Friday, June 29, 2012

The family dog

Pepe jumping on my belly when I was pregnant with Jake
Pepe was the first dog I ever had. I took a shine to the laid back, affectionate, clever, amiable toy poodle breed when I lived with my best friend and her dog, Emmitt, during college. So when the time was right for our family to get a dog, I knew just what kind I wanted.

Little did I know that little three-pounds-of-canine Pepe would steal my heart the way he did. Never having a dog before, it was hard to know these things.

He was neurotic but happy; co-dependent but sure of himself as a vicious protector (much to our amusement). He was our baby, our family mascot of sorts. Puppies have a way of sucking up all the attention in the room and he did that often.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Who's teaching whom?

As parents, we are learning the importance of teaching our children guiding principles that will help shape them to become respectful and respectable adults.  What I am also learning is that sometimes I’m not the teacher.  Sometimes they are the teachers, and I am the student.  My Mom reminds me to listen to my children.  Observe and learn from them. 

Emory, my daughter who is approaching age two, is my Little Miss Independent soul.  She knows exactly what she wants, she goes after it and has no fear in the process.  I find her climbing up on anything that is climbable to get to the goal.  She has stood in the center of our kitchen table getting to what she had her eye on, and daily she utilizes the drawers so that she can climb up to reach what is on the counter top. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A family of six

As I wrote yesterday the seeds of our becoming foster parents were planted years ago, but in early March we finally got the call. I had a two-hour notice that our first placement of two little girls would be showing up on our doorstep at 5 p.m. 

I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn’t have any little girl clothes. I didn’t have any girly sippy cups. What do they like to eat?  Will they like me? Will they like their room? Will they be scared? What do I say to them?

I raced down to our local Target and picked up the basics as quickly as I could. I returned home with a few diapers and pajamas so we could at least get through the night and I would tackle the morning when it came.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I am just like every other Mom you may have passed by at work or in the grocery store. 

I shuffle my two biological boys who are 5 and 11 years old to school, various after school activities, attend field day and taxi them off to church on Sunday and Wednesday nights.

However, one thing that is a bit different about me that people find a bit perplexing is that suddenly overnight, we have two additions to our family.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Much-needed R&R

We recently embarked on a fabulous family beach vacation to Navarre, Florida – self proclaimed as “Florida’s best kept secret.” And it was awesome. About 20 minutes from Destin, Florida, this city was a sleepy little beach town – just right for a family looking to catch some much-needed rest and relaxation. And as a busy, working mother of two, R&R is what I was seeking!

Fact: I am a Planner. I am definitely the Forbus Family’s Recreation Director and Entertainment Guru. However, I didn’t plan a single part of this trip – which is totally unusual for me, and I must admit it was very liberating. …I confess, until I got in the rental SUV, I didn’t officially know where we were going in Florida – I just knew it was going to be a relaxing beach vacation! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kids and snake bites

Have you ever noticed that the largest group at the zoo is gathered around the reptile cage?  Kids are naturally curious about snakes, that is, until an adult can change their minds!

One of my friends tells the story of being “attacked” by her son’s corn snake in the bathroom (never mind that the corn snake is docile, non-venomous, and is common as a pet).  The snake, Sid, had decided to vacation out of his cage, and moved in under a pile of clothes in the bathroom.  Unfortunately, my friend was not told that Sid was AWOL.  As she gathered up the clothes in her arms, she felt “something cold” wrap itself around her arm, and immediately knew what the situation was.  She swung and flung her arms around until Sid landed on the bathroom floor with an audible PLOP.  She stationed herself on the bathroom counter and armed herself with the only thing available…a toothbrush!!  It was a standoff!  The screams from the bathroom sent her husband running and Sid scurrying.  Sid was finally found and returned to his cage without a hiss, and lives there until this very day, cared for and loved by her son.

But what about snakes that are not as harmless as Sid?  Most snakebites occur from April to October during the warmer months, and coincidentally, when more people are enjoying outdoor activities.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Power of Aunts and Uncles

Over Father's Day, two of my brothers offered to take the kids to Six Flags, which allowed my hubby and me to watch a movie that contained no cartoons. Of course, I took them up on their offer.

Both my brothers are not married and don't have kids of their own. My two kids are the only small children in our immediate family, making them the prince and princess of our gatherings. We have extended family with children their age, but this relationship is special.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life realizations

Perfectionist, people pleaser, organized, giving, fast paced, anal, over achiever, outgoing, planner, control freak, aggressive, sensitive.

These are words that I would use to describe myself and for those who know me well, most would agree I’ve hit the nail on the head. Before I had children I was selfish. Life revolved around me and my wants and desires. My husband and I were married for eight years before the birth of our first child and as DINKS (dual income no kids) we lived life large. We traveled and we spent money on ourselves. I had an obsession with Louis Vuitton handbags and diamonds and my husband indulged in my obsession. My husband also had obsessions with watches, motorcycles, and luxury cars.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The fun of firsts

There are many emotions that come along with having a baby.  Many that people tell you about such as the overwhelming love you will feel for this little person and then there are many that are great surprises along the way.  Shelby just turned four months old and many of her “firsts” have brought me such joy that it was at times hard to describe.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Post-surgery analysis

If you’re not one of those people who look for patterns in everything (which is probably a good thing for you), then you probably haven’t noticed that my blog is always posted the third Monday of the month. Last month I spent most of the time talking about our 15-month-old son Elliot’s battle with ear infections. Well, this month’s blog has arrived at an odd time. Just 24 hours ago we were leaving Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano after Elliot’s ear tube surgery. I was hoping that this blog could be a nice contrast between the “old” and “new” Elliot. But alas, I am always a big advocate for making declarations after a large enough sample size, so it would be quite hypocritical of me to declare after only 24 hours that Elliot is a “new” boy.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I just returned home from a memorial service for someone I served with at Texas Health Resources. His life was cut short by a tragic accident. Not only was he a loyal co-worker, but more importantly, he loved God and his family above all else. In addition to his beautiful bride of 20 years, he left behind three young children. During the service, I tried to imagine what great plans they might have been making for Father’s Day, just one week away.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First birthday blues

You never realize how deeply you can love another person or how protective you can become until you have a child. And when you see that same little person sick and helpless, it pulls at your heartstrings – especially when it’s her birthday.

On May 18, “Sugafoot” (my husband’s affectionate nickname for our daughter) turned a year old. Prior to her birthday, people kept asking me, “Do you plan to have a birthday party for her?” For what?! She wouldn’t remember it, half the babies in her daycare class were sick, plus they’d more than likely just look at each other in bewilderment during the birthday party. No; I decided to just make her some cupcakes, get her a birthday hat, some candles and a few gifts and call it a day. I’d take a few photos to cherish the moment, but nothing extravagant. Now on her second birthday, it’ll be a different story.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hair jelly conundrum

I must confess, I get quite excited when the kids go down for a nap on the weekends. With three kids under the age of 5, I could use a 90-minute Mommy break. Let’s be real!

So, this past Sunday I put all 3 kids Jack (5 years), Olivia (4 years), Claire (2 years) down for their nap…..or so I thought.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Learning to swim

Summer is upon us and that means it’s pool season! And though my five year old does not know how to swim and does NOT like putting her face underwater, she does love playing in the water.

We’ve tried a couple of different swim schools. The first was a little too sink-or-swim style for my sensitive girl (or maybe for her momma). She didn’t cry, but as we arrived each night there would be several of the older kids sobbing and sopping, sitting on the edge of the pool, dreading their turn to be prodded into the water. I just don’t believe kids learn well when they’re that miserable. And as far as my daughter went, there wasn’t really enough one-on-one time to inspire her to push forward.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Girl with the Squirrel Tattoo

The squirrel tattoo is never going away.

It serves me right, I suppose. “They have tattoo-removal lasers, Mom,” I said, after she told me that the only people who get tattoos were sailors and guys in prison named Wayne.

But I gave up on those lasers after only two of my possible four $64 tattoo removal sessions (a deal I snatched up on Groupon a few months ago). It hurts too much.

There’s just enough residual squirrel that if someone were looking at my left foot, just below my ankle bone, and cocked their head to the side and squinted their eyes, they might ask, “How’d you get that scar?”

And then I’d have to tell them about the squirrel. It’s a boring story, really.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Shelby’s Arrival

Hello friends!  Since I was jumping back into the blog world I thought I should start with Shelby’s birth story.  I know many of you followed my story through our infertility journey and this February we finally got to meet our sweet girl.

It was a Wednesday evening and I had gone to our bedroom to rest that evening.  My husband Brett came in a little later after my stepson Nathan had gone to bed and we laid there talking about our plans for the weekend.  He was going to take the boys up to his mom’s that weekend and I had a plan to go buy all of the last minute baby items we still needed but had not received since we were right at two weeks out from the scheduled C-section.  As we were chatting, I felt something odd.  As many of you Moms out there know, when you are pregnant your body can do some interesting things that are completely out of your control.  So basically, I was lying thinking “Did I just pee my pants?”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What a Video Started

Recently, my husband sent me a link to a video– it was a cute video of the Harvard University baseball team lip-synching and doing the moves to a popular tune. This is not unusual, he often sends me links he thinks I’ll find interesting or amusing.

Then he sent me several more links. . . to Harvard’s admissions site, to an essay written by a Harvard instructor formerly on the school’s admissions board. These links gave great advice about what Harvard looks for in reviewing their applicants. (It’s not all about the GPA or test scores, folks - though that is important.) Then he sent me a screenshot of what, based on our current incomes/estimated financial ability to help our student, a Harvard education would cost us for one of our boys. I was shocked…and not in the way you’d think (is reverse sticker-shock a thing?).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mom philosophies

A friend of mine recently asked me a question: do I ever stay awake at night worrying that I don't do enough for my kids?

And my response was this: "I try not to. Today is done and tomorrow is another opportunity to get it right. I just do what I can and pray it's enough."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cleaning out the empty nest

I know that summer is almost upon us but I am a little slow.  Spring Clean is a yearly ritual for many of us.  There is that satisfying feeling that I have after the annual clean is complete.  There is no pleasure during the clean and it comes only after much effort and planning.  To make this yearly project more manageable I make a list and love to check it off. 

There is one part of spring cleaning that I don’t have a grasp on: the children’s rooms.  I have six children whose ages range from 39-28.  I can’t believe that they still want me to keep many of their childhood items in place.  I love the fact that their idea of home is for eternity but I am ready to move on.  I have decided that each one will get one large box of memorabilia that will remain in a safe place.  I believe this is fair, can you agree with me? 

Monday, June 4, 2012

What Does the Future Hold?

I had the privilege of watching my oldest nephew graduate from high school this past weekend.  Watching him achieve this milestone in his life was something I will never forget.  He is now an adult, and has no idea what challenges are in front of him.  This, I think, is a wonderful thing.  He will only be this age once, and I remember being carefree at this moment in my life so many moons ago.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cloth diapering and peanut butter poop

Everyone’s favorite question when I mention we use cloth diapers on my 6-month-old, following a thoughtful pause and then a semi-grossed-out-look, is “What do you do when they poop?” This seems to be what people imagine is the most terrifying piece. (Here is where we decided to cloth diaper. Here is where the fun began.) 

Dealing with dirty cloth diapers is really not that scary, in my opinion. We adore BumGenius diapers, and those things contain major poops like no disposable I have ever met. I’ve heard stories from my Mom friends about blowouts that extend all the way up baby’s back, and I have never encountered such a situation with my BGs. If it’s a really full dirty diaper it might occasionally leak, but even then it’s only a spot.