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New Year!

New Year’s Eve.

How do you celebrate? Do you party like a rock star? Stay home and snuggle in to watch the ball drop? Stay home and sleep while the world celebrates?

I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions per se. Well not the kind like I am going to lose 423 pounds this year. Or I am going to eat cabbage every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No not those kind. I still like to set goals for myself. Things like I am going to take better care of me this year. Or I am going to try harder to be more patient with my kids. Things like that, to me, are not so much resolutions as self-care.

In evaluating how I can better take care of me I am trying to eliminate things that drain my energy. No I am not voting any of my children off our family island – although one in particular really really drains my energy! I don’t want to be a slave to doing something that I don’t love. Unfortunately, the first thing that came to mind was blogging. Gosh, it’s kind of weird to say that. I never thought I would feel like it was a chore – I have always really loved writing and blogging was my outlet. I have been blogging now for four years. I started over here at Bringing Home Kobe in 2007 to chronicle our adoption journey. I totally thought I was ahead of the game and was the only person on the planet who would think to blog about their adoption. The 457 million (give or take) other adoption blogs I used to read daily prove, I was not and am not ahead of any game. When it was time to bring Kobe home  we suddenly, one week later, found ourselves parents to not just Kobe but two other kids. The two other kids were our niece and nephew and they were in foster care with us. We had failed several times at trying to gain custody of our nephew pretty much from his birth so we were cautious and rightfully so. I blogged privately for several months. My close friends knew about the two other additions to our family but the general blog reading public did not know. Then finally, I opened up my private blog and eventually moved over here to word press and home of Our Fab Five. Some of the random blog reading public was confused. I had many questions and confusion about our sudden family growth. It was kind of funny actually.

Not too long ago someone said to me that ‘they’ sometimes laugh at us and how we adopted three kids at once. I know my response was uncensored because I feel like I have to laugh at myself sometimes. But it kind of hurts because I wonder if we are those people who have no idea what we are doing as parents, that people just kind of point and laugh at the weird circus family. I feel like we live a one ring tiny isolated circus. There is no beating around the bush two of our kids have major needs. Major Major Major needs. Would I do it again with these two -abso-freakin’-lutely- I love my kids. Would I do it again knowing what I know now? No. It is not ok to me that a mother (and father) can give birth to child after child and then neglect them. Hurt them. Abuse them. Emotionally abandon them. It is not ok to me. There is nothing that lights a fire in me more than watching a person do this over and over and over. I am left, we are left – to pick up the broken pieces and mend them together again. Some things cannot be fixed. Nobody can fix the way a brain is hardwired from so much neglect and abandonment at birth. It is not ok to enable another to hurt children over and over and over. It is not ok! These are human lives at stake.

By nature I am an honest person, to a fault. I don’t really hide things or beat around the bush. It’s just not me. Love it or hate it, take me or leave me. Something I have learned through this journey, especially the part with blogging and being open to criticism, is not to judge others. Nobody knows the pain we endure behind closed doors. Everyone has an opinion. We have lost some of our greatest friends because of this strange parenting journey we are on. But we have also been encouraged by our true friends. The ones who stick by us and give us a pat on the back when things are going well and who will cheer us on when things are not going so well. Having true friends who will stick with you through thick and thin is really the greatest thing of all.

So for this New Year I want to be a more loving and giving person. To judge others less. To take care of myself more. To be patient and kind when I would rather be snappy and rude. I want to focus on my relationships with my kids and husband. I want to make sure I nurture my kids while they are little. I want to use my precious me time for things I love.

Maybe I will miss blogging so much I will come back. Maybe I will keep this blog or maybe I will start a new one. It could be public or private or non-existent. I have no idea.  I will leave you with this sweet little quote from my all time favorite poet and poem.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert FrostThe Road Not Taken


Jaylean Rae Is A Superstar

You read that right. Jaylean Rae is my little superstar princess. She is doing amazing. She is doing awesome. She is doing fantastic. She has not had an excessive meltdown in over a week. Probably the longest she has gone at home since the honeymoon phase. Her eyes are brighter. She is happier. She is cooperative. She is a joy to be around. It appears that her moods may be more organized and cyclical pointing toward Bipolar or it could be that she is really working very hard on her anger and emotions and doing her very best to accept our love and our help. Or there is no answer for it. We are enjoying the ride while it lasts. We are proud of her.

We are enjoying her. We always love her but right now she is easier to love. She is so important to us. It makes my heart swell to see her happy. To give her a good night kiss that she wants and to hear her say she loves me. To feel her hug where she wraps her arms around my neck and really squeezes. Delightful. It’s like eating dessert before dinner – it’s that good. We as a family have so much more energy and fun without having to fight battles every night with her. We as a family are doing better. Right at this moment I feel like we are all going to be ok. I need this moment. I need to feel ok. I need to feel love for my daughter and feel my own attachment to my daughter. Attachment is a two way street and I would be lying if I said it was only her lack of attachment that is the problem. It’s as much MY lack of attachment to her as it is HER lack of attachment to me. We struggle, she and I. Not a mother daughter struggle but a true relational struggle. It’s painful for me to love on her and hug on her. It comes naturally for me with the boys, I don’t know why. With her it is hard. She needs love and deserves love and sometimes I have to pull up my big girl panties and let them snap, and I have to hug Jaylean when I don’t want to hug her and I need to say “I love you” when I don’t want to say “I love you” – sometimes I just have to do it. Even when I get kicked, spit at, and hit in return. But right now we are good. We are well. We are healthy. We are loving. We feel normal. I am so proud of her. I am so proud of me. I am so proud of Nate and the boys. I am proud of our family.

At this moment, I can say, Jaylean Rae is going to be alright. I hope it sticks.

GIVEAWAY! Book Review: MomSense

The following is my review of MomSense. I was provided two copies of this book by MOPS – one to keep and one to giveaway. I prefer to do my reading on my Kindle so now that I have read the book I am going to give both away! Yay! I have two copies of MomSense by Jean Blackmer to giveaway to two lucky winners. The contest will end on Wednesday November 9th at 3pm Mountain Time and the winners will be drawn at random by Kobe. {Wow that is, like, really official sounding} I also reviewed the book on Amazon. Now for the rules. To enter you must leave a comment on this post. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. On your marks, get set, GO!

MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering

MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering by Jean Blackmer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a good read especially for moms who are feeling alone or isolated. The book does a good job of providing examples of parenting and the lessons that a mom can learn through other moms who are just like her. I did feel like the book was one example after another and that it didn’t really get into something super substantial like I hoped it would. I did learn a lot from the patience chapter. I am severely lacking in the patience department and I really need to work on that. There were some good ideas to help me with that so it was by far my favorite part of the book.

I think this book would be beneficial for new-ish moms, moms of very small children, and moms who are just feeling overwhelmed. I do not think this book is idea for moms who are experienced or deal with childhood trauma because the problems in the book are fairly trivial in comparison to holes in the walls and door and massive property destruction because “mom read one story instead of two”.

Overall, I would recommend this book to my friends. It is a light, easy read that is well-organized. It doesn’t get into heavy-duty parenting like so many of us have to deal with on a daily basis and it provides some fresh ideas for those of us struggling personally in some of the basic parenting skills departments.

View all my reviews