Monday, December 28, 2009

Ah, Sleep!

Aside from a very tickly throat making it hard to sleep, last night wasn't too bad. The boys are on a better schedule now. P is still waking up super early, but sometimes we can get him back to sleep, and when we can't it's usually closer to 5 than 4 (which is still crazy early, but not totally insane early like his 2am days). So today P woke around 3, took a Melatonin and cuddled with daddy, then woke again around 5:45. Much better :) Still not as good as Christmas (Sleeping! Straight through! Till 7am!) but much, much better :)

Ambrose most definitely knows days and nights now. Hooray! He was ready for bed around 6 or 7, we did our night routine and actually put him down for good around 8pm. He ate at 10 when Nik brought him to bed, then 2am or a little later (4 hour break! 4 hour break!!!) then 5am ish, nibbling again around 6am right before Nik took him and let me sleep. Then he hooked on again around 7:30. He tends to have an hour wake phase in the mornings followed by an early nap, so pretty much I hand him to Nik asleep, go back to sleep myself, Ambrose wakes up and plays hard, Nik wakes me up right as Ambrose is getting really fussy and I nurse him back to sleep for an hour or two, then he wakes up for the day (at least for 2 hours anyway). So I don't think that 2-3-4 schedule is going to quite work for us right now, unless we can stretch out the morning wake phase a bit! Either way, he gets like 3 naps a day anyway.

Despite the great sleep, I'm not so much looking forward to the day. Nik was off work from Thursday through Sunday, is at work today then going to a wedding, won't be home till after P is asleep, then he's off work for 2 days. So we have one stressful day in the middle of an almost week long vacation. Then he's back to normal schedule as of this Thursday.

And next Tuesday? Preschool. 5 days a week, 3 hours a day, glorious, interactive and well run preschool for my big boy who is really so, so big now.



Sunday, December 27, 2009


Is 12 weeks old today.

He's hefty and strong, alert and happy. He's much more predictable and very easy to care for. And he's playing a bit with toys now. He's growing well and he's growing fast.



Friday, December 25, 2009


Christmas has always been an important time for me, a milemarker in a sense. I like to see where I am each Christmas, and how far I've come. I can never forget solidifying my bond with my best friend over a Christmas spent in DisneyWorld when we were 16, or finally getting to know my older sister over Christmas when I was 19.

And I look back fondly on all my Christmases with Nik, from the first in 2002 when I finally met his family after dating almost a year, to this one, the first Christmas where we can say "kids" instead of "kid." Granted, I also met him right before Christmas in 2001, freshmen year in college, and he attempted to talk to me at a Christmas party then but I stuck with those I knew the whole time.

In 2003 we went to my sister's together, me driving 12 hours straight from NC to NH, then 2 hours more the next day to get to ME. I still wish Nik had had his license then.

In 2004, 5 years ago today, we became engaged (through negotiations, not proposal, which my husband says he'll always regret as he'd hoped to propose).

In 2005 we had our first Christmas as husband and wife and were looking forward to 2006, when we'd surely be first time parents, or at least pregnant.

This is when Christmas truly became important. Suddenly, my own childlike wonder at Christmas turned into a need to share Christmas with my children. I watched other families with small children or women with pregnant bellies and I envisioned the future. I hoped and prayed, but more than that I just planned. Because surely, we'd be pregnant soon.

In March it didn't happen and I knew that there was no way I'd be delivering a healthy baby before Christmas.

In May we found out Nik was infertile.

In June we looked into foster-adoption.

In July we were turned away due to our ages.

In August we settled on VietNam.

In September we settled on Kazakhstan.

In October we settled on Ethiopia and sent in our application.

In November we were doing our homestudy.

In December I cried and prayed and hoped and wished and tried to envision us with a child in 2007. It was different from the year before, when I envisioned us sitting in church with a sleeping baby. This time I envisioned one or two Ethiopian children seated beside us, big enough to sit by themselves and watch the service.

In 2007 we spent Christmas Eve in the church nursery. There was no way in Heck Paxton would sit through a church service.

In 2008 we had a repeat. And I was hoping again. We were hoping again. And praying. Surely, by Christmas 2009, we'd have KIDS.

And here we are today. Paxton woke up a 7am, the longest he's slept since Ambrose came home by more than an hour, which I suppose was his Christmas present to me (though I was up at 5). He's napping now and will be up soon.

And there's Ambrose now, who fed every 2-3 hours last night then went right back to sleep and is now sleeping peacefully in my Moby D, smiling from time to time. He laughed hysterically at my parents house. I suppose that was his Christmas present to me.

And I have my wonderful husband by my side, who cooked me my lunch and entertained me with a fun video game and is now quietly reading a book while I blog. Because blogging is very important :)

Words cannot describe how I feel, though I think "blessed" or "lucky" can come close. Just feeling the weight of a healthy baby boy or listening to the long run on sentences of my once-language-delayed 4 year old delight me. And I've been having trouble getting to bed on time lately entirely because I'm having too much fun sitting up and talking to my husband. Yup, almost 8 years and 2 kids later and we still enjoy each other's company just the same (more in fact).

Now on to putting away the laundry and finding a spot for all the new Christmas gifts. And making Nik hurry up and finish that video game of his (Assassin's Creed II, veeeeery good) so I can get to Persona 3 FES. A mother's work is never done :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Good side and bad side...

On the good side, we have several days of joy. I really felt like Paxton and I connected again this weekend, in a way we haven't since Ambrose came home. I think the biggest thing that upsets me with Paxton is his mask. Not a real mask, of course, but the invisible one, the one that comes up when he's guarding himself. He becomes hyper and angry and defiant and just hard to control, and all the while there's a mask over his eyes and it's like HE isn't there, like you can't reach him, can't reach or even see into his heart. He's all guards and walls and dead, unfeeling eyes that look right past you or right through you, depending on the severity of his actions.

The mask came off again in the past few days, and there, underneath, was my darling beloved son whom I adore. We cuddled in bed, read books, played, and hugged and hugged and hugged. Nik took the baby a lot, on my asking, so that I could spend alone time with Paxton. And it was wonderful. I already miss it.

Especially since today... is not a good day.

See, Ambrose is getting pretty close to sleeping through the night. Paxton is sleeping a bit better (still up around 4 but now cuddling with Nik and going back to sleep until 5 or 5:3) and Ambrose has been up once or twice a night only.

But last night...
Ambrose was up at 12. For the day. Yeah, midnight. I was up and down with him. Guess his noises woke up Paxton, who left evidence of being up around 2am (kitchen light on). Then was up and down from that point onward, making noise and talking and waking us up. Had we not been so tired we would've tried Emergency Plan B (Plan A is cuddling) which is to just give him another Melatonin. Seriously, the boy needs to sleep later and if that's what we have to do to get through this, then that's what we have to do. So tonight the plan is: Up before 5am, he gets a melatonin. But last night/this morning the plan was not in effect really. And Ambrose was fussy and Paxton was angry and exhausted and kept coming in wanting to play, and Nik was exhausted and whining at him to go back to sleep and I was just trying to get my rest while feeding the eternally latched on Ambrose and OMG it was awful.

So fast forward a bit, past the horrendous shopping trip where I totally lost my head and ranted at Paxton about the fairness of life and such, way too loud, both in the store and in the parking lot, and got tons of stares because OMG I must be a horrible which to be flipping my poo at a small child... yeah, fast forward past all that. I locked him in his room. Yup, locked. In room. For over half an hour. Granted, it was half for his safety (after his behavior at the store and in the car I was seriously reconsidering that "no physical discipline" rule I set for myself) and half for the baby's since he was trying his damnedest to set me off (he does that on days like today) and he realized that he could threaten the baby's safety AND directly defy me for the umpteenth time in one solid move. I gave too many warnings, and then off to bed it was. I don't think he believed me at first. Then I locked his door, put the baby in his crib and let him cry for 10 minutes (the hardest part of this all), got the groceries in and put away, moved the laundry over, took my pills, set up lunch, made a fresh cup of instant coffee, and took the baby downstairs to browse the internet, nurse and stare dumbly at celebrity gossip until I just didn't feel angry anymore.

Have I mentioned that coffee is my Zoloft?

We had a very pleasant lunch, he got ready for nap just fine, we read a great book, had a very nice chat, and I tucked him in with a kiss and his nap blankie then took Mr. Finally In Deep Sleep downstairs in a pocket sling ($5 at a consignment sale, woohoo!) and did some work online. Well, okay, answered some emails.

P is asleep. A is asleep. I'm tired but have just had a cup of coffee so sleep will not cometh (and A needs this deep sleep so badly that I don't think I'll be taking him out of the pouch anytime soon). I'm... feeling calmer. P was still acting negatively at naptime but I didn't give into it and it calmed him. It's just a rough day. We've had too many of them recently, but we can get through this. We will get through this. And this past weekend is proof, proof that my sweet, darling boy is still in there, hidden deep inside a frightened and guarded heart. And proof that he's willing to come out every now and then. And proof that, really, we're getting better, he's adjusting to Ambrose, we can get our sleep schedules back on track and we can still appreciate both our children, equally, for who they are and what they bring into this world.

Also, preschool starts in like 2 weeks. WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sleepy Mama

About to go back to sleep, too. Ambrose gets fussy around 4:30, and once Paxton is up around 5ish (hooray!) I get out of bed with Ambrose and go downstairs for a bit, then once Nik is up at 6 I hand him off and go to sleep till 7:30. Then I get coffee. It's a nice arrangement :)

Paxton had his screening a couple days ago. Their biggest finding was what we already know: he's obstinate. He digs his heels in at everything and has difficulty, emotionally, changing from one activity to another. He wants to stick with one thing, wants patterns, wants reliability and consistency, so she had a bit of a tough time screening him. But all in all, he's a pretty much normal little boy. Woohoo! They want to reassess in a few months after he's been attending preschool.

Yesterday I had Miss Allison at the library help me find some books for Paxton to help him prepare for preschool. You know, after I got chastised for only bringing in Ambrose (it was baby storytime and my mom was home with P). We read a few and he was fascinated. Unfortunately, he hadn't realized I wouldn't be staying at school and now he actually is scared to start.

I believe his response was something like this:
"No! You can't leave! I will be so lonely! If you leave, I will look and I will look and there will be no friends or anyone and I will be all alone! You have to stay!"

Cutie :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I've had good days...

The past couple days... had their moments. Good and bad. If you're the praying type, please think of us. We're really just exhausted and dragging by over here. Need to remember how fortunate we are and not get bogged down. Hard when you're up at or by 4am every day and simply can't get to sleep early enough to make that bearable on a consistent basis.

Did have another post up. Need to not write too much. I'm honest, and I'll openly say life can be difficult, but as honest as I am I also need to recognize when I'm just being pissy and whiney and tired myself and showing one of my beloved children in a truly bad light for something he can't really control (his sleep schedule) as well as things he's learning to control (impulses like "ooo, let's play with scissors and cut up mommy's table cloth that she finally pulled out! Why only break one rule when there are just so many!").

I'm tired today, but tomorrow... is a new day. A better day. There will be cake at a birthday party. There will be cookies and a nice warm meal at my mom's. There'll be partying and Christmas tree decorating, and maybe even the yearly "Santa Claus is coming to town" which I actually look forward to.

And in the morning? There will be sleep. Yes, real, honest to God sleep. My husband hath so promised. And he went to bed at like 7 so he'd better as heck be the one getting up at 4am.

And last night... my mom held the baby while I went out with Paxton. We had the following conversation on our date:

"Hey, Paxton! I love you!"
"I don't like you mommy. And daddy doesn't like you, and baby doesn't like you, and Gambi doesn't like you, and Grumpa doesn't like you, and NO ONE likes you!"
"Oh, well, that stinks. Hey, buddy, why are you so angry? Are you upset with me?"
"I don't know. I don't know anything."
"Oh, well then... You know what? I love you, and I love daddy and gambi and grumpa. And I believe that they love me too. And I believe that you love me too. :)"
"Hehe, I love you very much mommy!"
"And I love you too Paxton!"

This is, of course, highly preferable over how previous conversations have gone:

"I don't like you mommy."
"... *sniff*... really?"
"Yeah, I don't like you at all. And I don't love you."

Yeah, hormones are nuts. And sleep deprivation doesn't help, now does it?

So last night... dinner wasn't perfect, but it was good. And I'm glad I got to go out, just P and me. My mom even watched the baby while I put P down to bed, and that was just outright pleasant. Not rushed, not angry, not frustrated, nothing. Just calmly got him prepared and dressed. We lay down on the bed together and read a book. I tucked him in, nice and tight.

And the look on his face.... how do I describe it?

There was no mask there. There was no anger, no hesitance, no hyperness, no... no mask! Nothing blocking my child and I! And it was beautiful, to really see him, see an honest smile, see him give himself over to me wholly and trust that I wasn't going to be angry or leave. And it was nice. And moments like those haven't happened that much since Ambrose came home, I realize, and I know much of the recent frustration isn't over "Paxton as the traumatized child" but over "Paxton as the jealous older brother," a role as old as time itself.

This morning P was up early. But we managed. Ambrose was fussy from 4-5 but slept until 7 by himself. I had over an hour to hang out, just P and I. We talked, ate, read books, had fun. Paxton was happy. I was happy, if a little tired. It was nice.

This evening... wasn't so nice. Maybe because I was really, really looking forward to Nik taking over when he got home but he came back sick. And Paxton was angry and negative about Christmas presents. And I was... not reacting right. And Ambrose... he slept so much after shots but then, this afternoon and evening he's been near inconsolable. He's asleep now, finally. He shrieked for longer than I've ever heard him shriek and I literally just gave up and put him in his bouncy seat and, well, ignored him. It was that or yell or hold him while being too frustrated and I've heard too many tales of shaken babies starting out with moms who were overtired and getting way too frustrated and the baby wouldn't stop screaming and, well, I love my kids and as much as they can drive me nuts, I'd rather walk away and ignore their cries or pleas than be a threat to their health. But Ambrose finally calmed down and fell asleep and is laying across my lap. I'm about to take him up to bed.

I'm praying P gets out of his "up at 4" sleep cycle soon. Or grows up enough that we can trust him when he's awake. We can trust him less now than we could pre-Ambrose. Definite regression, and I need to remind myself how normal that is.

I leave this post on a note:
Today I went to a babywearers group meeting. It was nice. I got away for a bit, just me and A, met some nice moms, tried a Mei Tai, learned some things.

And I watched a couple of 3 year olds. And they were sooooo much like P is right now, in his regressed state. Like, I'm not even kidding. What I've been seeing as problem behaviors everyone else sees as pronounced normal behaviors. Like more than normal, but wouldn't it be absolutely normal for him to be emotionally younger than his physical age? Isn't that the norm in children adopted older than infancy? It was actually kind of nice, really, to see another kid strike out against their mom and see her get frustrated with his behavior, and hear the same tones of voice and almost the same words... Yeah, sadistic as it sounds, it made me feel much better. Like... we're not abnormal. He's not abnormal.

Also, he's flipping adorable. Seriously, I have the cutest kids in the world. So there.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Up at 3:50am with no chance of going back to sleep. Nik took his shower, finished packing and was out the door at 5am to make a 6:24 flight to Pittsburgh. Whole company is going there for a luncheon and dinner (and tours and speeches and as much as they can fit in within -24 hours).

Ambrose slept very well, comparatively, last night and was up at 4:30 only because we majorly messed up and put him to bed in a daytime diaper and he was soaked and cold. Got up at 4:45am when Paxton was awake to give him a bath and get him dressed.

Whenever I think of 4am I remember Wuthering Heights and the fact that that's when they all woke up. That struck me as so bizarre as a teen. I mean, I could see going to sleep at 4am, but waking up then? Please! Who in their right mind would do that. Also, I used to believe that parents actually had a pretty strong say in when their kids woke up and if they were getting up earlier then the parents had no right to complain as they were obviously allowing it. Ha. Haha. Riiiiight.

How many more words must I swallow???

On the bright side, we have a full schedule. Soccer practice at 10 am, then nap, then my mom comes over to watch P while I take A to his Dr appt and see how big he's grown. Tonight is mommy-son datenight at Sweet Tomatoes, as it always is when Nik isn't home at night (usually for D&D). Tomorrow morning will be heck but then at 9 my mom comes over again to watch P while I take A to my first Triangle Babywearers meeting (yaaaay!). Oooo, maybe my new mei tai will show up tonight and I can get some tips from them on it :) Yay indeed!

And the best thing going on right now? Baby sleep!

Talk about a growth spurt! That 3 week growth spurt lasted only 4 days. I say only now because we're currently 4 weeks into a never ending growth spurt. Or several clustered together, rather, as he keeps cycling. It's like 3-4 days of eating every hour to two hours followed by about 2 days of almost constant sleep where I do have to wake him up to eat or else he'd probably sleep through just about every meal. Looks like today we're back on sleep duty. On his spurting days he can't seem to stay asleep longer than 30 minutes. On his sleeping days he's hard to wake up and can't seem to stay awake longer than 30 minutes. Yay sleeping day!

On a sucky note... I just realized that Ambrose is getting his first wave of vaccines today, on the one day when Nik absolutely will not be here. I get the feeling I'll be up a lot in the next 30 hours... Here's hoping I actually get any sleep tonight. And of course, here's hoping Ambrose reacts well to the vaccines and nothing awful happens.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lalala, no sleep no sleep, lalala

Okay, so there IS sleep... just not as much as I might like :) At least the little guy is cute, right?

He keeps hitting growth and developmental spurts. The best part is that after the spurt I can usually tell what's changed about him. Like right after the 3 week growth spurt when he started smiling, or at 6 weeks when he started to bap things with his hands. Last week he was fussy for a few days, eating constantly, and right after that he started to smile when he heard our voices. He's been fussy for the last couple of days, eating every 1-2 hours mostly, and this morning? He laughed with me. Or at me. Iunno. I was tired.

We're already looking at adoption programs for #3. I've recently found an agency working in the Congo. Paxton's agency still has a solid Ethiopia program and just started up in Rwanda. Several agencies are working with Ghana and Uganda. Of course, VietNam might open up again, and there are always kids in Japan who are eligible for adoption, especially those who are not ethnically Japanese. Then there's always the US again, seeing if there are any kids available for adoption from foster care in neighboring counties (our own county has a bad track record) or adopting again through Ambrose's agency. We did have a good experience with them.

A's agency would ask us to wait until he's been with us 18 months to start over, and it can move pretty fast with them obviously. Otherwise, we may start again when he's a year, if the program takes long enough. I mean, if we choose an Ethiopian infant program and it'll take 12-18 months till referral (not travel) AFTER all the paperwork is submitted... well, we might start that pretty early. We'll have to see.

And already the question of gender is creeping in. Should we ask for a girl this time? I mean... I would LIKE a daughter someday. And yet... I don't want to ask. I want to just... be open. Let the child who is meant to be with us come home to us. Had I been able to choose gender the first time around we wouldn't have Paxton as I did want a girl. I'm so, so glad we couldn't choose.

So on the one hand, the only way we might be able to have a daughter at all is to outright ask for one as most people who do ask will request a girl and those open to gender will usually end up with a boy. And yet... would I really mind a house full of boys? It would make some things easier, like passing down clothes or dealing with teens all the same gender (and thus similar issues).

I guess we'll see. And we may end up asking. We're pretty much going on gut instinct over here, on just about everything, so whatever feels right at the time is what we'll go with :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

I just have to put this somewhere...

Need to get this off my chest before I go nuts and post it in a forum where it might actually be read by someone.

What I believe in terms of Breast Feeding:
-Human babies do better on human milk.
-Human babies also do pretty darn fine on formula.
-Most woman can breast feed if they so choose.
-No woman should be forced to make that choice.
-Not all woman can breast feed even if they want to.
-Sometimes, breast feeding can even prove dangerous.
-Some people will nurse preschoolers, and that's cool with me.
-People who nurse preschoolers seem to want everyone else to nurse their preschoolers, and that's not cool with me.
-If you ask a question at the La Leche forums it's pretty much exactly the same as asking a dog diet or health related question on a dog forum: it will always come back to the same few people spouting the exact same things, shaming you if you've deviated from their own lives, praising you if you're a copy of them, and not really answering your questions.
-I'm already getting sick of lactivism.
-If someone has a question about weaning, formula, supplementing, putting a baby on a schedule, moving a child out of their bed, or anything else they DESERVE to be treated with respect and have their questions DIRECTLY answered by people who support their decision. They do not need a bunch of obscure essays or news articles thrown at them trying to push them to change their mind, and if you must send them a link please answer their actual question first, not with guilt, shame or revulsion but with kindness.

I will say this:
-I wanted to nurse my baby.
-I worked damn hard to nurse my baby.
-If another woman got pregnant easily, had a great pregnancy and birth, had a full supply come in immediately with breasts that never hurt, I would not be in the least upset if she chose to bottle feed. I may be perplexed, and a tad jealous, but her baby will most likely survive just fine and it's none of my business anyway.
-Not everyone is me, and just as I can accept that there are people out there who follow vastly different religious paths, I can accept that there are people who follow vastly different life paths. The only time I'd be upset is if someone were actually trying to harm their child (or neglect them) which is not the case with people who feed formula, sleep in separate rooms, utilize an outward facing stroller, or even use (uuuugh) disposable diapers. As yucky as those are.

K, that is all. I will now go back to attempting to glean information about breast feeding while ignoring all the hype and anger ever present on the forums. Except for the Triangle Mommies forum. Seriously, they're just relaxed and awesome :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

That sleeping thing...

We co sleep. In my bed. And I have no problem plugging his mouth with a boob the second he fusses. And I don't let him cry except for a few situations, such as in the car (not much I can do if he hates and we have to go somewhere) or everynow and again in his crib (when I'm reading a book to Paxton before nap, spending 10 minutes or less in the kitchen doing something too dangerous to hold him, or just getting frustrated and rationally decide I need a couple minutes alone to stay, well, rational).

And the result of my giving in for most situations?

He's sleeping better at night. He's calm about 75% of the time in the car. He calms down when I place him in his crib and turn on his mobile. And he's growing and thriving and healthy.

Oh, and not dead. That one's important, cuz we co sleep AND he's not much of a back sleeper and both of these things mean instant death. Nevermind that I'm following all the safety rules...

The big thing, I think, is that he's calming down about not being in contact with us. He's allowing us to place him down somewhere (blanket on floor, bouncy seat, crib, carseat, bed) and we don't have to be constant touching or interacting for him to not be screaming. In fact, now that he's discovered that he can hit things with his hands he's a happy camper in his bouncy seat with the "click-clicks" hanging from the top. I can't wait to see what happens in the coming months as he gains control over those adorable little fingers and learns to grasp his toys and interact with the world around him.

And he's starting to laugh. Just little huffs as he smiles, almost like hiccups, but to me it's unmistakeable.

And he mimicks sticking your tongue out.

And he mimicks the tone of "I love you" as we say it all the time.

He'll be two months on Friday.


But back to sleep.

For the past few nights he's only been up twice, TWICE, a night.

And I rejoice.

And yet...

OMG why do I tell people openly how we sleep? Why, why, why?

Granted I'm a very open person. I mean, seriously other than a couple slash fanfictions written in my college years for poops and giggles I have nothing to hide. So I'm open, about fertility and adoption and adjustment and everything. So I'm open about this too, and you wouldn't believe the number of moms who lean in and let me know they've been there, in the same exact situation, and they're right along with me in the co-sleeping, non-CIO, breast feeding department.

But then... there's the advisors. And for some reason they're mostly men.

Don't get me wrong, I know they're all well intentioned. No one is giving me advice on getting my child to sleep on an adult schedule for their sake. They're kind people who are worried I must be greatly displeased with the state of things and just need some gentle guidance.

And yet... I don't need it. Nor want it. I'll willingly accept advice, of course, as again it's not ill-intentioned. But we're doing just fine, I think.

I guess it's a different way of looking at things. I believe the articles I read about babies needing to breastfeed on demand, at least for the first several months. I also believe that trying to put a baby on a schedule in the first several weeks just won't work. I tried to put A on a schedule right after this last growth spurt, which seemed to work for about 2 days but suddenly didn't. Now I'm seeing more about waiting until after the 12 week growth/developmental spurt (which could end at 14 weeks).

Either way, I've now discovered, thanks the Celebrity Baby Blog, the schedule I'm going to try. The 2-3-4 (ish) schedule. And I'm kinda excited now. Not because it'll really change his habits longterm, but for my own benefit as I care for two boys.

And if it doesn't work? Then I just wait out infancy. Because, really, it is fleeting.

There's only one thing that really gets me and that's the idea that you have to set his sleep habits as a child. I even had a (very, very nice) woman (who I hope to see again) tell me that the habits he'll form now are the habits he'll have for a lifetime. If I didn't like her I probably would have pointed out that despite the habits I learned in infancy, I still managed to figure out how to use a toilet, eat with a fork, and communicate through words and not crying and grunts. Just that thought itself reminds me that, really, his sleep habits now are not the same they will be as an older child or an adult (though maybe teen years... they sleep a lot and are up all night). All I need to focus on is emotional security, letting him know right from the beginning that the world is a safe and loving place where his voice is heard and his needs are met.

K, it's big brother time!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I don't write, or think, enough about how grateful I am (or should be!). So here's a quick list since, honestly, I'm quite grateful for all of it, every last bit of the life I live.

I am grateful to live in a land and in a situation where I can honestly be whatever I want to be, even a stay at home mom, if I work hard enough. I can afford good food without looking at the price tag, can eat out, can go out with my husband thanks to my mom's help, can sleep comfortably in a warm bed in a large, safe house in a calm, diverse neighborhood. I have education under my belt and have access to many universities and classes should I opt to pursue more. I'm very, very, very lucky in my living situation.

I'm grateful to have found an incredible, caring, responsible and fun man right off the bat and to have only dated, and then married, him. He cooks, he cleans, he apologizes, and he changes if only I ask (and I don't ask often). He takes good care of us when we need to be taken care of, and is low maintenance himself. I love my time with him, whether with the boys or just the two of us. I'm very, very, very lucky to have found him so early and to have such a great relationship.

I'm grateful for my oldest son, grateful that he bonded, that he's grown and adjusted so much, and grateful that he continues to grow and adjust. I'm grateful that he keeps me laughing every day, and grateful that the second he's hurt he runs to me for love to make it better. I'm grateful that after all the pain he's endured, all the times he's felt abandoned, all the times he's switched maternal figures and all the times I myself have messed up and turned my back on him when I shouldn't have... he still hasn't given up on me. I'm still his mom and he's still my big boy and we still have an awesome, awesome relationship that continues to grow and develop. He may drive me nuts sometimes (like this morning!) but he has a special place in my heart carved out all for him. I'm so, so lucky that fate and God brought us together.

I'm grateful for my youngest son, grateful that he's growing and thriving and smiling and just changing by the day. I'm grateful for his calm demeanor, grateful that he's a good eater, grateful that he's healthy and happy and doing well. I'm grateful that he loves my smell and sleeps in my arms, as much as this may annoy some people. I'm grateful that we have the chance to raise him right from the beginning. I'm so grateful too that I'm able to nurse him, that he doesn't have any food sensitivities and latches well. After so much work he's making it very easy on me. And I'm grateful that I got to meet the wonderful woman who conceived, carried and birthed him, and I can safely say he has her smile, a warm, boisterous grin that lights up the room. Again, I'm so, so lucky to have him join our family.

I'm grateful that both of my sons were loved wholeheartedly, and cared for to the extent that their first family was able. The love provided to them shines through them. Their first families did them an incredible favor in their care and I'm eternally grateful to them.

I'm grateful for friends, for family, for life, for sadness, for pain, for joy, for relief, for sorrow, for enthusiasm, and for every insipid internet page I read on a daily basis. I'm grateful for fast-reading books and celebrity gossip, grateful for domperidone and cloth diapers, grateful for internet forums and communities, grateful for, well, everything. Everything, everything, everything.

Which is all much easier to say when you got both a shower AND a cup of coffee, uninterupted (mostly) in the same morning.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Snippets for the day

I am enjoying reading the things given to us by Project Enlightenment. We just have a class overview on positive discipline, a couple kids book, and a parenting book I'd heard nice things about, as well as a few handouts. I swear, it's making me look at parenting (and discipline and even Paxton himself) in a whole different light. Suddenly things seem so much more manageable, and so much simpler and easier to handle. It's hard to be told by friends or family to let some things go, especially when your kid is acting up so much. But to actually read something that pretty much describes your kid AND your parenting style and gives tips on what would help, and then to actually see them work... yeah, we're feeling pretty good about this.
I'm so in love with Ambrose. OMG. So in love. So in love with Paxton as well, of course, but I've been in love with him for awhile now and this love for Ambrose is new. I'm such a lucky person!
Thanksgiving was fun, though we were like 2 hours late to dinner!
Growth spurt is over!!! Ambrose is now going 3 hours between meals. I'd tried this before and it didn't work, but tried it again (for a 3rd time I think) and it's working now. Also he's sleeping like a fiend right now! Seriously back to where he was when he first came home, 6 hours of sleep to 2 hours of awake time, with only 3 real awake periods a day! Unfortunately, they seem to happen at night... Such is the way of the young ones in this household!
Diapers! I love diapers! Nice, soft, pretty cloth diapers! Today our second batch of used Bum Genius One Sizes are being shipped out! Or Monday, I suppose, but hopefully today! And I just contacted a woman about some fitteds I really like (I have 3) and a cover I really want (I have one but her's has frogs on it). I know, I'm weird! But we have yet to put a disposable on Ambrose and I'm quite proud of it.
Carriers! Like cloth diapers, they're an addiction. Today I hacked up a T-shirt to make a carrier but it was too big :( I need to find one that's tight on me. If it weren't Black Friday I would've gone out looking for one today with the boys just to get out.
Nik is coming home in an hour. Yay! More video game! And maybe a shower for me!
Ambrose hasn't poo'd in forever. I feel bad for him, but apparently that's normal. So okay. Maybe I should stop giving him prune juice since it doesn't seem to be doing anything for him anyway.
On that note... seriously with breastfeeding you can go up to 2-3 weeks with no poops and that's normal? So why are there so many people formula feeding when they had a decent supply and weren't working? I mean... almost no poop! And it doesn't even smell bad when it comes out! How can that possibly look unattractive?
I'm better about putting away laundry now than I was pre-Ambrose. That's... weird.
Sleeeeep! I'm getting more of it! And also reading at night and sometimes during the day and it makes my brain feel less dumb! And also coffee is still nice! Yay!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Little snippets

Dropped off Paxton's preschool registration today. He'll be in the Monkey class. Makes me think of all those debates on forums about the term "monkey" and whether or not it's as bad as the N word. Either way, it's a small and diverse group that has a lot of fun and is used to children with all different sorts of needs and backgrounds. We both can't wait for January
Ambrose has a runny nose. As does Paxton but his doesn't scare me as much. At least all nose goo has so far been clear. Also, he's still wicked cute, even when he does sneeze out boogers.
Paxton has decided that I'm Dora and that's what he calls me. It's somewhat weird.
Last night Nik informed me that he hopes to be placed with baby #3 within the next 2 years. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Though... I think I'd like to at least be in process in 2 years. Still waiting to see whether Viet Nam reopens adoptions to the US :)
Have come to the realization that if our last child comes to us as an infant by the time I'm 32 then when I'm 50 that youngest child will be 18. Hmmmm.... So only 5 more years... Can I squeeze in another 2 or 3?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Total Heaven

No idea what's happened but lately P's been easier, in my own opinion. Or maybe I've just been less susceptible to my own potential PTSD? The lovely woman we're working with at Project Enlightenment was able to catch on to me and pointed out that I myself have some PTSD from that first year with Paxton when things were so rough and I felt so isolated and frustrated and alone. So essentially the second he starts to act like that again at all, even if it's perfectly normal for his age and situation, I kinda freak out and get way too upset about it. Good to know, and good to have a professional calmly agree that that's what it is. Makes me feel a little less crazy :)

My sister came down to visit with her kids and it was great. Just wish I could've had more free time or stayed awake longer! Last week was the busiest week we've had in a loooooong time. P turned 4, FOUR!!!, on Tuesday, Weds we toured P's new preschool and he didn't want to leave, then Thurs I took A to his first library storytime, then met up with family that afternoon. Friday P went to soccer practice (he behaves so well there! And loves it so much!) then the doctors in the afternoon. I had trouble not crying when they gave him his flu boosters. He kept asking me to keep them from giving him shots. No amount of reasonable talk (ie, this will keep you and hopefully your brother from getting very sick) can make it okay for a 4 year old. They just had to do it and then he was sobbing and in my arms. He was fine a minute later. I still want to cry thinking about it.

Saturday morning I hung out with my sister for a bit, with Ambrosey of course :) That night was ACH's Christmas Party and P was in heaven with Santa. Our family doesn't technically "do" Santa but hey, he believes Dora the Explorer is real too so I'm not bugged that he thinks Santa is real. I just won't push it on him as he grows (also we want him to know who the gifts are from). We got to see A's respite provider, Ginni, as well as the woman who helped bring the milk to her house. They both held him and took pictures and loved on him. All in all a very pleasant evening. And oh, the cute babies galore! I just wish more families had come :)

Sunday we just hung out here and set up for the party once P was down for a nap. My mom, Sarah and Brenna came over to help out. Before the party I took Sarah, Brenna and Paxton to the park for 20 minutes. I wish we'd had long enough to walk there since it is a nice walk. About 15 minutes with P in a stroller (been put away for a loooong time) and about 30 minutes with P walking! Only like 2 minutes in a car, though. The party was small, but nice. Just us, my parents, sister and her kids, uncle and aunt, and my grandparents. My mother provided a huge spread of food that was hardly touched, we had a store bought cake (we were going to bake one but Paxton was insistent that we get one at the store since they already have them made. And he likes saying Harris Teeter). A few presents, which is enough for him to be occupied for at least a week. Plans for a big party next year.

Sunday night we went out for Ethiopian food which I'm proud to say my "all white food" niece actually ate and enjoyed. It was too much food but it was gooooooood! Then we had to say goodbye :( Sarah and Brenna cuddled Ambrose one last time, we all hugged, P said his thanks and goodbyes and we went home. *Sigh*. Guess I'll have to get up there sometime to see them.

Yesterday was great. I mean, it was rainy, icky, cold day but it was pleasant and productive. We returned the pump, I did laundry, dishes and grocery shopping and got that all put away, made a real dinner, got Ambrose to sleep for a nap without me holding him for like the 3rd time ever and got a nice long shower and got to blowdry my hair, read some more Jack of Fables (reading relaxes me if it's fun) and just generally had a great day. And Paxton has been nice. Still impulsive, still jumpy and jittery (the "wiggles" are new to him) and still only half listening about unimportant stuff. But for the second time ever (in a row no less) he walked beside me for grocery shopping and I didn't have to put him in the cart, and he wasn't in a truly sour or angry attitude.

So... all's well in Paxton land right now. Neither of us can wait for him to start 5, FIVE!!!, day a week preschool in January. We were going to do 3 day but decided, with P.E., that he really needs consistency as much as possible. So Monday through Friday it is. 9:15-12:15. I'm... actually looking forward to it a lot. And so's he. I get alone time with A when he's just starting to get more mobile and interactive (he'll be just 3 months then) and P gets his own special big kid time with like 10 other kids and 2 teachers. They're used to working with P.E., used to kids with special needs (though I'd say P is "higher needs") and even used to international refugee children, i.e. kids that came from a traumatic experience in another country. And they come greatly recommended, and after seeing their program... I'm excited. I think it'll really help P take that next leap into growing up emotionally. I think that's where we're lagging by keeping him at home. He needed help to grow physically and we did it (he came home barely walking at age 2). And he needed help to grow mentally and I worked with him a lot, though he caught up fast. And he needed help feeling secure and help curbing violence and help just growing until he could handle the outside world. And he grew and he grew and now... he needs something else to continue his growth. So every day mommy will drop him off for 2 hours of mostly playing with some structure, with a program that's small and educated and consistent and patient, and hopefully that'll take him the next bit. I feel sad but I agree: this is what's best. And I'm happy and excited for him. He asks every day if he can go to school now! I can't wait :)

Also, a quick note on Ambrose. We're just over a week into the 6 week growth spurt and I think it's starting to subside. Still not much sleep at night for me, but he's bigger (everyone is noticing now) and stronger (oh man can he hold that head up!) and in the past 24 hours he's been sooooo smiley! Even saying "hi smiley!" earns you a huge, total face smile! I think I'm finally where I was with P: loving him more and more and more every day. I did that with P for like a month or two and it always surprised me every day how much I loved him more. It was like, after the shock wore off my heart just started growing and growing and growing and I just loved him more and more. Same with A. Every day I look at my boys and wonder "how is it possible to love them more today than yesterday? Is it even possible to love them even more tomorrow?" I just love my guys :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feeling yucky...

In more ways than one.

I really, really, badly need a shower. My hair and face are oily and it's been 2 days. The baby peed all over me this morning and I only had time to change, not wash, and then there's spit up... And I'm just tired and could really, really use a refreshing shower to wash away the gunk, external and internal.

Pax's violence has resurfaced.

And I have no idea what to do about it.

You know what worked to curb it last time? Hitting back. No, I'm serious. We tried so, so much but finally it came down to "if you hit me, I will hit your hand right back." And parenting expert snobs be damned, it worked. But I'm not exactly a fan of that and I'd like to never walk that path again, thank you very much, even if it makes me equally snobby. I'd prefer to use words with my big boy, and visuals and calming actions or even redirection.

But I'm just so damn head-tired.

I can't handle another year like that one we experienced with P, where he was constantly, CONSTANTLY beating on me. And no one would listen...

Nik would go to work and P'd be kicking my legs and if I picked him up (one can only resist for so long) he'd be puching my eyes and neck, head butting me all over, biting my nose and trying to rip it off, scratching and pinching and, well... you get the picture. I even remember one day when I just couldn't take it anymore and I was just balled up in a corner crying my eyes out while he beat me as hard and as fiercely as he could over my head, neck and shoulders.

And yes I get that he was very small and I was very big and I should just "be the parent" and magically make it stop.

And I did.

By hitting back.

Granted, with warning, rather sparsely and much lighter than he hit me.

And it stopped and it's been stopped for a looooooooong time now.

At this point we thought it was over.

And granted... it may be, in a sense. The reasons he was hitting the first time (orphanage behavior, terrible two's, adjustment) are behind us. And many 4 year olds hit and many new big brothers regress, and really it's not even close to constant, just a few small sporadic moments that end with "I'm sorry" and kisses and "I love you very much" and a promise to not do it again after going over what hands are really for.

But I'm scared.

I hate to admit it but I'm damn near petrified.

And this is the reason I don't think we'll ever follow through with that dream of adopting more older children. I'm a wuss and I freely admit it. But while what he's doing now can be classified as "actually pretty normal" it reminds me too much of that year of hardship that we journeyed alone.

And I'm scared, for him and for me and for other kids because what if this isn't just a temporary regression? And what if it continues and I can't find another way to stem it off besides physical discipline?

I just have to keep repeating to myself "we've come so far" and "this too shall pass" but somedays....

Somedays I just need a break, dammit.

Or a shower.

Yeah, a shower would be great right about now (and since I missed my chance this morning it looks like I might have to wait until tomorrow morning...)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Soccer practice...

Is so much fun! I wish we'd tried it ages ago! I'm just cheap and Raleigh is full of free stuff for kids :) It's like $80 for 6 sessions but just to see P actually listening and interacting and following 90% of the directions and coming out of it with such a huge, proud smile on his face... It's just awesome :) And he might not be a perfect angel and the coach might spend a little more time reminding him what he's supposed to be doing, but he's behaving so much better for him than at Sunday School. Here's hoping that this is an indication of how preschool will go... (though he did do some more pushing today, not pushing down just pushing away from his ball/him to get space, so we'll need to work on that).

Quickish update

You know you're a ditz when your baby is doing his "but why aren't you feeding me NOW?" cry and you tell him "now, Ambrose, I'm going to feed you at 9:15 and it's only 9:15 so you still have.... ohhhh, waaaaait..." I really should learn to listen to my baby :)

Just gotta make sure he's full up before we leave for soccer practice! Today will be P's second session in a 6 session thingiemabob. It was so fun to see him last time. The coach was very engaging so for the most part P listened and had a lot of fun. While it's always hard to see him standing out from the crowd (ie, 8 kids sitting in a circle listening and P running around screaming "never!" when the coach asks him to sit too) it was very fun to see him having fun and then actually joining in and participating. Hopefully socialization will help him. I think what we're realizing now, with the help of Project Enlightenment and materials they've loaned us, is that he's not as bad as he used to be, and not as bad as we thought. He'd probably improve considerably through constant socialization with groups. Right now he's typically great one-on-one (like, total angel great) and for the most part he's good with me. But he does not handle transitions well and he does not handle crowds well, and these are two things that preschool will help with. So, as much as I hate "giving up" on the homeschooling thing (at least for now) we're going to be touring preschools starting with choice #1 next Weds. I'm so nervous! But after seeing the difference between P at Sunday School (very disruptive with a non-engaging activity) and soccer practice (semi-disruptive with a very engaging activity) I think an engaging preschool might actually help to "cure" the problem. That an ongoing help from P.E. They're so nice! And they notice EVERYTHING and help by pointing out the little things we say/do with P and how we can modify them for best results. And not in a snooty way! I swear, they're real professionals, they actually know how to talk to parents. I didn't expect upon using their services that they'd be aiding the whole family dynamic but that's their specialty. The world needs more people like them. I already feel like a better and more effective mom to P!

Also, thanks to their advice, I'm much better rested and thus having more fun with both boys. I love enjoying my kids. Honestly sometimes I think our biggest problem with P is that we USED to have a ton of problems and now the second he starts acting moody at all, even if it's normal 4 year old moodiness, we instantly see issues and it's just sooooo overwhelming. I told Nik it's like years ago when I climbed the steps to Sacre Coeur in Paris. The top looked so beautiful and unlike my companions I didn't want to ride to the top, I wanted to walk it, I wanted that experience. And it sucked. You can't tell how many stairs are left and you get to a plateau, walk a bit, and find even more stairs waiting for you. Over and over again! I felt physically nauseauted about 2/3 of the way up and wanted to give up, but couldn't. Would I just go right back down? But I'd come so far!!! So I continued and eventually made it to the top, and really, I was kind of proud of myself even if it was rough.

That's what it's like raising a traumatised child. We're so, so close to the top, so close that at this point he's just like any other kid that isn't used to being in a group setting. We somehow made it far enough that he's no longer this totally angry being who responds with violence and terror. Only sometimes, when things really set him off, and even then we have a lot of warning (and should've seen the signs Sunday). Instead we now have a little boy with a bit further to go, just another flight or two of stairs. And I'll admit to exhaustion at the thought and even a touch of nausea when we think we're almost there and notice yet another flight of steps coming into view. But we're close. And we've come so, so, so far.

And I love him :) And he loves us. And that helps tremendously.

Now let's just pray he doesn't tackle anyone at soccer practice today... see last week he wanted to sit on the blue circle but another kid got their first and after using his words to get the kid off he decided to take the more direct approach and, well... let's just say mommy was embarassed but the other kid (and his mom) didn't care. We're going to have to work on that too...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Smart, smart mommy (not)

On Saturday I asked Nik to take P to have his hair cut at the barbers before having their daddy-son day together. I really can't care for it on a daily basis like I could and at that point it was just screaming "mommy's a white girl," if you know what I mean. Poor thing looked awful with unmoisturized, uncaredfor hair and I just wanted it shaved down and manageable, at least for the time being until we get into a groove (and the baby lets me put him down).

Apparently it was quite traumatic, but I wasn't there and didn't take it seriously. I know he's shrieked the other times we did it too and figured it wasn't too big a deal.

Then yesterday, at church, he had an outright panic meltdown. I haven't seen him that bad in months. Nik says 2 months for him, I'd say 6 months for me. He totally flipped. We're talking hitting, biting, shrieking and blood curdling screams at the top of his lungs. After trying to calm him I took the baby into the hall while Nik held him in the library. I was barely holding it together and people kept coming by wondering what was up with the screams...

We finally had to take him home like that and Nik held him for another half hour until it passed. He was still "off" in the afternoon, but much better than he'd been all morning.

I was shocked and scared and upset and just so, so tired.

And then I used what few braincells I have active right now, trying to think about the trigger.

Nik told me it was the barber shop. That was the big difference. I didn't listen at first, but then...

When we got his referral photo over 2 years ago he had a mohawk. The Sidama mohawk. Nice and cleanly shaved around the sides. He'd been cleanly shaved when he arrived at the orphanage. He'd been cleanly shaved right before leaving his first family. OMG, I'm an idiot.

But an idiot with a bit more insight.

And he's happier today. And his hair looks so nice!

(on another note, must buy my own razer. He doesn't freak out when we trim him at home)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Things are going a bit better around here...

So we had our first meeting with Project Enlightenment, and will be going back next week. The things we gleaned from it:
-Need to work on discipline methods a bit
-Need to work more on getting P to stay in bed longer (he's so much better with more sleep...)
-I need more sleep, and that was like point #1 actually, so I've started to get Nik up at night to take Mr. Awake for an hour and bring him back to bed to nurse and conk out. Gets me an extra hour's sleep, moreso really since I don't have to get out of bed at 3am for anything more than a diaper change. I'm also going to bed at like 9:30 or earlier.
-We're going to put P in preschool. I'm a little weepy over that one. Going to tour a couple that are close to us and have openings next week.
-Need to micromanage him a bit more.
-Need to actually get breaks from him so we're (mostly I'm) not worn down since we can't be very effective if we're too tired to deal with things.

I think the big thing at this point is socialization and also us figuring out what's an issue and what's totally normal. We're going to have a screening with him done by a professional and we're meeting with them again, this time with Paxton present, just so they get a better idea of everything.

I actually felt kinda good when we talked about his history and what our first year together was like and they asked "how on Earth did you survive that?" Paxton now? Manageable but disruptive of group activities, sometimes disrespectful of adults and a bit impulsive. Paxton then? Holy terror who we loved endlessly but who we struggled to get through the day living with. I'd much rather take Pax now to Pax then. Even so, if we can help solve the issues at hand that'll be great.

It's also nice to review materials and speak with people and find out that while he used to be a very, very difficult kid with rough issues, he's now a slightly difficult kid with some issues that will likely go away pretty easily. I'm definitely feeling a lot better.

Also, they have an incredible library there and we were able to find Parenting with Love and Logic just sitting there. I just started reading it. Looks like we might be drill seargent parents. Oy. Never expected that one, didn't start off that way either, but at this point we're so used to stepping in and stopping him from doing any harm at all. Something we gravitated toward during that tough first year, I suppose, and now we'll need to retrain ourselves.

So the whole family is going in for a retraining.

I feel... odd using government services and asking them to take part in our family life.

I also feel so, so much better. I think even with more sleep and a more relaxed attitude (and feeling totally validated) I'm able to handle Paxton a little better. He's been better for me. Still can be a total butt though...


Paxton started Soccer today. It's like $67 for the next 5 sessions (one a week) but he just had sooooo much fun at today's trial practice... It was great to watch him start off being a total pain in the butt (leaving the circle and screaming "neeveeeer!" when the coach asked him to rejoin) to actually listening and becoming totally engaged in the practice. At the end he semi-tackled (pulled?) another kid in a fight for the blue spot (as opposed to the orange spot, where Paxton was supposed to sit) but all apologies were made and everyone was cool with it. P left hopping up and down and telling me "Yay! I had a lot of fun!!!"


Took Ambrose in for his 1 month check up. He's roughly 75th percentile for everything! They tell me he's thriving, and noted how strong and alert he is, much more than they're used to with similarly aged babies. Looks like we have a healthy boy on our hands :)

They tried to redo the PKU test since last time they attempted twice (and he clotted quickly) and the result was insufficient. They tried and tried and finally gave up today. Said it was just inhumane. You just can't get blood out of this kid!

He's 22 inches and 10lb 2.5 oz


Tomorrow is Saturday, Tomorrow is Saturday! I get to sleep in during A's mid-late morning nap! And Nik and P get to have fun at Marbles! And they get to eat at Roly Poly and bring home lunch for me! And then? And then and then and then??? DAAAAAAATE! Totally putting P in bed then thawing a bottle for A, putting some of our brand spanking used (bought of CL) BumGenius out for Gambi, and going out for dinner, just the two of us! Yaaaaay! Then home for bed :) Haha!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Life is hard sometimes...

Despite the joyousness of being a family of 4, we're really struggling with P lately. Trying to get help from available resources. He's tough, tougher than most kids. Not the hardest child I've ever come into contact with, but still rough. And today I'm just feeling overwhelmed and alone.

It's all so situational. In some situations he's a "normal kid." We even get compliments on his demeanor. In others, he's a royal terror. I know that fear seems to drive most of it, if not all of it. But he won't admit when he's scared. And I'm just so tired of my own hypervigilence watching him, my own micromanaging.

Hopefully we'll be receiving help soon. It's not awful, he's not awful, but this behavior needs to stop, like, yesterday.

At least he's an awesome big brother. Above and beyond all else P loves A and will stop everything to take care of him.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I'm just feeling overwhelmed today. Sleep problems starting to get to me finally. And P is in trouble at Sunday school for misbehavior, meaning one of us has to stay with him in Sunday school each week until he can be better. He's being so defiant, so sleep sensitive, and gets up sooooo early, like 4:30am most days now. We're all just so tired. No idea what we can do for him other than pray it passes. So tired.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things I know about Ambrose

I did a million posts like this for P. I think everything was so stressful then, and I had such a small social outlet, that I spent a long time recording every minuscule thing on my livejournal. Now? I'm living life more than posting on it. Maybe it's because I can rarely put this boy down, or maybe it's because I have 2 now. Dunno. But before time, that speedy jerk, rushes by too fast, let's go ahead and record some things about Mr. Ambrose Locke.

-Swaddling. He can normally handle, and sometimes even enjoy, under arm swaddling. But don't you even think about keeping his hands immobilized!
-Being placed on his back. He's getting better about this one but he'd still prefer side or tummy.
-Cold. Not only does he sneeze when hit by a draft (so cute!) but he detests being cold and complains endlessly during diaper changes, clothing changes, baths that take too long, going outside when there's a breeze, or sometimes even changing positions from a warm comfy spot to something a little more room temp.
-Being the car. Hates it. He wants to be held, dangit, not placed on his back in a cool carseat and left to lay there for waaaaaay too long (sometimes like 10 minutes!) while we do God knows what and show up in some random place.

-Eating. Oh, this boy can eat!
-Cuddling. He gets in the most delicious positions!
-Sleeping. He does it well :)
-Playing. He's just so chipper when he's awake, bright eyed and ready to interact!
-Paxton. He's fascinated by the littlest big person he regularly comes into contact with, the one that hops around the house and sings off key.
-Mommy and Daddy. One is good for sleep, the other for food. Both good for play.
-The Little Einsteins Rocket/Piano toy that has light up keys and music. Song #8 seems perfect since it's slow enough for him to follow the lights.
-A light toy from DisneyWorld. On our honeymoon I bought it cuz it was pretty, looking forward to the day our kids would like it. Well, both our kids love it. Kinda great :)

-He wakes up from a looooong slumber ravenous and fussy, and yawns a lot.
-Finally, he starts to wave his little fists around and make kind of a rattlesnake noise, with wide, bright eyes, very clear, making eye contact and holding it. I think he's actually trying to tell us "hey, I'm up, it's play time!" Cute, but not so much fun at 3am.
-He eats like every 20 minutes during playtime.
-He does tummy time for several minutes until he throws a hissy. He enjoys being held high in the air and slowly lowered. Loves kisses and looks like he's trying to kiss back. Turns his head to follow the light toys or in response to his name (sometimes). Does "sit ups, push ups and stand ups." Will sometimes lock eyes with me and start the actions of nursing, smacking lips and rolling his tongue right. Yay communication!
-Eventually he'll get fussier and fussier, and may actually use up all my milk and just fuss for like 1/2 hr while I "refill" enough to put him back down. It doesn't take too much as he really just wants me as a paci but won't stay on if there's no milk.
-After playtime he'll sleep really hardcore for awhile, and we've actually been able to leave him alone for up to an hour before he goes into restless sleep and notices. If we're holding him and he's in restless sleep, sometimes he'll want to be fed and will snack for like 3 minutes then pass out cold again.

-No bottles since yesterday morning. Some of his diapers aren't as soaked as normal but they're still wet and he's not too fussy. I'm going to give it a few more days to see if we get totally back on track.
-I'm letting him snack a lot just to make sure I have enough milk. The more he latches, the more milk I produce. Or that's the theory anyway!
-Hoping to get him on more of a schedule, little by little, then maybe pushing it a bit more once he's about 6 weeks and a little bigger.
-The hope is to eventually have him go to bed at a certain time, and preferably go to bed in his own bassinet or crib. We may then have to bring him into our bed once he wakes for a feeding, but it will at least afford us some alone time and give me some hardcore sleep time.
-I'm enjoying co-sleeping but not sure I want to be doing it a year from now. We'll see!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Sometimes it really hits me.

We were PICKED.


All that waiting paid off and we're here, HE'S here, and we have him and OMG this has really happened and is really happen and, God willing, will continue to happen.

There is a very tiny human being on my lap. He's sweet and loving, ecstatic and bubbly when he wants to play, cranky and fussy when he just wants to sleep and can't seem to settle down, and utterly adorable cuddled up against us while sleeping. He's real. He's a real, whole human being. Tiny and innocent with so much growth yet to do, but he's real and he's here and he's our son.

I still can't believe it.

Which is probably normal since it was well over a year before it finally seemed normal that we had Paxton...


This past week was rough. Well, it started out great, but got rough. I woke Weds morning at 3am with a massive blocked milk duct. I'd been dumb and discontinued Lecithin because, well, I'm dumb. It was huge and it HURT and I literally cried out constantly while he nursed, then he cried because he couldn't really get anything, and that made it even harder.

I had my mother come over since it was supposed to be an important day at work for Nik. It wasn't, but either way things worked out. Mom was here when the fever took over and I had to hand off Ambrose right after nursing him. He was calm and docile for her, as he typically is for someone not me (I smell too much like food, and this boy loooooves to eat).

I struggled with chills and dry heaves for a long time in bed before passing out, woke up and forced myself to get up and put P down for his nap. Then I nursed A and pretty much passed out again. Mom took him and cared for the boys for another few hours. Finally the fever broke in mid afternoon and while I still hurt considerably I was much better.

We were worried A wasn't getting enough milk when he had a couple not so soppy diapers then one bone dry diaper, so we broke out the frozen breast milk and called the doctor for him. We were actually preparing to take him to the emergency room when he filled a dipe with pee. Never have we been so happy to change a diaper!

I didn't call the doctor for me.

That was stupid.

It was mastitis that I had, and it was so obvious....

So Thursday rolls around and ANOTHER blockage hits the same side. Not only that, but A absolutely refused to nurse from there (left) so I had to pump, and give him frozen milk which made me feel awful (it's still human milk, my milk even, and I never had thought I could nurse entirely with supplementing...). I was emotionally drained. I was a total witch to Paxton, which unfortunately continued for the rest of the week and didn't improve until today, Sunday.

Anyway, I was "fine" all day, pumped from one side, nursed from the other, fed when he was hungry, did my mom job.

Then at night, after P was asleep, I took a shower, massaged the painful lump, sat down to nurse A (all things I'd done Weds right before the fever hit) and then.... it was like someone threw a brick at my head. Or a ton of bricks. The chills came on so fast I was gagging and I had to ask Nik to take A from my arms as I couldn't move. I finally slumped over on the couch and just convulsed for half an hour or so as my temp got higher and higher. I only got to 102.2, luckily, though I'm normally in the 96.8-97.4 range so that's high for me. Luckily Tylenol and Ibuprofen helped to bring it down. Nik tried to call the Dr. but while the office was answering, they couldn't reach the on-call physician. I went to bed feeling better but still in pain. I also went to bed very late. Instead of 10pm, it was 1am. I was planning on pumping out that damn blockage myself, even if it took all night. Then I got tired and gave up. Good thing since it took a few days...

Thursday I called the Drs office in the morning and since I was already heading in for flu shots for P and I that afternoon I asked to see the Dr. then. I felt okay all morning, pumped out a bit more, still some chills and a little tired, temp got up to like 101 while pumping. P took care of A by giving him a bottle and wiping his face for me. Such a sweet big brother!

My mother came over again and was there when I finally hit the pus while pumping. Really great, right? It was utterly disgusting. I was just glad I was getting some of it out of me! I was able to show it to the Dr who agreed it was mastitis and put me on antibiotics immediately. And Vicodin, though I only have to take that if I want to (I filled the prescription since I will def want it if I have another blockage like on Weds morning). Nik picked up my pills on the way home from work and I spent more time pumping, and gave A even more frozen milk.

Saturday was more of the same, pumping and too much frozen milk (he eats it too fast and it hurts his tummy) but luckily I got him to latch on last night.

Today it's just a bit tender and pinkish but mostly back to the same shape AND A is eating from it no prob. No frozen milk so far today :) Yaaaaay! So we might very well be back on track!

The only crappy thing is the poop factor. Antibiotics poo isn't fun in adults, and it's certainly not fun in babies!

Also I need to watch out since this whole thing made my cold sores act up and I CANNOT pass that to A as he's just too young to process/kill the virus (dunno if R had it and passed it to him or not, not willing to take the chance). It's hard not kissing those pudgy cheeks!

Oh, and his weight check? Showed he gained 7 oz in 7 days! Breastfeeding is working!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kinda weepy

Am one handed, will be shortish.

I think I have some adoption blues. Am not depressed, just getting a bit weepy at the end of the day. Kinda sucks. Also, loaned out fave video game which always makes me happy. Sucks too. Nik is awesome, listens, hugs, provides ice cream.

Totally love my boys. Past 2 days have been good but A kinda fussy. Growth spurting? He's 16 days old. Cord fell off, flipped himself over twice and held head up during tummy time.

Mostly when I'm weepy it's over really missing my one on one time with P. He's growing so fast and has really changed in past week. Has risen to the occasion and is good big brother. I'm never getting my little P back. He really is a big boy now. It went so fast and I miss it. Wish I could go back and make myself enjoy him more. He really is a great kid. Gah, I'm homeschooling! I have like 14+ more years of being with him and watching him grow, day in day out! And I should be proud. He's pottytrained and initiating convos and being polite and standing up for himself and asking permission and playing nicely and just being the most awesome big brother. And he still needs us and we still snuggle and still have so much one on one. But I still miss it and I didn't appreciate it. And I just love him so much.

K, am crying hard now. God I love my chilfdren. I pray that, as hard as it is for me to watch them grow, that they grow up to be big, strong, good men in a world more tolerant than the one now. I just love them both so, so, so much.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My love song

Sometimes people ask me how I could have been so persistant with the pump, day after day, month after long month. In a way, I see it not as if I was just going through an action, but as if I was creating.

I created food for my child.


Warm, healthy, pure love, filled with nutrients and antibodies to help him grow and keep him safe.

I wasn't just pumping, I was creating, like a musician haunted by a melody they simply must remember and lyrics they must convey to the one he loves. Like he would slave over a piece of paper and a piano, I slaved over a 22 lb hospital grade Ameda SMB.

And I created.

And now, as I sit here typing one handed while my baby son feeds, I see the beautiful fruits of my labor. I see him sated and peaceful, happy and warm, and loved inside and out.

Ambrose, this is my love song to you. I love you, my littlest son :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oooooh, the jealousy.

P was very happy being an only child. He's in love with his little brother. And now we have a conundrum.

It's kinda cyclical all day, him acting out like mad to get attention and babytalking (think Max of Max & Ruby) one minute, then happily listening and helping out the next. This week there's going to be a lot of one on one time with P, both from me and from N (who I've now been married to for 4 years... happy anniversary!). I'm doing little things when I can, and N is taking him out places or running all over the backyard.

Let's just see how next week goes, shall we?

A is just a doll. I took him to a Nursing Mother of Raleigh meeting today. Wanted to make sure his latch was alright and it looks like it is. It's hard not to know anymore exactly how much I'm producing, but I'm certainly responding to him (and his sounds and his smells...) and as far as I can tell I must be making at least pretty close to enough because output looks great (well, icky) and he's pretty contented.

We did a bit of tummy time last night, then again for spurts today. When he's awake. Which isn't often :) He's a sleeper!

P isn't sleeping as well, obviously, and that's annoying.

I don't think N is sleeping as well either.

I'm getting less sleep but it's quality so I'm okay. We didn't plan to co-sleep but it looks like that's what I may be doing from now on, at least for awhile. Both he and I sleep better/happier that way. And it's just getting so cold out! Maybe if it were the start of summer I'd be pushing him more to sleep in his bassinet but as is, when it can get to the 40's at night now, I feel better knowing he's cuddled up warmly beside me.

K, prolly shouldn't spend too much time away from P and N! A isn't an excuse to ignore my pre-existing family :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The schedule so far...

Sleep, eat, sleep, eat, play, fuss, eat, sleep, repeat.

It's awesome until you get to the "play, fuss" part between 1:30 and 4am. Right now he's bundled up in the Maya, finally passing out from a longer play session (very awake this time) and a very long meal (both sides like 40 minutes). I've discovered he's prone to an insufficient latch, especially at that meal between sleeps. We're working on it but he seems to be doing better already. Output is good so while I'm a tad worried about input (hey, I've been measuring it carefully for months and now I can't even see it) I think he's doing alright.

When awake, which isn't often, he's very interested in everything around him. Especially Paxton, who's just as interested in him. It's nice. The two brothers seem to like each other :)

I'm just so happy to have him. So happy to be able to say "children" and "sons" and "brothers." It's a very happy time for us :)

I just can't wait to show him off to the world but I'll be cautious, as much as Paxton can handle. He's just so used to going everywhere and I don't want him to equate the baby with sudden social isolation.

Ambrose Locke is just too wonderful. And so is Paxton Tariku. How on Earth did we get so lucky?

(and then there's my wonderful husband...)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I used to wonder...

What people saw in little babies.

They're all smelly and cry-y and jusy eat and sleep and poop.

And now A is asleep in my arms, totally trusting and loving and simply living.

And I get it now. I totally, completely get it now.

I'm sorry that I missed this with Paxton. I wish I could have even seen him as a baby.

I'm so glad to be able to experience it with Ambrose.

Ah, baby love!!!

He's incredible

Ambrose Locke Alexander. Born 10-4-09, in our arms 10-13-09. He's just so perfect... Healthy, laid back, he latched right away, is sleeping happily, just a sweet little boy who didn't even mind his big brother poking and prodding and screaming out his words. So awesome :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

2 days, 12 hours and 36 minutes left...

I believe her right to revoke actually ends in 1 day, 1 hour and 35 minutes from now, but as Monday is Columbus day we have to wait until Tuesday to pick him up. That stinks, but at least we only have one more day to really worry, then a day of last minute stressing and running around cleaning things.

We cleaned the upstairs today, most of it anyway, and so that area is ready for baby. Except we haven't vacuumed yet. We're saving that for tomorrow or Monday, just so the carpet is nice and clean and we won't have to worry about it for awhile after he comes home.

And we're getting more sure of ourselves, for better or for worse.

I finally added A's name to my ticker at

Ambrose. Ambrose Locke Alexander Everett.

When you combine the meanings of his first and middle names you get "Immortal Forest, Defender of Mankind." Good, strong name.

With a ton of geek influence :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

A kinda happy, kinda sad, kinda long day...

No news is good news, as I've been telling myself all week. It's been a long week, checking my iPhone constantly to see if I missed a call or an email pertaining to A. I know he's in good hands, and I know he's not really ours yet, and I know we haven't even met him... but I still worry and want to know he's okay. I mean, yeesh, even on the best of dates I still only leave P with my mom and still call like every hour and he's almost 4!!! Maybe it has something to do with all we went through to bring these children into our lives. We treasure them just so, so much.

Anyway, today at the very end of the workday I finally heard something. The respite care provider is running low on milk. We'd thought we'd be picking him up Monday not Tuesday so we only planned for that length of time. He's eating an ounce an hour and they'll need us to drop off an extra day's worth Monday morning.


My son, my tiny, baby son, is drinking my milk.

And liking it enough to keep eating it.

And he's drinking well.

He's a good eater.

And he's drinking my milk.

O.... M.... G....

I don't think I've ever felt so honored....

Even if I dry up now, even if we lose power and the 950oz or so goes bad, even if the pump spontaneously combusts and we need to pay for it out the nose, it will still all have been worth it, just for this.

In his first week of life, his first and most formative week, he's already been through so much. But he's also been given the milk lovingly and painstakingly pumped and stored by his momma, waiting anxiously for him at home. And I just want to cry and smile and squeal. I wish he could be getting it right from the source right now. I wish I could even have an image of him eating it. Or an image of him at all.

But for now I know that he's alive and well and he's eating well and that's somehow enough. At least for right now...


I've lost my muse. I was trying to be all cool and swank and young and stuff and write up another fanfiction, though this time it was going to be like a 10 chapter fanfiction. I made it to chapter 2. Chapter 3 sucks so far. I'm totally uninterested in writing it now. Dang. Hope my 2-4 fans who put me on "story alert" will understand :)


I bought new dish soap and it just smells yummy. Like, edible yummy. There, I said it, now I can hopefully stop thinking of my yummy, yummy dish soap


Just like with P I'm experiencing weird psuedo-preggie symptoms pre-placement. A touch of nausea here, some pee urgency there, blood sugar going nuts, and oh yeah I need to eat like cooooonstantly. Fun times. Especially the trouble sleeping and vivid dreams part. And the weird cramps, though those have pretty much subsided by now.


So onto the kinda sad part.

Nik's out at D&D right now. That's all cool, not sad at all.

P and I when on a date. That was the sad part.

No, I'm not talking about how rough it can be to play single mommy for a night (though some nights I'm sooooo not in the mood for it), nor am I going to whine (much) about what a total pain in the butt he was for the better part of this afternoon.

No, the sadness comes in the finality of it.

This will, in all likelihood, be our last mommy-Paxton date for a long time. Maybe even forever, though I doubt that. And by the time it will be just us again, all afternoon and into evening, walking and talking and eating a couple times and having ice cream and playing all afternoon and being silly... he'll be older.

And they really do grow up so fast.

I'm trying not to cry as I write this.

I don't think I've truly treasured my alone time with P enough. He's... wonderful. He's bubbly and happy and exuberant. I think I've let too much of our early times together flavor our current time together. I'm too used to sitting back while we're out and letting him play with whoever he wants. I'm so used to saying "in a minute" or "just a sec" or "no, baby, mommy's tired." I'm so used to hearing him beg for me to get on the floor and play, or carry him, or cuddle for hours, or read him just one more book, and I'm so used to saying no or making excuses....

And it sucks. And I suck. And I know I'm a good mom, I know that. The proof is in P, in how happy he is. We're good parents and he's a good kid, and this is a good family and we're happy.

But tonight, holding his hand and looking eye in eye and telling silly stories and sharing fajitas and ice cream and laughing and playing and hugging....

I'm going to miss this.

I'm going to miss him.

I'm going to miss my only and my oldest and my sweet little center-of-attention boy.

I'm so, so, so excited for him and us that A will be joining our family, and I'm happy about this, I truly am.

But I just love P so damn much and it hurts to think that this might be the last time I walk hand in hand down a city street, just P and me, making up stories together and delighting in the fact that we're going to get ice cream, ice cream, and OMG there's going to be candy in it!

Okay, now I am crying.

I'm really glad Nik isn't here to see me blubber on like this!

Back to rationality.


Today I started A's baby calendar (just purchased today at a consignment sale along with several larger onesies for a big baby). I also finished our yearlong photo album for 2009, now stocked, dated and labeled through September. And then I sat at the pump and the computer for awhile. So now both my back and my hand hurts. And a li'l bit of arm. I'm just not used to writing things!

Time to go look at happy stuff until I stop crying....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

4 Days, 15 hrs...

Until we meet him.

He was born on Sunday, October 4th, at 11:16am. He weighed 8lbs 14oz and was 21 inches long. His APGAR scores were 9 and 9. He has a full head of hair and healthy lungs. His nickname, as give to him by R and F, is Biggums. And he's apparently handsome.

And that is all I know.

In a way it's almost easier not to have seen him, or even a picture of him. I can't obsess like I did with P, memorizing every curve and tone and little hair. But on the other hand... I have a child out there, somewhere in this county, and I don't know where he is and I haven't even seen his sweet little face yet.

I know he's in good hands. His respite care provider, J, has had over 100 babies in her care and knows what she's doing. I dropped off a cooler of breastmilk and special bottles with a friend of hers, another respite care provider, on Tuesday when he went to respite. I feel a little more comfortable having a few questions answered by a woman who was sweeter than sweet, who assured me he was in good hands. He's being loved on and adored by a kind lady who knows far more than I about babies. He's safe and happy.

And I still just wish he was home...


I spoke with R on Tuesday as well. She was having a tough time. We both cried. I talked with F, her partner, a bit more and got some of A's description from her. She repeated "he is yours" over and over again, assuring me that yes, this child is ours. R is set. She's not changing her mind. She and F are happy for us and for him, and they know that they'll be better able to care for the two young children at home in this situation. I wish I could make it better for her, though. R is so nice... she doesn't deserve this, all this pain and sorrow. I wish I could take it away for her. I know not adopting A wouldn't help things. I think I'll try to see if there's a church like ours in her city, since our church was a big selling point. I'm sure she and F could use the support, especially right now.


We're not hiding it so much anymore. Even though it's not set in stone, even though something could go wrong, and even though R could, at the last minute, change her mind, we're telling people. Like, really, openly telling people. It's not longer a "we might" or a "there's the possibility that," but now "we're bringing home our baby next week!"

I wish it were today...

But it's soon, and every second brings us that much closer to him. Right now it's just about surviving, holding on and getting through the day and filling our lives to the brim with stuff until we can finally meet him and bring him home.

Oh, and P knows now. And he's starting to be okay with the idea of a brother. No more "no, I want a sister!" Today, for just a second, he actually seemed excited. Then he went back to playing :)

I hope P and A grow up having fun together :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paxton the cute

Paxton was a rough kid. Some days he still is a rough kid. In all honesty though... he's a cute kid. A REALLY cute kid. Like, totally adorable, get comments from people constantly kinda cute. He's definitely appearing more and more like a "spirited" child, which at first kinda scared me but now I'm okay with it. Probably though because his "more" is no longer "more violent" or "more angry" but "more exuberant" and "more talkative" and "more enthusiastic." He's a happy, bubbly, giddy, smiley, loving little soul, which sometimes you can't see when he puts up his hard, angsty wall of protection (good for blocking turmoil, not good for having a fun day).

He could literally be a cheerleader now, and I'd like to take just a tad bit of credit for it. We've been working on being thankful, saying little thankful prayers frequently (which he does on his own now), and listing out all the many wonderful things we're thankful for on a daily basis. He may not yet be grateful for these things, but he still knows how to say thank you :) And he's just so happy about it! "Thank you for my food." "Thank you for my toy." "Thank you, I like this." I love it!

We hear "hooray!!!" a lot, and little phrases from shows on Noggin, like "you made my heart super happy mommy!" and "Can you do this? Yes you can, mommy!" Granted he'll try to use this to his advantage (yes you can get me candy!) and he can be pretty sneaky ("Dear God, thank you for my ice cream, I love it soooooo much! Thank you, God, Amen!" Then looks at me expecting ice cream). I just love being with someone who hugs all the kids around him, says nice things to everyone, and is just so light and happy with the world.

Of course, not every day is like that, but most days are and I'm so, so, so lucky!

One snippet from today:
"Mommy I'ma get bigger soon!"
"Oh, how big are you going to get?"
"Taller and taller, up to the sky!"

We get "up to the sky" a lot :) It's so adorable!
Can you tell I love my little P?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I haven't blogged in foreeeeever!

I'm mostly updating about my life on Facebook now. For anyone who actually reads this and wants to follow me there, my name is Megan McKenney Everett. I'm happy to add anyone :)

Now, onto the happenings of the past couple weeks!

A few weeks ago I actually broke down crying with Nik. I had my 10-15th duct blockage and was in such pain and there wasn't an end in sight. I just... want our baby. I started trying to pump in late January, we've been in process over a year, I've been living my life by the pump for over half a year, and all I want is our child to hold and love. So I finally gave in and just sobbed and whined my li'l heart out.

On Monday, Sept 14 (?) I was in a mood. An awful, antsy, OMG can't it just happen already mood. And I'd been praying and wishing and hoping and even giving up hope a bit, and checking my email like crazy because dangit something had to give. And then there was an email. A situation with a woman due Oct 5. And it sounded perfect. I called Nik to ask if it was okay then replied asking the agency to please show our profile.

I made it through Tuesday okay. We weren't expecting to hear anything then. Though I was already giving up hope. Another couple's face kept popping in my head whenever I thought about the situation, and I was sure they'd be picked. So sure, in fact, that I was kinda rooting for them. I was prematurely happy for them. I don't even know if they asked to be shown...

Wednesday we expected to hear something. I was checking my email constantly to see if we'd get the email saying who'd been chosen. I really didn't think we'd get the call saying it was us, just the email saying it wasn't.

On Thursday it was pretty much the same, only getting antsier. I reread some of the profiles on the agency website and caught something: one of the couples I thought was up for this situation was only wanting a girl. This was to be a boy. Suddenly we had a 1/3 chance or better. I was also at peace in the knowledge that we were #1 on the list for an African American baby boy should a situation come in where the agency would chose (we were waiting the longest for that specific situation).

On Friday I took P to a pony farm for a Triangle Mommies playdate. I kinda insulted one of the moms but sorta introducing myself when we'd already talked for an hour or so like a month before. I was just so antsy and out of it! We hadn't gotten word yet and I was... well, I was starting to hope. And that was scary! So I explained that to her, and explained it to a bunch of the other moms, most of whom are pregnant. It was when P was throwing a fit that I first felt the phone vibrating in my pocket but grappling with P I got to the phone too late. I didn't recognize the number, but it said it was from a town a few hours away. I was really starting to hope.

And then, about ten minutes later...

It rang.

I picked up and said, "hello."

"Hi," said a cheery voice. "May I please speak with Sarah?"

My heart, which had just lept at the call, dropped to my feet I swear. My sister's name is Sarah. I am Megan. It was a wrong number from another town and nothing more.

"I'm sorry," I said, kinda sullenly. "There's no Sarah here."

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she responded. "I'm bad with names. You're Megan right? I'm M with ACH, and I'm calling because you've just been chosen for the situation with the woman due in a couple weeks!"

I think I'm paraphrasing. In fact, I'm sure of it. It was all so fuzzy! It's like my head and heart just exploded. My body was shaking and I was sweating and starting sobbing without tears and babbling and, OMG, she picked us! US! WE were finally chosen for a baby! A BABY!

We spoke with M for a bit, and then with R, the woman who chose to place her child with us. I had no idea what to say and actually worried that I turned her off to us with my babbling but, Oh Man, I was so excited and relieved and scared and happy and OMG!

The other moms cheered for us and helped me keep an eye on Paxton. I got several hugs. P had no idea what was going on. When my mind came back to me he was in a chicken coop, though apparently allowed to be there. I stood beside him as he rode a pony and tried desperately to reach Nik, whose phone had run out of batteries. I called my mom to let her know we were off for babysitting that Saturday (as we'd have to go to the other town and meet everyone), but I didn't tell her why. Not until I could reach Nik. I left him some rather pissy voicemails.

Finally on the drive home (I should NOT have been driving!) I emailed him (really should not have been doing that!) and said simply "Call me". I got a call a minute or two later and told him the good news. Then I got to call others and announce it on Facebook. Though my best friend Renata already knew before Nik. Hey, I had to tell someone!

Saturday was a blur! We left at 9am in the fully tanked minivan, packed some snacks and gifts, and drove to the other town. We stopped at a mall for a bit and bought a more appropriate gift ( a photo album) for R, to go along with the little bath set I bought at the mall. Then it was off to the restaurant.

I don't want to go too in depth in public about our meeting, but it went well. Very well, I think. There weren't too many questions asked and mostly we talked about random things like favorite foods, or R and I talked about our sons (her 2 year old was there).

After the meeting we went to a children's/science museum that was NOT worth it at all. So expensive and not fun! Should've just gone back to the mall, honestly. But P, as usual, had fun. And Nik and I got to sit around and just digest (not so much the food as the information and realization that, OMG, we were picked!). Also R said she didn't want to have any naming rights, even though we offered up the middle name territory to her. So we got to throw names around to go with our beloved first name until we found a combination we love :)

Sunday we announced it in church. Why not? It was already on Facebook!

We then spent the whole next week jumping at everything. She'd already had labor pains, what if she went early? We had to be ready! Obviously, that didn't happen :)

This past Sunday we took care of our infant care class requirement with a woman our agency uses to teach other useful classes. It was late and expensive-ish but very informative and worth it. I feel a little more comfortable now.

This week we're also a bit jumpy. Her due date is Monday!

I got a call from M last night letting us know that R had gone into false labor on Tuesday but the doctor's sent her home. They're both going in for a Dr. appt tomorrow to set up a C-section. It's possible the baby will come then, but we don't know. I think I can safely say that all of us our looking forward to him being born! And I'm happy to report that the hospital is knowledgeable and supportive about R's decision to place and is working with our adoption agency. Not all hospitals are like that so I feel better knowing where they stand.


We're preparing. Right now I'm stocking up like crazy on the breastmilk, almost 1,000 ounces in the deep freezer (and so much food in there now!). I'm putting together 200 oz and some special bottles for respite care. I've had a cooler in the deep freezer for a week now! And on Monday I'll be going to a new friend's house to learn how to use a Maya Wrap! I wanna be able to latch li'l A right on to me and just stuff him safely into the sling. We'll see! I'm sure both of those will take practice!

P's only issue with this is he reeeeeally wants a little sister. But he's starting to understand that he doesn't have a choice in the matter. I've told him that maybe next time we'll get a girl :)

I have so much to talk about really, so many things P's been able to do lately Mr. "Growing up at lightning speed." But I guess that's for another time, or just for my own personal memories.

All I can really say right now is that things are going well for us and we hope and pray that they continue to go well. Hopefully I'll be updating soon with good news about li'l A. I can't wait!!!