Monday, May 26, 2008

Greetings from Alabama

We have been at our inlaws for a few days and today we're on our way down to Navarre Beach, Florida to stay for the rest of the week...yeehaw!

The boys have been super and we have had a great time with all of Keith's brothers and his sister and their families joining us. There have been 18 (19 including my sister-in-law's little boy on the way!) so it's definitely been a little nuts around here!

The biggest challenge for me has been sticking to the Weight Watchers Core Plan so far! Walking through this house past Mamaw's famous moist homemade pound cake, jars of cookies and a vat of scrumptious homemade mac 'n cheese has almost driven me to the brink of "life-change" disaster. Grilled hamburgers, potato salad, potato chips...ah, the list goes on and on. My mother-in-law is a fantastic cook so I knew it would be my biggest challenge yet but so far I'm hanging in there. In fact, every time I make a conscious choice not to eat something that I'm craving, I feel a little stronger and a little more committed to my goal.

That's something I haven't felt in a long time.

Happy Memorial Day to all those who have served our country. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Trifecta of Happiness

It's about time you heard me pour forth with good news, huh?

For weeks now, you've sat patiently by while I moaned and groaned about the various ills that had befallen our family. None of them life shattering, but just frustrating enough to be gripe-worthy.

But... yesterday three great things happened. Three things that made me jump for joy.

First, we got the call that D. had tested negative. Lemme tell ya, there was some happy dancin' goin' on in this household. Before I got off the phone with the doctor's office, D. was clad in his swimsuit and lookin' for a towel.

Secondly, we GOT A CONTRACT ON OUR HOUSE IN GEORGIA. It's no secret how bad the market is right the fact that we got a contract in less than 2 months is nothing short of a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

And finally, I joined Weight Watchers a week ago so that my hubby and I could go through the program together. Last night was my first weigh-in and I was so nervous. I truly was hoping for two pounds. I felt like I had lost more but didn't dare get my hopes up for fear of becoming discouraged. So, when I got to the desk to weigh-in, I climbed up on the scale and the receptionist said, "wow did you have a good week!" I glanced down at my card and watched her write -6.4 #... I lost six and a half pounds last week! As hard as it was to not stray from the Core Plan (the program we chose), it was rewarding to know that I had achieved my first small goal of losing weight that week. Onward!

So...good news reigned supreme over the past 24 hours of my life. Thanks for being there and for being interested through the good and the bad times. Hopefully, the trend will continue upward!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We Had a Plan... soon as the doctor called with the news that Daniel had tested negative for Shigella, our neighbors knew we would be running across the street, opening the gate and Daniel would immediately jump into the pool to celebrate!

Well, guess what . . .

A Night at the Drive-In

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Monday, May 19, 2008

A Sunday Drive

I'm posting these individually so they can be clicked on and enlarged... if you know of a way to include them all in the same post and have them be able to be viewed larger...please tell me your secret!
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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lookin' Back: May 17, 2007

I've decided that it's kinda cool to look back at my blog and see what was I was writing about on that same day in previous years (since I'm in my third year of blogging). So, from time to time, you may see the post title "Lookin' Back" if I think it's a post I'd like to share with some of my new readers. I love to skim through the archives of blogs that I follow but don't always know where to start!

Hope you all have a great weekend and thanks so much for all your support over these last few weeks. Keep it comin--it really does make the goin' just a little easier!

Here's my post from this same day last year. This is probably one of my favorite pics that I've ever taken. It really did seem like I had stumbled on Paradise...enjoy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm Still Here But Me Nerves, They Were a Frazzlin'

Okey doke, folks...there really must be an end in sight, right?

Don't answer that.

Things were looking up today so I actually relaxed and settled in for a day of rest, renewal and mental restoration.'re not buying it, are you?

Baby J. has been a fussy fuss-pot all. day. long and I can tell that the antibiotics that they have been injecting him with for the past three days are taking a toll on his tummy. He's eating maybe 3 out of every 6 ounces and knocks the bottle away the first moment he's had "enough."
I must say that the incessant whine of his cry is a little much sometimes-- only because I would give anything to know what is hurting him at that exact moment.

But, I have to tell you...(and she'll probably kill me for doing so)...about the impeccable timing of the lovely Stacey over at Happy are We. Just prior to our last "incident" of the day, the doorbell rings and I see a blur of a man clad in brown jump in a UPS truck and drive away. There, sitting on my front porch, was a box that read ProFlowers. Inside, compliments of Stacey and her family, were twelve of the most beautiful gerber daisies I have ever seen. There are kind deeds and then there are those little surprises in life that fuel us to go a little longer, to give a little more and to get through what happened ten minutes later as my infant child once again deposited the full contents of his belly upon my person and my furniture.

Friendship, timing, thoughtfulness, frazzled nerves and the kindness of a fellow blogger...such were the ingredients of this day--a day that, when mixed all together, actually didn't turn out so bad!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Well, Funville Just Transitioned into "Oh-Yeah-I'm-Having-a Blastville"

I know better than to utter the words "it can't get much worse." But I can certainly think it.

This morning, 8:45am, I get a call from the doctor's office saying that D's results are still out. I hang up in utter frustration only to discover that Baby J. is looking pale and is burning up. I take his temp (which normally runs 98 or so) and he has a fever of 101. He then proceeds to begin projectile vomiting. I call the dr. back and they tell me to bring him in.

Fast forward to a cramped, freezing cold exam room with a bored-to-tears 6-year old playing with a toy truck (insert sound effects here) "Vrrooooooooooom, vrrrrooommmmmmmmmm..." and a 5-month old wiggling and screaming in my arms. Couple that with the deafening screams from the child in the next room and you've got one stressed mama on your hands.

To sum it up, Baby J. had to have blood drawn (ouch--stick-scream) and a shot of anti-biotic in his thigh (ouchhh-another stick-more screaming). As I was holding him down and asking D. to quit reading "Green Eggs and Ham" outloud at the top of his lungs, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. "It can't get much worse," I thought to myself. That's when the door opened and a remorseful-looking nurse with a clipboard walked in and said, "I really don't want to tell you this right now."

My heart sunk.

"D.'s labs just came in and...he has once again tested positive for Shigella."

That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I had reached the point of no return as my emotions came flooding forth. I listened as the doctor outlined D's continued treatment including him not being able to return to school. Period. I realized that he would not get to be with his new friends to finish out the year and that he would miss ice cream day and flip flop day and Field Day...the trifecta of happiness in a kindergartener's world.

So, we loaded up our things and headed back to the house (by way of the pharmacy, of course) where I would once again feel trapped with no end to the madness in sight. D. can not be with other kids, cannot go to a park or any other place where he might transfer germs inadvertantly. Baby J. has once again thrown up all over me, had some mild diarrhea and has fever--causing the doctor who just called some alarm that he might, too, have been infected with Shigella.

I am to go back to the dr. tomorrow to get J. another anti-biotic shot and to turn in a sample from him to be cultured.

This, too, shall pass. Of that, I am sure. But, in the midst of all the crazy, it feels like it will go on for a blue forever.

Please feel free to send notes of encouragement to:

Katie, The High Priestess of Crazy
123 Looney Bin Lane
Oh-Yeah-I'm-Having-a-Blastville, Tennessee


Monday, May 12, 2008

Welcome to Funville, I'm Katie and I'll Be Your Host

My child has been out of school since last Tuesday with a reported parasite (I just love that word, don't you? It's so refreshing and pleasant...parasite. MMmmmm.) Anyhoo-- we are STILL waiting on the results of his latest culture so that we can find out if it's negative giving him the "all clear" to return to school.

So, we go to the doctor this afternoon and, surprise of all surprises, the results are still inconclusive. In fact, the doctor said, "that's actually not so good because that's exactly the report we got right before he was diagnosed last week. That could mean it's still growing something."

Still growing something? No, that's not alarming in the slightest.

And, while we were there (actually, the REASON we were there) the doctor checked out Baby J. and discovered not one, but TWO ear infections. No wonder he's been Mr. Whiny McWhinerton for the past 24 hours. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in and we'll have our happy baby back!

Now, on a lighter note, here are some pics from Mother's Day in the Roses are Red household:

With a couple of sick youngins, we couldn't go anywhere. So, the hubs fixed up an indoor picnic with chicken salad, strawberries, deviled eggs and fresh flowers. It was a nice way to dine with my boys! (the best part were the "nature sounds" he downloaded on iTunes to simulate the outdoors...very cool...)

D-man dressed himself complete with a long sleeve shirt and Christmas tie. I sure do love my handsome lil' fella.

I believe that Baby J. had had his fill of the Mother's Day festivities.

A close-up of my beautiful flowers...

And finally, one of my favorite shots taken of the lone sunflower in my arrangement:

Enjoy and keep our boys in your prayers. Hopefully, we'll all be on the mend soon!

The Times, They are a Changin' (or Prayers that My Son Doesn't End Up on a Paternity-Test Talk Show One Day)

I thought I wouldn't have to have this discussion until my child was much closer to stubborn acne and a voice change.

My 6-year old kindergartener had 2 girls come up to him at school and say "hey--do you think we're sexy?"


So then I get the question, "Mom, what does sexy mean?"

::crickets chirping::

"Well, honey, um, er, it means that someone is trying to be noticed and they may try to dress, well, um...oops, I think something's burning on the stove."

Lawddddddd help me. Shouldn't I have years to prepare for this?

A couple days later, D. starts singing a familiar song. It goes "_______ and ________ sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes ________ with a baby carriage. Only, he inserts his name and the name of five girls one of whom is Hannah Montana.

I am so in trouble.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We Have a Winner...or Four of 'Em, Actually

Thanks to all who entered the Mother's Day Giveaway...and I hope everyone is having a nice, relaxed day! Thank you, too, for sharing a little about your faith. I am inspired by your stories and appreciate you taking the time to share!

The winners of the CD Giveaway are:
Shannon P.
Mama Razzi

If you are one of the lucky gals and did not provide contact information, please click here to send me an email with your mailing address.

and thanks to all for stopping by!

Friday, May 09, 2008

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's...a GIVEAWAY!

With Mother's Day this weekend, I thought I'd do a little giveaway. But, even better than that, I get a chance to spotlight one of my favorite new bands--Anvue!

The minute I heard this L.A.-based Christian duo, I fell in love with their upbeat, folksy style. In fact, Sarah's voice reminds me a little of Norah Jones--very soothing. They describe their music as "driven by acoustic guitar with soulful alternative/folk rock melodies that are filled with hope & love."

And, the cool part is that they are sending me four CDs to giveaway for Mother's here's what to do:

1) Leave a Comment on this post through 11:59pm Saturday night (Central US time).

2) Be sure to include your email if you're commenting anonymously

3) If you are a Mom (or a Dad!), I'd love it if you'd mention one way that your relationship with Christ helps you be a better parent (**but you don't have to be a parent to enter...the giveaway is open to everyone!)

I'll randomly select four winners and will announce them here on Mother's Day. Believe me, you won't be disappointed...Anvue's music is truly inspiring!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

And Then She Decided it Was Time to Post Some Pictures of the Youngins!

My 6-year old toothless wonder...

My 5-month old toothless wonder

D-man hangin' out on a rainy day

Tummy time with Baby J.--ah, that little smile!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How in the World Do You Pronounce That?!

It's pronounced Shi-gell-uh. Shigella. It's what D. has been diagnosed with, finally.

After hounding the pediatrician's office for 2 days to get the results, I was told that the lab work showed he had contracted Shigella--a parasitic infection akin to E.Coli but treatable with antibiotics.

Has anyone ever heard of this?

Apparently, it affects the large intestine and is very, VERY contagious. Happy joy. "He musn't be around other children." Oh, so NOW you tell me. It would have been nice to find that out BEFORE he went to school for two days this weeks. I'm just sayin'.

So, Typhoid Mary of the Kindergarten World is home with me for the rest of this week and possibly half of next. He has absolutely NO symptoms (which, incidentally, is why I sent him to school Monday and yesterday) and is as energetic as ever. Combine this energy with a love for his little brother and then require that I keep them from touching each other. Whoa nelly, what a day it was.

Did you know it's next to impossible to monitor the every move of an oh-so-mobile-and-non-sick-feeling 6-year old boy? Where is he going? What is he touching? Who is he touching? Did he go to the bathroom? Did he wash his hands?

It's exhaussssssting.

We are blasting him wth antibiotics and will have to do a stool culture (you weren't eating, were you?) on Thursday and one again on Saturday to make sure they are negative before he can return to school.

Please keep him in your prayers... this, too, shall pass!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

4 years ago today...

We had stayed up late the night before practicing what Keith would say. If the judge grilled him on why we were looking to adopt, he knew the answer: we wanted to be parents more than anything in the world. We wanted to give a child with no parents a loving home. All the endless possibilities of questions that he might ask were addressed and we went to bed and barely slept a wink.

The next day, May 6, 2004, we got dressed...trying our best not to burn our clothes with the iron and electrical settings to which we were not yet accustomed.

The ride to the courthouse was a quick one and we were led into a dusty hallway to sit and wait. The stark walls and shabby interior reminded us that we were light years away from home and completely at the mercy of a people whose language we did not understand.

I went through the laundry list of Russian courtroom etiquette in my head. We were to stand when the facilitator looks at us. Keith would speak only when spoken to. We would both smile and look the judge in the eye. Keith would talk slowly so the interpreter could relay the information.

Our nerves were shot before we even stepped into the courtroom.

Soon, it was our turn and we were asked to come in. I took the picture above just as we were getting ready to walk down the long hallway. This was it. This is our chance to be a mother and father to our precious boy. "Do not screw this up, Katie," I thought to myself.

After thirty minutes of Keith being grilled on everything from his desire to be a parent to our time with Daniel, he asked Keith why we liked this "American football" and what we would do with the child while we attended the games. Keith calmy replied, "we will buy him a ticket!" The members of the court laughed and, luckily, a bit of the tension subsided.

Just when we thought it was over, the judge asked me to stand. Me? We had been told that the women never stand...they never ask them to testify. Why was I being asked to stand? I had not thought of anything to say. We had not practiced this. Inside, my guts went on a 30-second roller coaster ride and I braced my hand on the front of the bench where I was seated.

After stating my name, I looked to the facilitator to see what question I would be asked. I looked back at the judge and tried to read his expression as he spoke. He was matter-of-fact and serious in tone. My hands started to quiver and I felt weak in the knees. Finally, the interpreter spoke.

"He would like to know why you would like to be a parent," she said in a thick Russian accent.

Suddenly, my mind was racing...filled with images of home study documents, medical reports, questionnaires about my all hung in the balance.

Tears filled my eyes and my voice cracked as I spoke:

"I want to be a parent so that I can give a child that has no home two parents who will love him and teach him that he has a family that will never leave him--no matter what. I want him to have the same wonderful experiences that we had growing up and to be able to provide him with a lot of love and laughter."

I could no longer contain my emotions. Months of fees and paperwork, medical tests, caseworkers visiting our home, and two trips to Russia and we were finally to this point. All the worrying about how to cover the costs and wondering if we would ever see this day. It all culminated at that one moment. The judge took a brief recess and returned to his chambers to deliberate our fate.

Thirty minutes later, the verdict was in: adoption granted.

We were now the proud parents of a little boy with the biggest brown eyes we had ever seen. He was our child to raise, to love, to encourage and to watch grow into the determined, talkative, brilliant goofball he is today.

We love you, Daniel. Four years ago today our lives changed for the better. Thank you for letting us be your Mama and Daddy. We are the luckiest people in the world.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Miracle Monday

OK, so I was inspired by Beth's Miracle Monday I thought I'd share one of my own.

After we adopted D. from Russia, I went to work for the adoption agency we had used. Mistake. Big mistake. Right from the beginning, I sensed that I was not employed by the most ethical of people. Let me back up and say that D.'s adoption went very smoothly and was done "by the book." But, after getting a "behind the scenes" taste of the company, I realized the facilitator we used (which happened to be the parent company of our agency) did not have the best reputation.

So, I was pretty much miserable. Every day.

D. was in child care and, to make matters worse, my hubby and I were commuting an hour and a half ONE WAY every day because his company had been bought out and his new position was north of Atlanta--and we were south. Every day, I would get in the car at 5:00pm and cry all the way home. I despised my job, I hated the commute and the fact that I never got to see the child that I had traveled halfway cross the world to find.

Something had to change.

So, one night, I couldn't sleep. All I could do was pray. I prayed hard. I asked God to make it possible for me to have a job where I could be at home with my son yet still contribute to the financial needs of our family. I laid in bed wide awake perusing my mental Rolodex for anyone in my past that might be able to point me in the right direction. At one point, I thought about an old friend that I hadn't spoken to in at least 6 years. He and I had worked for different associations in the same industry and had come to know each other by sharing ideas and seeing each other at random industry conferences. His name is Craig and, as far as I knew, he still lived in Alabama.
I quickly dismissed that idea because I hadn't the confidence to phone someone up and say "hey-- you need someone to plan events for you? Someone that is working at an adoption agency and wants to work for you out of her house?"

The next morning, I went to work as usual...resigned to the misery of our current situation. I went through my day on autopilot, pining for the time to come when we would once again climb in our vehicle and sit in traffic for nearly 2 hours with our child waited on the other end of town. As was custom, I broke down into tears and told my hubby that I didn't think I could do it anymore.
Then my cell phone rang. I dug into my purse to pull it out and saw an Alabama area code with an unfamiliar number.

"Hello?, " I answered.

"Katie?," said the voice on the other end of the line.

"This is Katie."

"Hey, Katie, this is a blast from your past. This is your old pal Craig. How are ya?"

I felt confused. Craig? How did he? Why was he? How ironic that he would call after I had just thought of him the night before. I looked over at my husband with a look of total bewilderment.

"Katie, I know this sounds a little odd. But, I was wondering if you were working right now and whether or not I could interest you in an opportunity."

This was not happening. Couldn't be.

"Sure, whatcha got?," I anxiously replied while trying to not let on about my utter surprise.

"Well, I'm still with the same association and I'm looking for someone to plan our events and meetings but preferably from their home."

There is no way that he said what he just said.

"Are you kidding me?," I replied in an obviously stunned voice.

Knowing that Craig was a fellow Christian I relayed the story of the past 24 hours to him and he was as blown away as I was. His explanation was that I had "come to mind" the night before and he thought it might be something I'd be interested in doing.

Some speak of this thing called coincidence. I speak of miracles. There is no other explanation for what happened on that January day in 2005. God heard my prayer and it was answered. I am still employed by them today and could not be happier.


Check out other Miracle Monday stories over at Beth's place...and feel free to share one of your own!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Briefest of Memoirs

I was tagged by Missy over at It's Almost Naptime! about 50 bazillion days ago to do this and (I'm so sorry, Missy) I forgot to post it here. By the way, if you haven't discovered her jewel of a blog, go check it out. Good stuff!

The challenge is to describe yourself in 6 words. I finally took a stab at it:

Undeserving, but nonetheless forgiven and loved.

Ok, it's my turn to tag...

Amber and MamaRazzi

Update on D-Man

Well, a couple days later finds us well in the Bodiford household with a wonderful weekend under our belt! Whoda thunk that we would have had a wonderful, relaxing Saturday after the events of Friday afternoon?

D. awoke yesterday morning feeling great and with everything (I won't go into specifics) in check. All is back to normal and he has certainly returned to being his gregarious self. We are mighty relieved but still interested to see what the test results are from Friday. We should find out something Monday afternoon at the latest.

Thank you for the calls, comments and emails we've received. It's reassuring to know so many folks care!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Mama on Da Brink

Last night was one of those nights.

Baby J. couldn't breathe very well since he was so congested so we had him in the room with us. Then, at 1:30am, I feel a familiar tug on my shoulder...


I jostle awake to find the silouhette of my six-year old standing by my bed.

"Yes, baby?"

"My tummy hurts. I'm havin' the diarrheas." (More than one?!)

I get him some medicine and take him back to his room where I proceed to lay down in his other bed for awhile.

3:30am...crying from our bedroom downstairs. I pad my way down the steps to find Keith trying to comfort Baby J. I fix him a couple ounces to tide him over til' morning, feed him and lay back down at 4:15am.

4:30am: "Mommy?" Now, unless Baby J. has bypassed crawling and walking and is now speaking coherantly, D. has returned.

5:00am finds a foursome sacked out in our bed. That is, until the alarm goes off.

Our day begins.

Skipping all the gory details to spare the sensitivities of the more fragile members of my readership (which includes me by the way!), suffice it to say, Daniel was not well today in the potty department. I wasn't overly concerned until I saw blood (sorry) Lots of it. The pediatrician wanted to see him immediately.

Fast forward to a brightly-lit exam room, a child on the table kicking his legs back and forth and asking--over and over-- whennnnnnnnnn is the doctor going to come in???? How longgggggg is it going to be? A five-month old in my arms wiggling and bucking like he's on the electric bull at Gilly's or trying to channel his inner Greg Luganis by doing a swan dive backwards out of my arms. He then proceeds to spit up all over the front of my shirt as the doctor walks in. I announced, "you are witnessing a Mama on the brink!" She understood and got to examinin'.

Bottom line? We must wait an entire (grueling) weekend to find out if D. has an E. Coli infection. It could also be salmonella or one or two other long, consonant-laden words I can't recall. I came home and did stool samples--reaffirming that I had made the correct choice when switching majors from nursing to marketing in college.

Now we must wait. Wait and keep a very active young boy from overdoing it and push liquids into his system continuously.

I'm trying to keep a sunny disposition, I swear I am. But I can't help but be a little worried, y'all.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Hot Tamales

The boarding doors are closed and once again, we're packed like sardines in a metal airborne tube.

Both members of the little Hispanic couple next to me are short and compact...he with his dusty cowboy boots and a handlebar mustache and she stuffed into an olive green suit with a slicked back ponytail that shines in the glow of the pinlight above her head. Holding hands, whispering sweet nothings, they are hidden away in the last row--their little love nest--also known as Row 38, seats D and E.

His boots come off and I can't help but smile at the sight of his short little toes wiggling around in little white socks. They feast together on an airline meal of grapes, crackers and cheese...acting as if they are not in the back of an airplane but instead tucked away in a cozy, romantic booth in a very fine restaurant.

He's smooching her cheek again.

I shall call them the Hot Tamales...this cute little twosome beside me.

They make me smile.