About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Eli's First Dip in the Pool

I know, I know. I have a lot of updates coming, but trying to form complete, lucid sentences is somewhat not happening right now. Lots and lots to update you on, but for now here's my little ball of sunshine in his first experience with a pool. It took him about 30 mins to warm up to the idea, but we were patient and let him tell us when he was ready. And once he hit the water, he never looked back!

Friday, July 24, 2009


(L)Eating a salad like a cow...Moooo! (R)My parents and brother got Eli this shirt...it says "Am I cute, or what!"

(L)Getting ready for Mrs. Kocher's university themed rehersal dinner...he was representin'! (R)Isn't he absolutely adorable :)

He's as tall as the tire, er, um, wheel he's cleaning. Papa is teaching him car terms, like tire, wheel, exhaust, and axle. He can point to them all on a real or toy car.

(L)At the zoo he decided he'd pull his two friends for a while...what a silly boy! (R) Driving his pace car

(L)Oh, that theraputty is tough, but my Eli is tougher! (R)Playing puzzles in his diaper

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Reflections of Motherhood

It's been a few months and I feel more and more entrenched in the battle of raising a Godly son every day. Having a son is such a blessing, a miracle, and what I've always wanted. Yet having a son is the most difficult task I've ever taken on. The time and energy is extremely high, the rewards inconsistant at best. But I'm still amazed at this little gift God has bestowed on me.

I've heard it said that everything changes once you have children. Well, DUH! Not as many vacations, or eating out. No watching as much TV or going to movies. Much more crying. Ok, maybe that's just me. But there are more subtle changes you can't really anticipate.

Like friendships changing. I read in "Mommy's Locked in the Bathroom" by Cynthia Sumner that your friendships with your single friends, married friends, and married friends with children will change. Your single friends may get annoyed at you constantly having to interupt conversations to handle the latest emergency that only happens to come up when you're on the phone or immersed in a great/deep conversation (like a bugar that in the nose isn't threatening, but once on a little finger becomes a flesh eating troll). Your married friends without children may stop inviting you over because of the fear of something being broken, or because of an unconcious disagreement about how you're raising your children (hey, at least he WAS wearing clothes when he got here!). And your friendships with married friends with children may change because of the children not getting along, or disagreements on how to handle situations that arise between the children. Although I have some of the most amazing women around me, I can't ignore the fact that these are very common things to experience.

The guilt. Oh, the guilt goes on and on, much like the Energizer Bunny, constantly pounding in your ears. "I should have given him a time out, not a spank." "I've left him with Dave for too long. Will he be angry with me?" "I should be reciting the ABC's and 123's with him every moment of every day so he picks up the language faster." "It's been two months, yet I still can't manage to plan a single meal during the week." Deep breath. I'm certainly no Martha Stewart! I find myself praying God would undo all the mistakes I've made with Eli during the day.

Then there's the upside. I get to see the amazing resilence of a God-created 3 yr old. I may have to spank him at night to keep him in the bed, but he wakes up in the morning with a HUGE smile on his face, ready to snuggle with his Momma. I can still make him laugh by tickling his underarms and his thighs, no matter what his mood happens to be at that time. I have an amazing husband who supports everything I do and say, and has encouraged me through out the process. I get to experience Eli's growth firsthand without missing a thing. For example, just the other day he started to point at the letters on his bed and then point to the corresponding letter on his wall. And now he's starting to make noises to the Wheels on the bus song. Amazing. Simply amazing.

I have a new understanding of women who park their cars in all sorts of ways in the parking lot. Have you ever just wanted to escape a pouting/whining/screaming child? Because I have. I've also found myself alone in the car belting out and bopping to Eli's songs, but that's a whole 'nother story! I have also experienced "the look" in church. You know, the one that says "Why isn't your child in Sunday School instead of the service."

I guess all this to say Motherhood is a state of being. A tired, somewhat delirous state of being. And I know I'm so blessed to have so many wonderful, encouraging people around me. Because of my perfectionism, I have to really be careful that I'm not too hard on myself. This will take time to transition in to...after all, I've only been a mom for a few months.

Two Months and One Week

"Momma, put down the camera, I'm trying to explain to you how to play in the sand the RIGHT way."

"I love tackling my Momma, then cuddling."

"Seriously, Momma, haven't you taken enough. I'm at work here!!"

Well, we've marked another milestone...the two month mark. Eli has been home with us for 9 weeks on Saturday, and the honeymoon is officially over! This week has been marked with lots and lots of tantrums, meltdowns, changes in sleeping, and defiance. But Eli reserves this change only for me, not so much for Dave. This is where it really hurts to be a parent...setting boundaries isn't easy or fun. Consistancy is truly the key, as well as knowing your child.

For acts of defiance (a matter of the will, not toddlerism) he receives a spank. I make sure it's in the same place in the house, so he knows what's coming and I don't react out of anger. For other things, such as tantrums and bad moods, I place him in his room and tell him he can come out and play with Momma when he decides to be nice or be in a better mood. I have to make sure I use short sentences because of his age (at 3 they only absorb short directives). Like I'll say "Bad mood. Room. Come out when ready." Or, the biggest one, "Listen and Obey." He knows that phrase. That means he's standing on the line, and if he pushes it any further it's a time out for sure.
I've decided this week (because of his whining and tantruming) to work on his attitude. He started really getting whiny, and that just doesn't fly by me. So he's placed in his room when he even starts to whimper, and it seems to sort of be working. He spent most of Monday in his room playing by himself, and it's slowly decreased throughout the week. Today was our best day yet!

He's really not a defiant child, but he's testing us to see how far he can go right now. I guess he's still trying to figure us out a bit.

Eli has been getting up at 6ish every morning this week, too. But he's being really good. At first, he came to me and tried to cuddle with me. But it was too early, so I took him back to his room and explained that he could play with his toys quietly. The first few days he cried, then quieted down pretty quick. Now he stays in his room and plays quietly...sometimes he's a little too quiet. Those are the times I find him in the living room or kitchen playing with his cars. Sneaky kid! He knows how to open doors out of shear determination to get out of his room in the morning. Sigh.

On a positive note, Eli sat through most of our church service (in the sanctuary) on Sunday! We left after about 40mins, which isn't too shabby. I think we'll have some training to do later (he tries to draw in the Bibles), but for now he's just taking it all in. Thank you, God, for riding vacuum cleaners!!

And the wedding was fun. Shannon and Tim are happily married and on their honeymoon. And I spent the day away from Eli for the first time. It was really tough! But I felt so refreshed (and tired) and excited to see him and spend time with him. What a difference a few hours can make!

Eli's OT and PT are progressing well, although I have homework. Don't these people know I can barely hold it together, much less have homework? It's stuff that can easily be weaved in to the routine we have now, and it's for his benefit, so I don't mind too much. I'm also going to try to include Dave so he feels more a part of the process. The PT was very optimistic about Eli's bones and muscles. He said basically that his core is very weak and needs strengthening. And he may need a cast of some kind to straighten his ankles a bit, as well as shoe inserts. No big deal.

Oh, and here's a funny tidbit. Eli's newest phrase "Yeah Baby!!"