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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yay for Bunco Parties!

My sister-in-law had a belated birthday party last week... and I selfishly thought it would be another great time to practice my cake decorating skills.

She decided on a karaoke theme... so I was going to make a big old microphone cake. Then it was changed to a bunco party. Way more colors to work with automatically equals way more fun!

The night before the party, I, being all Ace of Cakes-like, planned out my cake. I sketched it out and picked my colors. Then I made my cakes so I could freeze them overnight. And before I could go to bed, I double-checked my already prepared fondant to make sure I had enough. I had more than enough! It was now 12:45 am and I was tired. Blah.

On the morning of her party, I prepared my fondant details, shaped my cakes, and made my buttercream frosting. (Note to all non-bakers: confectioner's sugar is powdered sugar and NOT cane sugar... I learned that the hard way but didn't feel like making a new batch of frosting, so it was just a wee bit grainy.)

Here's me working ever so diligently on the cake. This was about an hour before it was time to deliver... I had a ways to go yet for the finished product!

And giving credit where credit is due, Dusty made all of the little balls surrounding the cake and made all of the black dots for me. Let's just say I didn't plan my day out as well as I could have and was running out of time (*big surprise in my life, right?!*). But here is the finished product. I found out afterward that my mother-in-law didn't even want anyone to eat it... but it's cake, ya just got to!

Bunco!

Monday, November 9, 2009

One of my favorite times of day

Kids sleeping? Ahhhh, glorious free time! Not that I don't love being a SAHM and all, but free time is very welcome in our house! Seven o'clock is looked forward to for two reasons in this house:
1. Wheel of Fortune (I have a pathetically strong love for this game); and
2. Bed time!!

We have a great system in place for getting the kids in bed. They start out in separate rooms for ease and convenience of, well, basically just for us. After I feed Grapenut for the last time at night and we're sure she's well into a sleep cycle, I call Dust over and he picks her up and moves her to her crib. It is one of my favorite times of the day! She's so peaceful and serene, it's amazing such quietness comes from such a loud baby. It makes me fall in love with her all over again.


This was taken this summer when she was just a wee little baby, now she gets bundled up with warm pjs and 2 swaddling blankets to make SURE her arms don't get out (or she'll wake up and Mama don't like that).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Grace



How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,

who proclaim peace,

who bring good tidings,

who proclaim salvation,

who say to Zion,

"Your God reigns!"

Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they shout for joy.
When the LORD returns to Zion,
they will see it with their own eyes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Have you ever...

... plastered the hair you lose in the shower onto the shower wall??

It really is a most selfless act of love. If I didn't, we would have clogged drains everyday. It is odd, though, that hair is only attractive when it's attached to your head (aside from the oh-so-pretty female 'staches, eyebrows that need a good plucking, and sideburns that make you shudder). Someone loses a hair and it's always extremely delicately lifted off of their shirt with two fingers who don't dare make contact with any other surface.

In my adoring devotion to my husband, I even leave it there for at least a day just to show him I'm thinking of him. Aren't I sweet?

And as a new mom, I have come to realize that I did not escape the beloved time period after having a baby that you lose a LOT of hair. Hello patches of skin, you are not pretty. I'm even starting to match Gabby (minus the mullet). People are now saying "Oh, she definitely looks like her Mom" when they're looking at the back of her head. That doesn't bode that well for me.

My hair is getting so thin, I can't even find a hair tie small enough. It's no wonder new moms cut their hair really short, if not there would be about 15 long hairs with some fuzz on top.

Okay, I am only slightly exaggerating here... but to put it in perspective I called Dust into the bathroom to show him how much hair I lost in one shower and he stopped dead in his tracks and screamed "It looks like a horror movie in here!"

But at least I'm saving us money on Drano, right?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Attachment in Adoption

For a child who has been adopted into a family, it takes a bit of time before their attachment to the mother solidifies. Bonding happens quickly, but attachment takes time.

They say that if you double the amount of time (for a baby, it is different for older children) in less than ideal care (foster care, orphanage, etc.) then that is approximately the length of time it will take for your child to bond with the primary caregiver (usually the Mom)! So... we are 3 months into our attachment with Queso: some days I do really well, others are harder when Grapenut needs more attention. In the very beginning, we followed the advice of (many) others who had gone before us and limited interaction, holding, feeding, changing diapers, etc. to only Dust and me to really ingrain who his primary caregiver now is! It is hugely important to establish this at the getgo! Now, in the process of doing so, we had to hurt people's feelings... unintentionally of course, but it was in the best interest of our Queso so it had to be done. When you think about Queso being only 6 months old and already having 4 primary caregivers that were taken away from him, it could make ya cry! His sense of trust has not been established.

When you think about a typical newborn, they are placed immediately in the Mother's arms to smell her and feel her. That smell establishes so much in that little newborn, especially a sense of trust and love that will stick with them for the rest of their lives... that is their mother (their primary caregiver). So what happens when a child doesn't stay with their birth mom? Here's a story I found that (is quite long, and also) quite self-explanatory. So to give credit where credit is due, this was garnered off of a4everfamily.org (I'll be posting more from their site in the future).

Imagine for a moment…

You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancée. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by "soul mate," for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow.

The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the world…the person who will be with you for the rest of your life.


The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face.

But IT'S NOT HIM! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man? Where is your beloved?

You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back,...even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay.

But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him
?

Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone.


You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact.


Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it.


More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?


You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried.


The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you.


You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy.


The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to "get along." You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation.


Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair.


Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before.


He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black.


You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to asleep.


People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness.


Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along
.

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait.


This makes me cry every time I read it, but I think that attachment is such a huge issue in adoption that not everyone knows about or thinks twice about.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays

Monday, November 2, 2009

The ZZ

Introducing the newest member of our family ... (insert drum roll) ... the ZanY zEBrA!!!


Oh yeah. Outfit extraordinaire. What else can ya say about this crazy fun outfit except that once again you can tell his Mama bought it the night before Halloween and really didn't have any choices for an infant outfit (0-6 months and he "fits"!). Hmmmm. Grapenut looks a little scared.

We visited my parents who were babysitting for my sister, so here's one of her chillins, Emmy, with our 2. There will be lots of pics of these 3 in the future as they are all the same age (currently under 1 yo). :) This picture just cracks me up. Grapenut's sleeves are clearly too short and we couldn't even pull the hood up all the way and Queso had the entire lower half of his legs showing (having "hooves" on his knees really confused people); and then Emmy is sitting all cute and purdy over there like a normal baby with a normal Mama.


Here's Queso, Grapenut, and their friend, Ace.

My son is SO smart, he was making zebra noises. Only 10 months, and already a genius!

My little Mouseketeer

So what do you get when you traipse to Wal-Mart at 10:30 on the night before Halloween to pick up a costume for your little ones because you waited just a wee bit too long? You get a 4-month old squeezed into a newborn mouse outfit. Yeahhhh, just give me an award for planning that one out in advance!

But our little Grapenut looks just darlin', right?Tomorrow I'll show ya what Queso ended up in... it's even better!

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