Friday, July 26, 2013

Birthday week

Martin didn't have a birthday party, per se, for his first birthday. Because of the hectic nature of our schedules this month, we kind of had a series of mini-parties. It all began last weekend, when I stupidly bravely planned to go tent camping with my parents and sister, five hours away from home. We went to see my nieces in the world's greatest amateur circus and also to celebrate Martin's birthday with his godparents (parents to my circus-nieces). Joe had to work last weekend, so this plan was entirely my own.

The camper in the background belongs to my parents. The kids and I shared a tent with my sister on the same site.
It was...surprisingly not nearly as bad as I expected. The kids actually slept. Of course, Olivia bounced around for 2 hours past bedtime until Aunt Lori offered her some earplugs and she promptly fell fast asleep. I then declared earplugs to be the best invention ever.

So, sleep was had by all, but as is the case with camping, you never get as much sleep as you are used to getting at home. After a couple of days of this, we were all exhausted and kind of grumpy. I just...don't get camping.

Anyway, we had a little get-together at the campsite with those of us camping and godparents/cousins coming in for lunch, followed by cake and lake swimming. It was low key, easy to pull off, and everyone had a nice time.
Yeah, yeah, it's my birthday!
On Saturday, I drove 90 minutes from the campsite to pick up Martin's birthmother and then 90 minutes back so we could all enjoy circus festival parade day, followed by the circus performance. Exhausting, but worth it.

Very blurry photo of my nieces in what is called low-casting, but looks very much like flying trapeze (which they also have later in the show). Kids in this circus are all from this county, age 7-21. They are AMAZING!

Yes, that is a tight wire. Yes, those are children balancing on children balancing on a tight wire. Yes there is a net. No, they did not need to use it. No, I'm not related to any of the kids in the tight wire act. They are just amazing.
The circus was spellbinding, as usual. I am just amazed at the things these kids do. And they have this whole army of riggers (volunteers, mostly parents) who race around setting up and tearing down nets, wires, ladders, mats...everything that is used in each of these acts. And a bunch of the riggers are also spotters (those guys poised below the low-casters to catch anyone who fails to catch the bar). Spotters are used for most acts. Things like the high wire and the flying trapeze, though, have their own full nets. All of which are set up by volunteers. I amazed by the coordination required to put on this "amateur" show. It is fascinating.

Sunday we were back home with Daddy, and celebrated Martin's birthday with dinner at Grammy and Grampy's. Monday we rested.

Martin's actual birthday (Tuesday) was pretty low-key. We spent some time with cousins at a local museum, put Martin down for a long afternoon nap, had all of this favorite foods for dinner with Daddy at home, then went to Local Theme Park for a couple of hours of fun. The musicians at the park's show sang happy birthday to him.

And a good time was had by all.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

One year in review

Happy Birthday, Martin!
12 months old - July 23, 2013

11 months old

10 months old
9 months old

8 months old

7 months old

6 months old
5 months old

4 months old

3 months old

2 months old

1 month old

July 23, 2012 - Martin Roderick is born.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is Martin's first birthday.

When we started down the adoption path, we had some serious reservations about raising a black child or even a biracial child. It had a lot to do with what local black culture seemed to be, in our experience, and trying to explain that to a child who shared the same skin color but not the same environment, etc. etc. Basically, it was our fear of how that would play out in real life.

And then Olivia basically fell into our laps. And we had no choice but to say yes. (I mean, theoretically, we had a choice, but if you were there, feeling what we were feeling, you would know that there was really no other choice for us but to become her parents.)
Because, I mean, seriously. Look at that face! She is perfect!

When we signed up for Adoption #2, we had no such reservations. We knew that the child who landed in our home would be loved whether he/she was white, black, pink or green. I can't even believe now that a time existed when we thought we wouldn't be open to a black child in our home. Because this?

Is Perfection.

Happy Birthday Eve, my sweet baby boy!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Vacation recap

We celebrated 4th of July week in the Colonial Capital, Williamsburg, VA. It was fun and interesting. And exhausting and frustrating. Historic sites with kids under age 10 or so are exhausting and sometimes pointless. But we plodded on and did as much as we could.

Olivia found certain things to be extremely interesting. Like the blacksmith.
She asked a million questions while I baked in the oppressive heat.
 And storming the governor's palace.
Let's get 'em! Give back our gunpowder and stuff!
 Also, there were cool places to pose.
Canons are cool.

Locked in the stocks. Charge: Excessive whining.
 Also, there was colonial dress-up.
Anti-arrow armor

Martin's not sure exactly how this tri-corn hat is supposed to fit.
 We all learned some things about history.
Like, dude, this governor guy decorates his house with weapons. That is so weird.

General Washington...what does this say? Why? Did you write that part? Who did? Why?

So, overall, a good week. Not something I want to repeat anytime soon, but not because of the destination. The stuff we did and saw was worthwhile. My kids just don't travel well at this stage. Long road trips are really, really hard. But it was nice to spend a week together and away from home.