Thursday, January 31, 2013


I'm back.  I went to the preschool tour this morning even though I tried to justify not going... again.

"Sigh... nothing is going right this morning, surely this must be a sign that I am needed here at home?"

"No one can really agree on his diagnosis.  And this is a program for children with autism spectrum disorders."

"I am a homeschooler.  I can teach my own children, thankyouverymuch."

"If I trusted God more to guide me and listened, I could do this on my own."

"Why would God call me to homeschool two and then put the third in a private preschool?"

"Do I really mean it when Brandon and I say that we school our children the way they need it (individually)? Or is that the pretty answer we say so we don't look like intolerant homeschoolers?"

"I'm weary.  I've gone round and round with the public school system and not gotten anywhere.  Do I have the energy for this?  Or will this be the straw that breaks the camel's back when it comes to my mental stability?"  (Halfway joking about that by the way.)

Yeah... living in my head isn't much fun right now. 

But I went. 

And it wasn't as bad as I imagined.  I didn't sob as I spoke of our difficulties.  The director and the ABA specialist didn't bat an eyelash when I described his behaviors.  They didn't blame our large family or our discipline or homeschooling our girls. 

It is a place of hope and the most individualized program I have ever seen.

Is it right for us?  I'm not sure. 

There are a few things that we would need to figure out logistically.  For example:  Right now there are no open seats.  But two may be opening downtown.  They are also projecting a new program opening in the county we are moving to. 

We'd have to figure out transportation since we have been a one vehicle family since we sold Brandon's car to cut our expenses and raise some funds for Xander's adoption way back in 2009.

We have a few hoops to jump for admission.  But we all know how I've become an expert hoop jumper right? 

And then there is the (overwhelming) cost to contend with.  We'd have to have our insurance pick up the bill to even consider it.  (The "school" is therapeutic ABA therapy not academic so medical insurance can fund it.)   Let's just say, I could go back to work and I'd be hardpressed to GROSS what the one year of tuition costs. 


Will you join us in prayer?  Prayer for wisdom.  Prayer for our path to become clear.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I ate yogurt, y'all

I've never in my life eaten a cup of yogurt.  I have a horrendous gag reflex and I'm super sensitive to textures. 

But I'm trying to eat better and move more. 

And I'm staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarving, y'all. 

I'm sure it is just in my mind.  Because when I entered my meals in MyFitnessPal, well.. let's just say I'm not starving. 

So I saw Brandon's Greek yogurt in the fridge and I thought I'd try it.

And I ate the whole cup.  I felt a little green when I got done, but I did it.

Now Brandon is sitting watching me carefully. 

He wants to know who I am and what I did with his wife. 


Monday, January 28, 2013

My Very First VLOG

My very first VLOG ever.  I apologize in advance that I got choked up talking about Xander and our week ahead.  Like I said... feeling very vulnerable about it. 
A tiny taste of my daily humor is included.  I'm a bit self conscious about the video and thought the lighting was going to be decent...if I do this again in the future I need to find a better spot. 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stretching Ahead

I love my calendar.  Really! Puffy bright pink heart love it. 

There is something soothing about entering dates and activities and being able to see things at a glance. 

But there are some weeks that I look at what is ahead and shake my head.  I want to hide under the covers.  I call those stretching weeks. 

And we have one this coming week.  We have a tour of a private special needs theraputic preschool program this week.  I have mixed feelings about this and I feel torn.  I've been praying for wisdom for weeks and weeks.  Maybe I'll muddle through my thoughts on the blog.  Maybe

I feel a bit vulnerable about the whole thing.  (As someone that believes in the homeschool model...  as a mama... as someone seeking balance in our lives... as an optimist that has been slapped with cold, hard reality lately...)  Let's just say I feel vulnerable on a variety of levels. 

Xander starts weekly speech therapy this week too.  And then Brandon works on Saturday.  He only works a single Saturday about every 5-6 weeks but our family really feels it when our routine is thrown off.  Xander feels it the most. 

So, if I disappear from blog land, you know where I am.  I'm either under the covers or trying to keep us on track. 

Or maybe alternating between the two. 

Icecream has already been pre-purchased, on super clearance!  (50 cents for Edy's?  What, what!)

Prayer, icecream and deep breathing... will get me through this too. 


Friday, January 25, 2013

Itsy Bitsy Spider....

So as I mentioned in a recent post, I've been reading on GardenWeb during part of my nursing time with Isaiah.
I've been brainstorming how to make the kitchen at the house a little less uhhh 1980's and more 2013. 
Heck, I'd be happy with 2000. 
Anyway, I was reading about cabinet handles and drawer pulls and how they can really update the feel of a kitchen.  I thought the cup style pulls looked really classy. 
You know what I'm talking about, right?  No? 
Like this.
Anyway... I thought they were snazzy and spiffy. 
And then!  I read a story where a lady stuck her hand in the pull and a spider climbed out on her hand.
*shudder, shudder, ack!!!! shudder, shudder!**
Now.. Richmond is the land of the spiders.. and so I could imagine this happening.
Brandon would come home and I'd be dead (of a heart attack) and he'd say, "Ohhh.. maybe cooking was detrimental to her health...."
And he'd wonder for the rest of his life how making tacos killed me. 
For real.
Soooooooooooo.. no more cup pulls.  Now I'm into all knobs. 
Ha.  Take that Mister Spider. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Technology Levels the Playing Field

Saturday, Brandon and I had a hot date to Lowe's while the three oldest children were at our respite program.  We were pricing appliances. 

When we got done dreaming, we walked out and found this:

Booooooooooooo... Long story but the brown MESS you see everywhere is epoxy.  My tail light cover was loose and almost caused us to fail our first Virginian vehicle inspection uhhh in 2009.  We were on a time crunch so it was epoxied.  Not pretty, but legal. 
Anyway, we lost the entire cover somewhere.  So part of our respite time was spent at Advanced Auto.  Brandon ran in to price the part while I fed Isaiah.  Their quote was $99 but they would have to order it.
I was curious, so I called the dealership.  $229 for the PART and they would have to order it too.  (Golly, I just need one... womp, womp.. that was one!) 
Brandon found a YouTube video on his phone explaining how to change the cover for our particular van.  The video was 4 minutes long.  It looked easy peasy.
That night Brandon and I looked online and found that the light cover was sold on Amazon for around $45.  I happen to have free shipping with Amazon Prime so we ordered it.  And it arrived just two days later on Monday.
Brandon replaced the cover in about 10 minutes with Xander supervising while repeatedly yelling, "Daddy, you bwoke da yight!" 
And it worked!
Next up, cleaning up the epoxy. 
What have you found on YouTube? 

Monday, January 21, 2013


We've struggled with getting some routines/systems under control here.  I'm not sure what tipped us into Crazyville... but we found ourselves residents in Crazyville.


We got in a rut, where we ate the same things over and over because I didn't have TIME to menu plan/make a shopping list.  Then we would get incredibly bored and be tempted to get takeout. 

A ton of our old standbys are now off limits (due to allergies) unless we make a separate meal for Xander.  But finding new standbys felt impossible. Enter ridiculous loop. 

One weekend, I printed out some recipes that would work and someone (with really curly hair and incredible lashes that sucks his thumb) reorganized them for me, and then rubbed lotion on them one day. 

They were "dwy."

*Sigh and bang head on wall*

Enter Pinterest.  I've pinned a zillion things and recently got serious about weeding it out (helloooo do people ever link things properly?) and organizing it.

And then, I stumbled this link that my friend, Christy posted on Facebook.

I saw clouds part and sunshine peek through.  The angels started singing.  And I knew this would be life changing for us!

So I planned this week.  I pasted the link into the where field and I put the ingredient list and directions in the description field.  I wrote down a shopping list and headed to the store.

I can carry my iPhone into the kitchen.  I don't have to print and keep little fingers from ruining print outs or food splattering on it!  I can instantly make changes for next time (and it won't be messy!) I can copy and paste the ingredients into a document.  I can pull up a recipe in the store if I'm shopping on the fly. 

I can search!  I can set things to repeat so we don't forget about recipes we really like. 

Truly life changing!

Automation + Organization = BLISS!

If you end up trying this or have a similar system, I'd love to hear about it. 


Friday, January 18, 2013

Parenting is ALL Trial and Error

I've said this for awhile, but I found myself wrapped up in it last night, so I thought I would share in case someone needs to hear it.

Nothing about parenting is a formula. It is all trial and error.

....Even after 5 children.  *ahem*

So, picture me happily, nursing along for 5.5 months and suddenly realizing that Isaiah wasn't being satisfied by breastmilk.  I was up more during the night this week than I have been in months and I didn't believe it to be a "growth spurt."  We were spending plenty of time together so he could nurse, he wasn't ill, he was just... not happy.

And in a moment of mommy panic, I thought I should supplement him with formula.  Now, I'm not a formula basher (and I really hope the comments don't lean that way.)  Two of my children have had nothing but formula.  But in my gut, it just didn't feel right and in my sleep deprivation (and vitamin D deficiency haze) I couldn't figure out why.

So I did it anyway. 

And since a bottle was so very foreign to Isaiah, he wouldn't take it.  He wouldn't take it from me or Lainey. 

So I kept nursing. 

When I was talking to a friend she mentioned that he may be ready for food and I thought, "Hmmmm... well I guess I could try!"

So I tried it... and he ate a WHOLE Stage 2 Jar of bananas.  Chewing motions and all.

And was happy as a clam.  He was ready. 

Even if his mama wasn't...

Oh God, help me to remember that each of my children are individuals and all need parented that way.  Let me see the gifts and areas of opportunity they each have.  Thank you for guiding me as an individual and showing me my own areas of opportunity.  I love You and praise You. 


PS: I'm slowing working on the blog layout/design... so you may notice changes.  Don't be alarmed.  (And Erika, I'm not going one-note/topic... have no fear.. I'd NEVER succeed in that!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time for some blog housekeeping...

I've been trying to pinpoint why I don't blog more regularly and I think I may have figured it out!

I feel like my blog is really rambly/random.  I want it to be more structured but I'm not quite sure how to do that. 

I have alot of plates spinning but writing has really become an outlet (if only you could see the blog posts that never see the light of publishing!) 

I feel like my blog needs organized, but I'm not sure what direction I want to go. 

I'd love to post house updates, kid's stuff, homeschooling, home making (recipes, organization, etc.) and adoption stuff.  Not sure what to name it or where to go from here.  I had to lose all my content here... but not sure how to transition.  When I first started my blog I was in a season of simplifying and it doesn't really seem to fit anymore. 

If you have any suggestions for a blog title PLEASE let me know. :)  (If you happen to know my last name, we do not want our name in the blog, thanks!)

Monday, January 14, 2013


I love blogs.  Like.. adore them.  There are at least 12 that I hit up on a regular basis and some that I frequent less often, simply because they post less often.

But I have TONS of time to mindlessly read blogs because I log ohhh.. about a zillion hours nursing Isaiah.  He didn't get to 16.5 pounds at 5 months because I starved the poor kid. 

But lately I find myself with less and less to read, when I go to check "Da Blogz" as Brandon has nicknamed them. 

So I started hunting house stuff and stumbled onto Garden Web.  Now, don't let it fool ya!  It isn't all about gardening, but seeing as the house has almost a half an acre, a garden plan is being formed! 

Nope, it has a zillion other forums-- all about house/garden stuff.  Remodeling, decorating, etc, etc. 

So that is where I have been... drooling as I log hours being a dairy cow.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I've been quiet...again..

I feel like I say that every other post or so.  One of my hopes for 2013 is that I am better at documenting our lives.  

Unfortunately, I've felt like I've been hit by a convoy of semi trucks.  Since my hormones are usually very off (Hello PCOS.. my how you taunt me) I figured it was my hormones and sought out the help of a local doctor known for dealing with hormone imbalances.  (Not to be confused with our Reproductive Endocrinologist... ) 

I wrote all my symptoms down before I got there and fought really bad anxiety after I signed in.  When the nurse saw the list she said, "Hmmm.. these sound like menopause."

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... gee thanks? 

I'm twenty-nine. 

The doctor came in and she said the same thing.. and I started to fight tears.  She promised that she would get to the bottom of things and that menopause would be unlikely... but it was possible. 

And then I gave half my blood away.   No, not really.  But I did feel weak and dizzy when I got up.

Turns out, I am "just" severely vitamin D deficient.  My hormones look surprisingly normal for a nursing mama that has been plagued with PCOS and fertility issues. 

The good news is that we can supplement that.  50,000 units once a week for 8 weeks and then we will redraw.  (Plus magnesium and calcium so I can process it all properly.)

The bad news is that it can take a month before I start to feel a difference and I may have to continuously supplement. 

The doctor and nurse were both SHOCKED that I have been able to parent 5 children and homeschool and house hunt as deficient as I am.  They expected someone with labwork like mine to be practically bed ridden.  I have spent alot of time on the couch and pacing myself, but I've been able to keep things running.  To that, I credit a supernatural God and alot of Stephanie Stubborness.  But anyway.

Our house hunt has been going.  :)  We are hopefully almost done with this house business.  Let me introduce you to her.  

(Pssst.. you can click on the picture to make it bigger.)

We are hoping that around mid-February that this is HOME.