The Food Thing

You may have heard that foster kids sometimes have food issues. This is true in our home, especially with our youngest, Z. In the early days, he would store food in his mouth, like a chipmunk. He doesn’t do that anymore, but here we are 7 years later, and in many ways still dealing with “The Food Thing.”

Most days I can take it with a grain of salt. Never in these 7 years have the kids gone without food. But I can understand that for them, you just don’t know. So there are mornings that I’ll wake up and find Z wandering in the kitchen. Or when cleaning his room I’ll find candy wrappers and empty chip bags hidden in a drawer or under his pillow. Ok, that’s typical of a lot of kids, you say. But you probably don’t have this:

“Can I have a snack?” Eat. Walk away. Repeat 40 times a day.

What gets annoying is that around here ya gotta be fast, or you’ll miss out on the good stuff. The other night while having s’more’s on the patio with my sister’s family, I went to the table to make my first one.  “Who ate all the chocolate?”

“I didn’t,” said everyone, while Z disappeared into the house. Then we spent the next 5 minutes counting what we ate on our fingers to figure out how much he ate, which was like 17 snack size Hershey bars. I, unfortunately, had none. That’ll teach me to wait around here when there’s yummy goodness out on the table.

But the culmination happened this week, as I realized we will never be the Latte family who looks all cute and put-together. Upon leaving the grocery store, one of them, (I don’t even remember who, it all happened so fast), insisted they were so hungry they just had to have a banana, right then and there, even though we literally live a one minute car ride from the store.

As we exit the store, I open the bag, and like baby vultures, they each grab a banana. Here I am, 3 kids in tow, standing next to a trash can while one after the other unwraps a banana for dear life and shoves it in their mouth. Z’s mouth is so full his cheeks bulge and white banana is protruding partly out of his lips like a Play Doh press.  As I take in a hover view of all of us, I am aware that we look like a starving family who just got some spare change and the first thing we got were these bananas! Around here that is not such an uncommon sight, so I embrace it and stand patiently until they are done and we can get on with our lives.

Maybe one day my children will realize that there will always be enough food here. Not because we are such great people, but because they have a Heavenly Father who promises He will always provide them food. Until they understand that, we will just keep the food coming, wherever we are. And I’ll learn to eat a little quicker.


Click One

A friend of mine gave me a “magic” face cream that’s supposed to change my life in 5 days. I’m up for anything that will slow the inevitable wrinkles and sags that I see creeping up, so I eagerly took the sample home to give it a try. She told me to make sure I take a “before” picture in good lighting of my freshly washed face. I was a little sheepish about involving my husband J.R. n this. After almost 20 years it’s wise to maintain a  little mystery in the marriage. So the other night when he was out with Mia, I took my opportunity. Surely one of the boys could take a quick picture of my face with the large screen of the iPad. I called Z into the brightly lit bathroom first. This seemed like the right choice, as he’s about a millimeter less squirrelly than A at night. I told him exactly what to do. Get my whole face in the middle of the screen, as close up as he can.  Click one. I take a look. It’s just the side of my face, mostly my chin and neck. Click two. This time the angle is too low. Click three. Out of focus. C’mon! Okay, try again. Click four, five….eight. All ridiculously no good. I frustratingly call in Angel. He’s older, why didn’t I just pick him first? Of course he can take a simple picture. SEVEN TRIES LATER, with me even taking a shot of HIM so he could see exactly how I wanted it, turned out nothing but out of focus, crazy sideways angles. Fail. Never mind. I’ll figure it out another time. Which was exactly the next day when J.R. took the picture.

We’re Baa–aaack!

Ummmmm….so i’ve been on a hiatus. Of course. Right? Being a mommy is an all-consuming job. I thought I would get to writing sometime. Tomorrow. Next week. But seriously, how can it be that it’s been two years since I have blogged? We have some catching up to do! We’ve crossed into new waters. I have a teenager now. American Girl stuff is out, and Justin Bieber is in. Pia is becoming a delightful young lady, although in our case I am not certain if it’s fortunate or unfortunate she’s turning into a typical 13 year old. A is “double digits” as he calls being 10. He horseback rides and is GOING to move to Montana when he gets old enough, own his own business on one side of his ranch and have horses on the other side. Z is 8, and an ironic mix of melt-your-heart sweetness and un-contained fearless risk-taker. We’re still home schooling, but it’s summer now so there’ll be no school stuff going on here for a while. Still married, yes, 20 years this fall! Got bogged down in the day-to-day chaos of it all, but we still have many sticky, funny and not-so-funny situations going on here that I hope to write about. So while we’re in the more relaxed time of summer I’m gonna give it another try. Being a parent, an adoptive family, and a home schooling family I would hope I have some interesting nuggets to share. So…here we go!


Le-Go My Legos!

I don’t know if it’s because we live a mile from Legoland, or it’s just their age, but my kids are OBSESSED with Legos. Believe me, I am grateful that they have something that can keep them busy for at least 10 minutes straight, but seriously, there has got to be some limits. It started out with a couple tubs at Christmas and now has grown to an amount that is out of control! I know what the problem is; it’s those little Star Wars or emergency vehicle “kits” we keep buying as cheap rewards. What’s the point of these really? First of all, dad is the one who actually has to put it together, and then in less than half an hour, it gets taken apart, only to be mixed in with the millions of other Legos, never to be made sense of again as that police car or jet fighter. But the worst, I mean the absolute worst, is the fact that Legos plague my very existence. I can’t get away from them. They are everywhere. They show up in the washer, the garden, hidden in the shag rug, under the couch cushions. Today I found some in the bottom of our shoe basket, and yes, I’m not gonna lie…once we were interrupted by one in our bed…ahem. So if anyone should hear me screaming from the boys’ room, it’s not because I’m trying to get them to pick up the tornado of those tiny plastics on the floor, it’s because I’m screaming in agony from stepping on another @#%&* Lego!

Potty Mouth

Let’s just get this straight. I am a girl. I am the youngest of 3, and my only brother was 8 years older than me. I do not understand boy humor. The words poopy, toot, fart, diarrhea, buttcrack or penis are not at all funny to me. Nor do I enjoy hearing A and Z repeat these words over and over to each other like they’re doing a performance at the Comedy Store, followed by outbursts of uncontrollable laughter. My husband tells me it’s, “just boy stuff.” Well, that’s fine, if they want to do it, they can do it out of my earshot. Not in the car where I am held captive. Not at the table when I am trying to eat food, and not when they are supposed to be quiet and going to sleep. And it seems the more I try to correct it, the funnier the words become to them. I would like to believe my boys will soon, or maybe eventually grow out of this…but I think I have to face the grim reality that my husband is often the one who gets them going. And then my hopes were really dashed on Easter when they talked to their “papa” on the phone and his first words were shout outs of poopy, and a continuation of other words. All my hard work undone. “Fart!”

Where’s the Beef?

So Pia has decided she wants to be a vegetarian. It started when we lived in Cleveland, Ohio. We often went to what I think is the most fabulous farmer’s market in the country, the West Side Market. The kids were mesmerized by the butcher’s counters, fascinated by the dead pigs, chickens, and cows, and every body part that was on display; feet, tongues, brains. But the most disturbing sight was the whole pig, hairless and pink, spread out on its stomach and smiling at us. It was not long after that I noticed Pia pushing her meat aside at meals. Then she started asking me, “Is this pork?” What I made the mistake of doing, however, is mentioning my observation to a friend in front of her, joking that she wants to be a vegetarian. What followed was a more blatant refusal to eat most forms of meat, and then anything that she deemed not worthy to put in her mouth (a pizza crust that was a little too brown, or a vegetable that wasn’t exactly the right color.) Now she separates things out, eats super slowly and dominates the conversation so we won’t notice her lack of eating. It’s like her permission slip to be able to decide what she’s going to eat now. I will remind everyone too, that because of the prior neglect, for a very long time my kids would literally eat anything I put in front of them. It’s not that I mind if she wants to eat healthier, of course that’s a good thing, but she is 9, and I am not the mom who’s going to make separate food for the “princess vegetarian” of the house. The funny thing is though, if it’s meat and it’s something she likes, she’ll eat it. Sooo…Pia has decided to be a vegetarian…or has she…??

Do you SEE this thing I’m holding?

Let’s talk about the phone. I’m thinkin’ I’d like to talk about it since I can’t actually talk ON it. Kids and phones are just disaster. First, there’s the fact that I can never actually find the time to be on the phone. Since we home school my three kids are with me all day. But if I ever do think I can steal a few moments to make a call, the “kid radar” goes off no matter where they are. They could be at the neighbor’s house and somehow know I have just gotten on the phone, which means it’s definitely the time to walk directly up to me and talk as though I’m actually doing nothing at all. And it’s usually to ask for something ridiculous like a snack, even though they just had one, or a toy you haven’t seen in decades that they think for some reason you know where it is. Sometimes, I like to live on the edge. I take the risk and answer the phone, or make a quick call. That’s when they know it’s the perfect opportunity to jump off furniture, or scream and wrestle each other down over whose Matchbox car it is. Some might say just tell them to be quiet, but it doesn’t work. Those words really have no meaning at all once you are on the phone. THEY KNOW….

And how about kids talking on the phone? They always want to play with the phone, but then when you give them the opportunity, like with grandma, they forget how to talk. Or even worse, they mumble unintelligibly about who knows what making the person on the other end uncomfortable and in the end I don’t know either what they are saying! I usually just stop them mid sentence and tell them, “Say bye!” And now it’s my turn to say Buh-bye.