Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear Moms of Adopted Children

Someone recently shared with me a beautiful letter entitled "Dear Moms of Adopted Children" written by Kathy Lynn Harris. I made the mistake of reading it in the middle of Baby Gap. Tears welled up in my eyes and a wave of emotions came over me as I relieved our adoption process. It's so beautifully written and a must read for those who have lived it and for those trying to better understand the ones that have. But when you do read, pick a better location than me and make sure you have some Kleenex nearby.

Big 3-0 and 1st Mother’s Day

Editor's note: In typically "mommy brain" fashion, I wrote this them promptly forgot to post! A bit delayed but a recap of our adventures earlier this month. 

This time last week we were on our way back from an AMAZING vacation in Florida! Randy and I took 3 days off work, packed up Emily and our warmer weather clothes and headed down to Disney World. We got up early Thursday morning (like 4am early) and started the 7+ hour drive to Orlando. Emily was awesome in the car and slept most of the way.

That evening, Randy found an incredible Italian restaurant in Downtown Disney to celebrate my birthday. This man loves me so much he agreed to sitting outside on the patio (he does not enjoy eating outdoors) and he even tried calamari! He said he kept telling himself it was friend shrimp. Whatever works! We also had amazing chocolate cake but I was so busy eating it, I forgot to take a picture. Just trust me, it was beautiful and delish. All around it was the best birthday and a great start to 30!

The next day, we woke up early (not as early as 4am!) and arrived at the Magic Kingdom as it was opening. I told Randy, I was so excited to have Emily there that I almost cried. Such a dork! We dressed Emily in her finest Cinderella costume (compliments of Daddy) and got a picture with Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella! Everyone oooo’d and ahhhh’d over her, it was so cute.  I also had also gotten a Disney birthday button that I wore around the park and so many people wished me a happy birthday it was great! My favorite part was that all the princesses said “Happy Birthday, your majesty!” Nice!

 After the princess photo shoot, we tried out a few rides including Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo and Little Mermaid. Emily enjoyed Dumbo but was not crazy about the other two. I think because it was dark in parts of the ride and she got a little freaked out. She made the cutest, saddest whimpering sounds (like of like Princess!) and was grabbing at me and Randy during the rides. She never cried but it was clear she was not a fan.

Randy and I also took her on our favorite ride, the Haunted Mansion. I hemmed and hawed over it afraid it would be too scary. But when we saw it was only a 10 minute wait AND there was a baby younger than Emily in line, we decided to go for it.  She did the same whimpering noise a few times during the ride and I was feeling ok about whole thing. Then we got stuck ON the ride. TWICE. I know it wasn’t for more than 30 seconds both time but still I was sitting there thinking what kind of horrible baby nightmares she was going to have as a result. I don’t think we did any permanent damage but we decided to end our day in the park with baby friendly It’s a Small World ride.

We had originally just planned to chill on Saturday until Randy found out that we could get two tickets to Sea World at almost HALF of the cost of one, IF we went to a time share presentation. Randy and I had never been and were not sure how Emily would do. But, it was early in the morning, only 90 mins long and we were getting a deal so we went for it. The whole presentation was….interesting…and they really push the sale on you!

After the time share adventure, we took another stroll around Downtown Disney. Emily dressed for the occasion and we had a great time riding the boats to the other resorts and doing a little shopping.  That evening we captured the best picture of our trip, perhaps the best picture EVER.

I can’t wait to use this for her senior picture in her high school yearbook.

Sunday was Sea World day!  We watched a few shows, saw some fish in a huge aquarium and Randy finally got his turkey leg! Emily loved the dolphin show (they had birds in it) and was impressed with shark aquarium that you actually go through on a people mover. Emily had a fun but exhausting time and passed out right before the Shamu show.

For our last night, we ventured down to the board walk and grabbed some pizza. We took some great photos and walked around a few of the nearby result, which were gorgeous. All around it, it was an amazing trip and wonderful quality time with Emily and Randy. Considering how blessed I feel with my life, it was very fitting to celebrate my birthday and mother’s day at the happiest place on earth!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

10 Months

Emily continues to be more and more of a hoot the older she gets! Her personality is really starting to come through. Looking back on videos of her just a few months old, it's amazing how much she has changed in a short about of time.

EG highlights from month 10:

  • She's crawling! I was convinced she was going to skip crawling and go straight to walking. Goes to show you how much I know because Emily had other ideas. She had been scooting around for a while then one day she just took off crawling to get to the keyboard we had on the floor! She still does this funny thing where she crawls with her left leg tucked underneath her and her right leg extended out. I think it helps with her balance because she can lean back into a sitting position without tipping over.
  • She is in 12 months clothes. Holy cow. Thank goodness for a mom and mother-in-law that like to spoil her with new clothes.
  • She is officially a "mommy's girl" right now and has a fit when I put her down. Amazingly all the tears stop when I pick her up! She buries her head in my shoulder if her daddy tries to take her from me. I know it hurts his feelings a bit but I keep telling him, just wait. In 13 or so years she will officially hate me and be running to you.
  • She's started this new, not at all fun thing were she screams at the top of her lungs. SQUEALS for no apparent reason. I think it's probably some combination of "I want attention, I'm bored, I'm hungry, I'm teething, I want you to pick me up, I'm tired, I'm testing out my voice, I'm testing you. etc. etc. etc." We tried dinner out one night (thank goodness in a family restaurant) but still got a few looks. Randy said "I think we have officially become 'that' family" so I'm thinking we will keep our public appearances to a minimum for the time being. Or at least only go to very noisy or outdoor settings.
  • She is still loving all kinds of food. It's so nice to be able to feed her what I'm eating instead of mushed up baby food. Top favorites include: crackers, cheese, carrots, broccoli, and baked beans. She's gotten so good at feeding herself and it's hilarious to watch. We usually have to schedule bath time immediately after dinner. :)
Daycare drop off has gotten easier with almost NO morning melt downs. I love picking her up in the afternoon because she usually doesn't see me when I first walk in and I can catch her playing with friends, books, puzzles or doll babies. When she does she me her face lights up and she has the biggest grin. And now that she's crawling she starts moving towards me. Talk about melting my heart. Love my girl and love this adventure of being her mommy! Here's to month 10!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Defining and Redifining

As May 9th approaches, I find myself thinking more and more about my birthday. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not one of those people that freaks out about every birthday. I'm not all wigged out about getting another year older. I'm not going to make a big deal about turning "the big 3-0". It feels like so many people put too much emphasis on birthdays. It's just a day.  A number doesn't define us. It's a fleeting moment meant to be celebrated and enjoyed! It's also a time to reflect and think about what's to come.

Lately, I've been thinking about my life over the last few years and how much it's changed. Just in the last 10 years I've gone from a partying college student to a young professional to a wife and mom. There are times I feel like I'm doing exactly what I should be doing and then there are other times when I feel like there's something....just around the river bend (I clearly listen to way too much Disney because that's the only way I could think to finish that sentence).  I like to think that there are new, fun things awaiting me in life: like a new job, new place to live, new friends. I like being able to try and do new things. I like the constant defining and redefining of my life. I see myself as an easy going beach bum at heart but I'm also a go-getter of a working mom. I have all kinds of friends with all different interests and I love being around each of them. I enjoy trying things like kayaking, knitting, and running a half marathon. I'm not always good at those things, but I truly enjoy the chance to break out of the routine and do something different.

For me, the worst thing than 30 could bring is the end to change.  The end to constant adjustments. To just be stuck in a box  with the constant, boring cycle of the same ol', same ol'. I want to be able to look back in another 10 years and think that I've done some really fun things in great places with amazing people. It's tempting to make a list of what I want those things to be, but I think it's best to let it unfold in front of me. If I had make a list of all the things I wanted to do or be 10 years ago, it wouldn't hold a candle to what I've really done and who I've really become.

So, 30. Bring it on. I'm along for the ride and ready for wherever this journey takes us.