Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

Give A Little, Get A Little December 31, 2010

Filed under: adoption thoughts,giveaway — Elizabeth @ 5:39 PM

Today, I want to share with you a little bit about my friend, Tracy.  Tracy is the mother of 5, and her fifth child, Emi Faith, is waiting for her in Korea.  Emi is 3 years old and has significant special needs, but Tracy and her husband know that this is their daughter, and they are committed to bringing her home and getting her the help that she needs.  They are thrilled that after a very long journey, they will be able to bring her home in the next 4-6 weeks.

Those of you who have followed along with me for a while may remember how hard Jason and I worked and saved and toiled to bring Matthew home.  The fundraisers, the yard sales, oh my–I need a nap just remembering!  Tracy and her family have been walking that same road and they have almost reached the end.  With their travel dates looming, they have realized that Butch, Tracy’s husband, really needs to be at home to attend to their other children.  But considering Emi’s needs, Tracy really needs to have a companion with her on this trip.  And I can tell you from personal experience, Tracy needs someone there for moral support.  I don’t know how I would have lived through our trip without my husband or another close friend!  She has found a friend who can take the time to go, but they need to raise the money for the plane ticket.  Tickets to Korea cost about $1200, so this is a very real expense.

I know that things are tight just after the holidays.  I know that everybody has their own things going on.  But I have also been in Tracy’s shoes.  I have experienced the kindness of a stranger.  I know that people are inherently good, and want to help…..and I thought a giveaway might be a fun incentive.

So here’s the thing.  I am giving away 3 things….

A bracelet from 31 Bits

Jewelry from 31 Bits is made out of recycled paper by displaced women in Northern Uganda.  The jewelry is beautiful and helps women empower themselves…not to mention that it goes with everything.  What more could you ask for?

I am also giving away these two things that I picked up in Korea to give as gifts….but that I never got around to giving–a bookmark and a keyring:

I know I have a lot of avid readers out there, and I’m guessing that you all drive, so I am thinking these could come in handy for you…..I kept telling myself that I’m going to keep them for me, but here I am a year later still using old receipts as bookmarks and a CVS discount card as a keyring.

So, what do you need to do to be a part of this giveaway?

  • To get one entry, go to Tracy’s blog and find the Paypal button and donate.  I don’t care how much and neither does she.  Every little bit is a blessing.  Then come back here and tell me you did.
  • Advertise this giveaway on your blog or Facebook, or better yet, do your own giveaway.  This is all stuff I had around my house.  I was planning on wearing that bracelet for the first time today, but realized it could be put to better use.  Do you have something you could “re-gift”?  Tis the season after all!  Doing either of those earns you one entry.  Don’t forget to tell me.
  • Lastly, I know that there are other blogs doing giveaways.  If you already donated in order to enter a giveaway on another blog, that’s fine with me, just let me know here.  As long as you donated to Tracy, I will enter you here.

Got it?  Good.  The giveaway will run until Friday, January 7th!!

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Whatnot Wednesday December 29, 2010

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 5:00 AM
  • I have been working on trying to force a part into Matthew’s hair.  Okay, I admit it, I haven’t been trying that hard.  But one morning, I wet it all down, combed it over and then added product to keep it in place.  And do you know what he did?  He climbed down from the bathroom stool, walked out into the hallway, and rolled all around on the carpet just like Batman used to do when he would find the french fry grease.  Wait, I see some hands raised in the back.  You are wondering who Batman is and why he would roll in the french fry grease.  Fair question.  Batman was a dog we had when I was growing up.  He wandered up into our yard during the big Elba flood.  (Can’t really remember the year–you might want to consult an Almanac on that one).  Anyway, when you live in the country, that’s how you get new pets.  They just show up and you’re like, {sigh} all right, well if it’s okay with Lady (our other dog) I guess you can stay.  So, yeah, we lived in the country.  Like, burned our own trash, couldn’t get a pizza delivered to us, participated in greased pig contests….I think you’re starting to get the picture.  Anyway, (and here is why we will forever bake french fries in our household) when it was time to dump the french fry grease (I shudder even typing that), we would go and pour it in the woods.  Well, darn it if Batman wouldn’t search it out every single time.  And it wouldn’t do for him to just find it and run a victory lap through it.  No, he didn’t even want to lick it up.  He wanted to roll all around in it.  It didn’t matter how far we went from the house, an hour later, he would run back, just as happy as he could be, greasy and slick and smelling like a Burger King dumpster.  And then it would be on one of us kids to wash him.  Darn you, Batman.  I shake my fist at you even now.  It was like one of those Dawn commercials where they are trying to clean off a poor goose who has somehow swum into an oil spill–except switch that out for an old, stinky dog and subtract the philanthropic warm fuzzies.  So where was I?  Oh yeah, I tried to fix Matthew’s hair one day, but it reminded me of Batman, and I gave up.
  • You know when your ear itches inside, like really deep inside your ear canal, and you can’t reach your finger inside to itch it?  And it is so deep it is almost like it is inside your head or maybe even somehow the mucous membranes of your cheek or jaw and you almost feel like you can use your tongue to reach over and scratch it like that, but you can’t get at it that way either??  UGH, I hate that.
  • I just finished another good book.  Not so amazing like with the intensity of Room where I am begging you to go get it right now….and what is up with you people that only one person has gotten back to me with their book report?  You act as if you might have been busy with something…..Anyway this is just a plain old good book called “Girl in Translation“.

It tells the story of a girl and her mother who immigrate here from Hong Kong and their life as they live in NYC in a condemned project and work in an illegal sweatshop.  At the same time, the main character is attending a private school and keeping all of this a secret from her classmates.  While it is fiction, the author, Jean Kwok, is an immigrant from Hong Kong who worked in an illegal sweatshop, so I have to imagine that much of the story rings true.  Very compelling book told from an Asian-American point of view that you don’t get to hear very often.  Put it on your list!

  • I think Isaac might not have the best hearing.  I know I don’t–mine is from years of working around barking dogs and listening to my car stereo at top, top volume.  I am fairly sure that I could qualify for a hearing aid, but that’s a whole other blog post.  Maybe I could get one at the same time I get my “stop peeing my pants” surgery done.  I don’t know what his issue is, but he is always hearing things wrong.  Tonight, I was talking to some family about how Isaac takes after Jason’s tastes as far as favoring bland foods, and Matthew is like me and likes things to be very flavorful.  Isaac overheard me saying that he had Jason’s taste buds and he protested loudly, “I don’t have dad’s tool bits!!!!!”
  • I want a minivan. Uh-huh, you heard me.  Shocking, right?  I know you all think I am the epitome of cool and everything…..right?  RIGHT??  But the fact is that my teeny little Hyundai Tucson is not really working anymore for our growing family.  And when I say growing family, I really just mean Isaac, whose legs are getting about an inch longer every week.  I want something with a third row….and frankly, I’d like to put my kids all the way back in the third row and keep the normal backseat as a buffer zone.  I probably won’t do that, but I want to, and a minivan gives me that option if I so desire.  I also think it’s fancy when I see those moms in the parking lots and the door slides itself closed.  Ooooo-eeee, that’s sweet.  So yeah, early next year, I’m gettin’ me a minivan.  I think I’m just hot cool enough to pull it off.  So if you drive a minivan and you love it, tell me all about it.  I need swagger wagon recommendations.  And if you think they’re dorky, keep it to yourself, because I really don’t need you harshin’ my mellow.
  • A few weeks ago, I had to scold Matthew about something.  Isaac decided to turn the tables on me though.  After I scolded him and walked away, Isaac followed me out of the room and said to me, “Mom, it doesn’t sound like you are honoring your brother to me.”  I totally got schooled by my kid.

Okay, your assignments:  minivan recommendations, book reports on required reading, walking your french fry grease as far away from the house as possible, and help a sister out–what are some good books you have read lately??

 

Regression Session December 27, 2010

Filed under: Matthew,special needs — Elizabeth @ 11:15 PM

Christmas break.  No rushing out of the house by 7:20.  No packing lunches.  No rushing through breakfast.  I kind of thought the boys would be driving me crazy, but honestly, I have been enjoying the freedom of staying in our pajamas all morning.

Until….about 3 days in.  I began to notice some old behaviors of Matthew’s creeping back in.  Pre-melatonin behaviors as I thought of them, although they haven’t been as severe as they were.  Most notable is the baby talk.  His language has regressed.  He is quicker to tantrum and more irritable.  As he plays he is more prone to walking by a bin of toys and dumping it over and moving on rather than actually playing.

Huge, huge annoyances to me, especially the baby talk.  There is something incredibly grating about a 3.5 year old who can talk, but who chooses to spend his day saying “nyeh, nyeh, nyeh, nyeh”.  I have even consulted my inner Dr. Phil to try to figure out what Matthew must be getting as a payoff from these behaviors.  He gets no positive reinforcement from me in regards to the baby talk, so I’m at a loss about that.  But I have to think that at some other time in his life, it was a tool that he used…..with success.

Today, Jason and I took the boys to our local science museum.  I really only like to take them when I have another adult with me because each boy has such a different approach when we get there.  Matthew finds one thing he likes there–it varies from the water table to the pretend market to the oversized Lite Brite–and he spends almost the entire time at the one exhibit, tantruming if he is ever removed from the area.  Isaac, on the other hand, never spends more than 2-3 minutes in any area and runs around like a crazed lunatic.  Even when he is in one area, his eyes are twitching all over the place and he’s asking what we can do next.

Anyway, I was stationed with Matthew at the enormous Lite Brite for a good 20 minutes.  I would comment on his artwork and he would respond with “nyeh, nyeh, nyeh, nyeh”.  (He gets away with this in the eyes of the other parents and children in public because he is so very tiny.  I believe that people take him to be a younger 2 year old due to his size and the way he acts in public.  So a lot of times, I imagine when we are out and about, it looks like we are asking a lot of him.)  Anyway, when he would want Lite Brite pegs that were out of his reach he would point and say “nyeh, nyeh??”.  I said, “No, I will not get those until you ask me, Mommy, could you please get me those pegs?”.  After a few times, he was shocked into asking me with words.  He wasn’t happy about it, but he was speaking.

Later on, we went to another floor of the museum and Matthew climbed in a tornado simulator.  Another child climbed in with him, and Matthew began talking to him, “nyeh, nyeh, nyeh”.  The kid stopped, narrowed his eyes at Matthew, and said “WHAT?!?!?!”.

My heart stopped and I saw Matthew hesitate.

And then, he began to speak.

Water dripped on me.  I can’t reach it.  So high.

He finally began to talk like he normally does.  Like I know he can.  This kid shamed him into it—peer pressured him into it!  Finally, somebody other than me called him on the baby talk!!!!  This kid is my hero!

So why has he backslid so much over this Christmas break?  Is it being away from the therapies he receives?  Is it just a break in the routine?  Does he only do so well in school because he is basically pressured into it by other kids?  And oh my goodness, what is going to happen to us over the summer?  I know there are other mothers out there who have kids with special needs–do any of you notice any regression like this over the holidays when your kids are away from their regular therapies and routines?

 

Protected: Christmas

Filed under: Isaac,Matthew,the holidays — Elizabeth @ 3:43 PM

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Protected: Waiting For Santa December 25, 2010

Filed under: Isaac,Matthew,the holidays — Elizabeth @ 6:52 PM

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A Small Gift December 24, 2010

Filed under: faith — Elizabeth @ 11:45 PM

Tonight as you place the last of the presents under your Christmas tree, I would like to ask you if you have the time to give one more gift.  A bloggy friend of mine lost her husband suddenly a few days ago.  She has been on my mind so much–she has 2 small boys and the thought of navigating this tragedy along with the holidays is nothing short of staggeringly heartbreaking.

Could you go over to her blog and offer her some encouragement?  Let her know you are thinking of her and praying for her?  Could you keep her and her boys in your prayers this season and into the new year?  Maybe it would be of some comfort for her to know that there are people all over the country caring for her and lifting her up right now.  It is such a small gift that doesn’t cost anything at all, but would mean so much.

In the meantime, hug all of your family extra tight, and make sure you say “I love you” way more than you need to.

Have a very Merry Christmas.

 

Whatnot Wednesday December 22, 2010

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 4:47 PM

It felt good last week to get all of the whatnot out of my head.  So good that I am considering making a weekly thing of it.  Whatnot Wednesday might just become a therapeutic purging of all the useless information in my head that I feel sure that others are dying to know….so brace yourself.

  • The boys invented a monster called Silly Gilly Gumbles.  They pretend he is chasing them around the house.  I asked what he looks like.  Isaac told me he has long eyes, stars on his head and purple freckles on his back.  No wonder they run.
  • Perfume commercials–are they not the most nonsensical things imaginable?  It’s always some half naked woman running through the rain or rolling in the sand, while someone with a heavy accent narrates in a whisper.  How does that translate to perfume??  Speaking of perfume commercials–does anyone remember the one from YEARS ago where Cindy Crawford sang?  It was for Charlie.  Agonizing….and look here, I found it just for your viewing pleasure!
  • I just saw a preview for a new show on TLC about strange addictions.  One woman is addicted to eating toilet paper and one woman is addicted to sleeping with her hair dryer.  I don’t know if I will laugh or cry…..but I have to watch it.  I have to.  It is possible that this show will make me become addicted to feeling superior.
  • The boys have been doing a lot of building with Duplo blocks.  They also like the Duplo people that they can use in their creations.  One of their gifts this year is a pack of Duplo “People of the World”, a racially diverse pack of these people.  Isaac has this idea that he only gets one gift every year for Christmas, so he has this running list of what he wants for the next 20 years.  Seriously–for instance, for his 23rd Christmas, he wants a green cup.  The precious child has such simple requests.  He’s going to be kind of surprised on Christmas.  Anyway…..this morning, he says to me, I know what I want for my 28th Christmas.  I want my favorite block person.  When I asked him to clarify, he said, you know those people with holes in their butts.  (just so we’re clear, their “buttholes” are actually thigh holes that are part of the Duplo design that allow you to sit the person down on the blocks).  But yeah, kid, you’re getting like 12 people with holes in their butts, so Merry Christmas to you!!!
  • If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you saw this confession yesterday, but it bears repeating.  Maybe this will be an a-ha moment for you as well…..I only realized a few years ago that the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” meant that mommy was kissing daddy who was dressed up as Santa Claus.  I blame this on being a child of divorce and finding out the truth about Santa at a very young age (6!).
  • Another embarrassing a-ha moment for me:  realizing that Ronald McDonald was a clown.  I don’t know what I thought he was, but once when my husband called him a clown, I loudly protested, then it slowly dawned on me.  Maybe I thought he was a poorly dressed, red headed mime?  I have no idea.  But now that I know he is a clown, I am traumatized by him.  How’s that for the power of suggestion?

Have you had any weird a-ha moments as an adult?