Sunday, September 29, 2013

Don't Read This, Unless You Have To

My brain is foggy.

 If you didn't gather that from my previous post, well then, shame on you. 

I've written multiple posts, but I just can't seem to execute them.  The wording is off or I get to the end and my head goes blank. I really shouldn't be allowed to have access to any kind of social media right now. Here I am though. Gregg is working on homework and I'm watching TV while blogging.  Don't judge me for my poor writing skills right now. Or ever. Don't judge me ever.  

It's our last week as a family of three. I pray anyway.  With that comes anxiety, stress, and fear.  But also faith, hope, and excitement.  Maybe everyone feels this way right before adding a child to their family.  I'm not really sure.  

M has been amazing.  I don't know how we got so lucky to have her in our lives.  She is so strong. Please think of her in your prayers if you could.

Emme decided to test the boundaries of her crib this week.  Yes, she's three and yes, most kids are already in a bed.  She's been able to climb in and out of her crib for over a year, but for some reason or another she's never gotten out during a nap or at night time.  Why change that?  I love that she still takes three hour naps and goes to bed from eight to eight.  So what would any sane parent do?  No, not set up the toddler bed that's been in their storage room for months. A sensible parent would tell her there are spiders on the floor that only come out if girls sleep on the floor, but can't touch you if you sleep in your bed.  It backfired in a way. She loves bugs and spiders so she has been searching for one ever since.  She took a nap fine today so hopefully we have a little more time with the crib. I mean, I'm all for the big girl bed, but I just need a little time to adjust to the new baby before naps go away and Emme becomes more of an overstimulated toddler than she already is.  Remember how I said not to judge?  Insert non judgment here. 

I could go on all night, but now I'm really caught up in an episode of The Mentalist and with a foggy brain and all, I can't keep track of everything.  Please look forward to more random rants in the future. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Reasons I Can Tell I'm Losing My Mind

1.  While having Sunday dinner with the family, my brother in law noticed I hadn't gotten any frog eyed salad yet. Knowing it's my favorite he kindly offered me his bowl, I thankfully excepted and he went and got himself some more. Shortly after, my husband sat down and asked who's frog eyed salad was sitting next to his plate.  It was then that I realized that I HAD already filled up a bowl and put it in the wrong table setting. 

2.  I completely passed the exit to my daughter's school while consciously thinking I needed to go farther.  While traveling down the road I thought, "I don't recall seeing this before.  Hmm, oh well".  It was only when I made it to the next exit that I realized my mistake. We had been late all week and we were actually going to be on time that day.  I wanted to explain the situation to the receptionist with judging eyes, but replaying the story back in my head I decided not to.  We're late because my brain isn't working, doesn't make me sound like a compentant mother. 

3.  I put a packet of dishwashing detergent in the dishwasher and closed the door. A little while later I noticed it was already done. I started unloading the bowls and noticed they still had soup stains on them.  Crappy dishwasher.  Then I noticed all of the silverware still looked dirty. For the love!!!  It was then that I realized the door with the soap in it was still closed and the machine had never ran at all.  Stupid operator. 

With less than two weeks until the baby comes, things seems to be a little squished in that head of mine.  I can't wait to hold him in my arms, kiss his cheeks, and tell him how long we've been waiting for him. Until then, stress and immense emotion seems to be my best friend.  Not that it shows or anything. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Safe Keeping

My daughter is a runner and I don't mean marathons.  Although it feels like I've ran one most days.   I'm constantly chasing her.  If Emme has a goal in mind there is nothing to stop her. She's gone.  She impulsive and unpredictable.

I talked to her therapist about this and one of the things she suggested was to drill into Emme over and over that we can't keep her safe if she's not near us.  She said it would take a while, maybe years, before she could understand danger so it's important to say it over and over.  So this week that's what I've done. 

Running away to grab marshmallows at the store. "I can't keep you safe if you're not next to me."  

Running away at Scheels to hide in the clothes. "I can't keep you safe if your not near me."

Running down the street instead of walking to the car. "I can't keep you safe if your not next to me."  

You get the point. 

Today at church we had the intermediate hymn Choose The Right. We all stood to sing while Emme danced in front of everyone (we were late and the only spot left was in the front).  Then I heard the words, "choose the right, there's safety for the soul."  I immediately thought, "I can't keep you safe if your not near me."  What can I say?  Safety is on the brain. 

It stung me to the core. 

Just like I worry about Emme our Heavenly Father worries about us. 

He can only keep us safe if we stay close to him. 

It made me think of the overpowering love our Heavenly Father has for us.  It made me think of what I could be doing better. It made me sad to think of others close to me that have left the safe keeping of our Lord.  
It made me think.  

With the big events coming this Fall I feel like a little child that needs the comfort and strength of her parents telling her it's going to be okay. It was a good reminder for me today that if I stay close to my Heavenly Father, He will watch out for me no matter what the future holds. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It is Not Okay

Gregg and I are in a unique situation.  The birth mom of our daughter is pregnant again and plans to place her child with us.  With this unique situation has come many comments from the peanut gallery.  Maybe it's because they baby is coming very soon and my emotions are high or maybe it's the UNBELIEVABLE comment I got the other day, but I am through with it.  So please let me clear the air here for a minute.

We love M unconditionally.  Yes, we do.  So any negative comments about her are unwelcome and frankly makes me look down on you.

A family doesn't have to share the same genes to be a family, but we think it's pretty remarkable that our children will be biological siblings.  We never thought that would happen when we chose to adopt so we think it's pretty special.

It is rude and offensive to not only M, but us to say M needs to get her tubes tied.  Um, hello!  We wouldn't be expanding our family right now if it wasn't for her.  Us along with M feel this is God's plan for us.

We did not call M up and "order" another baby.  And no, that's not funny.  I know funny.

This situation is not easy for M nor will it be easy for her to place a child for adoption again. Adoption really is about love. It's not M's birth control.  Her pain is real.  We watched her place Em with us.  To witness that kind of heartache was the hardest thing I ever went through.  I can't imagine what it felt like for her.  It hurts my heart thinking of it now.  I talk of it very seldom and with few people because of how sacred it is to me.  I respect M enough not to share that part of the story with just anyone.  Especially people who make stupid remarks.  I dare you to trade shoes with her.  Would you be strong enough?

Tortellini Soup

I am not an amazing cook by any standard so you better believe if I post a recipe it will be super easy and super delicious. This particular recipe is a Fall favorite for my husband and I.  I think any man would love this soup because it has sausage. Man plus sausage equals happy. Gregg's aunt and cousin made this for us when Em was born and I had to have the recipe.  Trust me, you will crave this every year from now on. 

A huge bonus of this recipe is it calls for zucchini which everyone has oodles of this time of year.  Well, except for me.  Last year I was with a group of women and they were talking about their abundance of zucchini.  One shared that if you saw someone buying zucchini this time of year to go give them a hug because they didn't have any friends.  Hilarious except for the fact that I had just bought a zucchini the week before. :/  This year I was given a ginormous zucchini by a friend so at least I have gained one friend since last year.  I know they're better smaller, but I like to think the bigger the size you receive reflects how much that friend loves you.  So yeah, she must really like me. 

The Goods:  What, you don't pose your ingredients before you cook?

Tortellini Soup

1 lb mild Italian Sausage
1 onion chopped (I'm allergic to onions so I skip this)
2 cloves garlic
1 C. Water 
2 (13 3/4oz) cans of beef broth 
1/2 C. Apple juice
3 carrots sliced 
1 can crushed tomatoes (I could only find a big can so I used about 3/4 of it)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 C. sliced zucchini 
4 Tbls parsley chopped
1 green pepper chopped
8 oz cheese tortellini (I have only found this at select grocery stores. Not Walmart)
Fresh Parmesan cheese if desired

In a large soup pan, brown sausage.  Drain fat and add onion and garlic. Cook until tender. Add water, broth, juice, carrots, tomatoes, basil, oregano, zucchini, parsley, and green pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes or longer if needed. Add tortellini 5-10 minutes before serving. Cook until tender, but not soggy. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese if you desire. 

The Final Product

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekly Thoughts

~I found gold this week when on my way to the Walmart checkout I saw a huge display of Twinkies.  It was my first encounter since their return so naturally I grabbed a box.  Does anyone else feel like they have less cream than they used to or did they always kind of suck?  Honestly, they're okay, but there are other empty calories I would rather shove in my face.  Do I even dare to say that America was better off without them?  

~Boiling Pointe. Watch it, love it, hate that your parents never put you in ballet. It takes place in my own Salt Lake City and now I'm suddenly very eager to get tickets to the ballet next year. I mentioned this to Gregg and he said "so you're doing what for girls night?" For real though, I have way better things to be doing and I've watched all of season one and I'm almost caught up on season two in an amount of time I'm embarrassed to admit. 

~I've realized I say LOL way too much when I make comments on any type of social media.  I really need to simmer it down. I feel like a mom that's trying to be cool by saying what all the teenagers say only unknowing that the teenagers don't say that phrase anymore.  What'd you say?  I am an uncool mom?  Oh right...anyway, I really need to find a replacement. 

~Spiders are everywhere right now.  Although it feels like summer is still here, it's like the eight legged monsters know the cold is coming and they have to scare the living day lights out of me while they still can.  

~Gregg and I were recently put in the primary at church. Neither of us have ever served in the primary before and we are loving it.  Gregg teaches and I find subs when they are needed. It's pretty cool.  But alas my reason for bringing it up would be the laughter and giggles we add to the group of kids. Kids are freaking funny and church has never been so enjoyable.  This week our five year old neighbor who sits in front of us during sharing time, awkwardly put her leg up on her chair and let out one of the loudest and longest farts I've ever heard.  I thought Gregg was going to have to excuse himself to get his composure back.  Add a sunbeam falling through the back hole of her chair and a kid rewarding himself with a booger after answering a question right and you pretty much have the greatest hour of your life.  *Sidenote  I've observed that kids eat a lot of boogers in primary.

So there you have it. The thoughts that have been mulling in my head all week.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm really craving a nice yellow cake with cream in the middle.  TTYL

How To::Must Need Apps For your Instagram Photos

I love Instagram right now.  It is by far my favorite social media network and I prefer it way over Facebook.  I even talked my mom into getting one because she kept missing out on all of her grandkid's photos.  I'm not in any way claiming I'm an expert, but I wanted to share some great apps that make an okay photo great!  Most are free and some are a couple bucks, but they are well worth it.  

1. PicTapGo   By far this app has my favorite filters.  You can layer filter upon filter to get your photo just right.  Plus, it lets you save combinations for future use.  It has a crop tool and easily lets you share to social networks.  Trust me, you will die with how awesome it makes your photos look!

2. Snapseed  I payed about $5 for this app, but word on the street is it's free now.  I use snapseed to straighten my photos if needed, their crop tool is my favorite, and most of all because they have a selective adjust tool that you can pick a specific area to fix.  Sometimes, if you're taking a photo of a group of people, someone's face always seems darker than the rest.  With Snapseed I can easily fix that problem.

3. Pic Stitch To be honest I haven't found a photo collage that I'm completely in love with.  Pic Stitch has been my favorite so far due to it being very user friendly.  To use you just choose a layout then double click in a square to add a photo.  Then you can zoom in or out or move the photo around.  It tends to cut off photos so if you want the full picture I wouldn't use it in a collage.  I always edit the photos first before adding them to a collage and with PicTapGo you can use the same filter so all the photos flow with each other.  Pic Stitch is even great if you just need a border around one photo.  

4. Beautiful Mess Such a cute app and very user friendly.  If I add text to a photo, nine times out of ten I use this app.  They have great borders, text, and doodle choices.  There are a lot of free ones to choose from, but I have been known to buy extras for .99.  

5. Rhonna Designs This is my new favorite right now.  I've seen a lot of giveaways lately that have used this app.  I will say, it's not as user friendly as Beautiful Mess, but the choices are endless.  You can easily waste hours adding all kinds fluff to your photos.  Darling fluff might I add.

Here's some before and afters

If your an Instagram buff like myself, these apps will change your life.  Or, at least your Instagram feed.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Phone Call

Life was about to get busy. We were really focused on Em and were having a lot of evaluations and appointments for her. Almost every day I didn't work we had some type of appointment.  Plus, she demanded our full attention at all times.  Gregg was excepted into an amazing MBA program which we felt very blessed about, but I knew I would be alone most days from sunup to sundown.  Scary thought.

Let's just say at this point I was content with our one child. Not because I didn't want more kids, but because I felt so overwhelmed.  We were just starting to get professional help with Em and didn't know she had ADHD.  Plus, we were drained after countless infertility tries and going back and forth with starting the adoption process again. We decided to put our next child on the back burner.  With Gregg going back to school and Em needing a lot of attention it seemed like the best decision.  I really felt like we had a boy coming, but after trying so hard to get him here I told The Lord I did my part and the rest was up to him.  (Never worked for me before)  

Out the blue, a week before Easter, I saw Em's birth aunt's phone number appear on my phone screen.  I always get excited to talk to Em's birth family so I quickly answered.  She shared with us that M (Mem's birthmom) was pregnant again and wondered our feelings about her placing the baby with us again. I was both caught off guard and yet wasn't. It was like I was waiting for a phone call like this. Not necessarily from M, but from someone.  It just made it even better that it was about M!  I told J (M's sister) that we would love to adopt again. I knew Gregg would too so I didn't even have to talk to him. J told me to expect a phone call from M soon so we could talk about it.  After we hung up I text Gregg to come home soon because I had BIG BIG news. He had no clue what I was talking about. :)  I couldn't hold it in any longer.  I called him and shared what had just happened. He was shocked, excited, and down right speechless. Meanwhile, M's number popped up on my screen so I hung up with Gregg and answered her phone call. 

M confirmed what J had told me. She told me she was unexpectedly pregnant again and had no idea what to do. Her mom mentioned that we wanted to adopt another baby (we told her mom last time we saw them we were starting the adoption process again) and immediately a peace came over her. She knew that was exactly what she wanted to do and her family was happy with her decision as well. She thanked us for raising Em like we have and giving her the opportunities we have.  That totally made my year.  To get a compliment like that from the woman who chose us to parent her child was so amazing.

The next week was so exciting.  We had amazing news and wanted to shout it from the roof tops.  We were like the character from SNL that couldn't keep a secret and had to run through windows to keep her mouth shut.

With Easter being that weekend, we found candy binkis that we slipped pieces of paper in that said, "you're going to have a new cousin October 15, 2013."  Then we put that into a big egg and wrote all of our nieces and nephews names on the outside.  Gregg's family was completely caught off guard and there were many tears of joy.  With my family, we did an Easter egg hunt and the kids knew not to open the egg with their name on it until we were all together.  Once they opened it my family started to question who was pregnant.  I think I was the last on their mind!  Finally, the accusation came to me and I explained that I was not pregnant, but that Em would be getting a biological sibling.  They were ecstatic and we had some more tears.  Gregg and I were so happy that we got to surprise everyone in a fun way.  We never thought we would be able to so we loved every minute of it!

Sorry the lighting is so bad!

I can't even express how truly blessed we are to have an open relationship with M and her family.  If we didn't, it would be very likely we would not have crossed M's mind.  Because she has been a part of our lives, she has been able to see Em grow and know she made the right decision for her.  Plus, she knows we keep our promises because we have with Em.  If we didn't have visits with M's family, her mom would never have a clue we wanted to adopt or have more children at all and wouldn't have been so quick to tell M our plans.  We are so thankful for the angel M has been in our lives!