Thursday, April 26, 2012

What NOT to Say to Someone Who is Adopting

People say some crazy things when they find out you are adopting.  Here's a tongue-in-cheek video that I made of what not to say to someone who is adopting. I guarantee that everyone who has adopted or is in process to adopt has heard a few of these things.

Unfortunately, I had a tough time importing the video to this blog post, so you'll have to click here to get to the video.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Germs are Not for Sharing

One of the few downsides of having several children is the length of time a particular germ can spread around the family.

Last week Bridget brought home something nasty.  Yes, vomit was involved.  Then I caught it.  Ben and a couple of the kids were feeling a bit off, but we had averted a full-blown puking epidemic.

But, for the past couple of weeks, Connor has been complaining about not feeling well when he wakes up.  Usually, he confuses hunger with a sick tummy and perks right up after a big bowl of oatmeal.  However this Monday he complained about being sick at school, I was called, and I brought him home.  Miraculously, he claims that the 2-mile long car ride to our house made him feel "all better".  He suggested he could either go outside to play or watch TV.  Um.  No.  Dear boy, you are taking a nap.

So, yesterday after his "illness" recovery day, he went to school, ran around outside for hours and generally felt great.  This morning when he complained about being sick, I felt his cool head and told him in my firm, authoritative mommy voice that he was, in fact, just fine and he would be going to school.  He complained that he couldn't because his legs hurt.  What mom would let a kid stay home for that?

I said he could sit at school and he would be fine.  I employed tough love instead of the sympathetic cooing of a mother to her sick child. Finally, my child got up to get dressed.  And proceeded to throw up all over his floor.  Oops.  That was a poor mothering moment.

This is how I would rather remember my mothering of my sick boy today - lovingly watching over him as he sleeps, perhaps while knitting a new sweater for him.  (No, I don't know how to knit). 

I cleaned up the mess.  He watched me disinfect his floor and put away the cleaning supplies.  When I came back he said, "Mom, why didn't you clean up that other spot that I threw up?"  Thanks, buddy for the heads-up.  It would have been handy info when I was cleaning the bio-waste the first time.

Since I was in such good practice, the cat decides to heave all over the floor a few times, too.  My job is very glamorous.

Here's a few handy pointers for when your children are sick in addition to the standard "disinfect the doorknobs :

  1.  Employ the beige diet.  Don't give your child anything that will stain when it is thrown up on carpets, rugs or special blankies.  Bananas - good.  Strawberries - bad.  Cheerios - good.  Generic Trix - bad.  Saltines - good.  Colored goldfish crackers - bad.

  2.  Giant kitty litter pails work well for puke buckets.  They have higher sides than ice cream pails, preventing splatter.  They are also stable enough to not tip over and can be rinsed easily.

  3.  Write down who got which medicine and when.  I know you think you will remember.  But when you are starting to wear down from taking care of kids (and may be getting sick yourself) you will not remember which kid got Tylenol or cough syrup and how many hours ago it was.

  4.  Give sick children their own hand towel in the bathroom to stop them from spreading cooties to other family members.

  5.  Give them sympathy (not like I did this time) and some extra special time to read together or watch a favorite show.  BUT then send them to their bedroom for most of the day.  I want them to feel loved, but not have such a great time being sick that they don't admit when they are all better.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Joy and Chaos

I apologize for being in incommunicado the past few weeks.  I have been working on the yearbook for my children's school, frantically hiding cleaning before our home study visit and preparing for a group of 28 of us together for Easter at my house.  Fourteen of those 28 were children.  Age 10 and under.  It was loud.  Fun, but loud.

And due to my procrastination and lack of organization, we combined our family's Easter celebration with four of my children's birthday parties.  Usually just Bridget and Sawyer share their extended family birthday celebrations on Easter (as their birthday's are both in April) with Riley and Connor having extended family celebrations at the beginning of the year (their birthdays are in January and February).
Here's a visual of the happy chaos.

Here's a picture of four of my little darlings after church.  Veronica was down for a nap when we snapped this picture.  Unfortunately, she was a bit dazed by the chaos of everyone when she woke up from her nap and we don't have a good picture of her in all her fancy Easter cuteness.  Trust me, she was super adorable.  In my defense, did I mention that we had 14 children at our house.  And that it was loud?

For my children's family celebrations, I make fancy cakes for them.  I always have a theme for the children celebrating, however this time I struggled to find a theme appropriate for children ranging in age from 10 to 4.  I ended up making cakes that looked like their favorite books.

Here's how they turned out.  I tried a new butter cream technique for making the detailed pictures out of frosting.

Every year for Easter I also make Easter baskets for the guest.  This year the term "basket" is used rather loosely as they don't have a handle.  But, I think they were still pretty cute.  They were also a lot easier than the year I decided to weave paper baskets for everyone.  I made that decision and starteed the day before Easter.  Not a wise choice.  This time I had already made the decision, but still started the Saturday before Easter.

This blog post wouldn't be complete without documentation of a very sad day in Jello Mold history.  Lately I have been making monstrous jello molds for family celebrations.  My thought behind this is that my children and their cousins would get together decades from now when they are grown ups and say to each other, "Do you remember the jello molds that Aunt Kristin used to make.  Yeah.  They were kind of weird.  I wonder why she kept doing that."  I think it is just the right touch of eccentric (bordering, but quite not touching crazy) that will make them continue to talk about me long after I am gone.

Unfortunately, this one flopped a bit.  It is suppose to be over a foot tall.

I am hoping all of you had a blessed Easter, jello mold or not!