Monday, June 30, 2008

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

I forgot to note this long ago. This song is Mercedes' all time favorite. I've got to get this on video! Anytime she is upset all I have to do is sing that song. Anytime. Every time. As soon as she hears the word 'Twinkle' she is calm as a cucumber. She listens & smiles. It's the cutest thing ever really. :)

How's the spit-up coming along?

F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S !!!!

Can you believe it? We firmly believe the worst is OVER! She still spits up, but nothing, nothing compared to what it was. What an amazing (& unexpected!) blessing! She's drooling like a faucet but that's ok with us. :)

I snapped these photos quickly tonight. She's just so silly. Oh yeah, she still melts my heart! Ü

How am I doing? Ugh. I'm in a nightmare situation & am probably headed to a specialist. My dr. is doing some research tonight to see if she can accomplish what the specialist can/will because it will take me months to get into the new dr. For whatever reason my body is now rejecting the antibiotic (I was afraid of that) so I don't think I'll be improving - but as we all know, miracles happen. :) Good possibility I'll have my 3rd surgery tomorrow & quite honestly, I don't know how I'll handle this one. The last one just about tossed me off the medical table. I have an extremely high pain tolerance but I really don't care to find out how high. I am so depressed over all this & I discussed that with her too. I may be a lot of things, but anyone who knows me knows 'depressed' is not one of them. :) I'm just praying there is an end in sight because believe it or not, this is almost too much for me. This is so horrible, horrible, horrible but thankfully tomorrow is a new day. Ü

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tacky comment #6.

#1-3 happened the first time we all went to church as a family of 6. (I'll reference those later.)

#4 happened at Kroger.

#5 happened at LabCorp.

And #6 - were out to eat a few weeks ago. Someone we know well/we used to go to church with walked up to my Jaguar & I quote "whoa! Did you stick your finger in a light socket?"

Come on now. She's 3. Is she supposed to know what that means? Unfortunately, she will soon enough. Fortunately the comments we typically receive regarding her hair are "oh I loveeeeeeeeee your hair!" or "you hair is beautiful!" That's more like it & so much appreciated.

Other news.

I'm now on Staph infection #3. I hope she'll give me some meds for depression because this 3rd one really has me bummed. Really. Bummed. I just can't believe it.

Social worker coming today for our last visit. Woohoo! We're clear to final with Mercedes. :) That said, Brad has been in our life for over 7 years. I'm going to miss him so much. He is amazing & has been a complete blessing in our lives.

Then we're off to Chuck E. Cheese to play.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Tonight at dinner.

Me: You just aren't going to eat that pizza, are you?

Jaguar: Nope.

Me: Do you want something else instead?

Jaguar: Tomatoes!

And that's what I gave her. And she ate every stinkin' one. :)

Today, driving thru an outside mall in a near town:

Bentley: Well heeeeeelllllllloooooooooooooo ladiessssssssssssss!!!!!


Question of the day.

"So, do you foster?" asked directly in front of my children.

This actually happened when I took Mercedes for her bloodwork a few weeks ago. I didn't actually flip my lid, as the lady tried to 'quietly' ask - but failed. Turns out her parents foster children, so she was innocently asking outing of curiosity. Bottom line is, again, if all of my children were full CC, she never would have asked.

I've got to come up w/ something in regards to how to respond to these insensitive & tacky comments/questions. Husband told me I should simply say "no I don't, why do you ask?" But that's not powerful enough for me. Maybe, for the sake of my children, I should just simply ignore the comment & say nothing. Maybe that would be the most powerful statement one could make. I honestly believe that sometimes saying nothing is the absolute best choice.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Me three!

My girl. My beautiful, spunky three year old. My little princess fanatic. She's the cutest thing you have ever seen in your life. Don't I say that about all of my children? Ü

I noticed some time ago that when someone makes a comment, regarding something they want to eat or somewhere they want to go or the like, Jaguar, in agreeance, yells "me three!!" Typically, you or I would say "me too!" I never paid much attention to Jags' response until it happened the other night in the pool. Audi said he was going to do something in particular & Jags responded with her "me three!" At that time it dawned on me that she's says this because she is three. She's not two. LOL Cute. :)

Jaguar also has a great fear of hand dryers. The hand dryers you find in a bathroom. She calls them hair dryers. :) It's a deep, genuine fear where if we open the door & she sees one, she immediately starts shaking, crying & trying to get out. She'll cover her ears & plead with me "no hair dryer no hair dryer!" It's really the saddest thing. So of course we wash our hands & either use a towel or drip dry. The interesting thing is that we were in Target one day & hubby picks up a regular hair dryer & the episode began. He immediately put it down & calmed her down. I wonder when she will outgrow this? I feel so bad for her but not much I can do about it.

The two photos above were taken inside, manual, with flash. All of the photos below are taken inside, manual, with no flash. Still learning. I have a long way to go! But I'm getting there. :)

The photo below is my all time favorite. Love it. :)

Yep, she has on a life jacket. Every day. She'll walk around in anything she can find. Usually Bentley or Audi's pajamas - on top of her clothing. One day she came down in a long sleeve shirt, sweats & her swimming suit on top of it. And she's getting quite frustrated that she can't fit in her baby doll's clothes. Ü

I love her. ♥

So I don't jinx it.

I will not talk (type?) loudly.

The last two days, yes two, have been minor spit up days from Miss Mercedes. :) At the end of the day, I only have 4, yes four, burp cloths to wash versus 20. She is doing so well I cancelled her 2nd GI appointment that was scheduled for this a.m. I will reschedule if needed. Doctors are not God & even though they are trained, they don't know everything & God has His own plan. She also is off all medication now (except for Thyroid) because none of the medication worked. We made the decision that we will not put her back on any reflux meds. We're going with the flow (heehee) from here on out.

Could it be she actually will stop spitting up at 6 months? Really, could it be? We have been in heaven the last few days. Especially her - my Happy Spitter. Ü

Friday, June 20, 2008


Just want to make a note about Photoshop. This is my personal opinion only - I'm not a fan. I think Photoshop is being taken advantage of. I think the program is fantastic for certain tasks, but severely over-kill for overall photo retouching.

What do I mean? Ok. Look at all the internet/magazine images of celebrities. Most of them are Photoshopped. Those are not natural photos (trust me, I know. My bil is one of the best 'Photoshoppers'/retouchers there is. That is my husband's business - advertising - they make a living doing this). People are not flawless. The more I'm learning about photography, the more I read & the more sites I visit - professional 'every day' photograhers are joining the trend.

What this tells me is that numerous photos out there (not necessarily celebrity photos, but just 'regular' society/people photos) aren't the real deal! And personally, I don't like that. I don't think Photoshop is pure negative, but I want to photo & I want to see a photo, of the real deal. I've seen tons of family photos which are beautiful, but they've been touched on. To me, that's fake! Are they (whomever they may be) going to look back in 10 years & say "wow, great photo, but we didn't really look that good" etc. I want to see natural. I want to see pure, God given beauty. I want to see sincerity. I want to see emotion. I want to see the pure joy. I want to see a person/family that has lived or is beginning to live. Untouched. Unscathed. Un-Photoshopped. Ü

Just an observation I've recently made. Another thing I have noticed is people copying other people's work. Get real. Get creative. Be yourself & find your own nitch. Leave other's people's creativity & hard efforts for beautiful poses/colors alone. Take your passion & make it come alive. That's where my passion lies. :)

Mercedes' photo below is all natural. Taken outside, beginning of dusk, no flash, on manual setting. Is it perfect? No. Could I have taken a better, possibly lighter, shot? Most definitely. But that's her. Beautiful skintone, receding hairline (LOLOL!!), chubby cheeks with adorable dimple - the whole nine yards. *That* is where I'm headed w/ my photography. :)

Have a great weekend! Ü

Thursday, June 19, 2008




When your children swim every day - how often do you really need to bathe them? ;)

Side note - I have found the most amazing - you may never see me again. Promises, promises.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer has arrived!

Man. It's hot here. We've already had a few 100 degree days it's not even July. I think we're in for a bad (extremely hot) summer. Add in the precious Texas humidity & you have a deadly combination. Oh joy. :)

Lately I've been thanking the Lord we have a swimming pool. This pool fails in comparison to our last pool - fortunately though, children are children & they couldn't care a less. A pool is a pool to them. I could stand to learn a thing or two from their simple innocence. :) They all love to swim & that's all that matters. As much as I still despise this sink hole/money pit (I must admit, I'm loving it more & more as I observe what the housing market is doing right now), the pool is a blessing. A true, appreciated blessing. :)

So...every day, this is what we have been doing. Sometimes 2 & 3 times a day. Husband put Mercedes in the pool for the first time the other night. It was so sweet. She loved it. Too bad I was too tired to take photos. :)

And then there's the child shown below. He has always been so terrified of the pool/water. Last year I blogged about it & the next day, he began to swim! As of two nights ago, I was encouraging him to try jumping in. No way. The following night, he did. And he hasn't stopped jumping in since. He has come so, so far. :)

I have noticed that the pool & chemicals are wreaking havoc on Jaguar's hair. I must find a solution to this before it gets worse. Her hair is so incredibly dry - moreso than before. I reckon I'll Google AA hair/swimming. If anyone can offer any suggestions, please let me know. I've pretty much got her hair & products figured out - but not swimming and/or chemicals. Maybe some sort of 'before' conditioner? Hmm. :)

Other things keeping me occupied?

1.) I am currently obsessed with keeping my house clean. How clean do I like my house? When we moved out of our old house, it was in the contract that the house (both houses, & old) be professionally cleaned. The cleaners showed up but my house was so clean, they left. LOL Funny now, but not at the time since I had already paid them. :) Anyway, when Mercedes arrived, things kind of slipped so I'm getting back on top of it & staying on top of it. There is nothing more gratifying to me than a spic-n-span house.

2.) eBay. I am selling some things & I've had my first 'winner' who refused to pay. That was a mess! I'm somewhat still new to eBay & I didn't handle the situation correctly which costs me some fees, when I should have been reimbursed fees. Live & learn. :)

3.) Taking/editing/deleting/processing photos. :)

And the most important?

4.) My wee ones. :)

I'll try to get back to posting more frequently. Off to Google. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Round 2.

I have another Staph infection. On my way to the doctor.

I don't understand these or why I keep getting them. I have never had a Staph infection in my life & now I have two back to back. I'm not laughing anymore.

On top of that, my cute little Osh Kosh dog is very sick. He's throwing up so much I have to put him outside & that breaks my heart because it's so hot here. I hope to get him to the vet today too.

Hope you guys have a fab. weekend! I won't be! Boooooooooooo!

Surgery #2 for me - complete.
$200 vet bill for one sick doggie - complete.
Doggie needs rice & chicken to eat when he can eat again (can't eat for 8 hours). Oy! Someone else to cook for. :)

Good news? We're both still breathing! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mad Mama.

My experience at the grocery store today -

Went to check out & the clerk waiting to help me was eating. Icky.

She then wheeled my baby Mercedes around as she went to unload my basket.

I bought lots o' meat today. She scanned it all.

At that point, Mercedes started fussing.

The lady who had just been eating & touching my raw meat (among all the other dirty cans & such) then grabbed my baby's toys that hang on her carseat & shook them, trying to soothe her.

At that point I just stared as I was stunned. I couldn't even force myself to say "Stop that! Your hands are filthy!!!!"

I then walked over & grabbed my Mercedes off the basket.

Another lady who was bagging then looked at me & said...& I quote...

"Are you babysitting?" As my children looked on w/ confused expressions. They heard every word. (If you recall, when we began discussing adoption w/ Bentley he asked us "so, you're just babysitting me?") I could tell the distress on Bent's face.

"Excuse me? Am I babysitting? These are MY CHILDREN!" I sternly replied.

To which the lady knew she had done a no-no & turned the other way.

I had a nice conversation today w/ the "Associate Manager". The store manager was out. The lady I spoke w/ was horrified. Not only about the eating & toy touching (which they are replacing) but most important...about the comment.

And then I informed her -

1.) I have two bi-racial children. (I could tell she almost fell out of her chair...)

2.) They are all adopted. (At this point she was close to passing out...)

Ms. Melissa lets a lot of things slide. I really do. I take most things in stride & if it angers me...I get over it. Plain & simple.

This situation? Absolutely no frickin' way.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My baby - she's thriving!

And she's thriving a little too much. Ha! ;o)

Today was Mercedes' Endocrin. appointment. According to their scales (keep in mind too the hospital weighs in kilograms not pounds) - she is now TWENTY lbs. & almost 27" long. The dr. was amazed at how much she has grown since her last appointment 2 months ago. I was quite intrigued myself. So when I got home, I did some looking. Thankfully I keep good records & have all her stats logged. Yay for me. :)

On 4-2-08 - at her last Endocrin. appointment, she weighed 13 lbs. 2 oz. Almost 23" long. (Different office though meaning different scales)
On 5-9-08 - her 4 month well visit, she weighed 16 lbs. & was 24 3/4".

On 5-21-08 - the GI appointment, she weighed 16.5 lbs & was 66 cm (whatever that is - I didn't calculate).
On 6-10-08 - today - she weighed the above - 20 lbs. & almost 27".

On every visit listed above, the scales are different. So naturally, the weight won't be 'exact' unless the same scale is used every single time & I would go so far as to say by the same nurse even, since everyone weighs differently.

But 4 lbs. since her 4 month checkup a month ago? Sounds pretty impossible to me. And now after viewing the rest of her stats, which are pretty consistent, it's seems even more impossible. At this rate I'll have a 48 lb. one year old. LOL :)

I called Cook Children's & discussed all of this. I called 2 different locations (we actually have now been seen by the same dr. at 2 different locations) because to me, this is a big deal. I don't expect the weights to be perfect; however, I don't expect them to be off an extreme amount. I think this is detrimental information regarding a child's weight gain & health. If the 4 lb. weight gain is accurate, then we have a problem! That is why I called to verify. I thought there could be a possibility the nurse miscalculated the kilograms. Or I'm hoping she did. :)

The kilograms today were 9.1. Evidently you multiply that number times 2 & there you have the weight in pounds. So...I come up with 18.20 lbs. That's a 2 lb. difference! Much better than 20 lbs.! Obviously the nurse just rounded up. Not good. And to be honest w/ you I'm not real pleased w/ the 9.1 weight, because Mercedes was in the process of rolling over & had her diaper on (which she usually does not) so a.) she wasn't undressed completely & b.) she wasn't lying flat. See what living with OCD is like? Heehee.

Anyway the dr. wanted me to return (now) to reweigh Mercedes which ain't gonna happen. Not with three other children. I already had to drag them to LabCorp to have Mercedes' bloodwork done (don't ask) after the Endocrin. visit & I'm not going to take them to any more appointments. It's too difficult for them. So tomorrow a.m. hubby will stay home briefly & I'll run Mercedes down to my pediatrician & have them weigh & measure her. And just to note - I remeasured her length too & I came up with 1/2 shorter than they did. I'll have that rechecked tomorrow a.m. as well even though my pediatrician's office ain't real swift at measuring. They're too careless but I just let it go. :)

Here's my theory that almost all weights/heights/percentages are not accurate - unless you get a person with OCD (someone who really takes the time & strives to produce the absolute most accurate numbers) & that would be a good thing...

One example:

Audi @ 4 months - 16 lbs. 4 oz. - 50 - 75%

Mercedes @ 4 months - 16 lbs. 0 oz. - 90 - 95%

Now, how can Audi be in a lower percentage bracket weighing more than Mercedes did? Hmm. That's how I know you have to take these percentages w/ a grain of salt. :) Same dr., btw. Whose is correct? Audi's or Mercedes'? Dunno.

And there you have it. Being I have OCD - I must have everything 'perfect' (as perfect as can be). 'It' must make sense (whatever 'it' may be at the time). I must have explainations as to who, what, where, when & why. See what my life is like having this disease? Very stressful. :)

Now for some cute photos. Mercedes turned 5 months old four days ago. :)

She's goofy. She's silly. She's funny. Her personality is out of this world. She plays peek-a-boo w/ me now & she slams her head down on my shoulder like she's hiding from me. Then she'll pop up w/ her huge, open mouth smiled. I love her. I adore her. She is so happy, happy, happy all the time. She fusses when she's hungry or tired. That's it. Occasionally she'll have a fussy day, but those are few & far between. Like maybe once a month. We rescued her. But I think that is two-fold because in a way, she rescued us too. Without realizing it, we needed her as much as she needed us. Our life could not be more complete. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

They just keep happening.

Happy Birthday to me. The big 4-1. Yikes. But now really, I could live the rest of my life without ever receiving one more birthday gift. God has already given me all the gifts I could ever want or need. ♥

I don't think my life could get any sweeter. :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

I heart Payless.

Let me explain. :) - Btw, aren't the above shoes so cute?!?! Sometimes I miss working. I miss wearing heels every day! :)
In April or May of last year I went to the dr. for pretty severe foot/heel pain. I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis. I was told that this condition is due to wearing flip flops and/or going barefoot too often. I can vouch for that & confirm it because I hate shoes & I live in flip flops or I'm constantly barefoot. Even in the winter time. :)
Relief & treatment? Begin wearing very supportive shoes. My worst nightmare. I was totally not thrilled with this because like I said, I don't like shoes. Especially heavy shoes. Especially in summer time in Texas! But ok. My foot hurt pretty bad so I'll oblige.
I tried Nike. I tried Skechers. I tried the famous not-real-attractive Dr. Scholls. I tried expensive shoe inserts. All to no avail. By the time this May rolled around my foot was in poor condition. The level of pain was right under 'excruciating', I had developed a knot where the pain was localized, severe pain directly under that knot, & my foot was beginning to go numb in that particular area. I could no longer go barefoot at all because it was entirely too painful. I wore shoes from sunup to sundown. I told husband I didn't know how much more I could take it hurt so incredibly bad (& keep in mind, I'm on my feet all day). He kept encouraging me to make an appointment with a Podiatrist & I had just about reached that point. Shots in my foot were sounding like complete heaven compared to the pain I was walking on.
And then one Sunday, I ran in to Payless. I'm one of the 'occasional' Payless shoppers. I run in there just to see what's up about 2 x a year. I browse their purses (yes, I'll take a Target purse or a Payless purse over my Dooneys anyday! My Dooneys that I sold on eBay. :), browse their shoes & skim over the kids' section. Then I'm on my way. You know Payless' reputation - either people love 'em or hate 'em. Perfect shoes for some, too 'cheap' of shoes for others. I fell right in the middle of those. :)
This particular day a light & airy flip flop grabbed my attention. I believe they're called "AirWalk". I tried it on. Nice. Nice & cushy. What the heck, I had tried all the others. Might as well try these too. So for $17 I bought them & gave them a shot. I have not taken them off since. In weeks.
To be exact, I think it's been about 3 weeks now & my Plantar Fasciitis is gone. Gone I'm telling you! Non-existent. The knot that had developed is subsiding. The pain directly under that knot disappeared. My feeling in that area is returning. This is the best my foot has felt in over one year. :)
I'm now a Payless fan. :) Even for my children. My kids have had all brands of shoes. I've done Stride Rite. Numerous times. Whatever. (I'm not really impressed w/ brand names. Maybe on a few things, but certainly not all.) I've done Nikes, I've done Skechers. Blah, blah, blah. I won't stop purchasing these brands, but I will add to the bunch some Payless shoes. Especially summer shoes. The sandals? Cute! Flip flops? Perfect for summer. I might as well pick myself up some more while I'm at it because I think they are cute! :)
My theory? Payless may not be the best shoe on the market. However, they most certainly aren't the worst.
Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I pray.

A lot. All the time. No matter where I am or what I'm doing. And if I say I'm praying for someone, I am. Every single person - personal friend, relative or stranger. If I say I'm praying, you can bet your tush I am. Don't assume just because I don't discuss it I don't do it. I just don't 'advertise' it. I'm not that way. It's not my personality.

"I'm not a say'er, I'm a pray'er"

By Melissa.

Made that up myself. lol :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Almost 5 months old.

This is the smile we get all day, every single day. Nuttin' better than this. :)

Doesn't it look as if she's saying "yessssssssssss?" :)

She is just too stinkin' cute. Heck, all four of them are! :)

He takes after his dad.

Audi is so much like me. A tad OCD'ish, doesn't like to be dirty, cleans at the drop of a hat & can already fold like nobody's business. I can already tell his handwriting will be impeccable, & he's not yet 4 1/2 years old.

The other one, the oldest one, not so much. Just like his dad. In the below photo, this is the inside of hubby's truck (figuratively speaking). Shoved in a 7 year old's backpack. Obviously they are going to have the exact same style of order.

Katie, meet Scott. LOL :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Still alive.

Well, I'm still here. Alive & barely kicking. :)

Christine - to answer your question - hubby has taken off of work 1/2 a day last Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. Poor guy. He literally has had to do everything. By Friday I was perking up, but then Friday a.m. I was brought to my knees in pain. Twice. I had run out of the gauze the dr. supplied me & I was using gauze hubby bought me at CVS. Something wasn't working so I phoned the dr. & later went & picked up some more of their gauze. I'm going thru gauze like water, btw. TMI information, I know. I immediately began feeling relief. My golf ball size infection was slowly shrinking. And I mean slowly. Saturday all was ok until I attempted to bathe the baby. Ugh. Pain. Hubby has been bathing both Jaguar & Mercedes for me. Today I'm doing ok until I ran out of the dr.'s gauze again. Switched back to CVS gauze. I was buckling in pain. Hubby ran back to CVS to find some different stuff. He came home with lots - immediately I noticed the difference in texture & I read the package. Latex-free. DUH. I am allergic to latex & didn't even think to check that! The other gauze I was using had latex! The dr.'s gauze has none. All is well in the world again tonight.

Other than that I am taking baths 3 times a day which I despise - I call them the 'torture chamber'. I hadn't taken a bath (not shower, bath) in over 8 years. But it's helping so I'm suffering thru them. They are such a waste of time but necessary.

I have to say having this Staph infection is the worst, most painful experience thus far in my life! I feel bad for hubby & all he has had to do. He had an infection 2 weeks prior though so he is being very sympathetic & understanding. He's the best & I realize that at times such as this. He has a golf tournament to play in tomorrow a.m. so I'm glad he can catch a break.

I haven't even picked up my camera in days. That tells you my condition. I'm ready to feel good again & for life to resume. Our health & what we are able to do we all take for granted people, I'm telling you. I have really had an eye opening experience. And painful. Easily I could have ended up in the hospital & I am so thankful that did not happen. Thank God I went to the dr. when I did!

Fortunately the kids have been swimming for the last 3 days so they've been occupied. That is a blessing! Other than that I sent hubby back to Wal-Mart to stock up on all chemical cleaners I could find. I need bleach people! Forget 'Going Green'. I am so over that. I'm feeling well enough to clean, clean, clean what & when I can, starting in the bathrooms. Everything has got to stay sanitized until this bacteria passes & I cannot chance my children catching this icky thing.

Thanks for all the emails. I appreciate the well wishes!

Btw, 1 1/2 days of school left! Yeehaw! :)