Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Funny . . .

Yesterday we got some new-to-us furniture. We got a fabulous deal of Craigslist for a set of leather living room furniture. I love it because of all the pet hair and kid crud that will simply wipe off. My dog however isn't too pleased. When she attempts to sit on the top of the love seat and look out our picture window she slides down the back.

It's pretty amusing. She's adjusting.

An interview . . .

I was interviewed for the 5 Minutes for Special Needs website. It is a fabulous site that helps parents in a multitude of ways and educates people on the multitude of special needs that families deal with on a daily basis. Since Marla introduced me to it, I have laughed cried and learned a lot. In fact, she is the one that suggested they interview me.

I'm certain my answers to the interview won't be anything new to you, my lovely readers, but head on over and give them some love. And say something nice about my crazy comments . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My boy . . .

Why o Why . . .

Patty asked me to share my conviction for Barack Obama today. While I may be cemented in my choice , I a not so eloquent when it comes to explaining it. But for Patty, I’ll give it a whirl. I posted this in her comments and decided to share it with you all.

When I heard Barack Obama speak at the 2004 DNC I was awestruck. I heard a man who believed in hope. I heard a man who believed that America could restore it’s place in the world and in our hearts. I heard about peace, and acceptance, and HOPE. I wanted to believe that this man could change our perceptions and put America back on track.

As I researched this man, I found that he came from humble beginnings. He embodied the American dream. He believed that all our young people should have the same opportunities that he had fought so hard for. He believed that we could succeed and that it was our government’s duty to help that happen.

Throughout the primary I was struck by the family. By the way Michelle swore the girls would not be paraded around just for votes. That they would continue in school and have a “normal” a life as possible. When the family came to Fort Wayne in May and I had the opportunity to meet them I saw first hand their love for one another, the respect and the familial bond. You couldn’t stand that close to them and not feel the genuine love. You could see it the night Michelle spoke at the DNC and the girls saw their daddy on the big screen, and you could see the pride and respect Michelle has for Barack last night when he was speaking right on her face. It amazes me.

I struggle with the abortion issue. I believe abortion is wrong. . . for me. I believe woman should make better choices and explore other options. I believe my God condemns abortion ( the act, not the woman). The problem is I cannot mandate MY religious beliefs. I cannot tell a woman that MY God says no. I know that this is a sore spot for believers, but I believe that Barack’s position on the issue most closely mirrors my own, for that I am grateful. I suppose if I am wrong, that is between me and my God.

I am also certain that he will surround himself with men and women who can make his beliefs in America and his dreams for America a reality. Republicans, like Hagel or Lugar, Democrats or Independents could be a key part of his administration. He isn’t a man who would shun more intelligent, informed and capable people just because of party affiliation. That will strengthen our government and truly make it for the people and of the people.

He inspires me. He makes me want to do more for my fellow man. He makes me believe that we CAN make America better. And for that I am grateful!

Check out Matthew25. They are a Christian PAC that supports Obama and speaks for MY heart. The page that is entitled, Put Away Falsehood is AWESOME.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Park days . . .

McCartney would swing until she fell asleep and
fell off the swing if we let her.
She LOVES to swing.

This was about the 3000th attempt at a picture. There were some older boys at the park and it is NOT cool to let your mom take your picture apparently. I think I bribed him or this one.

Common faces at our home.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meeting Dustin . . .

I was reading Torina's blog today and I read her account of the first day she met her adopted daughter Tara. It made me think about the day we met Dustin and what took us on that journey . . . I decided to copy her . . .

Robert and I had been trying to conceive for about 2 years. No such luck. He had been married previously and had never had children (that we know about har-har) so we were not certain what the issue was. When he was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor in March of 2001 we were told that could be the reason and if it was we would be pregnant by Christmas.

Having a brain tumor puts your whole life in perspective. Robert was happy to have it diagnosed and removed and felt thankful that his life was going to be better. He came home one day and told me that he wanted to open our home to kids and give them a family. He wanted to foster.

We went through the classes, got what we thought was sufficiently scared (not even close) and got our license. Our agency called us the day our classes were finished and said, "We think we have a child you would do great with. He needs a family that's not tarnished. He's high needs, but is a wonderful boy". High needs? That should've been our first clue . . . RUN. We were told he had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Early On-Set Bi Polar, PTSD from severe physical abuse, Sensory Integration Disorder, Attention Deficit Disroder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder and had killed animals before. But we were willing to meet him. They sped our license through the system and he visited us the next weekend.

The morning we met Dustin was a cold and raining Saturday in May. We met his foster mom at a local Pizza Hut parking lot. We got there first. We were silent as we waited. We had talked and talked and talked about this and our expectations until we were blue, we were scared. When the foster mom drove up in her truck we saw a little boy in the front seat. He was tiny, just barely looking over the dash. He had on a dirty, ratty jean coat on and a much too large Spiderman raincoat on over it. He was wild-eyed and sucking his cheeks in. He had a multi-colored "snake" around his neck that was a weighted device to help keep him settled (yeah right) and a very badly done home-haircut in the shape of, you guessed it, a bowl. (which covered a horribly picked forehead, which we were told was from OCD and later turned out to be from the stimulant meds he was on which made him psychotic- he was actually eating his flesh UGH)

I heard Robert sigh as they drove up and he said, "Are you sure you wanna do this" I said, no and got out of the car. Dustin got in our van and we headed home. The following few hours consisted of him running around the house touching everything, me trying to keep the animals safe from his poking, prodding and pulling, and digging worms til he had decimated my front lawn. He refused to eat anything but chicken nuggets and french fries (for months), did not sleep well, fell asleep at 10:00pm (despite a full clonidine) and was up at 4:00 in the morning ready to go for the next day. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and stressed, and yet I had a peace that this was the child destined for our home. Robert was not so sure at first.

That first visit he was not super lovey. He did cuddle at bedtime, but he was wild and flitty most of the time. He did not develop his touchy-feely side until a while after he was placed with us. This child had been in 9 placements in a very short 2 year span. I believe he was so used to being moved from place to place that he waited to see if this one would "stick". Well, that and the fact that he was severely over-medicated (5 prescriptions - 21 pills per day for a 48 pound 6 year old).

His foster mom told us that he had everything removed from his room because he destroyed things. She said he had a mattress in a carpeted room for him. He had even torn apart the mattress. We gave him a wonderful room, with *gasp* mini blinds, *gasp* a tv/vcr, a toy box and *gasp* a real bed. He was thrilled. Pretty sad that he was thrilled to have a bed. Sure he poured things into anything and EVERYthing that would hold liquid, sure he cut the hair on his stuffed animals because he found scissors in the bathroom, sure he snipped the cords to the miniblinds, not once, not twice, but 3 times before we changed to roll shades, but he enjoyed his room. I think he felt like a "real boy". I truly believe that's what made him trust us, that's what made him know it was okay to love us. He knew we wouldn't give him up because he was "bad". And BOY-O-BOY was he "bad". We had so much to learn!

And by the way, the very day he was placed finally with us, he got a haircut.

One day in September, he climbed up into my lap in the computer room where I was sitting talking to Robert. He looked at me funny and held my face in his hands. I asked him what was wrong. He patted my stomach and said, "You're going to have a baby". The next day I bought a pregancy test and gosh darn-it he was right. We had never talked about getting pregnant in front of him, but he knew I was pregnant even before I did. Weird.

Today I put my baby boy on his school bus to first grade. Last year at this time I was a nervous wreck, putting my little one on a great big bus to school. I even drove to school and made sure he got off the bus and into the classroom he belonged in. I was a mess. Today I was calm and happy to see him off to another year.

About 30 minutes later, I get a call about Harrison. He had thrown up on the bus. Great. The lady from the school office thought he was fine and he had no temperature. I told her I thought it could be nerves, but that I would bring him new clothes and check on him. When I got to he school, I asked him how he was. He said fine. I asked if he was still feeling sick. He said, "I think I was just a little anxious." I asked if he wanted to stay at school and he said yes.

My little worrier. I think he was stressed out about finding his room and seeing his teacher. He is a really good puker like his mother. Hopefully lunch will stay down. . .

While I was there, there was a child sitting on an aide's lap in the office. He looked terribly upset and I overheard her telling someone that someone from another school ACROSS TOWN was coming to get him because he got on the wrong bus that in turn took him to the wrong school. YIKES! I knew I should be worried for a reason. . .

Sunday, August 17, 2008

An attempted distraction . . .

Dustin has had a hard weekend. Even though he is excited about school starting, I know he is a little anxious. His behavior has been horrid this weekend. Harrison is a little nervous as well, and I don't think McCartney feels all that well because she has been incredibly cranky and even napped today.

We decided (read: Mommy decided) we were gonna take the kids to the Zoo to try to get them sidetracked. Not a good plan. They were whiny, grumpy and foul. We did have some fun moments and they loved riding the train.

They also laughed when a goat escaped from the petting zoo and I chased it down and carried it back to inside of the fence. A woman said, "Wow, that was great." and I said, "I've got three kids a goat is no match for me!" Thank God Robert didn't get a picture of that.

After the zoo we decided to stop at Clara's Pizza King. We went in and McCartney had a melt down becuase she wanted to sit at the table with the porch swing. It was not being used, but was not cleaned off. So, I cleaned it off. Gross, I was not a waitress or a bus-boy for a reason, I hate other people's food mess. Then we sit down and they start whining about who's gonna sit with Daddy, who's gonna get what to drink and Harrison is "stuck" on playing the arcade games. I had enough. We told them that if the whining and the crying didn't stop, we'd leave. And we did. Actually I left McCartney on the floor of the dining room where she threw herself down. She came out he door soon after me. We've never actually done that and I think they were shocked. . .

Here are the pictures on the train . . . they look innocent don't they?

Trimming trees . . .

Yesterday I went up on the porch roof to trim trees. We planted an apple tree with Harrison's placenta (I know, we are weird) and a pear tree with McCartney's. This season they took on a life of their own. The grew much higher than usual and I let them go with my busy schedule. It was time to tame them.

I'm certain we looked amusing to our neighbors. As I was trimming on the roof trying not to fall off, McCartney was hanging out the bedroom window throwing the ball back and forth with Daddy on the ground. Then I broke out the ladder and finished the job on the ground. We played the "game" that the child who picked up the most branches and threw them in the trash won. We had a three way tie! Hey, at least they picked up.

The following pictures are not for the faint of heart . . . or nanny. . .

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Overloaded . . .

I have been majorly overloaded this week. Tying up loose ends with the summer program, getting things set for the new school year, taking a million calls from people who need childcare Monday who waited the last minute, and most importantly, watching many HOURS of Olympics into the wee hours of the morning.

This weekend I have plans to clean the house and work in the yard. Robert isn't feeling well so now I'm heading to Lowes with three kids. . . . oh lord.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun Camping . . .


More pictures uploaded over at our Family Blog.

There ain't no bugs on me . . .

We took the kids camping this weekend at Salamonie Reservoir. I haven't been there since I was little, my dad once sunk a boat in that lake after hitting a log in the water. . .

We had a great time and the little enjoyed their first camping outting. I ate my weight in burnt marshamallows and we all got dirty, sweaty and tired. A success! The dog went also, and she did really well. After whining for hours the first night, she aclimated and had a good time in the lake. They have a really nice beach area and I think we will be frequenting there quite a bit, we scouted out some good campsites before we left.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Beautiful day . . .

Today turned out to be a beautiful day. I loved the warmth in the afternoon while I worked outside, and then a nice coold breeze in the evening, not really muggy. My kinda evening.

We had Marla, Big Daddy Joe and Maizie over tonight. We don't typically do that sort of thing, and I am not really good at it. I guess I need to travel outside my comfort zone and not be so worried about how my kids will act or how Dustin will obey (or our old house). He is doing SO MUCH better and I need to remember that and embrace it. They did really well!

Maizie is the sweetest thing on two feet. I love her little faces, and her forceful way of telling Marla to communicate something for her, and the way she kissed Joe on the head while we were sitting outside. I think she enjoyed our Macaw and she tolerated all the stuff McCartney had to show her and all the words McCartney used. She is a gem and we are truly blessed she is in our lives! I hope Dustin and Maizie will continue to want to be around one another because I think she is so good for him. The joy that he has simply for having a friend is priceless!

It is also really nice to sit across from people who "get it". Even though the disorders, disabilities, whatever that Maizie and Dustin have are called different things, we share some of the same frustrations of diagnosis, the years of the scary unknown, and the joys of simple accomplishments. They get it and today we shared the wonderful children we have today still on a journey of finding themselves separate from those disorders. And thankfully they have found one another.

And by the way, I came clean about what the note said the other night at dinner. He scrunched up his nose, got all red and said, "Mom! You're embarrassing me!" Then proceeded to tell everyone and anyone who came near him that Maizie had a crush on him and he likes her too. . . as a FRIEND. It was adorable. Tonight after I made him shower I was brushing his hair and he said, "Mom, it's like a date!" I nearly swallowed my tongue!

And on another note, I solidified my resolve tonight to get a tattoo. One of the dads at daycare is a tattoo artist and I talked to him this week about drawing something up for me. After seeing Marla's "fresh ink" I decided I was gonna bite the bullet and do it . . .

I am a freak . . .

So, I get a call from our renter today telling us they have been offered a job in another state and will be leaving us. I decide to go to Lowes to find some mistint paint I may be able to use (Mistint paint is a huge vice of mine and I usually have some around in order to do a quick project when I'm bored . . . I know I'm a freak check out the title) So I head over to Lowes about 8:00 pm. I left with a carpet remnant to replace the carpet in the kid's living room downstairs and a gallon of mistint paint. By the time I finished with the carpet, I decided I wanted to paint the downstairs bathroom since the paint that was used in bathroom had it's lid popped off in the basement and the paint dried out and I have no touch up paint and Harrison wrote a giant H on the window frame in red permanent marker (how's that for a run-on sentence?)

So, It's now 2:40 am and I have replaced carpet and painted a bathroom.

I. am. a. freak.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I do . . .

Eleven years ago today I married the love of my life. When I met Robert my dad had recently passed away. As I was telling my mom about this older man I had met she stopped me and said, "Sheri, I told you I am not dating anyone." I said, "Good! He's not for you, he's for me." And he is . . .

I am blessed.