Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Question for the few people who DO actually read my blog lol....

So I need someone to tell me honestly if this is a no-good, very-bad idea.  On my birth father's condolences page, a few people had written using their full names.  Two women seemed to be very dear friends of his.  Would it be totally INSANE to contact them?  I'd start with my uncle, but after losing his father and brother within two days, I'm not sure he's going to be up to talking with me just yet.

Being all internet savvy, I've already gotten one of the women's phone numbers and address.  What do you think????  The worst that could happen is she says never to call her again...but knowing him and the friends he kept, I doubt that would happen...right? 

I really need advice from people who are not involved with me face-to-face on a daily basis...those friends and family are NOT understanding me right now.  I'm desperate to find out why he died. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Well, then, how am I supposed to feel?

So, my biological father was buried today.  I desperately wanted to go, but decided 1. it was way too far (over 10 hours), and 2. it probably wouldnt be the best time to drop in on his friends and family, who may or may not even know I exist.  So, as people have been posting pictures of him to his obituary, I've been downloading them to add to my (very small stash) of pictures of him. I didnt realize until looking at one of them that my oldest daughter has his eyes.  She also has his personality, which makes me happy. 
I'm sort of running into this mixed bag of responses and its sort of getting on my nerves.  He was my father, but not my dad.  I adored him, but we didn't have much of a relationship.  I guess I'm hurting mostly because I thought I'd have more time to get to know him, and now if I want to learn anything else, I'm at the mercy of whats left of his family.  I'm sad because the thought of just never really knowing him the way I wish I could have is sort of consuming. I know you can't live with regret, but it still stings. I could have made more of an effort. I could have tried harder. 
He never met my girls.  It was going to be this years Christmas card that introduced him to his fourth grand baby.  But he cared about me.  He checked in on me and the kids.  My birth mother says its her fault that he kept me at arms length.  My adoption supposedly caused him a ton of pain because he had wanted to marry her and raise me.  I guess the thought of being hurt again was always there for him. 
Theres no rule book for this adoption stuff, or how to feel when something like this happens. There are so many adoptees who lose their birth parents before EVER getting to know them at all, and so I'm grateful that I've gotten to see a sliver of his life. 
I'm peeved with my family for not showing any understanding.  They are underestimating the impact this is having on me, and even when I try to explain, they don't get it.  Being adopted is so relationships have to be navigated and felt out.  I just wish I'd known.  Lesson learned...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Never bought into "when it rains it pours..." but then....

I think its lame to say when it rains it pours.  Thats just screaming negativity in an already difficult circumstance. I've always been the first to believe that God won't give us more than we can handle...and somehow I've managed to trudge through some of the more difficult times, and I'm here...still standing. 

But was a horribly sad and odd day.  I found out my birthfather passed away.  His father died on Thursday, and my father passed away on Friday.  Suspicious? Probably. I may never know what really happened because his family doesn't really acknowledge me.  And up until today, I havent really cared. 

I met my dad when I was 21...what started off horribly awkward soon turned into a cautious friendship.  Due to distance, we didnt see each other for ten years...but we'd send a few letters, Christmas cards, and pictures (he didnt have email) and recently he began texting to check on me.  I just wish I'd known. 

Hubs and I were visiting my grandmother in his home state in August. I wanted to visit with him but we ran out of time and had to return home.  I didnt know.  I thought I'd have more time to work out our relationship.  I'm so sad for this loss, yet at the same time almost don't feel like I have a right to be.  I have no legal right to know what happened to him, or to inquire with his family.  For all I know, his remaining family doesn't know anything about me.  Wouldn't it be a bit awkward if I showed up at his funeral?  I wanted to send flowers, but didn't think it would be appropriate to get the DAUGHTER spray for the funeral home.  I wasnt mentioned in the obituary, which sort of stung because it further drives home that I'm not part of that family, and they dont consider me...anything. 

I'm praying so hard his death was of natural causes.  Its just so ODD that he'd die at such a young age, the day after his father.  I hate to think of his eternal life if he did this to himself...he was a sweet man, with a heart of gold. I wish we'd had the kind of relationship where if something was wrong, he could have called me. 

Being an adoptee is hard.  The biological relationships are so complex and don't just come naturally.  But, we tried...I'm just feeling so guilty that I didnt try hard enough.

Theres so much going on in our lives right it pouring yet? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marbie...where aaaaare you?

Oh, with your girlfriend I see.  Marbie...keep your eyes to yourself!!! Naughty elf!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

10 weeks 5 days Santa Baby

This is my speck at 10 weeks and five days...I edited out all the personal stuff. I think its nose looks huge for such a small baby, but the dr said it was just the angle. Speaking of...she's awesome. She snuck me into the ultrasound room, JUST so I could do this. 

So, I havent written much b/c honestly, things are not all that awesome.  I've been sort of disenchanted with the blogs I usually follow, mainly because everyone seems so perfect, and recent events in my own life clearly indicate that I am not.  At this point, I'm not even sure what my future with dh is looking like. I'll give more details after the holidays, but lets just say, I'm kind of sad and extremely stressed out.  Hanging out with me right now probably isn't much fun. I follow several crafting blogs and not only do those moms look adorable 24/7, they have time to hand-sew their kids clothing and create elaborate home-cooked meals every day.  Their homes always look spotless, and their husbands...well they appear to adore them, which is more than I can say for my own dh right now.

I finally broke the news of the baby to my parents, and my friends, and they are all THRILLED.  What a relief!  My parents are so excited, and I'm so grateful because I'm definatley going to need their support.  The kids are aware that theres stuff going on, but we still havent told them. 

So, thats it in a nutshell...sorry to be such a downer.  I'm not sure how to handle whats coming down the pike but I have to trust that it'll be ok. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Well, hi there.

It has been a while, eh?  Well, first off...the cruise was awesome!! I'm going to post a bunch of pics and our review of the Norwegian Star.  But, not tonight because I'm really really tired!!  Well, I can throw a few pics just for fun. 
It went well...the inlaws are still in the dark about our little speck. I managed to cover up the morning sickness with motion sickness, but honestly it wasnt even bad until the very last day.  That day...sucked. The waves were 12 feet and I couldnt get out of bed.  Our room was SO small. I dont recommend the smallest, interior room to anyone. But, we made do.  The weather was fantastic and we did some awesome stuff like play with monkeys in Honduras and rode mopeds in Belize. I hit Senor Frogs in Costa Maya just because I missed that boat in college, and we chilled at Paradise Beach in Cozumel. Amazing!! Again, more details later.  I missed my baby A something fierce, but she was happy as a clam each time I got to call her (Can't wait to get THAT cellphone bill!) She really had a fantastic time with my parents and I dont think missed us at least not in her concious state.  Apparently she called out for me a few times in her sleep, but during the day was just fine.  Sweet little punkin!

This is the side of the Norwegian Star taken on the day we left...massive! And the experienced cruisers know, this isnt even big compared to so many of the newer ships.
 This is the view of the mail was super small but surprisingly never really over crowded. The girls loved the water slides.
My middle A posing as we were pulling into Honduras

The port in Honduras

This is the place where the girls had monkeys jump on their heads. It was totally awesome. Did you know these monkeys have super soft they are wearing slippers??

 Big A at Senor Frogs in Costa Maya
 You would think this was a sunset, but you'd be wrong! This is the sun RISE on our last day at sea.
 I think this is a walrus. Or something completely inappropriate, but we told the kids it was a walrus.
 Big A getting her first ever beach massage

I can't wait to give details about each stop.  It truly was amazing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bon Voyage!!

So, we are headed out on a cruise this upcoming week for my in-laws 50th anniversary.  Truth? I am SCARED to be out in ocean, a teeny little cruise ship in a vast body of water.  But, I have no choice b/c everyone in the whole family is going (except my Baby A, she's staying with my parents).  Anyhoo, none of them know I'm pregnant, so it should be awesome fun hiding it from them. 

If you don't know me in real life, you don't yet know that I'm super neurotic (I blame it on my OCD) and I've been thinking over and over and over again how each one of us will meet our demise (sharks, pirates??)  At this point I can't tell if I'm naseous from morning sickness, or from the stress of imagining our boat being ransacked out in international waters. Watch the news people! It can happen! 

See you in a week (God willing!)  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A hate-hate relationship

Its amazing how something the size of a blueberry can make someone the size as sick as I do.  Not to blame it ALL on my little speck, but I have to blame someone right?? And I've tried blaming the hubs and, although sympathetic, he didn't buy it. Its par for the course, I know, but it still stinks. The "hate-hate" part...thats my relationship with food. If I eat, I feel sick. If I don't eat, I feel sick. If I think of food, I feel sick. I dont drink much now (well, none now that I'm pregnant), but I have only had a few college nights that have resulted in a hangover...and this feels just like that but without the whole acting-like-a-fool thing. 

I'm already sucking down Zofran and it seems to take the edge off.  I'm grateful for it this go around b/c last time it was not covered by insurance and I had to take Phenergan, which knocked me the heck out.  I was completely non-functional. I'm adjusting to the idea of four kids...slowly...but this is the very worst part for me.  This is the part where you're praying to make it to twelve weeks, praying to stop feeling horrid.  Its hard to enjoy anything...even the miracle of life...when you have to drink a teaspoon of water every 20 minutes to avoid throwing it up (BTW, during my first pregnancy...even THAT didnt work). 

We leave for a cruise next week and we are going with my in-laws. I can NOT imagine how this trip is going to go...morning sickness coupled with motion sickness...and we werent planning on telling them yet. Wish me luck...I desperately do not want to throw up in front of them.  Sigh. 

Mommy, Papa is a bad babysitter

So a few nights ago I had a post-placement to do with this family. You really should read their blog...they are some of the most patient, kind-hearted people I know.  Their children are SUCH a joy.  So, I was there doing post-placement visits on all three of their beautiful Chinese daughters, and had enlisted the help of my father-in-law to babysit b/c hubs was out of town. 

So, all goes well and the next day, Middle A tells me that she thinks Papa is a horrible babysitter.  I asked her why and she explained that he wouldnt let her sneak out of her room at bedtime. Ok, whatevs.  So then I go to brush Baby A's teeth, and find this thick, creamy mess all over her toothbrush.  I asked what it was, and she goes "Papa did it."  I could not, for the life of me, figure out what it was...until I happened to glance at the smushed tube of Desitin next to the sink.  Ew ew ew ew. Baby A told me that Papa brushed her teeth with it the night before! 

So, quick call to Papa confirms he was not wearing his glasses and just grabbed the "toothpaste" and brushed her teeth. He said Baby A gave him a heck of a time. Well, I guess she did!  Poor little thing. So, while Papa is a great role model, grand father, farmer...he might not be the best baby sitter! :) 

Friday, November 11, 2011

July 4, 2012

That is when this little speck is due. Speck is my new favorite word as the littles have been watching Horton Hears a thats what I'll be calling this little one for a while.  I'm sort of ok...still dealing with the shock, feeling like I'm going to barf at any moment. I had hyperemesis with my oldest daughter, and I could not keep ANYTHING down for 20 weeks. It was far, I seem to be doing a bit better than that, but I still feel lousy.

I have no clue how to tell our parents. My parents will probably be thrilled...I'm an only child and so our rabbit-like procreation means more grand babies for them.  I just feel like a teenager who screwed up, even though we are married, employed, and can take of our own.  The parents have a way of making me feel like I'm 16 again. 

I'll post a pic of the speck later. I saw a strong heartbeat, which I am grateful for, and just ONE baby, which I am also grateful for! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oh how I miss the 80s

So, I've been on Pinterest a TON lately. Its my addiction. Well, shortly after discovering this treasure trove of crafts, ideas, recipes, cuteness...I discovered that a ton of women, who appear to be my exact age, are posting pictures of "vintage" toys (I still refuse to believe that anything I played with as a child could be considered vintage!). Anyhoo, I started copying pictures left and right. I got them all at, and they got them all somewhere not sure who to cite here...but if you remember this stuff, you are awesome too!!
This was my very very first stereo. Awesome isn't it?? Now, those colors SCREAM Florida Granny...but in the 80's...awesome.

I can't remember what these are, but I had one!

Got this on a trip to Scroon Lake somewhere in NY. It came with little teeny piano lessons!

My mom bought me a Popple when I was sick as a kid. Mine was purple and I threw up on it right after we got home. I was sad.

I still have these in the basement!!!

Each year, I got a new one of these. Everyone always wanted to play with it because it was JUST THAT COOL.

Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo!! My cousin Nicole, who was infinitely cooler than I, introduced me to this movie, whihc we watched about ten times in one weekend. (she was the first girl I knew to wear leggings and a huge sweatshirt!)


And what would the 80s be without scrunchies? Nothing...the 80's would be nothing.

yum...I wish Nabisco would realize what a good thing they had going!

Pogo Ball...we would all bring t hem to recess and jump until we felt sick.

Just wait for 80s part II!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shallow and shameless

But I'm going to ask anyways!!!!  Please please please vote for me for the Mary Kay contest being held through November10.  My coworker gave me a "makeover" with all Mary Kay stuff and the top three winners get to go to NYC!! I honestly just want to get my husband up there because he's never been before and I think it would be an awesome trip. He does a lot for us as a family, but we don't really have the finances to take trips on a, vote vote vote!! All you have to do is enter your email address.  I entered my own email address (I know, lame, but I really want to win) and I didnt get any junk mail or anything.  Here's the link.  My before picture is absolutely horrible...hopefully it won't break your monitor. Be warned lol! can vote up to five times!!!  :) 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

When two pink lines are completely innocent...

So for this post, I had to enlist the help of my new friend (can I call you that?? Can I can I???)  Her name is Jill (aka Jillsmo) and you can find her over at HER blog, Yeah. Good Times.  She is an accomplished artiste and was willing to help me illustrate whats been going through my head since the Incident With Pee and Positive Pregnancy Tests. 

Take, for example, the car below.  Notice the super speedy pinstripes, without which the car would probably not even move. Two pink lines on a car? Awesome, 80s style. The stripes incite a feeling of zippiness that the car would clearly not have were it not for them.

Now let us take a look at a really good movie. Doesnt matter which one, pick any one you like. See those little pink lines, craftfully sealing that wondrous DVD shut, so that you know that some little punk has not previously watched it, burned it, and then brought it back to the store? Those two pink lines mean security people!

Now, see the below child. She's precious, isn't she? See that pretty little picture she drew? Its a rainbow, made with pink lines.  Those pink lines represent unicorns and leprechauns and the innocent musings of a two year old, completely oblivious to the responsibility that comes with the other kind of pink lines.

 And this...well, its bacon.  Everyone loves bacon. If you don't, theres something wrong with you.  However, pre-cooked bacon is remarkably straight, like a little food omen.

There are times when two pink lines, that are relatively parallel to one another are completely harmless and benevolent.  Take, for example, the picture of one of those annoying bicyclists riding down our country roads (in the most arrogant fashion BTW).  See the stylish stripes on their shirt? Almost makes me feel bad for hating them taking up the road.  Actually, no it doesnt.  

So, quick recap. Most times, two pretty, pink lines do not connote the same feeling of panic and utter despair as two pink lines on a pregnancy test.  To say I'm still freaking out...understatement.  I'm blessed, I know that.  But we were not planning this and I hate to admit that I'm not handling this with as much gratitude and grace as I should be.  Luckily, my Pregnancy By the Week calendar states that this VERY week, I may have feelings of ambivalence mixed with anxiety. Thank goodness! ;-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And then there were

So, I havent posted in a few days because honestly, I'm still trying to drag my butt off the floor from when I first found out. 

Lets rewind to last week, when I was blissfully unaware of this up and coming responsibility. I was preparing to figure out how I was going to fund raise to ADOPT. Not birth, ADOPT.  Then, a funny thing happened. Or, a painful thing rather. My gallbladder started freaking the heck out. That typically only happens when I'm pregnant.  Of course I was all cocky...being on the pill and all (LOESTRIN people...stay away!!!)  and thought for sure this is just a coincidence and I forgot about it. Until I couldnt anymore. Then the cramps started coming at a time they shouldn't have...and I knew.

So I bought a pregnancy test...or six.  Every one was positive. Not even a "hold it up to the light to really see a line" positive.  They were there and undeniable.  Hubs and I are in shock. Of course, babies are blessings, but seeing that extra line was a record screech.  

We havent told too many yet. I know I'm still early on, but not sure how early. Dr's appt isnt until mid-November because the scheduling Nazi at my OB's office wouldn't let me in any earlier.  So, thats that.

Thinking back three years, hubs and I remembered that I conceived Baby A on the same birth control. All along I felt it wasn't strong enough (I'll spare the gory details as to WHY I felt that way), but I was going to bring it up with my dr at my next appointment. Funny.  Or not...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Easiest Tutu Tutorial EVER

So, somewhere online I found a picture of a tutu dress that I loved, but wasn't trying to pay $50 for, so I decided to make my own version, and voila!  I discovered the easiest way to make your own tutu (other than handing over the credit card).  So simple, and cost me about $6 to make.
-Stretchy headband thing
-two spools of tulle (get the spools.  Unless you reaaaaaly want to waste time, stay away from the the tulle yardage at the fabric counter. It takes forever to cut and it won't be as even as just cutting tulle from the rolls). Trust me.
-coordinating ribbon

So, the tutu I made will fit an older baby to an older toddler (say...6months to 4 years...might could squeeze it onto a size 5 if she's super skinny). 
Headband (you can get these at most craft stores)

spools of tulle (Hobby Lobby has a huge selection, but you can get most pastel colors in the wedding section of any craft store)

Place the band around something to keep it stable as you begin tying tutu knots. I use a football held in my lap. Seems to work just fine! The first row goes through the bottom of the headband, skipping a space between each piece of tulle.

For the second row, I really wanted to break up the orange b/c it was REALLY orange, so I added a row of shimmery gold.

After the third and final row (which was orange), I added this ribbon to cinch the waiste for my skinny minnie. And done!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Laundry Room

I spend a RIDICULOUS amount of time doing laundry.  It is a constant, never ending flow of clothing.  Our laundry room used to be Oscar's bedroom before he died.  He was funny like that...he had some form of anxiety that if left to roam the halls at night, he'd howl. I learned early on that rather than cuddling with us and having free range of the house, he much preferred to be "tucked in" and left alone for the night.
Anyhoo! Due to the tumor on his ear, he was leaking a lot of blood...and while I got it up, the walls of the laundry room are now dingy and need to be painted. This is my plan:

Ok, so this is actually my ribbon color chart, but the room color is ON here, so I'm gonna use it! Its the one on the bottom row, fifth from the left. That nice, toasty brownish, gray...
 I found these printables on  (best website EVERY for EVERYTHING). Need craft ideas? Done. Recipes? Done. You name it, its on there! Here is the actual link.
 This I'll be ordering from etsy

 And this is another printable I found on Pinterest...but I printed it in turquoise to match the other one. I stuck them both in simple white frames so that they'll stand out from the brown wall.
 And this lovely little project is for the hubs. As much as I admire power tools and like to hold them and press the buttons and stuff, I leave the actual creating to him. The tutorial for that is here . I'm going to do mine side by side instead of on top of each other b/c then I'm going to install one of those white wire shelves so that I can hang our clothes on it instead of in the bathrooms! (yes, I do have a dryer, but our stuff lasts so much longer when its air dried, and seeing as it has to be handed down to two more kids, I like to try and keep it in good shape...they do enough damage on their own!) :)
So thats my plan for my new and improved laundry room. I figure if I have to spend time in there, I might as well make the space pleasant!


Today was super frustrating. I have a case in which the parents adopted two children, and have two biological children. These kids were adopted from an Eastern European country, and were 2.5 and 8 at the time of adoption. Something happened between the two of them that I'll spare you the details of, but the resulting madness that has ensued has been filling my days with frustration and their parents. The boy is 15, and they are adamant about getting him out of their house. Their SON. They keep asking us to take him and put him in a group home...whaaaaa??
Although properly trained (I actually called their agency) on the risks of international adoption, and the effects of institionalization on children, they fail to see how their kids' early lives translate into their lives and behaviors now. They never got them proper counseling or services when attachment problems first surfaced, and they are not accepting ANY responsibility for their poor parenting of these kids.  They have abused them verbally and physically since they came to this country 7 years ago. I am just sick of this.  The child in question is very mild and he is a GOOD kid...despite what he's been through.  The parents are looking, at every moment, for reasons to be mad with him. AND ITS ALL DUMB.  These parents went through two post-adoptive counseling rounds, have two in-home therapists working with them, and myself (their good 'ol county social worker), not to mention education specialists...all of us pointing fingers to mom and dad, and mom and dad not caring AT ALL. They want him out out out out out.  How can they not be held accountable for this?  They are so cold with this child, I almost wonder if it would be better to remove him and put him in foster care.  On the flip side, we don't ever want to take kids unless we HAVE to...but they are just so hostile towards him and he cowers when they are around....he literally shrinks into his body. 
I'm not telling the whole story here for the sake of time, but I am just so infuriated with these people.  This child is a teenager...he does not do drugs, he does not drink, he does not cause problems in school, he does his chores as told. He has ASKED to be loved. He suffered innumerable abuses at the hands of his former caregivers including being tied to his bed, almost drowned, starved, beaten, molested...
And then here, he's suffered at the hands of the people who promised to protect him. He has sensory processing disorder, frontal lobe deformity, fetal alcohol syndrome...things that make it VERY difficult for him to function day to day, and yet he does...and he thrives...when they aren't around. 
I just had to get that off my chest. I'm so angry and so frustrated...I have put hours and hours and hours into this family, this child, and its all falling apart because we as professionals care more about this kid than his own parents do. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Carter Mountain Apple Orchard

Yesterday we decided to take the kids to Carter Mountain Apple Orchard...its in or near Charlottesville and Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home for those that are historically challenged). 
So, it was a gorgeous day...they don't get much better than that.  The kids had fun, but our trip ended early due to one very fussy four year old. We got to pick our apples, and there are TONS of them to pick. I'm glad we arrived early too because as we were leaving, the line to park was snaking allllll the way down the mountain. We did the hayride, but skipped just about everything else due to the aforementioned bad mood. No apple cider donuts for me :(  Sigh, the sacrafices we make...
Anyhoo, some pics....
The view from the top of the orchard
trying to get all three to sit still for a family picture. I tried this numerous times throughout the day...this is the best one. You dont' want to see the rest!

 Big A taking the leap and being the first to test an apple
 Baby A following suit
 Hairbows courtesy of Four Little Apples

 Another FAIL. Family pictures are not our thing.
 I LOVE this picture of baby A and her daddy.

 Little cranky face below was actually in a great mood, just didnt want a stranger taking her picture.
 Picking apples is exhausting