Monday, October 27, 2008

Who wants to hear a really REALLY gross story?

So I came home from work, opened the door from the garage into the basement and thought... hmmmm. Smells a little weird.

Then I opened the door that leads to the upstairs and OH MY GOODNESS. Cody had explosive diarrhea all the way down the steps. This includes the first set of stairs, the landing, and the second set of stairs. Oh yeah, and the walls.

And judging by the way it has crusted and bonded with the carpet, it happened at least a few hours ago.

It was THE MOST DISGUSTING (and yes, I know I'm using a lot of capital letters today) thing I've ever had to clean up in my life. And I worked in child care, so that's saying a lot.

Jonathan happens to come home conveniently after I have cleaned it all up, disposed of the evidence, and everything looks more or less the way it always has. But, all the windows are open (in late-October Minnesota weather!) and he smells bleach and various other cleaners, so he knows something's up.

After I tell him the whole gruesome story, two of the first things he says are "You should have taken pictures!" and "I'm glad you were the first one home!"

I suppose I can forgive him since the third thing he said was "Do you need a hug?"
*************************
Soooooo, anyone want to buy our house now?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My calendar tells me it's October!

Somebody (Melis, is that you?!=) has reminded me that another several weeks have gone by... post-less. Yikes! Actually, I've been thinking about it every now and then, but haven't felt like I really had anything to say. (Don't get me wrong, I still don't have anything to say, but I decided to write anyway)

The original purpose of this blog was to keep family and friends updated on the adoption process, because it's seems like something that will be complicated and exciting and emotional and sometimes messy. BUT, now that we're putting adoption on hold for awhile, well... I'm just telling stories about Cody and Jonathan and me. So that's why I may be coming around less until we actually begin the mountain of paperwork and meetings that come with adoption. With that said, here's a little something about what's going on with us.

* I have a FOUR DAY WEEKEND!! And I'm savoring every minute. I turned my alarm off last night (which is the best feeling ever) and plan to enjoy my day. (And do a little grocery shopping, laundry, and errand running. I can't get off absolutely scott free. But I can sit around in my pajamas!!)

* Cody's little butt is fine now, but it did take many soakings in warm water and applications of Neosporin. But I do have to say that a week after the Burrs-in-the-Butt incident, he sprained his hip!! (It's that crazy way he skids around when he chases tennnis balls. I'm surprised he hasn't gotten hurt before!) So, he had some pain meds and had to take it easy for a couple weeks, but he is absolutely fine now.

* Here's an interesting fact I learned from my oatmeal this morning: "Nose prints can be used to identify dogs- in the same way that fingerprints can be used to identify people." I guess we better get Cody nose-printed. Just in case.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Long time, no see!

Date of last post: August 22?! It's already September 22!! Sheesh. Time flies.

Here's a quick update/random smattering of thoughts!

Our house is still on the market. And from what we can tell by looking at other houses in our area and the (very small) prices that go along with them... it doesn't look good, folks!! But, we're okay. There's no reason we have to be out of our house, and we actually like our little home very much. We are just giving it a shot, because we know that eventually we'll need more space and now's a good time to buy the kinds of houses that have more space.

Jonathan and I celebrated our three year anniversary a couple weeks ago! I love our anniversary because I get to celebrate the thing that means the most to me in the world and it gives me a reason to be all sentimental and mushy. =)

Cody has a little butt injury. He got a bunch of those tiny blackish/brown burrs stuck under his tail and in his little butthole (I know that's a funny word, but I don't know how else to describe it!) Poor guy!! It's all swollen and inflamed and I've been washing and applying neosporin twice a day. Even though it's not that big of a deal, I keep worrying about it. I can't even imagine what people do when they have kids! How do you not worry all the time?

And lastly, did you know there's a blog with the address www.jonathanandbecky.blogspot.com? I keep accidentally going there and am surprised when I see that someone else has posted to my blog. Then I realize that I have switched the jonathan and becky part around and it all makes sense. The pathetic part is that I have had this exact same "surprise" several times now. Ha!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We are using our "ask the audience" lifeline

St. Joseph has arrived, in all of his nude-colored plastic glory. Included with the statue is a card explaining the history of this tradition as well as some hints as to where to bury it. Here's what it tells us.

Some common burial positions are:

Upside down
Right side up
In the rear yard
In the front yard
Simply place on the property
Facing the house
Facing away from the house
3 ' from the rear of the house
Exactly 12" deep

Well. That was helpful.

Please help us decide where to place St. Joseph!
* The most popular answer will determine where he will be buried, so this is serious business.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My relationship with the Olympics

It's a love/hate thing.

I love them so much that I have been staying up WAY past my bedtime for the past four nights. And there's no end in sight. That's where the hate comes in. I want to sleep... but I can't.

As long as people are still flinging their bodies around on pommel horses and splashing around in pools, I guess I'll just have to be tired.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear St. Joseph

Folklore says that if you bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down in your front yard, there will soon be offers on your home.

That's why this kit should be arriving on our doorstep within a few days:


I confess, I know very little about the saints. Particularly St. Joseph. And I feel guilty for only trying to make friends with him when I need something. But, if he's willing to help...

Although, if someone bought me for $2.99 and trapped me underground (upside down, nonetheless!), I'm not sure how willing I'd be to help them.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer (so far) in Pictures.


Jonathan modeling with Charlie. Sexy, aren't they?


Camping with Cody


Jonathan swimming with his buddy


Jonathan and Dad getting all American Gladiator


Euchre on the beach


Daddy! Throw the tennis ball! PLEASE?!


Could I HAVE a cuter nephew than this?!

Friends' wedding on the North Shore


Crazy weather on Lake Superior (Note: This picture is not altered AT ALL. This is exactly how the lighting looked at that moment. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hmm, something's different....

So, what do you think?

I like it. And I think Jonathan will be really proud of me for using html code and stuff. =)

(Background from www.cutestblogontheblock.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Woops

We had a baby in our house this weekend! No, we didn't steal her. (Although it is tempting. You should SEE her! You'd want to steal her too.)

My best friend since forever ago came to visit for one quick night with her husband and beautiful baby girl. (Melissa, I think it's been 17 years since we first met! Sometimes I don't even feel like I'm 17 years old, let alone have had a friend for that long!)

At one point during the evening, Cody was being especially wild and crazy, so I let him out into the backyard. We don't have a fence, but Cody usually listens well, so we're comfortable letting him out to do his business while we keep an eye on him.

The key part of that sentence being: "while we keep an eye on him." After I let Cody out, I got distracted and ended up wandering into the bathroom to talk to my friend while she gave her baby a bath.

About five minutes later, Jonathan looks at me and says "Where's Cody?" AGHH!! I left him outside! To run the streets! In the middle of the night! We both go tearing off, me out the back door, Jonathan out the front.

And there he was. Sitting on the front stoop, patiently waiting for someone to remember that he exists and let him back in the house. And my friend just laughs and says "That's what happens when you have a baby!"

Poor Cody.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nanny Lesson #3: Enjoy the... detour?

There we were, in a mess of construction and traffic, trying to find our way to the Children's Museum. When I realized there was a detour for the road we were about to get on, I must have said something that showed my disappointment.

(No, it did not consist of four letter words! I'm a teacher. I have lots of practice voicing my frustration in creative and appropriate ways.)

The older girl said "What's wrong?" and I explained that the road we were supposed to take to get to the museum was closed, so we needed to find a different way. Meanwhile, I'm all wound up inside because I don't know this part of the city AT ALL and all I have are very specific Mapquest directions which are now useless and traffic is horrendous and those stupid orange cones are way too far into my lane and if we don't get there soon we won't have much time to enjoy the museum because if I don't get this four year old home in time for her nap things will not be pretty and...

The older girl looked out the window and sighed dreamily. She said, "I love going different ways to places. I get to see so many new things!"

Amen to that.

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Why Adoption?"

Why are we adopting? Well. Selfish reasons, really. We want kids! From the drool and the diapers to the giggles and the tears. We want it all!

That's why we're adopting. To add to our family. I do know, though, that when people say "why adoption?" that's not exactly the answer they're looking for. Every adopting couple has a story about why adoption will be the way that they form their family. Here's ours.

When I was 16, I still had not had my period yet. Up until that point, it hadn't been a major concern because I was physically active and my older sisters had gotten their periods relatively late as well. However, 16 is more than a little late, so we decided to get it checked out.

Several vials of blood, a few exams, and one MRI later the doctors discovered that I was born without a uterus. It is just plain missing. So, since the uterus plays a fairly important role in carrying a child, it was clear that I would never be able to get pregnant. Jonathan has known this since the beginning of our relationship and has been nothing but accepting, loving, and supportive.

That's the very (very) short version of our answer to "why adoption?" Am I sometimes jealous of the beautiful pregnant women in my life? Yes. Do I grieve the fact that I will never be able to feel life growing inside of me? Of course.

One thing I do know, though, is that my life so far has turned out to be so much more than I could have possibly imagined or even known to wish for. Why should this be any different? Here we go...! =)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

By the way, anyone interested in a disobedient house?

Our house is very, very sad

Jonathan and I have decided that our house is doing everything possible to sabotage our plan to move. Here's the evidence, decide for yourself.

A couple weeks ago: We met with our realtor and decided to put our house on the market.

A few days later, we realize that the (only) big tree in our front yard has mysteriously died. And not gradually, like you would imagine a tree would. Nope. Not even one scraggly leaf made it out alive.

Fast forward to last night (Wednesday): Our first showing (!!) is scheduled for tonight (Thursday), so we spent the evening cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc. A couple unexpected things happened.

1. I discovered that the kitchen floor was basically submerged under cold water. Hmm. After looking around a bit, we discoverd that every single thing under the sink was SOAKED. Drenched. Sopping wet. (Turns out, there was a broken piece of piping attached to where the dishwasher water drains from. Water had sprayed everywhere.)

2. A bit later, I'm vacumming and all of a sudden, the lights go out and the vaccuum stops. I must have overloaded the circuit. No big deal, right? Jonathan goes to flip the switch on the circuit breaker, and it won't go to the on position! He tries lots of things, but it just won't work. So now Jonathan has to try to fix the broken sink in the dark. At 11:45 pm.

The next morning: I'm getting ready to leave the house and I notice that the water in the toilet is completely brown. We keep flushing and it stays as brown as can be. Flush, flush, flush, brown, brown, brown. I lift up the cover to the tank and the walls of the tank are covered with thick brown slimeyness. (Gross, I know) All I can think is... REALLY?! Why now?!

See what I mean? The only possible explanation is that our house loves us very much and is going to do everything in its power to keep us there. Well, House, we love you too but you're not really helping your case here.

(The story does end well for now, though. Jonathan, my hero, my super handy husband, fixed the water pipe and changed out the switch in the circuit breaker for a new one. Viola! Dry kitchen and electricity! As for the toilet, I scrubbed the tank and the water now runs clear. Bring on the potential buyers!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Urgent

Please take a moment of your time to fill out the very important survey we have added to this blog.

You will find it to the right of your screen, beginning at the top of the column.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nanny Lesson #2: T minus 30 minutes

I've finally figured it out.

If we ever need to be anywhere at a specific time (which is fairly often, considering the summer program, cello lessons, and dance camps!) the girls need to start getting ready to leave about THREE HOURS before it's actually time to leave.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating. But seriously, 30 minutes, minimum. This leaves enough time for going to the bathroom, gathering all necessary items, becoming distracted and forgetting the task at hand, finding shoes... and going to the bathroom again.

(Hmm. After re-reading that last paragrah, I have to wonder: Am I talking about the two girls... or myself?!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

To you, Dad

Happy Father's Day to a man who loves his family more than words could ever say. The same man who completely and truly follows his heart and his dreams.

And inspires other people to do the same.

I love you, Dad!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nanny Lesson #1: The Purse

I'm 3 days into my full-time summer nannying position and here's what I already know for sure:

I need a bigger purse.

My tiny purse doesn't fit snacks, bottled water, camera, sunscreen, anti-bacterial wipes, and sweaters (just in case). And we can't forget all the non-essentials like money, keys, and my drivers license!

I've started watching all the savvy moms at the libraries and parks to see how they handle the logistics of life with children. So far, all I can say for sure is that they all have really big purses.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Cody will NEVER sleep with us!"



You may have heard that very sentence come out of either Jonathan's mouth or my own.

And we did SO WELL! Really, we did. I think we waited almost a whole year before inviting that dirty, furry, 75 pound heater into our bed.

But that's all over now. =) We're hooked. It's just so darn cute the way he waits at the bedroom door and bats his eyelashes at us when the clock hits 10 or so. How can we say no?

Yes, we spoil him. And we love every minute of it! If we can't even hold our resolve with a dog, imagine what kind of parents we're going to be!! Oh boy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blogs, bookmarks, and babies... (oh my!)

Like anybody who frequents Blogland, I have quite a few blogs bookmarked on my browser. To help myself remember what sort of blog each one is, I add a little reminder to the front of the title. Example: (Prospective adoptive parents) "Our Adoption Journey" or (First Mom) "Chronicles from Munchkin Land" or (Adoptive parents) "Belly Laughs & Crocodile Tears."

Lately, I have been able to change the labels of several of these blogs from PROSPECTIVE adoptive parents to adoptive parents! It's been amazing to follow these strangers' stories from (anxious!) waiting to suddenly being parents! And that's exactly what it seems to be, too... sudden. Like, BOOM, you're a mom now! When things really start happening, I get excited and check their blog a couple times a day (that's not stalking, is it? Is it...?!). But when the time comes and I erase that big word "prospective"... I'm a little sad. Don't know why, really. I think it's kind of like someone's graduating out of a club that I'm still stuck in.

The fun of seeing the beautiful baby pictures and the feeling of "wow, it really DOES happen!" overpowers that little twinge of sadness pretty quickly. But, I do feel it. And it does surprise me. So there you go.

Monday, June 2, 2008

BIG NEWS!

I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Big news?! Really? Did their house magically sell before it was on the market? Did Becky get that new job? Is there something new on the adoption front? Is Becky finally letting Jonathan get that deep fat fryer?"

No, don't know yet, not really, and gross.

So here it is... the big news: For the first time ever, I let Cody have the run of the house while I ran errands!!! I was gone for one hour and fifteen minutes and when I came back, everything was just how I had left it! For those of you who know Cody, you understand what an amazing breakthrough this is! For those of you who don't... well, let's just say that for the first year or so of his life, I couldn't even pee with the door shut for fear of him causing damage to himself or our house.

We're such proud doggy parents right now! Our little guy is growing up. *sniff*

Cody then:



Cody now (sometimes):

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Temporarily on hold

We've decided to put adopting on hold for a little while. Not TOO long (don't worry, eager future grandparents!=)... but a little while.

Between trying to get ready to move (!!! yikes !!!) and me looking for a new job, it's just too much on our plate to even consider becoming parents.

To be completely honest... I'm a bit relieved. I go back and forth about this parenting thing. Some days I think I'm ready to add another member to our family, and other days I'm not so sure. Things are... well, they're wonderful the way they are right now. Jonathan, Cody, and I are really enjoying each other. Life is good.

And then I see cute little families carrying their babies in backpacks and think... I want that!

Of course, I know that being a family is a lot more than looking cute while hiking with a baby in a backpack from REI. But I also know that there is never going to be a "perfect" time to start our family. Life won't pause so that we can get all our ducks in a row. =)

I guess the moral of the story is... we're definitely excited about starting the adoption process, but plan to put it on pause for a couple of months. Until we find a new place to live, that is. So... here we go!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Not to compare Cody to a bump on the log, but...

This video just has to go in our adoption portfolio!

video

Not to compare dogs to children, but...



For 3 days and 2 nights, Jonathan and I did some fabulous road-tripping... WITH THREE DOGS! I'd like to point out that the number of dogs outnumbers the number of people.

We decided that if we can travel from Minnesota to Colorado with three pups (and survive) then that's a good sign that we're ready to be a mommy and daddy =)

Jonathan, Patty, and I did realize, however, that dogs can't ask "Are we there yet?!" On the bright side though, babies don't have to be taken outside to pee at 5 in the morning. A trade-off, I guess.

Friday, April 25, 2008

"How Many Children Do You Want to Adopt?"

This was a question that was posted on one of the forums that I sometimes (okay, OFTEN!=) read. I was surprised to see that the most common answer seemed to be FOUR!

Before seeing this question posed to other adoptive parents, I had never given it much thought. I haven't really let myself consider how many children I want because I assumed that the reality would be that we'll have one child (two at the absolute most!) because of the cost and other hurdles involved.

Seeing all those posts that said things like "Well, we already have three, and we're officially waiting to adopt a fourth...." or "We thought we'd have one, but here we are with three!" was sort of... empowering! =) I still have no idea how many kids we want, but just knowing that there are large adoptive families out there feels good.

So Jonathan, if you're reading this, what do you say? Six? Maybe seven?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Open Adoptions

As you can all probably imagine, I've been doing quite a bit of research about adoption. =) I'm reading adoption books, visiting adoption forums, following adoption blogs... adoption, adoption, adoption! It has all been very, very eye opening.

I've gotten a sense that Jonathan and I are entering into adoption at a time of change. In general, there's a movement to make adoptions more "open." Here's what I've learned about "closed" adoptions vs. "open" adoptions.

The relationship an adoptive family has with a birth family can fall anywhere on the spectrum between closed and very open. A closed adoption means that the birth parents and adoptive parents have no further contact after the birth of the child. None. An open adoption, however, can mean many different things. At the very least, it means that the adoptive parents send pictures and updates to the adoption agency once or twice a year. The adoption agency then forwards the info to the birth family. But an open adoption can also consist of the exchange of contact information, e-mails, phone calls, visits... whatever feels comfortable to everybody involved.

The two sets of parents come to an agreement about what kind of contact they want in the future, how much, etc. These agreements are not usually legally binding, so everyone just hopes that each side holds up their end of the agreement.

So, that's what we've learned about closed vs. open adoptions in a (very small) nut shell. (I don't think I've ever written " in a nut shell" before. It looks weird. Is it "nutshell"? or "nut shell"?) More later on what we think could work best for us.

PS- If you come across any weirdo posts in this blog (i.e. the "ultrasound"!!!), make sure to check the signature at the bottom. Hundred bucks says it's usually the crazy husband.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Boy or girl?




Hey, got the ultra sound yesterday! Can you tell what it is?!

Better last name??? What, you mean like Rea?

How do we go about shutting down a blog?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wait time

A lot of people are under the impression that adopting a healthy infant takes several years. We thought this too! We even tossed around the idea of getting on some sort of "list" earlier on in our marriage, so that when we were ready, we'd be closer to the top of this list, and therefore closer to being parents.

But guess what? Because the birth parents choose the family they would like to adopt their child, there's no such thing as a list! AND (it gets better!) the wait time is NOT usually several years! In fact, it's very rare to wait multiple years once you have the correct paperwork filed and are officially "waiting." The number floating around in the general adoption community is that it usually takes less than a year to adopt. Less than a year!

And get this. We received paperwork from the agency that we are seriously considering working with (Adoption Minnesota) and these are their stats:

Average wait: 19 months
Shortest wait: 1 day

ONE DAY?!! What?! Now, I don't think we'll be parents in ONE DAY, but it does go to show that we better be ready when we officially start this process! Anyone have any cribs they are looking to get rid of...?! =)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh, the pressure!

Well, this is the First Entry. Yikes! I feel like I should have something particularly clever or witty to say to introduce all of this. But I don't. =)

Basically, this blog will be a place for us to record anything and everything about our adoption experience. We will be able to share this time in our life with our family and friends AND it'll be fun for us to look back on. Especially once this is all in the past and we have half-naked little ones running around our house, tugging on Cody's ears and tail! I can see it now. (I think Cody might be starting to rethink this whole wanting-a-brother-or-sister thing...)

Here's a quick update to get everybody up to speed:

* We are interested in domestic infant adoption. This means that we will connect with a woman or couple who are pregnant and considering adoption. (We could meet a couple of different ways: the expectant couple could find us through the "Waiting Family Book" of an adoption agency we choose to work with, or a friend, family member, or acquaintance (that's you guys!=) could pass along our contact information to someone they know who is considering adoption). If this expectant mom or couple decides that they would like us to parent their child, then we have "a match"!

* There are several different ways to go about adopting a baby. We narrowed it down to either 1) working with an adoption agency who will basically hold our hand through the entire process or 2) working with an adoption attorney, who does only the legal side of things. In this scenario, we would be mostly on our own when it came to finding an expectant mom or couple, setting up counseling for them, and basically being an expert on everything adoption-related.

* We've decided to go with an agency. We foresee this being an emotional (and sometimes very stressful!) process, and don't want the added pressure of having to KNOW everything. In early March we went to visit a large adoption agency here in the Twin Cities called Children's Home Society and Family Services. They were extremely helpful. Oh, AND the building was just gorgeous (brick and wood exterior with sitting rooms, fireplaces, and comfy furniture inside). Jonathan had to keep reminding me that we can't choose an adoption agency based on their architecture. =) There is a smaller agency that we are planning to check into in the next few weeks. They do the most domestic infant adoptions in Minnesota.

So- that's pretty much it so far! There's a lot of other stuff swirling around in our heads, but these are the only concrete steps we've taken so far and even though we have a long way to go, it's exciting!