Thursday, July 28, 2011

Today I left Camryn in our room while I cleaned our shower and showered. I left her just out of my sight because the vinegar I use to clean it with seemed strong. I heard her fuss and I heard Cade rattling her toys and then silence. I thought she was happy. A few minutes later Jay got home from his meeting. I asked him if Camryn was still in her bouncy seat. He seemed surprised by my question. He said she was. As quiet as she was being I figured Cade had got her out. I finished my shower and got out. I peeked around the corner expecting to see her. Baby and bouncy seat were both missing from our room.

I found them in the family room like this watching Looney Tunes....

No wonder Jay was puzzled by my question. They look like they belong there together. I asked Cade if he carried her in the bouncy, he pushed her. That was probably wonderful on the hard wood floor.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1st Post Placement Visit and Monthly Update

We had our first post placement visit last Tuesday. It went well, not that I thought it would go any differently. I really like Jamie so it was nice to talk to her again. Of course Camryn was her usual cute self. Jamie will come back In September then the first part of December. After that and we finalize December 21 we are done!!!

Writing the monthly update letter was a lot harder than I thought it would be. For one thing she was only six weeks old...she eats, smiles a little then sleeps again. There's not much to report. She has also started responding to voices. If you talk softly to her she will "talk" back if she is in the right mood. But I almost hated to put that in the report. I really doubt that C will read these updates but she knows they are there. I really hope she does see them someday, but I felt guilty writing it. If she reads it I don't want to make her feel worse by thinking it should be her voice Camryn is responding to. Ugh this hard! I ended up sticking to the basics...height weight and her eating & sleeping patterns. When I talked about development I tried to put it in really generic terms if that makes sense. I didn't put that she responds to her mommy's voice or anything like that. I also stated again that if they change their minds about our openess our door will always be open.

What I really wanted to say was that I'm so sorry for these circumstances, I'd love to give you a hug, I think about you every day and I pray for you every day....but then I also have a feeling of possessiveness come over me. Camryn is our baby. The thought of her being with any other family takes my breath away. In fact I've had two dreams in the last two weeks where her bio family takes her back (which can't happen) but I've still woke up sweating and have a hard time going back to sleep.

Adoption comes with so many emotions and different obstacles to tackle along the way. One big problem with a closed adoption is that if I don't stay on top of some of these thoughts and feelings it would be easy to shelve them
And ignore the whole adoption aspect right now. I definitely don't want that to happen. She is adopted and it's something we don't want to ignore because before we know it she will be asking questions. We all have to be prepared for that. I know this will all work itself out along the way....but there are definitely a lot of thoughts and feelings to sort through.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hereford Jr National

We survived the Hereford Jr National.  Thank Goodness that is behind us.  I'm all about supporting Jay because this is something that's important to him, but I'm glad I've been off all summer.  If that had been my "vacation" like it was originally going to be I would've been sorely disappointed.  Spending an entire week trapped in a cattle barn is just not my idea of a good time.  Actually I'm quite happy that I had a 9 pound excuse to keep me from being in the barns so much.  It probably worked out even better that we had Camryn.  I feel awkward when we are at these shows.  So many of the other Mom's are doing things....I don't know what to do and quite honestly I'm not that interested in learning.  But then I feel useless because Jay is doing all the work and I'm not doing anything.  I'm just glad I was pushing a stroller and had a great excuse.  I should be able to use her for the next 5-6 years. We were stalled by one mom who told me she grew up on a farm but didn't do anything with showing cattle.  She went on to tell me how she knows nothing about showing.  For a brief second I thought I had a kindred spirit.  Then she went on to tell me how when it was in Tulsa a couple of years ago her husband couldn't go so she loaded up her 7 yr old and 5 yr old and went with one heifer.  She had to wash it every day and and dry it all while keeping an eye on her two kids.  I can't tell you how nervous that would've made me....I must be weak.

I also think Jay realized some things while we were gone.  But in case he forgets I've made some mental post-its to remind him the next time we go back.  I'm afraid the Hereford Jr National may to be Jay like childbirth is to quickly forget the pain you just endured.  I'll be there with my list in case Jay starts to suffer from HJN amnesia

Only 1head of cattle to capable bovine handler.  Three cows to one adult is way way way too much.  I think everyone else had more of a 1 to 1 ratio.  Thank goodness for a family from Miller stalled across the aisle from us.  They were 2 adults and 2 HS age girls to 4 head of cattle.  They saved Jay quite a bit of work.

Never register a heifer that is the oldest that you can possibly show at the HJN.  That means you will be in the absolute last class showing.  Out of 164 classes you will be in the last one.  Which means a long long day for every one. 

We don't plan on going unless it is within a certain radius of home.  I don't have any plans to travel 2 states  over  (or more) for this thing.  There are people who came from California and New England with cattle.  They must be insane.  Or they weren't lucky enough to have a wife making mental notes for them.

I think we made it ok during the week.  Probably the worst time was trying to decide where to eat dinner every night.  At the Royal there just aren't a lot of choices and then it was hard trying to get the timing down.  The heifers had to be fed and watered before tie outs, but they weren't taking them to tie-outs until it cooled down.  If we left to eat dinner around 6 then it put Jay behind on the feeding and watering thing.  Then not to mention we were all tired and hot.  Some of those car rides to eat were not some of the most pleasant in our family history. 

So all in all it was a good experience for us....I know this is all good for Cade...but I don't plan on making this a yearly thing.  I also think family vacations where you actually see something new is a good experience (and thankfully Jay also agrees).  I don't think I have to worry about this becoming our "vacation" every year.  But just in case it starts to I have my mental notes....and if that fails Camryn and I will just hop a plane and take a vacation of our own.  The only problem with that is I'm not sure Jay and Cade would survive a week at the HJN without bloodshed....and I'm really not sure which one would come out the survivor.  They had a kids play area where there were some pillows stacked up and a TV playing movies.  It was a good place for the kids to veg out for awhile.  I walked over to the area and got Cade's attention so I could tell him something.  He got up and another kid took his place on the pillow.  This was Friday and Cade was done.  I couldn't hear what was said between Cade and the pillow stealer, but I could tell Cade was letting this kid know he was coming right back and that kid was not to take his spot.  I didn't feel like breaking up a fight so I told Cade to lay back down and I just yelled to him what I needed to tell him.  Cade and I are so much alike....very mild mannered.  But when we've been pushed to the point of where words are being exchanged we've been pushed to our limit.  Yes, the HJN brought out the best in all of us!

Camryn sporting her JCS Cattle Company attire, complete with Hereford Bull
But she was not pleased about being photographed with her brother in a matching shirt.

Cade snuck in a picture of Jay on my phone when no one was looking.  This was just the first day and Jay was already beat.  This was after driving to KC, unloading everything pretty much by himself, and getting Cade ready to give his speech.  It had been a long day already.

This was the Missouri Jr Marketing Team.  They did really good.  They didn't place at HJN, but at the the Gold Buckle for Ozark Empire they won 1st place.  Cade has a line that cracks me up in the presentation.  They marketed his heifer named Jewels.  His last line was Jewels will make a gem in your herd.  You should see him deliver it. 

This is Cade with Jewels.  Funny story that just happened....I asked Cade to tell me who was in this picture, meaning what cow.  I can't tell them apart.  He put his head right next to the screen and paused for a second.  Then he turned around and said "It's me". 

Why we never want to be in the last class again

And this is how we all felt by the time we got home

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Little Game...

Guess which baby is Cade and which one is Camryn....


A lot of people have told me Cade and Camryn look like bio siblings. I had noticed some resemblance, especially when I'm feeding her. Mostly I've chalked it up to all babies looking alike but tonight I got out Cade's early months photo album. My purpose wasn't to compare their looks it was to compare their legs. Camryn's legs still very much resemble a frogs. I couldn't remember if Cade's were that drawn up still at 2 months. They weren't. Either Camryn has Kermit the Frog somewhere in her bio family tree or it's because her birthmom was only 5 feet tall. I'm guessing the fact that C was small framed and 5 feet with a 8 lb 2 oz 21.5 inch long baby is the problem. Camryn must've been squished. I'm closer to 5'6" and Cade was only 7 lbs and 20 inches. He had lots of room to stretch out or at least thats what I'm telling myself is the reason her knees are frequently around her chest.

Anyway, when I started flipping through the pages I was a little taken back by how much they do look alike. This is where it gets tricky with adoption. Will she want to hear that she looks like Cade or will she want people to remember that her genetics are separate from ours? Obviously I don't know but I will know to be sensitive to that issue someday. I do cling to any information that Jamie gives me about her bio parents features and how they compare to her features. I'd have to guess that knowing she resembles C will be important to her someday. Also, it's important to remember that just because she does look a lot like Cade doesn't mean her being adopted by us is any more meant to be than other adoptions. There are many many families where the parents and kids look totally different and they are the family God put together...just like us. But I will say sometimes God puts it together this way and it is definitely interesting.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just some pictures...

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Church Camp

We are sending Cade to church camp for 2 nights and 3 days starting today.  Actually, I feel like I'm sending him off because Jay is gone overnight on an FFA trip.  Camryn and I will be home alone all day today and tomorrow. What will we do without the boy?  Actually I've got lots of plans for the next 36 hours.

I'm a little nervous about Cade going to camp.  Not to mention the last time he was at this same camp we didn't have the best experience. I know he will have a good time and I know they will take care of him.  Mostly I'm worried about him getting showered and dressed on his own.  Yes, he is 9 and yes he should be able to do that and for the most part he does.  We just have to prod him along most of the time.  There is the struggle to get out of bed....then the 5 minute warning knock on the bathroom door...then reminding him several times to get dressed.  That is clearly one downfall of having an only child for so long.  When you realize you are going to have another baby I think it is a way to jump start you into making your older child(ren) more independent.  Well...we never had that with Cade so I babied him for way too long.  Just a couple of months ago we sat down to eat and Cade automatically handed me his plate like he always does.  Jay said he thought it was time Cade started filling his own plate.  I had one of those moments were I flash forward and saw us sitting around the table with Cade and his wife and me still filling his plate.  It made me break out in a sweat.  But it is a mom's nature to take care of them every minute of every day from the moment they come into your life.  It's been really hard for me to realize that I need to start making him more independent.  And I don't know if its his personality or because he's a boy but he's always let me do all of this stuff for him.  Our doctor even talked to us at his last check-up about how important it is to make kids independent and to have them contribute to the family unit.  I know that...but it's so hard.

So last night I packed him for camp.  I even put seperate outfits in seperate bags so he'll know what goes together and to make it easier for him to grab to take to the bathroom.  We went over everything and what was in the bag and what he was supposed to do with it.  All he could worry about was the money that was sitting there and what it was for.  I kept telling him we'd get to that in a minute.  Finally I explained that part of it was for the Missions and the other part was for canteen.  Then I went over the importance of getting the change back and putting it in his pocket for the next day.   I'm not sure that will happen.  Then I stacked all his little baggie in a suitcase.  Cade asked me what if I embarassed him because he had so much stuff.  I assured him the other kids would be the same.  Towels take up a lot of room.  I also have a nagging feeling I'm only going to get about half of all this stuff back on Friday.

I have visions of him naked and sad because he lost his canteen money and he doesn't get snacks when everyone else does.  Like Jay reminded me this will be very good for him...if he gets in the shower and doesn't have his towel or clothes he'll think twice about it next time.  Same with the money.  If he looses it and doesn't get a snack it will teach him to be more careful.  I know all that...but why is it so hard for me to accept? 

Thank goodness Camryn is a girl.  I'm hoping she will naturally want to be more independent because I obviously can't depend on another child to force me to make her independent.  

It's about time for me to get him up.  My parting words will be don't loose your money and for goodness sakes, please stay off that jungle gym!  Camryn and I are crafting today and tomorrow and I don't want to take him to get stitches!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Six Weeks Today....

Today I am 6 weeks old. I don't want to brag or anything but I'd say there aren't too many other kids my age who have logged as many miles in a car seat as I have. I think I'm developing a callous on my back. Thank goodness for the good padding in diapers. That's saves my rear many times.

I've traveled to St Louis already, actually when I was just a little over 48 hours old. I'm not sure what took place while I was in St Louis but mom tells me the first family had a little boy that wanted to smell my feet. I would venture to guess that happened a lot while I was with that family. Then I went to another family. I think things were much quieter there. Finally mommy and daddy and Cade came to get me and we drove home from St Louis. We weren't in the door 10 minutes and they were changing my clothes to go to a ballgame. That's the way Its been constantly since.

I've been to several ballgames, Springfield, a wedding, Joplin twice, Branson, the library countless times, shopping many times, and then this week KC. As of today I've spent 6 nights in a hotel already. And oh my goodness...I've seen more cattle than a Lot of adults. Daddy has said over and over
There are 1600 head here when he's trying to get Cade up in the mornings. I wonder if he is regretting this trip? They thought I was asleep the other night but I heard him tell mommy we weren't coming back until Cade could carry his own water Bucket. I'm not sure what that means but judging by the bags under daddy's eyes it must be something tiring.

Mommy isn't exactly
Having a picnic either. I've been a good girl and
She tells me that all the time, but
She took
Agression out on the stroller this morning. It wouldn't unfold and she got a little irritated. Then she had to shove the enormous diaper bag under it. She
Has to bring so many bottles for me because my eating is sporadic. I never
Know if it will be a
Slow eating
Day or a big one. I like to keep her on her toes :). Then daddy had her bring him and Cade shorts so that was more stuff to put in the bag. Then she has to gather up her phone and the video camera
And water and most importantly me! Then lock the car door double checking for the 100th te that the keys are in her pocket and not in the car because her clicker broke years ago. Mommy looked a little wild eyed this morning for some reason.

I haven't seen Cade much since
We've been here. I think he's too busy running around
With the
Kids his age. When he is around I hear this F Word a lot...FOCUS Cade! Apparantly he's not
Focusing very well. I also hear mommy and daddy tell him he has to start listening better. I know yesterday mom almost lost it when we pulled up to the hotel and he had his shoes off. He always takes his shoes off In the
Car. It would be ok except he waits until the car is completely stopped and mom is out wrestling with the stroller before he starts putting them on. I'll try to remember to not do that
When i'm older.

I also overheard mommy and daddy either laughing or maybe it
was crying when they realized that if I show Herefords they can come to this for 22 years in a row. Apparantly they will be pretty old by then because Daddy said he'd have to hire some help. But then they realized Cade could have His own kids here. Dad may have to fit my cattle and his grandkids cattle. I sure hope Cade will be able to carry a water bucket by then...

Thanks for letting me vent there. I guess it's almost time to watch Cade show. Hopefully it goes better than it did the other day. Daddy was not pleased with Ruby that day.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

T-Rex Cafe and Crown Center

After 4 days spent at the Royal we decided Cade needed a break from the arena and Jay
needed a break from Cade :)....there are lots of stories from ths week that I will blog later from a computer, not my phone. Today I brought Cade and Camryn to the T-Rex Cafe at the Legends Outlet Mall. I'm not sure exactly where this is at. I know it's Kansas but not sure which town. Anyway it is really cool. When Cade was in his huge dinosaur phase a few years ago this would've made his day.

Camryn was totally impressed by the dinosaurs!

Then we went to Crown Center. I love all things Hallmark so Camryn and I had gone Monday. Cade also had a great time. We went to the Crayola Kalidescope and created things then Cade played in the fountains. It was a really fun day. And aside from eating at the T-Rex Cafe it was a cheap to free day. Yea!!!

We were glowing In the dark.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Showgirl bling purchased at The American Royal. Pretty sure it won't be her last....

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Progression of a baby smile

We are ready to head to Avery's 5th birthday party ( so hard to believe). It took a few tries to get a smile...

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Harder than I ever anticipated....

Bringing another baby home has been much harder than I ever anticipated.  All those years we waited to adopt I figured I'd breeze right into motherhood the second time with very little issues.  I'd know what I was doing...I wouldn't be physically recovering from labor...I wouldn't have all the hormonal changes that a woman goes through after birth.  Really, how much easier could it get?  And somewhere God is laughing at me right now. 

Ok, so now I will add another phrase to the list of things all infertile and adoptive parents hate to hear
1.  Just Relax
2.  Adopt and you'll get pregnant .......and drumroll please....

3.  It's not like you are recovering from labor

I'm a nut right now, which is probably apparant by the fact that I still have our sad story on the right of the blog along with a picture of just the three of us.  I see it mocking me everytime I get on here but blogger has been very slow about uploading my pictures and I just don't have it in me to mess with it yet.  For some reason the computer has made me very angry the last month, it doesn't seem to work fast enough to suit me.  I tried to submit a birth announcement to our local paper and was temepted to throw the computer down.  Yeah, so much for not having any "hormonal" issues.

I also seem to have some serious time management issues going on.  You would think that since I've been home all week I'd be more on top of things.  Instead I finally made it through our bill basket this evening.  I found 2 bills that needed to be paid that I had completely forgotten about, a tax thing for the Icebox that had also slipped my mind and it dawned on me my car tags were due in June.  So now tomorrow I have to fit in a lot of things before we leave for KC on Saturday that I could've spread out over the week but it never crossed my mind.  So much for not having pregnancy induced memory loss.

I just feel crazy...I'm not sure it even has anything to do with Camryn directly.  I think it's more that I'm just out of touch with so many things and I'm the type who has to know everything that's going on.  We are going to the Hereford Jr National next week.  I've never been to something like this so I'm already clueless.  Add in this weird out of touch feeling I'm experiencing and I really don't know what is going on....and Jay is in charge of this trip so I've seen none of the emails.  Thank goodness I've got a 10lb excuse to hide behind. 

I do think part of my problem is that it is becoming apparant I'm not a very structured person.  Why is it last summer when we worked constantly between our normal jobs and the Icebox my house stayed clean?  I'm home all day for 4 weeks and it's like the laundry monster vomitted.  Clearly, I work better with time constraints.  Give me a whole day and I'll put it all off until the last minute.  Jay looked at me yesterday and said I needed to go back to work.  I'm loving being home with everyone, but I know what he means.  When given the choice between doing the dishes during Camryn's morning nap or watching Fraiser I will take Fraiser.  Because I've got all day to do the dishes....yeah right!!!

Even though I don't believe I ever directly said anything to an adoptive parent about it being "easy" I want to apologize for thinking it.  No matter how the baby comes into your life it is still hard.  In someways adoption may be harder.  Yeah, we had 3 yr 8 months and 1 day to prepare, but we didn't do anything during that time.  We squeezed what most people do in 9 months into one weekend so we weren't super prepared for anything.  Our calm little monotonous family life has changed...although it is a wonderful change and I'm not complaining, it's still a new normal we are adjusting to.  Also, and this is totally selfish, I can see where there is a pro to it being a closed adoption.  With everything else going on I've somewhat blocked out the whole adoption thing and since we don't have contact with Camryn's family it's not right in "my face" all the time.  I can't imagine families going through this adjustment plus handling the dynamics of contact with the birthfamily.  Talk about emotionally charged!  But we do have our first post-placement visit with our social worker a week from Tuesday so that's hanging over us.  Not that I'm worried about anything, but with being in KC for a week, getting home Sat/Sun and then having her here Tuesday I'm a little overwhelmed.  It is hard enough unpacking after a trip normally.  How will I handle unpacking this time?  Hopefully since I'll have a time contsraint I'll get it done.  Or Jamie may have to sit with piles of laundry around her.  Oh definite plus of being 9 years older this time is that I'm not as uptight and I've learned to let things go around the house....or at least that's what I'm telling myself.  I'm not lazy...I'm loosing up! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Groundhog Days

There are so many things I'd like to do right now...catch up on the blog, return some emails, finish my thank you's, make bows, watch Frasier at 9 on the WE channel,  work on Camryn's room and of course hold my baby 24/7.  It's really hard to get all that done in a day.  Then when you add in the stuff that I really need to do....keep the mess in the house from totally exploding, trying to not let the clean laundry cover every available seat in the family room, balance our checkbook, go through the bill basket and make sure I haven't forgot anything this past month, try to at least exercise a little so I'll still fit in my clothes when I go back to work in September....Oh, and I need to start packing for our week long trip to KC next week for the Hereford Junior National....I feel like I'm living the same day over and over.  I get up and wash bottles and clean up the kitchen and from there I really don't know what happens to the rest of my day.   But I'm not doing a very good job of getting anything done on my need to and want to lists.  Except for Fraiser....I do log quite a bit of time in the chair, drinking coffee, holding my baby and watching Fraiser.  Maybe that's why Jay leaves the house so early every morning?  He's not a Fraiser fan.  Oh well...things will get done eventually, and I work better under pressure anyway.  It's pretty motivating when you realize you're out of clean underwear.