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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

25 Things

Check out our latest list of 25 Things I Never Said Until I Had Kids. To see the rest of the list, follow the links.


226. There will be no popping weasels at the table.
227. Get off your brother's nuggets.
228. Keep your cheese-water to your self.
229. It's called a "calculator", not a "copulator".
230. One bottle, one cheese, two lizards: that's fair.
231. It's hard to play a guitar that's trying to bite you.
232. I have to pick up poopies and apples.
233. That's a wine stopper. We should try that on you.
234. Do not talk to your grapes.
235. I hate it when my chocolate milk is spicy.
236. You'd better save your milk or you're going to be itching your tongue.
237. If you are going to insist on acting like a dog then I will start feeding you dog food and expressing your anal glands.
238. Stop pouring caveman-water in your ear.
239. That's exactly why we don' put seahorses in our guitar.
240. You grew in my neck like a goiter?
241. Yeah, it's nice, huh? Don't pee on it.
242. Wing mirrors are not a fruit.
243. Sing and rub.
244. You have a lot of underwear fixing to do.
245. I don't think we need play-by-play of how the Steelers poop.
246. There is no reason for milk to make noise.
247. I thought I saw a brown liquid stain in there, but it was just Thomas.
248. The rules don't change just because you have pajamas on.
249. Get it off your face. Your butt was just on there.
250. You know, not everybody has a belly-zebra.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Naming Babies

Greg and I have a couple of names in mind for these two new sons of ours (and no, we are not sharing) but Greg thought he would ask Marcus and Will what they thought we should name the babies. Keep in mind, these kids name their stuffed animals things like Bear, Elephant, Froggie, and Dino. On the list of choices are:

Marcus and Will
Shoe Lover
M & M's
Tree and Mountain
Elephant Trunk
Jack O' Lantern

Will is rather set on Shoe Lover. I guess now is as good of a time as any to let him know that sometimes, we just don't get what we want.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Those Kids vs. These Kids

Allow me to generalize as I say that any parent of more than one kid sometimes has to choose between her kids. Any good parent will likely tell you it sucks. It is a constant internal struggle when there is only one of you and two (or more) of them and they all need your attention at the same time. Which kid gets the most attention? Who's needs are greatest? Are you choosing the needs of one kid more often than the other?

Over the past 3 years of being a mom of two, I feel that I have gotten pretty good at juggling the needs of my two kids. It has definitely helped that my kids have matured and learned that sometimes they just have to wait a minute. It also helps that they are now able to do more for themselves.

When we made the decision to add more kids to our family, we knew that there would be the return of the battle to decide which kid's needs were greatest at any given time. What we weren't expecting was that having to decide between Will and Marcus and these babies in my belly would begin before these babies were born.

This pregnancy has been rough on me. In addition to the normal slowing down of pretty much any pregnant, I'm facing a high risk pregnancy that comes with extra doctor appointments, extra precautions, and - as evidenced by a little situation last week - extra visits to the hospital. The list of restrictions on what I physically can and cannot do is increasing rapidly. I'm a prime candidate for going into preterm labor. It is highly likely that these babies will be born early and have to spend some time in the NICU up in Pittsburgh. I'm not on bedrest yet, but I keep hearing that bedrest is probably in my future. Depending on how things progress, bedrest could mean laying in my bed all day long or having to head off to a hospital bed in Pittsburgh. (All these reasons are just some of the reasons I haven't really been spending too much time writing on my blog about this pregnancy. It would all just be a bunch of posts about how worried I am and all kinds of contradicting information I get from my doctors.)

And so I find myself having to choose. Do I play with Marcus and Will, respond to all their needs, run them back and forth to preschool, and be the super mom that I always am (yeah, that was sarcasm)? Or do I kick my feet up, cash in on people's offers to help, spend as much time as I can handle laying down, and miss out on doing a lot of fun things with Marcus and Will so I can keep cooking these babies for as long as possible?

Which kids do I choose? I constantly have to remind myself which of these kids' needs are greatest. Although I know that it is in the best interest of everyone in this family that I take it easy and pass off some of the fun things I usually do with my kids to whoever is available to help, it sure is hard to hear my kids laughing or know they are outside running and playing while I am laying in my bed watching movies. I've never been good at sitting still and not participating. The more I put my feet up today, hopefully the less time I will have to spend restricted to my bed, or worse yet, completely out of the house away from Marcus and Will and restricted to a hospital bed. The longer these babies stay in my belly, the bigger and stronger they can grow. It will mean less time in the NICU, less time running back and forth from home to the NICU to visit them, and less fragile babies to bring home when they are ready. The more I choose the babies over Marcus and Will now, the less I will have to make that decision in the future.

It makes me sad. I do what I can do. There is a lot more cuddling on the couch these days. We read a lot. Turns out that driving cars all over me while I am hanging out with my feet up is a lot of fun. We have a lot more talks and play a lot more word games and sing a lot more songs. It is not all bad. We also take a lot less trips to the park. I can no longer remember the last time I pushed my kid on a swing. No more short hikes. No more bike rides on the Montour Trail. No fall camping trips or enjoying yard work together or games of hide-and-seek. It has even resulted in very few pictures being taken and adventures enjoyed that I could blog about. It makes me sad too because I know that when these babies do arrive, there will be a whole second chapter of the babies' needs often outweighing the needs of Marcus and Will.

I carry this extra guilt as well as an adoptive parent. Most parents, I am sure, decide to bring a child into their family with intentions of giving them the best love possible. This is certainly true for me but there is a subtle difference with adopted children. Marcus and Will weren't always my children. Even though I have never met their birthfamilies, that doesn't stop me from feeling I have an obligation to do right by Marcus and Will's first families. Each time I have to choose these babies over my first two babies, I feel like I am ripping off not only Marcus and Will, but also the hopes and dreams of their first families who entrusted me to be their mother.

In my heart I still know making this hard choice between all four of my boys now is going to be best choice for everyone in the long run. It still sucks.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Will Polamalu


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Simmons Farm

Marcus had his first school field trip recently. Unfortunately, we didn't have the pleasure of having wonderful fall weather or even Indian summer weather. Nope, it was 45 degrees and raining. Many of the kids in his class bailed but we were determined to have a good time. It might have been cold and wet and covered in mud, but it was certainly fun!

I don't recall being at Simmons Farm in the past. After our group had gathered, we took a hayride past rows and rows of apple trees.

Marcus said one of his favorite parts of the trip was the hayride, but oddly he didn't seem too excited in this photo. There were many activities to do in the pumpkin picking area. Most of them I wasn't too interested in because of the weather. We headed into the pumpkin patch and I was glad Marcus decided on a smallish pumpkin for me to lug around. There was an old firetruck parked nearby that Marcus was all about exploring. There was even a sliding board off the side of the truck!

By the time the tractor came back to get us, Marcus was getting cold. In no time we were back in a warm-ish, dry area drinking apple cider and eating apples. All in all, a pretty good day at the farm.


Family Day

Last week we celebrated our Family Day, a day when spend time together as a family remembering the way we all came together. Our official Family Day isn't until the first Saturday of November but we decided to move it up a month this year in order to make sure that I could still get around with minimal waddling. This year we decided to take the kids to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History with intentions of checking out the dinosaurs.

First, we started off the day with our annual photo session. Not planning on boring you with the photos from every year, but here are Marcus and Will during their first day home with us and here they are today.

We got to the museum just as it opened. When we got to the area where you could see that lab where volunteers were working on the dinosaurs, we were the only ones around. One of the volunteers came out and let us touch and hold a rib fossil from a real dinosaur. Not sure how excited the kids were about that, but I was pretty excited!

There was a little hesitation on the kids' part when we started getting closer to the big dinosaurs. We had to remind them that all the animals were dead, which led to Marcus asking repeatedly if every single dinosaur was in heaven now. Marcus and Will both agreed that their favorite dinosaur fossil was the t-rex.

We threw in some fossil digging

and some lunch and did a lot of walking. We were all so tired by the end of the day! It took us all a couple of days to recover fully from all our fun.

In the evening, we watched videos of the kids taken when we visited them in Guatemala. Both kids were pretty interested in seeing themselves as babies. Later, Marcus and Will both got a little gift. We picked up a bunch of small items while we were in Guatemala to give to the kids for years to come. This year Marcus got a coloring book and Will got a small book on spiders that is all in Spanish and I understand none of it.

Happy Family Day to my wonderful family!