Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Big 3-0

This weekend was a big one for me...perhaps my biggest in 2010 thus far (okay, I realize there haven't been many yet.)

Last night I went out with some of my favorite people in Central Illinois to celebrate my birthday and graduation. They all humored me with a fantastic time at Water Street Cafe and a night full of special memories and lavish gifts (which they were all instructed NOT to bring). I loved what everyone got me and will definitely love using all of the gifts in the near future, however there was one gift that actually brought me to tears. I'm not much of a "mom" jewelry type of person. I love my kids, but I'm not sure if I would ever wear their birthstones on a pendant around my neck. I've seen other people do it, and it looks very nice, but it just isn't really my style. However, my friend Courtney surprised me with this beautiful, yet simple necklace.

 As soon as I saw it I teared up. I have a feeling it will be very special, and someday I can hopefully even continue to add more little shapes to it. She bought it off Etsy.com and the artists was Silver Me Pendants. www.silvermependants.com.

Monkey slippers AND monkey - thanks Nana for the awesome slippers to keep our feet warm!


Today was my birthday. Not just any birthday, but the big 3-0. Most people have been sharing their condolences with me and telling me that I can just say I'm 29 forever. The truth is that I've been looking forward to turning 30. I loved my 20's, and even my teens, and everywhere I read you hear about your 30s being the best, so I can only imagine how fantastic they are going to be. Plus, I have a few friends that are already 30 and they make it look really fabulous. This morning my husband spoiled me by letting me sleep in until 8:00. I was finally then awoken by the cutest little mailman (in adorable tight little pajamas) who had a special delivery for me - a big kiss and a card. Following behind him was another adorable, but much larger and quite handsome man carrying breakfast in bed. It was a great way to start the day. :)
Miles in his big-boy bed - just implemented this week.  He loves it and did a great job transitioning.


Tomorrow marks the end of my big weekend by my inevitable return to work. Unlike last time I am looking forward to it. Perhaps it is because I know that I will be okay. Maybe it is because dealing with 108 high school students in the course of the day is still a little easier than pleasing two babies under two that can't go outside because it is terribly cold. It could also be because I know that summer will get here soon and I'll get to have that entire time with my boys....AND we'll actually get to go outside. Whatever it is, it is still bittersweet. Liam seems too little and Miles and I have been having too much fun. However, we have a great nanny and everything is bound to go smoothly. What is also making it hard is that the three of us just this week figured out a nice little routine that suited all of us so well. Now I guess the nanny will have to figure out her own routine. I'm sure there will be tears and maybe even a few fits tomorrow, but I'll try to get it all out of the way before the boys even wake up, or save it for the car-ride to work. Either way I will miss my boys (and of course Days of Our Lives and The View). :)
Miles showing Liam his toy giraffe.  Miles loves squeezing it for him. 


Friday, January 29, 2010

The Ultimate Big Brother

Today I got a little treat when all three male members of the family slept in until 8 am! I was so excited when I too woke up just minutes before 8 and realized what time it was. What a treat. :) It was their final gift to me on my final day off before I start back to work on Monday.

Things have been going really well with Miles and Liam getting used to each other. Just recently I found a place about a block from our house that has an open gym for kids 1-5 on Mon, Wed, and Fri in the mornings. It is great. Miles has ample amounts of tricycles and balls to play with and Liam and I can sit on the benches and enjoy coffee and a little socialization of our own.

I sometimes worry because Miles has very little interaction with other kids now that he is home with me, and since we've decided to get a Nanny for the remainder of the school year, he will still be rather secluded. I've decided that I'm going to send them both to some sort of babysitter or daycare with other children for the next school year, so I need to start doing that.

Below is the FIRST EVER! video appearance of Miles and Liam together....Notice Miles' super responsible big brother skills at work and Liam's obvious "quit saltin' my game." attitude about the pacifier. Also, take note of Miles' new name for Liam which seems to be a lot close to "Deehl." We think it's so funny that we've started catching ourselves calling Liam "Deehl."

video

I've also been doing a lot of blog reading lately and it has reminded me of our waiting process for Miles. A year ago I wasn't sure I could have children, but it wasn't something we had ever investigated because we knew we wanted to adopt a child eventually. Finally, we decided to just adopt our first one and not worry about fertility issues at that point. There was so much emotion attached the the waiting process, and reading about others that are waiting for a referral or waiting for a travel call has got me excited about it again, which seems really soon. I was a WRECK waiting for the travel call, but for some reason it is hard for me to remember that part. Instead I remember the feeling I got when the social worker called with a referral, or a travel call. I think people thought having two boys close together would cure me of wanting a large family, but it has only made me want one even more. I might be a crazy woman, but I'm a crazy woman that wants more children - any way she can get them. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nothing prepared me for this....

When we first brought Miles home people were full of insight and advice that helped prepare me for the shock of parenthood....
"Sleep when he sleeps."
"Your social life will never be the same."
"You'll never get anything done."
"They grow up fast."

These all seemed very helpful at the time, but there were a few things that no one ever told me.....

Every milestone is bittersweet.
I want Miles to start talking so badly.  However, today I moved him to a big-boy bed.  A TWIN bed - a bed the same size as the one I slept in until I was married.  He looked so tiny in it.  I want him to talk, but I want him to stop growing up so quickly.  In the same way, I want Liam to sleep through the night, but today I cried when I had to put away the first 0-3 months outfit that he has outgrown.

You can't help but have that "Mother Bear" feeling.
I never understood parents who seemed to hover and not allow their own child to figure things out for himself or herself socially....until I became a parent.  The other day at the open-gym in our neighborhood I watched as Miles ran along a 5 year old boy.  Miles was laughing and following the boy around because he was so enamored by this boy.  He thought the boy was playing with him.  The boy was nothing but annoyed.  I never would make a five year old play with my one year old, but I had to take a deep breath and look away because it hurt too much to look.  The ironic thing is that Miles didn't even notice.  He was having the time of his life.

The guilt is overwhelming.
EVERYTHING makes me feel guilty these days, which I never understood before when other mothers would talk.  I felt guilty about having Liam when we had just adopted Miles.  I felt guilty about moving Miles to a toddler bed.  I feel guilty when I can't pick Liam up right away because I have to change Miles' diaper.  I feel guilty for going back to work, but I feel guilty for staying home.  I feel guilty for disciplining my children.  It seems like the guilt never ends.

The local and world news suddenly become personal.
I can't watch the news anymore.  It started months ago when two parents left their nine day baby to die.  Now I see images of babies being held in Haiti - homeless and parentless.  From CSI to Law and Order, it doesn't just stop at real-world events.  All I can think about are my children and picture them in those situations.  It's terrifying.

You'll suddenly feel mortal.
Not that I felt immortal before, but now staying alive takes on a whole new meaning.  I can't imagine leaving my boys behind to live a life without a mother.

Your emotions will go crazy and will be overwhelming.
I'm laughing one minute while Miles is dancing to the song on the radio, but I'm crying the next because Liam has outgrown his clothes (see above).  Today I was overwhelmed with happiness and sadness at the same time.  Liam has been smiling so much lately and he was laying on my bed with me smiling away.  Then I thought about how I missed Miles' first smile and wondered what it must have been like for his foster mother to see it.  To feel it.  The emotions are continuous and all over the place.


You'll love them more than anything in the world....sometimes so much it is painful.
It hurts to love someone this much.  There is almost physical pain involved, which I never would have believed before I actually felt it.  I remember reading status updates on facebook, or hearing people talk about how much they loved their kids, but I always figured it was just that...LOVE.  But now that word suddenly doesn't seem to be enough.  I've always been very reserved in my love - only handing it out to those I felt deserved it....and here these two little boys have done nothing but fill my life, and its pouring out of me so hard that it literally hurts.

These are all things that no one shared with me, or else didn't emphasize enough.  It doesn't matter whether you got your child by plane or pain - I should know.  :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

In the words of the hair-band heart-throb Jon Bon Jovi....

"Who says you can't go home?"


Going home is always hard for me.  Actually, it isn't that hard to go home, but it is continuously hard to leave.  Everytime I wave goodbye to my parents as I'm driving away, I tear up.  It is hard to live so far from them, and also so far from where I still consider home.  Home for me is northwest Ohio.... a place I couldn't wait to get out of in high school.  I think I started getting senioritis my sophomore year and had dreams of escaping as soon as I could be college bound.  I'm sure I drove my parents crazy ranting and raving about fleeing the midwest.  That was then.  


Now I'm thirty....(well I will be in one week).   I not only LOVE the midwest and appreciate so much about it that I never could before, but I have also learned to love my hometown.  


A little background:  I went to a school in the country.  Some people say that, but what they really mean is that they went to a school in a small town.  Mine was LITERALLY in the country.  I think the closest building was a house about a quarter of a mile down the road.  Our football field was surrounded by cornfields, which would make for the perfect movie set of a winning football team and community, but our football team only ever won one game a year - always against the same school.  I had a great childhood.  Unlike a lot of people, I also had a great high school experience.  Things weren't always perfect.  I of course made some bad decisions, embarrassed myself profusely, and I never had tons of luck with boys (they always accused me of not paying enough attention to them).  What I did have was an amazing group of friends.  Those are friends I still have.


People always told me that I would eventually lose touch with my high school friends - that I would outgrow them, and they would outgrow me.  Some did.  My brothers never kept in touch with their high school friends, and I'm sure think I'm crazy that I still keep in touch with mine.  In fact, there is a group of friends from home that I love seeing and still keep in touch with.  These are friends that I CRAVE time with.  I think what we have is something unique.  Some of us moved away - to all different parts of the world, some stayed closer to home.  Some are married and have kids - some have had kids for awhile, some don't have any children at all.  We all changed in our twenties - like all people do.  


What spurred this?  This weekend I went home because my good friend Michelle's father passed away.  It was such a heartbreaking thing, but I knew that I wanted to be there with her so I packed up Liam and drove home.  Everyone came home.  Everyone was together.  Despite the circumstances it fed my soul.  These people make me laugh, and cry (in a good way).  I love them with all my heart and when I'm with them I am COMPLETELY myself.  I am the little farm girl from Ohio that used to tee-pee the football team for fun, and would put reflectors in people yards.  I am no one special, but they make me feel like I am forever loved.  I love my brilliant, funny, ambitious, and loving friends from Fulton County.  And for that reason, amongst others, I will ALWAYS love coming home. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dear Baby Bean/Liam


Dear Liam....

I've never written a post to you before, but you've really only been around for six weeks and relationships like this take time.  In fact, it would really help with my blog writing if you would let me set you down every once in awhile during the day - just a suggestion.

So far you are growing so quickly.  I think that you are starting to look like me, but don't tell anyone because they all think you look like your dad.  You look nothing like the tiny little baby we brought home six weeks ago, with your skinny little legs.  I remember telling my mom that I've never seen a baby with such skinny legs.  THOSE you did get from your dad.

At this point you're not really doing anything all that impressive besides wooing the old ladies at McDonalds and stealing the hearts of everyone you come in contact with.  The combination of you and your brother together is just too much cuteness for some people to handle.  Today I dressed you up as a polar bear to go out and run errands.  I thought you were incredibly cute, and so did everyone at the post office.  I hope that someday you'll forgive me.

What do you like to do?  Well, there are tons of things that you really enjoy.  Right now your favorite afternoon activity is watching Days of Our Lives with me (your mom).  You also love to watch me make funny faces and talk in a really high pitched voice all of the time.  Your favorite reading material is Real Simple magazine, which you like me to read to you while your eating.  According to your grandma, all you want to do is eat.  You like taking naps with your dad so much that you both insisted on taking a whole lotta naps this weekend together!  You really like to start fussing just as I'm starting to accomplish something, but that's okay because I would rather hold you than accomplish anything anyday.  You also like to be held by your Nana.  In fact, you like it so much that others have to wrestle you away from her, but I'm sure that she doesn't mind one bit.  I'm still trying to figure out why you hardly ever fuss while she's holding you - she must have the touch.   You like to sit up and even stand when someone is there to support you.  You're also a real daredevil in the ol' swing - although I think you are the only baby in the history of the world that chooses NOT to fall asleep in it - it is just THAT EXCITING!  Right now your diet is pretty limited, but I can tell you what I like to eat right now, which is just about everything thanks to you.  You really like being swaddled - which would explain why it took you so darn long to join us in the first place.  You also really like being warm - which I keep trying to tell your dad, but he thinks I'm just trying to make the house warmer for myself - imagine!

Your brother loves you a whole lot too.  In fact, he can hardly keep his hands off you.  He hates to see you without your pacifier, and will always try to make sure you have it in your mouth for comfort - whether you like it or not.  He always has to hug you before he takes a nap (yes, he actually lays down in a BED for naptime - you should take notes.).  I have a feeling that someday you guys will be great pals.

So Liam (also known at one time as "Baby Bean"), thank you so much for joining us.  We love you and we think you're pretty special.  (I also really enjoy having someone to watch Days with and compare notes on the inner workings of Stefano and EJ Demera.)

I loved you before I met you - although I love you even more now that I can sleep on my stomach, go longer than twenty minutes without going to the bathroom, and hold your little hand.

Love, your mom. xoxoxoxoxoxooooo

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you see??



I see a little boy splashing by me!



Okay, I realize that is totally and ridiculously lame, but I'm alone with two kids all day...cut me some slack.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In the words of the late Chris Farley....


"Brothers don't shake hands, brothers gotta hug!"
(it should be noted that one brother is much more fond of hugging than the other at this point.)



And then a few pictures of my boys so that I don't forget what they looked like today when I wake up tomorrow.






Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gigglebox

The hardest part about going back to work is that no high school student thinks I'm nearly as funny as Miles does...


video

The resemblance is uncanny...

Okay, I know that I have one son that looks like his father and another that acts like his father, but I was looking at older pictures from when I was little.  (I realize how lucky I am that my mom kept such a great record of all of our childhoods in individual albums. - I just thought everyone's mom did that. :))  Anyways, I just wanted it to be documented that there is ALSO a resemblance between my sons and myself....even if it is a stretch. :)



We may not look much alike, but we both have the same cowboy/cowgirl dreams. (Okay, that's a bit of a stretch.)


This is like an issue of Highlights magazine...can you spot the twenty differences between these two pictures??  Liam and I are both about a week and half in these pictures, but my dad is timeless. :)


So the resemblance here is mostly in the legs, which I like to call "sturdy" :)

After I made Dustin scan in these pictures he came home all bitter.  Although he would have never admitted it before, he enjoyed knowing that Liam looked like him, and now that he is starting to look at least a little bit like me, it is really bothering him. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Liam's Newborn Pictures



I took Liam's newborn photos a little over a week ago.  I felt rushed to do it because every week he looks so different to me.  When I look at the difference between his one week photos and these, I can't believe how much he has grown.  I blinked and he went from being a precious wrinkly little newborn to a cooing, alert, precious one month old.  No one prepared me for how quickly this would all happen.





Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The last time...

Today I went out to lunch with my good friends Becky R. and Becky B., along with our children Miles, Liam, Caleb, and baby soon-to-be-named. :)  Becky B. was telling me about a note she read on Facebook concerning motherhood.  She went on to mention how we go through life celebrating firsts:  First smile, first words, first steps, etc., but how in the meantime we don't really realize the last time anything happens.  This has been on my mind ever since I left the restaurant.  Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.  Someday Miles won't want me to hold his hand walking down the stairs - someday he won't even want me to come down the stairs!

When will be the last time you wake up at night and need me?
When will I no longer be the only person that can comfort you?
When will be the last time you need me to kiss you head when you bump it on the doorjam?
When will you no longer need to kiss me goodnight?
When will you tell me that I don't need to read you stories before bed anymore?
When will you stop sitting on my lap?
When will you stop thinking I'm funny (although I know I'll ALWAYS be funny)
When will you stop walking with your hands behind your back like you have a secret surprise stashed back there?
When will you stop saying "UhOh" 25 times a day?
When will you stop running to me when I walk in the door?
When will you no longer need me to take care of you?

I know that these aren't things that we are programmed to dwell on...and for that I am thankful.  It is just too heartbreaking to think about.  However, these thoughts that that conversation today reminded me to embrace these things that seem so trivial now.  So tonight when Liam wakes up to be fed at 3 am I'm going to remember that this doesn't last forever.  And when Miles walks into my room at 5 am with his stuffed bear and monkey I will take a photograph with my mind....hoping to remember these moments forever.



Liam (one month)

Miles (18 months)

Like Father, Like Son

Yesterday at breakfast I noticed how much my son resembled his father..... it's like neither of them want to talk during breakfast. :)


Monday, January 11, 2010

Valuable Footage

Okay, so I've been trying really hard since I've been home to capture two things on video for the blog...Liam smiling - which he does often, and Miles getting caught being ornery. Both occur multiple times throughout the day, so you would think that they would be easy to capture. For example....if there is ever a silent moment in the house I immediately look for Miles. If he isn't in his room reading books like an angel (which really does happen) then I know that he is either

A.) Sitting/standing on the office chair at the computer with his hands poised over the keys waiting for me to walk in so that he can start banging on the keyboard as hard and fast as possible (this is also applicable for the printer and/or laptop).

B.) Peering over the edge of Liam's bassinet with his hands poised over Liam waiting for me to walk in so that he can steal Liam's pacifier and make a run for it.

C.) Standing at the top of the stairs to the basement with a handful of dogfood waiting for me to walk in so that he can throw it down the stairs.

All of these happen multiple times throughout the day and apparently require an audience - namely ME.

Well, today for some reason it was impossible to capture any of these on video (to use as a reference when Miles gets older and denies ever giving his mother a hard time). Nor could I capture Liam smiling, which he has been doing since Christmas, and does so often these days.

Instead, what you are going to see are two different videos. The first capturing Miles, sweet as can be, riding his rocking horse and the second of Liam just looking really content and pleased. If you could do me a favor and mute your computer while watching the Liam movie I would really appreciate it. The baby talk is a little out of character, but usually effective 90% of the time for a guaranteed smile. This was the other 10%. Oh well, you can just admire how alert he is. :)

video video

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Budding friendships

This weekend my college friends came out to visit and we had a lot of fun talking and just hanging out.  We also had a lot of fun watching the boys play and interact (when they weren't all diving for the same toy.)  It is cool because Jack, Roman and Miles are all within four months of each other in age.  We will have so much fun watching them grow up playing together, as well as any other additions that join our crew.
Kimberly reading to Roman and Miles while Jack and Miles play on the stairs together.



Miles, Roman, and Jack coloring together on the floor.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More pictures from Christmas and a terrible case of Cabin Fever

I wanted to include some photographs from the Fisher Family Christmas since I haven't gotten to do that yet.  We had a lot of fun getting together last week with the entire family for a few days, and Liam LOVED being held continuously.  I don't think Dustin believed me when I told him we wouldn't need the monitor because we would never need to put Liam down, but of course I was right.  (Story of my life.) :)
Miles with his new truck from Matt, Amy and the Boys.  He LOVES it!  Liam with his Great Grandma Kennell.


All of the Fisher Boys - that's a lot of testosterone we have to look forward to.


Wyatt holding Liam and Lincoln holding his favorite baby - Charlie!



Miles opening gifts.

According to my title I'm going to write about Cabin Fever.  However, I really don't think that the worst has come yet.  The boys and I haven't left the house in days.  That is not like me, and apparently it doesn't really fit in with Miles' plans either.  Everytime we have a visitor he tries to hold their hand, walk them to the door, and then make a run for it - barefoot and all.  He's a sneaking little guy. :)

Yesterday Miles and I decided to build a fort under our dining room table - okay maybe I decided, but Miles was totally on board.  :)


I just remember how much I loved making forts when I was little with my brothers, and my parents would even let us sleep in them overnight.  It was definitely fun - for Miles.  For me it was sweaty, uncomfortable, and maybe just a little fun when I saw how much fun Miles was having.



Here Liam is enjoying the fort also!  You're never too little for some fort fun.


Two great feats - Miles is balancing his cup on his forearm and I'm doing my best to fit underneath a dining room table.  (This was much harder than I remember for my early fort making fun.)

Overall it was fun, and made me appreciate the fact that I get to stay home, even if it is for this short amount of time.  It also made me realize that I really do have a long way to get back into shape.  Apparently lugging around a baby doesn't give you quite the workout I assumed I was getting all along. :)

More snow expected for tonight and tomorrow - who knows what we'll come up with next....maybe we'll actually go outside and get the mail!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The "T" List...

This list is all about my recent discoveries, and things I love....A lot like the "O" List (www.oprah.com), but WAY more practical....




1.  New Rug.  First I'll start with my snazzy new rug.  Recently when my mom came to visit she explained to me that getting rid of my trendy, cute, old rug would really simplify my life.  The problem was that although incredibly cute, and given to me by my own mother, it shed more than any pet I've ever owned.  It might work well in a home that doesn't have animals walking all over it, and babies running on it, dragging little wool hairballs throughout my house (now my sister-in-law isn't going to want it), but for our crazy household it was a disaster.  If I actually vacuumed everytime that I SHOULD have, I would have been vacuuming everyday.  I knew this when I took it from my mom (it was the same reason she got rid of it), but it was just too cool to pass up.  HOWEVER, I've found a rug that I like just as much, and I've had it for four days now and haven't had to vacuum because it yet.  PLUS, it has cool roads for Miles' cars and trucks to drive on.  I got it on Overstock.com and it was here in three days!



The Before Rug




The After Rug

2.  Mylicon.  This is a totally new discovery to me, and something that I'm sure all seasoned moms already know about, but to quote my friend Lara, "this stuff is liquid gold."  Last night after fifteen minutes of crying Liam stopped in 30 seconds after taking this stuff.  PLUS, it says its safe to take after every feeding (although we only use it at night).  I hope it's right. :)






3.  Kiddy Rocking Chair.  Who doesn't love homemade things?  Especially if they are made for you by your own grandfather.  This year for Christmas my grandpa made all of his grandchildren with children these cute little rocking chairs.  We have a big family, so it was A LOT of rocking chairs.  Then, on top of that, my grandma painted all of them.  





4.  Homemade Hat and Mittens.  Speaking of homemade gifts.  My friend Kimberly sent me these super cute hat and mittens for Liam before he was born.  I love them and have gotten tons of compliments on them.  I thought she had ordered them from somewhere, but come to find out, she made them herself.  She is so talented.  I told her she should start selling them, so if you would like to order a pair, just contact me.  (Kimberly we'll talk finders-fee later:))





5.  Liam's New Vibrating/Rocking Chair.  He LOVES it and it is somewhat stylish.  'Nuf said.





6.  Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.  You should definitely read this if you are a woman, Mennonite, and own a little black dress.  Actually you should read this witty memoir even if none of the above apply to you.  It made me laugh out loud because her parents remind me of so many of my friends parents, (I guess mine are too progressive to fit the Mennonite mold??)  and she even mentions Goshen!  







7.  Homemade Quilt by MonaLeisa.  I ordered two of these for the boys because they are funky and fun, yet also stylish at the same time.  Get yours at her Etsy store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/monaleisa.  We love ours.






8.  Light blocking curtains.  Glaring sun and snow forced me to get these in order for Miles to even consider laying down for a nap.  I can't believe how dark they make the room.  


9.  Cute baby-wearing husband who fixes lunch for you while you're writing on your blog.....Sorry, you'll have to find your own. :)