Sunday, June 28, 2009

Survival of the fitest!

We all survived the move...well everyone except for Chloe the fish, the move deemed to be too much for her! Caroline took it well, and we will be off to the pet store tomorrow to find a replacement!

It's been a really insane past two weeks. No matter how organized I thought I was, moving day was chaos! And the days following were strikingly similar!

We moved in on Tuesday, had a few days to get our bearings just in time to head up to Green Bay on Thursday for the rehearsal for our wonderful sitter Jessie's wedding. The wedding was Friday, and all of the kids had a part! Just a sign of how insane things have been, I took no pictures of the two most beautiful little flower girls or of the two most handsome program hander-outers in the history of the world, not a single one!!! Where was my head? Or more importantly, where was my camera?

Ugh, still so much to do! Boxes to unpack. Rooms to paint. And still the laundry doesn't stop!

So much has been happening, so many post worthy things, but this is the first time I've sat down on my couch in over a week and it feels pretty darn good, so good in fact that I think I may just sleep here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Feature!

Well since I'm so good at keeping up with the Friday Friend or Family Feature, I thought I'd start a new Feature! This one, as many bloggers are familiar, is known as Wordless Wednesday. I think I'll be better about keeping up with this one!

So here we go, it's Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Look what I got!

My friend Harmony works for this great company Steps4kids, Inc. After reading about my little Sam's letter trouble she sent me this...

This DVD is for ALL kids (recommended ages 4-7 yrs.) that are learning how to write their upper and lower case letters or are struggling with their writing. They are great for Kindergarten readiness or Summer catch up/keep up. The letters are demonstrated on lined paper which helps kids learn how to align their letters, but kids that are not ready for lined paper can use blank paper to learn the correct sequence to form the letters. There are also 100 sight words presented which is great for pre and early reading skills. Between writing the letters there are cute drawings that the kids learn by using the letters they have just practiced. This is a unique way to teach writing because it offers a visual modeling approach which has been shown to be extremely effective as many children are visual learners. Plus it allows kids the opportunity to learn independently while you observe from close by (in other words they get a break from their parents and teachers always telling them what to do :) Our DVDs are great for home practice, school use and for Homeschoolers! For more information check out our website at: We also offer an instructional Cursive DVD for ages 7+, however the FREE one is the printing DVD.

If you visit the site now, use the coupon code "summer" for $5.00 off the price of a DVD!

Now, I havn't actually had time yet to sit down with him and watch it, so I can't really give a review yet:) I just didn't want Harmony to think I forgot!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Great news today!

Please go congratulate Amanda on her beautiful daughter! It was a loooong road and much celebration is in order! GREAT GREAT NEWS!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On my mind

For the past year or so it has become quite apparent that Emma is really aware of the fact that she doesn't look like everyone else in our family.

It started with little comments when we were out doing errands like..."oh look mommy, that baby looks just like me!" or "mommy look, that lady has hair like mine!"

I thought it was sweet to watch her make those connections.

Then last fall there was a little melt down about gloves...she wanted a pair of yellow gloves so that her hands would look like Caroline's. She was so sad and crying and begged me to make her yellow. I don't remember all of details because it was months ago, and my mommy brain is on the fritz lately, but I do remember how it broke my heart. It was the first time that she had shown any sadness about not being the same color as Caroline or the rest of our family. I knew it was a big thing. I started to struggle with what to tell her. Do I start with the why she doesn't look like us? Do I start to talk about adoption? Do I focus on how we are the same on the inside? I struggled with trying to figure out how much a four year old could really take in and understand?

So instead I started to really emphasize how beautiful and special she was. Making a point to have her hair done in a way that she liked, or wearing the pretties she so loves! When I put her cream on after her bath I would tell her how soft and beautiful her skin was. Then she'd tell me "my brown skin. my brown skin is beautiful."

She started to seemingly feel proud. of her color. of her hair.

The more comfortable she began to be in her own skin, so to speak, her personality began to shine even more.

She definitely notices color, obviously. But she seems happy and content not to be blonde haired and blue eyed. She still thinks its fun to shout out "look mommy there's another Memmers! Do you see her? She looks just like me!"

So overall, the interracial side of things seems to be going well...I'm sure we'll have times were it will be a bigger deal than others but for now, everyone is happy.

On the adoption side though, I'm struggling.

From the very beginning, we have followed Emma's lead. Trying not to give her more information than she was ready to handle. Our first and foremost priority ever since Emma came into our lives was to make sure she felt a part of our family. period.

That together we were all one.

We whole heartedly wanted to keep a pride and love for Ethiopia, but we needed to establish a strong family bond first and foremost.

Now that we feel confident in that bond we've been talking and learning more about Ethiopia.

She knows that she was born in Ethiopia, she thinks it's pretty cool because she has friends that were "born in Ethiopia" too!

Until recently I really didn't think that she understood what that meant, "born in Ethiopia".

One day, Sam, Emma and I were shopping, I was in my usual daze of running my list of what we needed through my head, when I heard Sam saying something to Emma about when she was in my belly. Em cut him off, planted her feet on the ground, and said, "no Sam. I didn't come from mommy's belly." I was caught totally off guard. I had no idea that she had made that connection. I felt bad that our first real conversation about her birth story was about to take place in Target...but I knelt down and said "yes, Em your right." I asked her how she felt about that. We had been talking for a few minutes when I realized we were attracting quite a crowd so I told her we could talk more about it when we got home.

Of course when we got home she didn't really have much interest in talking about it.

And she didn't bring it up again.

Then a few weeks ago we heard Julie's great news. I was noticeably happy and giddy and the kids of course were wondering what was going on. I told them all about my friend Julie, and the news of her two beautiful children.

Emma was fascinated. It was like the flood gates opened and the questions just came pouring out! She wanted to know their names, what did they look like? Where does Julie live? Will she go bring them home soon and take care of them? Just like we got her when she was a baby and took care of her?

It's really hard to know just what to say to her.

The way that sounds, we got her and took care of her, it makes me feel guilty. It is far too simple. There is so much more to it than that.

Even though she made the connection about not being in my belly, she so far hasn't asked who's belly she did come from. Which I admit, I am relieved about. But I have a feeling that it won't be long before that question is asked, by a beautiful set of big brown eyes...

We absolutely want to be 100% open and honest about her birth story. But I don't want to give her more than she can handle emotionally. And I do not think that she is ready to hear about having another family. another mother. the sacrifice. the pain. the unfairness. It's too much to put on her. It's still too much for me sometimes...

I'm worried about how I will answer her questions. Many of which I will likely not have the answers to.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

a little Bling for my baby!

Emma has been asking when she could get her "real ears pierced" rather than wearing the little stick on earrings I bought her...

well, today was the day!

She is quite happy with them! Can you tell?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Farmer Sam

Today was Sam's big end of the year, class field trip to a petting zoo. Oh did the kid have a blast!

He got to see, touch, hold, ride and even milk so many different animals!! (ok that sounds weird, he only milked a cow!) And he was such a sweetheart with them! So gentle and loving.(it just makes a momma's heart pound to see such tenderness coming from her boy!)

I just loved watching him today, interacting with all the animals, showing his softer gentler side, and then with his little buddies, just being silly and playful! He is so much different in a setting of his home he seems to follow Jack's lead. Whatever Jack wants Sam wants the same.

To see him play and goof around and run and be crazy with other kids his age was really great to see.

And of course getting to spend my day with this cutie pretty much rocked!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the home stretch

The kids have 7 days left of school. (need to get cards/gifts for the teachers)

We have 19 days until the MOVE! (lots of packing/cleaning still needs to happen)

And 23 days until both girls are in our sitters wedding! (still looking for shoes and headbands)

should be an easy breazy month!

If we can get through the next few weeks without anymore sickness it would really be helpful!

Otherwise, things are going quite well.

This is field trip season at school, which is so fun for the kids...and me too once I figured out the sitter situation for Sam and Emma since they are both home during the day.

Caroline went to Old Falls Village. Where they put her to work! She loved it, along with her bag full of "treasures" she collected along the way.

Yesterday, Jackson's class had a day at the zoo. It still cracks me up that his whole class calls him Jackson! There were a lot of chaperons which meant we were able to break up into small groups, we of course had an awesome group! I only had three boys to chase after and still I was exhausted by the end of it! Really, how do boys have sooooo much energy? We were literally running from one end of zoo to the other! I think Jack really had a fun day, and it was equally thrilling for me just to have a whole day to spend with him! He is such a cool kid! Really, I'm not just saying that because he's my son! He really is AWESOME!

Tomorrow is Sam's trip to a farm/petting zoo. I doubt he'll sleep tonight he's so darn excited!