Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Way To Go

Kelsey has written another great post on her blog that everyone should read. You'll all know why I gave her the Smile Award after you read THIS POST.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Week in Photos

What's a mom to do when you hear a crash from the other room, followed by "Ouch!" ? Well, go to the other room and remind the kids that this is exactly why they aren't supposed to wrestle while mom is cooking dinner. I figured that since they wanted to wrestle and get so close to each other that they bashed heads, that they could share the ice pack, too.
Though, I was pretty sure no one was too damaged...
Hmm....I wonder what Peanut is dreaming about??
On Friday night, the boys had a special movie night in their room. This is a very rare treat for them...but the grown-ups in the house wanted to watch the presidential debate. For some reason, I didn't think the kiddos would be that interested in the debate...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Smile Award

I have to send out a big "Thank You" to my dear friend Anita who chose to give me the Smile Award! I must admit that most of the smiles around here are generated by two little boys that are in my life because I am directly benefitting from Anita's great work. I know that her job must be incredibly difficult some days...but I also know that the lives of many have been changed forever because of her.

Anyway...here's some information about the Smile Award:

The Smile Award was created by Mere, a high school student from Texas (whose blog template is very cute, by the way).

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

These are the rules for The Smile Award.
1. The recipient must link back the the award’s creator
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

I would like to give the Smile Award to the following bloggers:
1. The first award goes to Jennifer. She's a mom who adopted two special needs kids...and she's done an amazing job advocating for them and educating others. She's made it her goal to make it easier for other parents to get the information they need to make the decision to adopt these special needs kids. And as a result, more kids will find their way to new families.

2. The next award goes to Kelsey. I've been reading lots of adoption blogs since deciding to adopt...but Kelsey's blog provides a different perspective. She's not an adoptive parent...she's a big sister (and I think her younger brothers and sisters have a great big sis to look up to).

3. The next award goes to Kristin, who is another mom adopting from Ghana. She and her family waited, and waited, and waited for the referral of a little boy. It was amazing how much grace Kristin showed during her wait. Fortunately, she's no longer waiting for the referral. They found out the little boy they were waiting for had a sister, too.

4. The next award goes to Jenny. She's an adoptive mom, too...to a very handsome little man. She's also in the midst of a new adoption journey for a younger sibling. Jenny is also someone who makes me laugh regularly while reading her posts...and consistently reminds me to spill my guts on my blog when I've hinted something big going on. Darn her for paying such close attention!

5. And the last award goes to Heather (even though she's already gotten the award from Anita). Heather and I went through the adoption process at the same time, so her beautiful M and my boys spent some quality time at Eban House together. I have so enjoyed following M's progress as she gets to know her great big sister and gets home schooled by her mom. They always look like they are having so much fun!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Walk In The Woods

Or maybe running in the woods is more appropriate....
Peanut said he could climb a tree, but he needed a little help.
The boys posed for pictures on logs...
and on rocks...
And then we headed back out, hand in hand.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Because Sometimes You Need To Be Selfish

Ok...so a while ago I read THIS POST by Jenny and realized that I could TOTALLY relate to what she was saying in that post. Totally. You see, Jenny felt like she lost something over the past few months being a new mommy. She lost herself...and boy do I know that feeling!

As a result, I decided to start a new blog. One that's just about me. I know its selfish...and I know that I am not nearly as interesting or cute as Jellybean and Peanut...and maybe no one will read it. But I'm ok with that. The new blog (THE PURPLE FERN) is a place where I can talk about my likes and dislikes, my hobbies, my favorite and least favorite things, my interests, and my opinions (well...maybe I'll venture far enough to put my opinions on some things out there). Sure, Z, Jellybean and Peanut will probably make cameo appearances once in a while...but things over there will be mostly about me. Maybe by having the other blog, I'll start remembering just who this Mommy is when she's not making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, teaching small boys about shapes and colors, answering a million "what is dat?" questions, and telling little boys its time to go to bed now. And maybe the new blog will give me some motivation to get out those hobbies and work on some projects (if for nothing else than to give me some blog fodder).

If you're interested, stop on over and say hello.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuckered Out

A couple of weekends ago, we headed up to Minnesota to spend the weekend with my little brother and his wife. We all had a great time hanging out, playing games outside, eating good food, and playing a little Rock Band.

Poor Peanut...he was so into the game...but he just couldn't keep his eyes open!

Thanks Uncle Matt and Auntie Jasmine!
(photo by Auntie Jasmine)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh NO!!!

First he started Kindergarten...and now he has a loose tooth!!!

Where is the time going?!?!

Anyone know what the going rate is for the Tooth Fairy these days? I have a feeling I'm going to need that information soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Favorite Time of the Year

It feels like Fall around here these days. I've been holding my breath, as we always get a few fall-ish feeling days and then have a return of the oh-so-hot summer days. But, it officially feels like Fall around here now. I know that we will likely get some more of those hot (or at least really warm) days, but they are going to be pretty limited from here on out.

I LOVE IT! I love the crispness in the air. I love leaving the windows open so there's lots of fresh air. I love that I don't have to deal with all that humidity. I love that I wake up feeling a bit chilly. I love that I can go outside in jeans and a t-shirt (or sweatshirt even) and not get too hot. I love that the leaves are starting to fall from the trees (and soon the leaf-pile shuffling and jumping can begin). And I love that for at least a little while, I won't have to pay to cool (or heat) our house. The fresh air can come in freely...and if it gets a little too chilly, I can close some windows, snuggle under a homemade quilt, and light a candle or two.

This kind of weather makes me want to grab some knitting needles or my sewing machine and get to work (unfortunately, though, I don't have the space (or the time, really) to do it right now). It makes me want to pull out my stash of big wool socks and my warm felt slippers. It makes me want to wander through the woods looking for interesting mushrooms and insects to stare at for a while.

Over the weekend, I discovered that one of my very favorite Fall indulgences is back...and that means Fall is officially here!

Now I just wish that Fall would last a while longer than it usually does. I'll take this Fall weather until...oh...Christmas Eve. Then bring on the snow!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Living in Limbo

I’ve struggled for a while now about whether or not to post this to the blog…but I’ve finally decided to put it out there. First, because this (regardless of the eventual outcome) is a part of adoption; it’s a real part of the adoption of our boys. Second, because I really need a place to talk about it.

Note 1: Our boys’ history is THEIR story. I will not be posting many details about their life in Ghana, their birth family situation, or the status of their birth parents on the blog. When the boys are older, they will know their story (as much of it as I know and can share with them), but that story will be theirs to share – not mine.

Note 2: This post is for Jenny…it should help to clear up the mystery of THIS POST and THIS POST. ;o)

Our boys have a little brother. We’ve known about the existence of this little boy for most of the time we’ve known about the boys. For whatever reason, the birth family member(s) who relinquished Jellybean and Peanut did not relinquish him at the same time (hmm…let’s just call him Twinkie for right now). Since the boys have come home, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Twinkie. I wonder how he is doing, I wonder if he has sickle cell like Jellybean. If he does have sickle cell, I wonder if he will be able to have access to medical care if/when he needs it. I wonder if he will grow up to look more like Jellybean, or more like Peanut. I wonder if his personality is more like Jellybean’s or Peanut’s. I wonder if he goes to bed hungry at night…I wonder what he does during the day. I wonder if he will have access to an education like his older brothers. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.

This is an unfortunate reality for so many adoptive parents; wondering about those who are left behind for whatever reason. And it’s a reality for adoptees. Will Jellybean and Peanut feel happy that they left Ghana and were able to have access to more opportunities? Or will they feel guilty that they had more than their little brother? Since they remember their little brother, will they feel that someone is missing from their life?

All of these questions come and go. I think of Twinkie every day, but sometimes it is just in passing. Sometimes, though, these thoughts take over my mind for a while. Quite a while ago now, these thoughts started to take over…I was dreaming of him…and I was having those ‘pregnant’ dreams. Then I got a call from Anita with the news that the birth family had decided to relinquish Twinkie. He was coming to Eban House. We now had a MAJOR decision to make!

To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure HOW I felt about this new development. Z and I had just brought home the boys six months earlier. We were still getting used to being a family of 4. Adjustments have been hard at times…and the thought of adding one more small boy to the mix seemed totally overwhelming. At the same time, thinking about NOT adding Twinkie to our family if he is relinquished makes me feel tremendously sad. If Twinkie is anything like his older brothers, I know that he would add so much to our family. If he can’t be with his birth family, I want to have him here.

For a while, he was coming soon. Then extenuating circumstances caused a delay in his arrival at Eban House….and to this day he has not (yet) arrived. We think he is still coming….though we’ve decided we can’t make a final decision on our plan of action until he arrives. Nothing is for sure, after all.

I have to say honestly that I have moments of peace about the decision I *think* we are going to make. And other times I have moments of panic. Heading into another adoption at this point was never in *our* plans. Sure, maybe 5 years down the road or so…and then it was supposed to be to adopt a little girl. We aren’t in the best place to head down this road again; we’re still renting a place…we used up our savings to get Jellybean and Peanut home…and I’m still searching for that seemingly elusive full-time job.

I don’t know how this is all going to pan out in the end…but I do know that Twinkie is (and always will be) a part of our family…whether he is here with us or not.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

But its only the second week of school....

....and I'm already feeling like my little man has grown up about 2 years worth in that one week. I can't keep up!

Last week, Jellybean happily held my hand as we walked through the school hallways to find his locker. This morning, he happily held my hand as we walked across the street and into the school. But once we got inside he SHOOK HIS HAND OUT OF MINE!! I wanted to just snatch it right back...but instead, I patted the top of his head and Peanut and I slowed down just a bit to FOLLOW Jellybean through the halls to his locker.

He's gaining independence and I'm so proud of him. He's come a LONG way in just 8 short months. But, I'm a little sad...I was hoping I could hold his hand a little longer.

Hmm...I wonder what will happen next week?

He did not protest when I held his hand after school today...so he hasn't decided to be completely independent just yet. ;o)