The main source of my chaos...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bittersweet Day

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for us.  We officially started the paperwork portion of Baby A’s adoption and signed the necessary papers at DHR.  Now we wait for the lawyer to file the papers, and get us a court date to make it all legal.  I’m shooting for the first of August.  Then, people, there will be a blog introducing Baby A… complete with a NAME and lots of pictures.  Yay! 

Yesterday was also the day that our little 5-year-old foster girl (referred to for blog purposes as “#7”) moved to her new foster home with her siblings.  This little girl was one of the sweetest children I’ve ever met.  She was polite and got along well with my kids.  She always did exactly what was asked of her without a bit of whining or bargaining.  I know… mind boggling, huh??  At one point, I wondered if I could sneak one of my other kids in the car with the new foster mom and keep #7 without her noticing the swap… I’m just kidding. Kinda. 

We had only had her a day or two when she went into the kitchen where Willard was cutting strawberries.  She asked if she could have one and he said yes.  When she turned back around to Yuri and Gigi, she said, “He is soooo nice!”  The expression on Yuri and Gigi’s face was priceless. You have to know us in real life to know how funny that comment is.  “Nice” is not commonly the adjective used to describe him.  Then a couple of days later, she came up to me and said, “Your daddy is soooo strong and he has big muscles”.  Again, she was referring to Willard. Needless to say, she wiggled her way right into his heart.  She told Haley Rae and Karlie how pretty they looked every time she saw them.  One morning, Haley Rae had just rolled out of bed and came into the den when #7 said, “Ohhhh! You look so pretty today!” Later that afternoon, I took #7 to her doctor’s appointment and she failed her vision screening.  Turns out she needs glasses… that explains a lot. 

She was a joy to have in our home and we will miss her, but we’re happy that she is back with her siblings and in a great foster home. 

Group Hug!!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yuri sings the National Anthem

Several weeks ago, Yuri’s teacher asked me if I thought Yuri would want to sing the National Anthem at the Kindergarten Rodeo.  I told her I would ask.  But then, of course, I forgot about it.  So a couple of days later…

YURI:                     Mom! I’m singing the National Anthem at school.

ME:                        Ohhh yeah.  Do you even KNOW the National Anthem?

YURI:                     Yeah, I know it.  It’s the NASCAR song.

Why, yes.  Yes, it is. 

Fast forward a few weeks.  She, along with 3 other little girls, did indeed sing it and did a great job.  Brother Jack was there and asked her if she’d sing it at church on the Sunday before Memorial Day.  She said yes.  (This child has no performance anxiety, as you might have noticed from some of her dancing videos)

Sunday morning rolled around and she was decked out in her American flag skirt, looking so patriotic even Lee Greenwood would be proud.  When she was called up front to sing, the congregation stood, she sang and I videoed.  As she finished the song, I stopped the video because that’s what one would do, right?  Well, Yuri decided to add a little spice to the song and ended it with “Gentleman, START YOUR ENGINES!”  Yes, yes, she did.  Of course, being the only real NASCAR fan in the family, I’m getting the blame/credit for this little outburst, but I had nothing to do with it.

Anyway, here’s the video of the song.  You’ll have to use your imagination for the NASCAR moment.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dear Jaclyn Smith....

Dear Jaclyn Smith,

I am so disappointed.  I thought we were friends.  I’ve been wearing your clothes for years because they’re made for real women, but then I tried on swimsuits.  Obviously whoever modeled these suits as they were being designed did not have an issue with the muffin top or the inner tube belly.  As I tried said swimsuits on, I realized it will be months (maybe years) before I can eat Kielbasa sausage without thinking about this experience. That’s because it looked like I took a couple of packs of Kielbasa and wrapped it around my waist before I put the swimsuit on.  Sigh. As a woman with certain problematic areas, I would have been happy to model these suits before you produced them in masses.  I mean, that’s what friends are for.      

Love ya,


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Don't Make Me Punch You...

This might be more appropriate as a Facebook status than a blog post, but I wanted to be sure and reach as many people as possible. 
If one more person incorrectly assumes that I’m Baby A’s freakin’ GRANDMOTHER, I’m going to punch them right in the face.
Right. In. The. Face.


Monday, May 13, 2013

TGIM - Thank Goodness It's Monday!

Some of my blogs are short and to the point.  Some are long and drawn out, much like when I’m telling a story in real life.  This is one of those.  If you’re in a hurry, better not try to follow along with this one.  I’ve got a lot of thoughts to gather.  Plus, I’m watching the last week’s “Nashville” episode and it’s distracting me.  Deacon and Rayna?!? …. Finally!! Yay!

Anyway, back to my blog. 

We have all our family over every year on Mother’s Day.  Like ALL our family.  My family, Willard’s family, even family of our family that isn’t even our family but they’re still part of the family because they’re family of our family.  Did you get that?  In a nutshell, a whole bunch of people… usually around 30-35 adults and 15-20 kids.  Needless to say, the week before Mother’s Day is pretty darn crazy around here.  There are days throughout the year when my house is kinda clean.  Some days my yard is mowed.  Some days the garage is semi-cleaned out.  Some days most of the laundry is done.  I can’t bring myself to say ALL the laundry because REALLY?!?! Is that even humanly possible?  But this one day of the year – Mother’s Day – the stars and moon align and I work my butt off for a week and things are as good as they get around here.  Even the laundry that isn’t done is hid well. 

I’ll be honest – it’s a challenge.  With a house of kids, a husband who works over 55 hours a week, and trying to actually do my job (not the mom job, but the one that pays the bills)… having several productive days in a row is a rarity.  There’s always something or somebody – a child, a client, an employee, an email or a phone call that needs my attention more than the dusting the furniture. 

I started out the week feeling pretty confident.  I had 6 days to get things in order.  Let me take you through my week, starting with last Monday.

Monday is the only day that Yuri, Gigi, and Karlie all leave at the same time.  Karlie drops Gigi off at preschool and Yuri at kindergarten.  It’s a traumatizing time for Baby A.  She is not meant to be an only child for sure.  I spend a couple of hours trying to pacify and entertain her and then it’s time to go pick up Gigi at school (11:30).  We get home, eat lunch, I work about an hour, and then it’s 2:30 and time to go pick up Yuri.  I work another hour and then it’s time to cook supper, clean up, get baths, wrestle with Baby-Who-Hates-To-Go-Sleep, and I’m beat.  Day 1 of Project Get the House Clean is an epic fail.

That’s okay.  Tomorrow is Tuesday and I’ll be able to clean all day.  Oh wait, I forgot about a foster/adopt luncheon that I promised a friend I’d attend.  Sooo… get kids to school, go to meeting, put out some work fires, pick kids up, supper, clean kitchen, baths, etc.  Day 2 didn’t go well either.

On Day 3 (Wednesday) I remembered that it was 3 years ago this week that DHR called me to take two little Hispanic kids (a boy age 2 and a girl age 5).  I remember thinking… wow… worst week EVER to call me but I said yes and I had them for about 6 weeks, I think.  They were so sweet and I was glad I didn’t say no.  That made me remember that May is Foster Care Appreciation Month, so I sent out quick appreciation email to my social workers just thanking them for what they do, etc.  I no sooner had hit “send” that my phone rang.  It’s Pam, my DHR worker.

Pam:                      Hey, Amy.  We need a big favor. We’ve got 3 kids…

Me:                        Only if they’re newborn, black, triplet boys…

I thought she was messing with me so I was messing back… Well, she wasn’t kidding, but I couldn’t take all three.  I told her if she couldn’t find anyone who could take the whole group, then I would take the 5-year-old girl as a short-term solution.  Fast forward a few hours…. I was headed to DHR to pick up child #7.  It was almost 6 p.m. when I returned home, and nearly bedtime by the time we got settled in.  And then I remembered that the flooring people were coming at 9 a.m. the next morning to put carpet in my den and hallway.  Oh, and I had to have all the furniture moved out.  Sigh.  Day 3… a complete wash.

The carpet guys were here most of the day on Thursday and I was contained to the bedroom so we could stay out of their way…so very little housework got done but the carpet looks good! Baby A got in a fire ant mound and Gigi smashed her finger in the door, so I spent a chunk of time playing Nurse Mommy. And then Haley Rae shows up with FOUR kittens.  At least three of them had potential homes but for some reason I didn’t understand, we needed to keep them at OUR house through the weekend.  Awesome.  7 kids and 4 kittens.   Day 4… not very productive! But that’s okay because I still have all day on Friday and Saturday to clean, clean, clean!

Wait. What? A meeting regarding our newest foster at DHR at 11:30 on Friday.  Oh, ok.  But as soon as that meeting is over, I’m hitting it HARD.  Riiiight.  I got home from that meeting at 2:00 and Baby A had a temp of 102.5.  If you’ve had a sick baby, you know that all they want is their mama and to be held.  I actually got quite a bit of stuff done, albeit one-handed and with a baby on my hip. At this point, I was starting to get concerned that this whole Mother’s Day thing wasn’t meant to happen this year.  I ended Day 5 holding a sick baby with a temp that had gone over 104 degrees and I started Day 6 in the same fashion. 

Thank goodness our pediatrician’s call group has Saturday clinic.  It wasn’t where I wanted to be, but with a fever that high, I was scared not to take her.  As I’m sitting in the exam room, I get the following text from my mom:


For those of you who don’t know, our oldest had a bicycle wreck when he was 8 (he’s almost 21 now) and knocked out his front two permanent teeth.  We’re in the final stages of the implant process, but he’s still wearing fake teeth that he can take in and out.  Well, he WAS.  They’re now floating in the septic tank at my parents’ house.  Sigh. Did I mention he starts an internship in Memphis in a couple of weeks?  And he has to fly to Chicago to meet the CEO of the company next week??  Yeah, he thinks it would be fine to go without front teeth.  He thinks it would make a heck of an impression.  He said, “There will be a couple hundred interns there.  Who do you think he’d most likely remember if I showed up with no teeth?” I guess that’s one way to look at it. 

Fortunately, everybody pitched in (the husband, the kids, the parents, etc) and we got the place presentable.  Now that it’s all said and done, I’m SO glad I didn’t cancel it, even though I saw signs EVERYWHERE! We had a wonderful day with lots of good food and good company.  Baby A was diagnosed with a “fever virus” and was fever-free after just 24 hours.  #7 is the sweetest little girl and has been no problem at all.  Yuri and Gigi are really enjoying having a playmate.  Hunter got fitted for new temporary teeth and they should be in before he leaves for his Chicago trip.  A happy ending to a long week! 

For the first time ever, I am SO glad to see Monday!
Best mother-in-law in the world

Lisa (middle child), Mom, Marla (baby), and me (bossy sister)

Can you find the difference?

Gigi cried to keep this cutie and her daddy caved.  He's such a sucker.  The only way I'd agree is if I got to name him.  I'd like you all to meet Lee Greenwood. 
Don't judge. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ReNewed Joy

I get so tired of trying to shop for my little ones.  I want them to look like little girls, not trendy teens, so I was THRILLED when I found ReNewed Joy… that’s the name of the company my friend Ahbra has launched.  She sews children’s clothing out of vintage material and IT IS AWESOME. Not only can they be custom-made (you pick the style, the combination of materials, etc) but they're also VERY reasonable.   And by VERY, I mean typically half of what other companies are charging for dresses nowhere near this cute. 

Apparently before I met Ahbra, she had a children’s clothing business.  They made the decision to sell that business to help fund the adoption of their 4th child (they already had 3 biological children).  Then the housing market pretty much crashed, which was troubling since Ahbra’s husband is a mortgage lender/realtor.  Oh, then they adopted another baby… Are you starting to see why I love her so much!??! Anyway, Ahbra’s husband told her that they really needed a second income, so she decided to drag out the old vintage material that she had hoarded collected, and start making dresses for little girls.  It wasn’t like Ahbra was sitting around bored and wishing she had MORE to do.  She took on this little adventure more out of need than out of want.  She actually considered calling it “Desperate Measures”, but decided that was a little too depressing.  Things are turning around for them, and I just know that God is going to bless this business.  I know this because SURELY it makes God happier to see our little girls dressed in pastel florals, and not like miniature Lindsay Lohans.   

Check out some of her creations. 

LOVE the colors in this one!
Bubble suits... BUBBLE SUITS!! YES!

Baby A has one in this style and it's adorable on her.

Are you in LOVE???

I'm throwing in a picture of my girls modeling their dresses for an extra dose of cuteness.  

I had to put in the whole link.  When I tried to shortcut it, it took me to a page that...ummm...let's just say will NOT bring you Joy.  Trust me.

Or shop on her Etsy page:
When you order, because I KNOW you will, be sure to tell Ahbra that I sent you!