Sunday, December 23, 2012

From Our Family to Yours

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Sunday, December 16, 2012


I so wish I could go back and re-write my last post, after all that has happened since writing it.  Thank you all for such kind comments, for being the support I needed.  I always appreciate your thoughts.  Wow, I actually have no words to describe the depth of my emotion around the recent school shooting. I know everyone is talking about it, and I couldn't say anything new even if I wanted to.

It's not that what I wrote is not's just that it isn't the whole truth.  It was just a snippet, a window into how I was feeling in that moment.  If you looked into another window, you'd see that I have cried so many tears as I rocked my children before bed the last couple of nights.  My love for them is so intense, so deep, that just thinking about sending them off to school and never seeing them again brought me to my breaking point.   I have no connection to those families, and yet my chest aches, my stomach churns, for their grief.

Yes, I do get overwhelmed.  Every parent does.  Those parents did.  What I keep learning is that I can focus on the hard, the being overwhelmed, the "dark" moments of parenting...or I can choose to put my energy into the good moments.  It's the same with the grief I am feeling - I can feel myself going over the edge in some ways.  If I spend too much time, too much precious energy, thinking of the "what ifs," I am brought to me knees with anxiety and fear.  Losing my children is something that I literally cannot imagine, for if I do, I will not be able to move forward in my life. The vulnerability in that thought is intolerable.  So, I allow the thoughts to float through my consciousness, then I make a very conscious choice to re-direct my focus to the blessings I have, and they are many.  It's all I know how to do.

I am curious - how are you balancing your grief, fear and anxiety after such a tragedy?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Under Water

I had a dream the other night that I just knew I had to share with you all.  I know some of you will be able to relate.  It started out as a normal day.  Jason and I decided to take the kids to see a family member in Benson.  Benson is about 45 minutes away from us, a straight shot up a rural highway.  In reality, we do not have family who lives that close, so I should have known it was a dream then!  Down where we live, near the Mexico/America border, there are checkpoints on roads leading away from the border.

In my dream, we reached the check point (or what I think must have been what my mind associated with the check point) and it had turned into a "fun" obstacle course to get through on our way to Benson.  Apparently it was a fun attraction for most, something to look forward to on their way to Benson.   We entered the first "obstacle" which included taking our children through some water maize.  We both had to be there, there was no way we could make the trip if not.  Each of us had to take a baby.  I had so much trouble keeping Jackson's head above water.  He kept dipping under and I kept panicking.  We were swimming through this obstacle and I was terrified I would lose Jackson or not be able to keep him above the water.  Then we got to the second obstacle.  This one was like a ride where you sit in cars with lap belts (like on roller coasters) and they sprayed tons of water at you.  I remember frantically dipping my body below the head of the "car" we were in and shielding a baby (not sure which one I had) with my body from the water.  It was awful.  I kept thinking, "This isn't fun at all!" What started out as a "simple" road trip that so many other people were taking easily became something straight out of my nightmares.  We decided after that obstacle that it would take us way too long to get to our family in Benson.  If just two obstacles were that difficult with two babies, there was no way we would get through the rest in a reasonable amount of time.  We decided to turn around and go home.

That's all I remember.  I woke up feeling defeated.  And then I immediately associated that defeated feeling with how I feel at least once each and every day - when I try to go to the store, throw in a load of laundry, go to a thirty one party with kids in tow, cook a meal, go to the zoo, do an activity, make a phone call...  Having two toddlers (or babies) is H-A-R-D!  Normal every day events that other people take for granted seems like an obstacle course under water for our family.   I read blogs and updates from people with one child and get pangs of jealousy - not that having even one baby is easy!  But there is a simplicity there, going to the grocery store does not feel like a military operation for those families!  To be sure, my jealousy is quickly replaced by reminders of how blessed I am - two beautiful faces I get to kiss all day long, two giggling toddlers that fill my life with joy.  The overwhelmed feeling passes, for the moment.

This is not how I imagined having children would be.  I had it all planned out.  I would have one baby, enjoy every second for 2-3 years, then have another and do it all over again, enjoying every moment again, lol!  I still fantasize about having one baby at a time, all the things I could do.  But I don't have one baby.  I have two.  They are hard.  Going anywhere is hard.  Doing anything is hard.  It really, really is.  And that's ok.  It's ok to feel feel "under water."  That is motherhood.  It may not be the motherhood I fantasized about, but it is the motherhood that is real, the motherhood I fought so hard for.  And my children are amazing.  They are healthy, feisty and perfect.  I realize how blessed I am that they ARE so energetic and difficult at times - they are healthy and full of life and that is beautiful.  So I allow myself the feelings of anxiety, pressure and frustration, because they are real.   There is no point to fighting them.  Then when I notice I am feeling under water, I step back and make a point to change my energy.  I can make a choice to be caught up in being overwhelmed, or I can make a choice to re-arrange things, slow down, and make the pace of my life match my reality.  I have two toddlers.  I won't get to do as much as other parents...for now.  And that's ok.  There are worth it all.

Here is an example - we decided to try and let them eat at the table instead of with their trays like they normally do.  Epic fail.  They messed with each other, got food on their laps, smeared food on the table, started hitting each other with the forks, trading food, etc...

But look how full our laps become when we pull out a book:).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mommy Guilt Explored

I read this excerpt from the book, "The Mother's Guide to the Meaning of Life: What Being a Mom has Taught Me about Resilience, Guilt, Acceptance, and Love" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and just knew I had to write about it:

I don't know what I'm doing half the time.  Don't know if all my decisions and efforts and love will tally up in a way that means my children will walk away from the carnival with the jumbo stuffed animal.  I do what I can, what is in my power, but there are just so many other factors at work: things that are predetermined at birth; things that happen at school; things that happen in the in-between spaces; things I can't even fathom yet; things I'm unintentionally doing all wrong.  That which is beyond my control, beyond  my understanding, beyond the horizon, shrivels me. (pages 121-122)

I read this in the midst of a very, very tough week.  I have been sick.  The kids have been sick.  And it just kept getting worse.  I had my in-laws in town and had all these fun plans, productive plans, things I would get done now that I FINALLY had help.  None of it got done of course and I barely enjoyed some of the outings we had with them and the kids because I was so damn sick.   I was in such a foul mood, my patience was shot...and they saw me that way with my kids!

Here's the thing:  I know every single mom has lost it with their kid(s).  It is just inevitable I think.  However, most moms are smart enough to not do that in front of others!  But that was how sick, tired and overwhelmed with never-ending lists I was.  I could not contain my frustration.  I was an impatient, nagging, yelling mom to my two toddlers who were also feeling sick (which of course makes it even worse).

I am pretty sure every mom works hard to achieve the "good mom" title.  It can come from anywhere, and I'll take it...the man at the grocery store who tells me I have the patience of a saint (if only!), my mom who reassures me that I am a good mom, my husband...and we all know if our kids tell us we are a good mom, we've hit the jackpot! any annoying therapist would do (believe it or not, that's what I do for a living!), when it's dark and I am wallowing in mommy guilt, I ask myself, "What do I mean by "good mom?"  What does it take to earn that title?  Does it look the same to everyone?  Is it a handful of moments strung together, like the last week of monster mommy in my house?  Or, perhaps, is it millions of small and uneventful interactions that, over time, make up the relationships I have with my children?  I'd like to think it's the latter.  I can choose to look at the past week and beat myself up (because I was a meanie!) and remember only the bad moments.  There were good ones too - times I was told "mommy, sit!" and sat and gave my undivided attention, times I rocked them and snuggled them before bed, times I laughed when they were being silly, times I took interest in their art projects, times I kissed boos boos, fed them meals, changed their get the idea.   I didn't put weight on THOSE times...but why?  I have to make a different choice.  I have to choose to focus on the beauty in our relationships, the things I do well, the joyous moments - of which there are many.  I am a strong believer in: you get more of what you pay attention to.  I just suck at living it.  So I'm going to keep trying to be better, to do better, and to notice when I do.

The end of the excerpt above is both freeing and terrifying.  I do not make up my children's entire lives - so much of who they are, who they will become, has to do with so many other things that I have absolutely no control over.  So, first of all, get over myself.  Second of all, lock them up!  Seriously, though, why do moms shoulder all the weight of how their children turn out?  I know...I mean, I really know, because I do this for a important mothers are for their children's success and health.  I really do.  We are powerful.  But we aren't ALL powerful.  I have conflicting feelings about that.  In some ways, I'd love to be the only factor in my kids' lives - because no one loves them more than I do and I know I would always keep their best interests at heart.  On the other hand, they have so many rich and beautiful relationships and experiences outside of me.  And, yes, they will have negative relationships and experiences...but maybe, just maybe, that's what our safe, normal, every day negative interactions are preparing them for?  I 'd like to think so.  So I will.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Visiting Preschools

I hope to put Jackson into preschool next fall for a couple of mornings a week (and Addison the year after).  So, I decided it was time to visit the few preschools I am considering to get an idea of where I want him to be.  I am a planner of course:).  I visited the one at the top of my list first this week.  I was told that the preschool rented space from St. Andrews church, so I put it into my GPS and we headed over there.  Then I pulled up...and realized that St. Andrews church is where we had our adoption classes almost three years ago.

It's hard to describe how different my life is now.  I almost couldn't even remember what I felt like sitting in those classes.  That intense level of anxiety and sadness is now foreign to me.  I am a completely different person.  I pulled up, hauling two toddlers, in jeans, messy hair, and two strollers in the back of my SUV.  Yep, that's me now!  I could not be happier.

I can't believe that I didn't know Jackson as I sat in those classes.  I knew implicitly that those classes were my path to motherhood.  I just knew it.  I had more hope sitting in those classes than I had had in years.  But I didn't know my baby boy!  How is that possible?  I can't imagine a life without him in it...what was my heart doing before Jackson and Addison took it over?  I really don't know.   Like I said, I'm a different person now.

I could not have imagined a more perfect little boy.  I tried to imagine, sitting in those folding chairs, listening to the social worker talk and shivering because the room was freezing, what our story would look like.  I imagined so many scenarios, different kinds of birth parents at different stages of their pregnancies, frantic calls to the hospital, building a connection with a birth mom over months, etc.   I even imagined that I would surprisingly get pregnant and maybe leave the adoption process.  I was just hoping for a baby.  I never considered the story that came to be - two babies in six months.  Two perfect, healthy babies.  My babies.

I love when life throws things into the mix to cue your memory, to remind you of where you came from.  I have learned so much, and I know I am a better person because I walked the path I did.  I have to share with you the joy and wonder that Jackson brings to my life, in picture form:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween...and more...

We had a wonderful Halloween.  The holidays are becoming so joyful with these two precious beings around.  It is incredible to experience all of these special occasions through their eyes.  I know it is cliche to say, but what an honor it is to be a parent.  I get to watch these little miracles grow into full grown people!  I have to be honest, I sometimes worry about the coming years - I can't imagine enjoying them any more than I do now.  To be honest, most school age kids kind of annoy me, lol!  I assume mine won't be as annoying...but will it be as fun?  I don't know, they are just so amazing right now!  

At the pumpkin patch, refusing to pose as usual:).

This one is always up for a "cheese!" moment:).

Her skull skirt - she wore it last year for Halloween and it still fits this year!

My little monster.

Handsome Diego (try to ignore the Halloween explosion that is my living room in this picture:)).

Yup, even mommy dressed up.  Sadly, this is as close as we could get to a posed picture of the three of us.   *sigh*

Seriously, how cute is he?

She is soooo serious!

Love the light in this one...

And this one.

Rory got in on the fun.  Addy is in the background whining - a common occurrence these days.

I should end this by saying it is NOT always easy and beautiful and lovey-dovey in my house, lol!  I always struggle with people who only write about how wonderful life is as a mom...because I don't know if that's real.  The days are HARD with these two.  I have found myself doing things I said I'd never do (you might notice Jackson was a TV character for Halloween and I always swore my kids would not watch TV until age 3...but then he turned two and he loved it so....).   I am working hard to take deep breaths and when I get overwhelmed, to slow down and soak them in.  I even left work a couple of hours early today, just because I could and because I am sick of working so much and being away from them more than I want to be.   I have been overtaken lately with anticipatory grief.  Pretty soon, they won't be toddlers anymore.  My chest aches and my eyes well with tears just thinking about it.  I'm not going to waste away these hours, days and weeks being sad that they are flying by.  Instead, I am being very deliberate about spending time enjoying Jax and Addy.  When Jackson says, "mommy, sit!" and pats the couch next to him, you better believe I sit.  When Addy hands me a book and says "read," I read to her.  I rock longer before bed with each of them, I sit and play on the floor with them, I do art projects with them and I let them help me clean the windows.  I don't want to waste one second.  So...yes, it is hard, some days are downright painful.  I've decided that that's just motherhood.  But, that said, I've also employed some strategies when I notice myself feeling over-the-edge anxious, and I do believe they are working - self care (I finally started my weekly yoga class again!), slowing down the pace of our days, and making the time to just BE with them have all helped.   Any other mommy tricks out there?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I am here!

I know I am an awful blogger.  As I've mentioned before, I don't often know what exactly to post.  Do I tell you about how neither of Jackson's birthparents have agreed to see him since January and how that breaks my heart?  Or about our recent visit to the petting zoo/pumpkin patch and how fun that was?  Or how Jackson has really been pushing our buttons and I am scared at how angry he can make me in such a short amount of time?  Or how overwhelmed I have been with trying to balance work and home?  Or how my job has really taken a bad turn recently?  Or how my husband's partner and friend was just killed in the line of duty and it has forever changed how I will see myself as a federal agent's wife?  Or how about how Addison just talks and talks now and is such a big girl...a big girl who still asks to nurse many times a day:)?  Or how Jackson gets SO excited about the moon every time he sees it?

Every time I sit down, I just can't organize myself to think about what to write - what is important and what is not, what people will want to take the time to read, what message do I want to send as I write?  When I was struggling with infertility and loss, my purpose was so clear on this blog.  Now I just don't know.  So I'll just leave you with a few pics and if you have a strong opinion on what I should be writing about, please comment!

Our first time to the carnival - they loved it:)!

First time painting (not counting Color Wonder paint).

A guy in the park let Jackson fly his kite - too cute:).

The pumpkin patch.

Addy at the park - she loves the slide.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My little man is TWO!

Parenting is incredibly bittersweet.  I now know the full definition of that word.  In every new stage there are feelings of intense grief - so much magic and beauty gone forever, only to be remembered in our minds, hearts and in pictures and videos.  But, of course, with every new stage also comes new magic, new moments of bliss.  I always think parenting Jackson could not get any better....and then it does.   The two year old stage is amazing!

Jackson understands SO much more now.  He can actually help with things around the if we are trying to leave the house and I need his or Addy's sippy cup to fill with water, I can tell him to go find it and bring it to me...and he does!  He has SO much language now (I almost can't believe I worried about language for him, lol!).  He uses 2 and 3 word sentences (i.e. Mommy, more meat!).  He knows how to tell us what he wants (more water please) or what he doesn't want (no, no night night!).   He absolutely loves to sit and read books now, and I have waited for this for a long time!  Jackson has taken leaps and bounds cognitively.  He has great problem solving skills and can figure out puzzles and his nesting cups and boxes now with ease.  This is one area where you can see the 6 months difference between him and his sister.  Jackson is also learning how to do somersaults (he calls them flips) and he finds it hilarious when daddy and I do them to show him how.  

Jackson is our social butterfly.  He loves everyone (except nurses and doctors, lol!).  He does take a few minutes to warm up to new places, but once he is settled, he is confident, secure and independent.  It is amazing to watch him become a big boy right before my eyes.  Jackson makes everyone he is around feel special and loved.  Whenever family or friends spend time with him, they have to tell me afterwards how Jackson hugged them, kissed them, reached for them and loved them.  He has such a gift, and I am so excited to see where he takes this gift in his future.  

This picture really sums up his personality to me:).

I love this one - he is playing with me in the midst of pictures - it really shows our relationship.

Jackson loves his family.  When he wakes up, he asks for each of us and wants to know where everyone is (including Rory, our dog).  He gives the best kisses and hugs, you can tell he really means it.  Jackson LOVES to dance, and we have found his favorite - Michael Jackson, lol!  He tries to mimic every move and his GG even taught him to moonwalk.  It is a riot!

He is making me laugh as usual:).

Jackson is kind, generous, goofy, charismatic and perfect in every way.  I enjoy every moment of being his mommy.  I look at him and wonder at how things work out just as they should.  He is my proof that miracles happen and that life is good.  

This is one of my favorites - me and my angels.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Our Trip

Our trip to visit family in MI was wonderful.  We got back about 3 weeks ago and we are still adjusting.  Jackson has not gone back to his previous beautiful sleeping habits and it has affected all of us.  We are all tired and grumpy for the most part.  Other than that, we have wonderful memories of our two weeks back home!  The beach was my favorite part....

What a beauty!

He loved the hole daddy dug for him!

Walking the pier as a family of four - amazing!

We have a picture of Jackson and me on this pier when he was just a newborn so this was a special photo op for me:).

I don't know why I love it so much, but this picture is just too cute.

I know I look silly - but this is me and Addy watching the Coast Guard parade - I marched in this parade for more years than I can count so it was such a sweet moment to watch it with my children.

Jackson and I waving at the helicopter at the parade:).  He waved at everyone and everything - it was a riot!

Another day at the beach - so sweet!

Addy meeting her great-grandma K.  This is Jason's all time favorite grandma and we are so glad she finally got to meet Addison (she met Jax when he was a newborn).

Jax had a huge birthday party too!

He was so excited about his presents:).

This is Jason's family (one side of his family anyway) - I love this picture!

Addy fell in love with her "Papa Jim," who is really her great-uncle.  

We have so many special memories from our time in MI.  I have over 500 pictures to prove it:).  I will say, the time there made us all the more determined to move back to MI as soon as an opportunity arises.  We always felt it was hard to be away from family - but going back and realizing how much we are truly missing, how much our kids are missing, was hard.  Overall, the travel went ok (we did have some pretty rough "traveling with grumpy toddlers" moments,  one special one with Addy that was straight out of my travel themed nightmares, lol), and they slept well away from home for the most part and had a wonderful time.  Jackson did return with an ear infection, though...just in time for his second birthday:(.  More to come on my big 2 year old boy (I am already 2 weeks late on that post:)).  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hodge Podge

Yes, yes, I am here.  The fact that I have neglected my blog is indicative of how I have been feeling lately.  I can't quite meet everyone's needs on any given day.  I am always behind.  I am always failing. Ok, that sounds really depressing.  I have my moments of feeling this morose, but it's not always that bad!  The overall theme though is I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and perpetually feeling like I am behind in every area of life.

Part of what has made the last month so difficult is my job.  I don't talk about it much here, but I am a Clinical Supervisor of a mental health program serving children ages birth to five.  Most often, these are children in foster care...who have experienced abuse and neglect that most of us only read about or see in the movies.  The stakes are high in my line of work.  I oversee the entire program and I feel the pressure in that.  With changes in funding, staff, etc, things have not been going very well.  So I work more hours than I'd like, and I often feel like it isn't enough when I am there.  They always need more of me.  And I always feel like I just can't give enough to make it work.  I take on every mistake or failure (in billing, in services to families, in staff satisfaction) as a personal problem.  I feel responsible for it all.  I also provide clinical consultation to other professionals outside of my agency - I provide specialized supervision to them.  I try to do that during nap times, etc - but that means that the 2 hours a day I have when they are napping (hopefully) is taken up with...more work.

Then when I am with my family, I feel guilty.  The kids clearly missed me.  They struggle when I am gone a lot.  Addy has started asking to nurse upwards of six times a day!  She falls apart emotionally until I give in.  I often cannot distract her, she just won't budge.  Is this an indication that she is under stress?  If it is, then you know that is my fault.   I want to be there for my kids ALL the time, but I also know that my professional life is important, for many reasons - my identity, it helps us live a comfortable life, future financial security, and I also think that what I do adds to the greater good for the small, fragile, broken and traumatized children and families we serve.  I am always balancing the many needs of others.  I won't even talk about my poor husband.  We rarely see each other - our shifts don't match up, so he leaves for work when I am still at work on the days I work.  When we are home together, the time is spent taking care of kids and the house.  I will say, though, that we have gone out on two small dates recently.  We are trying hard to not lose sight of who we are as a couple, but it's tough.

So, anyway, that is why getting on my blog and writing some thoughtful monologue has not been a priority.  I always try to wait to write until I have an organized, coherent and moving subject.  Well, I can't even think clearly lately so that hasn't happened, lol!  The kids have officially moved to one nap a day, and they don't go to bed until 8pm.  During naps, I frantically clean, run errands (if Jason or a sitter is here), make appointments, etc.   Or I have work meetings.  Once I get them in bed, I catch up on facebook (oh, now that is a love/hate relationship, lol!) and then just collapse.  I have come to the point where my entire body aches all day, but by bedtime, a heating pad is necessary.

Please don't hear me as complaining.   Life is actually mostly good.  Here is a hodge podge of the good (in no particular order:):

  • I am in the middle of re-decorating my bedroom in the beautiful colors of purple and grey.  So far, it is gorgeous.  It is like my dream room (minus some pieces like painting and fixtures that we aren't changing because we are renting).  Maybe I'll get around to posting pictures when it is complete:).
  • We leave for a trip to Michigan to see family for TWO weeks in just 8 days.  The change of pace and routine will be so therapeutic for all of us...I hope.
  • I have started narrowing in on what I like as far as fashion, to include cute necklaces.  This may not seem huge, but I know that many of you will understand that little things like this can help you make it through a day!
  • Jackson seriously is my light.  He thinks pretty much anything and everything is funny and he loves to laugh.  He has become very easy going, for the most part.  He loves people, he loves to play and, mostly, he loves his mommy:).   He is becoming a sweet 2 year old.  
  • Addison has become the most adorable toddler girl ever - she has a sweet, angelic face and makes the most adorable "shy" and "mischievous" expressions.  And she has such beautiful blonde hair - we now can do pigtails and I can't believe how grown up she looks!
  • I earned the highest level of Infant Mental Health Endorsement, which is a credential for specialists in my field - I am now an Infant Mental Health Mentor and I am 1 of only 6 in my state.  My hard work has paid off in so many ways.  
  • Jason and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on July 6.  Now THAT is an accomplishment, lol!  We are still going strong.  The comfort, security and support I find in my marriage is a true gift.
Heading out for a dinner date on our anniversary - we left after the kids went to bed and I ended up being too tired to make it to the movie we had planned for after dinner:).
Fourth of July - see the sweetness?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Have you missed them?

I realized that I haven't posted pictures or updates on my sweet babies recently.  And they have grown so much!  So many people see the updates and pictures on facebook and my family shutterfly site, but I guess it is time I shared the love here as well!  

Jackson continues to be a happy, sweet little boy.  I can almost see in him the man he will someday be.  He will charm most people with his enchanting energy.  He will love life.  He will also be very sensitive - and my guess is he will have to learn coping strategies to protect his heart.  Jackson is talking so much more now and everything he says is incredibly adorable.  He now says "bee-ah" for "clean up," since we sing the clean up song during many transitions.  He loves to laugh and takes every opportunity to laugh at others or to make people laugh.  His laugh is contagious and beautiful.  Jackson needs kisses from all his family members before naps and bedtimes - he just won't accept a no, even from Addy.   Addy asks him for kisses during the day and he is so cute - he will angle his head just right and grab the back of her head with his hand and lay one on her, lol!  Wow, he is a talented kisser! Jackson continues to steal all the attention wherever we go - people always have to stop and tell us what a beautiful child he is and what a gorgeous smile he has.  Yep, we know:).  He is the love of my life.  I love him so much it hurts.

Addison continues to be my sweet little princess.  She is just (like in the last couple of days) starting to push boundaries and give us looks like, "what are you gonna do about it?"  I have a hard time not  laughing because she doesn't pull off "mischievous" very well.  Addy has really come to love kisses as well.  She is constantly coming up to all of us and kissing us and then vigorously signing and saying "more" so we will stay still so she can kiss us again.  She gets very serious about these kissing games, scrunching up her face in concentration:).  She got very angry with Auntie Cheryl's dogs this week because they just wouldn't lay still for her to kiss over and and over again!   Addy is my persistent problem solver and recently figured out how to climb out of her crib.  We were in the back of the house thinking she was napping and Jason came out to the kitchen to find Addison wandering around very confused because she couldn't find mommy or daddy!  So, we flipped her crib so the tall back that goes against the wall is now facing the rest of the room - and we are hoping she won't figure out that the sides are still short enough to climb:).  Addison is my laid back baby - I am amazed at how she approaches novel or anxiety-producing situations, like doctors visits, with grace and confidence.  I see myself in her in so many ways, but in this way, she is her own little person.  I will always be amazed at how blessed I am to have her.  She is a little piece of me walking around and I just can't get over what a miracle she is.

Here are some pictures of the cuteness:

My all time favorite picture of them:).

Addy and her otter and sippy - both necessary for bedtime.

Doesn't he look so old here?

Wow, I love this boy so, so much.  That smile will always capture my heart.

Mommy and her princess.

Can't you almost hear the giggles in this picture??

He is SUCH a ham - and SO handsome!
I think it is fitting that I am posting this now.  June 10 was the 2 year anniversary of the pregnancy test that changed our lives forever.   How we got that pink line, and how that little bean stuck, will always be a mystery to me.  She was just meant to be ours.  June 24 will be the 2 year anniversary of the phone call that rocked our world in the best way possible.  How his first parents found us, and how it all fell together so perfectly, will never cease to amaze me.  He was just meant to be ours.