Friday, May 30, 2014

The Queen has spoken

Round 2!

Anna and Elsa are joining forces to get Brett home. Who dares to argue with the Queen? You know she can turn you into a Popsicle .. so....just hand over all your money. It is the safest option at this point.
For those of you just joining us we are still working to get Brett funded so his family can commit and bring him home! I will not rest until that happens. . .

The  party  was started with Elsa! Sweet Toddler Elsa! And Jessica Cooper won this just for sharing the giveaway. . .so SHARING IS CARING! And can be very profitable!

Today starts the next round. Up for grabs. . .the cutest sisters. Sing it with me. .. "Sisters. Sisters. There were never such devoted sisters. . . ."

 That's right folks! Two for the price of one!


To bring these sisters to your home. . AND help Brett get to his, here is what you have to do:


$5 = 1 entry
$10 = 2 entries
$20 = 6 entries


Sharing on facebook or twitter will get you an entry as well. One entry per day for sharing.

I will draw a name when we have had 175 entries.

Remember, you must comment here or on my facebook post with your name and entry to be counted.

The following dolls will also be available in the following days/weeks. I am doing this one at a time.

Disney Frozen Deluxe Toddler Elsa and Anna Dolls

Disney Frozen Sparkle Princess Elsa Doll (((I have 2 of these))

I THANK YOU!! Brett thanks you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Doll Babies for a Doll Baby!

Okay, so I posted about sweet Brett on Monday. Let's all take a moment to appreciate his cuteness! Aw..

Now, let's get down to bidness. We need to raise some money for his adoption. He NEEDS to be adopted!

SO.....I have Frozen Dolls.

You want them. You know you do! So I will be hosting giveaways to benefit Brett and to give you the chance to get these dolls! Kind of me, eh?

I am starting this party with Elsa! Sweet Toddler Elsa!
Here's how to get them for CHEAP and benefit a sweet boy! Donate $5, $10, $20 or more into Brett's Grant HERE and then post a comment on the Facebook post or on here. Share, share, share for an additional entry every day!

$5 = 1 entry
$10 = 2 entries
$20 = 6 entries.

Sharing on facebook or twitter will get you an entry as well. One entry per day for sharing.

I will draw a name when we have had 175 entries.

Remember, you must comment here or on my facebook post with your name and entry to be counted.

The following dolls will also be available in the following days/weeks. I am doing this one at a time.

I THANK YOU!! Brett thanks you!

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Heroic Act

Memorial Day.
Today we honor those that sacrificed all for our freedoms. Fighting for the rights that we so often take for granted.



The pursuit of happiness.

We honor heroes that have fallen to protect all that they believe in and hold dear.

I am deeply grateful today as I should be every day.

I am not having a BBQ today.

I am not out camping.

I am here, about to ask all of you to do something heroic on this Memorial Day.  Begging with faith, really because I know many of you ARE heroes already.

See, there is a little boy, a world away that cannot fathom many of the freedoms that we take for granted every day. A little boy that has waited 5 years for his family to come and love him. To show him just how precious he is.

And he is PRECIOUS!
Meet Brett. Happy sigh. Isn't he lovely?
An adoptive family saw him just last month and said:
We saw Brett often. He is in a groupa with younger children who have minor or no special needs. He gets around with a walker and some help from a nanny. We would often see a nanny working with him one on one practicing walking. I think with the medical care available in the US he could probably get around on his own very well one day. He was included in the same activities as the rest of the children. When the groupa went for a walk he would ride in a big stroller and a nanny even helped him dance during a children's show. He smiled and waved when he saw us and tried to talk with us in his language.
Look at him go!

This little boy just glows. I have long wanted to adopt him myself. I have watched him grow and glow in pictures, praying that someone sees his worth! His life has not been an easy one. And yet his smile lights up his face. Despite his condition he is learning to walk. He is eager to speak and learn. He desperately deserves a family.

And there IS A FAMILY! (Jumping for joy!)  An awesome family experienced with CP and adoption. A family that is well equipped to provide for this incredible child.

A family that would love to add him to their pending adoption but the funds are not there.


Money is all that stands between Brett and Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A FAMILY!

$6000. That is all. If we can heroically raise 6k Brett will have a future. He will have a family that will see to it that he has everything he needs and more than enough love. Donations are tax deductible and will literally save a life.

Will we let 6k stand in the way of that??

Let's not. WE CAN BE HEROES for this family and this little boy!

Here is the low down: If we can raise the additional 6k needed, the AWESOME family will commit and bring him home. They have already been submitted so travel could come as quickly as 3 weeks. I will be having some fun giveaways and auctions to raise money in the following week. Please donate! Please share this post. Let's make this happen!


Guardian AngelBrett 2013 (1)Boy, born September 2007
Brett is a handsome young man who was born with CP.  He is very smart, he gets around on his own by crawling, but he is not able to walk.  Therapy will do wonders for him!   He deserves to have a family!
From a volunteer who knows him:   He plays with other children. He speaks with separate words. He understands the addressed speech. The boy is curious, likes classes. He loves when his nurse reads for him, he likes making pyramids.
Brett 2013
Update December 2012:Brett is very smart and curious. He has some learning and language delays associated with institutional life, but he does speak in complete phrases around people he trusts. He enjoys cars, coloring, and games. He got very excited when we showed him pictures of dogs and other animals, so he might do well with pets.
A family considering adopting him should be prepared to deal with some institutional behaviors and traumas. This is the area where Brett might need the most assistance in understanding rules, family, and nurturing relationships.His physical disability limits his lower body, specifically his legs and feet, but he is very strong in the upper body and crawls very quickly.  He is a very active kid who needs some physical therapy, appropriate equipment, and perhaps braces to get where he needs to for walking. He is able to pull himself to standing. The orphanage has worked with him on potty training and he seems to be doing well with it.

More photos available, married couples only.

$7,635.30 has been donated towards the cost of my adoption!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Perfect Marriage

I am gonna get real now.

Marriage. It kicks my butt. On a daily basis. I think it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Why? I watch Lifetime Movies, the Hallmark Channel, loads of Hollywood romances at their finest. Sure those couples have their trials and their disagreements but they never stop flirting (or looking perfect.) They still make googly-eyes at each other. And it always works out. They stick together. They work as a team. Men say all the right things. They are sentimental and talk about their feelings. They manage to laugh about things that irritate the crap out of me.

And yet, Hollywood has a dark double standard. If someone cheats. . .. then it is over. If you cannot find happiness in your partner; then walk away. No harm, no foul. You see it happen almost daily. Hollywood couples divorce all the time for "irreconcilable differences." What does that really mean? My husband, after 7 years still cannot seem to get his dishes into the dishwasher. Or replace a toilet roll. Are those irreconcilable differences? Because sometimes the culmination of all the little irritants in my day make me want to play in traffic.

It sounds so petty as I type it. And admittedly it is. But that is the way it is. Perhaps the way I am. I have discovered when living with someone, the romance quickly dies and it just as quickly replaced with everything that they do wrong. The list is endless. I spend my days trying to get along. Isn't that romantic?

It is. I think that IS marriage. Choosing to love someone that is as perfectly imperfect as yourself. Committing yourself to getting along when it seems that there is nothing left to give. When the "irreconcilable differences" seem to overwhelm everything else. THAT is romantic!

I was spending a quiet evening alone last night watching The Vow. Sigh . ..Channing Tatum. There he is saying everything that girls want to hear and looking good doing it. The perfect mix of brawn and sensitivity. Standing strong for his lady, fighting for his marriage. I am beginning to believe that a man that loves children and fights for his marriage. . .well, nothing is sexier.
Photo credit: discutivo via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

At one point in the film the daughter confronts her mother about her father's infidelity. She demands an explanation for why her mother didn't leave. "How could you stay?" It is unthinkable! Any self respecting woman would be gone. In a heartbeat.

Her Mom sets her straight and slaps me upside the head with something every wife needs to hear.
"I chose to stay with him for all the things that he had done right,and not to leave for the one thing that he done wrong.I chose to forgive him."

Pow. Hollywood got it right. Forgiveness is key. A vow IS a vow. It is not a maybe we will stay together if you do what I want. Marriage is about staying the course. Letting go of expectations and accepting your spouse as they are. Letting go of petty annoyances. Those are so easy to hold on to and can cloud the sunniest day.

Choose your bliss. CHOOSE IT! Do not expect it to smack you in the face everyday. Happiness is your responsibility. Another person cannot make you happy. They cannot make you stay. Marriage is not something that happens to you. It is something you build together. Despite differences. Despite annoyances. Despite the fact that neither one of you look your best anymore. Despite the fact that it is SO MUCH WORK.

Change your perspective. Focus on what is good. I really don't know how to do this. ..but when I figure that out, I will totally share!

Marriage works when  you WORK. 

Ladies, let's get to work!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The itsy bitsy wish

If I had one wish it would be for prayers to work like alcohol.
Perhaps you anticipate a nice cold one at the end of a long day. Start murmuring your first prayer and the warmth spreads. One or two prayers under your belt and you re instantly more confident. Your cares are far behind. Your dancing skills are now off the charts. You smile a little easier. Your spouse/boyfriend/significant other is already more charming and palatable. Pow. Just like that. Your decisions are infinitely smarter and easier to make. The power of prayer. I would totally be a prayer-a-holic.

Yes, I totally see the epic flaws in the wish above. If I had one wish I would clarify that it would work like alcohol when alcohol works. Not when it bloats your belly to a painful level. Not when it fuels your anger and gives you gas. You know. . .fun alcohol. Not messy alcohol.

Oh, more flaws. It's a silly wish, I guess. Prayer works. I swear by it. ...most of the time. Sadly, God tends to do what is best for me instead of what I want. Hard to believe, eh?

I am praying desperately that our house sells. Magically. Without me having to uproot my kids; upset our schedule and morph into a screaming banshee ever again. Selling a house with 3 littles at home is no joke. To my chitlins, it means empty that bottle of hand soap on your brother's head while he is sitting on the toilet. . . .

Over our night prayers, Eli pointed to the ceiling and whimpered. "Mom, please let that fly outside. Now. Please Mom!' He was squirming and I was struggling to bite my tongue and stop my eyes from rolling. The kid would love to have a T-rex as a pet but he is afraid of flies. Mmhm. Just the idea of a fly on our ceiling completely derails Eli. He cannot look away, lest the fly move. Terrifying.

I stood up and saw that it was carnage. The beautiful remnants of a misguided spider that once tried to cross my living room ceiling. Standing as a warning to all other spiders that might make the same mistake.
And yet, Eli could not tear his eyes away from the ceiling. Convinced that it was still a fly.

We got through our prayers but barely. . .

Speaking of Eli. We went to his first recital for Pre-school today. Oh, MYLANTA. The cuteness was unbearable. Singing and sign language. Baby unicorns are not as cute as kids singing and signing. Seriously.
Evan was beside himself wanting to get up on stage and perform for us all as well. This is good since half way through his performance Eli decided that singing and dancing needed to take a back seat to finding his pants pockets and sticking his hands into those newly discovered pockets and staring blankly into the crowd.

Regardless, it was still the cutest think I think I have ever seen.

I cannot find that spider.
The carnage is gone.
It is gone.
How is that possible?
I cant find it.

Um. . .need to go and toss back a few prayers. Drown my spider related fears in a nice tall glass of prayer and hit the sack.

Bottoms up!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's Ombre, Hombre!

Ombre. All the rage. When my hair looked like this, I either shrugged and went on my merry way or I scheduled an appointment to fix it. Granted, the color fade happened a little higher on my head for a while, but the concept was the same. Now people are paying to have their hair look like this. The Kardashians are championing it..  so it must be. . .uh. . .good?
Photo credit: adrants via / CC BY-NC-SA

I am a do it yourself kind of person. My husband is a pay anyone else to do it kind of person. I am starting to see value in my husband's eagerness to avoid DIY at all cost.

When I bought this house I loved it. It was chock full of opportunities. I could really make it my own. I loved the projects! I painted and tore down walls. I laid new flooring and added my own touches. I really felt pride in my house.

Then I had Eli.

Projects became a little more frustrating. I started many, many projects and finished a few of them. If I let things slide, I was still able to make an impact and tackle a project or two.

Now we are looking to sell this lovely house and as I look around I am surrounded by all the half finished projects that I thought I could tackle after I had Eli. With the addition of 2 more boys. . .well tackling laundry is project enough. The definition of "home improvement" changed to keeping the boys from tearing the house apart.

With three kids. . .projects are a lesson in frustration. For all involved.

I decided to go for it anyways. One project I had started when Eli was small enough to be content in his jumparoo outside was the fence. It wasn't that I ran out of time or steam. . .I ran out of stain. The death knell for any project. . .running out of something. I can keep staining but I CANNOT make another run to home depot and THEN finish. Somehow that extra step derails me.

And so for 2 years our fence looked like this:

Clearly that would be noticeable to prospective home buyers. I must finally correct this.

So I loaded up my feral boys and took them to the DEPOT. And I bought stain. Surely I looked to make sure that it would match the already existing stain. Surely. . .but I DID have the boys with me.

And it was not a perfect match but since I was going to clean the whole back fence it should be fine.

So I scrub and scrub that old fence. Every free moment I am out there scrubbing and finally the rain lets up enough for me to stain the fence.

One epic day of paint-the-fence. Perhaps my arms would once again regain the thin Ralph Macchio-esqueness of my youth.

Here is how it went:

One child at school. running like a Tasmanian devil outside ...ready, set and stain stain stain!

I get half done. My arms feel like over-cooked spagetti. The portion I have done looks uniformly dark. SCORE!

Stop to get child from school.. .arrange lunch and nap time. Whack a mole.

I earn about 20 minutes to continue staining and I stain in hyper speed. With my spagetti arms.

The boys wake up but Pookie is still sleeping. I cannot be in two places at once and if I let the boys outside, they would likely pretend they are birds...bathing in the open stain can. I force them to be inside until Pookie gets up. Funny story, the boys were SO happy about this that Pookie was woken up by their squeals of delight in under 2 minutes.

Herd the boys outside. Mama commences with staining. ..there is just a little bit left. Pookie is in her left arm. . .staining pad in her right.





I clean up and let the boys terrorize the back yard and themselves.

I watch Eli pee on. the. fence.

And then I see it.

The stain.




In fact it appears orange.
red to brownish to orange. All in a day's work.


Who stains a fence orange? Hmm....mamas that cannot pick out the right color because their crazy children make it hard to think at Home Depot.

Is it any better than the before picture?

I should have shaken the can of stain after each break. It appears the stain settled quickly....DOH.

Hello prospective home buyer! Look at this wonderfully fashionable fence! It's ombre hombre. Sadly, no stain job would hide our neighbor's awesome window paint statement.

This house is gonna sell itself.

Because it's gonna have to.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sitting and Typing

I am back! I have been horribly remiss in posting my Quick Takes. I just plopped my butt down on the couch and here I will sit until I can click post. Eli informed me that I look weird. Awesome. Sadly, my mind is a bit blank. I fear that sitting and typing is harder than it sounded when I committed myself to this endeavor. Sitting down is a silent notice for the boys to start hitting each other, growling and screeching, needing a snack, jumping off the couch or other craziness. But I have committed myself! your worst.
Just kidding.
Please don't!

I have spent the past month packing and culling and fretting and packing. We are attempting to sell our house. Why would we ever attempt this with 3 kiddos under 5? Because we are bat poop crazy. My husband travels a TON so really. . .this mama is wrangling her wild animal children, packing and fixing her little heart out. So, yes Eli. . .I do look weird. .. with good reason!

Pookie Pants is pulling himself up on everything. The coffee table. The couch. His crib railing. Sometimes on his brothers. He cannot stand enough but with all that practice he hasn't yet mastered getting back down. So, 3 million times a day he pulls himself up on something and two minutes later comes the ear splitting scream of a child being tortured. Simply because he cannot get down. Uh Oh. He is looking at me with THE LOOK whilst in the jumparoo. This will likely mean a full blow out. Call the authorities. Mama said she is not getting up until she pushes publish. Who knew that could be so difficult.
Eli just ran by saying "Um, Mom. I smell something. What do I smell?" Shall I send him hunting for the source?
Back in January I was on a wee roadtrip with Evan and I was searching for a cd to entertain both of us. I was DONE with the Veggie Tales cd that had been on repeat in my car for far too long. Evan chimed in when he saw the dark blue case of Italian music. Random. We laughed for the remainder of our trip and this became a fast favorite. This got me thinking what other of my faves will work with the kids. I got some more Dean Martin, a little Buddy Holly, Adele. They like them all and listening to them sing these songs makes my day but I quickly tired of all of them. So...the other night when the natives were restless and Mama was fighting the urge for wine. . .I popped in a little John Denver. The boys LOVED it but thought it needed a little more shovel and a little less pants.

I am in the trenches of parenting. Packing. Raising. Keeping  my sanity. I am rarely able to get online to keep up with the awesome people I have met there. Phone calls are a luxury. Getting a blog written and published. .. even if it is gibberish is an AWESOME accomplishment.
My new digs. .. so open and airy!

Diaper duty is calling my name. Eli found the source.  It was as I feared. A full body effort. Saint JP2 pray for me and my family!
Photo credit: Lawrence OP via / CC BY-NC-ND
Happy Friday everyone!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!