Monday, January 30, 2012

Moyz's weekend, good or bad?

We had an interesting weekend with Moyz. I am not sure if I should call it good, or call it bad. But basically he was afraid of everyone, even our good friends who he spends a ton of time with. And we went to DQ for supper and he wasn't happy there either. I think at DQ he was perhaps upset with all of the crowds of people, but I can't explain everything else. The good thing is if I am trying to think positive, is that he wanted me really bad all the time. Of course, since I am a glass half-empty type of person, I thought that he felt like he was at an orphanage and we were going to abandon him.

I guess it all just plays into my fears that I mentioned earlier about him really being okay. I know that it is great that he wanted me, but he really seemed upset as opposed to just anxiety over people. Of course, I could just be looking into it much more than I need to because why think about something when you can over-analyze it in every way? Yikes.

And then I read someone else's blog about how their child regressed and is drooling and not remembering how to get dressed or put their garbage in the garbage can. Still, attachment is scary if you don't think it is going right, even if it may not be "all that bad". Plus I need to remember that attachment is a journey, not a destination, and that there will be ups and downs. Even when I can't tell if something is an up or a down!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why I love the Internet

Okay, besides being a joyful waste of time as I have discussed before, you can also find useful things on it. And my useful thing this week is the Picaken.

What is a Picaken you are asking? I will tell you. It is a pie baked inside of a cake. I am not sure who came up with this idea, and I don't know if it will go down as one of the culinary greats in our world, I have my serious doubts, but it is weird and interesting, and I am trying to convince Chris that he wants one for his birthday coming up.

I found this on the blog It's a blog by a woman who is a missionary in Costa Rica. She is quite interesting as far as her posts go, I actually really like it, but I will warn you, she is a tad "different" as far as Christian missionaries go, and some may not like everything she has to say, but at the very least go to see how to make a Picaken.

Oh, and after spending $123 and some odd change today at Walmart buying groceries for my family, I have decided to challenge myself to use up everything in my pantry and upstairs freezer and a lot of stuff in the deep freezer that isn't meat since we have a lot of that from hunting, before I do another major grocery shop. Things like milk and bread will have to be bought of course as we use them. Any takers on using up everything you have so you don't spend a gazillion dollars on new stuff because you are too lazy to create recipes out of what you already have? wow, that was two huge run on sentences!

Anyway, there may be some interesting meals based on cream of.... type soups around my house because we seem to have a lot of those in the cupboard. Wonder if this is a Northern European heritage type thing?

P.S. I would love to post pictures with my blog, but I have lost my camera, so until I can find it, no pictures. Not like I was really good at that before....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Christmas present and update

So, I'm finally getting around to blogging about my Christmas present. I wanted to post about it before but I just haven't made the time. Which really, I should because I am one of those people where if I follow a blog, I really like for it to be one that posts regularly, even though I am not really one of those people. I want to be, but then I think if people only follow not super often then if I post a lot they miss it or have to make up for a million things they didn't read.

Anyway, on to the present! Let me just start out by saying that gifts are my love language if you are familiar with that book, and if you aren't, go out and both you and your hubby read it. (Of wife if you are a man reading this but I am pretty sure you aren't!) I struggle with this sometimes because I know that it makes me sound extremely shallow when I say that is how I feel loved. But let me clarify that it is not expensive gifts or even that the gifts should cost any money, but it truly is that Chris thinks about what I would like or sees something that reminds him of me and gets that for me, write's a note, etc. I will admit that this has been a struggle for him and thus for our marriage. He has been known to shop on Christmas Eve, even though I remind him that Christmas falls on Dec. 25th every year, and also, my birthday doesn't change either. I should probably also make it clear at this point that he is a really wonderful husband, I don't want to sound like I am just knocking him!

Okay, finally, the present. Chris got me a kindle touch. I was shocked on two different levels. One, because it is an expensive present and we do't generally buy each other something so costly, and two, because it focused on the one thing that I love to do the most- read, but it was so "gadgety" that I didn't see it coming. And my first thought was "holy smokes, I can't believe he spent so much money", and my second was "I am not sure I am going to like this". Now I realize this sounds awfully awful of me, here he goes out and buys me something really nice and then I don't like it? But hear me out. I am a HUGE book person, I love holding it and feeling it and buying them for 50 cents at thrift stores. I love the look of them. I am a physical person. So that was why I didn't think I would like the kindle. I like the experience of the book, not just the book itself. But we looked on amazon to see what books you could get for free, and that is what sold me. If you are a classics reader as I am, then you need to go out right now and purchase a kindle, or nook, or whatever. You can get what appears to be all of the classics for FREE. That's right for free, nada, nothing. I downloaded about 42 books in about 10 minutes. I will admit it took a little getting used to reading the kindle and everything involved with it, but I am sold. S..O..L..D

The one thing about it that I don't like is that the kindle books cost almost as much as the hard copy, but you can take all of the books with you on one tiny piece of equipment, so in a way I suppose you are paying for convenience. Now, that being all said, I will still buy books at the thrift store because to purchase them for $8 on kindle vs. 50 cents is a no brainer. But the kindle is really worth it. There is something like 15,000 books for free on amazon and other places. Some of them may be something that your crazy neighbor wrote and put on there, but a lot of them are really good. Anyway, that was my present!

Oh, and I thought I would give a small update on my losing weight to Italy process. So far I have lost about 5 pounds. I have been mostly trying to watch what I eat, no working out yet, but also am not really drinking pop, which I think has helped the most. I miss Coke so bad I could almost cry- regular that is, not the crappy diet stuff. And it probably is no longer Italy, but drumroll.....

Peru. As of right now, hubby and I will be hiking the Incan Trail to Maccu Pichu in Peru. And then afterwards going into the Amazon on some type of excursion as of yet to be determined. This will probably cost almost as much as Italy, but is more in line with the things I like to do. However, I just ordered the National Geographic Traveler magazine, so that could change if they have some type of interesting destination in there.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

6 Months Home

I can't believe that 6 months have passed. Let me just say that truly, OVERALL, it has gone by fast, and for the most part I have forgotten those first extremely hard 2 months. You know, the months where I banned myself to the basement and all I did was sit next to the kids all day long because they (mostly Kembia) would freak out if I left their sight. The months where Moyz wouldn't look me in the eye and would go to anyone who vaguely resembled a woman and that he happened to come across. And after Truitt was introduced to the bunch it completely set back attachment with the kidlets and actually made things worse.

If I am really honest with myself, I still worry about Moyz sometimes. His reluctance to give me kisses when I ask even though he will give them to Daddy and his brothers and sisters. Or the fact that he still has moments where he will suck on his lip and rub his belly while laying on the floor. Sometimes I will get myself all worked up over the time that he spent in an orphanage and worry if that can ever be reversed and if he will truly be all right. I tend to worry about things excessively anyway, but then you add something like your kids' mental health status and functioning for the rest of their life, and at times I can make myself crazy. At that point I have to remind myself that Satan is a jerk and loves to use what I most fear against me.

I wish that I was filled with all sorts of wonderful advice for parents. Stuff to let other adopting families know about, and I have bits and pieces but there really is no way to sum it up other than to say you will get through it. That's probably the worst advice ever because it does nothing really to comfort the family that is struggling about their adoption decision and how things are going and what life would be like if they wouldn't have adopted. I remember when things really sucked and I turned to Chris and said something along the lines of how easy our life would be if we hadn't adopted the kids. And he immediately said that we shouldn't be thinking that way and that allowing ourselves those negative thoughts would only push us further down. And you know what? He is absolutely right. Yes, those first months sucked royally, but I would do them all again 100 times if I had to to have my kids. Adoption is hard, and messy and painful, but it really is worth it. I look at my kids and I cannot explain the amount of love for them, how thankful that I am that they are in my life.

Bring on the next 6 months....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kembia's 18 month checkup

My girl is growing! Okay, so it might be slow, but it is happening. She is almost 20 pounds. We have worked hard to be at that point. She gained 4 almost immediately, and then stalled out at around 18 pounds. Every ounce seemed like so much work. But she is finally on the growth chart, coming it at 2% for weight and height, and then get this, 64% for head circumference. I think there may be a slight "hair" factor there, but even allowing for that her brain is growing good!

We're trying to figure out if she may be having allergies mixed with some minor respiratory stuff that is keeping her snotty almost all the time and then contributes to a cough at night. Nothing too major to worry about, but it would be nice to not wipe her nose all the time.

They did a second Tuberculosis test now that they have been home almost 6 months and 4 more vaccines. She wasn't exactly crazy about that, but better shots than the disease.

Her hair has gotten drier too lately. Coconut oil seems to dry out my kids' hair, even though I keep trying it to help offset how quickly I am going through Miss Jessie's baby buttercream. I also got some stuff from the Shea Moisture line from Target but haven't used it too much yet. I am quite bummed about the coconut oil, people tend to rave continuously about how it is a miracle for their kids' hair, but no such luck on our end. Oh well, it's a process and we will find out exactly how to do it. I have been playing with her hair to try and help with the freaking out, but she still doesn't like it too much. We'll keep working at it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Moyz loves the toilet

This drives me up a wall. If I don't know where Moyz is, chances are he is by the toilet. It's not as simple as closing the door to the bathroom or getting a gate. If we close the door, we lose the best/fastest way to heat up the back bedrooms. I don't know why the vent in the bathroom heats the best, but it does. And unfortunately, we have yet to find a gate that works with our bathroom door which apparently is not a normal size. Not even the adjustable gates work. Go figure.

Both of my brother's kids were toilet players. And their daughter, who was born on the exact same day/year as Moyz, ATE toilet paper. As in from the toilet. Gag me a maggot. I used to tease him all the time about this. Ava and Owen were not excited by the toilet.

But Moyz, the kid loves it. I have even found toilet paper (wet) around our house. I have yet to see it in his mouth, but if he is fishing it out of the toilet bowl, why would it not go in his mouth? Everything else does. This of course leads to the question of who is not flushing the toilet, but everybody in my family says "it's not them".

Moyz also likes to put things in the toilet. I have mostly caught him as he was doing it so only two things have made it in: one of Truitt's booties, and today, the DVD remote. This one particularly sucks because our DVD player only has stop, play and eject on the player. If you don't have the remote you have to watch all of the things before the movie and I hate doing that.

No idea how I am going to stop this habit of his. Slapping his hand and firm no's have so far done nothing. And now my brother gets to laugh just as hard at me as I did to him!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I stalked a mom at Target

It's true, I stalked a mom at Target. I was so excited I couldn't help it! You see, the three littlest and I were checking out the plate sets on clearance because somehow every plate, bowl and cup I own are getting broken, when around the corner came a white mom with 4 black children.

My jaw almost hit the floor because I have lived here for almost 9 years, and in all that time never seen another transracial family. (The town we live near is actually quite small even though we live near a large metro area.) After I shut my mouth and tried to look like I didn't notice them and was staring, I spent about 2 1/2 seconds as they passed and continued on through the store thinking that I need to meet this woman.

So I stalked her to the front and accosted her in the check out line. Which is what all normal people do, right? Anyway, she was very sweet and didn't think I was a freak, and gave me her email address and said that she would love to do a playdate. I am so excited about it I could almost barf! So yeah for new friends (hopefully)!

Oh, and Truitt got his first tooth this week. Can't believe it, the kid's only 5 months old and he has to go and do something so grown up! He's my last one, isn't there some unspoken rule about how your last baby has to stay little for double the time of the others?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Social Security Office

So, as most of you know, the kidlets need a s.s. number for us to get the tax refund. (They can also get some type of tax number if their s.s. number isn't ready) And seeing as we live near a giant metro area, I knew that this was going to take a looong time at the office and there was no way I was going to do it on my own with 4 of my 5 kids. So last Friday Chris took some time off and came with me.

I don't know why it seems to be a rule in our state but apparently all federal offices must be in a scary part of the neighborhood. Awesome.

By the time we got to the office about 1 1/2 hours after it opened, there were 40 people ahead of us. We haul our 4 kids past everyone sitting down trying to find a spot for all of us, and in the mean time I am thinking that Moyz is going to run up to every black person there and asked to be picked up. Can't you see the attachment fears in me kicking in? I actually really loved the environment because we were just about the only white people there and my kids don't get to be around people who look like them or closer to them like Hispanics very often, so I was excited for that. every time we see a black family it is interesting to see how the kids respond, because they definitely seem to pay more attention to them than any white families they see.

Anyway, I was kind of nervous about it though. And I have to say my kids did amazing. It was so exciting to see! They would walk around and chat with people or look at their phones if they were holding them, and they would always come back to us. They never once asked someone to pick them up or cling to their legs as Moyz had been prone to do before. It was just another one of those reaffirming moments where we knew that things really are going well with our kids. I loved it!

Of course, in the process we learned that they still aren't actually citizens, which is how I filled out the paperwork. I assumed that the readoption is what actually clinched the "citizen" title for them. Wrong. The social security office said that their status won't change to citizen at immigration until we get either a passport or cert. of citizenship. We knew that we needed to get those items, but not that the process solidified their citizenship. Interesting. Oh well, we still were able to get numbers for them, although it could take up to 4 weeks to get so if anyone needs to still get theirs before taxes you might want to hurry.

And speaking of taxes, if anyone would be willing to share in the comments what they turned in to the government as far as proving the adoption (decree, readoption stuff etc.) as well as receipts and all that jazz, I would really appreciate it. Especially if you didn't get audited last year! I would so totally love to not get audited!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kembia's first "do"

Confession: The kids have been home almost 6 months and I had yet to try a style on Kembia's hair. I really wanted to, like really bad, but after we had to cut it all off from the lice, it took awhile to grow back out. Plus, coupled with the fact that every time we pick it out she majorly freaks out, I wasn't thinking that it was going to be pleasant. And in fact, it really wasn't.

I had to do things quick, and because she still doesn't have that much hair, we did the little poofs. I think it looks really cute, but I kind of don't want to take her out in public where another person could see her because it is obviously amateur, and you can tell I had to rush it. I don't want anyone to think that I don't care about how it looks, because I do, but it just wasn't going to happen any better today.

She started crying the moment I started touching her hair. I gave her little things to play with and tried to tell her that mommy was making her hair look pretty and all that stuff. Overall, it probably only took a couple of minutes. Still, it wasn't her favorite moment. I may just have to wait until she is a little bit older and I can explain, and she can understand, that I am not actually trying to hurt her. Any tips for this?

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures for you to see. What a cutie, if I do say so myself, even if her hair isn't the best poofs that have ever been!

And she doesn't actually suck on the pacifier. She mostly chews on it if she should come across one in the house, which isn't very often because they usually disappear under furniture. Interestingly enough, she came with one, so I don't know if it was something she was used to or not, because even when she first came home she never really sucked on one.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where in the world......?

Okay, so after my post yesterday I actually started looking online at what it costs to get to Italy. Um, kind of like almost our whole vacation budget.

So, now I am not really down to square one, because technically, we could go, and maybe still will, but I am not sure that I will be able to spend that much money on a trip. Who knows, we could have a financial windfall between now and when we would travel that would make me fell less guilty about spending that kind of money, but I highly doubt it. But in the mean time, I am looking at other equally "help Jess lose weight" destinations.

If any of you have been anywhere or have heard of anything awesome, please let me know. Here's what I really am attracted to: ancient ruins in any form, jungles/lots of vegetation, castles, scuba diving, feeling miles from anywhere close to civilization. Obviously, I can't have all of those, and that's totally fine, but I do have lots of interests.

I have been thinking about all the ruins in Mexico, and Central America. We visited some neat ones in Belize, but I am a little afraid of going and you know, getting my head cut off, even though most of that stuff seems to be on our Southern border.

Today I have spent more time that I should just looking at a map of the world and dreaming. Several years ago we wanted to go to Croatia, apparently they have amazing diving opportunities off their coast, but it seems hugely expensive to get to that section of Europe. As in $1500/per person. What it cost us to go to Uganda. Somehow I thought the airfare would be cheaper, and then we have a weak dollar against the Euro. Hmm. Maybe back to Africa? Our money would stretch a lot further there.

It's kind of fun to think about regardless, and it is so great to be in a position where that will be okay with Moyz and Kembia. I wouldn't do it yet, but I see it coming. They have been home almost 6 months. I can't believe it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 resolutions

Normally I don't do resolutions. I will be the first to admit that this is mostly due to the fact that I can have commitment issues with trying to do things. I start out great and then slowly peter out. I suppose this is what a majority of people do with their resolutions, but still. Apparently it is easier for me to not make them at all, even if they are positive, then to make them and the break them.

However, I did make a sort-of-resolution this year.

It goes a little something like this. It's been a humongously crazy year. Two babies from Congo, one baby from tummy, madness and hard times and wonderful times and lots of love. However, I sort have let myself go. I know, I should cut myself some slack because of all the changes that we have had in our family. But it's time to grab the bull by the horns. The problem is, I work much better with some type of motivation.

Somehow I convinced Chris to go a long with my plan, and I have some serious motivation. You see, Italy has been one of my top places to visit on my list of "Things to do before I die". So, I told Chris that if I could lose approximately 30 pounds would he take me to Italy. And he said yes. I couldn't believe it.

Now here's the caveat. Losing weight is hard, and it sucks. Eating is one of my favorite things to do. But I figure that this is something to really work for. But it will be much harder than I think. Yesterday I caught myself grabbing chips out of the bag on the counter as we made lunch. I was doing it absent mindedly. I didn't even realize I was doing it until I had reached into the bag twice!

And yes, I know that 30 lbs. sounds like a lot. This was not a number that Chris said, but something I gave myself. And would be a weight that falls about in the middle of what is considered healthy for my height. For someone who is 5' 5" the range is about 117-150 based on frame size. I am pretty sure I have a medium frame so this seems reasonable in my opinion. Since I am still about 10 pounds heavier than when I was before Truitt, I do think that this is a realistic amount of weight to lose.

Anyway, that's my sort-of-resolution. I don't know how long it will take, but stating it publicly will hopefully give me even more determination! Anyone traveled to Italy and have any good things for us to do?