Who’s got time to be addicted?

"There's another new social networking site that I'm supposed to join?!"

So here it is, friends.  I am struggling with the rat race that has become social media and there is one reason for it:

I don’t flipping have time.

I love blogging.  This here little space of mine is where I often times work out what’s swirling around inside my head and heart.  I don’t organize and plan my posts ahead of time.  Maybe I should, but that’s not really how my brain operates.  I process my emotions through the melodic clicking of the keyboard.  It’s where my heart flows.  And you want to know what?

Sometimes I don’t share everything I write.

Sometimes the emotions are too raw…too personal.  But many times I can’t voice my heart unless I’m writing it out.  So blogging?  I totally get it.

Everything else?  Exhausts me.

Amber from Crappy Pictures wrote about why being a mom makes her suck at Twitter. Through my tears of laughter I’m pretty sure I uttered a hearty “Amen” or two as I read her post.  I can’t get into Twitter.  My posts usually go like this:  “I’m baaaaaack. How’s everyone doing to tonight? #finallybackontwitter”

No one will respond to this tweet, of course, because no one knows me on Twitter.  And because, unless I’m writing an article that needs to be promoted for someone else, I usually only tweet about once everyone two weeks.

Because that’s all I have time for.

I mean, I guess I could check my twitter stream a little more every day and try to converse, but I never really know how to converse with Twitter followers without feeling like a creepy cyber-stalker.

I like Facebook…because I get it.  I know most of the people on Facebook and they know me.  I can post something on Facebook and come back hours later and respond to any comments, whereas with Twitter it seems you need to respond right away or else you’re like the rude neighbor who walks away mid-conversation and never returns.

The frustrating part in all of this is that marketers and others who may want to hire your services in social networking or online writing often look at how wide your impact is, and part of that is your activity on Twitter.  They also look at how many Facebook friends you have, how many people are reading your blog, how many comments you get and what kind of toilet paper you use.


It starts to feel like a nasty competition and in the midst of all the running, I can easily lose focus on why I’m doing what I’m doing.  I’m writing because I love it. I’m writing because I’m good at it.  I’m writing because I believe it is a form of praise, an offering back of that which I have been given.

I’m writing because it’s fun.  Trying to keep up with the pack detracts from that and every once in awhile I have to tighten the reigns and remember what life is all about.  And with so much to keep up with, it helps to simply unplug every once in awhile.

Part of the online madness stems from the fact that there is just so dang much to keep up with anymore.  Now there’s Instagram, which sounds totally fun…if you have an iphone, which I don’t so I’m off the hook with that one.  No temptation!  Guh-lory!

There’s also StreamZoo and Google Plus and LinkedIn (yes, I know I have several invitations to Link up on LinkedIn, but I can’t remember my password so there’s a good chance I’m never going to accept those invitations for which I hereby sincerely apologize), and a whole host of other networking sites that are cropping up and my head just exploded.

I just want to make my kids a sandwich.

And write.

And maybe, just maybe, keep up with the constant flow of online craziness so that in a few years when my son comes prancing in the door and announces he wants to open up a ShowMyLifeToTheWorld account, I’ll know what it is and whether or not I want him partaking.

I’m trying to stay cool, folks!  I mean, aside from my rockin’ minivan, I’ve got very little left with which to garner cool points.

So here it is, social media overwhelms me. Sometimes it’s just too much.

What are your thoughts?

One more year

I am officially one more year older as of Saturday.  I am 29.

Stop laughing.

I have to tell my children that because the two youngest can’t say their “Th” sound, which means “Th” sounds like “F” so when they say my age they place me well into a decade that I’m not prepared to enter.

When I was a 19 year old college girl, I began dating a boy who was, at the time, a senior.  One night as we sat in his apartment, I asked him how old he was.  “23,” he replied.  And I almost had a heart attack because OMG 23 was so old.

One year after marrying my husband, we headed over to the home of a couple who was one life phase ahead of us.  They had three young kids, a big house and were everything we thought we wanted to be.  It was my birthday.  “How old are you today?” they asked.

“23,” I replied.  And they laughed.  “Do you remember 23, babe?” she asked her husband.

“Barely,” he replied and I laughed along with them but for a different reason because OMG 23 felt so old.

Shortly thereafter I began having children.  And I waddled around, 25 and knocked up.  Feeling so old. Despite the fact, however, that I looked to be no older than a teenager in a very precarious position.

Then I hit 29 (where I have remained) and I finally felt at peace with my age.  When you have three children and you’re under thirty, you tend to get a look or two.  It’s a look of pity and wonderment.  Three kids already, huh? I got asked more than once. So 29 felt right…it felt good.

So I stopped there.  Mentally, anyway.  The truth is, I’m only in my early thirties.  I’m two whole years away from my mid-thirties so there’s really no need to acknowledge the thirties at all, in my opinion.

And there sure as heck isn’t any reason to tell my kids my age.  Because if I do, then whenever they’re asked how old mommy is, their reply will be, “Mommy if fowty-fwee.”

And h@#^ no I’m not.  I’m nowhere near the 4-number.  I can’t be because OMG forty is so old.

Stop  laughing.

Obviously, age is just a number and it’s all relative.  Forty really isn’t that old, but in my mind, it seems old.  I remember my parents turning forty, for cryin’ out loud.  But whatever.  The older you get, the younger old looks…right, Dad?

But I’m a long way from the 4 number so there’s no need to worry about that anyway.  Moving on…

So the number may  not be my favorite thing but, I have to say, that in my 29-ish years of life the greatest accomplishment I’ve had by far are these three:


I still feel like that little 19 year old girl floating on the cloud of youth (just the fact that I am compelled to refer to anyone under the age of 25 as “little” or “kid” is evidence of my age…) but I will gladly grow older because each year brings new joys, new blessings and the chance to watch those sweet kids grow.

I’ll take that in exchange for a few new wrinkles.  But just a few!

Just please, don’t ask them to say my real age until we’ve had a little time to work with a speech therapist.  Deal?

Stop.  Laughing!

Once Upon a Time


Once Upon a Time, I was cool.  Or I thought I was.  I was informed yesterday by my oldest, and ever so wise, child that I’m “not really cool now, so much.”

“Really?  What am I, then?”


*long pause*

*awkward pause*

“Geesh.  Don’t answer to quickly, ‘kay?”

“Well,” he says, clearly thinking hard, “It’s just that I’m not sure.”

“So I’m not even a little bit cool?”


“When I make you pancakes for breakfast – is that cool?”

“No.  That’s more awesome.”

“When I wash your clothes and drive you places – is that cool?”

“Not really.  That’s more stuff you’re s’posed to do.”

Oh no he di’int.

“When I play games with you – is that cool?”

“No.  That’s fun, though.  Hey can we play Uno tonight?”

“So I’m really not cool, huh?”

“Nope,” he says with a shrug.  “But you’re awesome and fun and you do things you’re s’posed to do.  So that’s good right?”


I guess.

Excuse me while I go look for my cool pants.  I know they’re in my closet somewhere.  Probably right behind my fat pants and next to my sweatpants.


There’s a chance I was never cool to begin with…

Not My Finest Moment

His face was pock marked, the divets in his cheeks glinting in the moonlight.  He wore skinny jeans before skinny jeans were in and his dark windbreaker hung loosely on his gaunt frame.  His frizzy hair was cut into a mullet after mullets were in style.

Were mullets ever in style?

He sauntered up to us and we froze.  The still night air thickened and for the first time we questioned our decision for coming out.  It was 1:00 am and our group was comprised of eighteen year olds, all of us wearing our newfound freedom like a superpower.

We were in college, man.  Why wouldn’t we go out at 1:00 am?

We were standing right in the middle of a field where history and tragedy had met only three years earlier.  Where crazy met the FBI.  We were standing on David Koresh’s burned down Branch Davidian compound, a group of 8 or 9 college freshman who decided at the last minute to tour the compound…in the middle of the freaking night.

As we walked through what was mostly an overgrown field we saw him walking toward us and we froze.  “What the BEEP are you kids doing out here?” he asked, the butt of the cigarette stuck between his lips dancing in the dark like a firefly.

We didn’t answer because we didn’t have a good answer.  What the BEEP were we doing out there?

Finally someone spoke.  “What are you doing out here?” he inquired.

“Aw, I was a reporter when everything went down here a few years ago.”  And that’s it.  That was his explanation for visiting this site of horror at 1:00 am.  His reason was worse than ours.

“C’mon,” he offered, puffing smoke into the already thick Waco air, “I’ll show you around.”  And with that we followed him.  Why didn’t we decline and turn away?  I don’t know.  Why were we there in the first place? 

For the next 30-45 minutes we were taken on a fascinating tour of David Koresh’s compound complete with the most colorful tour guide I’ve ever known.  His name was Michael.  I don’t think he was a reporter.  My first clue was when he took us to what looked like a fox hole in the ground and regaled us with tales of David himself hiding there.  He showed us bullet holes in the back of a burned out bus and told us about the children and wives hiding throughout the compound.

He knew more than what an average news reporter should have known.  And suddenly I knew more than an average eighteen year old should have known.

There were a couple of voices of reason who were persistently trying to convince us to leave.  Girls who were uncomfortable with this man’s in depth knowledge and offensive language.  Maybe we should have listened to their reasoning and left, but the rest of us were so intrigued that we squelched wisdom and followed curiosity.

We all know what happened to the cat who did the same, right?

At one point, one of these voices of reason spoke up as Michael set forth an obsenity filled rant on what went down on the land on which we stood.

“Um, sir?” she said, her voice small but defiant.  “Could you please watch your language?  I find it very offensive.”

Insert very awkward pause.

And on we went, Michael not toning down his color and no one else daring to say another word.  Finally we were back where we started and we stood huddled together, a group of foolish youth who had just had an unexpected adventure.

“It would probably be best if you kids didn’t come out here in the middle of the night again,” Michael said.  “Sometimes people come out here to defend the land and the people in the house over there have guns.”

He gestured to a house a few meters from the property.  For the first time it dawned on me that maybe we weren’t even supposed to be here in the middle of the night.  I do believe we all suffered from freshman brain – you know where common sense flees for a period of time and that which once seemed crazy now seemed perfectly normal. 

We nodded, thanked him for showing us around and quickly drove back to the Baylor campus, all of us talking a mile a minute.  Was he really a reporter?  Was he a Branch Davidian?  How did he know all of that?

I never visited Koresh’s compound again.  I’ve never seen it in the daylight.  I’ve heard that they have since built a museum on the grounds and that it is better protected than it was back then.

But I saw all I needed to see that sticky Texas night.  It was night that I can honestly say was not one of my finest life moments…

But what an adventure, huh?!

The one with the bags under my eyes


The clock read 4:32 am.

“Moooooommmmmyyyyyy,” came the pitiful cry.  I quickly got up and went to Tia’s room.  She is my sleeper.  She is the child who could sleep through any illness, the one who once vomited then went back to sleep in it.


So when she cries out in the middle of the night, there’s usually a good reason for it.  Usually.

“What’s wrong,” I asked, kneeling by her bed.  Her eyes were closed.  She was asleep.  Like a cruel joke she roused me from my bed then fell back into a deep slumber.  I stumbled back to bed.

The clock read 4:36 and I felt the heat of little eyes staring at me from the bedside.  “Tia, what’s wrong, honey?” I mumbled.

“I had a bad dream about tornados,” she wimpered.  We can all thank her big brother for that phobia.  I got up and walked her back to her room and put her back in bed.  “Think about happy things,” I told her.  “Think of the beach and ice cream and gymnastics.”

I fell back into my bed a minute later.

The clock read 4:40.

“Moooom?”  Her call floated down the hallway like bad alarm that won’t go off.  I waited.  Maybe she would think I was asleep and she’d give up.  All rationality had left my weary body at that point.  “Moooom?” 

I sat up and hissed, “Tia, hush!”

A few minutes later.  “Moooom?”  With less sympathy and a modicum more frustration, I flung the covers off my body and briskly walked to her room.

“Tia!  What?!”

“I sneezed,” she said, her tiny face peeking out from under the mountain of blankets.

I did not respond.  I held onto my own advice of When you don’t have something nice to say, Ssshhh! Say nothing.

That was two nights ago.  Last night the same situation played itself out only she complained of leg and head pain (I believe she’s growing) and she woke up crying because she had a nightmare that Sloan was scratching her.

So if you run into me today and notice the bags under my eyes, or think you can make out Route 66 in the red lines criss crossing my eyeballs, now you’ll know why.  I have slept all night in more than two weeks.

T-Minus 13 days until we leave for Florida.  I may not sleep anymore down there, but at least I’ll get a little tan to mask the bags.  That’s my happy dream…

On the Russian Adoption Situation

As a family who is seriously praying over and considering the possibility of international adoption (particularly from Russia or Ukraine – I’ve written about my love for the adoption process before here), we are following this story pretty closely.  It breaks my heart to read about this situation and I find myself frustrated and angry.

When any parent enters an adoptive situation, particularly with an older child as this one was, there is the potential for psychological or emotional issues.  Any child that has been neglected and virtually unloved for much of his life is going to have problems adjusting and accepting love.

If what the adoptive mother in this situation says is true, then I agree that the little boy she adopted had severe emotional problems and that she likely felt overwhelmed and incompetent to parent him.  But here’s the kicker:


The absurdity of what she did is astounding.  This is a child – not a defective puppy or a ripped shirt that you can just return.  It’s a CHILD.  A child she agreed to parent, incidentally.  She never told her adoption agency of the problems she was having with her son. 

Her SON.  She adopted him.  He was her son.  In my mind, that is abandonment and she should be ashamed of herself. 

No.  She didn’t make anyone aware of the struggles.  She didn’t ask anyone for help.  She just shipped him back.  What did she think was going to happen?!  Did she think the Russian government would send her a thank you note?

Thank you, Madam, for your honesty and forthright thinking in this sensitive matter.  Of course, we would be happy for you to come over and take a look at our other children and find one that better suits your needs.  Perhaps a mild and meek little girl who will sit quietly and let you brush her hair all day long.

Ugh!  Can you tell this story has gotten me a bit riled up?

There are so many ways this woman could have handled this situation.  She could have given her adoption case worker a heads up, first of all.  She could have gotten counseling both for herself and for her son.  The fact is that she hadn’t even had this boy for a full year.  So no – I don’t think she put any effort into helping this child overcome his obvious issues.

There are even reports that in December, this woman told her adoption agency that she would like to adopt a second child from overseas – something she was discouraged from doing right away.  So clearly, this woman has an equal amount of problems and likely shouldn’t have adopted in the first place.

But what about the child she shipped back?  What happens to him now?  He’s branded as being violent and psychologically unstable.  He spent the first seven years of his life in a Russian orphanage and he is finally told he has a mother – someone who will love him unconditionally – and what does she do?  She abandons him.  Sends him packing.  What will this do to this precious boy’s heart?  It literally makes me sick to think of this little boy and what he’s been through.

And now, because of this woman’s foolish, careless and selfish decision, Russia has shut down adoptions to the U.S. until better regulations can be set in place.  I don’t blame them.  I just hope that this doesn’t destroy the trust forever.  I also hope that this doesn’t set into motion stipulations and regulations that are so impossible to meet that U.S. families will no longer be able to afford Russian adoptions.

The fact of the matter is that adoption is never to be taken lightly.  In my viewpoint, if you are called to adopt a child and a child is placed in your care, then that child was ordained for you by God just as your biological children were ordained for you by God.  I know not everyone probably holds that same viewpoint and it’s probably really easy to say that if you don’t have a problem child.  But I know many people who have adopted or fostered children from around the world who had severe emotional problems and I have seen the power of perseverence and love in the life of a troubled child.

Does that mean it was an easy road for those families?  Nope.  Not at all.  But they didn’t love their adopted child any less than they would have a biological child who had a difficult temperament.

If Lee and I choose to follow this route of adoption, we will, of course, pray that God spare our adopted child of severe emotional distress.  But I trust beyond a shadow of a doubt that should God choose to give us a child that is more difficult to parent, He will also equip us with the grace to parent the child well.

I could go on and on about this, but I think I should stop now before I break out in hives.  And I shall now climb off my soap box and carefully tuck it away once again…

The screaming – Oh my the screaming…

Yesterday was Tia’s long-anticipated visit to the ENT. Well, long-anticipated for me. She didn’t know we were going until about an hour before the appointment.

Because I believe in the element of surprise. And because I believe in not listening to the fearful cries of my daughter for any longer than necessary.

Actually, she handled the news very well. Surprisingly well, in fact.  She didn’t freak out or ask repeatedly why.  She took it like a champ.  And I actually convinced myself that the appointment was going to go smoothly.  I entered into a fairy land where I suddenly believed that she would shed a few silent tears, but otherwise sit like a charm as the Dr. dug the hard, compacted wax out of her ears.

Further adding to my delusion was the fact that she was very excited about the ice cream treat that awaited her after the appointment as long as she promised not to scream.

Yes.  I bribed my child.  Shamelessly, I might add.  And I worded the bribe carefully in an effort to set her up for success.  All she had to do was not scream.  Crying was permitted.  Because I’m generous and a realist.  Well, almost a realist anyway…

As we waited for the nurse to call her name, Tia was as chipper as could be.  She actually seemed exctied.  Until, that is, they took us into the examining room.  That’s when she began to crumble. 

First, her chin started quivering uncontrollably.  Then, her eyes got so big they threatend to overtake her tiny little face.  After that, she crawled into my lap, her lovey bear clutched in her white knuckled fists.  Finally, she looked up at me and with a quavering voice said, “We go now and has ice team?”

I reminded her of our little deal – no screaming and we’ll go get ice cream.  She nodded her head and turned as the door opened and the nurse came in with a  thermometer.  The kind that measures the temperature in the ear.  And that, my friends, was the moment her desire for ice cream went out the window.

She screamed.  She screamed really, really loud.  And she arched her back and fell off my lap onto the floor.  It took me and the nurse by surprise.  Then it made me laugh.

After the nurse left (without getting her temperature), I reminded Tia of our little deal once more (I was willing to dole out grace at this point) and she nodded again.  Then the doctor came in and she immediately clamped her hands over her ears.

After I pinned her arms down and wrapped my leg around her legs, the doctor cautiously approached.  I think we scared him.  And just as he got the very tip of his othoscope in her ear, she let loose.

“I DON’T WANT ICE CREAM!” she screeched.  And the wailing commenced.

At that point, we all started laughing.  I tried to hold her down, but there was no containing her.  My daughter is freakishly strong.  The doctor got a quick peek in one ear.  Enough to determine that she does indeed have a lot of wax, but not enough to tell whether or not it might be impeding her hearing.

And the screaming – oh my, the screaming…

It wasn’t worth it for anyone to go on.  He sent us to audiology where they determined that she is hearing fine, then gave me my options.

1.) Ignore it and try again in a couple of years when she’s older.  The down side to this option is that the wax will continue to build and will eventually affect her ability to hear sounds.

2.) Put drops in her ears for a couple of weeks to soften the wax, then bring her back and try again.  The down side to this is that somehow we will still have to contain her long enough to let them get the wax out.

3.) Put her under general anesthesia for about 10 minutes and let them clean her ears out completely.  As far as Lee and I can tell there is no down side to this.  So I’ve got an appointment to go back in a couple of week.

All that to say…we did not get ice cream yesterday.

So Much, So Little

Short bits of information I know you’re all dying to know…

My internet at home has been down for a couple of days now, so I feel like I am slowly suffocating from lack of computer love.  There is a very distinct possibility that I am an addict.

The kids had their russian concert last night.  Pictures and perhaps video to come (aren’t you excited?).  They did amazing.  Tia stood up and said her russian poem right into the microphone!  My Tia (or Katyoosha as they call her at school – I love russian names)!  I was shocked and proud.  It still baffles me how well they both do is those classes given that they get so little practice at home.  Kids are amazing little beings.

I have so much I want to say, but most of it would be boring so I’ll keep it to myself.  I will leave you with a few snippets from the last couple of days:

-When I had my hair colored the other day, the hairstylist found a grey hair.  I made her pull it, then told her to never tell me again if she saw any, but to discreetly pull them while combing my hair.  She laughed, but I’m pretty sure she thought I was nuts.

-Speaking of hair, she gave me a $15 gift certificate that I can give to a friend.  I am going to give it to one of my local commentors.  Just leave me a comment and let me know if you’re interested.  Her name is Olga and she’s great.  She works at The Face and the Body spa and salon in Chesterfield and she only charges $31 for a haircut, so this certificate gives a 50% discount.  It’s a good deal.

-I talked to the bug people yesterday about our mouse situation.  They said that the mice are likely nesting and the only thing that will stop them is if we find where they’re coming in and close it up.  Riiiight.  Our house is 45 years old.  They could be coming in anywhere.  I may have to just construct mouse hotels in the basement.

-My brother recently started his own blog.  Go over and give him some love.  His first story is from back in his Navy days – he’s got some good stories to tell and his blog should be a fun read.  Brett’s a great writer (much better than me, but don’t tell him I  told you that) so I’m excited to start reading his stuff.

Okay, that’s all for now.  I have to go.  It’s thundering and I’ve left my kids in the child care at the gym.  But Sloan is so terrified of thunder that I fear he may be clawing the poor workers to death in there.  I better go rescue him.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mommy friends and, of course to my own mother and mother-in-law.  I love you guys!