Saturday, January 31, 2009

Channeling My Inner Toddler

There are things I've done in the past week and I just can't explain the rationale behind them.

Those of you with toddlers - you can relate to this one. You know how you tell a child NOT to do something (run with a pencil for example) ... then provide them with the perfectly legitimate reason (it could hurt you)? What do they do then? Do it! Just to see what happens.

I did that this week. Lots of mommy blogs were abuzz with peanut butter recalls. There were people all over with their undies in a bundle - throwing out every food product with peanuts in it. Egads. I was NOT going to do it. I was NOT going to hit refresh every two minutes to see what new perils lay in my pantry.

What did I do? I opened and ate the peanut butter paste out of three packages of recalled crackers. Smart? Responsible? Probably not. But I had to see what happened. I was channeling my inner toddler.

Then ... there are things that have a good reason behind them ... but I shudder at the thought of doing them again. Why do them in the first place? Because someone challenged me.

I won't go into detail here ... but the challenges involved a spinning class (not so bad) and a ...
(here goes my PG rating again) ... waxing party (definitely worse than the spinning class).

Again ... I'm up for a challenge. But seriously ... I can't provide a better reason than... "She told me too." Which tells me I'm not yet equipped to parent children older than mine. Because I'm at a point in my life when I can relate to ...."But all the other kids are doing it."

There are no pictures to accompany this post. You should be glad of that. Noone wants to see the after-effects of spin class .... or the waxing party.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brotherly Love

Or double trouble ...whichever moniker you like.

Like his big brother, Cooper seems to enjoy anything involving loud, rough play. Grayson always asks if he can "wrestle with him gently."

So far, no injuries. But look out when Cooper gets teeth!
Based on their interactions with Cooper, I'm predicting Grayson will have the most children. I'm also praying they will all be with the same woman ... and that the woman is his wife!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Emma, Grayson, Claire and Cooper,

There are so many parental "pearls of wisdom" I'd love to impart to you. The time is going so quickly though ... and it's filled with things like "Time for bed" and "Turn off the lights" and my personal favorite ... "Flush the toilet!!!"

These things are important. If mastered, they will make you an easier person to live with.

But they are not the most important. This is. Listen up guys.

Make friends. Good ones. When you find them ... hold on tight. They will be your lifelines.

Surround yourself with good people that will tell you the truth. Even when it is hard to hear.

These will be the people you call when you get the best and most tragic news of your lives.
These friends will vacation with you, stand up at your weddings, be there for the birth of your children, and the funerals of your parents. They will take you shopping, out to movies and cocktails, and drag you to spin class. They will cheer for you when things are great and cry with you when they are not. They will be the immovable force in your lives.

These friendships won't always be easy. There will be hurt feelings, tiffs, arguments, and senses of abandonment. You may loose sight of them for a while. Hold tighter. Breathe deeper. It will pass. They will come back. And part of you will come with them.

Because these kinds of relationships are God given. And God driven.

I promise to help you nurture these relationships because I know how important they are to me. I want that for you. You and I may not always see things the same way. I expect that. But I need to know that you will have the sort of people watching out for you that I have watching out for me. You'll know when you find them. And so will I.

Friends are the family you can choose for yourself. Choose wisely. I have.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Praises ...

I'm taking a page from my friend Marci here. Undoubtedly, I won't do it justice like she does, but it's important I give it a shot. Praises to God for all the blessings He has put in our laps this week - including...

renewed friendships (after nearly 12 years), a historic presidential inauguration, the birth of a healthy baby boy to friends Myah and Josh, the successful surgery to excise a tumor from a three year old girl, a first birthday party for Hannah, friends bringing home a son from China, and a particularly relevant church service this morning that spoke directly to my heart through song and word.

Through these events and more, it is evident God is in control. Our lives are full of blessings.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yeah for Hannah(s) !!!

We are blessed to have two Hannahs in our lives and we got good news from both of them recently. Hannah C and her parents got good news in Indianapolis this week. I was suspecting they would but I breathed a sigh of happiness and relief when I heard the good news!

The older (but no less gorgeous) Hannah and her mom came to visit over the weekend en route to a college visit in Ohio. Hannah's mom is my first cousin and I do wish we lived closer. I adore that entire family. We had a great visit and the kids were soooo happy they spent two nights with us. We all missed seeing Jim, Olivia and Daniel though.... next time?

Hannah is contemplating college choices and weighing very important factors - cost, proximity to home (or adoring relatives), big town, small town, etc. We are so very proud of her and are confident that she will make the right choices for herself.

All that collegiate talk has made me very nostalgic ... have I really been out of grad school 13 years???? I am a fossil.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Random Thoughts on Inauguration Day

I admit it. I got sucked into watching parts of the Presidential Inauguration. I figured it would be the same old, hum drum stuff. So I settled in and prepared to watch some of the DVR'd material piling up.

When people started dropping like flies during the luncheon, I was hooked.

Loved Aretha's hat. Michelle's yellow dress? Not so much.

It was all very exciting. The celebrities, the gifts, the music, the speeches, the fanfare ... and the "Beast." That's the presidential car ... in case you aren't up on things like that.

However, in a recession/depression climate, do we REALLY need to spend 160 MILLION dollars on a big shindig? Wouldn't he still be president Obama if YoYo Ma wasn't the cellist?

All politics aside, Barack Obama is our nation's president now and our prayers should include him and his entire adminstration. I am glad Teddy Kennedy appears to be out of the woods.
I am proud of our nation's ever-enlightening views on race. I hope the Obama adminstration works for peace and accountability. Both are sorely needed.

I'd like nothing more than to admit I was wrong.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Five Months Old!

Time is flying by. When someone asked me this week how old Cooper was, I actually had to say "five months." Egads. Big changes around this time start turning infants into babies.

He has mastered the art of rice cereal. It took some practice. He was not a fan last week when Claire was sooooo anxious to feed him. He's got the hang of it now.

He's starting to sit up by himself. Briefly and with a very wide base of support. But it's coming.

Predictable schedule. Naps at 10:00 and 2:00 with bedtime at 8:00.

Big smiles and a much more engaging personality. Melts a mama's heart.

Next stop ... six months. Or rolling over. Whichever comes first.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Call Dibs on the Brain Tumor!

As you know, I am a HUGE Grey's Anatomy fan. I am an even bigger Jeffrey Dean Morgan fan. When the GA writers killed him off a few seasons ago, it was akin to a real-life catastrophe. There was wailing, gnashing of teeth, and a migraine headache the next morning from crying. Don't pretend I was the only one. I was in a room FULL of wailers.

So, while some of you Grey's fans are not getting the "ghostmance" between Denny and Izzy.... I have it all figured out. Denny is not a ghost. He's a brain tumor.

To that end, when Izzie is diagnosed (probably during sweeps week), she'll have to decide whether to have the tumor removed (and loose Denny) or live out the remainder of her life in Denny-deliciousness. Hmmm .... that's a no-brainer.

No pun intended.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yoga Update

This is my first really serious yoga class. I've been to class three times now (including tonight). Turns out ... I can breathe... OR .... I can move.

Just not at the same time.


Monday, January 12, 2009

The Post Adoption Blues? Don't Despair ...

Adoption is near and dear to our hearts. Some people get it. Some people don't. Fine by us either way. But our family knows our life circle has been forever broadened by it.

I'm aware quite a few of my friends have been "sucked into" our friends' adoption to Taiwan - reading the blog, meeting Hannah, etc. Others have called or emailed to ask how she's doing ... and let me know about these post-adoption blues. Don't despair friends... I have a cure.

Rebecca and Andy are currently in China anxiously awaiting tomorrow ... when they will meet Owen. He's almost three ... and will come home to four siblings ... one of whom is almost the same age!

Rebecca has an "artsy" eye and it's always fun to read her blog. The pictures of China are amazing as well. We met Rebecca and Andy the same time as Hannah's parents. Hard to believe that tomorrow ... all of us will have the children God intended us to have when we met.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update on the Whole Exercise Thing

I intentionally did NOT make a formal New Year's resolution about diet/exercise. It thwarts me every time (A personal aside - isn't "thwart" a great word? It doesn't get used enough).

But ... setting aside some "me" time that does NOT involve chocolate, Tabor Hill wine, and the remote control (love me some Grey's Anatomy) has been on my mind and my priority list.

So I dusted off my YMCA card and have set up quite a little schedule for myself. The goal is to walk in the door 4 times per week. Anything else is gravy.

I talked a friend of mine into taking Yogalates with me. How I wish it were gentle, relaxing yoga followed by a steaming, full-fat vanilla latte. Not so.

It's a gut-busting combo class devised and led by a sadist in a cute black leotard. Half yoga...half pilates. I still don't really know a "downward dog" from a "chair" but I'm working on it.

Still hate running. Still make myself do it. It might be getting a little bit easier. At least, that's what I'm telling myself so I keep going.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bad Day

Do me a favor. Click here to listen to the music before you read this post. It helps set the mood for my pity party. Do it for me. Daniel Powter had nothing on me yesterday.

Yesterday was A. BAD. DAY.

Long story ... but it involved a state survey at one of my places of employment, a crying baby, a vomiting dog, and news of a friend admitted for surgery.

Even an improved downward dog pose at yoga didn't lighten the mood. I'm still a little shaken.

Today ... a little more clarity. Professionally, I need to find a better fit for my time and my passion. Simplify again. I hear you God.

Prayers to Marci and her family.

A huge thank you to my friend who called with great news - just when I needed it. An even bigger thank you to my babysitter - who takes it all in stride - even when I don't.

My unending gratitute for the makers of Diet Coke and the bulb syringe for babies. Without both of you, I may have gone over the edge yesterday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Word for 2009

It seems I am perennially behind. Is that a word? I'd check the spell check but Cooper should be up any minute and I haven't even made the bed yet today. Geesh.

When your seven year old brings home a list of New Year's Resolutions and asks what yours are ... and you don't have any yet ... it's time to get on the ball.

I read a blog today that used a word of the year to base her resolutions around and I really liked the idea. So here it goes. My word for the year is SIMPLIFY.

I resolve to simplify the organized chaos that is the life of this family of six. Admittedly, the prayer for more hours in a day has not yet been answered. Until it is, the only way to live more fully in the moment is to simplify what goes on in those 1440 minutes.

Simplify the schedule. Mine and theirs. Choose what is most important and make that a priority. Sleep, exercise, relationships. Faith. And maybe a few Diet Cokes thrown in for sanity.

Yesterday was an excellent example of how I'd love to be more present. I had plans to go to the Y to exercise. Things pretty much had to go exactly the way I needed them to go. Kids ready - Cooper napped - my clothes on. Ready. Called the Y to make an appt for Cooper. No baby appts until way after I had planned. Really? I was feeling pretty put out and a little stressed. I had prepared for this all day. Ack!!!

Not three minutes later, the phone ran. My friend Sarah was bringing Hannah over. Did we have time to play? Um..... YES!!! Check out the great pics of Hannah and Cooper here.

But if my original plan had worked out, we would have been gone when she called. We had a great time. Living in the moment. Simple. Relationships. Faith that God knows the best for us (and our schedule) even when we don't.

Monday, January 5, 2009


All day I've been celebrating that the kids are back in school. Well, three of them anyway.

Why celebrate? The house is cleaner, quieter, and alot less hectic. Selfish ... shallow... honest.

Click on this short video to get a glimpse of a family who celebrates for an entirely different reason. Maybe, like me, you'll get some much needed perspective to start off this new year.

Chick Magnet

I can't recall right now where Cooper got this adorable onesie (in case you can't read it, it says "chick magnet." I just know it was a gift - and from a friend. A pretty GOOD friend I expect - as most people don't send gifts anymore for the fourth baby. That just makes me more embarrassed that I don't remember. Forgive me. Just know that I LOVE IT. It makes me laugh every time he wears it. Especially when you pair the onesie with the thighs. Too much.

I also adore the hat Jennifer gave me. Maybe I should pair it with the onesie. Add the thighs and make it a triple threat... and give the folks at "What Not to Wear" an aneurysm.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hannah's Homecoming

Kevin, Sarah, and Hannah touched down here in Hoosierville yesterday. The kids and I were pretty excited to see little Hannah in person so we loaded up Jennifer's (wife to Troy - see earlier post) minivan and headed to Fort Wayne International Airport. I don't see anything international about it ... but that's what it's called.

It took a bit of explaining to all of the kids about what all was happening ... but they understood that they were going to be a small piece of a very special day. How often do you get to be part of something like that? We got a chance to talk with Hannah's grandma(s) before the plane arrived. The looks on their faces ... that's about as good as it gets.

Thanks to Sarah and Kevin for letting all of us at the airport be among the first to welcome Hannah home.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cooper's Ears' New Year's Eve plans

Happy New Year to everyone! Ours went a little differently than expected ... but it suited us just fine. We aren't big New Year's Eve people ... maybe because we've had little ones for almost 8 years now. Anyway, we had tentative plans to attend two little get togethers - with our own "big three" away at Nana's, we figured we could brave it with just Cooper.

His ears had other plans. Their idea of a party included getting infected, causing some pain, irritability and sleeplessness. Their idea of a clincher? Presenting all this at 3:30 pm on New Year's Eve. You know, long after the pediatrician's office closes.

No fever so I knew it wasn't a major deal - and it isn't like I haven't done this before - but I wanted him to be more comfortable and I didn't want it to escalate for two more days before the peds office opens again .. so off to Redi-Med we went.

After a less than stellar checkup by a questionable staff, we went home armed with Amoxicillin. That and some Tylenol did the trick and Cooper slept from 7:30 pm to 5:30 am. I just didn't have the heart to get him out of bed. Sorry guys. Maybe some other time.

Kudos to Monte though for preparing a very yummy dinner of filet, baked potato, and bread with olive oil/parmesan cheese.

I think he was the only one who technically saw the New Year ring in. Cooper and I had enough of the I Love Lucy marathon and turned in prior to midnight.

Kids are coming home today and while they aren't happy about it, it's more than time. Time to get back into the routine.