Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweet Lil P

This afternoon I took my boys to Marbles before heading to dinner with my parents. I had emailed my mother just to whine and we agreed that dinner with the grandparents would cheer P up after a rough spot this morning, especially with Daddy being out tonight.

While at Marbles he found some craft supplies, asked a staff member kindly for a stapler, and proceeded to create a book from scratch with no help.

His title page. He did it Manga style :) "this is me"

This one's easy to read. It made me start to tear up.

This one is not easy to read :-P "I am a good engineer, very good. I am smart, very good."

"Blue is good, very good. Booo (say it like a ghost now), I am good."

I was tearing up and could only whisper "Good boy" when I got to the end.

"Silly mommy," he said with a smile. "It says good bye!"


Good Bay!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Yesterday was so warm, like the days preceding, and I got thiiiis close to pulling out bright summer clothes, flip flops, and sunglasses and having us all pose for a "Christmas in NC" picture :)

Today? It is not so hot. Not freezing, no, but not summer clothes weather.

Anyway, I'm not sure if it was the weather, the fact that we didn't decorate, or the fact that we had just been busy, but I was so not feeling this Christmas thing. I mean, family? Presents? Good food and lots of laughter? Yes, definitely looking forward to it. And I'm certainly not feeling morose or depressed this Holiday, in fact I'm quite happy and at peace right now.

But there was just something about the magic missing for me...

So last night we tried out this thing called Lights on the Neuse. It's in another city, half an hour away, and it cost almost $30. That coupled with the crowds, the costs for cocoa or other treats, having to wait in line an hour in the cold, jumpy children, and it not in any way being what I expected when we got there...

Yeah, I was ready to leave.

By the time we got up to the front of the line, P had been in trouble several times for various dumb things we normally would've let slide, A was fussy and shivering, and Nik and I were both just groaning.

For a second that broke, when a group of girls started to sing "Rudolph" and so many people, me included, joined in. Ambrose even clapped. And then it was gone and went back to waiting for them to load up the next tractor for the "hayride," where really it was just a tractor pulling a long platform with benches and railings at each side and some hay thrown down in the middle.

We boarded, snuggled in, reprimanded the kids again because, sheesh, we don't want to hold still for this long either but seriously just sit still!

And then we were off.

And it was incredible. Breathtaking. Magical.

And it wasn't so much the music, though that seemed all encompassing, nor was it necessarily the half hour light show, though that truly blew us away. It was my husband and I, each with a quiet, snuggling, wide eyes little boy sitting on our lap, watching the magic through their eyes and realizing that this night, this music, these lights, this feeling, was something they would remember forever, even if only a distant memory.

This Christmas may just be another Christmas for me. It's not a "first" Christmas for anyone, nothing horrid happened to our family this year where Christmas is helping to heal us, we aren't struggling and we aren't going all out. In some ways, it's just another day, something fun and something worth noting, but it would probably pass right out of our memory banks.

But looking at P... watching his eyes, hearing his voice, feeling him tense when lights would flick on and a whole lit up magical playground, moving by itself, would appear beside us from nowhere... feeling his body relax against mine as we trekked through the forest path, full of lit flowers and cottages and wildlife... seeing his face when we got to an open field, dark and quiet, and suddenly in a blaze of light a whole forest of bright multicolored trees light up and start flashing to the music...

And knowing my own memories and realizing that he will likely remember that moment, that special, magical time for the rest of his life...

That, to me, was magic.

And it made me tear up.

Oh, and the best part, of course, were his words.

"Mommy, I love you. Thank you for bringing me here. I'll remember it for always."

Ah! This boy kills me!

Granted a few minutes later he told me he was board and needed my iPhone... But eh, that was erased pretty quickly at the next light show :)


I should note that we capped off that night by going back into the mostly neglected 3D house, where you grab a pair of 3D glasses and walk through a barn filled with walls and tight twists and turns, with 3D painted on Christmas scenes all over the walls as you walk through.

We were at the very back, admiring a baby Jesus painting, when Nik tells me something is wrong with Ambrose. I turned around but he was hard to see in the black light with my 3D glasses on. It was just so dim...

So I bend over and ask, "Ambrose, what's wrong?"

"Nakey!" he tells me.

That's when I noticed he wasn't wearing anything but a shirt and he was holding himself and preparing to pee.

On baby Jesus.

So yeah, I got to be the crazy woman wearing 3D glasses grabbing a half naked child in the freezing cold and running past people as quickly as I could screaming, "WE DO NOT PEE ON BABY JESUS!!!"

He held it until we got home, haha!


Today we all got up early, despite a late bedtime. We had breakfast at one of our old favorites, went to the only place open in the area (Durham Life and Sci), then rushed home to help the security guy set up our new system. It's nifty! I can see my living room from my phone! And the kid's windows are monitored now too, which makes me feel better. No more finding P perched on his sill or leaning out to hold early morning conversations with people walking down the street while we're still sleeping. Oh, and no one can get in too.

No I need to go quickly wrap a small gift for my grandparents that the kids made and head over there. Eep! We're supposed to be to their house (20 minutes away) in 9 minutes! Oh well, you win some you lose some :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Breathe, woman, breathe...

Dear me,

Yes, you're tired. You've been lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to sleep and you stayed up too late, only to be woken up quite early by two very excited children who now understand the concept of "Holiday Break."

And yeah, you put off drinking coffee until you got to your mother's at 9:30, instead of 7am, and you're kinda thrown off.

And yeah, getting them fed and ready for nap was a hassle.

And yeah... yeah, you failed at that.

For the toddler, who was nursing and crying and slapping you at 6:20 am is now the same toddler who has been rubbing raccoon eyes for 2 hours, crying, getting violent, and refusing to sleep.

You cannot take him to his room until his big brother is asleep, meaning instead of getting your own needed quiet time and then some fun time with both kids, you will now be stuck at home for roughly 5 hours straight having to keep one child quiet while the other sleeps.

And that sucks.

Especially when you have so, so much to do and when they will both be miserable about the situation and you are already miserable and, urg, yeah, sucks.

But you know what?

You got your 6 year old to sleep and he's been down 2 hours, two very necessary hours given his state when you sent him to bed, and that's awesome.

And you still got lunch (yeah, the salad making was super rushed but eh, you remembered the lettuce to it's all good). And you still got a shower, even if it was a 2 minute military shower that you rushed through quickly while the toddler screamed at you and you tried to shush him. It had been 3 days since your last shower, thanks to all the holiday hustle and bustle, so yeah, you're feeling much better and you should savor that feeling.

And the tired toddler is actually doing alright and will likely nap, and while truly inconvenient for everyone it will make it possible for you to actually get some one on one time with your 6 year old. That's rare. Savor that as well. And indulge in that new family fun video game you picked up just for him.

Also? Your house is full of chocolate and sweets. Granted, not as full as it was a couple days ago before you went into all out chocoholic mode... but you held off longer than you normally do, so hey, go you! You might only gain 10 lbs this Holiday instead of the expected 12! Hooray!

Also, your husband is cool and is commiserating over Google chat, sorta, and that's cool. And, um, you're seeing your mother later, maybe you can ask her to bring wine? She has lots of wine. That will make post-bedtime life awesome right?

Also, more chocolate. Just focus on the chocolate.

Oh, and the whole "family is safe, happy, healthy, and thriving and we've had such a great year" thing. Yeah, think about that :)

So, me, please stop being all emo at the computer about something dumb like spending over an hour trying to get a child to sleep and having him get angry and start hitting you and screaming. He was tired and didn't mean it, and you are tired and need to honor that, and maybe the chocolate will make it all better. Just hide it from the kids because you will not be happy if they find your chocolate stash :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pre-Christmas Quickie

Bullet Point Style!

-Just got in our invite for the MAPP classes and I checked the confirmation box. Will be in the mail tomorrow. Already tired thinking about how our schedule will be for those 5 weeks.

-Teacher Holiday gifts all finished, wrapped, and ready to go :)

-Nik just bought and iPhone 4. If we say it's for Christmas, then it doesn't sound so expensive. Also Siri is hilarious.

-We've all, everyone in this household, had 3 nights in a row of wonderful, deep sleep with no nighttime interruptions and a reasonable wake up time. I feel so... alive.

-The night before the Great Sleepening was awful. A had been crying all through the night and needing comfort more and more, for weeks, and we were back to sleeping in shifts. We were miserable. So I left him in his room, alone, in the dark, to cry himself to sleep as he stood pounding on his door. I don't know who felt worse, him or me. He slept and woke up much happier than he had been waking up. And he's been sleeping like an angel since then. *Sigh*

-Tomorrow is the last day of school for both of them for a couple of weeks. Not sure if I'm excited or petrified.

-Finally getting in the Christmas spirit... by eating lots of chocolate. Oh, and nachos. Can't forget the Christmas nachos.

-Presents wrapped and ready to go! Wish we could open them now! Paxton doesn't even want hints, and Ambrose doesn't care. Nik and I are like kids and we want to open them NOW NOW NOW!

-Holy crap Meetup is expensive! Now if I can think of 2 other Meetup groups to start it might be worth it...

-I think I broke Paxton's heart tonight when I told him that, despite what they told him at school today, he would not in fact be boarding a real, huge steam engine and going on a magical trip to the real North Pole tomorrow, even if they are giving him real tickets for this magical trip. In fact, I think it might just be fun imaginationy stuff. He argued with me a bit and I feel bad that I disappointed him, but better me and better tonight than tomorrow at his school. I can only imagine my poor, excited boy there in his jammies on jammie day, holding his special ticket and looking around for the real Polar Express only to be told that they're just going to read the book... as if his emotions aren't all over the place enough as it is! I can see a definite total melt down possibility there.

-I need to sleep... but I'm thinking about this week! I'm excited for what we have planned! I'm excited to eat out and see family and open presents and have cookies and home made candy and cocoa and have a break from the norm and just be together. I'm excited for my kids, and I'm excited for Nik and I. I'm just sort of in this anticipation mode right now :)

If I don't post again, I hope everyone reading this has (had?) a wonderful Holiday, no matter what or how you celebrate (or even if you don't!).

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Yesterday morning I went out with a friend. My BFF, actually. A typical Wednesday would have Nik and P out of the house by 8:30, me dropping off Ambrose at school by 9, cleaning up at home until 10:30 or so and then rushing off to see Renata for a couple of hours before picking Ambrose up.

Yesterday Nik was sick and headed to the doctor. I left around 9, with him prepping to leave. I dropped of A, ran out to see my BFF for brunch because that's how her schedule was working, and then talked to Nik on the phone while we were headed back to her house so I could grab my car. As I was speaking to Nik, who'd just returned home from the doctor, he asked me, "honey, where did you move the PS3?"

"Huh?" I asked.

"The PS3... and the Wii... oh, your jewelry box is on the floor... and the back door, um..."

"Yeah, please call the cops, I'll be home soon, OMG."

So yeah, we were robbed.

Not too much was taken, really. The Playstation 3 and controller, some games, the Wii with Mario Kart and a Gamecube memory card in it. Oh, and the jewelry... they got my engagement ring, my pretty little dark opal $200 ring we bought together almost 7 years ago, right after Christmas. I loved that ring... and my class ring, but even though it was personalized it was still less meaningful. They left my other jewelry but crushed one of my gold bangles (which was a gift from BFF for high school graduation).

So we're out some stuff. Since our two biggest Christmas gifts are video games and the new controllers to play them, well, looks like we need to buy two more big gifts. In fact, I already replaced the Wii.

But the engagement ring is irreplaceable. And the save games, as dumb as this sounds, are equally irreplaceable. We're not TV people, we're gamers, and that tiny little memory card contained the saves of all our favorite gamecube games, collectibles and classics we'd played together during long nights previous to children.

Oh, and Paxton's 17 hour save game that we were working on together.

Yeah, I got to explain to my 6 year old that someone went into our house, took our stuff, and now he can't watch Netflix or play his favorite games. When I think about the fact that I won't be able to hand off my engagement ring to any of my children.... and they probably only got like $30 for it too :-(


So, for the most part, what we're missing is stuff. Material stuff. And we get that, really we do. We also get that it could have been a lot worse than it was. It could have been multiple people doing a complete job on the house, or someone armed and dangerous and willing to harm. They could have seen my husband's $2K laptop or the checkbook. They could have really trashed the place. It looks like it's highly possible Nik actually walked in on the guy and didn't notice form our split foyer, meaning the guy just ran out the back before Nik went downstairs, and yet there was no confrontation. Heck, the back door doesn't always latch properly which is how they got in, and you know what? They didn't have to break the glass. My door is just fine in this winter(ish) weather.

And we have the money. We bought another Wii and we'll buy another PS3 and hey, maybe I can ask Nik for a nice new ring come February when we celebrate 10 years together. Another opal would be glorious :)

And we can just replay the games and we can clean up the drawers, and hey, they didn't take the Christmas gifts! Sure they took some of the PS3 games, but they were all either games we were done playing, or a game where the disk was sitting out, or a game that really ticked Nik off because he couldn't get his little guy to climb this flipping tower.

So... we'll be good...


But dude...

Someone was IN my house.

Someone picked my house after watching it, perhaps for days or longer. Someone jumped my fence. Someone looked in my windows, tried my door and opened it. Someone unhooked my game systems and chose video games off my shelf. Someone went through our Christmas presents in my sewing room, where the kids aren't even allowed. Someone went through Nik's office. Someone walked up my stairs, and they probably left their shoes on (jerk). Someone went into my bedroom. Someone opened our drawers. Someone looked through Nik's stash of Christmas presents. Someone looked through my freaking *underwear* some of it now unfolded. Someone found my "personal lubricant" and left it out. Someone went through the drawer right under my pillow, the one with my personal items including childhood toys. Someone looked through the jewelry box I've had since I was 3 or 4 and tossed it aside. Someone grabbed my real jewelry box and took it downstairs. Someone took my engagement ring, my class ring, and broke my bangle, likely squished in his hand.

And then that someone just... left. Out the back door. Like it wasn't a big deal. Like they were shopping.

And they walked a couple blocks over and tried to do it to another house, but their alarm went off.

The cops think it's just some sloppy teen, a single person who lives in the neighborhood and is doing this on foot. I guess we'll see if more houses are hit...


So I had a panic attack yesterday, or rather all over yesterday just slowly off and on. I would go from laughing uncontrollably to near tears to feeling just paralyzed. Again, I know it's not as bad as it could be, not nearly so. But suddenly the cost to replace would pop into my head, and the thought of not ever seeing my engagement ring again, and the thought of someone just walking into my house and grabbing my stuff and maybe making money off of that... I would just feel ill.

And for the most part it's been passing.

Okay, yeah, I started to tear up a few times today. When they were rude to me at the first Gamestop I went to and refused to even see if someone had sold a PS3 with my serial number, something they can easily check from there, as it will be days before the police report hits them... yeah. The girl behind the counter never looked up and just flatly said, "that suck..." I tried to joke about it, since I joke about everything (just how I am), but when I started to say, "It's just that my son's Christmas gift is for the PS3," I couldn't even finish my sentence and had to leave. And they still didn't even look up.

While in the mall playground I couldn't log into my email and I freaked, knowing I was logged in to at least one or two things on the PS3 and Wii with my normal screen name and password, tore Ambrose away from the slide, and sped home as fast as I could. It was just a fluke but I changed all my passwords anyway. For a second the violation from our home really hit me and the thought of this person, whoever he/she is, having access to my email? I mean, yeah, there's account info and passwords and such, sure, but what kept going through my head was all of our adoption journeys and how much we haven't printed out or saved anyplace else. The email letting us know we'd passed court in Ethiopia, the description of A's adoption situation, a short email from our agency about how he was doing in respite, etc. Those things, too, are irreplaceable, and just so *personal*, and there are days when the boys are driving me nuts and I just have to bring up one of those emails and my skips a few beats all over again.


So yeah, I think I'm pretty much through with processing this. Facebook/In person/ Blog mental dump = over. Yay!

I guess we'll be spending some serious money in the next week or so. New PS3, alarm system, and of course a whole new drawer of underwear. I mean, ew, someone was scrounging around in there, even washing them doesn't seem safe to me right now! Who knows where those hands have been?!?!

Monday, December 12, 2011


We went to that Foster Care information session in September and sent in our application in October. I emailed shortly after that but hadn't heard anything back. I decided, since we're still torn on the direction our family building should go, that we should leave it up to "fate." If we get a call back, we'll pursue this. If not, we won't.

On Thursday afternoon I missed a call, and the caller left no voicemail. I assumed it was another debt collector for the person (alegzandermishaw as the digital voice says) who used to have my number. Friday afternoon at 4:58pm I was sitting around and decided to Google the number, just to be sure.

Turns out the number belongs to the intake lady at our county Foster Care system.

So I called back this morning, figuring she could be calling about any number of things. We could be rejected, we could be accepted, we could be asked questions, we could be asked to re-apply, we could be asked to come to another session, etc.

The lady was very nice and told me that they'd been holding back on my file as I'd put that our primary reason for wanting to do Foster Care was adoption. She said that they weren't sure if they should send me an invite for the MAPP classes or send me the info of an adoption agency. So I told her our thoughts, how we would indeed like for this journey to end in adoption but we know full well the risks, which is why we'd held of on taking the plunge so far. We feel we have a lot we can offer and that we'd be open to any number of situations (such as respite, emergency foster, week long foster, etc) but we wanted to attend the MAPP class first and find out more information. Right now our primary concern is the well being (physically and emotionally) of our children and we will make all our decisions in regards to placements in their best interest.

And so we are being sent the invite and we'll be starting classes in a month.

There are 10 classes, 3 hours each, over the course of 5 weeks. It'll be a rough month, and with Nik having a major deadline at work at that same time... yeah, it'll be crazy.

But we have a set start and end date so I can handle that kind of craziness!

The whole licensing and certification process can take anywhere from six months to over a year, but I'm hoping that we'll be ready to go by mid-fall, when the kids are another year older and hopefully sleeping in the same bedroom. This will give them a lot of time to grow and to process what our family is about to do, and will give us time to prepare physically (new car? More beds? A crib set up in the nursery? Another car seat installed? Maybe learn how to make a bottle of formula, which I've never done?). And it will give Nik and I time to build up a support team, to connect with other, more experienced foster and fost/adopt parents as well as the professionals involved.

So 2012 might just be our wildest year yet. Here's hoping it all goes smoothly!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Last night was a school "eat out" fundraiser. You know, you go to a restaurant and say you're with the school and order dinner, and a portion is donated to the school. It was for A's preschool and we got to meet up with other families from the (small) school, which I love to do, and A was happy to see his friends outside of school.

It wasn't the most convenient. First off, we don't eat meat and it was at Chik-Fil-A, so the kids had french fries and milkshakes for dinner. P ate some fruit as well, but Ambrose wouldn't touch the stuff. *Sigh* Also we don't often eat out during the week, typically just for time. With my early risers, we're a "lights off by 7pm during the week" kind of family. Ambrose can typically stay up later but P crashes pretty early and is up around 6, though we ask him to stay quiet until 7. And no, they don't sleep any later if we put them to bed later, and yes we've let them go to sleep as late as 11pm and they're still up at 6 and can't get back to sleep.

Anyway, the big thing I was worried about is the layout. This is North Hills, where the restaurant is located right beside a little road that doesn't look like a road and is frequently blocked off from being a road while we're there. Other than the flower pots separating road from non-road, and the cars driving and parking, you can't really tell that there's a road there. P can tell. I can tell. Ambrose cannot tell it's a road.

Oh, and Nik wasn't there so it was just me with two tired, sugared up boys in the dark beside a non-road looking road.

See where this is going?

We ordered our meal, sat and ate a bit and chatted, the kids were running and playing, which made me nervous but P is a smart boy and was staying off the road with his friends, while Ambrose followed him like a typical annoying little brother. I kept an eye on them but started to calm down as they continued to play away from the road with their friends.

I had my back turned to the road when I started to hear a parent yell, "wait, stop!" and then another, and then I turned...

And there was my two year old, running into the road, in front of a parked SUV, about to pop out in front of an oncoming car who could. not. see. him.

I've replayed that vision over and over and over again for the past... 15 hours?

I think my heart completely stopped, and I could hear myself shrieking and feel myself moving but it was all a haze.

Ambrose stopped when I yelled, never coming around the corner. And the "oncoming car, whose ominous headlights made my child almost a silhouette for a moment, was actually stopping to let someone out so they weren't actually going to drive into my child. And the parent who yelled first was very close to this and grabbed him as soon as he stopped, and probably would have reached him even if he'd continued running.

But even so....

I had *thought* I knew where my child was. I had *thought* I had him in my peripheral vision, to my left, and instead he was to my right and running towards the road.

I messed up.

And he's okay, and he probably would have been okay even if I hadn't noticed, and thank God he's okay and he wasn't even in real trouble to begin with.

But oh... oh....

I am shaken.

I sat with him on my lap, held tightly to me with him struggling to get down and play, as I shook and tried to keep from crying or throwing up, tried to continue on like normal in this group of friends. It was a scare, sure, but he was okay now...

And I just couldn't do it. I stayed near him for the rest of our time there and as soon as I felt my legs were steady enough to get us to the car (which meant crossing a road) I did so and took them home, bathed them, dressed them, and with Nik's help put them to bed.

All the while that image of him running into the road, with the headlights approaching, kept playing in my head.


Today I have a wild little boy running around the room happily while I type this. And I'm so, so grateful. I know "the scare" lasted all of a couple seconds. But a couple seconds is all it takes, right? All it takes for a life to end. All it takes to be a name in the newspaper, a tragedy, a tale where people share half truths of "isn't it sad about that little boy?" with neighbors, and then forgotten by the world. All it takes for a car not to stop, for a child not to stop, and when the two collide it's obvious who will survive.

Still scared. Still shaken.

And so, so happy that it was nothing more than a scare.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Yesterday we took another day trip to Greensboro. We spent most of the day at the Science Museum, followed by a visit to N's grandmother. I think next time we go we'll make more time for her since we see her so rarely and the kids really loved seeing her (and the feeling was mutual!).

For lunch we located an Indian buffet, which was heavenly! Ambrose filled up on rice while the rest of us chowed down on some of the best Indian food I've ever had. Seriously, we were all in pain when we left their with our bloated bellies!

Shortly after we got our food, while the kids were being quiet, Nik looked at me and said, "It feels like we're missing one."

"I know. I feel that way a lot."

"No, no, I mean, I can see both boys and I know that they're both here and safe, but it feels like we're missing one."

"I know. I feel that way a lot. Really."

"... Oh...."

Just for a second we held each others gaze, sort of a quick understanding passing through.

We have room for another. We want another. We're missing another.


Even as I type this I think about all those I know who have lost a child, or who still wait. Some have had miscarriages or still births, others had failed or contested adoptions (some after very long placements), others lost a child to death, and others have been "matched" with a child that they are waiting for, sometimes for years now, knowing that their child is on the other side of the world and they just can't get to them.

I cannot compare my own yearning to this kind of aching pain. Our yearning for another child is just that: A yearning. It is not painful and it is not overwhelming.

It's like a dull throb at the base of your skull.

I can ignore it most of the time, and often I just accept it as being there, something I can live with, something that's pretty much a part of me now. This missing child is still more an idea, a wish, a dream, than anything based in reality.

And yet, there have been moments recently where I'm suddenly, out of nowhere, gripped by this intense desperation. My child is out there somewhere and I'm not with her! It passes and I wonder for a moment if I've gone insane or perhaps I haven't gotten enough sleep or maybe I'm feeling hormonal... and then I remember having these same little jolts with both of our sons, this feeling that our child was out there somewhere, that we didn't have a name or gender or place or race or anything and yet our child was out there and we somehow had to find the right path to our child.

Perhaps we started this journey too early... Perhaps now is when we were meant to start...


We're so torn, so torn....

We may want to stop at 3 children, and if we do, and if we're able, shouldn't we pursue a pregnancy? I would likely always regret it if we didn't even try...

And yet, I know the adoption world, it has worked for us, and the thought of bringing in another child through private adoption or foster care absolutely thrills me.

What if our child is a waiting embryo, frozen in Cleveland? What if our child is a little girl with cleft lip in Cambodia waiting for adoptions to resume, potentially next year? What if our child is living in this same city with a foster family who does not intend to adopt? What if our child is nestled warm inside the womb of her expecting mother, where she'll be kept safe and warm and nurtured while her mother struggles with the hardest decision of her life? What if our child isn't even on this Earth yet and yet we still feel that he or she is out there, or at least will be out there, and we need to get prepared now?

I check adoption news a lot. I read forums. I talk to people. I pray. I read. I dream. And I'm looking for a sign.

Sirens went off in my head with P. And with A things fell into place. We thought we knew which way to go this time around, a few times now, and they were dead ends.

I'm just trying to stay calm and enjoy the wild ride right now, because really what else can I do?

I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes and ears, and heart, open and hope that it comes to us before too long. And in the meantime, I'll be wrassling with a pair of wild little boys :) They do keep us busy!

Friday, December 2, 2011


I have to say that I'm grateful on more than a few levels for how our family was made. Obviously, I'm grateful for my children and for how wonderful our life is right now. The boys are happy and thriving and without too many time outs and knock downs :-P

But other than that...

I'm grateful that I know what it feels like to be infertile, what it feels like to go through legal hoops for a child, what it feels like to have a social worker judge you (harshly), what it feels like to step into a third world orphanage, what it feels like to love a child you didn't birth, what it feels like to be a "billboard" for infertility and adoption on the playground, what it feels like to be stared at, recognized, and talked to more than my friends when in public, and what it feels like to be completely out of order with the normal parenting scheme.

In a way, it's really helped to avoid that whole mompetition thing.

Know what I'm talking about?

Mine's talking first, mine's sleeping through the night, mine's doing this, mine's doing that, and I know for a fact that I'm a "good mom", no, a "better mom" because of this. Ooooooo...

So previous to Paxton, my only interaction with children was my niece and nephews and children I either babysat or watched for parents older than me. We were married at 21 and 23 and our peers hadn't settled down... in fact, a few have recently married and one is expecting his first child soon, but that's it. We're ahead of the game in that way, which is good in a sense since it means we didn't have to spend years watching our peers raise their children while we kept waiting for #1.

But it also means that we had no. clue. what. we. were. doing.

Oh, sure, we'd read up on attachment and we knew the legal process and we had the carseat and all the gear and a stocked fridge, etc.

But we didn't know how to bathe our toddler. Seriously, when we realized we'd had custody for like 5 days and hadn't washed him once we were like "Good Lord, and they're letting us keep him?" We didn't know what portion size to give him, didn't know his likes and dislikes, had no previous relationship with him, no clue about his medical background, birth weight, average bio family height, any talents his first family has. We didn't even know which teeth he had, nor how many we should expect, and yes I actually got b%$&#ed out about this, in front of my kid and the woman's kids, on a playground.

And it stung.

I was a first time mother to a toddler. Other first time mom's had newborns, and mom's of toddlers were so much more aware, so bonded to their children, had two whole years, heck their kid's whole lifetime, to get to know their child.

It was so off.

Bonding was off. Feeding was off. Sleep was off. Potty training was off. Everything was off.

And he's awesome and amazing and intelligent and witty and sweet and people adore him and I adore him and the only thing I would change, if I could, would be that I would hug him and cuddle him even more and not stress about all the stupid things that moms are made to stress about now.

And that's what I'm trying to do with Ambrose.

Who cares when he potty trains?

Who cares when he first walked or how many words he can speak?

Do you need to know how many teeth he has?

And yes, sometimes he'll push a kid down or steal a toy, he's a two year old boy and that's normal.

I hear it on the playground and see it on forums and in articles and comments on articles and, well, it makes me sad a bit.

Because they're babies. Tiny humans growing in the way that their bodies are meant to grow, developing at the speed they are meant to develop at. And they're children, small children, making huge mental leaps already and learning to read or write is really so complicated at first. And their teens, just trying to keep their emotions in check. And they're young adults, trying to balance freedom and responsibility. And their new parents, who are realizing they have no idea what they're doing and falling into the trap of mompetition, comparing their children, bragging when they're children do anything earlier or bigger or easier, as if it's proof of their own success as a parent, and complaining and frustrated and downright worried when they're children aren't the first at anything.

I just have to remind myself that everyone, even the people who brag and lie (and many do) and try to look great, are just trying to do their best.

Also, my kids are cuter. So there. :-P

Thursday, December 1, 2011


It's the best part of having kids. I mean, okay, maybe the kisses and cuddles and watching them grow and simply just having kids could trump the kidspeak....

But seriously? Listening to young children speak to each other? Holding a conversation with them? Listening when they're explaining something to you? Oh. Oh, it's hilarious.


On the way home from school:
P: Mommy, wow, look at that big bright light up in the sky! Doesn't that look so cool?
Me: Oh, yes, honey that's just the sun behind a cloud. It does look pretty doesn't it?
Me: Paxton, that is the SUN, stop looking right at the sun!!!!


Me: Ambrose, what's your name.
A: Name Isaac!
Me: Your name is Isaac?
A: Ya, me name Isaac!
Me: Aw, how old are you Isaac?
A: Me five ears olds!
Me: Oh, that's great sweetie! Okay, we need to go now Ambrose.
Me: ... okay, um, Isaac. Let's go, okay?
"I": Okay!


At the park, with a friend:
P: Do you like boogers?
F: Yeah, I love boogers!
P: Do you eat them??
F: Yeah!
P: Me too! They taste like cheese!
Me: OMG, eeeewwwww!!!!! Paxton, that's sick, don't... well, don't say that OR do that!
P: MOM! Why are you listening to me!
Me: Because you're sitting right beside me and yelling!


In the car:
P:I'm sad.
Me: Why?
P: I'm going to miss my friends when school is out. Tomorrow is the last day!
Me: Oh, no honey, tomorrow is the last day of November!
P: But December is Winter Break!
Me: Not all of December, just a couple weeks toward the end. You'll still go to school for a few more weeks!
P: Yaaay! And do I get chocolate too? Every day in December?
Me: What, no, why... Oh! The Advent calendar, yes! Yes, you'll get a chocolate every day!
P: Yaaay!
A: Me too! Me too chocolate every day!
P: No, Ambrose, not you. Just me. Oh, and mom and dad. But not you.
Me: Yes Ambrose
Me: Yes, Ambrose, you too.
A: BRUDDA!!! Me too chocolate every day! Yaaaay!
Then they both clapped.


I want to add that Ambrose is now petrified of fruit in jello and almost hyperventilated about a blackberry until I took it out and ate it. He knew it was a blackberry, and told me it was a blackberry, but apparently its presence in his jello was so utterly unnatural that he had to shove his jello across the table while shrieking and then cover his face screaming at me to get the berry out.

And he thinks there may be an emu hiding under our bathroom cabinet, so he has to check. Emu's are scary.

Also he's the wind and he can make things blow. Like leaves and straws and his brother and anything he gets in his little potty and your face, etc.


This should not make him as happy as it does... We went to the mall bathroom *just* so he could side on this thing. He just loves it so much...

Wreaking havoc at the doctor's office. Seriously, we were there over an hour, last patients to leave. We took a walk, went to the bathroom (P got to pee in a cup!), played all over, looked at magazines, played on my phone, and I did everything in my power to keep them from trashing the place and going insane. Seriously, doctor's offices should come with a playland. Like McDonalds. Only sanitary, because it's a doctor's office. Granted if you're there you may be sick.... okay, bad idea, but still! Glad it's a yearly, not a monthly!