Friday, April 26, 2013

Is the weather getting to anyone else???

I think I'm in a phase right now. I'm blaming it on the weather. I'm tired and half crazy feeling. Yesterday I had the urge to run away from work screaming. I don't want to deal with any one's problems. Hopefully this will pass quickly! I'm ready for some warm sunshine. I don't want to complain about the rain because I'm so thankful for it. I worried about our well last summer and got pretty stressed if Jay forgot to shut it off after watering the cows. It is nice to know it is filling up again.

So to combat this I'm trying to search for party ideas for Camryn's 2nd birthday. It will be a Mickey/Minnie mouse theme. Yes, I am one of those birthday over doers....if you haven't figured it out. I just love putting parties together. I also love celebrating my kids birthdays with our families. So when you put the two together it is a great time for me to go crazy. There are so many great Mickey ideas on Pinterest that it is hard to decide what to do.

The only thing I do know is that Camryn's party will be indoors this year. I don't know how someone plans an outdoor wedding. Between the intense heat and the wind wrecking havoc with my decorations I was ticked off! I got so mad when my tablecloths and napkins would not lay down that I taped the napkins to the table. I couldn't imagine fighting the weather on my wedding day.

I'm also painting our bedroom tomorrow. I find painting to be very calming so I'm really looking forward to it. After our room is done the only room not freshened up in the last few years will be our family room. You think your paint looks ok, but then once you get closer to it you can see 8 years of wear on it. I took our bedroom boarder down this week and couldn't believe the color difference. Yucky!  So my advice is if you don't want to repaint don't look too closely at your walls!   I'm going with a completely different color than I ever have before.  .  I'd never even entertained the idea of these before. They are cool colors - more gray to them instead of warmer brighter colors that I've always gone with.  I'm hoping it creates a relaxing atmosphere. Goodness knows that would be helpful right now.

The two top colors will be the wall colors and the red color is what I will use for accents. I can't wait to start putting it on the walls tomorrow. I just hope I love it as much as I think I will.

And this is the new bedroom set.  I really hadn't intended to redo our bedroom but I saw this in February and really jumped out at me.  It was also really on sale at the time and I also happened to have a Macy's gift card from my Dad that I used.  It's has been shoved behind my bed since February just waiting to be used.  Hopefully Camryn's diaper doesn't leak the minute I put it on the bed....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

When you know someone else is matched.....

Today a friend told me about an acquaintance who has been matched with a baby and the baby is expected to be here any day. Yikes! The minute I read that I got that feeling in my stomach. Any one who has adopted knows exactly what I’m talking about. That nervous, excited, think I’m going to puke or possibly hyperventilate any second feeling. My friend was asking me to pray for this family – which I will of course, but then my mind wandered to the legal aspect of it. My next question was what county would the baby be born in because knowing when TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) will be legal is more pertinent to someone who has adopted than knowing the sex of the baby. You don’t necessarily mean to become that way, it just happens. Adoption is just a completely different way of becoming a parent than biologically.  And no matter how long you've been out of the waiting game you don't forget how it feels.

Camryn’s birthday is 6 weeks from this past Monday. I still can’t get over the fact that 2 years ago I didn’t even know Camryn existed. It is crazy how slow but yet how fast adoption can move. Even though we had 3 years, 8 months and 1 day to prepare for a baby we still weren’t prepared when Camryn was born 2 weeks after we learned about her. The way God wrote her story and our story and then connected them together still amazes me.

I also know my friend gave her friend my blog address. I don’t know if she will read it or not – she may be way too busy (which is great) but if you are reading our family will be praying for you (and hopefully those who walked it with us who remember what it is like will also pray for you).  It will be the craziest, most exciting, but most nerve wracking experience of your life….and the results are oh so worth it!!!

Can you believe we didn't know about this little girl  2 years ago?

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Hog Filled Weekend

 Cade's birthday extended into this past weekend.  See, I told you not to feel sorry for him!! We had a tough time coming up with a present idea for him.  Since Jay gets every Razorback update known to mankind he got an email early in March that sounded perfect for Cade.  I'm sure most schools are the same since I read "per NCAA guidelines" several times on the paperwork - but we enrolled Cade in the Jr Razorback Association for $20.  I'd definitely check it out for other colleges because it was a great experience for Cade.  For our $20 he got a birthday card signed by the basketball coach, a t-shirt, 4 free tickets to any event except a football game, a free pass for himself to any baseball game, a special autograph time with the baseball team and an on field experience at the spring football game.  It normally runs from August to June and we signed him up late this year.  I'm sure they have other events for the kids in the fall and winter.  We will definitely sign him up earlier next year.  We may even sign up Camryn so she can go on the football field next spring.  Each kid can take one adult so Jay was also thrilled to be on the field Saturday.

Headed to the game on the shuttle.  Since we knew there was no way we'd be able to get one on the way out of the game we took advantage of it.  Especially since going is uphill and leaving is downhill!  This was Camryn's "smile" for the camera.

Cade was ready for the day!

By this point Camryn was sleepy and a little out of sorts.  We stopped to smell the flowers while Bubba and Jay waited to watch the players walk into the stadium.

I'm not above using food as entertainment.  She loved the popcorn.

Jay and Cade down on the field.

It isn't a game without a picture with Tusk.

Surprisingly Camryn and I lasted the whole game. She did fall asleep while Jay and Cade were down on the field making a tunnel.  When they got back to the seats I had to take Camryn out.  I don't understand why the older I get and the more natural padding I get the more my butt hurts on the bleachers.  Then when you add in another 25+ pounds of dead weight on top of that it really starts to hurt.  Cade decided that he was also hungry and wanted Pizza Hut at that moment.  I had to walk halfway around the stadium carrying Camryn asleep in my arms and wearing the backpack which probably weighed another 10+lbs.  When we finally got back to our gate I found a chair outside and sat there until Camryn woke up.  My rear was much happier.   There happened to be a slide display set up outside our gate so when Camryn woke up she played and played on it.  We also walked around for awhile.  Right after half-time we went back to the stadium.  It was starting to clear out so she had more room to roam.  All in all she was extrememly good. 

The walk back to the car though was another story. I usually don't mind walking at all for anything.  We've taken plenty of vacations where you walk constantly (DC and Disneyland) and it never bothers me.  BUT Saturday I was done with walking.  We didn't have her stroller and it felt like a 10 mile excursion to get to the car.  And of course only Mama can do it right now so I had to carry her for most of it.  I probably could've survived except I dressed for fashion instead of comfort - I mean we were at a SEC event so there was no way I was wearing tennis shoes.  For some reason it felt like the insides of my sandals were covered in sand paper.  So every step down was my weight + Camryn's weight down on sandpaper.  It was great.  I'm also a very fast walker usually, but Jay and Cade were even leaving me in the dust.  When we finally got to our parking lot I was about 5 spaces away from our car so I stopped and waited for them.  Except Jay pulled up beside me on Cade's side so I still had to walk around the car to put her in.  As much as I dislike my car I was sure glad to see her that afternoon.   

Even though Camryn was great during the football game I had already decided to skip the baseball game Sunday afternoon.  If I hadn't already decided that the horrendous hike to the car would've made me change my mind.  Jay and Cade had a great time at the game while Camryn and I had a great time hanging out with Nana.  It was win-win for everyone.

It was a beautiful day for a game.  The boys even got a little pink.

Cade got all but 1 players autograph. 

We are going to hang his jersey in his room.

While Cade and Jay were gone Camryn ate like a dog.  I've always wondered if I put her food on the floor if she would eat better.  Nasty stuff off the floor seems to be one of her favorite food groups.  We caught her trying to eat a chip off the floor of the stadium Saturday.  What's worse is that we didn't even get Nachos that day....

Friday, April 19, 2013

State FFA Convention

Jay is finally in his way home from another convention. Thank goodness! It seems like he has been gone forever. They did pretty well this year. Of course for Jay and Lyle it has for them to admit it. They'd always like to get 1 more on the stage. I can't remember all the placings but most of the teams placed very high. Ty won Prepared Public Speaking Div 1 which I think that is the same one Samantha won 5 years ago. Jay's Ag Issues team also got on the stage and ended up 5th. Jay was actually pleased with that since this was his first year for that one.

This morning I was already going to be a little late because I had to take Cade. I ended up being about 10 min later on top of that. It was a nightmare. Camryn has a lotion fetish and she pumped out what seemed like half a bottle before I found her. Then she rubbed her allergy itchy eyes with her lotion hands. There were a lot of screams this morning. I barely slowed down so Cade could jump out of the car. He was afraid he was late. I told him he was fine and sped off. I thought he was fine but I did watch my rear view mirror to make sure the door wasn't locked.

While all that was going on at home Jay was "goofing" around Columbia... It is sad that when Jay is gone on these trips the only way I know what he is doing is through Facebook. He usually is too busy to call home. Apparently he met Uncle Si today LOL!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Some of Camryn's latest messes

This girl makes me tired but she also makes me laugh. I wondered why he was so quiet when I was cleaning up the kitchen one night. I soon figured it out...Desitin!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So yesterday was not my best day at work. About 11 we got an email that some of the top dogs were coming to our office on Wednesday. We’ve speculated for awhile that our office would eventually close but we thought it was still a few years down the road. Apparently there have been some other turnovers and situations in some other offices that caused our closing to more than likely be accelerated. So I don’t know for sure….but I’m pretty confident we will be told tomorrow our office is closing. Yeah…not the worst news a person could hear but definitely not great news to start the work week. I don’t feel like I will be without a job…but I am concerned I will be driving to our new Joplin office which is not what I want to do. Not at all. There is a chance there could be a spot in the new Springfield office, which is what I’m hoping for. I’m pretty unsure we will hear anything for certain tomorrow. My company likes to announce broad plans before they think through the details. So I’m afraid tomorrow we will hear “oh your office is closing” and that will be the end of it. I’m afraid we will still be in turmoil for quite some time. I’m definitely having some stomach issues today.

So I allowed myself a pity party last night. Jay had a meeting so Camryn and I ate cheese dip and chips in my bed….or as she likes to call it “her bed”. She actually calls her bedroom Daddy’s Room. Apparently she thinks daddy’s like navy blue zebra print. It was also pretty hard to get up and come to work this morning. I know now why the other office has had so many problems the past year. It is pretty hard to come in and work like nothing is wrong. What I really wanted to do today was drive past the office and possibly scream an obscenity or two. But I held all those feeling back and pulled into the driveway.

So I’m going to get it all out here and hopefully I can move on and remember it is in God’s hands.

Everyone told me 35 would be rough. Your metabolism slows down and things just start to go down hill. Thirty-Five was fine. But 36 so far has not been a walk in the park. Right after the first of the year my metabolism hit the brakes. It’s not so much I gained a lot of weight….it just started taking up residence in some areas it hadn’t inhabited before . That did not make me very happy. Then I’ve just felt out of sorts emotionally. I don’t know if I’m going through perimenopause or what. I’ve just not felt quite right. Then I’ve been ignoring this – but I think my hair is thinning. I’ve tired to fluff it more, but around my part I’m just sure it is thinner than it used to be…like at Christmas time. I asked Jay this morning if he thought it looked thinner. He told me I was just in a mood where nothing was going to make me happy. Maybe he’s right but I swear I can feel my hair receeding as I type.

So right now here is my worst case scenario….driving to Joplin with this spare tire accumulating more and more around my middle while wearing a wig.

But thank goodness I saw this picture on a blog today. It was exactly what I needed to help me refocus. So I’m going to try to remember these words and be done with my pity party. I’m just not sure I’m to the point of being able to say I will laugh in the face of hair loss while clothing myself with a wig…..

Monday, April 8, 2013

District Contest, Mice and Cars so tiny they should be illegal....

This past Saturday marked the beginning of District FFA contest here in the good Southwestern part of Missouri. I like to imagine it as the last big curve in a race….right before you can see the finish line (State Convention next week). And again, I got asked to judge. At least Jim put me back in the office with the resumes instead of asking interview questions like last year. I’ve done the resumes enough that I’ve got a pretty good system so it doesn’t take too long.

I really don’t have any good stories directly related to my time spent in Karl’s. Those who remember Dr. Elliott will be happy to know nothing with him has changed. He is still just as nervous as ever. I pretty much stayed in my little corner in the main office and didn’t venture out except to use the restroom down the hall. Some might think my behavior was reclusive. I’d like to think of it as more self preservation. I think I’ve said this before, but the intensity going around Karl’s Hall during district contest is unbelievable. Actually, it is scary. The only other time I dislike being around a group of ag teachers more than districts is the ag teacher social during their summer meetings. Drinking ag teachers….no thank you!!! Anyway, every one is wound tighter than a cheap watch during these contests so staying away from it all is the best thing for me. I do know I’ve said this before….I love my husband, but I don’t like him at a contest.

But surprisingly everything went pretty well. I only saw Jay once when I was leaving and since there were no results being given at that moment he was able to tell me bye. And he did remember to call me when he was on his way home later that afternoon. Since he seemed to be handling it pretty well I thought we were through the worst of it. I knew I spoke too soon……

Jim and Sharon had the kids for us Saturday. I grabbed some groceries since I was minus my “helper” so my life would be easier and headed home. By the time I got home and started unloading them Jay was on his way home. I decided to wait for him and we went to Aurora together.

I wasn’t sure I was going to mention this on the blog but it fits in with the story, I’ve shared a lot on here, and it isn’t the first time it’s happened so I will put it all out in the open again…..I had another stupid mouse get in my car a few weeks ago. AND (gulp)….it had babies under the backseat. Two weeks ago this Wednesday I threw an absolute temper tantrum about the mouse. The day before I had stopped the car at Sam’s and in the 2 seconds of silence before I opened the door I could hear the mouse scurrying under the back seat. Jay was unconcerned about the fact a mouse could run out while I was driving and cause a massive accident. He said it would leave me alone. Yeah, it’s easy for someone who is at S&H with a bunch of kids to say that. Anyway, by Wednesday morning I was done with it all. I threw a hissy fit and finally Jay said I could take his truck. If he had volunteered that earlier it would’ve saved a tantrum. So that night Jay dismantled the backseat and found a nest with little babies in it. It still turns my stomach to say that. He kept telling me the “threat had been eliminated” which I found out later he still didn’t have the Mama mouse. So last week I thought I could smell something which meant Jay had to dismantle the back seat again to check for the Mama mouse. So that brings us up to Saturday night picking up the kids…. Oh – I almost forgot that Cade decorated his cake for the youth fair that day. So we were all crammed in my car with the kids, their bags and a large square box with something we did not want to destroy.

Jay picked driving over holding the cake box the whole way home. He was backing out while Cade was trying to put on his seat belt. We got to the end of Memo’s driveway and Cade realized he had no seat belt. Jay hadn’t got the latches pulled back through when he put the seat back in. We stopped and Cade got out and threw all the bags on the drivers side backseat to the passengers side so he could try that side. Which that side is smaller than the other side because of Camryn’s car seat. He checked around and still didn’t have a seat belt latch. I could tell Jay was tired and very cranky because he told Cade it would be ok. That got me a little irate and I told Jay Cade would not be going home without a seat belt. That is when Jay threw his own temper tantrum. He was tired and I know he didn’t want to take the seat a part again. But he got pretty mad. I thought it was funny because he had been making fun of my tantrum the week earlier. He was throwing a doozie of his own. I didn’t care if he didn’t want to ride with a belt on but the kids weren’t. Finally I convinced him to ride in the backseat while holding the cake, I would drive and Cade would sit in the front. It would’ve been easier to tell him to move the bags back over to the driver side because there was more room on the passenger side, but I knew he was in no mood for that. So he crammed and I do mean crammed himself into the backseat (he has never sat in the backseat of my car). We barely got the door shut and he had to have his right arm on Camryn’s car seat. That caused Camryn to be upset because someone was touching her seat. Then I handed him the cake box….

Since I am a nice wife I did pull my seat all the way forward. Which that meant my nose was in the steering wheel and my legs were so bent up the toe of my flip-flop kept getting hooked on the gas pedal. It was hard not to look at irritation at the bags in the passenger side back seat with Cade in the front all spread out like he was in a King size bed while Jay and I looked like sardines. We made it home safely, but I snapped a picture of Jay before I took the cake box from him. All I could think of afterwards was what if the mouse had ran out at that time. I can picture the accident report…..driver reported seeing a mouse but her flip flop got caught on the gas…..passenger in the back wasn’t wearing a seat belt but he was so packed in there he didn’t move an inch….

I think I will put one of those donate buttons on the blog….Help Crystal get a mouse free car :)  Actually last night when I heard Sheldon had that large hail I thought about Jay being out with my car and hoped he’d get home in case it hit us. Then I thought Naw…..I’ll just let the car sit outside this spring…..

Friday, April 5, 2013

Some regrets of a closed adoption

Camryn is a smart little girl.  I know all parents think their kids are smart, so I'm not saying that to brag. I'm also not saying she is going to be a genius someday, because she may just be reaching her peak quicker than other kids - but right now she seems to be very intelligent.  I think it is her advanced vocabulary that makes her seem so smart.  I'm amazed at the words and phrases she uses and they are pretty clear. 

I've been thinking about her adoption more and more lately.  I kind of went through a period of needing to step away from it for awhile and just be a normal family.  But I'm quickly realizing that she is picking up on things so quickly that we've got to start getting serious about talking about adoption with her.  It has to become something that isn't our main focus, all we live and breathe sort of thing, but more like something that is just there and we are comfortable with.... something that is a part of Camryn, like her blue eyes and blonde hair.  Since we are in a closed adoption and we don't even have a picture of her birthmom it makes all of this more challenging. 

The fact that Camryn is so smart actually makes me sad for her birthparents.  If she is smart then you know at least one of them is very intelligent.  I really think that circumstances beyond their control kept them from reaching their full potential.  That is what makes me sad....I'm sad for them maybe not knowing or believing how smart they really are....I'm sad for them that they can't see this awesome litte girl and know that no matter how wrong things might be for them she is so perfect.  It makes me sad that there are kids who don't get to grow up in households like Jay and I did.  Every time I read those short situation emails I'd think "But by the grace of God...."  So many of those were due in part to their situations and the home lives they'd had and probably that their own parents and even grandparents had growing up.  I'd love to be able to show Camryn to her birthparents and let them see how perfect she is.  I'd love to show them her blonde hair and blue eyes and say look how adorable she is - that is part of you!!

I know there is the nature vs nurture debate with adopted kids. Regardless of what side of the fence you are on with that - her birth parents are responsible for her genetics. Yes, we (hopefully) have brought out the best of her...well us and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse . But the basics came from them. I just pray that somehow God gives them a peace about Camryn and they know she is well loved, well taken care of and never lacks for attention. I also still hope that someday they may get to know all of this personally.

We are also trying to make more of an effort to talk about adoption with her. It is really hard when you work and get home and do dinner and clean up and homework, etc to purposely remember to talk about it. I already struggle with remembering to feed the kids when Jay is gone :) I've been looking at adoption books for awhile but haven't bought any because she was still young enough but it is time!!! Hopefully my first order will be in today. I'm looking forward to reading them to her. But we do have a photo album I've made of her adoption and we
look at that frequently. I show her the picture of us holding her the 1st time and explain how she grew in Courtney's tummy.

I know there is a quote by someone famous who said in response to the question of which kids of theirs were adopted....they said "I don't even remember". I can completely relate to that.

Easter Sunday

We don't really have any set traditions for Easter.  Usually the men at our church will prepare breaksfast and then after services what we do is usually different from year to year.  Some years we've spent it with my side, sometimes with Jay's.  A few years we even stayed at our own home.  This year we did have our church breakfast and then we spent the afternoon with Jay's family. 

I love Easter.  I also love Christmas because of the anticipation of it.  But then once it is over it is a little bit of a letdown.  Once Christmas is over the only thing on the horizion is January and February....not my favorite months.  But with Easter there is no let down.....once it is over we have spring and summer and the end of contest season to look forward to!!  I also have a lot of great memories from my chlildhood of Easter....dress shopping with mom, grandma and Charity, Easter sun-rise service at one of the 3 churches in my hometown (I think I was in college before I realized people were any other demoniation besides Christain, Baptist or Methodist), Easter Egg hunts at my Aunt Helen' many great memories.
This is the only picture I was able to take of Camryn in her Easter dress.  I put something else on her until we ate breakfast then I changed her.  We were in Sunday school and she must've have saved every bit of liquid she had drank for 2 days for one shot.  She soaked herself and part of my pant leg.  So no cute little dress pictures for us this year. 

Daddy was reading her a Veggie Tales book.  When she says it, it sounds like Veggie Town.

I used a lot of gel, scrunching, hairspray and a diffuser to get her curls to stay that morning.

We don't do the Easter Bunny.  It isn't because I'm afraid that if they believe in Santa or a Bunny that they won't believe in God.  It is mostly because the thought of a giant rabbit sneaking around completely creeps me out.  I will put a screaming baby on Santa's lap and get a good laugh from the picture - but I will never subject my child to a man in an overgrown rabbit suit.   I think my fear goes back to an episode of The Jefferson's where they were held up in their apartment by a man wearing a pink bunny suit.  I was a little uneasy the two times I went into the mall this spring and had to walk by the giant rabbit set up. 

Since we've never made a big deal about the Easter Bunny coming we always wait until after church to get into the Easter Baskets.  My kids don't seem to care....Cade still has to be drug out of bed on Christmas Morning!  Usually the baskets will make an appearance from our car trunk that afternoon. 

This year with Easter being so early and our bithday's being spread out so far I was a little behind on my baskets.  Camryn got a book and candy and Cade got an Uncle Si t-shirt, candy and coke.  It was pretty low key but they seemed to be happy with it.

Memo and Papa Jim knew exactly what Camryn wanted - more cheese puffs!

The sign of a great holiday!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Birthday/Happy Easter

We rescheduled Cade's party for last Saturday.  Since my dad's birthday is today we also got a birthday cake for him.  Janella did a great job on them.  Cade didn't want a "theme" this year, but he did want a Hereford.  We surprised him by adding in his pig, Bonnie the Blue Butt.  Counting the four of us we had 18 people in the house that day.  It was a lot of fun.  I really enjoyed the afternoon with everyone. The weather cleared off and we were able to have an egg hunt in the afternoon.  Then we colored eggs.

I was taking this picture of Avery with Cade because she made him that card.  I love how I also got Camryn shoving the cheese puffs in her mouth.  That was a present to Cade from Nana but Camryn demanded they be opened then and there.

The Birthday Boys!  I added the rabbit and easter nest to Dad's cake.  My grandma used to make one like that every Easter.

The 4 grandkids

Camryn thought I was too slow at serving the cake so she helped herself

and again

...and again and again.  You can see her spoon marks in the side of the Papa Kerry's cake.

Guys, the pink is not working.  The pink is not working.... said Avery no less than 700 times.

This egg thing isn't all that exciting, especially since they scream every time I grab one of those cups with the colorful liquid.  I think I'll just take my bottle and catch up on Facebook.....

I forgot about these pictures.  On Cade's birthday Sharon had Janella make Cade a cake.  So if you are counting he ended up with 2 cakes and 3 special birthday dinners.  Not to mention presents on his birthday, in the mail and again on Saturday.  Yeah, he wasn't neglected at all!