You probably saw her blue Tap costume in a previous post here.

This is Princess's Ballet Costume. Her very first Recital is this Saturday and I'm SOOO excited!

So this weekend a group of girlfriends and I took a trip. We left all of our children and our husbands behind and drove down to Dallas for shopping and relaxation.

We had a grand time! I don't even want to think about how much money I spent shopping, but I did find some great deals and came back with goodies for everyone.

The Hotel was awesome. We stayed at The Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa, in Frisco, Tx.

On Sunday, a few of us hopped on one of the elevators on our way down to the car. I immediately realized MckMama was completely and totally right. (I'm sure many of you read her blog, but if not you gotta check it out!) Anyway, I'll explain...not long ago she posted this post about the unwritten rule of elevators. Go read it, I'll wait.


Funny eh?

Okay, now I'm standing in this elevator with approximately 8 other people. We're surrounded with complete and total silence. No one makes eye contact, all eyes are on the floor, the ceiling or otherwise. It really is a strange feeling when you've been made aware of what's happening. I just couldn't stand it any longer and it just came out... I announced loudly right there in that there elevator that we were all observing the unwritten rules of elevators quite nicely. I pointed out the uncomfortable silence and lack of eye contact and... and you know what? The uncomfortable feeling left instantly and everyone began to chuckle and laugh. Imagine that. Laughter! In an Elevator!!! AND it was followed by eye contact and chit chat. Just try and think back to the last time you remember that happening when you rode in an elevator- I dare you.

Ahhhh, so it was a great beginning to a great day. I encourage all of you to try it next time you find yourself stuck in a silent uncomfortably quiet elevator. If we all did it, elevators around the World would change. Hmmm, okay so maybe that's stretching it a bit. It couldn't hurt though right?


Happy Monday!

It's been a little while since I talked about kajeet. (You can read my previous posts here ) I just had to share how awesome this little piece of equipment was.

For those of you that don't know, kajeet is a unique cell phone service just for kids and teens.

Anyway, I was online in our kajeet account transferring money from my wallet to my son's. While there, I decided to play around with the GPS.

That sucker is SO COOL!!!!!!

Check this out. Here is the "Birdseye" view of my sons phone being located on the kajeet GPS.

Guys, THAT is my HOUSE!!! Look how accurate this thing is. (Click it to make it bigger)

....And we kind of live out in the middle of no where.

Our neighborhood is new and Mapquest doesnt even know we're here- yet the kajeet GPS managed to find it!

Just imagine if your kid left his phone somewhere like a playdate or at the mall etc. You could totally log into your account and find it. I mean seriously.

If you're think about getting your kid a cell phone, i HIGHLY recommend kajeet.

All my readers get 15% off the listed price of the phones.

See the button over there in my sidebar---------->

Or just mention Promo Code: 1115

I know, you're asking what do all of these things have in common??

Well, Saturday was Picture day for Princess's Dance Class. The 3 & 4yr old classes only take pictures in a single outfit and they chose to wear their tap costume.

Friday night I decided to try to make her hair curly for the pictures. I bathed her and she sat very patiently while I put all those little suckers in. She was so good and I must admit, it was adorable to see her running around in curlers...

Well.... in the end, the curlers didn't work out so hot. Her hair was a disaster!! I obviously need to practice a little (or a lot) before using them again.

Saturday morning we got up early to prepare. I decided on this hairstyle over at 3 Girls Hair. It took WAY longer than I thought it would and we ended up running very late. Mine didn't turn out as well as hers did. I couldn't get the ends to curl up very well no matter what I did to them!? Overall I thought it looked good though.

So at this point, you're thinking, where does bribery come in?

Well THIS is where Princess was emotionally on Saturday morning. NOT in the mood for pictures. Not even a little. I just knew it was going to be a disaster.


It's amazing what a little bribery will do because this is her afterwords...

Her recital is in 2 weeks and I just can't wait!! I'm also anxious to see their Ballet costume. We pick it up later this afternoon.

...he'll want a glass of milk.

If you take a girls thumb away...

she'll still try to suck it.

But she'll quickly find that she has no suction...

and the plastic isn't really all that palatable after all.

So she will nibble at the end,

...and eventually give up on the idea.

(Well that's the goal anyway) So far, so good!

It arrived in the mail.
It's small and very unique looking.
If you found one on the street, you would probably not have a clue as to what it was.
It's the ultimate solution to to our problem.

So...what is it you ask??


It's called a Thumb*Guard or T*Guard. Hopefully it will help us to break the thumb sucking habit that is wreaking havoc on Princess's mouth.

We put it on Princess last night just before bedtime. It was NOT a pretty scene. She was very upset and even though we've discussed what was going to happen for weeks now she declared with all her might... SHE WANTED HER THUMB back!!!!!

Hubby and I pressed on and she eventually quieted down.

The first time I checked on her she had her finger resting over the nose just like it does when she is sucking her thumb. At first I thought she was sucking her thumb, but upon closer inspection I found that it was resting just outside her mouth. Unfortunately, later in the night we found she had managed to pull her thumb out of the device and it was resting comfortably in it's familiar warm spot-back in her mouth.

Today is a new day and we try again, making some adjustments to the fit as the child isn't supposed to be able to get their thumb out like she did.

We'll see how it goes. Watch for updates on our progress. It is suggested they wear the Thumb*guard for at least 30 days to ensure that we break the habit completely. We plan to follow it through to the end.

I'm SO excited.

Princess is a Goo*ma Girl!

Of course, I've always known she was a little beauty and there is no doubt- the camera absolutely LOVES her. I'm also honored as this is a compliment to my photography. You see, in order for them to accept your child as a G*ooma Girl, you must be able to take good quality pictures. They said up front that 60% of entrants are usually rejected on the first go around solely due to picture quality. Princess's pictures were accepted right away.

So.... what is a Goo*ma Girl anyway?

Here is an excerpt from the Goo*ma Girl site:

The unique concept began in 2001, when Baby Gassy G*ooma ( decided they would find their models in a rather unique way. Instead of using a typical modeling agency, they decided to start holding model searches thru their own customer base. The concept was unique in that each models parent served as the photographer. They were mailed clothing in exchange for pictures. It was a win-win situation. The kids got free clothes, and the company saved a lot of money by not having to pay costly agency fees.

In 2005, there was so much interest that they began holding annual G*ooma Girl model searches. Each year, as the line grew and became more popular, so did the interest in each year's model search.

Though she is not one to publically seek the praise, Gretchen is often times credited for having started this modeling trend, and even industry insiders such as Journal Modiste have written about it. G*ooma Girls has received press thru James Girone and Dashin's Guide to Online Children's Fashion.

This type of modeling gives 100% control back to the parents.

"In this day and age, especially, moms really need to watch over their daughters, and that is why we encourage them to take the active role by becoming the actual photographer for the shoot."

In laymen's terms, my daughter will get free outfits (gorgeous designer clothing) or monetary compensation for something that I already do! That extra money will undoubtedly help purchase her new shoes on a regular basis. *wink*

Modeling isn't really in Princess's future as she is on the shy side with other Adults. The unique thing about this is no stranger will ever be photographing her. It will always be ME, which makes me much more comfortable anyway.

If anything, this opportunity will allow her to gain self esteem and confidence which is so important for little girls to have in this day and age.

I know, I know, don't fall out of your chair. I actually have a post for today.

My Best Shot Monday....

I love this picture. Isn't it magical?

Before I was a Mom I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom I slept as late as I wanted.
And never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was Mom I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.

Before I was a Mom, I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on, pooped on, chewed on, peed on or pinched by tiny fingers.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom, I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests, or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much...

...before I was a Mom .

Author Unknown

In an instant all worries and fears dissapear at the sound of her gregarious laughter.

So I'm a bit freaked out at the moment.

While I haven't posted much lately here on my blog I still manage to read everyone else's blogs EVERY DAY. So I sat down with my Computer where I promptly opened up Google Reader to see what everyone has been up to. I began reading and my jaw literally hit the floor.

This blog went on to discuss a Parenting Webinar coming up later in May called: Parenting from the Trenches . It is for Parents dealing with Attachment Disorder. No big deal really. I've learned a lot about Attachment Disorder in our Foster Parenting classes so I basically just skimmed over the post ready to move on to something new and more interesting.

But the sentence... "Do you have a child who lies, steals, sneaks, stalks, hordes, chatters non-stop, or urinates in places other than the potty, etc?" ...brought me straight back to reality in a flash.

Could my Princess be suffering from Attachment Disorder?
She has of those behaviors.

Attachment Disorder isn't all that unusual for kids that are Adopted later on in life or those that spent their first few years in another Country. Not necessarily with those that are brought home straight from the Hospital. I know the thought of Attachment Disorder has run across my mind several times over the last year as her behavior escalated, but every time it came up I managed to stuff it down into my "denial" box and told myself that it simply wasn't possible.

That sentence there above describes my child. Plain and simple. My wonderful, beautiful Princess. So how did it happen?? WHEN? WHY???? and WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT IT!!!!!

I thought we did everything right in those first few crucial years. We parented her just as we did with our boys - heck we probably did more! She was doted on hand and foot. After all, she truly was our little Princess.

When she was a newborn she overstimulated easily from noises, movement, lights and eye contact, All thanks to drug exposure in utero. I often sat in the nursery with her and just held her tight. She would be swaddled up like a little burrito and I was careful to not rock her or look her in the eyes. She would have been happy to just lay in the crib alone in the dark, quiet room but we simply couldn't bear to leave her there so we would take turns sitting with her in complete silence. We did this for weeks while her little body learned to adjust to sensory imput. Gradually she learned to function outside of the dark quiet nursery but she seemed to be developing very slowly.

At her well baby checkup the red flags went up and alarm bells began going off. She was 4 months old and yet had the milestones of a 2 week old. She couldn't lift her head up off the floor and move it from one side to the other. She still didn't make very much eye contact. She certainly didn't smile yet- let alone laugh or giggle. It was bad. Very bad. We were told at that point that the drug exposure was probably not to blame. Delays like this are caused by Alcohol exposure. It was very possible that she may have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I cried the entire way home and for days afterwords. Her therapies were increased and some added. She was in OT, PT and Speech several times a week throughout her first year. Slowly but surely she came out of her shell. She is now at or above age level in nearly every area. It took a lot of work, determination and love. HOW IN THE HECK could she have managed to get Attachment Disorder?

*sigh* I think I need to attend that Webinar because I just don't get it.

Hey, better late than never right?

I have interesting news!

Each year the Dave Thomas Foundation releases a list of Employers with the best Adoption benefits in the Nation. This year's winners are...

1 Wendy's International, Inc.
2 Citizen's Financial Group, Inc. / RBS Americas
3 (TIE) Liquidnet
3 (TIE) LSI Corporation
3 (TIE) United Business Media LLC (UBM)
6 Subaru of America, Inc.
7. Bowen Engineering Corporation
8. Timberland
9. Barilla America
10. Time Inc.

Did you know #1 (Wendy's) offers a generous combination of up to $24,300 financial reimbursement and up to six weeks paid leave for employees who adopt!? That's fantastic!! Thankfully, we had little to no out of pocket costs for the Adoption of our little Princess, but many families struggle to come up with the money to adopt.

Lets all show our support for these companies that go out of their way to make Adoption possible for thousands of families in the US each year.


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