Friday, October 23, 2009

Announcing Our Christmas Plans

As I've mentioned several times over the almost 2 1/2 years I've had this blog, Christmas is a really hard time for us.  Even though we know that Christmas isn't about us, it's about celebrating the birth of our's still hard.  It's the end of another year, it's another anniversary of when we started this adoption process (3 yrs in December), it's another year with playing Santa to our only child (who now knows the whole Santa secret).  I love Christmas, but it's full of reminders.

This year we decided to do something different...

We're hoping for some of this....

And this...

and definately this...

Yes, we are planning to go to Disneyland for Christmas this year.  We've wanted to do it for awhile, but we were waiting for Cade to get just a little older.  Also the way things are working out we will have quite an age difference between our kids.  We need to take Cade now since he's old enough to handle it but still young enough to enjoy it and we aren't trying to drag a baby along.  This is one of those things where Jay and I are embracing the fact that we only have one 7 year old child and we are going to enjoy every moment.  We leave December 23 and will be back Decemer 29.  We're spending 3 days at Disneyland, 1 at Legoland and 1 at Universal Studios.  We're all pretty excited!!!  I guess we leave exactly 2 months from today.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anxiety and Santa

Last Tuesday I took Cade to the doctor for his adoption check up and to discuss his anxiety problems. The doctor quickly agreed that we need to get these anxiety problems nipped in the bud so he referred us to a counselor. I was actually relieved to hear that because I want him to handle his anxiety better than I have over the years. For those who aren't Type A perfectionists it's easy to say "don't worry". For those of us that anxiety is woven into the fibers of our being, it's not that simple. In fact telling me to quit worrying is as annoying as hearing "just adopt and then you'll get pregnant". Both of those phrases are like nails on a chalkboard to me. So I'm really hoping Cade will learn some coping skills and maybe pass them on to his mother….

That same evening, after the doctors appointment, we had another stressful moment occur. Cade straight out asked me if Santa was real. Since he asked me a direct question I knew I needed to answer it truthfully. Before I had a chance to answer he went on to tell me that he had been arguing about this with Neilson. I knew it was time. My heart broke a little. Jay was in the back of the house and walked out to see me sitting on the floor in front of Cade, in our recliner, trying to gently break the news to him. Cade took it very hard. He cried and Jay and I felt horrible. I told him that we could still pretend for as long as he wanted. I didn't know what else to do. Jay was also at a loss so he tired to divert Cade's attention by asking him to help him feed Buttons.

After the initial disappointment of Christmas loosing just a little of the fun for Jay and I, we started laughing about it. I told Jay that at least now Cade had something to talk to the counselor about. We looked back over the years and talked about how we were the cause of Cade's breakdown over learning that Santa wasn't real…There was the year that we wanted to give something to Cade early on Christmas Eve so Santa dropped the bag out of his sleigh right into our front yard while he was on his way to the other side of the world….then there was the year that he forgot to shut the fireplace doors when he left….or the fact that he would never eat a whole cookie, he'd just take one big bite and leave teeth marks in it….or that Santa made a black pirate ship especially for him because he would like it better…etc. You get the picture…I think Jay and I enjoyed what we could dream up each year more than anything.

Later on in the evening I was sorting through some old Kindergarten papers, finally putting them in a scrapbook, and I came across scheme #546 of us trying to cement Cade's belief in Santa. I found a letter that Santa Jay wrote to Cade telling him he knew he'd been a good boy that past year. I took the letter to Jay to show him that Cade had actual written proof to show the counselor when he told her we were the root of his anxiety. At that exact moment, while I was holding the letter, we had a household emergency. I laid the paper down and completely forgot about it.

After the emergency was over and cleaned up I looked up to see Cade holding the letter from Santa…and he was reading it. I couldn't get to him soon enough to get the letter away. He read the whole thing, but he didn't make a comment. In one day the boy heard me discussing his anxiety with a doctor, learned Santa wasn't real and saw proof that his parents had lied to him for 7.5 years. Jay asked if I was trying to finish him off.

This Santa thing has really bothered Jay and I. It was one of the last things of babyhood that Cade was holding on to and now it's gone. I know this is what kids are supposed to do, but it makes both of us so sad to see it happen. It's probably good for Jay and I that this year Christmas was going to be a little different anyway. Maybe it will take the sting out of it somewhat. I'll post more on our Christmas plans later.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Cat That Used to Have 9 Lives….

There is a cat running around the farm of Cade's Sunday School Teacher who used to have all of it's lives but unfortunately, after being around Cade, his number of lives dropped drastically. This post is not for the squeamish or those who are huge cat lovers. I wish I could say no cat was harmed in the making of this post but that just wouldn't be true.

Saturday evening our church had their annual hayride at the home of the Brown's, which is where Cheryl (Cade's SS teacher) lives. They actually live on a dairy farm so they have a large number of cats and kittens running around the place. As soon as we got there Saturday evening we spotted a tiny black kitten. It looked to be about 3-4 weeks old and was probably the runt of the litter. It was such a cute little kitten. For the rest of the evening these kittens were running in and out of the barn and all over the yard.

Cheryl worked on a treasure hunt for the kids. Because of illness/weather related issues, Cade ended up being the only kid at the party. The High School/College age kids were asked to go on the treasure hunt with Cade. Since we have a very good group of older kids they readily agreed without any hesitation. We started out on the hunt – Cade, Me, Cheryl, 2 HS Seniors and 3 college aged kids. We made it through stops #1, #2, and #3 without a problem. Stop #4 is where the incident occurred.

At this point it was starting to get pretty dark. Cade read the clues at stop #4 and was getting ready to run to the next stop. He got ready to take a step at the same time one of the other kids said "watch out". Yes, the black kitten was right under Cade's feet. Cade didn't have time to stop his Size 3 Nikes from smashing down on the cat. All of us were standing in sort of a semi-circle around the kitten. We paused for a minute, waiting for the cat to run away. The cat didn't move. Then I hear Cheryl say "oh no". I'm thinking Oh crap, Cade just killed a cat….what kind of an apology works in this sort of a situation? I quickly grabbed Cade and said "lets move on to the next stop". I didn't want him to realize that he just killed a kitten. As we were running away Cade yells "sorry".

We went onto the next stop which was around the corner from where Cheryl and the rest of the kids were inspecting the kitten. I couldn't see what was going on, but it was probably a good minute of two before I heard a cheer go up from the group. The kitten ended up being fine, it may not ever be totally right again, but it is alive.

I laughed and laughed about this on Saturday. I seemed to be the only one laughing really hard about it…not because Cade hurt the cat, but because I think he knocked it unconscious. I'll never forget the gasp that went up from the group when the cat didn't move nor will I forget Cade saying sorry. I think Cade shortened the poor cat's life by several lives that night….and it's only 3-4 weeks old. It still has a long farm life ahead of it. The cat didn't learn it's lesson though because I caught it around Cade's feel later on in the evening. Luckily it escaped any serious injury that time.




Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dress Up Day

Today I think I might have had a small inkling into what many mother's felt during the Civil War. I watched my son, dressed in the Union Blue, march out into an unknown fate. No, he wasn't actually going into battle…he was just participating in Spirit Week.

Today's day was Dress Up Day. The little paper that we were sent home said "come as a mutant, come as a princess, come as yourself". In my opinion that's pretty vague so we weren't sure what to do. Of course Cade knew exactly what he wanted to wear – his Civil War costume. Jay and I both cringed when we heard what he had planned for today. Last night we tried to come up with good excuses for not wearing the costume and with some alternatives. For some reason telling him that he could fall on the playground and rip the leg just didn't cut it. Either did trying to persuade him to dress like a baseball player or a cowboy. We were even going to let him wear his 4-H belt buckle. This morning when I suggested the cowboy theme I got a sigh and a stomp off. Jay and I decided we were going to have to let him wear the costume.

I've never seen the boy get ready so quickly in the morning before. We did put shorts and a t-shirt on underneath so he could change if he wanted to. He did make a comment about hoping the other kids were dressed up. I asked him what he was going to do if they weren't. He said he would go to the bathroom and take it off and just wear the shorts and t-shirt. Great, if he takes it off we'll be the cause of the "reminder note" that will be sent home next week telling parents to dress their children appropriately for the weather. I felt like Jay and I couldn't win this morning. At least Jay did remember we needed to send Cade' tennis shoes along in case he did change. Could you imagine trading the Civil War Uniform for shorts, t-shirt and BOOTS. I don't know what would be worse.

As I watched Cade come running from his bedroom with his outfit and hat in place, grab his bag, and run for the truck I felt my heart tug a little. No, his unknown fate wasn't the horrors of war but it was the cruelty of 2nd graders. I hope he does not get made fun of at school today…but like Jay said this morning "sometimes you just have to let your boy blaze his own trail". I'm just wondering why he has to blaze it covered in blue nylon. I asked Jay this morning where Cade got this …uhm…slightly nerdy studious side. Jay said that it clearly came from me….thinking back he's probably right….I am the one who bought the uniform so he could wear it at his 6th birthday party. I think I was living out my own fantasy thorough my child. I so would've worn a Southern Belle dress at his age.

Here's a look back at the Costume. Oh yeah, that's what he looked like today…only a few inches taller.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life Happenings…

Things have been busy around our house which is why I haven't posted since September 20th. We survived our homestudy update on the 22nd. Pamela said that she never imagined she'd be coming over to do a 2nd update for us – yeah, we didn't either, but it's over for another year. We really do enjoy talking to her so that at least makes it better. We're still waiting to get the rest of our blood work results in so we can get those forms sent to the agency. Jay had his done at the health department because his insurance won't pay for it so that's taking a little longer. I'm hoping that we'll have all of that done by next week??? I did get our profile updated and mailed to Pamela last week. She's going to look it over and let us know if we should change anything. In the next few weeks we should also have a new letter and pictures appear on the Bethany website.

On the 25th Tyson's had a surprise retirement party for Jim at their hatchery. Somehow Jim managed to not catch on to all of the phone calls and increased activity that went on for awhile. He was surprised by the party, which was Sharon's goal. I'm glad that it all worked out. Cade had an interesting conversation with a maintenance man that night after the party. Mr. Williams was sitting down to take a break while we were getting the last of the gifts out to the truck. Cade sat down beside him and asked what his job was. They struck up quite the conversation. It really sounded like to adults going back and forth and all of us just stood there taking it all in. Cade told Mr. Williams about a friend issue he'd had at school that day and Mr. Williams talked to him about all of the different options he had to resolve the conflict. I wondered if we could hire Mr. Williams to do some anxiety counseling?

On Monday the 28th I left for Jeff City at 5:30 am and didn't get home until Tuesday evening. Then on Thursday I had to go back to Jeff City and I got home Friday afternoon. Those two trips took up the whole week, which was another reason why I didn't get any posting done. There's not anything too interesting about driving to Jeff City…except that we decided to take a different road on the way home due to slow traffic and we ended up in Waynesville. Let's just say that was really out of the way for us. Tomorrow I get to make another drive to Jeff City, but thankfully it's just a day trip. This should be the end of my trips to there for awhile.

Besides driving to Jeff City, we've been going to football games. Cade's playing flag football again this year. We've also been doing homework. It seems like homework is all we do anymore. Last Wednesday (my one day home last week) Cade came home with 138 subtraction problems. No wonder the kid is suffering from anxiety. Jay and I both had anxiety attacks after looking at what he (we) had to do. Have I mentioned I hate 2nd grade homework? There's nothing like 138 math problems to suck all of your time away in the evening.