Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Traveling Back in Time: Xander's 4th Birthday

I have so much to say and yet I find it hard to bring myself to sit down and have a little blogging session.  The days are short but the season is long, surely fits here. So some of the blogs I'll be making will be going back and catching up versus blogging "real time." 

We are traveling back to April.  Insert: Time Warp. 

April 7th was Xander's fourth birthday.  Many days it is very hard for me to remember life as just a "girl mom."  I've been stretched really far in our time here in Richmond and it has been amazing and worth it.

But this boy.  Y'all.  I hate to sound cheesy and cliche but he is different.  Of course, each of my children are different and I love them all, but this boy... I can't explain it.

Before we adopted I really didn't know what to expect.  I mean, I had read a zillion and five books, I asked probably really stupid questions not worded right (sorry!), and I daydreamed alot. 

And then I saw his picture.  And I beamed with pride as we called our families and announced, "It's a boy!"

But deep down inside, I wondered, "Would it really feel the same as I feel about my other children?" 

Well, that answer is yes and no.

YES, I love him.  YES, I advocate for him.  YES, I want the best for him.  Sometimes when people ask about my pregnancies, it takes me a second to remember that I didn't birth Xander.  Crazy, huh? 

That is what love can do. 

But it doesn't always feel the same as my other children. 

For instance, if you REALLY want to see my mama claws come out?  Mess with Xander and I will come very close to losing my religion.  I can't explain what it is that makes me react that way.  I advocate for each of our children, but my fuse is a bit longer when it comes to the other four. 

It's hard to put into words.  I guess the closest I can come is saying that Xander is a "hot button issue." 

I'm not proud of my reactions sometimes.  For instance, Xander was recently excluded from a children's program that we felt he should be able to attend on a trial basis and *we* were the ones that were willing to assist with the one accommodation he would need. After remaining calm for a discussion with the children's department, I told the pastor that I wasn't a biblical scholar but that I was pretty sure when Jesus said "Let the little children come to me," He wasn't just talking about developmentally on target children. 


I snapped, y'all. 

And maybe it isn't because we adopted Xander that made me this way.  Maybe it is because he struggles more.  Maybe it is because I know every ounce of everything that he has overcome to get this far.  I dunno.  But it is definately a fine line I'm learning to walk between "advocating" and snarling and biting someone's head off and tearing them to pieces.

On April 14th we celebrated matching with Xander.  The 15th, is the anniversary date of when we got to hold him and we were able to visit him in the hospital.  Those are the dates that we feel most connected with although we do honor his birthday and think of his birthmother more on and around his birthday. 

It's been a wild ride.  But I'm SO glad we didn't let the naysayers scare us from getting on the rollercoaster.  I'm so excited for Xander.  Recently, he has been much more stable in his behaviors and his health and I feel hopeful that we are making progress.  I'm not sure what exactly triggered the changes but we are thankful for the improvements.  We will continue to pray and advocate, and hopefully do it with grace (ahem.. mommy!) and understanding as we move forward.  Can't wait to see what is next for him!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

10th Anniversary Plans Rearranged...

Brandon and I were married on the oh so original 4/4/04 (at 3 o'clock, 4 was taken!) which means that we are in our 9th year of marriage.


That makes me incredibly giddy.  I want to act like an elementary student and stick my tongue out and blow big huge raspberries at the ones that said we'd likely not make it through our first year of marriage.

9 years.. almost a decade.

Take that.  *sticks tongue out and wiggles it around*

But I digress. 

We had planned to go to Florida for our 10th anniversary.  If you are new to SimpleBees (which I doubt any of you are...) we have an obsession with Disney World and had dreams of going for TEN days in honor of our 10th anniversary.

 As homeschoolers we don't pay attention to the public school calendar and so it doesn't matter to us that Richmonders don't take their Spring Break during a lovely event also known as Master's Week, which is always the first full week of April. Our anniversary sometimes falls in that week but if it doesn't, it is at least close by!

It didn't matter until this coming school year. 

Brandon and I are enrolling to finish our degrees. 


But the distance education portion doesn't even get holidays.  They get 10 days between terms. 

Womp, womp, womp...

And of course, of course, they care nothing about Master's Week. 

Anyway, the break is at the beginning of March.  MARCH?  Who has Spring Break in March?  Well judging by the peak rates at DisneyWorld... a ton of people.  So it is out of our budget that we have set as two poor college students with five kids.  Ahem.

So what are we doing?  We are taking it back to where our marriage began.  We are planning to go back to Myrtle Beach. 

I know that March is a bit early in the year for perfect beach weather, but uhhhh I don't swim where I can't see the bottom anyhow.  Have you seen RiverMonsters?  Now just imagine what is in the ocean!  We found a resort with indoor swimming and a small waterpark for the kids.  And we'll have a full kitchen and a washer and dryer.  Going in early March means that the nights are charged at a lower rate so it fits in our budget. 

I can't wait.

After 9+ years of marriage, I knew we could have a good time anywhere.  This past year, we had a $1 Redbox and Panda Express date in our bedroom since I was still recovering. 

It doesn't matter what you do, it matters who you are with.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Brassy to Classy

(Ahhhh... my computer issue is almost worked out.  Waiting on the new one to be delivered any day!)

One of the supplies I picked up during our Lowe's trip was some black satin high heat paint.

See, our fireplace insert was horrible brass. It glared at me from across the room. All I could think about some days was painting it black.

So I did.

I didn't take a good "before" because I taped it up rather impulsively. 

The high heat paint is S-T-I-N-K-Y! And thin. So if you try this at home, go slow to prevent dripping. It took two very thin coats. The first coat almost was enough but you could see some brass showing through the brush strokes. So I did one more super thin coat.

And it looked amazing!

This painting thing is a sickness! I taped up the mantle and painted it white like the trim.

Ahhhh so much better!!!!  Then I taped up a few paint samples and stared. 


By the way, I love our video monitor.  See it in the bottom right of this picture?  How did I ever parent infants without it?