All posts by Andrea Cockrum

I’m "here" but grumpy and you really don’t want me to write today….

I can’t wait to talk about the “hornets”….BUT…until today I have been crabby, irritable, and just an all around “downer.

It is my ridiculous, annoying, “needs-to-go-away” PTSD again (triggered by what happened in my last post AND the dang hornets….

Today was finally better so I am sure I will feel like spilling my words here soon 🙂 

All my love…

There was a shark, a gar, and a behemoth in the water…Unbelievable!!!!

It started out as a nice afternoon alongside “Lake Monroe”. 

Unfortunately, we had settled on an exceptionally rocky part of the lake (big, huge mistake). The rocks were HOT and SHARP..

But…heck…we were settled in before we realized just how rocky the whole place was. And, holla to the parents out there who know the pain of setting up coolers, towels, rafts, frisbees, cups, drinks, lawn chairs, big umbrellas, e.t.c.,  you just don’t want to pick it all up and resettle. 

Sorta like the pioneers… we just “settled” 😉 



There’s SUDDEN screaming…not just “screaming” but “real, I’m hurt, not playing around SCREAM”.

It is my nephew (age 7) who is screaming…He and Zane were playing by a boat dock (with permission).

Seth is just SCREAMING! 

I start RUNNING from our ‘spot’…YES…over the “hot as lava” and ‘sharp as razor’ rocks but who cares! 

My brother-in-law is trying to get to Seth but he’s pretty far out in the water and … well .. ya know … it’s hard to move fast in water that hits you at your thigh. (shallow lake I find out)

So…I was running TOWARDS the “danger”. Thumbs up for me! Gold Star! I’m the “Weekly Winner”!  I did not FREEZE!

(afterwards me and my PTSD had a sweet conversation. I told it I was proud for letting me run to HELP someone and not run away with my tail between my legs the other way. I think it means something that I could run towards my nephew and not just point and scream for David to hurry….  Score?  Andrea: 1  PTSD: 0   -at least for that day 😉

Okay…So while I’m running over the rocks, hearing his scream my ‘rush to extremes’ brain is kinda going a bit nuts…but it’s also all true (scary, eh?!)

I was thinking: SHARK! (um…freshwater lake Andrea)


(no Gars in this lake Andrea, I knew this. Forgot.)

 (under water? No more movies for you, ever.)  

BEHEMOTH! (if it’s a behemoth, which is a word the Bible uses as “dinosaur”…then I am in WAY over my head…pun not intended but it appeared. uh-hem seriously Andrea? yes. Seriously Blog.)

As a result of the ABOVE (scary eek holy heck thoughts)…

I am in full mode….. GO!!!! Get Seth now before the shark, or the gar, or the behemoth gets us ALL! 

So….I’m over the “hot as lava” and “sharp as razors” rocks and….(yes, big gash on my foot. I lived.)

I run into the water.

The lake water is muddy, etc. 

I am a HORRID judge of anything that is non-fashion-oriented. 


Can’t measure distance, nuances, height, time, calories, friendships…nada. 

Now, if we are talking about a pair of “Jimmy Choo” shoes…well girls…I got all the time in the world to measure those. 

I’m digressing aren’t I?  okay.

I THINK I’ve run MORE than far enough into the water to take a swan dive into the water..

 (like the movies ya know…”Baywatch” and all..yeah, like that…) 

…to REALLY get to my nephew, who is still screaming a murderous scream and NOW to Aven who is nearby and SHE is now SCREAMING ..and dive..FAST. Must. Get. There. Fast.

I dive.




My beautiful, “Baywatch” swan dive turned into a SPLAT upon a POINT, MEAN BOULDER!!! 

(okay. rock. but it was HUGE. And I have witnesses who witnessed the huge status of the horrid, mean, ugly, devastating, hell-bound rock)

Now I am thinking…

“HOW am I going to save Seth and NOW possibly AVEN FROM A SHARK if I am bleeding INTERNALLY? 

Will my arms still work or do I only have a limited amount of time before they droop? Dang I have to hurry. Dang my intestines hurt.”

So. I swim…somehow…with a broken uterus, pelvis, colon, and lower intestines.

I GET TO SETH! (phew, are you as glad as I am about that right now? I’m exhausted from reading all this.)

His beautiful brown eyes are TERRIFIED.

I put on my “ADULT” act      (totally faking cuz I’m sure it is a shark and we are all about to die together…myself, Aven, and Seth….)     and tell Seth..

“IT IS OKAY! IT IS OKAY! Tell me what hurts” 

He says, [I swear upon a pumpkin I am NOT making this -or any of it- up] “THERE IS SOMETHING IN MY FOOT!”

THE INSTANT HE SAID THAT I THOUGHT “Yep, I was right! We are going to die. It’s a shark’s mouth. Or a Gar. Or a behemoth. It’s in his foot. I knew it. I’m sure it’s huge. We are goners.”

I knew we were in our last minutes because I knew I did not have the life skills to pull a kid’s foot out of a shark/gar/behemoth’s mouth.

 Nope. I was sure I did not.


“How To Pull A Child’s Foot Out of Shark/Gar/Behemoth’s Mouth 101”  and what would be “201”?  A Whale’s mouth?

The shark will probably pull away..taking Seth’s foot I’m thinking? And at least he’d have his leg? What does one do in these situations? 

Meanwhile, Aven is still screaming which is REALLY throwing me for a loop. I am trying to decide to keep Seth’s foot and leg attached or not and she’s hollering? 

I’m sure the shark/gar/behemoth does not have her because Seth JUST told me something was in HIS foot.

Now, please, like there would be TWO shark/gar/behemoths in ONE location? Maybe ONE LAKE..but..statistically for more than one to be at the boat dock. That’s just crazy talk.

I assumed the shark would be WAY to interested in Seth to notice Aven’s cute little toes…she really needed to tone it down.

I decided that a leg without a foot is better than many of the alternatives that were going through my head…He finally reached out for me and I reached his arms and…..


And he came right to me?? 


Where’s the shark/gar/behemoth fighting me for Seth’s leg?  (dang my colon hurts I am still thinking)

Seth is crying, sobbing, “My toe! There’s something there!”

I take a deep adult-breath and held him in my arms like a baby (we were in water up to my chest or so?) and I look.

IT IS A HUGE FISH HOOK.  huge phew. huge sigh. 

BUT…WOW…that has to hurt! I am SURE he thought it was a shark too!  (or a gar or a behemoth.)

With one SWIFT move I got an ancient hook outta the boy’s toe and handed him off to his Dad and then I got Aven away from that area with Indy Race Car speed. 

Also, partially because I still wasn’t sure there was no shark, gar, or behemoth circling about us…AND…I was sure my colon was bleeding out my ears and I surely needed immediate medical attention from my failed “Baywatch” dive.

We all regrouped at the rocky ‘spot’ and collectively stared at each other for a bit. 

Personally, I was thinking that Seth has QUITE an impressive scream. This thought I had whilst squeezing my lower torso together, just to reduce any unseen gashes or perforations the pointy, hell-bound boulder/rock caused.

We all took some deep breaths, inspected the ((**$%&) hook that had invaded Seth’s toe and I was stared at to see if I was going to melt into a PTSD lump or bleed out.  

Phew. And we were there for what?  fun? that didn’t work out now did it?

That is some SERIOUS “lazy afternoon on the lake drama” (especially if you include the drama inside my head!)

BUT….Just so you don’t worry….

Turns out that all of my internal organs were actually, shockingly, right where they were supposed to be. 

We surmised this as I did not keel over and die after being stared at for a bit. 

Additionally, after about an hour of my continued living, we decided to forget that my uterus almost came out of my elbow.

AND…(truly…)  AND……(but you have wait…sorry! I’m TIRED!)

Would you believe there is even MORE (lots more) DRAMA to this apparently Titantic-like afternoon at the lake???  THERE IS. 


I will tell you ALL about that drama next time….because, right now, I feel the need to meditate, pray, hide, run away from gars, research if behemoths still survive…

…..and schedule an appointment with my doctor as every time I move my elbow hurts? Like there’s fluid in there or something?



PS OBVIOUSLY this entire event just poured into my PTSD like a river. 

After it was all said and done, I had to take some time and get myself settled, etc. 

Writing about it from a humorous  (and true as to what was inside my head! so weird 😉 standpoint helps me a lot. Just writing helps!

It helps me to ‘categorize’ the moments better rather than the entire event staying clumped up as “scary” inside my mind – which is one of the foundations of PTSD. ” Not being able to categorize.” Shark/Gar/Behemoth is an example of not being able to categorize in the moment even. (yep..working on that. eyeroll)

Not categorizing…The inability to “move on”; “find closure from a traumatic event”…. all these lead to a person with PTSD, who is not learning coping mechanisms and/or medicines, to put all major or even minor sudden, surprise, unusual events into one, scared area of their thoughts and actions. 

All that being said…back to it is a lot more fun to write posts like this than my last post. BUT…both types help me...and I REALLY hope someone got a giggle from this one. 

I was laughing out loud as I wrote it because I couldn’t believe I actually thought all of those things…and I didn’t remember thinking all of them until I sat down to “dissect” my memory while I wrote.  

Life’s interesting…..

& Come on in and tell me what ya thought…Click “View Comments”!

Why the hey am I so angry?? Get a grip. (I sorta did so now I can talk about it) So Odd.


That was a rough PTSD last week. (holding my head.)

It seems that my PTSD flares (or I make it flare….keep reading) and leaves me spiraling into –

…. exhaustion, irritation, and hypervigilance – plus anxiety. Sounds like a ball of fun, eh?

But last week….it included ANGER.


You are thinking….

“Did she scream and yell?”

“Did she throw things?”

No. I did not. (okay I might have… but I not at the kids. Wow. I’m amazing. sheesh.) 

It was almost a “sad anger”. Sad that this mental health issue is here. Sad that it affects us still. Sad that I cannot, consistently, wake up and just feel “good”. But, it was also an unusual anger that I allowed to build.

The anger … this type …. was definitely new to me. 

I sort of wanted to just be alone until the feeling went away, but I knew that was a bad idea and also not that reasonable.

However,  I wanted it “gone”. I am not used to “super angry”. It is a bit un-nerving. 

[okay…we are not talking ‘murder-angry’ or anything…though I did ‘murder’ a few cartons of ice cream last week]

By last Friday, I was standing in our room, crying. 

I was trying to do my hair or throw some makeup on or whatever (I feel better dressed, etc when I’m struggling with PTSD)

Jim walked in … stood in front of me …. and I said, “I have NO idea how to make this go away. None. If I did I would. I want to be mean. I want to scream. I want to tell people off. I have controlled it all but this is not me and it needs to end.”

What’s a guy to do? It’s not like he can come over and give me a big hug. I’m irritable, itchy, sensitive to touch when in this state…a hug would have made me scream.

Jim was left with the same phrase that has begun to haunt us…”We can get through this.”

To know neglect of his own, I already knew that. I didn’t, truly, expect to be that angry for days and days. 

The scary part was not being able to understand it. 

Now that it’s subsided, I can see through it a bit more. I can see why I acted the way I did when that sad-anger was sitting on top of me.

I let things build up.

Specifically, stressers/triggers. 

I lied to myself that I could handle it all last week.

There were events occurring last week that were super-struggles. But I was not true to myself about my ability to handle it all. 

I, instead subtly let the stress of each situation build, and I think the “mound-o-stress” (ha)  turned into a strong anger that I did not understand until the feeling left.

Some stressers were related to a situation that I do not blog about (out of respect) but which causes me significant sadness.

I did not consider that those situations would bring on such anger. 

All the {oh I wanna insert some sort of mean adjective but I won’t} specifics in this situation are NOT new in any way shape or form. I was sure I could handle it all.

I have experienced “regular” anger towards the situation, the people involved, the losses we’ve experienced…but not “THIS” anger.

THIS anger was deep. Sad. Until it was dissected, um like right  NOW, it was just raw, sad, anger that was leaving me confused last week.

Add to that, just before the difficult stress that occurred last week, we had enjoyed a long weekend away. That was JOY … coming home is NOT. [enter stress]

(the following may seem petty…but to someone getting her brain all-balanced again…it is SO SO SO not…)

I LOVE home. I NEED home. It is my “safe” spot.

But…I do not like a super-messy home.  But, durrnit, coming home from a long weekend, at a beautiful and sandy beach with five kids,  means MESS. 

{insert ANGER … at least that was what happened when I saw all that vacation stuff laying around…why???}

I am not a “Has to Be Perfect” Stepford Housewife!  I have gotten OH SO MUCH better at letting a lot of messiness go. 

I let it fly out that dang proverbial window ….. I was even getting better at that BEFORE PTSD…(pat me on the back…  😉

But MESS that comes through the door and sits in piles for a day or two…blah. gag. boo. stress. [anger growing]

You are thinking, “Just deal with it. Just put it away.”

Yeah. Well, um, can you come put it away? Or better yet…Wash it and put it away? While life continues?

(Said in complete kindness of course…sorta)

One of the things a PTSD sufferer deals with is lack of focus and a component of this is that SMALL things seem MASSIVE. Unattainable. Why-Even-Try-I-Cannot-Do-It.

Now, medium to hard stuff? Somehow that does not affect me as much.

Take homeschool for instance. Teaching my kids is a pretty “big” thing on a daily basis. A huge responsibility. 

If I’m feeling even just barely so-so…I can do homeschool. I feel great about it!  But there is NO WAY IN HADES I could hang up some clothes in my closet. WHA????  

It is so weird to be me. 

AND, adding to the above events (stressers),  there were a few other more relational-yuks that were occurring that absorbed me last week.

AND, last but certainly not least – adding to the above ,  our “Nala” (3 yr old, sweet momma-dog) ran away from a friend’s house while we were gone. (I mentioned that in my last post…sigh)

We were looking for her all week in 90-100 degree temps. I struggle, deeply, (like we all do) when my kids are hurting but I did not think to associate THOSE feelings with triggering my PTSD so much. 

{insert stress-obviously. But I did not ‘feel’ angry about this event. Sad? Sure. Angry? not so much. This is one of the reasons some of this hit between the eyes maybe?}

As I am typing this all out … at this very moment … I am thinking,

Andrea, it probably wasn’t all THAT unhealthy to feel such sad – anger last week.  For the love of pete, give yourself a break. Why didn’t you last week? 

Yes, it was new and strong and scary. But why are you still surprised at PTSD stuff?

Why didn’t you wave the white flag and just HIDE for a few days? Why do you push so hard?

You have PTSD. You ARE sick. [growl]

You cannot plow through like you used too. You need to remember stuff like this for next time.

Because there might be a next time when you feel like a complete failure because you want to scream, and throw, or act out in anger-induced ways. You are smarter than this!”

Dang this is real writing. Here’s to transparency!

I hope my kids read this in the future (hey future kids…I adore you)..and know “me” from all of this. 


How could they not, eh? 

And I am certainly not scared of them seeing their “true” Momma who isn’t perfect. They see her in-real-life right now!

Reading about it in the future will probably be humorous….”Ha! I remember when Mom was doing that! She was a trip!” 

or “Yep. She sure freaked about that sand.” 

or “Wow. Mom REALLY fought to have our family be tight even when she was struggling.” [this one is my favorite]

I am happy the sad-anger has left…but so has the stresses that were mentally straining me, although “Nala” is still missing. [sadness]

Apparently these events were desperately more difficult on me than I was aware of.

And there’s where the rubber hits the road. 

That’s when the anger slipped I think. I let it all build until is passed “irritation” and slid right into raw, pure, sad, hot anger.

So now what? Hide in my house forever? Never interact with others? Stay away from sand-related long weekends?

No….I simply need to plan better. 

If you are a person reading this who is or knows of people who struggling with mental health wellness…please talk about being completely honest with yourself (or help your friends be honest with themselves…) 

Sometimes it is HARD to allow yourself to be constrained by the truth.

“Will this event draw you out long term?” 

“Add up all the stressing events going on yesterday, today, tomorrow. Can you handle more?”

That kind of stuff. That kind of HONEST stuff. That hurts. Makes you feel like a failure, a louse, a weakling, if you have to say “NO” oftentimes.

I used to be good at asking myself these questions…Jim was especially good at seeing events that would put me in bed for the famous 31 hour sleeping events. [those haven’t happened in a happy long while. Improvement!]

But, now that I’ve gotten somewhat healthier, (hey…don’t I sound oh so healthy?! ha) I’ve gotten out of the habit of ‘checkin’ myself like I was.

OR I assume I am bionic and can plow through difficult things with ease and comfort, and be fine the following days.

Well. If there were ANY doubts (oh please)…I am not bionic. 😉

I am a fighter who fails (danggit…) but who, with the help of God, Jim, kids, close friends, and ….

(truly…and I don’t give a fig if this sounds odd…because….if you are reading this then you read this entire novella so you get my ‘weird’ a bit.)

….you guys.  

Here, I have an outlet to throw it out.

I have a place to write my brain down and to hope & pray that what I am writing, as raw and as somewhat embarrassing but yet oh so true it all is, MIGHT be touching a reader right now.

THAT also pushes me and makes me a fighter. 

I can come back out of the corner of the fighting ring, makes me put my (pink) boxing gloves back on, and go another round. 

I am pretty sure I lost this last round but I am hoping to make up for it or should I simply say “improve” this next round.

Because what HAS happened doesn’t necessarily need to be “made up for” but it can be used to IMPROVE oneself, yes? [this may be one of my best blogging sentences ever … I should probably take heed.]

Wowza…thhat was some really real writing!

Okay…push me outta the corner…

Especially those that don’t have it…..need it desperately.

This has NEVER happened to us before.


Our 4 yr old pup ran away from a friend’s HOME Sunday evening. “Nala” was sighted headed, south, towards OUR HOME Tuesday. This means a 6 lb dog, in 90 degree heat, has walked at least 7 miles, admist cars, in less than 2 days.

Poor thang..She WANTS to come home…She is SO close… She just wants HOME.


[THIS is Nala….sigh….Praying she shows up on our front step or we get a phone call that someone found her….some hearts hurt around here…]

I know this is SUCH a stretch but….But, pondering the instinct a dog has to return “home, even after months in some cases, has me contemplating what ‘HOME’ truly means. It’s a dang big deal.

Let’s pretend we are not talking about “Nala the Dog” for a second….but a baby that doesn’t have a home. I know…big stretch. Canine versus Human…HUGE difference…but…

I’ve been dwelling on getting Nala HOME since Sunday. It’s natural for my brain to meander into other avenues of what “HOME” means…to all sorts of all of us.

A baby…don’t you think…don’t you KNOW they have an instinct for a Mother? A Father? 

They KNOW when they do not have that. They KNOW when they do not have a HOME. A PERMANENT place of love and safety.

If the baby grows into toddlerhood in this same situation…be it in an orphanage, a temporary foster home, etc., does an instinct kick in to LOOK for “Mom” or “Dad”.

I know for a fact it does. 

If they do not find a parent, or someone who functions like a permanent parent, they do not develop the ability to BOND. 

To know the safety net of “HOME”. 

To understand unconditional love. To know the feeling of falling asleep without fear.

And the longer they are without ‘HOME’ the more jaded they become. But…jaded is removable..ask us how we know …. phew.

Children…starting at a startling young age…yearn for ‘HOME’. A HOME.

Our Tye [this is how we know…] did not come “HOME”, from China,  until age 2.25. 

It was APPARENT that he HAD yearned for a home but had not found it and, as a result, had hardened himself against what he did find…which was chaos, transitional caregivers, boredom, and hunger.

How do we know he had an instinct for a HOME, A Mommy, A Daddy? Because he was so closed off from all that was normal for a 2 year old’s heart. 

He was walled up inside himself. 

He was behind a wall of protection he’d set up for himself, mentally, because he had not found the things he instinctively knew he needed. Up went the walls.

It took God, and us, over 2 years to break those walls down…and to let his instinct for ‘HOME” resurface.  

He had to learn to trust again….to learn to go to sleep at night without fear that there would not be food the next day or that someone would take his only possession…his shoes. 

When he came home, he REFUSED to take his shoes off for months. He WANTED his shoes to be there ALWAYS. He had substituted a pair of shoes for a set of parents. [this world is so hard]

high quality and good price for kid shoe
 [they are similar to these but orange..of course I saved them 😉

When we finally had him as ours forever… he went to sleep STANDING UP in his crib….flat-out-FEAR. He was on HIGH ALERT. 

He also screamed his lungs out while he tried to decide if he was safe or not. Was this HOME? He had lost the instinct for such a thing and was crazy-confused about what was happening.

It did not matter what we, new and -again- random to him, people did to help him sleep…he had to figure it out on his own. Decide that he was safe. That his shoes would still be there. That there would be food. 

That, what he wanted and needed the most but did not quite know what it was, our LOVE would be there when he woke up. Eventually…he knew he needed it but he had to be ‘taught’ to let those feelings back out and to rest in the security of his HOME.

It was an IMMENSE struggle. Some of the hardest years of our lives.

But…now Tye is, mentally, “HOME”. He’s been physically home for 7 years. He’s been mentally home for about 5 or a bit less. We knew when it happened. It was the 100+ days we spent, alone as a family, in Guatemala during Aven’s adoption process.

He ‘settled’ during that time. He decided we were his and he was ours. The timing of that trip was divine for so many reasons….And one was to help Tye’s give that one last “nod of the head” that ‘this is going to work’.



It’s instinct.


Especially those that don’t have it.

If you are called to adopt…If you think about adoption all the time…If you lay awake at night thinking about “your baby”…..

You know what to do. Do it . 

Adoption is not on everyone’s plate…but it is on some. As much as we are not to be ‘inside-the-envelope-type-people’ (snirk)…Others LOVE the routine of the corporate life.  We all have our own paths.

However, if you feel the adoption bug but think there is NO WAY….We have been there. Knowing we were to do adopt but it did NOT make logical or financial sense.

However…It has worked out. God stretched dollars, blessed business, and had our backs.

 I cannot promise roses and long walks on the beach (smile)…..but I can promise a sense of wholeness that is not found in ANY other way…if you are laying awake at night thinking about “your baby”….


She SCREAMS "What for me Momma…." then tries to RUN down the stairs cuz.."I WANNA SEE MOMMA! Please WAIT!" .

 Boots? Beach? Booyah!

She was waiting for us to catch up as we walked home from the beach…AND…she was grumpy 🙂 

 Chase & Trey …. sweetness on a raft and in the water 😉
 “Let’s build a dam” oggga oga
 Dam built!  ogga ogga OGGA!!

 [insert heart-shaped smile ;]  That is my Trey….Strolling back to ‘base camp’…probably pondering something exceptionally important. How could I love him more??? Impossible.

 Now we are back at our rental house and ‘da boyz’ are showin’ off…JUST a wee bit…

 I want to cry when I look at Trey’s expression. He was having SO much fun with his Dad. 
You can almost FEEL the camaraderie, love, and hero-worship gigs that Trey has for his Dad….and the world is as it should be.

 OH my Tye 🙂 Even though he is on a severely restricted diet (allergies)…somehow he always manages to be eating?!

A “few” pictures from our FIRST day of our mini-to-slightly-longer-than-mini vacation to Lake Michigan 🙂  {I take A LOT of pix don’t I?!! }
We are having a treasured time making family memories.
I adore how, as the kids get older, they are becoming more than siblings but…FRIENDS. I’m not referring to someone just to “jump off a chair with a Buzz Lightyear cape on his back” (smile) but true, happy, I-want-see-you FRIENDS.
Sure there are bleeps on this radar. As in EVERY relationships there are bleeps, speedbumps, and detours.  However, I see a strong foundation developing between these 5 people (my babies!) that makes me excited for the future.
Excited to see where they land and how they keep up with each other…it might be easier since several will want to live with Mom and see her every day 🙂
One thing that I love about hanging out as a family is that you get to get what each child might need “a little bit more of”.
Sure, we hang out (a lot) as a family at home…but you all know…guards are down during vacation and, as a result, different and unknown things are discovered.
The last few days have just been blessed.
We have had a beautiful time together..Jim and I have been able to drop boring  life stuff (BLAH!) and just focus on the amazing people God has entrusted us with.
All that being said, nothing seemed ‘blaringly’ needy in regards to a kid’s soul or mind. Jim and I were thinking…”We got this gig!”.…
Here’s how something went down that changed our perspective a bit.
I started to go downstairs for a second….Aven asks, “Momma, where are you going?”
Now, between you and me I was just going downstairs to make sure Jim and I were on the same page for the rest of the day. 
BUT…I said to Aven, “I’m going downstairs to hug your Daddy. I’ll be right back!”.
Suddenly, she is tripping over her feet then her knees to get dressed fast enough to get downstairs with me too…
I was a bit set back. A bit saddened. 
Doesn’t she see Jim and I show affection towards one another enough to make her feel secure and safe. Jim and I are strong believers that if the MARRIAGE is working…then the kids are feeling , deep down, GREAT (in general).
Then I wondered if it was just “a girl thing”. Maybe she just wanted to see me be all “Barbie” and Daddy all “Ken”? eh? But, no…I do not think that was it.
In my soul,  the instant she screamed it and tried to get to me before “the hug”…I knew Jim and I had dropped a perverbial ball.  We had let our girl down. We had made her wonder. Maybe we had made her feel a bit afraid? 
Yes, Jim and I had hugged, kissed in front of the kids (eh! gross! but they LOVE it)…but just not enough in front of THIS kid apparently.
THIS kid was SO desperate to just see her Mommy & Daddy hug that she almost fell down the stairs trying to get there before the hug happened.
Of course, I waited for her.
I took her hand.
I didn’t say a thing. Neither did she.
Jim was outside sitting down.
She stood AS CLOSE AS SHE COULD GET while I bent down and hugged her Daddy.
The SMILE on my daughter’s face was radiant.
(my husband was sorta confused but he ran with it 😉
We have, so far, learned at least one big, huge, major lesson on this sweet vacation.
We have FIVE kids. 
Not One.
Not Two.
Not Three.
[sheesh, are we crazy!]
Not Four.
ALL of them need to see their parent’s love on each other. EACH child needs to experience that feeling of “Yep, they still love each other. My world’s okay for a least a little while longer now. I can be mean, stir the pot, or not…but Mom and Dad seem to still wanna be here so I feel good.”
Maybe we need to keep a spreadsheet of who saw a kiss on which day and when that kids needs to, then, see us hug in the future? smile
Obviously, a hug and a peck in front of our kids on a regular basis do not solve world issues [smile]; however, when a problem DOES creep up into our family, or into our kids…they know they have a foundation of stone, not sand, to holdfast too.
 The ‘showing of affection’ drives this idea home for them….so it seems.
Now I know that she wants to see her parents visibly show her our affection for each other…when, then, translates to safety, security, and happiness for her. 
A LOT of people would say this is “Adoption griefor abandonment issues that she is working through”. Um. If that is the case then why do my biological kids have the exact same need and desire?

It was not adoption-oriented…it was simply child-parent stuff. 

You better believe will we will be sure to meet her need to “see us hug” better…apparently Jim is ALL for it 😉 Luv him 🙂
Andrea (seriously sorry for any typos…will fix in the morning 😉
PS I wanted to add that, if you are a single parent reading this…I do not want you to feel sad, or bad, or anything of the sort.  You do not have a ‘someone’ next to you to ‘hug’…which makes what I wrote about above a bit hard 😉
I believe that YOU can give your child this sense of security and sense of safety by talking about how you will never leave them.  It could even be drawn out or written out and then framed. Placed in a prominent place…a reminder that YOU are always there for them.

By having silly traditions or words that “ONLY” you and the kids get. You know how an inside joke makes you feel? Like you BELONG to the group? Same idea!
What about also bringing other family or beloved friends into the discussion. Letting your children know that not only will YOU never leave, but they are surrounded by people who will be there for them.
I think that would be a beautiful sight to behold for a see their “I got you back and I’m staying” people all in one spot….THAT would be POWERFUL!
If you are a single parent…I seriously do not know how you do it. I do know though, that you can absolutely, without a doubt, provide your precious treasures with the feelings I wrote about. 
Hat’s off to you my single parenting friends…You CAN do this and you can do it with an excellence that amazes me and everyone around you….  


You can decide Monday…..

…. to leave for another quick couple of days at the beach 😉

AND….for the first time EVER….

Drum Roll PLEASE :))

 NO..Really…DRUM roll please!! 😉

I have told all 4 boys to PACK FOR THEMSELVES.


And…now…SUPER GASP….the girl wants to too.

My inner-massive control freak can ONLY think of the ‘ruined’ photographs.

Because, surely, the boys will, accidentally, grab out of the “to be given to friends with younger kids” bin of clothing.

Thus….our photographs will have LOTS of ARM and LEG and very little COTTON.



I can do this.

I mean…Right? This is SO NOTHING in the scheme of the world issues.  NOTHING. 

It is HIGHLY doubtful that this -shocking- development of horrid photographs will even be picked up by the AP newswire. 

Surely, the other large media outlets will look the other way.

They will understand that “kids will be kids” and the then resulting pictures… YES?!!

National news outlets are renowned for extending grace where grace is do…

And, I can HARDLY expect that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge…

( she or is she NOT preggers? I can barely take the suspense) 

…..will be bothered by the pictures in the “The Mirror” newspaper when she sees my kids’ over-abundance of legs/arms versus clothing. 

Once she’s a Mom, she might understand. (And, again, WHEN will she be a Mom? We should call the Queen. I mean…this is getting crazy.)

Maybe I should write Kate a letter? hm.


All this is to say…

YAY for vacay!

But please excuse the, potentially world-stopping, onslaught of pictures that may appear here.

Allowing my Crew to pack for themselves was SUPPOSED to help me and my PTSD symptoms..but..well…I’m not so sure that worked 😉

If you feel the need to cover your eyes or report us to “E” Entertainment News as a “What Were They Thinking” photo submission…I would humbly accept this decision.