Monthly Archives: October 2007

Crazy Eights (or as many as I could think of ;o)

8 things i’m passionate about
1. My family
2. My religion
3. My Vietnam blanket project
4. Lately, adoption (again)

8 things i say often
1. Oy! (I swear, this is some weird side effect of this pregnancy. I live in a small, Midwestern farming town–not exactly the kind of place where you hear this with any frequency.)
2. If you need me, come get me. Don’t yell across the house.
3. You are not the mommy, or the daddy. You don’t get to discipline.
4. I am sooooo tired.
5. Ow ow ow ow ow…(man, do I need to see a chiropractor)
6. We’ll be lucky if we make it through the day without someone getting thrown out a window.

8 books i’ve recently read
1. The Gift by Shad Helmstetter
2. What to Say When you Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter
3. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
5. Fifth Principle by Michael Clouse
6. 100,000 Baby Names by Bruce Lansky
7. The Book of Mormon
8. Real Leadership by John Maxwell

8 songs i could listen to over and over

1. Turn Me On by Norah Jones
2. Pretty much anything from the Swingers soundtrack
3. On My Own from Les Miserables
4. Vertigo by U2
5. Amazing by Aerosmith
6. Crazy by Aerosmith
7. The Wall (the whole thing) by Pink Floyd
8. The Joker by The Steve Miller Band

8 things that attract me to my best friends

1. Honesty
2. Sense of humor
3. Intelligence
4. Integrity
5. Flaws (Honestly, perfect people make me nervous)
6. Work ethic
7. Openness

8 things i’ve learned in the past year

1. I’m not too hateful at organizing a big project.
2. Just because you go out of your way to be nice to people, doesn’t mean they won’t screw you over (cynical? maybe. true? you bet.)
3. I talk to myself less when I’m getting my thoughts out on the computer screen.
4. I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for.
6. I’m frequently paralyzed by perfectionism.
7. Asking for help isn’t the end of the world.
8. Taking care of three kids, 5 pets, a husband, a business, a rental house, and being pregnant does a phenomenal job of making you forget anything else you may have learned over the past year.

8 of my peeps I think should do crazy eights if they haven’t already

1. E. at looking for george
2. FMyBlog

Yup, that’s it. Haven’t been blogging long enough to ask many beyond that.


OK, an unrelated topic: While doing this, I was watching tonight’s installment of Dancing With the Stars. Is it just me, or:

Bruno Tonioli


Go to fullsize image

Franck Eggelhoffer (wedding planner in Father of the Bride)


Were these two not separated at birth?



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Too Many Thoughts in My Head

As I have gone through the weekend, several topics have come up that I would love to include in my blog. I could talk about our many Halloween parties and Trick-or-Treating. I could relay how cute N~ was in the yearly Primary program in our sacrament meeting at church. Or maybe tell you about how C~ puked all over me as soon as we got home from church (on the ONE Sunday that Sean has a meeting after church each month, therefore leaving me without his assistance–thanks, Mom, for helping me out!). I could answer Julie’s meme, like I have been meaning to. Or I could write some brilliant prose about how the creation of blogging has seriously impacted the face of the adoption world (this WILL be written about, it will just require more brain power than I can currently muster).

Maybe I’ll just go with this one, little, (make me) feel good story. This morning, I ran up to the local mega store to buy a few odds and ends (new sippy cups, more candy to keep up with the Halloween that will not end, etc). Going to a large store with three small children is, to say the least, a challenge. I can usually make W~ and C~ both fit in the cart, but N~ walks (or wanders aimlessly, or goes off on tangents). And, of course, W~ doesn’t always feel like staying seated. They aren’t monsters, but it is an exhausting  thing to do, nonetheless.

As we were exiting the store, I had stopped to let the boys look at a realistic pony, large enough to sit on, complete with accouterments and computer-generated movements, that was positioned for every small child to start begging for one for Christmas. As I stood there, a woman came up to me.

“Pardon me,” she started, “but I just really felt like I should tell you something.” She went on to explain that she had observed us several times as we wandered through the store.

“I see so many people just let their kids run wild through stores and be disruptive. I just wanted to let you know that you are doing a good job with your kids.”

She said that she knew it didn’t mean much coming from a complete stranger.

“No,” I told her, “it means a lot.” I know that she doesn’t see the times that I’ve had too much and yell. I know that she can’t tell how many times W~ watches Power Rangers in one week (or day!). But still, there is something great about knowing that, for one small moment in very public time, I passed the test.

It made my day.


Filed under Kids

Why My Kids Play Inside on Windy Days

Yes, that is a rather large tree blown down in my back yard. And yes, I really do keep the kids away from our woods on windy days. When you have over one-hundred trees, it really isn’t a surprise to lose one (or at least have large limbs come crashing down). Of course, they usually go down during storms, and they don’t usually tear out at the roots.

Actually, there is another one down there that I really wish would have gone today. The trunk is half eaten-out by bugs, and it is even bigger than this tree was. The scary thing is that it is right next to a power line. Usually, the wind blows in such a direction that would send it straight into that line. When that does happen, literally a few neighborhoods around us will go dark. Today, the wind came from the other direction. Honestly, this tree probably would have gotten the power lines, too, if it fell from the normal direction.

Which begs the question–whose bright idea was it to send major power lines through a grove of trees? Honestly, the rest of the neighborhood isn’t wooded. Of course, it does make for some interesting phone calls to the power company. After all, how many of you have to give them a call every couple of years to let them know that the power outage is directly related to the now hairless, smoking, squirrel carcass lying at the base of your utility pole? Good times.

In case you’re wondering, here’s my yard (which is the reason we bought the house):

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Cuttin’ Up

Last night was our first big church activity to work on the Vietnam blankets (incidentally, E. has assured me that Tank Boy’s coming home outfit was not cast-offs–of course, I never saw him wear them again, either). I have been absolutely amazed at the response that we have gotten from some of the women in our church. I definitely have some thank you cards to write for all of the material that has been donated to complete this project. Our original goal was to do 15-20 Blankie Buddies. We already have about that many cut out, and we still have huge bags of material left.

At this point, I’m guessing that we have enough to do closer to 75-100. Accept for the blanket binding. We have enough of that for about 20 blankies. And I still haven’t heard from the local mega-store about our request for a donation.

My family had already decided that we would just keep making blankets until it is time to travel to Vietnam (which, regrettably, will most likely be delayed). After last night, our Young Women’s president decided that she would like to continue working on them for as long as possible, too. The girls got a lot done. A few things will need to be UNdone, but that’s ok–they were really excited to be working on them. I would post some of the pictures that I took of our (somewhat) controlled chaos, but I don’t post pictures of my own children so I’m not comfortable with putting up pictures of other peoples kids. Especially teenage girls. I’ve seen some of the search terms. Anyhoo…

A lot was accomplished. Even more awaits. 

I know that the girls would like to eventually make their own blankies. I was also told by one of the mothers that she thought it would be a great way for the girls to raise money to pay for their yearly camping trip. My father has a coworker who wants us to make her one for a baby shower. These things are DARN CUTE.


Filed under adoption, Vietnam blanket project

Guilt in Adoption–Why Love and Welfare Aren’t Enough

Wow. I just spent way too much time reading posts on another blog–one written by a birthmother. A disgruntled birthmother. And while reading her story in its entirety explains a lot about where she is coming from, what I really want to talk about is contained here and here. The first post is about how she thinks domestic adoption should be changed. The second is how she feels it should be changed.

Without going into great detail, she feels that all domestic adoptions should go through Children’s Protective Services–because government isn’t involved enough in our lives. Her proposal is that all women considering adoption should be required to attend mandatory brainwashing counseling, in which they would be told all of the “risks” of adoption (by the way, choosing an adoption for your child does not cause secondary infertility any more than adopting fixes infertility–the lifestyle (i.e. sexual) choices that lead a person to become pregnant outside of a stable relationship are frequently compatible with STD’s, which can lead to fertility issues), and then handheld through exactly what government handouts they might qualify for if they were to parent. If, after all of this “education,” they are still misguided enough to want to make an adoption plan, they would not be able to sign away parental rights for, I think it was at least a week, after which there would be a six week revokation period, with an additional two week extension possible. Assuming she hasn’t changed her mind during this two month period, she can then choose adoptive parents, who would be forced to sign a legally binding open adoption contract, giving the birthmother absolute right to visitation. Wait, you may be asking, “What’s going on with the baby during this two month waffle consideration time for the birthmother?” Well, foster care, naturally. Because allowing a birthmother time to be pressured into parenting change her mind is more important than giving a child stability in the first couple of months of his or her life.

There are two main reasons that I am so disturbed by this line of thinking (OK, more than two, but I’m trying to limit my reaction here). First, everything about this is centered on what “feels good” for the birthmother. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t think that the feelings of the potential adoptive couple should be the focus. I DO think that potential adoptive parents should be protected much more than they are. I do not think that it should be legal to ask PAP’s to financially support a pregnant woman in ANY way before a child is born–allowing financial support can put too much pressure on the pregnant woman to choose the adoption, as well as (and I think probably more commonly) leaving the PAP’s open to being financially screwed by con artists who have no intention of ever considering adoption. But, without a question, the person whose best interest should be protected is the child.

A very popular line of thinking that I have encountered is that adoption is a “permanent solution to a temporary problem.” And that, with help from the government, a woman can get through the “temporary” problems and life will be hunky dorey. I’ve experienced too much of life to even begin to believe this. When Sean and I married, we joked that we were bucking family tradition by not having any children first. It has effected several generations in his family. As a result, I get to see it on every level–from the infants of teenage parents to the adults that were raised by them. It is not temporary. Being raised by someone who is neither emotionally or financially ready has life-long implications. At 30-years-old, my husband is still effected by his parents’ lack of their own youth. I have watched friends whose children were more emotionally attached to their grandmothers than their own moms because their mothers weren’t ready to lose their teenage social life. Youth and lack of finances may be temporary, but their effects on young children are not.

This leads me to my other concern–adoption guilt. I think that it is sometimes easy for adoptive parents to feel so much love for their children that they become guilty over what they perceive as depriving the birth parents of that joy. I have a completely open adoption. I am fully conscious of the fact that, four and a half years later, my son’s birth mother and her family still feel great pain over the decision she made. I honestly don’t know if she would change that decision if she could. I feel great sadness over what she has been through–but not guilt. I have no question that he would have grown up surrounded by love. He also would have been cared for financially. He would not, however, have the same stability in his life that he has now.

Is adoption the “ideal” situation? In a lot of ways, I suppose not. But we don’t live in an “ideal” world. If we did, all children would be conceived in a stable, loving relationship with the guarantee of two committed parents that would remain a consistent, positive influence in their lives. Sometimes, families end up more like patchwork quilts. You pick up the scraps and make something beautiful. And make no mistake about it, adoption is a beautiful thing.


Filed under adoption, Soap Box

Customer (No)Service

About a month ago, we decided to have our Dish reinstalled. Sean wanted to get an HD box for our main TV, and we knew that the location of our dish was less than ideal for reception. We didn’t have major problems, but reception would go out occassionally if it was really raining hard.

The day for installation came. The techs, who were supposed to arrive between 8:00 am and noon, showed up around 1:00. They ended up taking longer than they should have because they didn’t bother to ask me which TV’s I wanted on which boxes (we did two with DVR’s so that the kids could have their shows and movies for the toy room, and we could have our stuff on a separate DVR). I realized this after they had wired everything–incorrectly–and they had to do it over. I also, luckily, picked up on something one said about disconnecting old cable lines. He had to go back out and restore my internet and phone service because of it.

They finished, they left, and we were happy. Untill the fist time it rained. I’m not talking about the downpour that would knock out our signal before. This was more of a steady rain–barely more than a sprinkle. I forgot to call, but a couple of days later we discovered that we did not have some of the channels on our HD box that we were supposed to. I finally called the installation people on Friday, after my signal went out BEFORE it even started raining.

I sat on hold. Then I had a “customer service” person make me go through diagnostic tests that clearly showed my reception sucked. He then pulled up a weather map and informed me that it was raining in my area. Really? You had to look at a map to figure that out, despite the fact that I already TOLD you? After much insistance on my part that such a small amout of rain had never affected us before (not to mention those channels that weren’t showing up, even when it was bright and sunny), he scheduled a tech to come yesterday. Would I like him to show up between 8:00 and noon, or 1:00 and five? No, he could not tell the tech to call when he was on his way so I wasn’t stuck at home. I chose the morning.

My tech showed up right about 1:30 yesterday. He ran some tests. He changed out a few wires. He told me it was working properly now. I asked what the problem was. He told me he didn’t know, but it was OK–whatever he did must have worked. It has been raining since dinnertime last night. By reception has been extremely spotty (and I’m being generous here). Oh, and my phone hasn’t worked since he left.

Thank heavens for cell phones–I’ll need mine so I can sit on hold again this morning.

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Sex, Drugs and Government

Not that I pay that much attention to the (depressing) news, but even I couldn’t miss yesterday’s constant coverage of the middle school that will now be offering birth control to its students. Never mind the fact that I am the definition of total square–have never drank, smoked, done recreational drugs (inhaling or otherwise) and am living proof that it IS possible to wait. Let’s just start with the fact that I’m sick of government entities sticking their noses where they don’t belong.

One news story reported that up to 20% of 14-year-olds have already had sex. OK, let’s pretend for one moment that there is any reality to that number and that it isn’t, just maybe, skewed by the teenage male ego. It didn’t used to be this way. That number is newsworthy because it is so much higher than in the past. Why is it that so few people expect teens today to be incapable of exercising the self control that was expected in the past? The fact is, while the decrease of morality in society really depresses me, I will have a great amount of influence over how my children grow up. Much like my parents, I will teach them what I believe is, or is not, acceptable and I will expect them to live by those standards. Not the *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* kind of expectation. And that is the part that angers me. While I teach my children one thing, government schools (should I send them there) will be winking and nudging away–handing out birth control, giving advice on abortions, and teaching sex education classes that, in many instances, fly in the face of my deepest held values.

Now, please understand something. I have a degree in English. I had a teaching certificate. My original plan as a slightly-less-jaded young adult was to be a high school teacher. My experiences with student teaching changed that. You see, as a teacher, you are told that you are to teach the subject, not morals. Like, for instance, doing something horrible like  failing a child on an assignment because they cheated (I’m talking short essays, copied verbatim from the person sitting in front of you, and students too dumb to even shuffle the stack of papers as they are being passes up so that maybe I wouldn’t see the same things–VERBATIM–on two papers in a row), well, that might cause outrage in a parent. Because, of course, the grade is more important than the MORALS behind not cheating, doing your own work, etc. The only time that morals are supposed to be addressed seems to be in the arena of sex education, and then it is only from the perspective that experimentation is normal, no one should expect you to exercise self-control, and alternative lifestyles are just as normal as anything else. And while abstinence is the only sure way to protect you from rampant STD’s, well, back to the winking and nudging. And, of course now, vaccinating.

Which brings me to the other part of this that ways heavily on me. I realize, as a member of team testosterone, that Gardasil doesn’t directly affect me (although I do have 10 nieces). I don’t question the idea of offering it to people who are, or plan to become, sexually active outside of a monogamous relationship. I cringed, however, at my pediatricians response when I asked her for her opinion about it today when I had C~ and W~ in for their 18-month and 3-year check-ups. Her response? She feels all 11 to 12-year-old girls should receive it. When I questioned the wisdom of giving something so new to so many people (or, heaven forbid, eventually mandating it as has been done with so many other vaccines) she told me that it has been proven to be safe. After all, is HAS been on the market for over a year. Aaaack! I refrained from asking her if she was at all familiar with DES. DES was on the market from 1938 to 1971, and was given to millions of pregnant women because, after all, it was proven to be safe. My grandmother was one of those women. My sister and I have the distinction of being in that group of 3rd generation “DES Granddaughters,” and no one is quite sure how we will be affected by the *safe* drugs that were given to our grandmothers. We’ll be the ones to show whether, like our mothers, we will be at higher risk for reproductive cancer, infertility, breast cancer, autoimmune disease, and goodness only knows what else.

Bottom line, I wish the government (and its school systems) would spend less time trying to “protect” our children from the fallout of moral decline, and more time focusing on the cause of that decline. Maybe that is too much to ask. I’d be happy if they would just butt out–raising kids is hard enough, I don’t want to have to worry about them undermining the lessons my children learn at home.

*In case you are wondering, yes, C~ did get a vaccination today. I debated whether or not I would do any, but he was only due for one last DTaP booster, then he is done until closer to kindergarten. But I did tell my pediatrician that I am strongly considering an alternative shot schedule this time around.

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Filed under infertility, Soap Box, vaccinations