Saturday, May 16, 2009

Famous friend!

This is my very very lovely friend Annie who saved a million dollars on groceries in 2008. Well, less than that, but still! We're so proud of her. Hope this link works. I think you'll need to cut and paste.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Adoption loss.

My heart is heavy today for some sweet friends who have experienced an adoption loss. It's a weird kind of loss because there usually is no physical death but the death of a dream of parenting a very real child is devastating. Especially after the losses affiliated with infertility.

What do you say in this situation? I'll tell you what you do NOT say, and that is "This was not meant to be." This may seem comforting, but the fact is that many times it has felt "meant to be" for weeks or months. It usually looks like God's hand was on the match and there was no indication that it wouldn't work out. The family banks their hopes and dreams on this baby, names the baby, and loves the baby even if they have not met. If they have met it can be even harder in that you have a real live baby to picture in your arms forever. And then you're left empty handed and broken hearted.

This is the time to rally around the prospective adoptive parents. I thank God that this is what is happening in this case! Allow the couple to grieve this loss. Although the baby was not legally theirs, in their hearts the baby was. It is a very real loss even without a physical death. Don't expect the couple to "snap out of it" quickly, to be ready to move on to another match right away (although they may be), or expect them to be strong for you. They can't. If it seems like they are, they may be faking it and will let down sooner or later (hopefully sooner). But don't push. Let them know you are there to listen when they are ready. Offer to bring a meal. Leave a meal on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run if you have to, if they don't yet feel like talking. (Tell me if you do that so I can find out how that goes.) Pray.

Whew. I know the sadness I am feeling for this couple in no way begins to match their feelings. I know I keep rehashing this in my mind, but this is not my loss. I don't think my friends are blog readers, but if they are, then know that I love you and will continue to pray for your hearts and the lives of everyone involved.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Love-hate relationship.

BB has a love-hate relationship with mustard. On the one hand, he requests it when we have hot dogs, which frankly, we eat about every other day for a meal. (Well, little boys do, I usually don't.)

On the other hand, yesterday morning I went to a BSF intro class (Bible Study Fellowship). I attended for years until the boys came, then I took a break. I got a babysitter for the morning and attended the class. When I got home from BSF the boys were watching "Monsters Inc." on DVD. Sometimes BB is afraid of it, but he didn't seem to be yesterday. He will say, "scared" and fake shake if he is, so I was confident he was doing OK.

Well after a few minutes as I was preparing their lunch (NOT hot dogs), BB came running from the back room saying, "Mustard coming. Scared." He substitutes the word "mustard" for "monsters." It's pretty freakin' hilarious. He keeps saying it today and I just egg him along. It's so cute. He's not really scared, he's just playing, but I guess under the right (wrong) circumstances mustard can be scary. Like on a freshly laundered white top or chasing after you from a dark room.

Mustard. Love it. (In both senses of the word.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Food for thought.

Is it considered bad manners for me to have fished my lunch out of a soup I'm preparing to take to friends tonight? I used a clean ladle and ate it out of my own individual bowl.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How's the chocolate fast going?

Today I heard myself say out loud, "I don't have to eat it, just because it's there." I was going for the Hershey's kisses I received for serving in the children's area on Mother's Day. I was thinking if I just ate them all right away they wouldn't be a temptation any more and I wouldn't have chocolate in the house to eat every day.

I gave up chocolate for Lent because I felt like I was going for the choc before going to the Lord for comfort. I decided not to keep fattening chocolate in the house after Easter, but to indulge if I felt like it when I went out to dinner or to a birthday party or some festival. I do still buy dark chocolate because I can be satisfied by a square of it with some raw almonds and it's supposed to be good for me. I buy Weight Watchers fudge bars because I heart them and they are only 50 calories each and very satisfying. And um, I did buy some Kashi cookies because Thelma fed me one at the retreat and it was so satisfying.

So I'm not going ape with the no chocolate thing now, but I do find myself less tempted by it and able to realize when I'm going for it out of habit instead of because I'm hungry for a sweet treat. I even passed up most of the chocolate pie you sent, Frances, but the piece I did have was most delicious as usual.

And I had a hot fudge sundae at McDonald's the other night...

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm glad yesterday is over.

Although it's really not. It is 10:45 which makes it still Mother's Day, but lest I don't have time to post tomorrow I thought I'd spew forth some thoughts.

Mother's Day is hard for so many people. It's hard for women who long for children with empty arms, the men who love them, women and men who have had a mother die or are estranged for some reason, and people who have lost children, to name a few. It used to be hard for me and I know it's very hard on some of my friends right now. So it was a highly charged day and I'm ready for a run-of-the-mill Monday.

This morning I sat with a friend going through IF and other health issues and watched as the woman sitting next to her rubbed her obviously pregnant belly and had her husband put his hand on the baby as they made goo-goo eyes at each other. I very clearly remembered how it felt to be my friend and I just wanted to throw my arm around her, point at the other woman and yell, "Hellooo?? Can you get a rooooom?" Ugh. But I also know that that couple were rejoicing together and have no reason to consider why that display might have stung an IF woman just a tad. But I figured it must have. It reminded me of my other sweet friends dreaming of a) a future Mother's Day with a baby in her arms, or at least b) tomorrow.

I worked in the children's area at church today. Many mothers did not want to serve on Mother's Day, which I understand, but I just felt so blessed to be a mother today that I didn't mind missing a church service to help out. I was in the baby room with 3 other moms and we had some fun, too. Plus we got chocolate for serving on this day, so it was worth it. I didn't feel like I needed a big to-do for the day, because my sweet boys and husband are so sweet every day.

We went out to dinner to a local restaurant where there is a fenced-in playground for the kids, (No, not McDonald's, although I did dine there the other night much to my Diane's chagrin) and enjoyed a quasi-relaxing dinner outside. Then we came home and I finished watching "Kit Kittridge: An American Girl." It was a good day and I'm glad tomorrow is coming soon. Like in one hour and 4 minutes. Must. Go. To. Sleep.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Top 10 things about my mom!

1. She always sees the best in people.
2. She's a total techie mom and spoils me with nifty high-tech gifts!
3. She loves her career and her students but I've never felt like that means family is second best.
4. She especially loves spending time outdoors (and indoors) with her grandsons. Even though it took us years to be parents I always knew that she would be just as thrilled by the 4th (and 5th) grandsons as she was with the first 3!
5. She asks me for advice and lets me know she appreciates my perspective.
6. When we're together she always provides her family with the treats we love like raspberries and ice cream.
7. She is a great cook and makes tasty, healthy meals. After Andrew was born she made me some wonderful meals and shopped for healthy treats like granola with berries.
8. She is a great model of spending quality time with her family.
9. She taught me to knit and we cracked up about all the mistakes I made.
10. She's a great clothes-shopping partner! We zip zip zip through the store leaving piles of clothes in our wake, then go eat. We prefer eating.

There are so many more I couldn't possibly list them all. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you so much!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Did you know???

You can use 2 drops of olive oil to moisturize your hands and cuticles, and to pat on your face as a 100% natural alternative to commercial skin care products? Not only is it non-greasy, which you would probably not expect, but you won't smell like an Italian kitchen afterwards. In fact the smell of a small quantity of olive oil like that is absolutely lovely and I am so excited about it! I bet Miriam knew that, being the Italian beauty that she is!

You can also use olive oil on a cotton ball to remove eye makeup. People who know me know that I don't often wear makeup, but that's mostly because I HATE taking it off at the end of the day. I'd rather just not go there. But now this new information has me revved up about natural beauty care products. Maybe I'll have eyes more often. (Everybody has eyes, right, Karen?)

Where did I learn these amazing things? From the Bible! Well, Ginger Garrett learned them from the Bible (I'm sure she was not the first), shared them in her book Beauty Secrets of the Bible, and gave me a copy last weekend at a Hannah's Prayer Infertility and Loss Ministry retreat. There are several other household items that are perfect beauty products, but I haven't time to rave all about those right now. Olive oil! Who knew?