Belle's View of Home

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm tellin' you: this girl can take some good photos! The title of this post could also be "Things That Make Me Smile Coming Home From a Long Run" but that's kind of long. But this is what made me smile coming home this morning:

1) My FLAG! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU DAD! My FIL came over Friday and helped me install the bracket for my flag (or rather let me watch him stand on a ladder and bring him water)! It was my goal to have a flag flown by one US flag-flying holiday this year-whew! Just in time!!!!)

2) My big pot of lantana, sweet potato vine and mondo grass! The lantana I got this year is such a bold color-I just love it!!!

3) The three hugs I got around my sweaty legs-when do kids realize their moms are sweaty and stop hugging them after runs? Well, mine still grab my nearest limb and claim me as their mom and I am savoring it.

4) Mr. Smarty unloaded the dishwasher AND made the bed with all my extra COMPLETELY NECESSARY TO BE BEAUTIFUL pillows in their right spots!

And now, without further ado, here are Belle's photos from this morning:

Labor Day, Schmabor Day...Fabric Pumpkins!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

So I've been just waiting and waiting for September to roll around to decorate for fall (what kind of dork am I?)...and am still holding out, but that doesn't mean I can't get a jump start on making some new fall decor...

9:30 am Saw this post:

9:45 am Boo and I went upstairs to hunt for fabric scraps...

10:00 am Belle got in on the fun, and stuffs the first pumpkin.

10:30 am Auditioned the pumpkins for a photoshoot...never was quite happy with their placement, but they won't find their permanent home til after Labor Day Shmabor Day anyway.

11:15 am Woke up Baby from morning nap.

11:30 am Posted the fruit of my morning labor.

Now I wonder what the afternoon will hold...probably a load or two of laundry...I'll spare you the post.

And I Saw Red, When I opened up the door...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

anybody remember that Warrant song..I loved that song...and I love my new chairs!

I'm just a little fashionably late to the Paint-Outside-the-Black-Box-Party at Joys of Home.

I'm so glad Joy hosted this party, because we inherited these chairs last week...or I asked for them from Mr. Smarty's grandma who no longer needed them-something like that.

Any-who...I was all ready to go get more cans of my standard black spray when I saw the party. Why do they have to be black? Why not green or yellow or red? RED!!!!

And once I saw them primed, I wondered why I never considered grey? But I don't have anything grey in my house...I'll keep going with my planned red.

Next item to get some red...Baby's high chair!

Home Study visit? Check!

Monday, August 25, 2008

YAY! Our Home study visit is done. Now it should be a week or so for it to be written up by our social worker, sent to the Home Study agency, then to us to check then to our adoption I type that, it sounds like it's going to take at least a month...sending back and forth. We'll see.

The actual visit went great, I think. The social worker was very nice and didn't ask anything too invasive or uncomfortable, but the interview still lasted a little over 3 hours. I had no idea how deep the questions would go, or how the kids would play together or occupy their time. But we made it without anyone climbing on the counters or walking into the living room without any pants or under-roos on.

I found myself working out my pre-visit nervous energy by cleaning. I knew I could never get the whole house clean so picked key areas to focus on. For example, over the last few months, the freezer has become very disorderly. There were bags of peas on the bread shelf, bagels on the shelf designated for protein-soy, fish, etc. And weight-watcher ice cream cups tucked away in any place that would allow the door to close. Just crazy. Clearly this needed attention before the visit. I also emptied and cleaned out the bottom tray of the toaster...crazy crumbs were not about to come between us and the child waiting for us.

Child. Did you notice I used a singular noun? Yup. We are having our home study written up to request a girl under 12 months from Ethiopia. We think adopting two at separate times will be better for everyone. I thought I would be disappointed to arrive at this decision but I'm really excited about the individual attention we'll be able to give our new daughter. And I feel less afraid of becoming overwhelmed with going from 3 to 5.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us and our visit. I really don't think it could have gone any better.

Okay, I'm off to update the sidebar timeline! Happy Monday!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Home Study is this weekend!!!

"Home study? What is a home study, PajamaMama?"

Thanks for asking. I can't go into the details right now...but here's a short description from Jamie over at Operation Battle Station:

"The home study process includes social workers coming out to your home to make sure your cleaners are not in the toy box and that you put new batteries in the smoke alarms after that ill-fated night last winter when they all simultaneously started beeping, causing their alarm innards to be unjustly ripped out by a crazed undie-wearing madman. They also ask you if you like each other and if you will be nice to an adopted child, they ask how much money you make and what books you are reading, what you favorite color is and if you tivo SuperNanny. If you perform correctly, they write up a favorable home study for you and give you a stamp of approval."

YAY! Can't wait to add Sunday's date to the sidebar timeline!!!!!

What Should We Get Daddy For His Birthday?

This is a lunchtime interview with my kids before we went birthday shopping for Daddy.

PajamaMama: So, kids, what should we get Daddy for his birthday? What kinds of things does Daddy like?

Belle: He likes red.

Boo: Will there be cake?

Belle: Maybe we can make him a red plate with a heart on it!

PajamaMama: Sooooo, what can we get Daddy for his birthday?

Belle: If he likes red sometimes, we should get him a plate that's red and shaped like a heart.

P-Mama: Really? Do you think Daddy wants a plate? Do boys like plates?

Belle: Yes, because they couldn't eat if they didn't have a plate.

P-Mama: So is it the plate or the food they like?

Belle: The food.

P-Mama: SO, what should we get Dad for his birthday?

Belle: A pretzel.

P-Mama: Is that all?

Belle: A new soccer ball!!!!!

P-Mama: What does Daddy like to do?

Belle: Go swimming sometimes.

Boo: Ride his bicycle!!!!!

Belle: He already has a bicycle. We can get him a birthday CAKE!

Belle: We should get him a birthday cake because it's his birthday and we can't have a party for him without a cake!

P-Mama: Any other ideas?

Belle: A basketball.

P-Mama: Anything else?

Belle: A football.

P-Mama: Anything else?

Belle: His very own treats because he's so good at doing the right things and not being mean.

P-Mama: What kinds of treats?

Belle: What does he like to eat?

P-Mama: I don't know. What does he like to eat?

Belle: Don't know. What did we have at Tata's house that he loved? Oh, strawberries! How 'bout strawberries?

P-Mama: Baby, stop throwing pretzels on the floor.

Belle: Baby, what do you want to get Daddy for his birthday? What? Puppy?
Belle: I think Baby wants to get Dad a puppy.

Boo: Look at my mouth!!!!!!! (oozing with peanut butter)

P-Mama: Crazy kids...go wash your hands, let's go shopping.

And the rest is history. But you can read about it here.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Smarty!

Never, EVER, Take 3 Preschoolers to a Fabric Store.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sorry, no pictures today, but my day was anything boring...

So tomorrow is Mr. Smarty's birthday, so I thought it would be fun to take the three kiddos to Brand New Sports Superstore for some little things Mr. Smarty could use for his new favorite sport. Two stories of sports related paraphernalia-but did they have what we were looking for? Nope.

But since we were out, and Our Favorite Used Bookstore was just down the road, not even a mile, I figured we should check there for books on his new sport. After 2 trips to the bathroom, three if you count the trip to go back and get Belle's purse, we found nada books for dada.

Okay, so sorry, Mr. Smarty, I'm out of ideas for the kids....maybe they can make you something later today, when they recover wake up. Now, as long as we're out, I'm thinking I'll just run in Fancy Fabric Store....oh, and I have my coupon in my perfect! Now this is where my outing gets interesting, so stick with me.

So I'm looking at the clearance decor fabric-and found some awesome red and gold fabric for $3/yd! And without even moving my cart, I am next to the trim which was all on sale. So Boo's in the cart, Baby's in the cart. Now just Baby's in the cart. Boo and Belle are playing hide and seek. I'm still looking for the perfect trim. I know, Mother of the Year, I am not. After a few ineffective, "Belle, Boo, stay by the cart, please." what do I hear? The unmistakable sound of a ceramic pot breaking...Thanks older kids...I know it's wasn't Baby. He's in the cart.

So I pick it up, the big chuncks anyway, and look for a price. $24.99. Nice. I look around, hoping to see a Clearance sign or Freebie sign. No signs. Rats. Then I look at how bad it's broken. If I'm paying for it, (with my coupon, right?) I'm hoping I'm going to just LOVE it and want to superglue it as soon as we get home and find a spot for it. Ehhh, it's o. k. whatever.

Now I realize I'm bleeding. Yup, and for those of you who know me in real life, guess where I'm bleeding? That's right-my thumb...other hand this time. Okay, blood everywhere, kids everywhere. No Fancy Fabric employees to be found. N. E. WHERE. I ask another customer...they don't speak English. I ask another one, "Can you please find someone who works here? so i can stay and guard my puddles?"

Finally some clerks come ask me if I need to call 911. "No, thanks, but can I have a band-aid?"

Then one helpful clerk ask, "Did it just break all by itself?" Wow, her concern was underwhelming-really, it took me back.

Later in the car, I thought I should have said, "Yup. We were just minding our business, and the pot jumped off the shelf, broke and sliced my finger. You really should look into whether its a good idea to stock those pots in your store." But I fessed up. My kids were still running wild anyway, it was the most believable option we had.

So to the store's credit, there is one super nice clerk. She is Mrs. Claus to me. You know, Santa's wifey? She wearing red, and has an apron on it with band-aids and-truly-LOLLIPOPS. BOO becomes a saint with a lollipop in his mouth. Why don't I shop with lollipops? Why don't I have an apron permanently attached to my waist filled with an unending supply of lollipops? Anyway, she tells me to go wash my hands and that she would watch my banshees, offspring. As soon as I get back, put a fresh band-aid on, and attempt to gather my chicks, Super Nice Clerk says something like, "She doesn't look too good." Not about me, but Belle, who "gets really tired" at the sight of blood. Yup, 3-2-1-and she's out. On the floor. Blue lips, white face. PASSED OUT. On the floor of Fancy Fabrics. While Boo is still playing Hide-and-Seek all by himself (aforementioned lollipops have not been pulled out yet). Okay, so Super-Mom that I am, I hand crying Baby over to my most trusted Super Nice Clerk, aka, Mrs. Claus, who I've known for all of what, 5 minutes now? I get on the floor and sweetly ask Belle to get up and help me out here. Nope, not budging. So I plop her almost-5-year-old body (ever so gently) in the cart, next to the trim and fabric I am slowly realizing will not come home with me today. Retrieve Baby, put him in the cart. With the fabric and trim who will not be coming home with me today...did I mention that already? I'm mourning my loss and wondering what I was thinking bringing all three kiddos with me. And also wondering if I will ever be able to come back, or will all the invisible-until-there-is-a-scene-employees remember me FOREVER?

So now I'm home and as I type, the kids are running around like they've been given candy. And it just hits me, Boo and Baby were given lollipops and Belle got a Sprite from a drive thru once she woke up enough to drink something. Yeah, that oughta teach them a lesson.

Is Nate Berkus right about fake flowers?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anyone remember that episode of Oprah when Nate Berkus said under no circumstances should you use fake flowers to decorate? It must have been forever ago, since our tv rarely strays from PBS. Anyway, I kind of agreed with him, but should it be a firm rule? I still use some fake flowers on our door. Like this bucket I made for my mother-in-law's birthday this summer:

And then last week, I brought some fake florals inside our house (gasp!). I wanted something red to contrast the new lamp shade and compliment the red frame on the wall. And I like how it turned out!

So maybe the rule should be under a few circumstances is it okay to decorate with fake flowers. What do you think? Faux or faux pas?

Things My Kids Need Me to Remember

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stop freaking out about the mess! There's always time to clean- but how often do we get to make mud pies?

Love me, even when I'm naughty. I'll only be this age once.

Be patient. I do everything for a reason, but I just don't know enough words yet to give you an explanation.

Don't expect too much from me. I want to do what you ask and expect of me, but I am still little.

Let me do it. I know you can do it better and faster, but sometimes experience is the best teacher.

Keep your promises. It's all about trust. When I am a teenager, you'll see why it's so important.

Mohler, Mary. " Memo to Mommy." Parents Sept. 2008: 68.

Sunday Thought

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Taste and see that the LORD is good.

Oh, the joys for those who trust in Him.

Psalm 34:8

More Hand-Painted Brooms

Friday, August 15, 2008

More friends are here's my house-warming gift...

I added a little zebra print this time...what do you think-too much? I kind of like a little black and white with all the other colors.

Nothing says "Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad" like some plates on my wall, right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

On Saturday while the world remembers Madonna's birthday, the day Ringo joined the Beatles and the death of Elvis Presley, my parents will celebrate their anniversary. Thirty-nine years of marriage and at least three sets of everyday ware later, they are still best friends. This plate was part of their first everyday dishes:

I've always loved these dishes, the color, the scene. I'm not sure when my mom took them out of circulation from everyday use, but I do remember using the salad plates for tea parties in my tree house. Don't know how many pieces have survived the years, but I claimed 4 dinner plates and snuck them back in a suitcase to Texas years ago. Here's where they currently reside:

And remember that $4 chair? It was lonely. So lonely. So Sammi brought him a friend and now I am happy because there is more symmetry in my bedroom.

Dancing with Cinderella

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back from our trip....

One of my South Carolinian cousins was married last Saturday and Belle & Boo got to be the flower girl and ring bearer. It was a great time to catch up with several cousins but I wish I had been able to have a few more focused conversations with family I haven't seen in a while. With three kiddos under 5, my focus was on survival.

But during the survival, I had an epiphany. The groom, (who is my cousin), was standing amidst the chaos that is every wedding rehersal. (My kids had nothing to do with that, but they weren't adding any degree of sanity) I, in my wisdom that comes with being married a whopping 7 years, thought it was important to remind him to enjoy, savor even, the moment. He said something like, "Yeah, yeah, totally." Only a few minutes later, I realized that even though this was not my big event, or my kids big event, it was a moment I needed to be more aware in and savor. My kids were walking down the aisle together in a mini-bridal gown and the smallest tux Men's Warehouse rents out. I was so focused on keeping them from jumping off of the chairs in the sanctuary or giving the bride or groom any reason to rethink their decision to have them participate in their ceremony. I was failing to enjoy and savor the moment. I didn't even get any pictures!

Now we've been home a full day and while catching up on my blog reading, I came across this interview with Steven Curtis Chapman and his family on GMA. This was their first interview since losing their daughter in May. (They later appeared on Larry King Live, which is on YouTube in several parts.) In the GMA interview, SCC talks about singing his Cinderella song again, and realizing his other daughters' lives still have chapters being written. And even in his grief, he needs to be present for them. What a great reminder and confirmation that I need to be more present in my kids chapters. So here's the sole picture I got of my Cinderella as a flower girl. Wish I had taken a moment to dance with her.