If I know you, and you're reading this blog, you have two choices:

1) Feel free to pretend you haven't, should the contents be offensive, sensitive in nature, or just TMI (Too Much Information).
2) Comment freely or talk to me face to face, and be prepared for further honesty and opinions.

Okay? Okay.

Feb 28, 2007

Have I told You Lately

A friend of mine lost her husband about a year ago. She is an acquaintance through my son's school, our kids are in the same grade. She is a woman of strength. I don't know her well, but I call her a friend.

You can still read the depth of her grief on her face. She doesn't appear to be as lost as she was right after his death, but the grief, the sorrow, the loss, the aloneness is there.

It is in my nature to reach out to help, but I don't know what I can do for her. I know she has a support system and I am sure she is slowly healing, recovering from this blow, but still I feel for her. We just passed the one year anniversary of her husband's death and I just can't get her, or her husband, off my mind. I saw her, briefly, on the playground last week and let her know I was thinking of her...

Somehow I am hoping this release into cyberspace will help me to let go.

A few days after he died, I brought Julia over for her to hold- something about holding a new life when someone has just died. Julia was only two weeks old at the time- I think I will always remember that as part of Julia's story-

I had been questioning accepting two more children into our already large family. Concerned that others would criticize us, question our motives, accuse us of 'having more kids for the money' (like there is any truth to that statement!). Questioning our own limitations, level of exhaustion, stress, lack of money, etc., etc... when I attended the funeral.
I sat and watched and cried and walked away secure in knowing that we are parents because we love these children.
We may be done or we may continue to grow- I've learned to never say never. But, I have Jim to thank for that.

And for Vikki, I wish peace. I hope that missing the touch of the man she loves, lessens. I hope the nights are easier.

'...For the morning Sun in all it's glory
greets the day with hope and comfort too...'

Feb 25, 2007

Belated Birthday

Jack 'O' Patrick, Jack Patrick Pickle, Jackie, Jack 'O', Jack Jack Marble, Jackers

For a boy who didn't know his name, he's got a lot now.

We had told our local Social Services folks- no kids over a year- but of course we got the call for an 18 month old. When that call comes we have always tried to garner as much information as possible before saying yes or no. Jack's story, like every one, was sad.

He had been 'in the system' for several weeks and they had just identified who he was. It seems that his path went a bit like this... Birth mom went to prison, left Jack with a different woman of a different ethnicity than his own. This woman, left Jack at her grandmothers home when she stole grandma's car and money. Grandma's niece shows up a day or so later and asks what this white baby was doing with her auntie. Auntie/Grandma has not a clue and this is when he is brought to Social Services. The folks at DCFS put Jack in a receiving home (a home that accepts kids at all hours, all ages, regardless, for up to 30 days) where he remains for a week or so as a John Doe. When the receiving home goes off (accepts kids for two months, gets one month off...) Jack is placed in a different receiving home where he is dragged around to different pediatrician's offices in the hopes that someone will recognize him. After several days, Jack is identified based on the fact that the first woman he was left with, had brought him in for some illness or another and the staff at the pediatrician's office remembered that the two were different ethnicity's.

Of course, before this, there is a long history of drug use by birth mom- and details are not known. At 18 months, Jack did not respond to his birth name. 18 MONTHS! Babies will respond to their name around eight to ten months of age... We assume Jack was severely neglected, at best.

I can still picture him when we went top pick him up. A large toddler dressed in a pair of too small, dark brown boat shoes(which I mistakenly removed from his feet once he was in his car seat...he howled), short overalls, and a tee shirt with no hair. A darling boy who had night terrors and never let go of his milk cup. He watched us all.
When he hurt himself he would not allow us to comfort him. He would roll around on the ground screaming and we would have to sit and watch until he soothed himself.

He had a phrase for 'what's this?' and that was all we heard until other words came. His first? Frog- we had a tank of fire belly toads that were at his eye level that he would watch for long periods.

He split his head open on a table about ten days after he came to us. It was a trip to the ER where he screamed like crazy, but lay so still I didn't need to hold him...although I did. What had been done to this sweet boy?- was all I could think.

After about three days we were in love and knew that if it worked that way, we would keep him - he already felt like ours. And it did work that way, and he became legally ours a little over a year after he came.

He turned five on the 17th. FIVE. Where did that toddler go?

For the first year or so that Jack was in our family he would run at the sound of Happy Birthday, hiding and crying. At his second birthday he hid his face and cried. Now he joins the fun and generally shyly smiles when it is his turn to receive the honors. This year he covered his ears, but never took his eyes off the cake!

A few months into his placement with us we had a chance to visit with his birth mom- who recognized him for her birth child- a confirmation that he was who everyone thought he was. Recently, we have been told that Jack has quite a bit of biological relatives here in town. This was new information. We have always known that there were bio sib's, but had thought they were out of the area. While we talk about birth stories in our house, Jack never asks or responds to his. We are interested in contact with his bio family, but aren't sure how Jack would react and are definitely not interested in finding out at this point. Jack is an intelligent boy whose emotions are still immature. He continues to have difficulty accepting praise or positive attention and is mortified when he becomes embarrassed at a slight infraction. He will start therapy this week to address some of these issues and others that are hard to put into words.

He is the child I worry most about 'doing him wrong'. He is a sweet, generous, loving, gentle, extremely loud boy with a whole lot of emotional turmoil who can be sullen, excited, mad, and spin out of control. He has the ability to push my buttons like none of my other children and I love him very much.


We have been hit hard with the flu and cold... It feels like weeks, when really it has only been one week.

Julia in particular has been hit the hardest. And by that I mean, up all night, coughing, sneezing, fever, miserable, crying, hoarse, not eating, fussy, rolling around on the floor soundlessly weeping, clingy, won't take medicine, secondary ear infection, three trips to the doctor, pitiful, whiny, pathetic, snotty, sticky. It's been lovely and so restful... poor thing.

Jack and Leo haven't got it yet- not sure how.

Gus is done, Grace, Mia, and Abe are still running low fevers and Ruby just started... gotta love it.

K and I are still, well maybe I shouldn't say it, so I won't...

Jack's birthday post has been in the works for a week I think I'll get it out today...

Feb 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Moo Moo!

I know there's a lot of kids and it would seem we would have a birthday all the time, but this one, this one, was all about Cowee! Note, the birthday crown.

We're hoping this will not be a trend. Because in addition to having a lot of children we also have a lot of stuffies, animals, dolls, little people, dinosaurs, vehicles...

Apparently Cowee is six today. We lit candles, we sang, no presents- gotta draw the line somewhere, right?

P.S. That is a tattoo on Abe's forehead - he has not been beaten.

Feb 14, 2007

Valentines Day

Well, of course I have no present- or card.

For approximately 18 years I have sent or given beautiful flowers - truly beautiful, because despite my appearance and dress and lack of fashion, I have good taste. I am not crafty and am only occasionally creative -in the creating original gifts and valentines- kind of way. But I do like to write (I'm not saying I'm good at it, I like it). So, what better way that to put my valentine sentiments on my public blog?

How many different ways to say 'I Love You'? I love the way I miss you when we are apart. I love the way I still get butterflies in my belly. How sometimes thinking about you makes me tremble and get goosebumps. My best friend, soul mate, other half, yin to my yang? All the ways you complete me?

At this point I get a bit blocked, because that says it all. What more is there?

So much more.

Parenting, loving, talking, sometimes arguing, moving (U- haul type), watching the world go by, sleeping, reading, making a home, learning, gossiping, growing... and it goes on and on.

Wouldn't trade a day. So thankful you are in my life.

Distracted by your beauty daily.

That's all.

Feb 8, 2007


Apparently, it is the theme of the day. Stripes. I generally do not have a problem with my kids picking out their own clothes, but Oh MY! Thank God it is pajama day at preschool this afternoon- the pajamas will, at least, match.

Feb 5, 2007

And Then There Were Eight





~Belly laugh

~Beautiful smile


~All that hair

The phone call came. And it went a little like this.

Hi, this is Tina from Department of Social Services. I understand you have some openings, and was wondering if you would consider two babies?

A chuckle from my end- two? are they twins?

Well, no... they were both born yesterday, but they have two different birth mothers.

Okay, uhm, can you tell me what you know?

Well, I know they were born yesterday. And I think one is Hispanic and that one, or maybe the other one, is around five pounds.

Are these sick babies, are they tox positive?

Well, I am not sure at this point, but we will find out. Are you willing to take one or both of them?

We can definitely take one, I need to talk with my partner first, can I call you right back about the other?


Ruby arrived four hours later.

Julia, 24 hours later.

They were both five pounds. One Mexican and one Laotian, both with no prenatal care and a long history of meth use by the birth mom. Oh, and both girls.

We love them very much- our non-twin twins, and they are staying forever.

Happy Birthday Girls!

Feb 1, 2007

Exactly Why I Am Certifiable (or at least part of the reason)

I am overwhelmed by the amount of thoughts, ideas, stories that are wandering around my head. Like...

~why, every time I know of a new baby, see a new baby, hear a new baby cry , I yearn for more

~my newest thrill is the idea of my canaries mating and having babies

~my house is filled with animals, that for the most part, I have to take care of- it's like a genetic flaw...

~Jack needs play therapy

~the depth of love and passion I feel for my partner

~my dream that Paul Newman was celebrating his birthday at my house, and his wives and children didn't like my cooking

~I'd like to live in a world where it was okay to be gay

~Ella is getting old and how are my children going to deal with the death of one of our dogs

~happiness is relative

~how I accidentally left my six year old at home by himself for 30 minutes last week


~adoption should be free

~ they should stop worrying about an exit strategy, say I'm sorry, and bring the troops home. In that order.

~fitting in

~Meth addicts seem to procreate at the drop of a hat and infertile couples are desperately infertile

~play dates absolutely should include alcohol

~everybody is lonely

~Bush should really be impeached (I mean, come on!)

~I really need some new pants and shorts

~sirens often make me cry

~being independently wealthy would be really nice

~human beings hurtling themselves through the air in gigantic, heavy, metal objects is just unnatural

~I hate static shock

~thinking about getting smashed by a train every time I cross over the tracks is probably not normal

~people should be nice to each other

~I used to listen more and talk less, and I miss that about me

~reserve judgment until you have walked in their shoes

There are more, but for now this will have to do because it is all I have time to write down. I'm thinking each one could be a post. That's the goal, in no particular order...