Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas tree and finish line

I love long weekends, and the babysitting job makes me appreciate them all the more. We had a wonderful time, enjoying visits with family and getting a little extra sleep. It was refreshing and actually FELT like four days, and not shorter. Perfect.

We topped off the weekend by helping my Mom put up our Christmas tree at her house. I love our tree. It's big and full and beautiful, but if you remember, it takes up a fourth of our living room. Well, not actually a fourth, but it definitely dominates one quadrant and crowds our patio door. So this year, I asked Mom if she'd like to trade trees.

Mom and Dad also have a 7-foot tree, but theirs is different. While ours is about as wide as it is tall and has a frillion branches to assemble, theirs is a lot more narrow and is SO easy to assemble. In fact, it's built a little like an umbrella that's only opened a little bit. The branches hook on at the top and lean against a hoop near the bottom to make the tree shape. It's hard to describe...I don't even think they make them like this anymore. Let's just say it suits our living space much better than our massive tree. And simplicity of assembly is key since it's not going up this year until about the 21st (after the kiddos go on Christmas break, because I'm not fighting the "keep away from the tree" battle with THREE toddlers) and will come back down the weekend after New Year's Day. Since it will only be up about two weeks, I didn't want to spend a LOT of time putting it up.

All this is a long way to say that we spent our evening helping Grandma put up her "new" tree. And it looks FABULOUS in their great-room, which is huge and spacious and has a picture window. Perfect for such a tree as ours.
Grandma's tree looks just like ours, Mom!

I made it through National Blog Posting Month. I think I'll take a few days off...I'll spend my time putting up all of my garlands and wreaths and up-high lights where the toddlers can't get them. Nothing like a little Christmas decorating to take my mind off of the cold and dreary weather.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lazy after-holiday photo post

Olivia "helps" in the serving of Thanksgiving dessert. Note the apron.

Olivia in her church dress today. She was too cute and wanted to pose for pictures.

Mommy and her little girl at a bonfire in our town where they were roasting chestnuts. They are actually quite tasty when roasted.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Of course...

On Wednesday morning, I woke up with a teeny bit of soreness in my throat. Then Olivia hacked and coughed all the way through breakfast. And I knew. We've been doing so well...almost two full months without any of us getting a cold. Almost three full months since I have had a cold. We couldn't very well get through the cold and flu season unscathed. And so the cold has hit us again...right at Thanksgiving.

Actually, I prefer it this way. I woke up with such a miserable headache on Thursday that it was nice to know that I had four days of extra help and rest before needing to face babysitting duties alone. I can handle taking it easy around family...especially when the extra family members entertain Olivia and I don't have to do much. It's a lot harder to trudge through the day with a miserable headache and stuffy head while also being the sole person in charge of mediating toddler fights and dealing with the general state of loud that comes with active toddlers and a baby who is only happy if he is held.

So far, this cold is a mild one. Let's hope it stays that way.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Because I AM shopping today...

...A picture is all you are going to get.

Besides, you are all too busy eating and shopping to read my blog anyway. I know I'm too busy to read yours. Sorry, but visiting real, live family members take precedence over visiting your blogs this weekend. And also finishing off my Christmas shopping. Who thought to put this NaBloPoMo thing in November anyway?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for:

1. My two new nieces and my new nephew who were all born this year.

2. The ability to stay home with my kiddo, even with the extra chaos that babysitting others has brought into the fray. I am thankful that Olivia enjoys having regular playmates and is learning to share and cooperate and behave well in that environment.

3. The fact that Olivia is NOT dropping her nap so early. Whew. That would have been tough. Apparently she was just having a bad week when she refused to nap awhile back. She's back to a more predictable sleep pattern now.

4. Olivia's grandparents...all four adore her and shower affection upon her. She never has any reason to doubt that she is loved and cherished by them.

5. Long weekends and visits with family and cousins. Olivia's going to have a blast this weekend.

6. The fact that I don't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner...I just have to show up.

7. Of course, there's always this:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Observations and News

1. I got a check this week that had my last name spelled wrong. It's a pretty common occurrence to see my name spelled wrong, but it blows me away every time. Why? Because our name is so common. But there are several families in our area (most of them prominent families) whose name sounds like ours but is spelled differently, so people always default to the other spelling. To illustrate, imagine that our name is "Beaker" (it's not...this is for illustration purposes only). The other families in our area with that name would spell it "Buecher" and pronounce it the same way. That is how it is. Except that our name is WAY more common and way easier to spell. And people often get it wrong. Which, I guess, is why the bank cashed the check without any questions. I'm sure they understand the mistake, given that most of the "Beakers" in our area are spelled "Buecher".

2. Does it seem like everyone is jumping on the Christmas bandwagon a little early this year? I remember once thinking that putting up decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving was early. Now, everyone in our neighborhood has already had their homes decorated for TWO WEEKS. Thanksgiving, it seems, is now just a reason for a long weekend. *Sigh*

3. My husband has been home a couple of days this week, using up vacation days before the end of the year. He has helped ease my babysitting chores a great deal by holding the baby. It's amazing how much easier this job seems when someone else is holding the baby. Especially so since the baby has decided that he will scream if no one is holding him. Sheesh. Also, I think Luke is transitioning to two long naps instead of several short naps a day. This should make life easier around here.

4. I have a new niece! She was born last night. On her due date. There was a lot of uncertainty about that, since she didn't seem to have any plans to move toward making her appearance as of last weekend. As it turns out, she DID get the memo about her due date and decided to arrive promptly. There was enough stress on Mom and baby that at some point the doctor decided to do a c-section, which means that they'll be stuck in the hospital over Thanksgiving. But this is their first child, so I'm sure they will be so enamored with her that they won't even notice.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In which I admit to being a sobbing mess

Last Thursday I spoke to a mother's group on the topic of adoption, and I titled my presentation, "Openness to Life and Adoption". Now, if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know that I wrote a whole series of posts on that topic several months ago (and you can read them again in the "Openness to Life" tab). The presentation was pretty much a compilation of those posts, with a little extra information to appeal to the audience. I scripted it so I would remember what I was saying and then I read it through a dozen times or so. So far so good, right?

Yeah. Let's just say that writing and reading are not NEARLY as emotional as actually SPEAKING the words. I wavered here and there and was doing fine until I got about 2/3 of the way in, and then I started sobbing. Uncontrollably. I had to leave the room and compose myself before I could finish.

The group was so nice about it. I don't probably enhanced it or made the point for some people. The talk was about Olivia's adoption, but the point of the talk was that being open to God's call can lead us to unexpected and amazing joy. It was at exactly the point where I was making this point that I broke down.

I think it may always difficult for me to speak plainly about this. I have spoken about Olivia's adoption in one form or another dozens of times. Usually it is a paragraph in a larger talk about something else, so I can contain my emotions. But this talk...well, I think it will always be difficult to keep my emotions in check thinking back and speaking about this very special time when we could tangibly feel God's hand working in our lives.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh yes, it's Monday

Everyone is out-of-sorts today. Jake got up too early because his baby brother got up to early...early enough that Luke napped before showing up here today, throwing the whole morning into a tailspin. Addie must have also been tired, because she spent a good portion of the day laying on the floor as if she were trying to catch a little snooze. The only one who should be fine because she slept well last night was Olivia, and she was acting grumpy just because the others were.

I spent the whole morning trying to manipulate Luke's schedule so that he'd nap when the other kids were napping. This resulted in a morning-long scream fest. He couldn't decide if he was more hungry than he was tired or more tired than he was hungry. So the screaming was interrupted only by eating and napping. He was utterly unsatisfied with the five ounces he received at each feeding, which led to more screaming, and he was unable to stay asleep for long. I finally resolved to do anything I could to keep him awake until after lunch so that I could feed him AGAIN (totally off schedule, but guaranteed to calm him down enough for a long nap) and put him to bed. It worked, but the price was a constant background noise of baby screams until after lunch.

Thank heavens this is a short week. Which, of course, is bound to make NEXT Monday even more challenging. But a holiday worth it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Highlights usually come from the toddler

Yesterday was fun. We deposited the toddler at her Grandma's house, where she was happy as a lark all day. She got to "help" Grandma and Aunt Lori as they washed the car and hung out the laundry. She took a nap with Grandpa. She had an overall good day at one of her favorite places.

Meanwhile, we took a scenic train tour, did some Christmas shopping and had a nice dinner out. Very low-stress (sans toddler) and very enjoyable.

When we were picking up Olivia and getting ready to leave for home, Aunt Lori pulled her long hair up into a twist with hair sticking up at the top. Olivia watched this and said, "No, Aunt Lori, don't do that. Your hair is upside down. Don't put your hair upside down." And we ALL had a good laugh.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Today is my birthday, and I had to think about my year of birth and do some calculation earlier this month to remember what birthday I'd be celebrating. Some might say that's what happens after you turn 30, but I think it's more likely the fact that I'm too busy following someone else's aging and growth to think about my own. That's what happens, I guess, when you have a toddler.

We are headed out to do some fun things today, including some Christmas shopping at a craft fair. Should be a fun day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

National Adoption Day is tomorrow

Did you know that tomorrow is National Adoption Day? It also happens to be my birthday. We have plans to celebrate the birthday, but I think we will take some time also to recognize the importance of adoption in our lives.

Go now and read this post by one of my favorite bloggers. She discusses a topic that has been on my mind as Olivia grows. We haven't had to deal with much of the brokenness yet (Olivia's only two and has been with us since birth, so we haven't had to deal with her confusion over adoption yet). But occasionally I sit and think about her birthmom and the situation that she was in the last time we had contact with her. And I'm saddened that it's not a perfect world and we lost touch and I can't get to know her better. It would have provided me with some insight into my daughter's little quirks. It would have provided Olivia with an opportunity to know more about herself as she grows.

It hurts me to know that my daughter will likely have fears and insecurities and feelings of abandonment someday, and I can't protect her from that. All I can do is give her all the love I can and be as honest as possible and pray that God heals the brokenness in her little heart.

On another note, I promised stats from yesterday's 2-year appointment. They are as follows:

Weight: 34.4 lbs - 98.5 percentile

Height: 38 inches - 99.95 percentile

Still within the range of the charts, but just barely. She is tall and all muscle. Also, a breakthrough...instead of screaming through the whole appointment (she had serious white-coat syndrome), she only screamed for a few minutes until the doctor and I were able to convince her that there would be no shots and then she was cooperative for the rest of the appointment. She even hugged the doctor at the end. Major improvement.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our day out...stats to come soon

Today, I'm "off" from babysitting because of Olivia's 2-year well "baby" appointment. I'm also giving a presentation in the morning to a group of moms. And I have a lunch date. And Olivia will need to nap somewhere in there. Because I have a need to cram everything into one day.

Anyway, Olivia will be weighed and measured today, and I'm dying to know where she falls on that percentage scale of other kids her age. Because she is so much taller than every single two-year-old I know. And some three-year-olds. And she's so heavy that it feels like she is wearing shoes made of lead. Though she's never been fat or even chunky. She is just full of muscle. That kid is destined to be a scholarship player for some sport or other in college.

So we're off "to town". Stats to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eating habits

Working with three toddlers every day, I notice a lot of differences in personality and preferences. The one that struck me today was their eating habits.

Addie is a meat eater. She will smash and destroy other items (usually fruit) that appear on her plate, but she will devour any meat and always ask for more.

Jake is a carb kid. He would live on bread and fruit if we let him. I always make sure he eats SOME meat, but he rarely takes more than 2 or 3 bites and then asks for more fruit. Or bread.

Olivia will eat almost anything, especially if she can dip it in ketchup (or other "dippers", like syrup or sour cream).

So, with three very different eating personalities, what do you feed these kids to keep them all happy?

No, really, I'm asking. I need more ideas. Because the best option I've come up with so far is cheese pizza, which they will all eat (and, I think, is defined by any good dictionary as the "universally accepted kid food"). And as much as we all like cheese pizza, I tend to think that they need more variety than that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thoughts on baby #2

I'm giving a talk on adoption this week, and it has me thinking a lot about the elusive baby #2. It's been on my mind a lot lately, partly because we are thinking about revisiting the FertilityCare world, and partly because Olivia just turned two and we kind of thought we'd have another baby by now. I know, I know. But we didn't have to wait with Olivia, and I guess I'm just impatient.

I've resigned myself to waiting, which isn't so bad except for the fact that we'll have to update our homestudy (and repeat all of the paperwork) in three months if we don't have a placement yet. I figure that God will send us another child on His time and that His timing is perfect.

What I've been thinking about more often now is how comparatively easy babyhood will (likely) be with #2.

If nothing else, this babysitting experience has changed my outlook on crying. When Olivia was a baby, I couldn't stand to hear her cry for long. It took MONTHS to get to the point where I realized that sometimes she just needed to cry and that nothing that I could do would make the crying stop right away. Crying used to raise my blood pressure faster than anything else.

Now, with three loud toddlers running around daily and a baby in my arms, I have a different approach to crying. Sometimes, the baby just has to cry. It's a practical fact of life, especially when it's lunchtime and I need two free hands to get the toddlers fed and cleaned up. Or when I need to change diapers. At these times, if Luke is awake, he is strapped into his bouncy chair and just has to either play alone or cry. Usually, his option is to cry. He's in a stage where he has decided that he will not be happy when he is awake unless he is being held, and that is incompatible with my job demands. I just can't hold him all the time.

So, crying no longer raises my blood pressure. I am amazingly calm through these crying fits. I can confidently mediate toddler conflict and keep everyone fed and clean and safe, despite the crying in the background.

The experience of juggling all the demands of these four children at once has been great training for baby #2. So, when he/she shows up, I'll be least for the crying and unpredictable demands of an infant. Now, as for the immersion once again into the land of sleep deprivation...well, nothing can really prepare me for that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Teeth, again

Olivia was one of those kids for whom teeth came early and quickly. Or so it seems now, since it has been FOREVER since we've dealt with the teething issue. I must have recorded it somewhere, but I cannot tell you off the top of my head when was the last time she had a new tooth. It's been that long.

I have heard through the grapevine that there are these two-year molars. I haven't done any research on them at all. I just know that most kids get new molars around age two. But Olivia has had the same number of teeth forever, you guys. I just wasn't expecting this.

So yesterday, at Mass, Olivia was poking her fingers around in her mouth and I looked in to see what was irritating her. And there they were. Two brand-new teeth just pushing through her bottom on each side. Apparently they got the memo that Olivia just passed her second birthday. And here they are, right on time.

Luckily, these teeth have shown up with none of the drama associated with the earlier teeth. I can tell that they bother her a little bit, but she's so busy playing and, well, being an active two-year-old to really notice them much.

My precious baby girl is growing up so fast!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A final word on the subject of Olivia's birthday

It's Sunday, so I'm going to cheat a little and put up a few pictures of Olivia's birthday celebrations. First, there was Wednesday night at our house.
The cake

The gifts

Then there was Thursday (her actual birthday) at Chuck-E-Cheese.
With cousin Trey on the rocking horse.

Climbing around in the play structure.

She really loved Chuck-E-Cheese, but the night wasn't over yet...

Her first build-a-bear experience. Kissing her puppy.

"Washing" her puppy in the special air bathtub. She would have done this all night if we'd let her. She was having fun giving puppy a bath.

She had a lot of fun this week. I'm sure she'll be talking about it for awhile.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

I guess I should give an update on what we've done about the letter.

I let it sit for a couple of weeks. I guess this was because I just didn't really feel like dealing with it, but also because I tend to jump without thinking and wanted to take this process slowly. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I called the Pope Paul VI Institute and spoke with a nurse and an account person to get an idea of what the schedule of procedures would be and how much they would cost if we had to pay the full amount ourselves (not that that is a possibility, but I wanted to know the numbers anyway).

Things aren't every as scary as they seem at first, and talking helped a lot. Now we have the "new patient" forms all filled out and ready to go. But I haven't sent them back yet.

I'm pretty sure I want to go through this process again. I didn't think I'd ever get there, but now it seems right somehow. I still want to talk and pray about it with my husband, but I'm pretty sure I'll be spending some time in Omaha in 2010.

But for now, I'm taking my time. It just seems right to do this slowly.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seven Olivia-isms

1. "No, Daddy! Stop talking to Mommy! Just talk to Livia." She says this when we are talking about adult topics, like politics or work or current events. I guess she doesn't like the tone we use when we are talking about things that don't involve her. So she insists that we talk to her instead. It's funny, but also annoying.

2. Last week, I was driving and Olivia was pitching a fit about something from her car seat. I wanted to say "Chill out and quiet down," but it came out as, "Chill down, Olivia." She immediately fired back, "No, YOU chill down Mommy." I laughed. I know this is technically talking back, but it was just so funny.

3. "I want my happy birthday time." She has been saying this since Wednesday. She thinks the word "happy" automatically goes with "birthday," and she's been doing this for awhile. Most recently it was "Grandpa's happy birthday today" and "Uncle Jared's happy birthday today."

4. Also in the birthday-related field, Olivia has been singing the happy birthday song all week. We've encouraged it because it was her birthday week, but she got tired of singing to herself, so some of her song versions included, "Happy Birthday to Chicken Nuggets" and "Happy Birthday to WalM*rt."

5. "Just one more, OK Mommy?" Olivia has mastered bargaining. She finishes her snack or dessert and says, "I want some more raisins (or pretzels or cheese or whatever she's eating)." And I tell her that we've had enough for now, and she says, "Just one more, OK Mommy? That's all."

6. "I want my special treat." We've started using "special treat" to refer to candy that we bribe her with when we need her to do something. You think kids will forget these things, but they don't. At least she doesn't. She keeps asking for the special treat until she gets it. But it is very effective in getting her to sit still long enough to use the potty (usually she's too distracted). So I have a feeling that when we get serious about potty training, we're going to have a kid on a constant sugar-high.

7. "PLEASE, Mommy. Have some milk, Mommy?" She bends her knees and crouches down as she says "please", as in the perfect pleading position. She uses the same formula for anything that she's asking for when I ask her to ask nicely.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Dear Olivia,

Today is your birthday, and you are finally two years old. This is a little anti-climactic for me, though. To me, you've been two for AT LEAST six months and are now very close to three. You are so clever and articulate and, well, tall. EVERYONE thinks you are three (or older). So Mommy would appreciate it very much if we could skip all things that make two "terrible" and just pretend that you are past all of that nonsense. Please?

You are our sweet, active, smart little girl, and we can't imagine life without you. Even at your most frustrating, you are the greatest blessing we've ever received.

Happy Birthday, sweetheart! We love you so much!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What to say...?

I've been asked to address a Catholic Mom's group next week on the topic of adoption. That's pretty general, I know, but I think they just want to hear about our experience with it and how God fits into it all, etc.

That should be a pretty easy thing to do, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where to start or where to go with it. Suddenly, it seems like such a BROAD topic. How will I ever fit everything into a short morning talk?

In thinking about this, I have become more and more grateful for the type of waiting experience that we had with Olivia. We knew about Olivia a couple of months early, talked to her birthmom weekly, and had a due date to shoot for. Now, waiting for #2, I realize that it would have been MUCH harder to be in this position waiting for our first child. Waiting with no real idea of when you might expect a child to come into your family or not even knowing if you'll have any preparation time...that would be hard. As in, Hello, this baby was just born, congratulations, you're parents! Which would have been hard with a first child. Not so hard now, since our home is full of toys and cribs and pack-n-plays and a full-time at-home parent. Adding a baby would be a pretty smooth transition at this point.

Just my random can see that I'm having a little trouble organizing them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Every day is a chance to do better

The babysitting thing has been a challenge lately. Heck, parenting one child has been a challenge this week. Every day is different, but they do know how to press my buttons. I'm afraid I don't always deal with it so well.

Some days are better than others, and I know that they are hearing what I say to them. I know this because they keep repeating it back to me. I was changing all of the toddler diapers the other day in preparation for nap, and Luke just had to scream it out in his bouncer. He had decided that he would not be happy unless he was held, but I needed both hands (and some other limbs...sheesh, toddlers) to manage the diaper changes, so he was out of luck. Addie, my screamer (Olivia and Addie are almost always neck-and-neck in this competition, but Addie manages to claim the title EVERY TIME), kept saying, "No screaming, Luke! No screaming, Luke!"

So, yeah, they hear me.

At the end of every day I'm always disappointed with myself to some degree or another. The baby ends up crying by himself more often than he'd like. I always lose my cool with the toddlers at least once a day and start yelling or yanking (one kid off of another, usually) or generally upsetting someone. But there's only so much time-out that kids can get before it loses all of it's effectiveness. So what else can I do? What else will work? (This is an actual question. I'll take any suggestions you have. Seriously.)

One thing about this gig, really makes me reflect on sin and repentance. Sometimes in our daily lives it's easy to ignore those "everyday sins" that just happen over and over. But dealing with my daily failures in keeping a calm environment with the kids...well, kids just sort of magnify your mistakes by reflecting them back to you. "No screaming, Mommy." And I have to realize that the screaming is wrong. Even when I do it. Especially when I do it. Because how are the kids going to learn that it's not OK to scream if all they hear from me is frustrated screaming?

Luckily, I get to do it over again tomorrow. Yippee. I think maybe God is trying to teach me something about patience and control. I'm not sure what, yet, but I'm relatively certain that these kids will drive the lesson home by the end of the school year.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lovely weekend

The anniversary weekend was fabulous. We had perfect weather nearing the 70s and spent lots of time outside. We visited the Parthenon on Saturday and the Opryland Hotel on Sunday, and both provided gorgeous settings for walking and enjoying the beautiful weather. We visited the Opry Mills Mall, which reminded me how much I hate retail shopping. I think it may be an all-internet-Christmas this year.

A couple of interesting things happened that weren't on the agenda. We were killing some time on Saturday afternoon and went to see the capitol building, and we stumbled upon a rally for this organization. I was delighted. It was actually pretty funny, because Joe had made a comment earlier in the day (while we were talking politics) about how I shouldn't be surprised to run into a bunch of people who wouldn't share our views because we were in a bigger city. I thought that was a weird comment, because I'm not in the habit of starting political discussions with random strangers, so I didn't know why it would be an issue at all. But then we stumble upon a whole rally full of like-minded people, and the irony of that just made me laugh.

On Sunday, we went to an early Mass at a large parish in a Nashville suburb, and after Mass we were invited by an older (80s) couple to join them in the parish school for coffee and donuts. We spent an hour and a half listening to them tell stories. At one point, the woman told us that she had written a Christian rap song in the 70s or 80s when she was working with some youth, and then she RAPPED IT FOR US. Yeah, it was both funny and really weird. But, strangely, the lyrics were actually pretty good.

Now back to reality.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oh, what a busy week ahead...

We are on our way home from our anniversary weekend get-away, undoubtedly missing Olivia and eager to see her. Also, planning for a busy week, which includes:

A business meeting for my NFP center
An NFP presentation at the local seminary
Olivia's birthday dinner with family on Wednesday
Olivia's actual birthday on Thursday
More birthday fun with other family on Saturday

I'm already exhausted. Can I have some more weekend, please?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fun, fun day ahead

We are enjoying our Anniversary weekend away. On the agenda for today: Breakfast at a famous pancake house, an art exhibit, lunch, an afternoon at the Beer, Bourbon, BBQ festival, and then dinner theater! And my sweet husband planned the whole day. Isn't he great!

Gotta go start having fun!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Dearest Joe,

Five years ago this morning, you picked me up from the hairdresser and took me out to breakfast before we headed to the church for pre-wedding pictures. We drew some looks from other all tiara-ed up and such. Another couple at the restaurant asked, "Are you going to a wedding today?" And we replied, "Yes...ours!"

Over the past five years, you have become very good at anticipating my needs. You are an attentive father to a daughter who adores you. You work hard and take such great care of us and make family time a priority. I don't know if I tell you often enough how much I appreciate you, but I do. I am blessed to be married to such a thoughtful and prayerful man.

Five years. Wow. They have flown by. And you've made them the five happiest years of my life.

Happy Anniversary, my Love!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Have I mentioned lately how awesome he is?

The babysitting has been hard on me lately. Some days I struggle to get through the morning to naptime. A couple of toddlers I know have spent a good deal of time in time-out for screaming, hitting, pushing, etc. Earlier this week, Olivia woke up in the middle of the night and took two hours to fall back asleep, and then she took only a 45 minute nap the next day. I was exhausted and emotionally fried by the end of the day. So my husband? He took Olivia out after dinner and kept her busy for more than two hours while I caught up on stuff, took a shower, and had some time to relax. (They went to the bowling alley and watched people bowl, an activity they both enjoy more than one would reasonably expect.)

My sweet husband has also been extra helpful with her on regular nights, keeping Olivia occupied while I have some time for myself and occasionally helping me put her to sleep. It seems like a little thing, but it really helps calm my nerves.

We'll celebrate five years of marriage this weekend. We are leaving Olivia with the grandparents and going out of town for a couple of days. Joe has planned a whole bunch of things that he knew I would enjoy (like dinner!). I can't wait!

I think I hit the jackpot on the husband lottery. He's definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Delurking Wednesday

I'm taking my NaBloPoMo opportunity to smoke out all you readers. I know you are out there...I've seen you comment from time to time. But I can't help but notice that there have been no comments for DAYS. And if I'm going to get through this month of daily blogging, I need some feedback. I need to know that someone is out there reading. So give it up, people. I've got a WHOLE MONTH of daily posting coming up here, and I need to feel the love.

(Unless you are, you know, RELATED to me. Then you can feel free to remain silent and I can continue to ignore the fact that you're there and pretend to be blogging all annonymous-like for complete strangers. Thank you.)

Olivia says:

"Come on, peoples. Type on the 'puters for Mommy."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I just want to give her a hug

The girl who took Olivia's photos is a relative of a relative, and we know several members of her family. When we came in for our photo session, she asked us for prayers for her sister, who has been told that she can't have children. Her sister is, apparently, taking it pretty hard. She's angry with the world, with her body, with God. According to our photographer, her sister is in a "really bad place about the whole thing."

It's hard to remember that place. Dealing on a daily basis with a very energetic and happy toddler makes the darkness of infertility seem so far away. And we were never in a "really bad place". Adoption was always on the table. Even when it seemed to be overwhelmingly expensive and complicated, we always trusted that God would clear the way if He led us down that path.

Still, I understand a bit of her pain. It's so easy for me to dismiss it now, knowing the joy of motherhood by a different route. But I know that coming to terms with infertility and coming to be comfortable with the idea of adoption isn't as easy for everyone. I've been thinking a lot about her lately and am praying that she will be open to the possibilities that God might have in store for her and her husband.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Because she's just so darned cute

We had Olivia's 2-year portraits done this weekend. She's not quite two yet, but she's as big as a 3-year-old, so we figured it was OK.

More photos here.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo Here We Go

November is National Blog Posting Month. I didn't register to do this. I'm just using this as an excuse to make myself blog daily this month. Why? Because sometimes we need a goal.

Also because it will force me to post when I have really nothing to say. And on those days, I've decided that I will try to delve into deeper questions related to adoption and/or infertility. Please feel free to ask anything you want in the comments. It may provide me blog fodder (or I may ignore's my blog...totally my call!).

Happy November! Happy All Saints Day!