Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school,'s all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is least at our house!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Few Pictures from Christmas

These don't really depict our Christmas, but they are fun (funny?).

One morning, Mom, William, Gloria, and I were in the kitchen.  We could hear Screamer in the laundry room, but didn't think much about it really.  Mom just thought he was digging in the litter box.  Until we heard this crash and swooshing noise.  As it turned out, Bad Cat wasn't digging in the litter box.  He was chewing a hole in the bag of Emmit's cat food.  (Emmit is my mom's cat.)  And not only did he chew a hole in the bag, he also knocked it off of the counter and onto the floor where the bag broke and spewed kitty kibble all over the floor.  He doesn't look to disappointed with his work, does he?

I thought the poem said "The STOCKINGS were hung by the chimney with care..."  But when Santa came to our house on Christmas Eve, he must have forgotten that.  I think this says "The Greenies and cat toys were hung by the chimney with care..."

Mom took this one.  Check out Screamer's eyes.  I think he must be some alien life form disguised as a cat...a very bad cat.  "Look into my eyes..."  Hannah looks like she is hanging on for dear life, as if the chair is about to take off and carry her into outer space where there is a whole colony of bad cats just like Screamer!  :)

There really are some better pictures from Christmas, and I have at least one other Christmas post swirling around in my head.  Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A New Doll, Of Sorts

One of Gloria's Christmas highlights was a new doll.  Only, she isn't really a new doll.  Just new to Gloria.  Mary Anne was mine when I was younger.  And before that, she was my mom's doll with the name Nancy Anne.  Mary Anne had been living in the top of a closet at my house for a number of years and all of her clothes were packed away in an old toy chest.  In October, Mom took Mary Anne and all of her clothes home to Memphis where Mary Anne visited the doll hospital to get her head repaired (it was kind of lopsided and she couldn't hold it up straight any more) and to get her hair fixed up since it was kind of raggedy.  Mom washed and ironed all of Mary Anne's clothes.  Some are original and many were made by my grandmother.  It's kind of funny because you can definitely tell which clothes were made in the 70's!

This is Mary Anne, as she looked on Christmas Day, 2010, wearing the same dress as she was wearing on her first Christmas fifty-eight years ago!

This is Christmas of 1952 when my mom received the brand new doll, then named Nancy Anne.

Christmas, 1979.  My grandmother made the matching outfits for the doll and for me.

Christmas, 2010.  Mary Anne is wearing the same dress she was wearing in 1952!

Gloria was thrilled to receive Mary Anne.  She has been so gentle with her.  She is just in awe of the fact that she has a doll that belonged to both her mother and her grandmother.  She is already talking about how she can pass it down to a fourth generation some day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gloria's Top Ten (Plus 1) Favorite Things I Liked About Christmas

From Gloria:

10. Cats not fighting (Emmit hasn't attacked Hannah and has only hissed a few times at Screamer.)
9.  Checkers with my grandfather
8.  Seeing snow fall on Christmas Day (even if it didn't stick and there was WAY more snow at home than here at my grandparents' house!)
7.  A family dinner with Nick, Andrew, Edith, Terry, Uncle Will, Uncle Carter, Mommy, Maggie, and Hada.  I just wish that Aunt Martha had been here.  :(
6.  Playing with a friend
5.  Chick-fil-a with Uncle Will!
4.  An iPod shuffle for a present
3.  A Taylor Swift CD
2.  Mary Anne (a doll that was passed to me from my grandmother and my mother.  Momma is going to write about that tomorrow after she gets her pictures off of her camera.)
1. My family.  They are the BEST FAMILY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And plus one....
CHRIST WAS BORN!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Letter to Santa from Gloria

Dear Santa,

How was your summer?  I have a few requests from my cats (Hannah and Screamer).  Hannah would like a big bag of Greenies to herself.  :)  Screamer would like..........well actually he hasn't told me yet.  :(  But here is what I would like:  Taylor Swift CD Speak Now, an ipod shuffle, and the Great Fairy Rescue game for my DS.  The ipod shuffle can be any color but not boyish please!  :)


Gloria B.

P.S.  Screamer just told me what he wants for christmas.  :)  Anything AUBURN!!!!!!!  (This goes for Hannah too.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And It Wasn't Even 7:00 Yet!

Gloria says this was me this morning, before 6:30...

And what she doesn't know is that it only got worse from there...

Let's recap the two hours between five and seven o'clock in the morning.

5:00--The alarm clock goes off.  (That's enough to make anyone grumpy though, so that doesn't count.)  But I was feeling pretty lousy after a night of coughing and was beginning to lose my voice.

5:10--I realize we are going to school in spite of the slick layer of ice on my car and the roads in my neighborhood.

5:20--Gloria gets up.  The tooth fairy brought five quarter last night.  Normally that's a good thing.  Not this morning...she was too focused on that to brush her teeth, get dressed, make her bed, brush her hair, or generally do anything she is *supposed* to do every morning.

5:50--I am dressed and ready to head downstairs to fix breakfast and pack lunch boxes.  Gloria still wasn't dressed.  (Her teeth were brushed, but that was it.)

5:55--Still not dressed, despite my warning of going to school in her nightgown, Gloria has a nosebleed. And even better, she tries to make it stop by BLOWING it!  Has that EVER worked???  N-O-P-E.  And still didn't work today.  Just put me even closer to the edge.

6:00--I throw my hands up in frustration and inform Gloria that I am LEAVING at 6:10, regardless of how she is dressed, fed, or otherwise ready for school.  Also told her she was going to have to fix her own breakfast if she wanted me to pack her lunch.

6:01-6:09--Throw food in lunch boxes.  Scoop the cat box.  Find my watch and earrings.  Go out and start the car, hoping to defrost the ice before it was time to go.  Gloria, in the meantime, has stomped downstairs and begrudgingly poured herself a box of Christmas Captain Crunch.  (Breakfast of champions, right???)  Spilled some milk and cereal on the counter, which she didn't clean up (and it's still not cleaned up).  And the back of her head has the biggest rat's nest in it you have ever seen!  But I refused to help with any of it.  It was time to go.

6:10--We head out the door, Gloria with hairbrush in hand.  I promptly slip on the ice while putting my stuff in the car and again while tossing the garbage in the dumpster on my way out of the neighborhood. Remind me why we're going to school and not on a delay???

6:30--Drop Gloria at before school care, only to discover that they will be CLOSED on January 3rd, never mind the fact that many of us have to work that day.  But "corporate in Texas sets the calendar."  So I'm fuming even more as I slip-slide my way back to the car.

6:37--My car slip-slides its way down the entrance ramp to the interstate loop that I drive to work every day.  ICE.  Remind me again why I am driving to work in the dark, freezing rain, on icy roads?  Oh yeah, because school was opening on the regular schedule.  (Even though ALL the surrounding counties were delayed or closed.)

6:38-6:48--Driving slower than usual, I discovered a few more icy patches on the "treated" interstate.  Also passed not one, not two, but three accidents.

6:48--There was some really smart, super intelligent *ahem* I think "stupid" is a better choice (and I just got fussed at for using "stupid") person driving 30, yes THIRTY, miles per hour in the MIDDLE lane on the interstate.  I suppose the fact that this wonderful person had his hazard lights on made it ok.

6:57--Arrived at school, only to slip in the parking lot.  And discover that grabbing your icy car for support doesn't work particularly well.  

6:59--Ask the wonderful school counselor who has duty downstairs to please inform my students, if she sees them before they head upstairs to our classroom, that their normally cheerful, happy teacher is in a really, really, really bad mood.  I think I looked something like this...

I did eventually find a better mood and things were fine at school today.  Don't worry.  We all survived!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Book Report, of Sorts

I finished reading the book Mamlita: An Adoption Memoir, by Jessica O'Dwyer, the other night.  It is a story of one family's Guatemalan adoption experience.  This particular adoption took place around the time I was "in process," so many of the events and emotions were very familiar.  "The Hague," the anxiety surrounding the question of the date when my power of attorney was registered, DNA testing and birth mother signatures, previos from PGN, expiring documents that included fingerprints and home studies, doctor's letters and references all due to longer timelines--it was all too familiar.

While I was reading her story, there were times I found myself cheering for her boldness or cringing at what in hindsight might seem like naivety.  However, in the moment, who knows what I might have done, so I'm not judging her in any way!  After too many months had passed with little to no progress being made in their case, the author decided to move to Antigua to foster their daughter herself and to fight to push their case through family court and PGN.  At the end of 2003, they were successful and became a "forever family" officially in the eyes of both the Guatemalan and US governments.  I was only a few months behind.

While the general idea behind her story could be any one of the many families adopting from Guatemala during 2002-2004, it was the last few pages that hit me the hardest and gave me the most to think about.  It is there that she writes about the search for and meeting with their daughter's birth mother.  This is something that I think about at times.  Sometimes, I think this is something I need to do, and sooner rather than later.  Other times, it scares me enough to take my breath away.  After reading this story, it was on my mind again because my precious daughter does ask about her birth mother and her country of birth on a somewhat regular basis.  She feels deeply a sense of loss when she thinks about her adoption.  I know that isn't meant to hurt me, and it doesn't.  But it does hurt my heart to see my sweet girl hurting.

The questions swirl in my head:  When?  Should I already have?  Is it too late?  And of course all the "what ifs" too.  And then last night, out of the blue, while on the way to her choir school Christmas concert, Gloria asks, "Momma, do you think I could ever meet ________?"  (The blank is the name of her birth mother.)  It was like she could read my mind because I was pondering that same thing at that very moment.  The questions are there, for both of us.  And I suppose Gloria gave me an answer.  Now what to do with that answer...