Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Scooter Saturation

My sweet Scooter is destined for a career in sports broadcasting, specifically color commentary. Not sure yet what sport she will be covering, but she will be good. Currently, she’s practicing by chronicling Mom’s every action. She’s doing a great job.

“You put you sock on.”
“You put you udder sock on.”
“You stand up now?”
“You put that shirt in the backet.”
“Who on dat phone?”
“You take a drink, right?”
“You going in the bathroom.”
“You come out a da bathroom now?”

Now, I know…I know, I know, I know…that this is how she processes information and of course she’s learning, and blah blah blah. I know this. But oh my gosh, sometimes I just need 5 consecutive minutes of silence. Stop watching me. Stop learning. Just play with your toy and watch the Bible story on TV and color on the wall, for goodness sakes!

Scooter is in a phase where she wants all Mommy, all the time. It’s the “all the time” part that’s killing me, because it's a new phase. Up until now, we’ve all had a lovely balance, where we spend plenty, and I mean plenty of quality time together, and then we all go to our separate corners and recharge, by playing with Polly Pockets, coloring, reading blogs or books, playing computer games or whatever. Scooter currently wants to talk to me 24/7, no matter which of those activities she’s involved in.

I know it means she loves me and she wants to connect with me and I love and cherish that. Really I do. But my ears are bleeding. And then,

“Momma, you love me this whole world?”

You bet your butt I do. And that's all that matters.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Four Things

Got this one in my e-mail and thought I'd share it here.

Four Things About Me
Things you may or may not have known about me in no particular order.

A. Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Bonanza (Steak restaurant)
2. J. Brannam (Retail store)
3. 20 years of bad secretarial jobs with a couple of good ones thrown in
4. Mom

B. Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Grease
2. Auntie Mame
3. The ending of Die Hard II
4. White Christmas

C. Four places I have lived:
1. Arlington, Texas
2. Dallas, Texas
3. Roma, Texas
4. Right here south of Fort Worth, Texas

D. Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Heroes
2. Amazing Race
3. Friday Night Lights
4. Survivor

E. Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Hawaii
2. San Diego, CA
3. Albuquerque, NM
4. Las Vegas

F. Websites I visit daily:
3. I'm not telling
4. It's my secret

G. Four of my favorite foods:
1. Mexican Food
2. Steak - Ribeye, prime rib or smoked sirloin
3. Fettucine Alfredo
4. Chocolate

H. Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Santee, California
2. Alaska
3. Albuquerque
4. Las Vegas

I. Four friends I think will participate:
1. No pressure
2. No, really
3. I wish you would
4. But you don't have to.

If you decide to do this one, please leave me a comment, so that I can visit your answers.

Responsibilities - everybody's got 'em

I started commenting on Raising Five about children’s responsibilities and such, but quickly realized that I was being long-winded so cut it short there and decided to expand here.

Although I wish we had had our daughters since birth, there are some advantages to parenting children who are adopted at an older age. One is that our two older girls rarely argue or complain. Sadly, I think it’s because initially they were scared to. And now it’s just a good habit.

The advantage is that when we assign household chores, they are cooperative. They’re not always cheerful about it, but neither are they surly or rude. I’m not always cheerful about doing chores, either (yes, I know I need to improve on this). We just all realize that these are the things that we have to do to keep our household running.

A couple of things that keep the “kid clutter” to a minimum are that they always have to put up one toy (or group of toys) before getting out another, and unless they are all three playing together with one thing (like Barbies) they play in different areas. So we rarely have “who got this out?” I usually know what they’re playing with, because we don’t often have “free-for-alls”. Toy clutter is almost never a problem. This is one area where we stay fairly organized.

With Scooter, right now I have to remind her constantly to pick up her shoes and clothes, because she tends to drop them where she takes them off. Makes sense; she’s 3.

The two older girls have daily chores like unloading the dishwasher, watering the dogs, taking out the trash. I do remind them every day, right after they get home from school, or sometimes if they are ready early in the morning. Pooh usually does her chores right away. Tink sometimes get sidetracked and I just remind her again. The big girls also help with vacuuming and dusting regularly. They don't do a great job, but it's a start. When I go to finish up, the vacuum is already out and I just have to hit the spots they missed. So it's easier for me and they're getting into the habit of doing it.

All three girls help with laundry. They all sort their dirty clothes every Saturday or Sunday and put it into three baskets; jeans, whites, and colors. From there, they help in varying degrees, depending on what else we have going on. Pooh and Tink are able to put clothes in the washer if BD or I start it and put soap in, and also move clothes from the washer to dryer. They are also able to get clothes out of the dryer and fold them, as well as putting their own clothes up. Scooter puts her clothes up with supervision. Now, they do not always do every step of the laundry process, but can and do when asked to. The big girls even fold Mommy and Daddy’s clothes sometimes to get extra TV time.

To clear up any appearance of bragging, I want to say right here and right now that I have a clutter problem in my house. It is primarily my fault, with BD as the secondary perpetrator. It is much easier to tell someone else to pick up their stuff, than to actually do it yourself. So I have much more clutter in my kitchen than in the girls’ rooms. I have much more clutter in my bedroom than in the girls’ rooms. When I tell them to pick their stuff up, they usually do it. It’s not so easy with me.

I am a person who craves organization but has not achieved it. So I have piles of stuff that I don’t know what to do with. I’m making baby steps toward letting go of things I don’t really need. This is a biggie for me. And this is another topic that I’ll write more on later.

But for now I’ll just get to work.


My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My first Meme

ACCENT: Texan with a little bit of Alabama thrown in.
BIBLE BOOK THAT I LIKE: In the Bible or about the Bible? Romans.
CHORE I DON'T CARE FOR: Unloading the dishwasher.
FAVORITE COLOGNE: Lots of different Bath and Body Works sprays. Cologne is just too strong for me.
GOLD OR SILVER: Either/both.
HANDBAG I CARRY MOST OFTEN: Right now, a pink Nine West purse, but I really like Fossil purses and want a new one!
INSOMNIA: Just a little. An hour here and there.
JOB TITLE: Homemaker and part-time typist
KIDS: 3 girls
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: We own a modest house in an okay neighborhood.
MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT: Oh, this make me so uncomfortable . . .good speller? Good typist? Oh, I know, I am very loyal!
OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAYS: Tonsils. Broken hip - 1 week. Gall bladder – 5 days x 2. Crohn’s disease -7 days + 5 days.
PHOBIAS: Can’t think of one, except I have a little social anxiety.
QUOTE: I’m drawing a total blank here.
RELIGION: Christian – Non-denominational
SIBLINGS: One younger brother
TIME I WAKE UP: 6:30 a.m. on week days, and whenever I have to on the weekends.
UNUSUAL TALENT OR SKILL: I don't know . . .
VEGETABLE I REFUSE TO EAT: Greens, like turnip or collard.
WORST HABIT: ProcrastinationX-RAYS: Hip, neck, back, Abdominal CT scan, MRI on foot, chest . . .
YUMMY STUFF I COOK: Blondies with whatever I have to throw in; roast; spaghetti; homemade biscuits; stacked enchiladas . . .

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm a doofus

I have to take medication four times a day, forever. I have a memory deficiency (not what the meds are for), so even though I have been taking said medication for three years, I still forget regularly. I have reminders and alarms set on both my cell phone and computer, and I often set the kitchen timer as a back-up.

So at 12 noon, my computer alarm goes off and I snooze it, cause I’m reading a good blog. My cell phone alarm goes off, and I snooze it, same reason. When both alarms go off again, I get up and go into the kitchen to take my meds.

I look at the counter, realize I must clear it before the clutter forms a union, and begin by picking up a container of Lysol wipes. Container is empty of wipes but still has cleaning liquid in it. I go get some paper towels and cut them up to put in the container to use up the liquid. Put the container under the sink. Pick up two tattoos (!) from the counter and . . . do you know I already can’t remember where I put them? Come back in my room, sit down at the computer. See the med alarm, and realize I didn’t take the meds. Go back in the kitchen.

Check the chicken in the crockpot, check the beans in the other crockpot, wander into the living room where I see a few things I need to pick up, so I grab some odds and ends, bring them into my room and put them up (sort of) and sit back down at the computer. See the alarm again.

Go back into the kitchen, take meds and think, “I need to blog about this.”

Now, while I know I’ve read something similar to this on someone’s blog recently, the difference is clear. This really happened. Just now. To me.

And there’s a cute baby on my bed.

Baby update

Did I mention that I am babysitting my friend's baby? Oh my gosh, I so am. And I may still be just the tiniest bit envious. Just a bit.

Now I need to remind you that although I have three daughters, I have never had a newborn baby. Scooter was 20 months when we found our girls. And crazy. Just screamed all the dang time. Another post.

New Baby was only 5 lb, 12 oz at birth, and she is three weeks old today. She is a tiny little peanut. With these skinny little arms and legs and the most expressive baby face I've ever seen. And she makes the most incredible noises, like little grunts and squeaks that most mothers have experienced before, but are just enchanting to me.

My girls are also enthralled with New Baby. Yesterday afternoon, Baby was laying on my bed, and Pooh was on the other side of the bed doing her homework. Except she wasn't. She was just watching the baby sleep. And Tinkerbell loves to stroke Baby's arms and talk to her. Scooter just says, "Aw, she so cute!" a lot.

All of the girls enjoy having her here. The problem is Bear. Now Bear is a Momma's Boy. Big time. Bear was here before Big Daddy. He was not crazy about us bringing these three big girls in here when we did, but he has adjusted fairly well. He just ignores them. However, he has never seen anything as little as New Baby. At least nothing alive. He worries and frets about her the entire time she's here. And you don't even want to be around him when I burp her. It drives him crazy, cause I guess he thinks I'm hurting her. He does it when Baby's momma burps or feeds her, too. Just stands there whining and trying to get to Baby. I haven't figured it out yet, but I hope he gets over it quick.

So to recap, baby fever still in effect. Girls are on board. Big Daddy is neutral. Bear . . . the jury's still out.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Babies on the brain

A few months after we adopted our girls, we closed our file with the foster/adoption agency who licensed us. We had some personal issues that prevented us from completing the classes that were necessary for licensing, and we really felt like we were through with fostering and adopting.

Fast forward several months, and our good friends begin classes to become licensed for foster adoption through the same agency that licensed us. In order to be able to provide child care for our friends, BD and I decided to become licensed to do respite care. There are fewer classes involved, and no home study. Plus then we could provide respite care for others, while also creating a tiny income source for me. Since my current "employer" seems hesitant to pay me. Which is another post.

I was envious when our friends began getting placement calls, and I was confused and unsettled by this. I was even more surprised by the fact that Big Daddy was starting to feel some little tuggings, too. BD and I had agreed that our family is complete, and that God would have to write it on our shower curtain if he wanted us to take in more children on a long-term or temporary basis.

We don't know how it would affect our girls if we added more children, especially on a revolving-door basis. I don't want them to have constant reminders of where they came from. I want them to have the same life as the kid next door, except they happen to be adopted. I don't want "ADOPTED FROM FOSTER CARE" to be their label. I want it to be a small part of their heritage, not all of it. Does that make sense?

So our friends' first placement is a newborn, teeny, beautiful baby girl. And I am in love. And I need one. And I am addicted to her. I DO NOT know what to do. BD DOES NOT know what to do. Our friend had to knock him out to get the baby away from him Saturday night.

Fortunately, God knows what we are supposed to do, and all we have to do is figure out how to hear him instead of our hormones.

More fever

I had all three girls well for two whole days, but I guess normal life is not on my dance card just yet.

We girls were laying in my bed watching Saddle Club (which I may be more into than they are) late yesterday afternoon, when I reached over to hug Tink and she burned my cheek. Ouch. She was burning up with fever again.

I checked Scooter and Pooh and they seemed fine, but later on, Pooh got up and I got a good look at her, and oh no! Checked, and she had 103.5. When Tink has fever, her skin is so hot! But with Pooh, you have to just take a real good look at her eyes and double check with the thermometer. And Scoot, I don't know, that kid hasn't had more than a runny nose and a bit of diarrhea in more than two years.

So I did what every good mother does when her kids are burning up with fever. I went to Target. And bought them all cute spring T-shirts and marked down V-Day dresses and maybe an Easter dress. Oh, and then got some Sprite and thermometer covers. We already have plenty of Tylenol, Ibuprofen and Tamiflu in the house. Big Daddy just knew it was the only chance I was gonna get to myself for a few more days, so he pushed me out the front door.

I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, because I could swear that I already did this day last week. Pooh's fine again, Tink's still burning up, and I keep on shuttling Scoot around the house to keep her away from Fever Girl.

But the sweet thing is, I feel wonderful peace today, and for that I thank God. Tink will be fine, and if it takes too long, we'll go to the doctor. Pooh is fine. Scooter is fine. I am relatively fine. And BD is off at work being fine. All is well.

Friday, February 16, 2007


"Finally, brothers whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable- if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things." Phil. 4:8

Since in my last post, I may have seemed unsympathetic to my sweet Pooh's feelings, I now choose to dwell on that which is true, pure, lovely and commendable.

Here is my Pooh. This picture is a year or so old, but it is just so sweet, and shows the spirit that I know God has created in her.

See, I don't know what my angel went through before I found her. God led us to her and her sisters about two years ago, and we adopted them that same year. She was barely four when they were taken into foster care, and they were in and out of a children's shelter for most of that year, until God brought us together.

Whatever is true: Pooh is extremely bright, and not just by her Mommy's standards. She is so capable. She wants to learn to be a good friend. She tries every day to trust us even though everything in her tells her she can't.

Whatever is pure: Pooh's love for her sisters. Her desire for knowledge. Her fear.

Whatever is lovely: Her happy, silly laugh. Her whisper when her sisters are asleep. Her clear blue eyes when the shadows are gone.

Whatever is commendable: Pooh fights her demons every day. When she falls down, she gets back up and starts over again. She loves to do things for others. She took care of her sisters when there was no one to take care of her.

I love my Pooh with all my heart, and I long for the day when she can fully feel that and believe it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

And also . . .

Can y'all please tell me why a 7-year-old would spit up (cause there's no substance to it, just juice) all over her bed, not once, but in 7 or 8 spots, no lie?

Now, when Tink was sick, she was all up in my bed, and holding my hand the whole time. Why yes, I was in the bed, too. The better to care for my sick child, you know. And to change the channel every time she dozed off. But I digress.

Pooh is more like her daddy in the sickness department, and although I have asked her several times today if she'd like to lay in Mommy's bed, she has stoically (shew, good thing I checked the dictionary on that one) remained in her room, laying flat on her back with her hands folded like Lily Munster. When not drinking Sprite mixed with Hawaiian Punch.

I heard her coughing earlier, but didn't go in right away to check on her. About 10 minutes later, she comes out and says, "The end of my bed is red, because I think I drank too much juice." Vague much?

I go in, and there are, no lie, at least 8 wet red spots on her bed, where I guess she threw up. But she moved around between pukes, because the spots are at the foot, the head, on the sheet, the quilt, the pillow and the floor. Never called me, never tried to get to the trash can or the bathroom. Just waited until she was done, and then came and possibly, maybe, sort of told me about it.

I strip the bed, because there is no piece of bedding that she missed. Tell her to come on and lay in my bed now, and she says, "No thanks," and climbs back on the bare mattress and assumes the Lily Munster.

I feel like such a great mother.


Although I am basking in the glow of a very sweet Valentine's Day, I am also stir crazy over here because I have a sick child and I can't get to Target for the 50% off Valentine stuff this morning. When I was there yesterday I saw some really cute skirts and tights and socks and shirts for the girls, at really reasonable prices. 50% off of reasonable is my kind of price. Wah.

St. Valentine's Day Recap

Well, I think we had a lovely Valentine's Evening here at the Dirty Laundry household. After I picked Miss 102.5 up at school, I came home and got myself straightened out, and the rest of the day was very nice.

I drugged Pooh and stuck her in my bed, and made Scoot stay across the room in a vain attempt to protect her from the evil flu bug, at least until we all had to get in the van again to go get Tink when school was out.

Tink and I went through all of her Valentines and separated out the candy. Good Lord, I think we still have candy from two years ago in a ziploc bag. Is it okay to re-gift candy?

Next, all three girls made beautiful Valentines for their daddy. Since one was sick, and Mommy was lazy, we just used construction paper, markers and stickers. No glue and sparkly stuff today, thanks anyway. They still turned out beautiful and sweet.

Pooh went back to bed, and the other two girls and I waited for BD to come home. We lit a candle on the kitchen table and turned out all the lights. We put his pistachios and four Valentines on the kitchen table. When we heard the garage door, we went into the living room to hide, and when BD came into the kitchen, the girls ran in and "surprised" him. It was great fun.

After we got the girls fed and to bed, BD and I set out to prepare our Valentine dinner. We had some lovely Filet Mignons from Omaha Steak that BD grilled outside (in the freezing cold), and I made pasta with sundried tomato alfredo (from a jar, but jazzed up) and wonderful garlic parmesan toast.

Here comes the romantic part.

We ate this scrumptious gourmet dinner in bed while we watched Beauty and the Geek. And King of Cars. Ain't we classy?

Especially considering how bummed I was in the morning, I think the day turned out wonderfully. I'm learning every day that things don't have to turn out how I planned them in order to be great.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I just had to go get Pooh at school because she has 102 fever.

Happy Valentine's Day.


Bah Cupid, or whatever the Valentine equivalent of Bah Humbug is. So far this morning, I am not feeling the Valentine spirit, and that royally ticks me off. I look forward to these fricking holidays, and then procastinate until they're practically over. And I have no one to blame but My Sweet Self.

In my defense, though, this time I have illness as an excuse for being unprepared for The Holiday Of Love. I had wonderful plans, oh yes I did! We were going to make Valentine's cards for the grandparents and the great-aunts, and the girls were going to send cute little Valentine notes to their favorite cousins who live on the rich side of town.

So I did wait a little late to start, but I had planned a weekend of Valentine goodness, and then the flu bug came and sneezed all over my sweet little house.

Last Thursday morning, Big Daddy came home from work almost comatose. Now, BD can be a whiner sometimes, but this guy was so pathetic that I believed him (and there was that telltale 103.7 fever). I called all over our town until I found a doctor who could see him right then, where he was promptly diagnosed with the evil flu. I brought him home, tucked him in, and called the girls' pediatrician to see if they could call in prescriptions for Tamiflu, so they wouldn't get it, too. Too late. By bedtime, Tink had a fever.

Friday was spent nursing BD and Tink, who shared their misery in our king-sized bed. Poor Tink was just miserable, and her fever got up to 104 once. Fortunately, Pooh and Scooter never really got sick.

Unfortunately, Saturday I got sick, and don't you know that was so insulting to BD. Never mind that he had told me earlier he was feeling much better. How dare I trespass on his sickness! How dare I steal his thunder! Even more unfortunately, when I get that sick, I am a worse whiner than BD ever thought about being, and so I cried and asked him to pat my head and all that ridiculous stuff until late Saturday night.

Sunday went by in a haze. BD went to church with Pooh, and I slept all day.

Monday, Tink's still sick, I think mine's now allergies rather than flu.

Tuesday, Tink can't get rid of that fever, so I can't send her to school, and she and Scooter are driving me crazy because our routine is screwed up.

Tuesday night, oh crap, I need to get Valentines for these girls to take to school tomorrow! Went to "the little Wal-Mart," otherwise known as Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. I love that place so much usually, but last night it stank of desperation, including mine. Picked up two boxes of overpriced Dora Valentines and two crappy boxes of candy for the teachers. At 8:00, BD and I, Pooh and Tink were sitting at the table addressing their Valentines, and then off to bed for them!

So this morning, I drop off the big girls at school, and Scooter and I go to Target, where I intend to get a Valentine card for BD. I tell you, whoever is the seasonal buyer for Target sure does a good job of making sure they don't have anything left over after the holiday. There were exactly 0 romantic Valentine cards. And I just feel guilty if I get a joke card for BD on Valentine's Day. But I did manage to spend $48 at Target anyway, including some of those cute little Polly Pocket holiday sets for the girls.

From Target we went to the Dollar Store, where I found a much better selection of cards. Go figure. Even got a cute container for the pistachios I bought for BD.

So now I'm back at home, with only about 10 tasks I must accomplish today, but I am feeling more peaceful, actually, just having written all this down. Journalistic venting, I guess.

Maybe it will be a Happy Valentine's Day after all.