Our second visit with the boys (Part One)

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We headed over to the Children’s Home right after school yesterday.  I bought 5 awesomely good pizzas, brought all the fixings for ice-cream sundaes, and we brought video games and beading kits to make necklaces or bracelets with the kiddos.  We arrived at the house around 5:20 p.m., by the time I had collected the kids from school, drove to get the pizzas, and found my way back to the home which is about a 30 minute drive from our house.  The kids and I prayed several times as we drove the 30 minutes to the Children’s Home.  We prayed that God would let us minister and love on each and every child there and that we would especially get to spend some quality time with The Boys.  I think I’m going to have to give each of them a “blog name” now.  We’ll call the oldest of the two, “Teenager” and we’ll call the younger of the two, “Brother.”

I didn’t know what to expect on this visit.  We had such an amazing time the first time, so I was nervous about trip two.  Why was I nervous?  We were just going to hang out and spend some time with some new friends.  But, I was nervous.  As we pulled into the drive-way of the Children’s Home I saw them.  They were standing on the front porch.  Teenager waved at us and Brother came running toward the truck.  I parked, we got out and Brother ran right to Only Boy and wrapped his arms around his chest yelling, “I missed you Buddy!”  I almost burst into tears right there.  The connection we felt was real.  The boys picked up right where they left off, goofing around and being silly.  (Now, I know some of you reading this are VERY educated in adoption and foster care and of course because of that know a lot about “RAD” Reactive Attachment Disorder.  I am aware that children from hard places, often will make connections with just about anybody.  I have read A LOT about RAD and am not blind… I know the danger signs with RAD, but it still just warmed my heart to hear him say that because honestly, WE HAD MISSED HIM TOO).  Okay, so moving on… Teenager came up to the truck and asked, “Where’s the big guy?”  “He had to fly tonight,” I said.  “Oh, I thought he might fly his helicopter over here to eat with us,” he joked.  I smiled and I handed him the pizzas.  After all, I had brought them for him!  He was the reason that I got “delivery pizzas” instead of bringing the stuff to make homemade!  He smiled and said, “PIZZA!”  We all walked inside.  I brought flowers from my garden for the house mother to show our appreciation for them letting us come to visit again.  We were just so happy to be back.

The younger boys took to the game room and got out their games.  I started to set out the food.  I asked the house mother if we should start to eat and she said sure, that I could call all the kids into the dining room.  I went to get the boys and they were already sitting back in their “gaming chairs” playing a racing game on the XBOX.  I smiled and took a picture.  No matter the future, I just wanted to remember that moment.

We ate.  We played.  We talked.  We had a blast!

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Soccer

So, I’m kinda scared.  Our Oldest Girl just tried out for and made her very first “club” soccer team.  She’s played for the YMCA, for military teams, and school teams, but this will be our family’s first experience with “travel ball.”  My husband played soccer up until his freshman year of high school and he played pretty competitively until he decided football was more fun for him in high school.  Two of my three sisters played soccer and one went on to play in college and now coaches.  I danced.  I was never real “sporty” as a child.  I was a dancer.  I did tap, jazz, ballet, and hip hop and loved it!  I was on a college dance team and I danced all the way up until Oldest Girl was born.  I don’t do soccer.  I’m “soccer stupid.”  I know absolutely NOTHING!

So, tonight as I stood there in the very first club meeting with my three little ones and my Oldest Girl I felt, um well… out of place.  The room was filled with “soccer people” filling out paperwork and getting it notarized.  I had to provide a copy of her birth certificate to prove her age!  This stuff is no joke!  What have I gotten us into?  I know Oldest Girl has a future in high school and maybe even college sports.  She’s amazing and everyone tells me that she’s a natural, but I’m not a “soccer mom.”  I don’t know the rules, I don’t know the coaches, I don’t know the “right” teams to be on, I’m just a mom of an incredibly talented 13-year old girl.  So, wish us luck!  Practices start in July and I’m terrified!

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I’m a better mom in the summer.

I like summer.  I always have, I probably always will.  No schedules, no early mornings, no hurry or rush, just fun.  We swim all day and sometimes swim all evening.  It is just the best!  I’m a better mom in the summer.  I’m chill, I’m happy, I’m totally relaxed.  But, summer only lasts two and a half months.  It won’t last forever.  We’ll be back to schedules and routines and early mornings before we know it, so I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts.  I’m going to enjoy sitting on the porch eating popsicles, I’m going to enjoy watching my kids be kids again.  School seems to just suck the life out of my kiddos sometimes.  Summers provide them with an opportunity to be little again.  They dig in the dirt, swing on the swing, and run through the yard with their shoes off.  They look for butterflies, watch ants marching in a line, and try to find the turtle that visits our neighbor’s yard.  And THIS SUMMER we are going to fulfill one of my childhood dreams!  We’re building a treehouse!  We have no tree to put it in, but we’re still building it!  It will be built and secured to large poles cemented into the ground and attached to our existing swing set.  I have wanted a treehouse since I was a very little girl.  I’ve asked my husband for years if we could PLEASE build one for our kiddos.  The time has never been right, but NOW… now is the right time, this summer!  I’m so excited!  Sooooo, check back to see our progress!  I promise to share pics of our adventure!  I simply cannot wait to build our treehouse!

This little hand…

IMG_4499This little hand belongs to the most precious little girl in the entire world.  Well, at least we think so.  She is our Baby Girl.  She is smart and funny, too cute for her own good and very very sassy.  She stomps her feet and slams doors.  She eats anything you put on her tray.  She likes the color “yellow” and calls all of the colors by that name.  She loves to do “Color Wonder” and play with play dough.  Her purse is a favorite toy and she recently filled it with items from all around the house.  She likes to swing and to jump on the trampoline.  She’d rather be outside than in and absolutely loves the pool.  She likes to run and to climb and I often find her after she’s pulled a chair to the counter to climb up and get something that she wants.  She pulls the outlet safety covers off of the outlets and totally gives me gray hairs.  She scares me half to death constantly trying to undo her buckle to climb out of the grocery cart while I am shopping and is known to throw things out of the cart while she’s at it.  She gives the best hugs and kisses and loves to hold hands.  She is my girl, my Baby Girl.

Some days I just feel like a huge failure!

WARNING: This is not a “feel good” post.

Some days I just feel like a huge failure!

My kids don’t listen to me.  My thirteen year old won’t come out of her room.  My ten year old wants to play video games 24 hours a day.  My seven year old is whiny.  My 2 year old won’t sleep through the night.  The baby has started throwing, kicking, and hitting everything in sight and I’m exhausted!

What am I doing wrong on these days?  I don’t wake up thinking, “Today, I’m going to be a horrible parent.”  I usually wake up very happy to start the day with my kids.  But, some days life is just a mess!

My house is a mess.  There are toys all over the floor.  The laundry is piled upon every available couch, chair, and bed.  I haven’t showered in over 24 hours.  My hair is pulled into a greasy pony tail and I probably smell.  I feel so defeated!  If only, I could wake up a little earlier, maybe then I could shower daily.  Only problem with that, I AM TIRED!  I need more sleep!  So, greasy and smelly I’ll stay.

I recently had a talk with a very sweet friend about how I’m happy as long as my kids are happy.  The truth is that I AM happy as long as they are happy, but I just would like a few small things to go my way for once.

List of things I’d like to go my way…

1. No arguing… THIS IS HUGE!  I am SO TIRED of my seven year old and ten year old bickering at each other!  I want to tie them to each other or make them walk around in the same oversized shirt until they can learn to just GET ALONG!  (side note: I have NOT done this… but I’ve thought about it!  ha ha!)

2. A “less-messy” house.  I’m not a protectionist.  I don’t expect everything to be spotless, but just a little less mess would really make my day!

3. Getting to talk to my soldier at least once a day.  THIS WOULD BE HUGE!  I feel so rejuvenated after talking with him and my life just seems perfect after I’ve reconnected with my love.

4. Money to spare.  There just never seems to be enough for the “extras.”  I know many people feel this way, maybe all of us and I know how truly truly BLESSED we are… I’m just saying it would be nice.

So, there you have it.  I’m real.  I don’t have it all figured out.  Some days are hard.  Sometimes I want to go crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head and just cry.  Some days I feel like a huge failure!

Sharing a room

I just walked down the hall to get the laundry from baskets (who am I kidding, it was on the floor) and overheard the sweetest conversation between Middle Girl and Baby Girl.  Middle Girl is 7 years old now and is the best big sister!  She loves Baby Girl so much and is so excited to see her every morning and every day after school!  The girls play well together and slowly, but surely Middle Girl is teaching Baby Girl about all things “girlie.”  Baby Girl is 17 months old and still has not slept through the night completely, so she still sleeps in a crib in my room.  Middle Girl; however is so anxious for the two of them to share a room.

Conversation Overheard:

Middle Girl- “When you are a big girl, like maybe three of four you’re going to come move in with me in my room.”

Baby Girl- “da, ba…boo… ba, da.”

Middle Girl- “We’ll put our beds next to each other and both of us will sleep in here together.”

Baby Gril- “ooo, ba, da, ba.”

My heart swelled with pride at Middle Girl’s willingness to share and then dread filled my heart… should I correct her?  Should I tell her that there is a very real possibility that Baby Girl will not live here long enough to share a room with her?  We’ve always told the big kids that this situation could be for just today or it could be for forever… I’ve made it clear many times, but kids just don’t think like that.  They are sisters.  They always will be, so for now I will let her tell Baby Girl all of her dreams about the future and about sharing a room.

Baby, don’t force it!

I walked into the boy’s room last week to put laundry away and found what used to be their closet doors in such an awkward position that I had no idea how the boys got them that way. I called my oldest son into the room and asked, “what in the world happened here,” pointing to the closet doors. “I don’t know,” he said. I gave him “the look!” He then says to me, “Well, the doors wouldn’t shut, so I just kick them and kicked them and kicked them and then that happened.” It look all that was in me to not burst out laughing! “Um, well you better crawl in there and try to push them back out this way to fix them,” I said, leaving the room. Needless to says, they were not fixed easily and it took a very nice neighbor coming over with tools to put the doors back in working order. Thank goodness for handy neighbors!

Then yesterday, I return home from taking the babies to get their pictures taken and my middle daughter and her best friend greet me at the front door with bright yellow rubber gloves on up to their elbows! “Mom, do NOT go in the back bathroom,” were the words that were squealed as they ran towards the back of the house. “Goodness! What happened,” I asked when I saw the water all over the floor and the overflowing toilet. “Well, I used too much toilet paper,” said my daughter’s best friend, “so we just flushed it and flushed it and flushed it, trying to get it to go down,” added my daughter! This time I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing!

I am really starting to think I need to call a family meeting… The topic for discussion??? When something isn’t working out the way you’d like… Don’t force it!!!

Heaven

Tonight we listened to one of the family devotions that my husband recorded for us before he left. It was about heaven. After listening to the devotion, I asked each of the children what they thought about heaven and what they thought it might be like. Here are their thoughts.

Oldest Girl (about to turn 13)
“No stress!”

Oldest Boy (10 years old)
“No sadness and no screaming.”

Middle Girl (7 years old)
“I think it will be all rainbow-ey… Oh and no babies crying!”

Little Man slept through this devotion
(He had a long day) and Baby Girl squealed and giggled hearing daddy’s voice on the computer!

Gosh I love them! So different, yet so wonderful each in their own special way!

Words that were spoken in my house today…

“Remember, you have to put your weapons down for a diaper change.”
—–Said by me to Little Man as I interrupted his “hero” play with Big Brother to change a rather big stinky.

“This movie reminds me of my daddy and that he is gone!!! It has been way too long, I can’t take it any longer!”
—–Sobbed by my Middle Girl

“Are you licking the trash can?”
—–Me to Baby Girl as I found her licking the trash can!!! Gross!!!

“Is that poop on the floor? Nope, just a raisin.”
—–Me

Yep, our life is crazy!