Posted in foster parent life

Making Time for Everyone in a Family of 9 (Is that possible?)

Making time for everyone everyday is a skill, one that here lately I do not have or at least it’s not mastered. Being organized and having everything and everyone worked into a 24 hour day is demanding and seems impossible most days.  I am only one person but on any given day I need to be mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, aunt and oh yeah just me. How do we prioritize who gets our attention? Who gets one on one time? Who gets 5 mins? Who gets an hour? Who gets left out today and moved to the top of the list tomorrow? Questions I struggle with daily.

As a mom most of my time is spent with my kids. I spend all day with our three youngest while the other four are at school ( two in elementary school and two in college) My days consist of ABC songs, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Paw Patrol, hide and seek, potty training, dinosaur races, zombie chaces, breakfasts,lunches and naps   (not for me but for them and no they do not sleep at the same time)  We somehow manage to fit in trips to the grocery store, to the doctor and to the dentist. Everyday is different but yet somehow the same.  In the afternoon we pick up the other two Littles from the bus and then a whole different set of time consuming events take place. We have homework, cooking dinner, bath times, dance practice,evening play and bedtimes. Normal for many yes, however some days I feel I have left someone out of the ” Mommy and me” time block.   I spend a lot of time with baby girl, she just turned one so she still needs me for most things. Wild man and Diva take up most of my evenings with homework and wind down time after school. Some days it takes wild man (who is autisic) hours to de-stress after school and then there’s diva. Your never know if you’re getting good diva or RAD (Reactive attachment disorderdiva.  After school is always an adventure. Our oldest daughter calls or texts me every few days. And our oldest son, well if I text or call him I get to talk with him.  Guess that’s the difference between girls and boys. My kids are my focus 24/7.  So where does everyone else fit in?

My poor husband, love his heart. It’s  a good thing he is a patient man. Most days he is up and heading out the door as or before the kids go to school and he comes in around dinner time or later. His evenings consist of helping with bath time (if he is here), evening play time and he is in charge of getting baby girl to sleep while I work on the rest of he littles. We will share about our days and then around 10 or 1030 as our youngest three year old finally goes to sleep, I kiss him good night and go to bed.  I have about two hours before baby girl wakes up for a bottle. 

Before we moved, we had a monthly date night.  Our older kids or my parents would come to the house and watch our crew while we went out for a few hours just the two of us.  Sometimes it was a movie, maybe a nice dinner, or maybe a nice long ride on our Harley, and yes sad to say even Christmas or birthday shopping. It didn’t matter to me what we did as long as it was just us. We could talk about things and enjoy each other’s company without a little one crying or pulling our arm.  Now that’s it’s just us and the Littles in a new state where we don’t have any family  we don’t have that.  I miss our date nights. 

As for the rest of my family and friends all I can say is thank goodness for social media.   During the day it is much easier to send out a quick text or message than it is to talk on the phone.  I do miss the sounds of their voices and a few of us have tried actual phone calls,  but my kids do not understand  “Mommy is on the phone please be quiet” in fact they do the exact opposite. I miss seeing my parents every few days or having my brother and his kids just show up out of nowhere. I would give anything to get a text or call from my best friend and her say, “Hey I’m coming over. Get the chicken flick ready I’m bring the peanut M&M’s and the  Dr Pepper”  I do not have a huge friends circle but I have some great people in my life and there are days I miss them like crazy.  I wish I had more time in the day (week) to talk to everyone.

I wish I could say I am a next to prefect Christian, but that would be a lie.  I do love my Jesus and I know He loves me, however I fail Him daily.  I use to have my nose in my Bible all the time but lately I can’t seem to find the time to do my daily devotionals let alone spend hours just lost in His Word. This is one area in my life I want to change, desperately.  I miss my one on one’s with Jesus.

That brings it to me time.  I know  you are thinking what is me time in a family of 9?  Truth is not much. By he time me day is done and the last little is finally in bed, I’m tired really tired.  So my me time normally is a few minutes right before I close my eyes. That’s my blog time, my games on my phone time (currently Wheel of Fortune) and if I can keep my eyes open for more than 10 minutes my reading of how to be a better mommy books.   

 The truth is I wish there was more time in the day. I wish I could talk to my parents, my brother, my friends and other family members everyday. But life happens, I can have full intentions to call someone and then the day will just get away from me.  For those that think I am ignoring you or think I just don’t care anymore, forgive me because that’s simple not true. I love you all.  Life has just simply gotten in the way.  I’m trying.

I hope to get better at managing my time. I hope to give my kids and husband more quality time instead of rushed and “I’m to busy right now” time.  In order to do so I must make my time with God my top priority.  With Him as my center He will make a way for me to have quality time for everyone. I love my beautiful chaos and I want to be the best that I can be.  Time is precious and I don’t want to spend it unwisely.
From our beautiful chaos to yours time is what you make of it. Use it to make memories, use it wisely. Use it fully. 

Posted in life

I cheated today and I’m ok with it


I cheated today, no not on my husband, on my diet. One would think that having five Littles to ran after all day everyday would keep one in good shape. And I guess that should be the case but the sad truth is it doesn’t, not for me anyway. I have struggled with the way I look for years.  I know it’s a personal struggle but after years of mental and physical abuse for an ex  the words I heard over and over have made their lasting impression and it’s something I work on daily.  

Over the last few years I have gained a few extra pounds, okay more like 20, however in the last year it has really gotten to me. In this age of the social  media and selfies one starts to notice how they look in photos and this momma was not happy with what she saw.  I do chase the Littles all day long that is a fact, the problem is the way I eat and what I eat.  With five I find myself eating at odd hours in the day (and night) and let’s be honest it’s really easier, or at least faster, to grab a bag of salty chips as I am running out the door than it is to wash up and cut up fresh fruit.  And lets face it I’m not in my twenties anymore so what goes in finds a way to stick around. So I decided to **** Ugh go on a diet**** 

My weakness, Dr Pepper and doughnuts please don’t judge. I’m not much of a junk food eater but I love these two items way more than I should. However about two months ago I gave them both up in order to be healthier. I’ve been drinking only water and low calorie lemonade and not one doughnut has crossed my lips.  I have being doing great, the first few days my kids and husband would say different but now that I am past the caffeine headache withdrawals I can honestly say I was doing better, grouchy mom has left the building.   But today I failed. I failed big time at the drive thru.  I took my youngest three out for lunch and before I knew it I had ordered their chicken nugget meals and for myself…..a cheeseburger meal with Dr Pepper to drink. 😢 What was I thinking???   Truth is I wasn’t thinking. My darling boys were fighting over who farted the loudest, yes you read that correct I said farted the loudest.  What can I say life with boys is never dull, sometimes smelly but never dull.  The inside of my car smelled like a portapotty at a NASCAR race.  I was eager to roll my window down to order our food. And out of habit, or lack of oxygen to my brain, I ordered my old usual. That happens when your fanning the odor out of one’s car.  Now I was faced with the decision, eat and drink it and beat myself up over it later or throw perfectly good food away and my mom taught me not to waste food.  So guess what?? I ate it and it was wonderful.  Ok maybe not wonderful wonderful it was fast food after all, but it did make me do a happy dance.

The truth is, my kids don’t care if mommy is few pounds heavier and neither does my husband. So why should I worry so much?  They love me for me. When they look at me they only see a mom/ a wife that loves them, that always puts them first above anything else, that plays with them, that reads to them, that cooks for them, and that would do anything in the world for them.  I don’t want them to look back and say “Man all mom ever did was complain about how she looked” and I don’t want to set an example for them especially my girls that we have to look a certain way to be beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.  It does not matter what I look like as long as I am healthy and able to do what I need to do for them. 

So I will not beat myself up tonight or tomorrow for cheating on my diet. I will take it as it is and start over again tomorrow.  What we had for lunch today will not matter 10 years from now but what I plant in my kids hearts will last a lifetime time.

From our beautiful chaos to yours it’s ok to not be perfect. We all fail at something, its how you get back up that counts.

Posted in autism, Children, foster parent life

A Day in Our Life with Autism 

 If you have looked at any of my posts or know me personally you know that our JR is autistic. He however does not see himself as such. You see he has always been JR in our eyes. Autism does not define who he is, He defines who he is. If you know my son then you also know he is the most loving caring child around. He loves to give hugs, hi-fives, and he has been known to give a few kisses out in his day. His smile can make my worst day great and my worries disappear. He has overcome so many obstacles in his life and he has done so with a joyful heart and his infectious giggle.  He does not see himself as an “autistic child” he just sees what we see…our son, our charming, sweet son that God saw fit to bless us with.  Wish everyone could see him through my eyes.

The problem is not autism, it’s people who don’t understand it.  Let me share two somewhat recent events with you. I apologize in advance for some language:

Thr first from a few months ago on adoption day. A day that should be full of love, laughter and wonderful memories. I am thankful that baby girl is now forever ours, and now that I have all of my paperwork  in hand I feel safe in sharing.  
We were told our adoption hearing would take place at 1:30. We arrived at 1:15 with our large support group(seriously like 40 plus people) of friends and family there to celebrate with us, yes they all were allowed to be there the judge said we could invite whomever we wanted and he had preformed the boys adoption so he knew there would be many attending.   As luck would have it there was a case in front of us taking a while to finish up. We did our best to keep the children entertained in the hall while we waited our turn.  JR was playing and fell into the backdoor of the chamber hall, not even the courtroom door when the bailiff stuck his head out and said, “This is not a play area it’s a courtroom for God sake control your kid” and he slammed the door.  All I had time to say was ok.  Later the same bailiff stuck his head out the main door and said “Jesus fucking Christ are you all here for one hearing?” And slams the door again.  Around 2:15 after we had waited an hour in the narrow hallway, and were out of snacks, we were told to go in the courtroom. We did and there, we found the judge trying to decide which case needed to go next.  As we sat down JR looked up and saw the judge, he took off and went to sit on the “big seats” like he had at Alex and Eli’s adoption, which the judge had said was fine. Before I could grab him he was gone through the doors up to the seats. That’s when the pompous bailiff started screaming at my son saying, “this is a fucking courtroom act like it, Jesus Christ get ahold of your out of control child” along with some other things I could not make out because I was trying to get my kid. Who was now scared because this “man” had started screaming at him. We took all the kids out while they figured out what case was going to happen, I even apologized to the lady, who was obviously there for the other hearing  and she said,” no worries I have 3 boys myself they would have done it to”.  

Jump forward we are now back in the hallway and JR is in full meltdown mode because his friend (the judge) is in there without him.  Sierra offers to take him to the car because there is no calming him down. She misses all of the adoption. The only pictures she and JR are in are the ones we took before hand while waiting in the hallway.
We go back in and the adoption takes place and all is good, I do not see the bailiff’s face anywhere which is probably a good thing. Then it was time for pictures. We only did a few with the judge.  How could I do family photos with part of my family waiting out in the car?   
 If Mr bailiff had bothered to talk to me or any of us as a human he would have learned that my 5 yrs is autistic. If he does something one way one time he will always do it that way.  The 1st time we were in that courtroom, with that judge,  the judge allowed JR up front, he gave him M&Ms he became his buddy. He let them be kids because it was their day.  He had no right to yell at anyone like he did let alone yell at a 5 yrs old child, autistic or not. You Mr bailiff should be ashamed of yourself. I understand that this man deals with drunks and drug addicts all day long, so maybe he was having a bad day but this was a child, MY CHILD, and there is simply no excuse.
I am afraid he has now scared JR far worse than he will ever realize, in fact I am sure he went home and told your wife about that uncontrollable kid and then forgot all about him. But the problem is JR will remember him and those that look like him (other cops)  He will never want to go back to the courthouse he is scared. As a bailiff he was suppose to set and example for everyone to follow. My child may not have behaved the best, but he was doing the best he could.  I personally thought he was doing fine considering all the waiting we had done. And for the recorded most thought it was funny & sweet that he wanted to go set with his buddy the judge. The judge even asked where JR was after the adoption was done. So Thank you for being an ass and scaring my son. 

And now fast forward to a few weeks ago. JR and I were waiting on his bus to pick him up for school. As the bus pulled up so did a car going down the road.  I didn’t think much of it after all she did stop at the flashing sign.  I help JR up the steps and hand him over to his aid. She takes him to his seat and starts to buckle him in his seat belt.  I made small talk with his driver while we wait for him to get seated.  The lady in the car starts honking her horn repeatedly. I look over and she flips me off. The bus driver looks at me and asks “What’s her problem?” I said I didn’t know and that’s when the aid said JR was good to go and she sat down beside him. Taking four minutes tops. The bus pulls off (the ladies horn still honking) and I turn to walk back up my driveway. As I do so the lady in the car wipes around the bus with her window down yells “Its a bus stop not gossip time, some of us have things to do you stupid bitch”  I return the name calling as she drives off.  Not the most grown up thing to do but I was mad. I could hear her cussing me until her car was no longer insight.  What if that had been her kid? I guess I could think she was running late, or maybe she had gotten some bad news that morning in either case she still had no reason to act like that.  It’s a special needs bus, the stops take a few minutes longer The bus driver will not pull off until everyone is seated, that includes the aid. Just be patient.

I have cried more than I care to admit over both incidents. They both still make me so angry and upset when I think about them.  If they only knew my son. I pray that neither ever have to deal with the daily struggles of having a child with a disability. I pray that neither of them have to go through hours of therapy weekly for years just so their child can try to fit in with “the normal world”. I pray your child sleeps more than 10 hours in a week, or at least a few hours each night so you can rest. Running on little sleep would not do well with your aggressive attitudes. I wish you a life of ease for mine is not. Mostly I wish you took the time to understand before going off on MY SON. Its not easy seeing how others see your child you either get the “You poor thing it must be awful”  look or the reaction of the two individuals above. When people learn he is adopted we get the “He’s adopted right? Why pick a kid with so many issues?” Seriously ,we have heard that one more than once.  I won’t lie, there have been days I wish things were not as they are, some days all I want to do is cry and hold him tight. We deal with meltdowns and behaviors that many don’t have to, however there is beauty  in autism.  My son does not judge, he does not see race, he does not hate, and he does not lie. He does love, he does see the world in a beautiful light like so many of us can’t, he is full of life, he is a great big brother very protective and compatioante, and he is one of my greatest blessings.  If you could see the world as he does what a wonderful place this would be.  

FYI I did see the bailiff about a month later at another adoption (new cousins for me woohoo 💖💙) and he was much better in the courtroom,  no cussing this time around. And as for the lady in the car, the bus driver reported her and we have not seen her back down this way, I assume she is leaving earlier or taking a different route.  Let’s just hope it stays that way.

From our beautiful chaos to yours spend more time lifting others up. The world is full of heartless people it’s important for those in our life to know just how much they mean to you.

Posted in foster parent life

Easy as Sunday Mornings….yeah right

Going to church on Sunday mornings has been part of our routine for many years.  My husband and I agree that our children need to be raised in church. We want them to know that God loves them and being in church is one of the best ways to do that. But man its hard some mornings, really hard.

Take this morning for example. I got up around 6 to insure I had plenty of time to get myself ready before the Littles got up. I managed to get in the shower and started to wash my hair before one of my little loves knocked on the door “Mommy is that you in the shower?”  I wanted to answer “No Im a ghost go away” but instead I said “Yes sweetie give mommy five more minutes please”  I quickly finished what had now turned into a quick shower, got dressed and headed downstairs. Once in the livingroom I was met by three pairs of eyes asking me “What took so long?” and “Mommy I am hungry when are we having breakfast?”  With the towel still wrapped around my head I started pouring cereal this mornings choice Coco puffs,  not a five star breakfast I know but it works and it was fast. I started getting the kids ready while my husband was in the shower. He made it down in time to help with the shoes.  And people say women take forever lol.   

We had four out of the five ready.  These four all have the same birth mom, which could explain why the four of them never  sleep passed 630…..never.  But our oldest three year old loves his sleep. So he was still in bed.  I don’t like waking him up. Normally he wakes up on his own around 9 or 930, but Sundays church starts at 9 so one of us normally has to wake him up.  He is not a happy camper if you wake him up, and today he reminded us of that.  I go get him and he immediately starts fussing about wanting back in his bed.   After a 30 minute battle we managed to get him fed and clothes on him.  We still had time to get to church on time.  We loaded the car and off we went.  Once again I am doing my makeup on the way there. Good thing the lights will be turned down low.

Once at the church it takes a few minutes to get everyone unloaded and to decide who is holding who’s hand to cross the parking lot.  We get inside and get everyone’s name tag and pick up tag.  Drop baby girl off in the nursery, our three year olds go to the toddler/pre kindergarten room, Wildman goes to the pre-kindergarten/ kindergarten  classroom, and diva goes off to her class no problem.   I stay with JR for a few minutes because the aid for the room was running late and had not got there. After ten minutes or so I was able to going my husband in the sanctuary. 

The gust speaker was great, the music was wonderful and very much needed, and in the background I could hear a cry every now and then from the children’s hall. Not completely sure if it was one of ours so I keep my phone out just in case I get the “come get your kid text”.  But we didn’t, not this week anyway. We made it through service and then came time to pick up the Littles.  That’s when all heck broke lose.  Baby girl was first , so I picked her up and carried her. Next was wild man, hubby got him because we were told he had jumped the gate and tried to escape but his teacher reassured me he done fine.  Diva was next and she didn’t want to come home, she likes hanging with girls her age so I had to have a small talk with her and she reluctantly came but only because she wanted some juice to drink when we got home.  Then the boys. Big Al was playing with a dinosaur, he loves dinosaurs, and he did not want to give it up.  Now back home we could have taken the toy with us to the car, got him in his seat, and then returned it. Yes he would have been screaming but at least he would have been screaming in the privacy of our vehicle.  Instead the teacher told him he had to leave it in the classroom. I looked at her after a few minutes and say, “I’m going to unlock the gate, after I have him take the dinosaur” she agreed.  He instantly starts screaming, not crying screaming. I then bend down to pick him up, mind you I still have baby girl and at this point wild man is starting to have a meltdown because the screaming hurts his ears. My husband has him and our other three year old.  We start walking towards the front of the church and that’s when diva starts in because no one is holding her hand and she feels left out. *Ugh*  By the time we get to the church doors we have three out of the five screaming.   The looks were coming from every direction, but we pushed forward. I thanked the man who held the door open so we could get out before the looks turned into comments.  I don’t need to be judged at this point.  We finally make it across the parking lot and to the car after what seemed to be forever.  I try to smile as people pass and give me that “You poor thing” look and on the other side I try to hold my tongue when others give me that “Control your kids this is a church” look.   They cried and screamed all the way home, thank goodness we live only 15 minutes out.  

The day did not go much better and I found myself questioning if it was even worth it. I mean seriously, is it?  I don’t do well with people judging me or my family. We get looks all the time when we are out, five under six years old people are going to know your there.  And then throw in one of wild man’s autisic meltdowns or a sleepy crying three year old or both I guarantee you will have every eye one on.  I hate fighting with then to get their “good clothes” on, I hate putting my makeup on in the car. So why do it??

Then I am reminded that Jesus said, “Bring the little children to me….” and I shake me head and sigh.  It’s not about the meltdowns, the screaming, the judgmental looks, it’s all about Jesus. I will not let a few judgmental looks, or screams, or looks, keep my kids from knowing how awesome our God is.  He loves us through all the tears all the looks and all the screaming.  The kids will not always be this small and it will not always be so hard. We will get through it, we will I have faith. It’s not about what happens after service is over its about who we serve.  I am sure many of those that looked at us went through the same thing with their kids when they were younger. Only difference is we have five at that age.  God’s got this. He made a way for us to be their forever family and we will make sure they know of His love, even if Sunday morning are hard sometimes.

From our beautiful chaos to yours they are only little once, it’s okay if the cry or even scream sometimes. Before long you will miss them being so small.  God’s got this let Him carry you through the not so easy moments of life

Posted in adoption, Children, family, foster parent life

Elissa’s Chant

My six year old is struggling and has been for a while.  We are working on things and she really seems to like her new therapist but as her mom I still worry.  There are things that happened to her, things she lived through those first 18 months that affect her more than any of us could have predicted. I will never no everything that happened and I will never understand why bad things (neglect/abuse) happened to her. But they did so we must move forward. But it’s hard so so hard especially now that she is getting older.

One of the things we have noticed is she downs herself a lot. If she tries something new and is not successful immediately then she becomes frustrated and starts the “I will  never get it” “I can’t do this” “I just give up ”  Nothing breaks a mother’s heart more than seeing your child beat themselves up.  It’s such a lonely place when you can’t help them no matter what you try.

Yesterday did not help matters. It was report card day.  I was looking forward to it as well as dreading it. Does that make sense?  This was her first report card after our big move. New school, new teacher, new friends and new ways of doing things.  Stressed does not even cover what I was feeling.  She gets off the bus with a necklace around her neck.  She told me she won it for going to school everyday. Perfect attendance for the nine weeks. One would think she would she would be happy, not she was not. She quickly followed up with “Mrs X took me all the way down to orange (not good behavior) today I just quit”  I asked why she was moved down (past green, past yellow) ?  She replies “She expected me to stay in my seat all day, it’s just not fair”  We come in the house and I try to cheer her up but once she has hit that stage it’s almost impossible.  She pulls out her report card out of her backpack and slowly hands it to me. 

There in bold black letters I saw what I already knew. When it comes to her studies (math, reading, writing, ect) she is performing on average or above average for her age. Her classroom behavior was a different story. The teacher had said some things like “Does not listen, does not stay in seat, talks out of turn, does not follow directions” She had only one good mark out of the list of nine.  We went over the report card together seeing they use numbers instead of letters like they did back home. I could see in her eyes she was crushed. “I’M TRYING MOMMY I’M JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH” With that statement my heart broke and I took things into my own hands.

The report card does not define who she is. It’s just one thing about her. God does not see her as a child that acts up in school or one that can’t stay in her seat. He knows she’s trying, He knows there are issues. And HE LOVES HER ANYWAY!!!  I took the report card, signed it, placed it back in the backpack and went and got some construction paper.  And I asked her “Elissa how do you think mommy and daddy see you?” “How do you think God sees you?”  She lifted her head and through the tears she replied “You love me always right momma?”  And I answered “Yes”  We sat at the dinning room table and talked about things she liked about herself and things she thought she could improve on.  As we talked we wrote things down. “This will be my chant mommy. Every morning and every night I am going to say this.”  We took it to her room after she picked which statements she wanted on her poster and hung it above her bed. She was smiling from ear to ear. Before she went to bed she stood there and read her “new chant” loud and proud.  This morning after she got dressed she looked at me and said “Its chant time momma” and with me by her side she read it loud and proud again.  

This might not change her over night, but it is giving her a conference I think she needed.  Report cards are something many of us take way to serious. Children learn in different ways so they can’t all be graded the same. I know we have a long road ahead of us. And I know that we with make mistakes along the way, and that’s okay. God loves us anyway. Whether we are a straight A (or  all 4’s) student or if we are a D(or 1’s) student giving it our best. He loves us anyway. In time we will figure out her behavior issues together. Until then I will love her just as God loves her. 

From our beautiful chaos to yours don’t let reports determine the love you have for your child. They need to know we love them even on the not so great days. 

Posted in family

Shift sleeper

Doctor’s recommend at least eight hours of sleep a night. I don’t know about you but there are some weeks I don’t feel I get eight hours a week much less eight hours a night.  Guess that comes with being a mom to five Littles.

I am what I would call a seasoned shift sleeper. What is a shift sleeper you may ask? Well it’s exactly what it sounds like, one who sleeps in broken shifts throughout the night.  I have been a shift sleeper for so many years I am not sure I could sleep eight straight hours if I tried. For example, last weekend while Sierra and I were visiting friends in Green Bay I thought for sure I would “catch up” on my sleep. I was looking forward to it. Sie and I made it to the hotel, eat, chatted for a while and then I told her I was going to bed.  She said I fell asleep quickly, she was still up working on a midterm for college, the problem was I didn’t stay that way.  I have gotten up between 2 and 3 in the morning for so long to feed babies I naturally woke up to feed the baby, only problem was she wasn’t with me.  I thought about calling my husband or at least sending him a text to make sure he was up, but he assured me he would be fine.( By the way all the children were fine when I got back home, so I assume my husband did okay filling my shoes for two days.) So I sat there looking at the walls. I got up out of my nice comfy bed, got a drink a water and then tried for what seemed like hours to go back to sleep. Sleep finally came an hour before I had my alarm set. It happens all the time.

Normally my nights go something like this: we start putting the kids to bed around 7pm. Bedtime for the kids are at 7(Big Al), 730(Diva), and 830(Wildman). Then we deal with baby girl and our Elmo. Baby girl normally goes to sleep around 8 and then back up at midnight for a bottle. Elmo never sleeps. If I get him to bed by eleven I count it a victory. I am actually typing this with him laying across my lap as he is trying to drift off to dream land. I make my “last rounds” about 11 or 1130, again depending on when our late night error decides to call it a night. By the time I do that it’s time for baby girls bottle. My head finds my pillow and I sleep for a little while. Wildman and Big Al are potty training so the night normally holds at least three “Mommy I got to GO NOW” visits. While I’m up I go around and pull everyone’s blankets back up and make sure their toes are covered. They look so sweet and peaceful while they sleep. I have to cherish this moment so I can recall it and not go “hulk crazy” as the kids call it tomorrow when they are fighting and trying to kill each other over who gets to swing in the yellow swing.  They really are precious when they are sleeping. At 3 baby girl is up again for a small bottle, she doesn’t not drink all of it but I think she just likes the one on one time with momma.  By 4 one or two of them have managed to make it into our room and by this point I to tried to carry them back for a third time. Then before you know it the 6am alarm goes off and it’s a brand new day. Yeah!!!!

And for those that think stay at home moms nap all day let me tell you something…..you’re crazy. I’m not sure when the last time I took a nap was. During the day I am down two Littles with diva and Wildman being in school but that still leaves three here.  And they Never nap  at the same time ever.  So one learns, or adjusts, to running on little sleep. And sorry moms, most dad’s can sleep through a hurricane. So a baby crying or a toddler running up and down the hallway will not phase them. I’m pretty sure they take classes on how to tune out kids. 

But I would not change a thing.  Yes there are days I wish I could lay down and take a nap, or days I wish I could sleep in past 6 a.m.(especially on Saturday and Sundays), or days I didn’t have to get up a 3 for a half eaten bottle. But the truth is I don’t mind any of these things. I enjoy my one on one with my baby girl at 3 am, I enjoy talking and joking with the boys, I am glad they are potty training. Life as a shift sleeper is pretty good. 

From our beautiful chaos to yours life is to short to sleep through it. There will be time for sleeping when we are died. Enjoy your little ones, hold.them, laugh with them, dance in the rain with them.   

Posted in adoption, Being a mom, blessed, Children, Faith, family, foster parent life, Home, Hope, life, love, Mom life, thankful

Who am I?

In the beginning I was just a dream of my mother’s. Then I became a daughter, first born child, to my parent’s.They are truly like no other’s.

As a child I was a granddaughter, apple of their eyes, stay and play with me awhile, card playing, garden helper, and slumber night at grandpa and grandmas kind of gal. 

I am a big sister, though sometimes not the best but siblings argue from time to time I guess.

I am an aunt of two spunky teens, they make me smile oh how I miss seeing them it’s been quite awhile.

For awhile I was Dave’s wife, mother of two, then I became his ex-wife if people really only knew.

 I am a survivor of domestic violence. It took years to escape, I had it search within to figure out this was not my fate. 

But who am I?

I am a Christian. I love my Jesus, the hallelujah host, I am not perfect not even close, so thankful for the times God love me most.

I am a friend, been both a good one and a bad. I have been there for some at their weakest moments, yet lost some because I was to consumed with life events. 

I am now Todd’s wife, mother of seven. I really miss living in WV “almost heaven”

There I was wife, mom, foster mom, adoptive mom, and so much more. Here I feel a loneliness  like nothing before. 

I miss my foster group meetings and dinners with the family. I miss my best friend’s girls night outs and and surprised bags of peanut M&M candies.

Don’t get me wrong I love my kids, our new house and state, I just wish I was adjusting faster and could have an occasional husband date.

Here I am only mom and wife, and half the time I don’t feel I am even getting that right.

I am now a Tennessean, Mountaineer at heart, Packers are my Pro team after all I am smart. 

I still hate frogs and stormy nights, but love to held around bonfire lights.

I am a kisser of boo-boo’s, a taxi, and a toilet bowl cleaner, sometimes life maked me just a little meaner. 

I am who I am, I’m lucky and blessed sometimes though I wish I knew who “just me” was I guess.

Posted in adoption, family, foster parent life

A Peaceful Day in Our World of Chaos 

Today started off with excitement in the air as JR woke up. The kids are on fall break this week. He decided to spend the week here with his younger siblings while our six year old went to my in-laws. But today he and his daddy were headed north to pick up his sister he “missed so badly.” He was excited. In his eyes it was an adventure, just him and his dad two guys taking on the world in the back seat of the Yukon. He got up, packed his activity bag, a snack bag, and waited as patiently as he could while his dad got ready.  He told me goodbye and off they went.  I came back into the living room to find our two youngest boys watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Baby girl was laying in her pack-n-play babbling to herself.  I thought to myself “Today is going to be a peaceful day.”

The morning went by as normal, we had breakfast, they played cars, and then they decided to watch a movie. When Disneys Cars was over we got dressed because the great outdoors was calling them. At least they waited for the dew to dry.  They love being outside. It took them a few minutes to realize they both could swing on the swingset….at the same time. Normally if JR and Elissa are here we have a major problem, four kids and only two swings. Someone is always upset. I’ve already looked at bigger swing sets for next summer. They laughed and giggled all afternoon. They chased the dog and played cars in the floor box. They played in the dirt and ran relays races.  It was so peaceful and so wonderful. The whole week has been like that.  

The boys have been so good this week. We have had the occasional fuss because one of them was sleepy or one of them didn’t want to take his bath but all in all its been a good week. And I needed it. Lately I have felt so many emotions, I’ve been upset, felt lonely, been angry, and even felt trapped (dead battery in the car). I feel so lost here most days without my family and the few friends I have. I can’t just pick up the phone and call my bestie and say “Hey want to go grab a coffee and vent about the day?” Or call my dad and say “Hey can you come watch the Littles for a few minutes so I can get my hair cut?” Don’t take this the wrong way I love my kids, they are my everything, but since the move they are my only thing.  And I am stressed. Trying to figure out what’s going on with our six year old and then dealing with all the daily things that come with being a mom of seven is taking its toll. And I know when Elissa gets back the peace will be gone. She has no control over it and until they figure out whats going on if its RAD or ADD or FAS or a combination of them all we will just get through each day one day at a time. So I needed today, maybe more than the boys did. 

The two of them can make my heart smile.  I can’t imagine life without them. They are the sweetest most kind boys you could asked for. Yes the can get a little, okay a lot, dirty and sometimes they can fight like cats and dogs. But today we had peace. There was peace and giggles and silly songs and dance breaks and milkshakes. Today was a day to just forget about all the problems in our beautiful chaos and just focus on my boys  (baby girl too). Today was beautiful. How I wish everyday could be like this. How I wish JR and Elissa were here to enjoy the day with us. How I wish more days could be stress free like today. How I wish life was not so darn complicated. 

From our beautiful chaos to yours sometimes you just have to be a three year old in an adult world. Take time to laugh, take time to play in the dirt, most important take time to just be with your little ones.

Posted in foster parent life

All in God’s Timing 

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1 Samuel 1:27- (KJV)

27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to theLord. And he worshipped the Lord there.   

This post is meant for someone I truly believe that. I went to post it earlier and it completely disappeared. So here we go again. The devil does not like it when we give God all the glory.

Being a mom is the most rewarding job there is in my opinion. I love the sounds of my kids laughing while they play together, I love the late night cuddles and I love the 3am bottle feedings. Being a mom is the best. I was blessed to have two children of my own and then God blessed us again through the adoption of our five Littles. I can’t imagine what it would be like not having them in my life.  But I have friends that long to be parents. For whatever reason being able to conceive a child was not in their cards, or so they thought. It is all in God’s timing. For those that stay faithful and do His will, He will find a way. God is so good.

When I was younger my family and I were members of a clogging team. We spent weekends traveling to different festivals in different towns preforming routines and along the way I met some wonderful people. One girl in particular became a life long friend. We spent our early years as friends writing letters to each other, back then we didn’t have texting, we called each other on the phone and even spent a few vacations together. As we got older she found her Mr Right and I traveled to Ohio to watch my friend walk down the aisle. She was a beautiful bride. Life happened and she and her husband went off to serve in the military and I married and started raising my family. We did not talk as much but our friendship was always there. 

For 19 years, yes I said 19 years, she and her husband tried to have a baby. For the first few years they gave it the good old fashion try but were never successful in getting pregnant. She then tried anything and everything the doctors and fertility specialist suggested and still no baby. As an expensive last resort they agreed In Vitro Fertilization was their best chance to conceive a child.  Even that failed, twice, and they began thinking God did not plan on them being parents. They prayed for the desire to be parents to go away. If anything it only became stronger as they got older. They talked about adopting but that never seemed to fit. After 19 years they felt it was time to give up on the idea.

I received a call from her a few years ago. She had something she needed to tell me. A few months before that call she and her husband had been talking about things and they agreed to give In Vitro one more try. They could not bear the idea that the fertilized eggs would go unused and the “What if” questions in their minds were more than they could stand. So before she turned 40 they decided to give it one more try.  The phone call started off as usual. She asked about the kids and my parents and I asked how things were going up north. That’s when I got the news I never dreamed I would hear.  “We did it!!! We are 5 and a half months pregnant ” I’m  not sure who was crying more.  Over the next few months I got phone calls and texts with updates on the long awaited princess and in early January 2015 she arrived. All six beautifully tiny pounds of her. In February I took Sierra, my first born, up to see them. It was a reunion and introduction well worth the wait.   Baby girl is now everything they prayed for all those years. Truly a miracle truly a blessing.  God is so good to those who love him. 

When Todd and I became foster parents,  I never imagined that our lives would be changed the way they have been. We have made some wonderful friends through this process that share the same love for these wonderful kids that we do. One of my most treasured friendships come out of a placement of two sweet little girls. 

We had received a call for a sibling group of two young girls. We agreed to take them and they quickly became part of our ever changing family. We had plans for a vacation a couple months out and as luck would have it, correction as God would have it, we were unable to change our reservations to get a larger cabin that close to the date. We would have to place the girls in respite care while we were gone, something we had never done. Matter of fact this was the only time we ever used respite care, like I said it was a God thing. Our worker knew of a new couple straight out of training class and they agreed to keep the girls while we where gone. We set up a meeting so they could see the girls and so that the girls would not be scared while we were gone. And then the next week we dropped them off. I called a checked in with them while on vacation and they seemed to be doing fine. When it came time to pick them up I was met with an odd question.  Jon and Nadine had fallen in love with them and wanted to know if they could be their foster parents.  The girls were up for adoption and we had no plans on adopting any more  (those that know me personally stop laughing ) so I called the worker and explained the situation.  The worker was excited that they wanted to be the girls forever family and just like that they become a family. We took the girls things down to them, they were excited to see us but even more excited to get to stay.  Nadine and I became friends quickly. We talked every week about the girls, my kids, our faith and the foster care system. I knew we all had made the right decision for the girls. Foster care, however, is not always easy and after 10 months of being a family the girls were removed and placed back with their birth father and his fiancĂŠe.  Thankfully they still have contact with them and the girls are doing good.  They are getting so big and so beautiful. As heartbreaking as it was that was not God’s plan for them.

Shortly after that they got a call for a safe haven baby girl and just like that they became forever parents. I remember her calling me when she found out there had been a baby born and that they had been chosen to be her parents. They got to pick her up from the hospital, they got to name her and after all the legal stuff they finally got to adopt her. She is the sweetest two year old you will ever met, but Aunt Crissy is a little biased lol. 

They recently moved out of state to be closer to Jon’s mother.  And even though they now had this beautiful little girl, they still felt it was God’s plan for them to have a child of their own. They have tried for close to 15 years. Fostering in the new state was an option and one that they looked into. They wanted a large family.  But God has His own plans. I would like to think that anyway.  I got a call a few months ago and she was extremely excited. She told me she had went to the doctor. She thought she had picked up baby girls cold, but in fact she was pregnant!!! She was far enough along that they felt it was safe to tell people. After nearly 15 years she was going to experience the joys of being pregnant. We shouted glory to God as tears ran down my face. He is still in the baby miracle making business. 

This past weekend Sierra, she always gets dragged along on long car trips, and I drove 16 plus hours up and 16 plus hours back to take part in baby girls baby shower. My friend Nadine was positivity glowing.  She is due around Thanksgiving, how fitting for we are all thankful for her. She is already so loved and blessed more than she will ever know. I cannot wait to see her. God is so good. 

The point of this blog is this, God still does miracles. I have seen them first hand. And if you long to be a parent never give up, have faith. Abraham’s wife Sarah was 90 when she became pregnant.  With today’s advances in technology more and more women are able to conceive, there is always hope. Never loss hope. Both of my friends tried for years and when God felt it was time it was time. We just need to be patient and wait our turn, God will bless us in due time. Rejoice in the everyday blessings both big and small for God is in control of them all.

From our beautiful chaos to yours never give up, always have faith, go to God in prayer over everything. He is listening and will answer when the time is right. 

Posted in foster parent life

If Mommy’s Kiss Really Could Fix Everything

As a mom, I have magical powers. Most mom’s do. It’s called  the power of the boo-boo kiss. You know what I’m talking about, the power of your kiss when your little one falls and scrapes their knee and or when they are running a fever and you kiss their forehead. For a small moment after that magical mom kiss everything is fine.  Their tears dry up, the crying normally stops (or at least eases up), you are the hero, you can fix anything, you are a doctor and therapist all it one. You fixed their boo-boo and all it took was one magical kiss. I wish life’s boo-boo’s really could be fixed that easy. 

I read a link on my Facebook page yesterday that has my heart in pieces. A little girl (under a year) was brutally beaten (along with many other horrible things) my her mother’s boyfriend.  Her mother found her blood covered body in the basement. She is now fighting for her life in a local hospital. This happened just down the road from my hometown. There are sick twisted people everywhere.  As a mom my heart aches for this precious child and her mom. Neither deserve this. The family does not deserve this. Why are people so cruel and evil?  I am sure her mom, as well as any mom including myself, just wants to hold her baby girl and love on her and kiss away the bad. Life is not fair. Bad really bad things happen to those who do not deserve it all the time. This poor sweet baby girl had no way of fighting back. My heart aches for her. 

One of the reasons we became foster parents was to help kids like this precious baby.  Many of the children we have taken in come with a dark past, none of which they asked for. We had a child who suffered a brain injury, she came to us after her surgery, we have had kids that were neglected, mentally and physically abused, kids who have seen more and been through more in their short lives than many adults have. They come from broken homes, broken families, and drug addicted parents.  You want to save them all but the sad reality is you can’t. You can’t even come close. I wish I could kiss away all the pain that comes with them as they walk through our doors. 

Even our five Littles we adopted have dark past that as their mom I wish I could kiss the “past boo-boo” and make it as if it never happened. Our six year old is struggling with behaviors that stem from being neglected and unloved almost the first full two years of her life. It’s a daily struggle and even though she knows we love her and she does not remember being in that horrible place, the damage was done long before she came to us. I can’t magically fix the boo-boo with my kiss.  It breaks my heart more than anyone knows.  I don’t get “I love you mommy” or even hugs from her very often. So when I do I cherish that moment for I don’t know if I will get another from her.  

When our five year old was just 7 weeks old his bio mother thought it was a good idea to throw him across the room. He hit the wall and landed on a mattress. Before that she had taken everything and anything to try to abort him because his dad decided he didn’t want to be with her and definitely didn’t want to be a dad.  She carried him only 31 weeks before having him. He has been my little fighter from day one. When he came to us at 2 months old, he was sick and weak but he fought through it. I wish I could kiss all his pain and suffering away but I can’t. He has autism and sensory issues and other issues that stem from the abuse he suffered both before and after he was born.  No child deserves to go through that.

Our other three Littles all had drugs in their systems at birth. Why why why do people do this to their children?? It’s one thing to not care or worry about yourself but to do things that effect your child (unborn or already here) is another.  But for these kids, my babies, they got a second chance to live a normal life thanks to foster care.  Many children do not make it to get that second chance. And that’s the scary truth.  Many suffer daily or even die at the hands of those who are suppose to love them and protect them.  Child abuse has to stop.

I pray that God helps that baby girl. He is still a God of miracles. I pray for her mom, her family and her community. I pray that the peice of crap that hurt her gets what’s coming to him. I pray for a miracle.  

If kisses were really magical I would bottle some up and send them her way. If kisses really were magical I would be able to protect my children, they would never know or feel the pain from their past, they would only know of the love we have for them and how grateful we are to have them in our lives. 

If boo-boo kisses really could fix everything…… the world would be a much better place.

From our beautiful chaos to yours please pray for all the children suffering today. Hold and love your kids a little tighter. Kiss away their boo-boo’s as only you can.