2014
08/20

Category:
Family

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Sorrells Family Vacay

07.26.14 Rangers vs A's_072714_G52RQ_0154

Every summer my family plans a vacation, but let me be more specific, we don’t just plan and go, we talk and plan pretty much all year long. We meet up every 2-3 months or so for OU football games, kid bdays, etc. and inevitably the family vacay gets brought up. This has been my whole life. If there is not a vacation (or OU football) on the horizon my whole family is in a bad mood. Nate has somehow adapted this mentality as well (substituting OU for Tech football of course). So we are constantly scheming cheaper getaways.
As I have mentioned I have a brother in Moore, OK and a sister in Austin, and my parents live about 10-15 mins. from us. Between the three of us “kids” and our spouses we have 7 children. The oldest, my brother’s daughter, is turning 11 in a few days and his son is turning 7 next month. The other five kids are 3 years old and under. Needless to say, our trips have gotten a lot more interesting in the last three years.

Two years ago we celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary in Florida (with four grandkids), last year it was just a trip to San Antonio with five grandkids, and this year it was sort of a week long staycation with all seven. My parents did rent a beautiful house on Lake Bridgeport for two nights throughout the “staycation”. In case you are wondering it was a six bedroom house and there were several babies sleeping in closets. Those “Texas-sized” walk-ins have saved our sleeping on several vacations. For the most part though we were in ft. Worth. Next year we are doing Disneyworld (yes all 15 of us….assuming no one has/adopts anymore) so we decided to be low key this summer. I will say it was right after I started The Connected Child so we were still working out the technique kinks and the behaviors were subpar (for my two). There was a lot of swimming, boating, eating, board games, and one rangers game. I also learned that B may be a bit of a bully when it comes to her younger (by 6 weeks) cousin. She tends to think of Maddie as her personal play thing. Our saving grace are my brothers oldest two, Aubree and Brody, they keep those babies entertained like no one else can. Owen is the next oldest and he has a very strong relationship with my sister’s oldest Ella. Strong in that they love deeply and fight often.

One morning when we were at my house I heard a little 2 year old voice through the monitor say, “Hello, Hello Owen open the door.” Then I hear my son saying, “I can’t”. Again the other little voice, “JUST OPEN THE DOOR”. About that time I walked up and saw my niece. No one was awake so on later confirmation from her mother I learned that she had scaled the pack n’play for the first time, opened the doors to the media room where she had slept, and walked downstairs to help Owen escape. Little did she know that we keep a child proof door knob on Owen’s room due to past escapee events. While these two are consistently up to no good and Baeya is climbing little Maddie every chance she gets, little Casen, who turned one in March, spends his time observing the crazy older four and ignoring the “babies”. Aside from a missing shoe and some missing wood chips for the big green egg, I think it was a pretty great week. Looking forward to some more crazy episodes next year in Orlando.

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2014
08/13

Category:
Family
Our Home

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Parenting The Connected Child

Last year when we were doing our Individual Interviews for B’s adoption my social worker asked me how we were going to deal with discipline.  I think everyone knows how truly opinionated I am here but for some reason I have not jumped onto any specific parenting style. I had read several parenting books: Bringing up Boys; What to expect in the first year; Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby; Happiest Baby on the Block; etc. and have taken numerous child development classes throughout my undergrad/grad school/CEU history. I just don’t have super strong opinions on things like co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing, time-outs, or spankings. Don’t get me wrong I never wanted to spank as a punishment, but I also am fully aware that in the parenting world you NEVER SAY NEVER.

When our SW asked us this question we had just crossed over into full blown “terrible 2′s” and I was a little at my wits end. Owen had been getting time-outs since 18 months old, but they had started to not work quite as well. My fuse is long but the explosion ain’t pretty. She recommended a book called The Connected Child. So being the huge book nerd that I am, I immediately downloaded it on my kindle app. I was about 30% of the way through when we got the call about Ms B. Needless to say I quit reading it and didn’t think about it for months.

Then two months ago I received an email from this adoption group that I follow. It was offering a women’s book study specifically on this book. I thought, now that’s weird. Owen had escalated his bad choices right about this time conveniently when B started crawling (and getting to his toys). So I emailed some adoptive/foster mom girlfriends and we jumped on. This discipline style is so tough especially for an exploder like myself. It sounded a little hokey in the beginning. Connecting and then correcting the behavior. Constant nurture along with constant structure. Time-In’s instead of time-outs. Stopping and thinking about why I am saying no and if I can turn it into a yes. Choices with opportunities to compromise, but I cannot deny it COMPLETELY works. Owen is a much happier, easy to comply child when I am on my Connected Child game. He listens better and is much easier to take no as an answer when it is surrounded by loving yes’.

The book study ended about 2 weeks ago and I have been slacking big time. Owen’s behavior has gotten a little worse but I am comfortable in the fact that I know what to do. I am no parenting expert and use to cringe at my elementary school when parents asked me for advice, but I can answer those questions now with a little more confidence. I don’t know if this will work for every kid or even if it will work for Baeya, but I am on board. We have signed up for another book study including the fathers and I am anxious to see how much more we can curb those bad behaviors as a parenting team. So if you are in a place similar to where I was 6 months ago and you are open to a complete overhaul on parenting techniques please please check it out.

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2014
07/30

Category:
My Projects
Personal

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Book Club Free Month

book clubThis month we start our “new year” for book club. It will be the beginning of our 5th year together. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to start a book club. You can read more about that at Book Club!. So this month we had a free month to read what we wanted while deciding the format for the 5th year. Summer months are the best to read in. Bedtime no longer applies to myself in summertime. I have no idea how my brain deduced this because there are still 5 am feedings for B, 2 am potty wake ups for O, and 7 am wakeup calls, but in the summer it completely doesn’t matter. Needless to say when we decided to do a “book free month” in July, I was stoked! So far I have read the first three Harry Potters (for the fourth time), the third book in the Divergent Series (btw-that was a big fat ”meh”), and I am doing an ongoing book study of The Connected Child (more on this later). Last week I had about 20 pages left in the 3rd HP and I kept putting it down because I didn’t want it to end. Typically if I have even 50 pages left in a decent book by golly I am staying up until 2am to finish it. I am always sad to finish HP3 though, I love reading this book and it never disappoints. I could go on and on about that but I digress.  I actually just wanted to publish all the books from our four book club years. We usually have a family book exchange party in December so there are only 11 books per year but for some reason there is olnly 10 in the third year. I thought about highlighting the books I really loved but realized that I love them all. A book becomes so much more when you get to talk about it with a great group of ladies! Happy Reading!!!

 

 

Titles of the first year of book club:

Olive Kitteridge-Elizabeth Strout

What is the What-Dave Eggers

The Pilot’s Wife-Anita Shreve

Sarah’s Key-Tatiana de Rosnay

Still Alice-Lisa Genova

The Lace Reader-Brunonia Barry

Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins

Their Eyes were watching God-Zora Neale Hurston

Across the Universe-Beth Revis

Room-Emma Donaghue

Remains of the Day-Kazuo Ishiguro

Titles of the second year:

Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte

To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee

Little Bee-Chris Cleave

Ender’s Game-Orson Scott Card

Shiver-Maggie Stiefvater

The Girl that Chased the Moon-Sarah Addison Allen

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time-Mark Haddon

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society-Mary Ann Shaffer

Something Borrowed-Emily Giffin

People of the Book-Geraldine Brooks

Defending Jacob-William Landay

Titles of the third year:

The Happiness Project-Gretchen Rubin

The Devil in the White City-Erik Larson

Portrait of a Lady-Henry James

The Fault in our Stars-John Green

Wasted-Mark Johnson

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-Rebecca Skloot

Shanghai Girls-Lisa See

The Long Earth-Stephen Baxter

Wild-Cheryl Strayed

The Handmaid’s Tale-Margaret Atwwod

Titles of the fourth year:

The Wicked Girls-Alex Marwood

These is my words-Nancy Turner

Sirens of Titan-Kurt Vonnegut

Rebecca-Daphne Du Maurier

And the Mountains Echoed-Khaled Hosseini

Labor Day-Joyce Maynard

January First-Michael Schofield

Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein

And Then There Were None-Agatha Christie

Losing my virginity- Richard Branson

FREE MONTH

2014
06/08

Category:
Uncategorized

COMMENTS:
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Rookie Mistake

I made a rookie mistake today. A rookie mommy mistake. Several actually. We went and met Nate for lunch and afterwards got a carwash. The kids were being so good, I got duped. Duped into thinking that they could handle a run to Homegoods. I have been craving some decorating time and figured a short run to Homegoods could “scratch the itch”. So I preemptively took Owen to the bathroom as soon as we walked into the store. That plan didn’t work. We ended up in the bathroom 4 more times. That’s right, 5 total! There were two clean up missions (not number 1) and two recon missions, Towmater was missing. (Don’t worry, Towmater was found.) In between the bathroom trips the little one decided it was a good time to spit up. Twice. Full on move the cart over the spit up so no one slips until an employee can clean it up kind of spit up. And the most annoying part of all…I wore jeans. Carrying an infant car seat + 6 month old + 3 year old (all at semi-separate times) back and forth to the bathroom makes for quite the workout. But I made it through without tears or yelling. So I figure I did OK. Not great but OK. Just when you think your getting good at this mommy thing something like this happens and you remember. You are not in control, but I will not be duped again by those innocent faces, at least not for the next two days…

2014
06/06

Category:
Our Adoption

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Visiting Baeya’s Birthparents

This past weekend we headed down to Beaumont, TX to visit Baeya’s birthparents. I haven’t spoken a lot about them because I want to respect their privacy, but also did not want to miss this opportunity to share with everyone what open adoption can look like. I haven’t spoken a ton about open adoption either except on a few blogs including, A Letter to the Birthparents, Adoption Seminar, and Fritzel Number 4. Basically my relationship with Baeya’s birthparents have been primarily via text message. We speak weekly for the most part and its mainly updating on our lives and pictures. I want Baeya to have the opportunity to tell her own story to whomever she wants so I will just say that her birthparents are happily together with a son. He looks and sounds just like Baeya! Such a cutie!

We spent time with Baeya’s birthparents, paternal birth grandmother, and brother on Saturday. I have honestly been waiting for the jealousy to rear its ugly head, but I am very happy to say, it never did! At least not yet. Seeing Baeya’s birthmother hug and kiss on her and tell her how much she missed her was emotional and beautiful. I am so happy that we are apart of each others lives. I have thought about this day for 7 months. Baeya was her adorably dimpled self and definitely acted very comfortable with them if she didn’t recognize them. We got some pictures and had a great time meeting her other brother.  We left Beaumont feeling positive about the future. The fact that Baeya can call them up anytime or visit. The fact that she has them in her life to explain why they made this hard decision, that they love her and always will, and other important things like medical information. Adoption is never going to be easy on any child but at least I can feel comfortable knowing she will have answers to questions that other children of adoption may never find.

So far this open adoption experience has been a very positive one. I can’t wait to continue getting to know Baeya’s birthparents. They are wonderful people and we are so blessed to have them in our lives.

 

 

 

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