Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm not getting old - or am I???

We had a family Christmas party tonight. I was talking to my cousin's son's girlfriend. She is the ripe 'ol age of 19.

She said to me: "Oh my gosh, you look just like Emily. Do you know which one she is? She is the 22 year old girlfriend of (my other cousin's son). She has on a red shirt just like you, I mean you guys look exactly alike."

Me: "Really? Do you think?"

Her: "Yeah, I mean exactly!"

I'm thinking - wow, I must look pretty good for 37 if I look just like a 22 year old.

Then she added: "Yeah, I mean, you could totally be her mom!"

WHAT?!?!?! Her MOM!?!? Oh. Good. Grief.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Certainly not slump medicine!

There is something about the sunshine that always helps my mood. When the sun shines, so do I.

So imagine my mood when I woke up to this today.

A beautiful view out my front door, don't you think? Not! (I haven't said "not" like that since high school. It is kind of refreshing! HA!)

And it hasn't stopped all day. I mean - All. Day. Tomorrow morning I completely expect to have at least double what we had this morning.

I could totally be a Florida girl. I've had enough of this nonsense over the last 37 years that I can honestly say I'm over it. There was nothing fun about shoveling the driveway today. And for what??? It's completely covered again. Oh sure, the kids had fun rolling around in it (school was cancelled today). But they could roll around on white sand beaches instead :)

So much for getting out of my slump. ha.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bring on that corner!

I've been in a bit of a slump lately. I hate slumps. They seem to be so easy to slip into - but quite difficult to climb out of. I've had a lot of stress lately - and my breaking-out-teenage-looking face proves it. Why on earth do 37 year olds still get pimples anyway??? At least it only happens when I get stressed. But I digress...

About a month ago, we got a call from our adoption agency. They sometimes pair up with another agency. The other agency had a baby who was born premature with a ton of problems, mainly caused by poor choices of the birthmother. Poor baby. He was in Children's Hospital fighting for his life. She wanted to know if we would be interested in finding out more information. We said yes and got our list of questions together.

The other agency never even responded to our request for more information - questions like: how was the baby responding to medical treatment he was currently receiving? Not a peep. I guess we were asking too many questions. Perhaps they found an adoptive family who didn't ask as many questions as we did. I can only hope.

I had no idea domestic adoption would be so difficult. This was our third "opportunity" and I am beginning to get exhausted with the process.... Saying that, we know that God isn't going to give the child who is meant to be in our family - our child - to anyone else. And we know He isn't going to give us anyone else's child.

But it doesn't make all these ups and downs - all the hope we put into these opportunities thinking this *could* be our child - any easier. We accept opportunities, praying for God to close the doors if it's not meant to be.... and those doors keep getting closed. Sigh.

And then a couple weeks ago, I got a call from my boss: "Amy, this is the call I never wanted to make..." Yep, I lost my job. I kind of say 'lost' as loosely as I can.... honestly, it's been lost for some time. Since the kids have come home, I have worked less than part time - hardly ever - as I've stayed home full time with my kids.

But my job was a job that I could work part time and I always thought I'd be able to keep it in my back pocket until the kids went to school. I was 100% commission, so I didn't make much, but I still made some from time to time. Thankfully, we don't need my income to live on. But it did get us to Disney! Twice!

I honestly didn't think they could drop me. But they said it is now company policy that they are not going to have part time people anymore. And I am not going full time at this point in my life. I already have a full-time job: my kids.

So I am saying goodbye to 15 years of my life. I imagine this is what a divorce feels like... I've had this job that has kind of been a pain in my behind for some time - but now that it is leaving me, I kind of want it back.

I obviously wasn't able to manage it effectively while staying home with my kids. I've been toying with the idea for years to just walk away from it. But now that it's gone, I'm kind of sad.

I was talking with my dad about all of this and he told me that there are better things around the corner - so bring on that corner!!! I am more than ready for it!

I am so glad that I have my faith through all this. Although I am down, I am not defeated. And the joy of the Lord supercedes my circumstantial sadness. Thank you Jesus! And if I may ask, dear Jesus, please, pretty please - can that corner come rather quickly?!!?!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Emma's adoption story

Tonight at bedtime, Emma was a chatterbox. That is nothing new. But her conversation certainly was.

Let me back up just a bit... Luke was having a really rough night. Tears and drama and you don't love mes and I'm the worst boy evers and on and on.... I really have no idea where this drama comes from. They were told it was time to put their toys away. They didn't; so they didn't get a bedtime snack or story.

Emma compliantly (for once) brushed her teeth and got ready for bed. Luke started with the no one loves me drama. We try to stay calm when he does that; getting worked up does nothing for the attitude around here. So while he was screaming his head off about no one loving him and why don't we just give him away and he is the worst boy ever, we just calmly said things like - "We love you so much. Forever and ever. We are never getting rid of you. There is nothing you could do to make us love you any less. We always love you no matter what."

On a side note - I honestly have no idea if this is a 7 year old thing or if this is an adoption "side effect". He has had a lot of questions about his birthmother and his past lately. I think he is still trying to figure out how we will never give him up if she did....

Anyway. After we calmed him down - it only took about 30 minutes this time - we all prayed together as a family, just as we always do. Joe went to tuck in Luke and I stayed with Emma.

And here is what she said to me:

Mommy, you are the best mother ever. When I was in Guatemala, I COULDN'T STAND IT! (Yes, she emphasized those words.) I needed a mother. I thought I was going to lay there forever. And then the next day, you came, and I said "Oh good. Finally. A mother." And you said, "Oh good. A baby." But then you had to leave. And the next day you came back after you were crying and said "I went to a different state to adopt a baby named Luke but now I am back to adopt a baby named Emma." And Luke needed a mother and I needed a mother and then you came and now you are the best mother ever. Do you want to snuggle?

And that's the way it happened. According to Emma and her 4 year old wisdom :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The best book ever. And I mean ever.

I was a little stressed out about my parenting skills last night. I started looking through my parenting books that I have collected. Books always save the day. I mean, I just open one up and it tells me what to do. 9 times out of 10, it doesn't work with my dirty little sinners - or I fall short and blow the parenting principles. But I feel better as I'm reading it. I always find hope and strength and courage and great parenting skills and all that feel good stuff.

I've read a lot of good books over the years. The Connected Child. Have a New Kid by Friday. The Adopted Child in School. 10 Days to a Less Distracted Child. Shepherding a Child's Heart. Just don't ask me what any of them say. I might have - um - forgotten by the time I put the book back on my shelf. Maybe I'm a slow learner. Or maybe real life gets in the way of these lofty ideas.

So anyway. Last night. One title on my shelf caught my eye - one that I haven't read before. Maybe it was a gift. Maybe I bought it. It is just a small little book with a catchy title sitting there between the rest.

"The Hair Raising Joys of Raising Boys". I've had some hair-raisers lately so I picked it up. I blew through 50 pages in no time and I was hysterical the whole time. I needed that!

The prologue says: "Please skip the prologue and go directly to chapter 1....If you are still reading by now, clearly you have the same problem my boys have in following directions. The VERY FIRST sentence in the prologue explicitly said to skip this section and go to chapter 1. Was there something terribly unclear about that? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get my boys to follow extremely simple instructions only to have adults, such as yourself, providing such a poor example? .... How do you hope to successfully raise boys when you, personally, cannot even obey a simple directive?"

Hysterical! Here's another. "Very few authors will attempt to sell you a book titled: Raising Boys - Face It, You're Doomed! But because I accept Biblical prohibition against deceiving others, that is exactly what I titled this book until my uptight editor demanded a more chipper, upbeat title."

One paragraph later:
"Now, what do we mean by 'you're doomed'? .... You will be tucking one of them into bed, for example, and talking to him about his class field trip to the museum tomorrow when you suddenly discover that this kid's face is absolutely filthy and he just finished his bath 20 minutes ago! And you'll ask what in the WORLD did he do between the bathroom and his bedroom and he will reply, "Nothing!" which is what they ALWAYS say, and you will finally discover that he has a package of Jell-O Dutch Chocolate Pudding Mix under his pillow and he has been eating the powder with his hands and now you have to wash all the sheets and he needs another bath because he is a boy and you are doomed. Get used to it.

When I say that you are doomed, I do not at all mean to imply that your boy has a high propensity to become a dropout or a felon or a senior White House advisor. In fact, you will notice that I have never even hinted that your boy will be anything other than a good and noble young man who will marry a very wonderful woman and have a challenging and productive career and teach Sunday school and give you wonderful grandchildren. I never said your kid is doomed. I said you are."

And on and on with the hysterics. Certainly lightened my mood. Can't wait to read the remaining 125 pages. This might just be the one that I keep on the coffee table :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Purging is good for the soul

Got an e-mail from Luke's teacher. He has been acting up and his grades are slipping. Ugh. Pair that with his behavior this past weekend and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that something is bothering him.

I know that outward behavior is an indicator of an inward condition. But I can't for the life of me figure out what his condition might be. Nothing has changed around here lately. Does he flashback to his past? Is someone picking on him at school? Is he thinking about his birthmother? Is he just being 7? Is he not getting enough run-around-and-just-be-a-boy time? Is he being tempted by the enemy? The list could go on....

Point being, I have no idea what it could be. And Luke isn't one to talk about what he is feeling - instead he will just act up. Examples of that are overwhelming right now!

And so when I am feeling overwhelmed and out of control, I purge. Joe is lucky it isn't the family room furniture because I have been threatening to get rid of that... :) Instead, my closet got a makeover.

I tried on every piece of clothing this morning. Unless it is something I wear often and know it fits. Oh my. What I found was good comical relief on my tired brain.

I haven't lost weight lately - or ever. I've gained a few pounds as I have aged, but I haven't really changed sizes. So why were some sweaters so big? Did I really look in the mirror and think that looked nice on me at one point?

How many guy shirts can I have? I mean seriously. Do button-down shirts or polos look good on me? No. A more feminine touch looks much better.

Some shirts were too short. I haven't grown taller - did I like to let my belly hang out? Not that I remember - but there was my belly, smiling at me in the mirror. Oh good grief.

High waisted pants? Yep. Yuck. Pants that were too short? Oh my yes.

What was I thinking when I bought all this stuff? I'm sure it was on the sale rack. Sometimes I buy it just because it is on sale and I think I can make it work. Lesson learned.

Now I have a lot of empty hangers - and a big mess piled up on my bed. At least maybe now I can look in my closet and actually find something to wear. Many times I'd look in there and get overwhelmed with all the stuff I didn't wear.

Yes - I get overwhelmed a lot with things in my life :)

Back to reality. The break sure was nice. Time to shower, pull myself together and put on a smokin' hot outfit. And then I'll deal with trying to figure out Luke. But at least I'll look good :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

This training up stuff would be so easy if they weren't sinners!!

I have already failed at my new-found parenting techniques.

Saturday night. "Time to put your toys away and get ready for bed" Joe says to the kids. They are suddenly deaf. Emma doesn't even flinch and Luke starts dancing around singing some crazy song.

Remembering Dr. Leman's words that you talk to a child in the way you expect them to act, I say, "I know you guys know how to be good listeners, let's show daddy what good listeners you can be by putting your toys away right now!"

Luke rolls his eyes and goes back to singing. Emma is still completely deaf.

I try Dr. Leman technique #2. Walk away. When the dirty little sinners act up, you are supposed to walk away. When they don't listen and obey, they don't get what they ask for either. So I had it in my mind that when they would ask for a bedtime snack and story, the answer would be no.

I walked away.

The toys do not put themselves away and by now it is turning into chaos. They think they have scored a victory - and I think I am ready to hit the ceiling.

I can't stay calm anymore. I get a garbage bag. A big one. I say, "Well if you are not going to clean up, I will. Say goodbye to your toys that you're not putting away." I start putting things in my bag.

Luke starts to cry. "Well I guess I'll never play with any of my toys ever again. EVER again. I'll just sit on a chair all day and do nothing. NOTHING!" Reality check: he didn't have all of his toys out - only a few. You still have some in your room, kid! How about playing with those tomorrow? Nope. Drama.

Emma has the nerve to say, "Hey mommy, if you're throwing toys away, how about this one too?" She goes to her room and brings me something. "I don't think I want this one anymore anyway."

Push. My. Buttons!!!!

Where's the chapter on this in my parenting book? I know it has to be there somewhere.... I can't find it. Nuts.

They finally calm down and beg for a second chance. Good, I think. Great lesson here. God always gives second chances so we will too. I tell them, 'It is time for bed now, but if you put your toys away first thing in the morning, I will not throw them away.'

The next morning, I am in the shower. Emma sticks her head in the bathroom to tell me good morning. Before I am out of the shower she pokes her head back in and says, "We are all done, mommy. I even woke up Luke and all of his toys are put away too." Luke then chimes in, "And our beds are made!"

Beautiful. We even made it to church on time - early even. Minor miracle. We are headed for a good day.

Not so fast.... Bad decisions and lying are the theme of the day. One after another after another. Are you kidding me??? With each one, we think we are out of the water. Apology, a promise to never ever lie again. Sincere repentance. Then another lie within the hour.


What should I expect, though? I mean really. The very first human beings struggled with this very behavior. Amy's new living translation to follow :)

"Don't do that."
"What did you do?"
"I already know what you did, do you want to tell the truth now?"
"It wasn't me, it was her!"

Is this Adam and God - or me and my kids??? It's hard to tell.

The sermon in church yesterday was about Moses and the 10 commandments. The Israelites were dirty little sinners too. More of Amy's new living translation:

Moses: "Hey everyone, God gave me these cool commandments."
People: "Oh awesome! We can do what God says. Afterall, he just took us through the Red Sea and delivered us from Egypt. God rocks!"
Moses: "I'm going to go up on the mountain and talk to God for a bit. Be good!"
People: "Okay, we will. Listening to God is the best thing!"

A little while later...
People: "Hey, let's make a golden cow and worship it."
Other people: "Holy cow! You are so awesome!" (Just realized I said holy cow! HA! Wonder if that's where the saying comes from??)

A little while later...
Moses: "What are you doing? One of the 10 commandments was 'No other gods.' What is wrong with you people?"

Who knows what the people said - I think he heard a bunch of excuses like:
"Well we got bored and had nothing else to do."
"The statue acidentally made itself." (Just like the rocks accidentally throw themselves around here.)
"It wasn't me."
"What statue?"

Sigh.... I don't know why I expect my kids to be any different than Adam, the Israelites - or me. We are all dirty little sinners. God must be in a constant stage of frustration with all of us.

I can only hope that as we do our best to train our dirty little sinners UP that they begin to WANT to make good decisions. That they begin to let God work in them and through them. That they want to do the right thing, even if they find themselves "doing things I don't want to do" - as Paul said in the New Testament.

Thank God the blood of Jesus covers our sins. Thank God the Holy Spirit makes us want to turn from our sins. Praise God for His forgiveness and mercy.

Thank God for second chances. And third chances - and 200th chances. Unfortunately, we all need them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Train UP a child

I started a new parenting study with some other moms this morning. We are doing "Value-Packed Parenting" by Kevin Leman. So far, so good. I really enjoy reading his books and I think his advice is fantastic.

The chapter revolved around the verse from Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

I have heard this verse a million times - and I always focus on the old part. If I set the groundwork now, they will be okay when they are old. I guess I don't give them enough credit in the short-term. ha.

But Dr. Leman picked this verse apart and one of the words he focused on was 'up'. He reminded us that the verse doesn't say - "train your child down" and yet so many of us do.

"How many times do I have to tell you...."
"That's it, you're grounded."
"I am sick of this attitude!"

I wish I could say that I never speak like this to my kids, but I am guilty. In the heat of the moment, I say things I regret. There literally are some days, though, where I have said the same things a million times over.... It is exhausting some days for sure!

His point was well taken. It's about relationships. Not about nagging or getting frustrated or throwing insults. If I want my kids to WANT to hang out with me later in life, I've got to build the relationship now. I've got to treat my kids in the way I expect them to behave - and they will. Or so he says :)

So instead of "how many times have I told you to put your toys away", I should be their cheerleader and switch my attitude to: "I know you have done a great job putting your toys away before. I can't wait to see you do a good job again today!" And then really praise their good efforts and good choices.

Sounds so simple. Like one of those things I knew I'd get right as a parent - before I was a parent. But being a parent is more exhausting than I ever thought. I might have a positive attitude the first 20 times, but 21 breaks me down. Some days the 3rd time breaks me down.

But it does all come back to me. The kids are watching my attitude. My self control. My kindness. My efforts and choices.

What pressure!!!

Look out new attitude, here I come. Hopefully that attitude will stick around - even for the 30th time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A bit of advice

While Emma was making her peanut butter sandwich for lunch today, she said, "Mommy. Wisten to me. Wook at me when I say this. This is very important. When you are making a peanut butter sandwich, never ever swing the knife around by someone's neck because you might cut their head off."

Never mind the fact that it was just a butter knife - and after she shared her profound thoughts, she licked the knife.

I guess tongues aren't as important as heads :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The scariest day ever

We all went to the grocery store yesterday. Something we rarely do together. We were at the checkout. I was unloading the grocery cart and was waiting to pay and Joe was loading the packed groceries back into the cart. Luke wandered over to the stuffed-animal-claw-grabbing game. It was not even 10 feet from us.

I looked up and saw him standing there. I looked again and he was gone.

"Where's Luke?" I say to Joe. "He's over there" he answered as he turned and realized he wasn't there. I went running out to where the pop machines and carts are. No Luke. I ran out into the parking lot, screaming. "Luke! Luke!" No Luke.

I ran back into the store. "Is he in here?" I screamed. Joe said, "No!" I ran back out to the parking lot. No cars pulling out of the lot. No sight of Luke. I scream for him some more. Nothing.

I'm sure it was only a few seconds but it seemed like decades.

"MOMMY!" I finally hear. "LUKE!" He came running towards me, in hysterics. Jumps into my arms. "Luke, where were you?" "Mommy, I thought that guy was daddy and I followed him out. I didn't know it wasn't daddy. When I saw it wasn't daddy, I ran but I couldn't find you."

The guy behind him was some guy that goes to our church and has kids in Luke's school. We had run into him in the cereal aisle. Don't know each others' names but we recognized each other enough to carry on a one minute conversation while buying cereal.

The guy said, "I knew he was yours and I saw him running through the parking lot in traffic and I didn't want him to get hurt. I was yelling for him to stop but he wouldn't stop."

Luke could barely breathe. Me either. I thank the guy and carry Luke into the store. The cashier is standing there waiting for me to pay - and everyone was staring at me like I was a nutjob. I'm sure Joe was right behind me - but I can't remember. Isn't that strange?? I can remember the look on the cashier's face but I can't remember where my husband or daughter were while I was screaming for Luke.

Still in my arms as I was swiping my credit card, Luke said, "I think that guy was trying to take me. He kept yelling stop but I wouldn't stop, mommy, I wouldn't stop. I just wanted to find you but I couldn't. So I ran."

I said, "I think that guy was a helper and not a taker." Luke wasn't so sure. I can't be 100% sure either I guess. You just never know.

Thank God he was okay. THANK GOD!!!!!

I can't believe how fast it all happened. We had our backs turned for a second - and he was 10 feet away from us. For people who want to take kids, they would probably only need a second.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally. The birth mother conversation.

Luke has been home for 4 years and 8 months. He'll be 8 in January. He hasn't been interested in his past. He never asks questions and doesn't want to talk about it. We have always been open and honest with his adoption story. We have always said that he was born in Russia. He knows he was 3 when he came home (not sure how much he remembers himself). But when we start talking about it in depth, he will change the subject.

Shortly after coming home, he wouldn't even admit that he was from Russia. He would look at the photo albums we put together and he would rip the pages.

As time went on, he'd admit that he was from Russia but he would rather focus on the fact that he didn't have a family and neither did we - so God brought us together. He did tell us that he remembered that we came to visit him in the orphanage and then we left and he wondered if we were really coming back. So he'd cry every day. Heartbreaking. Of course we also cried every day while we were waiting for the powers-that-be to work out all the adoption paperwork or whatever they were doing. And we always tell him that.

A few months ago we were reading the Mr. Rodgers book about adoption. There is a page that says something like - adoption doesn't happen because of anything the child did. The birthmother had grown up problems and she couldn't take care of a child. He said, "Huh. I always thought it was me!" I was surprised he had a comment, so we talked about it. The conversation didn't last very long - because there was a picture of a black boy and he said, "Black boys are cool. Can we adopt a black boy so he can be my brother?" I didn't want to force anymore conversation if he didn't want to talk about it anymore. So I let it go.

He hasn't asked any questions since. Until last night.

We were reading the story of Moses. Interesting perspective from the birth mother's perspective. She tried to keep him for 3 months and then couldn't. She put him in the basket in the river. The princess found him and adopted him.

Luke immediately picked up on this and said, "Do you think the birthmother was sad?" I said, "I do." He said, "Do you think my birthmother was sad?" I had to stop for a minute and think about what to say. I don't want to fabricate any story. I have no idea if she was or not. I never got to talk with her - and the court papers don't paint a pretty picture. So I honestly have no idea what she was thinking or feeling. So I said, "I don't know how she was feeling. I never got to talk with her. I only know how I would be feeling - and yes, I would be really sad."

He then asked if he was put in a river. I reminded him he was put in an orphanage.

He then asked a really loaded question. "Well if she gave me up, how do I know you and daddy will never give me up?" and he started to cry.

I have always wondered if kids who were adopted think this way. I told him that she had grown up problems and she couldn't take care of a child. But daddy and I can take care of children. God knew all that and that is why he brought us together. And that is why we will be a family forever. I reminded him that it is nothing that he did. And that there is nothing he can do that will not make us a family anymore.

Hard question!!

He then asked who was his real mother. Me? Or the birthmother? I assured him I was his real mother and that it is my job to take care of him now. He wanted to know why I couldn't be his birthmother too.

Then he wanted to know if everyone has a birthmother. I told him we all do. "Even Emma?" he asked. I said, "Yes, Emma has a birthmother in Guatemala." "How come some birthmothers can take care of children? What if my friend's birthmother decide to give him up? Where will he go?" (We just had a friend who had a baby so this is all fresh in his mind.) I told him that they were able to care for a baby and he isn't going to be given up. "Well how do the babies come out of the birthmothers?"

Oh good grief!!!! "The birthmother goes to the hospital and the doctor takes the baby out."

That sastified his question. Whew.

Then he got really lovey and cuddly. I told him I don't understand it all, and I wish I could've been his birthmother too - but that God has good plans for all of us. And we are now a family. Forever.

Emma heard all this too - but had very few questions. She just said, "You're my best friend and my mommy and I love you."

Funny - I always thought it would be the other way around. I thought she'd have a million questions and Luke wouldn't.

This morning when I woke Luke up for school, I said, "I've been thinking about our birthmother conversation." He said, "Me too." I said, "I just want to make sure that you understand that it was nothing you did." He said, "I know." I said, "We are together forever." He said, "I know." I said, "I love you!" He said, "I love you too!"

Then he got quiet. He was really thinking heavy thoughts, I could tell. I let him think for a few moments.

Then I said, "Honey, what are you thinking about?"

Luke: "Pizza."
Me: "Pizza?"
Luke: "Yep, pizza. Yum."

He's going to make a great husband someday :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

A real live ballerina

Emma has started ballet lessons. It is too cute to watch! She told my mom that she is now a real live ballerina and my mom said, "You mean for Halloween?" Emma was mortified. ha.

She's only had 2 lessons so far, but she loves it. She keeps asking when she will go on stage. I think we have a while to go :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Old and out of touch

Well I realize my husband is officially old :) - but I didn't realize I was too. It's like we woke up one day and we were old and out of touch. Or maybe it has been sneaking up on us and we didn't realize it...

We bought a laptop this weekend. Oh. My. Goodness. It is like a new language! The kid at Best Buy (yes, I swear he was 12 working there!) was trying to explain everything to us. I'd shake my head in agreement - and then admit I had no clue what he just said.

But we bought it anyway, thinking - "how different will it be, really?" When we got home and took it out of the box, we sat there and looked at it. We couldn't figure out how to open the laptop! We were trying to open it from the wrong end and couldn't figure out what those hinges were doing there. I am not even kidding. I wish I was. When we realized what we were doing, we admitted our stupidity and had a good laugh. But I think we were both secretly sad that we have reached this point already....

It has Windows 7 and I have no idea how to get my e-mail! Everything looks completely different. Not saying I don't like change - but couldn't they just tweak things instead of completely changing them?

Sigh. I never thought I'd be as stupid as I thought my mother was when I was a teenager. I don't even have teens yet - but I think I have reached official stupid status.

Imagine how stupid I'll be by the time my kids are teenagers. I can only imagine.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oh no, the big 4-0!

I'm not sure I even want to say it outloud, but as of today I am married to a 40 year old man. Gasp! ha. The good news is - he's only getting better with age :)

To celebrate, we had a party for him yesterday. He was a bit nervous when I first told him I wanted to have a party. For his 30th, I had a surprise party for him. He promised me he'd divorce me if I ever did that to him again. So no more surprises!! But he didn't know what I was up to this time - and that made him nervous. He knew (and approved) the guest list (very small), but beyond that I told him to let me have a few surprises for him.

I didn't want to do anything depressing. No black balloons or prune juice! So I did a "through the decades" theme with bright colors and fun props.

I set up things from each decade, including fun facts, 'props', and pictures of Joe during that time.

The 70's. The little disco ball works. Little lights shine up on it. Great dollar store find! Mood rings. Paint your own pet rocks. An 8-track tape. (Not in picture but I did set it out later.) Some of Joe's childhood toys. Tie-dye TShirt.

The 80's. Rubik's cubes. Jelly bracelets. Old baseball cards. Trivial Pursuit. Ms. PacMan. Cassette tapes. Michael Jackson Thriller album. (Forgot to put it in the picture before taking the pic!) His high school varsity jacket.

The 90's. Our wedding picture. Blue M&M's. (Who knew blue M&M's aren't that old?!?) Snapple. VHS tape. Floppy disk. Wheaties box. CD. College stuff. Flannel for that grunge look.

The 00's. Text acronyms. Sudoku puzzles. Tattoos. A (mini) croc. 40 Sucks lollies. DVD's. Disney picture. Newspaper for the background - because it seemed like there was a lot of bad news in the 00's! Stock market crash, etc. Yuck. Researching that decade for the fun facts didn't make me happy. ha.

Emma told me we couldn't have a birthday party without balloons so she picked out some. This one sings, it is hysterical! I have never seen a singing balloon. You hit it and it sings - just like when you open the singing cards. We were hysterical.

The kids and I set everything up while Joe was at football yesterday morning. It was hard for them to wait for him to come home!

When he came home, he saw his surprise - and he really liked it! He said, "Thanks! This is way better than a surprise party!" Point noted. ha.

We had a dinner party. Afterwards, we had a champagne toast. My man is worth toasting!

I had CD's playing randomly from all 4 decades - so we had to have a dance party in the living room. (One of our favorite past-times!) There were 6 kids and 4 adults (Joe and I and our closest friends from college) dancing around - the other adults were too grown up to dance with us. ha. Too bad we don't have any pictures - I'm sure we looked fun :)

The props did become a part of the party. We played some trivial pursuit. The kids painted rocks. We all tried on the mood rings. The M&Ms were gone - they may not melt in the hands but they sure turn the mouth blue! We tried to figure out the texting acronyms - and didn't do too well. You know you're old when..... ha!

Glad we have reason to celebrate! What a great husband and father. Happy Birthday, my old man! I love you!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So that's what they're scared of!

I often wonder what goes through my kids' minds at night. They'll sometimes wake up crying but can't remember what they were dreaming about. Emma finally remembered.

In the middle of the night, I awoke to "Mommy! I had a bad dream!"
"What was it sweetheart?"
"It was really REALLY bad!"
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Yes. There was a really bad seal at the zoo!"

Oh. Huh... Well, you know how bad those seals can be!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My emotions runneth over

Well, I have lost track of counting the days. I'm not sure how long it has been since we were first told that a birthmother picked us - and then changed her mind. It seems like it has been an eternity. But I know reality says it has only been a few weeks. What a draining few weeks it has been.

When we first got the call, I was surprised. Then happy. Then cautious. (When I thought she may change her mind.) Then excited! (When I thought of a baby in this house!) Then anxious. (When she wasn't returning the agency's calls.)

Then we got the 2nd call. The bad news call. I was joyful. Seriously joyful. I had seen God work - quickly and deliberately. I had been praying that we would just know one way or the other. Answered prayer! I had been praying that if she would change her mind she would do it beforehand. Answered prayer! I was just so awed at God's quick answer.

I realized contentment. I began to really dote on our kids. I mean REALLY dote. Loving them up and down, kissing them like there is no tomorrow, cuddling like crazy. Saying "I love you" a million times a day. Overboard, really. Because I realized (again!) how blessed we are to have them. God had to orchestrate a LOT for them to be a part of our family. Thank you for these blessings!

But then the sadness came. I had let myself go there. I had pictured a baby in our house. In our family. Things seemed so right. There were too many 'coincidences' that made me think this could be our child. (I don't believe in coincidences - I believe in God-incidences.) I started thinking about our lives with a little one joining us. All that - gone. Within just a few short days. Dreams were shattered. Gone.

Then empathy crept in. I cannot stop thinking about this birthmother. I find myself praying for her all the time. I mean - all the time. I don't know that much about her, but what the agency told us... I just can't imagine what her life must be like. How confused and lost she must be. I've never met her - and yet she has a part of my heart and a ton of my thoughts. Honestly, I am surprised at how much I think about her and pray for her.

Sometimes I feel doubtful. Will we get picked again? We're not spring chickens anymore. I'm sure some birthmothers are young enough to be our daughter. Why would a birthmother want old birds like us to parent a child?

Jealousy. Oh I hate it when jealousy rears its ugly head. Some people want a child and *poof* they get pregnant. Others probably shouldn't have a child - and are yelling and screaming at their dirty barefoot child in Walmart. I hate that I become judgemental like that. I really do. And I find myself fighting this jealousy - after all, we want more kids too, it doesn't seem fair....

I try to shut down my emotions by thinking of something completely unrelated and mindless. In my head, I've remodeled my kitchen, painted the bathroom, and refurnished my family room. Dreamed of a second honeymoon. And thought about eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But through it all, I have not lost my faith. Not sure if this is a head-heart struggle. But I know - I KNOW! - that God is good. He has plans for our family and He is not going to give our child to anyone else. Nor is He going to give us a child that isn't supposed to be ours. I know that God works in ALL situations and sometimes it isn't even about me. I know God never wastes a hurt. And I realize we're not the only ones involved here.

But I also know that I do feel sad. I do feel let down. I do feel disappointed. My emotions have been raw and all over the place. And my analytical mind wants to know "why?".

But my heart says, "It's okay. Having faith isn't about knowing why. It's about trust." And I do trust God. With every ounce of my being.

And so I guess I'll pick up my emotional pieces and wait to see what God has planned. I'm not sure it will be easy and emotion-free. But I do know that it will be worth it in the end!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The words I never wanted to hear

I picked up Emma from her 2nd day of preschool today. She came running and gave me a big hug. I said, "How was school today?" and she said, "It was really good!"

Then she said, "Mommy, I didn't really miss you that much while I was at preschool today because I was too busy having too much fun."

My heart broke in two and fell on the floor. Not that I want her to be one of those kids who are crying and won't let their mom go. (Well, maybe just once. HA!) But come on, kid. Throw me a bone here!!!

Well, at least she couldn't step on my heart while it was on the floor since she ran into my arms and I picked her up and she snuggled up with me ;)

Maybe she missed me just a bit. Maybe???

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Emma's first day of school

Emma had her first day of preschool today. When Luke went to preschool, he seemed so old. Emma still doesn't seem old enough to be going to school!

She was so excited. She couldn't wait to get there.

Wait, wait! I mean, shouldn't you be clinging to my leg? Crying? Holding my hand? Something?!?!?

What? You're a big girl and you don't need me and you will be just fine??!! Okay. Sigh.

You're sure you'll be okay? You're sure? Do you need one more kiss?? Another hug?? No?!?!? You're already sitting down with the other kids???

Well, I guess I'll go shopping and see you in a couple hours, baby girl. I need to buy some kleenex :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Anticipation is always the worst part....

I was not looking forward to today - the dreaded first day of homework for Luke. Last year was a total nightmare with homework. He'd throw himself down on the ground, cry hysterically and say he'd never be able to do it because it was too hard. Once he eventually got self control (sometimes after an hour or more!), he'd get it done in just a few minutes. I don't get that. I really don't. It would be one thing if he really wasn't able to do it...

Anyway. He came home after school, had a snack and watched a few minutes of TV. He wanted to go outside to play but I said, "Let's get homework done first." A bit of drama. "It's too much, I'll never get it done!" And I said, "Let's just try."

We opened his folder, he took a deep breath and said, "I can do it." I said, "Yes, baby, you can. Keep self-control. You can do it!"

A couple times, he could tell he was getting close to losing self-control so he took a deep breath and said, "I can do it...." I encouraged him.

Soon - and I mean soon! Yippee! - he was done. All done. He said, "Is that it?" and I said, "Yes! You're done!" And he said, "Really? Wow, that wasn't that much. I wish I had MORE HOMEWORK tonight!"

I put it in caps because I still can't believe it! More homework?!? Who is this kid??? ha.

So my anticipation - and his - really was the worst part this time. Whew. I'm hoping for the same thing every day from now on :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The best birthday present ever

Joe is going to be 40 in a few weeks. Shhhh...don't tell anyone :) Today I asked Emma, "What do you think we should get daddy for his birthday? Let's think of a really good present, one he will really love!"

She thought for a second and said, "I know, mommy! Boy Skechers that light up!"

My man is going to look mighty fine running across the football field with his feet lighting up. You watch, all the kids he coaches are going to be doing it pretty soon too.

Now where do I find his size? Hum....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I wasn't going to blog about it, but I think I will....

One of the things about having a blog is I don't know who is reading it. But I do know that it is nice to have; I can go back and read what has happened in our lives. The cute things the kids have said, the way I was feeling about something.... It's my journal I've meant to have all these years. So if anyone is reading, then you are lucky enough to have an inside scoop on my feelings. ha.

That being said, I really want to journal my feelings about what we are currently going through. BUT - I feel a sensitivity to our privacy. On the other hand, I feel a need to "let it all out!" So the screaming side of me wins :)

If you know us, you know that we love to be parents and would welcome more children into our family. Luke has been home for 4 years; Emma has been home for 3. For most of those 3 years we have wondered where in the world to go for Child #3. Believe me, we have researched and researched. Guatemala is closed. Russia is obviously dear to our hearts but we couldn't be in country for a month with our 2 at home - or with us there. China is taking 4+ years. No matter where we look, it just seems like there isn't a good fit for our family.

So back in February, we redid our homestudy and decided we'd submit our family profile for a domestic adoption - just to see what happened. Our social worker encouraged us to continue to look into other options as well, because a domestic adoption is not a question of 'when', but a question of 'if'. When we adopted internationally, we knew it would happen - eventually. Domestic adoption is completly different. The birthmother chooses the adoptive family. So we might never get chosen. But we couldn't find an international option, so we wanted to see what would happen domestically.

So we didn't tell anybody we were pursuing domestic adoption because - well, because it might never happen.

Except it almost happened.

We got a call 11 days ago (not that I am counting) that we had been chosen! A birthmother had chosen us to adopt her baby. BUT - she was only 80% sure she wanted to give the baby up.

So we were asked if we would walk this journey with her, that we would help her make the best decision for this baby.

That was a fair request; so we took a faith step forward.

The adoption agency encourages us to meet the birthmother, they say it is good for both sides. They wanted to set up a meeting time. So we were very flexible in the amount of dates we gave them. They called the birthmother to check dates with her. No answer. No return call. They assured me this was normal and that we would be meeting soon.

And so we prayed. We prayed that if she would change her mind that she would do it now, before we met her - or worse yet! - after the baby was born and was in our care. We prayed for the baby, for the birthmother... And we waited. And we let our thoughts get ahead of ourselves. A baby! Here in this house! Soon!

Finally, the call came. The birthmother just isn't sure she can go through with her adoption plan. I get that. I really do. I can't imagine giving up a baby. And so the agency doesn't want us to meet. They want her to be sure. I do too. I don't want her to regret any decision she makes.

So we are back to square one.... which is waiting for a birthmother to pick us.

You know, in life there are always questions. Especially - why? It makes no sense to me that Joe and I would love to have more kids. And yet, that dream is so difficult. It makes no sense to me that there are women who get pregnant who don't want to be and seriously consider giving that child up for adoption - and often do.

I heard an interesting comment the other day. Someone said, "God is so good, there is always a way out of your situation." It wasn't in regards to our situation, but it is applicable, isn't it? Our need for a way out is to adopt since biology didn't work in our favor. A birthmother's way out is finding adoptive parents. Very interesting that God can use such hurtful and confusing situations - on both sides - for good. Wow.

When I stop and think about that, I guess the why doesn't matter - nor will I ever understand why anyway. But I do understand that God has a plan. No matter what. And His plans are always good. And so we trust Him. In Him alone.

I know faith is about taking a step even when you don't know where the step is going to take you. Just letting go and trusting God. But it is SO HARD not having any control in this situation!

And so I've been doing alot of praying and thinking. Like non-stop. While it's been since February, obviously it has been more real lately. I tend to get a little obsessed with my thoughts at times and I can't focus on other things... So the other day I had to do a 180 with my thoughts. I started thinking about remodeling the kitchen - something we have never talked about or even thought of!! Yes, I have a hard time dealing with emotional things.... ;)

And so we walk with faith. One step at a time. The good news is - we know from our past adoptions that God isn't going to give our child to anyone else - and we know that He will not give us a child that isn't meant to be in our family. For that we are thankful.

If you think of us, will you please pray? We need so much prayer... for God's will to be done; for the right baby to join our family; for our birthmother to find our agency; and for us - that somehow (no matter what the outcome, whether we eventually get chosen again - or not) that God would use our journey as a witness to Him.

And so we wait.... patiently - or not! :)

As a side note - I am SO glad we did international adoption first. As I mentioned, with international adoption, it is a question of "when", not "if". This "if" stuff is really hard! But at least my arms aren't empty as I'm waiting on "if"....

We'll see what God has in store for our family!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Luke laid down the law - but then forgot it

On the second day of school, Luke woke up and informed me that he was NOT going to wear church clothes to school any more. "From now on," he declared, "I will wear boy clothes!"

(In his mind, church clothes are plaid shorts and/or polo shirts.)

So on Friday, he wore jean shorts and a TShirt. I told him that I have seen some of his friends wearing plaid shorts with TShirts and they look nice. I reminded him how important it is to always look your best, how your clothes may affect your attitude, etc. He'd have none of that.

So this morning - Day 3 of school - he woke up and couldn't decide between a Tshirt and tan shorts or a TShirt and plaid shorts. He looked at them for a while and finally said, "I think I want this outfit today" and picked the plaid shorts.

Minor victory for mom :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

That darn bus takes him every year!

I just put Luke on the bus for the first day of 2nd grade. Boo hoo! I think we are all crying!

Last night, he had a major meltdown. He didn't want to go. He was crying like crazy. I told him that even though I couldn't go with him, God could. So we'd make sure we packed God in his backpack. Plus a few pictures of our family. In case he forgot about us during the day, I guess. ha. But he really treasures those pictures, he says they will help him get through the day :)

Then he woke up crying in the middle of the night, saying he was having nightmares. A big monster grunting, "School, school!"?????? He never did tell me what it was, so I am assuming he had the same dream I did. Of course I am kidding. Maybe :)

As Emma and I were walking back up the driveway, she said, "Mommy, are you okay or are you crying?" I said, "I think I am okay. I am sad, but I'll be okay." She said, "Me too. I feel like crying because I'm sad but I won't if you won't."

So we got some standard photos. Holding the wall up, cheesing outside the front door.

We had some "mood distractions" this morning. You know, if you're being silly then you can't cry. After all, being silly is much more acceptable for a 2nd grader to do than to cry, right??

With the dogs... oh yeah, they distract too. Come here, dogs! Smile!

Come on, mom! How many pictures do you want? This is getting to be hard work.

Oh yeah, how about this new backpack? Pretty snazzy, huh? (He thought I could see it.)

Maybe second grade won't be so bad after all. At least mom won't be there to take my picture all day! Oh whew, there's the bus!

Love you, buddy! You'll do great in 2nd grade!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Questions from a 4 year old

I had the kids in Kohl's the other day. I was trying to find some clearance shoes. (We did!) We got sidetracked in the kids' clothing section for a few minutes. I like to buy ahead for next year - but they were pretty much sold out of my kids' sizes. Emma kept saying, "Oooo mommy, look at this dress." "Wow, mommy, wouldn't I look pretty in this shirt?"

We could've been there all day if I looked at everything she was picking out. So instead, I said, "Let's go" and I started to walk away.

"Come ON, Emma!" Luke coaxed, "Mommy is leaving! Come on!!" He was getting nervous that I would actually leave. Emma could care less and was in her glory looking at all the clothes.

Finally, I hear, "MOMMY! Wook! (w's for l's) I MUST have this because I need it SO BAD. Will you PLEASE buy it for me?"

I turn around to see her holding up two training bras.

Tonight during dinner Emma was sitting next to me. She said, "Excuse me, Amy." I said, "WHAT?!?" Seriously? Did she just call me Amy?

She said, "Amy, are you the mommy who adopted me?"
I said, "Yes....", wondering where this is going, still baffled that my name is now Amy.
She said, "Oh okay, I was just checking in case I forgot."

How do you prepare yourself for these kind of questions?!?!? :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have a question. If you are a mom and you are reading this, you have an answer :)

Am I the only one who's in Crazy Town?!?!? I honestly cannot make a coherent thought, I can't remember what I'm doing when I'm walking into a room, and I have no idea where I put ______. (Fill in the blank!) Not to mention all those good intentions on my to-do list that get forgotten day after day.

Or is it Time Warp City? How is it August already? It's almost dinner time. Didn't we just eat breakfast???

Or maybe I'm speaking a new langugage. It's called Mommyish. Do you find yourself asking grown-ups if they have to go potty?

Some days I get lost in Exhuation Junction. I have such great plans after the kids go to bed - but then all I can do is collapse on the couch as I turn on those mindless TV shows. The laundry just won't do itself.

Is this all because I am now (ahem) late 30's... or is this what having kids does to your brain?!?!?

I need some coffee. Or a margarita :)

Wanna join me?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our little getaway

We look good Amish, don't you think?

We had a great time on our little getaway. The shows were fantastic. I mean seriously fantastic. If you ever have a chance to go to Lancaster, I highly recommend going to Sight and Sound Theater. Wow. Just wow. It wasn't our first time there, but they wow us every time.

I don't know how to get the link in here directly but go to to check it out.

The kids did really well in the car. I always dread car trips - but they didn't even give me a headache this time. ha. I had a lot to keep them occupied - plus the DVD player. How did our parents ever do roadtrips without one???

We kept ourselves busy doing touristy things but also found some time just to relax by the pool. Five minutes after getting there, the kids were swimming in the pool while I had a margarita pool-side. It doesn't get much better than that. Well, except there weren't any palm trees!

We don't get many family photos so we really tried this time. Not too bad! At least no one is picking their noses or poking someone in the ear. I really wonder what the trick is, though, to get everyone to smile - and look - at the same time???

No vacation is complete without ice cream! There was a gorgeous Amish teenage? early-20's? girl working at this ice cream place. I can only imagine how beautiful she'd be if she wore makeup and American clothes. (Not that makeup and clothes make a person, but you know what I am saying....) Usually it is hard to see their faces under their hats but she really was striking.

We saw both Psalms of David and Joseph. Psalms of David was more like a dancing / music show and they had these ribbon things. Luke LOVED them and had to buy one at the souvenir shop. Please don't tell him they're for girls - he has no clue!! I can't get away with this kind of innocent stuff much longer, I'm afraid :(

We also went to a farm. It is still a working farm (didn't see that part) but they have transformed a lot of the fields to a play area. It was really fun! Can you see our faces on the slide? Too funny!

What a great memories.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Random Ramblings

August. How is it August already? I can't understand how February goes by so slowly and the summer flies by!

Luke is already worried about going back to school. I think he misses it, I really do. But a new school year brings new apprehensions. He is also concerned that he will be away from me for so long and that he'll miss me. I'll miss him too :(

Emma is getting excited about preschool. I think she could skip preschool, kindergarten, and probably first grade and head straight to second grade with Luke. It is hard watching Luke struggle academically while Emma so easily picks things up.

Emma's room still isn't done. I couldn't find a duvet cover that I liked so I decided to make one. I practiced on the pillow sham and it turned out okay. Just don't look too closely. ha. But then I got nervous about the duvet because it is so much bigger! And so the fabric has just sat on her dresser, waiting to be used and my sewing machine sits on the floor because I don't want to put it away since I'll be using it "soon".... One of these days I'll get the courage to attempt it.

Luke is loving hockey. He plays on the driveway every day and is still playing organized Deck Hockey too. He is getting better but still has no clue about the rules of the game. He has no idea what icing means or why you get a penalty. He knows how to play his position - but doesn't really think out of the box yet. But he's getting tough :)

We're going on "vacation" soon. We'll only be gone for 4 days but the kids are excited. Our real vacation was in March when my brother got married in Miami. But a summer isn't a summer without a vacation. So we decided to go to Amish Country for a few days. The best thing about Amish Country is it is commercialized. ha. We are staying in a resort with a pool (that's all the kids care about, really!), we'll see a couple shows (They're amazing! - The Bible comes to life on stage, very cool!), and go to an amusement park. Now that's Amish Country the way I like it! I suppose we'll see a few horse and buggies and maybe even eat Smorgassboard-style while we're there just because we're going to Amish Country, right?!?!

Football season starts soon so that means I will be a football widow again. Joe has already started practice 2 nights a week, but the full-blown football practices will be sooner than I'd like. Although there have been some days this summer when I wish he had football..... ;) It's just feast or famine. He is here with us all summer and then disappears when football and school start. Well, maybe school will start... there is talk of a strike since they haven't settled their contracts yet....

And that is about it around here.... Enough summer ramblings for one day.... I like this blogging thing - it is an excuse to talk to myself. ha. Is anyone listening?!?!? ha ha ha.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"My Sorry is Lost"

I almost feel guilty typing about all the things Emma says - you think Luke would say something every once in awhile too, but.... ;)

Luke just came down the hallway crying uncontrollably.

Me: "Luke, what's wrong? Are you okay?!"
Luke: "Emma is making my feelings hurt!"
Me: "Oh, she is?"
Joe: "Where do your feelings hurt, right here?" as he tickles his belly to try to divert the situation. Doesn't work.
Luke: "She is saying mean things to me!"
Me: "Really?"
Luke: "Yes, she is saying she doesn't love me, that she is better than me - and she even said she is better than God and that isn't true, mommy, because no one is better than God!" Sob, sob, cry, cry.
Me: "Well, you know that isn't true, so why are you believing her?"
Luke: cry, cry, cry, hug me, hug me.
Joe: "Emma, come here."
Emma appears from her room.
Joe: "Did you say those things to your brother? Tell the truth."
Emma: "Yes."
Joe: "Then you need to apologize to your brother, what you said isn't nice."
Emma: "I can't."
Me: "Why not?"
Emma: "Because my sorry is lost!" Cry cry cry.

Joe and I just looked at each other, trying not to laugh. How do you handle that answer?!?!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Design on a Dime

What ever happened to that show? They'd redo a room for under $1,000. Which is a LOT for me! I just redid 2 rooms for around that much - including new furniture! I didn't really redo everything. So maybe it doesn't really count. ha. But it was fun regardless :)

Luke and Emma both got updates in their rooms. This idea started when I realized Emma couldn't stay in her crib forever. Granted, it was a convertible crib and we had her in the toddler bed. But, she is only getting older, so... And Luke had been asking for bunk beds. So I figured I'd do both rooms at the same time.

So here is a tour of Luke's room. (Changed 3 times in 4 years, wow!) I am still working on the fabric in Emma's room. Hopefully hers will be ready soon :)

When Luke came home, he was 3. So he had a toddler bed and a cute almost-baby-boy room.

When we adopted Emma, she needed the toddler bed converted back to a crib, so Luke got Joe's old headboard and twin bed. We went from an ABC theme to a sports theme.

And new - just this week - is Luke's loft bed. We thought we were going to buy him bunk beds but when he walked into the store, he fell in love with the loft bed. I think this means he is officially a big boy :( I think a teenager lives in that room and not a 7 year old! The good news is, hopefully it will still be okay when he is a teenager - too bad if it's not because it is here for the duration!

We bought the loft bed on clearance. Didn't need a new comforter since the twin one actually fits (the loft is a double). Had the lamp from Emma's old room. Gave him the chair that was in my bedroom. The rest he had. Design on a dime :)

The paint color hasn't changed - it just looks different in some pictures because of the lighting.

Now if I can just figure out how to make his bed.... Not so easy.... Hum.....
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