Saturday, June 30, 2012

The power of a date

Today was our big date. Joe and I got to get out, have lunch together & actually hold hands instead of strollers. It was perfect. First we went to California Pizza Kitchen and ate this. Delicious. Almost as good as the mango raspberry colada that we drank. Yes we, Joe loves his girly drinks.
Then we walked around and looked in a few stores. It felt so delightfully strange to be just the two of us and so pleasant to be able to be amongst the living...
It's strange to go from being able to get out and shop all the time, wishing to be stuck at home with babies as a mom. Then it finally happens and I'm dying to get out by myself or with Joe and just be in a restaurant or a store without kids. Yep, life is always changing :)
All in all, a wonderful saturday that Joe and I will always treasure. Thanks again Kristi & Gavin, we owe you BIG TIME!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I've been re-reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp & it's such an amazing book. One of those books you could read each month as a constant reminder of biblical parenting and encouragement. Anyway, last night a paragraph really stood out and I thought I'd share it.

"You must regard parenting as one of your most important tasks while you have children at home. This is your calling. You must raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. You cannot do so without investing yourself in a life of sensitive communication in which you help them understand life and God's world. There is nothing more important. You have only a brief season of life to invest yourself in this task. You have only one opportunity to do it. You cannot go back and do it over.
You live in a culture in which there are opportunities for you to do things unheard of in history. You are presented daily with scores of options for investing your life's energies and must therefore prioritize. Parenting is your primary calling. Parenting will mean that you can't do all the things that you could do otherwise. It will mean that you can't develop every interest that comes along. The costs are high...but the benefits far exceed the cost."

(The title Shepherd is also meaningful because it was supposed to be Blake's middle name. That is, if Joe had agreed with me. I lost that argument and he's Blake Joseph, but if I had my way he'd be Shepherd all the way!)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A new week

The start of a new week. Kind of tiring thinking about it...but so excited because thanks to the Sheridan's (we love you kristi & gavin!) Joe and I have a date coming up. That's right, our first date in quite a while and I couldn't be more excited...the countdown has begun for next weekend already!
Blake has been coughing a bit & I just can't bring myself to go to the dr. AGAIN. Trying some Hyland's natural medicine for cough & so far it doesn't seem to do a thing. I just feel like I'm always giving the kid medicine instead of trying to help him get some immunity and fight sickness naturally.
Any recommendations out there from other mom's?  Part of me thinks it's allergies because it's not consistent in the day, just random bouts of it.  Rarely does it wake him but when he coughs it sounds icky. This is his first cough in a few months...we've done the nebulizer thing a few times, but it's been a while. I just want to enjoy our days together but they are being consumed more and more with illness.
Today Blake & I went on a date and it was so fun to be alone just the two of us. Of course Iris couldn't be happier than when she's with Joe, so it was a win win. The girl adores him, it's really sweet to see.
It's hard to believe it's 2 months this week since she's been home with us. She has grown leaps and bounds, but we still have our issues to work on. She continues to be very picky with food and I haven't really made anything that she loves yet (who doesn't like Annie's mac & cheese...?)
 There is still that insecurity when she wants to be held and if that doesn't happen to her liking she falls to the ground whining, but we are working on it. She's slowly being trained to come when I call, tell me when she's all done, saying please & loves her new nickname "coco". No, it has nothing to do with the color of her skin or some inside's just fun to say! Blake blows her kisses a lot now & it's so sweet to see. He is also happy to try feeding her at times and brings her little presents like mulch and rocks when we play outdoors. I love seeing them interact.

Praying and hoping something happens with a job for Joe. It's hard to not worry and I have to rest in God's timing of when He wants to get us to Florida. It's a battle to not think the worst & realize how often He has brought me through difficult times of waiting (singleness, being homesick, waiting for a baby, waiting for adoption). When will I finally learn to trust Him without doubting?
I have this specific timetable that I want us to be there, but I know life is not about me being comfortable and happy and so I have to continue to seek peace from the Lord nomatter how far I am from those I love. He has us here for this time & I'm so grateful we finally are a family of 4, how dare I complain!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh crap

It was Blake's turn. Obviously he felt left out with Iris pooping in the tub recently, so tonight he made his big debut. Cutest part was offering it to Joe as a present and Joe thinking it was a rock and then realizing the error of his ways.
Thankfully I was in the other room changing the colors on my blog. AGAIN. I'm a little obsessed. Anyway, so glad it's Friday and the weekend is here. June is really flying by!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our realtor = Awesome

Got an offer on our place today! The realtor came over and we signed the contract. Now we just have to figure out a few specifics with our short sale and hopefully we'll be on our way to Clearwater. Oh yeah, Joe just needs a job. That small detail.  I could pull my hair out if I think about it too long (really wouldn't take me that long either)...It's been a good week with some much needed catching up with friends. Got the kids some new toys today (thrift store time!) and they went crazy. It was like Christmas, so much fun. That's all the excitement here. Oh yeah, Joe shaved his mustache off. Yay.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I like to change my mind. A lot.

If you've checked out my blog in the last day or two you might have noticed I've changed the style and color. Then I changed it again. Then again. Everytime I find a different background I decide ohhh, I like that even better. Kind of like stuff around my home. About every week if not every day I like to make a little change here and there.  When you can't go out and buy stuff and repainting is pointless due to moving, then switching things around the house is just what I need to stay feeling fresh.
Promise I will try to keep the blog the same for a good solid week, but then again, yah never know.

If you aren't checking my all important (yeah right)  blog each day twice a day then you maybe never even noticed  and in that case forget this post! :)

Case in point, here's a picture of my living room now:

And here is my living room previously:
Yeah right!!!! Just kidding, I wish. This is my favorite blog for design (In the Fun Lane) and what I wish my house looked like. Anyway, it has changed quite a bit, but it's always fun to dream, right??!!
By the time you finish reading this I may have made a few more changes.

Quote for Today

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bloody Blake

What a day...started out fine. Blake was finally over his ear infection so in the waiting room (his recheck appt) he climbs on the chair and falls. Now the boy climbs up on chairs all day here, so he knows how to but this time he fell on the floor face first and hard. As he screamed and cried the dark blood began to pour all over and would not stop. I'm trying to stay calm for his sake but panic is setting in. I'm running out to the hallway asking for a washrag to stop the flow and nothing is working. Then I realize the gum tissue is hanging over his front teeth. Ouch. This excitement lasted a good 20 minutes. I feel bad for the people who had to clean up that room after us.

The doctor came in and called her dentist and said to immediately go and make sure his mouth is okay. We drive over there and they took an x ray to make sure it wasn't infected. The dentist ended up clipping his gum tissue so it wouldn't hang all over the tooth and said he was very "lucky" and it could have been much worse.

Gotta keep him on soft food for 2 weeks, x ray in a month to make sure it doesn't infect and watch for it to darken and probably go dead soon. Worst case scenario we treat an infection so his adult teeth aren't permanently damaged.

How's that for a good time?  All the while Iris was her cheery sweet self as she stayed in her stroller and observed it all. Here's hoping for a calmer day tomorrow.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For Sale....Again!

After experiencing nothing but frustration with our previous realtor, today we met with a very sweet and competant lady Lynn from Coldwell Bank. We are officially back on the market tomorrow...kind of crazy that we are back here again, but atleast it's summer and will be easy to leave the house with the kids for showings. Nothing was getting done & turns out our listing had expired weeks ago and we had no idea. Nice.

Tomorrow Blake gets a recheck on his ears and finally seems to be back to his sweet self. I love that he's using more words, but has become way too attached to his pacifier. When he's sick I let him use it in the day and now I'm paying the price.

Hoping Floridian employers come calling after Joe this week! I still have my goal of a July 2012 move!

Pink & Orange

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What a week

Today began at 3:45am. I laid in bed waiting for Blake to cry out in pain, unable to fall back to sleep. That cry came at 4:50am. He slept with me for another 30 minutes and then the whiny cry that means he is in pain began at 5:30am. I thought when he woke up at 6:30 life was rough, but this whole 5am business is just unbearable at times!  (If he weren't sick I'd not rush in there to rescue him)
Last night at least he didn't wake up at all, my heart just stops when I hear him cry at 10ish...there's the added pressure he doesn't wake Iris up who is sleeping just steps away from him.
All day he has been in pain and this is day 4 of antibiotics / ear drops / tylenol...we were recommended to cut dairy and get him adjusted with a pediatric chiro. I'm leaning towards the whole E&T tube route just to avoid his chronic ear infection situation. Any suggestions? This is his 4th ear infection within a couple months.
It's a struggle to have joy in the midst of these days when I hate to see my son suffer, neglect Iris at times because Blake is clingy and needs extra TLC...makes you appreciate the healthy days so much!

We found out Joe didn't get the transfer with CDW, which would have been a paycut, but security to get down to Florida. He is looking into various opportunities, but it's just another area of my life I have to give over to the Lord and trust His timing to be better than mine.

The process of selling our place has been a nightmare and Joe got his Donald Trump hat on and told our guy "you're fired" so we meet with a new realtor lady on Sunday (happy father's day Joe) to begin this whole process over again. Hopefully it will go much smoother next time.

"Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial" - Valley of Vision

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mama said there'd be days like this...

The last couple of days have been brutal. I don't deal real well with sick kids. Life is hard when they are healthy and happy. Blake woke up screaming Monday morning in pain and after going to the dr. it was confirmed...another ear infection. He continues to get these and we might have to look into getting him tubes soon in the ears. His whole personality changes and he's miserable, whiny, inconsolable and extremely difficult to be patient with!
Iris on the other hand has been a treat. She's happy, sleeps great, and really does well all day long. Thank you Lord!
I'm really hoping these antibiotics work soon. Last night I was up with him on and off till midnight and then up at 5am. I'm weary and would covet your prayers as the days are long and nights are longer!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Yes, these are my children

So I knew when I married Joe, a very cute African American, I knew that I would forever get stares from people. I got so used to it I really didn't pay much attention anymore. Then Blake came along and of course when most people heard we were adopting too, they assumed he was adopted. We'd get the "oh, where is he from" question and although a part of me wanted to say my uterus, I answered politely "he's biological"...sometimes I'd say he's a miracle, you get the picture.
When Joe and I are out together it kind of makes sense but when it's just Blake and I the confusing looks appear. (I particularly loved when I would leave him in a nursery @ Bible study where people didn't know what Joe looked like and no one would ever bring him to me as I called his name at pick up time b/c they assumed I wasn't his mother).
That was nothing compared to toting around Blake & Iris by myself!

A lot of times I can tell people think I'm the nanny. Most people ask the twin question which brings me to tell them they are close in age, she's from Ethiopia though...I don't always include that fact, but it's kind of confusing to just say "no, they are not twins" and leave it at that. Depends on my mood.
So the other day I took them to the mall for the first time, just me and them. At one store a lady was talking to them both, telling them how cute they were and said "is this your mommy?" to Iris. I said YES I am, kind of bluntly. I had a mall cop follow me for a few minutes, probably just to make sure I didn't steal them. (Yes I noticed you walking side by side with me down the hallway).

I think the nicest comment I get is "looks like you have your hands full" - I seriously do understand how strange it must appear, given my whiteness, but sometimes I miss just getting out, walking in public and not getting "those looks". Anyone with a different race child can understand, it's just stand out.  My favorite was in Florida and I was in the back seat with them both and I felt someone looking at us and I glanced over to see a young black woman just flat out staring at us with her window down. I wanted to say take a picture, it will last longer!
When the four of us walk somewhere together we get more smiles and I think people must assume we all make sense because Joe is black and therefore they must be "our kids".

In the future I know it will be much more of a challenge. Iris will know what people are saying when they imply she's not "mine" and there will be lots of questions as to where she came from and why her momma is white. I'm willing to deal with that, and I'm glad she has her brother Blake who although is biological he doesn't look a thing like me either (personally I can see my face in his, but that's another story).
I realized tonight that I'm the minority in my family. Kind of funny, huh? To close this little rant of mine I'd like to quote my brother in law Jason, who asked Joe as he was about to spend his first Christmas with my family said "Is this your first white christmas?" Classic.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blake & Iris = BFF's

May 2012 - Florida

Making music together

Bathtime Together

Can I just have one moment to myself?

Power Struggle

A rare moment for Blake...a smile for the camera

So happy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Up in the Air

As we continue to plan for our future move to Florida the wait is beginning to take its toll.

 First we have the issue of our place selling.We apparently hired the worst realtor ever because we have a cash offer on our place and yet we are at a stand still for months. Joe is having to continually call him to get any updates and we are waiting much longer than what is normal for a short sale. We may end up trying to get a new realtor & hopefully the person who wants our place won't walk away. Of course if something does happen and we have to be out in 30 days that creates some problems too. It is beyond frustrating to not have this guy working for us, calling the bank and doing his job to help us get out of this condo. Lots more I could say on this, but living in a tiny condo with four people can only last so long before I start pulling my hair out.

Next we have the issue of Joe's job. We are currently waiting to hear about a job transfer with CDW or another position that he interviewed for in Clearwater a few weeks ago. If neither one of these pans out then we have a dilemna with finding a job down there while we are living here. We obviously won't want to move without Joe being employed in Florida first. More than anything he wishes he could do his current job at CDW in the Tampa office, but that's not an option. It is stressful for him and I am wanting to be supportive and positive, but it's hard to not be anxious for this to come together.

On top of the job issue & our place selling is just the day to day adjustments of having two one year olds. Iris makes strides each day, but there is still a lot of insecurity there and it's a challenge to tend to her needs on top of everything else that needs my attention. We have appointments that need to be made, post reports that need to be scheduled & it just makes a girl feel wiped.

A good verse I read this morning was Prov. 16:1 "The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord".
After everything we went through to get Iris home and the years of waiting I should be much more relient on the Lord with all these circumstances. We certainly appreciate your prayers with all of this; I've only been waiting for the last 7 years to move back :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Friday

I love Woodfield Mall

My favorite place

So much fun

These days not too much of this is going on. Sooner or later I'll feel brave and enter these places alone with Blake & Iris....until that day enjoying the easiness of being at home.