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.