Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thoughts for my rainy day

Ugh, my head hurts. Like, a lot. It feels suspiciously like a sinus infection. I need a nap.

Tuesdays are the hardest. I have a frillion kids here (more than any other day) and it is raining. The kids always pick Tuesday to ramp up the crazy, and it's just a lot to deal with.

However, my evening meeting was canceled today and the baby actually napped when the other kids napped. So, not too bad for a Tuesday.

Except for the headache. That sucks.

Olivia has been fairly cooperative today. She is keeping the other kids out of my hair by engaging them in who-knows-what kind of pretend play. She is like my little Cruise Director, always with a list of activities to do.

I honestly don't think I would survive Tuesdays without Martin. He lights up my mood when it is darkest. Seriously, that kid is like pure sunshine. He grins with his whole face and then buries his head into my shoulder like he wants to snuggle my grumpies away. And it works, every time.

I have the best kids.

We're cute and we know it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


This little guy is seven months old today.

Yep, he's pretty excited.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This week, I finally removed the "bassinet" attachment from Martin's pack-n-play. (Yes, he sleeps in a pack-n-play. More on that later). And it occurred to me that we would NEVER have made it this long with Olivia in a bassinet attachment. In fact, Martin turns 7 months old this weekend, and by the time Olivia was that age, we had moved her crib down to the very lowest level. Here's photographic evidence.
Olivia, at age 7 months and 4 days. I think this is the first time I caught her standing in the crib.
When Martin was born, we thought we'd just stick with the three pack-n-plays that we own and not get a crib. We had given away Olivia's crib (which has since been recalled anyway), and pack-n-plays are portable, safe, and we already had three.

Also, Olivia started climbing out of her crib at something like 16 months, which was when we moved her to a regular bed, so we were anticipating more of the same.

Of course, that was silly. Kids are different. Martin and Olivia are VERY different. At almost 7 months, Martin is content to sit on the floor and play with a bottle cap while I type this post.

What? I'm playing here.
He barely scoots, rarely rolls, and doesn't try to climb up on anything at all, ever. And I'm perfectly content with that! I can walk away and he'll be in the same place when I get back. I don't have to worry (yet) about the seventy-frillion tiny legos finding their way down baby's throat. Yes, I am enjoying my immobile baby. I'm just blown away by the differences between these two kids.

Olivia - 7 months 9 days, crawling

Olivia, 7 months old, climbing on bleachers and laughing.

Martin, turns 7 months on Saturday, sitting in one spot and laughing!
Well, one thing is certain. They both have beautiful 7-month-old smiles!

All of this is to say that it looks like Martin would get more use out of a crib than Olivia ever did. So we are getting one today (actually, borrowing one from Grandma). I think he'll be happy with it, but I'm OK if it takes him awhile longer to start standing in it. I want to enjoy my baby as long as I can.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Deep thoughts for your (Ash) Wednesday

1. Guess what?! Martin's birth certificate came in the mail on Monday! My husband took Tuesday morning off to go to the SS office to apply for his number. And, miracle of miracles, we found out that we could appear in person with the receipt the very next day and get a print-out with his number on it. So I packed up my baby and two tag-alongs (my babysitting kids for Wednesday, and yes, their mom had approved this outing) and trekked into the SS office with my entourage and got that number! Just finished our taxes and, with any luck, we will have our adoption credit-enriched refund by early March. Woot!

2. It is Ash Wednesday. I am hungry. And, not surprisingly, craving bread, which I gave up for Lent.

3. Joe and I went to a special screening of Spielberg's "Lincoln" last night at the National Park, in honor of Abe's birthday (don't ask me which one). We saw 80 percent of the movie before we had to leave to pick up the kids. I'm guessing we got the gist of it since we stayed through the passing of the 13th amendment. That seemed to be the focal point. I enjoyed the movie and found myself thinking that C-SPAN would be very entertaining if the representatives argued like those in the film. My favorite character was Thaddeus Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones, although I admit to having a hard time not thinking of him as Agent K from Men in Black. Also, the James Spader character! I would NOT have imagined him in this movie, but I loved him! He played a really good shady operative working for the cause of freedom.

I also enjoyed Lincoln himself. I loved the way he was portrayed as the eccentric wise old guy, always with a story or a piece of wisdom from an ancient writer (or mathematician, thank you Euclid). And always plagued by conscience over which course of action was the best for all. Overall, just a great movie.

4. The movie got me thinking, of course, of the history of race relations. And now I wonder how we will introduce this history to our kids. Growing up and reading it myself, I was incensed by the injustice of slavery, but from an outside perspective. How will it look to my children, both of whom would be considered "negro" in that time, no matter how much or how little "negro" ancestry they had? I wonder.

Monday, February 11, 2013


We scheduled a visit with Martin's birthparents this weekend. I was pretty excited to see them again since they so enjoyed our November visit and are always thrilled to see new photos or videos of him. And he is at such a cute stage, always smiling and babbling and coming up with the most hilarious facial expressions. I so wanted to share that with them.

In order to have a more relaxed and (the plan was) longer visit, we decided to get a hotel room in their city (3 hours away from us) so we could arrive on Saturday and visit all afternoon in a place that did not require us to order food and keep kids from disturbing other patrons. It sounded like a great idea.

They were planning to arrive at 4:30, but were delayed. Olivia and I went to the pool until she was tired of it, and then we got cleaned up and waited in the lobby. At 6:30, they were finally on their way, so we went out to get sandwiches to share in our hotel room when they arrived.

They arrived shortly after 7:00 p.m., much later than any of us had hoped. We were optimistic, though, because Martin had just taken a nap and we figured that would buy us about 2 hours before he started demanding bedtime.

When they arrived in the lobby, I handed Martin off to his birthmother, C, who happily took him and cooed at him while he studied her. He seemed curious about these new faces (not new, but new to him for the moment). Then we headed for the elevator to go up to the room.

As soon as the elevator doors closed and Martin realized he was closed up in this strange, unfamiliar box with unfamiliar people holding him, he searched out my face and just started crying his little eyes out!

I was not expecting stranger anxiety. Martin has always been happy to be held by anyone, as long as he was held. But I suppose he is at that age, and it was the end of a long day in which he hadn't napped according to his regular schedule. And he was in an unfamiliar environment. It made sense.

I felt badly for his birthparents, who really looked forward to this visit and were welcomed by a crying baby. He lightened up a bit once we reached the room, but I could tell he was a bit apprehensive the whole time they were there. We did manage to get him to smile some and also coaxed a few giggles out of him. But, overall, he was not his normal self.

Next time, we will try meeting in the morning. This late afternoon/evening visit was poor planning on our part, I guess.

It was Martin's first ever hotel stay, and he did fabulously. Both he and Olivia slept soundly all night. That gives me hope that we might actually get adequate rest on our Spring Break trip in a few weeks!

Aren't they adorable?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thoughts on babies and Spring

So, Martin woke up from a very long nap, and after a bottle, he just giggled and squealed and played. A couple of hours later, trying the same things (standing him up, talking to him, tossing him the ball) and he just sort of glazed over and pressed his lips together like he was saying, "I'm ready for a nap. Do I really need to spell it out for you?" No crying, no fussing. Just a quiet plea.

He's such a good baby.

In other news, I am having tax woes. As in, we expect a huge refund (thanks to that little guy above), but we can't file until we have his Social Security number, and we can't get a number until we get a birth certificate. For that, we just have to sit on our hands and wait for our state's Department of Health to get around to processing the adoption documents and generating an amended birth certificate. This is very frustrating to me because I had plans for that money. Plans with a timeline.

One of those plans is Spring Break. We are going to the beach, and I am very much looking forward to it. Winter has me down. We need some sun, some relaxation, some finding shells on the beach with Olivia and keeping Martin from shoving sand in his mouth.

Of course, we'll go, with or without the refund in our pockets, but MAN it's going to be hard to actually SAVE the money we'll need by then. This is happening next month. NEXT MONTH. It seemed so far away when we booked this last October.

Thoughts of Spring Break, though, keep me going on days like today. Tuesdays suck the life out of me.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February blues

Happy Catholic Schools week! We end this week by having pajama day, except at home, because of a weather-related school cancellation. Bummer.
Catholic Schools week - Camo day. This is what Olivia wore on Wednesday to school. The pink boots make the outfit, in my opinion.

Today has been a challenge. I have this kid I watch who is five years old and has some sort of severe anxiety issue. She has been off-and-on crying all day. It gets worse in the winter (warm months are markedly better). And I'm not a big fan of January and February anyway, and then school got canceled for ice and severe cold (negative windchill numbers), and Anxiety Kid is refusing to engage in any sort of play and Olivia is frustrated that she won't play with her, and I guess I'm feeling a little boxed in here. Or a lot.

I'm volunteering to help out at a consignment sale (baby and kid clothes) tomorrow, and I'm going early to shop. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to that. The women who run this sale have become friends, and I just really need to get out of the house, by myself, away from children. Even though MY kids are not the ones driving me crazy. Nevertheless, I have been looking forward to this sale all week.

Meanwhile, Martin has been giggling at me all week. He is such a little ham. He watches you until you look at him, and then he squeals and laughs. He is such a mood-booster.

I shared that mood-boosting cuteness with his birthmom today via oovoo. I love that technology allows us real-time connection even though we are separated by 3-hours of driving distance. Martin was accommodatingly adorable and smiley.

Also, he is in the middle of cold # 63204, or something like that. Poor kid can't stay healthy. Luckily, he is so good natured that he hardly notices that his face is full of snot.

Not sure how we got so lucky.