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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yay for Bunco Parties!

My sister-in-law had a belated birthday party last week... and I selfishly thought it would be another great time to practice my cake decorating skills.

She decided on a karaoke theme... so I was going to make a big old microphone cake. Then it was changed to a bunco party. Way more colors to work with automatically equals way more fun!

The night before the party, I, being all Ace of Cakes-like, planned out my cake. I sketched it out and picked my colors. Then I made my cakes so I could freeze them overnight. And before I could go to bed, I double-checked my already prepared fondant to make sure I had enough. I had more than enough! It was now 12:45 am and I was tired. Blah.

On the morning of her party, I prepared my fondant details, shaped my cakes, and made my buttercream frosting. (Note to all non-bakers: confectioner's sugar is powdered sugar and NOT cane sugar... I learned that the hard way but didn't feel like making a new batch of frosting, so it was just a wee bit grainy.)

Here's me working ever so diligently on the cake. This was about an hour before it was time to deliver... I had a ways to go yet for the finished product!

And giving credit where credit is due, Dusty made all of the little balls surrounding the cake and made all of the black dots for me. Let's just say I didn't plan my day out as well as I could have and was running out of time (*big surprise in my life, right?!*). But here is the finished product. I found out afterward that my mother-in-law didn't even want anyone to eat it... but it's cake, ya just got to!

Bunco!

Monday, November 9, 2009

One of my favorite times of day

Kids sleeping? Ahhhh, glorious free time! Not that I don't love being a SAHM and all, but free time is very welcome in our house! Seven o'clock is looked forward to for two reasons in this house:
1. Wheel of Fortune (I have a pathetically strong love for this game); and
2. Bed time!!

We have a great system in place for getting the kids in bed. They start out in separate rooms for ease and convenience of, well, basically just for us. After I feed Grapenut for the last time at night and we're sure she's well into a sleep cycle, I call Dust over and he picks her up and moves her to her crib. It is one of my favorite times of the day! She's so peaceful and serene, it's amazing such quietness comes from such a loud baby. It makes me fall in love with her all over again.


This was taken this summer when she was just a wee little baby, now she gets bundled up with warm pjs and 2 swaddling blankets to make SURE her arms don't get out (or she'll wake up and Mama don't like that).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Grace



How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,

who proclaim peace,

who bring good tidings,

who proclaim salvation,

who say to Zion,

"Your God reigns!"

Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they shout for joy.
When the LORD returns to Zion,
they will see it with their own eyes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Have you ever...

... plastered the hair you lose in the shower onto the shower wall??

It really is a most selfless act of love. If I didn't, we would have clogged drains everyday. It is odd, though, that hair is only attractive when it's attached to your head (aside from the oh-so-pretty female 'staches, eyebrows that need a good plucking, and sideburns that make you shudder). Someone loses a hair and it's always extremely delicately lifted off of their shirt with two fingers who don't dare make contact with any other surface.

In my adoring devotion to my husband, I even leave it there for at least a day just to show him I'm thinking of him. Aren't I sweet?

And as a new mom, I have come to realize that I did not escape the beloved time period after having a baby that you lose a LOT of hair. Hello patches of skin, you are not pretty. I'm even starting to match Gabby (minus the mullet). People are now saying "Oh, she definitely looks like her Mom" when they're looking at the back of her head. That doesn't bode that well for me.

My hair is getting so thin, I can't even find a hair tie small enough. It's no wonder new moms cut their hair really short, if not there would be about 15 long hairs with some fuzz on top.

Okay, I am only slightly exaggerating here... but to put it in perspective I called Dust into the bathroom to show him how much hair I lost in one shower and he stopped dead in his tracks and screamed "It looks like a horror movie in here!"

But at least I'm saving us money on Drano, right?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Attachment in Adoption

For a child who has been adopted into a family, it takes a bit of time before their attachment to the mother solidifies. Bonding happens quickly, but attachment takes time.

They say that if you double the amount of time (for a baby, it is different for older children) in less than ideal care (foster care, orphanage, etc.) then that is approximately the length of time it will take for your child to bond with the primary caregiver (usually the Mom)! So... we are 3 months into our attachment with Queso: some days I do really well, others are harder when Grapenut needs more attention. In the very beginning, we followed the advice of (many) others who had gone before us and limited interaction, holding, feeding, changing diapers, etc. to only Dust and me to really ingrain who his primary caregiver now is! It is hugely important to establish this at the getgo! Now, in the process of doing so, we had to hurt people's feelings... unintentionally of course, but it was in the best interest of our Queso so it had to be done. When you think about Queso being only 6 months old and already having 4 primary caregivers that were taken away from him, it could make ya cry! His sense of trust has not been established.

When you think about a typical newborn, they are placed immediately in the Mother's arms to smell her and feel her. That smell establishes so much in that little newborn, especially a sense of trust and love that will stick with them for the rest of their lives... that is their mother (their primary caregiver). So what happens when a child doesn't stay with their birth mom? Here's a story I found that (is quite long, and also) quite self-explanatory. So to give credit where credit is due, this was garnered off of a4everfamily.org (I'll be posting more from their site in the future).

Imagine for a moment…

You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancée. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by "soul mate," for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow.

The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the world…the person who will be with you for the rest of your life.


The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face.

But IT'S NOT HIM! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man? Where is your beloved?

You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back,...even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay.

But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him
?

Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone.


You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact.


Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it.


More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?


You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried.


The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you.


You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy.


The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to "get along." You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation.


Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair.


Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before.


He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black.


You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to asleep.


People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness.


Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along
.

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait.


This makes me cry every time I read it, but I think that attachment is such a huge issue in adoption that not everyone knows about or thinks twice about.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays

Monday, November 2, 2009

The ZZ

Introducing the newest member of our family ... (insert drum roll) ... the ZanY zEBrA!!!


Oh yeah. Outfit extraordinaire. What else can ya say about this crazy fun outfit except that once again you can tell his Mama bought it the night before Halloween and really didn't have any choices for an infant outfit (0-6 months and he "fits"!). Hmmmm. Grapenut looks a little scared.

We visited my parents who were babysitting for my sister, so here's one of her chillins, Emmy, with our 2. There will be lots of pics of these 3 in the future as they are all the same age (currently under 1 yo). :) This picture just cracks me up. Grapenut's sleeves are clearly too short and we couldn't even pull the hood up all the way and Queso had the entire lower half of his legs showing (having "hooves" on his knees really confused people); and then Emmy is sitting all cute and purdy over there like a normal baby with a normal Mama.


Here's Queso, Grapenut, and their friend, Ace.

My son is SO smart, he was making zebra noises. Only 10 months, and already a genius!

My little Mouseketeer

So what do you get when you traipse to Wal-Mart at 10:30 on the night before Halloween to pick up a costume for your little ones because you waited just a wee bit too long? You get a 4-month old squeezed into a newborn mouse outfit. Yeahhhh, just give me an award for planning that one out in advance!

But our little Grapenut looks just darlin', right?Tomorrow I'll show ya what Queso ended up in... it's even better!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Such a handsome little man

I just love my little guy so much! He has a smile (and laugh) that makes everyone smile! Even the mail lady. She never actually stopped by, I just know she would smile.

We started him going on solids awhile ago and he just LOVES him some food. I don't think he's refused any food we've offered him. This may not be a good sign for the future....

We always fed him in the bumbo because we didn't have a high chair yet. And rather than taking a shower after every feeding, we decided to buy one. My skin was getting dry.

He had a mild tendency to flail his arms about right after he grabbed his slightly regurgitated food from his mouth. Lovely. It's a wonder why half the time I never get ready for the day. Those are the days when my shirts get stained and my makeup gets scrubbed off my face by little people slobbered-on paws.

So now we trap place his arms down below the tray.
Look how clean he is! We had to spend the money to buy the high chair, but are saving even more on soap....

Structurizing

Okay, so from now on, I'm going to try to structure my life a bit... as well as the blog. We'll see how well this pans out. I, for one, am not holding out much hope.

"Sunday Grace" - I'll include a quote or Bible verse that is great to reflect on.

Grapenut Mondays - I'll try to write about Grapenut.

Queso Tuesdays - I'll write about Queso.

"Wordless Wednesdays" - self-explanatory. But I'll explain anyway; there won't be any words. :) Get it? I'll post a lovely picture that I think words just can't describe.

"Thoughtful Thursdays" - I'll drag you a bit deeper into my life and discuss more serious issues (mostly relating to adoption). There's quite a bit of confusion out there relating to attachment in adoptions, as well as many other adoption issues and comments that it would be nice to inform others of just so you know what the life of an adoptive Mom entails and what the adoption process is like.

And Fridays I think will be my whatever days. And don't ask about Saturdays, I just don't know if I'll be able to sit down at a computer on a Saturday. Of course, I'll probably throw in extra posts about my random musings... because I figured everyone would miss that!

With planning comes a bit more planning. So we'll see if I can handle it. I am also going to make an effort at planning out my days better. I just got to the point that I actually feel awake during the day (novel concept, I know). I can't wait... because also included in this planning phase in my life is planning time for devotions, working out, and eating healthy! With 2 babies I haven't exactly prioritized the rest of the important things in my life, and it's time to get that back!

You know, like, making myself useful during naptime instead of writing blog posts all afternoon....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh Baby Girl!!!

Our whole family was at home together last week just enjoying our night. Grapenut was content in her little buzzie chair UNTIL she just started to wail. We both stopped what we were doing to go pick up our little one, and my oh my.


These are the times when you want to gag as you tear their clothes off in the shower, while ALSO being careful not to get any on their face and as little as possible on your own hands. Oh how nasty for her! And here she is giggling cause it's funny to see Mommy move that fast.
Thank goodness I know how to get those stains out!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Grace


"He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord."

-Isaiah 26:3

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cakelicious

Who doesn't like cake, right (other than Dusty.) Two of my favorite shows on tv right now are Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss. The designs are incredible! So I'll give it a try. I figure I've got to be as good as them with absolutely no experience.

I started by making my cake from scratch.

Whoops, you were supposed to see this pic....
Making a mess while getting the fondant "just right".
Mmmmmm, buttercream icing. Oh yeah, it's actually a necessity. Think I'm lying? Try to make fondant stick to a cake then! I love it when you NEED to add more sugar!
And then I dyed the fondant and rolled it out. Obviously I couldn't visualize the size I would actually need. Hmmmmm. Which do you think I am, right brain or left brain??And then there's the icing cake skills I incorporated. I used a tip and brown buttercream icing to make the sand.

(Insert boisterous drum roll.) Here's the cake! And just to try to really impress you with how much time this took... you actually have to dye and roll out tons of fondant when making a colorful cake. When you have to google a color wheel so you can figure out how to make the color purple may explain why I failed art class. We'll just say my kids were a little neglected the whole day (good thing Dust came home early that day)!
Success! Other than the fact that I'm saying happy birthday to someone who apparently only has one foot... we just won't talk about that missing flip flop.And we also won't mention that I just made a beach themed birthday cake in October....

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's a Cleaning Day...


It is definitely time to spring clean my house. YES, I realize it's October. So what am I doing? Blogging. Ahhhh, sweet relief!

My kids are pretending to nap right now so it's the perfect time to get the dishes put away, start the laundry, mop the floors, clean the bathroom, and feed the dog. But oh how difficult it is to get motivated to do all that. I do have a friend coming over this afternoon and you would *think* that would be enough to get me going for the day. But no. Not a chance.

And here's a warning for all crafters out there of what never to do. NEVER tell your husband, "Okay sweetie, I'm not going to start any more crafts until I clean the house and organize our office." NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I cannot believe I said that to him. And again, you would think that would be motivation enough, but again, a flat out no.

But thank goodness I said I wouldn't START any new projects, so at least I can occupy my cleaning time with crafts that I still haven't finished. Phew!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quality, er QUANTITY, Tissue Paper

Some of the many benefits to the infamous baby shower are the gifts that keep on giving. Which, when roughly translated, directly refers to the gift bags and tissue paper that the expectant Mom is now blessed beyond belief with and the shock at the extra storage units she'll have to rent just to house the future wrapping supplies!

We were blessed with many showers (granted we had 2 kids on the way so it kind of invokes a lot of gifts), and man did we have a LOT of tissue paper (which we'll call "TP" for short). :)

Now when it comes to my household role, I am world's better at organizing than cleaning (or cooking for that matter), so I decided it was time to tackle the mess of gift supplies that had been stockpiled in our office. And when I organize, I love going by color, and then print, and then size. Ahhhh. And please note that there are different magnitudes of greatness when it comes to TP. Some are so flimsy you could see through. Others are like 20 lb printing paper. Ooooo, and some are metallic, those just make me smile.

But I digress....

I thought I'd post a picture to prove the sad lengths I go to when I get struck by the organizing bug.


And YES, I actually folded every single piece of TP. Why? Because I could.

It took way longer than it should have, but at least I was getting it done. Projects of this magnitude are clearly only accomplished when the hubby is at home for the day. PHEW! Sheesh, I even got out of my pjs, put makeup on, did my hair, AND brushed my teeth, and all before 8 in the morning!! I LOVE it when he's at home for the morning!

But I digress again, common fact with me, I know....

I won't say how long it actually took me to complete, but here is proof that I actually did spend my morning organizing TP.

It may not look all that impressive, but today the colors of the rainbow speak louder than my words of self-affirmation....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fashionista

Style maven I am not.

Makeup artist... ha!

Hairstylist, not a chance.

One of my favorite shows on tv? What Not to Wear. Go figure.

Dusty and I are heading out tonight with friends for a nice steak dinner, so I'm trying a bit to dress the part of a woman and not a sahm-who-loves-her-sweats-and-her-hair-pulled-back.

It may just be a little more appropriate to wear makeup instead of scoff at it whilst I walk past holding one of my beautiful crying babies. BUT, this is what happened the other day as I attempted this great feat.


Today however is a COMPLETELY different story, I was a tad bit more successful. Instead of spilling my makeup all over the bathroom sink, I decided to apply it to my face instead. And on I go with nothing going too wrong and I decide I'll try to do the smoky eye look. Have I ever done it before, nope. Was I going to exhibit my stubborn behavior and try it, yup!

And now Dust is going out to dinner with a WOMAN who now looks like she has 2 black eyes. Cheers!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Our Adoption Story

Okay, warning that this is a bit long. It was written back on May 29 when I just had to get everything out in writing! :) Enjoy!

It all started since before I can remember; it being, of course, the desire to adopt. Before my husband and I were married, the love and passion held for adoption had started already… in both of us.
Once we were married and settled, the thoughts of growing our family began to take root. Dust wanted to try naturally first and to adopt next but I was adamant (okaaaaay, stubborn) about wanting to adopt first. The reason being that I wanted our adopted children (we are DEFINITELY assuming this is not just a one-time thing) to know that they were chosen; it wasn’t an option because we couldn’t have kids naturally. I really didn’t want adoption to be a second choice for the growing of our family or maybe just that I wanted to show that adoption really doesn’t have to be seen as a backup, basically that you don't just have to adopt because you can’t have your children naturally. (That being said, of course I completely understand why parents do turn to adoption in those situations, but this is our story of how we came to adopt and the reasons leading to it. One of the reasons why I actually love adoptions so much is because I feel such pain for parents who want so badly to have kids and can’t naturally… and then realize that all of that love is just as prevalent when they choose to adopt!)

We entered our third year of marriage and I had baby on the brain for about 6 months when we were presented with a business opportunity that would allow me to stay-at-home (or at least work part-time) with kids. As that had always been a holdup for us starting our family in the past, we started talking seriously about expanding our duo. One day Dust said to me, “Why don’t we just try for both (adoption and natural) and hope for 'twins'?!” That sounded like the best idea ever to me as I have always wanted twins.

So we started the process for both in the summer of 2008. We got pregnant the month after we sent our first application in to our agency! It was a blessing beyond belief that I did not have a terribly difficult first trimester as I had about a bajillion paper chases to tackle with the adoption.

The process of adoption is a strange one that a person cannot understand unless they have actually been through it. It is much the same as how the hormones affect a pregnant woman. You have your ups and downs, your in-betweens, your days where you feel like weeping, and your days you feel ecstatic. On the days I was low, I was encouraged by a positive pregnancy note. On the days I was feeling low with the pregnancy, I was encouraged with progress of the adoption. It has been a great way to pass the time and also a stress reliever to have each to look forward to. In fact, I find that adoptive parents react much the same as pregnant woman to questions and situations. One of the most common pregnancy complaints it seems I hear is “I hate it when people touch my belly, especially strangers.” And that just makes me laugh. It’s all your attitude (and lack of hormonal spikes) that get you through the awkward situations like that. With adoption, there are quite a few ignorant people out there, and to no fault of their own (obviously throwing the benefit of the doubt out there), they ask some pretty inane questions that can either be taken as extremely rude or the potential to educate people on adoption. The responses and fluctuations in emotions that the adoptive parents retaliate with are much the same as the pregnancy-induced, shall we say, passion.

I read on a fellow adoptive parent’s blog this quote:
“Adoption is totally different than pregnancy because you feel for this baby who is already here, that you cannot hold or comfort. The strain when your child is already there somewhere, is so different. It's a mom thing that is anxiety and trust in a way like you've never experienced. I am so thankful for that time of waiting because I feel like I understood far earlier that God is 'loaning' my kids to me from him and that he is in control, not me.”
I love the fact that we are not bearers and creators of our children, but rather are the people chosen by our Heavenly Father to watch over, to guide, protect, and raise our children in a way that is holy and pleasing to Him! I absolutely love that, especially because, for us, going through both types of situations really does grant us the awareness that both our children are “loaned” to us. We were assigned by God to raise them, whether or not they came directly from our genes.

We found out in February that we were having a girl and couldn’t believe that we would be having a boy and a girl (we had requested a baby boy from our agency)! In March, we were given our referral (this is the point at which we are matched with our child: our very first picture of him, medical history, and any information that the agency has will be sent to you to decide if you “accept” your referral) of our little Melkiso. He was born on January 19(ish), 2009, in the Shashemene region of Ethiopia and was brought into care at our agency’s orphanage when he was about a week old. We took all of about a minute to respond and “accept” our referral!

March 19 was one of the most exciting days I have ever experienced, as well as quite an emotional one. We were informed at our last doctor visit that our prior ultrasound revealed that Baby Girl’s umbilical cord was not attached properly to the placenta and that we needed to go back in for another ultrasound to see how she was doing. That ultrasound was on March 19, and we found out that she weighed more than average and that it did not look as though the cord would present any problems. What a relief! We went and celebrated with a Costco mocha (I love those $1.00 treats)!
Then we headed home, I was exhausted after working myself into a sweat over the potential issue with Baby Girl and sat down at the computer to look at any emails that had come in. I saw that we had received an email from someone from our agency, and I got a wee bit excited and called Dusty over. Okay, I yelled at him to get over here because of the “E-MAIL FROM OUR AGENCY!!!!” Now, keep in mind, we had been expecting our referral any day, and I had been checking my phone methodically every 5 minutes, orrrrrrr every minute just waiting for that call. So we opened the email together and read about our little boy. We received two pictures of him, one at a week old and one at one month old. And that’s when the tears started flowing! I could not believe I was staring into the precious face of my little child. The feelings that flow through you at such a time are indescribable. I haven’t experienced birthing a child yet, so I don’t know the emotions that are associated with that, but wow, I just was in shock. Dust kept smiling at me because I could NOT stop crying! Even now, as I’m writing this, the tears are just flowing thinking back to that special day when I saw my son for the first time! What a blessing to see pictures of both of your children on the same day, even when you can’t hold either of them.

After I somewhat had gotten a hold of my emotions, somewhat being a very vague description of sniffling, snuffling, sobbing (still), and wiping tears away, Dust proceeded to tell me that our agency had first called him to let him know about our referral that morning. He didn’t want me to know about the phone call because he wanted me to see his picture first and not anticipate the email. I’m not one for surprises, but that was the best surprise ever!

Going through these last couple of months has been trying in that I know who my child is, where he’s at, and that he’s not with me. We were told by a traveling family that he cries when he’s hungry… which makes me cry because I can’t be the one to feed him. I will have missed out on 6 months of his life (Lord-willing that is all, as you really never know timeframes with international adoptions).
Back in December (I think), Dust and I had started the discussion of names: ones we liked, potentials, ones we didn’t like, etc. Now, as easy of a task as this is for some people, we were really not agreeing on anything—but we had time to figure it out! We knew for sure we would be naming one boy (at this point we still didn’t know the gender of the baby in my belly), so I was rattling off names I liked and happened to say the name “Isaiah”. Dust perked up and said, “I really like that name.” So I said, “Is that it?!?! Is that the name of our son?????” It maaaaay have been high pitched enough to cause Jericho (our dog) some hearing loss…. And we just smiled and knew. And of course, more tears (it comes to be expected with me in any situation). Isaiah means “Salvation of God” or “Yahweh is salvation” and how true that is! We had actually named a child of God, the child that God was going to loan to us! (And by the way, we are completely stuck on naming our Baby Girl still; down to 5, but we each have a separate top 2 and the one we're now leaning toward didn't even make our top 5… go figure.)

The point we are currently at in our adoption is rightly deemed the worst waiting of your life. It is the time when you know who your child is and you just have to wait for the process to happen until you can go and pick your child up and hold him forever! We are in the middle of this stage. We have our Ethiopian court date on June 8 and if we pass, then travel is approximately 6 weeks later to go pick up our son and take him to the visa appointment. June 8 will be a VERY nervewracking day around our house because it is the day that when we pass... Isaiah will officially be our son! And that means I can finally post pictures of him! The Ethiopian government is very nervous about child trafficking and any internet pictures of waiting children and they have actually taken referrals away from families who have posted pictures prematurely (how sad!!).

Governments in foreign countries work differently than in the United States (obviously) and on a schedule that is all their own. The courts in Ethiopia actually shut down during their rainy season (which ends up being about a 6 week period of closures starting around August). There are many reasons why a family may not pass court on their first try, and we ask for prayer that we’ll make it through on the 8th: one of the reasons being as simple as lack of electricity so no cases are even heard; another that a government issued letter (that has to be in the file to pass) has not been submitted timely; or even that a Judge decides just to not show up that day. There are many things that could go wrong, and they’re all out of our hands. Just as in pregnancy I cannot imagine how one could not believe in an Almighty God who created us so intricately, I also cannot imagine the lack of belief in God when you need the trust and peace knowing you are going through an adoption with God guiding you through!

Once we pass court, Isaiah Melkiso is officially our child! And then we just get to go pick him up. Since this date will likely be around the end of July and Baby Girl is due nearly exactly one month earlier (June 20), we are planning on Dusty heading over there to pick him up. We decided there is no way I would like to leave our newborn that early (it’d make it REALLY difficult to breastfeed her), and also that it’s probably not safe to give her shots, OR to take her to a foreign country that early on, and of course, not to mention, the complete utter exhaustion from traveling for so long… so it may be best if I stay home with Baby Girl while Dust picks him up and takes him home to Mama!

We are currently (over-anxiously) awaiting the arrival of both of our children. We have been told we’re crazy for inviting the chaos to come, but know that it was all part of God’s plan for our lives and that we’ll be able to handle it all (maybe not graciously at times, but we’ll handle it nonetheless). We have been blessed beyond belief in our adoption and pregnancy and are so grateful that God is choosing to grant us virtual twins to raise (they will end up being about 5 months apart)!

The Lord has led us both in separate ways to adoption and I am so glad He did, I feel we were let in on a secret understanding of just a little bit how God feels about us as His adopted children!

After we have both of our kids home I have my work cut out for me… not only in the raising of our new children, but also in convincing Dust that 3 natural and 3 adopted children may be just a bit too much to think about! :) At least for now… we’ll have to wait and see how big our family will get, you can’t ever put a limit on God, especially if He calls you to it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Coffee in Hand


Since the kids have come... okay fine, since I was pregnant, I have had an overzealous love for tv during the day. It helps that I had a hard time walking around... need I remind you of the gigantic size of my ankles?? After 4 years of marriage, I had finally convinced Dusty to get cable by letting him know I felt it would help Grapenut grow strong and well inside me. Hoorah! But I digress.

One of my new tv pet peeves are the actors who carry around coffee. When I get a nice, hot cup of joe, my first inclination is to grab it with both hands and hunch my shoulders a bit while I inhale a sniff of it and test the hotness. And then I'll carefully set it down because I ALWAYS spill when I walk with coffee. But those actors just flail that cup around like it's nobody's business. They'll see their friend and basically wave with the cup, or they'll be holding it with only 2 fingers while it's tipped almost halfway over. Riiiiiiight.

Or the best is when there's a tray full of coffee... need I say more?

It surprises me that the producers and directors don't notice the simplicity of how much this bugs me. Maybe I should write to them and give them a hint, put piping hot coffee in there so the actors will REALLY learn how to treat that precious cup of wonderful goodness, or just put water in so they'll at least hold it like it's full.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Insurance Blunders

The ads on tv have sure got me thinking lately (scary thought, I know). BUT, with all of the insurance commercials out there, I've come up with my strategy for budgeting this next year.

We currently have insurance through State Farm (whom I like quite well by the way). However, those Geico commercials have nearly convinced me that I could have a wad of moolah with eyeballs on it and a good beat going if I switch to them. I'm going to guestimate it's about 3 hundy in that stack of bills. So already, I have 300 in my wallet in savings from insurance.


And THEN, I'll switch over to Allstate, because they promise an average savings of, and I quote, $473 a year when switching from Geico to Allstate. Uh-huh!

So basically they're gonna pay me to carry my insurance. Suh-weet!

That will do wonders for our budget... can you say hello to my new shopping spree?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Test your eyes

So, back when our family thought we only had one child on the way, Dusty and I had decided to tell our family in a unique way that we were also "expecting" another child. So we went out and bought two cabbage patch dolls. One was of the darker skin tone (we'll call it "Brownie"), and the other was of a much lighter tone (we'll call it "Past(r)y").

We put them both in our new double jogging stroller (my Christmas present!!) and strolled merrily into my sister's house and had fun watching the expressions on their faces when they figured out our surprise!

And now, we're still rolling in the laughter with Brownie and Past(r)y. I'd like to self-title this "Which ones are real??"
Maybe Grapenut got confused too, she looks a little scared!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My two front teeth

I had a playdate last week (with my sister and our friend, Maria) and was running, literally running, around the house trying to organize, pack, dress the kids, change their diapers, redress them, feed them, redress them, dress myself, and pack stuff up for some errands I needed to run all to make it there at 10... I barely made it on time at 11:30. Whoops.

When I was driving over to her place (after double checking that, yes, I did have BOTH kids in the car, phew!), I licked my teeth. And was met with fuzz. Oh MAN! I hate it when I forget to brush my teeth in the morning. You would think no one would forget that, but once you have a 7 month old and a 2 month old, life's normalities become novelties! Buuuuuut, at least it was 11 in the morning... if you get my drift.

I think the worst part about the whole yellow situation was that I was meeting two DENTIST'S WIVES!!!! Yikes.

Hello, Trident!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BEFORE and After

Well, it was extremely clear to me that I had retained a wee bit o water during my pregnancy. I'd like to say that ALL of my weight gain was solely water. No? Can't say that? Shoot! Well, let me try to justify then.

To further substantiate my claim to edema, I submit the following into evidence. Exhibit A is a picture of my feet during pregnancy. Oh, sorry, I mean my ginormous CANKLES!


And just so I can thoroughly prove my point, say hello to another flattering angle....


And now you know why: (a) I did NOT wear shorts; and (b) I didn't walk to induce labor. Cause I couldn't. So really, if thought about long enough, one might conclude that the amount of water retention combined with the doctor's order to stay laying down with my feet up could, I repeat COULD(!!!) have been the catalyst in the volume of extra pounds that were so lovingly packed onto my hips and therefore my friends, I can logically blame it all on the water retention. Oh I am so the daughter of a lawyer....

And now to further prove my point; I took a picture of my feet now. Hello ANKLES, welcome home!

I honestly didn't know if I would EVER see them again! And if you look closely enough, you can even see some veins.
Did you know that there are bones in your foot? I have just been reminded!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Names for children

Well, since both of our kids are already named (phew!), I was actually leaning toward giving them nicknames. I love reading blogs when they use cute, little nicknames for their kids.

I tuned into my most creative side and came up with absolutely nothing. And since I must be THAT pathetically uncreative, I asked Dust what I should call them. Other than cute as a button of course....


So without further ado... I introduce Queso. As strange as that sounds, it was between that, Milky, or Chocolate Milk. We like food here peoples! For the record, it does sort of make sense... at least to us, and really that's what counts. Isaiah's given name in Ethiopia (and also his first middle name) is Melkiso, and since that sorta sounds like queso, we went with it. Maybe a BIT of a stretch, but you'll just have to deal with it.


And as for our little Gaberlicious, she'll now be known as Grapenut. AGAIN, we. like. food. Okay?! (Do you think she knew in this picture that she was going to start losing her hair on the sides and was trying to protect it orrrrr is that what made it disappear? It remains a mystery.)


And since I couldn't pass up this picture (taken at the same time as the first pic), I thought I'd share what will probably grace our walls someday soon. I say probably because the likelihood that I think ahead enough to send this to the printer is HIGHLY unlikely. But we'll see.


Good thing I didn't show you a recent picture of them holding hands, because Queso could probably slice her right open with how freakishly long his fingernails are. Yee-ouch! I keep putting it on my to-do list everyday but it just never seems to get done... that and the dishes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What not to forget

I realized I may be the most disorganized diaper bag packer ever. Maybe I'll actually type out a list of items needed, laminate it, and firmly affix one to each diaper bag.

Every time I leave with the kiddos I manage to forget at least 5 things. That's quite a bit when I'm only out of the house for 2 hours max.

On Monday we packed the kids in to go to Daddy's soccer game. I was all excited to use our new stroller while drinking my Costco mocha... trying to feel like a chic mama. And we get there as the sun is starting to descend. Which means no more sun. And no more warmth. And for a baby in a onesie and a baby in a dress... it may be just a WEE bit cold out. So off to the diaper bags to look for their warm clothes. Uhhhhh. Lil Lady only has another summer dress (cause I think ahead and all) and a couple more short-sleeved onesies. Mr. Ladies' Man has only a couple short-sleeved onesies.

I mutter under my breath that I should have remembered zip up hoodies. Well, it would help if they OWNED zip up hoodies. And pants, huh? Yeah, needless to say I'm a leetle bit scatterbrained.

So what's a Mama to do? Borrow a t-shirt from a fellow fan and have them wrap Lil Lady in it while I affix a onesie to each ARM of our Ladies' Man. Say what you will, but THEY. WERE. WARM. OKAY?!?!?!?

I'll probably get my act together when they're old enough to walk.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

School has begun

School started about 6 weeks ago when this little one entered our world at 6 lbs, 15 oz on June 25. We'll call her Lil Lady. And she LOVES to sleep like this (but her mean Mama makes her sleep swaddled so she sleeps longer).

Then 2 weeks ago our 6-month old lovely ladies' man entered our world on July 19 at 13 pounds. This is my first car ride with him... he smiles a lot!

Well, 2 kids and counting... literally counting: (1) down the hours of the day til nap time; (2) the number of minutes they are both happy and content; (3) the number of times I feed them each during the day... you get the picture.

I'm also learning other things as well:
-how to b-feed and bottle feed both babies at once
-how to pick up 2 screaming chill'ins and bounce on the side of the bed to calm them and in front of the fan to dry my own tears (only slightly joking with that one)
-how to eat every time I have even ONE spare minute and how there is absolutely no time to "prepare" any meal
-how people shouldn't complain about being busy when they only have one child
-what white noise is and that it is now my BEST friend because the kids don't wake each other up in the middle of the night!!!
-how I was completely excited to dress them up all cute but when it comes right down to it, the hour and a half I spent preparing to leave the house leaves cute outfits as an afterthought once we're already halfway to our destination
-how much a 6-month old can spit up
-how I constantly imagine hearing them crying in the other room when they're deep in their REM sleep
-how great it is that I can finally set down our 1-month old because she is now entertained with our 6-month old... phew my arms get a break!

Oh, and of course the complete and utter lack of patience I found I have after 10 full minutes of screaming... nothing like a child to make you stop and listen to yourself, well, when your eardrums start working again.

But overall, you'd think I'd be losing it at this point, it has gotten WORLDS better and is going quite well with both of them. They're already becoming friends, I can just tell... only soon to be enemies once they learn the word "mine".

But weirdest of all is that with all that's going on as a busy mother of two, I only NOW feel the desire to blog again... hmmm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My daily treasure hunt


Gold? Money? Oh no, that's right, I'm just searching for my ankles.

Yeah, since about day 2 of being pregnant, my legs have lovingly inflamed to about twice their normal size... really, it's lovely! I even wear the pregnancy socks that are designed to improve circulation but do they work??? Nope.

My big mistake was when I headed to Olive Garden and decided to get the soup, I just LOVE their soup, especially the pasta e fagiole. Mmmmm, delicious! However, it apparently packs enough sodium to feel your legs full of water for 4 days straight and I'm Not. Even. Kidding. It's quite the feeling to gain 4 pounds in one day lemme tell you....

Let's just see if we can pull the sodium through to day 5. I was really hoping to impress my doctor tomorrow with the good news that I had eaten healthy all month and hadn't gained any weight, but oh how my legs (aaaaaand the scale) will tell a different story. Boo.

Well I'm off to bed now only to wake up in search of my cankles, er, I mean ankles.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Is it a ???


Well today is the day we find out if we're having a boy or a girl. :) Our appointment is at 3, so what am I doing to bide my time?? I'm blogging about it and searching for ideas on how to tell the family. Still haven't decided yet, so we'll see.

It is no surprise to most of you that I share a lot, probably a lot more than most people, and probably a lot more than I should... however, that still doesn't stop me! I am not big on surprises (although I love to give them) so we're finding out the gender of our little squirt and then we'll share that news with the world!!!! Being that we already know we have a little baby boy on the way (through the adoption), it's really my excuse to find out so that I can plan. However, since I'm not much of a planner, an excuse is really what it is! :)

We are taking Dust's little sister (12 yo) out of school early and taking her with. We thought it would be a great chance for her to actually see an ultrasound and to be a special part of our pregnancy; especially since she may be the most excited about it!

I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Have you ever...

... heard of a baby prison?? Now, for some reason, it seems morally wrong to me to place a child in a prison.

Just my random thought for the day, but wouldn't there be more "takers" on this item if it were, perhaps, called a PLAYPEN????

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My weight is talking back to me

So I was looking through one of those magazines where you can buy just about anything, and saw a talking scale.

It will actually speak your weight out loud! Who would subject themselves to that? Regardless of what you weigh, it would still be embarrassing for anyone to overhear that.

Imagine you're at a friend's house, you see a scale and think, "Hmmm, I'll just see what I weigh today" and they all hear that dreaded number from the other room.

Youch!

At least it doesn't scream it or broadcast it from a megaphone or anything....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Surprise

Well, tonight Dust comes home from his mission trip in Haiti and I can't wait to see him! Last night I basically tortured myself by choosing to watch romance movies. Why, when you've been without your man for a week, do ya turn to sappy chic flicks?

Well, self-induced affliction or not, I really started to miss him. He used to be gone all the time when we first got married for paintball. One of the things I would do while he was gone was a fixer-up project on the house to surprise him when he came home.

And although I told him I'd clean the whole house by the time he got home... it seems as though the couch won out on that battle. So instead, I decided to dye my hair! Fair enough, I say.

I walked into work (on my day off) and zipped off to the kitchen to drop off my purse and our receptionist spun around wondering who just walked past her. Well, turns out they both thought I was my sister. :)

But... now I fit back into my family, I am once again a brunette! The blondish hair didn't last as long as I thought... my 4 inch roots made an appearance way too quickly and needed to be taken care of!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whipped Cream

Mmmm. One of the best things about drip coffee at home is the additions. Creamer is a must, but whipped cream is just as important.

I was at the grocery store yesterday with my own sophie's choice. There was a buy one get one free deal for LIGHT whipped cream, or the fully pack-it-on normal whipped cream with no discounted price. What a dilemma. And what did I choose? The normal, only because you can't justify a light whipped cream even with a discount. Just doesn't work that way.

I bought 2 anyway and pretended at the checkout that I got a good deal and smiled all the way to the car. It was a good day indeed!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hello, I'm 14

Okay, so I'm not but I felt that way the other day. Mom M called and asked if I wanted to be pampered. Uhhhh, YES!!!! So she picked me up (after I bought a Starbucks coffee--if you're gonna be pampered, you must go all the way) and brought me with Grandma H to get our nails done. Yay!

Let me tell you, I needed them done. Now as scary and seriously harmful as my toenails are, they didn't compare to my freakishly long pinky nails. Lovely, I know. Rather than cut them, I naturally assume they'll break off soon enough. Unfortunately I freaked out some children the other day with them. Juuuuust kidding, they aren't that bad.

So we get there, and I picked a color out. I was debating between 2 and decided to go for the pinkish color with a bit of shimmer. A bit of a feminine detail that I thought Dust might appreciate. So I get my pampering massage, she finishs the nails, and THEN I stop to look at the color. Oh my goodness, I lost a decade of my life and felt like I coulda joined middle school.

Let's just say that "shimmer" is actually code for "SPARKLES, UH HUH!"

Oh a polling we will go


Okay, so I added a poll to the blog and I would love it if you would vote! So, please just make this preggo lady a bit happier and cast your vote! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Canadian money


Well, I obviously love Canadians, cause I married one... but I sure don't like the currency difference. I made Dust go to the bank the other day (because the couch was calling me to a hard day of nothing), to cash a check from a wedding we videoed in Canada. There was a difference of over $100 after we converted it. I could've just burned the money in front of the bank people. That sure would have sent a message... not a very smart message, but still a message nonetheless.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oh cravings, how sweet thou art!

Well, this post is dedicated entirely to cravings. Why? Because I can't stop thinking about em all! Chocolate has been one since the beginning... or it's my dearest excuse why I can now eat it whenever I want and not feel one bit remorseful. I am almost certain it's helping baby grow! In fact, on that note, I'm making brownies today! :)

Then there's the sushi. Not raw, don't you worry! But I just love sushi, it's such a clean fresh taste that doesn't wreak havoc on the system. But then again, we ate sushi all the time before as well, just more of an excuse now to indulge!

And ice water. I can't tell you how many times I've harped on Dust to keep full water bottles in the fridge so whenever I want, I can have ice cold water. It is really frustrating when you have to wait that extra 5 minutes for ice to work it's magic....

So, those are my biggest three cravings. After re-looking at them, I see no point in calling them cravings since I treated them all the same way pre-pregnancy. So, on that note, let's lift our glasses of ice cold water and toast to excuses for eating any food you want! :)

In honor of...

...my last post, here goes the goal to be more frequent in my posts.

It seems as though pregnancy has such ups and downs. 3 weeks ago I couldn't sleep on my side because my legs ached for the entire morning after. Boo. Then there's the waking up at 4 with a pounding headache that even a movie won't cure (well, Tylenol PM sure did help though). Boo. Then there's the elation of reading each week all the new things that are growing and developing in our baby. Yay! And there's the fact that the entire back sides of my leg up to my lower back seem to have swollen like I was stung by about 357,000 wasps. Boo. And then all the more tears that I seem to cry... especially over abortion now because it is just so clear that we are humans the instant conception happens. But then there's the elation over knowing that you just scheduled your next ultrasound appointment -- the big one where we get to find out if we're having a boy or a girl. Which is where I'm at right now!

Our ultrasound is for Feb. 6 and we're taking Dust's little sister, Daphnee (12 yo) with us so she'll get to see the baby and find out before anyone else what it is. :)

We've been asking, do you think it's a boy or girl? Dust thinks, hopes beyond hopes, that it's a boy... I've thought from the beginning it's a girl so I'm sticking with that. Any guesses???

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