It’s been pretty busy at Casa Mendez these past few weeks. We’ve been gearing up to celebrate the boys baptism, and have gotten together with all 4 godparents to purchase their clothes and jewelry and finalize plans for the day. They are growing so fast! Too fast! A week from today, they’ll be 4 months old! 4 FREAKIN MONTHS!!! Can you believe it?!?! I’ll update more about them in a week after their 4 month check-up, but for right now, they love Plaza Sesamo, their feet in the grass, front facing carry with the Moby, Yankee baseball, playing “Superman”, and hanging out with Mary. And of course, an obligatory photo dump…
Mary has been doing sooooo well this past week and a half. We see a definite change in her attitude and her behavior since we took the therapist and the case worker’s advice to get more honest with her. We have been telling her that she will probably not be going back to live with mommy, and that she will probably be staying with us as her forever family. I can’t imagine that this is an easy pill to swallow for ANYONE, let alone a 7 year old. She’s been receptive to us being her new family, but cries every night before bed and asks if it’s okay to pray for her mom. Her prayers sound a little like this: “Dear God, please help mommy to make good choices. Make her be safe, and in a special place that’s not jail. I hope she has food to eat, and that she is healthy. Let her know I miss her, and that she will call K (the worker) so I could talk to her and I could see her soon. And take care of my whole family. Amen”. This is her prayer almost every night. Sometimes when it’s Callie or my turn to initiate prayer, we pray that her mom makes good choices too. This always seems to help her get to sleep better. We stand together on this. We don’t want her to forget her mom. We’ve seen the same photo album every night for the past week with the same 20 pictures in it of Mary and her mom. We listen to the same stories, but we have to, because we love her, and we want her to know that she is safe and loved and taken care of. That her life before us, and our house, and are family count, and that it’s important to us. She cries sometimes just because, and we tell her it’s ok becasue it must be hard to not know what’s going to happen next. She’s been extra cuddly, so we have a special spot on the couch now. She’s had extra deserts and snacks and a little more freedom. Anything to make that bitter pill a little easier to swallow. She has another big transition coming up. Her therapist (who is an intern) has been working with her for a little over a year now. Every Tuesday, Mary goes to therapy and does some tough work (through play and art) to get her to express her feelings a bit. They had a party for her therapist, and on Friday she brought home this huge packet of artwork from the past 15 months. It’s pretty loaded stuff for a 7 year old. It gave us a little more insight into what she is feeling and how she is processing what is happening. The most recent sheet of feelings showed that she is sad because she thinks mom doesn’t love her. That she feels happy because she has two brothers. That she feels angry when mom doesn’t show up. And that she feels confused because she loves us and wants to live with us and gets sad thinking about leaving, but that she misses mom and wants to live with her too. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel in this situation. All of that said, she’s been doing so well after us telling her that mommy is having a hard time making good choices and it’s not her fault, that to encourage her positive behavior, we bought her a bike! Callie’s newest obsession (thrift/tag sale shopping on FB groups for a ton of second hand stuff) had her scouring these pages for DAYS trying to find a bike, and we nailed one! $20, basically brand new. We took her out for a bit yesterday, and this kid! She learned how to ride a two wheeler, no training wheels, in 3.65 seconds, and we couldn’t be prouder. The best part is, SHE couldn’t be prouder! Total parenting WIN!
And now, back to the Challenge!
Day 11-Favorite TV shows
I can usually ramble off a list of all of my supposed “favorite” TV shows, but the truth is, there really are only 3 shows that I would consider my favorite. The cancellation or ending of these shows would cause severe devastation, I’m not kidding! That would probably get me to just throw my TV out of the window, since there really wouldn’t be much use for it anymore. I have been watching all 3 of these shows since Season 1, and even when I am away on vacation, I have to watch. I am a reality TV junkie, so it’s not surprise, that my 3 favorite shows would be in this genre.
3. So You Think You Can Dance – (season premiere on June 1st for anyone who is interested – YOU’RE WELCOME!) I have always wanted to be a dancer. Not because I love to dance but because when I see people dance, it moves me. It moves me in a way that evokes so many different emotions. I cry more watching this show then I do watching anything else (except maybe The Biggest Loser). The fluidity of their bodies, the pain or pleasure punctuated by each pointed toe, the heartbreak and the hope in each leap. It’s mesmerizing. And when the men dance, be still my heart! My boys, they’ll be dancers…they have no choice! OK, they do, but I hope they choose dance, becasue it’s inevitable that this show will be canceled (sigh) and then what will I have?! Hopefully, two boys that can arabesque, pas de bourree, ciseaux, pas de duex with the best of them.
2. The Amazing Race – Just watching this show gets my adrenaline going like crazy! I know, given the opportunity to have either Callie or Marco as my partner, we would totally be awesome at this game. I’m a geography junkie, I’m amazing at reading maps (no really, like weirdly good, that I wonder if I was a cartographer in a past life!), I speak several different languages or enough that I can get by in the majority of the countries that they travel to, I’m not scared to try anything new (unless of course it has anything to do with snakes, lizards [but totally chameleons], balloons, or clowns), and with the partners that I would choose, our communication would be so on point, that we would kick some serious ass, and probably, just maybe, make it to the top 3 to win 1 million dollars. At least I’d like to think so. But seriously though, I would totally win!
1. Survivor – My all time favorite show…I have not missed a single episode in 30 season. I can tell you what Players were in what season. I can tell you the different places that they’ve traveled. I can recite a play by play of my favorite blind sides. I remember almost ever winner and runner up of every cast. I live and breathe this show! 15 years of Survivor and I have yet to make an audition tape. Maybe this year I will. I know, with my ability to charm people, make quick friends, be trustworthy but also manipulative, my physical abilities, and how kick-ass I am at puzzles, I would be a tough player to beat in this game. Throw in there my experience with camping, building fire, fishing, and my construction background, I would be a pretty significant asset to my tribe. When I
force ask Callie to watch with me, she is always like, “How the hell did you know that was gonna happen!?!” And my response is, “Because that’s what I would have done, if I played this game!” And most of the times, all of the moves that I “make”, get me (or my player) right to the finale. Top 3. I can win this game, I know it! So maybe next year, you guys might just learn my real name, when you catch me on the world’s greatest show!
Day 12-What you believe
This question can be answered so many different ways, and there are SO many things that come to mind, so I figured I’d answer this question with my heart.
- That love makes a family
- That it’s never to late to learn to read
- That random acts of kindness can change the world
- That we value money too much and family too little
- In the good in the world
- In miracles
- That everyone lies, as sometimes it’s necesary
- In reincarnation (cartographer remember?!)
- In God and his divine power, even if it hasn’t been proven to me yet
- That smiling at random strangers can change their day
- That we are all created equal
- That every cloud has a silver lining, no matter how stormy
- That everything happens just as it should and in it’s time
- That everyone has a soul mate, but they’re just too scared, or lazy, or complacent or scarred to keep searching
- That Love doesn’t always win…right now…but it always wins at the end
- That letting go is sometimes the best and hardest thing to do
- That people change and there is nothing you can do about it
- That people deserve second chances and sometimes a select few deserve a third
- In Love…I always have and I always will