Silly Girl

As much fun as we had celebrating this journey at our dinner a few weeks ago, it’s been a huge relief to be past the bulk of the fundraising. No news yet. So far, we’ve only been able to put our names in for 1 baby. And the birthmom told the agency she preferred a family that wasn’t “too religious.” We weren’t sure exactly what that meant, but weren’t surprised to hear that we were not chosen.

Meanwhile, we’ve been trying to take a little step back and enjoy some family time this summer. I just can’t get over how hilarious our girl is. Here are just a few examples of her silly antics:

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Me: Elise, I have the day off! What should we do today?

Elise: Ummm… DISHES!!!!

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At a friends house:

Me: Elise, go get some play dough from your bag.

Elise: Oh yeah!!!

(runs her head right into their dining room table like you’d see on America’s Funniest Home Videos)

Elise: (crying) Maaamaaa, hold you!!! Blanket!!!!

Me: Come here, baby. (kissing her head) Here, you can borrow Piper’s blanket.

Elise: Oh-kay *sniff* (10 more seconds of crying) All done.

Me: All done with the blanket?

Elise: No. Crying. (runs to get her play dough)

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At the Family Christian Bookstore

Me: I don’t have my wallet. Tyler, I can take Elise from you if you’ll pay for the books.

Tyler: Sure.

Elise: (spreads her arms wide to gather us all together mid-pass-off) Family Hug!!!!!!

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Also at our friends’ house

Elise: (Rolling around on the floor in her dress) Change? Change?

Me: No, I think you’re ok. We just changed you before we came over.

Elise: Change? Please, change?

Tyler: Ok, here, let’s go back to the room and I’ll change you.

Later on the drive home:

Tyler: So… was Elise playing in your drawers today?

Me: Yeah, why?

Tyler: (laughing) She had 2 pairs of your underwear around her waist.

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I seriously can’t get enough of this silly girl.

 

Pondering Pages

One of Elise’s favorite pastimes is reading books. Her current favorites are anything from the series “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” It’s fun reading them to her because if you pause before the last word on each page, she will say it for you. Very enthusiastically, I might add.

But sometimes we sit down to read a book – whether one of ours or one from the library – and I just have to wonder if the editors really even read the books.

Most Disappointing:  Pooh’s Bees

Pooh's bees

What child wouldn’t find this silly-old-bear charming? Seemed like a great book when we checked it out from the library. Pooh tries to climb a tree to get some honey, but the bees buzz him and he falls down. The only obvious solution is to have Christopher Robin blow up a blue balloon so that Pooh can float camouflaged up to the hive to get some honey.

Christopher Robin breathes helium, in case you weren’t aware.

No wonder he hallucinates about talking stuffed animals.

But the real problem with this book is that it abruptly ends with Pooh floating.

Did he get stung? Did the bees pop his balloon? Did he sing one of his weird songs to soothe them? Did he get the honey?

Children won’t know the rest of the story until they can read the full-length book. I imagine that has been the motivation of many advanced readers of our day. Teachers and parents: you could really do this with any book… read to them until the climax of the story and then close it abruptly and say, “The End. You’ll have to learn to read the rest for yourself.” How can I get on the school board? I think they need me.

Most Depressing:  The Jolly Barnyard

How altruistic of Farmer Brown be thinking of his animals instead of himself on his birthday! Except… as a farmer, feeding his animals is his job.

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But regardless, his animals must feel the same affection towards him because they decide to do something special for him in return.

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Except it’s not really that special because those are their jobs.

But the depressing part is here:

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Not only is he living just to die, but he’s not even living in blissful ignorance.

Most Confusing:  Chicka Chicka 1-2-3

The original Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book is a cute alphabet book. In this one, we are counting.

At first, we start counting by ones. But suddenly we find ourselves counting by tens without warning. And then 99 comes along. Oh and then 0. Why? How did this happen? And why is 0 coming after everything else?  I know I can be scatter-brained, but this is bad…

Chicka chicka 123

And *spoiler alert* guess what?

There’s not going to be enough room. So let’s just focus on the task at hand for toddlers reading this book: Counting.

By ones please.

Most Disturbing:  Goodnight Moon

A very dear friend gave us this book while I was pregnant, and I’ll be honest… I had never read it before then! Which is my defense for my interpretation of the book.

Several things have struck me upon reading this book 63 times with Elise…

1. What is up with the colors? They’re hauntingly gaudy. And then you turn the page and suddenly everything flashes into black and white. If that’s not the set-up for an old-time horror story, I don’t know what is. Yes… “Goood nighhhhtttt… whaaahaaahaaaahahaa!!!”

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2. Is it just me, or do those cats look spooked? I sure wouldn’t want a spooked cat in my bedroom as I’m trying to go to sleep.

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3. Why couldn’t they call the old lady a “Grandmother”? It would make the story 10x less creepy. Honestly, leaving it so vague is what ruins the whole story for me.

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Who is she? Does he know her? Why is she there sometimes and gone other times? What kind of grandmother wouldn’t tuck her grandchild in?

There’s no way she’s his grandma. Is she going to stay there all night and watch him sleep? Why does she keep whispering “hush”?? And for goodness sake, where is this bunny’s parents??!! Do they know about this?! If she’s the babysitter, why didn’t they leave a list to at least include goodnight hugs? Poor Baby-bunny… he looks scared!

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Here’s what’s happening when I read this story: 

Baby bunny was naughty at dinner and was sent upstairs to eat by himself. Only he is being defiant and is leaving the oatmeal for his mom to clean up in the morning. And everyone knows you can only clean old oatmeal out of a dish with a jackhammer. And in the meantime, it is attracting a mouse that is running all over the room. *shudder*

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His final act of defiance is to prolong bedtime by saying “goodnight” to every.single.thing. in his room.

So the boogie-bunny sneaks into his room disguised as an old lady giving him one last warning to “hush.”

The cats look spooked because, well… they are spooked. Cats can sense boogie-bunnies, and they’re worried Baby-bunny is going to push the limits with this “Good-night” bologna.

And then… he finally turns the lights out. And there are noises. Noises everywhere.

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And the boogie-bunny is suddenly gone…

Or is she?

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Oddly enough, I actually do like reading Goodnight Moon. If you just call the old lady a “grandma” it’s so much more soothing. And The Jolly Barnyard isn’t bad either, if you don’t think about the poor Turkey’s sacrifice. I would suggest a re-write for the other two books though.

Read at your own risk, friends!

Lost & Found

While I love to organize events and people, I feel like something happens when I cross our property line. It’s like I’ve roamed into a [brain] dead zone.

Because of this, my purse generally ends up looking like a lost-and-found. I’m a hoarder when it comes to the contents of my bag. No matter the size of the bag, I always feel compelled to fill it full. You can never be too prepared. Why waste all that space?

If you’ve ever worked in church nursery and had to dig through our diaper bag to get something, I’m sure you’ve noticed this. I’m so sorry.

So because of my messy-purse habit (that drives me crazy by-the-way), I try to just not use a purse whenever possible. I have a good system down: key-chain on my pinkie finger, wallet under my arm (it’s a good-sized wallet), and phone in my hand/pocket. That’s all I really need.

So last Sunday morning, I was attempting a purse-ditch day and shoved my phone in my pocket. On our way out the door it started to fall out. That’s not going to be a smart place for my phone, I told myself, and I took it out just before scooping Elise up to put her in the car.

Only, then I couldn’t buckle her in, because my hands were full.

So I did what any purse-picketer would do… I set the phone down for a minute.

On the roof of the car.

I don’t exactly remember doing this… I know I knew better than to do it, because (ok, confession time…)

Well… because I did it this past winter too. *cringe*

pleasedontjudgeme!

*sigh*

Let me explain: The first time this happened, we weren’t certain where I had lost it. But it wasn’t turning up anywhere that made sense, so Tyler waited until it was dark (in the dead of winter!) and rode his bike up and down the road, hitting redial over and over.

I thought he was crazy. It was gone, no doubt about it. (Cue country-song):

Gone for the day and gone for the night,

Gone for the rest of my doggone life…

But I was wrong. He actually found it! A mile away from our house, lit up in the darkness, face-up in a snowy ditch.

Only 100+ missed calls. But it still worked!

Seriously, I have the best husband. He never even acted mad or frustrated with me.

So THIS time when I lost my phone, once it didn’t turn up in all the normal spots, I remembered having it in my hand as I tried to buckle Elise in. And I knew…

We looked everywhere this time. Both of us took turns walking and riding our bikes down the road, hoping and praying we would find it.

But to no avail.

Alas, I spent 3 days phone-less and we decided it was really gone.

So what do you think of my new phone?

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Ok, ok, I kid… this is one of a dozen wood-crafted toys that a retired gentleman gave to Tyler during our garage sale. Apparently his wife loves to go garage-saling, so he comes a long and hands out these toys. He was quite a character and he loved that Tyler could appreciate his craftsmanship as a fellow woodworker. They even bonded over how much they love the show Woodwrights Shop.

(Have you seen that show? It’s worse than watching golf. It’s the perfect prescription for insomnia.)

Anyway, I digress… the point was, I had to order a new phone. But a real one. Not a wooden redneck phone.

The only reason I haven’t died of guilt and shame for having to order a new phone while we are saving up and others are donating money to us is that we only spend $20/month on our phone plan. But still… I’m so sorry…

 

Anyway, then Thursday one of our friends from church messaged me with this picture which she found on our town’s Community Chatter Facebook page:

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“I am searching for the owner of these photos. “My husband found a phone in the road a couple weeks ago. The phone is shattered and unusable, but the SD card is in perfect shape and has a lot of photos on it. I would like to return the phone back to its owner. If anyone knows the people in the photos or who the phone belongs to, please message me. Thank you.”

Crazy, right? We met yesterday and they returned it to me:

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I know some people live on their phones. I do not. People would ask me, “What is your phone?” and I wouldn’t even know how to answer them. It wasn’t fancy, but I did have precious pictures and videos I would have lost if it weren’t for these kind people.

So thankful for the kindness of strangers.

And I will definitely be toting around a purse from now on. *Sigh*

 

 

10 Things I Won’t Miss About Child-bearing

1. Hormones: Being so emotional about trying to get pregnant, and then then taking hormones. And then having pregnancy hormones. And then after-birth hormones. My poor husband.

2. Progesterone shots in the rump. Administered by my courageous husband. Laying on my stomach, I would hear a heavy, sick-to-his-stomach breath and hope it wouldn’t be too long for him to get up the nerve to stab me with the 17 gauge needle. I stab people with needles for a living, and I would be sick to my stomach if I had to jam a giant needle into their muscle. I’m not sure who hated it more, him or me.

3. Getting up in the middle of the night to pee. Every.45.minutes.

4. Having to be stabbed twice for the epidural. And six times for the IV. So many needles… ahh, karma.

5. Peeing in cups. Good grief, peeing on-demand is nearly impossible for me. Before my laparoscopy they told me not to drink water for 12 hours prior. Then right before the surgery they handed me – the woman who has Pee-Cup-Anxiety – a container for a sample. I took 45 minutes in the bathroom trying to relax and run the faucet and picture waterfalls, all to no avail. I think the nurse thought I was having other issues, because she was flabbergasted when I returned teary-eyed with an empty cup. Thank God she was able to order a blood test instead. Even when I was in labor (I know, right?!!) and we went to the hospital I had a Pee-Cup-Anxiety-attack that paralyzed my bladder. That proves it’s a real thing, folks.

6. Anxiety about my doctor – my FEMALE doctor – not being there for delivery. And having good reason to do so. No sooner did she say “Goodbye and Good Luck,” than a young, hunky resident walked in to deliver my baby in her place. While the supervising {male} doctor looked on. And his other {male} resident observed. With unnaturally wide eyes. That didn’t blink. I looked at Tyler and cried. (In all honesty though, the resident was amazingly-encouraging, and I couldn’t have asked for a better delivery-coach. I just had to imagine he was a motherly, middle-aged woman.)

7. Starting motherhood off with 3 hours of sleep in a matter of 48 hours. Plus crazy hormones that make you question if everything you are doing is wrong. Plus stitches that make it nearly impossible to get out of bed. Again: my poor husband.

8. Looking like a zombie for the first month of her newborn life.

9. Post-partum baby weight… And POST-post-partum baby weight.

10. Breast-feeding. Saying statements like that can start a Mommy brawl, but what I mean by it is this: Breastfeeding ain’t for sissies. Wish I could say I was one of those moms that loved breast-feeding, but we STRUGGLED. (Fair warning: if breast-feeding gives you the heebee-geebees, skip the next sentence). Let’s just say, “Ripped Nips” does not mean having well-defined pectoral muscles. But somehow, we made it through the first year via the Mammary-Torture Device breast pump. I am so glad I did it, and would recommend to anyone to try and to get as much help as they can from a Lactation Consultant. But I will.not.missit.

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Truth be told though, carrying Elise in my womb and delivering her was the most wonderful, life-changing experience. When we held her for the first time, Tyler looked at me with tears in his eyes and barely choked out the words, “3 years…”

I have no idea what to expect for Baby #2. There is no “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” chapter on Adoption. But I know it will be every bit as miraculous and meaningful as Elise’s entrance into this world. Just minus a few needle-sticks, hormones, and pee-cups. Thank goodness.

Now who wants to buy a breast pump?

Thank You, Good Night

Long week: 50 work hours, 5 hours of sleep each night, sick (again), preparing for a garage sale. Apologies for any discontinuity in the following recap.

Check out the bags under those eyes! Eesh.

Check out the bags under those eyes! Eesh.

 

Friday night, 10:30 pm – Finally finished baking 12 dozen cookies for the Indoor Community Garage Sale, our first fundraising event.

Saturday morning, 5:00 am – Alarm goes off on my phone.

Try to turn my alarm off by frantically squeezing the side buttons and sliding my keyboard out.

Remember I no longer have a flip phone.

Frantically slide my fingers all over the screen. Somehow manage to silence the alarm.

Crawl out of bed.

5:03 am – Get Rylie up.

5:05 am – Make a list of everything I need for the Indoor Garage Sale today.

5:06 am – Search for my Chalkboard Marker.

5:10 am – Remember I was supposed to order the rest of my Profile Books from Shutterfly with the $20 off coupon I got from Buy Buy Baby yesterday.

Search my bag.

Search the kitchen.

Search the living room.

Search my car.

5:15 am – Quietly sneak into the dark bedroom to search the laundry pockets.

A voice breaks through the darkness, “You got Rylie up already??”

Indignantly, I verify that I did in fact get Rylie up.

Then I look at the clock.

4:15 am

Wait, what?

WHAT?

*sigh*

4:20 am – Search my car again. Found the coupon.

4:21 am – Search for the chalkboard marker. Ay-yi-yi

4:25 am – Give up on my search and order my Profile books.

5:00 am (again, but for real this time) – Lay down on the couch to nap until I actually have to get up.

5:00:01 – tick

5:00:02 – tock

5:00:03 – tick

5:00:04 – tock

5:00:05 – Consider how to demolish the clock from my place on the couch.

Spend an hour thinking. In the dark. On the couch. With the ticking clock.

6:00 am – Get up and nearly run into Tyler.

Almost wet my pants.

Apologize for my alarm going off so early.

“That was my alarm.” he tells me

Cry a little.

6:03 am – Find my chalkboard marker on the coffee table I had already checked 6 times.

Thankfully, the rest of the day went much better. I met Nick and Jamie (our friends from college who are also adopting) at the venue for the Indoor Community Garage Sale and we got everything set up just fine. In fact:

9:00 am – Doors open.

9:20 am – Run out of Dog Biscuits my friend made for us to sell.

I couldn’t believe the amount of people who came out to support us. People who I worked with, people I used to work with, people who only kind-of know us, people who have known us since college… It meant so much to have so many people come support our adoption.

I can’t even explain how much every word, blog-hit, and gift has meant to us. I probably make ya’ll feel super-awkward, because I feel like I’m fighting back tears each time someone donates or says how much they enjoy reading the blog or shows up at our garage sale. I’m blown away to see names I don’t recognize as “Supporters” on our youcaring.com site. I’m moved by the interest and the support throughout our Adoption Process. And then there’s the random checks in the mail that appear right when I’m feeling discouraged… I’m in constant awe of God’s reminders to us of His faithfulness.

They say pregnant women are emotional, but I think Expectant Motherhood through adoption induces a state of emotional instability of its own.

That or I am tired. Check out the bags under those eyes! Eesh.

Like really, really tired. Can I go to bed now?

*Happy sigh*  Thank you for reading and caring so much about us and our family. You are a blessing beyond what my loopy, tired brain can formulate into words right now. {Thank you!}

P.S. If you want to, you can search “Cheyenne and Tyler’s Adoption Page” on facebook to get blog updates and find out about upcoming events.

Our Profile Book {and also the arrival we’ve been waiting for}

Our Profile Book {and also the arrival we’ve been waiting for}

Look what {finally} came today:

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Also pictured are the cookies I caved and bought 2 days ago out of desperation. Apparently the Girl Scouts didn’t blacklist me after all. They really were just back-ordered. For 3 months.

And now that our approval date is so close, I finally finished the profile book I’ve been working on for 3 months. Oddly coincidental, no?

Maybe my need to keep my mind off the perfectly crunchy, caramely, coconut cookies that drove me to spend nearly 100 hours on this project.

Or maybe it was that cookie-deprival stalled my creativity all this time.

However these two events are related, today was certainly momentous.

So anyway, when a birthmom chooses our agency for finding a family for her baby, we will get an email with non-identifying information about her: when she’s due, the baby’s gender, any health concerns for the baby, her interest in on-going contact. If we feel we would be a good match for her, we let the agency know that they can show her our profile book. She will narrow her choices down by looking through the books and reading our 15 page Home Study Report.

Take a look at a few pages here if you’d like (If you click the photos, you can read the text and see clearer pictures.)

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That’s all I really have for today! Less than 250 words! I think that’s a record. That is, if you don’t count the text on the pages.

 

Matters of Justice

You will be shocked at the story I have for you today. And I’m not being facetious. I was shocked. Just stay with me here. You’ll see.

Remember how I told the story of my “Adoption Physical?” Well Tyler had his also around the same time as mine mine.

When I asked him how it had gone he said, “Fine. The doctor was kind of weird.” He wasn’t thrilled that the only opening they had was with a female doctor. I wasn’t surprised at his summation.

“Weird?” I asked.  I giggled a little inside as I asked, “Did you have to–”

“No.” he said. He knew what I was going to ask. We both were hopeful our physicals would be nice and simple: Blood pressure, pulse, lungs, done. None of that socks-off-foot-assessment or any other *ahem* uncomfortable examinations.

He said matter-of-factly, more amused than offended, “She did ask me ‘Why don’t you want to just have kids the normal way?'”

Why-don’t-you-want-to-just-have-kids-the-normal-way????

I was incited. How could a physician — a physician — ask such a question?

I try to be understanding of people who ask this question out of ignorance that 1 out of every 8 couples will struggle with infertility.

I try to pretend I can empathize with someone who says “I am so done having kids.” or “When he looks at me, I get pregnant.” or “I cried when I saw the positive pregnancy test.”

I know they love their kids and they don’t realize the sting I feel. I know that I am probably ignorant of their life circumstances, and how another child will add to the level of stress or chaos in their household.

But a physician? A physician likely will have had patients suffering from infertility in the 25+ years experience this lady had. Justice must be served!!!

Now before you think that was the shocker of the story and move on to the “Which Modern Rock Star Should I Date?” Buzzfeed Quiz, take a quick sip of  coffee and keep reading.

So when Tyler told me this, I made up my mind that when I went back in to get my TB test read I would see if there was anyway to give some anonymous feedback to this particular doctor. I knew Tyler wouldn’t do it and would probably try to talk me out of it, so I was just going to not make a big deal out of it.

I stopped by the front window on my way out and asked the receptionist, “Do you guys have comment cards?” She seemed a little surprised by my question. Oh boy, I thought, maybe I should just drop it. 

“We have these ‘Rockstar’ badges.” she said as she held out a star-shaped paper with lines to write words of affirmation.

“Does that go on a wall somewhere, like publicly? I asked.

“Yeah” she smiled.

“Oh…” I said. This was getting uncomfortable. Why can’t I just be chill like Tyler? (“Chill”? Can’t I think of a better, more age-appropriate word? Apparently not…)

“Well…. that’s not quite what I was thinking. I guess it’s not a big deal. I just wanted to give some anonymous constructive feedback to a specific individual.”

I could tell it clicked with her, so she offered me the office manager’s business card.

I accepted it and thanked her and went on my way. The card has been sitting on my coffee table for 2 weeks now. I should have just thrown it away and let it go (Please resist the urge to break into song.) It’s not like she is our regular doctor.

Then yesterday Tyler got a letter in the mail. “Dear Tyler: It is with great sadness that we are writing to inform you of the sudden death of Dr. M. N.”

Little did I know that the day after I took that business card to email her manager about being more sensitive, she passed away.

I was shocked. I felt awful. But was so glad I hadn’t passed along my feedback.

I guess what I learned from that is to have a little more grace with people. Before I go picking out the speck in someone else’s eye, I need to think about the log in my own (Matthew 7:3). Because I am sure not perfect and have said ignorant or offensive things myself that I truly didn’t mean. And I’m sure Dr. N did not ask her question for it to sound like “What’s wrong with you?” or “Why would you want to adopt?” Or maybe she didn’t realize what a great gift adoption is, both for us and for this baby that will be ours.

Regardless, all that really matters is that matters of true justice are given supreme priority. Like caring for orphans, feeding the hungry, supporting the shut-ins, and giving aid to victims of disaster.

And as for other matters, a humorous approach is probably the best: