The main source of my chaos...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 28 and Day 29 - All My Children

I am thankful for my kids. Since I have so many, I’m going to use this post for Day 28 AND Day 29.

I am thankful for my handsome son, Hunter. I’ve learned over the past year that as smart as he may seem, I have to remember that he’s still a kid and doesn’t always make the best choices. I know he’s mine and I’m probably biased, but I honestly believe this child is gifted. He has the ability to do anything he wants with his life and be successful at it. There aren’t many 19-year-old boys who can carry on a conversation with a child, an elderly person, or the Governor, and be equally comfortable with all three of them.

I am thankful for Haley Rae. She’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, although she tries hard to keep that a secret sometimes. She is the first one in the family to fall in love with our foster babies, and has such a soft spot for the underdogs in life. She puts up such a wall and seems so tough, but she’s all soft and gooey on the inside. I watched her grow in her faith over this past year, and I’m proud of her beyond words.

I am thankful for Karlie. I have so many responsibilities, and I couldn’t do it all without Karlie. She’s so helpful with the babies. She will do whatever I ask, and usually with minimal complaints. She has such a sweet spirit. Karlie wants to save the world. I see her doing something with her life that helps other people. You know how no matter how many kids are in a family, there’s usually one that takes over as the caretaker for the elderly parents? Well, I think Karlie will be our caretaker. 

I am thankful for Yuri. It’s all thanks to her that our lives took this dramatic turn. She’s the one who flashed those big brown eyes and that dimpled, gummy smile at Willard and won her way into our home. She also may be the child that puts me in the looney bin. She’s 5 going on 15, and it’s not good. She has attitude that my older girls didn’t develop until they were tweens. But anytime I get aggravated with her, I can go back and read the article about how she came into the foster system to begin with, and any irritation I have immediately dissolves. She’s my miracle baby and I love her so much.

I am thankful for Gigi. My bay-bay. Baby G. Ask any of the other kids who our favorite child is and they’ll all say Gigi. We just laugh and say it’s because she knows the tricks. She’s so sweet and loving. She wants to cuddle and hug all the time. If the rest of them were so affectionate, they might get special treatment too! That child has more personality than anybody I’ve ever seen. She’s not as outgoing in public as Yuri, but if you ever sat down one-on-one with her, she would crack you up. She’s so funny - and smart!

I am thankful for our new baby girl. She’s 6 weeks old today and has brought so much happiness to us already. She is truly the best baby ever. She eats and sleeps and never fusses. I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see her future, but I can’t. We’ll just give her all the lovin’ her little self can take for as long as we have her.

I am so blessed!!! Did I mention that they’re ALL beautiful??  See for yourself!

There are rules against posting pictures of foster children, so I can only post one where her face is not visible. Just use your imagination… her face is just as sweet as the back of her head!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 25, Day 26 and Day 27

I'm behind....

Day 25 – I am thankful that I didn’t get that female shopping gene that makes me want to get up in the middle of the night and fight 12,000 other people over a toy that I am only saving $18 on.

Day 26 – I am thankful that I come from the great state of Alabama. I was watching the pre-game footage yesterday and I was so touched by the way Alabama and Auburn came together after the tornadoes. The Iron Bowl can get UGLY and the fans can be ridiculous, but I was very proud of the sportsmanship I saw yesterday.

Day 27 – I am thankful for my mom. Today is her birthday. I won’t say her age but she was 22 when she had me and I’m 41. She’s the mom that never missed a ballgame, forced me to take piano lessons, wouldn’t let me wear white after Labor Day or before Easter, dropped everything to bring me whatever forgot to take to school, carried me to church every Sunday, passed on the baby stalker gene to me, and a million other things that made me who I am today.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 24 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful.  I’m just thankful.  When I try to narrow it down to what I’m MOST thankful for on this, the biggest thankful day of all, I just can’t do it.  I am blessed beyond words.  Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.  I hope you are all going to bed with a belly full of food and a house full of love. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 23 - Good Health

Today I am thankful for my health and for my family’s health.  With so much sickness and pain around, you would think we wouldn’t take our good health for granted, but we do.  Yes, I’m tired.  And yes, my back hurts sometimes.  And the occasional headache is quite inconvenient.  But I’m HEALTHY.  Willard has the bones of a 90-year-old man and has pain every day, but it could be so much worse.  Except for Gigi, my kids rarely ever have even a cold.  Gigi struggles with asthma, but when I start feeling sorry for myself because I have a child who doesn’t sleep because she’s pumped full of steroids, all I have to do is think of the kids we see at Children’s Hospital and that puts my whiny butt right back in line. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 22 - Sleeping babies

Today I am thankful for 5-week-old baby girls who eat at 10 p.m. and then sleep until 4:37 a.m.  I think she's on a mission to become my favorite child! :)

Thankful blog - Day 21 - FACES

Today I am thankful for FACES and the wonderful things they do for the foster children in Morgan County. LOVE the Silent Auction! Look what I won tonight!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 20 - Fellowship

Today I am thankful for fellowship.  We had Thanksgiving at my aunt’s this afternoon and I got to spend time with my cousins (who I feel like I never see even though most of them live less than 15 miles from me).  I even got to see the prodigal cousin who I haven’t  seen in FOREVER and I met his very sweet new family.  Then tonight, we had Thanksgiving supper at church and had even more fellowship.  Our special guests tonight were from the Baptist Children’s Home and Milestones Ministry.  I made some new friends and I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with them. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 19 - zzzzzz

Today I am thankful for sleep.  I can lay down anywhere, any time of day, and be asleep in about 12 seconds.  No kidding.  I’ve always been that way.  My mom keeps telling me that one day I will lose that ability but I’m not so sure.  I’m pretty good at it.  Just call it a gift, I guess. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 18 - Spanx!

Today I am thankful for Spanx.  If you know what those are, then you’re probably thankful for them too.  If you don’t know what they are, then you’re either skinny or a man.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 17 - Christie Tapscott

It’s really embarrassing and a sign of OLD age when you reach the point in your life that when you need to GO, you NEED TO GO! I was in Decatur yesterday driving to an appointment with the new baby when it hit me. It really hit me. I was in my car and quite frankly didn’t see anywhere that looked like a suitable area to stop and potty. I’m so *not* a germ-a-phob but the thought of putting the baby down ON THE FLOOR, even in her seat, in one of those public and disgusting bathrooms was more than even I could handle. So… what did I do? Well, I called up my trusty friend, Christie Tapscott, who works in the courthouse building.


ME: Hey – what are you doing?

CHRISTIE: Just working. What’s up?

ME: Well, ummm… this is embarrassing. I REALLY gotta potty and I have the baby and I don’t want to put her down and the bathrooms are disgusting and I just don’t think I can hold it and I feel so freaking old and I can’t believe I’m asking someone to HOLD MY BABY while I go to the bathroom….

CHRISTIE: Hahahahaha. It’s fine. I will meet you at the door.

So, I get the baby out of the car and carry her THROUGH the rain into the back entrance of the courthouse. It was cold and it was raining, but people, I HAD TO GO!

When I get inside, Christie is standing there talking to the security man who runs the metal detector. When he sees me, he just waved me through.

CHRISTIE: I told him you were my friend and I’m just going to hold your baby while you PEE.

Oh, gee… thanks Christie.

Anyway, it all ended well. I emptied the bladder (which has apparently shrunk to the size of a thimble) and Christie got to show off the baby to all her co-workers. She was, by the way, deemed the most beautiful baby any of them had ever seen.

See…. When I was thankful for my friends a few days ago, THIS kind of thing is what I was talking about. Do you have friends you can call to hold your kids while you pee? I sure hope so!

Thankful blog - Day 16 - Dr. Linda Gordon

Dr. Gordon has been Yuri and Gigi’s doctor since I first got them.  I’m pretty sure if you quizzed Dr. Gordon, she would forget that Yuri even exists.  She has seen Yuri approximately one time a year.  The child is NEVER sick.  Gigi, on the other hand, is a frequent flyer through their office.  I tried to add up how many times she has been admitted for asthma/pneumonia.  I’m not sure, but I believe it’s up around a dozen times.  Dr. Gordon is very cautious with Gigi, and understands how fast she deteriorates when she’s sick.  Having dealt with a jerk of a pediatrician when my older kids were babies, I’m especially thankful for Dr. Gordon. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 15 - FRIENDS!

Today I am thankful for friends. Good friends, bad friends, new friends, old friends, needy friends, supportive friends…

Good friends, as awful as it is to say, are hard to find. To me, a good friend is someone who will tell you if they find out your kid is doing something unacceptable. Someone who will take the time to check on you when they know you’re having a PMS week. Someone you can tell your deepest, darkest secrets and know without a doubt that it will never go any further.

Bad friends are friends who really are friends, but they’re just too busy or distracted to stop and just be a friend. They have great intentions, but life just gets in the way. I’m afraid I’m guilty of being a bad friend to a lot of people. Sorry, guys.

New friends. I love new friends. I get so excited when I talk to someone who I’ve probably know forever but never considered a “friend” and then I realize how much we have in common.

Old friends are my favorites. An old friend is someone you can fall out of contact with for months or longer, but pick right up where you left off and make it seem like you never missed a day. My dear friend, Gala Martin, falls in this category. She doesn’t have a Facebook and I doubt she reads my blog, so I feel totally disconnected with her. But that moment that I pick up the phone and we reconnect, it will be like we just had lunch last week.

Needy friends. Lawd, have mercy. You can never have too many friends, but you CAN have too many needy friends. There have been times in my life that I’ve felt like Dr. Phil. Thank goodness for artificial happiness (i.e. Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro). Most my previously needy friends now fall into a different category!

Supportive friends are those who will listen and listen and listen to YOUR problems and complaints but never seem to mind. Whenever you’re in the “moment” and telling your side of the story, they’ll nod and agree with everything you say. Then when the moment passes, they will gently offer their suggestion of how you might have handled things differently, without making it seem like you were wrong in any way whatsoever.

I believe I fit into one of these categories with different friends. I can be a good friend and I can be a bad friend, and I can be all things in between. If you’re reading this and you consider yourself my friend, don’t you wonder what category I put you in? haha! I’ll never tell!!!

Thankful blog - Day 14 - Cracker Barrel

I am thankful for Cracker Barrel.  Cracker Barrel has the best breakfast in the WORLD.  I am pretty sure I could eat nothing but the Old Timer’s breakfast for the rest of my life and never tire of it.  I would weigh 500 pounds, but still…

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 11, Day 12, Day 13

I fell behind this weekend on my blog so I’m combining three days into one blog.

Day 11 – I am thankful for weekends. Sometimes they’re as busy as the work/school week, but this time of year is the exception. There are no volleyball tournaments and no softball tournaments, so I actually find myself having Saturday mornings semi-free. I love shows like “Sell This House” and “Flip This House”, but hardly ever get to see them. I must admit that Sundays are not a relaxing day for me. Getting everybody up and ready for church is a stressful thing, but I try to relax on Sunday afternoon by watching the race or taking a jeep ride if the weather permits.

Day 12 – I am thankful for DVR. Isn’t it fabulous? I don’t watch a lot of “live” TV, but I DVR several shows to watch when I’m up at night with babies or just when I’m folding clothes, etc.

Day 13 – I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for the Heimlich maneuver. On the way home from church this morning, Yuri was sitting in the 3rd row seat with Karlie when she made a weird sound and Karlie yelled “What’s wrong with her?!?”. I looked and Yuri was doing the classic “I’m choking” hand motion. Her face was basically maroon and she was flailing her arms around. Karlie unbuckled her from her booster seat and handed her out the door to me. On the side of the road, I did the Heimlich until she threw up. She ultimately had to throw up three times before the piece of hard candy finally came out. I was SCARED to death! I know people mean well when they hand out candy to kids, but I doubt I EVER allow my kids to accept a piece of peppermint again. I’ve already had them practicing their response when someone offers them hard candy… “Thank you but my mama says I can’t eat hard candy because I might choke to death and then she would be very sad”.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 10 - Coaches

Today I am thankful for the wonderful coaches that work with my children on a daily basis. During whatever season it is (volleyball, basketball, softball), these coaches actually spend more time with my kids than I do. I’m thankful that the coaches involved in their lives are compassionate, Christian individuals who love and encourage my kids.  Not everybody is fortunate enough to have complete peace when their kids are at practice.  I don't have to worry about inappropriate language, bullying, or derogatory behavior, but this hasn't always been the case and it has made me appreciate the good influences more than ever. 

P.S. I’m not just sucking up because tonight is Haley’s first basketball game of the season. I really am thankful! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 9 - Gilgals!

Today I am thankful for my Sunday School class.  They’re my friends, my sisters, my prayer warriors.  We may all be at different places in our lives – some are married, some are single, some have grown kids, some have babies, some work outside the home, some work inside the home, some are happy, some are not… but it’s awesome to see all those differences melt away when we need each other.  We may be frazzled females, but we’re victoriously frazzled.  I love my Gilgals!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 8 - Fall weather

Today I am thankful for this wonderful weather.  It makes me want to sit out on my porch and drink coffee.  And I don’t even drink coffee. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 7 - DHR and foster babies

Today I am thankful for DHR and the fact that they called me to pick up this sweet baby girl that is laying here beside me.  I don’t know what the future holds for her, or how long we’ll get to keep her, but I’m savoring every moment.  If you haven’t seen her, you simply must!  She’ll be making a public appearance at Haley Rae’s basketball game this week in case you want to meet her.  :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 6 - preschool teachers

Today I am thankful for the wonderful pre-school teachers at Fairview Child Development Center. Yuri has Mrs. Maegan. You never know how your child acts when they’re away from you, but I have a feeling Yuri is telling ALL the family secrets. She couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it, so if she thinks it’s juicy, you can bet she’s going to tell anybody who will listen. I’m thankful that Mrs. Maegan is discreet.

Gigi has Mrs. Melanie, but when Gigi says it, it comes out “Miss Mel-a-lee”. I hear “Miss Mel-a-lee said…” a million times a day. Here are some of the things that have stuck out lately.

“Miss Mel-a-lee says it’s nice to share”.

“Miss Mel-a-lee says I can’t say Roll Tide in her class”. (haha)

And my personal favorite…

“Miss Mel-a-lee says whenever you are in the dark, don’t be scared ‘cause God is with you the whole time”.

Thank you, ladies, for taking good care of my babies!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful blog - Day 5 - SUNSHINE!

Today I am thankful for sunshine.  With the dreaded Daylight Savings Time upon us, I have appreciated the nice afternoons this week.  I am already sad and depressed thinking about how early it will be getting dark now.  Since I started blogging on what I'm thankful for, it has made me more conscience of everything around me and made me appreciate things that I didn't even notice before.  PERHAPS I will become thankful enough to even be happy about Daylight Savings Time, but I wouldn't count on it. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

THANKFUL blog - Day 4 - Karlie cleaned her room

Today I am thankful that Karlie cleaned her room last night.  Now I don't have to be the bad guy and make her sit home ALL WEEKEND LONG WITH  NO CELL PHONE OR COMPUTER. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

THANKFUL blog - Day 3 - The HUBZ!

I spent the entire day cleaning out my office to make room for a nursery.  As tiny as she is, new baby has accumulated some serious "stuff"!  I didn't really use my office anyway.  My "office" is a laptop while I'm sitting in my comfy chair with my feet on the ottoman.  I was able to consolidate everything in my office into one filing cabinet.  Ahh... the joys of being paperless! 

Since my office used to be part of the back porch, but we closed it in to make an office a few years ago, it's really not bedroom-friendly.  As in, there's no closet.  I mentioned to Willard a couple of days ago that I need some kind of portable closet-thingy to keep Little Bit's stuff in. 

ME: Do they make those?
HIM: Yeah, and they come in a million pieces. 

It was only eight little words, but when he spoke them, I knew there would never be a portable closet in that room so I started thinking about Plan B.  Imagine my surprise when the VERY NEXT day, he comes home with a box that weighed 180 pounds and had more like HALF a million pieces.  Being the skeptic that I am, I figured Little Bit would be doing her own laundry before it got put together. 

I owe him a huge apology.  A mere 2 hours after starting the project, it was complete.  And there actually wasn't a huge amount of profanity involved. 

Waaaa Laaaa!

And yes, I am aware that her closet is full and she has only been with us 2 weeks.  Good thing there is room on that wall for a second closet if we need it. 

Anyway, on Day 3, I am thankful for my husband.  He not only spent his evening doing something that I know he didn't want to do, he took me to Talladega last weekend, and he unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher today.  I think he's getting soft in his old age! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful blog... Day 2

A couple of months ago, my babies got a Veggie Tales CD in their Chick-Fil-A kids meal.  It seemed like a cute little CD with several catchy tunes.  Until I listened to it 48,783 times.  Ever since we got it, if the car is running, we're listening to Veggie Tales.  Karlie and I even do a duet to the "SUV Song".  One time I dropped my kids off at pre-school and drove all the way to Hartselle before realizing that I was STILL singing along with a Veggie Tales CD!  I did learn that the Polish word for lip is "usta".  Now when I want Yuri and Gigi to be quiet and zip their lips, I yell out "Usta!!". 

Last week while walking through Wal-Mart, I saw a Lional Richie CD laying in the top of a $5 bin so I bought it.  It's a Greatest Hits CD so every song on it is good.  Imagine my surprise (pleasant surprise) when I put it in yesterday afternoon and the babies started jamming out.  Yuri actually said, "Is this Justin Beiber??".  Uh no.  Anyway, I'm happy to say that Lional has distracted my family from Larry the Cucumber, at least for a while.

So, on day 2 of my thankful blog, I am thankful for Lional Richie and his Greatest Hits CD.  Thanks, Li!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's November - my THANKFUL blog

I'm feeling ambitious this morning.  I've decided to commit to blogging every day this month and listing one thing that I'm thankful for. 

Today, in honor of her 81st birthday, I would like to say that I'm thankful for my mother-in-law, Jackie Stiles. 

I met Jackie on Easter Sunday in 1986.  She was as nice as could be to me that day and has been just as nice ever since.  I have felt like part of her family since that very first day.  I've often said that the best thing about Willard is his family.  (Just kidding, honey)  I hear "mother-in-law" stories and I can't even relate.  I could not ask for a better mother-in-law. 

Jackie cautioned me over and over during my courtship with Willard about marrying a Garnett.  She kept saying, "I'm warning you... he's a Garnett.  They're all stubborn and hard to get along with.  Don't say I didn't warn you".  Haha. 

Jackie is the kind of mother/mother-in-law/grandmother who puts everybody else's needs before her own.  She is the epitome of a selfless woman.  She's the peacemaker in a family of... well, Garnett's.  And since I'm outnumbered, that's all I'm gonna say about that.  :)

It has always annoyed Jackie that her son was given the nickname of Willard.  His REAL name is Christopher Scott.  He got the nickname of Willard when he was a young teen and it just stuck.  Jackie was a Wal-Mart greeter for several years, and people would come up to her and say "Are you Willard's mother?".  She would smile sweetly and say "I wouldn't name a DOG Willard... I'm Chris' mother".  Now might be a good time to mention that Jackie's REAL name is Stella Mae.... but they call her Jackie.  Hmmm. 

Happy Birthday, Me-Maw!  I am thankful for you!