"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tough Love

What do you do when everyone wakes up at 6 am? Well, I thought about baking delicious homemade blueberry muffins (for about a second). I considered taking a power walk. I could even fold laundry.

But, in the end, the french toast at IHOP was calling my name!

I think Francesca broke a new pancake consumption record.

Since we had such a good Saturday, I decided to push my luck and go to Target today. Catherine is having a birthday this week and I needed to get some supplies.

I managed to drag my mom and Grandma along with me for moral support. Plus, I was excited because they have a really cool handicap tag so we can park up front. Of course the tag did expire in 2007 and it is from Florida, but we really like to live dangerously.

My plan was that Catherine would happily stroll down the toy aisle and choose a birthday present, which I would quickly slip into the cart without her knowing about it. Such a thrill.

Catherine's plans somewhat deviated from my little fantasy. She planned on holding onto everything she saw and buying it RIGHT NOW. She didn't care that her birthday was not today. She was tired and she was hungry. She wanted me to carry her throughout the entire store. She let the entire store know this.

I decided to do the whole "natural consequence" thing and I told her if she didn't stop screaming, I was going to take her home. I gave her a 2 minute warning and a whole speech about proper behavior in a store. I told her she was going to miss out on all the fun. I was feeling very empowered for about a minute.

Of course, Catherine immediately saw the error of her ways and apologized. NOT. While driving the 5 miles home, I congratulated myself for being so consistent and making such an impression on Catherine's young mind. Meanwhile, Catherine was looking peacefully out the window and counting trees. She seemed pretty darn happy. It was very annoying.

This is what I managed to buy before we left the store. All of these supplies were crucial for my survival. Too bad Catherine will not be having any of it for her birthday.

By the way, Catherine wants a cake shaped like a fire truck.
Given my history of baking, I'm sure it will turn out to be sensational.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun Friday

Guess what? Nothing horrible has happened in two days! It's a record for me!

I love summer! Today my friend, Melanie and her kids came over and we went swimming. She brought me some Mint Milanos!!! Happy, happy day!! Notice my fancy new (well, new to us, it's really a 1999) Suburban? My dad found it for us. I love driving it. I can't believe I am actually showing everyone a picture of me in my bathing suit!

After the hot sun, the kids decided to have a tea party. Yes, I have plastic on the table. I like to be classy.

The sun really tired everyone out. The little ones took a three hour nap! So, of course they are still awake now.

Francesca's hair is getting longer and wilder. I love it! She is signing "more"! I wish she was just a little bonded to me. She is pretty much happy with anyone.

Apparently, sharing is NOT caring. Francesca and Catherine have quite the tumultous relationship so far.

So cool!

Victoria gets so excited when she sees me in the morning. She shakes her whole body! She still only wants to eat white food (and books, apparently).

I have a really exciting weekend planned. I have to go to Wal-mart and the library! Oh boy! I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lots of Knots

Ok,I promised myself I would not complain anymore about my life, so that means I am NOT going to mention that at the park today a yellow jacket flew up my shorts. The little demon managed to sting me twice before it zipped happily away. I was very brave. I threw the kids in the car and immediately drove at warp speed to my mom's house. My mom is such a great mom. She immediately got out the ice and got on the internet to see how to put out the fire on my leg. So now I smell like Tea tree oil and baking soda. Thank you mom! You are the best!

I am also NOT going to mention that we had no chocolate in the house so I was forced to eat a brownie mix right out of the box. It was kind of dry, not that I am complaining.

The babies are wearing double diapers tonight because seeing bodily fluids that are NOT in a diaper at seven am really starts the day off great!

Now, a few random pictures...

Pigtails, sort of.

Catherine's first piece of gum, chewed for 30 seconds.

My Dad and Elliot. Love you Dad!

Sweet big sister

Stupid Yellow jacket!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Universe.....

...must really enjoy laughing at me!

Really, I have some very inspiring, deep thoughts to write about, but my life keeps getting in the way.

So, what do I do about Catherine screaming for TWO solid hours because she doesn't want to take a nap, but as soon as I pick her up, she falls asleep? When I laid her down again, she screamed for another TWO hours.

My friend, Theresa, came over today to hang out. We were having such a fun, relaxing time, that I should have known to cue the "Jaws" music. Theresa went to pick up a pizza, but returned a minute later with a slight problem. Catherine had left her tricycle behind Theresa's car and she didn't see it, so, squish. Really it is my tricycle from when I was two. At least it was mine. My tricycle that I named "Huckleberry and that I have kept safe all these years safe from grubby little hands.

The problem was: How do we get the bent pieces of purple metal out from under the car? First, we tried being Wonderwoman and lifting up the car. We were actually surpised this didn't work. Then we thought we could just jack up the car, but that would require us actually knowing where a jack was and that we knew how to use one.

When it started raining we nixed being super heroes and called her husband. The only thing he could do was drive forward really fast until my little trike was dislodged.

Catherine pitched another fit at bedtime because she didn't get any Twizzlers. She is now sleeping in the hallway next to the dirty laundry because she whacked Francesca.

Somehow I don't feel that justice has been served.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

30 days

Today we have been back from the Ukraine for a whole month. We actually haven't been home a whole month since Victoria was in the hospital for the first week, but still, it seems like I should be doing some kind of reflecting that doesn't involve counting the minutes until nap time .

Most of my thoughts lately have been pretty basic. Things like, "What the heck am I doing?" or "How can an 18 pound child continue to poop 10 times every single day?

A lot has happened in just a month. Victoria and Francesca have changed so much. Francesca went from a child who was so hungry that she picked crumbs off the floor to a child who actually refuses food (only sometimes). Victoria is learning to trust more and more everyday. I think, I hope, they are both happy.

But I don't want to become complacent. I don't want get back into my routine of making grocery lists, going to the park and doing laundry. I don't want to ever forget what I saw in the Ukraine.

I am not sure what to do just yet, but I am working on it. In the meantime, here are a few sweet angels who need homes, just in case anyone is looking for a sweet child. You can read more about them on Reecesrainbow.org

Sweet Bethany with HIV

Mila, who has already been transferred to a mental institution

Roland, who has Dwarfism

Sammy, he has Aperts Syndrome, like Francesca

By the way, I finally unpacked my suitcase today!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Wild Friday Night

Well, it's 8:30 at night and I can barely hold up head up. I just had to write to say thank you, thank you, thank you a million times for all the comments and advice and caring! Thank you to my wonderful mom and dad. Thank you for all the wonderful food and for the compassionate phone calls. Thank you for taking my kids and letting me have some time alone! Thank you for staying with Victoria at the hospital. Thank you for listening to me whine! Thank you for all the prayers!

Do you know some wonderful people pitched in and sent me an Ergo! They lost it at the hospital, but Elissa took the time to call the hosptial and I got it yesterday! Several children have sent me wonderful cards. One said, "Do not be terrified, God is with you". Someone sent me adorable outfits, books, and toys for the girls! Without all of you I wouldn't be keeping my head up at all. I would be sinking fast, right down to the bottom! You all are my heroes!
(I have many more pictures of wonderful people to post, but I can't seem to find them, please forgive me!)

My friend, Jen!

I was quite proud of myself today tough. No one would nap, so I took the five girls to the library and to get Chick-fil-A ice cream all by myself. Francesca loved her cone, but sadly, it fell on the floor. Victoria saw a balloon and went crazy. I have never seen her so excited. Of course, I yanked the string off the hook and took it home with us. It's attached to her high chair. If I say, "Where's the balloon?", I swear, that smart child looks up at the yellow balloon!

I had to pay a $40 fine because when I was in the Ukraine, several of the library books were lost, but hey, at least I managed to check out twenty-five books and lug them home!

As soon as we were home, Anastasia demanded to know what we were going to do that was fun for the rest of the day.
I said, "Our fun time is going to consist of eating warmed up nuggets for dinner and folding towels!" Yipee!

Gotta go get ready for bed! Actually, the bathroom floor is looking pretty comfie right now.....ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz......

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Are Invited: Whine Party

Unfortunately, no mixed drinks will be served, unless you count Ovaltine mixed with skim milk.

Yesterday was a pretty awful day. Really, it was worse then when I had to have both my wisdom teeth pulled and a root canal on the same day. Really.

The day started off with me taking Victoria for a speech/feeding evaluation. After two hours, I was almost in tears. They assessed her at a 2 month old level. They said she would have to have all kinds of therapy many times a week. I began to feel panicky. They said I had to get her to eat five times a day. They said she must eat a variety of foods with lots of different textures and that she should be talking by now. I told them the child just realized that she could stick out her tongue last week. Could we give the kid a little time?

The day got much better after that. Elliot kept tormenting Anastasia so she threw some water on him. Unfortunately, she also threw the bowl, which shattered into a million shards of glass. Elliot somehow got a sharp piece in his foot. Blood was everywhere.

Francesca started to shriek. Victoria started to cry. Catherine was screaming that she wanted some lip gloss.

Isabella pitched a fit about the dinner I was serving. She wailed like a drowning rabbit.

Wait. Don't I have six kids? Where did this other one come from?

I considered giving everyone shots of Benadryl.

The doorbell rang. My neighbor told me that someone left our gate open, so now my three dogs were running wildly around the neighborhood.

Catherine screamed again about her desperate need for lip gloss.

Two minutes later, Anatasia slipped while holding her plate of food and broke another dish.

I was busy having an out of body experience, dreaming of Mint Milano cookies.

An hour later, the bathroom flooded when "nobody" forgot to turn off the faucet in the bathroom sink. The sink which is also clogged. 200 towels were used in the clean-up.

The highlight of my day was when I got to collect a stool sample from Francesca for parasites.

I made a midnight run to CVS for some cookies and they were out of Milanos!!!

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.

Please share your nightmare stories. No one likes to whine alone!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


"One of the greatest diseases is to be nothing to nobody." Mother Teresa

See the little one with the sad eyes laying in the crib. She was just another child that no one cared about. Just another child no one noticed.

That was my Victoria laying in that crib.

This is her now.

Everyone deserves to be somebody to someone!

We can ALL make a difference to someone. Please help those who have no voice.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On Finding Tranquility

I know just how you feel Victoria!

And this is why!

Sleep, please, please, let me sleep!

Today, in an act of desperation, I searched for somewhere in my house where I could have peace. So, now I have a brand new office. It has everything I need, including the most important thing, a door that locks!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Unanswered Questions

When will I actually unpack my suitcase?

Will I ever have spoons in the silverware drawer?

How high will the garbage get before someone notices and changes the bag?

Will Victoria ever eat food that isn't white?

Will Francesca ever have less than 6 poops a day?

Will I ever sit down to eat a meal again?

Will everyone ever sleep at the same time?

Will my children do what I ask the first time?

These and other exciting questions might be answered someday. Or not.