Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Sweaty Mess!!!

I am going to share today something that I have not shared with very many others in my entire life!

Before you get all excited and think it is something super juicy- it isn't, but it is embarrassing. 

For years I have been embarrassed by sweat soaked armpits.  Sure, everyone sweats once in awhile and may have an embarrassing odor or stain when they lift their arms, but no matter what deodorant I used, what I was wearing, or what the temperature was, I would sweat like it was 110 degrees outside!  It could be in the middle of winter and my teeth would be chattering but my pits would be Niagara Falls!

It started in sixth grade and got progressively worse.  I vividly remember sitting in class and feeling the sweat run down my side.  From that time on I have sweat through shirts, sweaters, and even coats!  I have had to bring changes of shirts with me in the car because by the time I got to my destination my first shirt would be sweat soaked.  I would stuff Kleenex under my arms to block the sweat from getting my shirts wet. (never stuffed by bra - just my pits!)  I would try to dry my pits over the air conditioner in the car or the hand dryer in bathrooms!  I actually had to pick my wardrobe according to what would show wet stains the least!

A while ago I met a woman who told me about a friend of hers who had the same thing.  I was astonished!  I didn't even know it was a "thing"!  She told me it was called hyperhydrosis and some people sweat from their armpits and some would sweat from their palms or the bottoms of their feet!  It was a relief to know I wasn't the only sweaty mess out there, but what to do about it!

Of course I started to look online and do research!  It sounded like the only thing that really worked for people was having botox injections in their armpits to stop the sweating all together!  I learned that celebrities do this before big events on the red carpet so they don't have to worry about sweating or deodorant stains on gowns.

So after much deliberation and knowing someone in the "business" I went in last March and had botox shot into my armpits.  The needle is super tiny, but it can hurt at times as you get about 20 shots in different places in your pit!  They say that the results last maybe 7 months.  For me they lasted 11 months!  I was so happy about the results that I went back today and had it done for a second time!  I had started sweating uncontrollably once again even with deodorant on so it was time!

You can't put on deodorant when you go have this done so by the time I got to the doctor's office not only was I sweating, but I was stinky too!  Then I realized I had forgotten to shave my armpits!  Really??  That is the one place someone is going to look closely at and it was a stubbly mess! (Of course!)

Knowing that I just had the equivalent to 5 botox treatments for wrinkles shot in my pits in one sitting didn't really make me feel too great, but at least now my armpits will be wrinkle free and DRY!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It Works Wednesday - What a Weekend!!

This is supposed to be a job?

This past weekend I got up at my normal time on Saturday and told the kids I was going to “work”.  I attended a Michigan Boot Camp for It Works Global.  It was held at a nice hotel and the room was packed with over 400 people!!  It was a sea of black and green!  There was not a frown in the entire mass of people and the excitement and buzz in the room was contagious!

The Sea of Black and Green!!!
Dr. Don
As I sat up front in the VIP section to listen to Dr. Don Verhulst speak about health and nutrition and took notes on tips from Pam Sowder, I couldn’t help but think that I was so very lucky!  Sure you might be thinking that I am a little crazy to think I was lucky to be sitting listening to speakers on a Saturday!!??  And you might be thinking I felt lucky just to get out of the house away from all of the children, which is partly true, but, how often are you surrounded by people who truly love what they are doing and are excited to keep doing it?  How often do you have people come up to you and offer to help you make more money and help you get healthier?  This room of over 400 people was and is these people!
Some of the VIPs of the company!

Yup, I Won Big in the Raffle!!
You can’t help but catch the ambition and drive when you are in a room with these kinds of people.  It wasn’t cheerleaderish or cultish or anything like that either, because that would totally turn me off!  It was just pure fun!  I even won the most cool raffle prize!  I really needed the boost too!  Although I continue to get a nice cushy check each month, I haven’t done anything since A came home!  Now I am ready to jump back in again!  I can’t wait!

So, let me tell you the exciting things that are going on with my “job”! (because I would be doing you an injustice if I didn’t!)

From now until July 15 you can sign up to do what I do, which is basically have fun and help people feel better on the inside and out, for half the price!  You even get all of the benefits that I got when I signed up at full price- which means you get your entire investment back plus $100 just by helping your friends see results in 45 minutes with the Ultimate Body Applicator (wrap)!  – I lost 1 ½ inch after 45 minutes around my waist and an addition 6 inches 3 days later because even though I took the wrap off after 45 minutes the ingredients kept working in my body for 72 hours!!-  If you want to know about my personal story go to Why am I doing This?  I can tell you that with using the products that I market I have gone down 2 pant sizes without exercising (which is a bummer because I love to workout-honestly) or dieting!  I am also healthier by far as are my children!!

We also have new products like a hair tonic, a protein shake, and an energy drink coming to market soon!  I can’t wait for these!!  The final news that made me giddy was the announcement that the company will soon be offering free shipping to all its Loyal Customers on autoship!  They will also have free shipping on orders over $125!  I am so super excited about this!  As the company just moved to Florida and I can’t pick up my products anymore, this will be HUGE for me and local customers!  I love it!!!!

Who ends a meeting with champagne?  It Works! does!!

The Toast to end the conference!
I am so lucky to have so much fun at my “job”!  I can’t wait to go to “work”! J

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

People Watching...

The other night Ryan and I went out to a dueling piano bar.  I love to sing along with the crowd and sometimes dance a step or two!  While the two of us sat there, we pointed out different people to each other and watched their actions.  Most of them were intoxicated and stumbling over themselves.  There were some who were doing a kind of mating dance with just about anything that moved and others that were oblivious to their odd dance moves. (the guy looked like he was shadow boxing and I was frightened for the people around him who may have gotten too close!)

This is the fun of going to bars.   We found ourselves guessing what was going to happen next on dance floor between different people.  We made up conversations that they may be having and laughed ourselves silly.  (I hope this isn't making us sound too pathetic or mean because yes we are lame!)  People watching is fun no matter where you go!  I know that I am thankful that everyone is an individual and will bring a whole new dimension to the party!

And yes, I definitely know that my actions have been laughed at a million times over!  I know that at times I am the crazy one being watched, but the thing about that is that I'm not even in a bar when that happens!  It is just an every day occurrence!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Not a Super Mom...

The first weekend we added a fifth child I found out that I was not in fact "Super Mom".  I so wanted to be her for maybe only two minutes before I decided that it was utterly rediculous that I was doing all of the work in the house and had five able bodied children that could help out! (plus there is no real reward or recognition for that anyways!)

I set off on a mission to find the best chore system that would work for our family.  I have tried charts and stickers and things before, but I can never follow through!  I start off strong and then forget to print off a new chart or to pay the workers.

I checked out books and did some searching online.  I finally found something I thought I could do.  I found some really cute ones here and took my final idea from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I loved that I had most of the material so I wouldn't have to go out and spend a lot of money and she provided me with everything else!

The three youngest will earn tickets for their chores and behavior to be able to redeem them every two weeks.  Jackson will get money for his tickets and the two littlest will have a prize box where they can use their tickets to “buy” something. (Like Chuck E Cheese)  The little ones are more motivated by things they can see and it is my hope that they will want to save their tickets for really cool things rather than spend them all just because they have them.

Jackson's area probably has the most involvement. He earns tickets for behavior - or loses them - and for extra chores. There are some chores he does every day that he must do just because he lives here. He has to do those chores before he can earn tickets for the extra work. Each ticket for him is worth five cents. We picked this amount so he has the potential to earn around $8.00 a month (his age) for his work. We also have given him tickets for extra helpfulness and kindness that we have noticed. After a month we will reevaluate his performance and perhaps give him a raise in pay.

The two older boys mostly have school work items on their chart right now. I don't have to really put other chores down for them. I just have to ask them to do something and they do it. Sometimes they actually ask to do things like mow the lawn! I LOVE that! They can have the yard done in 45 minutes when it took me two days because I had to continuously stop for the little children!

The chart has been really useful with the little ones.  It helps me not have to tell them over and over again to do daily things.  They have to do things like brush their teeth and make their beds, but the real chore for them is maintaining good behavior.  They start with four tickets each day.  If they choose to make a bad choice they can lose a ticket.  They are not a fan of losing tickets!  They can also gain a Best Behavior card if I catch them being super kind or helpful which is worth an extra prize or money.

When I first explained everything to the children and told them that the more kind, safe, respectful, and responsible they were, the more tickets they would get, I received this response from Lola:

She cocked her little head to the side and said, “Mommy, I don’t think I want to be good ALL of the time.  I think Tyce can be good all of the time and he can just share his prizes with me!”

She's got it figured out!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's Summer Vacation and I am starting a new Hobby!

As a teacher, I loved summer vacation!  I looked forward to it like you wouldn't believe!  We counted down the months, days, and then the hours until we were finally free!  It took a few weeks to get used to not having to do anything, but it was a small price to pay for the days that were laid out before me of relaxation and no stress!

That was before I had five children obviously!   Things are a bit different now.  The children wake up at ungodly hours in the morning only to fight and scream for half of the day!  The older boys give me looks of disgust and scoff at my requests to do things other then watch TV every waking moment.  We are only two weeks in people!!  I have taken out some of the crafts I had hidden for a rainy day and have even gotten out the finger paints!  (that is pure desperation!) To survive this summer vacation I am thinking of taking on a new hobby.

I'm sure Mothers do it every where!  They can't all be surviving without some help!  I am thinking of taking up non indulgent drinking.  A little something to calm my nerves can't hurt.  It will make the day go by so much more smoothly don't you think?  If Mommy is happy then EVERYONE is happy.  I know that technically you aren't supposed to have a drink until noon (Ry will say 5o'clock, but I beg to differ - summer has it's own rules!)  However, there are some drinks that are made for morning right?  I could start with a Bloody Mary at breakfast to round out my vegetables for the day. (nutritious!)  Around our second breakfast time I'm thinking a mimosa may be in order. (who couldn't use some vitamin C?)  Lunch time may bring on a beer, snack time may bring on something with a little more of a punch since that is crabby time for everyone, and I can settle in for the night with a nice glass of wine!

Now I can't have the children thinking I am a lush so don't be offended if I have a water bottle or plastic cup that I won't share with you!  You wouldn't be getting what you are expecting!

***Now, don't go and freak out - I am really just joking kind of about all of this!  I am not going to start drinking until after noon to get through the days! Maybe chocolate would be the answer...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dancing in the Rain!

We had a big storm come through last night and a bit today.  Having 5 kids in the house for two days is not my idea of sanity!

So when the rain started and the kids wanted to run outside in the down pour I was only too happy to give my blessing!

Lola, Tyce, and our neighbor

Jackson and our neighbor

Our neighbor
It's funny how they won't stand in the shower and get their heads wet to wash their hair, but they love to stand in a down pour!

It wasn't until after the down pour, thank goodness, that they asked to dance in the rain naked!  (Lola once told my mother in law when it rained Mommy danced on the deck naked - LOL that's an entirely different post!)  And no, I did not give in to that request!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Think I am going to Win my first "Mom" Award!

Sorry all of you Mom's out there, but I do believe that I am the most deserving of this award based on my performance as a Mom this past week!

  1. I required the children to sit down a read out of an actual book before they could watch any tv, play Wii, or be on the computer! - the horror!
  2. I limited their computer time to 2 hours a day. - I am so stunting their development!
  3. The internet went down and I did not fix it because the children did not abide by the 2 hour rule. - so cruel!!
  4. The rule in the house is no phone calls made or received after 10pm. - come on! kids want to talk or just listen to each other breathe until they fall asleep on the phone! Why is that not ok?
  5. Now the rule is no calls made or received for one entire week for disregarding the above rule. - Seriously- how could I be sooo mean!
  6. I would not let the children scavenge through the refrigerator 30 minutes before dinner. - they were so starving and probably were about to faint!
  7. I made all of the children go with me to the pool. - such a boring place with nothing at all to enjoy
  8. I made the children go outside to play whatever they would like to play on a gorgeous day! - I am most likely exposing them to harmful gases by doing this based on their reactions!
  9. I made the children go to a picnic so they could meet new friends. - apparently they would rather sit with me and fold laundry then hang with kids their own age
  10. I made the children eat their healthy meals before they could have any sweets or snacks. If they chose not to eat the good stuff I didn't give them the junk food. - can I make life any more difficult for these children??

Yes, this first week of summer vacation was a tough one for our household. The children have unanimously chosen me to have the "Meanest Mom" Award!

I am actually flattered and thrilled! This award (tearing up at the moment) just means that I am strong enough to take all that they can dish out! It means that I am winning the battle! I am still in control of this household and will remain strong! I will hold this award proudly and use it to beat them down remind myself that I am doing an awesome job!  So Bring It On!!  Mommy is ready!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Kids in the Future????

That seems to be the question on a lot of people's minds lately concerning our family.  That or "Are they nuts?"  I guess with adding two new children in such a short time the questions are inevitable.

We are actually licensed to welcome one more child into our home.  Legally you can have a total of 6 kids under your roof whether they are biological, adopted, foster, or daycare.  (while doing foster care) So one more child would put us at our max.

That doesn't mean we will be adding another one anytime soon, however.  It isn't because we don't want to.  The reason is simply that we have actually run out of room in our vehicle!  There are no more seats left to transport one more child!  We don't want to have to take two vehicles everywhere or leave anyone behind!

So unless you see us with a conversion van or a decked out short bus, we are sticking with what we have! (for the time being....)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It Works! Wednesday - Hope and Help for Gout

While helping people lose inches I always encounter those with other serious concerns as well.  Fortunately, there is always a natural alternative!  For those suffering from Gout I have seen individuals go pain and attack free after taking Vital and Greens!  I have recieved testimonies about people being able to get off of their medications after being on the Greens and attacks going away quickly by taking Vital right away!  Adding cherry juice and flax seed oil to your diet will also help.  Below are some additional dietary considerations as well as information about Gout.

Some diet and lifestyle changes may help prevent gouty attacks:
  • Avoid alcohol, anchovies, sardines, oils, herring, organ meat (liver, kidney, and sweetbreads), legumes (dried beans and peas), gravies, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, consomm√©, and baking or brewer's yeast.
  • Limit how much meat you eat at each meal.
  • Avoid fatty foods such as salad dressings, ice cream, and fried foods.
  • Eat enough carbohydrates.
  • If you are losing weight, lose it slowly. Quick weight loss may cause uric acid kidney stones to form.
Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in the joints.
  • Acute gout is a painful condition that typically affects one joint.
  • Chronic gout is repeated episodes of pain and inflammation, which may involve more than one joint.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Gout is caused by having higher-than-normal levels of uric acid in your body. Your body may make too much uric acid, or have a hard time getting rid of uric acid. If too much uric acid builds up in the fluid around the joints (synovial fluid), uric acid crystals form. These crystals cause the joint to swell up and become inflamed.
Not everyone with high uric acid levels in the blood has gout.
The exact cause is unknown. Gout may run in families. It is more common in males, postmenopausal women, and people who drink alcohol.
Symptoms of acute gouty attacks:
  • Symptoms develop suddenly and usually involve only one or a few joints. The big toe, knee, or ankle joints are most often affected.
  • The pain frequently starts during the night and is often described as throbbing, crushing, or excruciating.
  • The joint appears warm and red. It is usually very tender (it hurts to lay a sheet or blanket over it).
  • There may be a fever.
  • The attack may go away in several days, but may return from time to time. Additional attacks usually last longer.
After a first gouty attack, people will have no symptoms. Some people will go months or even years between gouty attacks.
Some people may develop chronic gouty arthritis, but others may have no further attacks. Those with chronic arthritis develop joint deformities and loss of motion in the joints. They will have joint pain and other symptoms most of the time.
After one gouty attack, more than half of people will have another attack.


  1. Keith MP, Gilliland WR. Updates in the management of gout. Am J Med. 2007;120:221-224.
  2. Cameron MA, Sakhaee K. Uric acid nephrolithiasis. Urol Clin North Am. 2007;34:335-346.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Little Miss Scatterbrain!

When I woke up the other morning and proceeded to only shave one of my legs and not to notice my oversight for most of the day I thought I either had to go to bed sooner, nap, wake up later, or slow down and pay attention to what I was doing!

Since the first three options are not really options at all, I think I need to pay attention to what I am doing!  In the mornings it seems that I am often in a rush and very easily distracted from what I am doing.  I have gotten all ready in the morning only to get in the car and discover on my way that I forgot to apply eye make-up to my right eye.  That wouldn't be so bad except that the left was all made up!  I have been in the shower and have blanked on whether I washed my hair so I have to do it again just to be safe!  I have gone through my regular wake up routine and put on my deodorant only to realize on the second arm that I applied it on top of my clothes and not even on my skin!

So I am either losing my mind or very scatter brained.  Or maybe those or one in the same!  Either way if you see me one morning with only one earring or mismatched socks, please be a friend and tell me before I embarrass myself further!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lucky 13 on the 13th!

Today is our 13th Anniversary! 
Ryan has survived 6 1/2 years of dating and 13 years of marriage!  The man is a saint! (Some days I can barely stand myself, but I don't have a choice in the matter and he does!)

Just in case you were wondering I thought I would share how it is that we came to be the most awesome couple that we are today. lol!! (the cliff notes version that is)

We attended the same church from the time we were little.  It wasn't until we were in junior high that we actually remember knowing each other.  My parents were youth group leaders and Ryan happened to be the one and only boy in our youth group of super cute girls!  Being the smooth guy he was he decided to bring his buddies with him to our events.  I suppose they all acted as his wing men! 

Ryan will tell you that he didn't like me back then.  He thought I was too bossy.  Which is probably true! (and that much hasn't really changed - the me being bossy part) My parents were the leaders of the youth group for goodness sake.  I probably felt obligated to try to keep some of my friends in line!  At any rate we got along fine because we enjoyed introducing our friends to each other.  So he dated most of my girlfriends and I dated some of his guy friends.

My first kiss was actually his best friend!  This best friend was in our wedding and is now married to my sister!  How crazy is that?!  But I digress....

We became good friends while I dated his best friend and he dated my best friend. (if that wasn't the perfect situation for teenagers to be in)  He was my go to guy for advice, a date for a formal dance (as friends), and someone to hang out with.  We often hung out with other friends and always had a blast together!

I never saw it coming.  I should have, but even now I can be a little dense in these areas.  One night out of the blue he kissed me.  I was so shocked I had no idea what to say or do!  That was the beginning of the end for him!  Apparently he had made his choice and was going to stick with it!  By the time we actually got married he knew exactly what he was getting into because he stuck with me through the rest of high school and through college even though we went to rival schools!

Our life together has been one that has exceeded my expectations and although not everything has gone according to plan,  I can say that I wouldn't have missed a single moment of it! I am so blessed that he has been there with me through this entire adventure!  13 really is our lucky number!

Maybe some day I will share us over the years because the outfits we wore and my hair was AWESOME! (actually I still have that red dress and top in my closet!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mamma Microchip

I am convinced that somehow without my knowledge my children have implanted me with a microchip!  (or maybe it was my husband) There is not a place in my house or even outside that my children can not track me down when I don't want to be found!

I have hidden on the deck, in the bathroom, in the basement, and even in the shower just to have a little quiet time, but it never lasts longer then a minute!  They could be watching the most awesome movie or shoveling forbidden candy into their sweet little mouths without having talked to me or looked my way for half the day and suddenly when I try to sneak out of the room they make it their mission to find me!  I am willing to bet that I could squeeze myself into the dryer or an air duct and they would still be able to find me!  I could be inside the neighbor's bathroom or duct taped to the bottom of a car and they would track me down in 2 minutes flat!

However, this only happens when I don't want them to find me.  When I want them to find me somehow they become blind, deaf, dizzy, and couldn't find me if I were jumping on their heads!  I really don't understand this phenomenon, but it is rather infuriating!  Maybe if I pretend that I want them to find me when I really don't I will become like a chameleon and blend right in with my surroundings... I'm not holding my breath on that one!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Playing Dress up...

It's fun to be a kid and their fun is often contagious, but sometimes you adults need to draw the line and remember that you are adults and it may be wise to put on your big boy pants...

Lola and Tyce love to play dress up!  They like to put on the princess dresses, their brothers' clothes, my shoes, and even adorn themselves with objects like buckets or weeds!  When left to their own devices you just never know what they will get into next! 
Lola as a princess
Tyce as a pirate
Sportin' some awesome shades
She came up with this pose all on her own!  Promise!!
What's a nice spring day without your winter boots?
I also like to play dress up. (get your mind out of the gutter - that is not where I am heading with this)  My dress up is more of the actual dressing up.  You know, putting on the fancy dress, the nice jewelry, and the high heels to go out on the town for a rare childless meal and evening.  I also enjoy dressing up for Halloween and theme parties.  It is fun to do something different once in awhile.  There is nothing wrong with that!

I do have to question the adults that I see that actually dress up in the same way that my 3 and 4 year old dress up on a more frequent basis without a party or event to attend! 

When we were in Disney I saw a woman fully dressed like Tinker Bell in March.  When we were at an NHL hockey game there was a man dressed up like Where's Waldo.  I enjoy having fun and being silly as much (if not more) then the next person, but really?  Why?  If an entire group of adults is dressed that way then OK - I get that!  But you loners out there.. I guess you are offering me some entertainment!  I just hope there are times that you put on your big boy pants instead of your cape!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It Works! Wednesday - Why am I doing This?

If you would have asked me 5 years ago what I would be doing today, it would not have included this!  But of course I wouldn't have said I would be living where I am or have the children I have now either!  Wow am I glad that I don't have control of everything because my life wouldn't be half as great as it is! - I don't have that kind of imagination!

I got into this business by accident really.  My neighbor met a woman on an airplane, Carla Burns, who talked her into hosting a wrap party.  I am a huge researcher so when she told me about the wrapI looked it up on the internet and did a bunch of research on the products.  Even with my research I went to the party very skeptical mostly because of the wrap.  This company was around since 2001 in my hometown and I had never heard of it!  If it really worked wouldn't everyone know about it?

I went to the party to be polite and paid my $25 for a wrap.  It felt good having it on and it was fun chatting with the girls, drinking wine (and a bunch of water), and snacking.  Even if it didn't work it was a nice night away from the kids hanging out with friends.  But it did work!  Every lady that came out of the bathroom after being unwrapped lost inches!  When it was my turn I lost 1 1/2 inches!  You would think that after 45 minutes of sitting around and eating and then actually losing inches I would be estatic!  I actually thought Carla had pulled the tape measure tighter to prove I had lost inches!

I went home and continued to do research on the company and the actual people in it.  I contacted Carla and asked her a bunch of questions as well.  I had discovered that the company had a product that I HAD to have!  Actually it wasn't just one product, but the clincher was the Greens.  Ryan's mom had been giving us Greens for years, but they tasted like we were licking dirt off of a shoe!  This product was so great for us and actually tasted good.  My kids would take it!

I also did as Carla suggested and kept drinking water for the next three days.  On the third day I re-measured.  I was down another 6 inches!!  I couldn't believe it!  My pants were looser and when I stepped on the scale I was lighter!  The tape measure doesn't lie!

I got on the phone and started calling my friends and family and asking them to host parties for me and I would give them a free wrap!  I was so excited to share this product!  I had been interested in supplements for awhile thanks to Ryan's mom, but people weren't always open to efforts to get healthy. The wrap would give me a segway to teaching people about health!  I had three parties on the calendar before I even signed up as a distributor!

I originally lined up the parties to get free product and pay for the products I wanted.  The way things are set up I was able to make my investment back right away so even if I decided I didn't want to continue selling it I wouldn't be out any money because I didn't have to buy a bunch of things!  It kind of snow balled from there.  I booked party after party because everyone wanted to try out the wrap!  In my first month I had 20 loyal customers and 4 distributors!  I made over $1000 in cash at the wrap parties that month and recieved a commision check from the company for over $1400!  I couldn't believe it!

So that is how I started!  Why am I doing this?  I LOVE IT!!  I love meeting new people, traveling, sharing the knowledge I have about the products and health, and helping people get healthier, look younger, feel better, and live longer!  I leave each party with so much positive energy that I have a hard time settling down afterwards!  It is just pure fun!!

Our Own Family Band....

I love to sing!  I love to make up songs for the kids and belt out lyrics to songs on the radio.  I sing in the car, sometimes in the shower, and even sing while I exercise!  You would think that since I am an adult and have heard some songs over and over and over again that I would actually know the lyrics by now.  Nope!  Not true!  Sometimes not even close!

I'm sure there are quite a few songs to which I happily belt out a totally different song to!  It is funny that a few of them I didn't even know until well into my adulthood! One such song is "Islands in the Stream".  So the actual name of the song should have given me a clue that I should not have been singing "I was in the stream" for the chorus!  Guess I never took the time to know the title or maybe I thought that was the title!  Pour some Sugar on Me  has always been sung with a verse about Mt. Soggius (it is supposed to be "Come on sign me up") and my most recent made up lyrics were Galileo for "Gotta let go" in Dynamite! (This one I was even singing in a group exercise class and I'm not shy about singing!)

Now picture this moment... 
  • A minivan with music blaring
  • Me driving as I belt out lyrics (probably wrong ones) to a popular song on the radio
  • Two passangers who are 16 and 17 year old native Spanish speakers also belting out lyrics to these American songs (not sure they were singing the same song I was singing, but I'm guessing they were according to the tune)
  • A three and four year old  belting out lyrics in their own interpretation of the sounds they are hearing about 4 beats behind
  • and an 8 year old singing the song as well!  I can't hear him but he is probably the only one getting it right!

I think we should most definitely be the new Partridge Family!  I actually stopped singing to listen to our harmonious vehicle and couldn't help but laugh!!  Priceless!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fohawks and Piercings and Tattoos! Oh My!!!

It didn't take long...
The tough teenage stuff has started to trickle it's way into our house.

A came up the stairs on Saturday morning with a giant sparkly earring in his ear.  The child had actually pushed the thing through his ear!  He was beaming from ear to ear as he showed me.  You could almost hear a bubble pop when he saw the look on my face! (which was my "oh this is going to be sad for you" look)

Sorry, mister.  Not in this house.  Ryan and I knew it was coming eventually so we were prepared.  He told us he had pierced his own ear before and when I was shopping with him he stopped to admire diamonds and asked to buy one.

My response;
"First, you can't buy just one earring in a fancy jewelry store.  Second, you don't have enough money.  Third, your ear is not pierced and will not be for a long time.  And finally, if you are going to spend so much money on earrings they are going to be for me!"

I really don't think he was trying to be defiant by piercing his own ear.  He saw safety in numbers.  W came up the stairs not 5 minutes later with a giant sparkly earring in his ear as well!  If I were him I would have done the same thing!  Two of them against one of me!  And really it was only W's second day in our home!  How could I say no to a new child?  Sorry boys, but I know the tricks - after all,  the little ones try them out just about on a daily basis, just with different mediums so I have years and years and years of experience!  I almost feel sorry for the boys.  I am not worried they will not like me and I am not scared of them so they will have to find other ways to break me!

It is very difficult explaining to a 16 and 17 year old from different cultures who are not a native speakers of your language that this is not acceptable in your house.  I don't want the boys to be judged by piercings and tattoos and all of that.  They are going to have a hard enough time as it is living in a predominately white conservative area! 

So no earrings for the boys.  They both had bloody ears for the day, but they will heal and hopefully they won't try that one again.  Now to await the next challenge - which I think will be the request of a cell phone!  (I don't think the boys really realize how much Spanish I can understand while they chat... I think I'd like to keep it that way...) 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Which Way Home...

I am usually a stickler about bedtimes before school nights, but last night I made an exception for the older boys.

Ryan and I and the two older boys sat down and watched a movie together. 
Normally, I wouldn't be interested in a documentary, but this one is one that is sooo worth watching! 

It is called Which Way Home.

Which Way Home shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the U.S.  The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico en route to the U.S. on a freight train they call "The Beast."  These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow.  They are the ones you never hear about - the invisible ones.
When you watch this movie and sit next to a child who can actually tell you his own stories about "The Beast" and what it was like to ride on top of it for 8 days straight, it doesn't feel as foreign to you.  The experiences these children had in the documentary are so close to what he experienced himself that he told us more then once that this was his history.  The most terrifying part of the story is that there are more unhappy endings then there are happy ones.  I am very thankful that our boys have the opportunity to have the happy ending!

So if you are curious about how these children from Mexico and Central America come to this country take a look at the clips online for this film or the film itself.  Of course not all children have these experiences, but some of them are very similar to this film with the train and smugglers.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

And Now There are Five!! - W is here!

Friday was an exciting day for our family!

As we had a month earlier, we went to the airport with our welcome sign and a few gifts in hand!  We were early and waited for the flight to arrive with our case worker, licensor, the case worker's supervisor, and an interpreter!  We were quite the crew!

Unfortunately, we missed W arriving!  He walked right past us to the baggage claim and we never saw him!  It's no wonder we didn't pick him out of the crowd!  He was dressed in a dress shirt, slacks, a tie, and even had a tie clip!  Definitely not your normal travel wear for a 17 year old who is also a refugee!

We all had the same excitement and apprehension, however! 
Yet again, we are completely blessed!  He is a good looking, very mature, kind, put together young man who is polite and helpful!  He even calls me "Miss" and Ryan "Sir".  (It felt a little strange at first, but now I'm debating whether all of the children should call us that!)  He does know a lot of English and can carry on long conversations about any subject you can come up with.  Already the children love him and he and A have compared notes on all of their past girl friends!

So far it just feels like a natural increase in the family.  You may want to check back in a week and see if I feel the same way after I have to prepare meals for all of these boys!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Just When I Thought I Was About Done Parenting a Toddler.....

As I got out of the shower the other morning my three year old triumphantly burst into the room announcing he had gotten himself dressed!  He did it all by himself - he repeated that a few times to be sure I understood.  I praised him profusely because although his outfit wasn't something I would have picked out for  him and his undies were on backwards, he did it on his own.  (We left that underwear on that way all day because I didn't want to dampen his spirit!) This only meant one thing for Mommy - less time spent corralling children and less people to dress every morning!

A nice vest over a Detroit Lion's jersey....

As excited as I was, I was a little sad too.  This is my youngest child!  He starts preschool in the fall and is growing up too fast!  He isn't a baby anymore!  As I tried to adjust to this thought I continued to get myself ready for the day.  Not 10 minutes later he popped in again.

"Mommy???  I swallowed a penny."
"Are you sure you swallowed a penny?  Was it in your month?"
"Yes, it is making me cough! I want it OUT!"
"You'll just have to wait to poop it out."
"uuuhhhhh errrrrrrr (grunting noises like he is trying to poop)
"Honey, you can't poop it out right now.  It will come out in a few days."
"Mom!  (exasperated look on his face with the body language of a 30 year old telling me I should know better) I'm trying to poop it out of my mouth!"
"You can't do that either!  Just go and play.  You'll be fine."

So I guess he isn't all that grown up yet!  I think I have a few more years of parenting a little one!