Monday, June 18, 2007

Housekeeping; the Trilogy

Trish -- the guy singing "Rocky Road" is a musician named Jon Allmett You can find his music at this website and specifically, the "Some Trees Grow Bananas" CD is the one you’re looking for. We got his CD at Camp Sunshine and have enjoyed it immensely. Or at least we did, until in a pathetic attempt to make a measly five bucks I sold my boom box at a garage sale with the CD IN IT and have never forgiven myself. Nor have I ordered a replacement because yeah, I’m lazy and it’s less work to just complain about my own stupidity.

Amy in NJ -- Ha! About DZ! Although really, he’s laughing instead of me, because I bought his book and gave him a profit, didn’t I? You’d think the least that could happen is the book would magically suck away a few pounds of my abdominal fat, what with a title like that. I sort of thought that by merely reading the book, my abs would become flat. Like the rapid, rapid eye movement would burn off hundred of calories and be the equivalent of a million sit ups. Um, didn’t happen.

Kati in Atlanta -- I am beyond sad to hear the news. In a selfish way. For you, though, I am thrilled. I would love to hear more …. E-mail me, or something. Sadly, you’ll be gone from clinic by Kendrie’s next appointment. (sniff, sniff) Best of luck to you! Please keep in touch!

Anonymous -- (thank you, the vast majority of you, who leave your name and town or state …. "Anonymous" just feels so ….. well …. Anonymous.) You asked about the white sand on our vacation last week. We were in a resort community called Seaside, which is next to Watercolor, in the Grayton Beach area. About 60 miles west of Pensacola. (West? East? My gosh, I stink like rotted cheese at geography.) Those local communities (Gulf Trace, Rosemary Beach, etc) have all been fantastic at welcoming and supporting The Lighthouse Family Retreat and I can’t say enough great things about them and their hospitality, especially if you’re looking for a beach getaway. We’re hoping to go back this fall, just because we liked it so much. And I want another chance to ride around town on a rental bike with my leg-flab flapping about in the breeze.

Lisa -- you asked about the latest on Blaine. Currently, he’s doing prep-work for his next surgery, which we think will take place in mid-August. We’re trying to figure out if we can get my mom out here, or if he’ll go it alone again. A lot of that will probably depend on how my kids behave in Oklahoma later this month, and whether or not my mom is “suddenly unavailable”.

Amy from St. Pete -- I’m not sure if Blaine’s mom should get credit for training Blaine, or if he just popped out of the womb in OCD order. He said even growing up, he was one of those obnoxious kids who wanted the books on his shelf arranged alphabetically and his underwear folded in quarters in the drawer. But I think it’s fabulous you planned to do the 100 Things idea for Fathers Day and would love to hear how it turned out! Lisa C in CT … how did your slide show turn out, as well?

Leesa -- thank you clearing up the SAHM mystery with your comment “Nothing makes us happier than cleaning up after everyone else.” {re. end of school year parties} I’m beginning to realize that there are people, in addition to my immediate family members, who seem to operate under the delusional belief that this is true. And several of them have kids who go to school with my children.

Bethany -- thanks for saying thanks, though, on behalf of teachers everywhere.

LeeAnn -- our End-Of-The-School-Year-Interview is very scientific and precise, and involves technical, skilled, thought-provoking questions such as:

What was your favorite lunch item this year? “Nachos” (Kendrie)

Who were your best friends this year? “All the boys and not all of the girls” (Kellen)

What was your least-favorite subject this year? “Science. I don’t like it because it’s complicated.” (Brayden) (Don’t feel bad, Brayden, I agree, love, Mom)

What do you want to be when you grow up? “Someone who takes care of animals, but doesn’t have to hurt them” (Brayden)

Who were your best friends this year? “Nicholas, Jonelle, Miranda … and there was one more … who was it?? …. Oh, yeah, Kailyn” (Kendrie)

What did you think of your teacher this year? “She was nice and she loves Florida” (Kendrie)

The interview has about twenty questions like this on it, and we do it the first day and last day of school every year, then I put them in the kids’ scrapbooks. I have to admit, the answers were a lot funnier when they were younger, but I still enjoy doing it.

Haley -- don’t feel bad or apologize for being obsessed with grammar and spelling! I used to be, until so many people felt it was necessary to point out evry singl miztack I mad in mye jurnell entrees. Then, it wasn’t so fun to mention anymore. Butt I toatly stil am.

To those of you who have asked when I’m going to finish the “How our family became complete” story … well, I thought that I had. I got pregnant with Kendrie and nine months later, a doctor pulled her out of my bagina with salad tongs. The end. Not sure what else you want to know, although I’m certainly open to questions.

To those of you who have asked about the surrogacy story … well, I’m not sure. There are so many more people involved and I don’t want to break anyone’s confidence. Plus, to be honest, I’m not sure **what** you want to know. So post your questions in the comments and I’ll see if I can answer them without delving too deeply. It’s one thing to talk about my own cervical mucous on the internet; it’s quite another to discuss someone else’s.

And along *those* lines ….. D, how exciting! Keep me posted!

Allison -- I have to admit, most of the things we’ve done in Atlanta have been primarily kid-friendly, and I don’t know if that’s anything you are interested in. We’ve enjoyed the Atlanta Zoo, Jump Zone, Fernbank Museum, American Adventures, and Six Flags. We’ve attended a Thrashers game and a Braves game. We’ve spent an enjoyable afternoon or two at Briscoe Park in Snellville, gone several times to Stone Mountain, and have every inch of Children’s Hospital covered. If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, you can always get involved with CURE and Camp Sunshine. But I have to admit, Blaine and I haven’t spent any time there as adults in many, many years. But Morgan was nice enough to say you could contact her …. Look under your original comment and e-mail her! Best of luck to you!

Carrie -- thank you for your encouraging comments about our upcoming Alaska vacation. I haven’t said a whole lot about it here because I don’t want to be too obnoxious, and once I get started, I AM SO FLIPPING EXCITED THAT IT’S PRETTY OBNOXIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! We have had this trip in mind forever, and have been planning it for well over a year. You want to know where I’ll be in exactly fourteen days??? On a boat, with a guy named Captain Larry, whale-watching, in JUNEAU, ALASKA!!!! (See? Obnoxious.)

And finally, saving the very best for last, quite a few of you have inquired about Camp Jack since seeing his photo in my Lighthouse pictures. I am thrilled to say that Jack and his family are doing great. His mom Jen closed down his Caringbridge site not because anything was wrong, but because even the half hour, or hour (or more!) a day we spend updating those sites, and these sites here, are time spent away from our family. When a child has fought a battle as courageous as Jack’s, you certainly don’t want to fritter away a single minute doing anything that seems less important. So Jen closed the site …. but …. public demand for her beautiful writing and awesome updates prevailed, and she’s considering starting a blogger site like this one. In the meantime, she sends out occasional bulk e-mail updates on Jack and Kate and if you’d like to be included, e-mail me personally and I will send you (with her permission) her e-mail address here so you can contact her. Jack recently finished kindergarten, and just celebrated his 6th birthday, so if nothing else, you can use the e-mail address to send him big birthday wishes!

And I think, with that, I am finished. Caught up on these interactive comments that I have been meaning to answer for quite some time, and simply haven’t. Just haven't. Because I get distracted. Easily distracted. Doing important things, traveling import --- ooooh, look, something pretty!


Amy said...

Kristie, I used to live in Alaska! My dad worked on the pipeline when I was young and we lived in Valdez, Kodiak Island, Anchorage, and one more place that I can't think of the name of right now. I like to think back on those days.....Alaska is cool even when you are a kid. We rode a ferry boat for 18 hours from Seward to Kodiak and I was sick for 15 of them, PLUS my pinky finger got smooshed in the door to the ladies room when we hit a big ole wave! I remember going to the dump in Kodiak and seeing HUMONGOUS rats and lots of bears. I remember seeing jelly fish on the beach and I remember when my mom went shark fishing and they caught one only to almost be dumped in the ocean while reeling it in! My dad's boss held an entire plane while he ran me to the gift shop to buy me a Raggedy Ann doll because we had ended up sleeping in the airport and I was such a "good girl"! LOL! Obnoxious? Don't get me started!!! I'm soooooooooo jealous..I hope you have a FABLEEOUS trip!

Leeann said...


Hey ya! Thank you for giving me some ideas about the post school interview. It is a great idea and I think I will incorporate it. Now, the question being whether my snarky 12 year old daughter will do it or not. lol

Anonymous said...

surrogacy questions:

for someone you knew?

Care said...

I'm way behind in blog reading...but just have to say woohoo on a trip to Alaska! I got to go last November, on a business trip, when the temperature was a balmy 5 degrees (and I am more of a tropical beach kind of gal) but even I had to admit it was just spectacular. (Would have been even better if I didn't have to sit through a bunch of boring tax seminars while I was there.)

Anonymous said...

I also would like to know about the surrogacies, I have three children and loved being pregnant. It took me 4 years of trying or as my hubby says, 4 years of practice, several miscarriages and finally three wonderful children. I often thought about my struggle and how I would like to help others. I was just so afraid that I would consider the baby "mine".
I also use to be the primary grade mother for my children's classrooms. I also had the problem of not enough help (and paying for everything), finally I came to realize that a lot of parents just didn't know what to do. I wrote a letter asking for donations from each parent (usually $5.00) per child to cover expenses. Guess what 100% participation! Every parent always paid their money and some gave more. That was always enough to give a great party. The parents liked it and some even felt comfortable asking me if they could help. I think sometimes the parents that can't be there each week, etc. feel inferior, left out and just unsure of what to do. Maybe we just need to cut them some slack. Another thing I have done since kindergarten was take my childrens picture at the front door each first day of school year. I have scrapbooked their school years for them and looking back over 13 years of them in front of the same door is amazing. My how the time flies (my baby just graduated high school) now two in college!
Bubbles in NC

Anonymous said...

I would just like to know how one goes about becoming a surrogate. And who pays all the expeneses? Just curious. Thanks for encouraging the curious.

Kristie said...

Bubbles, I think the "photo standing by the front door on the first day of school" is a great idea. But since we're a military family, and I was afraid we'd have four or five doors throughout their school years, I make them stand next to Blaine in his uniform. I figure he's done growing, right?

It's funny because Kellen's first year of school he was barely up to Blaine's waist .. last year he was up to his shoulder. Now, granted, Blaine is not a tall man, but it's still fun to see.


Dudes, if you're going to ask about something as personal as the surrogacies (and I don't mind, really, I don't) at least sign your post. I'd like to know who I'm talking to, ok? Shoot, make up a name, if you need --- just let me pretend. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Bubbles is Kathy in NC I just go by Bubbles, long story about a yard sale, could probably write a story on it, has to do with a proposition with some swingers (and I don't mean with a swing set). Anyhoo I totally understand about the different doors so Blaine is a wonderful substitute! Another topic that is of interest to me is Blaine, not what you are thinking;). What is he having to do to prep for his next surgery? And please get your mom to stay with the kids when he has surgery(even if you have to bribe her). I know everytime I have woke up in the hospital I was always looking for my husband. There is nothing like having an advocate right there with you. Oh and another topic when you get back from Alaska will be letting the rest of us know what we need to do and see in Alaska. When we get these babes through college hope to be able to go, heck we may not wait that long.
Kathy in NC

Anonymous said...

I had no difficulties getting pregnant as a matter of fact 2 out of 3 were unplanned. I also loved being pregnant and often thought about being a surrogate. I would love to know about your thought process. How you came to the decision to do it. How did the kids handle it? What were your feelings during and after the pregnancy? I think you are an amazing family!! I am a teacher and we really appreciate our parent volunteers and all of their donations to our classrooms
Jean in MA

Anonymous said...

Oh, I wish I would have known you were answering questions today! Who sings that great "Lighthouse" song that was on with your lighthouse pictures. It was great.

Anonymous said...

Kristie, I read your page every morning faithfully before I start my work day. You absolutely crack me up and your attitude about everything is postively wonderful. You have been through some much but still come out with a positive turn on life. Your family is very lucky to have you. Thanks for making me smile.

Anonymous said...

I have four children of my own and have no problems with pregnancy or delivery. I have often wonder if I should be a surrogate mom because I enjoy being pregnant but don't want any more of my own. My biggest drawback - "How could I hand that baby over after carrying it for 9 months?" So basically I am just curious as to what lead you to try surrogacy (more than once) and the feelings you had during & after.
Kristina, Brookville, Ohio

The Running Girl said...

You deserve to be obnoxious about your Alaska cruise! I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy your time away from the kids. I'm thinking it's about time for us to go on an adult only vacation, too.


Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the surrogacy, but not the specific people or places. I always thought it would be the greatest gift to be a surrogate for someone, and I'm curious what made you decide to do it, and what it felt like. Was it the best experience ever or bittersweet, like I imagine it would be.

Anonymous said...

OMG, I was so excited to see my name in your blog!! I didn't make my husband the 100 list for Father's Day, he wanted new golf clubs. I wrote a nice blog about him on MySpace and he spent way to much on 3 new golf clubs, matching bag, shoes and umbrela. I also let him go to play golf with his friends all day Saturday. It turned out to be a Father's Day weekend Extravaganza! I told him he was our families princess.
I am so gonna clean up next Mother's Day.
FYI, I'm drinking a nice big cold DDP from Sonic right now. And my husband is totally hooked on it too!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bubble's idea of asking for a small of $$ from the parents as a room-mom. I teach and it has been a lifesaver for me to be able to call my room-mom and say stuff like "I've a great idea for a project next week, can you get me 15 two inch clay pots" and know that it's not a monetary strain - the parties have been pretty cool too!

I'm interested in knowing more about the surrogacy also - but in a similar vein to laughing mommy. It seems like such a great gift but also hard when you already have a family (similar to adoption, no?). I would like to know what you were thinking/feeling etc. during the process. I'm probably not wording this the right way ... I don't want to be intrusive or tabloidish, but I think surrogacy is still a bit taboo in our society so not many people will talk openly about it. Just know that whatever you feel comfortable sharing will help people come to a better understanding of surrogacy. Sorry to blather on...

Julie in Madison, WI

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for the props, but one note... It's not that writing to the masses is unimportant. If that were true, then we wouldn't have your awesome blog to read and laugh along with! I just have high-maintenance kids!

I live vicariously through you, friend. Thanks for continuing to carrying the torch!

Anonymous said...

oh oh oh! If you get to Anchorage,knowing that you have the same interest in healthy food that I do, there is THE most marvelous place called "Humpy's"...The best beer battered/fried halibut chunks and french fries and beer, Alaskan good. Nothing like it anywhere, did I mention beer? and fried fish? Honestly you need to go if you get a chance. Can't vouch for them having diet dr pepper, but the food is great. Have fun! Vickie (California)

Anonymous said...

Love reading your posts.

I too have been hoping to hear about the surrogacy. It's a fascinating and wonderful thing that you have done and I'd love to know more about it. We don't need details that would violate anyone's privacy just answers to basic questions. It's not everyday you hear that someone is a surrogate.

Mindy in Atlanta

Sandy said...


This site has a lot of useful info on traveling from the US to Canada.

I've been lurking for quite awhile reading your blog and CB pages but I never left any comments. Thanks for the ongoing laughs and enjoyable reading. I've pasted a list of the book selections together to keep with me for an upcoming long drive to my in-laws. Notice I didn't call that a "vacation"?!

Enjoy your trip!