Mikey has made a decision…

Mikey has finally made the decision to stop rocking. Some of you are confused. But those of you who have spent any time with Mikey are not confused. The child started rocking as soon as he learned to sit. He has rocked in his car seat, on the couch, in his chair at school, against the wall… He has rocked his whole life.


He does it when he’s anxious. He does it when he’s bored. Overwhelmed. Irritated. Excited. He does it a lot. He does it so hard sometimes at red lights that I think people must be wondering what’s going on in my van.


And just like that, yesterday he decided to stop. I’ve been encouraging him to try to stop for a while. I’ve told him it’s weird. I’ve told him that other people don’t do that. I’ve told him he’s old enough to control it. I’ve told him it gets the back of his hair all tangled and then it’s hard to brush it.


He has rocked his whole life. And now he’s done. And he has told us to remind him when he’s doing it so he can stop. He actually told Phillip “Thanks” earlier today for bringing it to his attention. Phillip and I are flabbergasted. That child can do anything that he makes the decision to do. I know he’s only gone about two days, but this is a big deal.

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What’s in a name?

From the moment we heard that our baby girl’s name was Jade we kind of wrinkled our noses at it. We’ve gotten used to it, but we still aren’t crazy about it. We’ve been kicking around the idea of changing it, but hadn’t officially made that decision. But today we met with the attorney and we had to decide on her name. We didn’t know we’d have to do that today. So after a short pause and a look of surprise, Phillip and I just looked at each other and shrugged and said “Katie Jade Hintze.” We don’t feel like we can ditch the name Jade completely because she’s used to it and everyone else is used to it too. But I think calling her Katie Jade will ease the transition. And I like the way it sounds together. As silly as it sounds, she already feels a little more “mine” just because we were able to name her ourselves.


Mikey is upset because now he wants us to change his name to Katie too. And Brittany is just having so much fun calling Katie Jade by her soon-to-be full name. And Brittany is also enjoying putting Hintze on the end of her name too. I don’t think the little ones really understand what adoption even is, but Mikey and Brittany think its fun to get new names.


And just in case you’re wondering, we’re looking at about mid September to do the adoption. But I’ve got at least one good friend that will be in Bolivia until the 18th so I’m going to try to wait until she’s back home. I’m hoping for either Sept. 19th or 23rd. I would like to do it on a Monday or Friday if possible just in case out of town family members come.


And not to turn a happy situation into a sad one, but I couldn’t help but think of Evan today. We had to choose his middle name unexpectedly too without much discussion. Just took me back for a few second. But that’s okay. I need to be taken back to him sometimes. He is one of our babies too.

Adoption is…

Adoption is…
rescue.
evangelism.
a leap of faith.
biblical.
sacrificial.


Adoption is not…
easy.
only for people who can’t conceive.
convenient.
impossible.
just for the “super spiritual” (trust me!!)


Could you open your arms to a child you didn’t give birth to? Could you love wholeheartedly a child who does not share your DNA? Do you think you would be doing a disservice to your biological children? Are you afraid of “baggage?” After all, don’t we all have baggage? Do you think God isn’t calling you to do it? Are we not all called to help orphans?


Do you have any idea of the impact that could be made on the foster care system in Texas…or in Brazoria County if more people would go through the super easy classes to become a licensed foster home? How huge would it be if only 50 Christ following families in Brazoria County would open their homes to orphaned kids? It could be so huge. I know the fears. I’ve felt them. Heck, I feel them every day with my own kids.


If we can adopt three kids, I promise you anyone can do it. And oh my goodness, what a crazy adventure it has been and will be. These three kids of mine were born into nothing. Nothing except the arms of a loving God who knew their whole life before they were ever conceived. And he, for some crazy reason, chose me and Phillip to be their parents. He chose Jackson to be their brother. He chose our parents to be their grandparents. He chose our church to be the church they would grow up in.


I promise, long about September or October, there will be LOTS of pictures of the girls’ faces on here. We’re ready for their adoption to be final. But until then you’ll just see the backs of their blonde little heads.


These photos by Amanda Reich.




If you are interested in finding out more about fostering and/or adopting through the foster care system, here is a link to the agency we’re licensed through. The Arrow Project Getting licensed is surprisingly easy. It’s the whole having lots of kids part of it that’s hard. But it really is worth it.


Serious.

I’m super cheap when it comes to clothes and shoes for myself and for my kids. I rarely ever spend more than $25 for a pair of jeans or $15 for a shirt for myself. And most of my shoes are $12 flip flops from Target. I have had the same pair of Nike running shoes for a LONG time, like probably 7 years or more. But they still look pretty good because I rarely wear them.


So when I spend a whopping $70 for a pair of shoes, you know I’m serious about wearing them. I really tried to find a pair of training/running shoes that were under $50, but it didn’t happen. So here is what I landed on. I think they’re pretty cool.



For three weeks now Phillip and I have both been working out 5-6 times a week at the Rec center. That’s pretty much a record for me. And I’m not planning on stopping any time soon. So I figured it was time to invest in some decent shoes and a few pieces of work out wear. And just in case you’re wondering, I’m not going to be buying the Zumba butt jingles or pants with tassels. Just not happening.

Random

When I see a car with a collection of stuffed animals either on the dashboard or in the back window I don’t think it’s cute. I think it’s weird and I imagine that they have lots of cats at home and maybe lots of cat t-shirts and dog and cat knick knacks. I also imagine that they have lot of stuffed animals on their bed.


I am proud (?) to announce that I heard a Justin Beiber song today for the first time at Zumba. I won’t be adding any of his songs to my itunes library any time soon.


Mikey and Jade are the dancin’est things you might ever see. Some day those two are going to be freaking hilarious on the dance floor.


I’ve decided that I really want Jack and myself to go to Singapore next summer. I just have to save the money and make sure Phillip can survive with the other three kids for about 10 days or so. We really need to go see our friends and once they’re gone, we’ll probably never have a reason to visit Singapore again. And it would be so great for Jack (and me). Phillip can survive.


The older three kids are going to evening VBS this week. That means like 5 date nights in a row. Jade is pretty much no trouble. Not when you’re used to dealing with four. One kid is really easy. Who was the crazy person who decided we needed more? Oh wait. That was me.

Sometimes

Sometimes when I drive in from a shoot I can hear squealing before I even get out of the car. I can’t tell from outside if it’s happy squealing or ticked off squealing. And sometimes I just want to get back in the car and go somewhere else. Tonight I walked in and it was very happy squealing and I was glad that I didn’t run away.


Sometimes when the noise level is too much I just sit with my face in my hands and try to think quiet thoughts. It doesn’t usually work.


Sometimes I forget which side to part the kids’ hair on when I brush it after their baths. I forget because there’s so many of them. Brittany’s parts on the left. Mikey’s parts on the right. Jade’s does whatever it wants. Jack’s parts on the right. One day I forgot what side my own hair parted on. Phillip doesn’t have any hair.


Sometimes I just glare at a child or children as I walk by for no reason at all, just on the not-so-off chance that they are plotting to do something they shouldn’t. I just want them to think I’m just a little bit off.


Sometimes the only thing I know to say is “I understand” even when I don’t at all. Because saying “I understand” shuts them up. I don’t know why, but it’s true. Sometimes “Oh wow!” or “That’s cool!” or “I don’t know” are the only things I know to say. And usually when I say those things I really have no idea what they are talking about and I really don’t care to figure it out. That’s probably lazy.


Sometimes I groan, growl, and/or snarl when they wake up. Even if they don’t wake up particularly early.


Sometimes I appoint blame to one child just based solely on what I hear from my office, without seeing the actual offense.


Sometimes I clean the floor just because it’s a task that I can accomplish, and I like seeing the swept up pile of dust, crumbs, and other crap and know that that particular mess is gone. So what if it immediately becomes dirty again.


Sometimes I can’t wait until they’re grown and move out.


Sometimes I want to freeze time.


Sometimes, when Mikey plays, laughs, and runs with his sisters every bit of it is so absolutely worth it.

From one to two to four.

Going from no kids to one kid was tough. I was pretty stressed out. I was pretty uptight. I hadn’t yet mastered the art of keeping up with the housework…like at all. My life revolved around me and sort of Phillip, but I don’t think we even really had the marriage thing down just real great at that time. That is not to say that I’m master of housework and all things marriage related at this time either, but we’ve come a long way. Jackson broke us in with his near constant nursing around the clock, crying every evening for what seemed like several months, and just generally turning our lives upside down. He wasn’t a bad baby, but he really wasn’t an easy one either. We went from being entertained by movies and television to being entertained by the cutest kid we’d ever laid eyes on.


But by the time Jackson was four, we had the one kid thing down as well as most people, I guess. When we got Mikey it wasn’t a huge shock to our system. I remember it taking me about 6 weeks or so before I really felt like I had a handle on having two kids. Mikey was a much easier baby than Jackson. Mikey slept about 10 or so hours straight through the night by the time he was about 6 weeks old. Mikey really didn’t get all that difficult until started walking…er…running…I mean sprinting everywhere he went. And he has stayed pretty challenging since.


Jackson – 8 and homeschooled, Mikey – 3 and fearless and unpredictable, Phillip – in the middle of a school year, Me – homeschooling Jackson and in the busiest season of my photography business…


And then came the girls in December 2010.


Almost overnight, these two kid parents became the parents of four kids. Three of which were under the age of four. And don’t forget that one of those kids was Mikey, who is like two kids all by himself. It was like boot camp. It was impossible. It was harder than I can even describe. When we got Brittany in December she was just a pretty typical 2 1/2 year old. And if you’ve ever been around a 2 1/2 year old for very long, then you’ll know that they are just kind of pains in the butts. And Jade was an 11 month old that seemed like about a 7 month old. Neither of them were very independent and to top it off, they were both in diapers.


And even though we became the parents of four kids almost overnight, we did not become four kid parents overnight. We were still 2 kid parents trying desperately to become four kid parents. You can’t parent four kids like you can two. And unlike when you give birth to a newborn and have some time to grow into your new parenting roles, we didn’t really have that. It was sink or swim. There were days when we swam and there were days when we sank.


Now, six months later, I think we have more swim days than sink days. I think I’m finally starting to feel like I have a handle on this. Things that seemed impossible in December now are really just not that big of a deal.


I’ve heard some parents say that going from 2 to 3 kids is the hardest transition. We wouldn’t know because we went from 2 to 4. And it has been nuts. Just completely nuts.

I need a door.

My office needs a door. A door that closes. A door that locks. From the inside. It’s becoming impossible to work like this. If good fences make good neighbors, then good doors make good mommas, or good children, or dogs, or whatever the case may be. Sometimes I really just want them all to leave me alone. I need a door.