Big Boy

He's getting bigger by the minute. Love his smile.


Reading at Just Shy of 3.5 – What?

So, I’m a teacher…or I was one before I had kids. (Does that still count?)

I taught first grade. One of my main responsibilities was to teach kids to read. After years of worrying about her development and the effects of her gestational difficulties and prematurity, S has blown me away…

I’m in awe. Shocked. Stunned.

She’s a month away from being 3.5 years old and my kid is beginning to read!!

2 weeks ago it was 7 words (which they tested at her “HIGHLY academic” preschool).

Today she’s up to about 20. Including all of our names and her color words (except brown).

While this is cool and amazing, it has also sparked a “what the heck do I do with this?” panic in her former-teacher-turned-mother!

I KNOW how schools operate. I know that my “going to be reading chapter books by kindergarten” kid is going to be so so so bored in kindergarten. And while I struggled originally to ensure that she was placed in a school that would accommodate her quirkiness, now I need to find her a place where she will continued to grow and be challenged (so she doesn’t end up being an intelligent slacker- like me!)

I should probably also mention that outside of the flashcards I made/bought her…I am not supplementing at home at this point. She takes those cards everywhere and loves to show off her new skills. She is excited about learning. All of this is from her school. I don’t like the academic focus, but she continues to thrive socially and intellectually and is happy.

But how do I, or how can I possibly sustain this momentum when it starts so early?

I have some researching to do. And money to save for private school. Apparently.

Edited: Since I do sound a bit like a stage mom, let me tell you that she was watching a movie and had a fever during this filming and I was trying to keep her on task. Notice that she can read words upside down as well…crapity crap!! :)


My Girl

She's always in motion.


Life’s A Beach!

Let me preface this post for those of you who are living someplace cold right now with a big, huge “Sorry!” :)

We went to the beach today!! It’s the END OF OCTOBER!! It was 91 degrees today.

It was L’s first time at the beach and he loved it.

First he napped:100_3856

while my beautiful S played in the sand for a while.


We flew a Kite in a Bag. Its this frame-less kite that fits into a small 8 inch by 3 inch bag. Although she thought it was cool, S wasn’t happy that she couldn’t catch the tail or hold the line by herself. She was being very fussy and then I realized (duh!) she must be hungry…My mom packed sandwiches and I don’t know what it is about the beach, but food just tastes better!

100_3862100_3863 We had lunch (no pictures, I was too busy eating!).

Then we took L down to the water. To say that he loved it would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, S loves the water, but there was a lot of screaming (and a SWAT team) at her first experience.
100_3870                                       Attempting to eat the sand. I got there JUUUUUST in time!100_3872 100_3874Beach Trip 10-27DSC00793

He would have sat there and splashed all day if I had let him!

Neither kid really napped in the way home so both of them were in bed and out by 7:15. What a wonderful, perfect day!!


Pumpkin Patch

We visited an amazing local pumpkin patch this morning with our friends.

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IMAG0521 I tried to get pictures of the two of them together. This was the best one:


My kids are apparently fascinated by straw (hay?). No amount of coaxing could get them to look up. I thought having S hold L would help. Ummm…see for yourself!

Halloween 2010

After we took a tour through the pumpkins (which S ignored) and then had song time (which S wanted nothing to do with and ran back to the pumpkins, S decided to try to be a weightlifter. She was rather unsuccessful! She tried hard though.


After the ignored story time, S and her friends got to play games. S has quite the arm and made it through the center hole 2/3 times and one of those was left handed. Yes, my friends, my kid is simply THAT cool!


After playing games, it was time for story time. Then S picked out 2 perfectly round pumpkins (she is my kid after all) and we went home. What a great morning!


He Sits!



Sort of…just kidding! This is a rare fall. He can stay up for a long time (as in half hour long) without falling. No need for a Bobby pillow here – plus he thinks it’s hilarious when he falls! What a cool guy!



So S is a silly kid. Sometimes overly so (and usually after the hours it takes her to warm up to a room), but she has been saying some really funny things lately…

Such as:

“Mama. There’s alligators in there! (Pointing to a pond). He’s gonna bite my finger. Oh no! I’m going need see doctor. And a bandy (her word of bandaid).”

S: Mama, I want to be bigger like Mommy Papa. (She’s been saying this a lot lately and we didn’t know why.)
Me: Why to you want to be bigger?
S: Because I want put juice and milk in a cup like Mommy Papa. (Oh…)

“Mama, we no have any paper toilet!”

She has also started connecting her thoughts with “Because” even when un-necessary. Its so cute!

Everything lately also has an “ee” sound added to it. Milk-ee, Bath-ee, shirt-ee, etc. And she has invented words for people and sometimes will just shout a string of words and then giggle hysterically.

She calls money “meny” or “treasure”. She puts it in her piggy bank and then rattles off all of the things she’s going to buy (with her 4 bucks!).

She has finally figured out that when someone says, “How are you?” that you are supposed to respond. Her current answer is “good”.

If you do something she likes, she’ll say, “You’re my friend!” if not - she says, “You not my friend anymore!”

I totally adore this beautiful, talkative girl!



Late Night Exodus

It was a swanky hotel. M had an event for work and had to spend the weekend in said “swanky” hotel.

The baby was a hit, as most of the attendees for this conference were older(ish) pastors and L was the only baby in sight.

S spent the afternoon with my mom (who lives about 10 minutes away) then I went to pick her up for dinner.

Dinner, was well…interesting. There were about 8 other kids there and they all ran out to play tag barefoot in the grass. S, bless her little heart, wanted to play soooooo bad. She had me walk her outside and she stood away from the other kids, watching and chewing on her fingers (her nervous indicator). She stayed out for a good 20 minutes just watching the kids play. The kids were very gracious and offered to include her often, to no avail. There was a small fountain and one of the older kids (about 8 years old) opened his wallet and gave S a penny to throw it in. Very, incredibly sweet!

Dinner was winding down and people were leaving the site we were at to head back for the night time meeting. As I gathered up my stuff, I looked up and didn’t see S. Panic ensued. I found her out where the kids were playing (who had all left) with her shoes off ready to “play”. My heart broke for my sweet, sweet girl. She takes so long to warm up and missed out…


After we returned, we went into the kid’s program. S took a long time and hugged her teddy bears so hard. This is a common sight. S near the kids, but not “with” the other kids.  I love my sweet, pensive girl. She did eventually warm up and interact with the other kids.

After the kid’s program, we went back into the main hall where S attempted to help M work. Basically this means that she messed with his sound board, but it was adorable.


There was an ice cream social, which S had a few gummy bears and some fruit…and then we headed up to our room. Beautiful. Swanky. Hotel. Room.  It was 9:30 already, so I quickly changed the kids into their jammies and tried to settle them down. While this was happening, S realized she could make L laugh, so I quickly grabbed my camera.

How I love these two!!

I did everything within my power to get S to settle down. But 9:30 turned into 11 and 11 turned into 12:30 and then a wide awake S asked to go home. We were exhausted by then, and M had to work at 7am…so we bundled up the kids and I left at 12:45. The hotel was about an hour away from our house, but it was late and I was tired. I stopped and got gas and snacks and drove home.

On the way, I spotted a drunk driver weaving and essentially driving in the center of both lanes of the Turnpike. so I spent most of the drive on the phone with 911 and Highway Patrol trying to identify the car and watch for crashes. It was scary, but I remained a safe distance behind him and was happy to make it home safely!

Oh, and btw…because we left early, I missed out on my FREE hour massage at the swanky hotel. Maybe next year!!


Feel That Breeze?

Can you feel that breeze?

No, I’m not talking about fall…because the weather is so not cooling off here in Florida.

The breeze is from the winds of change.

Change is coming.

More soon.


Legally a Family

We are legally a family! L’s adoption was finalized on Tuesday. We are so lucky and blessed beyond measure.



New Laundry Room

So about five weeks ago, we purchased a gently used washer and dryer set. It took us five weeks to find the time to dismantle the old laundry room, paint, and reinstall the new appliances. It still isn’t done, but it is functional and I can’t begin to tell you how happy it makes me to finish an entire load of laundry (wash and dry) in about an hour. Before, with our old set, each load took 2+ hours…so exciting. (Sheesh, I’m old…getting excited about appliances! Oh well!)

S discovered a new game in the laundry room. I did four loads of laundry with her “help”. Enjoy!


Teething Already

Hi, I’m L!


My teethies hurt. See?


This one riiiiight here…


This teether makes it better, but only a bit.


But my favorite teether is my thumb!


And yes, he is just 14 weeks. What a wild and different ride we’re on. Love it and love him!


This Explains So Much About Me

So this article:


Basically says that women purchase sexier clothes influenced by their hormones.

Sexier clothes when most fertile?

No wonder my wardrobe sucks!

Yet another side effect of infertility…great, just great! :)


Three Months Ago

IMG_0428Three months ago this beautiful boy entered our lives.

Three months ago, we weren’t quite sure it he would be ours.
But we wished, we prayed, we wished and prayed some more…three months ago.

Two days and three months ago, papers were signed in the hopes of giving him more than they could provide: stability, a house, an education, piano lessons, a big sister…

But don’t think for a moment that they did not love him. They loved him deeply and will always love him.

Because two days and three months ago, we witnessed love beyond measure. Pure. True. Love.

And we are eternally grateful for a new life began for us all…three months ago.


Can Someone Inform My Son?

So, L will be three months old tomorrow. Umm…so as he grows, I am even more convinced that he was at least SIX weeks overcooked. Can someone please inform him that he is only (almost) three months old?   Search results for Desktop

Because at (almost) three months old he is:

  • Almost 16 pounds
  • Laughing
  • Sitting up with only a bit of support, can sit alone for about 5 seconds
  • Smiles all day
  • Wears nine month sized clothes
  • Is in size 3 diapers
  • Rarely fusses
  • Loves to snuggle
  • Sleeps 12 hours a night

He is such a wonderful baby and we are so lucky to have this huge, handsome guy in our lives!



My kids are different. (Well they are mine…which explains part of it) but they are different.

I don’t know how to articulate these complex feelings that I am feeling, but I didn’t know what I was missing until I had a second child.

All kids are different. I get that.

All kids develop different. I get that too.

But in the thick of things, with S – I knew she would develop differently given her prematurity and other assorted (though undiagnosed) issues.

But now with L, I see what might of been and I am aching and grieving for what we didn’t have with S. I’m not sure how to reconcile this.

But I just didn’t know...

Allow me to explain.

At 5 weeks, L began to smile and coo. He would respond to others smiling and smile back, squeal with delight and now “talks and coos” constantly.

S didn’t coo until she was eight months old. She rarely smiled. Rarely. In fact as an infant, she was such a serious child, she smiled just a handful of times.

While I marvel in the fact that she did smile and coo at all, and love her even more for her quirkiness, I do worry. I’m her mom. Its in my job description.

These worries go beyond just smiling.

And while I am giddy watching my son smile, it is tinged with this wave of sadness that we didn’t have this with S. I simply didn’t know how it was “supposed” to be and thankful that I didn’t so I could love and appreciate her for her.

But now – while joyful. I am sad too.


Family Portrait By S

So S decided to draw us all on M’s new iPad. Here is our family:

  M by S N by SL by SS by S 

From L to R: M, N, L, S

Cute, tech savvy, and artistic spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E! Love her!


L’s Birth Story


It was an exhausting morning. M came to get me to ask me to get S up while he was in the shower. I nodded and then promptly went back to sleep.

M was, ahem, less than pleased.

We raced around getting S ready for school. M ended up leaving a full 45 minutes late.

I actually said the fateful words, “Today would be a really bad day for B to go into labor.”

M had an important meeting for work.
My mom (who was going to watch S) was hosting a party at her house that night.

M drove away and then my phone rang. It was B calling.

The conversation went something like this….

“Hi N? This is B. Um…we’re going to the hospital. I’m in labor. You better pack your sh*t and get here as soon as possible. Okay? Bye” There might have been more to this conversation, but this is the information I remembered.

I called M who hadn’t made it further than the local Starbucks. He turned right around.

Within the next 20 minutes, I called my mom, booked our flight, our hotel, and called the agency.

The next flight left in an hour but the airport is AT LEAST 40 minutes away. No way.

I managed to find a direct flight into Indianapolis on Southwest CHEAP. It didn’t leave until 2:20. We thought we had time. It was her first baby…and labor the first time takes a while, right?

At 1:30pm we heard that she was dilated to 5cm (contractions started at midnight) and that they were just about to break her water.

At 1:50pm B got her coveted epidural.

At 2:50pm B was dialated fully and they called in the delivery team.

At 3:07pm she began to push. A few pushes later…

At 3:23pm was born. He weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 21.5 inches long.

We were in the plane somewhere over Alabama or Tennessee.

We landed at 5pm, found our wonderful contact at the agency (who had been watching our van) got in our car, and I got the following text message.

From B: Don’t worry if I don’t answer. Phone is dying. Everything went well. See you soon.

Um….what? Everything WENT well?

I responded with: Wait? He’s here? Details please!

They responded with: 7.15 21.5 inches long Beeeeaaaaautiful baby boy. That’s all you are going to get until you get here.

The hospital was almost 2 hours from the airport and we made it in record time. At 7pm, we were in the hospital parking lot when A called asking where we were.

We went straight to the room where she was supposed to be, only to find out that she had just been moved to the baby floor and out of Labor and Delivery.

We brought flowers. Turns out B has never received flowers before.

She looked pale but content. Both she and A’s faces lit up when they spoke of the baby and this would continue for the duration of our visit. We waited for a (slight inept) nurse to bring me a band that would allow me to have access to L in the nursery. After I got the band, we went down to the nursery.

I went in, M had to stay outside (you needed a band to get in). L had just finished being fed and the nurse handed him to me. He was so beautiful! I walked over to the window to let M see him when the nurse went to check with her supervisor to see if it would be okay for M to come in to the nursery to see him.

The nursing supervisor agreed and let M in! We went into a private corner and spend some time with our new son.

We took these pics with M’s iPhone.

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It was definitely LOVE at first sight. We took him back to B’s room (although her adoption plan was clear that she didn’t want us all in the same room at the same time – she asked us to). We left little L in the room with B, stayed for a bit, but then said goodbye and left to grab some dinner and check into our hotel.

By now it was almost 10pm and we were STARVING!! We found a Taco Hell Bell and I wanted to drive through. There was a long line in the drive through, so M wanted to go it. BIG MISTAKE (and I not so secretly was right!). It was the slowest.fast.food.experience.ever! We waited a half an hour for them to make 2 tacos. NO JOKE! But since it was the only place open so late in nowhereville Indiana, we stayed. An b*tched about the wait. EVERY SECOND OF IT!! :)

Then we headed to our hotel and crashed hard. We planned on heading back at 10 the next morning.


A Poopy Father’s Day….Literally!

First off - Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband. (And my Dad too).

Our morning started out hilariously.

I was feeding Buddy (little L’s new nickname) and I knew he was poopy. What I didn’t realize until I lifted him off my lap was that his diaper had leaked and I was COVERED with poop. M saw it and was about to say, “Oh Sh*t!” but quickly changed to “Oh Shoot!”. This was then echoed by Mouse (S’s nickname from birth that I am contemplating using as her blog nickname since this initial crap is driving me bonkers) as, “Oh Sh*it!”. I about died laughing since M was trying hard not to swear, but it was what Mouse heard anyway. (Side note: He said if she is going to say sh*t anyway, that he should just say it too – we will be discussing this later. Ahem…)

Laughing hysterically, I took Buddy to change him and I swear that he was laughing at me. Or he laughed for the first time, or something – but the timing was suspect. Either way, both of us were covered in poop laughing hysterically.

His smile made me forget that I was covered in excrement.
Only for a moment though.

After the changing of the clothes of all parties, Mouse went up to Buddy and pointer her finger at him. She said, “So sad Buddy! We no poo poo on Mommy!”

Love the fact that she is already admonishing her brother and he is only six weeks old.

So in honor of father’s day, we sat down for breakfast and that lasted a whopping 10 minutes before Mouse got naked and announce she had to poop.

So I took her to the potty to “try” (read: sit for a long time, bored out of my mind for NO RESULT) and poor M ate his Father’s day breakfast alone while Buddy slept and Mouse pottied. If that isn’t the epitome of fatherhood…(kinda sad though).

After breakfast, Mouse got her long awaited haircut. It is so hot here in Florida and so I hacked off (not really – more like trimmed) a few inches.

Then she got her nails painted. M wanted to know why she was getting pampered instead of him, but I offered to paint his nails this color:


And he declined. (Wonder why?).

His father’s day did improve a bit when I made him a father’s day cake..albeit out of PlayDough – but a cake nevertheless.DSC_4212

Here he is trying to look appreciative while holding Buddy.DSC_4215

Frankly, I think he looks more annoyed, but I give him kudos for trying!

Hope his Father’s Day gets better!

Update: Quesadillas and beer for lunch while watching World Cup! Life is better…

Happy Father’s Day honey! Despite the lack of pomp and circumstance, we love you more than we could ever express! - Love, Us


A hint of things to come....

We are well, in love, and not sleeping...but blessed beyond measure.

While up at night with feeding L, I decided that our family has outgrown this blog.

So here is a hint of our big move coming as soon as I can finish the template....
New blog! When I started this blog it was to keep the family updated on S's health. It has grown into so much more than that and I wanted a new location that reflected that change.

So...coming soon...(as soon as I figure out how to manipulate code in wordpress...)

In other news:
This boy has started to smile and it lights up my world.
This girl has learned to swim (with floaties) and will be turning three on Saturday!
Sooooo happy. Sooooo tired. More soon!


In the Still of the Night

Everyone in my house is sleeping right now. Everyone but me.

I am reveling in the stillness. In the chaos that has been our lives for the past weeks, it is nice just to have a little peace and quiet.

The kids are in their beds. Notice I said KIDS. It still amazes me that this little guy is ours. Isn't he perfect?

I have so much to share:

About how much this guy is loved by his parents. All of them.
About open adoption.
About how in some ways I feel like I adopted a newborn and two teenagers at the same time and I'm trying to reconcile that.
About life in a hotel with a newborn in rural Indiana.
About life with two kids and how I never feel like there is enough of me to go around.
About love.

This blog needs a revamp and a new name. Any suggestions?

I promise to return as soon as I can. My mother in law will be here in a few days so hopefully I will be able to tear myself away from L to post more about this crazy life I'm living.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.