Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Library Stuff

Regan's new obsession is The Doodlebops or Boo Bops as she calls them. As I have mentioned before, there are very few tv programs she will sit and watch for more than 5 minutes which isn't necessarily a bad thing. She is OBSESSED with the Doodlebops now and asks for them every day. I just happened to have this keytar I got on clearance last year and never gave it to her. I pulled it out yesterday and she is in heaven! Below is Konnor following his Dance Dance Revolution Wii program at the library.

I found a new favorite quote from Dr. Seuss:

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

On another note, Regan has a new trick up her sleeve. She first did this little trick at daycare when she didn't like the substitute teacher she had. I thought we were over this particular little unpleasantry and then a couple of days ago she started pulling it out of her bag of tricks again. Her new trick is to wet her pants to show her displeasure about something. She will stand right there, look up at you and say, "I go pee pee" while she wets her pants. She did it yesterday at Sears because I wouldn't let her out of the stroller and tonight at the library because she was upset because the Latin Music Festival program was over. She was able to sit in the circle with "the big kids" and practice playing all the instruments and she loved being able to go to the front (she usually has to sit in the back with me because she is too young for the programs, but this was a program where they sang and danced and she wanted to go so badly I let her go with Konnor and no one minded she was there). She was not so happy we had to leave and let me know it in her most unpleasant way. I had just taken her to the potty about 30 minutes before and had no idea she could leave such a mess. Anyone got any suggestions? And no, I am not putting her back in pull ups after she has been potty trained for almost half a year. I am now packing her going out bag full of shorts, socks, underwear and spare shoes and I thought we had permanently retired that bag:( And can I tell you that I didn't appreciate the guy who stood there and watched me with Regan and gave me a disdainful look because she had her accident?!?!? It was on tile, I cleaned it up and I felt like telling him to give me a break as I am sure he had an accident or two while he was in his growing years!

On another sad note, the library programs are over for the summer. They were awesome! Konnor has a final summer Wii program this Friday and then they will have sporadic programs throughout the year. They are also stopping the evening story times. I am so upset! Regan went to her second one this Tuesday and actually did pretty good as they had alot more movement involved. They are moving them to mornings. It has been nice and we have really had a great time and Konnor has learned alot, completed several trivia contests, earned two books for his reading, and Regan has really enjoyed herself also. The librarians know Konnor and Regan by name now and Regan goes up to their summer desk to get stamps on her hands. They know what she wants when they see her coming!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Red Letters Campaign

My blogger friend, Kristi, brought to my attention Red Letters Campaign. As part of my involvement I will try to answer some of the Blog Buzz questions. I have never been very eloquent at putting my thoughts into words, but I would love to give it a try. This week's question is:

“How do I do this, moneywise? I want to adopt, but it seems so overwhelming. We don’t really have $20,000 in the bank, ya know!” Please blog about your experience, ideas, insight, fundraisers and other ideas that worked for you while raising your adoption money.

Especially as a single woman, I get asked this quite often. To be perfectly honest, funding adoption was the most difficult and daunting part of the entire process. I worried and continue to worry that since I am the only breadwinner that if something happens to me how in the world would I pay the bills? I often feel like I am juggling several balls at one time and that at any minute I may drop one of the balls.

With that having been said, there is no possible way I could put a price on the priceless gift that is Regan. When explaining it to other people I would explain that they would never think twice about financing a 20-30 thousand dollar car, so why the stigma associated with the necessary expenses associated with adoption? I have no magic solution to fundraise money for adoption. I personally took out a home equity loan (back when the housing market was decent and I actually had equity!). I personally did not feel comfortable fundraising and asking for donations. On the other hand, my family did and continues to help me tremendously. When Regan was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital for a month with a life threatening infection 3 weeks after she arrived home, it was my family who helped pull us through that awful time. I ended up having to take an extra month off from work and the hospital, doctor, and medication bills were astronomical. My family provided both emotional support and financial support when they could. I began delivering a paper route as my second job and my mother came over after work and helped me bag and throw the route. That being said, I have always worked a second job to assist with finances. I am fortunate to have a job that allows me to work varying hours to meet my schedule. When I work late, my family assists me by picking Regan up from daycare. It is not ideal, but being single it is what it is.

Instead of concentrating on financing adoption, I concentrate on saving money on a day to day basis. One of the things I try to do is save all my change. I always try to pay with dollars and then put away the change in my change bucket. I know it must be irritating to the cashiers, but even if something is 1.02, I try to pay with two dollars so that I'm not using my change.

Another thing I am going to try to start to do is clip coupons. I'm not so good at this because it takes organization and time (two things I'm not great at), but last week I saved 19 dollars by using coupons at the grocery store. Of course, I hadn't shopped in forever so I needed to stock up. I can't imagine I would save that much every week, but hey, even if it is only one time that is 19 dollars I know have in my pocket!

This Christmas, we are going to try to make most of our gifts. I think it will not only be cost effective, but really fun also!

I am really good at shopping sales! I shop clearances for all of Regan's clothes and shoes. It may seem ridiculous to some, but when there is a good sale I stock up on clothes and shoes in sizes that Regan will grow into. Target was having a huge sale on shoes. The most expensive shoe was 4 dollars. The cheapest shoe was less than 2 dollars. Shoes and clothes do not spoil and they never go bad, so I buy clearance and store them for when Regan grows into them. The picture below is of my weekend finds. I bought 32 pairs of shoes for 85 dollars. Three of the pair were for myself. You can't beat that! Several weeks ago that had a clothes clearance and had shirts and skirts for 1 and 2 dollars. I stocked up, of course! If I don't stock up, she is still going to keep growing and I will still have to clothe her (as much as she would be happy naked!) so I might as well stock up on clearances and save myself hundreds of dollars.

Another thing I do is try to find activities to keep the kids occupied that cost little or no money. Who says that to be entertained you have to spend a ton of money? Every summer we attend the free library programs. Konnor loves them and I enjoy them also! We also go to the park, bike ride, nature center, free movies, etc. We have also found that some places (like the nature center) have annual passes that are really cheap and provide entertainment all year! I guess this post is more about how we save money in general as opposed to how to fund adoption, but it really is one and the same in my house!
We played board and card games Saturday night. I promise, I do clothe Regan!!! I never realized how often she strips down to nothing until I pull out the camera and realize she has little or no clothes on!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just Going for a Stroll

Heading to the movies. Notice her "collection". She has to bring several things with her whereever she goes. She will systematically collect her things on the way out the door.
Mommy, where are you going? Below is a picture of last year at the movies. Haven't they grown?!?

Do you ever have those moments or experiences where nature just tickles you and you are amazed at what you are seeing?

I do and I had one of those moments today. I was heading home and had to stop in the middle of the road because there were about 10 of these slimy things wiggling around and trying to cross the road. I have never seen anything like it so I stopped to take a picture. They are walking catfish! I guess because of the TORRENTIAL rains we have had that they decided to go out for a stroll and see more of the world. The pictures don't do it justice but just imagine a group of these things "walking" down the road while enjoying the day!

We had a busy day today going to one of the free movies at the movie theatre. We watched The Bee Movie. It was pretty cute. We then ate a quick lunch and Regan had a really quick nap. Then we headed to the library for their program. We went grocery shopping and then headed back to the library for Family Storytime.

I wasn't sure how Regan was going to behave during the movie and she did really good. Not so good during story time. We are REALLY working on Regan sitting still, listening, and not touching. The touching thing she does really drives me nuts!!! She can't keep her hands off of things and we go over it ad nauseum! Grocery shopping is not a good thing. We are going to be going to story time on a regular basis so that she learns and is exposed to a situation where she needs to sit and listen. Hopefully it will rub off and she'll learn before she hits puberty;)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Crafts and Adoption Picnic

Blurry elephant ribbons.
Just because she is cute!
My little monkey at the playground. She can hang forever!

She didn't want to eat at the picnic, just climb!
More mommy!

My latest craft was to decoupage scrapbook paper to make a key holder. Anybody who knows me for more than 5 minutes knows how scatterbrained I am! I spent countless wasted hours every year looking for my car keys. Hopefully this will solve the problem!
Pony tail holders made out of buttons I covered in fabric.
Hey, did you notice she matches my couch?!?! I obviously have an issue with liking plaid.
I promise I clothe my child. She just loves to be as naked as possible!

I worked on some new crafts this week. I can hardly believe that summer is almost over. How come it never lasts as long as you think it should???

Today we went to a picnic hosted by our adoption agency. A small group of people attended, but most importantly I got to meet the great Delaney! She is 3 1/2 years old and came home to her family 2 weeks ago. I didn't take any pictures of everyone because I just wasn't good about taking pictures. Also, I didn't get to say a very good goodbye because Regan decided it was time to show her little rear end and act up so we left rather quickly. That's life with a 2 year old!

Another new development: I have posted in the past about how Regan calls me Becky. For whatever reason I am now Mommy. Unfortunately, she calls every man she sees "Daddy".

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Trying to Catch Up

You may think that I am taking a picture of my beautiful, dressed herself, don't judge me on the uncoordinating outfit daughter, but I'm not. That little piece of goodness she is standing next to is our new refrigerator!!!

After over a month we finally have a new refrigerator!!!! The only way we survived was by mooching milk from my mother's fridge. We now will have cold goods!!!

On another note, my grandparents came for a visit over the 4th of July weekend. I love when they come to visit for so many reasons. They love Regan to pieces and she gets absolutely spoiled rotten. My 94 year old grandfather plays and plays with her and that is so good to see....for both of them. I also love that it is one of the few times I get to know that there are several other pairs of eyes watching my little bundle of hyperness and I get to craft. My newest thing is trying to make handpainted clothes. Having a little girl who likes JoJo and knowing that all things JoJo are almost obsolete, I decided just to make my own stuff. My family has now decided that Christmas is going to consist primarily of hand made stuff and I am so excited! The following pictures are of my attempts at handpainting clothes. I can't draw worth a flip and so I cheated by following pictures, then just painted was really easy and didn't take very long at all. It was so much fun to do, now I need to get it together and paint the area around my new refrigerator. I had an entire month and didn't paint the space where the refrigerator sits. I thought there was no need, figuring my new refrigerator would cover the wall. This refrigerator is much smaller than my old one so of course you can see all around it and notice I didn't paint the wall behind uniformly. Arghh!!

Why did they have to take Bear off of tv? No one can cha cha like Bear can.

Below is my grandmother participating in the craftiness, I want her to teach me how to sew next time they come down.

Not so sure I like the shoes, and I absolutely think the socks look like a 1st grader painted them, but Regan likes them so that is all that counts. They started off as white canvas shoes and I bought the last pair. I wish I had thought of this sooner because I could have bought alot of white shoes and just painted them all different colors. Oh well, I am now on the lookout for cheap white canvas shoes.

My JoJo's? That is what she keeps saying.

What do you mean I can't wear them right now?!?!?
We had a good fourth of July just hanging out together and working on our different projects. We didn't make it to fireworks because of the bugs and Regan was scared, but we drove around the neighborhood and enjoyed all the neighborhood fireworks. I think alot of them were better than the real ones! It was really a good time and Regan got to where she really enjoyed watching them.