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Monday, January 30, 2012

I think I Preferred the Other Wait More

We've had four days to get use to the idea that a baby will be here in about forty four days. We're getting all his furniture together and have a small stock pile of necessities in case he comes early. We're set. I basically ran around the baby section of Target squealing for 25 minutes. Then I can across the preemie clothes section and I held a tiny onesie up to W and remembered how he use to swim in it and so started the waterworks. In the middle of the store. Super classy...

I wouldn't be so stressed if I didn't have the musical hanging over my head. Oh yeah, and we're having work done on our kitchen in two weeks. It'll only take a week, but it's just one more thing adding onto the pile of stress. Getting this done before the baby comes home is imperative because our hundred year old plaster wall is crumbling apart and we don't have a dishwasher. Seeing as this kid is going to be 100% bottle fed, a dish washer is a necessary upgrade. Yeah, we don't currently have a dishwasher. Our house is insanely old and the kitchen is all original. It's very quaint and charming, but it's 2012 and momma needs a dishwasher.

Then, on top of all of this stress is the Big Worry. Is the birth mom going to change her mind? What if, when we meet she doesn't jive with us and she decides to parent or have someone in her family adopt the baby instead? I'm plagued with worry. We have this kid's furniture. We have a name for him. What if he doesn't come home with us?

What if he doesn't come home with us? I have fortysome days to obsess over this. Grand...

Friday, January 27, 2012

One Ringy Dingy

Well hot diggity... We got The Call.
The woman who was checking out our profile last week chose us. We're over the moon excited about this turn of events. So much so, I'll be recapping the last 36 hours in bullet form.

- I was at work when I got the call. I ran over to my boss because I had to tell her before I could get on the phone and make enough noise out of my mouth hole to tell Neil the news.I toyed with the idea of breaking the news to him in a big reveal type style. But that's not really how we roll. So I picked up the horn and told him point black.

-We ran right over to our agency's office and jammed a cheeseburger (bribery of choice this week) in front of Lil' W to keep him content while we signed all the paperwork. We read all about D, the birth mother and learned all about her. I took an immediate liking to her. I can't WAIT to meet her! We also learned that I will be completely and utterly outnumbered as the only female (human) inhabitant of out house for quite some time. It's another awesome little boy for us!

- I swear I'm not lying when I say I felt an instant connection with this woman's story. From the moment we were asked if we wanted to be shown to her, I knew this was our situation.. I don't believe in signs, but I do believe in feelings and I just had a feeling - deep in my spine. This was the first situation that we were informed of that I really got my hopes up for. And lookie how it turned out!

- We went public with this information pretty much right away.We partially fear (as I'm sure everyone does at this stage in the game) that she'll change her mind and we'll have to un-tell everyone. But you know what? So What?!?! We were robbed of so many happy big announcement moments with W's scary birth. So we're reveling in the good and hoping for the best. If she does change her mind, we'll be supportive and happy for her and her beautiful baby boy. And yes, I'll un-tell all the people I told with my head held high.

- Baby Boy 2.0 is due mid-March (approx 47 days away, if you're counting) so we're in zomgscramble mode now. Yes, I said ZOMG. Deal.

- This weekend will be a whirling dervish of Home Depot and Ikea and Target and Babies R Us. And I'm loving every second of it. If I could run up and down the street screaming at the top of my lungs, I would. In fact, I'm surprised how cool and collected I've been on the outside. The inside is a mess of nerves and emotions and I need to drink more wine to settle things down. *gulp*

I'm sure I'll be back with more complex feelings and ideas and really deep thoughts a little later, but right now, this best explains how I feel:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Human Resources

I've been reading a lot of articles recently about moms tearing each other apart for any number of issues (stay-at-home vs working, home school vs public vs montessori, potty training, diapering etc...) and I just need to get it out there that it drives me insane. I partially blame the internet. It gives people with nasty 'tudes the ability to berate anyone and everyone for little reason, all from the comfort of their couch. It's the same thing that gives someone insane bravado-induced road rage, I'm sure. And it makes me insane. Maybe it's my inner hippy, but why can't we all just get along (man)?

I once overheard two mommies at the playground heatedly arguing (yes, arguing) over who's almonds were more organic. Arguing.over.a.snack. I mean, come on ladies. Let's retract our claws and let each other slide a little. I also read some comments on a Huffington Post essay where a mom mentioned her four year old still wore pull ups to bed because he was still working on overnight potty training. And holy moses. You'd have thought she proclaimed she was aiming to raise the next Hitler, the way people pounced on her. More than a few people out and out called her and her son retarded. Jeeze!

I just keep picturing that scene from Mean Girls when the girls are making all kind of wild cat noises and lunging at each others' throats. It's a jungle out there and we're tearing each other to pieces.

When in the office or a professional environment, I doubt these mean moms rip their coworkers apart. So what is it about mommy-world that makes people go insane? Is one's penchant for making other moms feel like failures just a litmus test for their own insecurities? Or do some moms really think that they have a right to be a buttinski on other people's parenting? Who is anyone to tell another hard working mom that she's not raising her kids right? What nerve.

Maybe the only thing keeping these mean moms from going berserk at work / in the real world is the fact that they have an HR department (or authority) to answer to. If they walked up to another woman's desk in the office and told her she was putting apostrophes in the wrong places then swiped all the paper off her desk and cracked the keyboard over her knee, mean mom would surely have to take a trip up to HR for a little talk. Or if mean mom was at the doctor's office getting a mole looked at and told the doctor that his exam room wasn't feng shui and upturned everything, she'd have some splainin' to do.

We can't very well organize an HR department for all of motherdom. But we can try to install a little HR in the back of our brains. Next time you find yourself forcing your point of view at another hard working mom, or next time you feel the need to vocally (or type-illy) berate another mom holding it together the best way she knows how, take a minute to check with your inner HR department. And maybe keep your nasty comment to yourself. Afterall, let blah blah blah that casts the first stone blah blah glass house be judged - or whatever that saying is.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mental Note

Mental Note: Even if the child doth protest too much, insist that he put underpants on before eating oatmeal.

Says Who?

I saw the strangest thing on tv last night. I was watching a show called Taboo (I think). It was documenting peoples' outlandish habits. Apparently there's a subculture of women out there who carry around baby dolls like they're their own babies. Hey, who am I to judge? It's not nearly as strange to me as the woman who married the Eiffel Tower or the woman who left her husband, the Berlin Wall for a common garden fence. But  (if I can be judgy for a minute) it's pretty close.

The fact that these women fill a hole by carrying around super creepy dolls like they're real children doesn't bother me. What got me hot and bothered was the narrator. At the end, during the recap, the narrator says in a real sad voice, "Fate has determined that these women could never have children..." In this age of so many choices when it comes to infertility, why did these women (and their consenting husbands) turn to super creepy piles of plastic to fill their mothering needs?

It really got me thinking. Why isn't adoption an option for people? And how many people that can't "have" children don't see adoption as an option? Does the trepidation fall in the man's lap or the woman's?  I know everyone has their own opinion, but it was just such a natural decision for us. I listened to nature. Having W almost killed both of us. So when the conversation of having more kids came up (I remember specifically having this conversation. We were still in the NICU with W), I said "I'm not doing this again. It's too risky. Lets adopt the rest of our babies." My husband looked and me, thought for a second and said "Ok, lets." Done and done. The conversation was as natural as if I asked if he wanted a reuben for lunch.

I know that everyone has a different point of view, but I have a hard time seeing how "fate deciding women can't bear children" makes them see that carrying a doll around is the only answer. I wish I could watch their descent into madness story to see how they arrived at this behavior. It fascinates me to no end.

Do you know someone who feels/felt adoption wasn't an option for them? Or do you maybe have a family member that doesn't agree with your decision? Are there people out there who see adoption as unnatural as carrying around a plastic doll? I'd love to hear your opinions/experiences. We met very little hesitation (to our faces) when we told people we were adopting, aside from normal fears drawn from not knowing the process.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Call, not The Call might be the hardest part

We got A Call yesterday. Our social worker from our agency wanted to present us to someone but our profiles didn't quite match. So she had to run it by us before giving the ok to show our profile. This has happened several times to us and each time brings a unique rush of emotions. I've done a really good job of not getting excited for any of them. But there's something about this one that's really sticking with me. Something about the birth mother's story grabbed my heart. And the birth father is still around, so to speak. So the baby could have a chance to know both of his/her first parents. And the most silly reason this situation resonates with me is because the baby is due in March. All of our birthdays fall in a five week March to April span in this house and we call it our birthday season. It's like having a month long birthday party and we love it. It's just a silly tradition but I can't help but take it as a sign.

I'm not expecting to be chosen by this birth mother. The odds are generally not in our favor. But I can't help going against better judgment in hoping she does. There's just something about this situation that latched onto my heart. It's the first one I will be truly sad about not being matched with. We're being presented this morning, so my fingers are crossed.

Knowing that we're being presented to birth mothers makes The Wait so much harder. We're always being shown to "someone." Last month for instance, we were shown to three birth mothers. And that's awesome. But KNOWING that someone is looking at us causes so much more stress.

So off I go on my day, trying hard to not look like a frazzled Cathy Comic frame. And trying unsuccessfully to not think about adding another super awesome birthday to our nonstop birthday extravaganza month.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Avoidance is no Longer Acceptable

We bit the bullet over the past few days and finally painted the baby's room. It was very hard for me, for some reason. I've yet to figure out why. I guess because it forces me to acknowledge that no one has deemed us right to raise their babies. Every month we're shown to several people and no one picks us. I know we're awesome, so it's hard for me to accept.
The bedroom is striped and adorable. It's going to come together fast, now. We're using W's old crib and area rug. So I just need to find a few pieces of furniture. We're attempting to go used on this kid's room. There's SO much lovely stuff out there on craigslist and in consignment shops. But shall those intentions fail, we'll be loading the wagon up with Ikea for sure. Either way, I'm really going to enjoy putting a proper nursery together. We didn't get to do that with W. We moved into our house two weeks before he was born and I was too sick or spending too much time at the NICU to get it together. So it was all just an after thought. This process is very cathartic for me. Getting started was the hard part. Now I'm a roll that can't be stopped.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Racism in America from a Completely Different Point of View

Today is a day set aside to celebrate Martin Luther King's legacy and it really has me thinking this year. Baby #2 is going to be African American or biracial so I've been stewing over things I don't have to think about as much with W. I mean, of course we'd teach both of our kids about Dr King and his dream that one day, people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. But I'm wondering how it will make them feel, and if those feelings will be different for each child. Will #2 worry about being judged by the color of their skin? And if so, will I, as a mother be able empathize properly with them?
I know when I think of the Jim Crowe laws and segregation and how recently they were present, I feel sick and ashamed that one human collective could treat another so terribly.
photo credit

 But how will it make #2 feel? Will I ever be able to truly empathize with them? Identify with their feeling? And how do I protect them from racism that still exists today (seriously people, it's 2012)? If  I can't shield them from it, I have to prepare them for it and give them the tools to rise about it with grace. Will I, as a white person be able to adequately do this? Sometimes I fear that I take too much for granted or block out too much hate with my rose colored glasses.
Can I teach #2 to simply ignore racism? I don't think so. Sometimes it's prevalence knocks me off my feet. Just the other day, we were outside talking with an older man from the neighborhood and he was telling us a story about a family that happened to be biracial and he called the children "lil' creamies." We both gasped and rolled our eyes at him, but he just went right on with the story like it was nothing.  The truth is, there is no protecting #2 from most situations because it's completely omnipresent.

I mean seriously... how insulting is this?!?
All we can do as parents is help our babies to learn that  it's the content of your character that matters, and not the color of your skin. And if they run into someone who sees color as a reason to think less of you or make fun of you, they're... well, they're big dummies and should be stamped as evolutionary throw-backs (ok, so maybe that's just adding to the problem a little). I think I better take a hard look at the path I plan to take as the parent in a multi racial family.

It's not my job to change the minds of people who see color first and judge based on stupid stereotypes. It is my job to make sure my children understand that some people think this way, and that it's not right. Do I teach them to ignore it, raise their chins and rise above? Or is that too passive? Is it ok for my children to just turn their cheek to someone saying racist things? I think it is. As long as they know that it is always safe to bring those hurtful things to me so we can discuss what they mean and why someone might say them.

What do you think? I need a little sage advice on this topic. I tend to obsess about things out of my control.
If anyone is reading this... throw your two cents my way.

Stinky Habits Die Hard

I am at a loss. Little W is doing so well with his potty training. He loves peeing on the potty and even wakes up dry several mornings a week. But that's about as far as it goes. The kid poops himself (sometimes two or three times) every day. I'm so tired of cleaning the poop up. And I'm at a loss as to how to get him to do it on his potty. He knows that poop's supposed to go in the potty. But he makes zero attempts to put it in there. Grumble. I'm at the point where I'm considering something like taking a toy away when he blatantly makes zero attempts to make it to the potty. I know that goes against EVERY piece of advice in the world. But no amount of rewards seem to sway him (seriously... ice cream sundaes for breakfast, people).
Any pointers from you seasoned veterans? Was your kid scared to drop his deuce in the potty as well?

W and I sing this song all the time. So he gets it. He just doesn't care. He's such a boy.

  Over the Rhine as heard on WXPN's Kid's Corner,
 This song kills us and it's so catchy. So be careful, you'll likely be singing it to yourself in the market or in the kitchen at work. If you ever have a chance to check out Kid's Corner on XPN, you should. It's very easy to listen online. They even have an app so you can listen on your mobile phone. It's a great kid's program. We listen every night at bath time. We're big fans, if you can't tell.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Help... I'm stuck in the internet and I can't get out...

Shasta on a shingle. It's dangerous internet rabbit holes like the one I've fallen into today that makes me really REALLY wish for a girl.
And I blame you, Mini Boden!

Don't look at me like that, Old Navy. You're just as guilty with your extremely accessible prices...
 But then again, dressing little boys can be just as darling.
As if you can't tell, I have a deep love for all things Boden

*head palm*
Get me off the internet before I do something stupid like buy things!!

From the Mouths of Babes

Little W is still sick and relegated to the couch. But the only way to keep him convalescing quietly is to rot his brain with cartoons which I'm not too keen on, but it's a small victory. He was just fully engulfed in Dinosaur Train (which I actually really like) when he kind of stopped staring slack-jaw at the tv, walked over to me and said (not quite so eloquently) That Buddy doesn't look like his brothers or sister but they're still a family. It was actually was more like, "Buddy's orange and Tiny's green and they're sisters." So I might be making a stretch in my assumption that he fully grasps the idea that family comes in all forms and love is love, regardless et cetera, but it doesn't matter. He has melted my weary heart into a big, sloppy puddle. Anyone have a mop?
Thank you, Dinosaur Train

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Pity Party Train Rolls On

I think my mood is starting to infect those around me. Blame it on being stuck in the house with a sick three year old (ohmygodhe'salmostthree?!) since Saturday or the pile of housework I'm avoiding or my unease over leaving my job in a few weeks... or a combination of the above. Any way you shake it, I'm a grump. And I'm bringing the whole house down with me. I need to shake out of it. How do you chase your black clouds away? I'd love some pointers. The obvious "going to the gym" is out because I cant very well leave W at the kid gym section with this nasty virus. And it's too cold to lug out the old jogging stroller. So what is left? And please don't say "eat a whole pumpkin pie." Because I've considered that and believe me, it's only going to make my issues worse.

Another issue adding to my gloom is my dissatisfaction with my writing. I use to be such a better writer. I don't seem to have the focus to pick a topic that's weighing on me and really get to the root of it. Nor do I have the imagination to even think of good topics to write about. What happened to me?

So because I have absolutely nothing to say right now, I'm going to leave you with the blog post I submitted as 2011's Best of Adoption Blogs. I know Kristen doesn't write about "open" adoptions too frequently, but this post resonated with me because it was a humorous break from The Wait. So often I read blogs like mine - with anxious pre-adoptive parents navigating The Wait. Her blog, Rage Against the Minivan is an escape for me. Not to mention a good source of reference as we're tossing around the idea of doing a Haiti adoption for #3.
In The Bedroom as a Metaphor for the Neglected Inner Sanctuary, I was SO relieved I wasn't the only one with a terrible, terrible secret. My bedroom is shameful. The rest of my house (or at least, the parts you can see) are fairly well kept. Organized chaos is a fair assessment. But my bedroom is shameful. Shameful. I'm just glad that there's proof in writing that I'm not the only one.So follow the link above and join me in taking a look at our rooms and examining if they reflect the level of care we give to ourselves. In my case, it sadly does.
This is what I dream of my room looking like:
A Cozy Ikea Bedroom
And this is what it currently resembles:
New York Times photo by Bruce Quist
 So I have some serious work to do.

Monday, January 9, 2012

That Pretty Much Covers It

I don't have much to say these days. I'm getting tired of waiting. Plain and simple. I know I should empower myself and redo our profile and get the room ready for baby. But I just don't feel like it. I think a steady case of the gloomies has crept in and is keeping me from being productive. So because I'm in a woah-is-me kinda mood, here's a list of things hanging over my head in my black cloud:

Every time I think about starting our profile book over, I get so overwhelmed. I need to suck it up and take control. But blah.

Not sure if this is a local or national thing, but as you probably know, the homestudy now has to be done every 12 months. Grand. This partially annoys me (because we're on such a tight budget) but it partially excites me, too. At least I'll have something to do.

We're having our kitchen slightly redone in a few weeks. It's just bare bones aesthetic stuff that's necessary for the well being of our house (ok, and throwing a dishwasher in for good measure. Yes, we don't have a dishwasher. Gasp.). But we're still going to have to put the adoption on hold while it's being done. It should only take 2 weeks at most. But that's still painful for me. What if we miss our birth mother in that period of time? Guh. At least our kitchen will be (barely) in the 20th century when it's done. And at least we'll have a proper wall instead of a crumbling plaster mess. Maybe some before and after pictures will follow.

Little W has a monster cold. We've been waiting for him to come down with it for a long time. He's the last kid in our small circle to get it. And it's a doozy. He topped off last night with a 104.5 fever. But he's such a strong little tropper. Still smiling and polite and generally happy with life and sleeping through the night (and most of the day). I'm just waiting to come down with it, too. So being stuck in the house the past three days is not helping my mood.

So blah blah blah... I want my baby. That's really all it comes down to. I've been patient for a while now. And I'm having a weak moment. I just want to yell into oblivion that we've been waiting what I deem to be long enough and I'm tired of it and I want my little bundle of sweetness. I want my phone call.

I know I sound whiny and obnoxious. But whatevs. I'm allowed weak moments.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Keeping Busy

I find that it helps to keep busy during this stupid waiting-for-a-baby-period. Ok, it's not stupid. It's just... well, annoying. So I'm doing things to take up time. Lots of time. Especially since I'll be leaving work in a few weeks. Hobbies are good. Like this blog, for instance. It takes up a few minutes of my morning. I don't think anyone even reads it. But it's nice to get things out there, regardless. I'm of the frame of mind that if I load my schedule up with important commitments that take up a lot of my time, we'll surely get The Call. Like, if your food's taking forever to get to the table at a restaurant, you walk to the bathroom and it's sure to come as soon as you walk away.

So for that reason, 2012 marks my anticlimactic return to the world of singing in front of people in costumes and makeup. Rehearsals for The Music Man started last night. And much to my dismay, somewhere in my 20's, I turned from a 1st soprano to a very low alto. I didn't know that could happen. But I thought, what the heck. It'll be an adventure. Well, it turns out I'm a horrid alto. After so many years of being a loud, bossy soprano, I'm completely inept when it comes to maintaining any sort of harmony. So as my fellow altos were picking the music up right away and singing in perfect harmony, there I was, in the front row wailing away like a cat in heat. I'm surprised no one threw a shoe at me. Needless to say, W's naps will be spent with me tinkering away at the piano trying to become a respectable member of the group.

In March, when my caterwauling is complete (I mean, when the musical has wrapped), I'm going to take a photography class for credits at my community college. I'm thinking about making it my career once the kids are in school, so I'm going to jump in and see if it's something I can really get lost in.

So when that wraps up, it'll be June. And if there isn't a baby by June, I'm going to take up drinking.
I kid, I kid. I'd like to say that I'm going to throw myself into a daily gym routine in the mean time. But I don't see that truly happening. But I do have to say, being able to drop your kid at the play area at the gym is a lovely respite for those days you consider opening that bottle of wine before 10am. So maybe I should start lacing up more often. Dropping the kid off for a few minutes, guilelessly watching Rachel Zoe on mute and listening to Howard Stern... maybe I should runnotwalk there right now!

Have you all filled your schedules similarly? What kind of things are you doing to make The Wait go by faster?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Aaaaand..... exhale

Phew. This girl here is glad the holidays are over. Not because I'm a grinch or anything... I love and all the frenzy it brings. Especially now that Little W is old enough to get the whole Santa thing. It was a blast. But it was tiring as heck. Thank goodness for online shopping (and double thank goodness for free shipping).
My husband, Neil was home with us for two weeks so we tried to fill every day with fun stuff for W. We soaked up all the holiday joy-based goodness in Philly including eating our way through Reading Terminal Market. In fact, we ate our way through everything these past 6 weeks. And it shows. Yikes!
We had to tear him from the train display at Reading Terminal. 
Helping Santa prepare all the Christmas magic was more fun than I ever imagined. By Christmas eve, W was worked into a hot Santa lather and on his very best behavior (by 2.5 year old's standards). And I was glad for this because I was desperate to document picture perfect family memories to slather all over our updated profile.

I failed miserably. Christmas came and went in a blaze of wrapping paper and tight schedules. Narry a memory was documented in focus.

This is seriously the best Christmas morning shot I got. Kid was on full throttle.
New Year's Eve was quiet in our house. We took down all the Christmas decorations, inside and out. Space is a precious thing in our busy little house, so as much as I love my tree and our decorations, it all I needed my space back. After everything was back to normal in our house (except my waistline), we packed all creatures great and small up and headed down to the river for a peaceful stroll. These unseasonably warm afternoons are soooo appreciated (sorry polar bears. I promise to donate to the WWF later this year).

Don't let the serene scene fool you. W was probably screaming about fish poop and trying to jump in the river.
But I did get to sneak of on my own for a minute to do a little nerdy photography.

 I love me some global warming

Later that evening, after W was zonked, Neil and I had a sushi making date followed by gorging ourselves on our creations. Holy soy sauce overload! We watched bad tv and rung in the new year like old farts.But it was a perfect night. I happily said hasta las pasta to the wild and crazy nights out of my youth. Well, I'm still pretty youth-ish. 32 ain't ancient, but after chasing a toddler around all day, we felt pretty antiquated.
At least I made it until midnight.

So that was my holiday in a nutshell. In case you were wondering. And now here we are in twenty-dozen. I'm hoping for big things this year. Maybe this will be the year I make it back down to a size 10 (ha!). And I'm hoping beyond hope that this is the year our baby finds us. I don't think my heart can manage another year of The Wait. It's so painfully obvious that little W feels the same way. He wants a baby as much as we do, I think. We got him a baby doll for Christmas and he's very into making sure it's healthy. Repressed NICU memories, perhaps?

"Lungs sound good, mommy."
So here's to 2012 and here's to friends known and unknown who are navigating The Wait with us. This is going to be our year, I can feel it.