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A Life in Status- May #1, 2017

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Me: Time to go see some memorials!
Danny: I can’t wait!
#notsarcastic #nerd #lovehim #BradleystakeDC

(gazing out over the Potomac)
Carrie: This water stinky. It smell like somebody fart in the bath. I think the geese been farting in this huge, huge bath.
#keepingitclassy

Me: What was your favorite thing that we saw today?
Teddy (2): Lincoln.
Me: The Lincoln Memorial! Wasn’t that amazing! He was SO BIG.
Teddy: He angry, Mom? He angry at me.
#giantLincolnsarekindofscary#maybeyoushouldnthavebeenrunningandthenhewouldnthavebeenangry#BradleystakeDC

 

Joel: We’re going to see the Washing Machine?
#soclose #WashingtonMonument

Thank you to whoever suggested we eat at the Museum of the American Indian! That was one of the highlights of the trip so far.
#BradleystakeDC #welovefrybread

Me: What was your favorite thing today? The dinosaur bones? The stuffed lion? When we ate the fry bread? The airplane museum? When we played on the grass in front of the capital?
Teddy (2): That squirrel. It runned away.
#easilyamused#drove20hourshejustwantstoseethesamestuffwehaveathome

Me:. . . And what was your favorite thing?
Joel: Buying the souvenirs!
#BradleystakeDC #amazingmuseums #theylovethegiftshops

If you wonder what you’d look like with lip injections, a less costly (but probably equally painful) solution would be to lean in to kiss your three year-old at the same time she decides to sit straight up in bed.
#fatlip #vacationphotosshouldbeinteresting #BradleystakeDC

I don’t know if I’ve learned many useful tips for doing DC with little ones, but I could probably tell you which museums are most conducive to creating an ideal nap environment for your toddlers in strollers.
#BradleystakeDC

I drove 15 minutes in DC today and only got honked at twice. I’m calling that a win.
#BradleystakeDC

(seeing a bunch of turtles laying on the bank of their exhibit at the National Zoo)
Teddy: They batteries all gone.
#makessense #lazyturtles #BradleystakeDC

Teddy(2): I the dad and you the mom. Hi, Mom! I done working! I home! I go get the mail. Here you mail. Now I go punch the squirrels so they not kill you. Punch. Punch. Punch.
#whatdoeshethinkadultsdo #vacationboredom #BradleystakeDC

The nice thing about hanging out with someone who lived with you when you were a houseparent is that they aren’t phased by your stern Mom Voice when corralling kids.
#lovemyformerinterns #zoowith9kids #expertsatchaosmanagement#MomVoicesincebeforeIhadkids #BradleystakeDC

I think they should create a specialty coffee called “Family Vacation Blend” that contains extra caffeine and some crushed up ibuprofen.
#sotired #sosore #whyarentthekidsEVERTIRED #BradleystakeDC

While at the Air and Space Museum, we ran into people who knew our family through our foster care advocacy.
#fostercareisonebigfamily #wearaHuskersshirtyoullmeetNebraskans#BradleystakeDC

How is it going, you ask? This picture about sums it up. And this is only three of them…
#energyfordays #herdingcats #everyonegoesadifferentdirection#BradleystakeDC

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Our carsick toddler just puked all over herself, her car seat and everything in her vicinity and we have 11 more hours to drive today. So, how is your day going?
#everythingsmells #roadsidehandsanitizerbath #BradleystakeDC

Joel: This juice tastes great! It tastes like juice!
#whenyourfriendservesyourkidundilutedjuice #BradleystakeDC

Friends are people who meet you at a McDonald’s off the highway so your kids can all play and you can catch up on the last fifteen years in twenty minutes. And they send you off with amazing cookies.
#11kidsunderage11 #loveourfriends #alsolovecookies #BradleystakeDC

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It’s supposed to be 90 degrees today, so MAYBE now it’s safe to put away the winter coats?
#unpredictablemidwestweather

I’m seeing all these cute pictures of moms with their kids at preschool for Mother’s Day activities and it makes me think about the kids who don’t have a mom or even who just don’t have a mom who can make it to a 10 a.m. activity. So I’m hoping someday maybe I can be a Volunteer Mom to go drink tea or have muffins with a 4 year-old who doesn’t want to be alone that day. I think it could be a win/win for both of us.

Pulled up to the house and saw the 19-year-old asleep on the front porch. Doesn’t matter how old they are, they’re always cutest when they’re sleeping.
#YesITookAPicture #MomsAreCreepy

On the list of Terrible Ideas, I think “purging the infant clothes you’ve kept for years on the day before Mother’s Day” has to rank pretty high.
#emotionalkickinthecrotch #shouldhavethoughtthatthrough

The boys all dog piled me in my bed this morning, saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!”. . . Well, all except The Baby who said, “Happy Birthday!” because he is pretty much just Gus from Cinderella.

The three year-old gave me a hug and with such sweet sincerity wished me a Happy New Year.
#soclose

Yesterday we spent some time talking about the kids’ birthmothers. We did a ballon release. And there were TEARS. Big sobs. Big questions. It was tough to transition from that moment into some kind of traditional Mother’s Day celebration. But I want to remind you of what I had to remind myself- the tears aren’t bad. The sadness isn’t wrong. The fact that I held them while they cried didn’t mean we shouldn’t have brought up all the tough feelings. They needed that catharsis and they needed me to help them process it. I needed it, too. It allowed us to embrace the reality of Mother’s Day- the good and the hard- without feeling like we were being dishonest or fake. Sometimes I can convince myself that as long as we aren’t talking about the hard things, that means everybody is fine. That’s just a lie. We NEED to talk about the hard things. My kids need to know that I’m a safe person to talk to. When our kids know it’s okay to come to us with their sadness, that’s when we know we just might be doing this right.
(Thanks to Rebecca Lawton Tredway Photography for the picture)

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