Holiday Joy

January 14th, 2014

I can't believe it was already our 3rd Christmas with the Littles, who are really not so little any more. This year, everyone was old enough to remember what Christmas is all about, which is both good and bad news. They truly had a lot of fun. On Christmas Eve after dinner, each child in our family gets to open one present. That gift always contains pajamas.  This was instituted the year I realized that my kids always looked neglected in the holiday photos because I had not given a thought to their Christmas pajamas. So everyone gets pajamas and the photos look great. (Except this year I could not find the camera on Christmas morning. Oh well, best laid plans!) Last year they were so excited about that Christmas Eve… [more]

Birth Sibs

November 5th, 2013

My mom and I made the 4 hour trek to take Pepper to see her birth siblings. (Technically they are half-siblings. I don't think it matters to them or us!)  Our last visit several years ago was a little tricky because both Pepper and her sister were in a difficult time in their lives. It just wasn't the family reunion my daughter hoped for. I think it was also very hard for her seeing the challenging life her sister had.  It was a couple years ago and it was a "getting to know you" visit. This visit, however was different. One thing that made a huge difference was that in the time since that meeting, we'd all three corresponded on Facebook and we'd occasionally heard from the youngest brother too.  (Pepper… [more]

Adjusting

October 20th, 2013

coffeeThankfully when we were going through the process of adopting our daughter we had some idea of when she would arrive.  With my son, we did not know anything about him.  We just received a call  he had been born and we could go pick him up.  My daughter did come two weeks early so that was a surprise.  The wild thing was a couple of days before she was born, I went in to total nesting mode.  Our house was the cleanest it had been since we moved in.  I thought it was awesome that I was able to experience the feeling of needing to "nest" and not being pregnant.  As far as being ready, we had everything we needed because… [more]

10 Tips for Taming Wild Week-days

September 11th, 2013

DSCN7718Yep. School started -- and along with it all the wild week days: Lunches, backpacks, waterbottles, folders (HATE them), homework - it's a wild world here. The boys have now had 2 full weeks of school, Pepper and Tinker are in weeks 3 and 4 respectively.  I admit it, having a staggered start to school is what saved me.  But now a full month in, I have to tame the madness a bit or go crazy.  I thought I"d remind myself (and you) of a few things that really keep the calm:

  1. Start the week with enough clean clothes for everyone. Do laundry as the week progresses but do it all on the weekend and start with a minimum of 5

Teens Dealing with Adoption

August 21st, 2013

IMG_0399My new job gives me the opportunity to educate people about adoption. Most folks don't know much at all about the process, particularly about how adoption plays out in the teen years.  Both our older girls have birth siblings they've never met. Pepper has 5 half-siblings (4 living), and Sunshine has 1 half-sibling.  Pepper has met the youngest of her group and the only girl. I know we say it all the time but it bears repeating, grief is a natural part of adoption. At different ages in the adopted person's life, they grieve anew. Being adopted is hard on both my teens. In Pepper's case, the loss of her birthmother several years ago threw her for a loop. That was the impetus… [more]

Summer Fun

June 29th, 2013

Serious captainIt's not what you think. We do have all the "regular" summer fun around here - camping, swimming, Popsicles - but we are having a new kind of summer fun. We're learning to read. Yep, all three Littles are on the reading train. I thought The Captain would benefit from some summer phonics; he has struggled so much in the academic part of school this year. Having all ready tried everything that clicked with "the Bigs," I talked to my friends about what helped their kids. I settled on Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. It is working like magic. All three kids can now sound out simple words and all are making rapid progress. I almost can't believe… [more]

Working

June 16th, 2013
Categories: On the Home Front

DSCN7515 A lot has been happening on the home front these days. There was my “Easter surprise” in which I had an unexpected 9 day luxury vacation with meals delivered bedside and round the clock attendants. Okay, okay, the attendants were nurses and the food was hospital food but it was still extremely relaxing. While I was on my luxurious "spa" vacation, I got hired for the second job. This was only day 2 of my stay so I optimistically still expected them to walk in and say, "Our mistake, you're perfectly healthy. So I said, "yes" to the job. I started work a week after coming home from the hospital. Just prior to that unexpected sojourn I had begun applying for jobs. It… [more]

Bearing Wrongs Patiently

February 19th, 2013

DSCN3158Our family is Catholic which means at this time of year (season of Lent), we each choose something to "sacrifice."  Little children do not really understand the purpose or goal of this tradition, so we make a choice for them.  This year we decided that the whole family would seek to "bear wrongs patiently." This is hard for me.  It's really hard for young children.  When little ones believed they have been "wronged," they want to shout it from the rooftops. They want retribution. They want justice. I did not have any grand expectations on how this was going to work out. I understand well the process of sacrifice; you give something up, you take it back, you recommit, you slip up, you recommit… [more]

“Real” Siblings – A Love Thursday Posting

February 7th, 2013

DSCN7339Because our 3 youngest share their birthmother, they all do look a little alike.  This is a new situation for us as our older two look nothing alike.  Although Pepper is 21 months older than Sunshine, when they were youngsters, they were very close to the same size.  People constantly asked us if they were twins. We thought this was pretty funny since we cannot imagine a world in which they could be twins.  They were, however, very close and I think that people picked up on that "sister" vibe between them. Occasionally people did ask, "Are they real sisters?," to which we replied "Yes," even though we knew they meant "biological sisters."  We did not feel their birth stories were anyone's… [more]

Perseverance

January 26th, 2013

all babiesBefore I became a parent, I was very interested in cribs, baby bathtubs, tiny clothes and shoes.  I agonized over picking the right pediatrician.  I worried that my child would be sick and I wouldn't notice.  (That actually brings a chuckle now since every mother knows that you more often think they are sick when they are fine than the reverse.) I focused a lot on names (probably appropriate) and cloth vs disposable diapers (less important than it seems at first).  We philosophized about parenting methods but had to use almost none of them on our perfect-at-the-time oldest child.  Could I handle sleep deprivation? Would my husband and I still find time together?  (The answer is "Not at first, but it… [more]