Friday, February 26, 2010

First Award!

I don't even know how to get the Beautiful Blogger icon over here *blushes*, but I'd like to thank Denver Jen for nominating me:)

Since I don't have too many followers, I'll just do the "7 things". I really like reading other peoples' "7 things"!

1. My husband and I met when we were 12, in 7th grade homeroom. It's a really great love story, I'll have to tell it sometime.

2. I'm an ICU nurse, but it's really just a paycheck. I don't mind coming to work, per se, and I think I'm good at it, but it doesn't really inspire me. I believe I am destined to be a midwife, but finding the time for grad school feels impossible.

3. I hate unloading the dishwasher so much, sometimes I wash the dirty dishes in the sink if the dishwasher is full of clean ones so that I don't have to put them away.

4. I make my bed everyday, even if it's 7pm. Making my bed gives me a sense that everything is under control, even if the rest of the house is taken over by toys and clothes.

5. I've lived in 7 states, and 1 Canadian province. From 6th grade until my freshman year in college, I was in a different house (or apt) each year for Christmas. It sucked.

6. I had a natural birth with Jeb, and CANNOT wait to do it again. In fact, I look forward to birth more than a baby right now, which is a pretty good reason to wait to TTC ;)

7. My favorite movie of all time is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Give Away Link

Super awesome give away at Heart Cries!


I feel like the weeks are whizzing by at the speed of light. I keep waiting for everything to slow down, just a little bit. I think after next week when X is over we can chill or once X month has passed things will slow down. IT NEVER SEEMS TO HAPPEN. As soon as we get past X month or X event, obviously another one pops up. Appointments, B travelling for work, birthdays, oil changes (I really need to get my oil changed!!), dinners with MIL because she doesn't get to see Jeb all that much, play dates squeezed in because I haven't seen my friends in months, etc. Oh, and working full time nights. And owning a small business. And being landlords. And keeping a household running (somewhat) smoothly. And the toddler that simultaneously makes life faster and more intense, and also throws a huge wrench into any sense of efficiency when it comes to taking care of anything else.

There are ~3 evenings a week that are strictly family time, and I guard that time fiercely. (The other evenings are: work-3 MIL-1) They are my favorite. I wish all day everyday were Family Time. Jeb loves Family Time. I can see it written all over his face that he just loves nothing more than when the 3 of us are together, just being together. I feel the same way.

It's hard to find the balance of enjoying the here and now, when here and now is such a whirlwind. My biggest fear is that I'll look back and think I didn't enjoy the craziness of a young family while it was happening. There are many days when I resist and resent the craziness. I want just a little more down time. A little more prep time. A little more room for spontaneity. More mornings in bed lounging with my husband while the nanny makes breakfast for Jeb and puts out fresh coffee and fruit for whenever we make our way downstairs........ Ok, that might be a little much.

So, things are not going to slow down. In fact they will probably continue to speed on full blast for some time. It might sound silly, but this is actually just kind of dawning on me. Life will continue to be fast, and intense, and full, and I have no choice but to keep up. And enjoy it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

An Anniversary

12 years ago today, I spoke with Colin's parents for the first time.

I had called the agency just a week before asking for profiles. They sent me 4, and assured me that I could see many more if nothing jumped out at me. But G&D's profile did just that; it JUMPED out at me. When we would speak to waiting families in years to come, they always asked me what it was about the profile that made me love them. Honestly? It was really colorful and bright. That's it. I wish there was something more profound that I could tell Colin, but the truth is is that I was drawn to it's brightness. So, I told the agency I'd like to talk to G&D.

On Feb 12 they called me and we talked for about 15 minutes. I had a list of questions that now seem really superficial, but that's how you just start getting to know someone -- with awkward small talk. I told them I felt badly that they had to go through so much to be parents, that they had to be questioned by a teenager. They told me later that they were really impressed that I sympathized with them so early on.

There was chemistry from that first phone call, and that was that. I told the agency that I officially "chose" them, and they came to visit me 2 weeks later. We talked weekly until I delivered.

I took so much for granted. I was committed to placing and it would confuse me when they would talk in "ifs" instead of "whens". Now I know they were being respectful of my right to parent, but at the time I thought geez, why don't these people believe me? They would use adoption-sensitive language and I thought why don't they just talk normal? One time D used the word "co-parent" as in, not wanting to, and I thought who comes up with these words? obviously we're not co-parenting... he's going to be YOURS. I had a keen sense that I was holding all the cards; I'd never had that much power and it was uncomfortable. Everyone held their breath around me, including my family. From that first day I wanted to tell everyone to chill out. I'm placing this baby and that's that. (hmm, tangent much?)

12 years. Man, time flies.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Well, it's the 6th. I'm 30.

I'm kind of struggling with it. I guess the notion of closing the chapter of My Twenties is really sad for me.

I loved my 20s. I don't have 1 single regret. I got an education and established a career, fell in love, moved out of state for 5 years and then came back 'home', started a family, and had a complete blast all throughout. The last 10 years have been so great, I want more of them.

I know my 30s can and will be awesome too, but I'm sad about letting go of being Very Young.

I wish time would slow down a little. I'm suddenly very aware of the fact that this is a one-way street. Everything is going way too fast.

When I start getting panicky, I try to focus on the feeling of fulfillment. My 20s were absolutely fulfilling. My 30s (and the rest of my life) will be fulfilling as well. My 30s will likely be quieter, or at least loud in a different way, like less parties and more babies :) And I imagine that they will be very family-centric. It sounds fabulous, and very fulfilling.

Deep breath. There's no changing it anyway, I'm 30. So, I'd better deal.

An overnight date in the city with the Husband on Monday will certainly help ;)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Birth Order in Birth Families

When I was 19, and Colin was 17 months old, I attended an awesome retreat for birthmothers. It was the first time I was even in the same room with another birthmother; the isolation melted away in a puddle of tears. It was incredible. One of the biggest surprises, to me, was that there were women there who had placed under very different circumstances than me. I know that sounds very naive, but I was the classic teenager in a crisis pregnancy who then became the "angel" (gag) for an infertile couple. At the retreat, I met women who had placed multiple children, who were already parenting several children and then placed a surprise baby, and a married couple who had placed. At first, I'll admit it, I was judgemental.

I looked at the woman who had placed 3 times and thought: How in the world did you keep letting this happen?

I looked at the woman who was already parenting several children and thought: Really? This is the one you can't handle? How is that child going to feel years from now knowing his siblings were cool to "keep", but he wasn't?

I looked at the married couple and raged: Holy crap! If I had been remotely close to marriage I would never have given my son away! How is your kid going to handle that?

It took me about an afternoon to notice that despite different circumstances, there was a universal theme. Every single woman there placed because she didn't feel ready/able/prepared to parent her baby. Every single woman there wanted a different life for her baby than she was ready/able/prepared to give. I was humbled, and cast my judgements to the wind.

Now, once again, parenting Jeb puts a spin on my thoughts. I'm certainly not picking those judgements back up, in fact, I've become much better at not judging in general. Quite frankly, I don't much care to hear the reasons another woman feels the need to place. I trust she knows what she's doing, and only really think about the support I hope she has. (Obviously coercion, which I abhor, is another story.)

No, the spin parenting puts on it is just this: when I placed, I knew there was something, many things, many wonderful things Colin would get/experience from a stable household that I was not able to provide at the time. I didn't understand what those things were, but I knew they were real, and that he deserved them. It was his birth right to have parents who were bonkers to be his parents. Now, though? I get it. And so, it's wild for me to read blogs, or hear stories of women who were already parenting, and place a subsequent baby. They know. They know exactly what they are giving up. They know exactly what it feels like to snuggle, kiss, caress, love, cradle, nurse, lose your patience but regain it in that toddler's smile, etc. I know that those women's intentions are as pure as mine were, but their strength far exceeds the strength I needed back in 1998.

I'll reiterate, that for a woman feel the need to place a baby while she's parenting other children, is an especially incredible act of love. I wonder though, how that changes the experience of the adoptee. Does that throw an extra question mark into the adoptee's process? Again, no judgements, I am only wondering. Anyone who has read my previous posts, knows that my birthson struggles with the fact that he's adopted, so I am certainly on no High Horse.

Over the years I have learned that adoptees feel a range of emotion about their situations, and I've come to conclude there really is no sure fire way to make an adoptee feel peachy about the whole thing. Many do, don't get me wrong, but it's impossible to tell at the moment of placement how that child will cope with it later in life.

I think I've answered my own question. You just don't know, so you do your best.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Operation Treadmill 2010

OT2010 is yielding slow, but steady results. Weight sure doesn't come off as fast as it did even 5 years ago. It's been 5 solid weeks of eating less calories, and exercising 30-35 minutes per day 5 days a week. I'm not even sure of how much I've lost (maybe 6 pounds?) because I don't own a scale and only weigh myself periodically at work. My clothes feel a bit different, but it's not like I'm fitting into any of my old jeans.

BUT, I am still enjoying my Treadmill time very much. I've also added in some Jillian Micheals workouts (OUCH!) to rest my recurring shinsplints. I feel better, and am not discouraged by the slow(er) progress. Hopefully slow changes will = lasting changes.