Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kelly's Jam of the Week

A while ago, when I had a lot of extra time and access to Facebook at work (wink wink, nudge nudge), I created a group on Facebook called "Kelly's Jam of the Week." Sadly, my posting for the group has fallen by the wayside and I miss bring HOT!NEW!JAMZ! week after week.

I have decided to post weekly here on my blog instead. It gets autofed to Facebook so people who saw my JOTW on Facebook can still see it. Bonus: I still have access to Blogger at work (shhhhhhh, don't tell the gov't!).

So, without further ado, in a nod to my friend Bonnie, I present Temper Trap's "Sweet Disposition", the radio remix from Axwell and Dirty South. As with many remixes, the original song is vastly different, but I kinda dig the remix better. Okay, not kinda, I really dig the remix better. This is a great song to drive to, the melody is awesome, the beats are a great complement and it takes the original song to a whole new level of awesome. Hope you enjoy and please provide feedback either here or on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Mother's Rant

I know, I know, I'm on a posting tear these days!! I don't know what's gotten into me (well, actually, I do, it's work avoidance, but don't tell my boss!).

I was reading a CNN.com article that paraphrased an interview with Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, a former French Vogue editor. In the interview, Karl said "You're also lucky because [your children] are very beautiful. It would have been difficult to have an ugly daughter."

What an awful awful thing to say. Note, he doesn't say, it would have been difficult to have ugly children. He specifically calls out having an ugly girl. As if girls don't have to put up with enough sexism or unrealistic standards in today's society. I don't know anybody who fears that their child is ugly, or even thinks their child is ugly. I bet even Quasimoto's mother loved him at some point.

And it's not like the man is an Adonis himself. To wit:

(courtesy of some random website). The term cryptkeeper comes to mind.

In another quote from the article, Lagerfeld admits that with his largesse, he's pretty far removed from reality. Since he doesn't have to worry about how soon the next paycheck is coming, or who's going to cook dinner, or how to be in five thousand places at once to coordinate household and child errands, then I can see why someone who is One Billion and Ten Years old would be CONSUMED by having ugly children. Perhaps he should switch his focus to something more pressing, like resolving the famine situation in Sudan by delivering supplies with his privately owned jet, or better yet, promoting world peace. If this is how the rich think, then I don't ever want to experience how the rich live. I'd rather focus on the warmth and richness my beautiful child brings to my life and let her know that I know she's beautiful and cherished in every way. That way, she will come to realize comments like these are merely words that could never take those things away from her.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mommy and KIC go ... camping?!?!?

On Friday night, the Shoups did some actual planning and had a wonderful family evening in. Brent pitched the tent in the newly renovated living room, or, "Home Living" as KIC calls it, for he and KIC to "camp out" later. Note that there was no "Shoup Camp Out" mentioned, just Daddy and KIC. When I got home, we had popcorn with cheddar dust sprinkled on it (don't laugh, it's delishious), beverages and settled in to watch a Shoup Family Favorite: "Tangled." KIC was so excited about going camping with her daddy that she was fidgety through the end of the movie. Once the movie was over, Daddy and KIC headed for the tent and I headed to the basement to check on the cats. Apparently, KIC's fidgeting got the best of her (and daddy's patience) so I stepped in and took daddy's place, giving daddy some nice, peaceful rest in the big bed upstairs.

You should know that I detest camping. I am not fond of the vulnerability to wildlife, I'm not fond of dirt in my food and I'm definitely not fond of the hard ground. However, I figured camping indoors was going to help address some of my aversions to nature. This is how the evening went down:

10:00 pm: Lights out. Our treasured hound, 'Tino, was invited to spend the night with us. All other hounds were invited to go elsewhere. Tino, being more enamored with the bone used to lure him in (because the tent was a big hulking creature used to trap and eat beagles), left us to our own devices.
10:05 pm: Bat like creature lands on top of the tent. Much shrieking and giggling ensued when it was realized said bat-like creature was only foster kitty Fatima.
10:10 pm: First plea of "Mommy, I want to go sleep in the kitty room (aka the guest bedroom aka the kitty infirmary hence the permanent title of kitty room). This was prompted by said bat-like creature attacking the shadows in a misguided attempt to "save us all!". I, in my infinite wisdom, implored KIC to continue to camp (yup, that's right, I tore up the get out of jail free card and scoffed at fate).
10:15 pm: Realize Fatima's shadow attacking was getting personal as she was starting to fly RIGHT FOR OUR HEADS! Move closer to the middle of the tent.
10:20 pm: Realize with startling clarity that floor of living room is MUCH harder than ground outside. Start to wonder whose bright idea this was, anyway.
10:25 pm: Notice the sleeping bag is in a weird position logistically that does not cover ample bottom. Steal, I mean share, KIC's princess blanket (don't look at me like that, she had a Dora sleeping bag!!) and fall into a deep and blissful sleep.

Some time in the middle of the night: Wake up after weird Kardashian dreams and realize need to use bathroom. Check on KIC. 'Tino is now where KIC should be.
Me (groggy): "KIC"?
KIC: "HI MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Me (recovering): "KIC, have you slept at all???"
KIC: "NOPE!!!!!"

That's when I gave up the ghost and we went to the kitty room. To KICs credit, if she HAD been up that entire time, at least she had the common decency to let me sleep. However, it was a rough night and by 11:00 ish the next day, we were both in bed to take naps. Daddy was feeling fresh and raring to go all day long while KIC and I both looked at him through bleary, bloodshot eyes. Next time, we'll send daddy to sleep with 'Tino and we'll sleep in the big comfy bed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Keeping the blessings going

If I didn't lose you after my last post, then thank you. If you're interested in hearing how little Katerina is doing then, hopefully by now, you're following The Blessing of Verity. Susanna has alluded to obstacles being moved in trying to get Katerina home sooner than the anticipated four months. Keep sending good thoughts her way so that may happen. In the meantime, Susanna has been able to speak with a caregiver about what Katerina needs and to make arrangements for Katerina to get supplements in her absence. How wonderful that this woman is open to giving Katerina the care she needs while she waits to go home. Not many adoptive families, or orphans for that matter, receive this blessing, so things are definitely working in strange and wonderful ways for Katerina.

While in Katerina's orphanage, Susanna has been overcome with emotion for the other orphans whose condition is very similar to Katerina's. There are eleven on Katerina's floor. The wonderful news is that four orphans now have families committed to adopting them. Seven more still need families to commit, so please, spread the word. One of the orphans with a committed family is Liliana. Liliana is 11 years old and weighs 10 lbs. She needs a miracle as much as, if not more than, Katerina.

Her family is in the very beginning stages of the adoption process and need mountains moved to be able to get to Liliana in time. To give you some perspective of how tiny Liliana is, the upper portion of her arm measures 3" in circumference. A woman with a huge heart for orphans is raising the funds needed to bring Liliana home. If you'd like to donate, then you get entered to win some pretty cool prizes. Here's the link to Adeye's blog post about fundraising for Liliana: Adeye's blog

I know that Susanna is taking advantage of her time in Katerina's country to change perceptions about Down Syndrome and open doors to adopting children with DS. Please send her good thoughts that she may move the hearts needed to end the suffering of these children. Please also use this as a reminder that kids with disabilities of all types have feelings and need love, just like the rest of us. Advocate in any way that you feel comfortable with. You may think it won't make a difference, but it definitely makes a difference to this one:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A detour from the Shoup House

Last year, I stumbled upon a website called Reece's Rainbow. It features orphans with special needs all over the world. If you're interested, you can go to the site and check out the founder, Andrea's, backstory.

Families who are making the adoption journey create blogs and you can follow them every step of the way. They also do fundraising to help them raise the $25,000 or more needed to adopt (some call it ransom) these children who deserve so much more in life. Reece's Rainbow, in its own special way, has created a wonderful community for people who are interested in adopting, have adopted, or even for those who want to support adoption. I have been following adoption blogs for some time now; rejoicing with families when they get to bring their child home, cheering for them as they raise the funds needed and rooting for them as they work to climb the mountain ranges to bring their child home.

Through Reece's Rainbow, I have learned children born with Down Syndrome have a huge need for an adoptive family. Many Eastern European countries shun children with DS and move them into adult mental institutions at the age of 5. The conditions are horrific and there's all kinds of googling you can do to find videos of these children who are suffering. In some cases, there is evidence of deliberate neglect, in other cases, it's cultural ignorance. One family was told that the child they wanted to adopt was better off in an institution because he'd never be able to function in society. Families are encouraged to give their child up at birth because they will never be able to care for the child the way an orphanage can. So, while people can't necessarily change the culture, they work to help the orphans in any way they can.

A woman by the name of Susanna Musser went to meet nine year old Katerina for the very first time this week. She and her family have been working very hard to adopt Katerina. You can read their story here: The Blessings of Verity. The country where Susanna is adopting from requires several visits and they can hope to have the adoption complete in four months, at the earliest. This doesn't include the months and months and months of paperwork just to get to the first visit. When Susanna walked into Katerina's room and met her for the first time, this is what she saw:

Susanna holding Katerina

Keep in mind, Katerina is nine years old. This is just gut wrenching. Later, in the visit, Susanna was able to get Katerina to relax enough to feel comfortable being held.

And later yet, Katerina was all smiles and gigglesfor her new mommy.

Please pray, send good thoughts, whatever your inclination is that the Mussers will be able to bring Katerina home sooner, rather than later. I know it's extremely melodramatic to say we don't know how much time she has left, but honestly, the fact she has survived this long is a miracle in and of itself. Please pray that she will be able to witness the miracle of a loving family. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Serendipitous mixing of pronouns

I think I've mentioned before that KIC's language has exploded since her second tube surgery. Like many children her age (I assume), the components of her sentences don't always fall in order. This has very cute results, like when she's asking an animal's name "What her called?" I suppose I should correct her, but it's so cute that I just roll with the flow and give her the answer.

This morning's example is no less adorable and kind of true at the same time. When she woke up and realized I was downstairs, she got very upset at having to navigate the stairs while still sleepy. To try to enlist my help, she said "Mommmmmmmmmyyyyyyyy....you need me!" Clearly she meant that she needed me, but today she said exactly the right thing: I do need her and while I shouldn't ever need to be reminded of that, sometimes we are told exactly what we need when we needed to hear it the most.

Thanks, KIC, for the reminder. This momma's always going to need you, no matter what.