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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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Walnuts and Football

Poor Cade has been quite slighted on the blog as of late. Not that he’s not doing funny things….I either can’t remember what he told me or if I do remember it’s not something I necessarily want other people to hear. He has this way of asking us questions that are so funny, but usually best to keep within the family.

This fall he decided to go into the walnut business. We have several walnut trees in our backyard and they dropped a ton of nuts this year. He went out several evenings and filled 7 feed sacks. A couple of weeks ago they sold them and Cade made $7. When he and Jay got home they worked together and got a truck load of them. Cade ended up with $25 total for his 2011 walnut business. After selling the 2nd batch Cade asked Jay how much he owed Jay for helping him. Jay told him he only wanted a drink. They stopped at Casey’s and Cade thought and thought about if he wanted to get himself a drink. He had a hard time parting with one of his dollars. Funny how it’s different when it’s mom and dad buying a drink vs his own money.

This past weekend Cade got to go to the Razorback/Tennessee game with Jay. I think he had a good time. I kept getting texts from Jay during the game….this boy will talk to anyone who breathes….he’s heckling a Tennessee fan, that’s my boy…Apparently Jay had to tell him to give the people in front of them a break every so often. Cade was talking their legs off. Closer to the end of the game, after the crowd started clearing out, they met up with one of Jay’s old HS/College friends and were able to get closer to the field. From what I saw on Facebook, Cade talked to almost everyone in section 113. After the game was over Jay turned around to tell Cade it was time to go and Cade was gone. He weaseled his way in front of some people and was shaking hands with the players as they walked by. Cade got to shake Tyler Wilson’s hand. I think there was talk about never getting rid of the glove he was wearing. Maybe he’s going to be a politician? Cade also got to see Tusk, the real Razorback they bring to the games.  He loves to look at that strange looking creature.

I love the baby stage with my kids, but I’m also loving this age. It’s nice to be able to do things with Cade that’s actually fun and doesn’t involve telling him No over and over or chasing him down while he’s at a dead run and I’m sweating to death. I’ve noticed for about the last year we’ve been able to have more adult like conversations with Cade. He’s also starting to develop a sense of humor that is a lot like mine. That’s also a lot of fun because we pick up on a lot of the same things and can laugh about them together. He also has so many quirks that are so much like me that it makes me laugh because I know exactly what he’s talking about. He told me that someone asked him a question a few weeks ago that made him nervous and he got a funny feeling in the back of his neck. I knew exactly what he was talking about – and I knew why the question bothered him…he didn’t know how to answer it. Even though we are a lot alike one thing he did not get from me is his talking ability. Jay and I still haven’t quite figured that one out. But we are so interested to see how this will all mix together and what kind of man he’ll turn out to be.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Parenting Skills

Last night when I got home I sat down on the couch in our family room and took Camryn out of her carrier and handed her to Jay. I went to change my clothes and then started on dinner. About that time Jay asked Cade to hand him the snot sucker. Cade went through the furniture at a weird angle and tripped over the carseat. It was one of those things that turned into a big thing. I heard him angrily ask Jay who left the carseat there. Jay ignored him at first. Cade asked again so Jay told him that Camryn had left it there. Cade(getting more mad by the moment) said it was not her. Jay then told him that I was the one that left it there. I told Jay thanks for selling me out. Well of course Cade got mad at me because it hurt. Then out of the blue he asks me if I knew that Missouri ranked 48th. I asked in what? Whiny kids? That made him even madder. Jay started whispering to me to keep asking him what they ranked 48th in. Cade just kept saying don’t you know? Don’t you know anything? Of course Jay and I were rolling because Cade was so mad. I guess he heard something on the radio that Missouri ranked 48th in and he thought we should know, even though he didn’t know what it was for. He’d already gone through this routine with Jay. By this point Cade was a blubbering mess on the floor. Jay and I weren’t even bothering to hide our laughter at this point. The whole deal was so ridiculous. Then Camryn started laughing at him and that made us laugh even more. But at least when Camryn started laughing Cade did the laughing while crying thing.

I’d decided I’d have enough of that and went back to the kitchen to start dinner again. Camryn then chose to get fussy. When she cries she has real tears that pour down her f ace. She also had a snotty nose yesterday so when she cried her nose got really snotty. Her head also turns bright red when she gets mad. Jay decided to come in the kitchen with her. He was going to help me so he opened the freezer door. He hit Camryn’s head with it. It wasn’t hard enough to do any damage, but she is so dramatic about anything like that. She always has about a 3 second pause when something like that happens before the tears really flow. Jay and I just looked at each other and he said “oh no” and then the tears started flying….and Jay and I laughed some more. I almost took a picture of her but then I thought that might be too pitiful….bright red face and head, tears pouring down her face and snot running everywhere. With her parents laughing in the background. I told Jay not to worry about it. The night before I scraped her hand on the pantry door. She did the same thing but quickly recovered, which is exactly what she did last night.

Finally all the tears from both kids dried up and we were able to eat dinner. While we were eating Jay asked Cade if he knew that Camryn ranked 54th. Cade asked in what. Jay said don’t you know? Don’t you know anything? (it’s funnier when you hear the imitation Jay does of Cade). But anyway that was our life last night.

One thing Jay and I’ve definitely learned over the years is that you can never take yourself too seriously as a parent. Sometime you just have to laugh because there is nothing else you can do. They will get mad at you, they will get hurt…sometimes unintentionally by you…but the tears dry quickly…thankfully!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adoption Ramblings

Lately I’ve been struggling with what to type on the blog. I’ve got so many posts swirling around in my head but I don’t have the time to get them down. I’ve also got many, many pictures to post, but I can’t seem to get to that either. I’m also not getting to the laundry, the dishes, or the bathrooms either so at least I’m across the board with my neglectfulness.

I’ve had a lot of adoption thoughts going around and around. Not so much about our adoption, but things that I read on other blogs. I don’t know if its jealously (because some of these people wait all of 3 minutes, even though I know our wait was perfect), if it’s a been there done that sort of cringing when I see what they write about their matches….I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something bothers me about it. A lot. I’ve started several posts to try to sort out these feelings, but I never post them. And honestly, it is their blog and they can do what they want. I just wonder about others who are waiting reading these blogs and thinking its ok to say in internet land exactly what you want? And that all adoptions are just rosy posy and they will love the birthmothers and have such a connection with them etc.

I know we told a lot of people in real life (not on the blog or FB) about our 1st match. We were so excited we couldn’t contain ourselves. Looking back I don’t know that I’d necessarily change anything about it. I really believe we told so many people because God knew we were going to need those prayers when the match failed. When we had our 2nd failed match we pretty much only told a few close friends and immediate family. Again, that seemed to be the perfect amount because we didn’t have to tell a lot of people but we still had prayers and support that awful day when we left Baby C at the hospital. I know that it was the prayers from every one that helped us get through those 2 matches. So I’m not against telling people at all. I just wonder if some people tell too much?

A couple of these blogs are matched with babies not due for a few months. They announce names and due dates, etc. I really worry about these families because they seem to be so attached to these babies already. What happens if it falls through? I know that pain and I hate to see anyone else go through it. And in our cases we had stayed somewhat detached….didn’t announce names (except Baby C because he was already named by his birthmom and only to the friends/family we told)….only bought a few baby necessities, etc. These families are planning showers for those particular babies. Ahh, I just cringe for them because if it doesn’t happen I couldn’t imagine dealing with all of that stuff.

With our first loss we were matched for about 10 days. We spent 3 or 4 days in Illinois waiting to get him. We had to kill some time so we went to Springfield, Ill to the Lincoln museum. I’ve rarely looked at those pictures, but when I do it makes me a little sick. Even now. Mostly because I can remember the feel of the extreme amount of stress we were under at that moment. A person there volunteered to take our picture together and you can see the stress on all of our faces. We were waiting on a phone call from Illinois DCFS that never came. All of that was bad enough. I can’t imagine sitting through a shower opening gifts for a specific baby I’m waiting on that may or may not come home with me. I know those memories will be with you forever. I don’t think I’d want to remember a shower for a baby that was never meant to be. I also think about their families, if the matches don’t go through they will also hurt. That was a big reason why we waited to tell our families for as long as we did with Camryn. We wanted to avoid the hurt/stress for them for as long as we could.

Sometimes I also wonder if these families really don’t understand how hard it is all going to be once the baby is born. How hard it is to use a name for a child that may not be yours? How hard it is to hold them and want to love them with your whole heart but yet you are terrified. More terrified than you’ve ever been in your life? Or you sit there holding this sweet bundle and your heart is breaking for the mother who is on a different floor so she won’t have to see all of the happy new parents on the OB floor. Or you’re at the hospital and you have to go to the cafeteria and you are so nervous waiting for the elevator to show up and then again when it opens because you don’t want to accidentally run into the birth parents because they didn’t want to meet you and you don’t want to cause them anymore pain. It is so so hard.

Even once TPR is signed and you’re 6 weeks (as of today) away from finalization it’s still hard. I would say that since our adoption is closed it probably hasn’t been as hard for us as it is some families. I think when you have a more open relationship you are probably reminded more of the pain the birthfamilies go through. In some ways we are “lucky” to not have that. But Camryn is so sweet right now. When she looks at me with her paci in her mouth and her big blue eyes it makes me teary for C. I know she did what she thought was best and our lives are so blessed because of it, but Wow…how did she do it? How could she physically/mentally do what she did?

Sometimes I really wonder if having a year long mandatory wait wouldn’t be a bad idea for adoptions, at least with your first one. I know that our long wait made Jay and I learn more and more about the adoption process. I look back on how we were our first year and I know our wait will make us better adoptive parents. I know many would disagree with me on that point, but it’s just my opinion. Sometimes waiting isn’t all bad.

Adoption is so much more than getting that match and posting it and ultrasound pics and names on FB and a blog and then bringing home a baby XX months later. I wonder if some of these parents realize that to the extent they should? Do they keep in mind that until TPR is signed and in place (which differs from state to state and even county to county) that baby is not theirs?  I just really don't know.  And I don't know who is at fault.  Is it the adoptive parents in denial or do the agencies gloss over the fact that things aren't always perfect and nothing with adoption is guaranteed?  Or maybe I'm just a cynical mean person trying to ruin their day.  I'm just really not sure.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Another Halloween is in the books.  I was always pretty neutral about Halloween growing up, but after we had Cade I started to enjoy it more and more.  Also, it is kind of the unofficial start to the holiday season in my mind so that brings along a little extra excitment for me.    I liked being able to search and find the perfect costume for Cade when he was younger.  Then once he got older and we were able to spend it in Fayetteville the last 3 years it was more fun.  Being able to walk around Nana and Granddad's neighborhood was great.  This year we weren't able to go to Fayetteville since it was on a Monday and Cade has school today, but we still had a great time.  This year I talked Cade into letting me make up a costume instead of buying one.  After last years SWAT team costume (awful, awful, awful) I decided we were done buying them for him.  I'm not sure why he came up with a Scarecrow, but it worked out really well.  I had a pair of m Granddad's old overalls and Pampa's flannel shirt.  We stuffed the pockets with hay (because we didn't have any straw) and made a candy bag out of a feed sack.  I also took a feed sack and made something that went around his head to make it look like a scarecrow head.  I got brown face paint hoping it would match the paper around his head.  It was a little dark so it looked like he fell face first in mud, but it was ok.  He was pleased, Jay and I had fun putting it together.  Halloween was a success! 

I decided not to dress Camryn in a costume this year.  For years I've seen all of the cute holiday clothes for girls and I've drooled over most of them.  Instead of a costume I wanted a cute outfit..  I found some material and made this one for her.  She seemed to think it was ok.  Next year though we may start in on the Disney princesses.  I tried to convince Cade he could go as Prince Charming.  So far he's not too taken with the idea.  I still have a whole year to convince him. 

We were trying to get a picture of Camryn's outfit before we took it off last night.  She was full of funny faces and smiles.

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