Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Questions and Answers Part 2

These were the girls' bribe prize for taking such great pictures for me the other day.  Wesleigh found them in a drawer and they were perfect!  They came with the strap, so I wore them during the photo shoot.  I think I'm going to need to find some more of these!! DSC_8204.jpg


You all want to know where I got these dresses.  They were made especially for my girls by a sweet friend.  She is currently not selling her creations, but if that changes...I will certainly let you know.  It was such a sweet gift!

Ok...ready for part 2!  I'm going to try to answer all the questions about the girls and adoption in this post.

Here's the first one:
I've been wondering...clearly your boys are crazy about their little sisters, but are there ever any jealousy issues? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of having kids so far apart in age?
I can honestly say there have been no jealously issues between the boys and girls.  With Wesleigh, they all fell madly in love with her from the first minute.  They have always loved to sit with her and play with her, and she loves them just as much.  Gracie has shaken things up a bit.  She has brought the "crazy" in my house to an all time high.  She loves to play with the boys...but I don't think she really loves them yet.  They love her, but it's not the same yet.  It'll get there.

I love the advantages and disadvantages part of this question because I think there are definitely both.  I'll list the ones I can think of:
*The boys are old enough to really grasp the concept of adoption and what we have done.
*The boys are old enough to really help with the work.  They can babysit, feed kids, take out the trash, etc.
*The boys are old enough to understand why the girls get so much attention.
*When the boys are out of high school, the girls will only be in jr. high!  I choose to believe this will keep us young...not make us feel old :)

*Having older kids and toddlers makes it hard to participate in the older kids' activities.  I am not near as involved in their school, sports, etc. as I was before Wesleigh.
*I find it hard to concentrate on the boys' homework or what they need for school because there are always "littles" running circles around me.
*I find that I'm more dependant on other parents to give my kids rides places than I'd like to be.  I really enjoyed being the parent that was always there.
*The boys tend to retreat upstairs these days because Dora is always on the tv downstairs and things are so loud and crazy.  I'm missing my boys right now :(

Overall, for our family, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.  I do try to purposefully counteract some of the negatives.  We try to take advantage of every minute with the boys.  We make a point of taking them places one on one as much as possible so we can try to connect with them and make sure we know what's going on with them.  Honestly, I am terrified they will feel like I'm too busy for them.

 Is she getting used to American food yet?
We're getting there.  She is getting much better.  I will say...I've had my fill of Chinese food!  I still use grapes as bribes for food that she struggles with.  I have noticed that she turns her nose up at food, even if she likes it.  She likes chicken, but tonight I had to really push her to eat it.  She even refuses to eat some kinds of Chinese noodles.  I have gotten more creative also.  For lunch the other day, they ate ramen noodles and edemame.  I figure that's probably better than the chicken nuggets and fries I fed my boys all the time!  I have also found the manderin orange cups are a huge hits as well as sunflower seeds.  I've just had to think out of the box.  The biggest help has been that I discovered they both like fruity cheerios :)  I give them those for breakfast with a banana most school mornings.
How is the bonding/attachment going with an older child who has a virtual twin - any tips?

Hmmm....I think the bonding is going well with the two girls.  Wesleigh has seemed to accept the fact that Gracie is here to stay and they are always together.  There are lots of sharing issues...more than if they had been raised together, but I think they'll get better about that.  Tips?  I don't know that I have any.  I have just tried to get through each day and use the best discernment I can.  I try to make sure that I am fair in my discipline to both girls. I have prayed for creative ideas of how to get the desired behaviors from them.  I'll let you know when those come raining down :)
Does Gracie speak to Wesleigh in Mandarin and does Wesleigh remember any Mandarin? Is there any way for Gracie to maintain her Mandarin?
Gracie does talk in Chinese (her Changsha dialect).  Wesleigh doesn't seem to recognize any of it, but she has picked some up.  So...I have Wesleigh speaking her form of English (her speach isn't great) and also speaking a small amount of Chinese and then I have Gracie speaking Chinese and also copying Wesleigh's form of English and my English.  Who the heck knows what anyone is saying anymore?????!!!  I could put Gracie in Chinese classes, but she really doesn't speak Mandarin, so it wouldn't be like she was with Sam.

Since Gracie is older, does she tell you a lot about her life in China - does she have any friends from before that she is able to keep in touch with?
Gracie can barely say some basic English words, so there have not been any conversations like that.  There is a friend who was adopted before her that we will try to connect with.

Gracie looks so happy and integrated - did she go through a lot of grieving - do you have tips on how to integrate an older child so well?
I don't know that I would say I've done anything "well".  I have tried to do the best I can, and have mainly used instinct and other moms' experiences to help.  Gracie did not grieve with me.  It is possible she grieved her foster mom when she was brought back to the orphanage.  Because of that, I find it's harder to read her than it was to read Wesleigh.  Wesleigh went through such a transformation.  Gracie has been pretty mch the same from day 1.  Honestly, this makes me a little nervous.  I have had lots of you tell me your girls were the same way and they are attached just fine, so I am believing it will be the same for Gracie.  Honestly, she is the one who has made it easy.  She just jumped right in there...amazing!

We are traveling this fall to bring home our 3 year old. If you could give us one piece of advice about ANYTHING...what would it be???
Oh, Lordy...I think it would just be to relax.  I was so stressed and anxious with Wesleigh (just like a first time mom).  With Gracie, I was able to relax more and put fewer expectations on both of us.  Every child is so different.  There is no way to really prepare or plan.  Also remember that 3 is still young.  It's funny to me to hear Gracie referred to as an "older child".  Gracie happens to be very mature and advanced for a 3 year old.  In fact, more than Wesleigh in many ways.  Know that when you adopt a 3 yr. old, you can still really be getting a baby, especially if they're in an orphanage.

Do each of the girls have a "favorite" brother...one they tend to go to if all 3 of them are in the room? If so, what is it about that brother that makes him the chosen one?
Well, Cade would definitely refer to himself as the "chosen one" if given the chance!  They actually will take any brother they can get.  They won't fight over the same one unless he is doing something special.  They will go to another one.  All 3 boys are good about playing with them at different times, so there isn't really one that gives and gets the most attention.

*Do you and Richard plan on revisiting the girls birth places when they are older?

I am planning to go back when the girls are older with a few other adoptive moms.  I don't think Richard is invited on that trip :)  It is actually something I'm really looking forward to!

*After following a few adoption blogs I have noticed that some AP's get bombarded with really prying and rude questions by absolute strangers while in public places? Have you had any of these occurrences? If so, how have you handled it?
I really haven't had anyone say anything ugly or rude.  Before Gracie came home, the questions revolved around the fact that Wesleigh is Chinese and I am white.  The questions were "Is her daddy Chinese?" or "Is she adopted?".  Honestly, it was mostly the Chinese daddy one :)  Since Gracie has been home, the one question I get is "Are they twins?".  I don't know if people assume they're not adopted because there are 2 of them or if the twin question just trumps.  I haven't perfected this answer yet.  Once I answered, "No, they're 2 months apart" and then got the response "Oh...so they're not even sisters".  That is an unacceptable response to me so now I am not offering the "2 months apart".  I just respond "No, just sisters".  People are surprised, but most of the time I'm able to keep walking or just nod and move on.  If anyone has any tips on that...I would love them!

*If you could change one thing about international adoption, what would it be?
It would be to make the timeframe consistant.  There is no reason each step should have such a wide timeframe to be complete.  It should take X weeks to get your LOA/TA/etc...for everyone!!  And it should go in line.  If you start before me, you should finish before me.

I know that you mentioned that you first saw Gracie on a certain blog. How hard was it to access her file? More specifically, do certain agencies only get certain files or can they access a child's if you request it?

This could be a very long answer, but I'm going to give the short version.  Doing what we did with Gracie is very difficult.  Because she was not released yet, I had to wait until her file hit the shared list.  It was a miracle that the timing worked out as it did.  Some files are assigned to a specific agency.  To see these files, you have to go through that agency.  However, if you are requesting the file of a child on the shared list, any agency can get that. 

Does one act more like the older sister? Are you glad they share a room?
Gracie has such a strong personality that I was afraid she was going to completely overshadow Wesleigh.  But...because Wesleigh is the one who knows the language and knows the routines, Gracie has had to depend on her to lead the way.  Wesleigh has kind of taken her under her wing.  I think it's a very good thing.  Wesleigh is 2 months older, and I think she will keep her "older sister" status.  Yes, I am glad they share a room.  Sometimes they wake each other up and that's not great, but for the most part, it's been good.  I think Wesleigh being in there has really helped Gracie, and I think Gracie being in there has helped Wesleigh also.  I am no longer having to lay down with anyone!!!  Whoo Hoo!!
I'm keep wondering about Gracie's foster parents. Did you get to meet them? Do you have pictures of them for her?
No, we did not meet her foster parents.  That would have made for a very rough transition.  I have lots of pictures of Gracie with her foster mother.

Are you growing out Gracie's bangs?
Yes, but she does not like hair in her face, so we will see how it goes.  It's really only a few, so it shouldn't be too bad.  French braids help with that too.

I have a little girl who just turned 3 and it is a struggle to get her to let me do anything with her hair. Could you please tell me how you get your girls to let you do their hair? Any advice would be very much appreciated!!! :-)
The best thing I ever did was to put a barstool in my bathroom.  My bathroom is a good size, so I can move it far enough from the counter that they can't reach anything.  There's nothing they can do but sit there.  It's still not easy all the time, but I'm pretty stubborn about it.  We won't go until their hair is done :)  If I can see that it's a lost cause or we're running late, though, it's just a quick pony.

You seem to have great skin. What is your skincare regimen?

Lucky Mama...you are very sweet.  I was blessed with good skin genes :)  I use two products: a cheap Oil of Olay cleanser and an Oil of Olay moisturizer...Not much to write about.  I use Bare Minerals foundation too.

There...everything answered except the question about Gracie's language.  I'll do that one next.

Monday, September 26, 2011

One Month

One month ago today, these two little girls began their lifelong journey as sisters.  What a priviledge it has been to watch this special bond form.  We still have quite a ways to go, but the progress we have made to this point is nothing short of amazing. 

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Wesleigh was definitely feeling territorial the first week or so, but after we got over that, these two have been completely willing to share their lives with the other...well most of the time.  They just accept the fact that they are sisters...and that's that. 

For two little ones who both got their worlds completely rocked...I'm pretty impressed.  Not to say we don't have our challenges...but today I am celebrating something pretty amazing...Sisterhood! sept 26 (3 of 3)smitten sept 26 (2 of 3)

(Yes...we are still wearing summer clothes :(  When it's still in the upper 80's, it's all we can do!)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Ballerina Class"...Finally!

I am almost finished with my next questions and answers post, but that will have to wait! The girls had their first dance class Friday afternoon.  Oh my!!  Can you say, "ADORABLE"!!!  I could hardly stand it.  I have to say that I'm a bit surprised at how excited I was.  Of course, part of that is because Wesleigh has been talking about "ballerina" class forever and she was thrilled.  Gracie gets excited about anything we're excited about, so it was ballerina explosion at our house.

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She was so intent on learning how to fasten her taps by herself.  She got it too!
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My first shots with the girls since the airport.
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Cade took this!  It is much better than the pics I've been getting of the two together!!!
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Wesleigh's ballet slippers are SO tiny!  They are the cutest things ever!  I might have to put them in a shadow box when she's done with them.
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Cade was showing the girls how I was trying to get them to pose.  He's so cute!
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I was able to watch the whole class through mirrored windows around the room. The girls had no idea we could see them, so that was awesome. They were both great. Gracie was a little distracted at times. If they had to wait for anything, she would take off to another part of the room. The teacher was great, though, so it will get better. As each girl gets used to the way things go, there won't be so much down time and that will cut down on Gracie's boredom. Overall, I think the class went great, and they were so excited!

Tap was first, and Gracie was all about that.  You see she's the only one in the class doing exactly what the teacher (in yellow) is doing.
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Ballet was next, and this was Wesleigh's cup of tea.  She loved it.
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Yep....Gracie decided to sprawl out on the floor....yay!
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They finish with tumbling.  They were both so cute, but I have a feeling that Gracie is going to find herself in gymnastics before too long :)
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Gracie had this huge smile on her face the entire time.  (She couldn't see me there...she was just happy)
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There is a father/daughter dance at the recital that I am so excited about. I found out yesterday, that Richard will be taking dance class with the girls beginning in March or April! They actually have to dance! I thought they would just have to stand there or something. Oh my word...I cannot wait to see that! Cade wanted to be the second "dad", but I don't think he'll be able to miss baseball practice for dance class every Friday afternoon :) I think PawPaw is going to be the man for the job! My husband, dad and two little cuties all taking dance at the same time...it's almost more than this mom can stand! I can't wait 'till next Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Questions and Answers Part 1

Alright...I have had lots of questions lately, so I wanted to try to answer as many as I can.  Hopefully I don't miss any.  I am saving all the Gracie and adoption questions for the next post.  It's too many to put them all together.

1st day of school (2 of 20)

**I was asked about the girls' backpacks and if they would be big enough to use for kindergarten.  The brand of the backpack is Belvah.  I found Wesleigh's in a boutique for 50% off before I even knew Gracie existed!  I spent the summer searching for one for Gracie that would coordinate.  I finally found Gracie's at a kiosk in the outlet mall in Gulf Shores!  Crazy!  I don't know if they would be strong enough for kindergarten.  I would be afraid it would get super dirty and not hold up for the whole year.  They're only about $20 though, so it's not a huge investment. My sister in law did the monograms.


**Got Love? Gotta love this shirt! Lots of you wanted to know where to get this shirt...And now they have a new item...Tervis Tumblers!! I don't go anywhere without one of my Tervis tumblers!! I have smaller ones for my coffee and bigger ones for my water and sweet tea :) I had to make sure I ordered mine before I posted this link!! You can find it all here.

**I was asked where I get all the girls' clothes. I seem to get them from all over. We do have some great boutiques here, but honestly, I really don't buy alot there. When I do, it's almost always on the clearance rack. I try to buy the summer clothes when it's on clearance for the next summer. It's not easy to do because the extra money isn't always there, but if I can swing it, it's so worth it! I get so excited when it's time to pull out summer clothes and I find brand new clothes ready for them! The halter dresses the girls wore in the pictures of all 5 kids are an example of that. I bought those are the end of last summer. (I got them both for Wesleigh). I do buy some Matilda Jane each season. It is probably the priciest clothes I buy. It's my guilty pleasure, but I've been getting pickier about it. So far, this fall, I've only bought a couple of pieces. A couple other brands I've splurged on are Missie Moosie and Swanky Baby Vintage.

I have been blessed to have sweet friends who have daughters a size bigger than Wesleigh. They have been so generous to pass some amazing things down to Wesleigh! This has really helped the clothing budget!!

I find clothes at resale stores. This little outfit, I bought for super cheap and just had it monogrammed. (Yes, my sister in law) Martyr park (68 of 103)blog and by the way...I did get the chocolate stain out of it :) I even buy used or marked-down clothes off of facebook. There are tons of pages where moms list clothes their children have outgrown. Here's an example of something I got like that:  (shoes from Target)lightroom (27 of 36) I get a few things from ebay. I have bought Matilda Jane there, but some of my best deals are "boutique" items. Since the names are as well known as Gap or Gymboree, the prices are lower. This might be my favorite dress of all time and I bought it on ebay for something ridiculous like $7!! DSC_9174

Target is a favorite of mine too.  This sweater is so cute and it's from Target.  All my basics like t-shirts, turtlenecks, etc. come from either Target or Old Navy.  I love to buy the $5 tanks and turtlenecks and then have them monogrammed.  We do alot of that.  The jeans and boots here are from Gap.  I splurged on those because I just couldn't live without them!!
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And, of course, we can't forget Zulily!  I just downloaded their app so now, I'm really in trouble!!  I just got two packages in yesterday of some really cute fall clothes, and ordered some knit ruffles pants for $18 today!  I can't wait until it turns a little cooler here so they can actually wear some of it!! 

I guess that's about it.  I do not ever walk the malls.  Not that I don't want too, but it's just never worth the trouble.  I end up spending money I don't have.  Especially since Gracie has joined the brood...you will not catch me dead in the mall unless it's for the hour they're in school!

**My camera and lenses.  I have had some really sweet comments about my pics lately.  I took Lisa's photography class in the spring and have been shooting in manual most of the time.  I would recommend that class to anyone who wants to learn more!  I use a Nikon D90 with an inexpensive f1.4, 50mm lens most of the time.  The football pics however were shot with a 70-300 lens and I cheated and set the camera on the "running man" action setting.  I am happy with alot of the shots I have gotten, but it's been very frustrating too!!  It's still hard for me to think of everything I need to at once.

** My weight.  LOL!!  Yes, Debbie, I have lost a good bit of weight.  I call it the 2 yr. old adoption weight loss plan!  I never thought of myself as heavy, so I never really tried to lose weight.  I am the type that loses weight when things get stressful :)  Right as we were planning to travel for Wesleigh, I had all those issues with the USCIS office and then with the NVC and consulate.  I dropped a good bit of weight between that time and actually traveling for Wesleigh.  Once we got her, I was working more physically that I had in years, so the weight never came back.  Again, this time before we traveled, I started dropping weight.  Not because of any big stresser...just the busyness of packing and getting 4 kids ready to be left behind.  I also didn't eat alot in China.  (Gracie made restaurants miserable!!) By the time I left China, I was at an all time low...too low, I think.  Richard had started ordering full fat latte's for me at Starbucks to try to fatten me up.  I am not complaining!!  I would much rather have my clothes too big than too small!!  I have gained a couple pounds back, but honestly, I have very little time to even sit down these days...I did just eat a handful of M&M's though :)  And Debbie, you asked how I look so good all the time!  Don't forget that I am the one who gets to pick the pictures that get on this blog!!  I am also the one who has to say "take a picture of me"!  I don't say that when I'm in my Nike shorts and no make up!!  I will say that I do not photoshop my wrinkles!  I don't want to look back and see some odd version of what I really looked like.  I earned every line I have!!  Thanks for the compliment though!!

Ok....that's a start!  I will start working on the Gracie/adoption questions next.  So many are interrested in her English, so I'll post a video too :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

More Football :)

I am happy to report that everyone was much happier at Cade's football game this weekend!  The game was at 9:00, so I knew we had a better chance of success.  The girls did great...and boy did Cade put on a show!!!  They played "the other team in town" and Cade had been hearing lots of smack at school the entire week.  We won 30-6!!  Oh my...is that boy fun to watch on the football field?!?!  I know he's my child...and I really shouldn't brag, but I just can't help it!  Even Richard is still talking about it!! 

The last two games have been at the high school field.  It's easy to get lots of pictures from the stands.  I have 190 from Saturday...and that's after I got rid of duplicates!  Like I said...there was lots to take pics of this game!!

These first two are of him running in the 2 pt. conversion.
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Cade had 3 touchdown passes in this game (and 1 for a 2-pt. conversion), but he runs the ball too.  My favorite play (don't have a picture) was when he handed the ball off to another player.  That player was met with enough defenders to stop him in his tracks.  When Cade saw that he wasn't going anywere, he just gave him a shove from behind to push him through.  So funny!
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One of the reasons Cade has been so successful is this little boy.  Derek catches anything Cade can get close to him.  This was him receiving a pass for a touchdown.  Cade says that Derek makes him look good :)  He's right!!
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A few reasons the game was much better:  Maw Maw, Munchies, Paw Paw and stickers!
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Hopefully I'll get some pics of Braden on Thursday.  His games are in the evening, so it's not as easy to take pics.

The next post will be answering more of the questions you've had.  If there's something you want to know...ask now!!  :)

The Art of Sarcasm

First off, let me say that Bryce gave me permission to write this story.  Like a good blog mom...blogging it was the first thing I thought of!!


This is going to sound odd, but I have spent years trying to teach Bryce the art of sarcasm!  If you've been here for any amount of time, you know that alot of what I say has a twinge of sarcasm attached to it!  Good, bad or indifferent...it's how I do life.  I also think that if you can't laugh at yourself, you're in for a miserable life!  And I laugh....alot!  I have always tried to teach my boys that.  Bryce is not sarcastic by nature.  In elementary school, he was super sensitive and let anything that was said bother him.  Day after day, I would give him possible "come backs" for people who were ugly or annoying.  He couldn't do it.  He was miserable...and so was I!  Even recently, he will tell me of something someone said and I will sit there and give him example after example of snappy comments.

Well...this week he comes home and tells me of a conversation between himself and a freshman band member.  This guy has driven Bryce crazy since the beginning of band this summer.  He is much shorter than Bryce but likes to act tough and get in Bryce's face.  Just annoying.  This is the exchange that took place this week:

Kid:  Are you a virgin?
Bryce: Yes
Kid:  Awww...man...You just lost some major cool points!
Bryce:  Dude...you're in band...cool points don't count here.

Ohhh....Be still my heart!!!  He did it!!!  I don't think I could have come up with something better myself!!  I even asked Bryce if he had heard that before, but he hadn't.  He came up with it all on his own :)  Makes this mama proud :)  lol... 

Bryce and I went shopping for clothes for his homecoming dance yesterday.  I can't tell you how happy I was to be with him.!  I was especially happy that I got to go with a child who didn't need to be pushed in a stroller!  He wasn't so keen on the actual shopping, but we had a great time.  He's actually alot of fun to be with.  I can't wait to see he and his girlfriend all dressed up in a couple of weeks! 

When we got home, he sat on the couch with the girls and read them Pinkalicious!  I don't know many high schoolers who would be willing to do that.  His only frustration is that the girls get SO excited when you're reading that book that they try to tell the story before you read it :)  I am used to that...it was driving him nuts.  lol...  So sweet though

DSC_7770 DSC_7771 Bryce also had his first driving session for driver's ed this weekend.  I can't even believe that we are at that point!  How did we get here??  I guess he's going to grow up anyway...I'm just going to enjoy the fact that he's actually pleasant to be around :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

I So E-sited!

Oh my...are these girls funny!  I snapped these before we left for school this morning...they were in a mood :)  I guess I'll take the closed eyed laughs over the roaring! lol...

When we drive up to school, I pull over to get them out of their carseats and get their backpacks on before we get to drop-off.  This morning, as they were getting out of their seats, Wesleigh said "I SO e-sited!!"  It was cute.

Enjoy the pics...we're going to brave another football game tomorrow, but it's earlier in the morning...so wish me luck :)

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Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Few Links

Ok...enough of the drama :) Thank you all for your support and sweet/funny comments! You're awesome!!

I have been asked for a couple of links, and haven't shared them yet...so here goes:

This first one is just something that I wanted to share. I bought mine locally, but you can find it here. I just though you'd like it. This sticker book is amazing! I bought one for Gracie to take to China and one for Wesleigh to play with while she was here. I think it was the best thing I had for either one of them! They each had a notebook and spent hours taking the stickers and putting them in the notebook. That sticker book lasted us the entire two weeks in China and was even the toy of choice for the flight home! I would definitely recommend this! (There was one for boys too.)  Santa might have to bring us some more!DSC_6840

Ok...here's the baby that everyone has been asking about :)  She is so soft and cuddly...I heart her :)  Gracie seems to love her too.  I got her here
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I had one more link I wanted to give.  I just recently found this blog.  I love it!  I even just love the name :  Minus 1 Project.  I ordered a shirt from Kelly, which I love.  I love the simple message.  When I opened it, Bryce happened to be standing right there.  His comment: "Did you get me one?".  Boy do I love that!  He's a sophomore in high school, and he wants to take a stand for something he believes in like adoption.  When this shirt came in, he was thrilled.  He has worn it more than any other t-shirt lately, and it has started quite a few conversations with his friends.  Of course, I got him the military green (mine is black).  Go check them out!!
This Minus 1 shirt is his favorite!

And if you haven't been here, you're missing out!!  Zulily is one of my favorite "guilty pleasures".  I just LOVE all the money I have saved!!  :)  I got Gracie an Oopsie Daisy Baby petti for super cheap, and even got a couple of Matilda Jane things a few days ago!  You never know what you'll find!!

I have a feeling there were more things I was asked about...I just forget!  Ask again if I haven't answered you!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Anonymous Strikes Again

Evidently, my last post got under a few "anonymous" people's skin :)  Ha!  Honestly, I expected it.  When you've been around the blog/adoption world for a while, you learn alot of the "hot" topics that might make people upset.  Sometimes you don't post because of it...sometimes you just don't care.  I knew that there would be people who didn't agree with my decision about Gracie and school.  Guess what???  They don't live in my house every day....they don't invest the time, prayer, and love into my child...they don't get a say.  Guess what else?  Gracie had an amazing day today...at school...3 of her whole 9 hours a week...in school. :)

You are more than welcome to have an opinion that is different than mine.  I think you should write about it on your own blog.  In fact, you should send me the link.  I even promise to not personally attack you anonymously because that would be rude.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All Five...Finally!

It's 9:00 and I'm sitting in the girl's room waiting for Miss Gracie to give it up.  They had school today and she took a nap, but Wesleigh didn't.  This means that Wesleigh was exhausted and fell asleep in 5 minutes...and I still sit here with Gracie.  This is the first time I've brought my computer in here though.  I'm thinking it was a great idea!  Catch up on some blogs since I'm stuck here anyway!  The girls did great on their second day of school.  Gracie did cry when I dropped them off, but it was only for a couple of minutes.  I have been making sure I'm in the front of the carline for pick-up.  I think seeing other kids leave would make Gracie very nervous, so I want to be first.  Today, when they brought the cars around, the girls could see me through the window in their class.  Gracie just about lost her mind.  Thankfully, she didn't start crying this time, but she was at the window screaming (I could hear her in my car) and waving frantically at me.  It was very sweet, but very sad at the same time.  It wasn't really "Mommy, I'm so happy to see you" behavior.  It was more like, "Mommy, you really came back!" behavior.  It just breaks my heart.  I know that those fears and worries will subside eventually, but it's so sad to think of the stress she must feel sometimes.  That might make you wonder why I would decide to put her in school so soon.  Well, there are a couple of reasons.  First, if you spent even a day with Gracie...you would see that she needs to be around other children.  She also needs a place to let out some of that creative energy!  Second, Wesleigh is SO ready for school.  She has been waiting for months!  She would not, however, like for me to leave her and then keep Gracie with me.  Honestly, Gracie wouldn't like it either!  She'd be bored to death!  So, school it is...and don't think for a second, I'm not loving my 3 hours by myself!!

So...here it is!!  I finally did it! I have pics of all five of my children!  They were great!  Each boy was exhausted from a weekend of sleepovers and football games, but I had warned them since noon on Sunday that at 6:45, they were expected on the front porch dressed in somewhat decent clothes :)  They have been trained well enough by now, that they know they'd better just grin and bear it, or they would be there for a LONG time!  I was very impressed and so excited about the outcome!  Here are just a couple (I actually got quite a few great ones!):
sept 2011 (7 of 10)starlet
sept 2011 (8 of 10)ambrosia I'm posting them now, expecting to take some more for Christmas cards, but I wouldn't be too surprised if things didn't work out that way, and you see these again when Christmas rolls around!

Yay!!  Gracie Joy has given in and is in dreamland.  I get to get off of this hard floor and go to bed myself!  Sweet Dreams!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Every Day is NOT a Picnic

First, I want to brag on my boy!  This is Cade's second year to play real tackle football.  He is a natural!  He has been built for tackle football from the day he was born!  I can't say football is my favorite sport.  I only know the names of about 4 positions and I find it impossible to watch everything that's happening on the field at once.  Oh well...I am pretty good at keeping my eye on number 12!  Fortunately for me, he is the quarterback...a position I do know :)  Actually, Cade is not only the quarterback, but their lead defender (he plays the entire game!).  When he hands the ball off to someone, he then turns into the lead blocker to make a way for the runner.  It's pretty funny. DSC_7311

Here he is blocking for the kid he just handed the ball off to: DSC_7316 DSC_7321 DSC_7348

Here he is on denfense about to pummel the kid with the ball: DSC_7357 DSC_7383 So...now you've heard about the game on the field. Let me tell you about what was happening in the stands! I have to say...I don't know if I've ever been so frustrated at a 3 year old in my whole life! Part of it is my fault...I went to the game, at noon, in the horrible heat, with 2 three year olds...and actually expected to watch the game and take pictures! What was I possibly thinking??? I have to admit, this is the one area I have struggled the most with both adoptions. What I love most in the world is watching my boys do what they do. Whether it's baseball, sea cadets, swim team, track...whatever...I love to watch them...really watch them.  I think I handled the transition pretty well with Wesleigh.  I had prepared myself that I was going to miss more than I saw.  I wasn't always happy about it, but I knew that was the way it had to be.  Wesleigh made it easier than most in that she stayed put.  So what you think I'm going to say is that I had to chase Gracie around the stands...nope!  It was Wesleigh, not running around but whining and being very ugly.  The worst of it was the 3 trips to the bathrooms with no results (we're at the high school stadium so it wasn't close)...then we'd get back in the stands and she'd act like she was dying because she had to pee.  I already had some sinus stuff going on and didn't sleep well the night before, so it was not fun.  I ended up leaving the game early because I couldn't take it anymore.  The day didn't get better and bedtime couldn't come soon enough!

I say all this to share that life is hard!  It is not always the cute pictures you see on the blog.  It's the homework assignments that barely get done...it's the mom losing her mind because there is another pair of wet panties...it's the brothers running upstairs as fast as they can to escape the insanity below...it's the dad coming home from work exhausted, only to find the house is a wreck and there's no supper...it's hard!

Last night, in my pity party, I went to check on my friend Sonia's blog.  It was like food for the soul.  It is honest and real.  She links a post that touched her...it is definitely worth reading as well.  Bottom line...adoption is amazing, wonderful and the most amazing experience, but it does not come without sacrifice.  I guess I don't know of anything good that doesn't :)
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