He, She, They, We!

This is who my kid is (he). This is who I am (she). This is who our community is (they). We are all family (we)!

November 19, 2012 11:29 am

Days 18 and 19

I am thankful for weekends and Mondays!  I love the time off to recharge but I am so thankful to have a job that I enjoy going to!  It’s a catch 22—I want more time off, but I enjoy what I do and the people I work with, so…

April 12, 2012 4:51 am

Botched Surgery Thoughts

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”

For those of you who know what’s been going on in my family life—you know that it’s been touch and go for a little bit.  Quick recap—my dad went in for a “routine” 1.5 hour procedure and woke up “paralyzed!”  Four surgeries later (within 24 hours) and 4 days in the ICU and he was able to come home!  Clearly, NOT just a routine surgery!  He has been home now for a few weeks and has been going to physical therapy to regain the strength in his legs and stability in his walking—this has seriously infringed upon his golf game.  It’s situations like this, that really make you think, right?  It’s sad that it takes situations like this to think, but it usually does.  I am extremely close to my parents, so I spend a lot of time with them.  I go with them to doctors appointments and I have (at least) 2 meals a week with them (we meet every Saturday for lunch and every Thursday for dinner).  I talk to both of them at least once a day, just to check in!  But it truly does take a situation like this to refocus on what’s important—and not just what, but who. 

I know that, for me, things at my job have escalated from “we sure are busy!” to “is it ever gonna stop or even slow down????”  And it’s not just me and where I work.  I talk to my friends who work in different industries and they say that it’s the same for them too. They are feeling like they are being pulled from every direction.  So it’s easy to get caught up in work.  If you have kids—it’s easy to feel the pinch on time with them.  It’s easy to feel like you are running around crazy.  Oh, but the important things.  I cannot forget what and who those are.  Luckily, I have a constant reminder of probably the biggest important thing and his little charming face wakes me up every morning at around 530 AM!  And I love it!  But my friends and parents and the people I love and respect in my life shouldn’t be schulffed to the side because work is busy or because I have laundry and dishes to do.  There is always a reason, right?  There is always something that I view as important, right?  There is always something that I can move to the top of the list.  Oh, but re-focusing on what’s important is soooo important. 

So, I thank you, shady Doctor who botched my Dad’s surgery and then kinda laughed about it after, saying (something to the effect of), “Good thing you signed that waiver, huh, Chuck?!”  Thank you—because this is a lesson learned, for me.  I will always be busy—everyone is busy, but I am so blessed with amazing people in my life and I CANNOT take them for granted!

November 23, 2011 5:06 am

Signs of Healthy Attachment

Some people have asked me about “attachment” when I refer to it concerning K.  So I thought I would post this!

Even children who are experiencing attachment strain may have some of these signs of healthy attachment. Knowledge of positive attachment will help parents build on the areas that are strengths, but should not be used to ignore indications—even mild ones—that a baby/child is experiencing difficulty.

  1. Joyful the majority of the time.
  2. Seeks out primary caregiver for comfort and to meet needs.
  3. Likes to be cradled and held facing primary caregiver.
  4. Makes good eye contact with primary caregiver and initiates eye contact—both close & distant proximity.
  5. When primary caregiver makes eye contact, the child smiles back, showing signs of being happy with the interaction.
  6. Smiles and exhibits pleasure when seeing self in the mirror.
  7. Frequently engages in playful interactions with primary caregiver (interactions initiated by both parent and child.)
  8. Uses different cries to alert primary caregiver of needs and wants; easily consoled by primary caregiver.
  9. Accepts limits placed by primary caregiver.
  10. Willingly allows primary caregiver to hold bottle, hand feed, and nurture.
  11. Melts into primary caregiver when held; lays head on shoulder; holds on when held; faces primary caregiver rather than away.
  12. Enjoys cuddling, hugs, and kisses given by primary caregiver and initiates cuddling, hugs, and kisses without wanting something in return.
  13. Can co-sleep without major difficulty.
  14. Prefers primary caregiver to all others.
  15. Imitates primary caregiver regularly (actions, language, etc.)
  16. Content to sit on primary caregiver’s lap or stay in primary caregiver’s arms for an age appropriate amount of time.
  17. Settles quickly when held by primary caregiver.
  18. Enjoys skin on skin contact.
  19. Prefers close proximity to primary caregiver but not in an anxious, desperate way.
  20. Consistently sleeps well and peacefully.
  21. Wants to please primary caregiver because he knows it will make his parent happy.
  22. Reacts appropriately to pain; wants primary caregiver to nurture him when in pain or sick; easily consoled.
  23. Uses food appropriately. Recognizes when hungry and full.
  24. Shows true personality to primary caregiver and family and friends (discovering a child’s innate personality takes time.)
  25. Initiates “sweet nothing” talk with primary caregiver.
  26. Shows appropriate stranger anxiety.
  27. Displays age appropriate anxiety at brief separation from primary caregiver but is able to be reassured.
  28. Reunites happily with primary caregiver with eye contact and physical contact.
  29. Show signs of feeling safe in social situations; able to play and interact with others, but stays close and checks in with primary caregiver regularly but not in an anxious or desperate way.
  30. Is gentle to self and others.
  31. Gets along with other children & siblings most of the time.
  32. Is okay with primary caregiver leaving the room for short periods of time. Conversely, cares that primary caregiver has left the room and shows happiness when that person returns.
  33. Speech/language skills are developing appropriately.
  34. Angry outbursts/tantrums are infrequent, short in duration. Parent can soothe child.
  35. “Normal” discipline methods/parenting techniques are effective.
  36. Child can identify his own feelings (at an age appropriate level.)
  37. Child can identify the feelings of others (at an age appropriate level.)
  38. Child can delay gratification (at an age appropriate level.)
November 18, 2011 7:54 am

High Five for Friday—week of 11.18.11

*It is my goal that even when I kvetch, I still have an attitude of gratitude, so each Friday, I want to share at least 5 fantastical things that have happened to me!

1.  A month of seeing people really think about what they are grateful for!!!

2.  New and more opportunities!!!  If I told you everything, it might blow your mind!

3.  Coach Gray’s b-day!!!  While I try to celebrate him all the time, I get to really celebrate this guy, and I like that a lot!

4.  Spending time with Joel (AKA—It’s “Unco Joel” Mama!.

5.  People asking me if I am losing weight.  It’s a nice switch from people asking me when I am due! 

November 14, 2011 5:14 am

Reminiscing

I didn’t write a post about this last month on purpose, but on October 17, 2009, I saw my son’s face for the first time.  I got my official referral from the orphanage.  As we enter into the month where everyone becomes thankful and grateful for the many blessings in their lives, I don’t want to be left out.  I try to show an attitude of gratitude throughout the year, but I know that I am not always successful. 

However, on this particular October day in 2009, I was more grateful than I had been in the previous months of waiting.  Anyone who has adopted or wants to adopt, knows what is feels like when you get the “call” (or in most cases, the “email”).  Many of you know my story.  Many of you walked this journey with me.  But once you see the face of the child who will be yours—there are no words, so here I am reminiscing about the first time I ever saw his amazing face and I am reminded of how nervous I was, how elated I was and how in awe I was. 

His life has forever changed my life—for the better.  His face cracks me up each and every day.  His hugs are the best around.  And his kisses and words of love are beyond anything I could have imagined.

So, right now, this November—2 years after I saw his handsome face for the first time, I am still grateful.  Grateful for the wait because that wait meant that I was blessed with the son who was meant for me and the mom who was meant for him.  Grateful for my friends who have traveled this road with us. Grateful to my parents who have been there every step of the way.  Grateful to Z—K’s birth mom, truly one of my heroes.  Grateful for this journey!  Simply put—I am just so grateful!!!

August 26, 2011 6:49 am

High Five for Friday—week of 08.22.11

*It is my goal that even when I kvetch, I still have an attitude of gratitude, so each Friday, I want to share at least 5 fantastical things that have happened to me!

1.  Day off to hand with my kid!

2.  My co-worker had her baby and both are doing well!!!

3.  Gettin’ my hair did!!!!!

4.  Got the chance to kinda catch up with Ryan G—so thankful for his friendship

5.  14 days until Hawaii!

5b.  Got offered 2 more classes—WOOHOO!!!  Money cometh!!!

June 24, 2011 5:00 am

High Five for Friday—week of 06.20.11

*It is my goal that even when I kvetch, I still have an attitude of gratitude, so each Friday, I want to share at least 5 fantastical things that have happened to me!

1.  First day of summer!

2.  Dad’s day!  Being able to celebrate the wonderful Dad’s in my life is always so amazing.  I know some of the best men who are Dad’s, surrogate Dad’s, Uncles, and mentors!  I am blessed and so is K.

3. Swim lessons—K is rockin’ the heck outta his swim lessons.  He is loving it and I love seeing his confidence sky-rocket!

4.  Days off to hang out with friends.

5.  Doors opening that I thought were closed!!!

June 10, 2011 5:00 am

High Five for Friday—week of 06.06.11

*It is my goal that even when I kvetch, I still have an attitude of gratitude, so each Friday, I want to share at least 5 fantastical things that have happened to me!

PS—these aren’t in any particular order!

1.  My Dad!  His surgery went well.  They were able to remove the tumor and save the kidney! 

2.  Swim lessons for K!  This is year two for him and he is doing well so far!!!

3.  June gloom!  I know that a lot of people don’t like it, but I do!!! 

4.  SYTYCD.  It’s sad, but I do enjoy this show in the summer!!!

5.  Carlos—still very grateful for this amazing man.

5B.  Payday—that’s the real right there people.  Money comes to me NOW!