Monday, May 31, 2010

20 Things Adoptees Wished Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought this was a good book, and even though I wasn't in love with it, I will probably buy it to have on our shelves one day. Some of these things that I learned I needed to know...I didn't know. Some of it made sense. And some of it was just too weird for me. Weird is the wrong word...rather...foreign, I suppose. I'm not sure about some of the pyschology she has in there. I've talked to a few adoptees that didn't necessarily feel some of this primal loss that she talks about. Later in the book, I felt she was better at emphasizing that not ALL adoptees feel the way she explains, but to be prepared for it if the situation occurs. That made me feel a lot better about some of her own thoughts. Her credentials include having been adopted herself and being very involved in the adoption community -- which I value. But, some of it in the beginning was just too much for me...too thick with pyschological stuff that I wasn't sure about. Maybe I'm just too sensitive, not ready or whatever she would say. I enjoyed the book much more the more I read. It became much more real and understandable to me. I know my kids will experience some of this stuff, and I think it's important to always be open with them to help them deal with some of their own confusing thoughts and feelings. I was comforted knowing that we are already doing some of the things that she suggests in order to help adoptees understand their roots -- we celebrate not only her birthday, but the day she entered our family (as to help her understand that her birthday was special and that can be a connection with her birthmother -- but the day she became ours was our special day with her -- we celebrate our sealing day), I have a book I created that we can read that explains her adoption story (so she'll always know her surprises), etc. Hopefully by doing some smaller things early on, it will help when she may have some bigger questions along the way. But isn't that what's parenting is all about anyway -- whether a child has been adopted or not?
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Swingin' in the Blanket

We have found some new BIG fun here....and despite Sammy's face below, it really is fun. She giggles and loves it!

Watch for yourself...and before you assume this is some kind of Green family torture, I'll have you know that when Sammy was younger, her physical and occupational therapist suggested this (or a form of it...a little milder). She and Callie love it!

Got love this shot. I love my girls.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Big Sister

A while back, I was debating if I should take a babysitting job. I asked your advice. I thought about it a lot. I had decided that I would let her decide. So I told her up front why I would love to do it, and then some of my concerns. I knew she was talking with someone else about it too. So, I wasn't surprised when she went with the other mom, and I have to say, it has worked out really well. My main reason for taking the job would be for money...but I've been able to increase my tutoring load and I'm cleaning a house -- so the income has been just fine (in fact, better). So there's what happened with that.

However, the past few weeks I've been watching the little cutie while his babysitter is out of town. He is such an easy kiddo, generally happy, good sleeper. Great kid. And I can't tell you how excited Callie gets when he comes over. She screams his name and runs to the door. They play together and he seems to love her just as much.

It's harder to prepare a child for another baby when your not pregnant. It's even more abstract, in my opinion. So, I've been doing whatever I can to get her involved in our adoption process. We talk about having a baby. Luckily, she really wants one.

"Do you want a brother or sister?"

We've gotten many different responses ranging from brother, sister, and both. Once she said she wanted a brother. "So you want a boy?" "Nooooo, a geeerl." hm Obvious confusion there. But either way, it's so fun to see her play with this little kiddo -- and it makes me really excited for when that new baby comes, one day, and Callie becomes a big sister. She'll be pretty awesome.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Goodbye Little Honda

It's funny how a car takes on a personality. In our country, we rely on our cars daily and we expect them to work how we want. Our car always did work how we needed and wanted her to work. So, though this is dramatic, here is our final goodbye before we can move on...

You were a good car. We drove you away the day that Marcus and I got married. And you've been with us ever since. Together, we've been on a honeymoon, to the California coast, to Arches National Park, from Utah to Washington, Washington to California, and many places in between. What I'm most grateful for, however, is that you never failed us when it was most important...when we rushed Samantha to the hospital, you were always quick to start up and get us there. We took that trip many many times. Thanks for being a great car. And thanks for protecting me and my baby girl on that dreaded Monday morning -- the day you were taken from us.

The last gift you gave us was a great settlement. Though we knew how much you had given us, and in our minds you were worth a lot, but we were very pleased when the professionals thought you were worth that same amount...and more. We did take care of you. The new paint job, changing the oil and all other fluids right on tires. We thought our relationship would be longer, but it was a beautiful one for as long as it lasted.

I learned a lot from our time together. I discovered what's important to me in a vehicle...what I can live with, and what I can't live without. You made me the happiest driver on the road. We were an all around perfect match. But since I don't believe in a one and only, I'm sure another good automotive will come along again.

So, fare thee well little girl. Now go off and share your parts -- classified as in perfect condition -- with others.

What kills me the most about this last picture is you can see Samantha's window shade still hanging up. The firemen unplugged the battery before I could get it out. Now, when Callie asks where Mommy and Daddy's car is, she says "It's broken." So sad. Oh, but the good memories...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I love Callie because....

...and Marcus is quite the catch too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jelly Belly

This post is dedicated to Greg and Julie Massey. That's right. The Massey's. We thought of you the entire time we were touring the Jelly Belly Factory.

The weekend of the 1/2 marathon, we took a little trip to the Jelly Belly Factory. I mean, why not? You get to wear these awesome hats, and you get samples along the way. Everyone is happy.

They wanted Callie to try to wear this hair net. She's wasn't too thrilled about that. Luckily the guy said she could take it off, though an old grandma was pretty insistent she wear it. Sorry lady. And Sammy didn't have to wear her hat (it covered her entire head!), instead she chewed it for most of the tour.

These portraits -- 100% Jelly Belly beans! Wow.

Our kiddos weren't too cooperative here. Oh well.
Sammy, Callie, Jackson, Hunter

Yeah! Here's proof that we do fun things!

Though it looks as if both Samantha and Callie are in protest to this picture, this truth is that it was really windy and really bright. They're still cute.

Bye Jelly Belly! Thanks for all the samples!

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Blog

Ever feel like you have 1,000,000 things to do and NO time to do them all? Yeah, I feel that way right now...and with all the time I don't have, I started a new blog. I know I know. I do this to myself.

For a long time I've wanted to start a blog for Samantha -- her blog -- but more like my blog to her. I don't know. Anyway...I hesitated because I felt like it would be a problem...that Callie would later feel unloved because she doesn't have her own blog or something. I'm so conscious of trying to make things equal (because I know they aren't and won't be), that I'm afraid I'll make things worse. But being aware of that is a start, right? Back to my blog...
Reasons Why I Started It
#1 -- When we first found out about Samantha's diagnosis and prognosis, I searched the internet like crazy. I found a ton of pictures that were unpleasant, but I also found some blogs. Those, I appreciated. They were real, day to day life glimpses of my future with Sammy. I want to be that for someone if it can help.

#2 -- I have been writing letters to Samantha and Callie most every Sunday for the past -- while now. I'm not sure when I started. But I find that throughout the week I think of things and say to myself "I need to remember that for Sunday." I don't want to do that anymore, and pathetically, I'm more inclined to write it in a blog where there's a cute background than on a word document. hmmm Am I that vain?

#3 -- My friend, Maren, shared a blog she's been doing for her daughter with Rett Syndrome. It was exactly the blog I've been thinking about for years now, and it gave me the motivation and kickstart that I needed to just do it. So Maren, I really don't mean to copy -- please take it as a compliment that you are that inspiring and motivating to me.

And there are other reasons, but these are my top 3. So, if you come to our blog specifically to find out information about Samantha, you can check out my lil' samsquatch at her new location. Of course she'll be here always, but more in depth stuff is there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My all time favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I absolutely love this book, and because of book club, I had an excuse to read it again. I really could read this book annually. It's that good.

Many people have told me that they think it's too sad. Too sad? Yeah, sure. There is a really sad part, and some other minor sad parts. That's too bad. But, in the last chapter of the book, I find myself smiling and filled with a small sense of joy. Because to me, this book isn't about Tom Robinson, though a large portion of novel is his trial and how this affects the community. Rather, it's about Boo Radley. And so, the ending is heartwarming to me. I adore Atticus. He is the Everyman in this book. He's who we all hope we are -- someone who can put aside perverted social laws that we've grown up living and stand up against them. I love Scout. She is smart and fiesty. I love her common sense. I love Jem. His growth is enlightening to me. I love Calpurnia -- her mothering role in their lives. I love them all. Most people have read it, so I don't find it necessary to write too much about it...but I do absolutely love this book and recommend it to all. Put it on your list of books to read this year, even if you've already read it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm going to be frank here...yesterday really sucked, and today was just about as bad.

Yesterday, I was hurting. I mean, huuurrting. My entire body ached, and my chest? It killed. I've never been stabbed in the chest, so I can't say for sure...but I think during a spell of hiccups I experienced what has to be a similar sensation. I cried out with each hiccup, and as the tears rolled down my cheeks, Callie would kiss my arm trying to make me all better. She's such a sweetheart. But those hiccups felt like death and it really was not a fun thing.

Once the tears started (because of the pain), it's like I couldn't get them to stop. All my frustration and anger and everything just poured out. Then I took a nice nap.

Today I'm feeling a little better, but I still hurt. Tonight we found out that our car is officially considered a "total loss." And that just depresses me. I really am grateful that we are all ok -- no serious injuries or anything -- but I'd much rather option #1 had occurred -- go to Sammy's occupational therapy on Monday morning with no car accident. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Car Accident

That's right. Today I was in my first car accident and it was bad. I didn't like it one bit. I was driving down Fruitdale Ave, on my way to take Sammy to occupational therapy. I was going approximately 35 miles per hour, when all of a sudden, out of a side apartment driveway, someone pulls out in front of me. I've had other close calls. This will be close, but I'll stop. I slammed on my breaks, but he was too close. I'm gonna hit him. My tires screeched against the pavement and I skidded a short distance. We're going to hit; I'm not slowing down; This could be bad. We hit. Oh Sammy. Sammy screamed and started to cry. Oh Sammy Sammy Sammy. My front of my car was now crushed into the driver's side door and he was pinned in. His eyes were closed. Please please please be ok. I found my phone to call 911 but noticed other people were already calling. "It's ok Sammy. It's ok." Please be ok. I got out of the car and went to get her from her carseat. What about neck injury. Should I leave her in? Take her out? Screw it. I grabbed Sammy. She stopped crying almost immediately. I was shaking pretty uncontrollably. The man opened his eyes and got on the phone. He's ok. I called to cancel Sammy's OT appointment and then called Marcus. That's when I kind of lost it. But I pulled it back together.

Today was one of the scariest experiences I've had. Our airbags didn't deploy, not sure why because the other guy's bag did, so my chest took all the impact. I'm pretty sore. Feel pretty bad right now. I took Sammy to the hospital just to get looked at. They did a chest x-ray on me, and it checked out fine. We're safe.

Car accidents are funny situations. Lee stated it well when he said they are, luckily, only scary in retrospect. They happen so quickly, that you can't really be too scared until it's over. All day, I've had little pieces of what I felt and thought come back to me. It's amazing how fast our minds will think of things. In a split second, I went from thinking I was going to be able to stop to realizing that I couldn't, to imagining me and Samantha very seriously injured in the hospital...then...impact. It's crazy. And every time I think about Sammy being in the back seat when it happened, I get a little emotional. It could have been so much worse, and really, luckily it wasn't.

The police said it was a pretty cut and dry case: It was the other guy's fault. It's nice to know that we won't need to worry about paying for the car, a new car seat for Sammy, and our insurance will pay for all our medical...but that doesn't make anything better.

The other guy is fine. He had some neck and wrist pain. He went in the ambulance, but they think he's just fine. And this leads to my 3rd crazy thing about accidents: It's a big deal -- a car accident that totals your car (at least that's what the police officers were saying to us), but I didn't say one word to that man. I tried to, but I was moved out of the way so they could get to him, traffic was coming, I was moved to the side of the road by someone who lived there (they were worried about Sammy in the middle of the road with me) thing I know, the guy's gone. And his insurance (thank you sir for having insurance even though you don't have a license) and our insurance just work things out. It's nice, but it's so impersonal, and on some level, that makes me really sad.

Anyway...Happy Monday to all. Hope yours was a little better.

Running to Sleep

For Mother's Day, Marcus fixed the tires on our jogging stroller. I haven't been able to use it for at least a year! I can't tell you how thrilled I was to get my old jogging stroller back. So, when Sammy goes off to school on the bus, Callie and I go for a little run. Callie seems to really like it -- I was surprised to see that she had fallen asleep during our first run. She's so cute! I love this kid.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Sammy has been adjusting to her new therapists here. It's been pretty fun. Some of them she just loves!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mother's Day

I love being a Mom. There truly is no other job I'd rather have. And, let's be real here. It's a job. It's hard work. There are a lot of jobs out there. You've got blue collar jobs, white collar jobs. There are jobs that have more prestige. There are entry level positions. There's a lot of work out there that has to be done (some of it doesn't have to be done but, that's another topic) and people have to fill those positions so it does get done. Do I want to work in a fast food restuarant? No, not really. But everyday, on demand, if my kid's hungry, I whip up some pretty fast meals. Do I want to clean up people's vomit at the hospital? Certainly not. But I do it pretty quickly here. I may gag, but I do it and I do it with love (oh how sweet).

I really could go on and on...but the point is, there are a lot of jobs that we would never want to do. Some of us cringe at the idea of working at any entry level position because you get pushed around and given too much work than what your getting paid for. Right? Welcome to Motherhood. In all its glory, that is motherhood. I get scratched, bit, kicked, poked in the eye, my hair gets pulled out....I certainly have more work than what I get paid for...but I wouldn't say that I do more work than it's worth. Because each moment that I'm doing stuff, just a ton of stuff, it's all for my family. It's for my kids so they have a clean home and clothes, so they have healthy food, so they learn important skills that will prepare them for their future. There is a reason behind (most) everything I do as a mother. It's hard work, but it is worth every disgusting part of the job...and all the hugs and kisses and "I love you Mommy"s make it even sweeter.

Thanks to my mom for teaching me that. I love you!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Amazing Little Lady

My Callie is sure one amazing little lady. She is constantly surprising me with her physical abilities. How she is able to climb up, twist around, balance over, and get to where she want to be is beyond what I would ever imagine doing myself. She is smart and just plainly talented. Callie is also very independent. She likes to be guided, but she really likes to figure things out.

On Mother's Day, we went over to Granny and Grandpa Baldwin's house. There, someone has a little scooter. She tried it out, fell, and was upset. All she needed was a little encouragement and she had her mind set. I said, "It's ok Callie. Did you fall down? Now get up, you can do it, and try it again." She did and she got really good at it really fast. I love my little girl. She's just great!

So, here she is with one of her first attempts. Walking side she feels safer, but she'll attempt to get on from time to time. And then, she falls. She was none too happy about this one.

But soon after, she gets on with ease. That's my little champ.

And even though she's really upset here (we told her it was time to go inside -- oh the horror!), I still think it's a really cute picture of her!


This is one way how they sleep...cribs right next to each other. I love peeking in and watching them. Sometimes funny things will happen though...For example. I've walked in a few times and the mattress looks like this...and Callie is sleeping under the mattress. I realize it's not a Sealy Posturepedic or anything -- but still...she lifts it up and prefers to sleep underneath. Very peculiar.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Easter Sunday 2010

It really is hard to get a picture of the two of these girls together. This is probably our best Easter shot. I forgot to get a picture in their Easter dresses -- bummer!

More candy?!

Enjoying a little whipped cream with Daddy.

Sammy with President Monson ... I mean, Uncle John. Yeah, I'm not sure why this is, but when I point to a picture of Pres. Monson and ask Callie who it is, she says it's Uncle John.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Easter 2010

Getting ready to dye eggs.

Good work Callie. All by herself.

Easter morning (the Easter bunny happens to come on Saturday here) and all the thrill of finding her basket! She's mostly super excited about the tootsie roll in her hand.

And Sammy with her basket.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


So, here's the thing. A girl needs her girls. It's just the way it is. You can love you husband to pieces. You can love your kids so much you want to eat them (though really, isn't that just kind of gross?). But, I have found that I need my girls. I don't need many, but I need some who I can laugh with and be crazy with...who I can just talk to. These two girls just happen to be some of my best girls. Reagan has her hands full with 3 kids (Adriel and the twins are only like...17 months apart?), husband finishing school -- now finished, moving, etc. Marci has her hands full with 2 kids and big time allergies with the one. You all know my story. We all needed a reason to take a break from our little we did. And we met up. It was a short weekend, but it was amazing what it did. We all went home feeling rejuvenated. We ate, we ran, we slept in, we shopped, we laughed, and cried, and talked and talked and talked. I met them freshman year at BYU. That was over 10 years ago now. They are my buds. It was sad to leave them (yes I cried) but I was really excited to see Marcus and my little girls back at home.

Marse and Reggs, just know that I'll eat Thai food with you any day, anywhere...maybe in 2013.

Monday, May 10, 2010


When Analisa was here, she and her friend got a hamster...Callie loved the little hamster. But a few times I was afraid that we were going to have a Of Mice and Men moment. Luckily little Rod lived, but he is currently living in another home while Analisa is gone. If he ever returns, great will be Callie's joy I tell you!

Happy Birthday Marcus

Well, April 5 was a big day here. It was Marcus' 31st birthday. As his BYU school days are officially over, I thought this cake would be appropriate.

Back in early April, Marcus had his

Visiting Visalia

It's been awhile now since I really shared what's going on in our lives. I know our adoring fans (family) want to comes a slew of posts.

About a month ago, we took the family on a visit to the quaint little city of Visalia. Why? Because that's where Uncle Ted, Aunt Peggy, and Hunter, Jackson, and Brayden are. The weekend was so much fun, Callie couldn't handle it. She had to sleep like this (see below) on the way home.

We did some hanging upside down while we were there.

Holding babies.

Watching movies.

Chewing on cups.

And gettin' all cleaned up.

Fun was had by all, except Jenny whose fun was not as grand because, well, I got really sick and threw up. Not so much fun. I stayed in bed a lot. Too bad. We'll have to take the trip again.

Thanks Hauberts.
We love you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Movin' On Up

There have been a few times in my life when I've been in crisis mode. Not crisis because of events that are going on, but because certain events AREN'T going on anymore in my life. When I got home from my mission, shortly after getting married (this in no way reflects my love for dear Marcus), when Samantha was about 11 months and I was getting a tad overwhelmed with her, and actually....recently...I just feel like I'm super boring and OLD. Back in the day, my glory days, I was a hoot, the life of the party. (Or so I thought) My identity was wrapped around the fact that I was a fun (and kind and all that other stuff) person. I was responsible and people called me "mature" for my age -- I really fooled 'em -- but I was fun. F. U. N. fun. I loved making people laugh, I was spontaneous, always up for most anything, threw parties, had egg fights (ouch), went to concerts, danced, contorted my face into really ugly looking faces and we took pictures of those faces, made crazy home videos....I was appropriately crazy. Sure sometimes I was over the top, but as long as we were all laughing, right? hmmm At times I have reflected on my past personality and think "I'm so different." In some ways this is a good thing. But in others -- I miss the Jenny of old. She was fun. She was carefree. She was who I still sometimes think I am, until I realize I'm not. And that's sad. I realize that I'm tired, boring, very scheduled, and practical. Aside from being tired, these aren't necessarily bad things. When I have these realizations, I change things up a bit to try to find old Jenny, and just make her Jenny 3.0 instead of Jenny wipe down the cobwebs and spring clean my soul.

And usually when this happens, I realize that I pretty much love my life, and I'm really not ALL that different. (There's something to be said for maturation, but that's for another day.) I still dance in the kitchen, make funny faces, sing really loud, enjoy a good concert now and again. Instead of making my own crazy home videos, I make our kids do them! I squish up their faces to make them make funny faces. We dance in the kitchen together. Some things haven't changed too much. I love my life.

I came across this video, and not only was I laughing, but it also made me feel great about the stage I'm currently in. Bring on the minivan, because you know the words of Callie, it's just pretty much funky fresh.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mormon Message

I never followed Nie Nie. Many of my friends did. I knew her story. But I didn't follow her blog and all the details of her accident and recovery. I tell you what, though, this woman is incredeible, and there is a reason that thousands follow her, ready to read her uplifting words that she posts on her blog. She is a woman of faith who is a clear example of being a disciple of Christ. Worth the eight minutes, she makes me want to be a better person.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Return of the Potty

So, marathon news to come later, because we have much bigger news tonight folks!

Tonight, after painting her fingernails and toenails purple, and doing the other nighttime routine, I put Callie down to bed. A bit later, I heard a noisy clamor coming from the bedroom. I went in the room to find Callie sitting on the floor by Samantha's bed (who luckily was so knocked out from her sleeping medication -- hallelujah for that stuff!). I flitted over to her side and quietly whispered into her attentive ear that it was time to go to bed, and if she would be so kind, to stay in bed and stop playing with the window shade and pulling the rigged up curtain off the wall and not go into Samantha's bed with her anymore. That's when I noticed she wasn't wearing any pants. Great. I searched around in the dark, found the pants and corresponding diaper, and began to put them on when she sweetly, and really, it was sweet, told me that she had to go potty. Potty?! Did you say Potty?! Ok.

Off she went to the bathroom, put her little seat on the big seat, moved the stool over, pulled her pants down, stepped on the stool, sat down. tinkle tinkle Yes. Welcome to your feature film, Return of the Potty...and we're quite happy over here.

Then off to bed.

So you see, this was very exciting news and details on the 1/2 marathon will come...but tomorrow. I'm very pleased with this progress...and I'm certainly not convinced that she's going back to the potty 100%, but this is a great first step back to where we were. Wahoo for my little girl!


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