stories of an adoptive family
"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out." -Erma Bombeck

Monday, December 7, 2009

Further Adventures in Nighttime parenting

Last night I went to bed a little later than the rest of my family. Everyone else was fast asleep. I had just laid down when Katie started screaming "Help me Mom! Help me Dad!" I jumped up to see what was wrong. I was pretty sure she was sleeping, but she was making a lot of noise and I was afraid she was going to wake the baby. Katie was laying on her bed thrashing around having a nightmare. I laid down next to her to try and sooth her but she keep screaming and crying and kicking. Finally not knowing what else to do, I went and got Steve. Steve tends to get up most of the time at night because I sleep so soundly. I figured maybe she had done this before. He went in a tried to soothe her and I must have doozed off because the next sound I heard was running feet. Thinking Katie must really be in the grips of a night terror, I jumped up in time to hear puking in the bathroom. Needless to say after the all the commotion the baby woke up while we were trying to clean the first bout of vomiting. I took the baby and went back to sleep.

This morning, I commented to Steve on all the commotion. He informed me I slept through all the best parts. After he was finally able to wake her up and calm her down, he took her into the kitchen to get a drink of water. Katie laid down on the tile and told Steve to "Just leave me here." Then after narrowly evading being puked on, (though my couch wasn't able escape), and after the second bout in the bathroom toilet, he asked her how she felt. He said she looked at him like he was an idiot and said, "Hel-lo...I threw up and I'm laying on the bathroom floor."

I guess that says it all.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's About Love

November is National Adoption Month and since I am so on the ball I am finally posting on the very last day of November! Recently, LDS Family Services (LDS FS) were considering some changes to the adoption process, one of which was raising the fees. When it was presented to the Presiding Bishopric, (LDS FS falls under welfare apparently), and I assume the First Presidency, the idea of raising fees was turned down. Currently most adoptive couples pay only part of what it costs to do an adoption. The Presiding Bishopric was willing to keep the fees the same because they feel Adoption Is So Important! Why, do you ask? Because it brings children into a forever home with a mom and a dad to love them!

You might be thining "That's a nice story but what's your point?" I am hoping get you to be involved in a small way. "How?" you ask. Let me give you a few ideas. One of the biggest tools LDS FS has to help bring birth mothers into the agency is word of mouth. You may not personally be affected by an unplanned pregnancy, but you might know someone who is. Did you know that LDS FS has counseling available to help women make an informed decision about their pregnancy? While I'm sure they hope and pray that these women choose placement they also counsel them if they decide not to place. So if you know someone in this position or are in a friend of a friend type situation, refer them to LDS FS. My son's birth mother was found by one of Steve's clients who had a friend who was the doctor who delivered our son. The doctor called his friend...who called us...and we called our social worker and suddenly our life changed. All because Steve opened his mouth and talked about adoption.
Maybe talking is not your thing, but how about adding a button to your blog. On the right of my blog is a button with a heart that says "Adoption, it's about love." If you click on it, it takes you right to The website has many answers to questions a pregnant woman might have. They have videos of actual birth moms talking about adoption and their story. If you would like to add this button to your blog, you actually have to click on the Families Supporting Adoption button (the one with the heart and the child's hand), and scroll down the website. The button is on the right hand side of the web page, a little over halfway down the page.

Finally, you can help promote adoption for the positive experience it is. It changes lives. It's changed my life, my husband's life, my children's lives and all those around me. There are many ways to do this. You can start at home. Read adoption books to your children. There are many great books on adoption; "Stellaluna", "Little Miss Spider", "God found us You", "Tell me again about the night I was born" and my favorite "We wanted You." There is also a great book for older children with a lot of good information on a level they can understand call "How I was Adopted." Tell people about how adoption has impacted your life, (i.e. my nephew and nieces, grandkids, cousin's kids are adopted, let me tell you how cool (or whatever) that is).

I hope I don't sound preachy. This wasn't what I meant to do. I just wanted to put it out there and open my mouth and talk about adoption.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's a cookie not dirt, I promise

Every year we go to the Beach for Nevada Day weekend. Our statehood holiday falls on Halloween. Somehow that seems fitting for Sin City. This year Steve's brother Bill & his family joined us in addition to my parents and my brothers James, Joseph & Eric and their respective families. We started our traditional trek to the beach several years ago with friends and every year we seem to add more family members to the group to replace the friends who haven't returned. The only ones that still camp with us are the Kleinpeter's, (who we consider family anyway so I don't know if they count as friends anymore). This year we faithfully brought our camera, which we never took out of the car and so I have had to rely on pictures from family. (Thanks Mom and Tina!) So without further ado here is our 2009 Beach Slideshow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adventures in Nighttime Parenting

One of the things you don't quite get before you are a parent is how precious sleep is...yours AND your childs. Lately, Kenna has been skipping naps or sleeping for short stretches of time which brings back horrible visions of the sleep habits (or lack of them) of my oldest daughter. You know the one who never slept and cried constantly for 2 years. Luckily, while Kenna doesn't sleep much, she also doesn't cry long as I am either holding her or sitting RIGHT NEXT TO HER. She is a little bit of a mama's girl. I always felt kind of bad I never had a child that prefered me to their Dad. Subconciously I must have sent many a heartfelt prayer upwards because the Lord cursed me, I mean BLESSED me with a Mama's Girl. Which brings me to the point of this post. After spending all day trying to conquer Mt. Wash-more and only getting the junk drawer cleaned and organized, (and I only accomplished this because I desperately needed a stapler and couldn't even open the drawer!), and constantly and continuely and endlessly holding Kenna I had finally had ENOUGH! I passed her to Steve, made dinner, put the kids to bed and in general tried to stay out of Kenna's line of sight. Steve put her to bed and we watched our fav show (So You Think You Can Dance, by the way) and Kenna very conviently woke up at the end and started to cry. I begged Steve to please get her back to sleep. (If I pick her up she ends up in our bed because she knows a sucker when she sees one). I brushed my teeth and went out to give Steve a kiss goodnight. Steve was cradling Kenna and rocking her while watching sports highlights. My husband is excellent at multitasking. Kenna took one look at me and then whipped her head up to look at who was holding her. After a horrified look, she started wailing. But it ended well for her. She ended up sleeping in our bed and kicked my back all night long. We enjoyed a looong night of no sleep. Yeah us!

P.S. As I write this post Kenna is clinging valiently to the chair, whining and pulling on my arm.

P.P.S. She won again. Apparently she can cry longer than I can ignore her. So after a whole day I give you 1 paragraph. Meanwhile Mt Wash-More is now a mountain range.

P.P.P.S. On another note Levi can finally use his secret zombie combat skills as his parents have joined their sleep deprived ranks. (See the post "It's Official").

Monday, November 16, 2009

Maybe you're doing a better job than you think!

For all you parents out there I have a quote for you. It's from a book I'm currently reading called "Christlike Parenting" by Dr Glenn Latham.

"Well-meaning parents who have tried their best should avoid the temptation of using their children's behavior as the measure of their success as parents. If children's behavior were the sole measure of good parenting, our heavenly Father would not qualify. Through Isaiah, the Lord lamented, 'I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.' (Isaiah 1:2)."

So remember this when your children embarass you in public with their poor behavior. You are doing a good and important job.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Forever Your Girl

Kenna is now forever ours and we are thankful to have her and all her sisters & brothers for eternity. We are so grateful for the power of the priesthood and all its sealing authority.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Officially, It's Official (Not to be confused with It's Official or It's Officially Official)

Kenna was sentenced to hard time in the Waldron family. That's right, she is legal. We even broke a record with our attorney. (He handles a lot of adoptions in Southern Nevada, especially for LDS families). He says he's helped a family adopt 5 kids all at once, but he's never had a 4-time repeat adoption customer before. Yeah us! Tomorrow we head to the temple to do the sealing. (8 pm, Las Vegas Temple, you're all invited).

Here we all are with Judge Pollock.

And here we are with our social worker and our attorney.

It's Officially Official

Yes, I am officially the mother of a very important elected official. Levi is Student Council Historian for Culley Elementary School. I know, you are all jealous. His comment to me was, "I guess I'll have to fulfill all my campaign promises." That's how I know he'll never be a career politician.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's Official

Levi was on the student council last year and had a blast. This year he decided to do it again. He informed me he WAS NOT running for any of the offices. His advisor strong armed him into by saying really nice things about him like 'He's kind to those around him' and my personal favorite 'he always helps out without being asked to.' I knew they must be lies because I very seldom, if ever, see him do those things for ME at home. Anyhoo, the end result was he decided to run for student council historian and that night we worked on his campaign poster. Steve and I figured the first thing we should do was pick a slogan but seeing how Kenna had killed off the last few remaining brain cells our other children hadn't, we couldn't think of a slogan. So we skipped that step and moved right along to the picture. I picked my favorite picture...

and Levi picked his favorite...

Guess which one made it on the poster. We then surfed the web trying to find any good slogans to steal. Levi's favorite was "Vote for Levi. If zombies attack the school, I secretly know to to combat them." Steve finally convinced him that "Levi for Historian. Making history since 1999" was a more appropriate choice. (Though I was kind of with Levi on the zombie slogan. Good thing he has one mature and responsible parent).

Friday was the special election assembly. Levi stood and articulatly expressed all the things he would do if elected student council historian. His speech brought tears to my eyes. He promised to be at and take pictures for every school event. He promised an end of the year slideshow. We should know the election results on Monday. I can't decide if I should be the proud mother of an elected official or that crazy mom who mumbles to herself as she drives him to every school function and actually puts the slideshow together. I'll probably be both.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pardon my dust...

I wanted to apologize for my disappearance act this summer. My summer has consisted of refereeing fights between the older 2, cleaning the never ending messes of the younger 2, and constantly feeding, changing and entertaining the baby. Any free time I have is usually spent sitting in the corner babbling like a madwoman.

The Highlights of my summer thus far include:

1. Lovely 4 yr old Katie deciding to walk home by herself from gymnastics and making it 2 blocks before being picked up by a passing bicyclist who took her back to the community center in time to chew out Steve for being a deadbeat dad.

2. Having enough of Levi and Rhyan's fighting and locking them outside in 100 degree weather while I showered in peace. (Peace being a relative word as I showered with the baby screaming in her Bumbo seat and Katie and Isabelle tearing up my house, but at least there wasn't a continual stream of tattling parading through the bathroom during said shower).

3. Kenna getting her first 2 teeth. Enough said.

4. Far, far too many hours spent in the car with family. (At least 3 so far).

5. Practicing to be a grumpy librarian, hoping this time they might actually be quiet and Kenna might actually sleep for longer than a half hour.

School starts in 19 days. It's not like I'm counting or anything.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Further studies prove

As further evidence in my study on the correlation between simians and boys, I give this example.  This weekend at the Father's Day dinner with my parents and my brothers and their families, my father asked my brother Joseph if he wanted water or punch.  Joseph said "punch" and so my other brother James leaned over and punched him.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm just saying...

We have been visiting my parents for the past week...girls only (while the boys stay at home working and schooling in the hot, hot heat, hahahahhaha).  Today, my daughter was playing with her cousins in the basement.  She suddently had an ephiphany about how much she missed her daddy and started to cry.  My niece, not wanting to miss out on the fun of a pity party, quickly thought about how much she missed her friends from school and she too began to cry.  My nephew confused and not wanting to join this paticular party, came upstairs and proceeded to wrestle with anyone who stood still long enough.  Girls are weird but boys are monkeys.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Heavy Metal

For the past 2 years, Levi has been a part of Culley Elementary School's Steel Drum Band. They only play 2 concerts and both are at the end of the year within a few weeks of each other. So, for those who have wanted to catch his concert and were unable, I thought I would post a few clips for you. The first clip is really short because the battery died. The second clip Steve got from our photo camera and he forgot that you can't rotate video like you can a photograph.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Very Inadequate Thank You

What I wish I could say...

Today is National Birth Mother's Day. It falls every year on the Saturday before Mother's Day. It's hard to find words to express our feelings about the women who helped to make us parents. No matter what their circumstances are and were they loved their children enough to make a difficult decision. They loved their children.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Do You Think About in Your Tiny Little Pea Brain, Pt 2

The other day Levi told me that he needed new shoes. He's very hard on shoes and they usually wear out before he grows out. He informed me that "The shoes are fine but the laces are too short to tie." I must have given him the 'are you nuts' look and he said "What?!" I informed him you don't have to throw out shoes, they do sell laces. "Really? Okay I need new laces," he replied

Later I went downstairs and discovered he had cut his laces off. When I asked him what the heck he was doing, he informed me that one side was longer than the other and so he cut them off so they would be even.

This pea brain moment is brought to you by Levi!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Easter OR The Easter Bunny & the Easter Grinch

*This story contains major spoilers and is rated M for mature audiences only.* Please scroll below the picture for the full story!

This year Easter Bunny duties fell to Stephen. I was out of town the previous week with the kids and had no time to shop for Easter goodies. With one thing and another, I also didn't have time to fill eggs or hide them the night before. I sat through Sunday School trying to figure out a way to get rid of the kids for an hour so I could hide eggs and couldn't think of anything. We got home and discovered that the Easter Bunny had visited while we were at church. Steve had run home and put the eggs out. After the kids found all the eggs and were munching on candy, Levi kept hounding Steve saying "I know you're the one who really put the eggs out Dad." Over and over he kept saying it until Steve, afraid the girls would hear, pulled him aside and told him the awful truth about the reality of the Easter Bunny. Levi sobbed and sobbed like his heart was broken. I went and talked to him and told him that now he gets to join the ranks of the adults. I told him he could now help hide eggs. That didn't help. I told him he could tease his sisters about seeing the Easter Bunny. That didn't help. He just kept saying that Steve had lied to him his whole life. Wisely, I didn't point out my role in this deception. I kept my mouth shut and let all the blame fall on Steve. For once, Steve was the bad guy instead of me. That night at family prayer, he thanked Heavenly Father for his dad even though "he lied to me for 9 years."

You know though, for a bright boy he hasn't made the connection yet between the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus & the Tooth Fairy. I think I'll just keep my mouth shut.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What Do You Think About In Your Tiny Little Pea Brain!?

Friday afternoon, Katie demanded I take her to Wendy's to get "Chocolahtte" or a chocolate frosty. I had 20 minutes until I had to leave for the afternoon school run and I told her no. However, I told her she was welcome to drive herself to Wendy's and get her own Frosty. "Okay Momma," she told me with a smile and I suggested she get some chicken nuggets for me while she was there. I fully expected her to come back in a few minutes with pretend nuggets and frosties, but to my surprise I heard the front door being unlocked and her little voice saying "Mom, I can't reach the keys. Can you get them for me?"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Yes I'm a Coke Head

If you want your children to grow up really fast, send them to school. They learn about all kinds of things, boyfriends, girlfriends, kissing and the reality and feasibility of Santa Claus. We've already had the "No Dating Until 21" talk and the "If Santa's not Real than He doesn't have to bring you any presents" talk. Apparently, Levi heard the term coke head at school. Of course he connected it to my 6 cans of diet coke with lime a day habit and at dinner asked if I was a coke head. I think I shot dinner out my nose I laughed so hard. So in a bid to keep you young a little longer, Yes Levi, I am a Coke Head.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thank you Katie

I have been woefully ignorant these past eleven years as a parent. Apparently there is a very troubling and contagious sleep condition known as "floppiness." This insidious condition struck our house the other day. I told Katie to wake up and get ready for school. She replied, "I am awake." I told her that opening her eyes wasn't good enough, she actually needed to get out of bed. She informed me that she couldn't because she was floppy. "Floppy?" I said, "what is that?" She said "You know. Floppy," and preceded to lift up her leg and drop it back down on the bed. "I can't get out of bed because my body will flop on the floor." (She told me this while giving me her best 'silly mom' look). Horrible unsympathetic mother that I am, I told her to get her booty out of bed and get dressed or she would be the only girl at preschool in her pajamas. It did make me realize though, that all these times I thought Levi was just too tired or too lazy to get up in less than forty minutes was because he too suffers from the horribly debilitating floppiness. Thank you Katie, for finally giving it a name.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Isabelle's Shoes

Isabelle needed new tennis shoes and so while the other kids were at school we headed to the store to get them. At the store she saw these pink sandals and refused to try on anything but the sandals. Everytime I tried to put on a pair of tennis shoes she would scream and kick her legs trying to keep me from putting them on. She was in a shopping cart that put my face at foot level. After a few kicks to the head, we left the store with a brand new pair of tennis shoes........and the pink sandals.

Later that afternoon, when we picked up her sisters and brother, she had to show off her sandals. I was holding her on my hip talking to Rhyan while I waited for Levi the exit the school and Isabelle thrust her foot in Rhyan's face so that she could admire her sandals. She did the same thing to Katie and to Levi and to the girls we carpool with. When her dad got home she had to race to the door and she kept picking up her foot saying "Shoes" so Steve could also admire them. I think I'm raising Imelda Marcos.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Brief Moment of Sanity

This year instead of spending Martin L. King Day letting my kids sit around in their pajamas, (which we do every other year), I decided to be a little more ambitious and we went hiking at Red Rock with a friend and her daughter. I warned Rhyan and Levi, (especially Levi), that because I would be alone I needed them to be on their best behavior. That meant no running ahead up the trail where I couldn't see them...or fighting...or tattling...or hitting the person who tattled...or hitting anyone else...or crying...or any other thing that would cause my blood pressure to skyrocket. We had a blast.

Unfortunately, the 20 minute car ride home was a different experience all together. Levi and Rhyan fought over nuetral middle seat territory in the back of the van, which resulted in Levi kicking Rhyan the whole way home and Rhyan screaming and crying. Isabelle and Katie, (mostly Katie), "kindly" sang songs at the top of their lungs to drown out the screaming. It also kept them them from fussing, but it didn't help to keep the noise level down. As I clenched the steering wheel to keep from pulling over and beating my children in full view of the rush hour traffic on the freeway, I savored those 2 precious hours. Because in those 2 glorious hours, I had a no whining, crying, screaming, hitting, kicking, tattling, moment of sanity.