Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today was our long-awaited behavioral and developmental appointment for R2. In fact, we've been waiting for a YEAR, and there was no real end in sight until he freaked out at the ENT and they suggested we put the word "autism" on his paperwork. He's not autistic, but that's one of the closest diagnoses we can work with. So I wrote it, and sure enough, we got an appointment.

Turns out, that developmental/behavioral is a very long clinic name for Psychology. Psychology is one nice medium sized word that would fit in a calendar square. Unfortunately, it makes people think of psychiatry and psychotropic medications and psychoanalysis, and finally, psychos. So, we get like 15 extra characters and have to make up unwieldy abbreviations like Beh/Dev.

If you think this is boring, you should listen to people around here talk about guitar pickups and fretboards. It's like a one-way unsolicited flight to Snoozeville, free of charge. Anyways.

So we sat with the psychologist behavioral and developmental specialist and his decoy doctor, and they asked questions about R2, and his rages, and what they look like, how long they last and what do we do and what do he do and so on. So we're describing it all (the MOG came, too) and R2 is kind of making sweeping gestures toward the window and growling, and eventually pantomiming hitting himself in the face and pulling his hair as we were describing the tantrums,  and then more let's go noises toward the door and the window. Oh, and the continual poking of the inner arm to assure, again, that there would be no shots today.

I did not ask for sedatives, because it was quickly clear that R2 is doing these behaviors for a reason, and we need to try to deal with that. The Dr. said to go ahead and keep him from hurting himself for now, and we have to fill out a worksheet every time and then in a month we'll talk about dealing with it more effectively. If I know this kid, he will now act very normal for a month and have zero fits for me to document.

The doc also asked about the "babies" and how they handle Richy, and it was neat realizing that Toby has really moved into a big brother role, taking care of him and Bean is also becoming pretty nurturing. Dr. Belden said he wouldn't be surprised if they end up in "helping" professions, which was cool.

R2 jumped and giggled all the way to the van, giddy with the realization that he had, once again, poked his arm and growled just enough to prevent a shot. #win

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some of you, I know, are wondering what's happening with our adoption. If you're like me, anytime somebody just stops talking about something, I get all OH NOes and wait for the bad news. Oh, you're not like that? Well, Pollyanna, sometimes bad stuff happens and you have to get out there in the snow and pull yourself up by your bootstraps and sweat a little blood.

Are you nervous now? Snicker. What a Nancy. There's no bad news! Very little news at all! We're waiting on Evan's death certificate- I guess they have to make sure that our children who died didn't die of mysterious circumstances or something... so we ordered that from Texas and I just realized it should have been here 2 weeks ago, so I buzzed and hopefully it's on its way. (Look at the it's its there- masterful) Also, the FBI rejected Hannah's mutant fingerprints and so she will have to do those again.

I went through all the paperwork this morning and figured out that all we are really waiting on are those 2 things, and then money. We have about 1400 in the adoption account, so we need another 350 to finish this step, and then we'll start the home study part.

All of this part kind of feels like the ascent on a rollercoaster. We're crickity-crickiting up the slope, and then there will be a pause, and then WOOOOSH. At least, that's the way adoption seems to work in our IHOP community here in KC.

It's daunting, thinking about what it's going to cost. You know what though? I know it will work. I don't know how, I just know. Isn't this exciting?

If you want to donate to our adoption fund, that sounds pretty good to us! The link is over on the top left sidebar.

more about us, and adopting

Monday, March 29, 2010

So, we're in the middle-to-endish of this 40 day Daniel fast. If you don't live our torturous lifestyle, I'll tell you- a modified American Daniel fast is usually no meats or sweets. I, being a weenie, am only fasting sweets. The thing is, when you fast something you love, even something small, you really, really want it. And I do. I want thick fudgy brownies and cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies and ice cream and candy bars. God, send revival to America. Amen.

Couple that with me watching this show Food Revolution and later, Julie and Julia, and it will make perfect sense to you why, last night, I made a pizza from scratch. My first ever. The crust was kinda an oval-rectangle mix, and then it had canned spaghetti sauce (this is supposed to be cost-effective, that's why) and then some shredded colby-jack and a little edge of the mozzarella that wasn't moldy and some fresh garlic and onion and cilantro. As usual, my presentation was questionable but it tasted great. Like, gourmet. I haven't tried any kind of cost breakdown yet, but I know it was less than I expected.

This domestic kick I'm on is primarily focused on the kid-stuff and the cooking. I wonder if I'll ever get a domestic phase that includes cleaning...

My mom was here all weekend, and we had such a good time, although it seemed like she was washing dishes a lot. She also mentioned that we might benefit from a maid. That might sound kinda snarky to you, but I was raised by this lady, and I came by my housekeeping honest, if you catch my drift. I forwarded her suggestion on to Mr. I-could-get-this-place-in-shape-and-potty-train-the-kids-in-45-minutes, but he was skeptical.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My tendency to take it pretty easy has been really challenged lately, by little people who can only hang out aimlessly so long before they get a little homicidal. That inspired the plan to get out in an official way twice a week, which is our Tuesday kid prayer meeting and Thursday story time. Now, if you are a type A, you're probably all like, you gotta be keeding me. You probably want to whack me with your wall-calendar filled with color-coded activities. Hey, chill with the hater-ade. This is asking a lot of me, already.

Up until the last couple of years, I had zero routine. Routines gave me hives. And R2 and I went along just fine, going somewhere, or not going somewhere, or eating breakfast at noon or shopping for hours, whatever. He just rolled. The new ones, not so much. Compared to everyone else's kids, they're very laid back and portable, and as babies they napped wherever we were. Now, though, they really need to take naps (at least Brynn does) and eat at approximately the same time every day, and then there's the ironclad bedtime. Plus, R2's in school now so he has to get ready at the same time every day. So with the two toddler-outings, my days are fairly predictable.

Still, though, the homicide. In an effort to take a bite out of crime, I have begun having "craft time". Not even, Type A's. What it means is I have a drawer and a half crammed full of construction paper and glue and pipe cleaner and beads and such. Once a day I put some stuff on the table and they go nuts. Their favorite thing is gluing. They use MASSIVE amounts of glue and stick various things on the page. Then they cut the edges off and maybe taste a little paint. So far, it's a great success.

A couple of days ago, we made sock puppets. Are you still reading this? Because this is awesome material. Anyways. The sock puppets were a Christmas present that came in a kit - all the pieces are there and then you look at the book and made which ones you want. We picked a turtle, but the colors weren't there, so we made a "racecar turtle". Hey, don't judge.

Today, everybody was home sick so we broke out the popsicle sticks and tried our first group craft-photo frames.
Painting was a big, big hit. They painted like mad-toddlers. Once the paint dried, we glued it all together to be a picture frame. Oh, except for Brynn. Brynn wants the opposite of whatever is going on. Glue my sticks. STOP STOP gluing my sticks! and so on. So we have 3 frames and 1 pile of wet, partially glued, partially painted sticks. I don't think I'm allowed to touch them, so there they sit.

In celebration of being all homeschool-momish today, I will probably lie around and read novels all day tomorrow as toddlers climb over me and elbow me in the spleen.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Junior stomped out of the house and kinda kicked at the grass, squishing his face up into a scowl.

"Now, son, what's got into you?" Grandma asked as she snapped peas into a old crockery bowl.

"Nothin" he said, sniffing hard into his shirt sleeve. "It's jist... why don't she blog? I'm here waitin and ain't nothin new for two days!"

Grandma set down her bowl and gazed out over the yard. She started to speak a couple times but couldn't seem to find the words.

"She's dead, ain't she? Tell me the truth."

Watery blue eyes snapped to attention, skewering him in her glare. "Naw, she ain't dead, ya fool kid! Maybe she's just takin a break, out to the airport without internet, or maybe the Edge network is down. Git on outta here before I put you to work, boy!"

"Fine. FINE! But if she don't blog tomorrow, I'm getting me on a bus and goin to find her."

"Fine, then. You do that. You do jist that."

Hey Junior, and everybody
I'm fine. I did stuff today, and somehow stayed off the internets until just now, which is highly unusual for me. So there you go.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On this auspicious occasion, I would like to say Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law and friend... and mannnnny more!

It's 5:30 pm and I still haven't woken up. I am consistently staying up too late, and then we have prayer at 7:30, which feels pretty doggone early. So I have this whole plan for getting disciplined and going to sleep at 10. Like most of my plans, it's unlikely to be enforced. 

A year or so ago, I was putting my kids to bed at 8. It has migrated over the last year to 7:30, for multiple reasons. I am notoriously laid back about parenting. The only real routines we have are meals... but I am a stickler about bedtime. If you were over here, it would be like Dr. Sears, Dr. Sears, Dr. Sears, LIEUTENANT MOMMY.  The primary reason is, I'm tired by then. Plus, they generally start falling apart by 6:30 or 7, now that they're not napping.

If they go to bed then, then I have like 4 or 5 hours to do other stuff, like paint my toenails or watch a video without someone asking 40 million questions about why does that lady have a sad face and what does that word mean and did I hear about Adam and Eve and I'm SOOOOOOOO hungry and so on.

Some days, if I am particularly on, I might even do the dishes or maybe scoot the laundry around.  Most days, though, I make some little dinner plate for myself. (we sit at the table together but I eat after they go to bed) and I take my Ramen or apples or what have you up to my bed and I whine inside my head about how tired I am and how dirty our room is, and then I do whatever I want. Which is generally books or movies. Eventually, the MOG comes upstairs and we talk to each other about stuff that is NOT the children. 

Anyways, my point is, that's my 2nd day, and it's hard to let it go. Thus, the midnighting. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. And I thoroughly enjoy having my days with them, so much so that I don't want to enroll them in preschool or school or anything- I like having them around. Still, 8 o'clock is a glorious hour, a quiet hour. A glorious, quiet, soon hour.

Monday, March 22, 2010

first, the disclaimer: I did not blog Friday because I was alternating between lying on my deathbed and chasing toddlers. Getting up from your deathbed to chase toddlers makes you even deader, FYI.

I planned on writing about my Texas homesickness today, and I remembered doing that before, so I went and found it in the archives... it was one year ago tomorrow. So, clearly, this is a time of year that I am both nostalgic and homesick. Sigh. 

I like living here. My favorite thing about living here is that I know this is where God has us right now, and that makes things easier and peaceful. But man, I miss Texas. 

I wish I was sitting on the patio at Willie G's right now with a couple pounds of crawfish and a Coke, and some friends. It doesn't help that there's 6 inches of snow on my back porch-balcony. 

I miss living near family... I'm filling out all this self-study stuff about my siblings and how often we see each other and so on, and everything is like, well, we used to see each other every week...

The great news is, my mama is coming here Thursday. So I will get some Texas/family goodness up in here. Until then, waaaaaaah.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Maybe you came to this blog to find out about us and our adoption. Well, okay. We're in progress- it feels like slow progress to me but I have been assured we are speeding through it. We're almost done with documents and then once those are all mailed to us and hither and yon, we are almost financially ready to start the next step. So, there you go

Today is Thursday, which I typically think is Friday. The difference between Thursday and Friday, if you were wondering, is storytime. We go once a week to one of the many local libraries and hear some books read, sing some songs, kinda, and so on. Popular with the younger set. I have been diligently schooling Toby on proper library behavior, and he's basically got it. Brynn, on the other hand, is not cooperative. With anything, ever, actually. But that is another post. So after the first week, we worked on sitting where the teacher says, and listening quietly, raising your hand for questions and quiet mouths when the teacher is talking. He has been rocking it. It helps that Ms. Deb is a little bit of a tyrant.

There was a substitute teacher today, a nice one. She really narrated through the stories and then asked tons of questions, about the stories and the pictures and all the little people were SO excited to answer. So the indoctrination started weakening then... after a few minutes, he was interrupting excitedly after every page, and making sound effects and so on. What was my angel Brynn doing during all this, maybe you're asking. She was climbing on the table, running down the aisles, and collecting massive stacks of board books for me to read.

During the second book, the teacher asked some question, and Toby read the answer off the page. I have honestly been trying to lay a little low about Toby reading, because people make a big deal and then I feel like they think I think their kid is stupid and so on. At first she ignored it, but he kept reading stuff. When he nailed the word "recipe", she stopped and asked him if he'd read this book before. "No..." he said, kinda confused. After a minute she asked him if it would be all right if she read the story and he listened. He was very agreeable and polite, but I just got this sick feeling in my stomach from all the times I read too fast, or caught a teacher misspelling, or just accidentally showed how smart I was- at 6 or 7 years old.

He has no concept of any of that- he is so excited to be able to read- reads himself to sleep every night, and I am developing an addiction to buying him books at the thrift. I just dread, a little, when he figures out that sometimes being smart is a bad thing- or perceived as a bad thing. I worry too much.

After storytime, I ended up in a conversation with the teacher and the other moms about him, and tried to explain that he taught himself to read at 3 from playing Starfall and watching Sesame Street... I learned at 4 from a computer program my dad made. Shoot, I don't know. Is it genetic? Or what? Anyway, now I have to make a new rule about not reading out loud unless the teacher asks him to.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Took R2 to the doctor today... well, to be precise, I took him to a nurse practitioner for his post-op appointment. I knew going in that he was probably going to be stressed out, so we practiced yesterday and today. I would check his ears and then tell him to open his mouth like a lion, and it became kind of a joke to him, so it was going well.

He was a little nervous at the appointment, but still poking me and kinda teasing. Everything went fine until she had to check his mouth. He opened it a tiny bit but totally refused to do more. I warned her that if she had to use the tongue depressor, he would freak out. I think maybe she didn't really hear that part, or had a hard time believing that this small, pleasant little guy would have any real issues. So eventually, she did have to break out the stick and then, he did what he does. Which is, totally spazz out. I've talked before about what that looks like, so I'll skip it. Suffice it to say the nursing staff was alarmed and I worked hard to keep him from self-injury and to keep my own eardrums intact. For a long, long time.

We ended up leaving early, planning to reschedule a hearing test for another day. It was exhausting and embarassing and so frustrating. On the positive side, he appears to have healed nicely from the tonsillectomy.

I drove home near tears, and ended up putting a call into the neurologist - asking if they have sedatives for kids or some such. We're seeing him next month and I want to get happy juice for R2 that I can just squirt in his mouth right at the beginning of a fit and *zzzzzapp*. That might be wishful thinking... we'll see.

Now, several hours, and a large Coke and fries later, I am better.

Plus, I watched a youtube video that greatly helped my life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am sitting in my room, trying to forget the mountain of laundry in front of me. We probably have too many clothes, that's part of it. But the washer, she are in the basement. Waaaay in the corner of the basement with the spiders, past the recording studio. It's not just inconvenient, it's terribly, terribly annoying. That concludes your Spoiled American Entitlement Segment for today. Tune in next week for more!

Last night I went to a home group- the one I went to a month or so ago. Yesterday, they asked for kinda an Intro to Jess, so I started with my abridged edition, which skips over children dying and almost dying and tragedy in general and just focuses on the good stuff, but they asked some questions and I ended up getting into the real story, somewhat.

Everybody was super-kind and interested, and really, it was refreshing to talk about it without conversation just grinding to a halt while people try to figure out what to say. I like to talk about my life, the pain and the triumph and the ongoing battle being a mom of a special-needs kid, all of it.

The weird thing is making a new group of friends with a heavy intro like that. Typically, when I meet new people, I talk too much, tell a lot of jokes- catch people off guard and am liked, and enjoyed because I make people feel good- make them laugh. Humor has led the way for me for a long, long time. I've learned not to use it so much as a defense mechanism, but it's still great as an icebreaker.

Starting with the hard parts is different. On the way home, I'm asking myself if I have too much pain to be a safe friend for people- if that side of me makes them uncomfortable and maybe they don't really need to know. The contrast is just funny- because I'm either the court jester or the undertaker... no real middle for me, at least at first.

Musings from the deeper side of me...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Anonymous said...
Could it be that if one older sister has limited hair and the two younger sisters keep doing weird stuff to their hair, Like making it stick up in places and cutting it weird and all kinds of colors sometimes two or three at one time, that the younger ones are acting out of fear that they will lose theirs like the older one, so therefore better do it all before it is too late?-G

There are a multitude of reasons that one might attempt the referenced hairstyles. What if, for example, one was attacked by a group of miniature cartoon Asians with spiky yellow hair and fireballs? Having blue bangs, in that scenario, basically ensures victory. 
Or, say that you are prone to joining gatherings of tens of thousands. Let’s say you have medium length thin brown hair. When the newspaper publishes pictures of the backs of 8000 heads, you might not recognize yourself. If, however, you have very very tall maroon sections on the back of your head like a rooster, you can post the back of your head on your Facebook with confidence.
Fear of hair loss is probably a minor motivation, although Emperor Pokino might say differently.

BethC said...
ms sp,
i had an interesting dream: 
help me develop a "money matters american idol" program. this will be a huge hit! 
winners use their finances wisely for the grande prize.

That is not a very interesting dream. Try dreaming that you took a band of merry Chihuahuas on a cruise with Steven Seagal. Hijinks ensue. Give that a try.

Mommy Mere Pete said...

Why does Marcie always call Peppermint Patty "sir" in all the Peanuts cartoons?? 

How did Snoopy become the Red Baron??

This is a question that spans the ages, and wiser minds than mine (Socrates, Plato, Dr. Phil) have tried to answer it. I will defer to their wisdom.

Anonymous said...
SP - why is March 15th called the "ides of March" and what is an ide?

Ides are very similar to wides, but without the w. The ides of March are wides without w’s, from the month of March.

Friday, March 12, 2010

This is what is happening in my life, in no particular order: toddlers, not exercising, books, food, adoption. That's the majority of the pie chart, and thus, the basic topic repertoire around here.

Today, Han and Richy and I had physicals to determine if we, in fact, can walk independently, see down hallways and bend over enough to lift children. I gotta tell you, I think we nailed it.

It was a little funny, though. Somehow, we usually end up in extremely low-income areas when we do this kinda stuff... probably because we are low-income. So we went and they did the sliding scale and it was super cheap, which was awesome. But it's always a little funny to have dental work or medical exams or whatever in these places, because they are not so strict.

We had to kinda nudge them along to do all the tests on the paperwork, like requesting that, if they wouldn't mind, could they please inject us with tuberculosis? The TB test is some sort of rite of adoption passage, evidently. The MOG was more than a little concerned about the needle, and the fact that they were giving us tuberculosis to see if we have tuberculosis. None of the nurses seemed to know much about it, so I ended up googling it on the ol' iPhone and then we all felt better. We'll find out Monday if we have it, or have been exposed to it, besides the fact that they just shot us up with it.

We took the toddlers, because our appointments were scheduled for 9:45, 10:15 and 10:45 and it seemed like surely it would be a quick deal. Not so much... we were out by noon. It felt like a full 24 hours had passed waiting in there, and doing regular exorcisms on Toby and Brynn (this is a joke).

You know what's exciting, though? That's done! One step closer! :D

We are still raising money- we have a fantastic start but still need LOTS of help. The link to donate is over on the top left, or you can give us your email and we'll send you our mailing address.

Your weekend assignment: Submit your questions of a general and interesting nature to that bastion of wisdom, Ms. Smartypants! MSP will answer at some point on Monday, unless she is stricken with tuberculosis that she ASKED for. See some archives here!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In theory, I try to have fresh hot blog commentary for you 5 days a week. Most weeks, I either skip a day or two, or phone it in... sometimes what I have to say is not really ready to be said, and sometimes my brain is too tired for a series of complete sentences.

Today, directly before finishing the last sentence, I was preparing to send you off to Ms. Smartypants for a weekend full of general inquiries of an amusing nature. THEN, the bus came and I realized it was Thursday, not Friday. So I will save Dame Smarty for tomorrow.

If you have ZERO idea what I am talking about, do some research. It will come in handy tomorrow, which is the real Friday.

Part of why I am having a hard time talking is I am forming thoughts... I am studying and learning so much right now, about adoption, and race and racism. I'm studying like we are definitely getting a minority baby, when the reality is, we might not. (but I think we will) If we do, I need to be prepared.

Being black in America is not the same as being white, even if you're raised in a white family. And being a different race matters. It's not right or helpful to be "colorblind". I'm reading a really fascinating book right now called Black Baby White Hands written by a black adoptee raised in a white family in the late 60s and 70s. It's not totally easy to read, because I'd like to believe love is enough, but it is valuable to read and try to see from a different perspective.

It's deep, though, thinking about this stuff. Sometimes I don't know what I think or how I feel and so I just don't talk about it, or write about it. That's when it gets quiet around here. So there you go.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This house has a fantastic sunroom. It is large with tile floors, and windows all around. I love it a LOT. The only problem is, it has a lot of problems. Like, for example, it was built by a drunk man during an earthquake. Only possible explanation. The hard tile floors were evidently built on a soft surface, so the floor gives.... but the tile, not so flexible. Every windowsill is leaning sharply to the right, and one of the windows is a large random rectangle of paneless Plexiglass. The trim above the sliding glass door has been a source of merriment on many house tours. I posted a little about it back when we moved in. The other major problem is that it is large, with tile floors and lots of windows. Therefore, it is very, very difficult to heat.

Last summer, it had its heyday as a sort of second living room, where we held homegroups and visited late into the night, discussing Babylon or what have you. It was a glorious haven until the first freeze, when we dumped it like a junior high Christian school banquet date.

This week it got a new lease on life when the band came to record the new CD in the basement, and a 4 year old and two 3 year olds, while vastly entertaining, were quite a bit of background noise. We mommies and our offspring were banished to the sunroom, which became the playroom. They killed it. I mean, they broke out the toys with a vengeance, and they kept the awkwardly leaning French doors in action going in and back outside pretty constantly. It worked really, really well in that capacity, proving itself basically soundproof. It's currently still in the post-celebration mode, and I am going to have to go through and do some demolition and toy-corralling to get it CPS worthy.

I therefore deemed it then and evermore the playroom, to be celebrated by miniature folk and their many, many, many toys, from here until forever, amen. I posed it delicately to the MOG, as he is the Toy Gestapo, and I expected to have to fight for it (in a pleasant and submissive manner) but he was all for it, assuming that we buy overpriced toy containers directly from the store, that have not been pre-owned. He has no respect for my art of thrifting. Still, it will be nice to have a fancy real toy box that we can dent and color on ourselves, instead of inheriting the damage. I hope to make it really cute and organized and then I will submit it to Better Homes and Gardens and maybe get a book contract.

Is this really worth an entire blog post? Well, no. But it's got a couple of good lines and at least I wrote something. Don't juuuudge.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Several months ago, I took Richy (R2) to a growth specialist on a recommendation from the nutritionist. He is almost 11, but he weighs less than 40 pounds and is about the height of a 5 year old. They were concerned about his growth, and organ growth and bone health. I vaguely remember being urged to start him on growth hormones lest his organs grew too big or stayed too small or something and, you know, killed him. In retrospect, I had all the kids there by myself and the doctor could have said anything and it would have been a mystery to me. So I came home from that appointment, alarmed the MOG and then waited for the next step. Well, the next step was injections. As in, needles. Every DAY.

This particular child has to be held down by 4 nurses to get his blood taken. Then, he tries to beat himself black and blue for a half-hour, EVERY time. So the thought of daily injections stopped us cold. Then we went on tour, and had holidays, and had January, and so on, and then today was finally the appointment we made to talk to the doctor and ask what-kinda-life-threatening are we talkin bout here. 

She basically said that Richy, based on our stature, would likely be 5'9 or 5'10 at adulthood, if his growth was normal. If we don't intervene, he probably won't get taller than 5 feet, and there is some potential for problems with his bone health and organ growth. The good news is, according to a bone age scan, his body thinks he is 7. So we are several years away from puberty and the beginning of growth-plate fusing. Oh, and the other good news is, they now have a needle-less device that evidently shoots high-powered air and injects the medicine with no needle. I have no idea how it works... they want us to come in and get shot with it so we can feel how easy it is. The demonstration couldn't happen today because all the nurses were at lunch, and I can't say I was disappointed to skip it.

We're coming back in 6 months to do some more charting and testing and we'll decide then if the growth hormones are necessary. If he only makes it to 5 feet tall, at least I know how to navigate the world from that height and I can show him the ropes. We also have to keep in mind that he, without a miracle, will be living  with and dependent on us for his lifetime, so being small is easier, that way. A lot to think about, but I'm glad we don't have to start the injections now. 

In adoption news, donations are still coming in and we are so grateful. When I finish this blog entry, if the house is still quiet, I am going to go deep into my Self Study document and really think hard about things like, What is my personality, anyway?

Monday, March 8, 2010

The first thing is, look at this fundraising ticker over on the left. That is amazing. MAN, I just LOVE faith. Seriously. When you hit on something that's in the heart of God and the momentum just carries you. I have to step up my game and finish paperwork, because financially we are almost ready to turn this application in! I'm still waiting on some stuff to come from Texas, but wow... I am excited. Thus the all caps. We still have lots to raise, so feel free to click and donate.
In the same vein, of faith and being surprised by God, Radiant's drummer and his family are in town this week, recording and looking for a place to live when they move to KC in a couple of months. Out of nowhere, our neighbor offers the information that they're moving, and then their house is really perfect. It just seems like a crazy God-thing, and I will be surprised if they don't get it. ACROSS THE STREET. Amazing.

This might have also been the best week of Toby's life, since his friend Noah is living in his house... they play constantly. If they get that house, I think both of their lives will be complete.

You might be like, why so little blogging? It's a little hard to think these days, what with the rock and roll at all hours.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My first experiences with money were at my sister Georgia's house. She watched me during the day along with her 4 kids, and we could all earn money for doing chores. The harder the chore, the more money... but the most you were gonna make was a dime. I was the only one disgruntled about the pay rates... I would push the vacuum resentfully, telling Georgia, "When I'm in the White House, I'm gonna hire you to vacuum and pay you a dime. Still, we were busy little bees and then we'd take our dollar or 75 cents to the store and live it up. And that was tremendously satisfying. Even if I just bought a piece of posterboard to decorate, I bought it with my chore money.

So I'm excited to think about starting my guys on some kind of money learning- I know they'll enjoy it, too.

I started Toby on a bribe reward system yesterday. The goal, since I am a good parent, is to stop him from doing things that annoy me. The effect, however, will be a better behaved child, regardless of my motivations. I made a chart, with 6 tasks- staying in his room until 8 am, staying seated during breakfast, lunch, and dinner, staying quiet during quiet time, and dressing himself. Then, at the end of the day, if he gets all 6 stars, he gets money. Like, a nickel or a penny or whatever I have around, and we put it in a jar. That's the goal.

He is super motivated by reward, so he rocked it yesterday. Today, not so much. He wants to get it right, but he doesn't remember in time and then he's already gotten up or come in my room at 6 am or what have you. So here's the quandary. I don't want to start the day like, oh, you already broke #1 and so you won't get all 6 stars no matter how good you are the rest of the day. On the other hand, I don't want to be wishy washy and uncommitted

A couple ideas: he gets the reward for achieving 5 out of 6; or a graduated award system, (which sounds like too much work for me), or I remind him constantly... or what? Shoot me some ideas.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Today, I went on a mini-shopping trip, which is pretty typical of me. The problem is, I have a terminal forgetting-stuff disease, even when I have a list. That makes for a lot of starting and stopping throughout the store, like I am attached to a yo-yo. Drive past the cereal aisle YOINK back to the cereal aisle, drive down YOINK back to the milk, and so on. I am probably fascinating to watch as I almost mow down the same ol granny time and again.

All this to say, today I was buying milk & a few little items while getting the oil changed. (don't tell me not to get the oil changed at Walmart, I always will because it's at the same place as the FOOD, even if they kill baby squirrels to make the oil or spit in my gas tank.) So that makes for 30-40 minutes to kill at the Imperialist Empire, which is great because there's a lot of clearance stuff. Primarily Miley Cyrus clearance stuff.

Let me say, I am neither a Miley fan or a Miley hater. She's just a kid and I'm not going to say mean stuff about her. But the clothes... there are TONS of clothes on clearance. Like, for 1 dollar. Why is this? I have a theory. The clothes are pretty distinctive. I like most of them. They're stylized and ruffled and interesting. But, here's the deal. You do NOT want to be the 4th girl in your homeroom wearing a black tank with a purple peacock feather and one shoulder. Not to mention everybody and their mama saw it at Walmart across from the clearance bananas.

Not that I care. Nobody at the library will have the black peasant top with the rainbow threading that I bought for a dollar. And if they do, I'll just be all superior in my head like, they shop at Walmart.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The new drugs worked great. If you're just joining me, this is not a junkie review blog. I am just drugging my child. If you're just joining me, this is not a child abuse blog. (well, it depends on who you're asking. the kid thinks he's abused)

Anyways. He slept better. I set my alarm for every 4 hours and woke him up enough that he would be able to swallow, then squirted the meds down his poor little throat and went back to bed. So I feel somewhat rested, and he seems much happier.

I am a little void of interesting topics these days. I mean, to me, it's interesting that I made an appointment for all the grownups in my house to be fingerprinted ($52 each- ouch) and filled out child abuse checks for both Missouri and Texas, and made a stack of documents to be signed in front of a notary. But to you... hey- back over here! That's the way of it, though.

But let's say you've never adopted, and you want to know what it might look like. I'll tell you a little. First, we filled out a pre-application, which was about what you'd write for a credit card application, and mailed it in with $50. Then, we were approved to apply. We got 6 packets of documents and met with a social worker and adoption consultant for an hour or two, and talked about the basics of what kind of adoption we want and the process, and some of the financials.

Now, we're knee deep in that 6 packets of paperwork. I have sent off for various documents, like birth certificates, and made copies of lots of other ones, like our marriage license and drivers licenses and such. So, we wait. In the meanwhile, we have self-studies, which are exercises in introspection for 10+ pages, and our interracial questionnaire. We also have doctor's appointments, to ensure that we are healthy enough to have kids. If I get all the documents back in a few weeks, and have all our appointments, and so on, then I will need $1500 to turn in our application and begin our homestudy. For the homestudy, we'll pay about $600 up front and then another $500 or so in the middle.

So there you go, that's the beginning. At least, as far as I know. I feel so excited and so full of faith. It's just one of those things you know God is behind, and so there's no worry that it won't work out. It just will.

and now, some gratuitous cuteness, with pudding, on Toby's request.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I am typing this as I am supposed to be sleeping. I wish I was one of those people that could fall asleep at will, like some people I'm married to. Instead, I lie awake, deciding what is the most worrisome thing I can think of... Once I think of that one thing, then I can focus on it and freak myself out. I know, worry's a sin. So I try to pray and think happy thoughts, but ultimately, I think "Why the heck am I laying in bed? In the middle of the day? Thinking about who I might have inadvertently insulted when I made fun of Canada?" or whatever. So I quit trying to nap and get up. Waste. Of. Time.

Anyway, this post brought to you by delirium, since R2 has spent the last 4 nights crying instead of sleeping, poor little guy. I have spent the last 4 nights trying to count milliliters of highly potent drugs in the dark, whilst asleep, and then holding R2 down and making him drink them. Seriously. He probably thinks I hate him. Then, 10 minutes later, it kicks in and he falls asleep and I don't, for like an hour. Then it starts again. We're almost a week post-op here, and I really hope it starts getting better. Today we got new drugs, bigger drugs to try to stop the pain. May it work, Amen.

Toby has been really trying to help me in my sleep-deprived and punchy condition, by screaming. ALL DAY LONG. And also, falling down in a hysterical heap because Brynn SANG TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR WRONG. I think he's sick, think we're all a little sick... *delete paragraph mocking spouse*

In adoption news, I worked a lot on my self-study and interracial questionnaire this weekend... really, if I am to answer any deep questions, I need to sleep. Or fake it. Just kidding, social worker friends! We have raised over $1200, isn't that amazing? If you want to donate, the link is over there in the left sidebar, or you can leave your email address in a comment and I will send you our mailing address.
That's it for today, folks. Sayonara.
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