Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Two years ago today...

... I rushed to the hospital at midnight to see you born into this world at 2:02 a.m.
... I cut the umbilical cord that nourished you for nine months, that connected you to your wonderful birthmom S.
... I held your hand as you lay naked under the warmer, crying your little newborn cry.
... I murmured, "I love you, precious boy" over and over as the nurses poked and prodded you.
... I cried tears of joy, and tears of sadness for your birthfamily.
... I called Daddy and told him to find a sitter for Abby and come down to meet you.
... I held you for the first time, swaddled in your white hospital blanket with pink and blue trim.
... I watched your Dad hold you for the first time with such love in his eyes.
... I rocked you for hours in the hospital nursery, feeding you, changing your diaper, bathing you, snuggling you.
... I memorized your scent and the weight of you in my arms.
... I fell in love again.

Happy Birthday, Ethan.

A Vacation for Three of Us

Tomorrow morning, Abby and Ethan and I pack up the van and head south to visit my best friend Jennifer and her family (and my sister Bobbi's family who live just an hour-and-a-half away). It will be a great vacation for the kids and I - Jennifer's two kids and our two kids were all born within two years (actually, a few minutes shy of two years). Last summer we met half-way and the eight of us had a great vacation. This year, poor Mark gets to stay home and I get to have all the fun.

The purpose of the trip is actually to give Mark the house to himself for a week. Will he be soaking in the tub, enjoying a beer* while he watches The Matrix? Unfortunately, he will be working feverishly on the basement, his pet project. He and his dad have been finishing it for a few months, and hopefully this next week will give him enough time to get a big chunk of it done. Good luck, hon!

*who am I kidding... he'd be more likely to be sipping a girlie drink with an umbrella

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Eight is GREAT

Today, Mark and I celebrate eight years of marriage.

I remember every detail of our wedding day. Practicing dancing with my Dad in our pajamas. Getting my hair done with my bridesmaids, mom and nieces (who looked adorable - they were ages 5 to 9). Arriving at the church and hiding from Mark, who was already there (we didn't see each other until I walked down the aisle). Putting on the wedding dress that I loved. Walking down the aisle with both of my parents, as Mark had done just moments before with his parents.

I remember the way Mark looked that first time I saw him - a little tearful, and so handsome. We were starting our life together, an awesome responsibility, and yet we were both so calm. Mark especially, which was amazing. It was so perfect.

The wedding was beautiful, the weather was beautiful, the reception was a whirlwind of fun... I was on the dance floor all night. I was (and still am) so proud to be Mark's wife.

I still love you, Lovest, with all of my heart, even after eight years. And we made it past the 7-year mark without an itch! ;) I look forward to the rest of my life with you by my side.

I, Trista, take you, Mark, to be my friend, my love,
my faith companion,
my husband.
I promise to remain true and to support you
in good times and bad,
through struggles and successes.

I will love and honor you for the rest of my life.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Musical Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Ethan's 2nd birthday with a music-themed family party. It was beautiful weather, so we were able to play outside in our bounce house (last year's birthday gift for Abby and Ethan from us). Ethan was looking forward to his "dirt-day party", especially eating his cake and wearing his hat. We've been singing Happy Birthday to him for a couple of weeks now, which he is so happy about. He even blew out one of his candles (Abby blew out the other before we could stop her - sneaky girl!) It was a really nice party!

Ethan's new bike from Grandma and Grandpa

Playing around with Uncle Rob (who is just as silly as Daddy - must be genetic)

Ethy is blowing out his candles

Our awesome party guests (our family minus my parents who are out of town)
They are acting like an air-band - Ethan's birthday party had a music theme.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Roads of Life

This post has been percolating for some time now, but I haven't been able to figure out what I want my writing to say. I still don't know what I want my writing to say, but the time has come to say it.


In June of last year, I received a call from Ethan's birthmom S. She had been in the hospital for an emergency partial hysterectomy where one of her ovaries and fallopian tubes was removed. She had checked into the hospital with abdominal pain, and the doctors quickly discovered that she had a tubal pregnancy which hadn't naturally miscarried and now the baby was 3 months along and her system was shutting down. It was really scary for her, and she told me that she could have died.

She called as she was home recovering from her operation. She told me that she was relieved that she was not pregnant, because she was going to leave Ethan's birthfather J. (who she had been with on and off for 7 years). They had broken up many times, and this time she was actually going to leave because things were so bad. She had figured out a way to financially support herself and her other two boys. At the time, she was ready to move on.

But she didn't.

A month later, S. called again. She hadn't moved out. A week earlier, she discovered that she was pregnant again at a follow-up doctor's appointment. She was calling to let me know the news, and that she and J. had talked it over a lot and after weighing their options, decided to parent the baby. J. had just started a promising job, and the future looked good.

At the end of March, S. gave birth to a baby girl T. Just prior to the birth, J. and S. and their sons were evicted from their home (J. hadn't had steady employment for 4 months, and S. hadn't worked since before Ethan was born). They moved in with J.'s mom. A month after the birth, J. moved out "because he won't grow up", leaving S. and the three young kids to live without him at his mom's house. Just last week, S. found out that she can't stay there anymore because J.'s mom will be evicted for having them as tenants, so she is trying desperately to find a place to live and a way to support herself and the three kids. She's not having much luck.


I am worried a great deal about S., and about the kids. I really care for her a lot, and it was hard for me not to say, "come live with us for awhile until you get back on your feet." I know this would be a bad idea. I can't save her family from their consequences, as much as I want to.

When S. called with her news last summer, I didn't shared S.'s pregnancy with very many people. Honestly, I didn't know how I felt about it. Or whether I had the right to feel anything about it. I am an adoptive parent in this triad, so my personal concerns shouldn't even come into the picture. Yet it is so easy for me to stand by and identify S.'s problems, and how she could have avoided them, and it is so easy for me to feel superior because I've never had to deal with these situations in my life. But the reality is, S. and I have led completely different lives, had completely different upbringings, been in completely different financial and social situations. I don't know who I would be if I had led S.'s life. I have no right to judge the decisions S. has made, I can only support her.

The only concern I can rightfully have is for Ethan, as his mother. I am worried about Ethan, and how he will feel because his birthsiblings were all parented and he was placed for adoption. And because baby T. is a girl, I worry that he will wonder, "was I placed for adoption because I was a boy? If I was a girl, would my [birth]parents have wanted me?" I worry that my little man will feel rejected. I am hopeful that our open adoption can help him to realize that he is loved very much by his birthfamily, no matter which roads of life they travel.

Mostly, I pray that the road their currently travelling does not turn out to be a dead end.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Best Mothers Day Gift.... EVER

Mark (and the kids) surprised me with the most awesome gift this year. I am going to a day spa for pampering! I have always wanted to go to a spa. And after all the events of this spring, I definitely need some pampering. I can hardly wait!

The treatment includes a full body massage, a facial, a whirlpool pedicure, a paraffin manicure, shampoo and styling of my hair, make-up application and it even includes lunch! I will be there for FIVE HOURS of heaven! Now I just have to figure out when I'm going to do it - it will surely be on a day where Mark and I can have a date right after (if I look hot, I'm going to show it off darn it!) It's so thoughtful of my family to do this for me. Mark is the best!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Home at Last

Recap: Ethan has a bad case of croup, which brought us into the hospital on Sunday and again last night. He stayed overnight for further observation.

We were released from the hospital at around 1:30 this afternoon. Ethan had a second breathing treatment last night at around 11:00, and that one made a huge difference in his wheezing. He slept on-and-off for about 5 hours through the night (mostly on top of Mark; we both spent the night at the hospital). This morning, he received another breathing treatment which helped a little bit more. After observing him all morning, they finally decided he could go home.

He's still coughing a lot, but that is croup for you. And there's not a whole lot to do about it - just manage the symptoms. He'll be much better in a couple of days, I'm sure.

Here is a video from yesterday - just listen to his nasty cough!

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Our Weekend: The Good

Yesterday, May 14th, was Abby's "Forever Family Day" (the anniversary of her official court hearing granting us permanent custody). To celebrate, Mark and I took Abby to Chuck E. Cheese's on Saturday afternoon, which she really enjoyed. Ethan stayed with Grandma and Grandpa (Mark's parents). In the evening, we had some family over to celebrate with pie and ice cream. It was a nice day.

We love you forever,
We like you for always,
As long as we're living, our baby you'll be.

We love you like a pig loves pies, Abigail Rebecca.

Our Weekend: The Bad

Yesterday (Mother's Day) was spent first at the med center and then at the hospital. Not my best Mothers Day, that's for sure.

Ethan has a bad case of croup (barking cough, wheezing), but he was having labored breathing so we wanted to make sure it hadn't developed into something more than croup. After being admitted to the med center, the SAME *incompetent* doctor who said my arm was just "badly sprained" gave us quite a scare with Ethan. After reviewing an x-ray of Ethan's throat, he jumped to the conclusion that Ethan was likely to have Epiglottitis (a swelling of the epiglotis [punching bag in your throat] caused by a bacterial infection). Epiglottitis can be fatal of not treated right away - the airway can close all the way and the child can suffocate. So he called an ambulance and basically scared the crap out of Mark and I.

Once we arrived at the hospital, I was immediately relieved to overhear Ethan's ER doctor saying, "oh... he sent another one down here with 'Epiglottitis,'" and then, "this is just a classic case of croup." The doctor also told us that the swelling of Ethan's airway was not nearly as severe as Epiglottitis would indicate, and Epiglottitis is most often caused by a bacteria that Ethan is immunized against anyway so it would be highly unlikely. We made a decision that very moment that we are not going back to this med center again! At the end of the day, Ethan received 2 breathing treatments plus oral steroids, and he was doing much better. We finally were sent back home at around 2:30 (after 5 hours). Then the kids took naps, we ate dinner, we played a little and the kids went to bed. It was a "family day," but not the way we had planned! We were very relieved that Ethan was OK.

Unfortunately, Mark is back at the hospital right now (see how we skipped the med center!), because Ethan was wheezing so badly this evening. Ethan's received another breathing treatment and is still coughing and wheezing. He will have to stay in the hospital overnight, so my mom is coming over to stay with Abby so Mark and I can switch out. I will let you know what happens!

Our Weekend: The Beautiful

There was no "ugly" this weekend, but there was beautiful! Abby and I (along with my mom and Mark's mom) went to a mother/daughter tea party put on by my mothers' group at church. It was really fun, a chance to dress up and eat finger sandwiches while drinking tea with other ladies. Abby looked really adorable in her new pink dress; I even curled her hair for the occasion. Daddy painted her fingernails and toenails. She looked so precious! I hope this is the beginning of a special mother/daughter tradition.

My squirmy worm wouldn't sit still for a picture.

She was not a willing participant for pictures with her Grandma's... by that point, she was totally sugared up by the candy we gave away as favors. I love the picture with Mark's mom (totally blurry, I know) - Abby wouldn't even sit next to her for the picture!
Our goofy, crazy, beautiful girl.

Just a Test

I saw this awesome video hosting site on another blog I read (thanks, Gwen!) and just wanted to test it with a short video.

This is a video of Abby when she visited the hospital when Ethan was born. She crawled for the first time just hours before his birth, and this video shows the second time she crawled (just shy of 9 months old). The voices on the video are of me and my mom, and Mark. Enjoy!

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

How did you get here, my dear?

First of all, Happy Mothers Day to all of you mothers out there. Enjoy your day! Our day will likely be spent with a little time at the med center with Ethan, since he has croup very badly and I fear it may have developed into something more (pneumonia? large bronchial airway problems?) But something this morning did put a smile on my face, and I'd like to share.

I've got a "site-meter" attached to this blog, so I can track the location where people are reading my blog, the number of hits I'm getting, and good stuff like that. Basically, are you guys reading this or what? It also tracks searches (on Google and others) that brought people to one of my posts. Today, someone got to my blog via a search for "smelly Indian women." Remember my very last post, where I said my cast was smelly and said that women weren't shaped like The Incredible Hulk and that my Indian name is "Slug Lazing?" This is how someone found me.

Here are several searches that I've gotten hits from over the last couple of months.

1. Trista infertility: Unfortunately, I think they only care about Trista Rehn of The Bachelorette fame. But I want to know - who gives a *bleep* about her fertility? That's soooo 2003.
2. Mom tattoos: The reason I got hit on this one was my post on the Variety Show where we drew on Mom tattoos for the end of the show. Man, we were such rebels.
3. I've gotten over 15 hits from searches for some variation of broken arm. I've also gotten spam comments about my broken arm, so I'm sure that's why there are so many searches.
4. Cute toddler haircuts: I hope someone got a good idea by checking out Abby's hair at the end of 2005. I hope they did not check out the slanty-banged haircut of the cheap salon, they might not be too impressed.
5. Meat goes bad: I hope [team] meat doesn't go bad! But just to be safe, keep checking me for mom tattoos.
6. Several people are looking for toddler tips - Disney Princess Pull-ups, pull-ups poopies, Tips on how to get 2 year old to stay in bed, crib escape, minesies. Since we've been potty training for 3 *long* months now, and Abby still gets out of her room almost a year after switching to her big-girl bed, I wouldn't consider us the poster-family for these practices. Sorry!
7. Lunchmeat and pregnancy: huh??
8. And finally, I get my fair share of "questionable" searches that always crack me up: sexy moms, "I like fun", cousin lovin', sexy meat, and my absolute personal favorite of all time: forty one year old in diaper. The only thing I wonder about the last one is, couldn't it be a 40 year old? What's wrong with a 42 year old? Apparently, 41 is prime.

Have a great day celebrating motherhood! Hope you had a good laugh!

Friday, May 12, 2006

I'm ba-ack!

I am coming to you live from a computer desk where I am typing frantically with two hands - yes, you read that correctly, two hands. I am cast-free! After 5-1/2 weeks, my disgustingly smelly, dirty, itchy cast is off. Man, does it feel good!

So, in honor of cast-wearers everywhere, here are the
Top ten things that SUCK about wearing a cast
10. The constant questions from strangers asking, "how did that happen?" or "does it hurt?" or my personal favorite, "that must be really hard to have with kids!" Um, duh.
9. Not being able to lift anything. Waiting for my honey to come home to move a laundry basket, or get the vacuum out, or pick up heavy toys. On second thought, this one's not so bad. ;)
8. Sleeping with a giant club at the end of your arm. Try to find a comfortable position with that! And poor Mark had to sleep with one eye open in anticipation of my deadly limb swinging at his head.
7. The itching; oh, the itching!
6. Wearing Mark's shirts because the armholes of women's clothes are too small to accomodate a big fat wrist. Apparently, most women are not shaped like The Incredible Hulk.
5. Getting your groove on can be quite challenging with a broken arm. Try that activity with one hand tied behind your back and you will know what I mean. Or maybe you kinkier-ones already do. ;)
4. Having to give the kids hugs instead of picking them up when they want attention. My poor little knee-biters! Fortunately, they didn't treat me any differently for these 5 weeks. They would still body slam me, or jump directly onto my cast. I'm sure they just wanted to help me overcome my disability... such sensitive kids ;)
3. With one arm, you cannot possibly push a double-stroller or shopping cart. Which meant waiting for Mark to get home to go for a walk, and making trips to the grocery store with my mom every other week so she could push the cart for me. The kids had their best day ever when Gammers let them eat super-messy cheese puffs as I ran up and down the aisles throwing healthy groceries into the cart.
2. A general feeling of uselessness that comes with not being able to do any of the things you normally do to keep the house running. I have been given the Indian name "Slug Lazing." I wanted to have it embroidered on a pillow, but, oh yeah, I couldn't use my arm.
1. Taking baths instead of showers. Who wants to rinse their hair in their own filth? Ew.

You'll be hearing a lot more from me now that I can type again. Yippee!!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mark's New Career? Film producer?

Check out Mark's latest blog post. In it, he writes a script for a short film, based on the requirements for a film festival we went to this past weekend. It's cool, and I might add, a better storyline than some of the final 10 contestants.

What is a little spooky is that the field behind our house looks like this today ---->

It's very foggy and might be hard to see, but there are lots of tufts of white that were not there yesterday. I think they are Queen Ann's Lace, though, not dandelion puffs. Read Mark's script to know what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I have come to realize that I am doing you a disservice, dear reader. I provide you all of these exciting tidbits about the lives of my beautiful family of four, but I never really provide you with follow-ups after the fact. Oh, pickles! I know this keeps you up at night, wondering "how has Ethan been doing in his big-boy bed? Did they ever get to see Abby's birthfather's family for Christmas?? Oh, I wish I could sleep, but my head keeps spinning!"

1. We've gotten two more bad haircuts from the cheap haircut place. This time, on both of the kids. And on the day before Easter. Notice how Abby's bangs are going downhill (and this was AFTER I took her back to have them fix it.)

2. I recently found out that my post on One Thought Leads to Another is going to be printed in our adoption agency's next newsletter. Cool!

3. We are still Expecting - waiting for a third adoption. Not much activity on that front, but we're not actually in much of a rush (especially since I still have my arm in a cast!)

4. Ethan made a clean break from his "bawa" (pacifier). And he has been doing really well in his big boy bed (although he has days where he comes out of his room - but definitely not as often as his sister). If only every aspect of parenting was this EASY!

5. I mentioned in this post that we had seen 2 out of 3 of our kids' birthfamilies for Christmas. We did see Abby's birthfather's family in February - they ended up babysitting Abby and Ethan for us while Mark and I went to the funeral of our friends' infant son. It was a really nice visit, and everyone said they really enjoyed spending time with Abby and Ethan. And they needed a nap after we left!

6. The neverending potty training saga: Ethan is doing REALLY WELL right now - he has days where he is dry all day. He is super-motivated by the candy he gets as a reward (an M&M). He loves to go pee at every restaurant we go to, at church, at the mall, etc. Abby, on the other hand, was doing a great job around 3 weeks ago, and lost interest (again). It is a struggle to get her to sit on the potty now, so we are backing off for awhile until she's motivated again.

7. Ethan is still fascinated with gas.

8. I now have 42 blogs in my bloglines list. The obsession lives on!

9. After several interviews, we decided on an awesome preschool for Abby. We found out that they also have a 2-1/2 year old co-op program as well that Ethan is eligible for (more of a playgroup than preschool). I am waiting to find out if they are going to have a 3-year-old program and the 2-1/2 year old program on the same day, so I can enroll both kids at once (and have TWO free mornings a week - my house may become clean yet!) If not, than just Abby will be part of a 2-day program next fall. My big girl!! The preschool is Christian (although not Catholic), and focuses on learning all of the basics plus learning manners and good behavior. They say grace before snacktime. And everyone we met is so kind and loving. It FELT perfect.

10. Our kids are still non-traditional. Ethan won't go anywhere without his baby (whom he says is named "one" - apparently we've been asking his age a lot lately!) Abby has moved on to a big, blue stuffed lion, but she still won't wear girly underwear.

11. Mark's new job has turned out to be more lemon than lemonade. The work he would be doing was misrepresented during the interview process. His title was changed when he was hired. He is doing the type of work he was doing 5 years ago, although his skill level is much higher. And he misses working from home. We joke (?) that taking this new job has been the raincloud hanging over me, since two people died, I totalled the van and I broke my arm shortly thereafter.

12. Ethan is still traumatized by the Dan Zane video with the lion. And he has suddenly become overly frightened of The Lion King movie, and especially Simba. "Simba scary!"

13. Our new van is awesome, but is not actually the same color as our old van (the salesperson made a mistake, apparently) But we like the new color just as well, and this year's van model has some great upgrades: 5 disc CD changer, side-curtain air bags, and an outlet to plug your MP3 player into to play it over the sound system. Now we just need an MP3 player...

14. My cast comes off in 9 days... the countdown begins!! I CANNOT WAIT to take a shower!

I hope you can sleep better tonight, dear reader!