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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Loaning Momma Your Purse

love my baby girl

She's so sweet, she loaned me her cross body purse for my trip so I'm safer in Atlanta :)
This way I am not carrying my big purse that somebody can just grab off my shoulder.

Why am I blogging about this?

There was a day when kiddo wouldn't have loaned anybody anything, but especially not a parent that is leaving her for a few days.  That abandonment mentality would have made her feel as if not only was I leaving her, but taking her stuff too. 

She was going to have one if not the other.

This is a big deal.

She knows that I will always come home.  

Since I will always come home, there is no need to "protect" her stuff from me.  Her things will always be here and so will mom.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Becoming a vegetarian

me: would you like some eggs for breakfast monkey butt?
kiddo: no momza, that comes from a chicken and I'm a vegetarian now
me: oh, you are? I had no idea. When did that happen?
kiddo: since yesterday in Independent living Class when we saw a video on how nuggets are made
me: ok......what would you like then?
kiddo: cereal (and grabs bowl and milk)
me: you do realize milk comes from a cow, right?

kiddo: I want cheeseburgers
me: I thought you were a vegetarian?
kiddo: You know I can't give up cheeseburgers, they're my favorite, I'm eating cows, but not other animals, but especially not chicken

kiddo: momza, can we have chicken tenders?
me: I thought you weren't eating chicken?
kiddo: this is different, this is chicken BREASTS. It's the rest of the chicken I'm not eating


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Love Never Fails

Read something during lunch and think it is worth repeating....copied some of this but I can't find it again to name my source....some is all mine though, lol

How many times do we go to bed tired and overwhelmed, feeling as though we have not connected?

Children are people too and they should have a voice. Why is it okay for us to have opinions and our kids not? Why is it okay for us to be grouchy, but not them.  Dr Suess had the right idea.

We all get tired at night. Kids fall apart, parents fall apart, and yet, it is one of the most important parts of the day, because when your child goes to bed, they have all night to think about what JUST happened.

So, when your children go to bed, leave them with love, tender voices, kisses goodnight (if they will accept them) and encouragement.

Just because our girl is a teenager doesn't prevent me from saying "Good night darling.... I love you..Sleep tight..." or maybe even rubbing her back and reading to her occasionally. I can say this even if they don't receive it. I can say it anyway. Don't stop just because you don't get those words back.

Sometimes you feel as though no one is listening and paying attention all those times when our love seemingly fell flat at her door.

But our kids do hear our words. Sometimes kiddo's mouth opens and her mother comes out. I hear back what I put in and it hits me in those moments "she does listen, even when she pretends she's not".  So many things we say come back later, when we least expect it and the joy that she listens and retains. 

Don't ever think, even for a moment, that it's not worth it. Ever y bit of energy put into our childs future is WORTH IT.

If they ask for one more drink of water. Get it for them.

When I was little, my daddy was good about this, even though mom tried to convince him I was manipulating him.  I just asked because it was one way he showed love....yes, I could get it for myself, but that was "our time"....

Kiddo asks me for little things like that so frequently, things she can do herself and hubs will say "You can do that".  I say "of course she can, but she wants momza to do that" and I do tend to spoil her a little.

The night before my wedding, my daddy got me a glass of water and told me a bedtime story) Even if you think it is a massive manipulation. Do it. If they decide that is the time to talk, set a reasonable 10 minute limit, and talk to them.

You cannot err on the side of love, voice, acceptance, compassion or patience.

LOVE NEVER FAILS.... never ever.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Learners Permit Drama

So hard to believe monkey butt is even old enough for this.

She turned old enough to get learners on December 29th.  At that point, she was in the "I need to be a kid longer and not ready for this" phase. We told her no problem, we'd never push her into it, she'd do it when she was ready.

We didn't even mention she'd already sweet talked us into a car, lol

Earlier this week, kiddo says "Momza, I'm ready to test now", so I agree to get off work early and me, her and daddy-o would go.

Her dad and I fought over it.

He said "Why do YOU need to get off work for this? I'm capable of taking her"

I said "I know you're CAPABLE of taking her, but this is a big deal and I want to be there for her"

Then when I take the time off, he wants to go too, lol, apparently he recognized it was a big deal and wanted to be involved in that memory too.  If he thought it was a big deal, I still don't know why he thought it was weird I thought it was a big enough deal to go, lol

We're past that though.  Here's what happened:

The hubs brought kiddo over to my office and we left from there and took kiddo to get her learners permit. (she missed 1 question and it was sign, so we have to take her back in 15 days, you can not miss any sign questions and pass)

I got so upset though. We got there with her birth certificate (and with adoption, at the time of adoption, original certificate is sealed and a new one with same number is issued with me and hubs as parents).  Part of the reason they do that is so adoption can be kept just like biological kids and no extra paperwork, blah, blah, blah.   Turns out it’s an exception. Of all the oddball things, when she was 4, her birth family got her an ID card at the DMV, so we started filling out paperwork and they already have her in the system----as a S (birth name). 

So, they tell us to go home and get her adoption papers to prove she went from one name to ours, since in their system she doesn't have our last name.  The kicker---she wasn’t a S when she was adopted. She was a M by the time we found her, because she had been adopted before.  Thank GOD for good lifebook.  Between monkey butts stuff and the file we got when we adopted her, we were able to come up with copy of her S birth certificate, court docs showing S rights terminated, copy of M adoption papers, copy of M  birth certificate, copy of M  termination papers, then our adoption papers and birth certificate. PAIN IN THE BUTT!!! Part from her stuff, part from ours.

Not to mention, very triggering. No wonder she missed a question, she had to have that trigger of going thru memory lane 5 minutes before testing.  L

oh, and the boy she just had broken up with showed up right after us to take his test. He missed the same question, they're back together, but that was making her nervous because he sat close and they weren't back together yet.

eta: the first person was way rude about her medical history (application requires what you're taking meds for), second person didn't even bat an eye.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Goals and Accountability, Last Year/This Year

Last Years Goals and Accountability:

Parenting for Attachment--I think most of the time I did that, not perfect by any means, but thankfully kiddo is forgiving and let's me have re-dos

2 sizes smaller in 2016--1 size down

Get kiddo a passport--never got around to it, I need a re-do on this goal

Become a core branch by the end of first quarter--I think it was actually 2nd quarter when this happened, but better late than never

project organization--is this even possible with a crazy teenager in the house that love chaos? lol.....well, at least a couple things got done, shoes have a home now

Create good memories as a family, not taking time for granted, but enjoying what life and each other has to offer. I don't want our child looking back and saying "We never did anything together" or "we just sat around watching TV" or "Friday nights were the only times we did anything" (our normal family night to do to dinner together)--totally ROCKED this, despite a rocky year with so many financial emergencies that came up. Broadway show of Annie, tubing, Disney Live, Taubman Museum, Wii time, Chicago concert, pool time, Tybee Island, Pat Benetar concert, Cajun Festival, Splash Valley, Beauty & the Beast Barn Theatre, Cirque du Soleil, Carrie Underwood concert, Make America Rock Again Concert, Mountain Trip, The Star, Rudolph Musical, Thanksgiving with Sammie, Cheap Trick Concert, Nutcracker Performance, among a few of the bigger things, little stuff too

Be the best me that's possible--not exactly measurable, but I tried. Hopefully that counts.

There is just something about a New Year--the fresh smell of the calendar, a new journal with nothing written on the pages, 365 pages long.

I know today is no different than any other year, but just imagining that fresh journal with no blemishes on it. When I'm coloring and love the page until the first time I go outside of the lines or writing until I mess up and it gets messy.....until that moment it's just perfect and so nice to look at.

We can make a change any day. We can stay the same if we want too. There are no rules, but it's a fresh new book with none of the pages written on yet. I want my pages to be meaningful for 2017 and work with purpose and passion towards my goals.

2017 goals:

  • Parenting for Attachment--I want kiddo to continue to progress and attach, she's doing amazing and I never want to be an obstacle in her achieving her goals
  • Reduce 2 sizes--I'll do this by reducing carbs by 25% for awhile, then to 35%, then 50% until I find my happy spot, without going cold turkey where I can't keep control. I low carbed for 4 years and stress and grief after losing mom got the better of me.
  • Get kiddo passport--her favorite uncle (and my favorite brother in law) lives in Germany and we can't visit if we don't get her a passport
  • Earn 20K or more in bonuses for 2017
  • work on project organization around the house--I can't stand the chaos. Kiddo and hubs loves the chaos, so I have to be creative in working around it and doing the best I can with it
  • Create Memories with my family. I don't want our baby looking back and thinking "we never did anything as a family
  • photo a day
  • teach kiddo to drive and get her learners permit at least
  • Be the best me that's possible. My family and friends deserve nothing less than the best from me.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sibling Visit

Nancy Thomas said "A bond with an unhealthy sibling can stand in the way of the parent-child bond".  That's because the siblings carry a collective memory of the past trauma.  

We initially applied for our daughter when she was still with her sister.  Their adoption disrupted and initially it was perceived that our daughter was the issue.  Later it was determined to not be the case at all.  While we waited for several months, during that time, the girls were separated.  We saw our daughter listed as a singlet, needing connection to sister, but placed separately.  We submitted interest and immediately got a call, since her case worker had already reviewed our home study when they were together.

It was heartbreaking to think those 2 cuties would have to once again lose another family, but also each other.  Keeping them together though would have worked against their healing.  They needed very different things to be able to heal properly.

We were asked if we'd be willing to maintain contact and of course we were, no child should have to choose between having parents or siblings.  What we didn't anticipate though was falling in love with her sister.

Not on the same level as how we fell for our daughter, but lil sis has stolen our heart.

Over the past few years, I think we're slowly getting in her heart too.  She greets us with a huge hug right after she hugs and kisses her sister and she's finally saying "I miss you too" or "I love you too" when we say those very important words to her.

For the first 2 1/2 years, we could say that and she'd say "Uh huh" and we'd have to ask for hugs if we would get them, although hubs could get it willingly, she was much slower to trust me.  She enjoys rough housing with him, rubbing his beard, riding piggy back, etc.

Sometimes we have frequent visits, other times it's a long time between visits.  Our childs needs come first and we're the ones that have to do the most work to make it work.

After the heartbreaking phone call she had with her sister where she wasn't getting school pics because she's in a group home, After making a call to her social worker and offering to pay for the pics for her, she got her photos. I sent a note to lil sis to let her know not to just do without, if it's something like that and she can't find the right person to do it, to let me know or tell her sister to let me know and I'd work on it on her behalf and/or do it myself.

I really want her to learn that she can ask for what she needs and many times that's all it takes to get her needs met. She has needed to work on her communication skills for awhile, so it was a perfect opportunity to let her know we have her back.  I also let her know she's important to all of us, not just to her sister.

She called not long after and asked kiddo if she'd ask us if we could come pick her up for Thanksgiving. She wanted to come here, but didn't realize how far it was.  We told her it was a long drive and we couldn't get help to get her to us, but we'd come to her.

When we got there, I praised her for her progress and also for being willing to ask for what she needs.

So, what does she do? She asks me if someday I can get her a camera, lol.  Okay, it wasn't all material. She also asked me if I could get her social worker to try to find her Ipod which didn't make it in the move.

I told her good job asking and yes, I'd definitely ask her worker to search for her stuff and at some point, we'd find her a camera, but it may take a bit.  Managing expectations, you know?

As for the visit--it went pretty well.  She redirected easily, she's very proud of her progress and she accepts no better than she used to, not seeming to take it as personal rejection of her.  We were supse happy to see that and let her know that.

I did have to threaten to get her a dictionary though.  She has a mouth on her.  She also still has the rough play going on, "beating up" on her sister with an inflatable monkey because kiddo wouldn't give her the phone (which was because she was texting with bad language)

I was so proud of my daughter for standing up to her sister. She's always let her get away with anything she wanted and she said "why would you thinking beating me up will help you get what you want, that makes it LESS likely".  Made me double proud because I've used that on her and that means she's listening, taking it in and understanding.  Hubs told her not to be so aggressive, that acting out doesn't get you what you want.  She calmed down.

She does try the cutesy stuff to try to get away with things--ie. telling her to eat another bite and we'd order dessert to take to the park and she cuts one macaroni in half.  Ummm, want a re-do baby?!

This was the first visit in awhile totally just us an no supervision. She normally tests boundaries more without a witness anyway, but if that's her stretch, that's awesome.  

Her house mother didn't believe that she used to be violent, so that was promising that they've never seen any evidence of that.  She said she's made amazing progress in alot of areas.  Her areas of improvement needed are the same ones that took our kiddo the longest to work on.  

Food issues, first and foremost.  

There is hope though. I've seen so much improvement with our child and seeing her sister follow these footsteps, just slightly behind gives hope that she'll improve as well.  

She willingly let us leave with no sadness exhibited, so that worries me from attachment standpoint, but overall it went well.  

Missing Dad and Messages from God--We All Have a Purpose

I'm missing my daddy-o like crazy. I was talking to one of my older cousins about a week ago and he was telling me about the "big wreck" that dad always talked about. Dad was in a severe wreck about 3 years before I was born and almost lost his life. Thanks go blood donors, he lived and from 1967 til the day he died, like clockwork, every 90 days he was at the donor bank giving blood to pay it forward.

That cousin stopped by to see me the other day and it was all I could do not to cry, seeing that prominent strong family feature man face. He looks so much like I think my dad would have looked if he'd lived to that age. He told me a story that ran chills up me. The way God has been talking to me lately has taken an odd turn.

Sometime before that point and that wreck, dad had 3 buddies that he hung out with constantly after work. They'd go to the hamburger stand, drink a beer, etc and then go wherever the party was. He'd NEVER told them no. NEVER.

One night, they were all at the hamburger stand eating and the 3 guys were talking about the plans of where they were going after dinner. My dad said "You know, I'm staying here, eating my burger and going home and going to bed, I'm exhausted".

The next morning he woke up to find out his friends had all died in a severe car crash, one that there was no chance of living from. It took 2 wreckers to get the car unattached from the tree and after their funerals, body parts were still being found for weeks. :(

God had a big plan and kept him alive for something special that only he was suppose to do, yet, despite beating odds several times, he died at 53, still WAY too young.

The message I got was that God has a purpose for us all. I thought of all the people I know, you all would understand my feelings and why I've done nothing but cry thinking of this.

Thanksgiving, we took monkey butt to see her baby sister. It took nearly 4 hours to get there and 4 hours back. So stressful to do all that in one day, but worth it too. On the way home, we stopped for a potty break. A real one, not the prayer kind, that time. When we left Sheetz, hubs said "You wanna drive the next leg?" I didn't want to, but did. RIGHT after I pulled out, a state trooper pulled me over for speeding. I forgot it was 45 there for the next mile and then went back to 55. I pulled into a parking lot. He got out of the car and came up to me and a woman was in the lot (store was closed) and screamed "Officer, please call an ambulance". Her son was in the car having a bad seizure and she didn't have a cell phone. His life was saved and that officer wouldn't have been there if I hadn't made a mistake and sped.

The day before that, I went into work and the first customer was a new customer prospect, a referral from a loan I had closed the day before. My assistant helped her and they took forever to close that loan. I wondered what was up. When the loan was finished she brought the customer over to my desk and introduced me. Both had been crying. My assistant said "I don't know if you remember, but this is the year anniversary of the day my friend Lisa died. This girls name is Lisa and she said something when she sat down that made me know I'd just been sent a message from Heaven". The woman was crying and saying "I can't believe God loves me enough to be the one to deliver that message".

It runs chills up me how we can be used in the small details for a bigger picture. now I'm totally in tears.