?
Me: is our 5th.
Her: Really? You don't look old enough to have 5 children. How old is the oldest?
Me: He is 8.
Her: What are the ages of your other children?
Me: 6, almost 3, 2 and 7 weeks.(Is it really any of her business?)
I went on to explain why I had two 2 year olds right now and the remainder of the conversation went something like this:
Her: You adopted from Ethiopia? Well....(in a quiet voice) is she black?
Me: Uh.......yeah. (Is she serious?)
Her: I saw on tv a few years ago that there were starving children in Africa. Are children still starving there?
Me: Uh....yeah. (In utter disbelief at this point)
Her: Is it sad?
Me: Uh.....yeah. When you see a child who is probably 5 years old with a 2 year old strapped to their back walking down the street without an adult you can safely assume that their caregiver is either dead or near death.
I was feeling so many emotions at this point. Shock, disbelief, outraged, sadness.....I just couldn't believe that there are still people who are so unaware of the condition of the majority of the world.
I ran into another adoptive mom on the way out of the store so I was able to vent and warn her to avoid her line. Who knows? She may have thought her little boy was from Ethiopia too - even though he is from Korea!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Head over to the following two blogs but I must warn you: You will either be challenged deeply or very offended. Take about 10-15 minutes and read these women's blogs. They have the right to speak what they have spoken because they are living out their words. I have been following both of these blogs for a long time and they keep challenging me. I often wish I could write out the very things they have written but am scared I may offend someone. I guess if people are offended by the subject of adoption and orphan care then they are quite possibly walking in a different direction than what God asked of them. Take some time and let their words sink into you and see what God may be saying. Quick background - young couple gearing up to bring a second sibling group home from Ethiopia. This will bring their total number of children to 9!! And they are only 31 years old! There is a documentary being filmed right now about their family. If you scroll down her blog to mid-May you can click on a link to watch a 3 minute preview of the documentary. Amazing! This is a blog by a woman who is an outspoken advocate for HIV adoption. She works tirelessly at bringing HIV children home and to their families. Again...she is living it, people!! Read her post from this past Wednesday. Their last daughter to arrive home was so near death they weren't sure she would survive the trip home. I remember praying for the darling girl for a few weeks. She is doing so well now! And dreaming about her future. They not only gave her her life back she now has a future to look forward to!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just Thinking

I am sitting at home tonight with a very quiet house. It is making me really think and re-evaluate some things. Mark too the two older boys to Baltimore to his grandmothers 90th birthday party. Turning 90 is an amazing milestone and that alone has been getting mind pondering things. Add to that a quiet and relatively neat house and it makes me think even more.

So many of my frustrations as a wife and stay-at-home mom revolve around "stuff". Having a messy and chaotic home creates inner turmoil. I operate better with systems, things in their place......If I walk into a room and unsuspecting find a host of things out of place it can at times make the ugliest parts of me emerge.

Tonight after getting Eden and Tristan to bed I realized the house was pretty tidy already. I spent the day at my sisters' house so there wasn't ample opportunity to create disorder. As I was unloading the dishwasher I realized that I actually was missing the noise and demands of my older two. The very thing that at the end of the day annoys me I am now missing! Am I going crazy people?

I know that 25-30 years from now I will desperately wish my house were messy. I remember a dear friend of ours who really encouraged us in our adoption, having adopted 3 themselves, told me something that helped shape some of my thought patterns. This couple is in their mid-fifties so folks have wondered why they opted to adopt children when they were nearing retirement age. She said this to me, "Yeah..we could have a quiet home and a home that's spotless. But a home with noise and messes reflect life. I would rather have a messy house where life is happening than a dull quiet home." Now...I know this isn't necessarily the thought process most of us follow. For me though, I am trying desperately to remember this. Because everything in my home is replaceable and while I may enjoy my "things" they aren't more important than the spirit of my child.

Does this mean we allow our children to run wild and ruin things? Of course not. That is not what I am saying at all. I think we all know the difference between teaching our children boundaries and responsibility than being too hard on them and expecting more than we should. There is an invisible line that is far too easy for me to cross.

I enjoyed having some quiet moments one-on-one with Tristan and Eden tonight. I read the book "I Love You Stinky Face" to Tristan so many times and every time we got to the last line in the book he would look at me with the biggest smile. The last line is a mama saying to her son, "I love you my wonderful child."

My children are indeed wonderful. Each and every one of them. And tonight for some reason I am more aware than usual of what an incredibly blessed woman I am. You may need to remind me of that in the middle of the night or in the early morning when things are rockin' and rollin' around here earlier than I would choose. But for now I am going to savor the sweetness of the moment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Face Meets Table

This is what your face looks like after attempting to do a pull up on the sofa table and you land on your back with the table on your face. Pictures really do not capture it perfectly but it gives you the general idea. And since he is having a rough time the binky has been allowed out of his room. Inconsistency is so, so bad. I know.
His side profile really looks like he belongs on Star Trek. Unfortunately the picture isn't doing it justice. One more close up of the damage. Lets hope today goes by without any bodily harm to anyone.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Celebrating Eden

Yesterday was Eden's second birthday! We didn't do anything too extraordinary - just loved her and what she adds to the family. Complete with numerous tantrums that were outweighed by her sweetness. I will post some pictures soon of her cake (made by aunt Suzanne - yummiest cake ever) and her from throughout the day. The pictures posted below I took last week but was waiting to post in honor of her birthday. They are so stinkin' cute and capture her little personality so well. Smelling an iris that her brother Judah picked.
Ah yeah....she is a killer!

Does anyone know what could be causing the differing pigmentation in her skin?

Seriously people! Could she be any more expressive? And now the sweet subject of this post is toting around some not so sweet odors! Time to run.....