Monday, January 31, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adoption Struggles

I'm feeling a little guilty right now.

I spoke to my friend, we'll call her Sara, who I mentioned along with her sister (she'll be Amanda), here. It sounds like Amanda is having some doubts regarding her decision. It also sounds like Amanda wasn't educated like she should have been prior to this birth. I tried to remain neutral when talking to Sara about everything. I remember being six days into our 12 day revocation period with Shiloh, and being told by one of Kim's friends that Kim had changed her mind. We spent the next six days just waiting for the dreaded call from our attorney. It was pure hell and a pain that I wish upon no one else. But Amanda has support from some family, and if she wants to parent, why shouldn't she be given a chance?

During Amanda's pregnancy she reminded me a lot of Kim. She was 100% dead set on adoption and no one could tell her anything else. Amanda and Sara seemed to become angry if anyone spoke of anything other than the positives of adoption. I saw this coming, but didn't feel close enough to Sara to speak up. Sara is the fiance of a friend of one of Richard's military friends who we are pretty close to. Anyway. As I suspected Amanda honestly thought this was going to be an easy thing to do and no one would be able to talk her out of it. Feeling this way, she never took the time to educate herself regarding adoption, and it sounds like the Potential Adoptive Parents' (PAP) attorney wasn't much help either. (apparently, Amanda never even knew that counseling was available for her until today when Sara asked me about it and I informed that it should be, and that the PAPs should have paid for that)

Anyway. According to Sara, Amanda seems to be second guessing her decision. I told her that is normal. It's one thing to say you are going to place your baby, when he/she is nothing more than heartburn, vomiting, and little kicks every now and then. It's something else to look at this beautiful little baby and make that decision again. I tried to educate Amanda and Sara where the attorney failed (counseling, TPR doesn't have to be signed that day, this is Amanda's time with the baby), but also share some of Kim's story. I know Kim misses Shiloh and Will like nothing else, but I also know that she is at peace with her decisions and happy with where she is today.

I honestly don't know what decision Amanda is going to make. The last time I spoke with Sara she informed me that she had spoken with the PAPs and they did pay for counseling for Amanda. I know this is probably horrible to say, but sometimes I'm glad I was so naive when we adopted Shiloh. As far as I can tell, everything about our adoption was ethical. Nothing was ever pushed on Kim. We had a pretty open relationship throughout her pregnancy. I did stay in the hospital room with her, but Richard and I made sure we gave her time to herself by going out for meals, going for walks, etc. I remember tearing up as we strapped Shiloh into her car seat. I left the room with a nurse because I didn't want Kim to think I was crying out of happiness. I remember looking at the nurse telling her that I wasn't crying out of joy, but that I was so sad for Kim. It almost confused me because I wasn't expecting to feel that. This is something that I struggle with now. Richard and I had discussed starting the adoption process again this month. We've had to change that plan because work is extremely slow for Richard right now, but even if we had, all we were going to do was spread the word we were wanting to adopt and then pray about it. If we met someone between now and the end of the year then we'd continue on with the process, if not then we'd be done and be a happy family of three. I feel almost guilty at times about the pain someone else will have to go through for my happiness...

Anyway. I'm going to go ahead and abruptly end this post or it will go on and on and on... I just hope that no matter what decision Amanda makes, she puts that little girl first.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: This Is What My Saturday Nights Have Become

(for the record, the word was FUNK)

Although, I'm not complaining.


Happy Birthday to Will!!

I thought it was interesting that this morning the sister of a friend of ours went into labor. Everyone is at the hospital right now, with the potential adoptive parents of her child by her side. I've been thinking about her a lot today. To keep what I'm feeling short and simple, I'll just say that I wish her the best with what she is going through today and what she will go through in the coming days.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More Food

If you like to eat at a certain Italian restaurant with the initials O.G., and you are also a fan of a certain soup on the their menu called Zuppa Toscana, you MUST try this recipe. It tastes EXACTLY the same as what the restaurant serves.

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale


Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot.
Drain excess fat and refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
Using the same pot, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
Add chicken broth and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft. It takes about half an hour.
Add the heavy cream and cook just until heated.
Stir in the sausage and the kale, and heat all the way through.

I also made these rolls to go with it. Amazing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Operation Frozen Pot Pie Freedom

I went a little overboard with my Chili making earlier in the winter season, causing me to need to find a new cold weather food favorite. About this time I found myself craving a good Chicken Pot Pie. Pot pies were never a favorite of mine growing up. We always had the kind that you pull out of the freezer and pop in the oven. Richard has the same pot pie past as myself, so he was less than ecstatic and very skeptical upon hearing that I was on a mission to find the easiest tastiest Chicken Pot Pie recipe.

After a week of sighs and nasty faces from Richard at just the thought of a pot pie, I started to feel guilty about making it. I actually pushed it back to the very end of the week, making every other meal possible, until I ran out of other options.

The final product...

30 minutes and multiple helpings for Richard later...

Yeah. It was THAT good.

Chicken Pot Pie
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed (I found sliced chicken breast at Kroger, so all I had to do was cut them into cubes. I'm all about easy)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas*
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (we didn't have celery seed on hand and I didn't know what celery seed as, so I figured the actual celery would be enough. See how new I am to homemade cooking :))
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts (we used Kroger brand and they were awesome)
*We are not fans of peas, so we kept them out and added more carrots and celery.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What Shiloh Is Saying

"I know", as in...

Anyone: "Shiloh, you look really nice today."
Shiloh: "I know."
Anyone: "I had a lot of fun with you today."
Shiloh: "I know"
Anyone: "Shiloh, I like your shirt."
Shiloh: "I know." get the picture.

As in, "I very want to play Candyland right now."

"I should like... This one!" Said as she finally decided which Strawberry Shortcake band-aid she wanted to use.

"Well, actually, yeah, actually, the phone, yeah, yeah, well."
What you might hear while talking to Shiloh on the phone when Shiloh has nothing to say but doesn't want to give up the phone just yet.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Year Later...

He's a cutie!

For anyone new to my blog, "He" is Shiloh's brother, Will, who was also placed for adoption. Richard and I were to be his adoptive parents until we had to back out for various personal reasons.

Aside from their chubby cheeks, I have a hard time finding similarities between Shiloh and Will. However, they are both awesome sleepers and had blocked tear ducts early on (Shiloh's fixed itself, but Will had to have his opened). Also, Will's a screamer, too. And by screamer I mean, at random times he'll just let out an ear piercing scream.

We had a wonderful evening together. Laura and Jeff (Will's parents) are so nice, exactly as they were in the hospital, and were so welcoming. Laura made an awesome dinner of homemade lasagna, breadsticks and salad; complete with homemade salad dressing. After we ate I told Laura a visit at my house is out of the question. My online pizza ordering skills won't compare to her cooking skills.

I spent most of the time huddled around the kitchen counter with Kim talking and playing with Will while Laura cooked. Shiloh spent most of her time running around with Will's older brother, Charlie. She had SO much fun with him and they played so very well together, with no fighting/arguing whatsoever.

Overall, it was a great evening and I'm hoping that now that we've gotten the first visit out of the way, we'll have many more with all of us.

I want to touch on Shiloh and Will's relationship real quick. I'm sure some of you are wondering about it. Considering this is the first time she's met him, they really don't have one. When Will was first born we thought we'd see him on a somewhat regular basis, so we showed Shiloh pictures and talked about him with her. Once we realized we had no idea when she'd see/meet him, we backed off. I'm pretty sure all of the talking we were doing was going in one ear and out the other anyway. I mean, how do you explain to a just-turned-two-year-old that she has a brother who she has never met? Especially since at that point in her life the word brother meant absolutely nothing to her. I did talk about Will with Shiloh on Tuesday evening (the night before our visit), just to try to explain to her who we were going to see. I basically told her that Will grew in Kim's belly just like she did. Adoption isn't a topic we touch on a lot in our family. When my sister was pregnant with my niece I discussed with Shiloh how she grew in Kim's belly, but that's about the extent of it. I don't want to push it on her, and when I bring it up she doesn't engage herself in the conversation, so I leave it at that. Right now we focus more on nurturing Kim and Shiloh's relationship. As she gets older we'll touch more on the terms and who's who. For now, she knows Kim, she's as comfortable with Kim as she is with any family member, and, for us, that's enough.

Some of you may also be wondering if I was affected at all by our visit. I know that was Richard's first question when we got home. I think that not seeing him for almost year was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. Leaving the hospital after visiting him was physically painful for me. I hurt for myself, of course, but even more so for Shiloh. I failed her. She had this awesome opportunity to be raised with her sibling, and we screwed it up. I spent some time on the kitchen floor the next day "talking" to God, trying to make sense of everything. Definitely not one of my best moments.

Anyway. After a year I, of course, felt no attachment to him and, if anything, it was kind of weird looking at him knowing that he is related to Shiloh. I told Richard, after we returned home, that this is a side of adoption that I never even imagined. I will admit that I did spend some time later that night looking at pictures I'd taken, trying to imagine Will a part of our family/as my son, but looking back, knowing the things I know now, I can honestly say and see that he wasn't meant to be ours. If he couldn't be raised by Kim, he's definitely with the family that was meant for him.

Moving on to what some of you have been waiting for... I have the cutest picture of Kim, Will and Shiloh that I would love to post, but it seems that lately I have more than my five regular visitors coming to this blog so I don't feel comfortable posting a picture of Will on here. However, if you'd like to see it, let me know and I'll email it to you. I will leave you, though, with a cute picture of Kim and Shiloh from last night.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guess What We're Doing Today....

Visiting Will.

Yeah. This visit came out of nowhere.

Yes, this is Shiloh's first time meeting him.

Yes, I'll have a follow up post tonight or tomorrow.

Wordless Wednesday: So. Much. Ice.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011


In an attempt to save money, we are refraining from eating out this month. We don't eat out excessively. Generally, only once (or maybe twice SOMETIMES) for dinner (usually Zaxby's or somewhere similar) and once for breakfast (we love our Claude's biscuits).

Week one was surprisingly easy. Shiloh didn't have school Tuesday so there was no temptation to pick up lunch on our way home, as we are sometimes known to do. Richard did a great job remembering to grab leftovers on his way out the door each morning, and I'm working on expanding my menu of foods so we don't get bored.

Now, when we made the decision to stop eating out Richard and I both agreed we can't give up our weekend biscuit. We've been visiting Claude's every Saturday for almost as long as we've lived in this house. SO I started a quest for an easy, but yummy biscuit recipe. After asking around and doing my own research online, I decided on one that I thought I could handle. This brings me to my new blog title...

I'm a pretty decent baker/cook, but I NEED a recipe. And if I'm trying a new recipe for the first time I become a kitchen control freak (I have no confidence in myself when trying something new), or as my husband decided to call me today, The Angry Baker...

I left Richard and Shiloh in bed with some cartoons on this morning to head downstairs and get to work on some biscuits. I pulled up the recipe I had chosen, when I realized I had the wrong type of baking powder. This caused me to have to find a whole new recipe in a very short amount of time, and it put me on edge. Shortly after getting my dry ingredients together, Richard and Shiloh walked into the kitchen. Shiloh decided she wanted to help, but I demanded that she just watch talked her into just watching. Thankfully, after a few minutes she got bored and left to find something more entertaining.

I finished my sifting, stirring, kneading and rolling in peace. It was time to cut out the biscuits. I don't have a biscuit cutter so I had found a large glass to use instead. Before I could grab said glass, Richard walks in the kitchen, grabs a new cup from the cupboard, walks over.... And that's when I bit his head off. I was certain he was about to stick that cup in MY dough. Of course, he was just going to hand it to me, but I envisioned him ruining my dough (biscuit dough is to be handled as little as possible) by placing the cup all crazy like in my dough causing me to have to roll it out again because I wouldn't have enough room to cut out all of the biscuits possible. After handing me the cup, he walked out of the room, but not before turning around to let me know that my new name is The Angry Baker. He first suggested that I start a new blog about my baking with this title, but I informed him that wouldn't work because it would be a blog with only links to other websites. I have no original recipes. I then remembered that I was in need of a new name for this blog, and so the new title was created.

And there you have it. Not a super exciting story, or really exciting at all, but I like it. And I LOVE the picture. I tried to get Shiloh to hold the rolling pin and oven mit while looking angry, but she wasn't up for pictures this morning. I think having Maddie do it ended up being a better idea anyway.

Last, I feel like this post wouldn't be complete without some pictures of our "Claude's" biscuits. They turned out remarkably better than I expected. Richard was even happy with them.

I Have A New Blog Title

If you care, I'll give the backstory later today, or tomorrow when we're hopefully snowed in ;)

Friday, January 7, 2011


I need to vent and I'm too paranoid to say this on Facebook, even though I don't see how it could ever get back to the person it pertains to.

So, between Sunday night and Monday our area is forecasted to receive 5-7 inches of snow. If you don't know already, I live in Georgia. We are not equipped to deal with 5-7 inches or snow in a timely manner. We don't have multitudes of snow plows, or giant structures filled only with salt for when it snows.

Now before I continue, let me first say that I am extremely thankful for Richard's job, but this is just one example, in a long list of examples of why his boss is one of the most horrible people I know.

Moving on. Keeping in mind the amount of snow we are potentially about to receive and the fact that we live in the south, Richard's boss, we'll call her I Have No Idea How To Run A Business, Which Makes Sense Because I'm Only A Business Owner Thanks To My Divorce, sent out an email shortly before the end of today's work day informing everyone that regardless of the amount of snow received EVERYONE (except her, of course) is to be at work at 8:00 am.

I just don't understand this woman. What kind of message does this send to her employees?? How little does she care about them? And for the record, not that it should make a difference, but he doesn't work for some huge company where everyone is just a number.

Hopefully, we won't get the 5-7 inches being projected because I can't imagine Richard driving to work on roads with that much snow on them, especially in his truck that is not 4 wheel drive.

I'm so irritated.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just Call Me... (Fill In The Blank With Someone Who Is Known For Making Bread)

I received a bread machine for Christmas. Thanks to traveling and general holiday busyness, I was only able to use it for the first time earlier this week, and I love it! A good friend of mine received one earlier this year and uses hers primarily to make dough for dinner rolls, homemade pizzas, etc. When I asked for my bread machine I was intending to use it for the same purpose. I actually have plans of Friday night make your own pizza/movie night :)

(as soon as I can convince Shiloh that she loves pizza. Yes, my kid does not like pizza)

ANYWAY. After opening the bread machine and looking over it, I found a fairly easy recipe for whole wheat bread towards the end of the instruction manual. I hadn't thought about using the machine to make our own sandwich bread, but why not? It can only save us money, right? Soooo......

Here is my very first loaf of homemade whole wheat bread!

It's a bit dense, but I've read that whole wheat flour will cause that. I've found some tips to lessen the density so I'll have to give them a try on my next loaf. Other than the density though, it is amazing. I told Richard yesterday that I will never buy another loaf of bread as long as I have this machine.

Something's Changed

As you may have noticed, I've changed the title of my blog.

I started out as "Shiloh's Mommy" (I'm not very creative). I then decided a change to the name "All About Shiloh" (see, not creative at all) made more sense because, well, my blog was ALL about Shiloh. However, lately I've been having some "me" issues. Normal stuff. I think. Basically, just feeling like I've lost me. It seems that the last three years of devoting what feels like every waking moment of my life to Shiloh, as a stay at home mom, is starting to have an effect on me.

I want to make sure to note that I'm not complaining about being a SAHM. This was my choice, and I wouldn't change it.

Although, I guess I can't blame it all on my mom title. If I were to be honest, I kind of lost myself when I moved down to Georgia. I left all of my friends and family, and found myself clinging to Richard and his friends. This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but seven and a half years later I still have yet to make one friend without the assistance of Richard. I did become good friends with a coworker from the job I left when Shiloh was born, but we lost touch when I left. My closest friend down here is the wife of a coworker of Richard. All of my other good friends? They're all the girlfriends/wives of Richard's friends. While I love these friends and wouldn't change them for anything, the fact that I met them ALL through Richard is kind of bothering me. This isn't even the problem though. I just need to focus on me more. Have more girl's nights out, read more books, focus on what I want/who I want to be. As a side note, I want to point out that Richard has in no way held me back from doing any of these things. This is all on me. These are all changes I need to make.

Anyway. Back to the blog title. Because of how I've been feeling lately, I want to change things up. Something more general. My previous blog titles have given me such a sense of being pigeonholed that unless I have a Shiloh story to share I don't blog. I'm having a hard time coming up with a new name though, so "In Between Names" it is! (Note the creativity again)

One change I've already decided I'd like to make is joining a small group through our church. This is something I've mentioned to Richard before, but it seems to fall on deaf ears due to the fact that he grew up going to church just about every day. I think I'm going to start the conversation again, but this time not give up so easily.

Saturday, January 1, 2011