Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Well, things seem to be winding down...the doorbell isn't ringing as often. Over all, I was depressed with this Halloween celebration. Tyler's school pumpkin picking trip was cancelled due to rain and we never had a chance to go on our own. No pumpkins this year. No carving, no roasted pumpkin seeds...it's just too sad. I managed to jam in a nap this afternoon but I never expected the doorbell to start ringing before 5pm.

I had to speed through a shower because I knew John couldn't be bothered with my glow bracelet procedure (those were to be the last item slipped into the treat bags to maintain maximum glowability). I'd say the first 25 kids or so got cheated out of that extra Halloween goody. I made up 71 treat bags and swiftly ran out. John broke into my personal stash of fun sized candy to tide me over as he ran out to a local store for more candy. That was a first! I had to give a couple of older kids some safety pops that I'd bought just for the wee ones while I waited for John to hurry back.

Then there was the local police department. They totally upstaged me this year! As the patrol cars went through the neighborhood, the cops gave every kid they saw these really nice battery powered flashing necklaces. Tyler came home looking like a disco ball! My tiny little glow bracelets were totally lost in the glare. Grumble, grumble...but seriously, thanks to the boys in blue for going over the top to protect the kids. Plus there were several other houses giving out glow items. The kids started to look like Christmas trees by the end of the night. But I'm pretty sure I was the only one giving out goodie bags with temp tattoos, kazoos, finger puppets and candy. I win!

As for my costume? Once again, no time to put on makeup for my over the top Disney costume (plus I was afraid it would scare Max). Last night I had a brain storm. Since I just got a cool new baby carrier - a mei tai style wrap from my friend Heather at http://MaMaMadeProducts.com - it is in a cool Asian brocade that would match well with this nice kimono I wore a few years ago. I dressed as a Samurai for a Halloween party back then. So I could wear Max and he'd make a swell costume accessory! I looked high and low and could NOT find my kimono anywhere! I was so bummed! I considered wearing my Goth vampire garb with my pretty velvet cape, but it was so warm today. I finally decided to wear one of my Hawaiian muumuus (moo moos). I never had time to find my artifical lei, so I probably just looked like I was sitting on the front steps in my dressing gown.

Naturally Max got hungry just as the doorbell really started to heat up. I had him in the mei tai and was feeding him with one hand while I gave out candy with the other. The boys had already left to go trick or treating, so I was on my own. I got a little stressed trying to manage, but Tyler tired out rather quickly again this year so they only did our street and didn't venture out into the neighborhood.

It's 8:30 now and the doorbell has only rung twice as I've been typing this. It's a school night, so I can't imagine we'll have too many more visitors. John really went overboard on his last candy run, so I think there will be leftovers. Sadly, he bought candy types that I don't care for. Or maybe that's a good thing.

At least the boys both looked really cute!

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Shazam!

Weekend Assignment #136: Your Favorite Costume

Oh that's easy! Halloween 1976...just before I got old enough to think store bought costumes were for babies and started making my own (ghost in a bed sheet, witch, hobo, zombie...you get the idea.) I really wanted to be Wonder Woman. I dragged my mother into Spencer's Gifts and showed her the costume I wanted and she hit the roof. Turns out it was an adult costume and much too "sexy" for a young girl of 10.

OK, next best superhero from my next favorite TV show (since Mom couldn't find a Wonder Woman kids costume in my size)! Maybe I should just show the photo and see if anyone can guess...

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You recognize my brother Mike as "The Fonz" of course; but are clueless on what I am dressed as, right? Not surprising. The show was only on for one season and was a Saturday morning kids show. It came on after Shazam! (featuring another cool superhero, Captain Marvel). No idea?

I am... THE ALMIGHTY ISIS! Average school teacher on an archeological dig in Egypt finds mystical amulet that transforms her into an ancient goddess with amazing powers.

Man, I really wanted to get my hands on an amulet like that. One of the first short stories I ever wrote was about just such an amulet (except it was connected to a Nordic goddess, Freya - because the whole Egyptian thing has just been done to death).

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Max Loves Music

More accurately, Max loves Windows Media Player. What do we do when he's wide awake at 4 AM? This:

Friday, October 27, 2006

Spluge

- I've seen so much hullabaloo about Madonna adopting the kid from Africa that I feel, as an adoptive parent, I should say something. Um. Madonna? Just so you know... people who adopt aren't saintly or special. We adopt simply because it's a great way to start a family (particularly when your girlie parts aren't cooperating). I sure hope you adopted for the right reasons and that your new son has a great life. Honestly, I feel most celebs who adopt are doing so because they feel guilty for having so much money and this is one way to do some good with it. But I don't know any celeb parents to ask, so I'll just leave it at that.

- In a effort to save money, I killed my subscription to my Eaton Press Masterpieces of Science Fiction book-o-the-month club. For the past year or so, I've actually stopped buying new books from Amazon (except for John Scalzi's new books which I must have as soon as they are published) and I've taken the time to READ all those pretty leather bound editions of classic SciFi...or Skiffy...or what ever the current cool kids' term is. Naturally I started with titles I was familiar with. I re-read a few Heinlein classics (probably my all time fav author), some Le Guin, a Pohl, some Asimov, H.G. Wells, Verne, Burroughs (I get a kick out of the more dated "rocket to the moon" SF from the 40s and 50s)...and I've found new passion for more contemporary SF authors like Orson Scott Card. But for some reason I kept putting Arthur C. Clarke's books back on the shelf.

Why? Because I hated 2001: A Space Odyssey...the movie. HATED it. If you know me at all or have been reading my blog for a while, you know it's exceedingly rare for me to HATE any movie. I won't go into all the reasons why I hate it, but I've been sort of unconsciously punishing Clarke for it by avoiding his other works. Until last night. I started reading Childhood's End. Really, it was the intro that George Zebrowski wrote (another good writer) and, more so, the foreword that Clarke himself wrote explaining why he had gone back and edited his first chapter and how his opinions on "the supernatural" have changed over the years. I found myself laughing and drawing parallels to the wit and career of one of my other current fav authors, Mr. John Scalzi.

So, Arthur C. Clarke, please forgive me for being a tad judgmental. And you are right...the mini-series"V" totally ripped you off! (Loved that show!)

Clarke, Asimov and Heinlein...they are like the holy trinity of SciFi. At least they were in the early 80s. I wonder if any other author in that genre will ever achieve that level of fame and recognition. Stephen King comes to mind...but he has transcended genre. Enough with the musings on science fiction.

- Am I going to Mommy Hell because I let Max sleep on his belly and in bed with me? I'm blogging and watching him sleep so peacefully right now. I find I am much more relaxed with Max than I was with Tyler. I was SO afraid of doing the wrong thing with Ty. Paranoid and anxious...checking obsessively to make sure he was breathing...dressing him in too many layers...making everyone wash their hands even if they just wanted to LOOK at the baby... Good times, good times. I was such a freak out case. Now I get why my parents were so strict with me and so laid back with my brother. He got away with murder! Yes, I'm still resentful. Ha!

- Ty has been so sweet with Max. Yesterday he gave Max a kiss on the head and said "I love you baby Max!" I just melted! Now if I could just figure out how to encourage Ty to be more independent without him feeling like he's being punished...I'd be golden. Any tips on how to get a kid to dress himself?

- I have a video of Max I want to post, but it's a bit dark (low lighting conditions). Maybe I'll do that later. I have a book here that I want to get back to...no clue what those Overlords look like yet.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Halloween Thoughts

Tyler was very indecisive on his costume choice this year. He didn't seem to care and couldn't narrow his choices down. Actually, he seemed to dislike every costume he looked at. Finally, a few weeks ago, he said, "Mommy, can I just be SpiderMan again?" Well...yes and no.

His old SpiderMan costume was from a couple years ago and waaaaay too small. So I found one he liked on Ebay and won the auction (what a steal!) So, there you have it. He's going to be SpiderMan. Again. So we'll be skipping the annual vote for Tyler's costume tradition this year. I'll just do a big reveal on Halloween night with a fresh Trick or Treating video and photo.

I do have a special outfit for Max to wear when we answer the door on Halloween. That will be a surprise too.

Now I just need to find the time to put together all those treat bags! Good grief...there goes Max. Time for another bottle!

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Just for grins... This is the photo I used on Max's Thank You cards. I hope they arrive soon.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Alone again...

We have the house to ourselves again. Whew! Dad came to get Mom and take her home. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good visit. She came through this time and even changed poopie diapers and let me take naps. Woo hoo! I think I'm actually gonna miss her.

John is on vacation this week, so I'm not without help just yet. One more week of going back to bed in the mornings. Yay! Max is a good baby, but he's got baaaaad gas problems. He makes grunting and growling noises in his sleep that keep me up alllll night long. Poor kid. I bought some "Gripe Water" based on a recommendation. Not sure it's working. I've just been trying it during the day to see if it makes a difference. Maybe I should try nights instead.

Anyone got any good anti-gas remedies? And yes, we burp him frequently during feedings. I'm starting to fear he has a problem with lactose like his big brother did. Or reflux. When this kid spits up, some times it's so bad it comes out his nose! Yikes!

I took some cute photos tonight, but need to get them off the camera. Later... It's 3:30 in the morning. I can't sleep. Max is being too noisy. I am using the laptop in bed. Man, I love this thing. Suddenly it's really coming in handy.

Geesh I am all over the place tonight. Lack of sleep is making me blather. Oh! Went shopping at the Carter's Outlet yesterday. OMG! I found matching outfits for Tyler and Max that will make a PERFECT Christmas portrait! I'm so excited about that! I just have to come up with a clever pose for them this year. I'm thinking of simulating snow with this fluffy white blanket Ty has...maybe have them sit in a sled. We'll see. LOL!

Does Ty have a sled?? I can't remember right now.

*YAWN*

OK. Time to try sleeping again. But I know as soon as I get cumfy, Max will start fussing. He has "oh no you don't, Mommy...no sleep for you!" radar! I swear!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oh, grow up!

It's funny. I often remember hearing the words "Don't be in such a hurry to grow up!" when I was a kid. I understand what my parents and other adults were trying to say. Kids grow up too fast...childhood flies by before we know it and we miss the sweetness and innocence of how we and our kids were/are in their younger years.

But what about newborns? I found myself thinking last night as I was feeding Max at 3 AM; "I hope you start sleeping through the night soon, Sweet Pea." During the day I found myself thinking, in turn, "I can't wait until you...hold your own head up, sit up, crawl, start talking."

Then it finally hit me. I had a hard time remembering many details of when Tyler was a newborn. It was a haze of fatigue, bottles, diapers, spitup. I was in a hurry for Tyler, the individual, to arrive. I'm not really in a hurry for my sons to grow up, I'm just in a hurry to get past the helplessness and repetitive nature of infancy so I can get to know the person my son will become.

But I don't want my earliest memories of Max to be a blur. I'm going to make a conscious effort to file away specific memories of holding Max, feeling his warm breath on my neck as he snuggles in to sleep, smelling the sweet baby smell of his hair, feeling the grip of his little fingers around my thumb as I feed him, tickling his feet when I change his diaper...

Yes, this part is a hard part; but it has it's rewards too. I don't want to be in too much of a hurry for Max to grow up.

Off the subject, we got another nice surprise from some co-workers of John's. Thanks to the J&J account team for the great gift basket! I've never received one of these fancy layette baskets before. Sweet!

Thanks J&J Team!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Flowers

I had a nice surprise waiting for me when I got back from picking up Tyler from school on Thursday. John's boss had sent us these flowers:

It's a BOY!

Aren't they cute? I thought that was really nice of Keith (or most likely his secretary). LOL!

My MIL left in the afternoon on Thursday. I miss her already! She may not think so, but she was a huge help. Just being able to take a little nap each day made a big difference in how I felt. Now it's Saturday and I'm BEAT. I actually cried last night when Chili's screwed up my dinner take-out order. Talk about crying over spilt milk! I think my PMDD is acting up again. Or it could be just plain exhaustion.

Grandma snuggles

Tomorrow my parents are coming down and my mom plans to stay for the week. We'll see how that goes. Unlike my MIL, my mom doesn't just "do". She waits to be told. She also doesn't attempt to find things on her own or help herself; she asks. That can get on a person's nerves when they are sleep deprived. I am praying for an extra dose of patience this week.

Tyler is starting to show some classic signs of jealousy. He's been very possesive of his things and space. He is being a tad uncooperative and is acting out a bit. He's been clingy, especially to his Dad, and is craving attention. But all are mild and manageble. He's making good progress.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh yeah...

Rough night with Max. Pee and projectile vomit on my sheets, night shirt, and Max's body. He was up from 12:15 until 3:30. Had to feed him a second bottle only an hour after his 2am one (probably because he lost half his feeding in the major spew fest). By 3:30 am I was a zombie and found myself having that "what the hell were you thinking" moment. Oh yeah. I just HAD to have 2 kids. I must be out of my freakin' gourd.

But my MIL came to the rescue this morning and sent me back to bed. Amazing how the perspective improves after a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep. Ahhhh. I'm back to feeling happy and content.

Whew!

Isn't this photo just a scream?! Tyler was SO proud of himself. He was scared of holding the baby, but once he saw Max happily sucking away I caught this expression. Nice job, big brother!

Tyler Gives Max a Bottle for the first time

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Maximum Overdrive!

We are slowly catching our breath and getting settled into a new routine here. The piles of boxes hastily flung out of the attic still remain in the hallway and playroom. I'll look through them as I have a spare moment. My MIL is due to arrive shortly to lend a hand with baby Max and I know she'll frown at the disarray...but it can't be helped.

We were soooooo unprepared for that phone call, and yet, in a way, we WERE prepared. I saved EVERYTHING from Tyler. All his clothes, baby gear, toys...it was all waiting for Max in the attic. The pack-n-play has been put together in the bedroom with the thought of using it as an extra sleep/changing spot. I'm scratching my head, however, because while the changing table portion was easily found, the bassinet part wasn't...and that upper deck can't be assembled without it.

I'm just thankful that the boys were both born around the same time of year. Tyler weighed a bit more at his birth at the beginning of December, so, size wise, I think Max will be right on track to step into Tyler's shoes (and socks, and shirts, and pants). Nice to know the small fortune I spent on all those cute outfits from Gymboree will have a nice return on the investment. I should have a few years before Max has an opinion on wearing reruns. ;-)

Max had his first visitors today. My friend Norman stopped by with his wife Danit and their toddler son Charlie (he'll be one year old this month). Charlie has gotten so big! I forget how fast kids grow in the first year of life...but I am about to be reminded!

I'm tired but feeling quite content at the moment. Max is fast asleep in his bassinet. Tyler is playing a video game on his gameboy. John is puttering around getting the house more ready for his mother's visit. But I can't help thinking about L. While things happened in a flash for us, she had 9 months to contemplate her options.

I can't place myself in her head because I've never been in the situation she found herself in. But I did have a friend who reacted to an unwanted pregnancy the same way she did. S didn't want to believe she was pregnant. She ignored the situation as long as she could hoping the problem would just go away. She'd already had an abortion in high school and wasn't eager to repeat it. She hid her pregnancy from her friends and family. Only her co-workers noticed and put two and two together. No one said anything to her about it (except me) sensing, correctly, that she just didn't want to talk about it.

I hope L had a co-worker friend like me to confide in. I'd hate to think she carried the burden of her hidden pregnancy all alone. If someone pointed her to the choice of adoption, thank God for them. But I think L's decision was influenced by her own life experiences. Her own mother was adopted. Her own mother got pregnant at a young age and elected to keep her baby. L was raised by a young single mother with no support from her birth father. She knows first hand the struggles her own mother went through and just couldn't see that role playing out for herself.

I respect and admire L's decision. She told the social worker she wanted her baby to have a better life than she had with more opportunities.

Don't worry L. That's the least we will do for baby Max. He'll have loads of love too.

Sleepin Like a Baby

Maybe someday L will change her mind about having contact with us and Max. I hope so. She might not be the one raising him, but she'll always have a place in our family and our hearts.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

FREAKING OUT!

I got a call from our adoption agency this morning. There is a baby WAITING FOR US...right NOW. He was born yesterday and will be ready for discharge tomorrow. All I have to do is call our agency back and say yes.

I have been freaking out for the last 2 hours. Am I ready? It's so...soon! Yeah, I know. We've technically been waiting for almost 2 years for this phone call, but... We had a lot more time to plan with Tyler. Time to get to know his birth mom. This birth mom doesn't want to meet us, at this point. Her decision was last minute, she hadn't had any prenatal care, and I get the feeling she was hiding her pregnancy for a long time. The hospital says the baby seems very healthy, so I'm not too worried about all that.

I'm more worried about being a mother to a newborn TOMORROW. TOMORROW!!!!

Holy crap!

Can I be ready for this? I'm wasting too much time freaking out. I know. There is a baby boy, all alone in a hospital waiting for his mommy and daddy to come get him. Is that me? Am I his mommy? I could really use some kind of sign right about now.

I called my parents and got my Dad on the phone. They were rushing to get ready for doctors appointments and my mom wouldn't even get on the phone. Dad was no help. I tried calling a friend, but either she isn't home or she isn't answering the phone.

I don't know how talking to someone will help. It's still my decision. John had no hesitation. He said yes almost before I got finished telling him the details.

I think some part of me is still dangling my fantasy of having a baby girl in front of me and saying "What about baby Sara? You don't even have a boy's name picked out. Are you settling? You can't do that, if that's the case. You have to be sure. This baby will be yours forever. No reservations! Are you really ready?"