Thursday, May 30, 2013

Last Sunday

There is a new museum in Bentonville that I've wanted to see for awhile. They had a Norman Rockwell exhibit that ran from the first part of March until Memorial Day. That was what I wanted to do for my birthday. But the day we were going to go was when Camryn got the stomach flu and then it was all downhill from there. The one weekend we were actually in Arkansas was too busy. We decided to go Last Sunday. I had big dreams for that day....I envisioned calmness and eating at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I envisioned cute pictures of me and the kids outside by the beautiful flowers. I envisioned showing Cade Norman Rockwell because I really thought he would love his pictures. We were
also going to find the original Walton's Five and Dime since none of us had seen it. I just envisioned a whole day of family fun and togetherness. Yeah...and apparently the entire state of Arkansas envisioned the same thing. 

When we pulled up to the museum I knew none of that was going to happen. We couldn't even find a place to park.  Jay finally dropped us off at the front while he circled the lot like a shark. While we were waiting for him I started talking to a lady beside me. She off handily mentioned that the Norman Rockwell Exhibit had sold out. We could not get tickets for it. I was so extremely disappointed. I was also mad at myself for not thinking ahead and getting tickets earlier. Grrrr!  We decided to brave the permanent part of the museum anyway. Mistake!!!

 Camryn turned into a Tasmanian Devil!  I barely got her stopped before she put her hand on a painting. Then she tried to push her stroller and would scream and stomp her feet anytime we touched it. I know it looked to all observers that we had no control over our child, but that really wasn't the case. She was having a bad few minutes and we were doing our best to cope with it without making a worse scene. Need I repeat the child is not even 2?  While she had a hold of the stroller I was trying to maneuver it away from her. Before I was finished with the task one if the museum workers came up and told me not to let her push the stroller because they preferred adults to push them. I almost lost my temper with the lady...did she not think I didn't prefer that an adult pushed it either???  What parent actually wants their child to push their own stroller???  And since the lady stopped me that meant Camryn was uncontrolled for a few seconds. If she had left me alone I would've had it together again in the amount of time the lady disturbed me. I feel pretty confident in my parenting abilities and most things really don't bother me, but that one got me. I felt like she was screaming "bad parent, uncontrollable kid."  Thankfully Camryn allowed me to pick her up and I carried her the rest of the way. I was glad we quickly moved out of that lady's area. Apparently Camryn loved the acoustics in the building so she sang as loud as she could through the last two areas.  That lady would've told me they prefer children don't sing. 

I was relieved to leave the museum. My excitement for the day had quickly diminished with my disappointment with Norman and feeling judged by a very small incident with a tired toddler. It may have also not been that Camryn was tired but instead it was withdrawal symptoms....from the massive amount of cake frosting she had ate the day beore. We headed off to the Walton's store hoping to salvage something from the trip. 

That wasn't our salvation. Talk about another disappointment. I'm not sure what I expected but the junk that they sold was definitely not it. There was a museum but Camryn was a darting mess in there so we finally went back to the car. It took Jay awhile to drag Cade away from the junk. He loves that stuff. 

Then we decided to drive around and find where Jay lived in Rogers. You might ask if I got to eat at the Mexican restaurant. That was also a No. Jay and I found it by accident one day and we have a hard time remembering the exit. We knew it was farther than the exit we needed for the museum but we were hungry and didnt want to drive aimlessly around. When we were looking for Jay's old house we found it. Pretty sure I've finally committed to memory the exit so we won't miss it again. 

Driving around that day (and the drive home) is what prompted Jay's Facebook post about a new car. It felt like it kept getting smaller and smaller that day. Camryn and Cade fought almost non-stop. Camryn can reach the drink holders with her feet. She spent a lot of time kicking Cade's drink. He spent a lot of time yelling. She already knows how to get under his skin. The fact that I was so stiff when we got out of the car was another reason. Also the lights keep dimming when you hit the brakes, everytime Jay would shift in his seat the cruise would go off and the brakes are messed up for the 900th time. BUT she is paid for....even that is not tipping the scales as much as it used to. 

We did eat at a place that we've always talked about eating at when we are down there. We came across one by accident. It was ok. I was still in the "this will be the best trip ever" mode and took some cute
Pictures while we were eating. Of course these were the only ones from that day.

Seeing the picture of Camryn makes we wonder if a picture of my butt has unknowingly made it on to the Internet?? Yikes!

So we didnt have a perfect day....but if everything had gone smoothly this post wouldn't have been as long and I probably wouldn't have remembered the day as well. Instead I will retell stories of Sunday to Camryn and remind her she made herself look like a heathen and me like a parent not in control. Seeing pictures of Norman Rockwell would've seemed boring compared to all that.... Or even worse...we might have been thrown out!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Exercising the Pigs

I mentioned that in my last post and then realized not every one would understand that. I didn't know what it meant until a few days ago. Apparently show pigs need to be exercised to build up their muscles. Saturday was the first time Jay turned them out. Terry and Megan were there so that meant there were two more people to help in case all heck broke loose. It ended up being no big deal. Bonnie and Clyde are so fat and out of shape they try to put themselves up during their evening walks. Poor Clyde was panting last night after walking 15 minutes. But what can you expect with their feed trough flapping non-stop. 

Megan took this cute picture of Charlie, Cade and Bonnie Saturday night. 
Oh and we got 23 more baby chicks Friday morning. The post office called at 6:15 am and said they were there. Jay ran up and got them before they had to ride around in our letter carriers car. I'm
Sure she appreciated it to. That brings are chicken total up to somewhere around 50.  These will be for Ozark Empire. Cade will show the first batch next Saturday and then within the week those will be off to the Amish butcher. 

I ask myself daily when I lost control....

We had a great weekend.  I’ve got several posts on Camryn’s 2nd birthday party and other things from the weekend.  But I thought I’d go ahead and share yesterday’s highlight.  We had a relaxing day at home.  Jay and Cade worked on different animal things getting ready for the county fair next weekend.  I did a few things around the house and then napped with Camryn while she took an almost 4 hour nap.  Later that evening we had thought about driving around some car dealers.  We are dipping our toe into the waters of possibly buying a new family car.  I’m still on the fence….I look at our checkbook and think “no way” but then the 4 of us get in the car and I think “I can’t handle this for another second.”  But for some reason last night I didn’t feel like leaving the house.  That would’ve required makeup and regular pants.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  Instead we ate Taco Salad’s outside at Camryn’s new picnic  table…..and dressed Charlie up in a leftover birthday hat.  We were just enjoying the evening.  That is until Jay told Cade to get the pigs out…..

I heard Cade say something about some nasty water. I just ignored the talk while Jay got up to see what Cade was talking about. Then I heard Jay say “oh, no – you’ve got to come get Camryn.” I still wasn’t too concerned until I got up and saw what Jay was talking about….there is a hole in our backyard. Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal….except it is from our septic tank rusting though! The hole itself isn’t very big but it is quite deep. We are just thankful no one fell in at Camryn’s birthday party or while Jay and Cade were exercising the pigs.

So on top of everything else Jay has to do for the fair he also had to call someone about replacing our septic tank. They will be out next week. In the meantime I guess we just stay clear of the hole and pray we don’t get a lot of rain????? What a way to start the summer!!! I think car shopping is back on hold.  But when Jay talked to the guy today we don't think it will be quite as expensive as we had imagined last night.  Whew! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Comments from Cade

I feel like the blog is somewhat lopsided right now with Camryn getting most of the attention.  Part of that is I know Cade wouldn't want a lot of his story's being blogged about right the fact they had a puberty video at school a couple of weeks ago.  I decided keep that one a secret(except of course I just let it out of the bag).  Also, he isn't whipping things out right and left like he used to.  And sometimes what he does say is so far above me I don't really understand him.....much like Sunday's comment. 

I started DVRing Call of the Midwife on PBS last fall.  I love it for some odd reason. It bores everyone else in my family to tears so I have to sneak it in between their quality entertainment like Little Einstens, Gold Rush and Duck Dynasty. I get a lot of flack when I try to watch my hour long show once a week.  Sunday evening there was nothing else on and I was tired of listening to all the other junk that had been on all weekend.  About 8 pm I took control of the TV and decided to watch the last show of the season.  As a side note it usually is better to watch it when no one else is around.  I have a hard time understanding British accents so with the added noise of Jay and Cade making fun of me and Camryn yelling I had the volume up to about 95.  But back to the I was turning it on Cade said "you know if Mitt Romney was President you wouldn't be able to watch this show."  I wasn't tracking him so I asked what he meant.  Cade said "He was going to pull the funding for PBS so you wouldn't have been able to watch Call of the Midwife."  I thought it was pretty clever.  Then when Jay came in and made his  obligatory comments about the show Cade said "Dad, too bad Mitt Romney didn't win."  It even took Jay a minute to figure out what Cade was getting at. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

First Cattle Show

Saturday we went to the first cattle show of the season.  Since Cade isn't playing baseball this summer our plan is to try to hit more cattle shows than we normally do.  This one was at Fair Grove and boy did it get hot that afternoon!  Cade is showing a heifer that belongs to Megan and Terry and a bull calf that belongs to Jim and Sharon.  Jay and I have the absolute worst luck with cattle.  Jewels was supposed to have had one for Cade to show but it was born prematurely and still doesn't seem like it's much bigger than Charlie.  Then Jewels was supposed to have been bred again but she came back into heat she lost a calf at some point.  I think she might be visiting the sale barn   big happy barnyard in the sky some time soon. 
Camryn was pretty excited about the day....she was outside and around cows.  How much better could it get?

Then she discovered the trailer.  Her latest obsession is Little Einstein's so this was her rocketship.

Cade acting goofy like normal for the camera
Shortly before the show started Camyn asked to take a nap.  We didn't have any place to put her except the truck.  Well you can guess how that went over.  It was free range in the truck time instead of nap time.  She kept finding the Oreo's no matter where we hid them.

By the time they got to the Herefor part of the show Camryn was through with it all.

Finally Bubba got in the ring and that kept her occupied for about 10 seconds

Then it was time for the bulls and Camryn was through.  She walked up to the bull calf with no fear, but then it bawled right in her face.  That reduced her to a crying mess and we had to get out the bottle because her screams were causing everyone to looks at us.

Two things Saturday reinforced.....
1.  Since we couldn't make it farther than the gas station at Halltown without having to stop we will not be going on a long trip this year.  She was crying for more milk.  We stopped to get more and then she started crying to be let out, she was stuck, etc.  Definitley not traveling with that this year.
2.  If we go to the State Fair it will be for 1 day.  I will not leave work and spend 4 days there with her.  There is no grass to lay in there and the alternative is just gross. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Two years ago today and an adoption article

I read this article yesterday and had planned to post it today.  It just happens to also coincide with a special anniversary.  Two years ago today we got the best email of our lives.  There was a little girl soon to be born and would we like to have our profile shown....and the rest is history.  Even though we didn't know for two more days that we were matched with Camryn I knew the second I read the email that she was the one for our family.  Isn't it neat when God gives us those feelings?  I'm still amazed at how He wrote our adoption story.  It was a much better story than what I could ever have imagined.

Now back to this article......

When I read it, I was left in a jumble of emotions.  Not just about the tragedy of how she ended up being adopted, but the beauty of what happened once she was adopted.  I'm not sure I can put it all into words so I'm going to just highlight some of the things that I loved.  I'd say (or at least I'd hope) that most people who've adopted know all this.  I just think it is something great for those freinds and family members to read.

  • I love how she wants to meet her birthfamily to let them she know she forgives them
  • I love how she explains that wanting to meet your birthfamily is normal, but that she still knows who her parents are
  • I love how her adoptive parents knew their love wasn't enough to get her through her abandonment issues so they got help
  • I love how her adoptive parents supported her in trying to find her genetic family
  • I love how the therapist points out that if the family isn't talking about the adoption story then the kids see it as something shameful
I think these things are all issues that someone who hasn't been in the trenches of adoption sees as threatening.  Jay and I never have nor never will feel threatened by Camryn's birthfamily.  We love to talk about it and we want those around us to feel comfortable talking about it to.   Camryn's story is just an awesome reminder of God's perfect timing.  It's not something to shove under a rug and pretend like it didn't happen.  No matter how much we all love Camryn and know she is a part of our family there will be a time in her life she will have to deal with the fact she is adopted.  How severe that ends of being for her will partly be based on how we react to it.  All of that is completely normal and Jay and I fully expect it to happen someday and we are ok with that.  She is two and it is time to start thinking about how to respond when she asks questions or makes statements about it.  Adoption just adds another layer onto the already complicated job of raising kids.  I just want to make sure we do it right.     

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What the boys did while we shopped...

Jay had a whole list of things he wanted to do Saturday. The main thing was to build a fence around the hog house so Bonnie & Clyde can walk around. I think we all expected to have a running of the pigs, but that's not what happened. Clyde has been down and back up once but Bonnie refused. Jay got some advice on how to move her down the ramp. He put a bucket over Bonnie's head and forced her down. Now the pigs are stuck on the ground and refusing to go back up the ramp. Not sure how Jay will coax them back up the ramp. I just heard something about building a longer wider ramp. So that will be another day long project. But at least I'm not laying in bed and hearing the feed trough flap at all hours. Instead of hearing cash registers ring I hear flap, flap, flap whenever Jay says he needs more feed.

When we got home Saturday I looked out the back window and could tell they had been clipping one of the cows. Then I saw some unauthorized clipper usage..they were cutting their hair!!! I ran out there but it was too late. They were already in the thick of it. Jay said he was saving money, I told him we could afford $20 a month. The next day though I realized why he did it. Jay is boycotting the barber in town. Long story, but the guy is super annoying....but he does a good job. Jay isn't satisfied with his other options and he refuses to go to a beauty shop so he took matters into his own hands. It actually didn't turn out too badly...but I'm not sure I will admit that to them.

All of this has reminded me of the old Ma and Pa Kettle shows. I loved those things growing up. Now I feel like I'm living them. Jay of course isn't lazy like Pa was...but just the variety of crazy things we have crammed into less than 3 acres is what makes me laugh. Then since I've been working in our bedroom for what feels like forever our house resembles the Kettle's. Dinner time right now I actually look like Ma clearing the table, minus the chickens. Anyway, We actually have rules with our property that we can only have pets. So far our neighbors have been great so it hasn't been an issue. I'm not sure 5 head of cattle, 2 pigs, 12 chickens and 1 roaming dog all qualify as pets....or watching 2 guys shave each others heads after clipping cattle. Yup, we are the neighbors every one wants!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The other day's of last weekend

Friday night was Jay's FFA banquet.  And we all breathed a sigh of relief!!!  I know Jay is relieved to get through that night every year.  My dad was able to come so we were glad to see Papa Kerry that night.  Memo and Papa Jim also made it.  We started out with crayons to keep ourselves occupied....

That lasted until the meal started.  I always wait until the end to go through the line.  When Camryn saw the other people bringing in their food she kept asking where her plate was at.  Finally, she is starting to eat more normally.  After the meal the awards part started and she got a little restless.  I'm not sure if she is quieter than Cade or I just don't care what she does - but I would spend every banquet in the halls with Cade letting him run.  I don't think I sat through one until he was 5.  Jim took Camryn for awhile and let her walk up and down the bleachers.  Then towards the end she was running between our table and the next table up.  Jim would step in front of her so she wouldn't go all the way to the front then she would laugh really loud and repeat the process.  I didn't care.  When it was over she asked "are we done yet".  So you won't think I'm playing favorites by not having a picture of Cade I didn't know where he was at 99% of the time.  Two of his friends were there so he sat with them.   

Camryn's birthday party is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.  Jay and I both have some projects we'd like to complete by then.  Since Jay's are outdoor projects he worked on his during the day and then watched Camryn for me during the evening.  I decided to go to Springfield during the day to get her birthday party supplies.  It dawned on me that morning I rarely have taken her shopping like that by myself.  I'm either with someone or Jay keeps her.  I had taken Cade a million times by myself by age 2.  I don't know why I haven't taken her as many times.  I wondered if I'd get much accomplished but she did really great.  It was a fun day.  I need to start getting her used to the mother/daughter shopping trips. 
With all of the birthday talk though she was a little confused.  When you ask her what she wants for her birthday she will tell you Birthday Cake!  When we got to Springfield that morning she started crying for birthday cake.  So what did I do?  Find the nearest cupcake shop of course! 

This girl loves chocolate!  We looked all the cupcakes over very carefully, but she always came back to the Oreo Creme.  Once we sat down she kept saying "you eat to".  One time I put my fork down and she handed it to me and said "eat".  The icing was really rich.  I think she ate about half of it.  She took one last bite of the frosting and gagged.  She looked at me and said "I'm done."  It was really good but I felt the same way. But then when we got in the car she said "ready to eat."  I told her we'd just ate.  She wanted more birthday cake! 

After the cupcake store we went to Hobby Lobby.  She was so patient with me while I looked and looked.  Her phrases in that store were:
Whatcha doin' Mama, Mama wattcha doin
Sing Mama, Sing Twinkle Star (so I softly tried to sing)
Louder Mama!
Sing Little Einstiens
I need down
Oh my goodness gracious
Time to eat!
Want to eat outside

After Hobby Lobby I knew we needed lunch to counteract the bag of sugar we'd ate earlier.  Since she requested outside we went to McAlister's. It was pretty breezy but she really enjoyed it.  She sat there so good and played until our food came.  After we got our food she sat and ate for 45 minutes!  She also fed her sandwich bread to the birds.  

After lunch we went to Bed, Bath & Beyond.  She was not happy about their cart colors.  She wanted a blue one.  She was much happier at Marshall's because theirs were blue.  After that we ran into Wal-Mart and headed home.  I think we spent more time eating that day than anything else but that was ok.  I enjoyed some one on one time with her doing girl things.  If she had been a little older I probably would've thrown a pedicure in there to :) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

In my post from yesterday I didn't even address the other thing different about my Mother's Day's....Camryn's Birthmom. My heart is also heavy for her at times. I don't want anyone to think I go around depressed all the time when I say things like that because I don't. But I do think about her a lot this time of year, especially with Camryn's birthday coming up. I wonder what she thinks about Mother's Day. Her own mother passed away several years ago and that makes me sad for her. I am praying for her today. I hope she feels the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Jay and I also didn't talk about any of this but I know he was thinking about her to.  He included Camryn's Birthmom in his mother's day breakfast prayer yesterday. 

We went to Fayetteville on Sunday to see Jay's family.  His Aunt and Uncle from Illinois was there because their daugther, Kim, graduated from the University on Saturday.  It was a low key day for us.  By the time we got there it was time to eat lunch.  After we ate I went with Sharon to pick out some birthday presents for Camryn and then I went to Target.  While I was gone Camryn had a big time playing with Nana and Mary outside.  She played soccer and did somersaults and played in the flowers and used a step stool to sneak Cheetos, etc.  It was a big day!
Cade wasn't feeling too good, but he did come out for a little soccer.  I think his allergies have hit this weekend. 

My sweet babies.  Camryn wanted to stand on her own for the picture so that's why we are on her level.  It is a good thing this is far away.  Camryn was covered in dirt, pollen and Cheeto dust by this time in the afternoon.
The trip home last night was full of the things that make up being a mother. Camryn was exhausted but she would not nap. Instead she whined, cried and kicked a McDonald's sack repeatedly. She also used her bottle as a weapon and would sprinkle milk on Cade. Cade keep hacking and coughing and wanted me to look at it....which based on what I saw last night and this morning he has an appointment at 10:30 with his doctor. So all those ads that elude to the fact mother's have a nice quiet day of rest and relaxation are lies!!! I don't know a single mother who's can stop all of this stuff and do nothing for the day....but also most of us wouldn't trade a second of it for all the quiet in the world. 

Happy Mother's Day to all those mother's, aunts, sisters, sunday school teachers, birthmoms......basically anyone who is or has been in a position to be a positive role model for a child.  Thank YOU!!!!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Infertility, Motherhood and Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming this Sunday (so get your mom a card if you haven’t yet). It is a weird day for me and has been for several years. Jay never did anything big for Mother’s Day even before we knew about our infertility, but it became even more low key during that time period. Some years we stayed home, some years we went out to eat and to a movie. It just kind of varied depending on how we felt. Although I was a mother during those years that day was still painful. There was a part of me that felt very incomplete and it seemed to be even more exaggerated on Mother’s Day. And Mother/Daughter Banquets were the worst! It wasn’t that I was sad that I didn’t have a daughter – it was again that feeling of being incomplete. I avoided those all that I could. It was just a sad day all around.

Thank God that I don’t have that incomplete feeling anymore. But Mother’s Day is still uncomfortable for me. I know there are lots and lots of women who are hurting that day. I still don’t like to do anything big for that day. Last year we stayed home and I was fine with that. This year we are going to Fayetteville to see Jay’s family. I did tell Jay that what I wanted was for him to vacuum and wipe down my car. I know – I’m exciting.

Even though I don’t feel sad or feel like I have that weight on my chest all the time the memories of those feelings have not left. Last Sunday Jay and I went to Nakato’s (thank you Megan and Terry!) for his birthday. On one end of the table was a new mother, tiny baby and a friend. Jay and I were in the middle along with another couple that looked to be younger than us and then a couple on the end who was definitely younger. The chef had a two year old and a two month old baby at home. Of course the conversation turned to babies. Jay and I neither one felt like talking (we were busy eating), but oh how I felt uncomfortable. All I could think was that I hoped none of the other two couples were going through infertility. I’m not sure the ones of the end were married and they talked between themselves most of the time. The couple next to us was quiet. Which Jay and I were also quiet so it doesn’t mean anything…but still I wondered. Then the chef asked if we were ready for next weekend- Mother’s Day. No one said much. I just remember how it was to go out to try and forget about it only to feel like people were purposely shoving it in your face. Not that they were – these were all innocent conversations. But still I wondered……I’ve just learned over the years to not ask people how many kids they have or when they are going to have them if they don’t yet. Very taboo subjects.

This isn’t meant to depress you by any means. Please enjoy your family and the goodies they may lavish on you Sunday. Remember to thank God for those little blessings that made you a mother – even if they are completely covered in Chocolate or going though a pre-teen moody phase, oh wait that’s me….. But also be sensitive to the single lady or the one who's been married for several years with no babies,  in the next cubicle on Monday morning. She may not be quite as thrilled to hear about your breakfast in bed and 3 carat mother’s broach with 17 stones in it.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


You can't quite see it in this picture but Camryn was very fashionable last night. She likes to put on our clothes while we are folding them. Last night she got one of Cade's t-shirts and it looked just like one of those off the shoulder a neon color which is very in right now. Cade wasn't too thrilled with it though...

And please ignore the unmade bed. I swear every picture I take anymore looks like my house is a wreck know instead of the 85% of the time it usually is. I'm still trying to get my room back together from Saturday's painting fiasco. A trip to Urgent Care with a sick toddler rearranged my rearranging plans for the weekend. One of these days I will finally have everything together....ha ha ha.