Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The trees are gone! We now have like 5 big trees left on our lot. We took down 14, a large poplar and the rest tall pines. It cost almost $4K but it raised the property value and made the house much, much safer. Shortly after moving to NC there was a hurricane and I saw two houses in one cul-de-sac crushed under tall pines. They're like the bane of NC, just smashing houses galore during the 5 month hurricane season. We even had at least one stump in the back that was from a fallen pine.

So now our yard is half mud, and covered in gigantic tire tracks, but it was soooooo worth it! It actually looks more like a yard now too. I can't wait to get it smoothed out and plant grass. Hopefully by next summer we'll have a full, grassy lawn, some new little trees growing, the garden spruced up, maybe even a new shed... Hmm, suppose that should come first!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sleepy sleepy...

Evenings are stressful sometimes. Not that I have anything to do (well, I have a LOT to do, but I ain't doing it right now am I?). And it's not that there's anything wrong really. It's just... this is our freetime. Our only real coupley freetime. And we'd better get on with enjoying it dammit! See? Pressure and stress. And guilt. Oh, do I feel guilty for looking at the internet while Nik plays a childhood fave video game. Not that he minds in the least, he's happy as a clam over there. But I feel like I should be doing something. Like cooking or cleaning or putting away the laundry in the dryer (crap, just remembered that!).

Same thing with the adoption I suppose. We're still planning for BB and every now and then it strikes me that there isn't a BB yet, nor a match, nor a tentative date, nothin'. I was hoping to have a bouncing, giggly, sitting up baby by Christmas and with many agencies/services that would be guaranteed. But it's not looking like it at all here. And that's fine, that's just fine, we still have so much to do with Paxton and really there is so little time when you think about it. He's ready to be a big brother but still ready to be the baby so that's cool too. We'll just... take it as it all comes, y'know?

But sometimes... I'm just sick of pumping. And sick of the basinet sitting in the nursery closet, and the unused Snappis and onesies, and the milk gathering in the fridge. It's all worth it, every heartrending second. I learned that the first time around and it stays with me every time that boy pushes me to the brink of insanity. All I have to do is recall that pain, that sorrow, that fear, that horrible place where I was before he was actually in my arms, when I didn't know if we'd ever hold our child... It makes us appreciate and adore him even more, which is good for him because he can really get on my nerves! He's SUCH a boy!

And that's how I'm looking at things when I look at it objectively, something I almost always do. I realize that more time means I'll have a bigger supply of breastmilk, the diapers will be more used and better prepped (they're used as inserts now in Pax's night diapers). I'll have more time to collect a cute wardrobe, more time to plan, more time to enjoy not dealing with diapers during the day, more time to sleep in on Saturdays, more time to relax just Nik and I, more time to sit there for an hour staring into Paxton's eyes and telling him stories, more time to cook in peace in the kitchen, more time between laundry loads even.

I'd still give up all that time just to find our next family member, but right now I'll enjoy it and love it and rest assured that BB is out there and is being watched over lovingly from above and here on earth and that what must happen will happen, as it always will, such that our family will grow as it's meant to.

But, y'know... if that could be tomorrow....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May as well update.

Not too much. Decided that Paxton's continuing pissiness may be a result of being overtired. He was resisting sleep and getting up earlier and earlier. Finally we just decided it was too much. Kids his age NEED to be sleeping in the double digits. So, we're back to every day nap as opposed to every now and then nap. Whenever he napped he was having trouble getting to sleep at night so now it's every day nap with me snuggling him to sleep, then every night with me and Nik snuggling him to sleep. He's actually sleeping later and while he's kinda mean in the mornings he's definitely more even tempered during the day. Knock on wood! We've only been trying that a few days.

Nothing new in adoption land. Not all that much new in pumpy land either, other than that I'm making about 1 ounce per session (7 a day) and have made up to 2.5oz in a session, though that was after sleeping through the 4am alarm and not getting much out before going to bed. Either way I'm still doing the slow and steady increase. I'm now aiming for 3-4oz a session instead of 2 or 2.5. I'd rather aim high than low! So I'm at 1/3-1/4 to where I want to end up. Not bad! I'm getting pretty used to it now, actually enjoying my quiet 4-4:30am session where I munch an apple, drink 20oz of water, get to use the restroom, and read news or fiction in peace with the light sound of birds chirping. My goal of learning to fall back asleep more quickly, and to live with less sleep, seems to be working... so long as I still have my Saturday mornings! I slept till 10:40 this morning. It was blissful! I was still up at 7am to pump but got back to sleep and I slept haaaard. Tempted to go to bed early tonight after having been awake only 12 hours. Why not? I'm sure I could use it! Besides, tomorrow morning is my day to get up with Paxton.

Other news:
-Joined church choir, am very shy, will work on it.
-Agreed along with Nik to be in nursery last Sunday of every month. They need so much help in there.
-Finally getting off our butts and getting those trees removed. We have one estimate for $3,550. Wow! But thanks to our tax refunds we can afford that if we need to.
-I'm playing too much of The Sims 2 in preparation for saving, zipping, and sending it away. The Sims 3 comes out in a couple weeks. I'm trading up baby!
-I want to sew some fleece soakers and a Mei Tai or two but I have no idea when I'll have the time! Perhaps P's naptime?

Friday, May 8, 2009

And it's on...

I don't know why, but suddenly I feel like we're FINALLY on the right track with this whole adoption thing. Maybe it's that the new agency is actually very nice, very responsive, and much more up front. Maybe it's that they've placed 12 kids already this year, have 2 pending for the next couple weeks, and only have 18 more families waiting for placement with more expectant parent situations not yet revealed to us, thus making the odds of a quicker placement seem likely. Maybe it's that we actually have a profile on the website, one in print, and were actually shown to someone. Maybe it's the big meeting day where we met other PAPs and saw that unlike our first experience at the county adoption meeting we could not only stand these people but relate to and joke with them. Maybe it's the feeling of being with an agency with a relatively set time line, kind of like when we were waiting for Paxton. Maybe it's the feeling of community, where I hear about other people being matched and while there's a tint of jealousy for the most part I want to find their emails and congratulate them (and offer advice and help if they don't have kids yet). And maybe it's my darling son who drove me bat-poo insane today but continues to love me and be adorable all the same.

Either way... I'm feeling good about this.

Hmmm... I think I shall pump and read baby names. I want to put together a list of 10 names of each gender, with meanings, for placement day whenever that should be. We have front runners and the boys name is pretty much set in stone now, but I'd still want other considerations.

Be warned oh reader(s?)! We like less common names. If Pax had been a girl we would've chosen Lumina. We also considered both Cassien and Solomon for him. Solomon is too common (or at least I've met too many with that name, only 2 other Paxtons), but I've never heard Cassien being used around here. And I like variants of that, like Casimir and Cassius. And no, Cassien is not our "set in stone" boys name. But it's still a cool name :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we were likely not chosen as it's just about 5pm and no miraculous phone calls. Bummer. For us anyway. The other three couples were likely waiting much longer each (or at least active longer, we've been paper ready since early November).

I'm being an awful mommy today, not really taking Paxton anywhere other than a visit to my grandmother, being a little too short with a tired boy and not handing a couple of situations very well at all (though I really don't like him biting at my stomach when I grab his hand to stop an oncoming slap).

I'm going to my first choir practice tonight. I know it sounds awful but I just can't get out of this house fast enough! I've been antsy all day and Paxton has been tired and thus doing a bunch of whiney, annoying little things that wouldn't normally get to me that much.

Ah well, odds are higher for the next time, right? And we'll be matched when we're meant to be matched. And hey, I'm only making max 1/3rd of what I need to nurse right now so a couple more months of, you know, waking up to Mr. Pump... that would be beneficial, right? Siiiiigh. I think I'll sneak some chocolate ice cream when Paxton isn't looking....

I'm so awful...

... But I wish I were more shelfish in prayer.

Something about prayer forces me to be so utterly, utterly honest and humble, and while I love that and hope to pass that on to my children, it's a little annoying at times.

Case in point?

We just found out we have a 1 in 4 chance of being chosen for a baby due very soon. We'll find out today or tomorrow. Our profile was rushed to be completed and we haven't been waiting nearly as long, and really there's a 3 in 4 chance we won't be chosen. But there's still a chance we could.

And I so want to pray for the stakes to move in our favor but I just CAN'T.

I tried sorta. Put my hands together with Paxton and said "Dear God" and then... the honesty started. The "please be with this woman" and "please be with all couples" and "please give us all strength to deal with whatever happens" and the "thank you for the hope you've provided" and the "please help this go whichever way it's meant to go as peacefully as possible."

See? No selfishness. But I wish I could be selfish, I wish I could ask for her to choose us, for some divine internetion to make the other profiles, iunno, soggy or smell funny or something. But I can't because it's not up to me, and I do believe it's already written and already destined and there's really nothing my prayers will do to stop her from choosing whichever family she picks, whether it be us or one of the other three wonderful, waiting, hoping families. And really... I can't get it out of my mind that this woman is due right before Mother's Day and is going to be parting with a loved child.... honestly how can I pray for myself and my family when her family is facing such heartache?

So, I wish I could be selfish. I also wish I prayed more. I think I'd be a better and more introspective person if I did.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Today's going well so far...

Don't wanna jinx it! I think the boys and I will head to a park later for a walk around, maybe feed some ducks. Seems like a nice day for it!

Paxton is definitely doing better with more attention. We gave him a ton during the first several months he was home but his natural toddler/preschooler independence forced a slight separation once he was fully attached. I think we've just become too used to our independent little boy and didn't realize he'd need so much extra love on top of what we already show him. Glad we figured it out, for all our sakes! He's super happy and adorable again. Guess it never hurts to go through the steps of attachment again every now and again, neh?

It's weird, I've been reading up on adoption (required reading) and about issues you deal with. It's true, there are a lot of issues we deal with and that we handle typically pretty well. There are phases he goes through, like the "screaming/crying at someone he recognizes" phase we're in right now that comes around every other month or so for two weeks maybe. We just need to hug him a lot and let him hide from those he loves until he calms down. I still wonder why people take offence at this. It's only because he loves and trusts them but sometimes their presence is simply overstimulating and he needs to calm down before he can handle them. It's okay, no biggie, and just letting him calm at his own pace works much faster than trying to force him to interact with friends or family who are waiting with open arms.

I guess that's the thing I've realized about all of this. There are issues. There are orphanage behaviors that sometimes resurface, there are violent behaviors that sometimes pop up, there are overstimulation issues and there are even a few sensory issues that appear only when he's very, very overstimulated (echolalia anyone?). The vast majority of the time my son appears to be, and is, a completely normal, completely on target, totally attached and loving little boy. Even on his bad days he's still great a majority of the time (it's that super crappy minority of the time that gets ya though...). But my son has been through a considerable amount of trauma in his first couple years of life and like any child who has been through trauma (loss of parent, abuse, molestation, etc) he still has some issues pertaining to that and will very likely always have issues pertaining to his earliest experiences.

And I'm fine with that.

Oh, sure, it used to scare me that I might have to reaffirm our bond throughout our life together. And the thought of consistent testing behavior, grief that I can't completely put at ease, and a fear of separation used to make my stomach churn and certainly made me second guess adoption. But the fact is that I'm totally, 100% fine with this. Why? Well, duh, he's my son. And his experiences have helped to make him who he is and I love him for who he is, all that he is, even if it is difficult sometimes to deal with things that I may not feel totally equipped to deal with.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I guess sometimes I worry that my love for my child is questioned, that even I might question it if I feel I'm doing a bad job. But... well, I love him. He's my child, my first, my big boy, my little bean, my silly button, my son. He's the brightest light in my existence, my constant companion, my little co-conspirator and somedays my nefarious minion. He's my pupil, my dictator, my charge and ward and little lovey dovey. He's the person who has hurt me the most in those moments when he's just so angry over something so insignificant, but the pain he's caused me only hurt so badly because I love him so fiercely and want for his joy and adoration more than anything.

This child, my darling little son, went through hell before he joined my life and I will never, ever be able to change that. All the love in the world will never completely wipe out the hurt he experienced, and while we can make so, so much of it better there are some instances where we're just going to have to let him work out his grief in whatever way he can find.

Sometimes this means holding him so tight while he fights us. Sometimes this means letting him pretend to nurse on my arm. Sometimes this means hiding under the bed with him. Sometimes this means holding the cup or the spoon and reassuring him that he will always be fed. Sometimes this means not punishing, not reprimanding, and simply moving on from whatever he's done because there are times when it's simply not worth the battle with him when he's already fighting his own battle inside. And sometimes this means crying with him, letting him know that it hurts us too because we love him so. damn. much and his pain, whether we understand it or not, is also our pain because we are his parents and he is our son.

And so his battles are becoming shorter and shorter and he calms down quicker and quicker and he's happier far more often and he figures out new, positive ways to work out his grief over his past. Lately he's been finding little things, like a flag or a rock, and pouting and saying it's "poor baby ___" and it's "lost his mommy!" I look for the mommy with him. He hugs the little flag or rock or flower or seed to his chest and tells him it will be okay, then tells me how sad it is that it's all alone and just wants his mommy to love him. We find the mommy (a larger rock, a tree, the American flag down the road) and he rejoices that the poor baby ___ is no longer alone. And we hug and smile and he's calm and happy, and I'm calm and happy knowing what he may not know, that he's now found a positive outlet to reveal and deal with his past fears.

Alright, I think I'll have to leave off. I really ought to think about my blog posts beforehand so I can have, iunno, a good ending. Maybe I'll do that next time :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today's haul....

My mom and I hit another consignment sale today. Quite a haul this time! We were allowed in to the consignor's sale, with passes, so we got semi-first dibs on many cool items.

A rundown of stuff I can remember off the top of my head:
-Basketball and hoop for Paxton
-Playhouse (fabric & pvc type) for $4
-Assorted BPA free bottles and nipples
-Ameda handpump and extras kit, for much cheaper than just buying extras in case I need them
-4 boxes of breastmilk storage bags for the retail price of 1.5
-A little froggy stool a sleeper and 2 outfits that were all just too cute
-A kissaluvs and 4 larger diaper covers so I can feel justified in someday procuring a Goodmama or two
-A $5 home made pocket sling that's slightly too small for me but since I'm kinda losing weight... and it's such a cool design!
-Several books for me
-A little plush barn with 4 animals that make noises, great condition and super cheap
-Little green army men for Nik's D&D game
-A $12 good quality umbrella stroller to keep in Nik's car should he need it
-A hamper for BB's room
-Two maternity/nursing tops and 10 nursing bras (in a pack together)
-A Mega Blocks set for Paxton neither my mom nor I remember grabbing
-Something else, I'm sure

During this Nik took Paxton to see his mother, her boyfriend, and Nik's brother and his girlfriend. They had a nice breakfast at Brigg's then went to the festival in Wake Forest, not far from where I was (I saw a sign while waiting to go in and called to let him know about it, which is why they went there). I'm sad knowing that I'm missing out on things like this, like watching Paxton get to sit in a fire truck or make a candle, but I'm very happy to know Nik's getting to experience this with him.

We met up for lunch at Taj Mahal Indian Buffet. It was sooooooo good and we've decided we really want to support them during the economic crisis. They're prices are a bit high but if we go there once a month, well, that won't pay their bills but it will help. Besides, it's a great environment for Paxton, the food is great, and the man who runs the place (and waits on us) is crazy nice. That, and I still feel guilty about choosing not to eat there one time when they were pretty much the only place open during a snowfall and there was no one there. I'm so weird I know but Nik ran in, checked the prices and ran back out. The image of the nice man working there being so excited for customers, his restaurant empty and warm Indian food just sitting there untouched, and us just leaving... iunno, $ was a little tight but we easily could've paid it, had a warm meal we love in a place Paxton likes, and given them some business. I really don't want them to go under like Taste of Thai. I feel bad when little places of high quality close down :(

K, this is getting as discombobulated as my brain. I've had sooooo much to blog about and so little online time lately. Paxton had a couple weeks of horrible tantrums and regression, getting better Monday then reverting again Thursday. We realized it coincided with us shutting off the tv. See, he'd developed a stutter and we tried stopping all/most tv in order to cure it. It worked. But unfortunately without the tv he was noticing me pumping all the time (I'd turned it on to keep him in one place while pumping). Around the same time he started labelling groups of four as "mommy, daddy, Pax'on and baby." Then the regressing began and the anger and the hitting and crying and "I can't do anything. I'm a baby!" Uuuuugh. So we put up with it for a bit not really realizing what was up. Finally he calmed down then got worse again, bad enough that I just left the room Thursday night during his bedtime routine because I was too angry and we both cried in separate rooms until he was asleep.

So Nik and I talked about it, dug around in our brains, read up a bit online, talked more and realized that we were giving him far too much negative attention versus positive attention. We've been busy, see, Nik with his new job, me pumping and trying to get through required reading and, you know, cleaning and cooking and such. We didn't even realize that while we may be giving him quality time he really wanted quantity time.

So we implemented a "make him the center of our worlds again" approach for the next while until he's more comfortable in his role. He knows now that he won't be an only kid for too much longer and we don't want him to think that he'll be ignored all the time or supplanted. We just can't realistically be playing with him or interacting with him every single second he's awake. But he's doing much, much better with this approach and seems a million times happier (and is even giving us a break now and again but plopping down to play by himself).

Friday was a vast improvement but still wasn't perfect. I have things to do that he doesn't want to partake in, or can't, and he gets pretty angry when I do them. Friday's activities included 2 loads on laundry with him having no interest in starting it, moving it over, or putting away. It also included unclogging a very disgusting stopped up toilet then cleaning the bathroom due to the overflow (yuck!). He drew in crayon on my nice new carpet because I wasn't paying attention during this time (I was watching him in my peripheral). But I breathed deeply before reacting and tried our new approach of very little anger and a lot of expressing my dissappointment and upset, then sending him away to his room for a few minutes. Oddly enough when there wasn't a hint of anger in my voice he didn't react with anger himself. Go figure.

Today he's had a ton of attention and stimulation and is very happy. Also I spoiled him rotten and set up his new toys for him to find when he got home. He loves consigment sale days as much as I do since I always find cool things for him and leave them silly places to find (like his bed or his chair). I wish I'd videotaped his reaction to the playhouse! He ran around and around it squealing with delight before finally seeing the entrance, tearing it open and launching himself inside. I love seeing such unbridled happiness :)

On another similar note, I love seeing how loved my child is and how even if he feels upset with us he still knows that he's universally adored. We go to Marbles and everyone wants a hug or a high five or some time to play with him. We go to the mall or the Science Museum and he gets called by name (and sometimes hugs there too). At the library he's spoiled and given stickers and such just for being there. At church he runs right up to his favorite people and asks them to play. And with grandparents or friends of ours he's 100% comfortable. This kid just basks in the attention of everyone. I'd almost be worried except for those times when he falls and hurts himself and there are only 2 people on this planet who can make it better, and only 2 people who can put him to bed. And mommy's still the preference :) Well, this week anyway.