Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 29

Day 29

I think this is the most I've posted in a row EVER in my life. I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but it's sorta become a routine. After we put Gus to bed, I come online and blog about my day. In a way, it's been therapeutic to be able to record my thoughts and feelings. Most of what I post is pretty feeble, but I guess when Gus is older I can come back and show him all about 2011. LOL

Today is Steve's 36th birthday. I asked him if he felt old and he said this is the oldest he's ever felt (lol). He said Gus exhausts him and he's always tired and can't seem to get ahead. I totally get that... I feel the same.

My friend Aimee has a friend, I won't write her name, but we'll call her S. Anyway... she's pregnant and due in like a week or so. On Facebook she posted something about being so ready for the baby to come because she's exhausted being pregnant. I commented that she better enjoy the last bit of peace and quiet and rest that she'll get in a LONG time. She then replied about how uncomfortable she is and that the baby kicks and she hasn't had a good night's sleep in weeks. Then I (should have just let it be) commented, "That's nothing compared to what's coming once the baby is here." With that, she decided to totally hit below the belt. Now... I wasn't being a bitch and wasn't trying to start shit with her. I was just honestly telling it like it is. She decided to come back with, "Cathy, once you've carried a baby inside you, then you can give me your advice." Or something along those lines. It was rude, and it was hurtful. I deleted her.

Anyway, it just really pissed me off. Who does that? Who decides that they're the smartest, and they know it all, and really, she knows nothing because she hasn't had a baby yet. She totally took a punch and ventured into a territory that is unforgivable. You don't make hurtful, spiteful, mean comments to someone because they were offering "advice." Granted... I have not had a baby inside me, and I'm sure it probably does get quite uncomfortable... but YOU GOT PREGNANT. How about being thankful for the baby inside you being almost full-term. I don't know.

I find no excuse for the comment and I hope she has a baby that is collicy and cries nonstop. I hope she gets no sleep and has a baby that spits up after every feeding (which, she's told everyone won't happen... her baby isn't going to spit up and get all the Gymboree clothes that she's purchased for her (brand new) dirty).

But I digress... Steve's birthday was a good one. Very low-key, but that's how we roll around here. We went grocery shopping and then came home and put the food away and headed off to Outback. We got there at 5 and there was a 20-30 minute wait. We had a delicious dinner... I told the waitress that it was his brithday and I wanted obnoxious singing... and we got nothing. No dessert... no singing. Whatever.

My certified divorce decrees came today from Ann Arbor!! YAY! So now we have our two copies that we're required to send to CAS (although, the more I think about it, the more I say screw them), and then an additional one for our records. However... if/when we adopt again, we'll need another copy, so maybe we'll keep the CAS copies and save them for adoption #2.

We had a high of 61 today and it was gorgeous. I took some pictures of Gus throughout the day today... here are some of my favorites:

Watching a video of himself with daddy

On the way home from grocery shopping

Yes... he is pants-less

I have some videos of Gus that I took today... I'll post them in a minute.
See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 28

Day 28

We had a great day today! We didn't really go anywhere or do anything, but it was nice to just stay home and relax in a clean house. :)

I had to take K to preschool this morning so Gus and I got up at 7:40 and headed downstairs just in time for Wendy to come over with K. She didn't want to stay with me and didn't want to go to school. She wanted to stay with Wendy and before Wendy left, she started to cry. I was so proud of her though, because she pulled it together and not long after, Gus was trying to make her laugh, and so she couldn't stay upset any longer.
She and I watched Planet 51 (the end of it) and she had her breakfast. Then I had to pack everyone up and head back to Wendy's to grab K's backpack, and then we headed to preschool. I know she likes Taylor Swift, so I pulled up my TS folder on my iPhone and played a variety of TS song's for K. It seemed to make her happy. Then when we got to school, she was excited to be the first one in carpool. :)

I headed back home after dropping her off and then watched some Jersey Shore from last night, as well as my Beyond Scared Straight and 90210 from earlier this week. 

I decided to take some pictures of Gus today... I think they're super cute!! He had a booger in his nose (that I didn't realize until the photo shoot was about over... and all the cute ones had a nasty booger hanging out of his nose. I tried to edit it out, but you can sorta see it still in some).

This afternoon I put Gus down for a nap and he just didn't want to sleep. It took me from 1:30-3:00 to get him to finally go down. Then my mom called and I talked to her for about 45 minutes. I am so excited to go home and see her (and my dad, and Scott and Christie's family)!!!

When it was around 4:30, Gus got up and then Wendy came over. She brought us a car seat that we can use for Gus!! He's around 20 pounds and the one we have right now is only for 22 pounds. AND... I have the awesome one that I bought a few months ago, but it's forward -facing only and Gus can't use it yet. Once he's a year, I think we'll put the one Wendy just gave us in Steve's car, and then we'll put the Graco one in my car. Either way, it was so nice of her to bring us a seat, AND she installed it for me! What a friend!! :)
Steve got home from his day and shared some of the gifts that he got from co-workers. They decorated his office and then he went to lunch with his boss. He spoke on behalf of Burt's to the NC State board for their sustainability program and he was able to give them feedback about what things their students/interns need to know before entering the workforce. He loved it and they gave him a nice shirt for coming. We're hoping that maybe it'll lead to a professor position... we'll see.

We finished watching Idol while eating dinner and then just brought Gus up for bed. Tomorrow is Steve's 36th birthday! We're going to Outback to celebrate! 

On another note... have you ever seen Mickey Mouse's Club House? Okay... there's this song at the end of each show (the Hotdog song) and Gus LOVES it! It's burned into my brain and I have the stupid song stuck in my head!!!! AHHHHH!!! >:[
See you tomorrow!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 27

Day 27

Gus Sleeping This Morning
We started our day off with a lot of extra sleep. I should say GUS started HIS day off with extra sleep. I didn't get any extra... in fact I was up at 6:30 and didn't go back to sleep. Gus, on the other hand got up at 6:30 and went back to sleep from 7:00-9:30!!! He got about 13 hours total sleep last night and made for a good day with him (despite no real nap this afternoon).

Here's a video of Gus sleeping this morning. Doesn't he look so sweet? I just think he's the cutest damn baby!!

Wendy sent me a text around 9ish and asked what time I wanted her to come over to help me clean (she's such a good friend to help me clean my house). I said when Gus got up I'd text her. Then she said she made pancakes and asked if I wanted some... I said yes and she said she'd come over. She got here around 9:15 and I was only downstairs for a bit before Gus woke up.

We put on The Little Mermaid for the girls and Gus played for a bit while Wendy helped me clean. I HATE cleaning, so to have her offer to help... it was a God-send. We got everything almost perfect (I still had some laundry to fold) and then we needed a lunch break, so we headed to All-Aboard Pizza. I had a meatball parm sub and their homemade chips and it was pretty good. The sub was 1/2 size and was a good portion (not too much, but enough to satisfy). 

We stopped at the local Carolina Eye Associates (or something like that) and K got her glasses adjusted, and I got my new ones adjusted too because they've been hurting behind my left ear. Now my ear is fine and my glasses don't hurt!

After lunch and CEA, we came back here and finished cleaning and then Steve got home. 

Wendy and I had a TM coffee playdate at Chick-Fil-A and we left around 3:20 for that. There weren't too many moms there, but it was fun and I'm glad we went. I don't know any moms from TM, so it's nice to go and meet new people.

We got back here around 4:45 and then I said bye to Wendy and headed inside. We had our final post placement visit tonight!!

Walt got here right at 5 and stayed until about 6:30. He asked the standard questions about Gus's development and his likes/dislikes, but he was blown away by Gus's ability to stand and play, and his ability to climb the stairs (and so quickly too)! He said in his 37 years as a social worker doing home studies, he's NEVER seen an eight-month-old that can climb stairs, and is so strong. :)

It's so incredible to BE DONE with the adoption process!!! All we do now is wait for the finalization to happen, but all the work is over. AHHHHHH!!!! It's so crazy to think that there are people on the CAS waiting families page, who were on there well before we were on the waiting list, and they are STILL waiting for a baby. I know the timing is always the right timing, and God has a plan, but I am so thankful to have our adoption be completed and in less than a year from when we started. 

We are definitely going home to MI in February and Steve has officially taken the time from work. While it's not really in our budget to just up and go, we're driving and it'll be cheaper than flying (which we couldn't do right now), and we'll be staying with my parents (no hotel needed) and all we have to really afford is food. I so need this trip and even if there's a foot of snow, I am excited to go "home" and spend some time with family. I can't wait for them to see Gus and love on him.

More exciting, is the idea that some of Gus's birth family is going to meet him for the very first time! I and going to contact his birth mom's family and birth dad's family and let them know that we'll be coming up and let them know to contact us if they'd like to see him. I don't want to push him on them if they're not ready to see him, but I have a feeling that they'll be really excited about it. I hope so anyway!!

Tomorrow is the first day that I don't have anything planned for us to do. I'm actually looking forward to doing nothing. My house is clean (THANKS AGAIN WENDY) and I have no play dates or trips to take. I am taking K to pre-school while Wendy and Ryan take A to the doctor, but that's it. 

Steve is eager to go to work tomorrow and see what hijinks his coworkers have planned for his birthday. He works with some crazy people and they always prank each other on birthdays. One year they made a HUGE poster of Steve with his mullet and posted it in the stairwell. They also called him Bevis and made a place-mat with his picture and Bevis's picture... we'll see what they do to him.

I'll write again tomorrow...

Open Adoption Roundtable #5

How has open adoption changed you? In what ways are you different because the presence of open adoption in your life?
It's amazing to think of how different my life is today, than how it was before adoption. I have always wanted to adopt, but I never really had to think about it until we faced multiple years without being able to conceive. When I thought about adoption before, I know that I didn't really understand how complex it is, and how life-altering it can be. I'd imagine that most people think about adoption as something "easy" and you just find an agency and start the process.
I didn't know that there were magazines about adoption, and I didn't know there were SO MANY children's books about adoption. I guess until you're in this world, you really don't know how big it is, and that it even really exists.

One thing about being an adoptive mom that has changed me is that when people find out that my son is adopted, they get this particular look on their faces, and usually say something like, "Ohhh... that's so sweet..." or "Wow... what's the deal with his birth mom?" Now, I'm a pretty open book (as you can tell by my blog), but sometimes I just want to school people and tell them how insensitive and nosey they're being.
I have a friend who knows that we adopted Gus... and she only knows because she had been asking me about breastfeeding and if I was currently doing it (I am aware that adoptive moms CAN breastfeed adopted children- but it's not something that I felt comfortable doing and I can promise that Gus's birth family would have been totally turned off by the idea of me breastfeeding him-- anyway)... so I said that I didn't breastfeed (my usual response to this question). Then she asked if I tried and if I had considered an attachment specialist (something like that)... and I said no. Then she proceeded to ask me about my labor.

Now... usually I can get through a conversation about breastfeeding because not everyone does it and when someone asks, if you say you didn't do it, it's not obvious that you didn't birth your child.
So, then she asked me about how my labor was. Being a smart-ass I said, "It was the best labor... didn't hurt at all." She said, "How long were you in labor for?" I said, "It was about 12 or 13 hours..." meaning the 12+ hour drive from NC to MI... I consider that my labor with Gus ;)   But then she asked who was in the room with me, and I said just Steve and then she asked something about my contractions and the gig was up. I have no clue about contractions and dialation and being effaced (something like that), and I said, "Yeah, Gus is actually adopted." And then I got the face and the classic response. Jokingly, she said, "Yeah, I guess you did have the best labor didn't you?!"

Now, this same friend (whom I love dearly and think she's a great person), when introducing me to others, always says, "Cathy adopted her little boy in May..." or something along the likes. I feel like I should say something to her about this, because it's not something that needs to be announced to the world, but I'm torn.

Does it matter that people know that he's adopted? Not really. I feel like he IS my son and was put on this Earth for me to parent. But... it's like a constant slap reminder that he wasn't born from me, and will always be shared with someone else (his birth mother). 

Open adoption has created this world for me and I'm okay with it. When it gets to the nitty-gritty, my son is the luckiest little baby because not only does he have a mom and dad who are over-the-moon in love with him, he has my parents, my husband's parents and they love their sweet little grandson like no other, and then my brothers and their families love him as well. So he has all these people that love him... AND then he's got a birth mom, her mom and dad who think about him daily, love his blog, love his pictures and videos, and are so supportive of our adoption. His birth mom's aunt, her husband and children (Gus's cousins), and his birth mom's grandma (his great-grandma)... and they all love him. They send gifts and tell us how much they can't wait to see him when we head north again.
Then he has a birth father who loves him, his birth father's mom and dad can't get enough pictures, videos, and can't wait to see him again... and then his birth father's two sisters love their little nephew that they never had a chance to meet, but talk about all the time!

How can all of this be negative or a bad thing? I think that when someone becomes a parent they have to stop thinking about themselves and start to think about their child/children. When Gus came into our lives eight-months ago, I knew that I wanted an open adoption and wanted as many people to love him as possible. 

I was ready to share him with others. I can share him with my family, and can share him with Steve's family, why wouldn't I want to share him with his birth family? 

It's not always easy to be an adoptive mom, and I do wish at times that Gus had come from me and I had birthed him. But there's a connection between us that didn't take me birthing him to form. I am his mama and he is my little man and adding a million people to his life will never change that. I read a quote somewhere on another blogger's site that said, "If a mother can love multiple children, why can't a child love multiple mothers?" I try to remember that each time I think about Gus growing up with knowing his birth family and how it'll feel as his mom.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 26

Day 26

What a great day!! Not only did I get to spend the day with Kim and Jen, and meet Jen's new boyfriend (more on that in a minute), BUT... Gus said "Mama" for the very first time today!!!

I took a video of it and it's posted under the Videos tab at the top of this blog (definitely check it out and leave me some love)!! I am so thrilled! He said "dada" back on December 25th, but only said it a few times. He's been saying "mama" all day and I just love it!!
So... this morning we played for a bit and then we headed to Kim's to pick her up and then drove to Cary to meet Jen and Matt for lunch.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely LOVE and ADORE Jen Allen. She is such a great friend and truly one of a kind and someone that I am so glad to have in my life. She's always had my back and I love her. Steve loves her too. She's just a great friend. So... when we had dinner with her in December to meet her sister Rebecca (we love her too), she was telling us about this guy that she had met on J-Date and just started dating.
Well... it's serious enough that she's introducing him to friends. Her mom hasn't met him yet, but that's coming up soon. He is perfect for her. He's cute, tall, FUNNY, and most importantly... he loves her and accepts her completely. I am so happy for her and so glad that she found someone. She thinks he's the one, and I really hope he is.

We met at Panera and I was stoked to find out that I got a free dessert because I signed up for their Panera Card (free). I had a 1/2 sandwich and soup and then a chocolate chip cookie. Not all bad, but the cookie wasn't something that I "had" to have... but I had a small breakfast, so maybe that makes it okay. LOL
Gus with Kim (on left) and Jen (on right)

Gus and Kim

Tonight was bath night, so of course, we bring him up here and Steve decides to play some music. Maybe I'm SUPER emotional right now, but he played, "Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift... I could not stop crying. Here's the video... ignore the stupid ad stuff on the side and just listen to the words. I can't hear this without thinking about Gus and just how much I love him and how important he is to my life. What was I doing before him? It's so good...

Then he decided to really do me in and played, "Anything Like Me" by Brad Paisley:

He started singing the song to Gus while he was in the bath and I couldn't help but cry even more. I have promised to NEVER take for granted that all that I ever wanted was a baby.

My biggest fear was that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant, and after so many months of thinking it was finally happening, only to face complete devastation, Gus is a blessing. He is the most special, precious, thing that I've ever had the pleasure of encountering. And to think that he's my son and I will get the honor of being with him every day for as long as we both live... it's awesome.
I just know that my husband is incredible, he's an amazing father, but even better, he's a fabulous husband and partner. He's my best friend and the absolute love of my life. I am so lucky to have a man that will play songs like these, and do so because they make him think of Gus, and think of me with Gus. He makes my heart melt.

My baby boy is happiest with his letter G. He loves to chew on it and is the most laid-back baby when it comes to bath time. He doesn't care about getting his hair washed, or having water poured over his head... as long as he has his G, he's all good. Now when he gets into the tub, he immediately starts to look for his G-- too funny.

Tomorrow is our LAST post placement visit and I am nervous. It's at 5 and I hope it goes well. Walt will then write up his recommendation and then it's off to Michigan and we wait for the finalization!!! I can't wait for the day that we can celebrate "Adoption Day" with Gus!!!

I'm super excited because we're thinking about heading north in a few weeks to visit family. I haven't seen my mom and dad since November 15th... and miss them so much. And... it's been since July since I last saw Scott, Christie, Alex and Lily and I miss them!! We're really hoping that Steve has nothing going on at work and we can go!! I can't wait to see everyone and just be back in the mitten for a week!!

Until tomorrow...

1-25-11 More Tickles with Wendy.MOV

1-25-11 Tickles with Wendy.MOV

1-25-11 Dino Ride with Kaitlyn.MOV

1-26-11 Mama.MOV

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Good Morning Grandparents!

1-18-11 Bouncy Seat.AVI

Day 25

Day 25

We had a great day today! Gus woke up and made a video for his grandparents and then I sent it out to them. I hope it made them happy to receive it.

Wendy and the girls came over and I watched the Bachelor from last night while they all played. Then we went to McDonald's for lunch and had fun. After lunch we came back here to watch Aladdin and had some more fun!

Wendy and I have MOMS Night Out tonight so we'll be leaving soon for that. I wanted to leave you with a few pictures of Wendy and the girls from today... so cute!

Purry is the best cat... look how he just tolerates this!

See you tomorrow!!