We’re sitting at the table eating dinner when the phone rings.  My oldest, Boy #1 jumps up and grabs the phone.  I tell him to let the voice mail get it because we’re eating dinner.  The rest of the conversation goes like this…


Me:  Who was it?

Boy #1:  Karissa

Me:  Oh.


Me: Why don’t you ever talk to Makenna anymore?  (This was a girl that used to call constantly and I hadn’t heard about her recently.)

Boy #1:  Because all she cares about is herself. (He mocks her saying ME, ME, ME!)

Me:  Oh really?  What do you mean?

Boy #1:  Every time she calls, the first thing out of her mouth is “How did I look today?” …Did you like my shirt…stuff like that. 

Me:  Well, she’s a girl.  Girls worry about that kind of stuff.

Boy #1:  Yeah, well she thinks she’s ‘all that’.  She walks around being so bossy.

Me:  Oh?  Yep, she’s definitely a girl!  You have to remember girls are different than boys.

Boy #1:  She yells at her friends if they talk to me- like she owns me or something!  So I broke up with her.  Now I’m going out with Karissa.


(We’re interrupted by Boy #2:  You can’t go out with her! You’re not even 30 yet.)   


Me:  So is Makenna really mad?

Boy #1:  Yep.  She asked another boy in my class to go out with her, but he’s MY friend and he knows she’s just trying to get back at me so he told her no.


…ahhhhhh, it starts early doesn’t it?  These are 11 year olds!



When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.


Hellen Keller

I’m an overprotective mom.  Rightfully so. 

I’ve stayed home with my children ever since my oldest (now 11) was about 3.  He was abused at the hands of his daycare provider.  My husband and I decided things needed to change.  I dropped out of college and quit my job to stay home and raise our children full time.  To this day, I don’t regret dropping out of College.  It was the best decision I could have made at the time.  Someday I may go back.  I don’t know.  Children are only young once in their lives.  When you miss it, it’s gone.

We rarely leave our kids with anyone now, even family members.  This weekend, my husband and I had a conference to attend.  Our children stayed in the trusty hands of my sister (Aunt K)…now realize that Aunt K only has 1 child that’s barely 3 months old.  Suddenly being entrusted with the lives of 4 children, including a high maintenance 23 month old has got to be overwhelming!

All things considered, I was confident. I felt good about leaving them with her.

When we arrived home, I found everything in order but wait, what’s that?  You laid The Princess down for a nap at what time?!  10:30am?  Wow, that’s really early.  No wonder she cried and cried….  (My heart is breaking at this point)  I understand she was in the way while you were fixing lunch, but she doesn’t go down for nap until after lunch…poor baby.  

Could my heart ache any more??  Maybe it’s trivial to all of you, but thinking of my child crying out and confused… arghhhhh see, this is why we never leave them with others.  See, even Aunt K isn’t good enough for me.  I know, I’m ridiculous!  

Our little Princess will be 2 next month.  She’s a handful, testing every limit and boundary we have in place.  I know it’s normal and to be expected, but I find myself scrambling to figure out what works for her.  You’d think by the fourth child I would be a pro at this stuff- and I thought I was… she proved me wrong! 

A dear friend of mine, (who’s also adopted from the foster care system) reminded me of a few things to keep in mind.  While the Princess is nearly 2 years old, emotionally she’s still much younger.  When I step back and think of things that way, it helps me to understand why the Princess doesn’t seem to “get it”.  She will, but it might not be for awhile.  It helps me cope.

Still, I am frustrated.  I’ve never been one to baby proof all of the kitchen cabinets or place pads on the side of the coffee table.  Instead, we like to teach our children to respect boundaries.  Unfortunately, The Princess has other plans in mind. [IMG]http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/tnajk/AshleyCereal3.jpg[/IMG]

I find myself needing to get creative.  I can’t just let her walk all over us after all. No, that would be disastrous.  (You’ve seen them, the out of control families on Super Nanny?)  I’ve gotten a few suggestions in the past few weeks...

1.  She just needs a good spanking….  Um, no.  While we aren’t anti- spanking, this isn’t the solution.  Emotionally, the Princess is still a baby. What would she take away from that?  Fear!  Most importantly, we cannot spank her.  She is after all, still in limbo and technically still a Foster Child. (Although it pains to be think of her that way)  Big no-no!

2.  Use an Egg Timer…..  Ah, yeah….right!  This comment came from her Speech Therapist.  Honestly, she’s much too young for this.  I understand his logic, but she certainly wouldn’t.  The Egg Timer would become a “Yellow?”  (A phone.  She holds things up to her ear and says Yellow aka Hello.  Even the shoes on her feet are Yellows!) 

3. Redirection ……. It sounds good, in theory.  Our Princess has a one track mind.  When she has a goal, there’s no changing it!!  She’s stubborn as all get out.

4.  She needs a time out…...Yes, yes she does.  Are you going to hold her there?  I’ve never met an early 2 yr old that would sit for a time out. That’s something you use closer to 2 ½ or 3.  Let’s see, at 2 yrs old, she’s supposed to be in time out for 2 minutes right?  Well, I can get her to sit for about 20 seconds.  IF you’re lucky!  Hmmm, wonder if DHS would allow this kind of Time Out: [IMG]http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a150/tnajk/timeout.jpg[/IMG]  Ha, just kidding.


Ahhh, the joys of motherhood.  I guess for now, I am stepping down as Queen of the household.  Alas, the Princess will take over… have no fear.  (No really….RUN!!!)


Super Nanny, you should be hearing from me very soon.


On top of our chaotic house full of children, we have a cat and a dog.  Our dog Mariah, is a 10 month old Golden Retriever.  She’s beautiful and smart… in fact she’s tooo smart for her own good. 


Our house sits on an acre of land and there’s no fence.  When she was tiny, a fence just wasn’t an issue.  She would stay in the yard with us and not wander off.  As she got bigger, that changed and we had to come up with something creative to keep her out of our neighbors’ yards. 


Our solution?  We installed an invisible fence…no not literally silly…an Underground Radio Fence. http://www.petsafe.net/   It’s a really neat invention.  We’ve been extremely happy with it until recently.  (I’ll get to why in a minute)  Do you have any idea how cool it is when someone walks by the house and sees this big-ole dog sitting in the middle of the yard staring them down?  Talk about a MAJOR security measure.  I can’t tell you how many times people have commented on how well she’s trained.   HA!!!  Yeah right, I only wish!  Little do they know, our “trained” dog has just learned to stay in our yard or get SHOCKED. 


*Now before you jump on me for animal cruelty, the system claims it doesn’t hurt the animal.  She’s never yelped like it hurts her, but it’s definitely uncomfortable.


Anyway, our wonderful smart dog has learned that if she takes a running start, the shock isn’t so bad after all.  ARGH!  Can you believe that!?   For the last few weeks, it’s been an absolute nightmare.  She thinks she owns the neighborhood.  Wandering around until she’s good and ready to come home, at which point she plops her wet, muddy self in front of our door.  ACK! 


What am I going to do with her?  I knew Golden’s were smart animals, but this is just too much.  We should have gone with a beagle or some other animal that’s not known for its intelligence.


I suppose we’ll have to put up a real fence now.  I’m kind of bummed about it.  I rather enjoy not having one…

…Things I Have A Weakness For:


1.        Ice Cream

2.        French Silk Pie

3.        Babies

4.        French Fries

5.        Kittens

6.        Anything on Clearance at Target!

7.        Gymboree

8.        Infant/toddler shoes

9.        Journalistic style photography

10.      and finally… take-out so I don’t have to cook!


What are you’re top 10??

The process of adoption through the Foster Care system is lengthy.  We've had our little princess since she was 2 days old, she will be 2 in February and here we are still waiting.  I guess moving from one State to another only further complicated the whole mess, I just wish it was over already. 


As my husband and I gather documents for tax preparation, it occurs to me that we do not have the Princess’s Social Security Number.  I put a call into her caseworker and haven't heard from her since.  That was over a month ago.  It's not looking good, so I call the Social Security Administration myself.  In order for them to release that information to me, I need to gather a bunch of documents including "Official" court records saying she is legally in my custody.  Unfortunately, that would require work from the ~awol~ caseworker!!  I've got copies of that information, but certainly no "official" documents nor the originals.


Speaking of caseworkers…  I understand the job stinks.  They are overworked and underpaid.  I get that.  What I don't get is how hard it is to return a simple phone call or email.  Since moving from Colorado to Oklahoma over 8 months ago, we have had 1 home visit.  They are supposed to be doing monthly welfare checks on her!  No visits, no phone calls or contact of any sort...hmm  Somebody has dropped the ball and our little girl is falling through the cracks.  If we were to suddenly pick up and move out of the Country, no one would notice or care.  There's just something about this that really bothers me!!  What if we weren't good people after all?  Who is looking out for this child left in limbo by red tape?? 


After this experience, I can honestly say I am not surprised to hear about Children that have gone missing from the Foster Care system.  Children that are abused or killed at the hands of their Foster Parents.  It's a sad reality, one that I never wanted to know! 


So, as I hug and kiss my sweet baby girl every night when I tuck her into bed, I thank God that she's with us.  She's fallen through the cracks, but is lucky enough to be with a family that loves her to the moon ~and back again.

The Gift of Life

I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.

For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.
--- Unknown

I got tagged by Gill!

   RULES: Each player starts with 6 weird things about themselves.  People who get tagged write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rules clearly. In the end, choose 6 people to be tagged.  Don't forget to leave a comment that says they’ve been tagged and tell them to read your blog.


Six Weird Things About Me

1.       I am the only redhead in the family!  My parents and sister all have brown hair. (Though my mom dyes her hair blonde)    


2.       One of my favorite “Special” foods are Dolmades. My husband gags at the site of them.


3.       I failed my drivers test when I was 16…TWICE!


4.       I can’t stand to see stray hairs.  If I see one, I ~have~ to pull it out…even if it’s on my husband!


5.       I grew up on exotic foods, and so now I love any kind of plain ole “American Casserole”.


6.       When I was little, I played Dolls for much longer than any of my friends did.  (Unless they were secretly playing like I was!)






I am feeling very sad.  Little Nathan has been battling cancer (Neuroblastoma) for several years now. http://www2.caringbridge.org/co/nathanmichael/

 I’ve never met him or his parents personally.  I knew his mom on a Colorado Moms message board many years ago, before he got sick and then at diagnosis.  Nathan is boy #3’s age and it really struck home with me.  I’ve followed this family through their Caringbridge site ever since. I’ve prayed many prayers for this little boy as I am sure many others have done.  Apparently, it’s just not enough.  The Cancer is worse…. the outlook is bleak.  I’m so sad for them.  How does a parent get through something like this??  If you pray, please send one up for this family.  Sign his guestbook and tell them you’re thinking and praying for them right now.  They surely need it.

My least favorite chore is cleaning bathrooms.  I could do 100 tons of laundry, vacuum 500 houses (especially now that I have a Dyson) and clean 1000 dishes before wanting to clean a bathroom!


I suppose having 4 males in the house has something to do with it.  Notice I didn’t refer to my 3 boys…why?  It’s simple, my husband is just as bad as they are.


Why is it that even grown men can’t AIM their stream into the toilet???  Why is it, when pee splashes out onto the seat, they never seem to notice?  It’s frustrating.


In our house we’ve established a rule to help keep the bathroom mess to a minimum.  The boys are not allowed to use the “Guest Bathroom”.  This bathroom is the one with easy access to the Kitchen and Family room.  It’s the bathroom that guests are guided to when duty calls. (Hence the name Guest Bathroom)  It’s the only bathroom I make sure to keep up on. 


The boys a bathroom they share. My husband and I have our own huge master bathroom, so the rule works for us.  (Plus, then when the Master Bathroom isn’t up to my standards I just use the Guest Bathroom!)


Even with the house rule, eventually I have to clean the boy’s bathroom.  It’s scary in there!!  Now that they are older, I make them go in and clean it themselves.  Of course, their standards are not nearly as high as mine, so basically it’s just a primer.  After they’ve gone in and cleaned it, I can go in behind them.  That way, it’s not nearly as disgusting as it was. 


Whoever invented those toilet brushes is a godsend.  I love those things.  I must admit, years ago when they first came on the market, I thought it was the most ridiculous idea.  Now, I am hooked. They make bathroom cleaning almost bearable. 


Hmmm, now if they could just come up with something to keep little boy pee in the toilet and not on the floor!!


I am in the market for a new pair of Jeans. 


I went shopping for that perfect pair stopping first, at my favorite store; Gap.  Unfortunately, shopping after Christmas isn't really such a great idea.  They were picked through and if you weren't a size 0 or extremely lucky, they didn't have your size.  Certainly nothing that would fit ME! So I moved on. I checked several other stores with no luck.  Finally, I went to Lane Bryant. 


I love shopping in that store.  I like the fact that I am not buying the largest sizes, but instead I wear thier smaller ones.  I guess you can think if me as a size 3 instead of the typical 16/18.   Unfortunately, I don't like thier jeans so much.  They have "Stretch" jeans which sound like a good thing, but it's really not.  Not for me anyway.  Thier jeans will fit just right, immediately after coming out of the wash, but 2 hours later they're suddenly tooooo big in certain areas.  They take "Stretch" to a new level!!


That's why I try to steer clear of thier denim.  Fortunately for me, they have a new style now.  They don't stretch!  I was so excited....until I saw how picked through they were.  In fact, unless you're a size 30 or extremely lucky, they didn't have your size.  Certainly nothing that would fit ME!




After a full day of shopping for a single pair of jeans I threw in the towel.  I was done and reserved the remainder of my energy for shopping online. 


I finally ordered a pair of the non-stretch demin jeans, in my size from Lanebryant.com .  I've been waiting and waiting for them to come.  I finally logged into the website to check the status of my order.  Get this...
Order Placed:  Dec. 27
Delivery Estimate:  Jan. 12


CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?!  I am so mad.  I emailed Lane Bryant and told them I will be returning these jeans to the store because I cannot support a company that takes 16 days to ship.  I could have ordered these from another COUNTRY and gotten them sooner.


Now, after all the trouble I went to get a pair of jeans that I liked in my size...do you think I'm going to return them when they finally arrive?? 

Schools cancelled, the kids were bored after an already long weekend. We had no sleds, but that certainly didn't stop us from sledding on the solid ICE that coats our front lawns!! It was a blast.

Hi there!

I'm Kristen, wife of 11 years and Stay-at-Home Mom of 4 children. 3 boys and an Adopted Princess.

Christopher (12)
NJ (10)
Trey (8)
and Princess (3.5)
*Some names have been changed for privacy.

I started this blog to follow us through the process of our adoption of our youngest child from the Foster Care System. It continues to capture life as we deal with everyday struggles and celebrations.

Adoption History:
'The Princess' came to us at a mere 2 days old. At first, we had no intention of adopting her. Although we loved her very much, the initial goal was reunification with her Birth Parents. As the case progressed, it became very apparent that her Birth Parents would not be able to get her back. At that time, DHS asked us if we would consider adopting her. The entire family was extremely happy knowing that she could be ours forever!

Soon after, a judge ruled in our favor and awarded us "Allocation of Parental Responsibilities". (Essentially a form of Custody) Before we could finalize the Adoption we moved to a new State, ultimately delaying the entire process. It wasn't until shortly before her 3rd birthday that we were finally able to finalize the Adoption.

We are also parents to a special needs child. Our son NJ has been diagnosed with several things over the years from Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, High Functioning Autism, Chiari Malformation and Psudotumor Cerebri. In March 2008 he had his first Brain Surgery (Chiari Decompression) and in Sept. 2008 his first LP shunt placed. While I try to keep most of his medical mumbo jumbo off the blog and on his Caringbridge site, you will read about some of it here as well.

This blog is a conglomeration of parenting a high-maintenance toddler and a bunch of rambunctious boys. Our life of chaos.

Join us in our journey!


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