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Family Life (79) Surrogacy (66) Rachael (43) So Sayith... (22) Justin (16) Jordan (14) Taylor (12) Elijah (5) Nerdness (3) Adoption (2)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

So Sayith Tay, Jay, and Eli #11

Camping Edition:

What was the best part about camping?

Taylor: I got to hang out with grandma and grandpa

Jordan: Mines is that I got cuddle time with grandma in her tent
Elijah: Playing

What was the worst part about camping?

Taylor: That I was on a rock and I tripped and I fell in the water

Jordan: That it was windy
Elijah: Nothing

What was the grossest part about camping?

Taylor: When I was cleaning the fish and there was blood

Jordan: me too!
Elijah: Nothing

Tell me the funniest story you can think of about our camping trip.

Taylor: That Elijah had to pee in the lake

Jordan: That Taylor almost fell in the water when we were camping and that my knees got all wet and covered in dirt
Elijah: I didn't have any jokes that were funny to me.  It's not funny to me.

What did you do all day when you were camping?

Taylor: Talk to Garrett

Jordan: Ok a little bit of roasting marshmallows and talking to Garrett
Elijah: Do nothing.

What did daddy do all day when we were camping?

Taylor: Fishing at 4 pm in the morning

Jordan: Sleep
Elijah: Nothing

What did mommy do all day when we were camping?

Taylor: She had cuddle time

Jordan: Stay outside and not stay in the tent when I was sick
Elijah: Nothing

Where was the funnest place you went while camping?

Taylor: The place I got the rocks

Jordan: Ice Cream
Elijah: I don't know what to choose.  The ice cream place

What did you miss most while camping?

Taylor: My Scooby Dooby Blanket

Jordan: My playroom
Elijah: My toys, like a lot of toys.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Pizza Puzzle

I like food.  I especially like free food.  If you know me than this is not new information.  If you don't know me I'm surprised you are reading this - Hello stranger, welcome to my brain - continue at your own risk.

So on Monday I got an email from ZPizza to tell me I could buy 1 get 1 free small pizza! So for $10 I could get 3-4 lunches out of that thing.  Yes please!

My pizzas were amazing and I ate my 4 slices (leaving 12 more).  I stuck the remaining slices all into 1 of the pizza boxes, tossed the extra box, and stuck the pizza in the fridge to enjoy for the rest of the week.

So here we are today.  I go to get a couple slices of my amazing pizza for a late breakfast and discover 4 slices in the box.  I ponder the reason 8 slices of pizza are missing.  I figure I only THOUGHT I combined all the pizzas to 1 box and by mistake threw away the other pizza.  SO sad.  I like food.  I do not like throwing away good food.

Fast forward to a little later in the day and I go to get my final 2 pieces for lunch.  As I am eating them I am realizing the pizza is much more spicy than I remember.  I look down to see pepper flakes on it.  Now I know for a fact that these were NOT there before and I did NOT add them.  So I ponder again. 

I think somebody claimed my pizza! Somebody ate my other pizza.  Somebody intended to eat what was remaining (hence the added pepper flakes).  But who?  Who would eat somebody's leftovers - some stranger's leftovers.  Of course my head pictures this stranger to be a sneaky/greasy black and white villain like Boris Badenov.

And because I pictured the pizza thief in this way - I should be grossed out about the greasy black and white culprit touching my food, and I assume NOT washing their hands before doing so, then putting the pizza back in the box for me to eat.

But since I didn't ponder these ponderings until the pizza was done I figure it's too late to be grossed out.  But beware...there is pizza bandit on the loose - and now I don't have delicious lunch for my last 2 days this week.

Monday, June 27, 2016

K F C Pee

So the title of this blog is K F C Pee.  I'd like to start by saying the KFC and the Pee are not actually related in any way other than they are funny stories I wanted to share.

Story 1: KFC

Let's start with KFC.  Now, us seasoned members of society know that K.F.C. is an acronym for Kentucky Friend Chicken (ignoring the fact they tried to change the name to something else).  But imagine you are young child learning to read.  Sounding out words and trying to make sense of the mess that is the English Language.

So when you see a building named KFC you naturally try to sound that out.  And all your parents hear in the front seat is Kuh-Fuh:K over and over and over again.  And naturally your parents freak out that you are cursing in the back seat of the car only to realize you are trying to "read" KFC.

Story 2: Pee

When you are 6 and excited to go fishing on Papa's boat for the first time your parent's will tell you to go to the bathroom before you go.  And obviously you will ignore them and insist you do not need to go.  An hour or so into the boat/fish ride you will suddenly have to go NOW or you might explode.  And your papa will tell you to stand up and pee into the water.

Now if you are a 6 year old scardy-cat (like my son) you will find standing up in the boat terrifying (you are barely OK with sitting in the boat with your death grip on the side).  Your mom will assure you she will hold you.  You will drop your shorts, crying the entire time until the flow begins.  Than you will laugh hysterically as you get to pee into the water, outside, breeze blowing and all.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Get Out of Here!

When we planned a vacation over a year ago there was no thought of Justin being in school any time soon.

So, unfortunately, Justin had his finals week for all his ONLINE classes the week we were in the middle of nowhere with no internet or cell phone reception.

It also happened to be the same week he was officially no longer on church staff making it very difficult to hand off all of his responsibilities to the new guy (if you are reading this - sorry Steven we hope the hand off wasn't as horrible as it felt).

All of that to say Justin spent most of our vacation in front of his laptop writing papers (SUPER grateful my dad brought a generator to keep it charged) and reading books - a lot of books.  My grandparents had a hotel room about 15 minutes away and they let  him use the WiFi a few times to turn in those papers.



The "big day" was Wednesday - take all the online finals and submit his final papers.  My grandparents talked to us about that day long before our trip to ensure that we would be allowed to use the room for most of that day to get it all done. Here is what actually happened:

Tuesday:

  • My grandma lets us know that they haven't been adjusting well (higher altitude) and decided to head home a day early (Leaving Wednesday instead of Thursday).  
  • However, she had talked to the hotel manager and they knew Justin would be there on Wednesday to do his finals.  
  • She left us a key to the room.


Wednesday:

  • We arrive at the hotel and the room is being cleaned so we sit outside and chat for awhile.
  • The cleaning lady leaves and we go in.
  • Justin takes his tests while the kids and I head out for lunch.
  • We get back and Justin is still taking his tests.  The kids watch TV and I take a nap.
  • I wake up and Justin is finishing a test.  I decide I should go to the front office to check what the latest is we can be there.
  • The hotel manager looks shocked when I ask her the question.  "We already gave that room to somebody else? They were supposed to be here about an hour ago...you've been in there the whole time?"
  • Uh...yeah...
  • I tell her what my grandparents told me and she said she thought they checked out since she left the room key (the 2nd copy).  
  • I tell her I'll get everyone out and she says we can use the WiFi still from the car if we need it.
  • I race to the room (somebody else's room) and tell everyone to hurry and get out.  We scramble around making sure everything looks nice and un-used.
  • We make it to our car about 10 minutes before the couple arrives.  We are parked right outside the room so we can see them walk in... the whole time I'm just hoping we didn't leave a stray shoe or something
  • Justin finishes his test in the car an we head back to camp
  • Taylor asks, "why were we stealing somebody's room???"
Good times.

On a side note.  I LOVE my man!  He is working his butt off to finish this degree and making a lot of sacrifices along the way.  The kids and I "miss" him as he spends 40-50 hours a week reading, writing, and studying.  AND he's about to add extra classes on top of that starting tomorrow so in the end he can do what he loves: Teach Music and work in Youth/Music ministry.

ALSO - He got straight A's for his 2nd semester in a row :)

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Ice Chest Dilemma

So if you are friends with us on Facebook, you know we just spent a week in the sun and dirt.  What you don't know is how the trip started.

12:00 PM: Because I have an awesome boss, I was able to work a half day on Thursday to spend the afternoon packing.

3:00  PM: I finished packing the bags and began packing the ice chests knowing I wanted to be out of my house around 7. I filled the first ice chest and realized the 2nd (which we borrowed from my father-in-law) would not fit the rest of the food sitting in my fridge.  I, very frustratingly, looked at Justin and told him I was off to Costco to buy a bigger one.

4:00 PM: On the way to Costco I was lucky enough to discover the power out on the main street that meant backed up traffic.

6:30 PM: Costco plus a very confusing phone conversation with my hubby resulted in me arriving at my house with an ice chest that was actually too big for his car.

7:00 PM: SO back to Costco, this time with the whole family.  Returned the massive ice chest and then to Walmart to find one of a better size.

8:30 PM: Finally leaving Walmart with 2 small ice chests that are pretty awesome.

9:30 PM: Start loading Justin's car and realize there isn't enough room.  So instead we remove the middle row on my new mini-van and begin packing it up instead.  Because we had to load through the side doors we moved Justin's car to a side parking spot.  ALSO found out the ice chest we borrowed leaks and had a slightly flooded back to our SUV.

10:30 PM: Finish packing the car and look over to Justin's car to notice the complex security with it's lights on behind it getting ready to have it towed because we were not in our parking spot.  I apologize about 595 times and somehow manage to drive away with no penalties.

11:00 PM: We're in the car, only 4 hours later than planned, headed to my parents for a few hours of sleep before our trek starting at 4:00 AM.  About half a mile on the freeway traffic stops.  An accident in the left lane has the 4 left lanes closes.

11:15 PM: Pass the accident and find that the 4 right lanes are now closed for construction.

12:00 AM: A 30 minute drive turned into an hour long drive - arrive at my parents knowing I have 4 hours of sleep ahead of me before a 6+ hour drive.

But hey, we had 2 new ice chests, I had a mini van that actually fit all of our camping gear, AND I was leaving for a much needed vacation for our family in a time of change (change we got to ignore for a whole week).  I mean, how is THIS not distracting???






Monday, June 13, 2016

So Sayith Tay, Jay, and Eli #10

Who is the strongest person you know, why?
Taylor: Dad, because he lifted up you. Wait wait...take back dad.  God.
Jordan: Daddy, because he does so much exercises that he sweats.
Elijah: Daddy, because he lift me up.

Who is the tallest person you know, why?
Taylor: God, because he's the biggest.
Jordan: Our Uncle Ben, because my mom told me (they don't have an uncle Ben)
Elijah: Daddy, because he's bigger than mommy.  That's why he's strong.

Who is the smartest person you know, why?
Taylor: God, he created us and 1 million types of flowers.
Jordan: Mom, because you've done college and daddy didn't.
Elijah: Everybody, because they have brains inside their heads

Who is the fastest person you know, why?
Taylor: God, because he can do anything.
Jordan: Me, because I run so fast to the mail.
Elijah: It's only me because I'm fast like ::blinks really fast::

Who is the funniest person you know, why?
Taylor: Matthew, he fake trips and it looks real.
Jordan: Malachi, he was running all the way to the little sand table and he go sand on it, wait...let me show you ::acts out some madness::
Elijah: Daddy, I mean me! Because he tickles me.

Who is the prettiest person you know, why?
Taylor: My mom, because she has awesome hair.
Jordan: Mom, because you wear makeup (I don't actually)
Elijah: Home momma.  ::why am I home momma?:: hahahahaha home momma, because you're a home. You're stuck here.

Who is the loudest person you know, why?
Taylor: My sister and brother because they annoy me.
Jordan: Taylor, because she's like ::insert scream::..::she reads over my shoulder and whispers:: she screams so loud...write that.
Elijah: E-Lie-Juh.  Because ::yells:: I AM ELIJAH!

Who is the goofiest person you know, why?
Taylor: Dada, because he makes funny jokes and he plays with me.
Jordan: Elijah, because he's like oka laka oka laka
Elijah: goofy da booboo ::points to self::

Who is the happiest person you know, why?
Taylor: Not God, because he is sad of our sins.
Jordan: Me, because I smile a lot.
Elijah: Daddy and you because I cuddle with you.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lick Her

This will be short, but so worth the read... unless you don't like adorable kids saying hilarious things...then just go away.

Taylor (age 9): mom, what does L:I:Q:U:O:R spell?

Me: sound it out

Jordan (age 7): lick-el-ur...liiiiiick....ellll...ur

Me: why are you adding an extra L?

Jordan: ick-el-ur

Taylor: lick-er?

Justin: yes

Taylor: what's lick-er?

Elijah (age 6): hahahahahahahaha.  Lick her! It's a lick her store!  Like, what even is that!?  Like I have a Popsicle and they'll lick it for me? hahahahaha


Friday, June 10, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Plans



I handle change pretty well – I usually look forward to change and to see what new/exciting things will come from it.  HOWEVER, I do NOT handle change well when it is “last minute” change.  

I am a planner.  

I am an organizer.  

I enjoy spending time getting our family’s schedules and budget all lined – like a giant puzzle.  I even enjoy doing it when something negative happens – as long as I have notice.  I “need” time to get in my happy place and make all the pieces fit back together.

So in the last month or so there have been a lot of “last minute” changes that have caused waves of emotions: Excitement, Fear, Frustration, Anger, Sadness, Stress, and Compassion.

So as each of these things hit I take my moment of freaking out and have to force myself to think through how God provides for us.  I “know” he does, but nothing like being smack dab in the middle of chaos to so easily forget what you “know”.  So this is my attempt to be intentional about reminding myself how good we actually have it.  And how could I keep that to myself? All my friends, family, and maybe a random stranger or two should hear about how awesome my God is.

A last minute decision to replace my ol’ reliable car (I will miss her) with a minivan (yes…I am one of THOSE people now).  Then realizing how little I know about buying cars (I haven’t done it in over 10 years…) and suddenly needing $600 in repairs, $30 for smog check, $135 in title transfer fees, and $150 in an insurance bump (because I didn’t think about the fact for a few weeks I’d need to insure 3 cars instead of 2 until I can sell ol’ reliable).
  
Hopefully because of brand new tires, recent registration, and getting ol’ reliable detailed – all the “extra” things I have to pay for that I wasn’t expecting will be paid for by selling her (yes it is a her).

      Possible drop in family income AFTER I signed my kids up for summer camp (that we won’t be able to afford) so Justin could do homework/work without the kids in his hair.

The potential change also free up time for our family which will give Justin more time to focus on school while I take that extra time to keep the kids busy and out of his hair.  Hopefully I can get my money back for camp – if not at least we can donate back to the school for a family in need and be a blessing to them.

      Rent Increase

The increase is difficult for us since we already live on a tight budget, but because the kids are no longer attending school 30 minutes away (now just a few blocks away) we are saving just enough money in “gas” to pay for the rent increase.

      Making $23 over the “maximum income” for a price reduction on utilities and kids getting discount lunch rates at school – so now we are paying full price

But a least I got a raise in January!  Granted it is all being used up because of the above situations, but at least we are still breaking even!

       Having to tell my kids that I have to break the promise I made that they could start Sports/Gymnastics/Dance this summer for the first time after they have been begging for over a year (that we could finally afford because of the above mentioned pay increase) because of the potential drop in family income.

We’ll have more “family” time because we’ll all be less busy than if we were trying to get all of them to different places, on different days, at different times.

And through all of this I am reminded about how wonderfully God molded my husband to be EXACTLY who this crazy, stressed out, over-planning woman needed.  He is what I’m not.  He is calm, easy-going, and full of joy as the craziness hits our family.  He reminds me that things are out of my control and that I need to let go.  Instead of being pushy/outspoken and trying force me to “change” my crazy thoughts he leads me (and my family) by being available/supportive.  He approaches the chaos with a calmness that balances out my crazy.

It is important to me that you don’t read the above paragraph and think “I’m glad she has a husband that gets her through that”.  I want to ensure you read that and think “I’m glad she has a husband who leads his family the way God has instructed him and can help her focus back on God and not all the crazy”.  I mean, I love my husband, but he is only as incredible as he is submissive to God’s word and will.

On an AMAZING side note: we will be married 10 years in 42 days! And if you are an awesome human being you know why 42 is such an amazing number.

Monday, June 6, 2016

So Sayith Tay, Jay, and Eli #9

Look at me posting 2 weeks in a row!! I'm on a roll!


What is something Daddy always says? 
Taylor: No
Jordan: Clean up your room 
Elijah: I want to cuddle with Elijah

What makes Daddy happy?

Taylor: Obeying

Jordan: Spending time with us
Elijah: When he plays games with us and he wins

What makes Daddy sad?
Taylor: Not obeying
Jordan: When we don't listen to him
Elijah: When we disobey him

What was Daddy like as a child?
Taylor: awesome
Jordan: A skateboard
Elijah: His baby toys

How old is Daddy?
Taylor: 32 (he's 33)
Jordan: 32
Elijah: 1

How tall is Daddy?
Taylor: 35
Jordan: 50 inches long
Elijah: it's nine, you know that. Wait it's 6. No, he's 90

What's Daddy's favorite thing to do?
Taylor: Drink soda and eat M&Ms
Jordan: listen to church music
Elijah: Play games that he wins

What does Daddy do when you're not around?
Taylor: Read
Jordan: have cuddle time with you
Elijah: Play with mommy and go places with momma - like the playground

If Daddy becomes famous, what will it be for?
Taylor: Christian Music
Jordan: Singing
Elijah: Because he want's to kiss momma because he wants to look beautiful to kiss mom

What is Daddy good at?
Taylor: Christian Music
Jordan: He's good at doing homework
Elijah: At games beating momma

What is Daddy not good at?
Taylor: Doing the chicken dance...hand stands
Jordan: Doing guitar very very fast
Elijah: When I win games

What is Daddy's favorite food?
Taylor: Soda
Jordan: Artichoke
Elijah: Bacon and tomatoes. Does daddy like tomatoes?

What do you do with Daddy?
Taylor: Climb on him
Jordan: Swim
Elijah:  Play games and he wins and I win and Taylor and Jordan win. Look mom! My gum turned blue!

How are you and Daddy the same?
Taylor: We're crazy!
Jordan: We have the same color eyes
Elijah: Because sometimes we both win.  SOMEtimes.

Where is Daddy's favorite place to eat?
Taylor: With his family
Jordan: Somewhere where there's meet
Elijah: At Joe's Crab Shack.  JOES! CRAB! SHACK!  Not Joe's Crab Bat..that's silly

If Daddy could go anywhere, where would it be?
Taylor: The mountains
Jordan: He would go to grandpa's house
Elijah: He would go get a new house and LOOK for a new house.

Do you think you could live with Daddy forever? 
Taylor: Yes, Yes, Yes
Jordan: No
Elijah: Yes, but as long as I don't die.  Look mom, I'm flying!

What is your favorite thing about Daddy?
Taylor: He is crazy
Jordan: That he tickles me
Elijah: When he plays games and then I beat him up.  When I'm done beating him I beat him up.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Twin Story (Part 7)



Now to wrap up this 7-part series about the twins with a little Q&A:

What happened to the babies?
The babies did great! They went home around Thanksgiving and are now really home in Singapore.

Was it hard to give them up?
I don’t like that question. I never had anything to give up.  They were never mine.  I was merely babysitting.  The hardest part about this surrogacy in particular was knowing the babies were “alone” for 2 days.  Their parents weren’t in the US yet and I wasn’t allowed to see them.  So they were in the NICU…alone (obviously they had amazing nurses/doctors caring for them).  Once the parents were there that “instinct” to take care of them was gone – they were “home” in the arms of their parents and that is all I needed to know.

Did you pump for the babies?
Yes, I did.  I found out that delivering early is NOT good for milk production.  I struggled a LOT and had several clogged milk ducts (lots of pain).  I sadly had to stop after about 2 months because my supply was horrible (and so was the pain).

Can we see pictures?
No.  The family asked that I do not share pictures.  

Have you heard from the parents?
No.  The parents have not kept in contact.  I have sent messages a few times, but they have not responded since around Christmas.  I saw them a couple of times post-delivery when I was handing off milk, but overall this family seems to want their space/privacy.

Is that hard for you?
It’s complicated.  I’ve always said I would love to keep in contact, but I understand if they didn’t want to.  So I’m ok with the lack of contact.  The hard part has been the feeling of disappointment.  The family seemed very involved until I delivered.  They always said they wanted to stay in contact after delivery so (although I tried not to) I took it personally that they changed their mind.  Like I “failed” at my job of surrogate so they no longer wanted me involved.

Are you going to do it again?
I said if I had to have a C-Section that I would be done.  HOWEVER, there’s this pull I can’t explain.  Little things like reading an article about a family struggling with infertility.  THIS BREAKS MY HEART!  I want so badly to help these people grow their families.  I will never really know their pain, but there is this part of me that wants to help them any way I can.  So will I do it again? I actually don’t know yet.  My family is supportive of the choice to do it again, but there are still lots of things to consider.   The choice has not been made yet.  If I do there will be some changes: only singleton (no twins), only for a family who does not already have children (unless my first IP wanted more, I’d do it for them again in a heartbeat), my doctor would have to tell me that it is OK to do a VBAC (vaginal delivery after C Section), finding IP that would be willing to work with a surrogate that delivered pre-term (I think this will be the hardest part).