Sunday, September 30, 2007

He went down the slide!



We went to park on Friday afternoon, and he spent the time there watching other, bigger kids (2 of which had on Cubs hats--YEAH!!! Division champs!!!), watching the trees blow in the wind while having his midday pacha, swinging in the little swings, and going down the SLIDE! The first pic shows his mixed feelings about the whole ordeal. "Mom, we seem awfully far up..." but he liked the ride down!

No small feet (it's a play on words, albeit a lousy one...)





Lately I've noticed how much I adore Owen's little feet. He is very expressive with them, as some people are expressive with their hands. He twirls his ankles when he eats and when he is playing with something new. He points his toes like a ballerina when he stands, one foot pointed then the other, balancing on the opposite foot. He crosses his ankles comfortably when he has his pacha (bottle). And often has his ankle on his opposite knee when he's relaxing. :) Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Some thoughts on infertility.

Many of you know that Shannon and I went through more than four years of trying to conceive. We suffered one miscarriage before we started infertility (IF) treatments. The treatments included 4 intra-uterine inseminations, one fresh in vitro fertilization cycle and six--yes, six--frozen embryo cycles. We got pregnant once more, and lost the baby at 7 weeks.

The process was horrifying, miserable, and life-draining. I felt like I wasn't quite a complete woman--I couldn't carry a baby. We had 14 beautiful, absolutely perfect embryos when we did the fresh cycle...and none of them made it. None.

After the last try, I felt like my legs would not carry me anymore. Like my faith would not carry me. Like no one could say anything that would make things ok.

Then we decided to adopt, found an agency, and had a referral within a week. That referral was Owen. You all know the rest. We thank God for him every day.

However, my heart and mind still remember the pain of IF. And I have friends who are still going through it. A wonderful woman who I met through an IF forum has had done treatment after treatment, suffered miscarriages, and experienced the financial drain of trying desperately to have the one thing so many parents take for granted: a child.

She and her husband did the paperwork for domestic adoption this past year, and settled into waiting for a birthmom to choose them. They were chosen sooner than they thought, and allowed themselves to feel hope and buy lots of baby things.

24 hours before the baby was due, the birthmother changed her mind.

I am not sure why I'm sharing this here. There is so much misinformation in the news about Guatemalan adoptions (coming not only from big TV news networks like CBS and NBC, but also my beloved NPR, which recently made it sound as if $40k would buy you a kid from Guatemala in no time), and the misconceptions about IF are there, too. Oprah asked this friend of mine, when she was on the show, if she could just come to peace with the fact that she may never have kids.

No.

No.

No.

I know it was Oprah. I know she is adored by women everywhere. But no. This is not something that you come to terms with, not something you are ever at peace with. Owen took our pit of pain and filled it when he entered our lives. Waiting for his adoption to be completed was painful, gut-wrenching, miserable. But the misery of loss, again and again and again, through IF treatments and now, for my friend, adoption, leave one's soul scarred, broken, burned, seared, hollow.

I have sobbed for her, prayed for her, and cried some more. I also have hopes for her.

I hope no one tells her God has a plan for her. He may, but people have free will, and perhaps this baby was 'supposed' to be hers...and the birthmom chose otherwise. How are we to know? Don't tell her God has something waiting for her. He might. But to tell that to someone who has gone through hell like she has...don't.

I hope no one tells her ever again to try to come to peace with not having children. Not even Oprah. It's not an option. Give her that respect, understand that those kids you look at every day and possibly even take for granted--she would sacrifice anything to have that joy.

I hope she can make it through another day, and then another and another, and survive this.

I hope she does this so she and her husband can keep trying, in whatever way they choose, to become parents.

I hope, most of all, that she becomes a mommy very, very soon. I love you, J.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

And, Owen pictures.


Ecuador wedding



I don't have pictures of the wedding itself, but Shannon traveled to Ecuador this summer for his younger brother's wedding, and I just yesterday found some pics from that trip on his camera! Men.

Here is Dahiana, Keenan's wife, and Shannon's dad, Chuck. Also, pic of one of the whales they got to see! (Insanely jealous here)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Other news

Enough self-pity.

Some things that have transpired since our last post:

1. All of my closest friends and their kids came over for a BBQ this past Sat. It was so fun! Owen loves all the kids around and was fascinated by them.

2. Daddy's football team is 3-0! Good job, Coach!!

3. Most of you are aware that Shannon and I are nature freaks. We love it. We can't get enough of it. However, I have been putting Owen's little feet in the grass when we walk around the yard--and guess what he does? He lifts one leg up like a little flamingo and puts the other foot up on tippy-toe...so he's touching the grass as little as possible!!! WHAT!! And this isn't crunchy prickly grass, either. I put him in the SOFT grass! We are going to have to work on this. Oh, and I set him down in a sitting position--and he lifted BOTH feet up and was balancing on his bottom! Ay, caramba.

4. We have been going for runs w/him tucked in the jogging stroller; we enjoy them very much! The cows are always entertaining, and the dogs are hilarious as they charge around the fields and harass squirrels. Owen looks up at me a lot and grins. I like that.

5. We went to my parents' workplaces last Monday! Owen got to meet Grandpa's faculty collegues in the Economics department, and also met some 2nd graders at one school where Grammy teaches. He also met members of the Biology dept., all of whom adored him.

6. Owen continues to try to crawl, to no avail. But he gets stronger every day! He rocks on all 4s, goes from sitting to crawling positions, etc. I'm trying to make myself not give him the things he wants that are out of reach--I need to let him want them enough to go!

7. For some reason, the best toy on Earth, for today, is the Cheerios box. He can't live without it, apparently.

8. I apologize for the lack of pics today. I disconnected something vital from the hard drive and sparks jumped out at me. So I'm going to give it a while, and try later. :)

It's been a while!

Wow! It's been 10 days since we last posted...and not for lack of things going on!

Owen and I continue to enjoy my time off, although yesterday we took the first step in getting ready for me to return to work: we visited his in-home daycare. The woman is wonderful, and there are only a few other kids there. The home is safe and spacious and the whole family, in fact, is a Christian, kind, gentle bunch.

I JUST DON'T WANT TO LEAVE HIM!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!

OK, thank you for letting me get that out.

I am very lucky in that I love my job, so returning will be tough but it's not as if I'll be going to a place I hate. I adore teaching, and I adore my district. It's just going to be really, really hard to leave him, knowing I won't see him for about 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS????? Oh my. I need to go lie down. Wow. I sometimes don't do well when I leave him WITH my husband when I go to class, and I'm just gone for 3.5 hours. Sigh...Mommy's gotta get tough, I guess.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL????



Friday night Owen went to his first football game (but LONG from his last one)! Daddy's team won (he is 2-0 as new head ftball coach! Go Cats!), but it poured most of the 2nd quarter. We sat snuggled under Nana's big umbrella, with his housin Chloe and his Pa next to us under their umbrella, and felt safe and warm, like we were in our our little cocoon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A chore?


My father-in-law read the email I sent below, and replied that kids are supposed to be a 'chore.' A what? Owen? A chore? No way!

How are you? Good day here...Owen got up at 6:30 again, and so we got up and played, etc., then at 9 he went to sleep--till almost 1:00!! I was floored! I worked in the house for an hour, slept for an hour and a half (I slept terrible last night), did more work, etc...and still he slept! It was amazing. So, we're getting up at 6:30 again tomorrow. :)

We also ran thru the rain, in and out from under the front porch; watched the hummingbirds; played with/harassed a Hyla versicolor and a Hyla crucifer (frogs); played 'push'--he 'pushed' me over about 25 times and grinned very devilishly each time; read books; got food all over himself and me, because he wanted lots of forehead-to-forehead hugs during dinner; blew bubbles in the bathtub (he did this); drank 'buttwater,' as I call it, AKA tubwater, without my permission; went for a walk down the driveway on mommy's shoulders till it started to pour and we got all wet! :)

Is this heaven?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor Day!






Some pictures for your viewing pleasure: Owen with his Uncle Eric and Aunt Heather; Little Boy in the Water; Cubs outfit and REI hat (LOVE that hat); Eric, Grammy and Owen. :) Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Owen also met his Uncle Eric!


My younger brother and his wife Heather came to visit from Washington state this weekend, and have no doubt, the main reason they came weighs about 20 lbs and has chubby legs! Owen wasn't sure what to make of Eric's amazing beard at first, and was even a little frightened, but he warmed up to him quickly!

Owen's first hiking trip with Mommy





Owen and I trooped off to a state park today, while Daddy went to his football meeting. Owen was loaded into our (borrowed) Kelty baby backpack and we packed water and lunch, too. We hiked along a little river for about half a mile, then I decided it was too rocky--if I fell, the results would be awful! We went to a different trail then, and hiked up and up and up! After about 30 minutes of hiking, and me singing and babbling to Owen, I realized he was OUT like a light! We hiked back down, and I set him down by the river (see pic--soooooo cute!). He woke up and I gave him some lunch--minus a spoon, which I'd forgotten. So, he 'drank' his Gerber Organics Savory Carrots, Potatoes and Beef (again, see pic!).

I sat him in the creek and let him play for a while--he loved it, despite the COLD water! After about 40 min. of that, we headed out for groceries and home.

It was, quite simply, wonderfully fun! My little mountain man.