I can't believe today is Thursday already! Where did the time go? I swear Monday was just yesterday?

Anyway, today's theme is "Begin". I found this picture quite appropriate for today's theme. Here you find 'The Princess' climbing through the openings in the fence to begin her adventure.

If you would like to see more Thursday Theme be sure to visit Picture This

It's Monday once again. Here are some of my best shots for the week. If you would like to see more Best Shot Mondays be sure to visit Picture This


big girl!!

(Oh, and don't you just love the pigtails!?)

I want to share with you a very touching story written by a fellow Foster Parent....

Duct Tape and Baling Wire
By: Shadawn Baker

It all began innocently enough……my decision to become a foster parent. I have no wonderful, earth-shattering reason why I decided this was what I was going to do. No powerful sermon was preached about it the previous Sunday. There was no profound moment. I just woke up and knew it.

I called Terri Yu, of Lincoln County DHS, and thus the roller coaster, known as “being a foster parent” began. I began my classes, and with each class, I was convinced this was something I was meant to do. Through rose colored glasses, I saw myself as Wonder Woman saving the world from imminent evils. Keep in mind that at this time, my heart was securely intact and as good as new.

My very first placement was a dream come true. I picked up a beautiful newborn baby boy from the hospital and brought him home with me. That dream turned into a nightmare the very next night when I picked up his four year old brother. I am pretty sure he was my own personal war on terrorism. This was a child who wanted to grow up to shoot windows out of cop cars. He did not want to become a firefighter, a pilot, a cowboy…… he wanted to shoot windows out of cop cars. My heart sank, and reality started seeping in.

I was not dealing with innocent children who were thankful you rode in and rescued them. I was dealing with broken children.…. even the newborn, who did not ask to have drug withdrawals, but that was the life his mother chose for him. I was dealing with four year olds, who should be playing with cars and building forts, but instead they could out cuss a sailor, acted out violently, and knew what “weed” was. I thought that the 4 year old was beyond help. With consistent structure, firm guidance, and love, however, I was beginning to see his potential when he left. I’ll never forget his last words, “Shawn, I’ll very miss you so much.” It was then I noticed my heart had little cracks in it.

I, in my innocence, thought I would be teaching them, but rather they taught me. They taught me that not everyone lives a sheltered life where they are loved and provided for. They taught me food was not something expected to be on the table when you were hungry, but food was a blessing to receive. They taught me that not everyone thinks the world revolves around babies, but rather that babies can be left strapped in car seats for hours upon hours until that beautiful little girl has a permanent head tilt and crooked jaw…..all because she was in the way of mommy’s partying. My heart broke. I somehow managed to patch it up with a little bit of duct tape and gathered myself together and answered the phone once more for one more baby.

I learned that parents do not show up for visits and/or court dates to get their children back, much less PTA events, recitals, and music programs. I have learned that babies at eleven months old have already learned that life is not fair and they can and will give up on life. I had thought that at eleven months old your only thought was “what can I get into today?” Unfortunately, for some eleven month old babies, their thoughts are more along the lines of “I saw daddy hit mommy. Cops took me away, and I am now in a shelter where there are 23 other babies my age. There is nobody to hold me or love me. I cannot deal with this any longer”.

I’ve learned that politics are more important than a four month old’s wellbeing. I have learned that someone in the DA’s office can work deals under the table unbeknownst to DHS. I learned that politics in the system did not care that Mom and Dad could not stay clean. They did not care that Mom had previously lost two children to adoption because she could not change her life. They did not care that Mom could not trouble herself to come to court or come to visits except sporadically. Because a child is ONLY property and has no rights, they sent him home. They never gave Mom a chance to clean up and to be the appropriate Mom a baby with health issues needed. Knowing that he was leaving to go home to unsafe conditions, this time, my heart shattered. Duct tape was not enough to mend it. With a bit of baling wire and lots of duct tape and patches, I put it together the best I could and questioned my decision to become a foster parent.

In the midst of my grief and reconsidering my decision, the phone rang. Terri said “Shadawn, there is an 11 month old in the shelter. He has given up. He is no longer interacting with staff nor responding, and he has shut down. Can you take him?” When I picked up that beautiful brown eyed baby boy and looked into his eyes, what I saw broke my heart. Instead of the innocent happiness of a child, I saw a long black tunnel of despair and hopelessness. Again, my heart broke. I would rock him to sleep each night, kiss him on the forehead, and put him in his bed while my heart broke knowing his story. I brought out the duct tape and baling wire once more.

No longer is my heart in the perfect condition it once was. It has now been broken and repaired more times than I can count. Whereas it used to gleam, it is held together by duct tape and baling wire. More tears than I can count have been shed. I have been asked by many “How do you do this? Don’t you get attached and get your heart broken? How do you keep doing this?” I look at the picture of the 11 month old (now 18 months). I look at his eyes in the pictures I picked up yesterday, and where there once was despair and hopelessness, there is now mischief and happiness. Instead of lying there listlessly and not responding, there is a little boy who loves to say “hut-hut” and then tackle mommy.

I do not do this for myself. I do not get my heart broken repeatedly because I enjoy it. I do it because of all my past, present, and future babies. I do it because they need to go to bed at night hearing “I love you”. Is it easy? Not only no, but heck no. But every child, 0-18 years old, needs to know what it is like to not have to worry about if they will be fed or not. Even if it is just a few months, they know what it is like to be safe and sound. My heart is not near as important as they are. It will recover; that child may not.

I'm sitting here peering out the window praying for rain. No, it's not because we actually need the rain, because we don't. It's been pouring cats and dogs here for several weeks now. Yet I find myself contemplating getting down on my hands and knees to pray to the Rain God, please send us some rain!!!!!!!

Why? Well, I'm kind of embarrased to admit... I want rain to come so I don't have to sit through another Little Leauge Baseball game! I'm burnt out. It doesn't help that I am stuck packing up for, attending, and cheering on 2 of our son's (let alone supervising the other 2 children) all alone. 'The Hubby' works when the games are held and cannot attend so it's all me. Now I know how single moms have it and let me tell you, it sucks!

I'm burnt I tell you. To a Crisp. Maybe even deep fried. Aren't I pathetic?? I have 3 sons, this is just the beginning with them and Sports schedules.

I know I need to just suck it up, but I can still complain about it right? Yeah. Hmm, okay I feel better now.

Hmmmm, maybe not.

"Send rain!!!"
Oh, and you make it come oh, about 5:00pm?? Thanks.

This is what I get when she's tired of a camera in her face all the darn time....

Wanna see other great shots? Check out Picture This for other BSM photos.

This video is just amazing! A gamet of emotions, you simply must take the time to watch the whole thing or you won't get the full experience.

What a mother will do for her child...

‘Boy #2’ had a birthday in early June. His present… a Nintendo Wii. Well, that’s what we had planned to get him anyway. Actually getting our hands on a unit is another story altogether.

I literally called every single Target in the State of Oklahoma. Yep! Every. Single. One. I called every Game Stop, EB Games and most Walmarts. NO ONE had them. There were a handful of stores that had gotten some in their overnight shipment, but the units flew off the shelves almost immediately and had been gone for hours. I was laughed at, loathed and disconnected. It was apparent to me that I was not the only mother calling, trying to get my hands on the prized machine. I seriously phoned probably 100 different places. As time passed, I began to get more and more discouraged. How do you explain to a 9 year old that he won’t be receiving the gift previously promised to him??

I was tired and disappointed. When ‘The Hubby’ arrived home from work I told him of my efforts, exclaiming that ‘The Boy’ just wasn’t going to be getting a Wii anytime soon. Of course, being a stubborn man, he insisted that we would find one. Frustrated, I thew the phone at him and told him the only places left to call were 2 Toys R Us stores, South of Oklahoma City. They were the last on my list because I figured of all places, Toys R Us would be sold out.

Well, I was wrong. The Hubby spent all of 2 minutes on the phone. He found a TRU store that had just put 4 Nintendo Wii’s on the shelves.
They would not hold one and they would not allow us to purchase one over the phone. (Yes, we asked!) Within seconds we were running around the house in a panic. Yelling and hollering “Get your shoes on, get in the car!” The boys were confused to say the least. The looks on their faces to see their parents running around acting all crazy was priceless. Imagine 6 people running in every direction at one time. Oh, to be a fly in the wall! We had a 45 minute drive ahead of us… and I knew we weren’t the only ones to discover the store had them.

'The Hubby' called the store when we were about half way there… down to 3 Wii’s. Talk about stress!! I had no idea what was about to come…

Several minutes later I happen to look down at the gas gauge. We were nearly out of gas. Yes, you heard me right, OUT OF GAS. Here we are, speeding down the highway in unknown territory and the gas guage reads 0, as in Z-E-R-O.

Of all the times to run out of gas. I immediately took the next exit. Of course, it’s residential and there is absolutely no sign of a gas station. By this point I was a raging monster. Screaming and yelling to get outta my way to every car that came near me. Don’t ask me how we managed to find a gas station on fumes, it truly is a miracle. We put just enough gas in the car to get us there and got back on the road.

I am a natural pessimistic. You see, no matter what the circumstances, I always seem to dwell on the worst case scenario. “Of course by the time we get there they will have sold out.”…. “Why do we even bother going the rest of the way?”…. “This was a complete waste of time”…

Yet we pressed on.

Pressed on through the traffic jam, the car accident and getting completely lost. Mmmmhhmmm. We did eventually get there. Phewh, AND by the grace of God our son got his Nintento Wii.. Just seconds after we paid, another family walked in and snatched away the very last one

As soon as we got back into the car, 'The Hubby' declared… “I need a drink!” and I couldn't agree with him more.

SIGH, oh the things a parent will do for their child.

There are more than 150,000 foster children waiting to be adopted in North America.

This Father's Day Weekend (June 16 and 17), you can help foster children find permanent homes. All weekend, participating Wendy's restaurants across North America will donate a minimum of 50 cents from every Frosty product sold to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The goal is to raise $1 million to support the work of the Foundation's signature program, Wendy's Wonderful Kids, and you can help! Watch ROCKIN' FROSTY and then forward this email to your friends and family to spread the word about Father's Day Frosty Weekend.

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See other's over at Picture This

"A pulmonologist, or pulmonary disease specialist, is a physician who possesses specialized knowledge and skill in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases."

There is apparently a SHORTAGE of them where I live. The Princess was reffered by her pediatrician because we are having difficulty getting her Asthma under control. They called yesterday with her appointment to the specialist. Get this... her appointment is in the middle of freaking SEPTEMBER!!!

When I told the Hubby, he looked at me as if I were insane. We both looked at The Princess who happened to be in his arms wheezing her little head off. Poor baby! Hubby shook his head and exclaimed there's no way she can wait until September. I agreed. This just means another visit to the Pediatrician and another round of Oral Steriods. I hate it that she's needed that stuff so often in the last few months.

On another note, The Princess has an Upper GI scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) morning. A procedure they wanted done before we saw the Pulmonologist. They are looking to rule out a few things that could be causing the breathing problems and wheezing. Her appointment is at 10am, she can't have food or drink after 6am.... it's going to be a LONG morning. I'll update on the results when I get them.

If you want to see other great shots, be sure to visit Picture This.

Yay! I finally got the links fixed in my side bar. They've been broken for sometime. Sorry about that and if you're curious to read some of my "older" Adoption related posts, they are up and running.

The reviews are in…. Elmo’s Potty Time get’s an A-

After reading other reviews of the DVD I had mixed feelings. It seemed you either loved it or hated it, so I was a bit skeptical going in.

The movie arrived through the mail via Blockbuster. I wasn’t about to buy it before I previewed it after reading those reviews! I popped the DVD in and sat down on the couch with The Princess and her Cousin (also 2). The girls were very interested. Watching intently as Sesame Street characters talked about the different words for PeePee and PooPoo. Another popular phrase was WeeWee and WooWoo. Then children came onto the screen yelling what they call the stuff. Let’s see, there was piddles, tinkle, widdle even URINATE. HA!! Poopa, caca, poopy and my favorite (not that I’d ever have my 2 yr old use it though) DOOKIE.

This show is absolutely filled with jokes and humor that goes right over the kid’s heads, but makes watching entertaining for parents. I had no problem sitting through the whole thing.

There are lots of songs throughout the show with the puppets singing and dancing. The song “Accidents Happen” was okay. “TP Factory Rap” was amusing, but my personal favorite was “The Dirty Diaper Blues”. Let’s see if I can remember the way the song goes….It’s all bad news…. If it all comes right out Halleluiah! ….No more dirty diaper blues… there were even skats using poopoo/peepee. During that song, my husband and I looked at each other raised our eyebrows and began laughing. Really, it’s a fun DVD!

Another plus of the show is the segment where they flash from toilet to toilet, the lid slams shut and it flushes loudly. For any of you that have ever potty trained a toddler, toilets can be a bit overwhelming. The loud noises sometimes scare the kid so much that they refuse to go. I believe this will definitely help desensitize kids watching from being so scared of those sounds.

Elmo’s Potty is a lot like Sesame Street in that they move from one thing to the next to try and keep children’s attention. One of my favorite parts is the Radio Play-by Play, 10.0 SINK BOWL EVENT. A girl is washing her terribly dirty hands step by step, with an announcer calling her plays. What a fun way to demonstrated all the steps of hand washing!

The reason I give Elmo’s Potty an A- instead of an A+ is because I did have a hard time keeping the girls interested towards the end of the show. They had lost interest and went off to play. I think that might have something to do with their age, being fairly new 2 year olds.

So there you have it, my Elmo’s Potty Review! Enjoy, even if your kid doesn’t like it, I think you will get a kick out of it. J

Please put your thoughts and prayers out to the Gentry Family . Thier dear son is the same age as Boy #3. I've been reading thier story since day one. Nathan has Neuroblastoma and has fought the disease for over 4 years now. He's come so far and done so well. Things have turned for the worst and the sweet boy is going downhill fast. He's in extreme pain.... Even with what sounds like huge amounts of pain reducing medications including Morphene and Fentanyl. I can only imagine watching my child helplessly writher around in pain. Reading of these things brings tears to my eyes. This poor little guy needs some relief! Please pray that they can get his pain under control. A child who's days are numbered should not have to suffer through anything like this. I'm saddened and humbled by this familes strength.

Thank you for taking a minute of your lives to think of them in thier time of grief.

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Do I dare even say this out loud? GASP....here goes. The Princess, stayed dry in her "Panties" all afternoon. Just for flips, I put them on her and drug the potty chair from the bathroom out into the middle of the living room. She sat on it many times throughout the afternoon, but never produced any matter. She didn't wet in them either though!! Could it be time to start potty training? I'm secretly jumping up and down for joy. Don't tell anyone. We'll jinx it for sure.

I've talked about how much she is in LOVE with Elmo right? Well, the other day when I was walking around Target, I ran across this DVD. "Elmo's Potty Time". I think it would be perfect for her!! I'm definately going to check it out. I'll let you know how it goes.


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