Monday, February 28, 2011

Mondays Are The Suck But Who Cares?

Lola's hair is pulled up into a high ponytail on the very top of her head today. All of it, from the neck up is in there and it still sticks up about  5 inches from her head in the little elastic band we use for her hair. We call them pretties and she doesn't fight the hairdo when we keep telling her how pretty she is. "Pretty like Marie!!!" She loves Marie the cat from The Aristocats. It's adorable.

Harper is laying next to her while she has her arm slung over him. They're watching Bubble Guppies together and it might be the cutest thing I've ever seen. Speaking of cute, you should see the grin that comes over Lola's fat fat face and the dancing that ensues when she hears this song in every episode:

My house isn't spotless, I need to de-clutter and vacuum my bedroom, there are clothes to be washed in hampers in the laundry room, a few pots from last night are still in the sink, but we're not in any rush. There's too much to do today.

Today is "shot" day for Lola and Harper. Harper's only solace is that he has to be strong for Lola when she gets hers. He keeps telling me that he's not going to cry because he wants Lola not to cry. How awesome that she gets 3 big brothers, 2 big sisters and 1 little brother (soon!)?

I'm typing here in my computer chair sitting crosslegged or "indian style" as we called it when we were little. I keep bending forward at the waist to read something on my monitor a bit closer and while doing so, I crush the baby in my belly. He is big enough now to protest, and his little feet go up against my hips and his head into my ribs and he pushes. He is you know, around 4 lbs now. I've only got 8 weeks left, but with my history, that means 4-6. We're under the 60 days mark now. I'm due 2 days before Kate Middleton and Prince William are scheduled to be married, so thanks to the websites counting down the days to that, I've got a little reminder every time we go to any of the gossip sites.

Life is simple these days. Busy, but simple. We have a schedule with each of the kids, we know what's going on and when it's got to be done. Unfortunately, Mike is gone from the crack of dawn way past sunset, and I'm a bus driver/laundress/chef/owie kisser/homework enforcer/cleaner/bill payer. Soon we'll just add another car seat to the bus. Speaking of, anyone want to sell us an old suburban for cheap?

Now if I could just afford for someone to come and clean my bathrooms, that would make my happy face even more happy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is It Really Time For My 20 Year Reunion???

I remember a hot summer day way back in 1987 at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. My mom got us all in the car with my dad and we headed off to the "other side of town". When we got there, the airplanes flying overhead were so loud and the grass was mostly dead, it was July in Vegas, you know. There was a buffet of bbq food and coolers of drinks, and we'd follow my mom around while she'd say "Oh hiiiiiii *insert name here*!!!  So good to see you!  You look amazing!  These are my kids!" and she'd introduce us 1 by one. Ashley was very small. It was my job to look after her, which was fine. I wasn't excited about talking with adults I didn't know, I was you know...FOURTEEN.  What 14 year old likes talking to "old" people they don't know?  Maybe Doogie Howser, MD or something. (whoa, I just dated myself again, didn't I?)

So it was a devastating shock the other day when I opened up my Facebook and saw messages from some old friends who I keep in touch with. These weren't just "hey, how are ya?" messages though. The subject line had me frozen in my chair...and I'm not exaggerating here. The subject line was as follows:

WHS Class of 91' 20 Year Reunion Facebook Page Invitation

Needless to say, I had to go get me a strong one. (Mt. Dew for me, kids. Who do you think I am anyway?!)
I had already been added to the site, and as I went through the list of names, I realized I was already friends with 90% of the people there. Not too shabby, considering my mom had lost touch with most of the people she went to school with!  Those were the olden days though (the 80's...duh) and they didn't have Social Media.  Anyway...the reunion's in July. Color me trippin.

So has it really been that long?  I guess it has. I have an 18 year old daughter, working on my 7th baby, been married twice, lived in 4 states, owned 3 homes...yeah. It's been that long.

So guess who was on Jimmy Fallon last night. Uhhh....Bel freakin Biv Devoe, that's who. Yeah, and guess what.  They were awesome. 2 songs. So rad.  Totally reminds me of 10th grade. Check it out:

Now you know.

Lola may or may not have been dancing like a stripper just now, but really, isn't baby bootie bouncing kind of stripperish?  Can't blame the babies for that one. (I'm lookin at YOU, strippers...) (Actually, I don't think I know any strippers, but I just wanted to say that I did) (You know, because if you're raised in Vegas all your friends are strippers and pimps, right?) (right.)

Oh and can I make another statement?  Why do reunions always have to be scheduled when it's 147° in Vegas?  Can't we just have done this in October when it's actually NICE at night?  Over.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Such A Heavy Heart

Do you ever see something on someone's facebook, or on their blog, or in person...and it just makes you crazy? Not crazy in a good way either, crazy in a "These people are so dishonest"/ "These people are such hypocrites"  kind of way? 

Look, I'm the first person to admit that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I was just telling Mike the other night that on a daily basis I find myself thinking "why did I even say that to that person?  Did I offend her/him?" and when I look back later I'm just being overly emotional. I'm careful with what I say, I'm not a mean hearted person, but still, I worry that I'll offend someone. I'm that person who worries. Heh.

So everyone knows I am divorced. Everyone knows I'm remarried. Everyone knows that my kids THRIVE in this household. My kids, they're good people and they're doing so well in their lives. They're happy people, they're caring people and I'm so proud of who they are.

But there's this back side to our story. A side where there's hurt, and there's a lot of neglect, and there's a lot of lying and fake fake fakeness. A couple women on the other side are known to be really mean, starting fights and horrible verbal attacks that happen every time the kids are with these people. These people don't live near one another, nor do they live near us, but when they all get kids...ALL OF THEM who go...they will call me and tell me about the attack in the bathroom where they were yelled at and attacked or the time where one of them ran out the door like a 9 year old and then the kids get blamed for the "adult" person's actions.  Then this same family wonders why the kids don't want to go to family gatherings. (the two women in question are really good friends now. My kids have shown me things online that aren't shocking to me, but they're shocking to the kids. I just point out that people like to be around people who are "like" it shouldn't be shocking that these two particular people are so friendly with each other.  Birds of a feather...right?)

So here I sit, knowing that I need to encourage them to visit these people. AND THEY SHOULD.  It's important to their development to "know" all of the sides of their family. They have love on that side, but the sure make it hard for the kids to want to go.

My dilemma is constant. My issues are no harder than anyone else's in the world and I am so blessed and loved and surrounded by people who SEE this and KNOW this situation, and as much as I would like to just step in and defend the kids, they have to see this and learn how to deal with it on their own. This will continue throughout their lives. Unfortunate, isn't it?

Today a storm is blowing in. The cool air circles around my bedroom as I type this and I have such a heavy heart.  My kids are old enough to assure me that they see who takes care of them. They know that we keep our mouths shut, Mike and I...and we don't talk bad about that side even though the kids come and tell us about all of the filth and bile that gets spewed about us. My kids are old enough and smart enough. I have to just trust that they won't let the hurt attach itself to their hearts. My heart aches for their sweet and tender spirits that have to deal with it.

So what else can you do but pray for them and hope for the best? I'd certainly like to know.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love Day!!!

For years and years, Valentines Day meant I had to help kids address a billion Iron Man/Barbie/Care Bear cards for their 33 friends in their classes. It also meant having to be heart broken when for the special day, my (ex)spouse would bring me a card and some turtle wax and a a wash my own car. Or we'd go to dinner (Burger King) and I'd get a good hearty talking to about how I should exercise.  So much love abounding. So much.

Now it is something different.

Now it's about REAL LOVE.

Yesterday started out with Harper and Lola and I (Lola just makes messes, but whatever) making 6 dozen french vanilla cupcakes. We lined the muffin pan with pretty wrappers and spooned in the delicious batter and I'd hate to tell you (especially those of you who actually GOT some of these cupcakes) how many times I'd catch Harper or Lola dipping their little fingers right into the batter. Whoops!

When the other kids got home, we frosted and sprinkled them and took them around to friends and neighbors and family who lived close.

Mike came home to us and I'd been planning to give him his gift at dinner, but the kids were too excited to wait, so we gave it to him as he came in the door. Harper was pulling his hair out with anticipation. He's been keeping the secret of what it was for 3 weeks. Kinda tough for a 4 year old!

Anyway, he opened it, loved it, thanked us all and I got lots of smooches right there in the kitchen! Oh and we got him this:

 He broke his 9 months ago, and it's his BFF, so of course, he got a new one. Lucky boy!  It's the newest one with the HD video camera. I can't wait to see what he does with it. He's a creator.

We then went to dinner at Spark and had the Valentine's 5 Course Dinner. (click!) Holy moly it was good. Mike and I don't do big Christmases for each other, as a matter of fact, for the last 3 years we haven't gotten each other anything really. With us giving all of our kids big Christmas day's (whether they're with us or not. Some of them went to their dad's house, but we always, regardless, do Christmas for them) we don't always have any money left so we typically do big Valentines Day and then big anniversary stuff in September. It breaks it up, we celebrate in a big way every 6 months...and that works for us.

Can I tell you how much I love my husband?  He is the most tender hearted, generous, sweet, smart, loving, sexy, affectionate man I could ever want. I am the luckiest girl in the world because I get to spend my life with him. He's the best father out there, and he teaches all of our kids, every one of them, how to be good human beings. They're learning how to be a patient spouse, how to be a good constant provider, how to work hard even if you don't like the job you're doing. He's one of the most amazing men I know and he joins a list of men in my life who I admire. (my dad, my brother, my brother in law...)  These boys of mine will be better husbands because of his example, and my girls will seek out nothing but the best for themselves and their future because they know it's possible to have a man as good as he is.

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection. Sigmond Freud

(I borrowed that from my friend Magsters, thanks sweetpea!)

Be thankful for love. Be grateful for every tender moment you get to spend with your family. I find I'm more thankful on Valentine's Day than I am on Thanksgiving because Valentine's Day reminds me of how much love I have in my life.

My 6 kids, they are constantly with me. How many people can say that their teenagers want to spend their days and weekends with them all the time? How many people in the world don't have a partner who understands them, who is on their level intellectually? Really friends, look at your life and be thankful for all of the love you have around you!  ♥

And now, a song that always makes me think about Michael, my babe.  Cheesy I know...but c'mon, it's VALENTINE'S DAY FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!!!

by my bff Luther Vandross, RIP :(  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oh Man, I Tend To Ramble Don't I?

Don't you find a good night's sleep almost always helps you feel better? Me too...usually. Today I woke up feeling tired, sad, ticked off that I actually had to get up and live today. But then I realized something else, I woke up!  That's good right?

I'm totally one of those people who never EVER exaggerates and I'm seriously never dramatic or overly emotional, which is fortunate for everyone I know, especially my husband. I re-read what I posted last night and honestly, I didn't feel like I was being any of these adorable qualities I listed above when I typed it. Horrible stuff all happened last night. Anyway, let's not get into that right now, it'll just make me not want to do laundry today.

So I gotta tell you, I'm pretty in love with baby jeggings. (click!) You guys, they're seriously the cutest thing. Lola's got a big ol' case of the do I put this delicately?  Hmm. How 'bout I just say "baby got back". How's that?  Too mean for a mom to say?  Oh well, in 7 years when she's able to read my archives on here and she comes across this she won't even care because at least I didn't say the "f-a-t" word. Plus, baby bums are supposed to be huge. Not mom bums. But that's a different topic, and I'll just sit here and be grateful that my rad hubby likes my big fat mom bum. Or at least he doesn't complain about it. 2 points for Mike.

So yesterday I was at Walmart and as usual, Lola was fuh-reaking out because we weren't standing by the fish tanks yelling at the fish (well, she yells. She isn't mad, she isn't happy, she just screams at them and then fake laughs to herself about it) anymore and I took her to her favorite part of the store (after the fish tanks, o'course) which is the girl clothes section. And no, I'm not kidding. She's 10 months old and she sees us coming to clothes (in ANY store, for that matter) and it's spooky. She gets silent and her eyes get big and she makes this cute "oooh" face and she's in heaven. Can you even imagine how much this kid's gonna cost me when she's 12 and impressionable and when her friends have a certain designer and she doesn't and it's not faaaaiiiir!!! ? Yeah, we'll let daddy deal with her then.

Aaaaanyway, baby jeggings. So my baby has a big bum. And fat fat fat thighs. Jeans don't fit her. Khakis don't fit her. Only leggings and really, how warm are leggings in Utah in the winter?  So I typically do the tights/leggings combo, but then she's too confined and she's miserable. So I see these dark blue denim jeans and I grab a pair and hold them up to lil' Miss Fatty Fatpants's waist. Ohhh...they fit.  How about the thighs?  Yep. They fit. AND they're stretchy!  Best part of all?  $3.50. Oh yeah, you read that right. So I bought 5 pairs. I have to say though, she's really tall, so I bought a few in 18 months and a couple in 24 months and when we got home the 18 month ones fit perfectly. She's a big kid, y'all.

I wish I could wear them. I know I know, you'll all think "so wear them!" to me but really, who wants to see a lady walking down the street on what appears to be two sacks of fighting cats with feet at the end?  That's pretty much the jist of it.

Maybe when I look like Mila Kunis after I have this baby and work out for a while (riiiiiiight) I'll put some on while I do laundry. Now that's a goal I can stick with. (the laundry/jeggings combo, maybe not the "looking like Mila Kunis" part, but a girl can shoot for the stars right?)


Yesterday was my Casey's birthday!  He's 12!  I'll tell you all about our little dinner party tomorrow after we've taken some pictures because last night, after my breakdown, let's just say nobody had a party and there may or may not have been crying (me) and door slamming (me) and stomping around complaining about how so-and-so always gets away with illegal activities (also said by me, but not about me) and an eventual pass out in bed while watching the last two episodes of Glee on the DVR (once again, by me).

More to come.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Flames...Flames On The Side Of My Face

This is how I feel about today. When she says "Yvette", just pretend she's saying "This day".

Things aren't always roses and candy and big puffy hearts that float around your head and today proved that to me. Why do things always happen at once?

I'm looking for the good that might come out of this trash. Life sucks sometimes...and I'm like that camel down there. Today was a big-A straw that broke my back.

(please excuse me while I continue with my pity party. I'm hormonal and I found out some really messed up stuff tonight. Let's just all have a moment of silence while I cry and hug it out with my freakin pillow)

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Can't Stop Sneezing!!!

I really can't. I sneeze because of this dang tickle in my left nostril.  This wouldn't be a problem normally but guess what else I do when I'm 7 months pregnant, besides toss and turn...I PEE!  So now we have a running tally.

  1. When I throw up, I pee (click!)
  2. When I sneeze, I pee


*sexy and sassy put together. I totally just invented that word and I love it so muuuuuuuch you guys 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dear Children,

First I have to give you a compliment because it's always good to start with a positive. You are all really good at making me laugh. You're some funny kids, ev'ry one-uh you. I like that. I like that a lot.

Now, I have to say something to you.  First of all, washing clothes is not fun. I don't mind putting them in the washer, I don't mind moving them from the washer to the dryer, and heck, I don't even mind folding all the stuff out of the dryer or hanging it on hangers but for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY would it be possible for you to actually put your clothes...listen up now, this is important...AWAY???

Here is a list things that you should NOT do with your clean clothes after I have washed, dried and folded them:

  • put them on your bed, and then onto the floor when you go to bed for the night later on
  • put them on the floor
  • put them on top of your dresser
  • put them on the bottom of your closet
  • put them on top of your tv
  • put them into the dirty clothes hamper
  • shove them into a single drawer without worrying if the drawer will shut or not (*hint* it will not. Not with 4 loads of jeans and jackets shoved into it, I can promise you that)
Now there are many many more places you could put them but I assure you, if they're not put AWAY, where they go, it doesn't count. 

Another thing, if I find clean clothes that haven't even been unfolded in your hamper which has been stuffed with real dirty clothes? I will throw it away. 

Some of you may wonder where your favorite shirts are on occasion. You may have even asked me where they were and when I answered "I dunno" I wasn't lying because guess what, I don't know where the garbage man takes the garbage when he takes it out of the cans in front of my house. I don't know!  I don't. It's a true story.

One more thing. If it's not in a hamper IN the laundry room, not on the floor of the laundry room next to the hamper, it will not be washed. I will throw that away too.

Maybe when you're all down to a single outfit per person you'll remember this and think "Crap, my mom's mean" but what you should really do is remember this and think "this was totally preventable".



p.s., exempt from this are Harper and Lola, for obvious reasons. Harper, you're bordering on qualifying for this. Come July when you're's on buddy. Learn now or forever hold your peace.

(in case you were wondering, all of those places listed above as unacceptable places to throw clothes are real places my children have actually been known to stash clean clothes. For realsies. Awesome huh)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So many reasons I'm excited about this new baby.

Here's my biggest reason today.

 (mike with baby Lola last spring)

(♥ hubba hubba ♥)

I love this man so much, and to see him with a teeny tiny...I just fall apart.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eating More Healthily

Mike and I try to cook in our house at least 6 nights a week, with the occasional "Taco Tuesday" from Del Taco thrown in. We're not tiny people we loves to get our eats on, but really, and I mean really, we can go wander a farmer's market or Whole Foods for literally hours. All of the fresh ingredients, wax free fruit, things that just taste better because they're local, we love it.

I can't get my kids to eat oatmeal. I'm not particularly fond of it my self, but lately, I've been craving it. Oatmeal cookies, oatmeal anything.  I was searching through blogs and came across this:

Now let me tell you now, I'm not super fond of peanut butter, so I'd add raisins and make a glaze (because I'm a sugar addict) but really...doesn't that look good?

All the comments say it's like eating a big chewy oatmeal cookie, but it's BREAKFAST.


PS, I wrote this entire thing about healthy food whilst eating a cookie dough brownie. Sick, huh.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

They Both Came "Home" or "Part Two"

Security guards at the hospital where the baby was knew me by name, but not by my real name. Safety issues caused a stir around both hospitals and we were forced to implement a few measures to ensure that both of my girls were safe, no matter where they were.

Mike had to work and gracious neighbors and friends took care of my home and children for 5 days, feeding them while I barely got to come home. Tiffany asked me to stay with the baby as long as I could, and to get there as soon as I could in the I did.

Tiffany's doctor wouldn't release her from the hospital and after a few tears, I walked out to the nurses station and told them in no uncertain terms that if they didn't get permission from the doctor, we would be taking her out on her own.  Calls later and after Tiffany tearfully begged her doctor for a good 30 minutes, they started prepping her for a release.

I drove her to the hospital where the baby was being kept and she saw the sweet baby girl she hadn't seen in a few days. She held her in the vinyl covered chairs they keep at the bedside of those tiny infants in the NICU. Tubes and wires were starting to be taken out of the baby as the doctors constantly came in and out, remarking every time that this baby was doing amazing things. She wasn't throwing up anymore. She wasn't pale. She wasn't in pain. She was recovering so quickly some of the nurses even thought that she'd been brought in by accident. One nurse said there's a little theory they who have the same faith as us like to call a "Miracle in the Sky". This is when the sickest of babies is flown by life flight to the NICU and somewhere in those skies in between, a miracle occurs. This baby was apparently one of those babies, she was more perfect as the hours went on.

Tiffany sat in that chair from the second she woke up til the hours in the middle of the night when they'd wake her to feed her. I would stay as I could, but for those next 3 days, I went home and took care of my other littles. Leftover food in the fridge prepared by angels around me, notes of love from those same ladies...these things wrapped themselves around my heart and I was surely saved by my sisters in my neighborhood.

One night Tiff expressed to a nurse that she was wavering a bit about what she wanted to do with this baby. Her ideas of placement had suddenly become so much more difficult and Mike and I knew we couldn't help her make this decision, but we definitely had to educate her on what the future would be like either way she chose.

That night, we brought her home. She needed to sleep in her own bed. We brought her in our bedroom and in  way too many words drew out the picture of what would happen if she kept the baby and if she didn't. One option clearly brought happiness and a beautiful life to both Tiffany and Maya. This road was also the hardest to step onto initially. The next option would lead to years and years of custody exchanges, lonely weekends, bickering, fear of uncertainty...a future both dark and continually difficult from the start. This way seemed easiest to choose at the moment, but it would be much more painful in the end, with the pain being dragged out for a lifetime.

Mike gave her a blessing and we prayed with her and she went to bed. We told her we loved her either way, would support her decision whatever it was and to get some rest.

The next morning, she called her caseworker in to the NICU and asked for her to bring the relinquishment papers.

In a small room they have set aside for the parents of sick babies, our caseworker met with me and Tiffany and two witnesses and read her the papers. They seemed cold and legal, but necessarily so. They told her that her LEGAL rights to this baby would be terminated. They in no uncertain terms spelled out the facts of her choices. Tears filled her eyes as she signed in all the right places and I sat next to her the entire time, crying for her pain.

Moments after the legal part was done, they asked her if she wanted to bring in the adoptive couple. She said yes. They also brought in Maya. In a moment of sweet peace, Tiffany handed her baby to the family. They in turn read her a letter. I can't share what was in that letter but it was so beautifully written, I will never be able to forget it. Simple words that meant more than just that. These people are truly wonderful people.

We sat for a while longer together and Tiffany and I left to get her something to eat. They let her stay one more night with the baby, and on a cold, windy and snowy morning I once again left Lola and Harper with generous neighbors to go up to pick up Tiffany as the new parents prepared to bring Maya home.

She cried and coo'd with that baby til I got the text that they were down the street, and I helped her get her coat and purse, and we left before they had to pass in the hall for that last time. Tiffany kissed sweet Maya one more time and while I know it felt like it was goodbye forever, we all felt that it was just goodbye for a moment.

A day later, we were there visiting with Maya and her new mommy and daddy at her home. They let Tiff hold her for 2 hours before she kissed her again goodbye as she was preparing to take a month long break from the stress of things.

Through all this, we've learned so much.  I can't even begin to list them out, not even one of them is something I can properly put into words right now.

We know this is a beginning and not an end and we look forward to seeing this sweet baby grow up with her new family. This situation is about as open as an adoption could be and the new parents get to choose who they let into Maya's life, but right now we know that Mike and I and all of our kids here are being welcomed as family.

Tiffany is on sabbatical right now, avoiding all cares and troubles that she can while she makes a physical, emotional and mental recovery. Already, there has been an outside source, again keeping up with his email contact, feeding on her impossibly weak state but at this point we have to trust her when she says she feels bad for his sad and lonely life. She's an adult and that's all we can do.

Adoption is a BLESSING and a PRIVILEGE. It's difficult and painful and beautiful and sweet all at the same time. It's changed our family forever.