Monday, October 29, 2012

Status Report

We are dangerously close to being home study approved for our adoption. I imagine we'll get the official green light either at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Once that happens we'll be able to start applying for grants. The few that are willing to take a look at us will be getting piles of paperwork from me. I'm not sure if God is going to fund our adoption through a grant, or not. I won't know for sure unless I try.

Ann Romney called me last week. I was out, so she left a message. Seriously. It started, "Hi Elizabeth, this is Ann Romney." N heard the message before I did. When I got home he dashed to me and exclaimed, "We have to save America! We have to get it untrapped!" When I listened to the message I discovered that Ann feels that Mitt Romney can get us back on track. Pre-school ears translate "on track" into "untrapped."

Living in a swing state has its perks and its drawbacks. Perk: My vote actually counts. And Ann Romney calls. Drawback: so does everyone else in the world. I have also spoken with the NRA. And some other political "survey" company keeps calling for my husband. Pretty much every yard is boasting political signs & blowing leaves.  The blowing leaves I'm used to. The signs everywhere leave me sighing and singing songs from the 60s.

Here's the most recent picture I took of my boys:

N was thrilled to be riding in the grocery cart. T didn't understand what the big deal was. Though later in the store he appreciated having someone to lean against.

M turned 38 last week. I'm having a hard time with how close he's getting to 40. He isn't the least bit ruffled. Which is good. If we were both freaking out we might scrap our adoption plans and head to a plastic surgeon instead.

T has become super speedy. His crawl is still the funky knee-toe-thing he does. But now it has some speed to it. He is pulling up on everything to stand and cruising all around the place. At this point, he could probably start walking. I think we're in the head game phase of walking. I'm not too anxious to put that speed on feet, though. So I haven't been urging him on much. If he's still not walking in a week or two I may whisper the truth to him and let him know that he can actually run, too.

I still don't have any friends. As pitiful as that sentence is, the next one is worse. I don't think I have any prospects of any friends. I have joined a total of four different groups through the week to meet other women. Everyone is nice, but we don't do anything outside of the group time. I have a lot of fun burning calories with zumba, but haven't started any relationships with my fellow sweat-ers. We have started attending a new church. It is filled with lovely people. But the women are all busy raising their families.  Pretty much it feels like everyone here has full lives and don't need any new friends. The bright side, though, is I have found the time to start reading War and Peace.

I think I'm getting the hang of this no-milk, no-eggs, no-nuts, no-soy diet. The hardest part is finding protein rich snacks. I am open to suggestions.

God has been speaking to me a lot this week about fighting for my faith. Don't give up. Press in. Forget what's behind, push forward. I think I'm going to start waking up early to get out of bed to read my Bible. Somehow lying in bed and reading from my Bible app hasn't been doing it for me.

We still own a house in Kansas.

I figured out which electric plug I can use to vacuum my whole apartment. Which delights me. I smile every time I plug it in. Can you say that about your vacuum?

My mommy heart is in a peculiar place. I am thrilled with my family. If I have no more children I will not feel cheated. If God does give us more, though, I'll be equally ecstatic. I am happy with two boys. I would be happy with six boys. I am willing to receive a daughter from Jesus, but am not demanding her.

Summary report: We're good. I'm good. Because God is good.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

That Mom

I have become "That Mom."

Last year I went to Silver Dollar City with my family. They have bitty bits of shacks around the park to allow women to breastfeed privately. I ducked into one with my three week old to feed him. While I was rocking and nursing and gazing in wonder at my son another mom came in with her son. Only he was not three weeks old. He walked in holding her hand. When she held him on her lap he draped entirely across her body with his toes just missing the floor. I'm guessing he was somewhere between 18-24 months old. I thought she was out of her mind. And I was a bit jealous because she was so thin. But that's a different story. I think. Anyhow, not only did I criticize her in my mind, I called my sister to talk about the wacko still feeding her toddler.

I am still breastfeeding my toddler. I am now the crazy head. I have become that mom.

We are choosing to continue breastfeeding because T's alternate nutrition would cost $500/month minimum. Perhaps that little boy had severe food allergies. Maybe the choice was made for them by outside forces. But what if it wasn't? Maybe she just wanted to breastfeed still. It doesn't legitimize or excuse my snarkiness at all.

Through the years I have had occasion to see families out when the weather is cool. Living in the Midwest helps facilitate these moments. There have been a few times when I have seen a mom wearing pants and a jacket while her kid is skipping along beside her in shorts and a tee shirt. My thoughts have not been kind. Generally I think, "Nice lady. Way to bundle yourself up, but not your kid." Sometimes I even point out the villain and share my thoughts.

I am now that "neglectful" parent. I have become that mom.

T's eczema is triggered by heat. If he gets even slightly overheated his skin itches, breaks open, and bleeds. And by slightly overheated I mean 75 degree weather is toasty. I still bundle N up. Though he has inherited my build, he received a broken internal heater from my man. So in addition to seeming to expose my baby to the elements, it also looks like I favor my preschooler. I can only imagine what the people around me must think.

When I used to drop N off at the nursery I would sorta smile as the other moms gave lots of instructions. "Poor spastic thing."

I have become that mom.

I volunteered in a nursery for awhile. One of the children in there had severe food allergies. I can't distinctly remember thinking it, but perhaps I did wonder why the mom didn't just keep him at home. Why did she risk my peace of mind, the other children's freedom and her own child's health just to get out of the house for two hours?

I have become that mom.

And I have a lot more thoughts about being that particular mom.

Those will follow.

For now my plate is full of crow.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 5, 2012

One Year Ago

In October, 2011 I woke up and breathed a prayer of thanks. I was grateful to have had a solid night of uninterrupted sleep. It would be the last time I uttered that prayer for almost 10 months.

One year ago today I gave birth to T. You can re-read that story here.

Twelve short months ago I started the fun adventure of getting to know my son. And what a marvelous boy he is! He is calm, determined, cheerful. He doesn't ooze sunshine. But when he smiles, he smiles with his whole body. And since those smiles aren't  thrown about the place pell-mell, they are all the more precious. It takes him awhile to warm up to new people and new environments. Though a very contented baby who entertains himself, he is strongly attached to his Mama. And I am doing nothing to break that bond. He loves to jump. He is very inquisitive. He is more than the fulfillment of a dream. I never could have created such a wonderful child on my own.

One year ago I fell head over heels in love with a new little man. Somehow, unbelievably, I have grown even more in love. The more I know this sweet child the more I love him. Sometimes I literally want to scream because I can not contain the affection I feel for him.

I started breastfeeding. I'm still breastfeeding. I know this is a gracious gift from God. Breastfeeding was not easy. But it was important to me. Now it's easy, which is good, because it is now VERY important. Our alternative nutrition costs over $500/month.

This child has spent a significant portion of his life scaring me. At twelve weeks pregnant we thought he had died. At 32 weeks pregnant he decided to get a funky heart rhythm. A shining happy report made me think that we had survived the one health scare everyone is allotted and that everything would be beautiful. While life with T is beautiful, it is not a free of health scares. I had no idea one year ago that the first time I held my son his body would be limp. I never dreamed I would feel his lifeless body in my arms again just a few months later.

But today his body is not lifeless. He rolls, and sits, and stands, and cruises, and peg-leg crawls. He breathes, he laughs, he sighs and cries. Today he is full of life. (and it's a good skin day to boot!)

Today my heart is filled with gratitude and joy at the thrill of knowing and loving T.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.