Saturday, December 27, 2008

what to do

When the weather outside is frightful (aka slushy/rainy/leftover snow) this is what we do:

go on a walk

take a nap

read a few books

build a snow wall/fort
do some hair

celebrate a couple birthdays

throw snowballs at the cameramom


sick the cameramom's husband on 'em

Monday, November 3, 2008

voting

Not all of that political junk... I'm talking a real deal and upfront vote done by yours truly. I will even take the time to tell you why I chose to vote the way that I did. Sociologists, eat your heart out.

You may ask yourself, what exactly is the purpose of Halloween? Well, let me tell you. You spend VERY little money on your children's costumes and you send them out to beg for candy door to door (big ups for those who helped spend $5.77 billion. your money encouraged the creativity {or lack thereof} of this blog). Upon the candy arriving in your home, you immediately send them to bed, wait for them to truly be sleeping (none of this fake snoring junk), and quietly tip toe to the motherload.


Yes, there are full size candy bars in there too.

On a rating scale of 1-10 gold stars, here's the results:
  • Milky Way: 0 gold stars (as in none). The center gooey marshmallow crap is blanchable. You'd have to talk me into eating one of these if I was starving on a desert (or dessert island! how punny of me) island.
  • Tootsie Roll: 3 gold stars. I would give them a one because they're always the last to get eaten at our house. However, I gave them a three because I will eat them if desperate. Plus, they're classic. Not sugar babies classic; classic classic.
  • Kit Kat: 3 gold stars. I hate them and yet, without fail, I think that I might like them every year. So, 3 gold stars for succeeding in trickery.
  • Nestle Crunch: 1 gold star. The chocolate in these bad boys is something ferocious. I don't think that it's actually chocolate... it's something plastic-ier. And who came up with the idea to throw some Snap crackle pop into some plastic chocolate?
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate: 5 gold stars. Mostly the stars are for effort, longevity (on the market), and everyone buys this brand for sm'ores. I'd give it a 3 for flavor, but, it's a classic classic.
  • Starburst: 8 gold stars. Honestly, judging this one is a bit more difficult. So many flavors to choose from! What to do? What to do. So, I went with an overall gold star effect. The delicious pinks outweigh the mildly bitter oranges and so forth. I also appreciate that these don't get stuck in your teeth. If you shove too many in your mouth at once, though, it does get trapped in that sneaky space down low between the back of your cheek and molars.
  • Dots: 1 gold star. This is another one of those desert island force feeding candies. However, they recieve one gold star since me brova and Husband like them. Personally, they taste like wax to me and take up to two weeks to brush outta the teeth.
  • Baby Ruth: 9 gold stars. I would give these a ten, but then I'd have to eat them in lieu of a meal. I just can't go there. I try to stay away from binging and purging. They're salty, crunchy, sweet center, perfection makes me smile with every bite. Nummy.
  • Skittles: 6 gold stars. They're definately edible. A little better than a medium (5 gold stars) because there truly is a difference between flavors. But, really, do you know ANYONE who's favortie candy is Skittles? Now, if I were scoring tropical skittles then the number would go way up. But, alas, these are the plain old skittles.
  • Milk Duds: 7 gold stars. I truly love carmel. LOVE. But these only recieved a 7 because they often taste out dated (what's up with the box for packaging?). And talk about getting stuck in your teeth! Every dentists' worst enemy.
  • Smarties: 4 gold stars. There is zero difference in flavor from color to color on these. Major loss of gold stars for that. I love that they're tart and, for some odd reason, they're Husband's favorite candy.
  • Lollipops, all types: 6 gold stars. My kids love lollipops and I think that it's due to their long-lasting-ness rather than they're flavor. Another bonus with these is if your mouth changes color. One more star for that brand. If you have gum in the center? Yo. Add another star.
  • Raisins: 0 stars (as in zilch). Who in the heck thought that rasins would be a fun treat for Halloween? Come on. At least go with goldfish; they have a fun shape. Raisins look like mouse turds. Now that I think about it, 0 stars and two thumbs down.
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: 6 gold stars. These used to be my favorite candy and so I admit that I bumped them up for that factor alone. Now that I'm a bit older, I realize that whatever is supposed to be peanut butter in the center is some strange abberation calling itself peanut butter. Less stars for fibbing about the contents.
  • Twizzlers: 2 gold stars. What is this crap? Really? It certainly is no licorice rope. Those are real candy. I think these must be a close cousin to plastic-y Nestle Crunch.
  • M&M's (both with and without peanuts): 7 gold stars. These are so dependable. So reliable and consistent in there eat-ability. Not my most favorite, not my least favorite. Just smooth sailing M&M's.
  • Snickers: 9 gold stars. Growing up, my mom would buy these and then hide them from my brother and I. I'm pretty sure that I have some subconcious backlash from that which encourages me to like these more than they deserve. However, it's SO deep that I see nothing wrong with Snickers. Except that they make you fat if you eat too many. That's lame. Minus one star for fattness.
  • Now and Later: 3 gold stars. These are the KING of getting jammed in your teeth. However, it's easy to unlodge them - just get slobber all over your finger (whichever has the longest nail) and pop the bad boy up outta the tooth. The flavor of these is... meh. But what really made the stars go down is that they were handed out unit by unit. Now, when I was growing up, there were about 15 per package (each unit being individually wrapped within). So... did some people open up the package and hand out the units?? Minus stars for that.
  • Mr. Goodbar: 4 gold stars. I would give these more as the idea of peanuts within chocolate sounds tempting. But, again, the chocolate in these bad boys is a bit disarming. More like chalk-olate (the puns are just rolling forth today - I apologize).
  • Super Bubble: 7 gold stars. Automatically bubble gum gets a high star rating. It's pleasant, relaxing, and one can blow bubbles with it. I like to snap it myself. However, this particular brand very well could be the same company that put gum in baseball card packs. Powdery and short flavored, these lost points for lack of elasticity as well.
  • Dove chocolate, all types: 8 gold stars. I said dove. Isn't that enough explanation?
  • Body Parts gummy candy, all body parts: 1 gold star. The flavor is... none. The chewability is phenominally low for these tire-like boogers. 1 star for creativity. Reminds me a bit of Garbage Pail Kids.
  • CapriSun juice: 8 gold stars. I was really thirsty as we were begging from house to house. I chugged 2 of these. So extra stars for necessity and originality.
  • Werther's Original: 9 gold stars. There's something soothing and grandma-ey about these hard carmel flavored candies. ..sigh..

PLEASE join me in voting for your least favorite Halloween candy. The polls will close on the 10th so hurry and vote! You're allowed to vote for more than one nasty bit.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Meemay Deer

For your Monday morning pleasure, I would like to introduce you to Miss B in all her glory....

Friday, October 17, 2008

the newest member


I'd like to introduce you to... Bubba or Honey or Dog X. We're not sure what his name is quite yet. He's a lab/sheppard mix who's just about as sweet and docile (yes, has lots of puppy energy too) as can be. He's just 4 months old and has already managed to pee inside - lucky me. Less than 10 minutes ago we had 16 kids in the backyard, 10 of which came over to meet him. I have a feeling that this puppy won't be hurting for company.

Monday, October 13, 2008

promises you don't wanna keep

So, a couple of weeks ago Miss Priss asked me if she could get a puppy. This is not a new topic, mind you, one that I have dismissed many a time with reminders of poop in the yard and our serious lack of people willing to do the job.

But the girl wouldn't drop it.

Other kids got on board.

It wasn't looking good for me - I was outnumbered.

So, I did what any good mom would do; I made it REALLY difficult for them to get the dog so that I wouldn't have to say no. They had to come up with a business plan: who would feed, drink, walk, pooper scoop on which day. They had to have $50 down, pay for the dog (however much that was going to be), pay for a kennel in the back, and come up with $15 a week (this would cover food and the leftover would go into an account for anti-flea junk and vet bills) for the life of the dog. What group of kids would actually follow through with this? I figured that they'd give up on day number two and move on to greener and easier pastures.

As of 8pm last night they've earned $103.

Chows are cute dogs... right?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

ahhh colloquialisms

The kids are playing some Marvel comic book video game right now. Big P had a controller and he threatened, "You wanna piece of meat?"

But it doesn't end there. The smack continued...

He went on to shout, "I will throw it at you!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do us all a favor and turn your head from this post if you vomit easily

So, about a month and a half ago, the bathroom sink was a bit slow in the draining department. I dumped some Draino down, which helped a bit. For like 24 hours. So I dumped some more down about a week later. Which helped for like 2 hours.
Just for fun, I dumped the rest down the shower drain.
Which matters very little to the story that I'm telling.

The sink has continued to be SLOWLY draining and this is particularly irritating. Especially when I watched the kids' toothpaste spit just floating around in there. Gross. So Husband and I, being the adults that we are, blamed it on the boys. I questioned them and one in particular looked a bit guilty when I asked him if he had shoved a toy down the drain. We left it at that and I've been not-very-patiently awaiting for Husband to clean out the pipes.

So Husband told me that first this morning there was still water in the sink (from a kid washing their hands after a late night bathroom trip?) and so he began to plunge the drain. After lifting the plunger out of the sink, to inspect the goods of course, something caught Husband's eye. He thought he saw something moving but, that's just weird so he dismissed it and went back to plunging some more. After a few thrusts, he took out the plunger again and thought he saw something moving again. He waited for the water to still because two times deserves a closer inspection; right? Blinking the sleep out of his eyes, he leaned in to see what on earth was moving and it was a freakin' worm. Not an earthworm mind you. And I quote, "Something quite a bit more parasitic looking than that. Thinner, long, blackish, nasty."

So, folks, we've got some worms coming out of our sink. That's right. If that doesn't make you want to take a shower (at someone else's house) and scrub off with an SOS pad, I don't know what will. They're called drain moths and if I talk about the whole thing for much longer, I may urp up something myself.


Monday, September 8, 2008

burrowing

I admit it.
I've been burrowing away lately, reading yours but not posting my own.
Nothing is too bad or too good.
It is too busy.
Does that count?
I'll return show-tly.
I'm thinking that it ought to happen any time now.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The classifieds

(possibly posted in the want ads by yours truly)


Looking for a good excuse to go to Africa. Not to mention the money as well as the time to go. If you are able to supply any of these things (excuses, money, or time), please feel free to reach me; but I do request that you have your contact information readily available.

Oh. One more thing. I'm also looking for a different mode of transportation to get there. Know of any cruise ships headed to west Africa? That kind of thing. Please let me know.







Monday, August 18, 2008

elegance


Ever wonder what song Spiderman would choose when playing the piano?
Check out the sheet music.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

the famous policeman

I was on the phone this morning in the front yard and a neighbor walked up to me and told me that I should go and talk to the policeman that was parked across the street (and up a bit). She said that he's got a photo of a neighbor who raped and beat up a 16 yr old girl who's now in the hospital. I hung up the phone, called the kids in, put on a movie, and walked to the policeman to check out the photo.
After coming back in the house, I threw in some laundry, blah blah, and about 10 min later, policeman is knocking on the door. The kids are in awe as he asks to use the bathroom. I of course oblige and REALLY hope that the bathroom is clean. REALLY REALLY hope. All of the sudden I notice that O-Dog has left his cereal bowl on the kitchen table. I rush to toss it in the sink. Meanwhile, the kids had immediately begin scuffling around for paper and crayons.
"If you guys are going to draw then let's turn off the movie."
"No, mom. We want his au-to-graph..." they reply wistfully
So Mr. Policeman re-enters the living room and serious as a heart attack, the kids are all starry eyed with their paper and colored pencils shoved in his direction. All asking the poor guy for his au-to-graph. A few police badge stickers handed out later, he heads out the front door.
Before the door even finishes closing Miss Z says, "Just wait until I tell (my friend from the neighborhood) about this!"

P.S. After he left, I went in and checked, and the bathroom was clean

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

under the umbrella

As a mom there are umbrellas that we live under, whether (weather, how punny) we live beneath them intentionally or not is not what I want to blog about. Let's just say that we do. Or rather, I do. And to throw having my little diverse family under that umbrella just adds to what I'm talking about.
Umbrella is a term that I am using to describe expectations that I try REALLY hard to live up to because I assume that 1) someone cares more than I do about my family. 2) my children reflect my parenting, therefor my work, therefor myself. Kinda like 6 walking report cards. 3) I want to please man?? I don't know. Just go with me on this one.

Today I'm just going to talk about the hair umbrella. I live under the white-mom umbrella in which I feel like I have to disprove to every person on the planet. Women especially (men don't seem to notice these things). Let's look at the girls' hair:

I tried to get this photo bigger to no avail.
Now Miss B is the two heads on the left and Miss F is on the right, this picture was taken directly after I typed the word hair. I spent about 2 1/2 hours on Miss B's hair and about an 1 1 /2 on Miss F's (she can't have beads in cause of soccer).
Why?
Why on earth would someone do that?
I blame it on the umbrella.
I feel like I have to disprove the notion that white women don't care about black hair *while* proving to white women that it is possible to learn how to cornrow, for goodness sake. I do the girls' hair about every two weeks; this is more than necessary but I don't want those fuzzies to aid in anyone's suspicion that people shouldn't adopt outside of their race.
I learn every new style, I eye all the unsuspecting children who walk past me to see what their sporting, I spend an equal amount of time planning to do hair than I do actually platting.
Think I'm overreacting?
People (ahem, women) stop me in grocery stores, at church, in public restrooms, the park, at the mall. You name it, they've probably stopped me there. They stop me and ask me about the girls' hair and "who did it." This question is always asked with suspicion and it either follows or precedes questions about whether or not they're "my" children (don't get me started on that one). Upon learning that, yes, I did their hair, there is a guaranteed moment of shock quickly followed by a cover up. I hate those moments, and yet I live for those moments. Those moments are why I spend so much time on hair. Those moments prove that umbrella wrong but also prove that I willingly live under it.
Stupid umbrella.

P.S. I hardly ever give Prissy's hair a second thought.

Monday, August 11, 2008

things I wish that I liked

1. Wine. Wine drinkers come off as sophisticated and sheek. I personally think that it tastes like sour grapes with a bitter tang. Why oh why?

2. Being pink. This is a strange one, and yet it's true. I'm still scratching my head whilst figuring out what on earth God was thinking. But in the meantime, I'm fortunate to be married to someone who thinks it's hot.

3. Sports. I idealize how cool it would be to be a runner or tennis player. And then I think about actually doing it and it's about as appealing as eating from the compost pile. The only thing that I truly enjoy about the Olympics is the 'walk of nations.' The clothes, the diversity, the third world countries that get missed while on commercial break, this is what I love. Everything after that is, in a word, pretty boring. Sometimes it's fun to imagine how disappointed that some of the athletes must be when they lose. But again, that doesn't really have anything to do with sports.

4. Hot dogs. What can I say? They're cheap and easy (head out of the gutter).

5. Cleaning the house. Man, if I enjoyed that task, something might actually get done around here.

6. Forgiving pooh heads. Shall I start a whole new post for this one? Nah.

7. Waking up to this (Yes, that's my front yard. They parked a few cars there, a few across the street [not shown] and then snuck to a drug house a couple doors down with their K9 units. This seriously impressed the kids). Husband and I are still trying to figure out where on earth that God wants for us to live. Going beyond just being satisfied, I wish that I truly saw our neighborhood as a mission field every day that we spend here. It often just gets old and so I put away the welcome mat. Must. work. on. attitude.

8. Change. Mi madre would be the first to remind me that it spends the same. And yet it's such a freakin' nuisance. Heavy, clinking around in my wallet that's already crammed with receipts that are at least a year old, right next to all of those lame punch cards that don't seem to be good for anything and yet I have well over a padgillion. Speaking of change, why do dads always have a pocket full? Will this evolve over time since we now just swipe most everything? I think that it would be an injustice for our children to not have a pocket-full-o-change-memory of their dads.

9. The rain. It makes things green, makes the air quality better, we need it for survival and yet it's irritating. I know, I know. Why do I live in Seattle. For the culture, my friends. It rocks here. Maybe if it rained without clouds while holding a temperature of about 85 degrees, I would no longer hold this view.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

vigilante

So last night the kids were playing outside (around 8 pm) and Priss comes running in the house saying that creepy guy was coming into the yard and talking to the kids about "fris-bees." Husband hops up and goes outside while I pause the movie we were watching and stand up to see what all the fuss is about. As I stand up, I see a dude (think creepy. not homeless, creepy) straight walking into our front yard but no Husband and no kids.
So I head to the back to get all the kids inside and BLAM there he is again, this time standing at the back door, watching for me. I open up the screen and shout (he's a foot away, maybe) in his face that he needs to leave my property NOW. I don't see Husband anywhere but the kids all start gathering around while dude is for real trying to argue with me about whether or not "he's cool." I don't care if you're cool or not GO AWAY. Then my man comes around the corner and uses his scary voice while pointing to the road. The kids are filing in the house and then Husband shouts to me, CALL THE COPS! Cause dude is not trying to leave and Husband is getting pissed while he tries to intimidate guy by walking towards him and then towards the road. This threat doesn't phase dude.
So I go in and grab the phone and walk back towards the back door again dialing 911. All I can see is Husband running down the street.
Dude goes into our neighbors yard and then into another neighbors yard, right into the back (over the fence). Husband comes home because their kid was at our house saying he needed him to translate. So off Husband and neighbor kid go to inform his family that creepy dude is in their yard now. When Husband arrives there, he sees neighbor dad escorting dude out of his back yard. Then creepy dude sees Husband and starts cussing at him and telling him "It's mfing cool, man! these are my effing friends and we're just effing hanging out. Why don't you eff off you duh nuh nuh nuh nuh?"
Husband asks neighbors if they know creepy guy. They shake their heads. Husband wonders if he will have to take creepy guy down because his posture is getting more and more violent.
According to my watch, it's been 10 minutes since I called the cops and nothing. I'm standing in the driveway with the kids inside, waiting for either creepy guy or the cops, whoever shows up first. Another 10 minutes go by.
Husband is standing in front of neighbor kids house chatting with neighbor dad while I just sit on the bumper of the car and wait about 5 more minutes for Husband to come home again. He wants to go looking for creepy guy because apparently he was going after neighbor's kids too. Husband is going vigilante on me and I'm really trying to hold him back. He says he won't be able to sleep. I remind him about knives and to stay a bit away from creepy guy if he comes upon him. I shove his cel phone into his pocket and he leaves.
I sit in the driveway waiting for either creepy guy or the cops, whoever shows up first. Another 10 minutes go by. Creepy guy is long gone (30-35 minutes later) and the cops haven't even showed up yet. I know that no one was being threatened physically but DANG. 30 minutes when a creepy guy is waltzing the neighborhood trying to bait kids (the boys specifically)?
Cop FINALLY drives by about 40 min after the original phone call to 911. I call Husband to bring his vigilante butt home. He and I are sitting in the carport and joke about the events of the evening when a guy on a dirtbike(?) goes by at about 60 mph. No joke. He's got no helmet and so I wink at Husband wondering if he'll hit the same block as cop who's looking for creepy guy. Sure enough! Cop pulls him over and they fight about him getting arrested.
We may not have gotten a creepy guy, but we caught a meth guy... good enough?

my nosey family watching the dirtbike guy get cuffed.
Big P and I are making fun of them from the doorway where I took the photo.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

touchy

I used to write. Not blog write, but actually write. But if people didn't ogle over it, I was hurt. If people did ogle over it, I figured it was cause they were biased cause they loved me. And so I hardly ever do it anymore. I'm too freakin' touchy.

I'm also touchy about my kids. Touchy about my husband. So I hardly ever divulge what I hold dearest to me (unless I'm attempting to make light of it) because I don't want anyone to squish it. It's like being afraid to walk around in your bathing suit because you're nervous about your post pregnancy kangaroo pouch and then, once you finally get the nerve up to strut your stuff, no one even notices that you're swimming. Do they not know how much freakin' work it took to get you out there?!? Apparently not.

So the drama drama that I mentioned surrounded our oldest, Big P. On Wednesday, he had a bunch of seizures and then went to take a nap and I went to check on him about 45 minutes after having a conversation with him (which ended with me telling him to go brush his teeth cause his breath stank) and he was unconscious. I screamed in his face, I slapped his legs and his torso. Nothing. There was vomit on his pillow and he wasn't home. Thankfully, mi madre was at the house and she helped me to carry him to the car so that we could get Husband and head to the ER. I exchanged mi madre for Husband and we sped off down the highway. Big P kept vomiting on himself and woke up a bit (as in opened his eyes - not actually woke up). It then appeared that he was seizing (he has complex partials) rather than the weird unconscious state that he had been in prior. It was bizarre and scary and no human should ever have to see their child like this.
Over and over and over.
He kept trying to take off his seatbelt and open the door while we were floating down the highway and I was crying and praying and he was fighting me with all of his strength. All I could think about was what if I hadn't gone in there to check on him. What if he had choked on his vomit. What if what if what if. We got to the hospital and I turned on my 'make jokes to lighten the crazy tense situation.' They gave him a bunch of sedatives and he finally stopped seizing. We went back to our vacation and I played it off like I am strong and in control and it's no big deal to almost have your kid die in your arms.

But it is and I hate this.

Friday, August 1, 2008

drama drama drama

we're back from vacay. it was good. not without drama. maybe I'll tell you about it tomorrow. soooo lazy.

I never take enough pictures and always regret it.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

English??

Yesterday I cut Big and Little P's hair and O-Dog kept asking asking asking if he could get a haircut too. I gave in (not knowing how to cut white boy hair) and the result was quite... white trash. Then this morning he put on a knock off Gerrard jersey (that I ironically got while in Africa) and I thought, 'AHA! He looks like an angry fan!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

pointing the finger

"I will tell you just one case of suffering of a family that I know personally. A brother entered prison on account of his work in the Underground Church. He left behind a wife with six children. His older daughters of seventeen and nineteen could not get a job. The only one that gives jobs in a Communist country is the state, and it does not give jobs to children of "criminal" Christians. Please don't judge this story according to moral standards; just receive the facts. The two daughters of a Christian martyr - Christians themselves - became prostitutes to support their younger brothers and sick mother. Their younger brother became insane when he saw it and had to be put in an asylum. When years later the imprisoned father returned, his only prayer was, "God, take me to prison again. I cannot bear to see this." His prayer was answered and he was jailed again for the crime of having witnessed for Christ to children. His daughters were no longer prostitutes, as they received jobs by complying with the demands of the secret police - they became informers. As daughters of a Christian martyr, they are received with honor in every house. They listen and then they report everything they hear to the secret police. Don't just say that this is ugly and immoral - of course it is - but ask yourself if it is not also your sin that such tragedies occur, that such Christian families are left alone, and are not helped by you who are free."

-Tortured For Christ, Richard Wurmbrand, pg47

Friday, July 18, 2008

the woman at the well



background here

Monday, July 14, 2008

title schmitle

My two oldest nephews and I were playing a game last week that I often find myself continuing to play alone because I'm a dork like that.

Fill in the blank:

You know you live in the ghetto when ___________.

Some of the funnier answers given were:

  • You know you live in the ghetto when there are more pit bulls than people.
  • You know you live in the ghetto when you own more broken cars than working ones (and they're parked in your yard).
  • You know you live in the ghetto when you aren't sure if that boom was an illegal firework or an illegal firearm.
  • You know you live in the ghetto when lock downs are more common than fire drills at the local schools.
  • You know you live in the ghetto when your son suggests that he paint a sign warning drug dealers that his mom will call the police if they keep dealing drugs here.
  • You know you live in the ghetto when your dads truck gets tagged and you, recognizing the tag, go to school the next day and ask the tagger to apologize to your dad.
  • You know you live in the ghetto when the sounds of spring are cars rattling from an overdose of bass rather than birds chirping.
Anyone else got a suggestion??



*After re-reading my disoriented and, admittedly, far too personal post, I want to make sure that no one misunderstood my relationship with my dad. The father and son that I spoke of had a rather unhealthy relationship - one that never evolved as the son grew older. The father treated his son like he was two and so the son acted like he was two (give or take a few years). I adore my dad, and don't question his adoration towards me. However, there is a part of me that wishes that I was nine again so that I could follow him around and take trips to the dump with him. With my brain I understand that this is bizarre and would lead to a really unhealthy Raquel. My dad always has been a really really important person to me, beyond him just being my dad. I hope that you read (phonetically as in red) the sentence as pertaining to the entire context, but if you didn't, then hear me when I say that I adore him and I adore our relationship.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I am SO deep

Last night I had a nightmare that Miss F got her hair wet while she was swimming and her braids came out.

Scary stuff.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pray the Devil Back To Hell

Helplessly watching Liberia continue to experience unrest from afar, this is a good reminder that action is what shuts the mouths of those that gorge themselves on confusion.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm so sorry

I feel like I'm going to puke

I'm so sorry.. God please forgive me. Help me to forgive myself. I can't even type
I can't think straight.

I have a good friend who's Sikh. He and I hit it off instantly about three years ago. He's probably old enough to be my dad and he acts like my dad most of the time. Damn I feel tremendously stupid.

He watched us adopt and knows my heart well - this life that God gave me spoke to him. He's asked me so many questions about Jesus and I KNEW that his heart was ripe. With pride he told me about, and introduced me to his son and his wife. We're friends, right?

After I got back from Liberia, I've felt busy and consumed with stuff here. I stopped reaching out but my heart knew that I ought to. I excused it. I excused my not telling him more about Jesus because I didn't have the time. But God knows my true motive.

My husband just called me and our friends 17 year old son died. Stabbed to death at the park. I SHOULD have done so much more. This regret is something FIERCE. I should have done more. It was his only child and that man loved him. Crazy loved him in a way that made me wish I had the same relationship with my own dad.

Things could have been different.
Would have been different.
if only...



EDIT: please see note here

big whiner

I can't stand hearing other people whine. But since you and I haven't broached the conversation on whining yet, here goes... (plus you can't actually hear me so that weird noise isn't necessarily even a point to this one sided conversation.)

So yesterday we got a call from the neuro that Big P's med level in his blood stream is too high. Too high as in substantially over the limit for a child his age and build. So, that would leave the logical human being to assume that we ought to probably lower his dosage or change the medicine since he still seems to have breakthoughs. However, the nurse told me that the neuro wants to UP his morning dose. I politely offered my logical insight to the nurse who told me that she would call me back.

Which she did.
But the doc still insisted on increasing the dose.
Okeedokee. That sounds like a good idea? But, truthfully, I don't know jack about this whole deal and one would assume he's the expert so I submitted to his position (in theory, not in practice as of yet).
So then (like hours later) I was reading the Wall Street Journal (keep the nerd comments to yourselves) and the FDA is attempting to get Big P's medicine (along with 10 others) black labeled for users high tendency to COMMIT SUICIDE while taking the drug.

Now, as logical human beings, we would assume that our neuro would have informed me of that as being a possible side effect (regardless of the stupid label or not debate). Or the pharmacist, for that matter. You know how you get those print out thingies every time that you pick up a prescription? How about mentioning on there that you might find your kid dead one day so keep an eye out for depression (in the least?).

But that, my friends, I fear that would be far too logical.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An open letter to the ice cream man

Dear Ice Cream Man,

How do you make it through one day without repeatedly stabbing your eardrums with a popsicle stick? For sure, your patience far exceeds my own.

Much Respect,
Raquel
(You know, the lady with all the kids. You practically park in front of our house everyday... Remember me now?)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

this is what happens when...




This is what happens when you get all dressed up for a party and then can't find it so you come home and take pictures in the back yard and celebrate by watching the (lame) chipmunk movie with some angel food cake and strawberries....

This is what happens when you let all of your kids take a turn with the camera...

Monday, June 23, 2008

betcha 10 dollars

This meme originated over an idea that was prompted by the book written by Larry Smith & Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. It’s a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were, “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it to your blog including a visual illustration if you would like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blog sphere.
4. Tag 5 more blogs with links.
5. Don’t forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

Danielle, witty? I wish... I can only do so much!


My six word memoir:

False rebellion lead to true rebellion.


I made the kids do this too and it's pretty dang cute (good idea, Danielle). Here's there answers (spelling not spell checked) -

Mr. P - I Luv the holy handsum God.

Miss F - My life's cool becasuse God helps us.

Miss Z - I love the hole big universe (love has a heart shaped O).

Miss B - I love my holle faimly forever.

Big P- The God that help people Love.

Little O - The bom.

As for tagging:

Lisa, Miss Brasil, and Verity

Saturday, June 21, 2008

..can you say that..?

We have an additional kid who mostly lives here. We love her - she's a neighborhood kid with a really good heart. She (and sometimes her siblings) eat lunch and dinner here and then head home whenever I make my kids get ready for bed. She fits right in with the girls and keeps them busy goofing around outside. For some reason, the kids are WAY more interested in playing outside when someone from outside of the family is over... Anyway...

The other evening, as they were saying goodnight, she was in her yard standing at the fence (aka the secret spot; it's hidden by some trees and the shed) and two of my girls were on this side of the fence. One of my girls threw grass in the neighbors girls' hair. The next day her mom wouldn't let her come over because my kid threw grass in her hair (?). When I heard this news, everything in me went into MEGA high defense mode.

What about how earlier that day she was throwing mud balls at my boys?
Betcha she didn't tell her mom that.
Or how about the 80 million other days that she hasn't gotten grass in her hair?
Those don't count against this one time?
Is it really that freakin' big of a deal anyway?
You can just shake the grass out...
Why all the bitterness when we've so easily folded your daughter in with our own?

And then I realized that I was being every bit as ridiculous as the situation. I was getting all into a tizzy... why? Over some grass?
Deep breath.
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:5
Taking thought.
Walking it out.
Handing it over.
Leaving it behind.

Because the truth is, anyone can assume whatever they want about us. We cannot change anyone's opinions. We cannot prove to them our devotion, our love, our loyalty... and fra-eeking out about such silliness is a total waste of time. Every part of us that they saw... negated over some grass?

I wish that I could open myself up totally so that her momma could see my heart. But I can't. And if I did, would she see what was in front of her anyway? So I, that day, decided that enough was enough. Words are just words at some point. The actions, I hoped, would speak louder. And so I said nada.

The neighbor girl called a few times that day to talk to the girls - she missed them! They have been almost living together for a while now. The next morning, she was waiting at 'the secret place.'
Her mom said it was okay to come over.

Friday, June 20, 2008

underdog

I've got a soft spot for the underdog.

A really big one. (have you noticed?)

Yesterday a woman was picking up some meth from up the road and her driver waited for her return on our private little road. I went and scouted out the driver, to make sure that they wouldn't do anything crazy to all my kids outside (About a month ago a man tried to snag up Mr. O by tempting him with french fries. Big P, who had been riding his bike on the road, dropped his bike and ran over to slap the fries outta his hand and carried Mr O up to the house. I was sweeping the kitchen with the door open and didn't hear a thing. I'm a little more touchy since this incident.) I glanced at the driver and my heart totally sank.

There was an infant in the car.

Everything in me SCREAMED to offer to take that baby while she ran off and got high. My blood pressure rose as I debated the awkward situation. It's one thing to be irresponsible when you're only responsible for yourself. It's a whole 'nother can of worms when kids are involved. I stood there, in the driveway hidden from the drivers view by some bushes. The woman who walked to get the meth returned while I stood there motionless... wishing that there was an answer to problems such as these. Wishing that I could swoop up that baby and make everything okay.

I watched them drive away and walked back towards the house where Miss Brasil stood.
Nothing.
I did nothing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

At least - day four

We've (alright... mostly Husband) been hacking away at trees, bushes, and the like this weekend and on into this week (that's the sad part of the story). A couple of extremely LARGE piles have grown into perfect kid mountains and now I have 6 kids that are covered in sap that won't freakin' come off.

At least we're almost finished?

But they're having a better time than I am. I often look up from the work to take in how different that the yard looks or how much that we've accomplished so far - it keeps me motivated. The kids, on the other hand, are having sword fights with the sticks, building very itchy houses with the evergreen limbs, and having as much fun as they possibly can amidst the dragging of trees from one spot to another.
I gotta tell you that watching their attitudes unfold throughout the day is crazy fun for me. Even cleaning their rooms comes with some singing! It's official. I am in love. I wonder if this feeling will last throughout summer break!?!

Friday, June 13, 2008

At least - day three

At least they're going to clean their room?
(I asked them to make 'oh-my-gosh-this-is-dirty-faces...)


UPDATE:
This morning, as I sipped my coffee while reading some blogs, the kids started shouting that the police were here. I didn't beleive them until they started arguing about whether or not they should let a policeman in because mom says not to open the door for anyone. I got up and, sure enough, there were two officers at the back (?) door. They asked me about the drug dealers across the way and would I please make 911 calls every time that they deal on our side street. I, of course, agreed. I have to admit that I'm happy that someone is finally taking an interest in the drug houses that appear to be supporting all of the drug habits in king county.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

At least - day two

At least it's half way on?
(and gets a good laugh from the rest of the kids)




*UPDATE
Do you remember this story? Not sure why but the garbage-can-walker-lady got arrested this morning. Took three cop cars to get it done? She was wondering around the neighborhood and it looked like they found her in someone else's backyard... She looked quite happy about the whole thing. I'm still voting crack.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

At least...

At least they'll eat it when they're done??

Saturday, May 31, 2008

fair warning

So last night (started at 10pm) I steam cleaned the couches. The two couches. Uno. Dos. We got them.... three years ago-ish and intelligently spent a bit extra for the microfiber so that almost no stain was a true stain.

Ummm.
Yeah.

Last night I used just plain old hot water and here's what I got:
For those of you considering having a bazillion kids, consider this fair warning. It doesn't matter that no one is allowed to wear shoes in the house, that all food must be eaten over the table, that showers and tooth brushing are a requirement. Dirt, and I mean mega-disgusting-how-did-so-much-get-in-here-dirt, is inevitable. (I considered taking a picture of the junk I sweep up from the kitchen daily but I figured it might be a bit over redundant.)

the kids + my mom at the zoo


On a different note, I would like to officially invite all of you to the service that is being held whenever the weather is good and the pastor and worship leader feel like it. If you would like a fair warning call so that you can attend the five minute service, I hope that you will be within immediate driving distance so you can see how much I love these dang kids... the preaching is fairly pentecostal so I hope you're comfortable with verbal appreciation for the Lord!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

brokenness and disruption

disruption:
–verb (used with object)

1.to cause disorder or turmoil in: The news disrupted their conference.
2.to destroy, usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity of; interrupt: Telephone service was disrupted for hours.
3.to break apart: to disrupt a connection.
–adjective
4.broken apart; disrupted.
(as found on this dictionary)

I read on wikipedia this morning that disruptions are "rarely discussed in public." Like politics and religion? HA! Shall we??



If you don't feel like following my links, disruption is the common term used when adoptive parents (for whatever reason) decide that they don't want the child to be a part of their family anymore. It is a legal process that ensures that the child is no longer the adoptive parents responsibility. Thus the child re-enters (or enters for the first time) the foster care system.

I just learned this morning that no such action/law exists if a family has a child biologically. So.... if we legally promise to care for a child, we can exit that covenant. But if we give birth to a sociopath, no such luck; we're stuck with the responsibility for life.

Is that crazy to anyone else? How is it that we as a society can legally enable people to not see these children that they adopted as their own? We aren't responsible to raise the children that we promised to raise?? I recognize that I'm an individual and that I have a unique family compared to everyone else on the planet. And YET I would never ever hand my bio daughter over to the foster care system. NEVER. The girl could run around with steak knives a flailin' and my mind would not be changed.

So why on earth would it even occur to me to do that to a child that I promised that I would raise? And our laws support this kind of thinking! What on earth is wrong with us humans?

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but did you see the bit about Will Smith talking about how he feels about divorce? "It's not even an option." Why don't we, as adoptive parents feel that way towards our own children? That disruption isn't even an option. And he's a scientologist! And I FULLY understand that there are a MINORITY of children that get adopted that have major issues. And yet, if it was your bio kid, what other option would you have? Legally, there would be none.

Sho' makes me thankful that I have a God (or He's got me, rather) who isn't going to disrupt me from our relationship. I was adopted into that family. "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son." (Eph 1:4-6)

No law can separate me from Him. No one can take that away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

petty

Sometimes I could just SCREAM at the pettiness that people get hyper focused on. Does anyone else see what's going on in the world? Injustice is everywhere and we're whining about silly nonsense.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


I was reading this last night and it sang the tune so much better than I ever could:

"We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self. Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance in his own self-image? It is a great sadness that this is the gospel of the modern world."

Friday, May 16, 2008

a part of someone else's story

It's going to be 90 degrees here today and the kids were SUPER excited to pull out ye ole summer clothes. The talk of warm weather and warm weather activities spurred on a conversation about Liberia over the breakfast table. Lots and lots of memories of the first time they met Husband and I, as well as when they got dropped off at the orphanage.

I exited the scene to get myself ready and remembered when I was in Liberia and, without knowing it ahead of time, dropped two children off at the orphanage. I wondered if I'll forever be a part of their memory of the day that they got dropped off at the orphanage.

On the drive there, their momma talked about music and who her favorite artist was to another Liberian woman in the van. I sat in the back seat thinking that we were just giving the family a ride to their home. My nephew and I traded a few whispers and then, about 10 minutes later, we pulled up to a place that looked SO familiar but I couldn't put my finger on it. I'd never been there but DANG it was familiar. Then it all whooshed into my brain... I had many pictures of my children playing on these steps... this is the orphanage. Why are we at the orphanage?

The mom didn't hug or kiss her children, she just patted their backs as they squeezed out of the door to the van. She stayed seated and watched her children walk across the yard to those familiar steps. It was then that they slipped into the large group of kids leaning over the hand rail, almost blending in. The only way that one could pick them out was to see how everyone but those two beautiful children were laughing and messing around. Those two kids were staring... those two seemed in shock. The son looked at his mom and the daughter into nothingness. The mom, still in the van, says that she thinks her daughter won't look because she doesn't want to cry. It's then that I finally realize that these kids are staying.

The van backs further into the yard so that we can turn around. I watch the mom to make sure that she's okay. She spends a lot of time pretending like she is okay. She glances out the window and gives a half hearted wave to her son. As we pull out of the yard, the van is filled with silence and I wait to see if the mom will look back ... if her and her daughter will make eye contact just one last time. Mom never looks back. But I do. I stare at the girl, with devastation pumping through my thoughts.

The girl looks up, one last time. Red Liberian dust fluffs up between the orphanage and the van.

I wonder if someday she'll be sitting in America wondering who that white woman was over breakfast....

Friday, May 9, 2008

A quickie

not that kinda quickie.

Wanna know how much you're worth as a stay-at-home mom? This website will tell you after you give it a break down of your weekly duties at home as well as your zip. I'm worth $212,894. That's what's up! Now if I could just find someone to write out that paycheck... any takers??

Yesterday Big P, O Dog, and I were dropping off Little P at school. After getting my daily kiss, I say to Little P, "Peace out homeboy," as he climbs out of the van.
Big P then says with a smile, "I'm the homeboy. Little P is the schoolboy."

He thought that was pretty funny. I thought, 'this boy is getting some American wit!'

Monday, April 28, 2008

stockpiling

Rice.
Rice is the center of our diet.

Don't blame it on the Liberians.
When I was 14ish, I moved in with my brother and his family. My SIL is Samoan and so we ate rice with every meal. Breakfast: rice with sugar. Lunch: leftover rice with random leftover topping from last nights dinner. Dinner: rice with random meat/vegetable on top. This is where my love for rice stems from.

Yesterday we went for our bi-monthly trip to Costco where we drop an amazing amount of money on lame things like tuna fish and toothpaste. Went down the rice aisle. No rice. Not a surprise since Costco moves their junk around constantly. So me and another confused customer found an employee and proceeded to ask them where they hid the rice this time.

No rice.
Huh? No rice?
No rice. We've been selling out about 1/2 an hour after we receive a shipment.
Well, then... when's your next shipment?
Dunno. I've heard either Monday or Tuesday.
What time do you open?
10am.

I had heard that organizations like World Vision were only going to be able to feed 2/3 of the people that they normally do because of a rice shortage, which of course means that a considerable amount of people will be dying of, and/or fending off, starvation. One point five million people, to be exact. With zeros, it looks like 1,500,000 people. That's 3 times the number of the entire population of Seattle.

Curious as to who is having such a major drought that might cause this world shortage, I perused the internet. First I saw that Australia wasn't aiming it's small water reserves towards rice, rather towards grapes. More money it them, apparently. But then I saw that there isn't actually a rice shortage!?!

So people are going to die and because...??





*update: we went to safeway this afternoon and scored the LAST bag of rice in the whole store.

Friday, April 25, 2008

zip it

So lately I've been trying to be more attentive (and therefor cautious) with my mouth.

I like to let people know when they're taking advantage of someone weaker, acting rude, impolite, insolent, out of line, that kinda thing. For obvious reasons, this isn't always okay, hardly ever appropriate. So, I'm working on it.

And I had a really good week until today.
I just wasn't thinking.
It's some subconscious thing that I just slip into without even giving it a second thought. hehe oops.
So it all started when I was being rather polite while driving today.
You get a 50/50 chance of me being nice while driving so I figure that it's a bono for the person who is on the receiving end of my hardwork.
This dude was trying to take a left out of a gas station on a busy two lane road. So I stop leaving ample room, allowing dude to take his otherwise impossible left turn. He's got his hat all tilted to the side, he's leanin back in his seat with just one hand up on the top of the steering wheel, swearin he's hard. He pulls outta the gas station with his window down and doesn't even cast a glance at the kind person who enabled him to drive in a forward motion that would be me. So, since my window was down, I figured that he might need to be reminded to use his manners when people act kindly towards him. As his window passed my window, it went something like this:

"YOU'RE WELCOME!!!" I shouted at him, as ugly and sarcastic as I could make my voice. As soon as it popped out, I knew that I shouldn't have. His behavior wasn't going to change because I yelled at him. He was probably just thinking, 'That's right you @$#%$%&,' as he went on his hardcore way.

It's so dang tempting for me to want to verbally right what I see as other peoples wrongs. But mostly, I want for them to know that I'm no naive little white girl that they can just walk all over. And for some strange reason, Jesus just won't let me alone on this one. He keeps reminding me that my job isn't to out-ghetto rude people. My job is to submit to the high King Himself.

Why is this one so hard for me to release? Why is it so hard to submit to others even when they're wrong? To let them think that I might agree with them or that I might be too much of a weiny to stick up to them... this is a rough one for me. It's rough to just be still and wait for God's command.

(jacked this from Danielle)

ONE Word

YOU CAN ONLY TYPE ONE WORD!

Not as easy as you might think. Now copy , change the answers to suit you and post it.
It's really hard to only use one word answers.


1. Where is your cell phone? good question...

2. Your significant other? Husband

3.Your hair? irritating

4. Your mother? working
5. Your father? fishing
6. Your favorite thing? coffee
7. Your dream last night? weird
8. Your favorite drink? COFFEE
9. Your dream/goal? satisfaction
10. The Room you are in? mine
11. Your hobby? coffee

12. Your fear? stupidity
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? dunno
14. Where were you last night? here
15. What you're not? there
16. Muffins? barf

17. One of your wish list items? books
18. Where you grew up? TUK T-OW-N

19. The last thing you did? debate
20. What are you wearing? jeans
21. Your TV? dusty
22. Your pets? hairy
23. Your computer? okeedokee
24. Your life? ---slowmo
25. Your mood? --- lackadaisical
26. Missing someone? ---
no
27. Your car? dirty
28. Something you're not wearing? stilletos
29. Favorite store? bookstore
30. Your summer? rainy
31. Like someone? yes
32. Your favorite color? aqua
33. When is the last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? tuesday?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

sometimes it's good

Big P's epilepsy is a tougher issue that I had originally assumed (that would be before we adopted him)... the meds make him slow down mentally. Now try homeschooling him. Now try homeschooling him in hopes that he'll be fully caught up by the time that he should be in high school. Yeah, most days I feel like throwing my head up against the wall over and over and over.

But sometimes it's good.

He was having break through seizures while on his meds so the neurologist ordered up some blood tests and another EEG. The orders for the EEG were to keep him awake until midnight and wake him up at 4am (not sleeping greatly increases the chance of seizures). That was Monday night. I was so pooped that day that I wasn't sure I wouldn't fall asleep in the EEG room. Anyway, he didn't have a seizure, which means that the meds are actually working! Ta da!

Sometimes it's really good.

Friday, April 18, 2008

for Ashley

my favorite sign in all of Liberia:
and proof that Akon was loved before he was mauled (hehe):

the nice game

I'm not sure when we started playing 'the nice game' but boy I'm glad we did.

As a mom of six it seems like a complaining heart spreads more quickly than the flu around here. If I don't catch it, I prompt the family to play.


RULES:

  • Everyone must say something nice to each person once.
  • It is your turn promptly after someone has said something nice about you.
  • You MUST give specific examples - no saying, 'I like Sue because she's nice.' Something more along the lines of, 'Yesterday when Sue and I were playing outside, and I got hurt on the slide, she came and gave me a hug. I really appreciated that.'
  • You MUST not take too long in coming up with something nice to say about someone. If it takes you too long, that no longer appears nice and defeats the purpose of the game.

What makes this game so cool:
  • It's free. That's cool.
  • It helps the kids to learn to be attentive about others kindness OUTSIDE of the game
  • It changes the entire atmosphere of the house. Everyone is always giddy after hearing and giving compliments.
  • It changes perspective. Falling into the nag-trap is so easy. This is one of the few things that I've found can guarantee to pull all of us out.

Why on earth am I posting this?
  • I have to play 'the nice game' all the time in my own head with people who I get ANGRY at
  • I had to do this today
  • It helped (along with prayer) to get my mind out of the if-only-you-would-listen-to-me- then-your-life-would-be-better-because-you're-obviously-not-doing-a-very-good-job-zone
  • That happens to me a lot
  • Getting into that zone, I mean
  • It's not a good place to be
  • Wanna play the game with me?

Monday, April 14, 2008

mother's day

I got an email today, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to not only think in advance, but to help out a wonderful cause.

Allow me to introduce you to AHope. It's an orphanage that houses children with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. They not only do an amazing job loving and caring for children, but they also treat them with expensive ARVs. AHope has a lot of wonderful programs that help to educate the community, adopt out HIV/AIDS orphans to loving and knowledgeable families, as well as a program that is working on keeping families, inflicted with this disease, together.

For this Mother's Day, they are offering BEAUTIFUL card (see below, there won't be any watermarks on your card though) for a minimum donation of $25 towards AHope. Please consider making a difference while reminding your mom how much that she matters.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Turning 7



Happy Birthday, Little P. I hope that you know how much that we love your silly laugh and your goofy demeanor around the house. Happy 7th little man.


(the best part of this birthday is telling complete strangers that I have 4 seven year old kids... hehehehe)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First official family photo

I hate timed photos. Like this one. See me? I'm checking to make sure that the timer is going to go off and probably saying something that doesn't need to be said...

Had I been behind the camera, I would've told Big P and little P to smile. I would've told myself that my neck looks like skeletor so please relax a bit and smile naturally for goodness sake. I would've told Miss F not to block Miss Z by doing that thing that little girls do. You know what I mean? That bending the head into the shoulders thing. I also would've noticed the small garbage-y paper things below the couch. How long has it been since someone swept under there?? Gross. I would've turned on the anti-red-eye thingy because, as you can see, a couple of us are plagued with photo-red-eye.

But I wasn't, so this is as good as it gets for now ;)



(here were the other options)

P.S. Why didn't someone tell me to put on some lipgloss!?!

Friday, March 21, 2008

good morning!

This is a normal weekday morning at our house... well, semi normal because when they saw me get the camera out they all wanted to be on ;) I swear, though, that the dance party happens whenever the music gets turned on...



So good morning from us!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

all night long

So last night I was in my bed ALL NIGHT LONG! Isn't that wonderful?? I met a mom there at the hospital (we were near the NICU) and she had been there for 6 months... can you imagine?? What would become of the rest of your family? Your marriage? Your kids? Your sense of normalcy?

I don't have anything thrilling to write today but I felt like I owed you all an update.

It'll be interesting to see what big P is like once he isn't in pain. I wonder if he's more playful, more gentle, happier...

Monday, March 17, 2008

..hospital times..

Where have I been? The hospital baby! GOOD TIMES! Miss Brasil is referring to it as a vacation. My question is, who doesn't want to sleep in a chair (see it?) in ugly Tacoma!?!So, here's the quick update before I ditch my five with me brova and head on back to the hospital. Went in to the ER on Saturday night (at children's hospital #2) and they legally had to let us in the door. The large infection under his arm (internal) was heading down his outer arm and I was tired of all the red tape.

Highlights of our stay:
-Yes he has epilepsy
-The bumps AREN'T tumors!! They're staff infections and totally treatable!
-So far has had one surgery and we're hoping that's the final one..


...more later....

Friday, March 14, 2008

too much talkie

If you know me, you know that one of my weaknesses is what comes outta my mouth. Often times I don't necessarily think before things fly out. Not sure why, but this problem has gotten worse ever since I got back home.

Example:
Yesterday we went to our scheduled appointment for Big P (at the surgeon, children's hospital #2) yesterday and the girl at the front desk wouldn't even let him in to see the doctor. Why? Because she wanted to see Big P's PASSPORT.

That's right.
Doesn't that make perfect sense?
I mean EVERY TIME that I take my children to see the doctor, I ALWAYS get asked to show their INTERNATIONAL picture ID.
Don't you?

"It's too bad that you noticed my kids are black."
(receptionist stands up)
"It's not that! We just -"
"That's fine. When can I schedule another appointment?"
(receptionist sits down and begins typing on her keyboard)

...Sure. I feel bad now. And little did that receptionist know that she's not the first person (or business) to ask me for WEIRD things upon seeing that my child/children's skin is darker than mine. Cone to think of it, Children's (1st hospital) did too... but at least they only asked for adoption paperwork. That's a little less obvious.

But COME ON FOLKS. Don't tell me that if I was AA or my kids were all pale that it would even occur to you that I might be bringing in some strange child off of the street and trying to give them health care off of our insurance...??? Honestly. The whole thing is bizarre.

Maybe we shoulda adopted from Russia!?!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

..ahh.. health care

So, I'm avidly against socialized health care - just so we're straight on that.

We're having a difficult enough time getting health care NOW for Big P and we have the best insurance, as well as close access to 2 different children's hospitals, on the planet. My little brother and I will go in circles on this one so I'll just stick to what's going on with Big P and leave the style of health care issue behind us.

So I've been making roughly 3-7 daily phone calls to children's hospital since Big P and I got home. He has large growths in a few places that are painful for him, as well as having "episodes" (I'm pretty sure they're seizures but not positive). Now, if I were a health care provider and someone walked in with an 11 yr old newly adopted child with major health issues, I would roll out the welcome mat and offer to help them with anything they need. In the least, someone could at least answer my questions about how to deal with a child who has "episodes" while he's having them. Is anyone in a hurry to help me? That would be a no.

Quite the contrary. So, fed up with watching our son live in constant pain, my husband carried him for a visit to our local ER. For a quick $25 (our ER co-pay) the doc performed a biopsy, a CAT scan, and got us an appointment for tomorrow at a different children's hospital (mary bridge) for surgery. So this morning I called the new hospital to see if Big P should not eat before his set appointment.
"Why shouldn't he?"
"Well... I am under the understanding that one shouldn't eat before surgery...."
"Surgery?"
"...Right?"
"Uh... looks to me like the doc wants to see him before he makes any decisions."
"Even though the ER docs diagnosed him, biopsied him, and CAT scanned him last night?"
"I'm not the doc, ma'am. I'm just the scheduler."

I hung up the phone and tried to remind myself (as I have been trying to lately) that it's all in God's hands. I can do what I can do but regardless of what I do, it's all in God's hands.

Shortly thereafter, children's hospital (the 1st one) calls and says that no one has reviewed Big P's MRI yet but someone will eventually. Right now they're deciding at what meeting his case should be presented. Then, the docs will talk about the MRI and decide what to do from there.

God's got Big P since before the beginning of time. Before I ever laid eyes on him, before his biological parents considered his conception, before any of these docs was ever born. It was so easy for me to set Big P into God's care when he and I were in Liberia. After all, Liberia couldn't do anything for him so I didn't bother placing any hopes or expectations into their health care system. Rather, I hoped in America's. I hoped in God's choice of placing me in the US. I hoped that God was using that citizenship to bring Big P into our care, and thus our health care system. I expected that the docs here would quickly want to help us figure out how to discontinue my sons chronic pain and "episodes." I, mistakenly, hoped in the wrong thing.

So, once more, I put my trust in God as a last resort. I've got to quit doing this. Why isn't He my first option?

All that I know for sure is that this boy is God's child. God's got it.