Friday, December 30, 2011

First Date vs Last Night

Yesterday my mom watched the kids all day and stayed the night. She told Jay and I we could do something to celebrate our anniversary since she would be there. We decided to go to Springfield because we had a few exchanges to make. Our first date was 13 years ago. Boy how times have changed….

First Date: Barely eating because of nerves and not wanting to drop food on my dress before the Block & Bridle formal

Last night: Barely talking because we were both so hungry that we concentrated on eating. When we did talk it was to repeat over and over how much Cade would love Hu Hot and how we needed to bring him here sometime

First Date: Being part of the “wild” crowd at the B&B formal

Last Night: Looking at the weirdly dressed kids with 15 facial piercings and a hole in their ear lobe the size of a dinner plate and discussing how we hope none of ours want to do that to themselves

First Date: Wore a dress that was a little more low cut than I realized until I saw some of the infamous “Party Pics”

Last Night: Looking at the awful pre-teen clothes and praying Camryn won’t want to dress like a hussy someday

First Date: Pretty much stayed by each other the whole night

Last Night: When I needed to go upstairs at Macys to see about exchanging something for Camryn, Jay asked if he could stay downstairs - There was a lady making an ugly scene at one of the perfume counters and he wanted to watch the show

First Date: Perfectly applied make-up and checked to make sure there was no food on my face or in my teeth after dinner

Last Night: When Jay finally made it upstairs after the “show” I looked up and he had something black smeared from the top of his lip and along his nose all the way to his forehead. I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants (that was certainly something that didn’t happen 13 years ago). Thought it was grease from the escalator????

First Date: Discussed in person the arrangements for the evening (went with 3 other couples) and then during the evening talked with them

Last Night: Texted a friend to get directions to some wild Christmas lights – then Jay texted them back once we found them about what he really thought of the lights

Fist Date:  Jay paid for everything...Dinner at Nakatos, drinks, B&B admission charge - everything - and willingly brought me anything I wanted or needed

Last Night:  When we stopped at Krispy Kreme I asked him to get me a donught because my feet were hurting and I had already removed one of my boots - All he said was "if you're not going in that's going to cut down my number of free ones" 

First Date: After a wonderful evening Jay dropped me off at my apartment door

Last Night: After getting almost home we remembered his truck was at my office so we had to add 20 minutes on to the drive before we could even get home. Then once in the door we were greeted with a crying baby still awake at 10 pm and another child hyped up and not ready for bed.

I’ll take last night over 13 years ago any day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Forever Party

The very next morning, after Finalization, we got up early to get ready for Camryn's Forever Party.  One of our friends little boy came up with the name of a Forver Party after his mom explained why Camryn was having a party.  I thought it was a great name!

Thursday morning we did sleep in until about 6.  After that, we were up and moving and didn't stop until after the party.  My mom came over early to help me, which was mostly trying to keep Camryn happy.  She is definitley a Mommy/Daddy's girl right now.  She would be fine until one of us would walk through the room and then she would cry.  I think my mom was pretty tired by the end of the night also...We also had a lot of help from Jim and Sharon and my Dad and Lynn.  Thanks to them and my mom I didn't actually have to cook anything.  That was a huge help. I don't think I would've got everything done if I hadn't had their help (see comment about laundry on previous post). 

We had about 75 people total at the party...and they were all here at one time!  Our house is about 1500-1600 square feet.  You can imagine how crowded it was.  We opened up our garage and put the food, some tables and space heaters out there.  That helped a lot with the space issue.  Maybe I was just to happy and in denial, but it never seemed that bad.  The guests might have a different story....But it was so great to know how loved Camryn is in our community.  I often think about how I didn't want to move here at first, but now I'm so thankful God brought us here.  He definitely knew best!

Janella made the cake (of course!).  Notice how it matches Camryn's dress?  The napkins and plates for the cake were the reverse of her tights.  I'm big on matching themes, and No, no one can remind me of that when Camryn is a pill about her clothes matching in a few years.  The day I bought stamps for her invitations I went to the Post Office to get my stamps and the mail for work.  I was so excited that they had ornament stamps this year that would match both our party invitations and Christmas cards.  In fact I was so excited that when I got back to work I realized I had forgot to get the work mail.  I had to go back to the PO. It was embarrasing explaining that in the office...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Confessions

I’m not going to lie. This is how I felt through most of the holiday season.
I had so many people tell me my Christmas was going to be so much fun this year. I really truly believed that it would be a whole lot of fun. I had visions of Camryn happily sitting at my side playing with bows and ribbon while we calmly opened presents. Even 2nd time mothers have unreal expectations because that is exactly what did not happen. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining at all….There are many adjectives I would use to describe our Christmas…Wonderful, Blessed, Happy, Content, Magical, Extraordinary, etc. I loved putting out presents for 2 kids, seeing all the family, showing off Camryn, opening up all the cute outfits that everyone gave her, watching my dad hold her while he told everyone on Christmas Day about how she was an answered prayer that we started praying for years ago, etc. But I don’t know that I’d necessarily use the word fun to describe Christmas. I guess I either forgot or didn’t realize how overstimulating Christmas is for little ones. Or at least it seemed to really bother our little one a lot. As Jay and I like to put it – Camryn was a total wreck last week.

I’m just trying to be totally honest. I’ve read so many blogs lately about Christmas and the Santa debate and how they celebrated Advent and all the perfect, wonderful stuff they’ve done. I even read about a baby 2 months older than Camryn who will pet baby Jesus’ head in the nativity scene if you say Baby Jesus to her. Yeah…none of that stuff went on in our household this year. So for all of you mothers who felt less than perfect this year because you had good intentions of doing great things, but didn’t get past day 2 or 3 on you Advent calendar – this is for you.

• I wanted to do some Advent stuff with Cade – I found something really cool to use on November 30. I didn’t get it printed out that day and I never thought about it again until somewhere around December 15th.

• We have a Nativity set that was part of our 12 days of Christmas gifts last year. It was one of my favorite things from those gifts and I loved doing it last year. It didn’t happen this year. In fact on Thursday, while cleaning for the party, all the numbered boxes filled with the wonderful Nativity characters sat on the end table mocking me. I didn’t know what to do. Should I leave it alone, or take out the characters up to day 5 so it looks we tried even if it would be lying? Finally I took the figures out of the box and set them up. I shoved the numbered boxes and book to read along with it in a drawer.

• We do Santa in our house. We are also involved very heavily in our church’s Christmas program which is a live Nativity. I think we do a good job balancing all of it. For any one who does Santa and worries about the long term damage it will do to their children - Cade and I had a talk about it this year. I asked him if when he found out Santa wasn’t real did it make him question if God was real. He gave me a look that said “that’s crazy”. He informed me he’s never doubted that God was real.

• Everyone has different opinions on how many gifts is the “right” number to give your kids. Some say 3 because of the Wise Men, some say 1. I don’t have a clue what the magic number is. I think it’s different every year in our house. Every year I set a budget and then go from there. Mostly the number of gifts correlates to their attention span. Obviously I didn’t get Cade, as a toddler, 20 presents to open. That would be insane. I had spent my allotted budget on Cade this year…until Christmas Eve. He told me that morning that if he would get Madden 12 for the Wii it would be a dream come true. So what did Jay and I do? Stopped at Wal-Mart, lied to Cade we had to buy chips for Grandma’s house, and bought the Wii game.

• Christmas night we let Cade stay up thinking he would fall asleep. I sat up during the middle of the night and heard the Wii still going. Jay got up and it was 2:30 am. Cade had played the Wii non-stop from 7pm until 2:30am while wearing his good slacks and sweater he had wore to church. It’s a wonder he didn’t have a seizure from staring at the TV for too long.

• My house has been so cluttered the month of December I haven’t been able to enjoy my Christmas decorations….mostly because I can’t see them because of all the clean laundry that is perpetually piled on the couch. It has been so bad that Cade even said he was tired of the house being a mess. So are we – I just can’t seem to get a handle on it. Cade told me that it made him feel claustrophobic. Join the club. I’ve felt that way for months. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will manage to get control of the house again? Maybe by next Christmas????

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m a totally imperfect mother. Christmas was really hard this year with a baby. It wasn’t necessarily fun, at least not the kind where you want to do it every day of the year – honestly it was quite exhausting. Our Christmas celebrations also spanned from Saturday through Tuesday and involved lots of traveling….which correlated into lots of diaper bag packing and unpacking…and an overwhelmed 6 month old. Also our trip to St Louis and the Forever Party Thursday night did nothing to help all of this craziness. So for those of you who may be feeling a little tired, or stressed or quite honestly glad to see the tree is down and life is back to normal don’t despair – those feelings are normal and they are ok to have. I think sometimes, especially for those who’ve waited years to have kids, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect. And that’s just not possible.

But as I survey the living room and kitchen scattered with different gifts and things drug in from the car from our travels….my son planted in front of the TV playing too many Wii games….my daughter who has no interest in petting baby Jesus’ head from her Little People Nativity set, only tossing him as hard as she can…. I’d sum up our Christmas with two more words….Imperfectly Perfect.


As of about 12:30 pm on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Camryn was officially our girl forever.  I'm not sure it's all sunk in yet.  I called BCS for the first time December 2006.  It took us exactly 5 years from start to finish.  It will probably take some time to adjust to not having to stay in contact with the agency.  It will be nice to be able to make decisions and not have to wonder how it would/could impact the adoption. 

We waited for a very long time that day.  Our time was 10:30 so we got there at 10.  We didn't go in to see the judge until almost 12:30.  They only finalize adoptions on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month and this one was the last day possible of 2011.  There were a lot of happy families waiting that day.  Since we had already waited so long what was a few more hours?

Camryn didn't care for the waiting much.  Our trip to St Louis seemed to be the start of her holiday craziness.  That poor girl hasn't been herself in a week.  I think she is way way overstimulated.  She goes back to Stacy's today - I think she is ready for her routine again.

On the way to St Louis Tuesday evening we had to stop at Wal-Mart for a complete diaper/clothing change and a good stretch.  This was the first time she rode in a cart.

Waiting to go into court.  She was eyeing another little girl who was placed through BCS.

After court we stopped by the agency.  One of the people we had worked with hadn't been able to see Camryn yet.  We also wanted to get a picture in front of the sign - signifying it was finally over!!!

After we left the agency we went downtown.  Cade wanted to look at the arch one last time (I think he thinks he will never be in St Louis again).  We ate at Spaghetti Warehouse and it was a wreck.  Camryn was a mess - One of us held her while the other scarfed down their food then we traded.  In the middle of that Cade dropped this magic thing someone at church had given him.  When it hit the floor you could hear all of the pieces scatter....and that restaurant was really dark.  Cade was down on his belly crawling around picking up pieces.  It was crazy for a few minutes. 

It seemed like it took forever but we were finally able to head for home about 4.  Then about an hour out of St Louis we had to make one massive stop.  I think it took 20 minutes because I went to the bathroom and got a drink (the line was so long to checkout).  When I got back out Jay decided he needed to go and then he needed Aleve so he had to wait in line.  While he was gone I discovered Camryn had a dirty diaper.  I waited for Jay to get back out so I could take her in to change.  Cade was sleeping though all of that.  From that point I had to ride in the backseat with Camryn.  I tried to take some pictures of her to show how crazy she was, but I don't know if they quite convey it. 

She looked like a cat about ready to jump out of her seat.  She was giving Cade a dirty look for some reason.


When we got to Springfield Jay dropped me off at Wal-Mart while he went to get gas.  I had to take Camryn with me because she wouldn't stay in the car without crying.  I took her tights off when I changed her diaper earlier in the trip.  I just grabbed her with no shoes or tights or coat and went in.  I did have a blanket that I tried to wrap around her, but she didn't care for that.  I got a dirty look from another mother who's kid was bundled up like there was a blizzard striking at that moment.  Oh well, Camryn survived.

We finally made it home about 9 pm that night.  We were all exhausted, but so very happy that the day was over and Camryn was our little girl forver. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Six Months

Camryn turned 6 months on December 3.  When she had her 6 month checkup she weighed 17 and 3/4 pounds.  She was 27 inches long.  Both her height and weight are in the 90-95 percentile.  I compared her size to Cade and they are very close.  Cade weighed just a few ounces more and he was half an inch longer.  But he was in the 75 percentile.  Funny how different boys and girls are. She is still in size 3 diapers and 6-9 month clothes.  I had to get rid of the 3-6 month onesies this month.  I put one on her one day and it was so stretched out at the neck because of how long she is that she remined me of men in the 1970's with their shirts unbuttoned and gold chains hanging around their necks.  All she needed was some chest hair showing.

This was a pretty big month...
  • November 5 her other front bottom tooth started coming in
  • Started noticing the buttons on the remote and our phones
  • Likes to stand up
  • Started holding her own bottle
  • November 12 she was able to sit up for a few seconds unassisted before toppling over
  • November 19 was the day that nothing on the table because safe.  I now eat with my plate 3 feet in front of me.  I also have to watch my hair and jewelry.  She loves to grab it.
  • November 25 she started saying her MMMM sounds.  It sounds very close to Mama
  • November 26 she started sitting on her own with now help, but still no rolling over or any indication she wants to crawl. 
  • Noticed November 27 she can stand while holding on to something. 
  • December 1 Jay said 'oh boy' to her and it sounded like she repeated it back to him
December 3rd & 4th are two days we will never forget in this household.  I didn't blog about them earlier because the adoption wasn't final and I didn't want any issues....but Camryn had her first trip to the ER....

On the evening of the 3rd Cade was staying with Jim and Sharon.  Jay needed to get something at the school so we went to Miller and ate pizza before stopping at the school.  Everything in the restaurant was fine.  Camryn was all smiles and her normal sweet self.  When we were done we put her in her car seat and left like normal.  We drove the few blocks to the school and everything was good.  As Jay was getting out of the car she startedf fussing a little.  It was about bed time so I made her a bottle.  I was trying to hold it from the front seat and it was really uncomfortable.  I took the bottle out so I could move around in the front seat and prop it up for her.  She started screaming.  At first I thought she was just tired and mad.  But the crying continued.  Jay got in the car and we started for home with her still screaming.  After a couple of miles the crying changed to a scream that was awful.  Something was wrong.  We stopped the car and I took her out of the seat.  We thought maybe she was pinched or something.  That didn't seem to help.  We didn't know what else to do so we put her back in the seat and she screamed the rest of the way home.  When we got home she was still screaming.  At this point we had no idea what was wrong.  I thought maybe it was her stomach.  Jay and my tempers were getting short with each other by that point because we couldn't get her to stop crying.  We forced some gripe water down her, which she hates, and that was an ugly disaster.  Jay was doing it and too much came out and she got choked.  I got mad at Jay because I thought he did it on purpose, etc.  You can probably imagine what it was like.  Finally she went to sleep and we thought it was over.  She slept so-so that night.  When we got up the next morning I gaver her a bottle and then I moved her and she started crying again.  That's when I realized something was wrong with her left arm.  She wasn't using it and it was limp.  I freaked out.  I knew something was dislocated.  All I could picture was us taking her the the ER and a big ugly scene with child services developing and not being able to finalize on the 21st.  I think what bothered me the most is that we had no idea what had happened.  It would've been one thing if we could've said we jerked too hard on her arm getting her in her seat or putting her jacket on or something.  But we had no clue.  Still don't have a clue what happened.  I think she must've moved her arm just right and did it herself in her car seat.  Jay and I took her the ER and I was scared.  What she ended up having was a Nursemaid elbow.  It is fairly common and the hospital treated it like it wasn't a big deal.  When we got in the room I ran into the bathroom which was across the hall.  I was gone less than 3 minutes and when I got back in the room the doctor already had it in place.  We handed her paci to her and she grabbed it with her left arm and was as good as new.  We even managed to get Cade picked up and make it to church on time that day.  We just have to be careful because now she will be prone to it.

After the whole ordeal was over and we knew everything was ok, Jay and I had a good laugh about the night before.  Here we were fighting with each other forcing that gripe water down her.  Can you imagine what Camryn was thinking - you idiots, it's my arm, not my stomach!!!!  I felt like such a horrible mother.  I'll never forget putting her on our bed while we were getting ready to go to the hospital.  She was on her back and her other three appendages were moving like normal.  Her left arm though was just laying there.  How did we not notice it the night before?  Since we've had it happen though we've talked to several other people who's kids had it happen.  Our doctor did it to his own child on a slide.  That made me feel better.

Five Months

I'm way behind on Camryn's monthly updates.  Now that she is almost 7 months, I'm just getting around to her 5 month update.  Oh well.

Her 5th month was a pretty slow one.  She spent a large part of the month pretty crabby.  But by the end of the month we knew why...her first tooth popped through on October 26.  Also that morning she rolled over twice.  She did it once for me and then I put her back on her stomach and she did it again for Cade.  Up to this date (December 26) she has yet to do it for Jay.  People ask me if she can roll over - I tell them she can and Jay basically says I'm lying.  But I have seen her do it a time or two since then.  Why move much when you have plenty of people to hold you???

I didn't push the solid foods much this month.  She exasperated me.   We come from a long line of good eaters....I think my sister and I ate good, Cade was good, Jay was good, Avery and Lawson were having a non-eater was driving me crazy!  I finally decided to quit trying for awhile.  I just hope she's not eating because she's not ready...not because she's going to be a picky eater! 

We took her to the doctor on October 18.  At that appointment she weighed almost 17 pounds.  She is almost out of 3-6 month clothes and is moving into 6-9.  She seems to be carrying all of her weight in her thighs.  So far her eyes are still very blue and her hair is a light brown to almost strawberry blonde color.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12 Years

Yesterday was our 12th Anniversary. There is a couple from our church that got married on the same day a year ago. They went out for lunch yesterday afternoon. I think Jay and I were snickering on the inside. We want to tell them to enjoy it now….pretty soon celebrating their anniversary in December will be a distant memory.

When we discussed what we were going to do for our anniversary earlier in the week Jay said he’d thought about getting a hotel somewhere but then realized we couldn’t fit it into our schedules. Yes, that is the joy of getting married in December. We usually spend our anniversary involved in a school or church activity. We do try to at least go out to eat, but that just didn’t happen this year. But we are both in agreement – all we need for our anniversary (and Christmas) is our trip to St Louis and the party Thursday night.

We spent the day of our 12th Anniversary and church and then had a hectic lunch at home. After lunch Jay took the kids to the school’s Christmas program and I went to Wal-Mart. When we all got home I sat down for a few minutes because I was exhausted then I made food for our church party. After the church party last night we drove around Miller and looked a Christmas lights, while Camryn slept in her carseat. There was one house that deserved a 2nd drive-by. I’ve never seen so many Christmas blow-ups in one yard in all my life. Cade asked why we didn’t have any of those blow-ups. I told him they were too expensive. He said “wow, that family must be rich then”. Even with nothing special happening the day still seemed perfect.

If you are someone who has big dreams of doing something big for your anniversary every year (or at least the majority of them) don’t get married in December. If you are someone who knows that things are hectic like this for only a season in your life – then go for it! Christmas weddings are beautiful!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our Weekend and Week So Far...

This past weekend was a whirlwind of different things and events in our house.

Friday Camryn had her 6 month check-up then we went Christmas shopping. It was pretty uneventful.

Saturday morning I wrapped Christmas presents and then tried to bake cookies. The cookies were for church Sunday night. They were a disaster. Absolute mess. Finally I figured out I only put in 1 cup of flour and I needed 3. I really don’t care for baking.

Saturday afternoon we went to church to get everyone dressed to walk in the Miller Christmas parade. It was several wild minutes of fitting angel wings and shepherd head dress things over winter coats. Then we watched the parade. After the parade we went back to the church to run through our live Nativity which was going to be held Sunday night. I’m sure our new preacher thinks I’m bossy because I spent a lot of time yelling (only because Jay was far away and has an ear infection and couldn’t hear very well) where the kids needed to be. I assume everyone else already knew I was bossy.

Cade rode home from the parade with me. When we pulled up to the house Cade said “Dad did a really good job with the lights”. I agreed with him. Then Cade said “I believe I need to compliment him”. Cade pronounced every syllable distinctly. He sounded like Rob Lowe’s character on Parks & Rec. I had to try very hard to keep from laughing.

That evening I finally got Camryn’s stocking cut out. I got out my sewing machine to stitch it together and the regular foot was gone. Sometimes I think I need a new hobby. Every time I try to sew,  something goes wrong. I looked everywhere for the foot and couldn’t find it. I had taken my machine to dad’s last weekend so I figured the foot was gone.

I woke up at 5 am Sunday morning to try making yet another batch of cookies for Sunday night. They were another flop. In the less than 24 hours I had wasted 4 sticks of butter and countless cups of sugar and flour. Did I mention I don’t care to bake?

Sunday after church Camryn and I went to Springfield to the store where I bought my machine so I could get a new foot. I think I had tears in my eyes when the lady seemed very surprised I was missing the foot and then told me it would have to be ordered. Great. I left the store and went back out to the car and did another check to make sure it wasn’t there. Right on the passenger floor board was the foot. I think I was as excited as I’d ever been. I went back into the store to tell the lady never mind, I found it. Jay asked if I started the conversation by saying “yes, I am a little crazy right now…” At least I did get Jay’s Christmas taken care of while we were in Springfield.

When I got home that afternoon I decided to try baking one more time. I decided if this one didn’t work the good citizens of Miller would have to do without cookies from me. I had a Brownie mix in the pantry. Unbelievable….a brownie mix from Aldi’s turned out when all of my cookies didn’t.

The live Nativity went very well. I didn’t take any pictures because quite frankly my hands were too cold. Getting my phone out seemed like too much effort.

Cade started getting sick Sunday afternoon. Like any good parents we medicated him and told him not to tell anyone at church he didn’t feel good. Don’t you hate parents that do that? Usually I do to, but there were not other options Sunday. That provided me with a day off on Monday. You never want your kids to be sick but the timing of this was pretty good….

I spent Monday cleaning the house because our LAST home visit was Monday night. If Cade hadn’t been sick I’m not sure when the house would’ve been cleaned.

Over the weekend Jay and I discovered that one of the pillows on our bed with the sham that matches our quilt is missing. We noticed it last week and at first we thought it was misplaced. We’ve finally came to the conclusion it was accidently put in one of our give away sacks last week. Our bed is now lopsided. Jay went to the Service Center yesterday to see if he could possibly buy back our pillow and sham. He didn’t see it. We aren’t sure if someone bought it already or if the people at the Service Center thought why in the world would someone think someone else would want this nasty pillow and threw it away. If anyone happens/happened to see or buy a red sham with blue ruffle at the service center recently, please let me know. Our other sham is lonely.

Tuesday night I remembered I had signed up to make more cookies for our church fruit baskets. I must’ve been temporarily insane that Sunday. Why in the world would I ever sign up to bake something. Camryn didn’t seem to care last night that I had things to do. She was not interested in letting me bake.

Today I woke up at 5am again to bake more cookies. The getting up at 5 doesn’t bother me, that’s my normal time….but getting up that early to do something I strongly dislike (bake) irritated me. They also flopped. I do not like baking!! But I do not understand what is wrong. I’ve made cookies before, I am not incompetent at baking. I’m beginning to wonder if something is wrong with my oven??? But since the brownies turned out I’m not sure that is the case.

Now I'm stuck with a dilemma. I have to have cookies at the church by 7 pm. Do I go to Summer Fresh and buy some from the bakery or buy the Nestle already made ones you only have to bake. What to do…what to do….

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finalization Funny

I guess we are all a little worked up about finalization….or at least Cade and I are. I knew I was. Jay doesn't say much about it so I'm not sure his thoughts. After last night we now know Cade is worked up. Why oh why was this one of the gene's I managed to pass on to him.

Scene: Dinner table last night

Cade: I have homework but I don't have to do it tonight.

Me: (confused) Why don't you have to do it?

Jay: Apparently he told his teacher he wouldn't be at school on Friday

Me: Why did you think you weren't going to be at school Friday?

(Jay was giving me the look that he does whenever he already knows how the story is going to end)

Cade: It felt like Friday was the 21st so I told my teacher I wouldn't be at school


Time to start working on how to read a calendar….

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some Random Holiday Pictures

Saturday we spent some time at my dad's house with Charity, Avery and Lawson.  We decorated Dad's tree and painted dough ornaments.  It was a fun day.  On the way to Sheldon Camryn was pretty pitiful in the backseat.  She kept looking at me this way....I think she was lonely all by herself in the back.

Then she'd pop her head up and ride like this for awhile.  I remember Cade doing that same thing and it always made me laugh to see their heads bobbing around.  It wasn't that long ago you couldn't even see her head when she was in the car.

She liked looking at Avery from this position.  Avery got her to smile several times.  Camryn's bib was one I bought on sale after Christmas in 2007, right after we started waiting.  I was sure a baby was going to wear it the next year.  Every year I'd see it in with the Christmas stuff and I'd have to leave it in the cedar chest.  Last year when I saw it, it made me very angry.  I stuffed it in another corner of the chest and forgot about it.  Friday night I was cleaning out the cedar chest and I found it.  Finally I didn't have to leave it behind anymore.


Help! I'm being attacked by a large Reindeer pillow pet.  Of course I had to take a picture before I'd pick her up.

Again, I had to take a picture of her crying in her reindeer hat before I could get her a bottle.  Yes, I'm mean like that!

First picture in front of the tree.  It didn't go so well.

And a happy shot in her reindeer hat.  Sharon gave us that hat on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Camryn wore it on Monday and Tuesday.  On Tuesday we went to Wal-Mart and lost it.  I realized it about 5 minutes later and backtracked.  It was nowhere in sight.  I thought it was gone forever.  I left my name at the service center in case it showed up.  On Thursday they called.  Yes, I made a special trip back to Republic just to get the hat. 

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 5, 2011

Comments from Cade

Few things we've heard around the house this week.

Me: your clothes for today are on your bed
Cade:(while wearing a towel around his waist) Good! I can get
Out of this thing that makes me look like a Greek God.

Jay: why are you wearing
Sunglasses? It's
Dark outside
Cade: because it makes me
Look dashing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I’ve shared a lot over the years about the good and the bad in our lives, especially in regards to our adoption.  Today I’m going to show you the ugly.  Really, it does look worse in the picture than it did in the actual closet.  Jay was overwhelmed.  He had no idea what he was getting himself in to.

Yes, all of that stuff was in 1 closet.  One not so big closet in our entry way.  Yes, I am embarrassed. 

Jay and I’ve been working on the Great Muck Out of 2011 over the last week. This enormous project all started because of looking for 1 little computer CD in the computer cabinet.

I do go through our closets and drawers frequently. I try to give our house a good scrubbing every 6 months. But I don’t get through everything all at the same time. This is probably the most heavy duty sort out we’ve done since we moved in 7 years ago. Really, I do keep our house clean…this is just the hidden stuff.

I don’t think I’m a hoarder. I throw things out on a regular basis. By 7pm on Wednesday evenings I’m asking Jay if he’s read the paper and if I can throw it out. But there are things I’ve collected over the years that’s really hard for me to turn loose of. It seems like the older I get the worse I get. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I've think about my Depression Era Grandma’s more and more for some reason. I can hear their voices saying….you never know when you might need that.

• 16 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper. I like a good variety. Some of these rolls I’ve had for years. I only wrap one or two presents from each kind every year. Five of them have never been opened. Not sure when I got them.

• 7 packages of unopened name tags. After finding them it all came back to me-in 2009 I bought several after Christmas. In 2010 I didn’t remember any of that and bought more.

• Countless gift boxes. I know I hoard boxes. I can’t help myself. If someone is going to throw it out I’ll take it. I may need that exact size next year. My problem is so bad that even though I know I’ve got plenty at home I will still get one from the store if they happen to be giving them out….and I’ll also keep it for the next year.

• Ribbons. Very similar to the box obsession. I use real ribbon on my packages. It actually pains me to see someone throw away one of my ribbons. I find myself watching what happens to the ribbon when the present is being opened – much like a mother can’t take her eyes off of her baby when someone else is holding it. Now our families are trained – they give them back to me as soon as they untie them. Jay said I’m sick….People give them back before they even enjoy opening their gifts. Again, I know I have a problem. The gift wrap/box/ribbon thing came from my Grandma Ewing. It’s so similar it’s scary.

• About a billion coats – including several that I had in HS. Jay made me get rid of them. I know other people need them more than I do, but what if I do need them some day?

• Old sheets and curtains. I can’t part with them. What if I need them some day because I need to sew a dress out of them or something….or if we move or paint. They do make good drop cloths. He at least got me to move them out of the hall closet and into a tub in the garage.

• Craft supplies of any sort…ribbons, paper, fabric. Jay tried to throw some of my paper away. I almost passed out (actually I said what if we have no money some day and need to write a letter to our families?  Jay said if that was the case we wouldn't have money for a stamp so there was no need to keep the paper).  We did find a home for it in the hall closet. It’s amazing how much room you have when you move out old curtains. But Jay hasn’t looked behind our bed yet. That’s the blessing/curse of angling your bed in a corner. It’s makes a great hiding spot for all the material that was in Camryn’s closet that I had to move when we brought her home. I need all of that material for all the projects floating around in my head (that I will never actually have time to do).

We are probably a little more than halfway through the great muck out. Last night we tackled our closet, but Jay had just as much stuff to get rid of in there. I think we had 5 large garbage bags of clothes. Embarrassing. It has gone so much faster with Jay’s help. We only started a week ago and we very likely could be finished by this weekend.

After taking one load of stuff out to the truck to give away that included some FFA and FCS stuff Jay said that if anyone who knew us at all happened to go through the stuff they’d be able to figure out who it belonged to. A little while later I had a diaper box full of various books on infertility(everything from how to survive it to a fertility diet) and an A-Z guide on Adoption. I agreed with Jay that someone could figure it out. Jay said “yeah, especially with our name and address on the diaper box”. Whoops! I had to rip that off. I don’t actually want anyone to know who’s responsible for the Christian Service Center’s donation junk increase this week.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Black Friday

This year my mom and I went shopping on Black Friday. I hate crowds, but I love Black Friday shopping. One of those weird inconsistencies with me. Jay was going to keep Camryn but then ended up having a Razorback game party so I took her with me. I didn't want his game ruined in case she got in a mood. Camryn did really good. I was very impressed. She was in a great mood and rode in her stroller like a good girl.

Here she was at 5am. She was ready to shop in her special jammies that say Best Gift Ever!! People kept calling her a boy.

This is nap #2 for the day. Bargain hunting is hard work.

Very happy after her nap. We put her bow on to avoid anymore gender mistakes.

Finally we were on the way home. Mom and I wanted to do the same thing.

We made it home for the 2nd half of the Razorback/LSU game. Too bad it was the worst half of the game. But still it was a great day for all of us.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Future BFF's

A couple of weeks ago Camryn and I got to spend some time with Leslie, my good friend from HS and her daughter Josie.  Josie was born exactly 6 weeks BEFORE Camryn.  By looking at this picture you'd think Camryn is about to sit up and ask for a steak.  Josie is in 0-3 month clothes.  Camryn is wearing a brand new (so no shrinkage) 6-9 month outfit.


Josie had a rougher start to her life though.  She was born about a month early and only weighed a little over 3 pounds.  By the time Camryn was born 6 weeks later Josie still weighed under Camryn's birthweight.  I think Camryn has outweighed her by about 5-6 pounds ever since.  Someday a difference of 5-6 pounds between friends won't be a big deal, but for now there definitely won't be any clothes sharing going on between these two.  But they could share accessories.  Josie was extremely determined to go after Camryn's bow.  Josie is much more mobile than Camryn - she was all over the place.  What you see of Camryn above is all she's got (or at least had at that particular time).  Josie was like a reverse inchworm.  She was crawling on her back.  Definitely one of the most interesting ways I've ever seen a baby get around.
I'm so glad Leslie and I were able to get the girls together. I hope we can continue to do that throughout their lives.  I'm glad I've got someone else to go through this girl thing with together....especially when we hit the teen years!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

How to have a calm morning (not!!)

Do you ever want to kick the people who write those articles about how to have a more organized morning? I'd like to. I think I've read every one of them that I've came across over the years hoping to see a new idea that I haven't thought of. It's a lost cause in our house. I think the only way my mornings will ever be sane is if I hire a housekeeper and a personal car loader.

I think my crazy morning started back on Saturday. Or maybe even as far back as last Wednesday when Jay and I finally decided how we would celebrate Camryn's adoption finalization. We are going to have a party/open house sort of thing December 22. On Saturday I was thinking about finishing Camryn's Christmas sock, but I need to print her name off with a font that's on our computer for a pattern. But we are out of ink so I was going to put the font on Jay's computer and let him print it for me. I decided to look in our computer cabinet for the CD, but then decided the computer cabinet needed to be cleaned out, since we are having this party in about 3.5 weeks. Several hours later the computer cabinet was clean, but the computer program was not located. Then we decided since we were in the clean out mode I'd run into work and get some boxes so we could muck out Cade's room. Thanks to a good nap by Camryn and Jay's help, the three of us managed to get rid of 9 boxes of old toys. The top layer of his closet junk is no longer mere inches away from the bottom of his clothes. I can once again see carpet in his room. But some of that stuff got moved into Camryn's room. Now it's sitting in her floor waiting for someone to find the time to put it away. Then we decided to put up the tree, which meant we had to rearrange the furniture. Then we decided to put up a tree my dad gave us several years ago that he didn't want anymore. After taking extra time to kill all of the spiders hiding out in the new tree which hadn't been touched in 5+ years we got it up. But now we needed new lights because we didn't think we had enough. I ran into town and bought 5 boxes of lights. When I got home I realized they were white wires. We dug around and found enough lights to get the tree finished. But then I remembered our Disneyland ornaments were in the cedar chest in our closet. I had to move three milk crates full of scrapbooking odds and ends to get to the cedar chest. Then I had to take out all the other Christmas decorations that were on top of the ornaments. That's all piled in front of my dresser.

After church on Sunday we went to Wal Mart to pick up the invitations we had ordered on Saturday for Camryn's party. Their photo lab went down sometime Saturday so our stuff didn't get printed. Then we went to look at ink cartridges so I could print her name out – they were out of the size we needed. Then I went to get a new coffee pot because my quit working Saturday – totally out of the one I wanted. The trip was a bust, but I did get two new boxes of lights with green wires for our other tree. That evening I started a good cleaning/decorating on the family room. Most of it is decorated and three walls are clean. While that was going on Jay was texting different people about the live nativity at church. I found out we wouldn't be able to borrow the costumes from the same place we did last year. That has caused some major cloud of stress over me since then. Then we started clearing out the bookshelf. Since Jay was so big on Cade getting rid of stuff, I decided it was time to make him thin out some books. Now we have books piled all over the family room and kitchen floors along with Christmas and regular decorations. Since we can't find the table we will be eating picnic style this week.

This morning I was going to get up at 5 to finish the bookshelf, except Camryn also decided to get up at the same time. Jay fed her while I worked for awhile. That was almost worse. Then I remembered I had a stash of books by our bed in the nightstands. I needed to incorporate those in the clean bookshelf – which meant I rifled through our nightstands making an even bigger mess that's now piled on either side of the bed. Then Jay needed to get in the shower because he had to be at school at 7. I had to stop on the bookshelf project because Camryn was a fussybutt. I wasn't able to get in the shower until almost 6:45, which meant I was going to be seriously late. Then since I borrowed the extension cord from the iron in our closet to use with the Christmas tree I had to re-pile the junk in there that I'd taken off of the cedar chest to maneuver the ironing board close enough to an outlet so I could iron. All that was going on with a baby fussing her head off. At 5 til 8 ( I needed to leave at 7:40) I was still in the house and my teeth weren't brushed, Camryn was in her car seat fussing and Cade was in his own little world. We were almost ready to walk out the door, but then I remembered my work out clothes. I went back to get those. I took the pants out of the dirty clothes basket. I didn't care. I go to get in the car and the luggage from this weekend was never unloaded. I had to pile all of that in the kitchen. Finally we were all in the car I'm pulling out and I look over at Cade. He wasn't wearing a coat. All I said was "you better hope you don't have recess outside today". Cade said "I can't find my Razorback jacket". I think it is the pile that I moved from the car to the kitchen. Miller parents – if we get a note home about making sure you dress your kids appropriately for the weather the Shepherd's are the cause of it.

Oh, and for some reason our water is brown. Since yesterday I thought it was Jay or Cade forgetting to flush the toilet, but I realized it is the water. No idea what's going on there. So I had to buy water to take to work because I wasn't going to drink our water. But that was ok because I needed to buy some coffee since our coffee pot is broken. And then the gas light started dinging as I dropped off Camryn so I took care of gas, water and coffee all at once. Finally I pull up to work at 8:30. I get inside and I realize I don't have my cell phone. I flashed back to Camryn fussing in her seat and I remember she had my phone in her hands. Hoping it is still with her at Stacy's??? I'd call Stacy, but her number is in my cell phone….what kind of mother doesn't know her babysitters number by heart? So I sent her a message on Facebook. She just got back with me – yes my phone is in the carseat. That's what happens when you use a carseat as a place to pile the stuff you need to get out the door with in the mornings.

I think I'm going to take off Wednesday. I've got to finish this mucking out project. That should help my mornings for at least a day or two. What I'm finding to be very interesting is that since I've been back to work Jay has cleaned the house by himself twice. He's now taken quite an interest in this deep cleaning/organizing. It is nice to have some help. Maybe we'll have it done and the house decorated by December 22????

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

So thankful for these two "turkeys"

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Monday, November 21, 2011

What a difference a year or five will make....

I really haven’t thought about it a lot, but there are moments I’ve reflected on what we were doing a year ago. Honestly, I couldn’t even remember what date we had the transfer done(I had to consult the blog to find the day). The only thing I remember for sure was that we had the blood test the day before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has played some significant parts in our infertility/adoption story. I spent a lot of time in the days leading up to Thanksgiving with a ball of nerves sitting in my stomach. Ahh, I can clearly remember the feeling of all that stress. Was I pregnant? Would the test be positive? I also can remember the feeling of walking around the mall on Black Friday somewhat numb from an early miscarriage (2006) and a negative FET (2010) trying to do a little retail therapy.

While I don’t remember what I did the weekend before Thanksgiving last year. I’m sure it involved anything possible to take my mind off the test looming ahead on Wednesday. I also know it was vastly different from this year. This year I remember exactly what I did…and it was great and uneventful at the same time.

We finalize Camryn’s adoption 1 month from today. I still get overwhelmed when I think about everything has happened to us since May 17- the day we got an email about a little baby girl due any day….. All I can say is Thank You God!!!

We started out the weekend with some family pictures for Christmas cards.  Here is a sneak peek at one of Camryn's holiday outfits.  I love being able to dress a girl in Holiday themed clothes.  Sorry about the blur...she waves her arms like a hummingbird anymore and it's hard to get good pictures.  And she was looking right at Cade.  You can imagine how he gets her worked up.

Then we went to Toys R Us and Cade showed us some stuff Santa could bring him.  Of course he brought up the fact that he would've asked for some Lego's but since I told him no, he was going to have to make do with something else :)  Yes, he has it so rough.  But I put the brakes on Lego's this year because of Camryn becoming mobile.  Too much to worry about for this Mamma at Christmas.

I made Camryn a Turkey shirt to match some leggings and hair bow she already had.  Again I LOVE dressing her in holiday themed clothing.  A year ago I wasn't sure we'd have any more kids...I couldn't have even began to imagine I'd have a girl to dress up. 

And Camryn went to her first Thanksgiving Dinner at our chuch.  I think she looks ornery in this picture...and that's how she was all day yesterday.  I was exhausted by 9:30 am...and we hadn't even left the house yet.

It was an ordinary, but yet extraordinary weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

One Wedding and a Serious Question

I’ve not said a whole lot on the blog about my parents divorce. They were married in September 1974 and in May 2006 they separated. It was quite a shock to me and my sister. I never imagined that at 29 years old I’d have to deal with that. They actually went through the divorce about 2 years ago. I’ve just preferred not to say much about it, because what can you say? At times it’s been weird, at times hard, I’ve shed many tears over it, but it is what it is. I love both my parents very much and I never wanted to say anything on here that would hurt any feelings. It was easier to not talk about it. This past weekend my mom got re-married to a man she knew growing up. I do consider myself to be fortunate because I really do like Steve (mom's husband)and Lynn (dad’s girlfriend). Things could be worse. Much worse. I had planned to post some pictures from the wedding, but between having a baby there and everything else going on I never got out my camera. When we get the official pictures I may post some and tell more about the day. Oh who am I kidding….those pictures will end up with the million others I’ve wanted to post over the last several months.

I had to go through that backstory to make this story make any sense. Cade has been so funny lately with the things he asks and says. After the wedding Saturday we were headed to mom’s house for the reception. We were almost there and I hear Cade’s voice from the backseat….

Cade: I hate to ask this question, but I have to know because I’ve been so worried about it

Me: Don’t worry about it, you can ask me anything

Cade: Is Grandma going to have more kids?

Me: (trying not to laugh) NO, she’s not going to have more kids

Cade: (still worried) But how do you know she’s not going to have anymore?

Me: Once people get so old they can’t have any more kids (I figured that was better than explaining a tubal ligation)

Cade: Whew! That is a relief

That question took me back to my 19th birthday. My mom was having severe stomach pains and my dad wasn’t home (and it was before cell phones) so I took her to the emergency room. I was starting to get sweaty because every new person that came in the room would ask my mom 2 or 3 times if she was pregnant? Was she sure she wasn’t pregnant? Even though the chances were very slim that she was this 19 year old was starting to get a little worried. Turns out all the good bacteria in her intestines got killed by a strong antibiotic she was taking and she ended up spending almost a week in the hospital. But in my own 19 year old selfish way I thought “whew, that is a relief”.   Sometimes Cade and I think so much alike it's almost scary.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Camryn and solid foods are exasperating me right now.  She won't eat anything.  She won't even hardly let me get the spoon in her mouth.  The minute she sees a spoon she locks her gums together and pushes her lips out. 
Just go ahead and try it...

- As you can see it was clearly a no go on the regular peas I smashed up.  I knew they probably weren't going to work because they were frozen peas and they didn't smash up very well.  But it didn't matter...Lockjaw wasn't about to try them.

So I moved her to the high chair and opened up some sweet potatos. 

mom's getting serious now....hahaha!!

but I don't believe I'll have any

really, I'm not going to open up my mouth for this

why do you even bother-I tried to tell you but you wouldn't take my hints

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