Thursday, February 25, 2010

If you give a mom some dirty dishes (a true story)

If you give a mom some dirty dinner dishes, she'll rinse them off and put them in the dishwasher.

When she can see to the bottom of the sink again, she'll notice that it's looking a little dingy, so she'll scrub out the sink quickly.

As she's scrubbing out the sink, she'll remember an item of clothing she'd intended to hand wash earlier in the day. She'll grab it and wash it in the sink while she's thinking about it.

When she is finished, she'll take the item upstairs to hang in the bathroom to dry.

While in the bathroom, she'll remember that she put toilet cleaner into the upstairs toilets earlier, but never came back to scrub them out. She'll finish that job since she's already in the bathroom.

While scrubbing the inside of the toilet out, she'll notice the outside could use a good wipe down, so she'll do that as well.

Upon leaving the bathroom, she'll see a stray pair of shoes that needs to be returned to the closet.

Once she's done that, she'll notice that the laundry basket is still sitting on her bed with folded clothes that are ready to be put away. She'll put the clothes away, and then take her child's clothes to the next room.

While putting laundry away in her child's room, she sees there are a couple of items that need to be hung up, so she'll put those things away as well.

She also figures she might as well take a minute to pull out her child's pajamas for the night and lay them out.

Seeing the pajamas will remind her that bathtime is coming soon, so she'll lay out a washcloth in the bathroom.

In the bathroom again, she'll notice that the wet clothing item is dripping onto the floor, so she'll go to the hall closet and pull out a towel to catch the wet drippings.

Returning to her child's room to finish putting the laundry away, she spies a bouncy ball partially hidden under her child's bed, so she'll pick it up and slip it into the spare bedroom to add to the "rainy day" collection.

Upon opening the spare bedroom door, she sees that she's forgotten to put away the wrapping paper rolls she'd gotten out a few nights prior to wrap some gifts. She'll take a minute to put those away.

While she's finishing that job, her small child barges in the room and reminds her that it's time for her bath, so she'll take her to the bathroom, brush her teeth, undress her, and sit her on the potty while drawing her bath.

Her husband enters the room for bath duty and asks "What have you been doing up here?"

"Nothing," she'll reply.


Monday, February 22, 2010

New(ish) blog

I forgot to mention...

I am also now writing at Too Busy for TV. It's a way to chronicle the little projects, fun activities, and simple crafts Sassy and I do, and hopefully encourage others to do the same! I'm loving this new stage she's in of wanting to really explore things and learn through doing.

I also have been featuring some other fantastic reads as I find them! {see new post today about that} There are so many excellent ideas out there... why not take advantage of them? :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I came across a really neat coupon site a few weeks ago and thought I would share! While there are many online coupon sites from which you can print coupons, this is the only site I have found yet that offers electronic coupons. No printing, no clipping, and no forgetting them at home! :)

Sign up for an account (it's free) and search for your grocery store. If they don't happen to be in your area yet, I did notice that you can request notification when they are.

If you DO see your store listed, you can put in your store card information, and it will link your savings directly to your card. Browse their coupons, add the ones you want to use (or even just any you think you MIGHT use!), and when you purchase that item at your store and use your store card, the value of the coupon is automatically deducted from your total. Easy as pie!

While there are not tons of coupons available through Shortcuts, I've noticed that they do list new ones fairly regularly, so it's important to check every couple of weeks. I've saved $5.25 so far in the two shopping trips I've made since registering my account. Coupons are not doubled as some printed coupons are, but you can use the electronic coupon in combination with a printed or newspaper coupon to save even more money and end up with some really good deals!

Just as regular cut-out coupons do, Shortcuts coupons do have an expiration date. You also cannot reuse them. Just as you hand in your paper coupons to the cashier, Shortcuts coupons are marked on your account as being used. However, it appears that they re-post some coupons, so just keep checking to see what's available.

Hope it works as well for others as it has been for me! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Raisins: a warning

When serving lunch to your two-year-old, please take caution when adding raisins to their plate. Even if she has NEVER given you an ounce of indication that she just may do something besides eat the raisin, your toddler very well may be calling you when you step out of the room by yelling "Stuck! Stuck in nose!"

You may discover that simply asking your child to blow her nose does nothing to dislodge the stuck raisin. And you may find yourself sitting in front of the largest window to get the best possible light, pinning your small child down in your lap, and using your good tweezers (as its the only pair you have, and the only thing potentially smaller than the nostrils in her cute button nose) to attempt to un-stick a dark dried fruit from a dark, snotty space.

You may further realize that your good tweezers are only pushing the raisin up further into her small nostril. But be persistent! You'll eventually get it out, even if your child is crying and apologizing FOR you since you are apparently not focused on saying you're sorry for the inconvenience.

Anyone else had the pleasure of dislodging pieces of your child's lunch from places they were never intended to be?

No? Just us?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Uncomfortable exchanges

I'm not sure what about me says "adoption poster mom," but apparently there must be something others see that I cannot.

I do understand that adoption is a unique life experience that most people just have not had, so that "singles us out" as being different. That's okay, but sometimes there are those who cross the line into being inappropriate or just plain obnoxious.

This post has been brewing for weeks, and I just haven't had the time or the energy to sit down and pour my thoughts out here. Though, I will say, my husband has gotten an earful. :)

A couple months ago, an older woman from our church (whom I've known for years) came rushing up to me, all excited to tell me some news. Let me preface this story with the fact that this woman, although very kind, is not someone who is known for being tactful or soft-spoken. She's taken an interest in us, though, for different reasons, and I think one of those reasons is the fact that we are an adoptive family. Evidently, this intrigues her. I think she also likes to interact with my daughter as a "granddaughter" of sorts, because she does not have grandchildren.

She was very aware of our being in the adoption process three years ago. She was happy for us when we were matched, even giving us a huge gift bag of adorable coordinating Carter's outfits for our daughter-to-be. But, she's never understood anything about what we've experienced, much less the loss our daughter and her first mom have gone through. I listened to her literally question which month she should pray for Sassy to be born in -- November, because her birthday would not be close to Christmas? Or December, because it had a prettier birthstone? I believe she finally settled on praying for early December, the best of both worlds.


So, this is the picture.

Back to a couple months ago, when she excitedly rushed up to me to share some news.

"I just had to tell you this exciting news! My best friend's son and his wife can't have children, so I told them all about you."

Naturally. Glad to hear I am the silent spokeswoman for infertility.

"I told them how you couldn't have kids and how you adopted and you went through [agency] and had such a marvelous experience."

Marvelous. That really is the word I'd use for an organization who bullied, lied to, and threatened us, and still is operating under the name of Christ.

"Anyway, they were so encouraged by your story, that they also went through [agency], and they just finished up all their paperwork..."

Um, wait a minute... when exactly did they hear MY story? And what part of it would make anyone WANT to support the same organization? I think I'm missing something...

"...and they just got a call that they are getting a baby in 6-8 weeks!"

I really do love when the FedEx man can give me a rough estimate of when to expect a human child to be dropped on my doorstep. It's nice to plan ahead.

"The birthparents are this really nice, young couple who attend [in-state university], and they just don't want the baby."

Yeah. I can totally buy that. Most nice, young couples don't want their babies, so nothing about that statement seems absurd or even a little off-base to me.

"Anyway, I just told them all about you and what a blessing Sassy is to you. I knew you'd be so excited, so I just had to share with you!"

Excited. See? This is my excited face. Pick up on the cues, woman.

I'm not entirely sure where to begin with what is wrong with this picture. I don't even know what bothers me the MOST. Is it the fact that this couple went through the same agency who has brought so much pain upon so many people? Is it the fact that the baby involved is being referred to like a UPS package? Is it that nagging worry that these "birth" parents might be making the wrong decision, with no one to guide them toward reality? Is it the flippant attitude that infertility is no big deal and that adoption is the cure-all for it? Is it that I now feel like I had some part in contributing further to said agency's profits without my knowing or my permission? Is it that adoption is still being painted as a win-win-win situation, with no room or regard for its less marketable (though still very real) qualities?

And how exactly do you BEGIN to scratch the surface with someone who just HAS. NO. CLUE.

The answer? You don't. You simply just don't. I wish I had a better answer, a more positive one. Something that would make me feel like I've at least made a small dent in someone's mind -- just one person. But it's such a MASSIVE issue with so many complexities... how can you do it justice in a five minute conversation in passing?

As my blank stares and glazed-over eyes apparently said nothing to this woman, all I could squeak out was that "it's an emotional time, for sure." That's it. That's all I could say. And then I went home and sobbed.

I had a good cry that day -- for the parents who were facing the dread of losing their child, for the baby who would be losing his or her mommy and daddy, for the waiting parents who might not even have a clue what adoption loss is, and for us. This meaningless, one-sided conversation ripped open wounds that I thought were more healed than they were. I cried because adoption is such an ugly process. I cried because building our family is not so simple as planning nine months in advance. Because I don't know how I can stomach the adoption process a second time, knowing full well what it is like to leave a hospital room with someone else's baby. And yet, if I am completely honest with myself, I know that I would love nothing more than to have more babies, when the time is right. So, what are my options? Adoption or a miracle from God.

Well, it is now 6-8 weeks later. That same woman was ever so thrilled to tell me that the couple's (as in, the adoptive couple, not the people who had the baby) baby had been born, and they were going to "pick it up" the following day. Guess that delivery man must have lost their address. Faulty delivery system.

Then, she said to me, with voice lowered and eyebrows raised, "But... I have to tell you, they were so nervous because... the birthmother breastfed the baby." She raised her eyebrows further and gave me a look as if to say she'd really just told me a juicy piece of dirt.

I let it fly, and I didn't care one bit. I'd had ENOUGH and couldn't tolerate one more shred of this crap.

I don't remember exactly what all came flying out of my trap, but it was something to the effect of how ecstatic I'd have been if Sassy's mother had been able and willing to breastfeed her. How amazing that experience is for a mother and baby both. How nutritionally beneficial, and how emotionally bonding. What a unique experience that no one else can duplicate. I'd have been cheering her on. And what's more, a mother is a mother always. No piece of paper is powerful enough to deny the connection that mother and child have forever. Think of how she felt when her children were born, and imagine trying to squelch that love you automatically have in the most natural way. The fact that my child has another mother does not in ANY way take away my place in her life as her mom. It may not be "normal" to some people, but it IS her reality. We've always viewed this as a choice -- to embrace it or to deny it. What good does it do anyone, least of all our precious daughter, to sweep honesty under the rug? It is what it is, and we are proud of that!

She stood there for a second, a bit taken aback, I think. And then she changed the subject to something completely unrelated and random. The weight of the conversation had shifted, and now she was the one who was uncomfortable. It was obvious she didn't know HOW to respond, so she chose NOT to respond.

I came home that night and told my husband that I'd like to think I made just a small, tiny, microscopic dent in her way of thinking... but I seriously doubt it. She probably just thinks I'm a nut job, but maybe at the very least, it will deter future commentary. :)

At least for a little while.

Monday, February 1, 2010



I enjoyed the Eat From the Pantry Challenge, and successfully completed three out of my four goals. It's that pesky budget that I didn't do so well with. However, it's better to buy things when they're on sale and stock up, rather than to wait to buy them when they aren't on sale and spend more money in the long run... so, whatever. Overall, I'm happy. I did like the challenge of using things already on hand to base my meal-planning on, and I'll have to continue that trend in the future... even though I probably won't be spending under $150 a month for groceries!