Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 330

November 26th, 2010

November 26th, 2011

It's been a really long day.

This morning Gus woke up around 6:30 and since Steve got up early with him yesterday, I got up with him this morning. We went down and had breakfast and Gus decided to throw his bowl (full of cereal and milk) onto the floor. Mama was not too happy about this!!

So I decided that he was done eating and we headed into the livingroom to play for a while. I don't know what time it was when Steve came down, but it was after 9am for sure.

At 10:30 I put Gus down for a nap and hoped that he'd fall asleep before 11. We had plans this afternoon to head up to see A&W and wanted to make sure that Gus had a nap before heading out for the day.

Fortunately, he went down without a problem and slept for two hours. He woke up just as it was time for us to leave. I was able to get in the shower and make two ham and cheese hashbrown casseroles while he was napping. We took one to A&W and the other is for tomorrow morning.

We made it to A&W's by 2:00 (only an hour later than we had planned) and it was FABULOUS to see them and meet baby Dax!! Gus wasn't sure what to make of him, and for the most part wasn't bothered either way. He did, however, see Dax's bottle and want it for himself.

He hasn't seen a bottle since he was 11 months (so it's been seven months already) but as soon as he saw it, he wanted it. Like he was seriously begging for the bottle.
Adri, Dax, Gus and Will (Gus is reaching for the bottle)

Baby Dax and Gus

It was bittersweet to say goodbye today. I'm so very very thankful to have had the chance to meet A&W, for they share a connection with us that no one else does. They're our only friends who have been right there with us through our adventures in open adoption, and I'm so lucky to have been right there with them on their adventure. To finally get to see them holding their son, was so incredible. And while it's amazing, it's sad because we're moving and won't be around to see him grow up.

I pray that our paths continue to cross and we stay in touch with them. Following blogs and keeping up via Facebook is great, but I'd love some face-time. I get to about three months and I say, "It's time for a visit with A&W!!" So that means they have until February/March and they'll need to make a drive to Georgia to see us!!  ;-)

We got in the car and headed home and there was a GORGEOUS sunset tonight. I had to try and capture the beauty... and while the picture doesn't do it justice, hopefully you'll agree that it's pretty amazing!

We stopped at Harris Teeter for some milk, ice cream, and something to make for dinner tonight (I picked the frozen P.F. Chang's Sweet & Sour dinner for 2). We got home and Steve rushed out of the car and went onto the porch because he felt like he was going to throw up. :-(

He gets REALLY bad headaches and had one starting as we left A&W's and it was fully ready by the time we got home. He had a quick bowl of cereal and headed to bed at 6:00.

So... Gus and I watched part of Toy Story 3 while we had dinner (he had a bite of turkey and some cheese-- didn't want anything to do with the rice I made or any of the chicken). 

Then I watched Parenthood from this past week... OMG it's such a good show. I don't know why I never watched it before, but it's my new favorite. The adoption plot is so good too... tonight the couple looking to adopt (she's a lawyer) had their perspective birth mom over for dinner (PBM is the coffee girl at the law office and offered her baby to the woman a few weeks ago)... and they (the perspective birth parents) basically told the potential adoptive parents that they needed $$$ if they were going to give their baby to them. The lawyer said, "It's illegal for adoptive parents to pay birth parents money for a baby" and the PBF said, "Well, you're a lawyer, it's your job to work around the law." YIKES!! It didn't end well and now I'm not sure if they'll be adopting the coffee girl's baby anymore (they had been paying for her medical insurance).

It got me thinking about how shady and scary the whole adoption world is. I've always said that scandalous people could totally take advantage of people looking to adopt. There's nothing contractual (usually) if you don't go through an agency. What's to stop someone from getting pregnant, telling someone they can adopt the baby, taking money, insurance coverage (by law adoptive parents must pay for medical insurance if they are aware that the BM isn't covered), and gifts... only to turn around and change their mind at the very last minute? It happens all the time and there's nothing to prevent it (other than going with an agency... but even that's not 100% guaranteed). 

It's a leap of faith by both parties. The APs are so vulnerable and in a spot where a lot of them are so desperate for a baby, that they'll do just about anything to become parents. And then the BPs (birth parents) have to trust a complete stranger to take their child and raise it. It's such a weird beast.

Anyway... after watching my show, Gus and I came up and it was tubby time. He had a nice long bath and then I put him to bed. Now I'm ready to go on my Sims game and play for a bit, hop on Pinterest and do some Pinning and then go to bed. I am exhausted.

I'm sleeping in tomorrow. I think I've earned it. ;-) I'm leaving you with some pictures of Gus from last year... his visit with Grandma and Grandpa Walker and wearing the Purdue gear that they brought him!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Five Question Friday- November 25th, 2011

1. Is there a special dish you prepare that you are famous for?
Hmmm... not really. I make a pretty delicious turkey. My dad loves the Buckeye Balls that I make, my husband loves my Pan-Fried Cheeseburgers, and I love my scrambled eggs.

2. Are you (did you) go Black Friday shopping ?
Nope. I refuse to participate in the craziness. I do all my shopping online where I can get free shipping and get the best prices. I'm done with everything (have been for about three weeks).

3. What are your strangest holiday traditions?

I don't know if they're strange, but we always watch Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve (and usually again on Christmas day). We also go "Day After Christmas" shopping with my parents each year and you get one thing that Santa didn't bring you.  :-)

4. Apple or pumpkin pie?
Cherry.  :-)   If I had to pick from the two though, I'd go with apple but I'd want it served warm with vanilla bean ice cream on top.

5. When will you put up your Christmas tree?

As soon as we're moved into our new house!! Probably the weekend of December 10th but maybe not until that week sometime.

Day 329

November 25th, 2010

November 25th, 2011

Last night, Gus got up at 4:00 or so and didn't go back to bed AT ALL. Somehow, I was able to sleep in while Steve got up with him (I definitely owe Steve a sleep-in tomorrow for this). I woke up around 9:30... it felt so good to sleep in!

Steve mowed the yard while Gus and I stayed inside and watched a movie. We put him down for a nap at 12:00 and he slept until 2:45. :-)

Here are some pictures from today:
Watching "Small Potatoes"



Gus WANTS his cup without a lid... if we give him the sippy, he has started to refuse it.

Elmo Gus made an appearance today...

For dinner I made shells. They were good but I'm done with turkey.

We watched "Baby Mama" tonight-- what a funny movie. I saw that the 25 Days of Christmas are coming up on ABC Family... I LOVE 25 Days of Christmas!! I went on and recorded a TON of movies for us!!

I had hoped to watch Christmas Vacation today but it didn't happen. Maybe tomorrow after we get home from A&W's. I'm excited to meet Dax!! Steve and I talked a little tonight about starting the process to adopt again maybe once Gus turns two (May).

We'll have to get a home-study done again and would most-likely need to find an agency. As much as I hate having to use an agency, I like how much faster it is (usually). I'm doubtful that we'll have another experience like we did with Gus. The odds of us getting a random call from a friend/family member that someone wants us to adopt... not so good.

We're a month away from Christmas. CRAZY!!! I'm excited to get into our new house and set up the tree. This year I bought a nativity set. I've never had one (of my own) and always wanted one... and I saw that the Little People one was on sale so I bought it. Not only is it a full set, but it's so cute! I'm excited to put it on the mantle.

Here are some pictures of Gus and Steve from tonight. I admit it, I'm jealous that he only wants Steve... :(
Pushing his shopping cart and wrapped in his frog blanket

Steve, the dogs, and Gus

Snuggles for Ducky

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving 2011

Yes- today is Thanksgiving! The one day a year that I make a feast and don't mind doing it all myself. I always say, "I WISH I had a double-oven... it'd make Thanksgiving so much easier!!" And a double-oven was on my "must-have" list in a new house... but that didn't happen. Neither did the pool or the screened porch. Hmmmmm....

This morning I got up (a little after 8) and we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I talked to my mom and dad on the phone, and Gus got to wish them a Happy Turkey Day. :-)  He loves talking on the phone... however, he tries to press buttons and sometimes hangs up on people. 
Steve took these pictures of Gus carrying in the paper... Gus is at a stage where he REALLY wants to help with things. It's best to guide him and let him help (even if it's not really being helpful in the long-run).

I decided to run to Harris Teeter to get a few things for today... among them was stuff to make my Grandma Ghrist's Special Green Salad. I'm not sure why it's called a salad since it's not lettuce and tomato... maybe she called it salad to make us kids think we were eating something healthy. Not sure, but I do know it's a tradition to have this at holidays and I've never made it here in NC. 

Channeling my Grandma Ghrist

While shopping for the Cool Whip, I saw the Puff Pastry Shells and immediately thought of my Grandma again. Every year, with the left over turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes, we'd go to her house for "shells." Basically, you take the shells and bake them as directed on the box, then you take the turkey and gravy and heat them together into a thick sauce... and then you stuff the shell with mashed potatoes and dump the turkey goo ontop. It's so yummy!!

I can only enjoy turkey so many days/nights in a row, so I got some ham (lunch meat) for us too. :-)

I got home and hung out with Steve and Gus for a bit before Gus went down for his nap.

After Gus's nap (he took another three hour nap) I tired to give him something to eat, but he wasn't hungry. He had a piece of cheese and a few bites of apple, but refused to even try the potatoes (the same ones that he LOVED the other night for dinner). He's so picky sometimes.

Anyway, when Steve brought him down from his nap, he was wrapped up like a burrito in his blanket. It was so cute. Then when he was having lunch, he wanted to keep the blanket on him... I think he needs a Snuggie for Christmas.

He took his arm out long enough to put food into his mouth

Then his arm was back inside the blanket!

Gus is doing a GREAT job of drinking from a cup without spilling!

I started the turkey process after Gus was finished...
Nibbled on some shrimp while making dinner ;-)

The turkey still in the brine

The oven bag... waiting with open arms to snuggle with the bird

One last look at the bird in the brine

The turkey had soaked up a lot of the color from the brine (brown sugar, teriyaki and OJ)

Upside-down and in the oven bag ready to bake!

It only took two hours to bake (it was only eight pounds)

Right-side up and coming out of the bag (I cook it upside down so the juices collect in the breast that's on the bottom)

OOOPSIES!!! I forgot to remove the gibbet bag...

It's not the prettiest looking turkey by any stretch...

But my goodness... this was the JUICIEST turkey that I've ever had!!

That's straight from being carved... no juice/gravy added... it was soooooooo yummy!

Here are pictures of a few of the other goodies that we had at our table:
Grandma Ghrist's Special Green Salad

Green Bean Casserole

Mashed Potatoes (and gravy)

We had a very nice last Thanksgiving here in NC. It could have been better if it was spent with our family, but we'll aim for that for next year. :-)

Here are a few more pictures from tonight:
He went straight for the green salad...

My plate...

Sign of a GREAT dinner!

Tubby Time!

He put his face into the bubbles to create a beard!

Checking to see if everything is still where it should be...  ;)

I am so very thankful for Gus in my life. His birth parents will never know how thankful I am to them, for choosing life and choosing to trust us to be the people we said we were on our online profile. They made a decision to allow us to parent their baby, and in doing so, trusted that we'd give him all that they had ever dreamed he'd have. I'd like to think that we're doing a fantastic job with this.

Each day, I tell Gus how much I love him. I tell him what I like about him, I give him lots and lots of hugs, kisses, praise, and support. I have vowed to never take him for granted and to always live life to the fullest with him. Looking at pictures of him from a year ago, it's striking how very quickly he's growing up. 

There are so many things about Gus that I love. Today he decided to swim in the tub for the first time. He was excited to discover that he doesn't have to just sit in the water, but he can actually lay down in it! This new discovery sparked joy, laughter, and excitement from Gus and it was contagious. Steve and I watched him and laughed and clapped and joined in the fun. I'm thankful for the moments like that, where I get to experience him discovering something wonderful about his world. 

Gobble! Gobble!