Monday, December 26, 2011

THE gift.

That's what it said on the outside of the package in huge letters.

I've spent the last 2-3 months on this thing and I'm pretty freakin' excited about it. Had to do something awesome since Russ loved his gift from last year. Why do I set myself up like this? Next year he's getting wool socks. Ugly, itchy wool socks. With holes in the toes.

Got the idea from Pinterest (duh) which led me here.

The gift?

"2012 is for lovers. 12 dates in 12 months."

I guarantee we did not see 12 dates in the last year. Not okay but understandable. Whatevs. 2012 is steppin' it up. Boom. To ya motha, yo.

Russ only opened January and February so I can't divulge the secrets within each envelope yet but I'm hoping to blog after each date to 1. document this biz, 2. be a resource if you ever want to also steal this idea and use it.

I took a page outta The Bachelor book of operation and made each note hint at what we're doing. And because my husband pretends to not care about reality tv, he immediately said, "I feel like I just scored 12 one-on-one's. Which date involves a helicopter?"

It was a hit. I'll keep ya updated.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Don't read this link if you're in front of other people.

This is a great blog, a great series and an impactful letter to Santa...

Friday, December 23, 2011

I die.

"Mom, can Dez watch Charlie Brown with me?"

Monday, December 19, 2011


Back when we were these kids (trip to Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland) we didn't have kids.

We wanted them. Desperately.

A few times of year were harder than others. Mother's day, obviously. But Christmas was the worst. At least for me. Not needing another stocking would weigh heavily on me. It seemed non-stop-in-my-face that we didn't have kids.

I know, I know, I know the season is about Jesus. But I couldn't help struggle with depression until the season was over.

All that to say, if you have people in your life that you know are "waiting families", whether adoptive or trying for biological, please be sensitive to them in this season. That doesn't mean ignore them but rather, offer a quick email or text saying that you're thinking of them and that if they need anything you're available. You can't fix it but you can at least acknowledge it with them. Don't offer them the "God's timing" advice cuz I'm 99% sure they already know that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our story will always read Love

Had several emails asking about the print behind Dez. I first saw it on Pinterest (duh) before we had custody of the little man. Plans were still up in the air on whether or we were going to get him and I just fell in love with it. I think every foster family and/or adoptive family needs this. Just sayin'.

It was purchased from Sycamore Street Press (click to head straight there.)

Don't forget to leave some comment love for Jodie! Here or over there!

Fresh Art!

For more of our latest photo shoot, head to Fresh Art Photography!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

it's on.

See that biz?

That's chapters 1-28. Printed out. Since I haven't looked at them in 2 years, I thought it might be a good idea to reread them before I try to complete this thang.

I really couldn't be more grateful for this project. The details are so so clear of our whole experience from start to finish with Eliot. I wonder when he'll read it. I wonder what he'll think. I wonder if it will go anywhere. I wonder if I shared too much in those pages. I wonder if it will be as entertaining to others as it is to me. I wonder if that matters. I wonder how I can fit this project in with this guy around:

It's Facebook's fault

My blog has been neglected. During one of the biggest years of my world. Why?

I blame Facebook.

It's become my go-to. It scratches the itch of communicating my happenings. And while I always mean to come back here and give more detail, thoughts, dreams, just hasn't happened.

Future Me is going to come back here looking for memories and will find nothing. It's all very sad.

It's time to step it up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rite of passage

Apparently it's the "Mohr kid" thing to do at 7 months old.

Rota Virus.

Dez had 7 solid (or not-so-solid as it were) days of the biz nasty, friends, but I'm happy to say, we're in the clear.

This ridiculous pic:

was Eliot at 7 months with rota virus.

The response could not have been more different than my experience in Guatemala. When we figured out that Eliot and one other baby in the house had it, the B&B immediately moved all other families out of the house and into their other location. We were on serious lock down. I had only been an active mom to this kid for about 3 weeks, in a foreign country, by myself and now everyone was acting like he might die of a virus I'd never heard of. I was instructed by a nurse that he was to keep drinking every few hours so I was setting my alarm and making him wake up to drink. Only, he was too tired to drink so I would cry and cry, feeling like 2 ozs of Pedialite was the only thing between him and death and it was my responsibility to make that happen. She advised that with every rota diaper I needed to bathe him in very warm water, which is tricky when there's only hot water certain hours of the day. She advised me to be extremely careful with his diapers, making sure the entire changing area was sanitized every time, which was tricky with no electricity through out the night. I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life before or since.

So, as soon as I saw and smelled Dez's first Rota diaper, I knew what it was. I called the pediatrician and the nurse advised to just keep an eye on him for dehydration and make sure lots of hand washing was happening. She, of course, advised me that if things got worse, to bring him in but that was kinda it.

All that to say: I'm happy we're in the states this time around.

Also, Dez, head's up: El had chicken pox twice.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Great start to the holiday season...

The regularly scheduled "Choosing of the Christmas Tree" is being postponed due to:

a stomach bug.

(no, I'm not that horrible of a mom to take this pic while my child is in pain. He was standing up straight and smiling when I started the picture. I promise.)

(But I am the kind of mom to broadcast the moment across the internet for all to see.)

(ya know, since I accidentally caught it.)

(the moment, not the bug.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

5 years.

5 years ago:

I only did half as much laundry.
I only picked up after one male.
I had books and books on running your own business.
I only cooked for/fed one male.
I never checked the floor to watch for matchbox cars just to get from one room to the next.
I slept more. A lot more.
I'd only been to Guatemala once.
I'd never considered the foster program here or there.
Being naive about adding to our family was my M.O.
My house was actually decorated and my furniture kinda nice.
I carried a great purse.


I now have 3 males who make me laugh.
I now know Sharon, Melissa, Alaska, Nikki, Emily, Virginia, Jackie and Tina.
I have a house full of baseballs and swords and cars and baby gear.
Petunia Picklebottom is now on ebay.
I have a little guy who makes sure my hands are warm if I forgot my gloves.
I have an even littler guy who smiles the biggest toothless grin the minute he sees me.
I have a better, deeper definition of who I am.
I have a much fuller couch...

Monday, November 14, 2011


*Lots and lots of posts on facebook filled my newsfeed on Orphan Sunday. One friend posted this video (before you watch it, know I didn't love this one, but my issues with it are for a different day):

Hope is Fading – Orphan Sunday from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

As I'm watching it, Eliot started watching over my shoulder.

E: Mom, why is that girl sad?
M: Because she doesn't have a mom and dad.
E: Why doesn't she have a mom and dad?
M: I don't know, something must have happened, there could be lots of reasons.
E: Dad? Why doesn't she have a mom and dad?
R: I don't know, Buddy.


E: Does it make you guys sad?
Yes, it is very sad. That's why someone made this video, hoping to encourage other moms and dads to think about adoption so that girls like her can get parents.
E: Oh.


E: Mom, do YOU have a tear? (rubbing eyes)

Unrelated but cute pic of Senor:

Another day, in the car with all four of us:

E: Mom, you have 3 stinky boys...
M: Yep, 3 very stinky boys!
E: Hey, boys! Let's all toot!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Foto Fun.

(again, a regular Friday segment...)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday link

Just one link for you today (do you like how I'm pretending like I do a Friday Links segment every week? Just roll with it.)

My friend Amanda sent me this link called "How to be the Village" from Jen Hatmaker's blog. It's funny and spot on. It's a little long but a quick read and so worth it. Read it for my sake. For these two crazy boy's sake.

Click here to head over.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flash and Prince.

This was our best attempt at a sibling pic. You're welcome. =)

Not sure who Dez is? Russ is convinced he looks like Prince Fielder from the Brewers, so made him a little jersey. Eliot had a baseball build-a-bear that we stole the mitt off of, aaaaaand whalaa! or something.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ask and you shall receive...

This was just a few days ago and now we have this:

Thanks, Melissa, for capturing this celebratory Bump-it from game 6! Think she has a heating pad under there to keep warm? Just a thought.

Go Cards!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I mean...

Dear American Doll peeps,

Quit it.

First this.

Now this:

I went ahead and put them together for you:

Remind me to keep an eye on you...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The half. The 5k. The 200m.

Found on pinterest. (where else do people find stuff these days?)

I'm going to take .5 seconds and pat myself on the back. I ran in a half marathon this weekend and got my best time out of the three I've run. Some may not be impressed but I'm super proud to say my time was 2:22.

There were over 20,000 participants, the course went all through the best parts of St. Louis and the weather was perfection. Friends Beth and Dana also ran it, which just added to the fun. If you've ever run a race like that you know that the spectators make it 10x more fun also, especially with their clever signs.

Some of my fav:

*Humpty Dumpty had wall issues, too.

*(about mile 8) So, you still think this was a good idea?

*I thought they said "Rum"

*(a little girl held this one) Hurry up! My arms are getting tired!

* You have great stamina! Call me!

*Run like you have to poop!

*Your calves look sexy.

*You're almost there! (that's what she said)

*Run like you stole something!

*You look Kenyan to me!

*You are wasting your Sunday and mine!

*Toenails are for sissies!

*Don't stop, everyone is watching!

*Worst Parade Ever!

I haven't had a chance to post about this yet, but we went to Disney at the beginning of the month and while there, Joy and I ran in their 5K through Animal Kingdom. We had a blast, definitely adding to the great memories of that trip!

And I'm super proud to say that Flash, I mean Eliot, ran in his first race at Disney, too! His age category ran a 200m part of the track at ESPN world at Disney. We were so proud of him!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leaves fall, Bump-its rise...

A good friend from college sent me this with the phrase, "for your bump-it collection". That made me laugh. Never fancied myself as a collector but I'm not going to deny the allegations.

And this little snap shot of goodness came straight from the Idaho state fair from cousin Jessica! Or is it Iowa? Hmmm, can't seem to remember.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm kinda hoping someone is able to spot and capture a world series bump-it. Pretty sure that's a widespread desire, right? I'll let you know.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

2 new favorites...

Pictures, that is.

After our long day out, both boys crashed. Eliot snuggling at Dez's toes? Kills me.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Surprise! You're adopted!

Once we got Eliot's referral we started the jokes that since he looked so much like us, we'd have to be real honest with him from the beginning that he was, in fact, adopted. Otherwise, he'd never know.

I had no idea people who adopted out of their race actually tried to keep the adoption element a secret from their differently colored children. No judgements here, just confusion.

I also had no idea how much of a banner "Adoption" would become for our family, so "when to tell Eliot" was never an issue. He's heard his adoption story 9 million times. He knows he's from Guatemala and has fallen in love with his birth country as much as we have. There's still some confusion given the fact that he's a 5 year old trying to understand a pretty complex part of his life but he has a fundamental understanding of it all.

Fast forward to last spring, while we were in our foster training classes (which we loved loved loved, shout out One Heart) and one of the trainers shared part of her story. Each of her children has a unique story and birth family involvement. When someone in the class ask her how she handles that, she casually mentioned that there are pics on their fridge of birth family. They are recognized as a character of each child's story in a way that makes it so commonplace that there's no mystery. Russ and I loved it.

We've had a pic of Eliot's birth fam in our safe for years. Not knowing what to do with it, we kept it there. Other adoptive moms have mentioned that they create a scrapbook type adoption story book and include any birth family photos in there. It's accessible. It takes out any mystery.

Adoption can be confusing for everyone, but children especially. As E gets older, there will be more questions. I love that those around us are smarter than we are and were willing to share their ideas. There will be no big reveal of Eliot's story as far as we're concerned. His foundation for this part of his identity will be the same today as it will be in ten years. As his parents, it's our job to set him up for success in every aspect and we're praying this is the right direction.

But then again, we're only 4 years and 2 adoptions into this, so as usual, we're kinda making this stuff up as we go. Isn't that what parenting is all about? Er...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The brother load.

Dear Eliot,

I can't get over it. The little man you've become in the last few months constantly overwhelms me.

On day 1 you insisted we move your booster seat to the middle of the car so you could be near Dez. You've asked countless times if we could move the bassinet and now the crib into your room instead of the nursery. You constantly check on D when he's sleeping and appointed yourself on pacifier duty til the end of time.

Kiddo, you were made for this.

I love the plans you're making for the two of you once he's older. From sharing cheerios and special treats, to light saber battles, to showing Dez the volcanoes in Guatemala. I love how you love him so much already. I love that you demand I chew on his face. I love that you get so impatient that his nap lasts longer than you want it to because you miss him.

You're incredible, Eliot Mohr.