Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good first day of catechism...

the kids started catechism classes for the year at church. They all said that they had fun. Mom and I had a good first day teaching our students as well. I think it will be a great year. We got home and I asked the kids to tell me about what they had learned today. Tracie said "we colored." I asked her what she colored and she said again "we colored." So, we talked a little about what her picture was (God holding the world in His hands). I asked Josiah what he did and he told me that he colored a picture of God, a heart, and a big circle thing." We talked about how the big circle thing was Earth and how much He loved all of us that He always hold us in His Hands. Emma's teacher is reading them a different story each week and sending them home with a verse to memorize. I asked Emma what story they read and she had no idea. The verse was about God creating the world though, but no matter how much I prompted her she couldn't tell me anything. Deidra talked about respect and taking the Lord's name in vain. She came home and told me the most about her class...I guess that's understandable since she is the oldest.

We finished in church and this little girl came running up to Emma wanting to give her a hug and Emma wouldn't talk to her. I asked her what her name was and she told me her name was Clara and that they were in the same class at school. Really cute little girl. Emma wouldn't have anything to do with her. I talked to Emma and told her that God had brought her little friend and that we were friendly people and not to be rude. A few minutes later, Clara left the church with her family and walked by us again and said "bye, Emily." Once again, Emma just stuck her nose up at her. Deidra told me that she does that everyday at the bus and that she came over to see if Emma could play the other day, but we were going somewhere and Emma wouldn't even talk to her then either. I know her social skills aren't strong, but it boggles my mind how she can go up to complete strangers that she doesn't know and want hugs and stuff yet this little girl wants to be her friend and whereas most kids would be excited about that, Emma sticks her nose up at it and doesn't want anything to do with it. I think I'm going to have Deidra show me where the little girl lives and invite her over for a playdate this week and see if I can encourage Emma to play with her. She desperately needs some social skills rather than just wanting to play by herself all of the time. Clara is as cute as a button too.

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The arts of cuddling...

Melina is learning the arts of cuddling. She can be fussy as all get out and you give her one of her fuzzy soft blankets and her thumb or pacifier goes in her mouth and in the other hand she grabs that blanket and puts it over her face or right next to it. Deidra used to do that very same thing and we can't help but think it's absolutely precious. It calms her down in an instant. So cute!

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lazy rainy days...

We had a lazy rainy day and so we went out thrift shopping for ebay and we went out to lunch at Wendy's. We were standing in line to check out and this guy says to me that he thinks it's awesome just listening to us with the values and such that we're trying to instill in our children as he works in a field where you don't see that hardly anymore. He didn't go into detail about what he does, but we got to talking a little bit. He said to me that he could see that I was a busy mom, but that I had the support of my husband as he was very attentive to the children as well. I said that I was very blessed with my husband. He says "well, with a crew this big it's good to work as a team." He thought my children were very well-managed and polite and it just made me smile. It was nice to talk to him and I walked out of there and told Andy "we get the best compliments whenever we go to Goodwill it seems." Sometimes, I think God uses others to talk through and it does my heart good. :-)

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gonna make Melina's baby food...

I don't know why I am so excited about it, but I am. I didn't do this with Deidra or any of the foster babies that I had, but I want to do this for Melina. Give her a bit more flavor and hopefully save a few pennies for our grocery budget as well. I'm thinking about starting her out on some carrots and then after a few days give her some applesauce.


The natural consequences...

I had a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A meal for my birthday. I wound up getting Tracie a meal too so we could home and eat lunch together. All day long, she's been whiny. She woke up at 3:30 this morning having to go potty and then Emma wanted to keep her up to play. They eventually went back to sleep, but she's been really whiny lately anyway. She's impatient and just whines to ask for everything. I tell her to quit crying and talk to me with her big girl words...she will, but then she'll go right back to whining. It's been a work in progress for the last couple of years...she had been doing better, but I think getting used to the school year has set her back some. Anyway, all day long she's been impatient and whiny...we took Josiah to school and then she started whining where we were going next. I told her we were going to get lunch and then we were going home. We pulled in by Targer and she started crying that she wanted to go in. Again, I explained that we were going through the drive-thru and then we were going home. We pull into the drive-thru and she starts crying that it's taking too long. I get the food ordered and we wait to pay and she's crying that she wants her food. We just pull in the driveway and she's gotta start yelling to get her seatbelt off. I get the baby and her inside and she starts screaming that the food is still in the car. I explained that I had to make trips as I only had 2 hands. We get to the table and I pull out her food and she starts screaming bloody murder that she doesn't want to eat her chicken. At that point I told her that is what she picked and chicken is one of her favorite foods and that she had two choices...she was going to stop her whining and eat her lunch or if she continued to whine she was going to choose to go take her nap. The fit escalated and she started flailing her arms and bouncing up and down and screaming louder. I told her she picked to go take her nap and I put her up in her room. She started screaming that she didn't want to have to eat her sandwich. I put her in her room and now I'm the meanest Mommy ever. I told her that I loved her and that I was sorry that I had to put her in her room, but her actions were telling me that she was overtired and needed a nap. I guess her lunch will be her dinner tonight instead.


I hate how people can make you feel defeated sometimes...

We've been having the same battles everyday and I was venting about them in behavior therapy yesterday. They really don't know what to tell us about why certain things keep happening and I know that. But, one of the therapists told me yesterday that with the ADHD, some things just may not be possible. Well, we know that's not true because they can do certain things when they CHOOSE to. That was a big question a few months ago...could they or was it not physically capable of them to be able to do it. We found that they COULD do it when they CHOSE to. So, we're back to them NOT CHOOSING to follow rules and do what they are asked to do. The therapist told us that she thought the ADHD was causing the behaviors and that they may not be able to help themselves. Andy got a bit confrontational with her and then she kind of changed her tune. We know they are able to do it at times...we're not going to use the excuse of that they have ADHD. I brought up to her that we still discipline them all the same for certain things. She said she never told us not to discipline them as they had to learn that behaviors weren't acceptable. I left feeling frustrated and defeated. I know that some things are harder to do for them with ADHD and we have empathy towards that, but what do you do when Deidra feels like we hold her to a higher standard and they just act up all day long. They're punished for what they do and sometimes they feel like nobody likes them. It looks different to everybody depending on whether they have ADHD or not. But, I can't just let the safety things go and not try to talk to them and put them in time out to TRY to correct the behavior. I'm not just going to start saying "oh, well they have ADHD and they can't help it" and that gets them off the hook. Andy didn't really feel that's what they were saying whole-heartedly, but I just felt really defeated. We've been told by their psychologist before that we have been doing everything that we are supposed to be doing with them and that their classes are really for the parents who don't have a clue as to how to parent. I'm going more for support so that we don't feel like we're the only parents who are going through some of this stuff. But dealing with their behaviors as much as we do does make me 2nd guess myself at times or feel like I'm a failure as a parent at times because I cannot correct their behaviors. She asked me if I had brought it up to his psychiatrist and I told her that is nothing but a big joke. I met his new psychiatrist (resident right out of school) last week...she met me all of 2 minutes and asked me how everything was going...I told her that he's been much more manageable since he started the new meds, but he was having some agression issues at school and somewhat at home. That turned into a lecture on staying consistent and making sure that he was given time outs no matter if he screamed all day long about having to do it. I told her that he has a very strong will and he knows that something will happen to him if he misbehaves, the problem is that it really doesn't phase him to change the behavior. She continued telling me that every kid cared and that it was just important that I stayed consistant. I don't know how I could be anymore consistent than what I already am. I finally shut up as nothing I said was going to make a difference. Yet as we walked out the door she told me to make sure I knew to call 911 if I needed to with him. Oh really? You don't think his behavior is that bad to warrant lecturing me on staying consistent, but as we're going to leave you bring up calling 911? Do these people even have a clue? I don't think he's gotten that bad to warrant calling 911, but one of the meds he takes IS supposed to help with agression which is why I brought up the agressive tendencies that he has at school because I was just wanting to know if that medicine needed to be adjusted at all.

Behavior therapy wants us to consider getting Emma tested again. I'll go ahead and do it. However, I don't know what testing is going to tell us other than what we already know. I think she's been doing a lot better since her adoption and we changed her medicine a couple of weeks ago to give her longer coverage at school and her behavior chart from school has shown that too. Granted, I know she still has her moments and whatnot, but I think some behavior is to be expected given her age.

However, God has also revealed to me that I am not the "potter"...He is. I do my part with trying to guide them in the right direction and I have to trust Him to be their potters and mold them into who He wants them to be.

Anyway, I was watching Joyce Meyer this morning and her message was totally for me. She did a clip on a gentlemen who as a boy had a handful of problems, bipolar, ADHD, schizophrenia and other things. He was trying to hurt his parents as a toddler and doing this and that and all the people that they tried to bring him to for help eventually gave up on him and didn't think he was able to be helped. One doctor told the parents that he had the brain of Hitler and would grow up to be a mass murderer and that he needed to hand him over to the state as they would never be able to help him or make him fit into society. The mother never gave up on him and prayed for him all the time. One night, the now teenage boy happened to see a Joyce Meyer program and said something about "the boy sitting in the recliner with the ignorant heart to God" and he knew she was speaking to her through the tv. He went to get his Mom and she told him that was the Word and that God wanted him to turn his life around. He prayed with his Mom and gave his life to Christ. He graduated from school as a practical minister and wants to help children that were like him now. Joyce said in her message that if there was a parent of 2-3 children or more with some issues like this or maybe not as bad as him, just to trust that God is working. When she said that, I started to cry. I have to continue to trust in God and that He is hearing me. I do know that ever since my Mom, Margaret and I started saying the rosary novena for Josiah that his behaviors have gotten better on some levels and so I just need to keep praying. I know that with God all things are possible and that He will make everything good. :-)

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Let the raspberries begin...

Melina started blowing raspberries for the first time when we were in Walmart today. She'd giggle each time she did it. She's so funny!


Deidra made the honor choir!

She called me from school this morning to let me know that she had her first choir practice today. I'm so proud of her!

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Just a quick update...

Deidra is enjoying 4th grade. She hates the homework, but she seems to be doing pretty well grade wise. She switches classes 4 times this year so that is something new for her as they only switched once the past few years. She is totally infatuated with Justin Bieber. She wants to do her room in Justin Bieber. lol. She's been making up dance moves to all of his songs and performing them for us at night. She has been surprising me with what she's been coming up with. She also is going to join Ladies First at school. It's a club for 4th and 5th graders that teaches them about respect for themselves, self-esteem, camaderie (sp?), and community service. High grades are expected from them as well as good character marks.

Emily is enjoying kindergarten. She started out the year having a lot of problems adjusting to the rules and what was expected of her there. We got her meds changed around and she seems to be doing quite a bit better. I'm proud of her! She is fascinated with Hannah Montana and loves to sing and dance to her on tv. I see her in choir in a couple more years. She loves to sing and is really quite good at it.

Josiah is enjoying Pre-K. He is starting to come out of his honeymoon phase there, but overall he's doing wonderfully. He's very smart and knows most of the material that they teach him anyway, but socially I think it's good for him to learn rules and behaviors and how to interact in that setting. He's been having some agression issues at school, but we talk about how he could change the behavior differently next time and how he needs to use his words or tell the teacher about what's going on and we're just seeing how he copes with it next time the situations arise. For the most part, he's really surprising me. He's acting so much better than I thought he would and is even able to carry that back at home too. His behavior is really improving lately and I'm proud of him.

Tracie is going to Mother's Day Out twice a week and really seems to enjoy going. She's a bit confused on why she can't go into her old teacher's classroom but we keep telling her that she's getting bigger so she had to change rooms as she's a big girl now. She struggles with so much sometimes with learning, but yet she's come such a long way and she tries SO hard. I'm so proud of her. She is such a little sweetheart and my sensitive one. She seems to know when everyone needs that extra hug and she nurtures everybody. She's also the one to get her feelings hurt the easiest. She reminds me of myself in some ways. She tells me all of the time "Mommy, I love you and I just love my family." So sweet! She's got a bit of a stubborn streak going on lately, but we are working on that with having to listen and follow directions. She'll get there. :-)

Melina is a true joy to all of us. That little baby girl is definitely a gift from above. She makes us all smile and laugh just being around her. I got to thinking the other day...when I fell in love with that name I was looking up meanings of her name. It means a lot of different things in different countries, but one country relates her name to "miracle." Her middle name is Catherine which means "pure." If we talk in Spanish they put their adjectives after the nouns so like we would say "red shirt" they say "shirt red" but obviously in Spanish. So, if we were to say the meanings of her name the way they do she would be "pure miracle." I thought that was fitting as she really was a miracle to us after all that time thinking that it just wasn't going to happen again. She is such a beautiful baby girl and just loves on all of us and we all just love on her. She is a true joy and a blessing to all of us.

I am so grateful for my children, Abba. Thank you SO much for making me their mother. I love my children with all of my heart. They are all blessings from above. They teach me things daily and I just pray that I will guide them and shape them the best way that I can to know You, love You, and serve You. Please help Andy and I to be the best parents that we can be to our children. Amen.

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New channel for the kids...

I haven't been letting the kids watch a whole lot of tv, but I was flipping through the channels one morning and discovered a new channel. It's KTV and it teaches manners, shapes, numbers, letters, and has a Christian theme. I really like that they talk about good nutrition and safety as well. They have little Sunday school lessons and animated Bible stories too. So, when they do watch tv, I've been turning this channel on for them. They seem to like it as well, so that's a good thing. :-)

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deidra tried out for honor choir...

I took Deidra after school over to the middle school to try out for One Voice (the honor choir). I thought she did pretty good singing her scales and clapping out her rhythyms. She loves to sing and make up moves to her Justin Bieber CD, so I'd like to encourage her in this talent. She finds out on Monday whether she made it or not. Please join me in prayer that she will get in. :-)

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It's my birthday...

Andy had to run to the store last night for more dishtabs and he came home with 1/2 a dozen red roses as an early birthday present. They are pretty! He put them in a vase on the stove for me. This morning I woke up and Emma gave me my birthday cards from them and from Daddy. They were both really nice. But, I started throwing a pity party for myself. I know he's really not the gift giving type, but I set myself up every year that maybe he'll get me something and I know better. Anyway, I tried to be honest with him about it and wound up upsetting him a bit too. I watched my Joyce Meyer and afterwards I told myself that it was my choice on how to act today and that I had plenty to be grateful for. My husband may not be the gift giving type, but he loves me and he is faithful to me and for that I will be happy with. I chose to rejoice in the day and spend time listening to God and looking at the gifts that He has blessed me with. I went and deposited my birthday money that I got from my Dad and Andy's Dad and told Andy that my gift to myself was making another payment to my anesthesiologists bill from Melina's birth to be one step closer to having her birth paid off. So, today, I will spend with my children that God has blessed me with and I will be grateful for His gifts. He is speaking to me a lot today. I spent some quiet time in bed this morning asking what gift God had given me in life and as plain as day I heard "compassion." I asked him to reveal to me what my "talent" is and now I just need to be quiet and "listen" to what He reveals. And listening to the Christian station this morning, I felt in my gut that His birthday song to me this morning was this:

this song makes me tear up...I am beautiful in God's eyes! Thank You so much, Abba, for creating ME. :-) And give my Mommy up there in Heaven with you a hug from me and tell her that I love her and thank you for having me! :-)

I'm sorry for my poor mood this morning and I will delight in this day and all the blessings that I have been given and the people that love me. I don't need material gifts to know that I am loved. I am grateful for all that I have. :-)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Tracie's 4 today!

Tracie turns 4 today! She wanted a pony party. So, ponies galore she got! She got about 4 individual My Little Ponies, 2 My Little Pony is a car with a Mommy pony and a baby pony...Grandpa D got her another little set of My Little Ponies, Grandma H got her a coloring set, and Grandma D got her a Fur Real polar bear that she just loves. She sings Rock-a-Bye baby to it and does everything that I do to Melina back to her bear. She is just too cute! Deidra got her a couple of books and Grandpa H sent her some money. And we got her a unicorn pillow pet as well, which she promptly took upstairs to her bed. Of course, her birthday cake was My Little Pony as well. She told me all day long thank you for her birthday and how much she loved her presents and her cake. She was so excited too that so many people told her happy birthday. She grinned from ear-to-ear all day long! Happy birthday my little sweet girl!

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our 12th Anniversary

On the 6th, we celebrated 14 years of being together. (Last year, little Miss Melina was conceived on that day...although we wouldn't find that out until the middle of October...tmi...well, it is my blog and I'll share if I want to. ;-) Anyway, we've been looking at each other all googily eyed this week...Emma's been making fun of us all week. She asked Andy why we hold hands one day and Andy said to her "well, you know how you hold our hands sometimes so that you feel safe or that you don't get lost?" She says "yup" and he said "well, I would be lost without Mommy if I didn't hold her hand sometimes too." Totally made my heart melt. And then we were sitting at the dinner table one night and Emma says "why do you guys keep staring at each other and smiling? Does that mean you're in love?" She is totally into asking questions about relationships and marriage and all that right now. I worry about her sometimes, but as Andy was quick to point out...this may be the first time in her life that she's seen Mommy's and Daddy's who stay together and that truly love one another.

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary, My Mom watched the kids last night for us so that we could go to the Melting Pot for dinner, which was totally delicious. Then, we went and did some birthday shopping for Miss Tracie and then we had to pick up stuff for the kids lunches this week. We had some great conversation about the plans for our marriage and for our family. I'm totally in love with my husband right now...I love him more with every passing day. We talked about some of my insecurities that came about when my parents divorced and we talked about what we wanted for our family over the next few years. And it was fun to walk through Walmart laughing, shopping, and holding hands. We were almost giddy with each other. We came home to see how Mom survived and the kids were all good for her. This is the first time that she's ever watched all 5 of them...she fed them, watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with them and even brought them their own bandana to wear, made them popcorn, got them in their jammies and put them to bed. She said that Josiah and Emma only got sent to their rooms once and she had to give Josiah a spanking once. And Josiah did try to test her when it was bed time. He came back downstairs and said "Grandma, there's a ghost in my room." She said to him "Josiah, I guess you better tell that ghost to get in his own you need to go to bed." He marched back upstairs and went to sleep. I thought that was hilarious. He's the "king" of coming up with stalling techniques. He's not scared of the dark or anything...he was just seeing what he could get away with. lol. I was glad that the kids behaved well for her and she said she'd watch them again if we wanted to get out. I know that it's something that we need to do more of in our marriage....I was trying to remember the last time that we'd gotten out and I think it was in june when my friend had come in from MI to see us and Melina and she watched the kids so we could go to dinner and a walk in the park. The time before that, I think was our last anniversary when Mom watched them so we could go to the Olive Garden for dinner. We need to start doing it at least every 3 months or so at a minimum. It was good for us!

We came home and put Deidra and Miss Melina down for bed and went to bed ourselves. Mom called us and said she got locked out of her house as her garage door wasn't working and so Jimmie was going to meet her in front of our house with his house key so she didn't have to break a window. I told her she could wait inside, but she said she didn't want to disturb us and she'd just sit out in the car and read her books. I decided to wait on the couch to see who got there first so they could come inside, but I laid down and a minute later I was asleep. Andy said that he didn't think anybody ever showed up, so I'm wondering if they decided to meet at Walmart instead like my brother wanted to do. Anyway, please bless Mom, Abba, and help her through her trials with her house repairs that have come up over the past couple of days and I thank you for Andy and our time out together. Please continue to bless our marriage. We had a really great day together!

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Thursday, September 09, 2010


We got a lot of rain from Tropical Storm Hermine. It had rained the past couple of days. Yesterday, we went to therapy in Dallas and when we left, they were telling us to be careful as a lot of roads were being closed due to all the flooding. It was raining when we left, so Andy told me to wait under the awning and he'd pull the van up for us. He came back and told us that there were tornadoes on the ground in Ellis County and some other areas. I asked where and he said he wasn't sure, but to listen to the radio. I got in the van and pulled over by his car so I could wait for him and Tracie to get in his car and told him that there was a tornado near Duncanville. We pulled out of the parking lot and they started talking about watching a storm near the hospital district and that a tornado warning could be called at any time. I freaked out a little, but tried to stay calm as we drive right through there to get on the highway to go home. We started driving and Andy called me and told me to stay on his tail as he was listening to the storm updates on the radio. So was I. I called my Dad to see if he was still in Dallas...he was already into New Mexico and so I told him that there were tornadoes popping up all over. I pulled up under a bridge at a red light and the tornado sirens went off and they started talking about how it was over the Trinity River and going over 35 and up into the hospital district. Andy decided that we weren't getting on the highway, he was going to take us East to try to go around it. I looked towards the highway and I called Andy and I told him that if he looked back behind where he works that I thought I could see the tornado, but the buildings were in the way. He looked and said that he could see something too, but we weren't sure what it was as the buildings were in the way. People started blowing the red lights and so we did too. Once we were able to head in the direction of the highway and headed south, the weather cleared. When we got home and saw the coverage of the tornadoes and they showed the Dallas tornado on the news where we were, Andy said "yup, that is what we saw." He looked on the map to see where they were showing damages reported and where we were in relation to it all...we were parallel to it about a mile away. Wow! I was trying to remain calm driving in it although the little ones really didn't have a clue as to what was going on, but I looked over at Deidra and tears were running down her face. I reached over and took her hand and just kept telling her that it was going to be ok.

It was just really odd. The weather really didn't seem that bad at all when we came out of therapy at all, it had been much worse in the morning. I told Andy that when the tornadoes hit a couple months back it was exactly like that too. No rain or anything and then the tornado sirens went off. Looked out the front door to see a sunny day...then I looked out the back door and it was a totally different picture that was approaching with scary green skies making it's way towards us. I really wasn't scared today, but when I was home by myself with the kids when the other ones hit, I was crying. I think it makes a difference having Andy with me. Anyway, I'm just glad that we all got home safely. Thank you, Abba, for watching over us.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Tracie's first day at MDO

She was SO excited that it was her turn finally to go to school. She was supposed to go on Wednesday technically, but I kept her home since she had a small fever and a runny nose. So, today is her first day and she's a happy girl that she got to go to school too! She's going to go twice a week this year and I think it will be good for her.

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She slept through the night!

Melina slept from about 9:45 pm to 5:30 this morning. Wow, my baby slept throught he night for the first time! And she appears to be feeling better too which makes Mommy happy. My little sweetheart...Mommy loves her SO much!


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Melina loves her swing now!

We moved it to the upright position a few days ago since she had such a runny nose and she loves to swing in there until her little heart is content. She loves to be able to see what is going on and to watch those sisters and brother of hers. She loves to watch them and of course they are just as fascinated with her. Now to just get the littles to understand that they don't need to be right in her face to talk to her. ;-)

Oh, and after she got her shots yesterday, she sat on my lap and started sucking her thumb. I think she's finally got the hang of it now. Yes, even though the habit is hard to break, I think it's adorable. I can't help it!


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Melina's 4 month appt

Melina had her 4 month check up today and weighed in at 12 lbs and 2 oz (51%) and she is 23.5 inches long (59%). Of course she got her shots too which she didn't like at all. Dr. says she looks good and is developmentally right on target. She was giving him big smiles. She's working on her two bottom front teeth.


Becoming quite the bow addict...

I've been buying bows all over the place for the girls. We're getting quite a collection going on. I even had to buy Melina a bow holder and I'm going to get the other girls one too. I only buy them if they're within a certain price range, but I keep telling myself that I could make my own for a lot cheaper. Now that 3 of the kids are in school, it would leave me some time to do them as well. I have been wanting to dress the girls up in little tutus as well and I found out how to make them yesterday searching around online. I don't think it would be that hard at all. I really may start dabbling in this. :-) Deidra wants me to make her a Justin Bieber bow, Emily wants princess bows and Tracie wants Dora. lol

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Melina just rolled from front-to-back!

Melina just rolled over from her tummy to her back! She can do it both ways now! I startled her a bit after she did it by yelling "YEAH!" and clapping for her, but then she started smiling away at me. So proud of her!