No genetics necessary

So Ellie’s post the other day got me thinking about my own kids and the ways in which they’re like The Professor and I. It’s funny how adoption works, you see families with kids that look just like their adoptive parents. For our family, I’ve certainly had people tell me that both of my daughters favor me – I don’t see it, but I know that the stuff underneath, there’s a whole lot in common.

Yeah, we could say it’s all nurture, but I don’t think that explains all of it. Some of it is simply divine matching – the way The Professor and I found our girls – out of all the couples in the world and all the kids in the world, we somehow found each other. And they are OUR kids. Sometimes I even forget they aren’t of our blood.

$T2eC16JHJIEFHSoyF!lCBSJo)wv8RQ~~60_35For example, Busybee, well, she and I aren’t a lot alike. She’s an extrovert and full of energy and smiles and joy. I’m not saying I’m a grump, but I’m more quiet and reflective. But there’s this one way in which we are totally alike and it kinda cracks me up. I noticed it first a few years ago when I bought them the Thanksgiving Little People play set. The box they came in is a reusable one so we keep them in there and on the top is a picture of the playset all set up. Busybee would look at the box and set everything up just so and get kind of anxious if her sister came along and changed things. More recently this has manifested itself in play with her sister – Babybee is a free spirit in many ways and has an imagination a mile long – so she will try to correct and manage how her sister is playing to make sure she does it the “right” way. I can totally relate to this, I get it, I’m the same way, but Babybee, she’s not like that – she does her own thing. So I try to remind Busybee that her sister can play however she wants even if that means pretending her mermaid is actually a blue elephant. 🙂

 

So I don’t have the same outlandish imagination that Babybee has, but we have other similarities. She’s an introvert, doesn’t care for crowds. But she’s also really precise. Even when she was really little, she was very specific about the way she did things. Where her creative play is bold and colors outside the lines, if you will, her artistic techniques are linear and clear. I can give her and Busybee the same art project, leave the room and come back and know just which one Babybee has done, all of her stickers will be perfect aligned. She’s the only kiddo in her classroom at Mother’s Day Out who is allowed to do the glueing herself on her art projects because she does it just so. She even sits like me, with her legs crossed over one another just like I do, just like my grandmother sat.

They have similarities with The Professor too. It’s crazy to me how perfectly they match us, how perfectly the fit in our family, how they create our family. Family life is messy and hectic and amazing and exhausting and everything in between. But family, no matter how you create yours, is a miracle and I am one blessed mama.

Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater…

So chances are you’ve probably heard something recent about all the piracy issues with electronic books. Authors are losing money and people are angry and the other side seems not to see the big deal. This all happened several years ago with the music industry. I think it goes hand-in-hand with some other trends we’ve seen about. So what is the big deal? Is it wrong to download a free copy of an electronic book if the author didn’t give permission to do so? Is it stealing? Is it cheating?

h7013E5E7I don’t know if any of you are aware of another significant problem in our society, but as you all know I am married to a college professor, and this is certainly something that affects our lives. College kids cheat, at an alarming rate. I’m sure it starts earlier because frankly they’re quite good at it, taking plagiarism to a whole new level. This semester alone The Professor had 2 students from two separate classes cheat on a final paper, one of these students was a graduate student so we’re not talking about an 18 year old kid here. And the level of deception is sophisticated. I’m not talking the purchase of papers though that clearly is still happening despite universities efforts to prevent such behavior.

I heard a news story a while back where an ethics professor who caught a rather large number of students cheating on a test and he gave them all the opportunity to come forward and turn themselves in even though he already knew exactly who they all were. During the news segment they interviewed some random college student and he was quoted as saying, “everyone cheats, it’s just the way it is.” I’m saddened by this though I don’t completely believe it either. Right now I have 2 nieces and a nephew in college and I’m fairly certain that none of them have cheated.

ImageBut the mentality seems to be that this is harmless behavior, but let’s consider for a moment that if you cheat on a paper and you don’t get caught, chances are you’ll do it again. But where does that end? Then do you cheat on your resume, add some “white lies” to get the job? Do you then borrow a co-worker’s idea and pass it off as your own? It’s harmless, right? What about in your family? Do you cheat on your spouse? It’s just an emotional affair so that doesn’t count, right? Or maybe it’s just harmless online flirting, nothing real. Where does it end? How harmless can it be when the behavior stems directly from your own personal ethics?

So what do you think? Is it okay to download a book for free? Is it the same thing as borrowing from a library? What about cheating in school? Is it okay to cheat just this once?

**Also I must tell y’all that I have a new book out, I hope you’ll all check out The Temptations of Anna Jacobs, it’s the second book in my Dangerous Liaisons series, an historical romantic suspense about the hunt for Jack the Ripper.

 

 


I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. The Professor and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is a three and is too smart for her own good.  www.robyndehart.com

The problem with being an introverted mom

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You’ve probably heard of the Myers-Brigg personality assessment. If you’re a writer, I know you have. In any case there are 16 types and you can take a test, there are a slew of online ones and they tell you about your personality type. It’s just components, certainly not all inclusive. Now I say as a writer I know you’ve heard about it because us writers are pros when it comes to personality tests and we’re on a first-name basis with all our baggage. For example, I know I’m a total control-freak (also very common among writers, well and moms), I’m reluctant to try new things because I’m not sure I’ll be able to do them right (AKA perfectionist), I have serious body-image issues, and I’m bossy as hell (is that the same thing as being a control freak?) One of the other things I know about myself, and to bring us back to the subject matter and the Myers-Brigg assessment is that I am an introvert. Now I don’t know if there are levels of introverts, but if there are, I’d think I was a Class 4 (on a scale from 1-5), nearly as introverted as one can get. This doesn’t mean I can’t function socially, but I do need my space. Which brings us to the problem with being an introverted mom.

Okay so there’s probably not just one problem, but there is a significant one. There are days when I wake up and though I might not recognize it immediately, it is a day when I need to be alone. Not simply because I need to recharge, but because if I’m around other people I tend to get snippy. I’m not in the mood to talk. At all. I just want to be inside my head and have quiet. These are the days when I’m the worst sort of mom. Most of the time I won’t even notice it until mid-afternoon and I realize I’ve been grumpy with my girls all day. I’ll try to stop and reassess the situation, think of ways I can either (a) be more patient or (b) occupy them without having to engage too much. It’s not that I want to ignore them, but as an introvert, I crave, I need, alone, quiet time in order to function properly. And sleeping doesn’t count. I need awake time to be quiet and alone.

It’s not so much that I don’t like people (though there are days…) it really just has to do with my energy level. The stuff I need to be the best me, that stuff only gets refilled during those alone moments. They’re few and far between these days. And this week, which marks the third year we’ve had our girls, I’m so thankful for my children and the family we’ve become. But I also believing knowing this about myself and taking action to make sure they aren’t the butt of my grumps, makes me a better mom.

So how about you? Do you know where you are on the spectrum? Do you think your personality brings challenges to your parenting?

 

Saturday Book Recommendation: A Mother for Choco

motherforchocoSeveral years ago, when The Professor and I still lived in Tennessee my sister sent me a book when she learned we were working toward getting home study approved for domestic adoption. We were always open to any ethnicity and this book is perfectly geared just to that. But it certainly works for all forms of adoption and it’s great for non-adopted kids to learn about families that don’t necessarily all look alike.

Now, both our girls love this book. They know it’s a special book and it reminds them how special our family is. I want them to always recognize our differences and embrace them and not feel excluded because of them.

So Choco is this funny looking bird & he’s looking for his mom. He goes up to all these animals to see if they’re his mom because they share features (walrus & his big cheeks) but he can’t ever find anyone who looks like him. Then he stumbles upon Ms. Bear and she comforts him and brings him home for pie where he meets her other kids – three different animals. It’s charming and sweet and one of our favorites & I wanted to share it with you.

Odd (wo)man out

MjAxMi1kNjhhMjI4MjZlYzc5YWNjInevitably it happens. You’re out in a social setting with other women and someone brings up pregnancy or birthing stories. Four years ago this was particularly difficult to me as I was sans children. But even now, after being a mom for nearly three years, it happens, and no matter how wonderful the company and how kind and generous they are, when the discussion turns in this direction, I feel left out. A bit like the weirdo. Yes, adoption is super popular these days and I can speak, which authority, on many aspects of adoption or parenting a child of a different race or dealing with CPS visits, etc. But when it comes to pregnancy and birthing, well, I never got past 12 weeks so I’ve got nothing to share.

I try really hard not to feel strange, but I feel like suddenly there is a giant blinking arrow above my head. ATTENTION: Here sits a woman who has failed at the fundamental purpose of womandome. Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated (not to mention a made up word), but you get my drift. It’s nothing that anyone says or does. I know that no one is trying to leave me out. But it happens.

For me, there was no labor pain, instead I had years of failed fertility treatments, failed adoptions and then bureaucratic hoops to jump through for my girls. For me, I didn’t fail at breast feeding because I never got the chance to try, instead I had a colicky 8-month old who drank the most expensive formula they sell and still didn’t sleep through the night. Instead of sweet-smelling baby soap and the little plastic bathtub, we had a toddler who was terrified of baths so we got a baby pool, put it in the backyard and we’d strip her down, squirt some Johnson’s in and let her swim around.

My experiences at motherhood were different from most women’s, and yeah, I feel it sometimes, but I know that it doesn’t make me less of a mother. It just makes me a different mother. And that’s okay. Despite that longing for the whole pregnancy/birthing experience (that I suspect will never go away), I wouldn’t have built my family in any other way.

So how about you? Ever had one of those things that always makes you feel left out? How have you handled it?

81OJEsNbx5L._SL1500_-2On a much lighter note: I have a new book release that I want to share with y’all. It’s the first in a new Regency-set series, No Ordinary Mistress. It’s only $0.99 so I hope you’ll check it out.


I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. The Professor and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is a three and is too smart for her own good.  www.robyndehart.com

Misadventures in potty training

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the girls being silly

So my oldest daughter, Busybee, who is now 5 totally spoiled me with her potty training. We had like 2 frustrating days and them, bam! she was trained and has only had like 3 accidents since and that’s in 2.5 years! I even recognized it at the time, that she was training fairly easy so I didn’t even bother to get cocky, especially since Babybee, who is now 3.5 has not been easy with really anything. Giving up the pacifier was a challenge. Giving up the bottle was a trial. Everything with her has been, well, not easy.

Sometimes this past summer at her 3-yr well check, the pediatrician told us not to stress over the potty training. She’ll do it when she’s ready, she told us. Right. I’ve heard lots of people say that. But here we are several months later and frankly we really haven’t made much progress. I suppose the frustrating thing is that Babybee is wicked smart and knows HOW to do it. She can even change her own pull-up. She simply doesn’t want to. And I’ve tried everything, bribery, letting her wear panties (she peed on the floor, intentionally), trying to negotiate, not changing her immediately so she can feel the discomfort…nothing has worked.

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what happened to my little baby?

This past week, so announced to me that she would be potty trained in 5 weeks. That day, she told her teachers at Mother’s Day out the very same thing and proceeded to use the potty at school all day long. I thought we’d made a huge break-through. I figured, she finally decided she was ready. The next day though she was back to her own tricks. I’d tell her, it’s time to go sit on the potty. And she’d run away.

I’m not really asking for advice, though if you have a fail-proof solution, I’m all ears, I just really wanted to vent my frustrations. She’s so clean, loves to wash her hands, I just can’t imagine why she’s okay with walking around in a wet pull-up. She’s fiercely independent and stubborn so I know there’s no making her do it, she’ll do it when she’s ready. But mommy is ready right now. I long for the day when I no longer have the monthly expense of pull-ups.

Okay, vent over. So did you have a particularly difficult child? Share some challenges soI know I’m not alone. 


I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. The Professor and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is a three and is too smart for her own good.  www.robyndehart.com

The Big 4-0

vision page in my health planner

vision page in my health planner

So it’s almost March which means we’re getting pretty close to May which is when I become an official adult. I realize I’ve technically been an adult for years, but 40 just seems adult in a big way.

Needless to say when January hit and I recognized this was the big year I decided it was time to make some significant changed. I’ve put us on a budget, it’s time to pay off some debt. I’ve been working pretty diligently at my health – trying to eat right and exercise. I get it right some, but I’m still a work in progress.

I’m trying to simplify our lives to some extent – putting the girls on a toy rotation (for another blog), cleaning out closets and getting rid of a ton of stuff. In other words, I’m trying to take control and be responsible and all that adult-like behavior.

How about you? Have you ever made any big changes before a significant birthday? 


I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. The Professor and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is a three and is too smart for her own good.  www.robyndehart.com

I do some stuff right….

There’s so much pressure in our world to have the perfect life or to at least strive for it. I know I fall into this trap a lot. But here’s the truth, my life is messy, my house gets messy, I’m always behind on laundry, my writing is messy, I don’t consistently exercise (though I’m working on this), I eat entirely too many m&m’s and I’m so not a perfect mom. But every now and then I do something that makes me proud of where I am that day, sometimes it’s only one tiny thing, but you know I’ll take it. So here are some things that I (mostly) do right…

miss_spiders_tea_partyI read to my kids. Even when it’s reading the same I-can-read book that has no plot, and zero excitement. I don’t play with them nearly enough – as in getting on the floor and grabbing a Barbie and using my imagination with them. But I do read them books. And I dance with them. And I snuggle them and get silly with them.

I’ve finally conquered the paper monster. I don’t know about y’all, but we get an extraordinary amount of mail, I’d say about 80% of this is crap (junk mail, flyers, political crap & credit card offers – you know what’s irritating? credit card offers from companies where you already have a credit card – check your mailing list, people). But after many trial and errors for the right process and solution, I finally have one that works that keeps paperwork from eating my house. (for the most part…)

IMG_0941I make sure we eat pretty healthily *most* of the time. My girls get lots of fruit and they eat veggies even if they don’t want to. And they have to try new things, even if the chicken is “wet” (Emily, can you believe Babybee said that to me last week? She is so my kid!) They snack on raisins and trail mix with nuts. I try to make sure that we’re all set for the week with healthy go-to foods, boiled eggs, cut up veggies, fruit, etc.

I learn from my mistakes. I don’t know about y’all, but I screw up all the time, in all areas of my life, but especially in parenting. But I think I learn from my mistakes and try to correct things in the future. As much as I hate it, I do recognize when I’m wrong and try to move forward in a better direction.

Hopefully there are other things I do right, but that’s my list for today. I could fill a book with all the things I do wrong, but I think we put too much focus on those things. Sometimes we need to step back and acknowledge that we do do some things very right. So what are your things that you’re doing right?

This is so my life!

Because I have mommy brain I can’t remember if I’ve ever shared this on here, but I’m so excited that they’re continuing to make the videos and now we have Conversations With my 3-yr old Daughter! Woot.

BTW, if you haven’t watched these before, do yourself a favor and catch up. They’re short and all hilarious!

Blogs I love…

I hope that most of you check in with us on a weekly basis so that you can see what we’re up to here at the Peanut Butter moms. Or better yet, maybe you subscribe and get out blogs delivered directly to your email. I have a handful of blogs that I’m a loyal follower of and can’t wait to read their posts when they pop into my inbox. Today I thought I’d share some of them with you…

i heart organizing

I Heart Organizing – this blog is like the holy grail for all things organizing for your home. Seriously her project gallery is like porn for me. I just can’t get enough of her great ideas.

bowl lemons

A Bowl Full of Lemons – this blog is pretty similar to I Heart Organizing though with a different flare. Toni, the woman who runs it, has great ideas for not only organizing stuff in your home, but also your finances. And she runs a FB group where you can see how other people are organizing their houses.

mpmk

Modern Parents, Messy Kids – I love this woman’s sense of humor. She blogs about everything too, which is great, recipes, DIY, kid stuff, organization, etc.

spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning365 – Seriously I never thought I’d follow a blog about cleaning, but I love the way she breaks projects down into bite-sized pieces. It’s so nice to think I only have to do this one thing today, I don’t have to clean an entire house.

So how about you? Do you have favorite blogs out there? If I were to peek at your Pinterest boards, what would I find? Mine are littered with organization ideas and recipes and some DIY stuff. Comment and you could win my entire Forbidden Love series. 

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IMG_0860I’m Robyn DeHart, AKA Basket-Case Mama, but not because I’m crazy (though really, what mom isn’t?) but because I have a slight obsession with baskets, well containers really. I’m a bit of an organization nut and I love to containerize stuff. And yes, I’m authorized to use words like that because I am also a writer. But back to the kids, so I’m mom to two ridiculously beautiful little girls and I can say that without bragging because I didn’t actually make them. In 2011, my husband, The Professor, and I adopted said little lovelies from the foster-care system here in Texas and now we’re a big happy forever family. Busybee is five and so full of joy it just oozes from her. Babybee is three and is ridiculously smart and sassy. When I’m not trying to keep up with my two bundles of energy, you can usually find me on my laptop on Pinterest, no, that’s not right, um…you can find me writing, yes, that’s it, writing my latest historical romance. www.robyndehart.com