Thursday, December 30, 2010

Surgery

Colt and I checked in the hospital early this morning to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and new ear tubes put in. I was so nervous, but no need to be. I know he'll continue to be sore for a while but in the 5 hours he's been out of surgery he's eaten scrambled eggs, yogurt, mac and cheese, Popsicles, chocolate milk, Sprite, apple juice, and French fries. This is the same kid that didn't eat for 4 days at Christmas, so I think he's going to be fine.

Doctor said his tonsils and adenoids were both very large and his ears full of fluid. Once the soreness wears off he should feel better than he has in a long time. We're in the hospital through tonight and hoping for a quick recovery at home.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Your Second Birthday

My dear, sweet, wonderful first born son,

Today you turn TWO years old! I can't believe you're two, but more than that I can't believe I've been a mom for two years now! It seems like yesterday. I can recall every second of December 16, 2008 from the moment I got up until I was dozing that night with you sleeping next to me. All tiny 9 lbs, 7 oz of you.

You have enriched my life and made it so full. Full of joy, full of wonder, full of patience, and so full of love sometimes I can't breathe. You are innately curious, and born to love people. You are the most sensitive, loving, empathetic child I've ever known and you teach me daily to stop and look at the world beyond my own two eyes.

Right now, you want to hug everything. You literally appreciate everything that comes across your path: Christmas trees, pumpkins, jackets, toys, your brother, bathwater...it doesn't matter how big or how small, you show your appreciation by hugging everything. We drove through Christmas lights the other night and you begged to get out and "ug" every tree you saw until we finally pulled over, got you out in 20-degree weather, and let you hug the Christmas tree. And you were then content to be on your merry way.

I feel such pride when I see you this way. But nothing has brought me to tears more than watching you be a big brother. Caring for Owen's every need, sharing your things like most 2-year-olds can't comprehend, calming him when he cries, and excitedly spouting off your stories to him as if he can understand every detail. I didn't know how having a baby so soon after you'd become our baby would affect you. Now I know - you were born to be a big brother.

You're talking all the time now. I can't get enough, honestly. Even with the "why's" and the "mama mama mama"...it's all just so new for me and I laugh every time we talk. We sat at the kitchen table a few weeks ago before church, and you ate Cheerio's with a bowl and spoon and we chatted like it was a regular tradition. I felt like discussing colleges or homework or something. You're an old soul, my boy. And old soul with the curiosity of a child I hope you never lose.

I expected to kiss your boo-boo's and try to take away your aches and pains. But I never expected that YOU would be kissing MY boo-boo's. I never expected you'd have such a concern for a band-aid on MY finger, and that you'd stop each time you saw it to kiss it. But that's just who you are - always concerned about others and making sure smiles are abundant.

You're a creature of habit and it's been easy to find what makes you tick. You love suckers, you love Perry the Platypus, you love music (and still love mama's singing!), you love showing off. You love belly laughs and tackling Daddy in the floor. You love kissing your brother and seeing him first thing in the morning.

You made me a mom, and I can't imagine anything I could do that will repay you for blessing my life in this way. Feeding you, clothing you, caring for you...it's all felt like winning the lottery and I am blessed beyond measure. Tonight I will see you, you'll hug my neck, we'll curl up on the couch and watch your TV show. Then we'll sit in your rocker in the dark and together we'll sing "God is so Good" as we always do, your tiny voice in unison with mine. And my heart will be full.

Happy Birthday, my love.

Love,
Mama












Sunday, December 12, 2010

The 2nd Birthday Bash

Despite a minor snafu with the cake (that turned out was a blessing in disguise) the party to celebrate Colt's 2nd birthday went off without a hitch! My sister made the super cool sign (that tore and blew away about 30 minutes after putting it up, thanks 30 mph winds) and we had a fun Phineas and Ferb theme. Colt was excited and loved all the guests and the presents. Can't believe I've got another birthday party under my belt...only two months until Owen's first big bash!





































Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Things

Things I am avoiding doing that MUST be done:
-Planning food and decorations for Colt's birthday party THIS SATURDAY
-Paying medical bills
-Ordering Christmas cards
-Making my Christmas card list
-Ordering family photos
-Christmas shopping (online or otherwise)
-Coming up with family traditions for Christmas
-Finishing my presentation at work
-Planning dinner and babysitter instructions for our night out to Michael Buble concert TONIGHT
-Wrapping presents
-Laundry
-Buying presents for daycare teachers
-Tracking Weight Watchers points

Things I don't have to worry about:
-Cleaning my house - it's been pretty well-maintained
-Budgeting for Christmas shopping - DONE!
-Finishing this other presentation - DONE!

Things I'm doing instead:
-Blogging...enough said

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards

I saw the news that Elizabeth Edwards died today, and it made me much more sad than I expected. I wouldn't ever say I was a huge fan of her husband's, and I tend to approach all things politics with a cynical attitude. So, I don't know the true Elizabeth Edwards.

But I know her reputation. And her reputation, what she'll be remembered by, is that she was kind, she was loyal, and she was an amazing wife and mother. She persevered, she rose above the tragedies and scandals. She had a grace and a presence about her.

So, I don't know if that's what she was like when cameras were off and she was surrounded only by those who loved her. I sure hope she was like that. But I DO know that I can only hope to be remembered that way. And it's a life worth striving for.

Sleep well, Elizabeth. Rest in peace.

Pictures from the last month

































































Friday, December 03, 2010

They crush me

So many pictures, so little time to organize and post! Here are a couple from the last week from my phone. Not the greatest quality but both capture the boys' sweetness right now.

Last night I put up the rest of our Christmas decorations. We'd put the tree up before Thanksgiving, and Colt "wakes up" the tree every morning (turns the lights on). But last night I drug everything else out and got our mini-Christmas wonderland all set up. One thing I knew would be a hit was a large stuffed Santa Mickey Mouse. We got it last year during the height of Colt's Mickey obsession. So I set it on the fireplace last night and waited for his reaction.

It was priceless. There was a hushed whisper of amazement: "Mickey!" he said. He approached the animal every so gently, wrapped him up in his arms and nuzzled their noses together. He then kissed him and said "MmmmWAH". And, of course, Mickey had to ride to school with us (see picture below). He held on so tightly, his arms wrapped around him the whole way. He was crushed to leave him but said a sad "bye-bye Mickey" when I told him Mickey was going to work with Mommy. He bravely headed into the building without his new BFF.

This just encompasses Colt's spirit so well. He is SO kind, SO sensitive, and SO loving. It breaks my heart in a good way a hundred times a day. Even when he's frustrated or gets mad, it takes only a few minutes to wrap his arms around my neck and say "Uv You Mama". He is so kind to Owen. The minute Owen cries Colt pats him or brings him toys. He shares EVERYTHING. Even when Owen comes and takes something, Colt almost always willingly gives up that toy to keep his brother from crying.

And Owen is a complete snuggler right now. Over the weekend at my grandparents house, he sat with my grandma calmly and lovingly most of the weekend. He laughs and smiles 98% of the time. And the kisses...oh, the kisses. He opens his mouth and dives right into your lips. Plenty of slobber but I don't mind. I know the slobbery open-mouth kisses disappear so quickly I'm soaking (literally) them up as long as I can.

The joy is overwhelming and crushing. I can't imagine that it gets better than this!




Friday, November 26, 2010

The more things change the more they stay the same

Laying here at my grandparents house in the same room, same bed as I've slept on every visit since I was born. Pretty much the same story but a few twists: husband in the other twin bed instead of sister, reading iPhone under the covers instead of a Babysitters Club book with a flashlight, and trying to stay quiet not so my mom won't bust me but rather so I won't wake my sleeping oldest son. This room is full of love and memories!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Dragon and the Puppy

There will be more photos to come, but a sneak peek at the boys ready for some Halloween awesomness. I just want to eat them up!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Videos of the boys!

John here...Jessica told me to get on her blog tonight and post a couple of videos of the boys, so here ya go!


The first is Owen. He is definately not camera shy. He is now sitting up on his own, and discovered how to put his paci in all by himself. You will rarely ever see him not smiling!

video


This one is of Colt after he helped daddy carve his first pumpkin (or as Colt calls it, the momkey).

video


Photobucket

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Survival Mode

So we've been operating in "survival mode" for quite some time. You know - cutting corners, doing things (or not doing things) we feel pretty guilty about to make it through the day. And I don't mean bad things...I mean things like we eat out far too often, or give Colt hot dogs for dinner 3 nights in a row, we don't eat together as a family, sometimes we keep Colt up too late just for some play time, or skip Owen's bath for the third night in a row and instead wipe him down with a baby wipe. You know you're in survival mode when it takes you 4 days to complete a blog post.

I think every family hits times where it's "survival mode". I don't believe this is just an issue in families where both parents work, though I've been struggling with feeling like that lately. Work, for me, has been both awesome and exhausting lately. Most of you know this is the time of year that I travel and this year was probably the most travel I've ever had in a season. I believe we've come through it with grace and peace and continued thankfulness for having family at every corner who can help get us through.

There are lots of things in survival mode I want to change. Going to church more often is a big one. We go every Sunday morning but I'd like to go Wednesday nights and spend more time with our small group/Bible class. Unfortunately that's one that probably will have to wait as my kids are melting down and ready for bed by 7p during the week, sometimes earlier.

Spending time with my husband that doesn't involve football games or favorite sitcoms (meaning out of the house) is a big one. But unfortunately every extra minute I have outside of work I'm wanting to be with the boys. Or asleep!

One thing I have taken control of is weight loss and exercise. It's not easy, oh no. Not easy. But I joined Weight Watchers, and I'm losing weight! Noticing a difference in my clothes and feeling better about my looks in just a matter of weeks. I personally think it's pretty impressive with all the travel I do and how little control I often have over my diet. In addition, I've joined a Zumba class and when I'm not in class I'm doing the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred. I HATE it. I HATE exercising. But I'm doing it!

The biggest one that I often feel guilty about is meals. Colt has to eat early, he has an early lunch and is starving by the time we get home. I also HATE to cook and I'd rather spend those few hours in the evening with the boys rather than in the kitchen. And so, we've relied on Gerber Toddler Meals and as of late hot dogs or fast food. And after he goes to bed, John runs to fast food restaurant again for our meals. It seems so simple and yet it's so exhausting.

So I'm trying something new. I've made a list of easy-to-make meals for Colt. Things I can make over the weekend and reheat. Meals with better ingredients that can be assembled and cooked in minutes. And, honestly, just having a plan. It sounds so silly but I've been praying about it a lot. It's a goal I have that is going to be HARD for us. I dread it, but know that I want Colt to eat better or at least be exposed to better food.

For reasons that require their own post these meals are not necessarily for me and John. Seriously, it's a whole other post. But it's a step. A start. I'll never be known to my kids as a great cook. But I can at least feel like their mealtimes were important enough to me to make a plan and spend time in the kitchen.

I'm motivating myself to cook several meals tomorrow by baking Pumpkin Bread tonight. It's one of the things I'm actually pretty good at. So I will enjoy warm, gooey, buttery pumpkin bread tomorrow as I slave over the oven. Feel sorry for me, ok?!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Owen's Eyes

This boy's eyes are so crystal clear. They are sometimes pale blue, sometimes very gray. They are beautiful with his fair skin and fair hair.

I hope they stay this way!






















Baby Colt?

Colt's new favorite thing is to try out all of Owen's baby stuff. Whether it's "night-night" in the Moses basket, bouncing in the bouncy seat, crawling in his infant car seat, getting stuck in the Bumbo, or getting stuck in the exersaucer he likes to pretend he's a baby.

But the last picture will show that, sadly, he is not. He's a big, giant, grown-up boy. More than his Mama's heart can handle sometimes!







Saturday, October 02, 2010

Remembering the Call that changed our life

It was a normal day, in fact I remember it being busy and harried and a little stressful. I'd renewed my driver's license that morning, and got a GREAT picture. I remember leaving the Tag Agency and thinking "the next picture on my license will be after I'm a mom". So weird the things you think of on days that change your life.

The client I work with had decided to sponsor a Regatta, a rowing event, and the first event of a long weekend of rowing was that evening. It was a Thursday, and at the office we were getting ready for everything. I was looking forward to the evening, my mom and her friend were joining me to watch the rowers and enjoy a beautiful cool, clear evening on the river.

It was a little after 4:00 that I was in my boss' office, talking about the evening events and my phone buzzed with a text message. 2 years later and one of the biggest regrets of getting an iPhone is that I had to give up the phone that had that text message. Anyway, the text came from a number I didn't recognize. It said "This is T from (Agency). Please call XOX-XXOX". And my heart skipped a beat. I couldn't breathe as I called John, who was at that exact moment calling me. He'd just checked his voicemail and T had called him.

We knew this was it. It just was, we knew. Our agency made a point to not call unless it was THE call or something very important, because they knew seeing their numbers would get adoptive parents very nervous. So...this was it. We decided John would call. I think we decided because T had actually called him and had just left me a message but looking back I'm SO glad he did because I think it showed N from the beginning what an involved and excited Dad he would make.
It seemed like HOURS before John called back, but really it had been about 5 minutes. He asked me if I was sitting down. We were going to have a baby. We'd been CHOSEN! A baby boy, due in December.

I wanted to tell our families in person, so I didn't immediately call my mom. I knew I was going to see her that night but I still wanted to be able to tell her, my stepdad and sister all together. So we went to the rowing event, my lips not uttering a word. I did tell them we should all meet up for dinner after the event, and everyone was available.

During the event, T finally called me back for more info that she couldn't share while N was on the phone. I stepped away from my mom and her friend for a really long time, and they eventually came to my car where I was still on the phone. I told them to wait, I was on the phone with my boss. My stomach was churning, my heart racing as all I wanted to do was scream "we've been CHOSEN" to all around.

A little while later we all met at Cracker Barrel and I could barely get through ordering before I finally said "well...we got a call today". And tears started streaming and my mom said "the call?", and I could only shake my head yes. Yes, we'd received THE CALL. The call that would change everything.

We headed to John's parents next, where his mom was already asleep and as his dad told her the baby was due on December 7th she sleepily asked "Pearl Harbor Day"? And it was later that everything would sink in for her. Then we headed to his sister's house, called my dad, and his other sister. Then headed home to lay in bed and dream. Really dream.

There's no way we could even dream of what was to come. The joy and the work and the overwhelming love that would follow that call. It was beyond our wildest imaginations.

October 2nd will always be the day I celebrate my life as a mom. We love you, Colton!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Testing from the road

Well since I'm on the road so much I figured I would try to be a better blogger and download an app. Let's see if it works! Headed to Panama City, FL today. Will write more once I arrive!
Testing, testing, 123...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Gotcha Day

My Dearest, Darling Colt,

One year ago today we stood in front of a very kind judge, and Daddy and I made a commitment (formally) to love you forever. We'd actually decided long before you were born to love you forever, but this day - it was official.

What a year it has been. You're walking, talking, learning, and growing. You welcomed a baby brother with open arms. You fill our ears with laughter and smother our lips in kisses. You teach us new things every day.

Our love for you is overwhelming. Sometimes it's so big I feel like I could burst. My never ending commitment to you is to love you, unconditionally, for as long as I live. To do my very best by you. To never forget the sacrifices made to bring me to you. To be at your games, your concerts, and ceremonies; to relearn algebra alongside you; to practice locker combinations and fight over cell phones; to take you to movies and stuff our faces with popcorn; to cut your crusts off; to dive for foul balls at baseball games; to take you to your first Sooner football game; to take college tours at any college you want (except U of Texas). I just commit to being your mom through good times and bad, and never ever taking for granted each day you're with me.

We love you, and we celebrate this day as yet another milestone in our journey as a family. You made us parents - thank you for being such an amazing son.

Love, Mommy

Monday, August 30, 2010

A healthier ME

I won't spend much time on this, I promise not to bore you. But I joined Weight Watchers this weekend (paid a month in advance and everything) and I am EXCITED!! The main reason? The Weigh Watcher iPhone app. Holy Cow, it's awesome. Recipes, easy points tracker, motivational tools....I'm addicted.

I'm also truly ready to make a change. I spent the month of August refraining from eating sweets (except for when I visited my great-grandparents because bonding over dessert is their thing, and who am I to say no to that?! I hadn't seen them in several years). And it showed me the willpower I am capable of possessing. I haven't seen a lot of change in the way my clothes fit or the my body (which means I'm not as addicted to sweets as I thought) but I do feel good about just saying no.

I have never even imagined the weight I'm at now. I keep thinking I don't look as big as pictures of me suggest I am. But I'm ready to fit into my clothes and feel good about it, I'm ready to exercise, and I'm ready to not be controlled by food.

Wish me luck. I really am serious about it this time, I have an exercise plan in place as well. I WANT to be successful and I have several friends in this with me so that helps. I'll be posting occasionally, but it's taking over my extra brainpower right now so I had to get it out there.

A healthier ME is coming!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Work-Life Balance?

I've been on 5 business trips since mid-July, with three major ones to come before October. The next three are big ones: to Cabo San Lucas, Panama City Beach, and Lake Tahoe. Excited to travel places I've never been...but it's never easy. And I'm already really tired and worn out.

I don't talk a lot about work here. I'm open with my identity, so I am careful about saying good or bad things about work. I work in public relations, I imagine most of you know the client I represent at my agency. But still I don't say much because I never know.

I LOVE my job and especially recently it's been a welcome challenge. Lots of responsibility and leadership has been awarded to me over the last several years and lately it seems to have exploded. It's interesting because after Colt was born I felt distant and unmotivated to work. Days were long and I struggled with finally having my son and not being able to be at home with him. I realize now a lot of that came from being pregnant, too. It did a number on my body!

Anyway, strangely enough since I came back to work from Owen's birth I've been full of energy and excitement. I've had multiple people comment on my energy and say how impressed they were. I miss my children terribly during the day AND especially when I travel, but I'm sure thankful for a job that challenges me, excites me, invests in me, is flexible with me.

What I've found is that, for the most part, the energy I get at work translates to energy with my kids. And it means I rarely want to have girls nights or date nights or weekends away if it means being away from those boys. I cherish every.single.second. So for right now, things are good. No, they are great. And I love my work, I love my relationships at home, I love the chaos. I'm happy.

I've pondered something for several months now, a little tiff I got in with a friend on Facebook. A tiff I, admittedly, invited myself into. I'm so glad now that I didn't write about it immediately, when my emotions were raw and my tempers were flaring. I've had a lot of time to consider her words and luckily I feel exactly the same as I did when they were fresh: but I'm much calmer and have found so much peace since then.

I long-ago promised myself I would not engage in Mommy-war style dialogue. I find it doesn't help anyone, and what I did was take a statement too personally and stepped right into the war I swore I would void. So I accept responsibility for the hurtful opinion she expressed. And I've learned my lesson: just like politics, stay away from mommy-war issues (even if they are mean and hurtful to me personally) especially on Facebook. It's a forum to report lunches or ask for prayers or share pictures of the kids. It's not place for bickering.

I am still FB friends with this person, no reason not to be. To not be would mean I found her words so painful or truthful that I couldn't face her; to not be would mean I didn't respect her and all she's done for me; to not be meant that it bothered me. And while I disagree with what she said, it does not bother me. I'm confident in myself, my relationships, my choices, and I'm confident my life is God-driven and he is answering prayer.

So...there it is. I am "one of those people" who loves her job, loves her husband, loves her kids, loves her family, and loves her friends. So it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, I Love my life.

And I realized, through all that pain an anger I was experiencing, that I don't need to be a perfect mom. I just need to be Colt and Owen's perfect mom. Their opinion is all that matters to me!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Three new posts below!!

Brothers

Well, despite these boys being together all the time, we don't get a lot of pictures of the two of them and when we do, they're not the best. Curse of a busy toddler, I suppose!

Colt is a-ma-zing with Owen. When Owen cries, he's right there to find his paci or give him a toy. He got new toys this weekend with Grandma, came home, and immediately took them to show Owen. He wakes up in the morning asking for him, and gives him goodnight kisses every night as he heads to bed.

Owen, for his part, is really starting to notice Colt and watch him. He laughs when he laughs or squeals or sings. Colt is such a show-off, I think Owen will be happy to let him steal the spotlight but he will be his favorite performer.

This whole brother thing has gone so much better than I ever expected. I was scared, worried, anxious of having two so close together and CONFESSION: I now wouldn't have it any other way. It is a BLAST!
















Owen

What can I say about my littlest man? He is JOYFUL! So full of light and joy. Very laid-back. Definitely going to let his older brother hog the spotlight. He is mellow and snuggly. He just loves to make eye-contact and laugh. Likes being sung to, his Aunt Renee babysat him the other day and sang him to sleep.

He's quite a little eater. Slurping down baby food like it's going out of style. His favorite is carrots, which is funny since that's the ONLY kind Colt NEVER liked. He is going to figure out that crawling thing in no time, he's a master of rolling and sitting up. He blows raspberries all the time, especially when he gets excited right after eating. He has outgrown the swing, about to outgrow the Bumbo and the carseat. He's a GIANT.

I don't know how I ever lived life without him. When I'm away from him, I literally crave his chubby cheeks to bury my face in and give kisses. He's our happy, mellow, cuddly youngest baby!