Thursday, December 12, 2013

pregnancy: thus far

Pregnancy has been an interesting experience.  Never did I expect it to be a piece of cake.  In fact I've had so many medical "issues" with my body in the past that I almost expected pregnancy to be tricky.  I'm not completely naive about what pregnancy and delivery can look like, heck I've been watching my friends have babies for about 11 years now.  It is really interesting though to discover first-hand some of the "beautiful" aspects of pregnancy.

In the beginning I felt like I had the flu 24/7.  No I didn't throw up, but I always felt like I was going to.  Because I was constantly nauseous I was really tired.  I mostly just wanted to sleep.

One of my very favorite discoveries (cough, cough) is best summed up by something Justin tells people.  He said that for years and years he heard about this mystical pregnancy "glow".  He now knows that this "glow" is actually a haze of toxic gas that follows me wherever I go!  I wish I was kidding too, but even my kids started to ask me if I had a tooting problem.  I told them that it isn't actually me tooting but that the baby is tooting and obviously we will need to teach them to have better manners when they are born.  :-)

We rented a Doppler so we could hear the baby's heart beat whenever we wanted to.  It has eased my mind through this whole thing and the boys and I have sure had fun.  They love to sit and listen to the babies heart beat, then mine, and then we spend some time listening to each of their hearts beat.  It really has been fun to see my children have this very new experience of building a family.

Speaking of the boys.  They have collectively decided that if this baby is a boy it will be named Scooter and a girl will be named Rainbow!  Landon will switch between these two names and talk to my stomach.  While I am not going to publicly say that those are bad names (heaven forbid I offend any "Rainbows" out there, we will NOT be naming this baby either of those names.

We have chosen to not find out the gender of the baby.  We have our reasons, but the biggest of these is that we think it is fun to have that surprise at the end of the experience.  It drives everyone else around us mental that we aren't going to find out!

I felt like I didn't really look pregnant until last Monday.  I went to bed Sunday evening looking chunky and woke up on Monday morning looking pregnant!!!  Even my girlfriends all agree that I "popped"!

I spent many many years coming to terms with my infertility.  In fact I would say it was a full seven years before I could say that I was actually completely alright with my lot in life.  Though I had completely accepted my infertility there was a single aspect of pregnancy that I was unbelievably jealous about.  I wanted to know what it felt like to have a baby move inside of me.  To have that connection to a life that nobody else gets to experience.  To be that mother carrying a child is such a special privilege.  I was BY FAR the most excited to feel this baby kick!  It is literally what I've been waiting for the whole time!  Everyone said it would feel like flutters, a slight movement.  I was feeling NOTHING.  Believe me I think I would have even counted gas bubbles as movement, but my stomach was almost rigid.  The night before I hit the 20 week mark I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and all of a sudden a was poked from the inside out!  My eyes sprang open and it happened one more time!!!  I immediately started to cry.  It had happened.  I could feel my baby move inside of me, a literal dream come true.  I have to admit that since then I have been quite selfish almost willing this baby to move more often.  I want to feel them all the time!  Last week Justin was able to feel one small kick, but it will be a beautiful thing to share this with him as well.

This whole thing is flying by so quickly!  I am so used to having to wait years for a baby that it seems that 9 months is no time at all!  Yes we actually did get all of our children quickly through adoption, especially when you consider how lucky we are to have been chosen for 3 beautiful babies, but from the start of the paper work to placement it was over a year and a half for all of them and longer for Cameron.

Overall this experience has been incredible, breathtaking, and miraculous!  I never said that I wanted the "joy" of pregnancy and delivery.  I have always yearned for the "experience" of pregnancy and delivery and I still cannot believe that it is happening to me!  

baby scooter

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Being a parent is hard.

I am constantly worrying about my kids.  I worry about what others do to them.  I worry about what they do to others.  I worry about the choices that they will make, and I worry about the choices that they won't have.  I also worry that I won't know what to do, or how to react in every one of these situations.

One of my fears has come true in the last week.

At the beginning of the school year we had a lot of trouble with busing for Evan.  His day was too long and it was not a situation that he could continue with.  We managed to switch companies and it seemed to be working well.  The schedule was better and he was riding with other kids.  The problem is that his chair loads in the back and he had to sit with the middle schoolers.  I was worried about what he would learn from kids so much older than him.  Little did I know it would be so much worse than I imagined.

I have a hard time getting my kids to really open up and talk about the "deep" things in their life.  I mostly attribute this to their age and attention span.  On our way to the hospital on Monday for a sleep study I could tell Evan was in a mood to talk.  I turned all distraction off and we talked.  My heart broke when I discovered that he has been bullied for several weeks by some of these middle school age kids.  My sweet sensitive 6 year old is being bullied by teenagers!  The saddest part about this is that Evan told me that it was all ok because he now put himself down with them and now they like him.  My 6 year old even used the phrase, "Mom, its ok.  I have to do this because they are the cool kids and I have to fit in with them."  He then went on to put himself down for the next 15 minutes.  I couldn't sway him to say anything positive.  Evan saw my reaction to this information and kind've shut down.  The part that makes me the most sad is that he thinks that these jerks are his friends now, because he has began to feed into their game of bully Evan.  This has come on the heels of some behavior issues at home and school in the last couple weeks that now makes sense.

I called Evan's vice principal, who I have a good relationship with, and told her what was going on.  She was alarmed and to my pleasure started to investigate immediately!  Both schools administration has been very much on top of the situation and the guilty parties have been discovered.  Evan's vice principal even rode the bus with the kids today along with a speech to all the kids on the bus about what is appropriate behavior and what is not.  I am a little disappointed that they chose to leave the seating arrangements "for now" and "see how it goes", but hopefully these bullies have been scared enough by multiple principals to change their behavior.

I hope that Evan isn't affected by this in the long term.  His life is already harder than most everyone else and it is only going to get harder as he physically declines.  I hope that Evan can know that these idiots are not good examples of what friends should be.  I pray with all my heart that he can remember what a great kid he is.  I hope that he remembers his own morals and doesn't accept their poor behavior as normal behavior that he needs to take part in.  I hope he remembers that he is perfect, just the way God made him.  I hope he remembers that I love him so much that I literally lack the words to describe just how much.

I put "love notes" in his lunch every day and made sure that the last couple days have been about his strengths.  He had one of his aides help him write a note back to me and he gave that to me yesterday.  I burst into tears, which he thought was awesome.  I feel so confused about what I can do in this situation and how to help him remember his worth and his note made me feel a little bit better.  Maybe I'll do alright.  I know I am trying to do my best.
this is a painting of a golden pyramid that Evan made for a contest at his school


Saturday, November 9, 2013

halloween 2013

Man alive am I behind on keeping up this poor little blog of mine.  Our little family had a rough go there for a while, but I will save that for another post.  

Halloween came around and was the much needed mindless relief that we all needed.  Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays and I usually have everything planned out months in advance.  This year all my plans fell through.  My first and second choices for costumes didn't happen for one reason or another.  Ultimately I decided on Dorothy and Cameron was my lion.  I wanted Justin to be scarecrow (and he was for one night) but I think he had his heart set on being the hairy outlaw so that is what he ended up being on the big day.  For four months straight Evan wanted to be a ninja and as I'm putting on his ninja pants he changes his mind and wants to be a knight.  I would be lying if I didn't admit that I, being the Halloween snob that I am, had a hard time with the last minute switch.  Thankfully my good outlaw of a husband reminded me that the point of Halloween is for the kids to have fun and if Evan wanted to be half ninja, half knight then that was just fine.  Landon changed his mind everyday leading up to Halloween, but in the end was pretty set on Spiderman.    

We had pizza with the cousins and then the baby and I ran home to hand out candy while Daddy took the boys out and about.  I think what I love most about Halloween, other than the fact that I can dress up, is the sense of community.  People open their homes and give out sugar joy to all the children.  How fun and wonderful is that.  I feel that as a society we are fairly closed to others.  We can so easily live a life within our bubble and halloween is a day that our doors are literally open to each other. 

this is Evan's "sexy" face!

Landon helped me make lunch ... Mummies dipped in blood, guts and throw up


Monday, October 7, 2013

Cameron turns 1

This year has FLOWN by!!!  I can't believe that this 19 pound baby sleeping on my shoulder is the same 4lb 14oz sweet pea we welcomed to our family one year ago.   Come to think about it I can't believe it has been a year, and wow what a year this little boy has had!!  

I will never forget the phone call I received at Starbucks on Oct. 9, 2012.  I was with a friend and Justin called me 3 times in a row.  He never does that so I knew it would be important.  When he told me that our social worker called and there might be a baby I almost dropped my drink.  Sure enough right there in Starbucks I learned that not only was there a potential baby, but he was three days old.  I learned that he had Down Syndrome and a heart condition.  I was asked if they could give his birth parents our profile.  

One thing led to the next and a week later we were meeting our baby.  I look at his pictures and the change is incredible.  His first year was extremely busy.  This year our sweet boy has experienced a major open heart surgery, came off of his full time oxygen, been on several trips, gone to Disneyland and so much more.  

Cameron is by far the most pleasant baby I've ever met and literally an angel on this earth.  We are so blessed to have him in our family.  Happy Birthday my sweet sweet baby! We love you Cameron!!!     

 MARCH 2013
APRIL 2013
MAY 2013
JUNE 2013
JULY 2013

 OCTOBER 2013 
Don't be deceived, I really don't think he put any in his mouth.  He sure did have fun destroying his cupcake though!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Another miracle has happened

I cannot believe I am writing this post. I have anticipated this day for the last three months and yet I sit here in my car waiting for rehearsal and it is still hard to believe that it is true. 

After 10.5 years of marriage I am pregnant. When I took the pregnancy test I was caught completely off guard!!! I couldn't believe my eyes, but there it was... 2 very dark blue lines!!! 

I was nervous for many different reasons. First I don't get pregnant, so with all of my infertility issues over the years it could just as well have been a tumor or a blighted ovum, so we wanted to wait until we could get an ultrasound and find out what we would be announcing. Second I was worried about miscarriage. Having only been pregnant once before and having such a horrific miscarriage made me really scared this time around. 

I had to wait a long time to get an ultrasound and the month was really hard on me. I've been very sick and very tired. When the day of my ultrasound came I was a bundle of nerves. I really was hoping for the best but trying to prepare my mind for the worst. I didn't know what we would find during the exam. 

I was soooo grateful to have my amazing husband by my side to hold my hand. I get so much strength from him and I am so grateful to have a partner who loves me through all my crazy. 

The technician started the exam and there on the screen was a baby!!! A real baby with a heartbeat!!! The thing that completely caught me off guard was that I could see it moving!!! Because this is my first time around doing this I didn't know that you could watch the baby kick and stretch. It was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen in my life.

As anyone who knows me could have guessed I was a puddle of tears on that table and the rest of the day. I cannot believe that I have been given this gift. 

I can't believe that God loves me enough to bless my life with the adoptions of my next to perfect boys and now I get to know and experience pregnancy and delivery! Wow!!! 

I think the thing that excites and scares me the most is how close in age this sweet babe will be to my angel Cameron. I have always been a little sad that Cameron wouldn't have a sibling as close to him in age as Evan and Landon are to each other. The older boys have such a good relationship because they're so close in age, and now Cameron will have that too. It is a little terrifying how close they'll be (18months) but I know it'll be
a gift. And really who am I to question God's timing? With a 3% chance of getting pregnant this is no accident. I know this is Heavenly Fathers plan for our family and I am extremely excited to embark on this new adventure, whatever it may bring.

And so I am happy to announce that baby Palmer is due April 19,2014.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Our latest trip was INSANE and I feel that the insanity continued right on through to the end of the summer!!!

I feel like I am just now recovering from it all.  It started with a trip to the Shuswap lake, followed immediately by SMA Family camp, followed immediately by a flight to California, followed immediately by a road trip back home.  It was crazy and super tiring, but we survived and I am happy that we got to experience all that we did.

The trip even started out a little tricky.  We got ready to pack up our van, which is a hard task in and of itself, and it started to DOWN POUR!!!!  We are talking what I call a Florida style rain hit us and my poor hubby tried to do everything he could so that we could get on the road.

We took 2 days to get out to the Shuswap to be with some of our dear friends, who invited us to their cabin on the lake.  Their cabin is water access only and it was a new and interesting experience for our family.    

We celebrated Landon's birthday at the lake with our friends and while the whole experience as a whole was awesome I have to document something that happened that was pretty darn scary for me.

I guess it is fairly common for some pretty nasty winds to blow through that lake.  While we were coming home from a hike that we had done we got caught in a pretty sudden storm.  The waves were gettting quite large and the ride was getting very scary.  This is the kind of moment that I really never like to contemplate or feel as a mother.  In my head I am trying to figure out how to take care of and comfort all three of my kids who are sitting in different places in the boat.  The wind was insane.  We were drenched, but I'm not sure whether it was because of the rain or the waves.  Through the constant slamming of the boat I was very concerned for Evans back.  I kept trying to brace each hit as much as I could while giving him comfort through the experience.

Landon was sitting on the front of the boat with two other kids and Justin.  Here is where I am going to make a side note and say that I am so grateful for divine guidance in my life.  Before we took off for the trip I insisted that Justin sit up at the front with Landon because I didn't feel comfortable with him being up there with no adult, just in case something happened.  Well that something did happen.

After driving in the storm for a while (it seemed like ages, but that could've been because I was so scared) they switched drivers and the nose of the boat went under the water.  I watched my middle baby go under the water with it and that is about when I lost my mind.  The nose did this 3 times when our amazing friend got control of the boat and got it back up.  Everyone in the front was ok and I was just thanking my Heavenly Father that Justin was there to provide comfort and help keep Landon on the boat.

At this point I am pretty hysterical and Evan kept screaming that he didn't want to die.  My own mind kept racing to the worst case scenario and how I could protect my children.  I knew the likely hood of the boat going down was low.  If we were thrown from the boat I knew Landon would be scared and tired, but he is a strong enough swimmer he would be alright with his life jacket on.  I would have a hard time keeping Cameron and Evan's heads above the waves, even with the life vest on.  They both have breathing issues and this is where my mind kept coming back to.

Finally someone made the decision to pull into the last available town we could pull into.  We got off the boat and took refuge at a convenience store.  We were all drenched, a little shaky, and waited out the storm together.  I feel the most telling thing was the owners saying that they were watching us and they saw the boat go under the water and they were surprised that it came back up again.  I also have to say that they kept praising Dave on his stellar driving skills.  They said that they were so impressed and rarely see such stellar driving on the water.  The fact that he was able to safely maneuver us to shore was amazing.

The hospitality of the store owners was incredible.  I'm pretty sure they let us use all of their extra blankets and sweatshirts so we didn't freeze.  It was dinner time and the only thing the baby (who had no bottle) could eat was ritz crackers.  So Justin purchased a box of ritz crackers and I started to feed Cameron the best I could.

We waited for a little over an hour, but the storm did indeed pass.  We did make it home safely.  Evan still talks about the day we as if it was a near death experience for him and I can understand how he felt that way.

Oh, and I failed to mention that while it was complete mayhem on the boat ... my sweet baby Cameron slept through the whole thing!!!    

The rest of our time at the lake was lovely and very relaxing!  I feel so lucky to have such great friends who invite us out to their home and treat us so well!