Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Flexible Jobs and Being A Mom!

It's difficult to find a "work from home" job, and even more difficult to work a rigid schedule with two kids (plus my nieces means 4).  In the fall of 2012, I was looking to enter back into the work force, but one thing after another kept me from doing so.  Finally, earlier this year I chose to homeschool, which meant working outside of the home was not possible! 

In February, a close fellow adoptive parent friend of mine added me to a group on her Facebook where she was showing these amazing before and after photos of people!  I'm a skeptic, so I just watched, googled, youtubed, watched... then finally, I took the leap and joined into the fun! 

I started my CRAZY WRAP business through It Works! Global, Inc. in mid-February, and I haven't regretted it or looked back!  I make my own hours, I meet new people, I HELP people transform their health and wealth... and I reap the benefits both physically and fiscally!  :) 

Here are my before/after pictures from my stomach and legs.  So excited to share the changes in my body.  If you're interested comments are welcome.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Homeschool, New Job, Extra Family... OH MY!

Where to begin.  So much seems to happen between blogging.  I've really slacked, and I need to get back into the swing of updating you all.  So apologies in advance. 

Let's start with Extra Family!   So I'm sure you will recall about a year ago I posted that they girls had a new baby sister born and placed with their younger brother's adoptive family.  She is now adopted too by them!  She is just the sweetest baby.  A glimpse of how life could have been different for my girls if they weren't victims of horrible circumstance.  Then in November of 2012, my sister and her three children relocated here to NC to live with us.  It was an adjustment, but we love being one big family.  The girls had a tough time at first, but then realized they get to have cousins to play with, and they have since gotten used to our bigger family dynamic.  We are presently in the process of building a larger house so all of the kids can have their own bedrooms. 

Moving on to Homeschool.  We chose to bring the girls home and school them.  After feeling like I was medicating MK just to get her through the school day and Layla was lacking the one-on-one attention she needed in some areas, we chose to homeschool instead.  It's really going great and the attachment aspect of it has been wonderful for the girls.  We spend time with several local homeschool groups and we love doing co-op classes.  Then we also explore and learn on our own.  It's very nice to make our own schedule. 

I started my own business working from home and I am a distributor for It Works! Global.  I LOVE THIS COMPANY!  We carry natural supplements for weight loss and health support.  Plus we carry these AWESOME wraps that can aid you in losing inches, tightening, toning, and firming in those trouble areas.  I use the products myself and I'm just beyond thrilled with my results.  After years of struggling in the weight loss department... I feel so empowered.  Here are some of my results and some updated pictures of the girls!  If you're interested in learning more about the wraps you can check out my facebook page  Wrapped Slim Facebook Group or My Company Site for Wrapped Slim!

 After one wrap

 After two wraps

Monday, May 28, 2012

Those PROUD Mom Moments

My girls do make me proud often.  I need to remember to visit their school and classes more often to remind myself of how AWESOME they are.  They behave, they listen, and they are very smart.

As we end the school year, I am reminded of when they first came and Layla had previously been thrown out of daycare, she didn't know her ABC's or how to count to 10, and I was scared she was going to be very far behind in class.  I am so happy my fears were not met in reality!  She is so smart!  She reads, writes, does basic math, she can count to 100 and keep going.  I am very proud of her accomplishments this year.  For a girl who went through a ton of change, she came out shining like the sun!   In July she will start the first grade, and I know it will be just as great!   I should also add that she comes home with a positive report every day.  We've had a few minor things but they are so normal for a Kindergartener I don't even care.  I know she is one of the better behaved kids in class, especially after chaperoning a field trip last week where I couldn't believe how unruly some of her classmates were.  I am so proud of her!  Here are a few shots from the field trip.

Makayla ended this school year on a high note as well.  Since she is only in 2nd grade, they didn't have any state testing, but they did do testing to prepare them for 3rd grade and measure their knowledge.   I am so impressed with my girl.  She might be the girl who rocks, fidgets, and blurts out things, but she is also one smart little lady.  On the math portion of the test, she scored a 93% (A- or 4- where we live).  She was in the top of the class as far as her score went.  As for the reading portion, she scored a 98% (A+ or 4+) and her score was the highest in her entire class.  I was so proud of her when I found this out at my conference last week, but more importantly, she was very proud of herself!   We do have some work to do in the area of writing, she has a difficult time focusing and giving detail to her writing.  She tends to "bottom-line" everything in a summary instead of truly detailing what happened.   We're working on this at home though, and I am already seeing progress. 

Last Friday was Makayla's end of the year music performance.  She was very nervous, but did just fine.  Here are a few pictures of her with her class.  She is on the back row (tallest of course).

I am so proud... I can't believe the change in my girls, and the amazing little ladies they are growing to be. 

We took some family shots at a local park in support of unconventional families across North Carolina.  I can't wait to see the final product, but these are a few we took with my phone after the professional shoot, and I think they turned out very cute. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Becoming a CASA

I'll admit I've felt a little out of sorts over the last year.  Leaving my awesome job, moving, helping the girls heal more, and working on finding my role in my own life has been hard.  I wish I could go back to work full-time but it just is not feasible at this point.  The girls have appointments to work around, track out, etc. and I would virtually work to pay for their child-care and camps. 

With that said, I need to do something.  I need to fill this time without a "job" with something I feel passionate about.  I want to go back to work one day when the demands of our family are less, and I hope I am able to pursue something in the human services field, and have considered getting my degree as a LCSW.  

In the meantime, I just sent in my application to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).  I feel that I can help children, share my knowledge, and support families.  

I will post more when I know more! 

Baby Backlash!

So it has been a few weeks since we found out the girls have a new baby sister.  She is growing fast and I am excited to see her again.  Layla has done very well since our visit, and any mention of her baby sister is a happy one.  Layla likes being my baby girl.  She doesn't want baby "Sissy" to live here with us... because that would be the ultimate distraction from her. 

MK on the other hand, has dealt with the news in a much different way.  In hind-sight I saw the signs and didn't put the pieces together until I was sitting with her therapist talking about what all has happened since meeting "Sissy".  MK had become very disconnected from me.  Making very passive comments and just generally being disrespectful, which is very out of character for her.   I realize that this brought up a lot of "stuff" about her, her birthmom, her past, her future...

I confronted MK while driving home with her (Layla was with her dad).  I asked her if she was angry at me because I didn't "fight" to have the baby live with us.  She quickly admitted that I was exactly correct.  I explained once again that having the baby with us was not an option.  Because she is in foster care, and we live out of the area, we can not legally bring her to live with us.  Plus, she is with the girl's brother's family, and they are like extended family to us at this point.  MK admitted that the baby reminds her of the good times.  When Layla was a baby, before the drugs, and abuse, she was happy, and she remembers that.   The other unfortunate thing, is that we now know mom is not making better choices.  She is young, younger than I am, and I know that sadly this baby will not be her last, and it is just a matter of time before another baby comes into care. 

It sucks... to know that a piece of my girls is missing for them.  That they can't live with all of their siblings.  Even though we keep contact, it is still so hard for them.  We will continue to do the best we can with the cards we were dealt though.  We love our "extended" family and are so grateful to keep that connection for our girls. 

Since the realization that MK is having a hard time, I've committed myself to showing her more individual attention, no matter how hard that is at times.  That push away she does to me... I just have to ignore it!

We will get back to normal just in time for something else to happen... because that is what keeps our life interesting! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Human Rights!

Yes, I live in NC, no I am not proud of that in light of our state's "Marriage" amendment passing.  How does a state have the right to tell anyone they are not allowed to marry their partner, no matter the sexual orientation?  How does a voter choose to strip away benefits from families just because their heterosexual parents co-habitat and are not legally married? 

It makes me sick to think of all of the close minded people in this world.  The people who say, "If you are a man and can marry a man, what's to stop you from marrying a dog?"  Come on... let's be serious!  I can't even believe someone let those words flow out of their mouth. 

I think the thing that starts to frustrate me more than anything though is when an adoptive family opposes homosexuals adopting, or marrying. Or saying a child deserves a mother AND a father. 

I come from a family of divorce, my father cheated on my mother...  I am no better off with or without him in my life.  If my mom were a lesbian, I don't think she would have "turned" me into a lesbian. 

I also say to those people opposing homosexual adoption... what about that little girl, who the men she trusted molested her?  Do you think she deserves to be forced into a male/female home?  Or should she be allowed to live with a mother who helps her feel comfortable and fearless, and able to relax and heal?  Even if that mother is a lesbian. 

While we're on the topic...  why do these close minded people think gay men are child molesters?  When I look at the pedophiles in my area... would you believe they were ALL men who preyed upon girls?  Not boys. 

I know some of the most wonderful homosexual couples and individuals.  They are kind, and hard working, and compassionate.  They have struggled to find their personal identity in ways that we can't imagine, all because society made them feel like they weren't "normal".   They have fought to be parents to children in desperate need for families, no matter the sexual orientation, to love them, and support them. 

I'm just disgusted by the voters in our state who supported this amendment.  So disgusted. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Baby Sister

Well, now that things have settled down I guess I will blog about it.  A week ago I got a message from our daughters bio-brothers adoptive mom.  (Did you follow that?)  

She asked me to call her immediately.  I thought maybe she had something to tell me about their new daughter placed as an adoptive placement about a month ago.  What she told me instead was that she had a 2 day old baby girl coming to her that night.  That 2 day old baby girl is the 100% biological sister to her sons and my youngest daughter (1/2 sister to my oldest daughter). 

I guess we knew it might happen eventually, but it still came as a shock.  Sadly, it confirmed birthmom still is making poor choices and isn't doing much better.

We told the girls at dinner that night.  They were excited, concerned, confused, just a mixture of emotions.  MK said it wasn't fair, we should have the baby since they already have two babies... but we explained we like our family just the way it is. 

We quickly planned to go see her, and we went Saturday for a day trip to VA to meet her. 

She is so sweet.  So tiny, 5lbs 9oz.  She looks SO much like Layla, but has MK's nose. 

She's beautiful, and our girls have a little sister and we have a little niece.  I am so thankful we will get to be a part of her life. 

I can't share many pics because they all have her sweet face, but here are a couple.