Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Inexpensive ways to decorate a kid's room

My kids share a room. Maisie is three and Carson is five. Maisie is into Tinkerbell and Carson is into Disney's Cars. This makes decorating their room a little difficult so since there are two of them and four walls each kid gets two walls.

When Disney's Cars came out we started buying the die cast cars for Carson. They were only releasing a certain number at a time so we hopped on the collector band
wagon buying two of each car when we could. In a giant blue bucket are the cars the kids are allowed to play with. The other set is on the wall except when Snowdrop pulls the tacks out so she can play with them (the tacks, not the cars). This is also an attempt to cover up the horrid burgandy and gold the previous owners thought looked good. By pre-ordering the DVD we received 4 small posters which we put up on the wall. I bought a poster with all the cars on it but Snowdrop (the cat not the ship) chewed the edges. So, I cut each car out and glued them across the top of two walls. My favorite cheap decorating tip is coloring pages. Not the kind in the book that your child scribbles in and is so proud of they litter the refrigerator door.

Bigger. Nicer. Mine.

I take my coloring very seriously. The kids are not allowed to use my set of 1
50+ Crayola crayons in the plastic tower. Yes, I did spend an hour organizing them all by color only to have someone dump them all out when I wasn't looking. I've even had friends suggest I color pictures and sell them. Like I don't have enough to do during the day. BUT, if anyone offered to pay me, I'd gladly do it. Ok, onto Maisie's half of the room.

The last two years her birthday presents have been wrapped in Tinkerbell
wrapping paper. I cut out the Tinkerbell pictures and flowers and glued them to the wall. I also bought her a Tinkerbell poster and a Disney Princess poster ($4 each at Wal Mart). Easy peasy decorating!

This summer I plan on repainting and experimenting with silk flowers and vines as well as plastic tools. It helps that the kids have an aunt who just graduated with a degree in Interior Design (Woot! Woot! Aunt Ro!). If I ever get it finished I'll post an update. In the meantime start cutting and coloring! It's cheap and easy.

If you click on the pics you can see the detail better, and my mistakes, and Maisie's blue crayon on the Beck picture and the orange marker on the Tinkerbell picture. :)

Why Me?

With all the evil and destruction in the world sometimes I stop and ask “Why Me?”

The first time I asked this question was when I was told my unborn son was going to die. Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Why my son? Hasn’t my family suffered enough with the death of my older brother when he was eight? But then I learned something from Jacob’s death and I was able to answer the question. I didn‘t like the answer but at least I had one. Or maybe I just made up an answer to make myself feel better.

Watching the news and seeing the brutal murders, the fatal car accidents, the burglaries, rape, tornadoes, fires, etc. I wonder ‘Why Me?’ Why am I so special that I haven’t had to either go through one of those situations or dealt with one through a close family member or friend. The death of an elderly relative doesn’t count, I don't mean it doesn‘t matter but it happens. It’s just part of the natural process of life. Though I miss Grandma, Pop, my great aunts, and great uncles, they went when it was there time. I didn’t want them to go but they’d lived long lives and were ready.

When I was little a tornado ripped our tree in half but that was all the damage it caused. During the 2004 hurricanes, the cage to our screened in pool was shifted while our neighbors house across the street lost their whole house. Why them and not us?

I’ve had to deal with classmates dying young but they weren’t really close, not the ones like I talked to everyday. When I was in seventh grade the guy I was ‘dating’ (we never really went anywhere) lost his best friend in a motorcycle accident. They were riding side by side. Since I wasn’t that close to Andy plus being so young I didn’t go to the funeral. I was sad but not in a way that I would have been had we been closer. Buy why Andy? He was just a kid.

The summer before eleventh grade a cheerleader was shot and killed by her boyfriend. Unfortunately I was closer to the boyfriend than the cheerleader so I didn’t go to her funeral either. Why Monica? What had she done to deserve such a sick twist of fate?

When my friend Kevin was killed by a drunk driver, I wanted to go to his funeral because we were close in high school. I’d just had surgery and was unable to go. Instead I had to lay in bed and cry, remembering the wonderful times we had together. Why Kevin? Why not the idiot who hit him? Why did that guy walk away?

I’m not complaining so please don’t think that. I feel blessed that I have been spared, for the most part, of being the victim of a violent crime or losing a someone very close to me from one. Or losing everything we own. I’m left with sympathy and compassion for the families and friends who have lost loved ones. For our neighbors who lost their house. For a mom who lost everything when her home burned down on Mother's Day. Why them? Why were they chosen? I don’t know why anyone asks these questions. We won’t ever know the answer. Sometimes I think maybe I’ll find out when I die but then it won’t matter.

I try not to linger on the question but instead take the time to give each of my four children a hug and kiss. I make sure to tell them I love them before I leave the house or before they leave. I never know if, when I tell them good bye I will ever see them again.
With all of that said I’d like to share a rule we have in our family- Never leave angry. Ever. No matter how angry I’ve made Hubby, if he leaves the house I either tell him or text him “I love you.” As mad as he may be at me he tells me he loves me, too.

I don’t really know what the point of this post is. The idea came to me halfway through Mr. Magorium’s Magic Emporium this morning. Maybe this is what people mean when they say, “Food for thought?”

What do you think?

Monday, June 29, 2009


I know Father's Day has passed but I still wanted to take some time to write about my dad. After losing his only son in an accident Daddy wanted a daughter. Back when I was born, waaaay back in 1973, ultrasounds weren't around yet. This meant my adopted parents had no idea if they were getting a son or daughter. Surprise! It's a girl.

I don't know what my earliest memory of Daddy is because there are several, most are good some are bad (but only because I got into some kind of trouble).

Maybe the earliest memory I have is crying when he threw my yellow blanket away. H
e thought it would help me to stop sucking my thumb. Mom felt so bad for me she went outside and cut off a corner for me to keep. Yes, I still have it.

I remember crawling onto his lap as he sat in his black leather recliner, a small glass of whiskey on the table next to him. No, he wasn't an alcoholic, not even close. When he got home from work he would change into his brown Obi-Wan Kanobi look alike robe, pour a small glass, and watch the news. This was back before remote controls so when he wanted the channel changed I would slide off his lap, change the channel, then scramble back up. He had a dark beard back then, too. On the weekends when he and Mom weren't playing tennis I was in the family room with him watching it on TV. We also watched John Wayne movies, Shirley Temple, Kung Fu, and those horrible Japanese movies with Godzilla.

After a tornado wiped out the tree in our backyard Mom and Daddy had a pool put in. Daddy had them make it shallow enough for me to stand in the shallow end and had a dolphin made of tile in the middle so my two older sisters and I knew where it started to get deep. Lots of wonderful family memories were made in and around that pool. Daddy built a grill out of stones leftover from the fireplace they had installed in our living room. Why he wanted a fireplace in a Florida house I don't know but more family memories were formed in that room. I remember grilling outside in the summer and cozy evenings in front of the fire in the winter. He even bought a popcorn popper so we could pop popcorn over the fire. We were much happier when we got our first microwave and some genius invented microwave popcorn. Mom quickly discovered scrambled eggs were NOT good cooked in the microwave.

Anyone remember when HBO debuted? Daddy sat with me every Sunday night while I watched Fraggle Rock. I still love that show. I remember when Daddy bought our first VCR. I taped Pretty in Pink and watched it so much I knew every word. I think he "accidentally" taped over it one time because he got tired of me watching it. When I got older I got my own VCR in my room and could tape and watch anything I wanted. I think they still have some of my video tapes floating around their house somewhere.

After my sisters went off to college Daddy took me shopping for school. He'd sit outside of the stores reading a book while I picked out the clothes I wanted. I'm still thankful for Mom teaching me to shop for bargains. We'd always stop in the bookstore, too. Daddy is the one who fueled my desire to read. We both still love to read whenever we can.

Once, my sisters and I were playing tennis with Daddy at a court near our house. I decided to ride my bike around the track (the tennis courts were in the middle). I took a turn too sharp a
nd fell. Daddy put me on my banana seat bike and pedaled me home so Mom could tend to the very large road burn the length of my calf. I still have a scar. Another accident occurred in our driveway. I was sitting in Daddy's wheel barrow (I don't know why so don't ask) and the kid next door picked up the other end. I yelled the whole way up the driveway for him to stop and suddenly he let go (why he thought that was a good idea I'll never know). My chin hit the concrete garage floor splitting my chin open. Daddy held my hand as they stitched me up in the emergency room. My accident-proneness continued into my teen years...my driving teen years. My poor little 1989 Hyundai Excel (quit laughing, it got me from point A to point B for four years) slid into the back of an SUV (not my fault, honest) landing me in the ER again, this time with whiplash.

Daddy was the one who drove me to my tiny little Presbyterian college in the mountains for orientation. Then a few months later he and Mom left me on the steps of that college. I had never been away from them for longer than five days. We wer
e now separated by four states. At the end of that year they came back but not to pick me up. I'd fallen in love and decided to marry my soul mate. Daddy stood next to me at the top of the stairs and squeezed my hand. I turned to him and said, "Daddy, don't give me away." He did it anyway because he loved me and knew I loved Hubby.

Daddy held me after I lost my son.

He loves each of my four kids and my sister's four kids. He still loves me even after all the crap kids put their parents through. Daddy and I have had an amazing adventure as father and daughter. Even at thirty-six I'm still Daddy's Little Girl. His love for me will always be in my heart. Forever.

10,000 Steps

It is suggested that we strive to walk 10,000 steps every day. I don't know where this number came from- probably from the same people who decided we needed to drink eight six ounce glasses of water a day. Or is it six eight ounce glasses?

No matter, the point is to lead a healthier life we should be walking 10,000 steps and shaking your pedometer to increase the amount of steps doesn't count.

You can find a variety of pedometers from Googling "pedometers." Even Frosted Flakes has them in the cereal boxes.
Research time! I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. I figured the money hungry manufacturers in the fitness community would charge and arm and a leg for pedometers. I was wrong (of course th
ey couldn't charge you a leg because it would make counting the steps harder). The most expensive one I looked at was $25 but most were under $10. If you are really interested in buying one check out Top 10 Best Pedometers. I've actually used the ones from Frosted Flakes and they worked pretty good.

Here's where I give my phone the big TOOT! TOOT! I was on the verge of deciding to add fitness into my lifestyle (after sitting on the fence for several months) when my Sony Ericsson W600i died. What does my phone have to do with f
itness? I loved my W600i so I decided to look at Sony Ericsson's first and I disovered their W580. The first feature that caught my eye was the color, pink. Sold! Then I found out it had a built in pedometer. Even better! I entered my height, weight, and birth date, then set it to show my steps on the main screen. Since I always have my phone in my pocket, my steps are always counted. I now strive to reach 10,000 steps a day.

We have the number of steps, a way to keep track of them, but how to get to 10,000 step
s everday is the kicker (or stepper). I'm a SAHM (stay at home mom for you acronym challenged folks) and don't run errands unless I have to. So I dance. That's right, dance. Sometimes it's lyrical when I'm feeling somber but mostly it's goofing around like Ellen and usually while I'm cleaning or doing laundry. Enter the iPod shuffle (can you guess what my favorite color is?). I could have bought a better iPod but I really don't need all those fancy apps that I'll never use.

I prefer simple.

Like how this post could have been much simpler if I'd just said:

How to walk 10,000 steps a day

Buy a pedometer or get one out of the Frosted Flakes box.

Plug an iPod into your head (or put on a record, whichever you prefer) and dance like you used to as a teenager when your parents weren't home.

- dance while doing chores kills two birds with one stone.

But how much fun would that have been to read/write? Not much!

Now go get your groove on.

Pedometers Best of Class

Pedometers USA

Karate Depot

Walk For Life

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Things that make me laugh

.....but are not guaranteed to make anyone else laugh.

Smart Cars. Really? Someone actually thought enclosing a golf cart and putting it on the road with SUV's was a good idea.

People who actually
bought a Smart Car. Here's your sign.

How Maisie carries her blanket everywhere yet never knows where it is.

A woman who takes pictures of a guys butt at the gym and sends it to all of her friends (not that I've ever done that).

Butt pads for men.

This cell phone conversation:

Reyna: Can you call me from Andrea's phone because mine's broken?

Me: No

Reyna: Why not?

Me: Because you have Andrea's cell phone.


Me: At her house where I am not.


Reyna: Mommy!

Me: hehe

Reyna: So can you call her phone?

Me: What do you want me to call it?

Reyna: MOMMY!!!

Me: hehe

And this conversation which took place after Maisie burst through the baby gate and into my bedroom:

Carson (very proudly): I taught her how to open the gate.

Hubby (sarcastically): Thanks, I appreciate that.

(BTW, we weren't in the bedroom so get your minds out of the gutter)

And this cute exchange between 28 pound, 3 year old Maisie and our 120 pound German Rottweiler Max:

Max: WOOF!

Maisie: Max, hush.

Max: Woof! Woof!

Maisie: Max! Hush your mouth!

Max: Woof!

Maisie: Max, behave! 3-2-1!

Last night when a Cialis (erectile dysfunction prescription drug) came on the TV, Maisie pointed to the TV saying, "Look Mommy, it's you!" Uhhhhh...

But for the last several months, the one thing that has made me laugh harder than anything has been everything my friend Ted has written on BloggersBase. I quickly learned not to eat or drink while reading his posts. I grew tired of cleaning my monitor after projecting whatever was in my mouth towards the screen from laughing so hard. It didn't matter if it was a post he'd written or a comment he added to his or anyone else's post. Those who submit posts in the "Humor" category have a lot to learn from him, myself included.

If you're not already a member of BloggersBase (those of you reading this on RMS Snowdrop) and would like to join, just click on the link on my page, easy peasy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Monday- I'll start The Dreaded Meal Plan (aka Sexy Meal Plan) tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy Maisie's third birthday dinner and cake today.

Tuesday- Today's the day! What? You want to order pizza? Ok, I don't have to have a slice. Pepperoni? Just one slice.

Wednesday- Just one small piece of cake. Because the weight loss contest ended so soon after my birthday I only got to eat a tiny piece of my own cake!

Thursday- Hot damn! I won the contest losing 17% body fat and 24 pounds! Now I need to lose the last 8 pounds. Tomorrow it's back to egg whites and plain, grilled meat (blech). Right now I'm having a celebration cocktail.

- We're meeting your friend and her mom at Waffle House at 7:00 in the morning before camp? I'll split a waffle with you. (lunch time) We still have those giant hot dogs from The Land and Sea Market? Fire up the George Foreman!
Another week goes by and I'm no closer to my goal. The above shows how easy it is to put off beginning to eat healthy. It's always "I'll do it later" or "I'll start tomorrow." When exactly is 'later'? Saturday? Sunday? Next Thursday? No, 'later' is today.

It's right now.

It's not reaching for the Cheetos sitting two feet in front of me.

It's grabbing a handful of blueberries next time I walk through the kitchen but ONLY if I'm hungry.

'Later' is the sushi grade tuna I got out for dinner and skipping the mac and cheese.

It's eating the home-grown green beans growing out back.

It's not eating the Italian bread baking in the bread maker (which smells REALLY good).
'Later' is waking up tomorrow and being glad that I'm out of pancake mix and Capn' Crunch. 'Later' is making smart choices today for a healthy me tomorrow. 'Later' is making 'later' mean "right now."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Eating Fruit

I got this in an email and wanted to share it with everyone. I wish I could give credit to the author but most forwarded emails never tell you who wrote them. So thanks to whoever put this together!


It's long but very informative
We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It's not as easy as you think. It's important to know how and when to eat.

What is the correct way of eating fruits?


If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD. Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.

In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.

So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining - every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet etc - actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!

Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes all these will not happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.

There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

When you need to drink fruit juice - drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits because you don't get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.

But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing g, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer! Can u believe this?? For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water=2 0will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

A serious note about heart attacks HEART ATTACK PROCEDURE': (THIS IS NOT A JOKE!) Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack . Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. Sixty percent of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive...


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Second Weight Loss Contest Results!


Who won? I won't keep you in suspense......it was me! I came in first losing 24 pounds and 17% body fat. Mom #2 lost 29 pounds and 14% body fat and Mom #3 lost 29 pounds and 12% body fat.

There were only prizes for the winner and Mom #2 and I pretty much figured it was between the two of us. Before we knew who won we figured out how to divide the prizes since we had both worked so hard and thought we both deserved to win. We split the $500 Dillard's gift card evenly and decided we wanted to go shopping together so we'll both be able to use the personal shopper. She took the consultation with the nutritionist and I chose the photo shoot (professional pics, yay!). Since the make over couldn't be divided we decided the winner should take it. So, I get my hair cut and colored by Salon Shimmer and a brow shaping and make over by Merle Norman! Mom #3 got a great surprise! She was awarded with tickets to Disney! Woot! Woot!

I'd like an extra two weeks (hopefully sooner) before I post my after bathing suit pictures. I'm sorry to keep you all in suspense! I know you visit RMS Snowdrop every day looking for them. :)

I'd like to send big thanks to everyone who commented their support and encouragement during this six months contest. Losing weight is so much harder than I thought it would be and hearing your kind words helped to keep me going.

Special thanks to my awesome trainer who helped kick my butt in gear. I owe my first 10 pounds to him. Muah Douglas! AnyTime Fitness provided me with not only an awesome facility but also told me to work harder whenever they would see me. Thanks guys!

So there you go! I'm looking forward to posting about my shopping trip, photo shoot, and make over. Yippee!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Nope, that's not a type-o. And this post has not been sent to my editor. This is what I like to call a "tub post." That means it was written while I was relaxing in my garden tub full of bubbles. This is supposed to be my "me" time but sometimes blogging creeps into my head. Anyway, so I was reading my latest Harlequin Romance book and in an ADD moment I glanced up and spotted my hot pink Victoria Secret's bra (I can see my BFF's nose scrunched up right not- she hates pink as much as I love it). It got me to thinking that none of my bras fit right. Well, except for the nursing bra that I only wear when the others are in Never Never Land (aka the laundry). Oh, and BTW, Maisie hasn't nursed since she was 5 months old and she just turned three. I don't know why I keep the ratty old piece of crap.

So, bra fitting. Being 36 I should know how a bra should fit but either I don't or none of mine just happen to not to. It may have something to do with having them enlarged a couple (or more) cup sizes after Little Cats A,B, and C. According to Victoria Secret's I'm a 32 DD. Ummm, yeah, that's natural. So my question is, are they supposed to actually fit under your boobs? If so then I am soooo in need of some new ones. None fit under but on. Like they're just kind of holding my boobs in place but not up where they once were. I guess that's a question for the bra experts at VS.
I'd love to go a few rounds with the creator of the bra.

Not having done research as this is one of those posts coming completely from whatever is ping ponging around in my head, I've no doubt that it was a man. For thousands of years women were free to let their boobs hang wherever. Then some genius (NOT) comes up with this amazing (NOT) contraption that puts them back up where apparently they thought they belonged (NOT). Being a SAHM I have the freedom of wearing one when I want to which, yes, is when I go out in public. So poo on you little man who thought it was a good idea to create some complicated, stifling, uncomfortable, constraining contraption to push boobs up where they are NOT naturally located. Guess what? Lots of men like them free. Anyone remember the bra burning days of the 60's? Well, technically I don't since I wasn't born until 1973 but I've been educated in this femenist movement.

So, what's my point? I guess I don't really have one. Welcome to the mind of an adult with ADD. If you have advice on where a bra is supposed to properly fit, I'd appreciate it as sometime in the future I guess I'll actually go get one that fits for support instead of holding them in place. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my time as a SAHM and only wear one when absolutely necessary. If you are a decendent of said bra maker...stay out of my way. I can't be held responsible for my actions if I meet you on a dark street corner.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Of course since it's Father's Day I have to write a Father's Day post. Actually this is the first of a short series since there have been more than one dad or father figure in my life.

This morning Hubby was woken up by Maisie's usual "Isa great sunny day!" Tomorrow it will have been three years since Hubby became a daddy for the fifth time. The first was fifteen and a half years ago.

I remember so vividly the day I discovered I was pregnant with Kelly. Sorry, no one knows all the details of that day as it was a very private and joyous moment for us. Nine months later he stood by my side as I suffered through hours of contractions and dozed off and on from Demerol. I saw the fear in his eyes as doctors and nurses suddenly started running in all directions when I developed toxemia. I viewed the horror in his face when he grabbed a nurse to ask what was going on and her reply was, "Your wife could die if we don't treat this immediately." I experienced the fatigue in his posture as he encouraged me to push... for almost three hours. Then I understood the love beaming from him as he carried her too me all cleaned up and weighed. After telling me she weighed 9 lb 2 oz and was 21 inches long, I told him to take her back because there was no way I gave birth to a baby that big. I'm 5'5" and weighed 103 lbs pre-pregnancy.

I remember watching Kelly turn her head when she was one day old as she heard Hubby's voice on the speaker phone. It was simply awesome to know she already knew her daddy. In discovering that I had to stay in the hospital for four days but that Kelly was being released, Hubby's reaction was "What the heck am I supposed to do with her?" We still laugh about that. The hospital was understanding and allowed me to keep her in my room. Now, it's time for Hubby to teach his oldest daughter how to drive. (Oh! Tears!.....hang on....ok, sniff)

Two years later we had Jacob. Hubby deals with the pain differently than I do. We don't discuss it much but I know that he still hurts. I also know that he loves Jacob very much.

Exactly one year and one week after we had Jacob, along came Reyna. Her birth was our no fuss no frills delivery. Well, other than the fact that we went in for a checkup only to have our doctor decide that TODAY was a great day to have a baby! Hubby had to ask for scrubs so he didn't have to help out in a business suit! His parents got there just in time to keep Kelly so she didn't have to see her little sister come into the world. Yesterday, he and Reyna snorkeled for a couple of hours discovering they both really enjoyed it. They have some beautiful shells and sand dollars to remember their first snorkeling adventure.

Seven years later along came Carson who is actually named after Hubby and Hubby's grandfather making him the third. Daddy finally got his little boy! Every time we had an ultrasound we had them make sure it was a boy. Thankfully it was an uneventful delivery. Now, Hubby is looking forward to watching Carson play T-ball and enjoying those father/son activities and moments. He bought lots of baseball things for Carson last Christmas.

When Carson was about a year and a half, and just before we left to go trick-or-treating, we learned that he was going to be a big brother. Seconds after the two lines appeared, I knew this would be our last baby. Though Hubby wanted her to be born on her due date of July 4th, I knew I couldn't handle waiting two more weeks and demanded she come early. So, on June 22, 2006 Hubby became a daddy for the last time to our little Maisie (at least it better be the last time or my doctor is going to be in serious trouble!). In 2014 her birthday will be on Father's Day which will be worth having her two weeks early. Maisie is the typical baby of the family. She has been telling us for two weeks that she wants a bike for her birthday. Guess what she's getting tomorrow?

Hubby has a special relationship with all of his children. Many times when he has to run errands he takes Kelly or Reyna. He loves to play "echo" and tickle games with Carson. Maisie crawls in our bed every night and yells, "Daddy!" so he can come in and give her lots of hugs and kisses. It's not always easy having a big family, but Hubby makes time for each of them. He's a terrific Daddy and we all appreciate him very much.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Mother's Loss

February 10, 1996 was the second worse day of my life. February 6th was the worst. I had to do what no parent should ever have to do. I buried my son. The day before, Hubby and I had to go to the florist to pick out flowers to lay across his casket. Not to Toys R Us to shop for a crib. Not to choose a stroller. Not to pick out a cute outfit. Not to become overwhelmed by the huge selection of colorful toys. We had to decide which type and color of flower we wanted at our son's funeral. It was much harder than I thought it would be because as I flipped through the book of arrangements I noticed they were all big-huge. They were all to lay across full-size caskets, the kind for adults who had lived much longer lives than my tiny Angel. With tears streaming down my cheeks I asked the woman if they had anything smaller. I barely got the words, "For a baby" out of my mouth. She told me they could make any arrangement smaller. We chose one with blue carnations and white daisies.

That night Hubby and I went out for a little while with his best friend to try to get away from the pain of the last few days and try not to think about the pain that was still to come. When we got back to my in-laws I got ready for bed. Instead of falling asleep with my precious son on my chest, I had ice packs to relieve the pain of my engorged breasts, full of the milk that was supposed to nourish my darling son.

The next morning I went through the motions of getting dressed, fixing my hair and doing my make up like a robot. I felt like my body was on autopilot, like my soul was removed. I remember arriving at the cemetery where my parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, Hubby's family, and a couple of our close friends waited. I couldn't look. I couldn't bear to see the tiny casket that held the baby I'd held four days earlier, the tiny Angel that died in my arms.
I vaguely remember being led to a seat in front of several floral arrangements. In the middle were the flowers Hubby and I had chosen. I don't think the florist understood. Though the arrangement was beautiful, it swallowed the tiny casket underneath it.

I remember the pastor, from the church I grew up in, welcoming everyone. I know he told two stories and I wish so much that I could remember the one about a little girl and her doll. I should have written it down after the funeral but I never did. I know that I cried quiet tears throughout the entire ceremony. I stayed strong until Roy began talking about how we would never see Jacob grow up, how all of the dreams we had for him were lost. That's when my quiet tears turned into gut wrenching sobs. I knew what we had hoped for him was gone but hearing it out loud was too much for me to handle. I was only 23. I shouldn't have been sitting in a cemetery, burying my only son, my second baby, the tiny life I carried close to my heart for nine months.

After Hubby's great aunt's funeral on Tuesday, I walked over to Jacob's grave. My father-in-law walked by my side, his arm around me. He asked if I was okay. I shook my head and said, "I keep thinking it will get easier. That the pain will go away but it doesn't." Over thirteen years later that horrible, stabbing pain still pierces my heart. It's no longer every day, but when I remember, when I take the time to
really remember, the pain is just as great as it was on that awful day.

Get up right now. Go hug and kiss your children. If you can't then call them to tell them you love them. Our children are on loan to us from God. They are placed in our care until they have completed the job He put them on Earth to do. Once they have completed their job, God brings them home. Jacob's job was to teach us to live each day to the fullest, to make the most out of our lives, to love each day as if it's our last. Jacob's job was completed in six hours and fourteen minutes. He did it wonderfully. I am proud to be his mommy and proud to have him as my Angel.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Questions I've Been Asked About Being Adopted...Stupid is as stupid does

  1. How does it feel to know that you are adopted? Who are you, Dr. Phil?
  2. Are you happy that you are adopted? Yes, I'm thrilled that my adopted parents were unable to have more children and that my birth mother had to give me away.
  3. Does being adopted make you different from other people? Yes, I have self esteem issues, I feel like I have to make everyone in the world happy, I'm extremely dependent, I'm insecure, I have to make up the answers to the genetic questions in science class, I'm not allowed to have my original birth certificate, and when I go to the doctor I have to leave the entire medical history page blank.
  4. Do other kids make fun of you when they find out that you are adopted? Not if they know what's good for them.
  5. Where is your real mother? She's in the kitchen baking me cookies. How do I know? Because my adopted mom is my real mom.
  6. Were you adopted because your mom and dad abused you? How the hell am I supposed to know? Politicians won't let me see my records.
  7. What were your real mother and father like? See #6.
  8. Have you ever seen your real mother and father? See #6.
  9. Where are they from? see #6.
  10. Are you ever going to search for them? Yes, are you going to help? (I found them in March 2008).
  11. What do you think they are like? Hopefully alive.
  12. Why did they give you up for adoption? Would you want to raise a baby if you weren't even old enough to drive?
  13. Were your mom and dad married? Not unless it was legal for a 14 year old to marry a 16 year old.
  14. Do you have any brothers or sisters? Yes, I have 2 sisters that I annoyed on a daily basis.
  15. Were they also adopted, and where are they at now? No they weren't adopted and why the hell do you want to know where they are now?
  16. Did your mom keep any of your brothers or sisters? Yes, she kept them all. It was just me she didn't want. see #6.
  17. Do you all have the same birthparents? Ummm, no.
  18. Do you ever wonder what you will look like when you grow up? I think I'll have brown hair and hazel eyes...what do you think?
  19. Were your mom or dad on drugs or alcohol? see #6.
  20. Did your mom and dad live on the streets? see #6.
  21. Was your mom a prostitute? see #6 and I'm moving you to the stupid people list.
  22. How much did your adopted parents have to pay for you? They're still paying...36 years later.
  23. Do you think that they ever regret adopting you? Only when I got in trouble and when I decided to go to an expensive private college.
  24. Do you regret being adopted? Yes, I hate that I grew up in an upper middle class family with parents who had advanced college degrees, took us on great family vacations, bought me a brand new car when I turned 16, and showered me with more love than I could ever ask for. Oh, and I regret that they love my kids unconditionally just like they do my sister's kids.
  25. Do your sisters in your adopted family treat you different because you were adopted and they were not? No, they would have been irritated by me even if I was biologically related to them. I was a pain in the ass little sister.
  26. Do your adopted parents baby you because you were adopted? No, they babied me because I was the baby.
  27. When did they tell you that you were adopted? I don't know and neither do they. They were smart adopted parents and told me as soon as I could understand...not stupid adopted parents who wait until their kid is 16, 18, or finds out from a doctor who tells them there's no way they could be biologically related....oops!
  28. Do your new relatives treat you different from the other kids in the family? No, they loved me just as much as my sisters. Although my cousins never rode my sisters through all around their neighborhood then told them to find their way back to the house.
  29. Do you know other kids that are adopted? Yes, and they're just as screwed up as I am.
  30. Do you prefer to keep your adoption a secret? Hi, my name is Kaytii and I'm adopted. If I kept it a secret than how would you know to ask such a stupid question?
Forgot to give AdoptionAttorneyHome.com credit for the questions. Sorry AAH!

And my all time favorite reaction after telling someone that I was adopted: "You seem to be pretty normal for being adopted."

Now I'm seeing Addie's point about us being aliens

Stupid People

Hubby was driving us to the funeral today so I had an hour and a half to do nothing but listen to Maisie talk non-stop the entire way. As a seasoned mom of four, I've learned to tune my kids out. This practiced talent bugs the crap out of Hubby as he listens to them ask me the same question over and over...only I can't hear them! As Maisie was rambling about the bike she wants for her birthday...for the umpteenth time, my mind began to wander.

At first I started thinking about stupid parents. I picked up my phone with the 'notes' feature (a must for me and my ADD) and started typing in stupid things parents have done. This progressed into stupid things people in general do thus making them stupid people. If you do any of these things and are offended I apologize. Anyway, here's the list I've compiled so far. I'm sure I'll post more in the future as people (including me) do stupid things all the time.

I love this video of Bill Engvall.

Stupid is…
A mom who announces to the world that her daughter was photographed for the yearbook with no panties on.
A parent who puts their kid on a leash. If you want to use the cute little bear backpack, use it on your dog.
A mom who breast feeds her baby in the car. Infant was ejected from the car when Dad got into a car accident. Infant survived, mom is left, well...feeling stupid!
Any parent who doesn't put their kid in a car seat or seat belt. People think texting is a distraction? Try driving with six kids running all over the car!
People who feed alligators then wonder why they have one in their kitchen. Or are suddenly missing their dog or cat.
People who drive Smart Cars. If The Bus hits your Smart Car, you're not going to feel very smart anymore...if you feel anything at all.
Trying to steal 100 tubes of toothpaste from CVS.
Anyone who puts implants in their body...under a tattoo.
Dan Quayle.
Parents who buy large dogs, don't train them, then wonder why junior got bit.
Anyone who buys their spouse an "I'm with Goofy" shirt (yes, I did this).
Parents who think it's rational to allow kids to drink alcohol at home..."I'd rather them drink here than go out somewhere else and drink!"
Parents who allow their kids to have sex in their home..."At least I know what they're doing!"
Half the people on youtube (Google stupid people, the first several entries are youtube videos).
Anyone who plans an outdoor wedding during hurricane season.
Al Gore.

These people.

And especially these people
& the idiots who taped them.

More Bill Engvall.

"Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!"
--George Carlin

The Best Is Yet To Come

Today was the funeral for Hubby's great aunt. It was a lovely service although extremely hot – June, 1:30 in the afternoon, and in Kissimmee which in my opinion is the hottest part of Florida. The temperature was 100 degrees. It was beautiful to see how at peace the friends and family were. Though it was sad to lose her not many tears were shed. It seemed that everyone knew she was in a better place. On the way home I opened the rolled up piece of paper we were all given because I was curious about the fork rubber banded to it. I'm sure some of you have heard this before but it was new to me.

Keep Your Fork!

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. As she was getting her things "in order" she contacted her pastor to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remember something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the pastor’s reply.

"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it", the woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep dish apple pie. Something wonderful and with substance! So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder "What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork...the best is yet to come."

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress, her favorite Bible and the fork in her right hand. Over and over the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman. He told them about the fork and what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Help! I'm lost....again

Anyone who knows me or even knows OF me knows that I get lost. A lot. Very easily. Part of it is genetic, thanks Bio Mom. Part of it is environmental, thanks Mom. Part of it is having ADD and part is just, well, me.

Example one: I decided to take the kids to Sea World with my dear friend Pat (RIP) and her grandson. I missed the exit… so I called Hubby. He told me to get off at the next exit that said "Tampa." I got to that exit and said, out loud, "But I don't want to go to Tampa" and proceeded to go the opposite direction...thus getting us lost even more and aggravating Hubby on the phone. We made it to see Shampoo...eventually.

Example two: Just after moving to Tampa, I had to go “back home” to take Maisie to the doctor because she was two months old and we hadn't found a doctor yet. Hubby asked me if I knew how to get there. "Of course!" I replied. He told me to leave at 6:00 AM even though my appointment wasn't until 10:00 AM. I knew it wouldn't take me four hours but I left at six anyway. An hour into the drive I wondered how I missed the Thonotosassa sign. Then I wondered why there were big hills. According to my father-in-law (there was no way in hell I was calling Hubby) I was headed towards Ocala! The solution? I had to go all the way back to Tampa, get off I-275, get back on I-275, and head towards St. Petersburg. I made it to the doctor's office at 10:01. Damn it! Hubby knows me!

Example three: I was on my way home from the east coast – a drive I'd done several times since the Ocala incident. It was late and I was exhausted. I'd gotten to hold my brand new 7th nephew and spend my first Christmas with Bio Dad. I got off on I-75. A bit later I started seeing signs that I recognized...when I went to visit my parents...in Sarasota. Damned if I didn't get off the wrong friggin’ exit! Well, actually the problem was that I got off of I-4. Period. I tried calling my cousin since I was near his house but he didn't answer. No way in hell was I calling Hubby! I turned around and got on the Crosstown but missed my exit which put me in downtown Tampa. Hubby called and I fudged a bit as to what my location was. When I showed up an hour later… he knew I'd gotten lost...my fudged location was ten minutes from home.

My family loves to laugh hysterically at these and many other stories so I thought I'd share shortened versions with you. Bio Dad has come to my rescue, however. In an email he sent today he asked if I wanted:

1.) A GPS, which is what my 1/2 sister asked for (her birthday is 3 days before mine)
2.) Ray Bans Charlie's Angels style sunglasses, or
3.) Money.

As a mom, money given to me gets spent on everyone and everything BUT me. With my recently diagnosed astigmatism, I now have prescription sunglasses. Which one do you think I should choose? The GPS? Are you sure? You really think I need one? Ok, I picked the GPS.

Hopefully it will put an end to my "getting lost stories." Not to worry, I'm sure there will be new hysterical stories of me trying to figure out how to use the damn thing.

My Weight Loss Journey

Today was the final day of Sexy by Summer competition. I turned in my final weight and measurements this morning only to see a post an hour later saying we had a few days to turn in our numbers since some of us used buddy's to measure us (Rrrr). But, before I tell you the final results let's go on a short journey. No fair scrolling to the bottom to see the results.

When I was born I was...ok, I don't need to go back that far. I’ll start at my weight when I became preggo with Kelly back in 1993 when I was a whopping 103 pounds. After having her, Jacob, and Reyna, I was still less than 110 pounds most of the time but would creep up to 115 at times. Along came Carson and Maisie – oh and in-between my 30th birthday snuck its ugly head in. I remember weighing 133 pounds when Maisie was about two months old. That Christmas my friend, Rachel, gave me a picture of Hubby and I when we went out for his birthday in August. I was mortified! I looked HUGE...for me. I managed to lose some weight in time for Rachel's wedding in December 2007 and I fit into a size 6 bridesmaid dress. In March 2008, the day I met my bio mom, my half sister asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I didn't like how I looked in Rachel's wedding so I was determined to look better for my sister's.

By September 2008, I was down to 120 pounds and looking mighty good. Like I mentioned in my last post, my body decided to hold on to EVERYTHING I ate. By December I was 130 pounds and by January I was 140 pounds. It was a big shock and a wakeup call when I looked into the mirror and saw my thighs touching. ACK!

Onto the measuring journey:

June 11, 2008
Ribcage – 29 in
Waist – 31 in
Hips – 33.5 in
Thighs – 19.5 in
Weight – 125.2 lbs

August 23, 2008
Ribcage – 27 in
Waist – 28.5 in
Hips – 32 in
Thighs – 18.5 in
Weight – 120.5 lbs

January 15, 2009 (SBS start)
Wrist – 6 in
Calf – 12 in
Hips – 35 in
Thighs – 22 in
Weight – 140 lbs

I took other measurements in-between but I know you don't care about all of those. I simply wanted to show the ups and downs that I've been through in the last couple of years. SBS had different measurements, too. So, without further ado.......drum roll please................................

June 15, 2009 (SBS end)
Wrist – 5.5 in
Calf – 11.75 in
Hips – 30 in
Thighs – 18.5 in
Weight – 116.4 lbs

There you go! But since I have NOT met my goal of 110 pounds, I'm not finished. Plus I now know that exercise – both cardio and strength training– must be a part of my lifestyle.

As far as the competition, no one knows who won yet, but like I said, you will be the first to know! Until then, I'm off to do some squats, lunges and a Core Rhythm workout.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Body Hates Me

My body hates me. I know it does. It didn't used to hate me. It's just in the past several months that it has decided to rebel. It's probably payback for all I put it through during my five pregnancies. In 1993, 1995/6, and 1996/7 I put my cute little body through hell growing foreign bodies and stretching parts that didn't want to be stretched. But Body still liked me then. I didn't have to lift so much as a toe to lose my baby weight (quit glaring at the monitor, blame God and good genes, not me).

Occasionally, Body would get ticked at me like the time I was forced to take Aunt Flow with me on my anniversary weekend with Hubby. For those of you men who are staring there with a blank look on your face, Aunt Flow is a female body function. If I have to explain it any further then may God help you in your relationships with women.

I'm thinking the last two pregnancies are where Body drew the line. It was skinny again and looking mighty fine. But no, I had to go and place two more foreign bodies in it (not at the same time) causing things to stretch again. Plus, I'd hit the big 3-0. Six weeks after Maisie was born I weighed 133 lbs (EEK!). Eek because I was 103 lbs when I became preggo the first time, 12 years earlier. So, in the last three years Body and I have been in a constant struggle. I make the weight go down; Body makes it go back up. I thought I'd defeated it last September when I got down to 120lbs for my half sister's wedding. For the first time in forever I looked at the wedding pictures and thought, I look hot! But, Body had other plans. By December, I was 130 pounds and by January I was 140 pounds. This is when the struggle between Slacker Fattie and the Skinny Bitch became heated. I gave them names and they took on personalities of their own (no, I do not have multiple personality disorder, I swear...but I am a Gemini!).

So, why does my body hate me now? Well, over the last six months the Skinny Bitch has defeated Slacker Fattie by losing over twenty pounds. The final weigh in for my final weight loss competition, Sexy by Summer, ends tomorrow morning. I was so excited to weigh myself yesterday and see 118.2 lbs since I'd slacked off a bit after the Waist Watchers challenge ended a few weeks ago. Now I'm nervous for tomorrow's weigh in and measuring. Body and Slacker Fattie have teamed up to make me eat Tostitos chips and artichoke dip AND fill me up with excess water thus bloating up my belly. This is in retaliation for the nasty health food and all the cardio exercises I put Body and Slacker Fattie through. Thanks, guys. If I lose by a tiny percentage of body fat tomorrow I'm blaming you. Oh, and this isn't over. Just for your horrible PMS timing I'm going to continue to eat healthy and exercise. AND I'm going to throw in extra strength training, too.

Tune in tomorrow for my final weight and measurements which I will post even though I didn't make my goal. It may take a day or two for the judges to calculate everything and let us know who won the contest, but you all will be the first to know so keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Should teens attend teen funerals?

Many of you know that my 15 year old daughter, Kelly, lost a classmate last week. This is her first experience losing someone her age. Travis was killed when another driver cut him off causing him to lose control of his vehicle. He was ejected as his SUV rolled over. He was not wearing his seatbelt. The passenger, who was wearing his seat belt, survived.

Yesterday, Kelly came to me with tears in her eyes. Travis's mom sent an email to all the band members and color guard team letting them know when the viewing and funeral would be. I told Kelly that she may want to go to get some closure but the decision was up to her. I let her know that I would go with her if she wanted to attend either or both.

But can teens handle this type of emotion?

Is this one of those things they have to go through as they grow up? I'm not sure she needs to go to the viewing. Can she handle seeing another teen in that state? Unfortunately this isn't her first funeral. When she was two years old she sat with Hubby the day we buried her brother. She didn't really understand but she remembers bits and pieces. She was a little older when her great-grandmother passed away and she remembers the funeral of a dear family friend. She and Reyna went with me to a funeral when a high school friend of mine lost her mom. They knew her a little from seeing her at dance recitals because they took dance from my friend.

But this is different. This is a boy who was only two years older than her. Someone that she sat with in class. Someone she marched with on the field at half-time. Someone she attended competitions and camps with. Will going to his funeral help bring closure or cause her more pain? More emotional distress?

Unfortunately I know in my heart that this will not be the last friend she'll lose during her high school years. The statistics are just too high to think otherwise. I know that it could also be her that is lost, though I pray God will spare us since He has already taken one of our children (wishful thinking on my part).

For now, the decision is hers. I hope that I'm making the right decision by leaving it up to her and that she makes the right choice. If this were your 15 year old, what would you do?