Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cuddly Friends

Opening their cuddly Friend Dolls
How Sweet!
Brooke is not to sure what to do.
Thanks Mom and Dad
In the end, Brooke had rather play with the box.
I bought the girls a cuddly friend doll, from MY TWINN. They was both excited to see what was in the box. Courtney loved hers. Brooke was not for sure what to do with the doll at first. She finally watched her sister and started loving on the doll. Brooke would hug it and smile. The funny thing is, in the end Brooke put the doll down and played with the empty box. I don't understand why children do that. Here is this nice doll, that is perfect for her to hold and she chooses the box. Courtney had picked hers out on the internet last week. She already knew what she was getting. She was so excited when the mail lady left the box. I was glad to see the excitement on their faces when they opened the box.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Don't read Late

Yesterday we went to Brands for a cook out. We had a good time. Brooke loved it. Of course she likes the outside anyway. She was a busy little girl. It was hard to keep up with her. I wish I had put her squeaky shoes on. Courtney had a great time. She did not want to leave.
When we got home Kevin told me about a book he had read. He wanted me to read it. I never have time to read anymore. I used to sit up late and read. That stopped several years ago. Kevin told me if I started this book that I would not be able to put it down. The book is called"Even Now" by Karen Kingsbury. I love this author. I started the Redemption serious that she wrote, but was not able to finish. Trying to homeschool and keep up with a baby made it really hard to read a book. KarenKingsbury is a wonderful writer. She makes you feel like you are part of the book. Kevin had to go to the hospital to get a Dr. to sign some papers. He really wanted me to read this book. I finally agreed. Kevin took Courtney with him and I kept Brooke. I started the book and I could not put it down. At 10:30 I was rocking Brooke and reading this book. When Kevin and Courtney got home I was still reading. I had to stop and to give Courtney kisses. I could not wait to start back reading. Kevin came to bed and I was crying. (I don't cry easy) Kevin started laughing at me. I started laughing and crying at the same time. I told Kevin that is was "Just a book, why was I crying?" Of course he still thinks it is funny that I am crying. He said that he got a little teary eyed through the whole book. Kevin would not tell me anything about the book. He fell asleep and I continued to read. My body was telling me to go to sleep, but I could not put this book down. 1:30 came and I knew I had to get some rest. I put the book down and went to sleep. I dreamed about the crazy book. I was dreaming about what was happening when I got woke up by Courtney. (It was 2:30) Courtney was like "mommy I feel like I am going to throw up" I got up and walked like a zombie into the living room. I was letting Courtney sleep on the couch. She has been sleeping in Brooke's room, but we figured out that was part of Brooke's problem on sleeping. I did not want Courtney to throw up on my couch so I put her in Brooke's room on a extra bed. Courtney has a very nice bed in her room, but she is scared to sleep in there. She thinks it is to far from us.
By this point Brooke is wide awake. Brooke don't want to go back to sleep in her bed. For two hours we are up with both girls. Courtney did not throw up. She was hungry. Hunger pains can make you feel like you are going to throw up. Finally at 5:30 we was back in bed. Brooke was in bed with me. Kevin was on the couch, and Courtney was in Brooke's room. We all slept until 10:00 this morning. We NEVER do that. I learned one thing.....I don't need to sit up and read late any more. I did not finish my book today. I might try tonight. Actually I better not read tonight. If I get started I will not be able to put it down. I have to babysit tomorrow, so I think I better go on to bed soon.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


My two Sweet Girls!
Happy Birthday mommy!
Courntey holding her card she made.
To Mommy: From Courtney

Today is my birthday. I won't tell you my age. I am not over 35 and I am not under 30. Age don't really matter does it? I am glad I have two beautiful children to celebrate with this year. Courtney made me a really sweet card. Kevin brought me balloons home this morning. Kevin forgot a cake this year. I did not need one anyway. Kevin took us all to eat Friday for my birthday, because he had to work last night and we had church this morning. Kevin had to sleep this afternoon. The girls and I went to my parents house for hamburgers.
We are now home and I need to clean the house. I have a social worker coming in about a week. I am not stressing out over the house like I did before when she came. This is just a post placement visit that China requires. I agreed to have it, so I have to go through with it. I have one at 6 months and one at 12. I hate these things. They make me feel like my life is being watched in so many areas. Before when our social worker came I was so stressed out. I heard they look in your refrigerators and your cabinets. Of course that is not true in our case. My social worker was a real sweet person. I told her about all the things we had heard and she laughed. She said that in a case where a child has been abused or taken out of a home that they will look in your refrigerators and pantries to make sure you have food. They don't do that in a adoption case. My house got the best cleaning it had ever got during that time. I am hoping she don't go through the house this time since she has already saw it. I will clean, but not major clean. It don't do much good around here to clean. I have a little girl who likes to bring toys and place them in every room. She also likes to spill cereal in the floor. I like seeing all the toys around though. There was a time that I did not think I would ever see any toys all over the house. I will gladly look at toys and let my house look lived in. I guess there is a difference in clean, dirty, clutter, and lived in. My house looks lived in. I used to be so picky with my house. My house would be spotless and nothing out of place. All that changed when children came along. It really changed when I started to homeschool. I need to go clean some, so that is all for now. I hope you all have a Happy Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Pool Mistake

We do not have our pool ready yet. We have a above ground pool. Over the winter the pool got really gross. (green, algae, and stinky) Our plans was to drain it and start fresh. Kevin always does the draining of the pool. I kept telling him we needed to drain it. He had the idea that we needed to feel it up to the very top and let some of the leaves and nasty stuff in the pool flow over. I said "O.K" We did that. Well Kevin turns the water off, but leaves the hose in. Yesterday Courtney and her friend was hot and wanted me to turn the sprinkler on. I had to unscrew the hose that is going to the pool and put the sprinkler hose on the sprinkler. I did not know that doing this would cause the pool to drain. (You see the hose was still in the pool.) When I unhooked the hose from the faucet the pool started to drain. It would not have been so bad if I had known. I could have ran the hose toward the road. Not knowing I left the hose where it was. Half of the water drained out last night. Guess where it drained? Right under our shed where we keep the lawn mower, and right in the dogs pen where they sleep. Poor dogs. the must have thought it came a storm. Kevin discovered all of this when he came home. I did not know that was how you drain a pool. Kevin always does that, but he puts the hose where the water will flow toward the road. (NOT THE DOGS PEN) I just hope the dogs was not a sleep last night and woke to be floating in water. LOL
I felt real dumb. I always thought Kevin would suck on the hose to get the water flowing and then let the pool drain. He told me I was crazy this morning.LOL Kevin said he would never put that nasty water in his mouth. Well I guess you learn from experience.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sand box

When Brooke first saw the Sand.
No Sand
This is fun!!!!
Daddy bringing us something cold to drink.
We bought Brooke her first sand box. Brooke loves the outside. She likes to play in the dirt and the rocks. I told Kevin we really needed to buy her a sand box. We bought it and she loved it. She stayed in the sand box for a long time. I took pictures. I had just put my camera up when Brooke done the funniest thing. Brooke got a huge scoop of sand on her shovel. She started lifting the shovel in the air. Brooke made one mistake. She followed the shovel with her eyes. "SPLAT" A huge thing of sand dumped on her face. I jumped up and was trying to get it off. I was afraid the sand was in her eyes. She seemed fine. Courtney and I got a good laugh though. Brooke had the funniest expression on her face.
We had a very hot day for playing outside. Kevin hooked up the sprinkler for the girls to run through. Brooke did not like the sprinkler at all. I laughed so hard watching her. When the water sprayed her she took off running. I have never seen her move so fast. She was going as fast as her little legs could go trying to get away from that water. Brooke loves getting a bath. I was surprised that she did not like the sprinkler. We ended up sitting under a shade and watching the girls play in the sand. Courtney is to big to get in the sand box, so she did not play long. We all was really hot. Kevin and I was really wanting a milkshake. Kevin goes inside and comes back out with chocolate milk. (Strawberry for Courtney) He figured if he could not get a milkshake that he would get as close to it as possible. LOL
We all enjoyed the milkshake and the thoughtfulness of our husband and daddy.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

In Loving Memory on your Birthday

Happy Birthday. I know today is the best birthday my father-in-law has had. If L. D would have lived he would have been 70 today. God chose to take him home 4 months ago. We have happy memories of LD. I know he suffered much the past three years of his life. We all miss him. I was thinking this week about the good times and I really miss those times. The days before he became sick was so wonderful. I know that he suffered with all the things his body was put through. I would not want him to come back like that, even if he could. Nadine still has a hard time with the death of her husband. They was very close and always together. It touched our heart as we saw Nadine put balloons on his grave. I know she misses him. Kevin has his good days and his bad days. Kevin don't talk much about it, but I know he misses his dad. Many days on Kevin's way home from work, he will stop at the graveyard. Kevin told me that everywhere he looks around our place he has memories of his dad. L. D helped us do a good bit of things around our house. One of Kevin's hardest times was when he heard the song by Luther Van Dross " If I could dance with my Father Again" Kevin don't show his feelings much, but there has been some days that I knew he was hurting. I just wanted to take some time to remember my Father-in-Law today. We love and miss you dad.

God saw you were getting tired and a cure was not to be, so He put His arms around you and whispered come live with me. With tearful eyes we watched you suffer and saw you fading away, we loved you dearly, but could not make you stay. A golden heart stops beating, your hard working hands put to rest, God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best. God will love you and keep you until we meet Carolyn Marvinetz

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Two Can Swing

Annie and Brooke

Monday, May 22, 2006

Enjoying the Outside

I like to climb
Talking on the phone
Brooke loves the outside. Just wanted to share a few pictures of our day. We had a fun afternoon. Brooke played in the rocks, chased the cat and dogs. Brooke also played in the sand and climbed a tree. Teasing. I put her in the tree. She loved it. She likes to climb. I know it will not be long before she is climbing the trees.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pretty Girls

Sitting pretty
I love Dora!!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Stranger

The Stranger
A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new
to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this
enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family.
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me
into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never question his
place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries, and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold
our whole family spellbound for hours each evening.
He was like a friend to the whole family.
He took Dad, my brother, and me to our first major league baseball game.
He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements
to introduce us to several movie stars.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad did not seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up-while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of
faraway places-go to her room, read the Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.
Profanity, for example was not allowed in our house- not from us, from our friends, or from adults. Our long-time visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made my Dad squirm.
To my knowledge, neither of my parents ever confronted the stranger.
My dad did not permit alcohol in his home- not even for cooking.
But this stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.
He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.
He talked about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive,
and generally embarrassing.
I know now that the stranger influenced my early concepts of the man/ woman relationship. As I look back, I know it was because of the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he opposed the value of parents, yet my father seldom rebuked him and never ask him to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with us. But if I were to walk into my parents home today, I would still see him sitting there waiting for someone to listen to his stories and watch him draw his pictures. His name????
(author unknown)
That pretty much explains why we don't have a T.V.
Today television is even worse than it was 30 years ago. There is so much bad on there. Many of the advertisements are bad. I know that T.V would be a terrible influence on my children. Just like the author of this said "This stranger would bring all kinds of things into our home)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Artificial Babies

Courtney asked us today if we tried to get a artificial baby when we tried to get her. LOL
What she meant was Artificial Insemination. She does not even know what Artificial Insemination is. Courtney has heard us talking about the Celebration Of Life lately. She has also heard us talking about In-Vitro Fertilization.
I was on the phone with one of my dear friends last night. This friend is having a very difficult time right now. She has been trying to have a baby for 4 years with no success. My heart went out to her because I know exactly what she is going through. The bad thing is the Doctors have not found anything wrong with her or her husband so there is no medical reason why she should not be able to have a child. My friend was telling me that her and her husband had did Artificial Insemination twice since February and she has not got pregnant. She has one more try with this but she is so tired of fighting it. She is stressed to the max and just don't feel like she can go again. I am trying to comfort her and give her some advice. I was telling her that I thought it would be good for her and and her husband to try Artificial insemination one more time this summer. The reason is she will not be working this summer and she will not be under as much stress. I was on the phone with my friend a hour and a half. I don't normally talk that long on the phone, but I felt she needed a friend.
All this to say little ears was listening to my conversation. Courtney's little mind is working. She is trying to put the celebration of life and my conversation with my friend together and she comes up with Artificial Babies? Kevin and I could not help but laugh. Of course Courtney wants to know about how she got here. She has been asking questions lately and I just don't feel she is ready to know about how children are born. I told her to wait a couple of more years and I would explain some things to her. She don't like that answer. She wants to know now. I don't know when the best age is to explain things to your children. I know it will never be a easy time. I had rather tell her than for her friends to tell her and it be all wrong. She has also asked me lately how so and so can have a baby and they are not married. Courtney said "my friend Logan told me that you have to have a daddy." Courtney then says " I told him that you don't have to have a daddy, because so and so did not have a daddy." I tried to explain that you have to have a daddy and a mommy. She kept bringing up this so and so (I will not give their name.) Finally I told her not to worry about it right now I would explain it to her later. Anybody got any good ideas or a good age to explain things to your children??
I have to say Courtney gave us a good laugh when she ask about artificial babies.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Celebration Of Life

Saturday May 13, we went to Birmingham to the Celebration Of Life. The ART program of Alabama held their 20th anniversary. This was a special time for Courtney. We have had much attention on Brooke, that I think this was great for Courtney.
I owe much thanks to the ART program. A special thanks to Dr. Cecil Long, who was my Doctor.
Being at the celebration brought many memories back to me.
Memories from many years ago. After Kevin and I had married we planned on having a house full of children. We married in 1992. Kevin had two years left of collage. I worked those two years. We wanted to have our first child soon after Kevin was through with collage. When the time came we fixed up a nursery. I remember how excited we was when we bought our white Jenny Lin bed for our baby. I fixed the nursery up in Teddy bears so that it could be for a boy or a girl. The first month came and went. I was not pregnant. The second month came and went. I did not think much about it, because I knew sometimes it took time. After about the 6th month I knew something was not right. I felt it in my heart. I went to my Dr. and she wanted me to start clomid. (fertility drug) I did. After several months of no success we did further testing. I will never forget the worst day of my life. In October 1995 Kevin and I was sitting in my Drs office and she came in and told us the worst news I could possible hear. She said that we would not be able to have children. I lost it right there in the Dr's office. I cried and cried. Nothing would bring me comfort. Kevin held me, but I was so numb. My Dr was very concerned. She said " Don't cry, there is things we can do to help you maybe have a child" She told me about the ART program. I felt sick. I felt like I just wanted to die. Everything I ever dreamed of was gone. I was so confused. I was suppose to be able to have children. Is that not what God put us here for? To bring another soul into the world to know about God?
Many people would be bitter toward God. God was my strength. I held on to God with everything I had. Many days I felt like letting go, but my desire to make it to heaven more than anything kept me holding on.
You can grieve for what might have been or you can make your dreams come true. After much prayer and seeking God, we decided to go speak with the Doctor in Birmingham. From that moment on we started seeking fertility treatment. I remember all those shots I had to have. I remember this one particular shot. I had to have this shot timed just perfect. This was a shot I had to have 24 hours before my Dr. did a egg retrieval on me. Kevin was working and I had to go to the hospital for him to give me this shot. Of all nights he was busy. He was able to get somebody else to do his work and he came and gave me the shot. I have always been the type to pass out with needles. I got used to needles pretty fast as we went through this. I remember going to Birmingham to have the procedure done. I had to go back several days later for the final procedure. The next 10 days was the longest days of my life. I wanted to know if I was pregnant. I longed for a child. I knew that the Dr. had done his part, but the rest was in Gods hand. It the embryos did not attatch then I would not be pregnant. I laid in the bed for days. I only would get up if I had to. About the 10th day I went to have blood drawn to see if I was pregnant. I had to wait all day for the nurse to call me with the results. When the phone finally rang she said" Are you sitting down?" I knew I had a baby on the way. Kevin brought me roses that night. We was so happy. I had to go for weeks of ultasounds to make sure everything was going good. When I was about 6 weeks pregnant things started looking bad. I went in and the nurse showed us where the baby was. She then showed us the sac that was carrying the baby. There was a problem. The baby was growing, but the sac was not. It looked like the baby was going to burst through. The nurse told me I would loose my baby. "No" I cried out to God. I could not bare this. This was more than I could bare. I felt like I had been through so much already. I cried all the way home. News travels and the saints of God was calling. Prayer and fasting was going forth. My Dr called and told me he had seen the results and that I would loose the baby. I refused to believe it. I put my trust in God, and believed. I had such a peace on me. I did not cry. I knew that God was in control and that maybe God allowed this to let others know He was in control. I went back the next Monday and God had moved and he allowed me to keep my little girl. I have tried to find the ultrasound pictures so you could see what God did, but I can't find them. Kevin had prayed that we would not only see a change but that we would see our baby move. We did see her move. Courtney kicked her leg out on the ultrasound. I knew everything was going to be O.K.
I was very thankful to be apart of the celebration of life. Miss America 2005 was there. Courtney got her picture taking with her. Deidre Downs gave all the little girls a tier.
Jay Barker a Alabama Football player was also there. He gave the boys a football. Jay had to use the ART program help him and his wife to have a child. He spoke about that to us and it was good. As I looked around at all the people and all the babies I was amazed. Sometimes you feel like you are alone on not being able to conceive. I realize there are many people who have went through this. Dr. Long gave a speech that was great. He also has a Daughter through IVF.
Why do people want children? I have thought about that before. Why is the longing I have for children so great? It is only normal. Most people want at least one. Children are a great blessing. They bring us joy, and happiness. Yes, there is sometimes that they bring us sadness and bring us tears. I have to say the happiness is far greater than the sadness.
Courtney had a great time at the Celebration of Life. Courtney had to tell all her friends that she got her picture with Miss America. When people ask her why, her reply was "to Celebrate me."
I thought that was really cute. She does not really understand why the celebration took place. She knows it has to do with her being born, but she don't understand ALL the details.
We had a great time. Mothers Day was special this year. I had two wonderful girls to celebrate with. Kevin wrote me a sweet note and he put on it "that is was nice to see our family complete"
I am very thankful for my family. If God allows us to have more children that will be just fine. For now, I am happy with my two wonderful girls and my wonderful husband.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Computer Trouble

My computer has been out of service for a few days. We have it finally working again.
Brooke has been sick for days now. She will not let anybody touch her but me. She has a really bad cough and runny nose. Brooke has slept bad all week. One night Kevin and I only got about 2 hours of sleep. Brooke also has not ate much.
Last night Brooke and I did not go to church. Brooke felt so bad. Prayer was requested for Brooke. God moved on Brooke. About 9:00 Brooke ate a small bowl of potatoes. She seemed to feel better. Brooke also slept ALL night long. I woke up about 3:00 and had to go make sure she was still breathing. She slept great and I slept wonderful. Brooke ate a bowl of oatmeal this morning. I am hoping she in on the road to feeling better.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Brooke did much better than the last time with her shots. She still cried, but nothing like the last time. If she will just continue to do good we will be O.K. The last time it messed her sleep up really bad. Which lately I can't blame the sleep issue on shots.
This afternoon Courtney and Brooke had a fun time with bubbles. Courtney would blow the bubbles and Brooke would chase them. She did not understand why they would go away when she tried to grab them. They had a fun time. I could not help but laugh at Brooke. She would see the bubbles on the ground and she would go to grab it. When it popped she had the funniest expression on her face. I wanted to share some of the pictures from their bubble play.

What a night!!!

After church last night we went to McDonald with some friends. After we got home Brooke and Courtney played for a little bit. I did not let them play long because it was late. I guess we all was asleep by 11:30. Around 12:15 Brooke woke up crying. Kevin went in and patted her and gave her a passey. She went back to sleep. Around 1:15 she woke up again. I went in and patted her and she went back to sleep. I think it was 2:00 she woke up again. I am like a walking zombie. I stumble into her room and Brooke is sitting up in her bed crying. I lay her down and she cries and cries. I finally get her to sleep, (I thought). I start to leave the room and she starts again. At this point I am trying to focus on what is wrong and force my eyes to stay open. I pick Brooke up and almost fell. ( I was so sleepy) I just wanted to let her cry and go back to bed. At this point Courtney is sitting up in the bed wanting to know what was going on. Kevin gets up and fixes Brooke a bottle. I give her the bottle and she downs it and goes back to sleep. I go lay her in her bed and she immediately starts crying and saying "momma".
Well I decide if I am going to get any sleep I have to put her in our bed. I laid her down and she went to sleep. I have trouble going back to sleep because I am wide awake at this point. Finally I go back to sleep. I get woke up by a ton of bricks falling on my face. Actually it was Brooke tossing and either her head or hands was hitting me in the face. She starts crying again. I think it was three something. I am so miserable. Kevin is miserable. I am begging him to go sleep in the other room so he can get some rest. He wants me to so I can get some rest. It ended up neither of us got much sleep. Brooke tossed and turned and cried the rest of the night. Every hour she would wake up. I would look at the clock and think another hour. I got hit in the eye by her hand. This morning I am so sore from laying in the exact same spot. I could not turn over because I was afraid I would roll back on her. The times I did try to turn over Brooke would grab my shirt and cry. I finally got up this morning and Brooke seems to be sleeping so good. I guess that is the way it normally works. What a night we had!!!! I feel really wore out this morning. Oh I forgot to mention around 6:00 Kevin's cell phone starts beeping with a voice message. I hope I can stay awake today. Kelly if you are reading this I don't know if I will make it to the gym today. I might fall asleep while you guys are double stepping. LOL
Time to get Brooke up.( Yeeks)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

First date/ 5 month Anniversary

I am finding it very hard to leave Brooke. She is such a mommy's baby. I just don't know what we are going to do. Kevin and I left the girls with my parents last night and we went to eat and to a play. We had a great time. Before the play started we went to Guntersville Lake and walked around. It was so pretty and the temperature was great. Kevin and I had our first date since Brooke has been home. I left Brooke with my mom once while we took Courtney to a play, but this was the first time Kevin and I have been by ourselves. It felt so strange with at least one of the girls not being with us. We had a really fun time though. I think anybody who is married and has children needs to have some time to still go out alone. I think it really helps your marriage. Kevin and I used to be more faithful about dates, but things have been so hectic the past 6 months that we kinda let it slip. I know it is not always easy to go out alone when you have children. Especially if you have more than one. I definantly think it is good for couples to have dates. Don't take that wrong when I say that. My children are my world and I love them very much. I love doing things as a family. It is just so nice to be able to go to out to eat and not have to go take one child to the bathroom, or change diaper. It is so nice to be able to talk and not have to say "leave the salt shaker alone" "Don't talk so loud" Etc, Etc. It is so nice to be able to taste your food and enjoy it. What I mean by that is normally if we go out I am having to feed Brooke and so I am not really enjoying what I am eating. Many times I don't even remember what I ate. LOL That is so true. I will be busy trying to get food down Brooke that I don't remember eating. In between feeding Brooke I am having to pick up the fork or spoon that she has dropped 10 times. Kevin is a great help to me, but Brooke seems to eat better when I feed her. It was also nice to be able to talk without a dozen interruptions. We call Courtney Chatter box, because she never is quite. She is talking from the time we get in the van until we have stopped. Some days I tell her to see if she can be quite for just 5 minutes. LOL
All of this to say Kevin and I had a great time.
Yesterday was also our 5 month Anniversary for having Brooke. It seems like we have had her forever. She has brought us so much joy. The past few weeks she has got to be a bigger mommy's girl. She has always been a mommy's girl, but the past few weeks have been tough. She does not want anybody to touch her if I am around. She clings to me all the time. We left her last night and today has been a nightmare. She don't want her daddy or anybody to touch her. If you come up and talk to her she will bury her head in my shirt and cling to me. If I am not around she does O.K. Once she sees me then she goes crazy.
I asked our pastor if I could not teach Bible School this year. I really think it is for the best. I will miss the children, but I feel that more damage would be done toward Brooke if I left her everyday. Nobody can imagine what our nights are like sometimes. Brooke will have night terrors and scream for me. I am the only one who can comfort her. I just don't feel Brooke is ready to be left yet. I know in time she will have the security that mommy and daddy are coming back. Last night I left her and like I said today has been a nightmare. Brooke loves my parents and does good when she is with them. It is the afterwards that is so bad. This happened a couple of weeks ago when we left her to take Courtney out. My friends who are reading this please pray that this will get better. I am so thankful Brooke loves me, but I do want her to share her love with her sister and daddy.
Brooke has shots tomorrow and I am worried sick about them. We went through two months of her not sleeping after the last shots. They really messed her up. I think the shots brought some memories back to her of some shots she had in China. Maybe they used a dull needle on her. I am not sure what triggered in her little mind, but it was terrible what she went through at night after those shots. Please pray for us tomorrow.
Take care, and all you married people with children "Go out on a date" You really need it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"NO Brooke"

Kevin ask me this morning how many times a day I say "no Brooke". That is a good question. Brooke is always into something. Brooke and Courtney is two very different babies. I don't remember Courtney getting into as much stuff as Brooke. Brooke is constantly getting into something or trying to get into something. Here is just a few things we go through during the day. "No Brooke, leave the computer alone" "No Brooke you can't play with the birds food" "Where did you get that Brooke?" Brooke will have lotion or shampoo in her hands. One day she managed to get the lotion top off and had lotion everywhere. One day she had a razor in her hand. (She had been in our bathroom) Yes, I should have had it put in a better place, but honestly I am not for sure where Brooke did get it. Many days I go into Brooke's room and she will have all, or almost all the diapers pulled out of the diaper stack and in the floor. Brooke is a very busy little girl. One day I had bought a 12 pack of cokes. Somehow Brooke got the box opened and she would bring two cans into the living room and put them in the floor. She worked really hard and brought all the cokes into the living room. Kevin and I could not help but laugh at her. She looked so funny waddling from the kitchen into the living room carrying all these cans of coke. She seemed to be having fun so we let her continue.
Brooke is always trying to put her finger in the birds cage. If I have told her once, I have told her a dozen times that the bird is going to bite her finger. She does not listen well. She will stop when I tell her to, but then a little bit later she is back over at the bird cage trying to put her hand in the cage. I guess it will take Perky biting her finger one day to make her stop. Perky is a little parakeet so it would not hurt to bad.
No matter what I am doing Brooke is into something. She like to get in the cabinets and pull out the dishes. Yesterday she put a adventure in Odyssey tape in the garbage. I tried to explain that we only put trash in the garbage. Brooke just looks at me and grins.
Many days I hear Courtney scream " Help Brooke has my hair" I go to rescue Courtney and find Brooke standing there having a good time pulling Courtney's long hair. "No, No Brooke don't pull sissy's hair"
Brooke is very curious and she will watch everything you do. She will try to do exactly what you are doing. I have found I have to be very careful in what I let her see me do. One day I had been vacuuming. I had stopped for some reason. Brooke had got real quite, so I went to see what she was into. She had the vacuum cleaner unplugged and was trying to plug it in again. I told her no and tried to explain that it could hurt baby. I then tossed the cord across the room. Ten minutes later Brooke has the cord and she is going to another outlet to try and plug it in. (Yes I have the safety plugs in most of my outlets now)
Brooke can find anything that you can't see. One day she found a little staple on the floor and ate it. I am constantly saying " Brooke what did you put in your mouth?"
Brooke has not reached the terrible twos yet. What am I in for????
Even though she is always into something she has brought us so much joy and happiness. Having Brooke in our life has been so wonderful. We love her very much. Brooke will be running through the house saying " momma, momma" over and over. It is so sweet to hear those words.
When I hear her sweet little voice saying "momma. Momma" My heart melts and I seem to forget all the things she had got into that day.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Anniversary Tea

I gave my parents a Anniversary Tea Monday night. I did not have time to put a big thing together. I only remembered that it was their 40th Anniversary like 5 days before their special day. We was having a revival so it made it hard for me to get anything together with such a short notice. I felt bad not remembering it sooner. My mind does not work well lately. It seems like since December I can't remember much. I feel I have been so busy since Brooke came home. So many things have happened since December. I am ready for school to be over and have some time to relax. (If that is possible)
My mom was surprised when she found out about the tea. I think it turned out pretty good. There was about 30 to 40 people there. I was very thankful that I was able to do something to celebrate their forty years together.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Teddy's first Poop and Shadows 1st Barf

This was from a guy on my yahoo group. I had to share.

"Dad, when can I have a dog?" Melanie knows the answer by heart, but wants to try one more time in hopes my answer might change."When you're 25 dear." I answered robotically. She does the math, being only eight so far."But that's no fair! Darby has a dog. You had a dog when you were a kid!"She knows all the angles and whines for effect."Life isn't fair, sweetie." I don't think my response carried the weight intended. But let me try to straddle two different worlds - those who are dog people versus those who are not. I don't think these worlds can be reconciled by reason and argument. Just like abortion, politics and religion, some divisions are stark bifurcation that defy all attempts at reconciliation. So dog owners might think my resistance is small minded, selfish, uninformed and inflexible - and those are just the polite adjectives. I know all the arguments for a dog - companionship, affection, another member of the family to love and be loved. But as a certified Grump the flipside snaps quickly into my mind. Dog odor, poop, pee, hair, chewed stuff I don't want chewed, feeding and walking every cotton-pickin day, morning and night. In late afternoon when someone says let's go get some dinner I would have to say "Sorry, have to go home and feed the dog and walk the dog and beg the dog to poop while I glance at my watch, then pick up the poop in a plastic bag." Yesssiree, let me have a dog.But Melanie is relentless, and her Mom is on her side and gives her hope Dad will some day see the light. Recently Mom informed me Melanie threw pennies in a wishing well for a dog when we were on vacation in Destin, and more recently had been wishing on a star. So, anyway, when we went to get Melanie's dog I made a huge mistake, I mean in addition to surrendering. I had secretly looked for a dog on the web,searching for the right guy. I didn't want a puppy with all the poop and pee and chewing things to put up with, so I searched for a young adult,house trained, not too big since he was to be a house dog. I found Teddy, a four year old neutered male beagle, cute as a button. Julie agreed on Teddy based on the shelter's description of his gentle nature, and we packed up the kids to take them to the surprise of meeting their dog. And it was a surprise for me and Julie, too, because Teddy weighed 60 pounds,more than twice the size we thought he was. If you call me stupid, I already beat you to it. Did you know Beagles and other hounds have a, um, distinctive odor? But I couldn't say no with the kids waiting to take the dog home, even though I should have. We loaded the newest member of our family in the truck and headed for home. On his first walk Teddy drug Melanie stumbling down the golf cart path on his leash, and we walked him quite a bit that night after his meal, trying to get him to poop with no success. On his next morning walk, no poop. I was beginning to be concerned until I found he had,indeed, pooped, in the comfort of the air conditioned foyer. He didn't poop on his walks, but he did leave a big one on the kitchen floor. I decided we had to revert to crate training - for no-dog people, that means the dog has his own private space inside a wire cage big enough to be comfortable,and keeping the dog in there helps house training because dogs won't foul their own space. But someone forgot to tell Teddy about the rule. We picked up Teddy on Friday, and the 1st of the week despite my family's protests I was the bad guy who returned him to the shelter and confessed I had made a mistake. If you have the right dog, you have to deal with the housetraining issues, but Teddy wasn't the right dog for our family - the shelter I returned him to is not a kill shelter, so he is OK. I was worried about the parallel between Melanie and Kristen's adoption, andTeddy's failed adoption, and I talked to Melanie about it. But the mistake with Teddy was still a big one. So we continued to look for the right dog, because once Dad gave in, there was no turning back with relentless Melanie staring me down, and I promised when I took Teddy back Melanie could have another dog. Melanie's pleas to keep Teddy immediately switched to excitement over the prospect of a smaller dog, and one she could help select. She liked Teddy but she moved on in a new York minute. So Melanie and I spent a lot of time perusing dogs on the web. I finally found a smaller dog, black as coal from nose to the end of his tail, shortshiny black coat, looks like a small black lab but he's a mutt, partterrier, 24 pounds of happy, calm, eager-to-please one year old dog. Melanie said she liked him. She and I drove over 2 hours to north Georgia to pick him up, taking our time when we met him to play and look him over and think about whether he was the right dog for our family. I didn't mind the drive, sort of a "road trip" to break in my brand new Ford F-150 Super Crew truck, with a big screen DVD player built in so Melanie was fully occupied in the back seat. We both liked the dog and decided to make him a member of our family. I brought the doggy throw pillowI had bought for Teddy, so the dog had a perch in the front seat with a great view. But I'm sure it was a stressful day for the little guy, not knowing where we were going, maybe his first friendly ride in a truck, up and down and back and forth around the curves of the north Georgia hills,and I noticed he wasn't looking outside any more, he was resting his chin on his paws and looking a little green around the gills. He yawned several times, and I thought "Don't you puke on me, dog!"Then he started to hack a bit like a cat bringing up a hairball and I sort of yelled "DON'T YOU PUKE ON ME, DOG!" while we were rolling down the highway. That's when he puked on me the first time. Well, not exactly ON me, he puked ON the supple tan leather seat of my new truck, and while keeping the truck on the road I grabbed napkins out of the dispenser on the visor to dam it up, stop the flow, because he puked in sort of a little valley, and his barf was sufficiently solid that it was contained, marinating my new seats. And if that doesn't ruin your lunch - I whipped into a McDonalds, rushed around to the passenger side of the truck and took the dog out by the leash and instructed Melanie to hold him off the parking lot on the grass while I went inside to the restroom for a pound or two of paper towels. Naturally the bathroom had nothing but an electric blower, so I stomped back outside to see the dark and strong little dog happily dragging Melanie down the sidewalk by the leash and some guy with a greasy baseball cap and no front teeth laughing his head off from his so-called car. I helped Melanie get the dog to a safe spot on the grass, encouraged her to reach down in her gut and hold him by the leash while I used a towel I brought on our trip -specifically for doggy accidents - to wipe up the mess. Sensing Melanie was taking charge instead of following, the dog sort of submitted to her control, and he wandered over to a McD's dining room window, just below a couple sitting at a table inside and enjoying their lunch, and he hunched over and squeezed out a steaming pile while they ate their big macs, oblivious to the offense just two feet away because they blissfully could not see it and were protected through the glass. Melanie and I laughingly loaded the formerly queasy dog back into the new truck and took off before we could suffer the indignity of being thrown out of McDonalds in a tiny north Georgia town. The dog didn't puke in the truck again for about 15 minutes. This time, being a dog barf veteran, I dammed it up and let it sit all the way home,over another hour. The dog seemed a little unhappy about my not cleaning it up, because he got a little barf on himself and I used the leash to make him sit still. But he got used to it. When we arrived home his puking was all forgotten, he was excitedly exploring his new turf. Mom and Kristen liked him a lot, and I have to admit he is a sleek little guy that all the ladies who meet him call "cute!" He's small with a barrel chest and very trim hind quarters, ears that stand up and fold over halfway, and when he examines something and cocks his head to one side he looks like a Christmas photo. After a couple days of considering names like "Midnight" and "Eight-Ball" and even a few Chinese names, Melanie settled on "Shadow" so that is his name, and after a week now he responds to it well.Shadow curls up on his dog pillow and dozes for hours while Mom is at work,the kids are at school or a summer sitter, and I work in my office. He pooped like a good dog on his very first walk, earning him a little trust and freedom in the house, and Melanie enjoys giving him a treat and praise when he poops.He likes going with Julie on a morning run, right after she feeds him and he does his business before they return. And sometimes Melanie walks Shadow. But that is an anomaly. The daily routine depends on the Grump, and that would be me - first thing in the morning, feed the dog then take the dog for his walk/run. Of course I don't run, if I ran 100 yards I'd drop dead. But I take Shadow on the golf cart. Peachtree City has 80 miles of golf cartpaths, and Shadow already knows some of them. When I open the door to the garage in the morning Shadow leaps out and up on the golf cart seat because he knows where we are going. I keep him on the seat for a little ways until we get to the woods, and I no longer have to say "Down, Shadow" because he sees his spot and tenses in anticipation of his favorite part of the day. When I slow down he scoots to the ground to begin his hunt for critters, where other dogs have peed, where he wants to pee himself and the very special spot where he will circle a few times,squat and earn his reward of a treat. Shadow already knows when he poops in the woods he gets a treat. But he doesn't do it right away. Shadow loves to run beside or in front of the golf cart, tethered by a 25 foot retractable leash, and he lopes or trots or walks between 3 and five miles a day, with his poop marking the apex of the trip, satisfying the prime requirement, punching his ticket and earning him a treat. So now my Grumpy routine is, um, adjusted. Morning and night I feed Shadow,take him on his walk-run, and now we have added noon, too, because you see he peed and pooped in Kristen's room, he peed and pooped in the dining room ,he needs a mid-day outing and we're heading back to crate training so he learns to hold it better. I'm even considering a doggy door and a hidden electronic fence. And while no-dog readers are thinking "Ewwww" about poop and pee in the house, as am I, dog people would quickly point out accidents are just part of the deal when you're training a dog, and you can't get excited about it. Well, unless you're a grump. Of course my attitude has changed little. Pee, poop, hair, smell,ball-and-chain morning and night, sounds like owning a dog to me. My buddy Tom laughed from his car the other day as I crossed the street in front of him in the golf cart with Shadow on the seat beside me. He told me later he thought it was funny that I had my arm around that dog like I loved him. Baloney, I said, I was just holding him so he didn't fall out when I turned left, like he did the other day, and Tom winked at me.But I can't communicate with Tom any more, he's a no-dog person, and I seem to have crossed over. It's almost like when you have kids, you drift apart from no-kids couples because no matter how much you like one another, the things you have in common seem to fade away. I can't talk any more, have to go feed Shadow and take him on his walk-trot-run, made more urgent because he didn't poop this morning on his first run, nor on his second remedial run in search of a poop, nor on his 3rd re-remedial walk when Julie and Melanie took him, nor on his 4th when I took him just after noon again. By the time I get back, assuming he poops on this one and we don't have to go again, he will have about 8 or 9 miles today. At least he's staying fit.I know what you no-dog people are thinking. Dog people follow their dogs around on leashes, waiting for them to poop, morning and night, cold or hot,rain or shine or snow or sleet, and I have always thought of them as complete idiots. Actually, I still do, but now, as Kristen would say, I are one too! Gotta go beg Shadow to poop.