Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet friends

This is BB's sweet friend from across the greenbelt. Couldn't you just eat them up? When they see each other both of them squeal and run toward each other. Then when they get close she runs the other way. It's adorable. This sweet friend is about to be a big sister to twin girls. Whenever I need my little girl fix I know where to go!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I shopped!

I went for a quick shopping trip yesterday to Ann Taylor. I love the pants there, there and can always find some that I love, but I was looking for tops yesterday. We were going out to dinner with some friends and I couldn't find anything in my closet full of clothes that I wanted to wear. We were to leave at 6:00, so at 3:30 I decided to go for a shop. Of course I went straight to the sale rack and actually found several tops that I bought. There was a jacket that I tried on last time I was there that had gone on sale, so I bought that, too.

I'm like a gorilla. I have long arms. It's hard for me to find jackets because the sleeves are usually too short. I had to buy a large to fit my arms, but the medium fit better around the middle. I think 3/4 length sleeves are in style, but not if they are supposed to be long. I'm not sure if 7/8 length sleeves are in.

After my trip to Ann Taylor I went to Steinmart and bought some shoes. I found some red peep-toe pumps that were tres chic, and a pair of animal print with gold rings on the top that were also very cute, but went with the basic blue pumps to match the 3 blue tops I bought. I must branch out on my color choices! I couldn't justify the red shoes, since I'm trying to buy more versatile ones. Can I wear red shoes with a patterned blue top? Maybe so.

See - I can shop when I'm in the mood. I guess it helps some to be alone so I don't act silly with my shopping partner. When we went to buy my maid-of-honor's bridesmaid's dress she and I couldn't settle down. We picked up PJs, bathing suits, boas and said to each other, "How about this? How about this?" Fortunately we had a third friend with us who sternly instructed, "Focus, you two." We found her a nice dress.

Voila. A new outfit and dinner out at PF Chang's with friends. It was fun.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Goings on

Uh...not much. I'm confused right now. Sometimes when LB take a long nap I get disoriented because I'm so used to the 45 minute nap. What will I do with myself? I've already started tonight's dinner in the crock pot, I've done my Bible study, messed around on Facebook, figured out what I'm going to try to bring to book club tonight, and now this. I feel like I'm forgetting something.

Some people might say I'm forgetting about keeping house. Hey - that's a novel idea. I do have some house cleaning to do. I think I'll just sit here instead.

Tonight's book club reading is "Persuasion" by Jane Austen. It was a good book, but I preferred "Knit 2" - the sequel to a book I passionately adored that made me laugh and cry out loud, "The Friday Night Knitting Club." I felt like a doofus thinking about recommending this book to the group because from what I've gathered so far, this is a pretty serious reading group. When I told my friend Diane that I joined a book club, she asked if it was the kind of book club where you actually read the book. It is.

When one of the members asked me last month what book I would like to read, I was struck dumb. I'm an educated woman, but my reading tastes are more toward the escape reading than the Serious Reading. I thought I'd wait to see what the trend in books is before I suggest a Danielle Steele as I'd joked about last time. Hopefully they knew it was a joke.

So that's it. My profound post of the day. See you around.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Worked it out.

We took BB to visit his birthmom on Monday. We dropped him off, went "shopping" and had lunch at Pei Wei. We picked him up a few hours later and went back to Granny's. I think the visit went well, although I was not there to see, K said they'd had fun and BB gave her a kiss good-bye. Then he said, "Doh. Dat dare door" and pointed toward that there door. Where did he get this grammar, Thelma? I certainly don't know!

It was hard to leave him there. Not because I was worried about his safety or well-being, but because I was nervous about his emotions and feelings. How much does a 2-year-old understand about birthmoms and adoption and growing in K's tummy? Would he think we were taking him back to K and going home without him? Would he think that LB was going to live with Granny and he was going to live with K? Am I making too much of this? Probably. But it is what it is.

About, face!

I'm a terrible shopper. I wasn't always like this. I used to love to shop. Going to the mall was what I wanted to do when I visited friends in California. My chic Grandma and my mom used to take me shopping and they both have great taste. I even modeled clothing in a few fashion shows when I was a teen. But now when I go I end up not trying anything on because I can't be bothered to take off my shoes. I touch some clothes, walk slowly through the store, and slowly out of the store. I want to drink coffee instead. It makes me kind of sad that I don't like to shop, because I feel like I want to like to shop but just don't. I'd love a personal stylist to tell me what to try on. I do like to shop with my mom, though. We go into one store, usually a Dillard's-type or Ann Taylor, try on about everything in our sizes, buy some stuff and go eat. But my mom lives too far away.


What am I still doing up?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Or not.

I heart open adoption. It rocks. Our BB will never wonder who he looks like, he can ask his first mom about his birth and about her decision to place him for adoption, and I get to feel good about being a conduit between her and him. It's healthy for BB, healthy for his birth parents, and healthy for us, too.

But it's hard. It requires work. Things run smoothly but they still have to be run. There is really no relaxed meeting between us. It's hard for K before a visit. She has to work through some of her "issues" with adoption every time. It's hard for me to try to read her emotions and protect them when BB is shy around her or clings to me and calls me Mommy. Sometimes plans fall through, like today. Just before we were to leave K called and said she wasn't feel well, and neither was BB. To protect their privacy I'll leave it at that, but apparently they're connected because they had the same symptoms.

I was kind of a bear after working this out. A lot of the planning and preparation falls on me. K and I coordinate where we are going to meet, then I spend days telling BB, "You grew in K's tummy and she didn't feel like she could parent a child, so she chose Mommy and Daddy to be your mommy and daddy. We're going to visit K tomorrow!" Right now BB is likely too little to understand that we had plans today that had to be postponed, but some day he will get it. That will be hard, too. Parenting is hard that way, adoption or not. Our children will face disappointment and we will try to help them through.

So I'm a little emotionally drained. No, not as much as K must be, having to cancel a visit with her son (it doesn't happen often), but still weary. I'm hoping we'll work out a second try for Monday if everyone is feeling better.

For the record, I think BB is feeling a little better. I hope K is, too.

Where a kid can be a kid.

I've been to the infamous Chuck E Cheese, but our kiddos haven't. We may go there this evening for dinner with BBs bmama. Right now he is taking a very long nap, though, so we'll be a little later gettin' gone than we had planned.

So I'm talking about a huge rat while my good good friends Karen and Bob are in St. Petersburg about to meet their daughter tomorrow! Would you please pray for them and for their future child/ren and their family in Russia? I will!

Waiting for Sleepy Sleeperson.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunshine and roses.

Being a mom is fun. It's hard and sometimes seems impossible, but it is certainly an adventure. Everyone knows it's not always sunshine and roses, but this week pretty much is. Sunshine and basil, rather, but you catch my drift.

In a university town like ours Spring Break is a big deal. Much of the town clears out and the rest watch longingly. This year the weather has cooperated perfectly. It gets very hot in Texas in the summer, so hot that many times I just want to stay inside. But sometimes when everything aligns, like now, the March weather in the Hill Country is perfection. When people started talking about spring break in like, Januaray, I didn't think it would be much of one for me. Spring break for me means BB is not in school 2 days a week, we don't have our Thursday morning Bible study that we love, there is no choir, and everything is up to me.

On Monday the boys and I met a friend for lunch at a restaurant near our home that has an outdoor play area. The kids played as we ate, it was a beautiful day, and I got some social interaction with a pal. Bliss. Then, shock of shock, LB took a 3 plus hour nap. This is my 45-minute napper so 3+ hours is unheard of. I don't think he's slept so long during the day since he was first born and had jaundice that made him sleepy. So I had the whole afternoon to get some things done and I got some alone time with BB, which is rare.

Yesterday we walked about 100 yards through the greenbelt and joined our friends at their wading pool. The boys splashed and played in the water with some other littles, ate frozen blueberries, drew on the ground with sidewalk chalk, and looked adorable. I got to sit on my bottom and just watch. We came home and LB took another 3 plus hour nap. (Yes, he seems well.)

Today we went and met Randy for lunch on campus where he works. We showed off the kids to his coworkers, watched turtles and doggies at the pond, and had pizza in a restaurant that was practically empty so that the little boys could just roam around. Apart from a very dirty pull-up and no changing table, it was the perfect early afternoon. The guys are asleep now (or at least quiet now).

I think this is the best week I've had with my boys since BB was born. They are getting big enough to play well together and play independently, they have words to tell me what they need, and they are the cutest kids I've ever seen. The weather is the best I've ever remembered, and I'm practically in heaven. This weekend we are hoping to hook up with BB's birthmama for an afternoon and then next week we have "Daddy" home.

God has blessed me for sure. He blesses us in the hard times, too, but it's harder to see when you're in the thick of it. I praise Him for his every renewed mercies. If it's this good on earth right now, I can't imagine what the future has in store in His kingdom.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I lost it at the grocery store.

No, not my cool, my grocery list!

I was near either the tomatoes or the onions and reaching for something I can no longer remember when I thought I saw something fly past in front of my eyes. I told myself I was just tired but was left with the impression that I had thrown something. My subconscious must have exclaimed "Wheee!" as I actually sent my grocery list flying into the produce section of my local H.E.B., never to be seen again.

The nice man stalking the poblano peppers helped me look for it to no avail. I was almost convinced that I had tucked it into the waistband of my jeans rather than in my pocket and it might fly out the next time I went to use the restroom. As it stands now I have no idea what happened to the list. And yes, the man was actually stocking the peppers and not tiptoeing after them menacingly.

I freaked out a little after losing that thing, but I think I ended up with all my items, plus a basil plant. I like basil.

Stalking the poblanos. Haha.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adoptive Families Magazine

A recent email came from Adoptive Families Magazine asking readers to respond to the stories in the most recent issues. The message gives you a little box into which you can type your reactions. I think that's hard. I've been fighting with God a little about whether I should try to write more, even professionally. I think I'm a good writer. Not a great writer, I wouldn't liken myself to Jane Austen (actually I have a hard time understanding her), but generally I like to read my own thoughts. Vain much?

So instead of trying to type my response in the space provided, I thought I'd address my reactions here first and then go to the little box.

In the April 2009 issue of AF (funny, right, IF ladies?) there is an article written from an adoptive father's perspective called Grief and Joy. The description of this article is this: "Our birthmother match and my daughter's birth were picture-perfect. But after years of grappling with infertility, I could only focus on what might go wrong."

Once Randy and I shared a meal with some cool friends who were waiting for the birth of a baby with whom they had been matched. For those readers who are not hip on open adoption, a "match" is somewhat like a referral in an international adoption. In domestic infant open adoption the expectant mom chooses adoptive parents from their profile presented to the expectant mom from the agency (not sure how private adoptions work). You are then considered "matched." In our case, we were matched with BB's birthmom two weeks before he was to be born.

(A quick clarification. I use the term "birthmom" now because BB is legally our child. Before the baby's first mom signs the Termination of Parental Rights paperwork (TPR) though, she is an "expectant mom" if pregnant or "mom" if the baby has been born.)

One of the topics of discussion that night was how Randy and I felt during that waiting time and during the 48 hours in the hospital before K could legally sign the TPR paperwork. The author of "Grief - and Joy," Mr. Cuchens, felt that the disappointments of infertility led him to miss out on some of the joy when their daughter was born. I don't really feel like those disappointments played in to that circumstance for me. I think in our case the reality that K could decide to parent after BB was born was a part of adoption rather than a continuing saga of infertility. Adoption felt like a whole new ballgame to me after the monthly ups and downs of infertility.

We only had two weeks from the time we were matched to the birth of our son, so that two weeks wasn't too hard. We barely had time to replace the carpets in our home before we brought home our baby! We met K and BB's birthdad on a Tuesday and Thursday of the next week he was born. Were we scared and nervous? Yes. Excited? Oh, yes! I think you have to be guardedly excited in this situation. If not we may have missed the joy of anticipating our first child. But we did have to protect ourselves for the possibility that K would choose to parent.

Although it would have been devastating for us to anticipate this baby and then have that not come to pass, I convincingly told myself that our baby was going to be born somewhere, and if this wasn't the right baby and K was meant to parent, that God would lead us through that. I couldn't have been any more devastated in that loss than a biological mom who placed her child for adoption and then regretted that decision. The loss that we might experience would have nothing on her loss.

The two days in the hospital were agonizing, made better only by the close proximity of Taco Bueno and a gas station that sold beer by the bottle. We are not big drinkers, but definitely enjoyed a beer on that occasion (yes, one beer each)! We went to a movie on K's induction day (Flags of Our Fathers) and went to the hospital around 6pm. The doctor had anticipated BB's (Oh, heck, I'll call him Matthew as that was his birth name) Matthew's arrival at 8 pm. We sat in the hospital, treated like your garden-variety visitors, which was difficult but fine, and waited. And waited.

Matthew was born at 2 am on Thursday October 26. We watched his bath and newborn screenings with a video camera in hand, called our parents and our caseworker, and headed "home" to the hotel around 4:30 am. The next afternoon we went back to the hospital and visited for most of the day. Friday was pictures, the big snip, and more interacting with K and Matthew. That was the night of the brew-ha-ha, Friday night. The next morning K left the hospital with Matthew around 10:am and we met them and their caseworker at the agency for the placement ceremony.

The hardest part of the hospital wait was Friday night. At that point we had had two days getting to know this baby and watching his mommy struggle with the weight of her pending decision. When the hospital photographer came she kept calling me "Mom" and I just wouldn't answer. I played dumb, you might say. I was not the mom yet! It was heartbreaking and K cried. Her mom cried. I cried. I wanted to kick the photographer. I couldn't wait for that to be over.

By the time we left the hospital that night I felt like a ticking time bomb. I wanted my baby out of there! It was turmoil having to handle all of the emotions I felt for myself, for Matthew, and for K. I didn't sleep hardly at all that night (the first of many sleepless ones). The ride to the agency the next morning was emotional, too, but at that point it all became so surreal that I don't really think I knew what was happening. Only when the papers had been signed, Matthew had been placed in my arms to be called BB, and all of the supporting cast (caseworkers, witness, etc.) left did we finally get to let down our guards.

I went back to some newborn video of BB and made a little movie. Don't cry. (Good luck.) I tried to fade the music out at the end for an artistic touch, but I worked on it for awhile and it didn't work out. I'll figure that out some other time. Also, I apologize for some intact male nudity footage, but just pretend you don't see. When BB watched it he pointed and said, "penis." No tact, that kid.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I'm a pretty decent mom. I play with my kids, I give them lots of affection, keep them on a nice nap schedule, and feed them vegetables. However, there are times when I use my TV as a babystiter. I'll bet they are watching "Cars" in this picture, but it could be Thomas, Nemo, or Polar Express, too. Aren't they adorable?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Scary story (don't be alarmed)

The other day I did something to scare BB. He was wearing a t-shirt that said "Croc Swamp" with a picture of a crocodile on it. I said to him, "Do you know what scares Mommy? Alligators." He looked down at his shirt, pulled it out like the alligator was coming to get me and I said, "Oooh!" He pulled on his shirt again and said, "Rrrrar," and I exclaimed, "Oh!" and pretended to be scared. It was a fun game that lasted for a few minutes. LB was sitting on my lap at the time and watching the exchange.

A little while ago our smoke detector went off because I had lit a candle almost directly under it. We have some sort of a stench in the back of the house where we think an animal may have expired in the attic and I am trying to circumvent the smell since we're having guests for dinner. I came back into the kitchen where LB is eating a late lunch and said, "That scared me."

"Rrrrar!" LB said as I walked away, and when I turned around he was pulling on his shirt like BB had done yesterday with the alligator. Only, LB is wearing stripes today.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What's in your toilet?

No, this is not a post about the merits of fiber, although there are merits. This is a post about the fascinating things one might find in the toilet in a home where a toddler lives.

A stuffed tiger.
A small rubber duckie (seen disappearing down the tubes)
Bath toys.
Musical instruments.

What's in your toilet?


Monday, March 02, 2009

Refreshments, anyone?

"Blessed is the man...[whose] delight is in the law of the Lord....He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

I've not been feeling refreshed lately, for obvious reasons. I haven't been reading my Bible very much either, though, and I am praying about going to God for energy rather than going to the pantry for chocolate. The minute the kids are both asleep I go straight for the Girl Scout cookies. Yes, everyone deserves a cookie now and again, but then I eat some dark chocolate, maybe with peanut butter. Then I have a couple of bites of ice cream. I don't stop when I should, and I do the same thing after dinner. This has become a problem that I'm trying to remedy by replacing my eating with the food of the Word.

I spend a lot of time on the computer in the mornings between parenting activities. The kids play, I compute, and then they need me for awhile. It's my link to the outside world! But maybe I shouldn't be so concerned with spending time in the world than in spending time with my Creator. Wouldn't he know how to energize me better than Facebook does? I enjoy FB tremendously and I can still be found there, but this morning I'm reading from my One Day Bible Online instead. Yeah, I'm posting here, but I'm considering it journaling.

Energy. I need it, crave it, try to get it. Being "planted by streams of water" sounds like energy to me! How can I get energy from the television - an inanimate object? God's Word is daily bread. Living water, yielding "fruit in season."

Well I'm hearing "Mommy," in a plaintive voice from my "older" son who I just told he couldn't play with the syringe that comes with the infant's ibuprofen. Now he's distracted by putting on Daddy's underwear, but I'd still better go play Mrs. Mom.