Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Poop Smearing

I am going crazy with this. Baby J has done this ever since he came to us at 13 months old. He'd reach into his diaper and get it all over his hands and just smear and smear away. A couple of months ago, he did a major job all over his crib and walls and I gagged and gagged cleaning it up. We were putting onesies on him backwards and everything and he's so strong, he'd just pull hard and undo them. Finally, I decided to put sleepy footy jammies on him backwards so he couldn't unzip them. This seemed to help.

Last night, Andy put his jeans on backwards and since he didn't have a whole lot of room to stick his fingers in and get into the diaper and we didn't have any messes during the night...I figured it was fine to do that for his nap today. Yeah, I thought totally wrong....I heard him get up and while I finished up the cleaning that I was doing, I figured he was fine in his room (there's nothing for him to get into in there). 5-10 minutes later, I go up and find that he pooped and had taken his pants and diaper off and he had smeared poop all over his changing table, wall, blinds, and some of the floor. It was a mess! I put him in the tub while I went to town cleaning his room. I think I got it all cleaned up, but there may be some spots on the floor that I'll have to go back over to make sure I get it all out.

Does anyone know what helps get a kid out of this phase? I'm going to get some play-doh and finger paints and see if this will help. I know some kids are more fascinated with this stuff, but it's a pain in the butt to clean up not to mention it's totally gross and he's too little to make him clean it himself.

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Deidra will be changing schools next year...

Well, I called her current school's office and asked to keep her where she is next year even though when we moved we technically became part of another school's district. I didn't get anywhere with them, so I called our ISD's administrative office. Didn't get anywhere with them either, so I wrote the super intendant. Didn't get anywhere with him either, however, I did find out that some of the elementary schools are going to be offering kindergarten on their campuses, so all the kids won't be going to the kindergarten campus anymore. Her new school is one of the ones to offer kindergarten. So, that makes me feel better about trying to get her and any other foster children we have that are in kindergarten to school on time on two separate sides of the city.

I broke the news to her that she would be switching schools next year and she started crying. However, I went out and timed it to see how long it would take me to take her to school (it's a 10-15 minute drive one way depending on traffic)and I showed her the new school. She thinks it looks weird. But, after talking to her neighborhood friends here in our subdivision, they're happy that she's transferring and so she's coming around to it. She still wants me to check into homeschooling her. I'm praying about it. There's a new student tour in June as well so I'm going ot take her there too. We'll pray and weigh our options.

I think if we wind up sending her to the new school though and I have any other problems with the school district, that's going to be it and I'll pull her out. Of course, my Mom brought up sending her to the catholic school and I said that was too expensive. I was considering sending her to a school that homeschools 3 days a week and goes to classes on campus twice a week. Mom said, "well, that's not Catholic and the further you get away from your faith, the harder it's going to be to get back in." I understand that, but at the same time public schools aren't Catholic the last time I checked and that's where all of us kids went too.

I am considering letting her go to public school, but teaching her here at home the things she would get out of a private Christian school too...like more of the bible teachings and that sort of thing. I just don't know where to start, do they have Bible curriculums at homeschool stores?

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Foster Parent Appreciation Banquet

We went to our first Foster Parent Appreciation Banquet last night. The kids were all excited about getting to go play with the other kids and getting pizza and popcorn. It was fun getting all dressed up and getting some time with other adults to talk and so forth. They had a chocolate fondue table set up with strawberries, cherries, cake, graham crackers, marshmellows and stuff and that was kinda fun. Then they served us ham, green beans, rolls, salad, scalloped potatoes, and italian creme cake or chocolate cake. We said hello our our caseworker and she came over to talk to us and then she came back to introduce us to her husband. We were sitting by ourselves because we aren't too familiar with some of the older foster parents yet (not necessarily older as in age wise, but the ones who have been fostering longer). It was nice when another couple came in and asked if they could sit with us as we went through all of our foster training and stuff with them. Then, another couple came in and they sat with us too (I babysit her fosterbaby). We won a door prize of a free hotel stay at the Courtyard Marriot hotel in Fort Worth along with a free dinner for two at a Mexican restaurant that's close to the hotel. Everyone sitting at our table won a door prize...we were at the winners table. :-) They presented all of us with cards from our caseworker and blankets that were monogrammed from our agency that went with the theme of being a "Shelter in the Storm". We had our pictures taken together and with our caseworker. They had a couple there that after 23 years of fostering decided to close down their homes and they presented them with a special flag from the state of Texas as a way to say thank you and our agency is giving them a voucher for a cruise. At the end, they told us all to check under our chairs as they threw some stuff under various chairs too. We won a gift card at a local cafe. It was a fun night and we had fun with everyone we were sitting with too. I really do like our agency that we are with and I really do get the vibe that they really do care about their foster parents. I hear so many horror stories from other foster parents with different states and agencies, that I consider myself lucky to be with who we are.

We came home and put the kids to bed and sat and talked for awhile. Andy said he really didn't want to go at first, but that he had fun. I did too. Then, we headed to bed ourselves since Andy had to get up at 3 am this morning to go into work. I didn't really think I was tired, but I must have been as I don't even remember Andy coming to bed.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What a beautiful day...

It is absolutely gorgeous outside. I babysat this morning and we took the boys to the doctor this morning. Baby J had his 2-year physical (he's 33 lbs and 35 inches tall). He had to get a finger stick to check his hemoglobin and he never even cried. He was such a good patient. Baby D I just needed to make sure he was up-to-date on his immunizations. He just needed a DTAP shot and he was good to go. Went and got Wendy's for lunch and all the boys scarfed down their lunches. Put the boys down for a nap and did a scrapbook page. Then my caseworker called so I ran up to the agency really quick. We talked a bit about Baby J's mom and she's hoping that if there are enough inconveniences for her that she'll relinquish. I just think for someone that just made the statement that they were having issues being separated from her son and needed some therapy to deal with it (no sooner did she say they that they transferred her to another RTC program that was a whole lot closer...so she went from being 6 hours away to about 40 minutes from us)...anyway, I just thought that she would have taken advantage of the time I was willing to give her with him rather than being selfish and wanting what she wanted and since she couldn't take him to the fair, she just wanted me to come get him. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me anyway. She hadn't seen him since February, I guess I just would have thought that as long as she spent time with him it wouldn't have mattered where they went or what they did.

Andy ran and got the girls from school while I gave the boys a snack after they woke up. Then, when he got back with the girls, I ran up to Wal-mart to get some diapers, stuff for Deidra's field trip tomorrow as she needed a sack lunch, and got a few things that we were out of. Came home and had a snack myself and tried to declutter my countertops a bit. Now, I'm blogging while Andy is filing the bills away and I'm trying to keep Baby J out of things. Then, I'm off to get ready for our foster parent appreciation banquet tonight. It'll be fun to have a night out. I get so shy around a bunch of people that I don't know, but I'm slowly getting to know the other foster families, so hopefully it won't be too bad tonight. I really need to come out of my shell some more.

It's so beautiful outside that I may go take the boys for a quick walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the green grass and seeing all the flowers. They love to go down by our pond and see if they can see some duckies.

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7 Deadly Sins Quiz

Taken from Sarah's blog (www.proudmomx2.blogspot.com)

Greed:Medium
 
Gluttony:Low
 
Wrath:Low
 
Sloth:Medium
 
Envy:Very Low
 
Lust:Very Low
 
Pride:Medium
 


Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mother's Day gifts?

What are you getting your Moms for MOther's day this year? What are you asking for?

I think I'm going to make little brag books for the birthmoms of my foster children. I have the templates, I just gotta plug in the pictures and have them printed up. Hopefully, they'll like them.

I'm going to send flowers to our Mom's for mother's day. I told Andy I really just wanted something to pamper me...I could go for a nice pedicure or something.

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Took Baby J to see his mom today.

His mom greeted me with a big old hug and then she went out with me to the car to get Baby J(I wasn't sure if I had the right building on campus at first so I didn't bring him in with me right away). She met the family and she had a question for us...she wanted to know if it would be ok with us if her Mom and her took him with them to the fair today. I figured that since the mom was going to be there, she could supervise and Andy and I didn't have a problem with it. She told us when they'd be back and everything and I brought his car seat in for her. We got in the car to head back and all of a sudden it hit me that I better double check with my caseworker on that so I didn't ok anything that ws going to get ME in trouble. I called her and she said that we couldn't do that as if she chose to run with Baby J that would come back on us. The only way she could leave the grounds with him is if they had staff to go with her that would be with her at all times. So, I had to go back and tell her. I told her that I'd let her stay there with him until 3 (the time she was going to have him back) and I got to meet her mom and her uncle as well. They were fine with ordering in some food and making the best of it, her uncle said it was more important that she got time with him, which I agreed with. However, she told me to come back in an hour to get him (we dropped him off at 10). I asked her over and over again if she was sure and she said yes. I felt bad for her, but at the same time I was mad that she was thinking of herself over getting to spend the time with Baby J. I went back at 11:30 to get him (I figured I'd give her some extra time) and Baby J came running to get to me. I handed him back to his mom and he immediately reached for me again so she just gave him to me. The uncle showed me a little video clip of him that he took and his mom didn't even know that he had played the piano. I looked at the uncle and he said that she was in talking to her mom for most of the visit and the uncle was walking around with him. That kind of made me mad, but whatever. He said his good-byes and they all walked us out to the car. He gave them all kisses good-bye and the uncle thanked me over and over for taking such good care of him and for everything. His mom buckled him in and then said she was going to start crying. I hugged her and she told me thank you for bringing him and wanted to know if I could talk to her CPS worker to see if she could take him off the campus by herself. I told her I would and I came home and emailed her, but I'm not thinking they're going to let her as she is strictly only supposed to be allowed supervised visits.

I still don't think that Baby J really understands that is his mommy. I really wish his mom would have taken advantage of the time that she could have spent with him today and my heart breaks a little for him that she cut their visit short because she only thought of what she wanted today.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

I just don't get her sometimes...

Little J is a habitual liar, but it's usually about little things...

I went to pick her up from her visit yesterday and the CASA worker came out early before everyone else to have time to tell me what was going on.

She told her parents that we took her to see her sister and that we locked her sister in the trunk while we were down there. I was floored! She said the Dad never said one word during the whole visit, but when he heard that he wanted an answer about if we did that and why. She said that the she (CASA worker) and the transporter just laughed about it. They knew it never happened.

1. I don't even know where the sister lives...just a general area (city).
2. I don't know their last name or anything to even look it up.
3. We didn't take her down there.
4. I would never do anything like that.

The parents came out giving me the evil eye. I told them when Baby D's pictures were going to be in and they left. Little J came out totally scowling and she got in the van with a scowl on her face. I put the kids in the van and told Andy to buckle them in while I ran to talk to the CASA worker. I asked her if I should report that right away as I didn't need a false allegation or the dad bringing that up in court. She told me not to even worry about it and if it came up in court (he's done that to me twice now over stupid crap) the workers would all be there to inform the judge that it never happened.

Well, I left a voicemail for my caseworker at my agency letting her know what happened, but it scares me that she could make up just the right story and we'd have a full-fledged investigation on our hands. I asked her why she lied like that and she swore up and down that she didn't say that. I asked her again and told her that she could ruin someone's lives over lying over something like that. She wouldn't look at me, but swore again that she didn't say that. I finally said well, I heard it from someone that wouldn't lie to me, Little J, so I know that you said it. Finally, she said that she did say that but she said that her sister's step-dad was the one who locked her in the trunk. Maybe, I misunderstood wrong when the CASA worker told me about it on who she said it was, but I told her that the wrong lie could get someone severely in trouble. Deidra picked up on that right away and said that she didn't want to be taken away just because someone lied about us.

We were taking the kids to Chuck E. Cheese last night for Baby J's birthday and Andy didn't even want to take her. It was too short notice for us to find someone that could take her. I thought about asking my Mom to sit with her for a couple of hours, but she doesn't like doing it unless we REALLY need her for the risk of any allegations that she would be held accountable for and I knew if I told her why we needed a sitter, she wouldn't do it, and I can't say that I blame her. She wound up being able to go, but she missed out on privileges.

With a lie like that, these next 4 weeks until she goes home are going to make me really nervous. She could really ruin our lives if she wanted to. And what makes me more mad as I think about it is that the CASA worker and the transporter who was supervising the visit laughed about it. To me, that's no laughing matter. I wish I could make her see that lying is wrong, but everyday we deal with this. We've never dealt with it to this degree, but it really makes me nervous now that we're down to her last month in care that she's told a lie of this degree. It makes me wonder, what else is she going to say and why??

Andy told me last night after the kids went to bed that he's nervous too. It makes me sad to say it, but if we didn't have to give a 30 day notice to have her moved, I think I'd move her. As far as she's come and all, she just doesn't get that you can lie about someone in just the right way and it can totally ruin their live and everyone else's that they totally love and care about. This is the side of foster care that I don't like.

Abba, I pray for your protection over us and to keep us away from any allegations or investigations during the rest of Little J's stay and always. I'm nervous, but I put it all into Your hands.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Going to be another busy day...

It's Baby J's birthday today. I have to wrap his presents still. Then, Baby D and Little J have their visit today. After that, I have to run to the bakery to get Baby J's cake. Then, I'm going to run and pick up dinner...I think we're just going to get Chicken Express tonight (we're taking the kids to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow).

Scrapbooks Please is having a scrapbook print sale today and so I have about 70 layouts to upload to have printed for 99 cents each. Then, they have 20% off on orders of $50 or more. Not bad really since I get most of my scrap kits for free. So, it really just costs me to print them and buy the albums that they go in. This way, I have their albums caught up through November. Then, I just have to catch them up through April and then print those. Then, they'll have their books to take home with them.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Give Thanks



I used Marcee Duggar's Give Thanks freebie and the turkey is from scrapbook flair.

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Little J

Just wanted to give a little update on Little J too. They put her on a new medication a couple weeks back. It makes her pretty groggy, but she's been a completely different child. She talks about what she's feeling rather than being so agressive and she's been very sweet and affectionate. She still has her moments of jealousy sometimes, but nothing like what we were going through before. Her and Deidra have been getting along a whole lot better too. I told the caseworker, man if we could keep her on these meds and she did go up for adoption at some point I would adopt this little girl. She made me something at school to remember her by one day and she came up to me with tears in her eyes to give it to me. We both broke down and just hugged each other. I sat there with her on my lap for a long time just crying with her crying on my lap. She's so torn between wanting to go home and wanting to stay here. She's so scared that she won't ever get to see us again or talk to us. She thanked me for taking good care of her along with a slew of other things. I think I'm going to write her a good-bye letter for the end of her scrapbook and put my cell phone number in there with an e-mail address (I'm going to get a separate one to give to my foster children) and hopefully I'll get to see how she's doing from time to time. She's been real emotional lately since they found out that in just a few weeks they were going home. It's hard on everyone involved really.

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I love my case worker...

I wish all my caseworkers could be like her. She let me know how much she appreciates us being on top of everything and we're always really thorough on our logs so they know what's going on behavior wise with all the kids and socially, emotionally, and with their visits and therapies. She told me how she's always singing our praises and that I'm one of her best foster parents and she wishes all of hers could be like us. She wanted to make sure we were going to be at the foster parent banquet next week and she wanted me to know that she appreciated all the hard work that I do. It felt good to be appreciated.

We talked about the kids for a bit too. My heart is heavy knowing that Little J and Baby D are going home next month. My case worker and I really don't feel that they need to be going home just yet until we find out some other things that are going on with Baby D (that's all I can say, sorry), but CPS feels differently and there's nothing we can do.

Baby J's mom is back in our region and we're taking him to see his Mom on Sunday for a quick birthday visit at her RTC. Then in May he'll see her twice a month up until we go back to court in October. My emotions are different from day-to-day worrying about that, although my foster care workers keep telling me that if she keeps her behavior up that keeps her in RTC, she's not able to work a caseplan and that looks really bad to a judge that she can't take responsibility for herself and her behavior to get herself out of there. I'm just glad that Baby J's attorney knows that we are interesting in adopting him now and the judge is pretty quick to move on permanency. So, we wait and see what his Mom decides to do in the meantime.

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Busy Day...

my van is in the shop getting fixed, Andy's working from home, I babysat this morning for a 15-month old baby boy. Then, I just ran and ordered Baby J's birthday cake (Thomas the train), I need to wrap his presents, I've been trying to get laundry put away and the house cleaned up. We had our pop-up visit from our caseworker and then I had to go up to the agency to drop off some stuff I had to make copies of before I could turn them in. Then, I had the intake worker that had some questions for me as they were confused on if we wanted another placement of just anyone or whether we wanted it to specifically be from the compound. I said we'd take anything...we just wanted to let them know that we were willing to help with the compound (LDS) stuff too if needed. They're trying to put those kids in large group homes and stuff though so they're not exposed to our cultures and stuff, so it's not your typical foster care settings. So, I'm doubting we'd get picked anyway. But, I told her what we were wanting and I gave her permission to say yes for us and so hopefully we'll have another little one soon. Then, I ran and get the girls from school and now I'm going to try to do a few scrapbook pages.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hubby's Beer Was a Hit...

Hubby's beer was a hit with his co-workers. He's got a few more weeks and his summer ale that he made will be ready and then he can unveil that one.

He didn't think he was going to be late (they were ordering in dinner and having Andy's beer). So, when it got to be 10:30 and he still wasn't home and I hadn't heard from him, I called him. I couldn't get a hold of him and when I finally did shortly after 11 pm they were at a bar. Andy told me that they were leaving shortly. He was trying to con them into helping him with some computer moves that he had so he didn't have to come in to work so early in the morning. He told me he'd see me shortly. Midnight came and he still wasn't home, and by 12:30 I was worried and so I called him again. They were just leaving the bar and were going to the office to move the computers. Finally, I said I was going to bed. I went to bed shortly after 1 am and Little J proceeded to get me up at least 10 times saying that she was scared. Andy came in at 3 am saying that he was taking a nap and then he had to be back at work at 5:30. They got the moves completed but something was wrong with their networking system and he had to have it up and running before people came in at 8am.

I woke up at 6:45 and I was so grumpy. None of the kids were listening and they were moving at a snail's pace. I got them to school and came home. I had to get through a CPS visit, a caseworker visit (that one wound up being rescheduled for sometime tomorrow), and 2 therapy sessions. I am dragging. Andy called at noon saying that he was coming home. He was so tired that he couldn't work anymore. I told him that he wasn't coming home to sleep, I'm sorry, but he knew he had to work today and he also knew that I was at home waiting for him and I stayed up late knowing that he had been drinking and just wanted to make sure he got home safe.

Well, now it's me that is horribly tired and exhausted and he's asleep on the couch. So much for what I say, huh? He thanked me over and over for letting him go out last night. I just wish he could see that he's not the only one who is exhausted and pardon me for not exactly feeling sorry for him. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he had a good time, but it would be nice if he could see the other side of things too. Whatever, I'm not going to start anything about it. I know he was safe driving home as he didn't drink nearly as much as the other guys, but it bothers me that he never called me to say he was running late or to even let me know that he was ok.

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Pumpkin Carving



I used a kit from Scrapbook Flair for this one.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My hubby...

He brought his 2nd batch of beer (an apricot ale) in to work to unveil tonight to his co-workers. They decided to do their yearly fun night (well part of it) and they're ordering food in as well. He was excited and I was excited for him. It's nice to see him doing something that he enjoys.

I wrote him a little note saying good luck and that I was missing him. We sat on the couch last night watching The Flinstones movie with Deidra and then we put her to bed. I remember feeling so exhausted and it was only a little after 9pm. I remember sitting down next to him and then waking up to find that he had already gone to bed. He said that he tried to wake me up, and that I told him that I was coming. I guess I must have fallen back asleep. He had to get up at 3 this morning so that he could go in and do some moves that nobody had told him about until the last minute. He's horribly swamped at work lately. He's working from home on Thursday though so that I can get my van back in the shop. Then, next Tuesday he's working from home again since I have 3 doctor's appts scheduled that day and then we have our Foster Parent appreciation banquet that night as well. I miss my hubby though...I'm looking forward to spend some time with him tonight (no, not in THAT way).

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Anybody gone green?

In celebration of Earth Day, I was just wondering if anybody has already gone green? Or are you planning to?

I was listening to the radio and they were discussing some easy ways to help the earth and so forth. Buying recycled paper and paper products, turning your heater down and your a/c up a few degrees, doing the same with your freezer and refrigerator, and buying the LEC bulbs, and so forth. I'm really thinking about trying to incorporate some of these things.

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Baby J at 18 Months




I used Creative Victorian's Autumn Visions kit for this one.

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Therapy...

Abba, please let the therapy sessions for Baby D and Baby J get approved soon. I want a chance to get a handle on some things for Baby D especially before he goes home soon. I worry about them (Baby D and Little J)because I just don't know if I trust that the parents will follow through on what they need.

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Little Bugger...

Baby J is such a ham and such a sweet baby. Boy, does he like to find trouble to get into though. He's so cute too...when he knows he's not supposed to be doing something he'll crouch down...it's like he thinks if he does that I can't see him. It's hard not to laugh sometimes. He looks at us with his little cheesy grins like that's going to help not get in trouble. He's so funny. He'll ask for something and if we say no, he'll say "pleeeaaase, Mommy, pleaaasse." He thinks saying please gets him whatever he wants. He's got such a personality and is so much fun. He knows how to push my buttons sometimes, but he is so funny. He's been saying 2-3 word sentences all of a sudden too. His speech is starting to explode. I started doing the preschool curriculum with him about 3 weeks ago too and he loves it. He's such a smart little guy. He turns 2 on Friday. Wow!

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Monday, April 21, 2008



I used DeDe Smith's Farm Tearz quickpage for this one.

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Going to be a busy next couple of weeks...

A foster parent friend of mine asked me to babysit her 2 (her bio daughter is 18 months and her fosterson is 15 months). It's jsut for a couple of hours every Tuesday and Thursday until May 12. Her current sitter (also another foster parent) is getting 5 new placements tonight and so she couldn't babysit for the both of them or it would put her over ratio. So, she asked me today if I could sit for her. I told her that I can only have 1 that age. She talked to the current sitter and determine that she could just keep 1 also. So, over the next couple of weeks I'll have a little 15 month old that I'm going to watch for 3 hours a day on Tuesday and Thursday. She asked me what I wanted pay wise. I told her that since we don't get much for them anyway, she could just give me $5 a day and that would at least cover food/snacks and that would be fine. I'm glad to help her out. I was going to start tomorrow, but her kids are sick with nasty diarrhea bugs. So, I'm going to start Thursday. She said though that if I get an offer for another placement, she didn't want me to turn it down on account of her...she'd just have to figure something else out.

It's funny, but I find that the friend's that I'm making down here are other foster parents. It's good though. :-)

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Homecoming Parade




I used MMC's Bows and More kit for this one.

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Called to love, give of ourselves, and to be humble...

I didn't go to mass this morning, but I watched it on tv. His homily spoke to me today. He was talking about how Jesus leads us to a very simple way to get to Heaven. He's prepared a room for us there and that He calls us to lead a life of love, giving of ourselves, and to humility. He said too often we have the thought of "what am I going to get out of it if I do this for someone?" He said we just need to give of ourselves anyway and realize that God will see our actions and bless us. We're to be humble and not expect anything in return when giving to others. We are called to serve others for God and yet, I too see that I often have the wrong attitude. I need to just do it and offer my actions to God and trust that He appreciates what I am doing and I don't need to expect return favors and such from others. I am to be humble and do it for God, yet I will be the first to admit that it hurts when I give to others and they can't give back at times. I need to work on changing my attitude. God sees and that is all that truly matters.

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Barack Obama

I will admit that I don't follow the presidential candidates all that closely. I was going to vote for Romney until he dropped out. I'm not really all that impressed with any of the other candidates. My Mom and I were talking last night about how I've heard some people lately saying that they think Obama is the anti-Christ. Mom said her impression wasn't that far off, although she didn't know if she would go that far to say that. Anyway, she said that one of her co-workers was telling her how Obama won't say the Pledge of Allegience or wear a flag pin or have anything to do with our flag. I didn't know that and questioned Andy about it last night (he follows all that closely) and when I found that it was true, I wondered...if you don't believe enough in our country to honor and respect our flag and what it stands for...why are you even running for president in our country?? We have soldiers over in other countries fighting, the soldiers die and they're caskets are covered with our flag...if you don't believe in our flag and what it stands for, what does that say to our soldiers who are over there fighting for OUR freedoms and represent our flag among other things. I don't know, but that really doesn't sit right with me and makes me wonder what this country is really coming to.

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Baby J at 16 Months Old



I used Beth Nixon's Shabby Blooms kit for this one.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Baby J at 15 Months Old




I used the Sesame Street kit by ScrappinAllieKat for this one.

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Building Together



I had so much fun making this one. I used the Blockz kit by Designs by DeDe to make this one. So cute! I just love her Tearz animals.

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My baby is having her first sleepover here at our house...

My little Deidra is getting way too big. She's having her first sleepover here at the house tonight. I just got them some popcorn and Andy's getting the portable DVD player ready for them to watch High School Musical. I really do love our neighborhood...she's making some good friends here and it's nice to feel comfortable letting her go down and play and having the girls come here too. I think us parents are more comfortable that way too. My van had to go in the shop a couple of days ago and since we don't all fit in the car when I had to bring Andy up to get it, I didn't even think twice about asking the neighbors if they'd keep Deidra for about a 1/2 an hour so we could run up there and back. They have 4 girls, so they are always telling me "what's one more?" I don't mind when one or two of their girls come down to play, but I've had all their 4 here plus mine a couple of times and it does get a little overwhelming sometimes for me. Of course, their oldest is in 7th grade and their youngest is Deidra's age, so they're ages I'm not entirely used to either. lol

I did have to tell them though that they can't be too loud as I don't want the boys woke up and that I did want them getting some sleep tonight. I also had to tell her that I didn't want Little J to be excluded since that's her bedroom too.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Water Park Fun




I used the Splish Splash kit by Rhonna Farrer for this one.

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Baby J at 14 Months Old




The paper is by ALP in her My Guy kit. The Thomas stickers are by Alliecat.

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We are SO exterminating this weekend!



We have so many of these spiders in our house lately. They're big and they're fast! The boys think it's funny to go find them and try to hit at them and stuff with their toys. I won't touch them (the spiders I mean). The speech therapist killed one for me the other day. Andy just killed one in the kitchen today. We had one that he threw out the slider door a few days ago. I'm tired of them catching me by surprise. And I certainly don't want one crawling on me. I have the heeby jeebies!

We got some Hot Shot stuff from Home Depot to spray to get rid of a zillion insects (one being spiders) and we are putting it down this weekend. I hate HATE spiders! Yes, I'll be the first to admit that I'm severely arachnophobic. I used to hate any type...now I do ok with the small ones. But, I still don't like them!

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Weekend Plans?

Anyone have any exciting weekend plans? I'm tired...TX got hit by some strong winds, rain, and hail last night and so we went to bed late. All I know is that by 9 pm last night it felt to me like it should have been midnight. I didn't want to get up this morning either.

I'm not sure what we're doing this weekend, I'd like to tackle the backyard landscaping and get that done. I need to totally clean the inside of my house. I need to catch up Baby D and Little J's scrapbooks. Heck, I'm behind on all of them, but since they're technically going home soon, I really need to make sure they're caught up. So prepare to see lots of pages from me this weekend. I know they're probably boring to everyone, but I enjoy sharing them. :-)

I'd like to go out thrift shopping for ebay this weekend too. It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend. I'm enjoying seeing all the green grass, the flowers blooming, and I really want to go take the kids pictures with the Texas Bluebonnets that are popping up all over the highways and stuff.

I love spring...to see everything popping up and blooming reminds me that we're always given a fresh start in life and in everything we do.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pop-up Visits

UGH! I'm getting frustrated. My caseworker let me know that they are required to do one pop-up visit per year. She asked me what times I'd be home this week and she'd pick from one of those to do it. I gave her some times each day that we'd be home. I still haven't had the visit and my van stalled on me a couple of times and we need to get it checked out. Of course, I'm trying to schedule something with the dealership and they're booked. I don't want to get stranded on the side of the road with 4 kids in the car, so I want it looked at soon. Well, I'm afraid to leave in case that's when she had in mind to do the home visit. I need to go to the grocery store and I'm afraid to leave because of the pop-up visit. I need this thing to happen today, so that I can be done with it and go do the things that I need to go do.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

At the Duck Pond



I used the Lily Pond kit by Numb Bumm for this one.

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Fun in the Tub



I used Jenna Robertson's Bath Time kit for this one.

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Fort Worth Zoo



I used the Doing the Zoo kit that I got from DSP. I think it was made by Kim Liddiard, however I may be wrong.

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Six Flags





I used Tweety Paper by Mee Gee Designs to do this spread.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

23 Years Ago...



23 years ago today, I lost my Mom due to complications with her diabetes. She developed pneumonia and spent 6 weeks in the hospital. The doctors were a bit baffled by what all was going on with her...some of it they just couldn't figure out. Anyway, they tried and tried to wean her off life support and she would panic and get scared whenever they tried and she just couldn't do it. The doctors eventually told her that if she lived, she'd be on life support the rest of her life. She made the decision that she wanted the life support turned off, but she didn't want to know when they were going to do it.

Those 6 weeks were very hard on all of us, I spent the 6 weeks being shipped from one relative's house to another while my Dad worked and was up at the hospital. On weekends, I went home to be with my Dad and he'd take me up to see her. One day, he sat me up on her hospital bed and he left. She sat and held my hand and told me that if anything ever happened to her she wanted me to always remember that she always loved me. I started crying and the nurses made me leave the room so I didn't upset her and get her crying too. Later, she sent me home a Strawberry Shortcake card home with the same message inside. I still have that card. It wasn't long after that I went off to school and the family all gathered around her bed while she was sleeping and the life support was turned off.

I came home from school and my Dad's mom and grandma had flown up to help look after me and they told me that my Dad wanted to talk to me in my bedroom. I knew then that something had happened. I walked in my room to see my Dad with tears in his eyes. He turned to me and told me "we lost her today, Jess, we lost her." I cried in his arms and then I wanted to go to my friend's house. She came to the door and I just muttered that my Mom died that day...she ran and got her Mom and I can still remember the way that they looked at me and her Mom just hugged me. When the time came to go to the showing, I didn't want to go. I stayed with my friend. The 2nd showing, I went to and I was so scared. I can remember my Dad taking me up to look at her and I thought that she was just sleeping. He took my hand and placed it over hers so that I would see that she wasn't going to wake up. I remember thinking that she was going to sit up and yell at me for trying to wake her. Instead, I remember thinking of how cold she was.

I remember being mad at myself that I couldn't cry, I stayed home from school for 2 weeks and when I went back everyone was so nice to me. She helped out at my school a lot and they even had a book dedicated to her in the library. I couldn't tell you what the name of it was though.

I don't remember her an awful lot and I beat myself up over that a lot...my real mom's family does too and they're always quick to correct me when I call my step-mom "Mom" in front of them. That hurts me too. I can remember her taking me rollerskating at the rink all the time, and we went camping a lot and rode our 3-wheelers all over. She took me to the movies and to the zoo and we went to Kings Island and Cedar Point a lot. I remember going places...but for the life of me I can't remember a whole lot of what her personality was like.

My Dad remarried my now step-mom (although I call her Mom now) a few months later and I've heard all sorts of things from that side of the family that because he remarried so quickly he must have been having an affair while she was on her death bed and all sorts of things. It got so bad that my Dad kept me from a lot of them, except for my Grandparents, for awhile. He didn't want them filling my head with all that crap.

Even to this day, I don't have much of a relationship with that side of the family. My Grandpa and Grandma were the best grandparents a girl could have ever asked for and I was my Grandma's girl. When I lost her back in 2002, my heart broke and I still cry over losing her to this day. I can remember my Uncle telling me shortly after she died that he felt sorry for himself over losing her and I got really upset and bitter. There's a difference to me over losing your mom when you were 8 years old and losing your Grandma when you were in your 20s and then losing your sister when you were in your 20s and then losing your Mom when you were in your late 30s/early 40s. I understand that it still hurts no matter what, but to tell your niece how sorry for your own self that you feel all after trying to keep me from my own Grandmother's bedside when she was dying because I had my own family to take care of still hurts too. But, that's a whole other story. But, it truly showed me that they don't understand any piece of my life and how much I have struggled with losing my Mom so young and then what they put on me over the years because of it too. Heck, my Mom's only sister put a guilt trip on me so bad over NYE last year because of the fact that I call my step-mom Mom and how I am a total disgrace to my real Mother and she went on and on to throw every mistake I have ever made in my life in my face and told me that the whole family thought I was whacko and needed to be in counseling. I wound up on my Mom (step-mom) porch step in tears so hard that I could barely breath asking her what made me such a horrible person. She sat and told me something that I had never known before. Apparently when her and my Dad started dating, she was nervous to meet me and my Dad told her that I could be hard to get to know, but once she did, she'd discover that I had a heart of gold and that I would do anything for anybody. She said that she honestly found that to be true and that I wasn't a horrible person. If anything, she felt that my Aunt (my real mom's sister) didn't know how to let go of her own bitterness and grief and she was just going to keep lashing out at me because I moved forward. I came home that night and blocked her e-mail address for a long time. I decided that I didn't need that negativity in my life and I figure one day she'll have my Mom (her sister) to answer to over how she's treated me since she passed away. I talk to her every once in a great while over e-mail now, but I decided the day she tries anything like that again I'm done. I've struggled enough with some of my life...I don't need any guilt trips over things I cannot control.

It's hard to explain and I am probably not doing it very well. Sometimes I yearn for a relationship with that side of the family...and other times I can see that I'm doing ok without it too.

I looked at my Deidra yesterday and realized that I wasn't that much older than her when I lost my Mom. My Dad really feels that if she controlled her diabetes a lot better than she did that she may still be alive today. I looked at Deidra and realized that I need to start taking a lot better care of myself so that she still has her Mom around when she has her own family. I don't want her to go through some of the things that I have had to.

Mom, I can't believe that it's been 23 years already. I still remember vividly the time in the hospital and some things that happened. I can remember you telling me good-bye. I can remember learning to read your lips. I can remember holding your hand and kissing your cheek. I can remember how much the doctors and nurses loved you. I went to see Dr. Farr when I was having some problems and he talked to me about you. He remembered you after so many years. He wrote me a letter and told me that if there was anything he could ever do for me, he was there for me. You've missed so many of my milestones, I so wish you would have been there at my high school graduation, on my wedding day, and to see my beautiful baby girl be born. You would totally love my little Deidra...she's sweet and spunky and I couldn't love her more. I remember how much you loved little babies...I think I must get that from you as I can never get enough of little ones either. I know Grandma was the same way too. I remember those 6 weeks that you spent in the hospital the most vividly of anything else. I wish it didn't have to be that way. I can still remember how nice and sunny it was on the day we lost you too, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I can even remember that I walked home from school wearing my little yellow coat. Why can I remember that stuff at 8 years old, but I can't remember your personality? Every once in awhile, I'll hear some old music on the radio and that will spark a memory that I didn't even know that I had and it'll hit me "hey, your Mom used to listen to that song."

I know you were with me too when Grandma died...I know you knew how hard that was for me and when your picture fell in my lap I knew you were trying to tell me that you were there with me.

I had a dream not too long ago that I found out that you really didn't die and that you were out there somewhere. I couldn't find you. I woke up and that dream haunted me for awhile.

I like to imagine you and Grandma up in Heaven drinking your daily tea together. That's another memory that I have now that I think about it. Driving to Grandma's everyday so you guys could share your cup of tea together. That's where I get my love of tea so much.... (that just made me smile). I also remember going into Montgomery Wards and having lunch with Grandma...that memory just came to me as well. Maybe I can remember more than I give myself credit for.

Thank you for loving me so much for those 8 years that I had you in my life and thank you for still loving me. I'm very fortunate to have had 2 mothers in this lifetime whom have both loved me with their whole hearts. I love you. I can't wait to meet you again one day.

I wondered today...does the day you die here on earth, become your birthday in Heaven? If it does, happy birthday, Mom!

Oh, and the Precious Moments picture at the top of this email...there's a story behind that. Someone (I forget who) gave a picture to my Grandparents of two Precious Moments people standing at heaven's gate that said "No Tears Past the Gate" and it had my Mom's birth/death info on it. Grandma told me that when her and Grandpa died, that picture would come to me. So, when I found that figurine, I knew it belonged with this post.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

A Breakthrough with Little J...

She had her medicine changed around late last week. She's been exceptionally drowsy from it, but she is like a totally different child on it. In a good way... She's been able to focus on what she's supposed to be doing and she's been talking about her feelings rather than being so agressive. She was crying last night that she missed her parents and she just wanted her Daddy. Today, she came home from school and she told me she made something at school for me so that we could always remember her when she went back to her old house. All of a sudden she started crying and saying that she loved all of us and she was going to miss us. I pulled her into my lap and tears just poured from my eyes. She was so incredibly sweet about everything... I'm going to miss her too, even with her struggles, I'm going to miss her. I really am.

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Watermelon



I used a couple kits for this one. Wild Watermelon and Slice of Summer.

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4th of July



I used PJ's Thoughts of Randomness Americana Freebie for this one.

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4th of July Parade



I used a Liberty kit from Amy W for this one.

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4th of July Fireworks



I used a quickpage by ALP for this one.

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Why doesn't anyone ever talk about this part of marriage?

Andy and I celebrate 10 years of marriage together this year (we've been together for 12 years and we've known each other for about 15). We're caught in the dry spell. We got in a small argument on Saturday night...he wound up telling me "screw you" which he's never said before. I wasn't superly mad, but the thought popped into my head that if I let him talk to me like that and didn't respect me, that I wasn't any better than the wives who stayed in abusive marriages (I'm NOT saying my hubby is abusive)...and so since I'm trying to work on my self-image, I left for a little while before I said something back to him that I would regret later. When he realized that I was leaving, he told me to come back and sit down and watch the movie with the girls (it was family movie night). I told him he could sit and watch the movie with the girls but that I wasn't staying around someone who was going to talk to me like that. At first I was going to go to the book store and then I wound up going to my Mom's. she knew we got into an argument, but I didn't give her the specifics of what we were fighting over. All she knew was that he spoke to me in a way that he never has before and even though I knew when he said it that he was upset, I wasn't going to give him permission to say that to me again and I just felt it I didn't make a statement that I wasn't going to stand for that, then it would have a chance to come out again sometime later. She felt that I did the right thing.

I sat on her stool in the kitchen drinking tea with her and I asked her why people didn't talk about the part of marriage that it becomes later. It's not always all fire and romance and you can't get enough of each other. The giddiness around each other goes away. You're left in a stale place sometimes with one of you wanting more from the other...but nobody talks about this phase of marriage. Mom looked at me and said "no, Jess, because usually when marriage takes on that phase people divorce one another because they think they're not in love with each other anymore. People don't give it a chance and realize that you just grow comfortable with one another and if you keep just talking to each other (not AT, but TO) each other that you get through it." I told her that one thing out of my parent's divorce, I learned that being in love with someone isn't totally all a feeling...a lot of it is actions...you make a choice daily to act on loving someone...staying or leaving."

She asked me to think about my spiritual dryness lately (something we were also talking about)...she said "you go through periods of spiritual dryness where you feel that God isn't listening to you, or answering you, or you don't feel like going to church...yet He's committed to you nonetheless and you know that you'll eventually bounce out of it. That's just like marriage sometimes.

I just think that if more people talked about this, then people would feel better about being in this part of a marriage and maybe there would be less divorces happening. I don't know...maybe I'm totally out in left field.

Anyway, when I came home about 4 hours later, he was extremely apologetic and he said that it was all the stress of this week that wasn't helping matters and he was trying to move past it all, but he was just still upset and he took it out on me. He asked me to forgive him and he just hugged me. Of course, I forgive him...but I did make it clear that I won't tolerate being talked to like that. If he wants me to respect him, he needs to respect me. We had a chance to sit and talk and got some things hashed out and I think I know what he's missing from me (I had to piece some of it together as he wouldn't come right out and say it), and I think he has more of an understanding of what I think has been missing lately and we both have some things to try and work on.

I love my husband dearly, he's a great hubby and he provides for his family very well. I just feel like we're missing something on some levels lately, even though our relationship has been ok. It's not like we've been fighting non-stop or I can't stand being around him or anything. Things have just been really low-key lately and I just feel that something is missing. We keep communicating and I think we may have had a break-through this weekend about what we were missing from each other. I'm going to work on some things that I "heard" from him this weekend althoug he didn't come outright and say it...and see if that makes a difference.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Landscaping the front yard...

We got out there this weekend and landscaped the front yard. I put before/after pics on our house blog if anyone wants to see.
http://hoffmanshouse.blogspot.com/

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Friday, April 11, 2008

It's a little after 7 pm and the whole house is quiet!!

I don't know what to do with myself. I know what I SHOULD be doing...but I'm just enjoying the peace and quiet. The boys didn't take naps today and they wanted to go to bed early...so they went down a little after 6:30.

Deidra came home from school in a good mood, but she also came home with her very first F and Andy and I had a stern talk with her about her grades. Granted, it was 4 questions on it ( a story that she had to put the events in order)...but she got every one wrong. She has to redo it this weekend. She also got a 68 on her spelling test...Andy practiced those words with her all week long. I'm beginning to wonder if she gets nervous about her tests as she spells them fine here at home. All of her other papers were high 80s and high 90s. Anyway, we went to run errands and she just completely melted down in the store about how we all hate her because of her grades. She wasn't even going to get in the car to come home, she wanted to stay in the parking lot. Andy told her if she kept it up she was going to be grounded for the rest of the day. I wasn't sure that was the approach to take as something lately is clearly bothering her as she doesn't usually act like this. Anyway, I wasn't going to argue with him about punishment in front of her...so she got herself grounded. We got home, we weren't even home 10 minutes and she was asleep on the couch. She is out too...I tried to wake her for dinner...nope she wasn't budging.

Little J had some medication added to her regimen as of last night. She takes it three times a day. She was fine last night. I gave it to her this morning and the teacher said she couldn't even keep her eyes open in class. She sent her to the nurse and she took a hour and a half nap and still wasn't acting like herself. I reported it to my caseworker so they could get back to the doctor, but they agreed to see how she does over the weekend and if she's still having this much trouble by Monday they'd try to cut it back or change the dosage for her to see if that helps. I had to go get her from school early though as she just kept wanting to go back to sleep. She did look pretty out of it when I picked her up, I barely thought she was going to be able to stay awake long enough to walk to the car. She's pale and says her stomach hurts too and everyone...nurse and pharmacist said that's not a side effect of the drug...so I'm wondering if she doesn't have a bug or something now. I had to give her another dose before her visit and I guess she slept on her Dad's lap through most of the visit. She came home and crashed on the couch...woke up to eat dinner...and went to lay back down. I had to wake her up to give her her night time meds and she went right back to bed. She hasn't budged. I hope everyone falling asleep early, doesn't mean that they're going to try to wake up way early tomorrow morning. This Mommy needs some sleep herself after the week we've had! Flooding and tornadoes in the area...just lots of stressful things going on! I'm just glad it's the weekend!

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Our master bathroom disaster...

Most of you heard that the boys flooded our bathroom the other day when they were supposed to be napping. I took some pics of the incident just in case we needed some for any insurance purposes or Andy needed to show them to work since he left early to help me gain some sanity.

I never thought two toddlers could be so quiet while making such a HUGE mess. They stopped up Andy's sink and let the water continuously flow on full blast. I was trying to clean downstairs while I thought they were napping (Baby J was asleep when I left their bedroom and I left Baby D rubbing his eyes and I thought he was quickly on his way to napping...WRONG!). Anyway, after I cleaned the guest bathroom downstairs, the playroom, and went to unload the dishwasher I heard the footsteps and a giggle. I went upstairs to find my master bathroom door closed and them laughing. I opened up the door, saw the huge mess, and proceeded to slip and fall on my butt. What I didn't see at first was all the water ALL over the floor... I got the water turned off, the boys changed and put back to bed and went to put down all the towels that I could find. That wasn't nearly enough. I went and got all the blankets that I could find...that STILL wasn't enough. By that time, I called Andy in tears and he said he'd take lunch and come home to help me. Right after I talked to him, my Mom called. She was able to get me the number for some emergency people that deal with flooding (THANKS MOM!) and they came out right away. By that time, I had taken every bin of dirty clothes that we had and dumped them all over the bathroom floor to sop up the water and that helped get more up off the floor. I came downstairs to grab my mop and found that the water had started to pour through the laundry room vent over my head. I cleaned up the water downstairs that was on the floor and ran back upstairs to make sure that I got all the major water soaked up. I discovered that Andy's cabinet drawers were FULL of water...so I quickly dumped those out and got towels in them to dry them out. Unfortunately, they have some water damage...but it's only on the inside of the drawers so he's not too worried about it. By that point, Andy was home and the emergency people came shortly after. They probed our floors and walls and the downstairs ceiling and thankfully only a section of our drywall and baseboards and ceiling had anything to worry about. He recommended setting up 3 huge fans and a dehumidifer to those areas for 3 days to dry them out. They're coming out tomorrow to probe again to make sure it's all dried up. We did wind up with a small crack in the downstairs ceiling, but I guess it could have been a whole lot worse. We'll have to putty it and patch it up and repaint.

This is the only photo that you can honestly see that there's water on the floor (reflection of the window on the floor). But, they sure had a field day in there in the 15-20 minutes that I was THINKING they were sleeping. Now, they have a safety knob on their door so they can't get out and we're installing a door alarm as well so we know when they've opened the door for SURE.




Yeah, I think the cats will be glad to have the blowers and stuff gone too. They're so loud that they freak the cats out too....

We're constantly having to yell over them too and it would be nice to just be able to use normal voices to communicate with one another. UGH!






Yeah, they completely dumped out all the contents of my bathroom cabinet and scattered it all over the place. Then they dumped the cat litter all over, turned Andy's faucet on and plugged his sink and let the water flow out all over (did I mention that the water was also on full blast), dumped our hand towels in the cat's food and water dishes, they just had a grand old time and could not seem to understand why I was just not so amused when I found them having field day in all the water. There was not a dry spot on my bathroom floor at all! They also got into some ebay stuff that was in our bedroom and they tried to throw some stuff out of the window after they pushed the screen out. Little terrors! I did learn one thing though...I'm not opening up the upstairs windows anymore...I do not want them falling out!!

One thing that I am grateful for though is that it wasn't as expensive to clean up as we thought it was going to be...don't get me wrong it was still a pricey event to take care of, but we were more concerned that we thought we were going to have majoral structural damage when we saw that the water had made it through the ceiling and so forth. I'm just grateful that we had a real emergency fund built up and that it was only a small fortune to take care of it rather than the big one we thought it was going to be. Thank You, Dave Ramsey who we're taking our baby steps after!

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Heavy Heart...

I've had a heavy heart this week. I can't wait until my hubby comes home this afternoon and I can snuggle up with him on the couch and just be. Our bathroom flooding has had me stressed...I have so much laundry and so forth to do because of trying to get the water sopped up (I used all the towels, blankets, and dirty clothes bins that I could find).

I went to see my Dad over at my Mom's on Tuesday night to come home from a good time to find that Baby J's mom has been moved up here in our region. She's still a bit far away, but she's back in the area. She's been talking about the open adoption since September and so I think I was starting to let myself think that was how it was going to go. Well, I can only think now that they're trying to get her regular visits and so forth now that she's going to try to get her act together now to get him back. I guess she's moving again today too. I really do like her and I love her baby boy and I definitely want what is best for him. I just worry...is she really going to be stable enough to take care of him the way he deserves to be. Is she going to really take care of his needs and be able to take care of him without neglecting what he needs from her? I just worry. I know no permanent decision has been made yet...but I just worry. Like my caseworker told me yesterday, all I can keep doing is praying that everyone involved makes the best decision for this baby boy and to keep praying that we're able to adopt him. I'm going to keep trying to put it all back in Your Hands, Abba. I know that only You knows what is truly best and I have to put my total trust in You, no matter what happens. You know how much we all love Baby J here and how much he loves all of us. You also know what is truly in his Mom's heart and I just pray that the best decision is made for him. My heart is truly heavy over it all and I know that I just have to hand it over to You each time I start feeling like this. I know this all can't be easy for his Mom either and so I pray that You will help her to make the best decision as well.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tornadoes Up Our Alley...



It was a crazy night last night. I wish we would have thought to take a picture of the screenshot of the radar last night. I've never seen such a long line of storms and there were so many tornado warnings. Thankfully, we stayed in the watch zone, but we were right in the path of a couple tornado warnings that were issued...we just missed it. Anyway, here is a picture of the tornadoes paths and stuff that we found online this morning. If I do stumble across a radar image of the lines and the warnings all around us, I'll post it. It was crazy!

Andy woke up at 3 as he knew that was when the line of storms was due to hit again. He got up to watch the radar and he came to wake me up to let me know that we may be under a tornado warning soon and if we were he was going to come get us in a hurry. I got up with him to help keep watch and we were constantly looking at the radar. It was so nuts...tornado warnings popping up all over...it sure was crazy. When I saw that we were possibly going to be on target for a warning, I tried to call my Mom's house, but they must have had the ringer off. I tried her several times before the storms came in fast and it looked like we were going to lose power. What a crazy night. I think we headed back to bed around 4:30 after a lot of prayers for people that we knew that had warnings in their areas. I'm dragging this morning.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My first chapter of a book I am thinking about writing...

I had a person ask me if I had ever considered writing a book today. Yes, I've thought about it. I thought about going back and finishing a book I started in 6th grade about my very first crush...it was really more than a crush as I developed it in like 5th or 6th grade and it went well into high school. I still think about him and his family a lot and I still send them Christmas cards every year.

Anyway, I thought I'd be brave and let you all see my first chapter...give me your honest thoughts...should I continue? Would you read it?

.....Without further ado...here is my first chapter....

Jennica was just a young girl, but yet she had been through a lot in just 8 years. Her Mom had just passed away and her Dad was newly married. It was a hard time for her, but she muttled through. She desperately missed going to church and she begged to return to church. She always used to go with her parents and her Grandparents and now they just didn't go at all. After a lot of begging Sunday after Sunday, her stepmom took her to a non-denominational church. They attended there for awhile...she loved singing and going to Sunday school. She got to see her Dad remarry there and her step-mom became her Mom.

A short while later, a friend of Jennica's mother, introduced them to the Catholic faith. It was very traditional and the mass was said in Latin. We went a few times with them. It felt a bit weird as most of it was said in another language, but we continued to dive into learning all we could about the faith. Jennica had also developed a crush although she didn't say anything about it as the boy was an altar server and was a couple years younger than her. She just felt drawn to him and she loved to watch his family. He was the oldest and the only boy. All his siblings were girls and there were 4 of them. They would all come in in their pretty dresses and their silky long hair with their heads covered in veils and they were all so well-behaved. They also seemed to get along well and Jennica was a bit jealous since she always wanted siblings, but was an only child.

They started having catechism classes in the basement of the church after mass and we all started going downstairs to attend. It was a bit hard to understand for us kids sometimes as the classes used a lot of grown up words, but Jennica liked to go and be close to this boy. She got to learn things about Jesus and about faith that made her feel closer to God...yet she also got to learn little things about this boy and his family. It was there that she learned that this boy had a name...Trevor. We never talked to each other much, but I would often watch him and his sisters together and I would daydream about him at school and throughout the week since the only time I really ever got to see him was on Sundays.

Jennica couldn't keep it to herself much longer and she finally told her friend, Nicole, all about her crush and she swore her to secrecy that she wouldn't tell. She was pretty sure that she could trust her. Nicole started teasing her about it off and on and Jennica always reminded her that she wouldn't say anything. Jennica was shy and she didn't want something like that out in the open and she especially didn't want him to know.

A couple weeks later, Jennica went in to mass and she laid her missal on the table while she was hanging up her coat. She went and sat down with her parents and shortly before Mass was to begin, she realized that she didn't have her missal. She got up to see if she had left in on the table and when she couldn't find it, she didn't know what to do. Seeing that mass was about to begin, she realized she was going to have to look for it later...it was time to go sit down. She opened the door to go back to her seat and she immediately got butterflies...Trevor was standing by her parents talking to them. She was so shy, she didn't know what to do. She heard the bells chime for the start of Mass, so she knew she had to hurry to her seat. Her Mom grinned at her...Trevor had her missal. As he turned to give it to her, he gave her a nervous smile. She was scared to take it as her hands were sweaty from being so nervous. When she reached out to take it, she laughed a nervous laugh...his hands were sweaty too! She told him “thank you” and he said he needed to go as mass was about to start.

Nicole caught her eye and started laughing to herself. Jennica got nervous and told her to just be quiet and to remember that nobody was supposed to know. Jennica watched as the priest and the altar servers came in the church...Trevor was watching her and he smiled shyly at her. Her Mom nudged her and told her to sing. She sang for awhile and when Trevor walked by her to go up to the front of the church, she quieted. It was only after he passed her, that she started to sing again. All through mass, her eyes were on Trevor and she was shy about realizing that he was watching her some too. Although the minute that they would make eye contact with one another, they would both be quick to look somewhere else.

After mass, Jennica's Mom needed some help carrying stuff out to their van. She asked Trevor to help me. As we walked outside together Jennica kept wondering if her Mom knew, but she wasn't going to risk it by saying anything. Trevor and her walked outside together and he helped her set their stuff inside. Nicole saw them and started to tease her again although she was careful at first not to give too much away. Nicole asked her then, “Did you finally tell him, Jenn?” Trevor turned to look at Jennica. “Did you finally tell me what?” Jennica blushed and ran inside...she was too shy to say anything and she was beginning to be sorry that she ever told Nicole. She looked for her Mom and found her on the far side of the church talking to someone. She went over to ask when they were leaving. Her Mom told her that she had a couple things to talk to some people about and they'd leave soon. She knew her Mom was a definite talker, so she knew it was going to be awhile. She saw Nicole's sister, Anna, and headed over to talk with her, but on the way over there she heard Trevor's cousin come in saying her name. He looked at her and said “you like, Trevor, huh?” She was so horrified that people knew she ran out into the hallway to go outside to the car. She saw Nicole on the way out and she started to cry and say “how could you? You weren't supposed to tell anyone!” Nicole giggled and said that she really didn't think it was such a big deal. She ran past Trevor's sisters and as she opened the door Trevor was standing on the other side. She muttered “bye” and ran to the van. At least she had a week to get over being embarrassed and she wouldn't have to see anyone from church until next week. She would have to see Nicole, but she'd deal with her on Monday....

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Yet another Deidra post...

I talked to her teacher today. The teacher took her aside and told her that she really enjoyed having her in class and that she was going to move everyone's seats today and she just wanted Deidra to control herself and not talk to her neighbors so much. She told me to let her know if there were any other concerns and she told me how sweet she really thought Deidra was. I thanked her and told her that I'd be in touch if anything else came up.

When I went to pick her up today, she said that school was much better today. She got to read the book that she brought to school (a pop-up National Geographic kids book on Arizona) and all the kids liked it. She also got to go get a treasure out of the treasure chest and got a new ring. She was happy...it was a nice change to see...hopefully we're back on the right track.

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An update on my beautiful baby girl...

Well, Monday came and Deidra cried and cried that she didn't want to go to school. This is so not like her. I finally got her dressed and ready to go and she clung to me crying. She told me her throat still hurt a little bit and she just wanted to spend the day with me. I told her that her fever was gone and that she needed to go back and I asked her if anything else was bothering her. It finally came out that she just wanted time with me without Little J around, she didn't want to feel that if she wanted time with her Mom that Little J always had to copy her and then they wound up competing for my attention. Little J has been telling her that she wants me to be her real mom too. I had to sit Little J down and let her know that I love her, she will always hold a special place in my heart, but that she is going to go back to her real mom and dad and that I can't be her forever mommy. I sat Deidra down in another room away from Little J and told her that she didn't have to worry and that I knew that right now she needed time with me and Andy and that we would make that for her. We loved her and we always would and that I knew it was hard with Little J being here right now, but we didn't have that much longer to go. I don't want her to have to feel like she has to compete for my attention or Andy's though and so I told her that we would start doing a little bit more with just her...even if it's just that she gets to stay up a few minutes later than everyone else at night so she can talk to us and sit on our laps and so forth. I try to give each child some special one-on-one throughout the day, but right now I guess Deidra is just needing a little bit more.

She went to school that day and when she got in the car she had a long face. Her teacher had moved her to the wall so that she couldn't sit by anyone on the day she was sick. She told me "Mom, I'm not bad..it's not fair." So, I had to leave a message for the teacher to call me when she had a free moment. We never did get a chance to talk with the water emergency...so I sent her an email today. Deidra asked me again if I would home school her next year. I think I need to pray about it and talk to Andy about it...and I thank my reader that left me a comment the other day about our county and what curriculum you use with your kids. Maybe I can meet you sometime and talk more about it to help make our decision.

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What wonderful readers I have...

I've gotten a few new readers lately that I didn't even know that I had and I just wanted to thank all my wonderful readers out there. Leave me a comment to let me know that you're out there and if you have a blog please feel free to share it with me so that I can get to know you too. Those of you in TX, I'd love to meet you sometime. :-)

So many of your comments have helped me lately and I just wanted to say thank you!! Your comments put a smile on my face and can also pick me up when I am worried or feeling down...thank you for your comments and more importantly for taking the time to read my mutterings about my life. I appreciate it!

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Bad day yesterday...

I put the boys down for a nap..Baby J fell asleep...when I left Baby D was rubbing his eyes and I thought it was a safe bet that he was going to fall asleep too. I told him to go to bed and I left the room and shut the door. I came downstairs to clean my guest bathroom and pick up the playroom a little bit. I went into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher and begin cleaning the kitchen up when I hear footsteps above me and Baby D laughing. I ran upstairs and find the door to my master bathroom closed. I go in there and see a mess all over the floor and I slip and fall on my butt....there is water everywhere!!! They had pulled the door of Andy's bathroom sink vanity out and climbed up, stopped up his sink and had the water on full blast. It was pouring all over the place...his drawers were full of water and I was literally wading through the bathroom. I quickly shut off the water, brought them into their room to change their clothes, put them to bed and told them that we don't sneak out of bed and we certainly don't play in the bathrooms and make BIG messes. I ran and got all the towels I could find and I quickly realized that wasn't going to be enough. I ran and got blankets and dirty clothes...anything I could find to sop up the water. Still squishing around. I called Andy in tears not knowing what else to do...he said he would come home and help me and just take a long lunch. My Mom called and I cried to her and while I was on the phone to her I went into the laundry room to get a mop bucket and realized that it was also raining on my head...it was coming through the ceiling vent. Mom told me to call people who specialized in floods and have them come out to do damage control and help me clean it up. So, I called someone in the area that she recommeneded and they came out with probes to see where the water was in the floor. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as we thought...it was just in one generalized area as opposed to the whole area of the bathroom. So, he went back to his officce to get us 3 fans and a dehumidifer so that we could get the area dried up and prevent mold. While he was gone, we noticed that one of the ceiling seams was bulging...he said when he came back that the water had been draining that way and that getting the blowers on that area would help. He couldn't guarantee that it wouldn't crack slightly or leave a water mark when it was dry. Shortly after he left, we wound up with a slight crack. We'll just putty it and repaint when it's all dry. There was some water damage to the inside of Andy's cabinet drawers as well, but since it's the inside we're not all that worried about it as it's not visible to the outside.

Who knew 2 toddlers could make such a mess!!! I took pictures to document what happened in case Andy's work needed them as he never did make it back to work yesterday... I'll share them later.

In the meantime, I have sooo much laundry to do from that one incident...it may take me a few days to catch up!!

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

The kids are finally on the mend...

Thank goodness!! Deidra's fever is finally gone as of yesterday afternoon. Her throat is still sore though. Baby D's fever was gone as of yesterday morning, however, he's still not wanting to eat much. Little J I think is feeling better, but of course anytime I give attention to the other kids she has to play it up too so she gets her fair of attention too. I'm still giving motrin to all of them in addition to their antibiotics. Hopefully, by tomorrow we'll be back to normal.

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Baby J at 13 Months Old

Here's a 2-page spread that I did of Baby J at 13-months old. I used the Airplane Freebie by Brandi Chammartin at Scrap Twelve Creations.


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Friday, April 04, 2008

My beautiful baby girl is having a hard time....

She got in the car from school yesterday and she just wasn't herself. I reached over and took her hand and asked her what was wrong and tears just started streaming down her face. She started saying that she had the worst luck this week at school and she got in trouble for the 2nd day in a row. Her getting check marks is very rare. She's gotten 3 so far this year and then this week she just got 2 in a row so now she has 5 for the year. She was upset that now her chance was ruined for getting to go to lunch with the principal at the end of the year (3 or less checks for the whole year and they get a special field trip with the principal for making right choices). The first check mark she got was for talking in class. She told me that the girl she sits next to kept talking to her and after their warning, she quit talking but the girl sitting next to her kept turning to tell her things and the one time Deidra turned her head her way she wound up getting a check. She claims that she wasn't talking anymore and man was she upset about it. I wrote a note to the teacher saying that Deidra is usually telling me the truth when she gets that adamant and upset about something and I told her Deidra's version of what happened. She wrote me back and said that they were both talking and both given several warnings before they were given their check marks. I had another talk with Deidra and she's still very adamant that she had quit talking, she had just turned her head the other girls way to listen to what she was saying. I talked with her about how when the teacher is trying to teach the class she needs to be paying attention. She said she didn't really know what to do because the other girl kept continuing to try to talk to her and I always tell her that when people are talking to you, it's polite to listen and not be rude. So, then I had to tell her that in all of the people in her class, her teacher deserves the utmost respect and that she needed to listen to her first. I'm still torn on the issue as I believe Deidra when she says she had quit talking.

Then, yesterday, I got out of her that they went to computers and she accidentally said a bad word and got another checkmark. And then she told me she got her report card and she was thinking I was going to be upset with her.

I get home and check her folder and find that she meant to say "sit" but accidentally said "s-it" and they gave her a check. My daughter does not go around cussing and I really do think that it came out accidentally. I've never ever had problems from her with this.

I looked at her report card. My all A student, got 2 B's this time. Andy and I just talked to her about all of her grades had fallen a little bit, but B's aren't necessarily a bad thing, but we know she's capable of getting her grades back up there. Andy was a bit disappointed and I told him that I just don't want to make her feel that if she doesn't get all A's that she's doing badly. My parents did that to me and it got to the point where I was scared of bringing my report cards home...one semester I can remember having all A's, but one was an A- and my Dad scolded me and asked me why it wasn't a solid A. Give me a break!

Anyway, she was crying last night that she wanted me to homeschool her. It's not the first time she's brought this up. I think she would miss being at school though and around her friends. I'm just starting to think that maybe having Little J here with all of her behaviors is starting to be a bit much for Deidra.

Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know. We sent Little J to bed early last night due to her behaviors and we had some one-on-one time with Deidra to talk and so forth. I think I'm going to try to get her out with one of us once a week until Little J goes home. I set some ground rules though that she needs to do her homework before she goes off to play now. I told Andy though that she dropped to B's in science and language...that's stuff she always does in class. So, I really don't have a way to help her with her homework in that. She is already well on her way in reading though. She's where a middle of the year 2nd grader is expected to be already...so she's doing really well in reading.

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Home with 3 sick kids today...

My only non-sickie is Baby J. Hopefully he doesn't get it. Deidra has a 104.5 fever and a really sore throat. Baby D has a fever of 102.3 and says his tummy hurts. And Little J just keeps saying she doesn't feel good and she's got 100 degree fever. UGH!

Abba, I pray that the rest of us do not get sick and that the kids are all on the mend very soon.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

My Grocery Store Incident...

I don't know what's gotten into me lately...as I never act like this.

I took the boys to the grocery store the day before yesterday. The only 2-seater cart that was left had broken seat belts. I got Baby D buckled in the best that I could. I go to do Baby J's and one of the prongs is broken off so I could only do one side of the harness. As we're walking up the first aisle Baby D says "broke, Mommy, broke" and I look down and his buckle is all weird. Figure I'm just going to fly through the store really quick and do the best that we can. Their stockers were all out in the aisles and maneuvering through was kind of difficult. Baby J kept standing up and so I finally put him in the regular part of the cart where the kids sit in the one seater carts. Go to do that buckle...that works but the strap is so big it doesn't restrain him from standing up there either. So, it's a constant fight to keep him sitting and I wouldn't move the cart until he sat down. I fly and hurry as best as I can. Baby J discovers he can get into the boxes...so then I was trying to keep him from opening anything. We finally make it to the check out and I'm unloading the cart, reminding Baby J to sit, trying to quiet Baby D....a guy walks up behind us and he must have told me at least twice "wow, you have great patience...wow you have your hands full." The cashiers decide to trade out before they can ring me up so the current cashier could go on break. So, we wait for that and the boys meltdowns start to get worse. The cashier looks up and says "the guy right behind you only has a couple of things, do you mind if he get him first?" What was I going to say? So, I tell them to go ahead. So, he goes in front of me and by this point Baby J is screaming his high-pitched squeel and the cashier gives me a dirty look as nothing I'm trying at this point is getting him to stop. I finally looked at her and said "well, you're the one who just took someone that was behind me in line...there's nothing I can really do at this point." I had to go bag my own groceries so that I could hurry up to get out of there. Anytime I go into a store by myself and I'm in line and someone comes up with screaming babies I always let them go ahead of me...it doesn't matter how much more they have than me...I know how it is to be stared at when you're kids are screaming their heads off and you just want to get out of the store.

We finally make it out to the parking lot and I get the van unlocked and I see that a suburban pulled up and is waiting for my spot. Nevermind there's a spot EQUIDISTANT across the same parking row that they could have pulled into. NO, they want MY spot. So, I get the groceries into the trunk as fast as I can while I'm still trying to get the boys to settle down. It's very windy outside and I'm trying to keep the cart from rolling. I finally get the groceries in and I go to put Baby J into his seat in the car. I try to motion to the suburban that is waiting for me that there's a spot right across from me that they can pull into. Nope, they still aren't moving. Nevermind either that there's 2 spots down from where we're parked that has an available spot that she could plainly see. No, apparently that's too far for her to walk. I go to get Baby D out of the cart and he starts to freak out and he majorly starts screaming. So, we walk the cart down to the corral so I have some time to calm him down. I didn't want to just put him in the van while he was screaming...so I spent some time trying to calm him down and I'm trying to once again motion to these people that there's a spot right there across from me. I mean, they can plainly see and hear that he's screaming his head off. So, I finally get him calmed down and into his seat. They have the nerve to start honking at me. I get in and try to back out and the van starts chiming at me that there's a door open. I forgot to close the trunk in my hurry...so I pull into another parking spot so I can park and close the trunk. At this point, I see them climb out of their suburban...two parents and about a 5-year old boy and I drive around and something just snapped and so I pull up to them in the parking lot and I wind my window down...I look at the mom and say to her "you know, next time you happen across someone that has small children that are clearly melting down int he parking lot and I still have groceries to put in my car and two children that I need to get buckled in, why don't you try parking in another space that is AVAILABLE rather than making a flustered mom try to rush, rush, rush, so you can just HAVE that spot? There was a spot RIGHT THERE and RIGHT THERE??" This hispanic lady nods her head at me and smiles and then I spouted off "and you don't understand a freaking word that I'm even saying do you?" and once again she smiles and nods her head. I yelled "forget it" and drove off. But, seriously...that is one of my biggest pet peeves anymore...people are getting too lazy to walk an extra few steps in a freaking parking lot to get into a store. I don't know how many times I've had to park way off in the parking lot with my little ones and walk in because that's all that is available for parking...it doesn't bother me!!! Why do people have to be so darned rude?? I hate it when people pull in wait for a spot when there's other alternatives right there!!

End of rant...

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