Sunday, January 30, 2011


What to write about today........ I could write about how awesome it is that after only 4 days sans formula, baby E's eczema is virtually GONE. Or how I am loving being a SAHM for this short time before starting my new job. Or how fabulous my husband was to me today for letting me sleep in til 9:30. Or how excited I was (heck, am!) that baby E slept 7 straight hours last night. That really was freaking awesome (hummm, exclusive breastmilk again = sleeping through the night again...interesting...). Or how wonderful it was to get outside finally this weekend because the temperature finally went above 40 degrees.

But, instead, I think I'll write about how my baby (and by that I mean, the kid) is growing up. In 10 days, my kiddo will be 5. There have been little signs lately, constantly reminding me about how he's getting older. His nap is starting to get shorter and shorter. I fear we will soon lose it all together. I will grieve for this nap. Seriously, I will cry. I need this nap. His attention span for one activity is lengthening, especially for things he's really into. Right now it's these cool building things my aunt gave him. I am absolutely amazed at the things he builds - from dinosaurs that actually look like dinosaurs, to elaborate vehicles. It's so cool to see his imagination come into reality.

He rarely talks about his "14 sisters" anymore, which is a little sad for me. They played such a huge part in his life for so long, I kinda miss them. It seems like once baby E came into the picture, he no longer needed them anymore. Interesting that a real brother negated the need for 14 imaginary sisters. I am grateful for that, though.

His behavior in general is improving. For example, the last few weeks at church have been much better for all of us. Normally, that hour is one of the most stressful of my week. It involves constantly telling him to whisper, stop, don't, no, stay still, etc... - you get the idea. This usually falls on me because he seems to inevitably want to sit next to me, away from hubby. I often walk out of mass wanting to literally pull my own hair out, or shake him senseless, or shake hubby senseless just because. However, the last couple of weeks have necessitated only a couple of gentle reminders about appropriate behavior. And those reminders have not elicited the typical loud protesting response. Instead, he has actually done what I've asked him. It's like a miracle.

And, worst of all, my baby is going to go to kindergarten in the fall and we have to register him in 2 weeks. KINDERGARTEN!!!!!!! I'm actually trying to avoid thinking about this because just the thought is completely traumatic.

No other birthday has seemed so significant, not even his first, as this 5th birthday. It seems like a move from babyhood into childhood. And though I have no doubt that my baby is ready for this transition, and indeed has already started to make it, I am hesitant for the inevitable to happen.

Today's lesson - Change is good. It's often excruciatingly painful and ugly. But the end result is growth. And growth is good. Really good. Right?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Takes a Village

This is a concept I've been mulling over in my head for some time. What does it mean "it takes a village" and how does that apply to my life, in my family?

I started thinking about it after a class (graduate level social work child assessment and treatment) when we were talking about risk and protective factors (i.e. a protective factor for a child would be living in a high socioeconomic status family, or having other supportive adults in his/her life). Surprisingly (to me at least), the professor said that living in a family where there are 4 or more children is actually a risk factor. Now, this was surprising for several reasons (uh, 15 years of being a social worker, or being in school to be one and I've never heard this before) but mostly because when I think of the large families I know, they aren't ones that I've served as a social worker. In fact, they're often the most well functioning families I know (related tangent - have you seen the Duggars??!! O.M.G. One day I will be as patient and well organized of a mother as that woman. Or not. I will continue to dream about it at least). I mentioned this to the group I was talking with and one of them said that it was because the older children are "parentified", which is not a good thing to be in social work world and basically means that a child is acting as the parent, taking on adult roles.

As I thought more about that, though, I disagreed. Yes, older children in large families often take on caregiving roles of the younger children, but this doesn't make them parentified. When I think back to how families functioned 70-100+ years ago, that's just how things worked. Once children were weaned, they were sent out to run around with their siblings. Have you ever noticed how mesmerized children are with other children? Rarely are other children so interested in adults as they are other kids. This is just how it's supposed to work. Instead, as parents today, we seem to feel like it's our responsibility to entertain and "educate" our kids every waking moment. But what kids today often miss out on is their own little tribe of peers. Where are the village kids? I want my kids, who will not be growing up in a large family - because, lets be honest, adoption is super expensive - to have their own tribe of kids of varying ages to learn from, model behavior, and be able to count on.

And then I started thinking about open adoption and how it really falls into the whole "it takes a village" mentality. While, of course, birth families are not in the parental role, they are certainly part of my kids' village. They're other people who provide support, information, education (about who they are!), and love to my sons. They're other people who I know will look out for my boys as they grow into men.

And then (I know, how can there possibly be more??!), I thought about baby E's new milk mommies and how they are also part of our village. They have provided love in liquid form, giving him one of the most basic of needs, the best nourishment possible. Also, when I think about how breastmilk provides antibodies, can you imagine the amazing plethora of antibodies he's getting to all kinds of illnesses from all the different women. He's gonna be like the healthiest baby ever! :)

The role of the village is to provide kids with holistic care. Parents can not be everything to every child. In fact, no one of us can ever be everything to any one other person. The village is there to fill out those needs and roles. So, today, there are two more special people in baby E's village. Our village runneth over, y'all.

Today's lesson - According to the kid he is "always right. No, Superman, you are right most of the time, except when I'm right, which is, like, all the time. Just accept my words as right". Yeah, I think this may be problematic as he gets older. I'm pretty sure we're really going to need a whole village to raise this one.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yesterday's lesson

I just realized that I forgot to write a lesson yesterday. I was so nervous about putting that post out into the world, that I completely forgot. I didn't really have one prepared anyway. And what I ended up with was a lesson for me.

I was so afraid that what I would get would be negative reactions, albiet good intentioned ones. I was afraid that what I would get would be comments leading me to have to - or at least want to - further defend our decision. I was afraid that what I would get would be anything but supportive. And what I ended up getting, was a whole host of love and support. What I ended up getting was a cheerleading section, further encouraging me in milksharing. What I ended up getting was the words of the experienced, wise women who have been before me. What I ended up getting was the opposite of what I'd expected.

And my lesson? Sometimes when you expect the worst, you get the best. And that my friends, old and new, is an awesome lesson to have learned.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Milk Mommies

I am hesitant to even write this post. I know it will bring up stuff for other people who may then direct it to me. But, well, I've never had a good filter in the real world, so why would I in the blogging one. So, here goes.

As I'm typing this, I'm nursing baby E. This is, apparently, a controversial issue in and of itself, ya know, since I didn't give birth to him and all, but it isn't what I'm about to spill. Mine and baby E's nursing relationship has always involved, and always will, an SNS (supplemental nursing system), which is like a bottle with little tubes coming out of it (also not the surprising part of this post). So, while he nurses and gets whatever breastmilk I produce, he also gets formula from the SNS. But sometimes it's not formula (here it comes). Sometimes it's donated breastmilk. You know, from other mothers. Some of whom I have never met, except when I picked up milk from them. To date, baby E has had the breastmilk of 4 different mommas, including me. Hopefully this week we'll be getting milk from 2 more mommies, each from different parts of the state.

Okay, so before I get into the "why" of our reasons for doing this, let me address the safety concerns many of you now have running through your brains. Yes, (very few) diseases can be passed through breastmilk. Yes, (certain) medications can be passed through breastmilk. Pregnant women are routinely tested for those diseases. The women who pumped that milk , did so with the intention of giving to their own babies. They would not have done so if they were doing anything that could negatively affect their own children. Yes, we are taking somewhat of a risk, but it's minimal. So, here's why...

Had I given birth to baby E, he would have been EBF (exclusively breastfed). As much effort as I put into inducing lactation this time, the actual output is small. I figure I make about an ounce of breastmilk per feeding. That's about 25% of what he needs. Yes, that's great for someone who didn't give birth, and I had resolved myself to it. Then a wonderful social worker who I was in graduate school with mentioned that she had 200+oz left over from her last baby, and that she simply couldn't toss it out, even though her baby was already 18 months old and wasn't drinking it anymore. She had had a huge supply (I believe she likened herself to Elsie the Cow, if I remember correctly) and hadn't even pumped since before her daughter's birthday. She offered, I knew she was healthy, and made healthy lifestyle choices, so I accepted. Hubby was hesitant until we looked at the research and info together - we jointly decided that this was a decision we were both comfortable with.

It was enough of a "stash" that baby E had only breastmilk for almost 3 weeks. And what I saw was that the eczema that had started to pop up, completely went away. And his bowel movements, which had been sporadic and difficult for him to pass, were now frequent and easy for him. He was less fussy and slept better. When the stash was gone, I was sad. But more importantly, baby E's eczema came back within a few days, and with a vengeance. The sleeping went all wonky again and he was fussy!! His belly obviously hurt and bowel movements again became difficult and seemingly painful.

So, I started to research other options. I sent out emails to people who I know have lots of connections to new mommas. And that's when I found Eats on Feets. (Go google them, or do a facebook search. Go on. I'll wait). Basically, for those of you who didn't follow directions, it's a FB page that hooks up mommas with extra milk, with babies who need it. It's free. Their motto is "human milk for human babies". There is little else that makes quite so much sense to me as that statement. Why in the world would I feed baby E anything substandard, when that"liquid gold" is available.

70 years ago, wet nursing was the norm here. Sister, neighbors, friends, servants, all breastfed each other's babies. Then the formula companies came in and convinced us that breastfeeding wasn't normal, that what our bodies naturally do wasn't good enough, that cow's milk was better for babies that human milk. I'm impressed with their marketing. I am not impressed with their product. Around the world, babies are still cross-nursed by other women. It's normal. There is nothing gross, or wrong about it. It is about feeding babies. Perhaps they *have* to and we don't because they don't have formula readily available to them like we do. That, however, doesn't mean it isn't still the *best* option.

I am so grateful for all of baby E's milk mommies. From my social worker friend, to my coworker (baby e got a few feedings from her because she left some milk at work and wouldn't get a chance to get back before it need to be used so she said I could take it for him), to a camping buddy, to complete strangers from all over our state. Each of them is so special to us. I will tell him about them as he gets older, and explain the wonderful gift they gave to him, a gift that I couldn't, a selfless gift. And as hubby said, all we want is the best for baby E. That's all, and that's normal.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Motivational Movement

Baby E has started moving with intention and it's so fun to watch. And a bit scary. But mostly fun. Most of the time...

It started a few weeks ago when he would really concentrate to try to get his hands where he wanted them to go. Now he's able to intentionally grab things (toys, our faces, my glasses) and get them to his mouth. Not our faces in his mouth so much, but the other things. Then this evening I watched him roll to his side to reach for something. And then I had to put some of his 0-3 months clothes away, because he's outgrown them.

I find all this movement and growth so bittersweet. Obviously, I'm happy he's growing and doing all those developmentally appropriate things, but my baby! My baby is going to not be be a baby one of these days. I know, I know, we don't want him to be a baby forever, in diapers, dependent on us for everything. But, I'm afraid he's going to be my last baby and I want to have those baby things to enjoy as long as possible. I want to be able to cuddle him in my arms, smell that baby smell, be the center of his world, tote him around everywhere, meet his needs so easily (though, frankly, I'm listening to him scream right now and he's not been easy to calm at all this evening, so that blows that out of the water!).

On the other hand, I won't miss not sleeping more than 5 hours in a row (and, really, 5 hours is a good night, and I mean a really good night). I'm trying to come up with more baby things I won't miss, but that's really all I can come up with. Man, I just love babies. Maybe it's a good thing adoption is so expensive, or my house might be full up with them.

Today's lesson - I am incoherent when sick and on cold medicine, and just hard to follow when sick and not on it. Guess which is the case right now...

Friday, January 14, 2011

What is today?

On a blog I regularly read I discovered that today is National Delurking Day! What? You've never heard of it? Yeah, me either. But it was fun to read the comments on her blog and I'm super curious who all you people out there pursuing my blog are.'s the deal. I'm going to give you a list of questions. You can answer them. Or not. I don't care if you post as anonymous or with your real name, just let me know you're there ;)

Here are the questions:

1. Do we know each other in the real world? Yes or no, I'm just curious.
2. What's something funny that happened to you when you were a kid? I'm always on the lookout for a good laugh!
3. What's your favorite book? I love to read and am always looking for something good.
4. What's something you'd like me to blog about? Ya know, for when I run out of things to say. What? It could happen.
5. What's your favorite meal? Also always interested in new, yummy food.
Okay, those are all I can think of, but, really, feel free to answer them, or not, just comment. Or don't. You're still welcome here either which way. I am curious about you though...
Today's lesson - I learned how to put a picture on my blog! I feel like this is a big accomplishment for me. So, you now will likely be getting pics of my little family, since I know how to and all. Lucky you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baby E's birth story: Part III

It was approximately 9:40pm. Baby E was taken over to get checked out. R's mom immediately went over, so I felt compelled to stay with her; it just didn't seem right to abandon her just because the baby had finally been born. She was watching him and asking me questions I couldn't answer (because I was with her, not him), so after several minutes I asked her if it would be okay to go check on him and take some pictures. She nodded. He was screaming. I think he was cold, which, to this day, is the state of being he most hates. I went back and forth between him and R, letting her know what they were doing with him. I finally got to hold him, and was able to be the one to hand him to her, for her to hold for the first time. She stared and stared at him. I knew immediately that she loved this baby, this adorable, screaming little creature. Really, she didn't take her eyes off him the whole time we were in the hospital. It was intense. At times it felt like voyeurism, for us to be there.

Somewhere in the midst of all that I was texting people and letting them know E had been born (maybe you got one of those texts!). Also hubby came running back in to meet our new son. He couldn't get baby E out of my arms soon enough :) Baby E got his first bath (he was not a fan - again, I think because he got cold). He was having a hard time keeping his temperature up, so he had to stay under the warmer for a long time (an hour maybe?). We were talking with R and her mom as well as the nurses throughout this time. Finally, they determined that he was stable and ready to move. R told them I wanted to nurse baby E and that she was in full support of this. This was such a huge gift from her, because in order to nurse at the hospital I had to have her permission. Remember, at this time, baby E was hers in every sense. So, R went off to the mother-baby unit, and we went to the nursery to try to nurse for the first time.

That moment, when we were preparing to leave for the nursery, it was the first time she had to say goodbye to him. It was the first time they had been separated. It was intense. It was emotional. The excitement I felt about getting to nurse him was really overshadowed by the sadness I felt - it was obvious the grieving started for her, just a little, right then. She kissed him in his little bassinet and left the room. We were taken to the nursery, and found ourselves alone with baby E for the first time.

It was after 1am. I was super excited. Hubby was super exhausted. The nursing staff was wonderful and found/created a little private corner in the nursery for us. I strapped on the SNS for the first time in 4 years and tried, tried really hard to nurse. And baby E, well, he just slept. He was more than 4 hours old by that time, and he was just exhausted, much too tired to eat. We tried for about an hour. I realized hubby was tired, and though he was trying to be patient, his patience was running out. I finally, sadly, accepted that it wasn't going to happen that night and that we would try again the next day.

We had asked the nurses earlier if we would be able to stay there with baby E. Unfortunately, the floor was super busy and didn't even have enough rooms for all the mommas in labor - there was no way they could spare a room for us. So, we left the hospital, without our baby. It was one of the most exhausting days ever, and I didn't even give birth.

Today's lesson - what I learned from that day, well, one of the many things I learned from that day, was that adoption is still very unusual in our society. Even the professionals we expect to be familiar with it, and know how to respond, don't necessarily. The nurses and doctors were kind to us and most importantly to R (which unfortunately was not the case with the kid and his birthmom). However, they were clearly uncomfortable with the whole situation and because of it I think they tried to just completely avoid the whole topic. Which, really, is funny because hubby and I were quite literally the elephants in the middle of the room. What I've realized in the last couple of months is that the desire for normalization of adoption is one of the reasons why I do this blog. I don't know how we do that, other than talking about it. So, more "talking" will happen tomorrow as I blog some more.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Baby E's birth story: Part II

When we got to the hospital, R was just being moved into a regular L&D room, so we had to hang out for a few minutes. When we finally got in, her mom, A, was in with her. She said she'd been having contractions since before midnight the previous evening. Funny, I can't remember now whether she ever got an epidural. When we'd first met her she was emphatic that she wouldn't get one because she had had negative experience with it after the birth of her daughter. Seems like maybe she did... (See this is why I'm writing this now - so I don't forget anymore of it!!)

The social worker showed up just about the same time and we all hung out in the room, just talking a bit and getting to know each other better. The doctor came in to check her and we decided to go get something to eat to give R a chance to check in with the social worker, L. It was very important to us throughout this whole process that R have time to talk with L frequently. We didn't want her to feel pressured into a decision she didn't want, just because we were there. We also wanted her to be able to change her mind about us being present in the room, if that's what she needed.

We were kind of in and out of the room for several hours, letting her rest and have some time to herself. It was nice to sit in the waiting room some and chat with her mom. L had to leave at some point, because she had plans with her family. Hubby and I went down to the cafeteria to have dinner and when we got back R was going through Transition Phase. Now that is the part of labor when (on TV) women are screaming at their partners, cussing and threatening to cut off their man parts. In reality, transition doesn't usually go like that, but it certainly tends to be one of the most intense and painful parts of labor.

R decided that she wanted me and her mom to stay in the room with her. Hubby went to pace it out in the waiting room. I kept picturing him walking around, waiting to hand out cigars, like in the "old days". In reality, I think he was watching TV and talking to a guy who'd been in there for more than 24hrs waiting for his daughter-in-law to have his first granddaughter. I'm sure he was rather anxious and nervous though!

I was standing on the other side of the room, trying to be inconspicuous and out of the way while the doctors and nurses rushed around trying to get everything all prepared. Funny story (ironic, not haha), one of the doctors walked in and we gave each other a double take. Turns out he worked the prenatal clinic at the health department where I'd worked for 8 years. We knew each other. And he was only the first a several people who I ended up knowing at the hospital. This is such a small town (even though it's the 2nd biggest in the state).

The main nurse was wonderful - turns out she is also a midwife. She was bossing the baby (baby as in brand new) doctors around because it really seemed they had no idea what they were doing, as in she had to tell 1 of them (the one who actually delivered baby E!) to put on her gown and booties. R was really in pain and the nurse/midwife started rubbing her back and reminding her to breathe. She did that for several minutes and I noticed that it really seemed to help R relax. The nurse had to get some other things prepared and I saw that R was starting to lose focus. She called for me to come over and hold her hand. I went and started copying what I'd seen the nurse do with her. She quickly calmed down and seemed to become really focused. A was holding her other hand, but she was rather focused on her cellphone, keeping family and friends updated, I think, on R's progress.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I ended up holding 1 of R's hands (and legs) while she delivered while the nurse held the other. A was on the phone and taking pictures. She had put a family friend on speaker phone. The friend was rather distracting to all of us, saying "push, R, push", like in between the contractions. It's kind of funny now, but at the time everyone was irritated by her. Overall, I was excited though very calm. R was intently focused and silent.

R pushed just a few times. Baby E came out completely in 2 pushes. I was amazed. I was in awe. I was happy for R. I felt like I had been a good support for her. I did not cry. I did not feel overwhelmed. I did not feel connected. I did not feel like this was my child. R cried. She looked at me and said, "why am I so emotional about this?". I reassured her that it was a huge thing having a baby. An emotional thing. A thing a mother cries about. At that moment, she was E's mother. I was not. She should cry. I wanted to be able to, but I was holding back. I wasn't ready to attach to him. I was too afraid. I was terrified that she would want to continue to be his mother. That I would never have the chance. I didn't want it to hurt any more than I already knew it would if she were to change her mind.

More to come tomorrow...

Today's lesson - my friend Leah (as in Princess, not "Leigh-ah") is a profound kind of person. I can't think of any examples of her profoundness right now, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Baby E's birth story

I've finally decided to write baby E's birth story. Mostly I don't want to forget any of the details about it. Also, generally, I want you all to have an idea of some of the beautiful aspects of open adoption. This, specifically, is one of them - that I was able to be present in the delivery room to see our son's birth. Obviously, biological mommas are there when their children are born, but, in adoption, a momma getting to see her child's birth is actually a rarity. I'll probably have to break this up in 2-3 posts, so it isn't overwhelmingly long. So, here's the start...

Saturday, September 25, approximately 11am
Hubby and the kid were outside playing and working. More accurately, hubby was doing something to our HVAC and the kid was running around rather unsupervised, but happy as can be. I was inside, just getting out of the shower. My cell rang, it was R. I answered, expecting to hear her voice, when her mother (A.) said, "R told me to call you all. She's in labor and we just got to the hospital. She wants y'all to come. I already called L (the social worker)". I started jumping up and down a little and told her we'd be there ASAP.

I wasn't yet dressed, but, for some reason, didn't think to do that before setting off to try to find hubby and tell him the super exciting news. The windows were open and I ran around to all of them, yelling out for hubby. I finally realized he was, of course, on the 1 side of the house without windows! I called my mom in the midst of all this running around and asked if she could come over to be with the kid while we went to the hospital. She seemed flustered and went through a list of things she needed to get done that day before it finally hit her and she said she'd be right over.

I finally saw hubby walk by the front door and opened it just a crack, yelling for him to come in. He was cranky. I mean super, super cranky. Apparently he had broken the HVAC and was trying to fix it. When I told him R was in labor and asking for us, he just stared at me and was all "I need to fix the HVAC". I repeated what I'd said and reminded him that it was warm outside and we wouldn't be needing the heat for at least a week (more like a month or more). It still took a few minutes for it to click. It really was like I could see the light bulb go on for him and he all of the sudden started moving.

I thought he was going to change, but he ended up taking a shower. I asked him what he was doing, since I wanted to get the hospital, like immediately. He said, "well, I have to shave. I'm not going to meet my new son all scruffy-faced". So I finished getting ready, he showered (and shaved, lol), and I made sure the diaper bag was all ready to go. I had to make sure the SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) was in there. I also packed a going home outfit for him (even though he obviously wouldn't be going home for a few days), a blanket, the camera, a few snacks for us, a book, etc... Finally, we were ready to go, and my mom had arrived. We explained to the kid that our baby was FINALLY coming, and we took one last picture of our family of 3. Off to the hospital we headed. It was about noon.

More to come tomorrow...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

General-ish updates

I don't have anything in particular to talk about today, just some random updates, none of which is enough to write a whole post about it. So, you're going to get variety - you lucky reader, you.

Adoption finalization - yesterday I contacted the attorney who completed the kid's adoption for us. He has to contact the agency, to get the paperwork and get this thing rolling. So, hopefully we'll get somewhere with it this week. You may find it strange, but this isn't something I'm completely crazy to get done like immediately. I mean, sure, we want his adoption finalized, but it's just not an overwhelmingly-we-must-get-this-done-ASAP kind of need. I think, since the birth parents' rights have been terminated, we're both feeling a little more comfortable with it all. We know he's ours and it will all be okay. Nonetheless, it will be nice to have it all "official".

Birth parents - R has moved out of state. We're sad about this, mostly because we're afraid we're going to lose contact with her. We're still texting back and forth, but not nearly as much as before she moved. I'm happy for her because I know she has more support and is "home", but it's still a little sad for us. Total honesty?? In some ways, it's easier now that she's out of state. Though it got easier seeing her with baby E after the TPR, the sitting and staring longingly in his eyes was still a little hard to take. It still felt like she might take off with him. Now, I know in my head she wouldn't (no chance), but my momma heart was struggling a little. Such a complicated relationship!

New job - I have officially tendered my resignation at the current job with my last day being 1/21. However, I still don't have an official start date at the new one. Yeah. I just need to be done with this one. And I'm really looking forward to a couple weeks home again with baby E :) Also, my college friend who did our family pics a couple of months ago is going to do some more pics of just baby E, though maybe a few of the boys together. We're going to do some "Anne Geddes" kind of pics, so if anyone has any ideas of adorable poses, let me know!

Breastfeeding - we are still going strong! I have yet to (myself) give baby E a bottle and I'm quite proud of that. With the kid, particularly at night, I often would because, frankly, it's easier. I've been tempted a few times with baby E, but I'm so glad I haven't. Over our Christmas break, baby E had no bottles and he mostly only gets them at all when he's at the sitter's house. We were super excited that we were given about 300oz of donated breastmilk (from a very trusted source). It was such a blessing to be able to give baby E just breastmilk for a couple of weeks. He's back on the formula now and is a bit miserable and it is, I think, contributing to him not sleeping well (see below). So, if you, or anyone you know, has some milk stored up that you'd like to donate to a good cause (baby E!), please, please, please let me know!

Sleeping - Ah, sleep. How fondly I remember it. I'm excited to get a 5hr chunk of sleep every couple of days. He actually slept through the night when we were out of town for 3 nights, but has been a mess since we got home. And not that I slept through the night, because we were all 4 in 1 room and the kid kept talking in his sleep. That was actually pretty funny, though. He kept saying things like "No, I can not play with you right now. It is time to eat, eat, eat. So back off already". So even though I wasn't sleeping, at least I was laughing. Overall, baby E keeps waking up wanting his paci back (see below for that). For instance, last night/this morning I was awakened at 11:45, 2, 3:30, 4:15, and finally 5:30 (for the day). I'm tired. But, really, I think I'm handling it okay. I've gained a ton of weight, I think because I'm so tired, but otherwise, I'm fine.

Pacifier - yes, we gave in and baby E is now a paci baby. He loves that thing. Like loves it so much I think he may be addicted. He won't sleep without it at night. He also won't really take my finger anymore, unless he's really desperate. I feel a little sad about that :(

Cloth diapering - Can I just say how much we love cloth diapers??! Hubby wasn't so sure about this whole thing from the start, but I do believe he is a true convert now. We bought a pack of disposables (our first since baby E was about a week old) to take on our trip over the holidays. I kind of thought once we got home that hubby would use all of them up before going back to the cloth, but nope! He resumed the cloth and hasn't looked back. I love that man :)

The kid - He is doing so well! We got over the whole potty accident thing (thank goodness!!!!) and he seems to be back to his happy, talkative, super active self. Just like I like him :) I think he's getting to the point where he'll soon give up his nap (what, your kid wasn't still napping at almost 5??! Don't be jealous!). I am super bummed about this, but I suppose it was inevitable - boo. He's such a dear, funny little guy. I realized the other night that I haven't done a "funny things my kid said" post lately, so that'll be soon.

Yeah, I think that's about it for us right now. Super exciting - right?? Right.

Today's lesson - Sometimes I am right, like about the paci. I do wish we hadn't given it to him. I feel like he was sleeping better before he had it. Oh well. Decision made. No turning back. It is not worth it to play the "coulda, shoulda, woulda" game. But at least I was right...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My New Year's Non-Resolution

At a family gathering last night, someone asked of the rest of us what our hopes/ goals/ resolutions for the new year were. Before I could start to formulate and articulate mine, someone said something that I've come to see as quite wise.

There are so many things I could say are my goals, goals that I will actually achieve. I'd love to lose some weight, that old generic goal. Chances are, though, this isn't likely to be a huge priority as I look at my life with two little boys, a husband, a needy dog, and a new job. It'd be nice, but, just being honest with myself, it seems unlikely to be an actual priority.

I'd like to be more deliberate about finding time to do scrapbooking and other creative endeavors. This, too, seems like something I'm just going to have to fit in when possible. And, really, it doesn't seem all that important when I think about what this person said.

What she said, and I paraphrase, is that she doesn't make new years resolutions (and I don't really do that so much either; I more set some generic goals that, frankly, I've often forgotten by about mid-February). What she does do, however, is ask to be open to whatever the New Year may bring. As I've sat with that, it seems so very wise. There is so much in life over which we have little to no control. So much in life that all we can do is ask to be given the tools, the grace, to accept it, deal with it, integrate the lessons offered, and move on.

As I look back over our last year, I am struck at how different things are for us, for me now, than they were just 365 days ago. Last year, just before Christmas, a family member had a sweet baby girl, and though I am ashamed to admit it, it was a low point in my life. At the same time they announced their pregnancy, we announced our intention to adopt again. The possibility that their child would come before ours never entered my mind. So, when their daughter was born, the bottom fell out for me. I sat and sobbed after he called me from the delivery room. He was so happy. I wanted to be happy for them. I couldn't. It was really the first time someone else's baby had been upsetting for me. I felt sad, guilty, ashamed, angry, and a whole host of other emotions.

So why, you ask, am I now blogging about this? Well, it's because I really am struck by how simply being more trusting of "the plan", not MY plan, would have made this easier for me, and so many others around me. And I am now aware of how this openness to grace could have saved us all from unnecessary pain. 2010 started with my feeling angry, and so very sad. I felt our family was incomplete, and because of all of those feelings, I think I kind of withdrew because I was so wrapped up in my own pain. How much I missed out on!

Thus, this year's New Year's non-resolution, if you will, is to be open. Open to what is to come, and open to the strength, willingness, grace, and love to accept what may come and to be able to know how to best deal with it. Obviously, this is easier than it would have been last year because I am in a much happier place. I know, however, that this year, too, will come with its trials and tribulations. I just hope to meet them with grace instead of sobbing this time.

Today's lesson - my momma really is a wise woman. But, then again, if you know her, this probably isn't a new lesson for you.