Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm making a list!

And checking it twice! (or more). I'm full out into the Christmas season of getting it all done!

The tree is up. The stockings are hung. The hot chocolate has been stocked up. I am actually really close to being done with the shopping, and I have a few days scheduled to sew my brains out.

We had a fabuloso Thanksgiving. Several of Kydon's siblings came into town, bringing a couple spouses and one very cute, very large baby. They all stayed just long enough for me to wish we all lived next door to each other! We had more than plenty to eat, thousands of jigsaw puzzle pieces placed, and conversations that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Of course, my kids continued to wake at their ever normal 5:30 am, apparently unaware that Mommy needed more than 3 hours of sleep!

I got some shopping in, and found the cute black flats that I've been hunting for months (actually found 3 pair, and bought all 3) (for myself- merry christmas). I participated in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and found great things at both.

I forgot to check email, didn't blog, and just reveled in food, family, children, and blessings. I seriously love my little kiddos, and they are at the absolutely best age! Abigail went with me shopping, and we just had the most amazingly fun time together.

The joy was tempered just a bit by severe sickness that has hit all of us. In the past month, our little family of 5 has had:
  • 2 cases of strep throat
  • 2 warts burned off
  • 2 cases of pneumonia
  • 3 ear infections
  • 8 prescriptions for antibiotics, 1 steroid, 2 breathing treatments, and 3 inhalers.
  • And a partridge in a pear tree.

Unfortunately, all those many, many co-pays just ate up our Christmas budget, so I'm planning to fill the empty prescription bottles with skittles and wrap them for under the tree. Merry Christmas, kids- Santa is giving you the gift of health.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our Story, part 3

I took the loss of our first adoption very hard. Some of my reactions were kind of silly and strange, but it was just my way of trying to exert control over something I couldn't control. I didn't want to hurt like that again, and wanted to try to avoid it. Kydon and I came very close to putting our adoption profile on "hold"- making it so potential birthparents couldn't see us. We thought and talked about it a lot, but the bottom line was that despite the hurt, we still wanted to be parents. We still wanted to have a baby, so we left our profile active. One of the funny/strange things I decided was that I was never going to be on hold for more than 2 months. Meaning that if a birthmom picked us, and she was more than 2 months out, I would tell her no. I was quite serious about that decision- again trying to exert that elusive control.

It seems so silly to me now. I mean, really? If we had been contacted by someone sooner, would I have REALLY said no? I have no idea. At the time, I was adamant, but now I can't imagine turning anything down!

During this time, we were still pretty heavily invested in the previous adoption. We were resuming contact with the birthmom, and we were pretty much grieving and still thinking about that situation. We had a few emails now and then from different girls, asking us various questions, but we never heard more than the initial email, and we figured they didn't pan out to anything.

One day in November, we recieved an email that would forever change our lives. I still remember the exact words as a wonderful woman told us of her decision to choose us as the parents for her little girl. The first sentence of her email said "I have known for a long time that you were the right family, but I felt like the timing had to be right to tell you". When I read that, I glanced in the corner at the date, and I realized that this letter was sent 2 months to the day before her due date. I started to immediately cry, and I almost couldn't read the rest of the letter! It was truly a miracle for her to have that inspiration, and about something so silly as my 2-month decision.

She was one of the girls who had emailed us. Her situation was that they had seen some indicators on the ultrasound that might indicate Down Syndrome. They wouldn't know until birth. She had emailed us along with several other couples to see if we would be open to her situation because she didn't want to be at the birth and have to find another family.

When we got that initial email, asking us this question, it was no problem. We talked about it for approximately 10 minutes, then responded that we would be fully on board! I am a nurse in a Pediatric hospital, and I was constantly scouting for babies. Kydon used to get calls on a weekly basis-- "I found us a baby!" One baby was very memorable to me. He was the most adorable little thing- just days old, in the ICU. He was placed for adoption, but when he was born with medical problems, the adoptive parents backed out of the placement. I took care of him for several nights. Holding him, feeding him, bathing him, and trying to learn all I could about him so I could contact the social worker. Unfortunately, his problems were severe, and he passed away after just a few weeks of life. I came home and told Kydon that we would NEVER back out like that- I made sure he knew that if it was *our* baby, it was ours just like if we gave birth, and we would take it however it came out. Of course, I'm a nurse. We have a lot of family support, and are very close to a lot of medical specialists. It never scared me or worried me to adopt a child with special needs. So, when the email came, it wasn't really a decision to remake- we had already decided we were open to that, so we responded as such.

So, we had 2 months! We wrote letters to our new friend, and started developing that great relationship. I felt much more guarded this time. I kept a small part of myself back. I never really believed in my heart that it would go through. But, still, it might, so we got ready. We picked out names! We cleaned and painted the "baby room". We went to the baby store and registered! That was totally the funnest part for me, since I felt like a huge fraud whenever I looked at baby stuff- I felt like I didn't belong there, and wasn't part of that 'club'. So, to go in, write down the "due date", and begin scanning items was one of the funnest things I had done in years! It was also funny when the store clerk ran after us to check the due date, very confused by the 2-week-away due date and my very non-pregnant belly. I bought a few baby clothes. I made lists and lists of things to buy, things to pack, things to bring, things to send.

We also took a trip to meet this girl! It was an amazing meeting. She was so amazing, and we felt a great connection with her. She seemed so put together and wonderful- I felt quite inadequate that she had choosen me! It was so great to be able to put a real person with the letters, and we came home really happy and excited for this baby.

We got the call on Jan. 9th that our birthmom was in labor! That day is probably the weirdest day of my life! I had worked the night before, so I was asleep for 2 hours when Kydon called with the news. There was no way I was sleeping after that, and I jumped out of bed and started running around! We made airplane reservations, arranged for a rental car and place to stay, I packed all our bags, borrowed a car seat, and cleaned my whole house! We had no way of contacting anyone, so I was carrying my phone around checking it every 5 minutes, waiting for her caseworker to call back to say if the baby had been born or not! We went out to dinner that night with some really good friends... at California Pizza Kitchen. I can remember it so clearly, feeling a little buzzy from no sleep and so much excitement, and just saying over and over how our baby might be born now! It was the weirdest feeling! On our way home, the caseworker FINALLY called! The baby was born, everything was great, and the birthmom was still on board with the adoption plan. Whew! Of course, he couldn't remember the weight or height or if she had hair or anything, but we would find all that out the next day.

We got on a plane the next morning. When we arrived, we were told to go to the hospital that evening to meet the birthmom and baby. I was still, even now, plagued with fear and doubt. I kept thinking how sad it was going to be to fly home with an empty carseat. I still couldn't really believe it. At 5:00 that evening, we went to the hospital. We didn't know what to expect- if we would be able to hold the baby, or just talk to the birthmom or what. Once again, we were incredibly nervous!

We got to the hospital, found the room, and went on in. The next few minutes were some that I will never forget. As we entered the room, we could hear Abigail crying. Her birthmom saw us, and said "oh, it's time to feed her- do you want to do it?" What a question! I was prepared to not even hold her, but was so grateful that she wanted us to. When she placed that baby in my arms, I became a mother. Not in the legal sense, not even in the physical sense, but spiritually, that moment I could feel my inner self change. I gazed in my daughters eyes, and it was quite literally love at first sight. It felt as if I had been her mother since the beginning of time, and I could not remember a time when I didn't have a daughter. It probably goes without saying, but all the doubt and fear and worry left at that instant. I knew without a doubt the adoption would go through. I knew she was my daughter. It was an amazing feeling.

Love at first sight- this is the day we met our daughter!

We went the next morning to pick her up. We ached for the sadness we knew that her birthmom was going through. She tried her best to hide from us the emotions she was feeling. It was hard for me to accept that the happiest moment of my life was someone else's saddest moment, especially someone I loved so much. I would have done anything to take that hurt away from her. Of course, there was nothing I could do. We watched her tears, then hugged her as she placed Abigail in our arms. We were all crying. She left, and I missed her so much. We had barely begun to know each other, but the bond was so deep and strong. We spent the next few minutes getting Abigail discharged from the hospital, absorbing all the information they had to give us, and making arrangements with the caseworker.

I have to tell you, and it seems quite silly, but we still weren't really sure if she had Down Syndrome or not! One of the adoption requrements was that we see a pediatrician before we left the state, so 2 days later we saw a doctor, and we finally asked and were assured that she most certainly did not! It is funny now, because they obviously would have told us, and she would have had a lot more medical intervention, but I remember bringing her "home", and wondering- does she or doesn't she?!

I slipped into motherhood quite easily and naturally. I had spent a lot of hours in the NICU, so babies were very familiar to me. I could bathe, feed, burp, diaper and swaddle. I was quite experienced with all that. And as I said before, Abigail just seemed a part of us. Like she had always been there. I remember sleeping on the couch holding her, because the bed was just too far away from that pack and play, and I needed her closer to me! The adoption process for Abigail was also so smooth and easy. There were no complications, no stressfull moments. We signed the papers, and 2 days later had permission to go home. Her caseworker told us to never expect such and easy adoption again, and we felt so lucky that everything had gone so well.

We came home. We celebrated with our family. We rejoiced in our daughter. Those first months with Abigail were a little challenging, but mostly I remember them as the happiest months of my life. After we brought her home, we realized that the name Abigail means "my Father's joy", and, if you include mother, it couldn't be a more fitting name for our girl. She was totally joyous to us. She was quite literally the easiest baby to take care of- great sleeper, she didn't care about a schedule, she could sleep anywhere, and if she ever cried, she just needed a bottle. She didn't spit up or get messy, and loved to be swaddled and held, which is what we loved too.

These stories are getting long! Part four will be coming soon, and it might have to include a part 5! There is just so much to tell- I hate leaving anything out!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Leaf Jumping - version 2.0

The kids gathered all the leaves from the whole yard. They raked them, picked them all up, and transferred them to the trampoline-
Then they "jumped in the leaves"!

Our Story, part 2

(Read Part 1 Here)

As I was trying to move beyond the grief of infertility and miscarriage, we met with the caseworker at LDS Family Services, the adoption agency we were using. We were introduced to the homestudy paperwork, and began learning about adoption. Although I always felt inclined to adopt, I didn't know much about it at all, so I began reading and reasearching online all I could.

The homestudy was a lot of work. I tried to get at least something done just about every single day. There were appointments to make, profiles and questions to answer, home safety improvements (carbon monoxided detectors, fire extinguishers, medication locks, etc.), and all kinds of paperwork to gather- references, taxes, financial statements, vet records... the list goes on and on. I was asked the other day if it bothers me when people adopt who aren't infertile. The answer was a resounding NO! It does not bother me in the least! For one thing, adoption is awesome, and I wish more people would do it. For another, adoption is a huge pain, and anyone who goes through the whole process isn't just messing around, so you know they are serious about what they are doing.

Adoption is kind of the opposite of pregnancy- the labor comes at the beginning. I viewed this work as my "pregnancy pain" and "labor", and it helped me have a positive attitude during the more annoying aspects.

We had our initial interview with LDSFS in November of 2002. By the very end of March 2003, we were approved. Approved means that our homestudy paperwork was complete and in order, and we had permission from the agency to adopt. Mostly it meant that they would start showing our profile to potential birthmothers, and we were officially "waiting to adopt". The wait was just... weird. It felt exciting, but we didn't want to be too excited. We were hopeful, but also frustrated. We knew it could be weeks or months or years. I finally figured out ways to keep myself sane during this time. My most successful idea was to set a list of goals- these were things that could best be accomplished if we didn't have a baby- they were financial, creative, and other things that I could work on and accomplish while we were waiting.

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait all that long, and my goals were fabulously unmet when we got called into the Family Services office for a "checkup" (what they told us- which didn't make much sense, since our paperwork was only a couple months old). In early June of 2003, we found out that a birthmom had selected us to adopt her baby boy!

We were beyond excited. I couldn't believe it! We started writing to the birthmom, and she started writing to us. We were sending a lot of snail mail letters, and we were writing each other quickly, which led to some crossings in the mail and some funny confusions. The only thing I can really tell about this letter exchange is that I totally fell in love. I wanted the baby, of course, and I was beyond excited about the prospect of being a mother. But beyond that, we were developing a relationship with this expectant mother. She was so sweet, and so worried about us, and we couldn't wait to get each letter. We prayed for her every minute. We worried about problems she was facing. We wanted everything to be wonderful for her, but we knew it wasn't.

In July, we went to meet her. We were SO nervous! Worried about rejection (what if she didn't like us?), nervous about what to say, just nervous in general! We met at a church, and it really could not have gone better. As soon as we started talking, we felt at ease. The conversation flowed, and we seemed to want the same things as far as openness and our future relationship. I came home and started making baby plans! It was also exciting because my sister was pregnant, and our due dates were only 1 day apart. It was such an exciting time.

2 days before the due date, our excitement came to an end. We were called by our caseworker who told us to not make travel plans. To not expect a baby. Honestly, we didn't really believe it. We were never told why, we were never given any details. We only knew that the birthfather was causing problems, and we should not be involved. But we knew our relationship with this mother. We knew that this was supposed to be our baby. So, it would all work out, right? Somehow, someone would do something to make our miracle happen. We would still get this baby, right? Somehow?

No, we wouldn't. We didn't. My heart was broken. Again and again it broke. My sister had her baby. My friends at work who were "expecting" with me were still pregnant. People at the mall had babies in strollers (can you believe it?). I cried. I was upset. I was trying to patch a huge hole in my heart. We had shouted this news from the rooftops- everyone I talked to during those months of waiting knew we had a baby coming, and now I was faced with "untelling" them all. We had both planned "maternity" leave from work, and we just took off. We went on a trip to North Carolina. Our official story was that we had the vacation time already planned and didn't want to waste it, but really we just wanted to hide. We didn't want to have to tell people it didn't work out. We didn't want to face it for ourselves that we weren't getting our baby.

I don't really know how to put into words how I felt about this baby. It wasn't just a baby and a birthmom. It was our baby. She was our birthmom. We still didn't know what had happened. We were plagued with questions, and worries, and wonderings. We thought maybe she was parenting, and I wanted to send her baby things to help her out. There was still a tiny part of me that hoped she would eventually still place with us. How could the most perfect situation ever just fall apart? It didn't seem possible. I kept waiting for the miracle to occur.

The hole in my heart was caused by two losses- not only had we lost this precious baby, but we had completely severed contact with this precious girl. I'm not exaggerating when I say I loved her. I still love her. After a month (or two?) we wrote a letter to her caseworker asking her to give this girl our information and see if she still wanted to contact us. I missed her! I was worried about her, and I wanted to resume at least part of the relationship we had built. I also desperately wanted to know what happened. We did resume contact. She was and is an amazingly strong person. We found out that the birthfather used his power of parental rights to say that he would only sign the adoption papers if the adoption was completely closed. There were some good reasons for doing this, and some bad ones. But the end result was that the baby was placed, but not with us. It couldn't be us because we had met. We had exchanged first names and vague locations. We were heading for open, not closed, and so they could not place with us. Communicating with this girl again brought much peace and healing for both of us. She was also heartbroken. She had no idea who had her son. She had a few letters with very few pictures, and little to no information.

It has been 7 years and 3 kids, and I still love this girl. We still keep in touch. I still have complete admiration for her. And I still wish I had that boy. I can't explain it. I am at complete peace with it- I no longer feel any sadness or regret. I am happy for her, I'm happy for him, I'm happy for his family, and I'm happy for us. But I still want him. I still wish she was our birthmom and we could visit sometimes. I just do. Several years ago, one of my sisters said to me "aren't you glad that first placement didn't go through and you got Abigial?" I had to answer no. Maybe Abigail would have come later. Maybe something else would have happened. I love my daughter with my entire being, but I don't think I will ever be "glad" that this first placement didn't work out. I can see reasons for it. I can see so much good that came of it. I can see things that happened that wouldn't have if it turned out different... but I still love that boy and his birthmom.

Parts 1 and 2 were mostly the hard stuff... the painful stuff. Joy comes in part 3, and miracles fly in part 4! Coming soon!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Monday Before

Daddy with 5-month-old Abigail. Those were the best days!

Does anyone else feel like this is the last Monday? The last day to get things done before the holidays? The day before it all begins? That is how I'm feeling today- one last day of peace, and quiet, and work to get done before the craziness begins tomorrow and the next time I look at my watch it will be January. I'm standing at the edge of the hill, about to go barreling down! Should be a fun ride!

My neighbor hosted an open house for several people who had home-based businesses. She very nicely invited me to be a part of it. Unfortunately, I had to work, so I just sent some things along. That night at work I started planning out my Christmas lists... I realized that if I could use those things I was trying to sell, my Christmas sewing would be much closer to being done! Then I got scared that it would all sell and I would have to spend the next month scrambling to get everything sewn. Luckily for me, only a couple of my items sold! Thank goodness! My neighbor felt kind of bad about it, but I was very excited to get all of those things back!

On my agenda for today? Make pumpkin pies for the kindergarten feast tomorrow, clean, and do some sewing. Tomorrow is the kindergarten play and feast, then the kids will all come home and we will start the festivities! I'm really looking forward to it! Just one day to get it all ready! But, unlike last week, I don't feel too crazy or busy- just ready to have it all start.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Big Kitchen Reveal

It still isn't 100% done, but close enough that I don't want to wait any longer to show pics! Here is the BEFORE, and here is the DURING, and now...

Here is my new kitchen!

You can see we are still missing a few drawer fronts and door pulls, but we are getting there! I absolutely love the tile, the lighting, and all the miles of counter space!

New sink... new dishwasher... and no more dishwasher pot to prop up the door! Such luxury!
We also installed some beadboard and hooks in the hallway area to accomodate all the backpacks, jackets, scarves and other items that need a place to hang out.

This is the wall opposite the backpacks. Kydon did a fabulous job with all the moulding and trim work- it looks fantastic!

And... my favorite spot. This used to be a tiny counter top with a useless bar. We chopped off the bar, added a base cabinet, and then extended the counter top over a bit to make a little sitting spot.

This countertop is so huge and fabulous! I clean it off about 6 times a day, just to revel in how big and beautiful it is! Of course, it gets piled on 7 times a day, but that's okay too!

Now I just need to figure out how to make this useful *and* beautiful. I can do one or the other without too much trouble, but getting both right is going to be difficult!

I love my art supply section. Kydon doesn't find it as beautiful as I do, so we had to put it in the bottom corner. But it is extremely useful! I love having it all organized and colorful! The kids get these jars out 2 or 3 times a day. They have stayed organized so far- not sure how long it will last, but I love it.

The computer desk. We almost didn't put tile and lighting here- I'm so glad we did at the last minute! Okay, here is where I admit that the real reason I have waited so long to post pictures is that it took me this long to get it all so cleaned up! And, for full disclosure, I took the pictures on 2 different days, so only half the kitchen had to be all cleaned up at a time! But I thought it deserved to look its best for the blog pictures!

A view from the breakfast area. Did I mention I L.O.V.E. this counter top?

The other day I made rolls, and it felt as if a miracle had occured...

Not only could I roll out my dough without hitting a wall, I had my flour next to me (rather than sitting in the sink), my bowl to the side (instead of across the way), and the pans were right in front of me (rather than over on top of the oven). It was a VERY nice way to cook and prepare food!
And, more than anything else, I love it when a young child climbs onto one of my stools and sits at my countertop while I work. I can't even tell you how my heart goes pitter-pat.

I love it so much that whenever one of them sits there, I offer them goodies- popsicles, cookies, candy, juice. Just to give them a little positive reinforcement that it is a grand place to sit!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Our Story, part 1

November is National Adoption Month. I usually try to do a lot of adoption-related posts, but it just hasn't happened this year. As I was thinking about what to write, I realized that I have never told our whole adoption story. I've told many bits and pieces and chunks, but I don't think it is laid out end-to-end anywhere. So, I decided to write it. Here is part one.

For us, our adoption journey begins with infertility. Even as a young child, I envisioned a blended family, with both bio and adopted children. That was always a part of my life plan. I got married about the age I thought I would, and when I was finished with school, I thought that we would start having children right away.

We tried for about a year, then I decided to bring it up with my doctor. She prescribed 2 months of clomid (a drug that makes you ovulate), then referred us to a reproductive endocrinologist. Obviously the clomid didn't work, so we started the rounds of getting an infertility workup. It was annoying, and painful at times. A lot of doctor visits, a lot of tests and procedures that were not covered by insurance. And when it was all done, they didn't know anything. Well, I guess they knew that everything was normal as far as they could see. They gave us a diagnosis of "unexplained infertility" and said the next step was IUI, or intrauterine insemination.

At that time, I was only 22, Kydon was 23. Although I wanted desperately to have a baby, neither of us were ready to do those procedures. They were expensive (about $1000 per try), and not very likely to work (about a 2-3% chance). We decided to wait and see for a while. Our doctor felt that it was likely we would conceive if given enough time, and we decided to give it that time. I also had a hard time wrapping my head around the question that if they didn't know what was wrong with us, then how would they know how to fix it?

So, we went about our life. We worked, we took vacations, we had great friends. Getting pregnant was always in the background, always something we thought about, but for the most part we really enjoyed those years. We had decided that if nothing happened before we were 30, we would take more aggressive action. Fast forward to age 27, and... surprise- we got pregnant!

That pregnancy only lasted about 5 weeks. I only knew it was happening for about a week. When the miscarriage happened, both of us actually felt really happy- we had finally gotten pregnant, and now it was sure to happen again really quickly. We hoped that the quick miscarriage was just a wake-up call to get ready for the babies to start coming! There was sadness, of course, but overall a feeling of hope is what we focused on.

The next 9 months or so were the worst. Baby hunger, and my desire to be a Mother, had been a part of my life since I was a young girl. Until now, I had been able to put it on a back-burner, tell myself it would happen one day, and those thoughts and feelings didn't consume me. Well, now they consumed me. I couldn't think about anything else. I was depressed. I felt that I couldn't be friends with anyone- I was so disconnected from other women, and just about anything anyone said to me was offensive. When the due date for my lost baby came, and there was still no pregnancy, I knew we were not going to wait any longer. I had to do something.

I knew the next step in the medical route was IUI. I still didn't feel great about the cost vs. chance of success. I also knew that adoption was always on my radar. After much thought, prayer, and discussion, we finally realized that we needed to adopt. It was a clear decision- we knew we were on the right track. There are certain things in your life that when you make a decision, it is so clear, and easy, and feels so right that you never question it. That is how it was for us deciding to adopt. It was just right.

I think that is good for part one. Look for part two coming soon!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rainy Monday

Sunday night I always have big plans- I just *know* that as soon as Monday morning hits, I will off and running around, getting so many things accomplished. But then Monday morning comes, and the reality is far from the ideal!

So much to do... so little time! How is it that I have become 10x busier since the kids started school? Can someone please explain that to me? Please?

On the schedule for this week:
  • Continue to put some final touches on the kitchen- hang those last few doors, final touch up of the paint, a few door knobs.
  • Grocery shopping
  • Get some things ready for a show my neighbor invited me to where hopefully I can sell some of my craft items.
  • Plan food for the next couple weeks, figure out what special things we want to make.
  • Oh yeah- work 2 nights.
  • Attend Abigail's "invention convention" and ooh and aah over her work.
  • Finish painting the spare bathroom before all the guests arrive.
  • Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean.
  • Make and drop off treats for my "kindergarten fairy" assignment.

Now I'm tired. I think I will go back to bed! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Have No Mercy On The 6 Year Olds

Last night was the pinnacle event of the soccer season for my kids. In leiu of the last practice, they decided to have a "parents vs. kids" soccer game.

All 3 have been so, so excited. We have talked about it nonstop. We have analyzed all the reasons that the kids will win. They couldn't wait for this day to come. Unfortunately, I had to go to work, and I wasn't able to participate. I actually felt really bad for missing it, which should show how much they were looking forward to this game.

I got the play-by-play from Kydon later in the evening. First play of the game, one of the moms had a breakaway run, took the ball to the goal, and kicked it as hard as she could- determined to get a goal. Please, lady, take no mind of the poor little 6 year old girl (Abigail) playing goalie who got beaned in the face with a ball at full speed. I guess you sure showed her.

Not surprisingly, she didn't want to be goalie after that. But the aggression did not let up. Finally, when the score was parents-4, kids-0, Kydon and the other coach switched teams to try and even it up a bit. That still didn't stop one of the dads from dribbling right up to Jack at the goal, kicking it back and forth while taunting him, then blasting it past him. Way to go, I'm sure you feel like a real Man now!

None of the kids got a goal. They hardly even got a chance to play, with the adults dominating the field.

Nice. Real nice. I'm glad we really shoved it to those little elementary kids.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Halloween was most excellent. We had a trunk-or-treat with our church group, a Freaky Friday at the school, and another Trunk or Treat at Grandma's church.

The costumes had to change each time we went out. Jack started out as Optimus Prime, then a frog, and finally a policeman with a lot of muscles!

Abigail started out as a cheetah in the cutest little cheetah dress with adorable kitty ears and nose, but it must have been too cute for her- she changed to a vampire girl. Although, still totally cute.
By the time the third party rolled around, I was getting into the spirit myself, so I drug out my old wedding dress, cut up a t-shirt and went as a dead zombie bride. It was pretty fun to get all dressed up! The kids thought it was the best thing ever to have Mommy dress up! And I am loving Abigail's scary vampire pose!
Aidan was GI Joe, and he would have stayed GI Joe, but we lost the costume, much to his dismay. Unfortunately, all the searching and screaming and fit throwing didn't find it, so he took a turn as a policeman and then Optimus Prime. Half the costume got discarded after 30 seconds, but he still looked pretty festive.

The real scary part of this is how quickly my hair turned into a complete ratted mess. I'm not kidding that it took me less than 3 minutes and NO styling products to get it this way! I swear I am just a hairbrush away from the dead-bride look on a daily basis.

The best part, as always, is sharing all these fun times with our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. They make it a blast! I love that my kids will grow up with so much family around!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Our free swingset was becoming dangerously unsafe. Not only were the kids big enough to climb all over it and play in ways that were never intended by the manufacturer, but the wood was old and starting to break down.

I was worried that the next swing-play would be someone's last, so it was time to take it down.

We were sad to see it go- there have been countless happy hours spent on that swingset!
But what we replaced it with is a little more age-appropriate.

If not any less dangerous.

I haven't seen the kids in a week... but I know where they are! And I know where the neighbor kids are too! I love hearing all the giggles- and there have only been a few tiny injuries and tears.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday morning- Let the crazy begin

The Snake Tigers ready to rumble. You are scared, aren't you?

Is it just me, or does it feel like the Christmas season is already here? And not the lovey-drink hot chocolate and watch a movie- version, but the stressed out, calendar full, no time to think, too much to get done version.

There are so many things I want/need to get done, and when I look at my calendar, there is just NO time to do it. The main problem is that I tried to avoid working when family was in town for the holidays, so it worked out that I'm working 4 days in the next two weeks. I know that isn't much, but I know that I can't plan on getting anything done for about 2 days after, so by the time I work 2 days, recover, work 2 more and recover, that is the whole two weeks. Which means that I have 3 days to pack in everything from now to Thanksgiving.

The good news is that when Jack and Aidan were born, and I was trying to juggle preemie twins and a one-year old, I was forced to learn how to just let things go. I had to take it to the extreme then, but it is a lesson that has served me well through the years.

The world doesn't end if my projects don't get done.

Cleaning can wait, if you can't get to it, it will still be there tomorrow.

Grocery shopping is nice, but no one will starve if you don't do it today.

If there are not enough hours/days to get everything done, it just won't get done, and in 2 weeks no one will even care. Not even you.

It is a valuable lesson, and sometimes I just need to remind myself of it.

I feel better already.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Need to Go Back To Monday

I didn't post on Monday this week. I am wishing that today was Monday and I could still have the enitre week in front of me!

I haven't posted pictures of my finished kitchen, because I want to wait until it is FINISHED. All the way. We still have a list that we are working on- little details like hiding wires and setting things up, a few places to caulk and touch up some paint. It will be done soon, but we still have tools and boxes all over the kitchen, so no pictures yet.

(But I love it. I really, really, really love it).

Abigail was home sick 2 days. One day she was really sick, and the other day she was totally fine, but we are supposed to keep them home until they have gone 24 hours with no fever, so she stayed home one day when she felt totally fine. It was great. Except when she was driving me crazy because she was bored! I love having them home, esp. having them home one-on-one.

I want to work a bit on some things for my Etsy Shop, I want to make some Christmas presents. I want to finish my kitchen and clean the rest of the house, but that will all have to wait. For now I need to do some prep for my meetings tonight, and maybe the rest will get done next week. Maybe.