Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Snowman Candy Bars

The kids made their teacher gifts yesterday.  If it's possible and doesn't make me too crazy, I try to have the kids give something that they have some sort of investment in.  This year, we opted for snowman wrapped candy bars.  Easy peasy.  The big kids did almost all of it themselves.  Zeke cut all of the noses for his, glued that hat together, added the buttons, drew his faces, and wrote his name. He may or may not have made one that has a mustache.  However, his smile is a bit squiggly so I'm not sure the recipient will know that's what it is.
Looking serious

Finished products.  I should have added a bit of blush to the cheeks for added cuteness but I forgot.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Toe to Finger Transfer, Take Two

The Monday before Thanksgiving, Zeke had an appointment at Mayo to remove his cast.  This followed the revision done on his new finger since it was healing incorrectly and had to be repositioned and then recast.  Just like before, the x rays said it was healed and aligned well.  But this time, Mayo make Zeke a custom splint from orthoplast to help protect the new finger during recess and rough play as well as during sleep.  We're now a few weeks past the cast removal and so far, so good.  He seems to have more mobility in it than he did last time.  He's still pretty limited in it's function but he's had a few "aha" type moments.  At Walmart last week, he had his hands in his pockets and as we were walking down the aisle, he suddenly exclaimed, "Hey!  My thumb just touched my new finger!"  (It's hard for him to make them come all the way together on their own, without some extra help from his other hand so this was a spontaneous event, where they touched all on their own.)  Then at snacktime the other day, I encouraged him to try to use his finger while eating his pretzels.  He didn't pinch the finger to his thumb to grip, but kind of used the new finger to "help" the other fingers as he ate.  That was probably the first time where he saw his new finger as a functional part of his body.  His body still has a lot to do in terms of healing and nerve regeneration.  I would feel a whole lot better if I knew for sure that this new digit were working 100%.  (Already called the hand surgeon once for a "talk me down from the edge" type call.  An x ray said all was well.)  So wait, and wait, and wait some more, I guess.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Flat Twist Mohawk with Locs

Photo bombed by the Basset...this is how she wore the back on Sunday.  I talked her into letting me braid the ponytail into piggyback braids on Monday so she now has a braid running down the center instead of the ponytail.  I think you could do several treatments of the ponytail like curling it with pipe cleaners so it was super curly or mini buns, maybe even some type of knot.

The flat twists up the sides actually look really really good.  So proud of myself.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mom's Amazing Timer

My kids lost their tablet privileges this week.  No tablet until Wednesday for anyone.  As fate would have it, I was starting to cook supper when this decision was made.  As I reached over to start the oven timer, Kenson heard the beep and looked alarmed.  "What are you doing?  Setting the timer for Wednesday?"  I probably ruined a great thing by telling him no and ruining the delusion, that yes, Mom has an amazing timer that keeps track of things for days.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


It is not a neatly packaged present, a perfectly square box, wrapped in striped gift wrap, with a matching bow, symmetrically placed across the top.  Nope.  Adoption is a gift and a blessing, a burden and a wound, all at the same time.

If it feels that way for me, I can only imagine what it must feel like for my kids.

I'm a grown up and I don't know what to do with my own feelings.  There's the news today that reeks of coercion or at the very least, a large sin of omission.   It's news that seems to indicate that one of my children's birth parents thought her child would return to Haiti at 18.  There's news about the absent father and his fate that is hard to sugar coat.  There's no news from another birth mom, no news that creates a void for one child. There's another birth family whose very existence is a huge question mark.  And a foster family who was most certainly crushed by the departure of their foster son but yet chose not to parent him.

Real people drug into complex, hard situations.  Single moms feeling all alone and without options.    Perhaps a birth family scared to death to parent a child who looked different, unaware of how smart and adaptable that same child would grow to be.  Complex cultural situations that are hard for an outsider to understand.  Who knows the comments each family was influenced by?  Comments about adoption giving their kid a better life.  Questions about their abilities to feed and clothe and provide for their child.  Words from other family members, from friends, from well meaning orphanage staff. 

And so they all chose a choice that really wasn't a choice.  Because for so many birth families, it is simply the only choice they feel like they have.  Now their child is oceans away, safe and sound, loved and adored, but oceans away.  

I am not a guilty party in that.  I did nothing to cause these situations.  Yet, my heart is guilty.  Guilty of being the mom they could not be and will not get to be.  

That knowledge breaks me a bit.  It for sure humbles me since I will probably never face such situations.  But mostly it grieves my heart because it's very possible that tonight , three other moms may be missing and longing for the very children I've just tucked into bed.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Skydiving and Zeke

"Mom, I really, really, really want to go sky diving sometime."

"You do?   That would make me worry about you since it's kind of scary."

"Well, maybe I'll wait until I'm bigger."


"Yeah, like maybe when I'm ten."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas is up!

Yes, Conleigh is holding a random sticker set.  No, I don't know why.  The tree is up and out if Kai's reach as is the nativity.  Lowe's had poinsettias for .99 so I couldn't pass them up despite their poisonous nature.  A few things I love:1.  We started getting each kid an ornament each year to represent something important from that year.  From ornaments where my kids wrote their own names to learning to ride a bike to having a new sibling, I write the why behind each ornament on the back and read this to each kid as he puts his ornament on.  We also have picture ornaments of family members who have passed away and two awesome hand made garlands made from gum wrappers and paper clips.  2.  My mother in kaw's vintage sled and 3.  The vintage stuffed Santas that were a part if my husband's childhood.  My kids cart them all over the house, playing who knows what with the Santas.