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Monday, March 13, 2017

Momza's Crazy Adventure to Arizona

I won a trip for 2 to Arizona from work. The 2nd person has to be at least 21 so that meant my 2nd couldn't be kiddo.
Hubs couldn't go because we didn't feel comfortable not having one of us with kiddo. My BFF has health issues and she wouldn't be able to handle a trip like that so I invited a friend from work that manages a branch across the state.

I didn't get home until almost midnight Thursday night and had to wake up at 4 am Friday morning for my flight, my plane arrived in AZ about 12:15 and my luggage WAS NOT there!! Eek, had to file a report and turns out my bag was at Dallas.

Then we went to transportation and a driver was suppose to pick us up. He wasn't there. I had to scramble and find a number for the hotel and ask for somebody handling travel for our company and they said driver left, thinking I wasn't there?! what the?! they sent somebody to pick us up but it took 30 minutes to get them there but they upgraded our ride there to a Cadillac Escalade.

When we got to the resort, my room had been given away because I wasn't there?!!!?? But no worries, they upgraded me to a casita, lol

The gift card for incidentals wasn't there either. By this point, E and I were STARVED!!! We went to walk to the restuarant near the lobby, but got lost and ended up in a senior living center, lol (the resort is 65 acres and our casita was on the very west edge of it), shortly before 4, we managed to find the lobby. I'm all icky feeling since I couldn't change when we got there because I have no luggage, so we asked the lobby which of the restaurants I would be allowed to go in in my travel clothes that was close enough to find without getting lost again. Lunch was at 4 (after being awake 12 hours). Finally, I was relaxed and chilling. lol.

E wasn't though, because she was upset that I was having to buy lunch on my dime because the company gift card they promised wasn't there for me and it was going to be about $60) HR lady came in and we waved and chatted with her and I let her know that my luggage was delayed and that the gift card that was suppose to be waiting for me wasn't. She called a girl and left message her to find me and get me the gift card. K (HR lady that we were talking to) told me to go shopping and get one outfit for the night and turn it in to get reimbused and she bought our $60 lunch for us).



Can't say enough good about this place: http://www.fairmont.com/scottsdale/dining/ironwoodamericankitchen/

What was possibly BEST hamburger I've ever had in my life. Oh, and birds ate with us.

We went shopping and I got clothes for the night and bath and body works and the cab was $15 for 2 miles, lol came back and was dropped off at lobby and we asked bellhop for golf cart ride to the casita and she called the other bellhop to get cart. I said I was running into gift shop to get drinks to take to room because I was feeling thirsty. Emma came with me, we ran into friends and 2 drinks and 3 hours later, we remembered we had a golf cart waiting on us, lol.

When we came back thru the lobby, the girl looked at my face and just died laughing. I said "I'm sorry, we ran into people and 3 hours later, I remembered we asked for a ride". They were so sweet and it wasn't like they rejected giving people rides waiting on us and she said it was no big deal and she was glad we were having fun anyway.

I can't say enough good things about that resort.

I have been there once before, but it was years ago and it was even better than I remembered and I still recalled it as the best place I'd ever stayed in my life:

http://www.fairmont.com/scottsdale/?cmpid=google_scp_search-branded_branded-e-revsh&gclid=CNHlvKHf09ICFZWCswodYpoM5Q

11:30 pm AZ time, my luggage showed up. That's 1:30 my normal time.

Next morning, we get up at 7 am AZ time because we want to fill in every second we can since we missed out the day before on so much, still no gift card. Company had breakfast waiting, we decided to go to the ghost town and have fun. We weren't able to go the day before as planned because by the time we got in, ghost town was closed. I was much more annoyed about not getting to do activities the first day than the fact that the luggage was delayed.

E said for me to call HR and get card before we went since the day could get expensive. After a few calls I tracked down M (the girl K had contacted), she met us in the lobby and gave us the card. We asked a bellhop about a ride and he said the cab to the ghost town would run 127 each way and suggested uber instead, lol. He helped us get set up and got us a $15 coupon, but uber doesn't take the gift card, lol. So my money again, $30 there, $45 back. lol. Get to the ghosttown and buy our ticket for 3 of the exhibits and hand them the card we got. They don't take cards, it's 1837, they need cash, lol. You can't even make this up. I just fell across the counter at that point.

I had to call hubs and get the pin number to our credit card because I had to go to an ATM machine and you can't use gift cards on an ATM. so our money again, lol. We went ziplining, rode a historical train tour, went in a mystery house and toured a gold mine. By then we were ready for lunch and found a cute place for burgers and hotdogs. They even took cards. yay!! Gave them my gift card, ummmm, we don't take American Express, only Visa and Mastercard. I was dying laughing at this point, probably looking like an insane person. I paid cash and we ate, explored the ghost town more, watched a gun fight, toured a church, bought souveniers. The "cat house" I wanted to visit was closed.



Tired, we called uber to pick us back up and headed back to our casita. On the way we saw a casino and I got excited thinking about moms ashes and that she'd like to visit there and asked E if she was interested in going to the casino after dinner. The uber driver said it was a nicer one closer to our place and gave us recommendations, etc. E was too excited, she said she hoped I wasn't kidding because she REALLY wanted to do that.

Dinner was a company required dinner (the only thing we were required to do with others). She asked me what time dinner was over (it was open and no close time) and I said no specific time, she said look at her when I was ready to go and we'd go. Not long after dinner, we bailed, lol. Oh, but before dinner, there was a reception. I said I wanted to go to the orange grove and then hit reception late. We ran into a golf cart guy that picked us up and we forgot about the orange grove, lol. We had an amazing time at dinner, but still excited about our adventures planned.

After dinner, we hitched a ride with a golf cart driver, but he got lost. We ran into our normal golf cart driver and he told the guy that he didn't know what he was doing and that they needed to take us, that he could drive the local resort people and he'd take those of us in casitas. We were dying laughing. Our new golf driver told the one that was lost that he'd taken us there numerous times and we'd be fine. ALL of us were laughing.

We changed into our play clothes and called uber to pick us up after dinner and we headed to casino. As you can guess, I made next to nothing, lol, I quit quick knowing how my trip was going. E came out ahead about $250 and gave me $45 (she made me use $25 there and the other $20 was for the trip back to the resort--uber was $27 each way, my money because they don't take the gift card, only normal cards, lol). We ran into people from our company that we had met at the dinner from other states, so we caught a ride with them and saved some moolah, lol. So, I told E since we forgot the orange grove, we needed to wake up 1/2 hour early and go see it and then head to lobby to check out. We set my alarm for 6:10 am, since we had to leave in the company provided bus at 7:30 to go to the airport.

Alarm goes off and I felt so groggy from getting in late night night before. This girl doesn't do partying and late hours.

I get up though and take my shower and then wake E up. She looks at me like I've grown 2 heads. My phone had auto advanced an hour for time change, but Arizona doesn't have time change. I woke up an hour early for nothing.

We forget we were walking to the orange grove and got on a golf cart, where our little guy spins around the corner and drops my luggage. I scream "I can't believe I forgot to go the orange grove". At that point we didn't even have time. He said "girls, I've got this, I can ride you over real quick and get you back in time". He dropped our luggage at the bus and told them to give us 5 minutes. The orange grove smelled so amazing.

We head back, get in the bus and go to the airport.

Once at the airport, I pull out the gift card and go to the kiosk, check in and want to use the gift card to pay for my baggage claim. They don't take that gift card, so I use my own money again. 1st leg of the journey home went well, connecting flight was delayed. I hate the Charlotte airport so of course that's the one I was stuck in during the delay. Get back home after finally getting on my plane and my luggage isn't there.

What?! Luggage? Missing? Both ways?

How does that even happen? It's 11 am and I still don't have my luggage. It was promised by 5:30. I called, they do have it and it will be delivered, but good grief. What a ton of challenges for so much fun and yes, the fun WAY out weighed the bad.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The broken road

5 years ago today, there was a little girl visiting for the weekend that woke us up crazy early. She was so beautiful and spunky.

We assumed that since a visit was planned with us, it was because we were going to be chosen to be her parents. It's unusual for a child to be visiting multiple families.  During that weekend, she mentioned to us that she was visiting another family the following weekend.

A few issues happened with that little girl outside of the visits that caused her worker to delay her decision a little longer than we thought it would be.  

That's what we were told though. We didn't know then it was really a different reason.

We weren't the ones chosen and it would be several months before we realized that there was a grander plan that was coming true and the perfect daughter was just around the corner, one that we were meant to parent forever and would instantly fall in love with.

That delay happened about the time things were coming to a head in our daughters first adoptive home.  I'm convinced the delay was so that child would go elsewhere and we'd be available for our child.

Thank God for that broken road that led us straight to our daughter <3

I can't imagine life without her. The moment I found out about her though I knew why WE went through all we did before finding her. Every tear, every rejection was all a part of what needed to happen so we'd be available when it was time for her to be with us.

When I think of those visits vs the visits with our kid though....it was so different, I see now that it just wasn't there.  She was fun, we enjoyed it, but it wasn't like having a daughter with us.  Our baby even felt like our daughter from the very first moment we laid eyes on her.

I was exhausted when we dropped Ms H off after that weekend with us.

When we dropped our kiddo off after the first weekend with us, it felt like she'd only been with us a few hours. I cried that she wasn't going back home with us.  It was like the difference between babysitting and parenting.

Okay, maybe I do believe in love at first sight.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hyper Vigilance

Complex trauma in a child can create a host of diagnoses aka alphabet soup for a kiddo. Our child was no exception. One of her diagnoses is PTSD and that comes with an extreme sense of hyper vigilance.

One piece of the evidence was her stress level in crowds and noisy situations. Crowds make it more difficult to manage the awareness of any perceived threats nearby, as does a noisier than average situation. When you've been abused for years, you become so aware of all your surroundings at all times, so you can bolt at a moments notice.

It is a survival skill that's used to avoid, minimize or handle situations.

A gift at times, but very draining and difficult in most cases.

Early on, we could tell her stress level would get up if she couldn't see everything around her, have clear ways to the door, be able to hear what was going on and protect herself.  During attachment therapy, one of the things done to monitor what level she was at was her looking around the room for 10 seconds and then closing her eyes and telling everything she could remember in a short time frame.

Literally there would be nothing in the room that she was not aware of being there.

Last week, she went to a friends house for her birthday party. It was the first time visiting that friend.  When I picked her up, as you walk into the house, the laundry area is where you come in at.  I was talking to her friends mom and noticed the decor in the laundry room with the words "laundry today or naked tomorrow" on the wall.

Our laundry hamper broke and we'd ordered a new one, which also has that same phrase on it. When I mentioned her friends laundry room having that on the wall, kiddo looked at me like I grew two heads.  She hadn't even noticed. I was near tears and squealed. Literally.

I looked at hubs and said "Can you believe she didn't even NOTICE that?!".  Hubs knew what I meant but kiddo said "don't make fun of me momza".    I assured her I wasn't making fun of her, that I was actually mentioning it because I am so proud of her that she's made so much progress that her first instinct isn't to check out every detail of her surroundings, but to relax and just enjoy her life.

Obviously I want her aware enough to be safe, but I want her to relax enough that when she's in a safe environment that she can have fun and not be so concerned about how to escape.

Proud momma bear here.  Kiddo has worked so hard on her trauma and made so much progress.

This weekend, she went to the trampoline park with BFF.  I asked if she wanted to put a xanax in her purse in case it was overwhelming there. We hadn't been there before because of the crowds. She said it wasn't necessary. Crowds didn't scare her the same way they used to.  As long as she had somebody with her, she was fine.

She's also JUST started in the past 30 days going into a store by herself.

So much progress.

Thankfully though, this survival skill should help her recognize when somebody is fake or a threat.  I think that will automatically come back when needed.

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



THESE VEGETARIAN RULES!! lol

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.