Ready for Halloween!

The kids have been taking homeschool tennis lessons this year.  Did you just raise a snooty nose at the idea?  I did initially, too.  But, the community tennis center is overflowing with down-to-earth people who aren’t playing at country clubs for a reason.  Because they love the game.  And kids.  And kids playing the game.  And kids waiting for their siblings to finish their lessons.

Can you tell that I love this place?

Tonight, they are holding a free lesson, pizza and movie party.  I am so excited, and apparently so is JR, as he woke me up asking “Are we late yet mom?” and wearing this:

Don’t tell his great grandma…it’s a Jeff Gordon coverall.

No son, this time, you are ready 10 hours early. I think we’ll have just enough time.

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This is for Thadius

It’s me, Cal.  I’m really happy about Thadius coming home.  It is really great that everyone is helping bring him home.  Thadius will feel really happy about people helping him.

This summer I have been doing homeschool, and playing outside a lot, and not wearing socks.  I am turning 7 in eleven more days.  I’ve been counting the days ever since July 9th.

Mom is attached to the computer doing work to bring Thadius home, except at lunchtime and homeschool.  Mom and Dad have been watching TV shows about kids who were adopted, I think.  We kids had to do work to bring Thadius home, too.  We all had to get shots.

Getting shots is like getting your blood drawn.  To me it is.  JR wanted to get a shot so I don’t think it hurts much to him.  We needed to make sure we didn’t have the TB disease or else it would spread to the family and Thadius could have it.  (JR just asks: “Who’s TB?”  Cal: “It’s a disease.”)

I think it was a sacrament.  (Jaime: “Are you thinking of sacrifice?”  Cal: “That’s what I meant,”)  It’s when you give up something for other people.

For the TB test they put a little needle in my arm, but it felt like a big one.  It was over by the count of three.  I felt bad.  Horrible actually.  I can’t remember if I cried. (Jaime’s note: none of the kids did!)

Tough guy didn’t even wince!

Even though I hated it, I’m glad it was a sacrifice for Thadius.  It shows that I care for him.  JR, Lumpy, Hoss, Mom, and Dad also got it.  And so will Thadius.  I think it will hurt a little bit for him, too.

But, it’s worth it.  It’s going to help bring him home.  It’s only his family who can do TB tests to bring him home.  This is for Thadius.

***

Jaime’s note: These are all actual words spoken by Cal.  I interview her and type it up as she says it.  If she gives me a two word answer, I ask her to say it as a full sentence.  Seriously, if you don’t have a 6, almost 7 year old yet, you should try to get one.  Try here: http://www.reecesrainbow.com 

The Evolution of Snacktime

Our ‘special needs adoption’ fundraising giveaway continues! Click here to donate to Thadius and be entered to win up to $500 as an Amazon gift card or for the Reece’s Rainbow child of your choice!

When you put 3,000 miles on the car in 7 days with four small children in tow, there comes a point when a parent must scream: “Enough! We are officially Missourians because I cannot drive for another mile!”

For us, 3 weeks ago, it was Branson.

Yes, the butt of all “giving up on exciting vacations, going to Branson” jokes.  But that afternoon, it was an oasis.

We found a great deal online, and booked 3 nights of staying in one place, because we honestly had no choice.  We were all out of gas.  We bought tickets to 2 days in Silver Dollar City for less than the cost of one day in Disney World for one adult, and found a little banjo-picking amusement park with shade and wholesome family fun galore.

After spending an hour in an air-compressor-fueled, nerf-ball laced, 4 storey shooting gallery, we took our first break of the day.  Fortunately we were permitted to bring a small cooler in, so we did.     And there we witnessed the evolution of snacktime.  Rarely captured on film.

It is a gem I share with you now.  Think of it as a comic strip come to life.

I’m holding the bag, that means it’s mine.

Whatever.

If I can just lean back like this…

You see what she’s doing, right?

Do I look like a child?

You can’t see me.

Oh man…

Mom wouldn’t have let me hold the bag if she wanted you to have any.

Or maybe you’re just not sharing.

Your faulty logic leaves me reeling.

Allow me to clarify. Missouri civil code 163.7 clearly states that pursuant to…

I am living with baboons.

Biggest Sister

This is my first time writing a blog post.  My mom is Jaime, Mrs. BLD.  I am six and a half years old.

I am going to tell you how it is like to be a big sister.  I am a big sister because I have 3 siblings and one on the way.  I am excited about the one that is coming on the way.  The baby we are adopting is having Down Syndrome.  That means there is something special about them.

It’s a big responsibility to be the biggest sister.  One of the things I do to help out my mom is bring down my baby brother, Hoss, from his nap.  Mom doesn’t make me do it, I just do it for fun.  It’s really fun to carry baby Hoss down the stairs.  When I hold him in my lap, we go bumpety bump and he giggles.  It makes me feel good and lifting him out of his crib makes me feel strong.

I like to be the biggest sister because I can read chapter books at night before I go to bed.  My favorite chapter books are Superfudge and Double Fudge.  One of the things I like to do is go to T’s house to play.

I write questions for my Mom when she is on the phone.

The worst thing about being a big sister is having to listen to whining.  When someone whines, I head for my room.  Sometimes I give them what they want or whatever they are whining about because I can’t stand the whining.

If you are about to become the oldest sister, the number one thing to know is it’s the best being a big sister.

I love my sister and brothers.

******

Cal has asked if she could be a part of the blog.  I told her sure.  This is the first of hopefully many short and sweet posts for my aspiring writer.

Smiles from Strangers

It’s no secret that my great love for baby carriers leads my husband and I to use one nearly every time we are out of the house.  We even found a rockin’ spring green performance Ergo that fits my very tall husband much better than our old ones.

When we are at stores and at church, we often get questions ranging from the judgmental (“How can they breathe in that thing?” and “All I can see is mom’s back, I want to see, mommy!”) to the promo ones (“What brand is that? Do you love it?”) to the circus gawkers (smiling, waving at our little ones, pointing out the baby to their own children). I actually don’t mind any of them. In every case, we’re changing folks’ ideas of normal ways to transport your kids.

This Sunday, on our monthly pilgrimage to Sam’s Club after mass, we happened to stop for lunch before shopping. Hoss was sleeping in the car, so we transfered him to Andy’s back without waking him, and went to the cafe. Andy ordered and found a table while I took the older three on a potty run.

On the way to the bathrooms, we passed a man who had Down Syndrome. I smiled, because I thought it would be rude to go and pepper him with questions. I counted it as a little victory to see a person who might be like my child some day, out and doing normal things. By the time we returned from the potty (nice remodel on the family bathroom, by the way, Sam’s Club), we were walking right behind his family. I noticed his Hooter’s shirt, and inwardly cringed just a little. Not because a man with DS was wearing a Hooter’s shirt, but because a man was wearing a Hooter’s shirt. I mean, come on, world.

We sat down and got the kids started on pizza, when a woman came over to Andy to ask how the baby could breathe in the Ergo…but oddly, not in the judgmental way. It was the mom of the man with DS. A put-together, snappy dressing kind of woman. She said her daughter had just had a new baby and they wanted to get her something she could really use. While she and Andy talked, I couldn’t resist. I turned to the man, and said hello. I told his mom, who was apologizing for interrupting us, that I had wanted to interrupt them, earlier. I told her about our plans to adopt a baby with DS. She was like “that’s wonderful” or something, and got back to talking to Andy.

I was offered a large, warm handshake, direct eye contact, and a smile. “My name is Jon,” he said, with nearly perfect speech. I introduced him to our kids, and he turned to each one and said hello, in the slight baby voice/over enthusiasm most kids in their late teens use with little kids. He told us it was his birthday today. He was 32. A year older than me. His mom chimed in and let us know he was living on his own, and they were just going out to Hooter’s, his favorite restauraunt (she said with the motherly tolerance she was mustering on their dining locale). She was hurrying him along, and said with a smile “Yours might be just as social as ours is, and you’ll have to push him along everywhere, too.” Jon went over to say goodbye to my little boy, and give him a big high-5.

We wished him happy birthday, and as they were leaving, his mom told us both “It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t have a day of regret.”

As they were walking away, I told the kids that our new baby might grow up to be a little like Jon, because he had Down Syndrome, too. Cal asked, “Mom, will our baby be different?” I asked her, “Well, was Mr. Jon different?”

She thought, and JR answered, “No.” Cal agreed.

“No, I told them, then our baby won’t be different either.”
___________________________________

God, I love the hints, but You’re being a little obvious.

Our peace is so complete, I put some in storage with the paper-towels and peanut butter.

The Little Pig

This morning I went out to the car to get the carbon monoxide detector my sister got us for Christmas. When I tried to get back in the house, Lumpy had closed and locked the door.

When I told her to let me in, she yelled back:

“Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!”

Oh my.
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I counted her to one.

“No way Jose!”

However, timeout threats and two got her to back down.

Click. “Saw-wree mom.”

“It’s ok, I forgive you.”

Hmm, I’m thinking pork for dinner…

The Moral of the Story

We don’t read the Bible much in our house, but we do tell Bible stories-old testament Noah, Moses, David and Goliath. New testament miracles, parables, the nativity, the crucifixion, the Easter story.

So, when a few weeks ago, Andy picked JR up from his preschool program that replaces mass for the little squirmy ones, was he ever surprised to hear the catechist gushing over JR. She was telling the kids the story of Jesus healing a blind man. JR interrupted her and explained the rest of the story that Jesus spit in the dirt and rubbed mud in the man’s eyes and he could see! She was impressed, and probably made all sorts of assumptions about what devoted Catholics the BLD’s are.

So today, when I overheard Cal and JR having a conversation about the same story, I listened with fascination, as I’m sure eons of good Catholic mothers before me have done.

As the story reached the end, JR said “and then he spit in the mud, rubbed it in his eyes, and then he could SEE!” Cal made some insightful comment, to which JR revealed what I believe is the real reason the miracle stuck with him.

“Yeah, Jesus had magic spit.”

We’ve taught them well.