Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum

Sometimes you need to step back from being a grown up, a responsible mom and payer-of-the-dental bills and buy your kids a couple packs of bubble gum.

Oh, and don’t forget to grab your camera!girl-blowing-bubblegirl-blowing-bubble  girl-blowing-bubblegirl-blowing-bubbleboy-blowing-bubblecurly-haired-toddler-gum

This one couldn’t quite blow a bubble…girl-blowing-bubbleboy-blowing-bubbleboy-blowing-bubble-with-nose

Tucker made an amazing discovery…did you know you can blow bubbles…with your nostrils? Oh yes you can. Go ahead, try it. You know you want to!boys-with-gumgirl-blowing-bubblekids-blowing-bubbles


Happy, happy Friday!

Eight Year Blogaversary

Today marks eight years of blogging for me. Eight years that I have shared stories and photos and (mostly) unsolicited advice. In the past eight years, life has changed, my kids have changed and I have changed. When I started this blog eight years ago, we had ten kids at home and were in the process of adopting three more from Liberia, West Africa. The blog was a way to keep friends and family updated on the adoption. Since then, those three kids were adopted, have grown up and moved out, we added Apollo and Adalia got married and moved to New Zealand. We are now back to having just ten kids in the house (but thankfully they are all eight years older!)


kids at american citizenship ceremony

The Day my Kids Became American

My original blog was over at Typepad and was called A Baker’s Dozen (so creative, I know). I moved to WordPress in 2011 and was able to move over some, but not all of my content. I don’t know why…the tech person I hired couldn’t move it all over either. I have since password protected the original blog because I intend to get it printed in book form and delete it entirely. I can’t quite bare to delete it without first preserving it…it is mostly just blabbering with lots of bad photos thrown it.

I’ve had nearly two million views since I moved over to WordPress in 2011.

Here a few noteworthy moments on my blog:

TSA and Feeding Tubes

The most hits I’ve had in one day was 16,292. They came October 8, 2013 after Yahoo! Shine interviewed me about the TSA harassing Apollo and I and making us miss our flight last September. The post I wrote was Feeding Tubes and the TSA. Since then I’ve found over a dozen articles across the internet talking about the story.

I bought my daughter pink LEGO

I Bought My Daughter Pink LEGO and I’m not Sorry was shared on BlogHer Network, which is a huge honor.

The toddler who won't sleep and melatonin

The Toddler Who Won’t Sleep, the Sleep Specialist and Melatonin was an accidental hit. This post gets read every day by at least a dozen people and often several dozen. The  title is long and clunky and I gave no thought to it the day I wrote it. As it turns out, having “the toddler who won’t sleep” and “melatonin” in the title was a winning combination. This is my all time most popular post. Lucky me, I’m famous for having the toddler who doesn’t sleep!

cord prolapse

Apollo’s birth story (when I experienced a cord prolapse at home) experienced it’s 15 minutes of fame. It was shared around the internet and I’ve received countless emails about it.

Medical Record ErrorsThis post about Medical Record Errors generated a huge stir among medical record transcriptionists, most of whom are working to make the system BETTER.

I have made several friends online who has since become my real life friends, which is the best part of blogging!

So there is a short summary of my last eight years on the internet.

Do you have blog? Share a link in the comments, I’d love to meet you and so would my readers.

{And a big thank you to Jennifer from A Deliberate Mom for the inspiration for this post!}




Driver’s Education

Driver's EdYesterday was a remarkable day of synchronicity for my little earthlings… Judah got his driver’s license and Tilly her learner’s permit. On the very same day. At the very same time.

If you know me at all, then you probably realize that the efficiency of this thrills me. Two legal documents, two Rites of Passage all in one trip to the Department of Licensing! Can’t get much more efficient that that! Almost worth having a party over.

Those of you who know me even better probably realize just how horrified I am about this. The day, the very day, I am released from teaching one kid to drive, I have to start with a second.


I have spent the last month white knuckled with high blood pressure as I taught Judah to drive. Today I received my emancipation papers (aka: Judah’s license). It’s not that Judah is a bad driver (hey, he passed his test after all). It’s just he’s a new driver.

This is the kid who once needed eleven stitches and to have an artery cauterised after he was showing off to his siblings while he chopped celery for a snack.

It is terrifying to get in the passenger side of  car with someone who has never driven before. Am I right? Would you willingly get in an airplane knowing the pilot had never flown before but don’t worry, he passed his knowledge test and the co-pilot will be next to him. With no brake or controls? And before you go on about how that isn’t a fair comparison, think about this: we all know, statistically, you are more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash.

So there you have it.

I am so proud of you Judah and Tilly!

Off to pour myself another stiff drink…of coffee.


Beads of Courage Sibling Program {and a Quilt}

Several of you have been kind enough to ask how Tucker has been doing with his anxiety and how he did while we were in Seattle. He is doing better. I had really hoped that he would be magically cured as soon as we arrived back home, but life rarely works that way. Beads of Courage Sibling Program

Less than a week before the surgery, Tucker came up to me one day and asked why “they couldn’t do the surgery up here“. I answered that the doctors up here weren’t experienced enough to deal with Apollo’s airway. Then I told him, if there were no complications and they didn’t need to trim his larynx we might be home the next day.

The next day? Even with the plane ride?

And that’s when it dawned on me. When Tucker asked why they couldn’t do the surgery up here I thought he meant “up here in Bellingham”. He really meant, “up here in Washington”. For weeks he believed we were going back to Texas Children’s Hospital for Apollo’s surgery!

He was greatly relieved to find out we were just going to Seattle, not Texas. But once the seed on anxiety is planted, it is difficult to uproot. He has been able to articulate that he is afraid something will happen to me. He’s much more worried about losing me, than his brother getting sick or dying. He told me, “Back when you went to Texas, I think I was too young to realize that people get in car accidents and stuff like that.”Beads of Courage Sibling Program

(By the way, Isaiah 41:13 is a Bible verse…Isaiah is not Tucker’s middle name :)

He survived the surgery and me being gone with the  help of prayers, books, video games, caring older siblings, and this quilt. This amazing, beautiful quilt was handmade for Tucker by a lovely blog reader, Michelle. She emailed me telling me she felt led to make Tucker a quilt. She asked about his favorite colors and interests, and came up with this amazing design! To say Tucker was thrilled would really be an understatement. Beads of Courage Sibling Program

Tucker told me he curled up the night we were gone with his quilt and his Beads of Courage. The quilt also played into Apollo’s healing. One of the nights when he was in so much pain, he cried so loud and so long it awoke Tucker who sleeping in his room down the hall. Tucker came into my room with his quilt, lay in on Apollo and said, “Here’s my quilt to help you feel better”. Within a few minutes Apollo rolled over wrapped in the quilt and went back to sleep.Beads of Courage Sibling ProgramI mentioned briefly before that we purchased the Beads of Courage sibling beads for Tucker. He has been getting beads each time he has taken a new step or accomplished something difficult. One of these beads is for spending the night at my parents house, another for making it through Apollo’s surgery. He takes such pride in earning each one. It also helps him feel more connected to Apollo in his journey .

So once again, thank you Michelle, truly. You have helped make a difference for a little boy in Washington. And thank you Beads of Courage, for your amazing program helping both Apollo and Tucker tell their story.