Schools been out for just a few days and I’m already ready to send them all back!!  My hat’s off to those parents out there that choose to home school.  I honestly don’t know how you do it.

My day has been filled with screaming and yelling, wrestling and tattle tailing.  I suppose it doesn’t help matters that it dumped on us last night and the ground is sopping wet. I don’t want to send all these boys outside because then they’ll just bring mud in, onto my newly mopped tile.  (In previous homes that we’ve lived in there’s never been a lot of tile.. but this house has a LOT.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get it *really* clean??)    I am trying to come up with ideas of things we can do over the summer to get us out of the house.  We’ll be heading to the Zoo for sure.  The Oklahoma City Zoo is such a nice one.  It’s much better than the Denver Zoo.  It’s one of the best family-friendly Zoos in the Country.  I’m also excited to try some of the new “splashgrounds” that have been built since last summer.  They are essentially playgrounds with water features.  Really cool stuff!  If you have any ideas of things that I can do toting a bunch of kids from age 2 -12, please share them with me. J

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ... yep that would explain my 2 year old.

When tucking her in at night, Elmo has to be beside her, tucked just right. The fury red guy simply MUST be underneath the sheet just as she is. Her African American baby doll must be on her other side, also tucked beneath the sheet. NO other doll or stuffed animal will do. If you don't tuck them in just right, she flips out screaming EMO, EMO, EMO or BABY, BABY, BABY. She must also have her "tag" in hand. (This is her blankie, she calls it her "Tag" because she holds the tag and sucks her thumb.)

We follow this ritual very carefully each and every night. After all, you would never want to upset The Princess!

Tonight was no different than any other. I carried her into her room and began to get for bed. After a few stories, I changed her diaper and got fresh Pajamas on. I let her take a few last sips of milk from the sippy cup and tucked her into bed. Carefully making sure Elmo and Baby were underneath the sheet. I hand her the beloved tag and after a kiss on the forehead, I quietly walked out and closed the door behind me. Everything was fine. She was quiet and I assumed headed off to sleep.

Well… I was wrong. It was quiet for all of 20 minutes when The Princess suddenly started screaming, crying and banging on the door. (She's just recently learned that she can get out of her bed. Ever since we switched her from a crib to a bed she would wake up and sit in patiently until we came to get her. HA!! Well, it was nice while it lasted.)

I waited for a few minutes before going back in her room. Sometimes she'll crawl back in bed by herself. Unfortunately, that was not the case this time. She was yelling louder and banging harder. I cracked the door open slowly and my red faced, tear covered Princess was standing there, Cup in hand. She immediately ran over and gave me the cup. Turned around, grabbed the wrapped up diaper that I had accidentally left in the room and handed that to me as well.

Hmmm, that's it? You were freaking out because I had left the cup and diaper in your room??? OIY!!! Sure enough, as soon as they were removed, she happily got back in her bed. After making sure Elmo and Baby were in their proper place, I again kissed her head and told her goodnight.

She didn't make another peep.

Here’s my Best Shot Monday…

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If you want to see other Blogger’s great shots, be sure to visit Picture This

Some of you may have noticed that I have a PayPerPost tag on my blog. I am a newbie to PPP, I've only been signed up for a couple of months but am so excited to part of it all! I've taken 1 opportunity and earned $5, just for posting on my Blog about something I am passionate about. It's awesome, I love that this kind of thing is available for Bloggers, Consumers and of course the Advertisers. I look forward to taking many more opportunities in the near furture and earn some side money for this years Christmas! If you're a blogger and are interested in finding out what blog marketing is all about, please look at my side bar and click on my PPP Badge.

For different reasons we’ve decided that The Princess needs to drink Hormone Free milk, so I set off to the “Big Blue Box” to get some.  As I strolled down the milk isle, I remembered just how many different choices there are.  Boy #2 is allergic to milk and for the first 4 years of his life we had to buy rice milk.  Soy was out; he is allergic to it too.  (Apparently it’s pretty common if you’re allergic to one, you’re most likely allergic to the other)  Anyway, since he’s been able to tolerate milk for oh, about 5 years now I don’t pay attention to the different offerings in that particular isle.  I just open the glass doors and grab our usual- Whole milk for The Princess and 1% for the rest of us.

What’s that?  $3.59 for a ½ gallon of Organic, hormone free whole milk??  I about fell over.  The kid drinks 4-5 cups of milk a day.  There must be an alternative?  I looked further.  There must be a generic?  I looked some more.  There are many, many kinds of soy and rice milks, but only ONE Organic/Hormone Free milk available.  I reluctantly grabbed 2 out of the glass case and deposited them in my cart.  Upon arrival home, I announced to the husband…  “The Princess will only drink 3 cups of milk (or LESS) from now on.”  My head is still spinning, over $7 for a gallon of milk.  Oh the things we’ll do for our children.

There are drawbacks to learning all about abuse, neglect and the families that go along with those issues. 

To become foster parents we needed 27 hours of training within 3 months of being licensed.  On top of that, our agency (We were with a Private agency, not the local county) required us to have 35 hours.  Then we moved to another state and were required to get an additional 19 hours of training!  As you can imagine we learned a LOT.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Drug Addiction and Withdrawal, The cycle of Abuse/ signs of Physical, Sexual and Emotional abuse, Reactive Attachment Disorder…

Ever since then I catch myself looking at children that pass me in the street, families that live in my neighborhood, kids that attend school with mine… I find myself analyzing them and their situation.  I can identify children with the facial features of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  I don’t even have to look for symptoms, they jump out at me.  When my neighbor’s 2 adopted children seemed very sexualized for their years I can’t help but question what happened to them before they were removed to live with their Aunt and Uncle.  There was a situation at a grocery store not long ago.  I identified the mother of a dirty, mangled child to be high on Meth.  She had all the symptoms. Emotional and physical.  The child had wandered off in her stupor.  I cringe to think what would have happened had the child wandered into the arms of a pedophile or worse.

I don’t like it!!  I don’t want to be walking through the isles of Target to see a toddler who I feel needs help and yet I can do very little, if anything about it!?  I ache for these kids for weeks on end even when I have no emotional ties to the situation, no invested interest at all.  I can’t help but wish I didn’t know about any of it.  Before I could identify these terrible things, life wasn’t so bad.  Now, I can see it surrounds me… all of us really. 

Going along with Picture This here is my Best Shot Monday. This beautiful animal is Mia, but we usually call her Mimi. She's a 2 year old Persian.
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We got some news! Okay, so it’s really not all that interesting, but it’s news which is more than we’ve had for months now. Are you ready for it? Okay, hang onto your seats….


Word is, our Adoption will be finalized

in


the


next


6


months


Yep, that’s the news. And as happy as I am to get this over with, comeone 6 months!? That just does nothing for me. We’ve already been waiting for 2 freaking years. What’s another 6 flipping months right? I guess I’m just down with reality. The process is moving slower than a snail and at this point I can’t help but be pessimistic about the whole thing. Last September they told us the same thing. Um, yeah okay well we’re still sitting here. I’ve filled out the same paperwork for 2 different States several times. We’ve had our fingerprints done 6 times in the last 2 years. Every time we get new paperwork it comes with a new fingerprint card. ARGH!! Okay after what we’ve been through I have NO CLUE how people with criminal records or abusive parents manage to Adopt. It really blows my mind they were able to get through all the red tape without someone catching onto them.

As I stated earlier this week The Princess’s Occupational Therapist has some concerns that she brought to my attention.  The Princess has no sense of body awareness.  She’ll slide into any obstacle without hesitation; she walks off the top of the stairs without so much as looking down to see what’s below her.  She completely lacks cause and effect.  We’ve seen this at home for sometime now, but again I felt as though I was over analyzing the situation.  I was hoping it was something age related and she would outgrow.  Now we know that’s not the case.  It’s too early to say whether or not she will ever get it. This information helps paint the picture as to why she’s such a monkey, climbing on anything and everything in sight.  Why she’s yet to learn that if she climbs onto the table, she very well may fall and if she does it’s going to HURT.  Why she needs constant supervision to keep her safe…

She’s been referred to 2 different programs.  The first is called PCIT, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.  Its specialized behavior management designed for young children such as The Princess and their families.  It works with the child and caregiver together to improve overall behavior and reduce parenting stress. It’s an intense 12-14 week program. Children participating in PCIT with their parents/caregivers increase their ability to reach their full potential.  The other referral is for children who are considered at high-risk for difficulties in their development. Many of the children in the program are Foster or Adopted children. They offer specialized interventions.  I’m so excited to have these kinds of this kind of thing available to us!!  Both have waiting lists, so we will sit and wait. 

 

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Things have been wild around here.  We’ve got all kinds of things going on, seems I’ve been going non-stop for 2 weeks now.

The Princess is yet again failing hearing tests in her Right Ear.  (We went down this road before about 9 months ago.  After further investigation they determined she could hear and we haven’t really put a second thought into it until now.)  Her Speech Therapist does hearing tests on a periodic basis using 2 different portable machines.  It seems something is going on in that right ear because she fails it every time!  He gave us a referral and off to the Doctor we went once again.  Come to find out we have to go through all the same tests all over again.  I KNOW she can hear, so I’m not sure what the big fuss is all about?  Anyway, we will be seeing the Ear Nose and Throat specialist this time.  Keep your fingers crossed that it’s something simple.

Last week The Princess’s therapist spoke to me about some concerns that she has.  I’ve been quietly worried about the things she has observed for quite some time, but was secretly hoping I was over analyzing. (I tend to do that)  I’m short on time right now and will go into more detail about this in the next few days, so check back.

Boy #2 and Boy #3 are both playing Baseball. Thankfully we lucked out and they are on the same team.  (See, being only 19 months apart has its props) J  They seem to really be enjoying it.  Games start next week and add will only add to the family chaos.  I’m glad they’re having fun, but every now and then I can’t help but wish they were bookworms or homebodies.  Ya know?  I just want to sit on the couch and veg out sometimes but there’s just simply no time for that.  I guess they’re only young once right?

Finally, I just have to boast… Boy #1 was nominated by his school to join the People to People Ambassador Program.  At just 11 years old, this is quite an honor.  If he is accepted, he will travel to Washington DC along with youth from all over the world to explore the most prominent monuments and institutions of the United States.  We knew he was a great kid, but apparently other’s noticed too.  I couldn’t be more proud!!!

 


Can you believe the show premiered way back in 1969? The show’s even won 68 Emmy Awards for crying out loud!

I loved Sesame Street as a child. It was an integral part of my childhood that I remember very clearly. I would find myself mesmerized by the psychedelic pinball with crazy music…. The juice glasses that came alive, climbed down from the cupboards and danced the night away…. the sequence where a girl holds an orange crayon up to her eye and suddenly we’re transported into a crayon-making factory. Ahhhh! Such wonderful memories.


For some reason my boys never really got into the show. The Princess however can’t get enough of it. It’s the only show she’ll sit for. In fact, she even requests it. That’s huge when you consider she doesn’t talk much in the first place!


At some point over the years between my days of Sesame Street and now, Snuffleupagus was revealed! It came as a surprise to me one day when I was watching the show with The Princess. I saw him conversing with other Adults. That never happened in my Sesame Street days. Remember, Snuffy was Big-Birds imaginary friend? None of the Adults believed he existed. So why did Snuffy become “real”? I had to look on the trusty internet to find out. (Am I the last to hear about this?) Apparently Snuffy was revealed in light of high-profile stories on pedophilia and sexual abuse of children. Several shows had aired on 60 Minutes and 20/20 . The thinking was, if nobody believed what Big Bird says, children who were sexual abuse victims might be afraid to report what happened, since the adults would not believe them. Hmmm, well okay…seems reasonable but they took all that magic and mystique away. Also, what about the fact that the idea of Snuffy taught children to stand up for what they believe in? I’m on the fence here. I just don’t know what to think.


Sesame Street was the first truly multicultural children's program including cast members of all ages and races. Bilingual counting, the alphabet, and words are integrated into every program. Even the Muppets are a diverse group of monsters, animals, and people of all shapes, sizes, and colors and never in the traditional "red and yellow, black and white." I love that! I want that for my children. I also love the fact that Adoption has been brought into the show on more than one occasion. In 1985, Susan and Gordon adopted baby Miles. More recently, Veterinarian Gina adopted baby Marco from Guatemala!


There are a few things I am upset about though. I could do without Baby Bear and his speech impediment! In that regard, Sesame Street is no better than the Teletubbies. BAH! And who the HELL made the decision to change Cookie Monster's cravings to VEGGIES?!? I just think that goes over the edge. It’s a fantasy for crying out loud. I can’t remember ever thinking I needed to eat tons and tons of cookies as a child- just because Cookie Monster did. That’s just ridiculous. Finally, let’s talk about Elmo. While The Princess absolutely adores him and goes RUNNING to the TV when “Elmo’s World” song begins to play, I think he is a little over rated. I’d like to see other characters more and less of the annoying red guy.



On a side note, whatever happened to Math Net, Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact?? There were all such great shows…. I wish they were still around for my children. Hannah Montana or Zach and Cody just don’t do anything for me. At least the other shows were cool AND educational!


Yet again, going along with Picture This I present My Best Shot Monday.

Boy #3 Feeling a little under the weather...
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I’m so excited preparing for this Saturday. Every now and then I do like to be spontaneous.  When we lived in Colorado, we’d jump in the car and drive up to the Mountains.  Spend the day up there doing just about anything.  Enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery.  Of course we’d have to stop at Beau Jo’s Pizza in Idaho Springs on the way home. It’s a family tradition of sorts.  As a kid, my parent’s would stop on the way home from our weekend ski trips.  At the time, their salad bar was in a ginormous (and yes that’s a word…isn’t it?) antique Bear-Claw Bathtub.  It was pretty neat!  The pizza has unique crust that you douse in Honey when you’re finished.  It’s a meal built in one.  Gaaaahhhh, wonderful memories!!!

Now that we’ve moved, I need to find new and exciting places to go.  We really haven’t had the time to get out much.  The boys have been excited about the new Spiderman Movie coming out later this week.  I got a great idea to get a babysitter for The Princess and surprise the boys with tickets!  Much to my surprise, I found that Spiderman 3 is showing in select IMAX Theatres.  If you’ve never been to an IMAX theater, you just have to go!!  It’s amazing.  Absolutely H-U-G-E.  It’s so cool, it actually feels like you’re part of the movie!  The perfect screen to watch Spiderman on.  Of course, the nearest IMAX that will be showing the movie is in Tulsa.  Oh, about an hour and a half from us.  Soo… we’re making a day trip of it.  The tickets are bought and paid for.  (I was sure to do that early as opening weekend, the movie will be sold out) Sitter’s lined up and we’re good to go.  We were instructed to arrive an hour early to ensure you can sit together.  IMAX is unique in that you want to sit as far back as you can to get the best view.  I want the perfect seats so we plan on arriving even earlier to get in line. The kids have no idea of course.  They are going to flip when they find out!!!  I can’t wait.

1. My name is Kristen, with a K

2. I am often called Kirsten, Kristy, Krista or Kristine

3. I gave birth to my first son at the age of 17
4. I was married at 19

5. I gave birth to 3 boys

6. I am adopting our little girl from the Foster Care System.
7. I have 1 sister

8. I am a young mom

9. Sometimes, I feel twice my age
10. I have had 2 Wedding Rings

11. I lost the first
12. I have had 2 honeymoons

13. I’ve only been married to 1 man

14. He knows me better than I know myself
15.  My middle name is Haley
16.  According to my mom, I’m named after Hayley Mills
17.  According to my Dad… Hayley’s Comet
18. I was born al’ natural by homebirth

19. That was rare in 1978

20. I gave birth in the hospital!

21. Epidural was my best friend

22. I was in HS when my first son was born
23. I still graduated with Honors

24. (National Honor Society)
25. I went to College to become a nurse

26. A week before clinicals were to start, I dropped out
27. I couldn’t leave my babies in Daycare for 12 hours a day.

28. I don’t regret my decision

29. I don’t want to be a nurse anymore

30. I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up

31. I come from a family of 4. (2 parents, 2 children)
32. For a time, my cousin lived with us and we were a family of  5

33. I am the baby

34. I am the baby on my Mother’s entire side of the family, yet I had the very first grandchild

35. My Mother was a Teacher
36. My Father was too
37. I hated that all of my Teachers personally knew my parents

38. I had higher expectations than most kids because of it

39. I began to rebel in 10th grade

40. I did things that were illegal

41. I nearly got kicked out of school because of it.  (Expulsion hearing and all)

42. I had to show the world I wasn’t a “Teacher’s Pet”

43. My first job, I was a Birthday Clown

44. I hated that job
45. I hate clowns
46. I hate it when people/things don’t match

47. My husband is the worst
48. I sometimes have to help him

49. I don't know why
50. He is slightly better now
51. Sometimes we go to church
52. I believe in God

53. I’d like to go more often, but can’t seem to find the time

54. I never want to be pregnant again
55. I had terrible migraines during pregnancy

56. I wanted a little girl
57. to dress up…

58. to shop with…

59. to help balance our home
60. Adoption came faster than we had anticipated
61. We weren’t looking for a child just yet

62. We were doing Foster Care to prepare for our future Adoption experience
63. Our daughter came to us and it was meant to be

64. We did however have a court battle
65. $10,000 later…

66. God said it was meant to be

67. My husband and I don’t have much in common

68. He’s a gamer (Xbox 360)

69. I have no interest

70. I am a morning person
71. He is not

72. Yet we’ve made it through tough times

73. We’ve been married for nearly 10 years

74. I am a very generous person

75. If I won the lottery I would probably give tooo much of it away

76. In 3rd grade mini society, I told all of the “merchants” to KEEP THE CHANGE
77. I single handedly messed up the entire society!

78. The Teacher was disappointed. So much for being generous! 

79. I love to surf the internet

80. I am beginning to love Gardening
81. I hated Gardening as a child

82. I am a cat lover

83. I sometimes hate my dog

84. She’s a nuisance, just this morning ate my tomato plants that I had started from seed!

85.  I’m a red-head
86. The black sheep of the family, everyone else has brown hair

87. I wasn’t adopted.  I have pictures to prove it

88. My favorite vacation spot is Disney World

89. It’s the best place in the world  
90. I’m a Pottery Barn Kids snob

91. …and a Gymboree snob too
92.  I spend more money on my daughter’s clothes than I do my son’s combined

93. Even so, I rarely pay full price

94. I’m also a Clearance Queen

95. Target is my favorite everyday store
96. I can spend hours there, Starbucks in hand
97. I am in love with Photography
98. I take after my father in that regard
99. I wish I had falling in love with Photography before he died, so he could teach me the ropes
100. I love to eat
101. I eat too much I’m sure
102. I am a very anxious person (thanks to my mother)
103. If people show up at my door or call unexpectedly I panic
104. I need time to prepare
105. I’ve been known to hide behind a couch when the doorbell rings
106. I’m much better now
107. I was into performing arts as a child
108. Singing and Acting were my forte
109. I miss it sometimes
110. I hope one of my children is a lover of the arts
111. So far, none of them are
112. I am a forgiving person
113. I have a hard time with liars though
114. Lying is my biggest pet peeve
115. I have a very strong intuition
116. I know things…I sense things
117. Not exactly like a Medium, but you can’t get away with lying around me
118. My husband is paranoid because of it
119. He can never get’s away with anything
120. My kids can’t either
121. I learned to ski at the age of 5
122. I suffered a serious injury at the age of 8
123. I’m not a big fan of skiing anymore
124. I always wanted a large family
125. I am very blessed

 

 


 

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