Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shane also known as Scooter O'Malley is Shane's turn for his moment of fame! This child has added so much to our family. He is intense, wants to win every battle, loves "fluffy" things, enjoys tormenting Judah, adores his little brother and has loads of confidence. Mark's aunt Naomi summed him all up in one sentence. She said, "Shane has enough confidence for the whole family." She was absolutely correct. This little bugger doesn't know when to back down. He will fight to the end. I love this about him but it can be the source of great frustration between him and I. He goes through seasons where he gets really testy - I thought by the age of 5 that some of that would subside. I guess it has to a degree but he still tries to throw his weight around.

Here is a good scenario for you. This happened a little over a year ago. He was sent to his room for being mouthy and I went up to talk to him. He had locked his door and informed me, and not so kindly may I add, that he was NOT opening the door for me or anybody else. I of course momentarily contemplated trying a tactic displayed on movies - you know the one where they back up and run into the door. And believe me - I was mad enough that I am sure I could have broken through. I may be little but this momma was not happy. He would not open the door (he stayed true to his work) so I had to climb through my bedroom window, walk on the roof to his bedroom window and climb in to reach him. His eyes got huge when he saw me climbing in his room. Lets just say that was the last time he ever locked me out. He now opens the door when I ask.

He also has this fetish for all things soft. He loves pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and anything else that he considers soft. He calls them "fluffies". Almost everyday he has to go into our bedroom, get the pillows off of our bed, gets his pillow, any stuffed animal he can find and brings them all down to the living room and makes a HUGE mound of fluffies to jump and wrestle in. It is so funny!! I is also highly annoying too because our bed is always torn apart and half of his bedroom ends up in the living room - every day! He has completely mangled the pillows on the couch. They don't really resemble pillows anymore. I would like to get some new ones but Mark thinks I should just wait until the pillow fetish resolves. Problem is- this has gone on for over a year. It is just adorable!!

He is our really sensitive guy. Not really sensitive about himself but very aware of other peoples needs and feelings. Except for Judah's feelings. He could basically care less. He is exceedingly patient with Tristan and wanted to share a room with him. He will take Tristan in their room and play for long periods of time. He is also the one when given the opportunity to give some of his money to children at four different orphanages that our church sponsors decided to empty his wallet. Now, it wasn't a huge amount of money - $24. But, it had taken him a long time to earn that money and he was diligently saving until he was ready to spend it. We asked him if he was sure and he said yes. They didn't have enough money to have clean water and that really bothered him. He somehow was able to see the difference between wants and needs. Now...he isn't always this way. Yesterday I took him with me to the grocery store and Target. It seemed as though he wanted everything. But, he has a generous heart and we want to encourage him in anyway we can.

Well, there is so much more I could say about each of the boys. As time goes on you will learn to know them better as I share simple day to day stories. Right now, Shane is sitting on his pile of fluffies out in the living room. I must go kiss his little cheeks. Until next time.....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Friends - Old and New

Earlier this week I was thinking about how life would feel so empty without friends. I have been so blessed in my life with many friends. Some have been lifelong and some more recent.'s to friends!!!
I am one of the fortunate few to have a mother as a best friend as well as sisters. Not only my actual sisters but also my sister-in-laws! I am surrounded by amazing women in my family. They love God whole heartedly and live life with gusto. Life hasn't been easy for some of these women but they have persevered and I am better because of it.
I love those friends that you haven't seen for ages and you can pick up where you left off the last time. I have plenty of those friends. You don't feel guilty for not having been in touch for two years (or however long it has been). There is a mutual understanding that life has a way of marching on and since your lives don't intersect very often you are just grateful for the times you do see each other. I love "old" friends. The ones that are familiar and who you have walked with through a lot of your ugliness yet they still are loyal (lets here it for Miss Sherri B). Those friends are priceless and should be treated as such.
I love new friends too. Ones that you are learning about and in the process you learn more about yourself too. Sometimes it is awkward as you are feeling everything out and learning boundaries. But it is so stretching.
Mark and I realized tonight that we are incredibly blessed!! Our friends had a surprise shower for us to bless the arrival of Eden. It was amazing!! First of all, the decorations were beautiful and the food was oh so good. I'm just sorry you couldn't all be there. My favorite part of the evening by far was when everyone gathered around us and prayed over us. Man, these people really love Eden and are so excited for us, the boys and Eden! As I looked around the room there were some dear friends that go back almost 10 years, some of Mark's family and everyone else was relatively "new" friends. We have only known most of these people for 2 years yet they went out of their way to have a beautiful party and time to honor the life that is about to be transitioning into our house. So to Mark, Sara, Dan, Ranee, Matt, Ciara, Matt, Karlyn, Jonna, Justin, Becky M, Kim, Adam, Carrie, Lara, Barb, Marshall, Mom, Dad, Christine, Grace and anyone I may have missed - Thank you, thank you. For loving us, supporting us and sending us off with a party!! I would post a picture but since I wasn't told ahead of time about the party I didn't take my camera. I have some good posts coming up over the next three days or so. I will try really hard to be diligent and have Shane's post tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Well, I decided to interject some thoughts about Judah today and will do the "Eden part 2" post on another day this week. I decided to wait because we should be receiving her updates mid-week and of course I will have to post her new picture! many words come to mind. Expressive, dramatic, reactive, black-n-white - no gray, intense, likes to debate.... He has the sweetest smile and the most beautiful chocolate eyes! And those eyes are like mirrors into his soul. You never really have to guess how he is feeling. They can shoot fire or be so soft. At the end of the day when I lay in bed and think back over what went on that day I can see the humor in all the intense situations we have to sort through. And believe me, there is rarely a day that goes by that everything seems okay in his world. There is usually something of catastrophic proportions. I feel frustrated so often with him but when I sit back and keep things in perspective I can see his strengths in the middle of all the chaos.

He is not a follower - he is usually a leader. He is a very law abiding citizen. He is very aware when we are not going the speed limit and is also aware of every other driver on the road who is speeding. He trys to always eat healthy (except for his sweet tooth) and he does a knock out job with his eating habits. Lately his goal for eating healthy was so he would be strong enough to beat Tyler the next time they wrestled. He had pretty lofty goals - he was hoping he could pick him up and throw him against the wall. He had the best of intentions. Just a little rough.

He is very tender towards animals and loves his kitty. One minute he is ultra protective of his cat and the next minute he is so frustrated that he wants to kill the cat. Believe me people - there is one story of his intent to harm his cat that I will spare you the details. It still kind of alarms me. So, he loves animals yet wants to shoot rabbits and birds with his BB gun.

He loves swimming and is always the loudest kid at swimming lessons. I think everyone enjoys his loud antics. He loves boy scouts and just had his first derby car race. He didn't win and was a little upset about this but has plans to beat all the competition next year. He is already planning what his car will look like. He received all his awards and patches at the race and we were so proud of him!! He didn't completely grasp what all was going on but we explained things later. He has enjoyed showing his beads and awards to people who come visit.

I can hardly believe he is 7 years old already and he seems to be turning into a young man already. He is very sensitive to me and is still very affectionate . I sure hope that doesn't change for a very, very long time. He still loves to snuggle and isn't wierd about holding my hand in public. When does that change? He doesn't care that I see him in his "naked" either. That is what he calls it - "his naked".

The one thing he is most excited about Eden's arrival is seeing her smile. He isn't too sure about girls toys and is very adamant that girls stuff cannot be lying around the house. I love watching him grow but am already very aware that time is moving far too fast.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Eden Joy Part 1

Few things are better than the birth of a child. Am I right? The day we received our phone call telling us of our little girl will forever be etched into my mind. I know exactly what I was doing, where the boys were, where Mark was.....I will forever remember how my heart skipped a beat when I heard Tami's voice on the other end. You see, we were told that after our paperwork had been submitted to Ethiopia the only communication that would happen with our agency was through email. They didn't like to call until they had your referral simply because families would get excited seeing Dove's number on caller ID and think, "This is it!" When I answered the phone and the voice on the other end said, "Hi Becky. It is Tami." I got real quiet. I said, "Tami, why are you calling us?" I think there was a slight bit of panic in my voice. We were not supposed to get a call for at least four more months. All these thoughts went through my head within a split second, "what happened to our paperwork? What didn't we do correctly? Did something get lost????? And then she said, "Well, I have some news for you." And then the exclamations started pouring out of me like a torrent. I never want to forget the emotion of the day, the wonder at finding out about our child, the first time we saw her little face, feeling a fierce sense of protection almost immediately, all crowding around the computer trying to see her, calling all our families to tell them we had a baby girl, going to Life Group that night and telling our friends...... This little girl is the fulfillment of years of dreaming. Recently, in the midst of my crazy "nesting phase" (and believe me people, there is some serious nesting going on at this house) I came upon some old letters written to Mark and all of my old journals. In a letter to Mark before we were even married I talked about my dream to adopt. In my journal I found entries from five or six years ago asking God to preserve our daughter and keep her for us. As I prepare to leave in a week to finally meet her I am in awe at the orchestration of our lives coming together and her becoming a part of us. I am completely in love with this little one whom God has entrusted to us. I thought I would be able to pack into one post all of my feelings surrounding our daughter but I am realizing this will need to be at least a two part post. Partly because it is already getting long and I am just getting started and partly because I really want to go to bed. It is only a little after 10:00 but all this frenzied preparation is catching up to me. So, until tomorrow......

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Baby Boy

Today I am spotlighting one of the sweetest boys in the universe. My munchkin Tristan! He honestly invokes feelings in me that I have never felt before. Now, don't get me wrong. I love all my children totally and completely. There is something about this little man that just completely melts you. He is very different than our other boys. Well...they are all very different. But the only word I can ever come up with that really describes Tristan is quirky! He is just plain quirky! And hilarious!!

He does everything at his own pace and in his own time. He didn't get his first tooth until he was almost 13 months old - and didn't get anymore teeth until Christmas day which put him at 17 months of age!! He desperately wanted to eat everything but only had two teeth for the longest time. Over the past two months he has sprouted I think eight teeth.

He didn't move at all - crawling, standing - until he was 11 months old. This was completely different than the other two boys. But...when he started moving he was into everything!! The first time he stood up in the middle of the floor without assistance he just took off walking. He fell alot but kept getting up and walked the length of our house.

And then there is the fact that he is going to be 20 months in one week and has only slept through the night maybe 10 times. Yup - you heard me!! This woman has some serious sleep deprivation!! I have always had a lot of energy and recently while talking with my mom I said, "I don't know but I think there might be something wrong with me. I am tired all the time." She just kind of laughed and said, "Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that you haven't gotten much more than a handful of solid nights of sleep in two years?" Hmmmm.....I guess that makes sense.

And you know, even with all the sleepless nights I am completely and totally in love with this kid!! He has brought an abundance of laughter and joy to this home. He lights up the room wherever he is and complete strangers comment on his beauty. I don't know how he will feel about that if he keeps hearing the word beautiful when people describe him. But you know what? He is beautiful!!!

And he isn't my baby anymore. This fact could make me dissolve into tears but it is part of him growing up. He is in a big bed now since Eden will need his crib. He loves his bed and thinks it is great!! Last night when Mark and I checked on the boys before we went to bed (we make our rounds every night to give them their last bedtime kiss) he looked so little in that big bed. We both wondered how this happened so fast!

But no matter what, he will always be one of the loves of my life!! No way around that.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mild winter days

Is it just me or does the winter begin to feel really long once the end of January rolls around? Everyone in our house starts getting a bad dose of cabin fever and it just seems that the warm spring sun is not coming fast enough. This year even though the winter has been pretty cold the boys have played outside a lot. We had a short mild stretch in January which pleased the boys tremendously. One day they went out and shortly after I here a knock at the door. This was a little confusing since the boys never knock. I figured it was maybe the neighbor boy. So I answer the door and see these two little boys looking at me. I didn't say anything but just waited to see what they had to say. "Is it okay if we play in the mud mom?" My response was, "Uhhh....a little late to be asking, don't you think?" And yes, it got worse after the picture. I figured I would be soaking the clothes anyway. They may as well get their fill of sliding in the mud. They had a grand time, got hosed off outside and went straight into the tub. I of course had to soak their clothes as well as the dark ring in the tub.
And for those of you noticing the shorts and t-shirts being worn in January - I know, I know. I should make them dress a little more appropriately. I felt really fortunate that they had any clothes on at all. To them clothes should be optional. A few days before Christmas I sent them to some of our neighbors houses with cinnamon rolls that I had made. Now, this was not a mild day. I set the rolls on the counter, called the boys, gave them instructions on who to deliver them to and they were out the door. I guess I should have said, "Get dressed" as well. I look out the door as they are running to Mike and Jeanie's and neither or them have coats. Apparently shoes and shirts were optional too. Shane only had a pair of shorts on. I'm sure Jeanie about fainted at the sight of them but it was too late. They were already almost to the door. Oh well. Thankfully Jeanie had two boys herself and thinks it is cute when they "hide" behind trees to pee. Goodness. Where is their mother?
Over the next four days I am going to spotlight each of my children. I will mix things up - not oldest to youngest or vice versa. So, I guess you will have to wait to find out who is lucky number one.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bed time conversations

I have found that bedtime brings about some of the sweetest and funniest conversations with the boys. They just seem to let their guard down and allow themselves to be introspective for a little bit. Here is a sample of a night time conversation with Shane.

Shane: God is everywhere, right?
Me: Ummm......yeah.
Shane: So He kind of follows us around?
Me: Sort of.
Shane: But He has to stay outside the buildings, right? Because He is too big and He would break the building.

How does one explain this to a five year old so that he understands and grasps the awe inspiring magnitude of God? I'm sure Shane is thinking that he must be similar to the superhero's that he loves. Not quite buddy.

Here is another conversation with Shane that took place on the way to church recently. He did not want to go - he had other ideas of things he would like to do with his dad. The boys could very easily monopolize Mark's time so that playing with them would be his full time job.

Me: Shane, you always enjoy your class at church. You get to learn lots of cool stuff....
Shane: I don't learn anything cool. All I learn about is God and Jesus.

Out of the mouth of babes......

Monday, March 10, 2008

Early morning find

So....I am an avid reader of many blogs since starting on this journey of adoption. Of course I learn very valuable information, ideas and tips from other people who have been through this same experience. But some of my favorite blogs have nothing to do with adoption. At some point, when I become a little more blog savvy, will post the links to my favorite blogs so you all can check them out.

On to the purpose of my blog. Since I have such a large extended family (I will divulge the ridiculouse and mind blowing number another day) and many friends I decided that this would be an easy way for those who want to catch glimpses into our life to be able to do so. This will not only be about the addition of our little one but also the accounts of the many crazy days spent raising a brood of boys!

With that in mind let me just tell you what transpired at our house this morning sometime around 9:30. First of all, I am pretty sure this would only happen with boys. So those of you who may only have a house of girls - let me just say sorry for the lack of excitement in your world. Unless you have a daughter like one of my aunts who I believe peed over the banister one time (I will not mention any names - you may thank me later) Or a daughter like my friend (again no names) who is now married to a man finishing up his masters at Harvard. She peed in the trash can one time and it took her mother a few days to figure out where the foul smell was coming from. No. If you have mothered one of these "types" of girls you may have an inkling of what it is like having a few boys. I digress-back to the story at hand. My dear husband informed his sons a few days ago that he found a mouse nest in one of his tool drawers in the shop. So...last night they decided to set some traps to see if they could catch anything. This morning they remembered and ran out to see if they had succeeded. Shortly thereafter, my ears hear excited shrieking and exclaiming coming closer and closer to the back door. They burst in the door and loudly proclaimed, "We each caught a mouse! Come see!" Being the very brave mother that I am, I round the corner to accompany them outside. But wait!! What is this in my kitchen?!! Two darling boys, two mouse traps, and two very, very dead mice! What made this all the more delightful for them was the not so dignified reaction of their mother. Didn't really need my coffee this morning. The mice worked wonderfully in getting my blood pumping. And folks, it was only 9:30 by this point. After all this excitement we met some friends to play at an indoor play area. The kids had a ball, I had some adult interaction (thanks Lara) and the boys got tuckered out! Honestly, it really is never very dull around here. Even if my boys say they are bored. Those days are few and far between.