Tuesday, March 31, 2009

4 New Teeth in 2 Days....

...Have left us with only one choice...


Monday, March 30, 2009

...And Travis thinks we need a dog!

For about the last 18 months Travis has been suggesting that we should get a puppy. Prior to Gideon I was actually seriously considering the idea, but ever since we became parents I've really felt like between a much absent husband, a needy cat and the munchkin, I've already got my hands full. So whenever he suggests it, I ask him to wait at least a few years when Gideon is a little older and not quite so much work. But at least once a week he brings it up.

I've decided that today will be the perfect illustration on why we certainly do not need a dog right now.

But this story actually starts last week. Crookshanks is an indoor/outdoor cat. Meaning that he usually sleeps in the house, but when the weather is nice, or nicer, we can't keep him inside. And when it's bad, we can't get him out of the house. Anyway about 10 days ago we had a couple of days up into the 60's so Crookshanks was out quite a bit. He came home one night with about a quarter-sized patched of fur missing and a pretty nasty gash. He doesn't get into fights often, but this is far from the first time he's been a little banged up. As is the case with cats, he usually keeps himself clean and heals quickly.

Unfortunately we noticed this past weekend that the gash looked actually worse and he was bleeding and oozing from it. And boy did it stink!!!!!!! It was so gross and getting everywhere!

So this morning I called the vet as soon as they opened and they agreed to see us as soon as I could get there. As usual though, this took a while because I first had to get myself and Gideon fed and dressed and then I took Gideon to Nana's because there was just no way I was going to chase him around the vet's office while trying to corral the cat.

Then I came back home and after a big struggle during which the squalling cat lost some fur and I lost my patience, I finally got Crookshanks in the carrier and headed up to the vet. Our vet is in Rigby which is about 20 miles away and thanks to the snow and sleet we got last night and the fact that it was only 26 degrees the roads were nothing but ice. I almost slid out twice, but we finally made it to the vet. Naturally there was much wailing on the part of the cat the entire drive up there. Then when we got there we found that he'd urinated and pooped in the carrier. As if that wasn't enough, he pooped again on the table and the dr.

The exam was quite short. It took the vet only a few seconds to see that the cut was badly infected and a only a minute to realize that the infection was trapped under the skin. So they had to do surgery. Technically I don't know if it's considered surgery, but they had to put him under general anesthesia, so I had to sign a surgical release form. Anyway they had to put him under so that they could insert a drain which will allow the infection to drain out. They also injected him with an antibiotic.

So I left the cat there, picked up Gideon, put him down for a nap and began laundering the blankets and towels which the cat had bled on over the past few days. Then I had to go rinse out the carrier so that I'd be able to go pick him up. That required digging the garden hose out of the snow and spending twenty minutes breaking up the blocks of ice within it.

Once Gideon woke up we had errands to run, which included taking some bedding to the dry cleaners and picking up the cat at the vet. Fortunately the cat was still sedated so he didn't cause as much fuss. The bigger problem was Gideon chasing everyone's puppies in the waiting room and getting them all riled up. The vet said everything went well except that the infection was spread further than they thought so they ended up having to place two drains instead of just one. And we have to go back on Friday to have the drains removed.

We got home, unloaded cat and kid. The cat was so woozy he was stumbling and tripping everywhere. I placed clean towels and blankets around on all of the furniture and stuff I'd like to protect. But I couldn't get him to lay down and rest and it became clear instantly I had to keep him shut away in a room where Gideon couldn't reach him. He's never very gentle with the cat, but with the cat being a little sore and slow I figured it was a better idea to keep him away completely.

And so that's been my day. I finally got Gideon some dinner and now we're going to go and get ready for bed.

The cat for his part has been letting out baleful wails now and then but I imagine he'll be super cranky tomorrow. He's also kind of mad because I haven't fed him yet. But the vet said not to give him any food until after midnight unless I want to clean up cat puke.

Since I have no desire to do that, I think I'll just wait and he can be hungry.

There are some pictures below, but they're pretty gross. They had to shave further down his leg but it still looks nasty.

At any rate I'm hoping these will stop the dog discussion at least for a couple of years.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One Year

It's difficult for me to put into words what I've been feeling today. All day long a rush of gratitude and emotion have held me in their grasp and threatened to overcome me at any moment.

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since the day when Gideon was placed in our arms and we were finally able to bring him home. And yet at the same time it seems impossible that there was ever a time when he wasn't part of our family. He just belongs with us.

I remember that day a year ago. A very cold and very windy Sunday. (Much like today, only without the inches of fresh snow we got today.) I was more nervous than I'd ever been in my entire life. Everything had been building up to this day, this hour, this moment. The years of being unable to concieve. The pain of learning that we never would. The years spent waiting. The adoptions that fell through. The weeks before he was born when we knew he was coming and yet were afraid to get too excited in case something happened. And then the day he was born, waiting, waiting, waiting for a call. Getting to go see him and hold him and then having to walk away and leave him there. And then that 10 days. Easily the worst 10 days of my life. Knowing that my baby was out there and he wasn't with me.

I remember walking into the LDS Family Services building with an empty car seat and a spare blanket just praying that everything would work out and we would finally, officially become parents.

I remember as we sat in the room with the caseworker and her intern signing all of the paperwork I was shaking so badly she twice asked if I were going to be okay. It was amazing that I wasn't hyperventilating. (Actually I kind of was, but oh well.)

I remember agonizing over what we might say when Gideon finally arrived with his birth family. I remember sitting behind that closed door of the caseworker's office and hearing them arrive. I heard his cries mixed with hers as they were ushered to a room past us down the hall.

And then we were led in to meet them. There were so many of them. So many people there who loved that baby so much. My heart started breaking the moment we entered the room and I saw her tear-streaked face. She sat on a couch in between her parents, clutching him tightly while he drank a bottle. Her sister and brother-in-law sat in chairs at the end of the room, and an aunt she's very close to sat on the other side.

I had to start blinking back the tears immediately. We talked quietly for a few moments. Mostly with her parents. (She wasn't up to talking.) They told us about his habits, his milestones, things we should be aware of. They told us how wonderful it had been to have this time to spend with him. They gave us bags upon bags of clothes, blankets and other gifts that he'd been given in the days they had him.

I began crying in earnest as they started talking about some the things they hoped and dreamed for him. His birth mother talked about how important it was to her that he be raised in a home with a mother and father who were in a loving and stable relationship.

We visited for about an hour. Nearly everyone getting emotional at one point or another. We gave her a gift. A lap quilt I'd made months before and a CD of songs that were uplifting and hopeful. It seemed so paltry and ridiculous next to what she was giving to us. And then the caseworker (who moved things right along because she had a family dinner to get to) turned to her and asked, "Are you ready."

She shook her head no and kissed him a couple of times before standing up and walking over to me. I didn't think I'd ever stop crying as she placed him in my arms and ran back to her mother. Then his birth grandparents came over and each gave him a kiss.

And then they left. The caseworker and her intern walked them out and for the first time ever, we were left alone with this tiny little baby. OUR tiny little baby. The minute everyone was out of sight, Travis took him away from me (and we haven't stopped fighting over him ever since.)

There were so many people waiting for us at home. Waiting to hold him and kiss him and welcome him into our family that we didn't really get to hold him ourselves for about an hour.

I didn't sleep at all that first night we had him home. I was so nervous and emotionally overwrought sleep was out of the question. Especially when every coo and sigh sent me running for the bassinette. But somehow I didn't care. I finally had my boy at home with me. And that was all that mattered.

Here we are a year later. And it's odd to think that there was ever a time when we didn't have him. And yet I can so easily access that memory and those moments that were so bittersweet, that my heart was breaking even as it was experiencing the greatest joy I've ever known.

Playing with Lola the bunny

Such a great big boy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So my question is...

When you let a toddler feed himself, does he actually manage to eat anything?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So much for that plan

So honey, remember all that time you spent putting up "childproof" latches in the kitchen?

Turns out that they weren't Gideon-proof.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hafa Adai

Hafa Adai. That means hello in Guam. Travis will be flying out a week from tomorrow to spend 4-5 months there. Gideon and I are already searching airfares to see if maybe we can go visit him sometime. Although after doing some research on the internet, if I happen to see one of these:

I just may decide not to go afterall! Seriously! Who has snakes that size? What purpose do they serve? I almost passed out just from seeing the picture.

Waiting for the Doctor

Today we had the munchkin's one year check-up. He's 31 1/2 inches tall and weighs just over 22 lbs. While we were waiting, he was all over the place. He even figured out how to open the cabinet on the bottom of the exam table and crawl inside. No one can tell me he's not a genius.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Party Time!!!!

Happy Birthday, Munchkin!

We can't believe how big you are now!

Or how blessed we are to be your mommy & Daddy!

We love you, munchkinhead!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Christmas Eve

Unlike the rest of you, my Christmas comes in March. And it starts with Selection Sunday and ends the first Monday of April.

So bring on the madness!

I'm ready!

Gideon's excited!

And marginally concerned about "The Toe that Stopped the World." (AKA UNC's Point Guard Ty Lawson, who is out with an injured big toe.)

But we have perfect faith he'll be healthy soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Selection Sunday!!!!

It's here at last!!!! My favorite Sunday of the year! You can keep the Superbowl give me Selection Sunday! Three more weeks of basketball, that's what today means.

Of course the last few years haven't been as nervewracking for me because my beloved 'Heels have been a lock for a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. It would surprise everyone if they aren't a 1 seed today. (Yesterday's loss to Florida State certainly wasn't good, but it won't change the fact that they're still among the best four teams in the country. Besides, I'd rather have them lose now than in three weeks! And today I'm totally cheering for Florida State in the ACC Final! Because you know I only cheer for two teams. Carolina and Anyone Playing Duke!) Still it's exciting because it means we'll finally get to see who's going to play who. It means I can fill out my brackets. I can finally use the knowledge I've accumlated over the past five months for something besides just boring my friends.

I'm soooooo excited I just can't stand it! Less than five hours to go until the brackets are revealed! I love MARCH!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is why I love this sport!!!!!

March totally rocks! Can I just tell you that! Okay you all know what a freak I am about basketball, so this post really shouldn't surprise you.

The reason I love college basketball is because days like today happen.

But for my non-basketball freak friends, let me just lay things out so that everyone can understand. The great thing about basketball is that at the beginning of March ANYONE as a chance to be the National Champion. Even if a team played terribly all year long and lost all of it's games, that team could still potentially win their conference tournament, which would get them into the NCAA field of 65. From there all you have to do is win six games to be a national champion. So theoretically, anyone can win it.

Right now, the field of 65 is being determined by the conference tournaments being held all over the country. Some slots have already been filled. There are 33 conferences and the winner of each is automatically entered into the field of 65. The other 32 teams are the next best 32 teams in the country, so that's where your record for the year really starts to count. Either way, basically anyone has a chance to play themselves into the field.

So when you get to this time of year, crazy stuff starts to happen on the basketball court. That's why they call it "March Madness." Because it truly is madness.

Today for example, we saw a Georgia Tech team who was in last place in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conferece for those who don't speak college sports) knock off a Clemson team that is ranked 18th in the nation. Baylor, who lost 10 of it's last 12 games shocked everyone by beating reigning national champs and 11th ranked Kansas. Staying in the Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma (currently ranked number 6 in the nation), who many people think have a great chance to be playing for the National Title in Detroit in a couple of weeks, got run over by an Oklahoma State team they hadn't lost to in years. Yesterday most people would have told you that Kansas and Oklahoma would likely be the two teams playing for the Big 12 title. Now neither of them is even in it anymore.


I love that stuff like this can happen. In reality, Kansas and Oklahoma and Clemson aren't done. They'll all be in the NCAA tournament because they are part of that field of the best 32 teams. But what's great is that teams like Baylor and Oklahoma State, who didn't have a prayer of being in the National Tournament, now look like they could have a chance of making it. Tomorrow, who knows what might happen. If OK State and Baylor and GT win, they live to fight another day. If they lose, they go home, lick their wounds and pray like hell that they've done enough to be considered for one of the coveted 32 "At-Large" bids.

But the greatest thing about today wasn't the upsets. No actually it was an epic (and when I say epic, I mean Grit-your-teeth-hold-your-breath-I-can't-believe-what-I-just-watched-EPIC) battle between two teams that are already going to be in the NCAA tournament regardless. UConn is ranked number 4 in the nation and Syracuse number 20. It was a quarterfinal of the Big East tournament. A loss wouldn't necessarily hurt either of these teams, because they'll both still be playing in the NCAA tournament, but a win might boost their chances of getting a better seed. I can't even describe the game, because I'm almost at a loss for words. Both of these teams wanted it so badly that they just kept fighting. The game went into 6 overtimes. That's right. SIX! It ran 3 hours and 40 minutes long. It didn't finish util nearly two in the morning! 9 different players fouled out during that period. By the 4th and 5th overtime you could tell, those poor kids had nothing left. They were completely out of gas. And yet, they just kept gutting it out. Finally, Syracuse managed to pull out the win.

Now I don't care about Syracuse. And I care even less about UConn. But I was totally riveted by the end of this game. I just couldn't believe what I was watching. It was amazing. These kids had a "Never Say Die" attitude, so that anytime one team would look like they were going to win it, someone else would come up with a miraculous shot or a beautiful block that would change the course of the game.

Tell me what other sport this kind of thing happens in? The college football national champion is decided by a computer system basically. Professional athletes never put this kind of heart and soul and guts out there. They don't care that much. As long as they get their paycheck it doesn't matter.

Only in college basketball does this kind of Mayhem and Madness happen. And that's why I love it. It all comes down to who wants it more. And in March, anything can happen, because everyone wants it.

And for me, that's way better entertainment than any reality TV show can offer.

The Big Question

Okay so this is really a personal dilemma and one that I'm sure we'll figure out eventually, but since I've been stewing about it for weeks, I figure I'll go ahead and post it, at least that way you'll all know where my head is at when I start to wax poetic and get weepy over the next few weeks.

Gideon will be a year old soon (don't get me started on how fast my baby boy is growing up, I'll vent about that in another post.) So technically this means, we could begin paperwork again for another child. We always said we'd like at least two. And we always said that we'd probably start the process again as soon as we were able.

But now that we're at that point. I kind of don't want to.

Please, read the rest of this before you start judging me.

I love my son more than I ever thought possible. It's true what people say when they tell you that you'll love your kids in a way totally unprecedented by anything you've ever experienced before. He is honestly our sun, our moon and our stars. He was totally worth everything we went through to get him. In retrospect, we really got off easy. Aside from the ten days when his birth mom took him home and kept moving the placement date, things really went so smoothly it was almost ridiculous.

Even so, adoption in general (even an "easy" one like ours) is not an "easy" process. Anyone who says it is, hasn't experienced it. Before Gideon we just jumped in with both feet. We did everything we were told to do with a sense of urgency because we felt like something was waiting for us. And then 2 1/2 years later we were blessed with the most wonderful baby boy on earth. (Clearly we felt the urgency, but Heavenly Father, didn't.)

Having been through it all once now though, makes me wonder if I have the strength to do it again. Oh believe me I know it will be worth it in the end. But still, the thought of it just makes me ill. The mountains of paperwork. The invasive home studies. The exhausting interviews. Opening up my life once again so that someone else can determine whether or not I'm fit to be a parent. I just don't know if I can do it again.

And then there's the part after that. The waiting. The part where we do everything in our power, but still have to acknowledge that it's out of our hands and may not be enough. We had a few potential adoptions fall through before Gideon. It was devastating. In retrospect, I don't know how we survived. I don't know if I can do that again either.

And then there's the question of our age. It's no secret that young and cute couples get babies first. Maybe that doesn't seem fair, but that's life. Travis is 37. If it takes another 2 1/2 years to get a baby, he'll be 40. And let's say we don't get one by then. Our probability of getting another child once he crosses that threshold, drops drastically. And will we really have the energy to keep up with babies at that age.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm exhausted! Gideon is the most active kid I've ever met. He won't just sit still. Ever. (Yes, I've tried Baby Einstein movies. No they don't work. They just serve as background noise for his latest path of destruction.) Don't get me wrong I love that he's so smart he wants to be into (and on top of and underneath and around) everything. I love that he's so strong he can hang onto something he wants and it takes both parents to pry it from his fingers. I love that he's curious and talkative and active. I even love that he's not really entertained by TV (I'm hoping that means he'll be more interested in outdoor activities and reading. But hey that's just me.) But honestly, it's exhausting. I don't know how I'd take care of a newborn and chase him around at the same time. (I have new respect for my sister, Shiloh and all of you who have children close together in age.) It's hard enough just getting myself ready for the day because he's either tearing apart the bathroom, or tearing apart the living room or tearing apart the kitchen. How would I do that and have a baby?

And then there's the fact that I just don't feel that urgency. Before Gideon we felt incomplete. We knew something was missing. And we just don't feel that right now. We feel happy and content with just our baby boy.

Still I can't help but wonder if this isn't just selfishness. I never intended to have an only child. You all know (or can tell from my blog) how close my family is. It's easy to see that my siblings mean a lot to me. I don't want to deny my child the opportunity to have that same relationship. To feel that special bond that only siblings can share and understand. I don't want Gideon to grow up without that. I think he'll be an awesome big brother.

But yet no matter how I try, I can't seem to get myself excited about it. I've picked up the phone to call our caseworker about a dozen times in the last two weeks, but every time I do, I just break down into tears.

Travis for his part, is much more ready to begin the process than I am. (I think he's feeling the urgency of his age.) He keeps saying that we don't have to rush through everything like we did before. We can take our time with the paperwork. We can spread out the interviews and home studies.

Still as much as he tries to reassure me, instead of excitement, I'm filled with dread. Dreading what I know comes with the territory. Dreading what I know will be required of us. And dreading what might or might not be.

I don't know what's wrong with me. Travis won't ever rush me, I know he'll wait until I'm ready (he's told me so) but still I feel like a bad wife and a bad mother for not wanting this. I know I want two kids. Since I was a little girl I've wanted two kids. I know that it makes more sense to begin now because it is a long and arduous process. And yet I can't make myself do it. I guess on some level I'm just hoping that somewhere, somehow, someone will contact us and tell us that they have a baby for us. That way as we're doing the paper work and the home studies it won't seem so hard. We'll already know that we're going to get another child. There won't be that big unknown question mark in our lives.

The funny thing is, that question mark was there before. It was there the first time. Only then, it seemed exciting. Right now, it just seems terrifying.

7 Years

It's hard to believe we've only been married 7 years, when my memories of life before Travis seem kind of fuzzy and almost dreamlike. It's just so natural that it seems as if we've been married forever.

And yet it's puzzling to so many people how we ever even managed to get together. Anyone who has known us either as a couple or separately, will attest that Travis and I are truly a case of "Opposites Attract." We rarely see eye to eye on things and while we don't often fight or argue, that's usually only because he avoids confrontation while I tend to seek it out.

We often joke that our marriage is much like that old Gershwin song, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" We have so little in common that some days it seems as if it would simply be easier to call the whole thing off. But then as the song says, if we did that, we'd have broken hearts.

So I guess we'll just stay blissfully mismatched for the rest of forever.

Yeah. I think I can handle that.

P.S. We celebrated our anniversary by spending last night at our favorite romantic bed and breakfast. A little spendy, but totally worth it! I'm so glad I have a husband who totally gets me. He knows that even though in reality it's only a few blocks from home that just getting away from the dishes and the laundry and the everyday distractions is really important now and then. Check it out, maybe next time you're up this way, you'll want to experience it for yourself. (And if not, we can always go tour the rooms, because they are just cool to see.)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kissin' Cousins

This morning we said Bye Bye to Lily Pie and Cami. They had to go home to warmer weather and lots more sunshine.

Gideon will miss his cousin. They've become great friends and playmates.

They even gave each other a kiss goodbye. Of course it's even cuter when you know that at their age a "kiss" means "put your open mouth on someone and slober." Still it was too cute not to post.

We miss you guys already! Come back and visit soon!

Celebration of a great season!

Last night was the Madison High School Wrestling Banquet to celebrate the accomplishments of the wrestlers throughout the season. Since mom and daddy volunteered to host it in their home and cook the main dish (mom's famous chicken enchiladas) we all got drafted to help.

As much as he would have liked to attend, Gideon stayed home with dad, because we just didn't need the "help" of our favorite demolition crew. So he "helped" dad at home.

This is Cami's bum. She was in the way and wouldn't let me take a picture, so I told her I was going to post her bum on my blog if she didn't move. I think she thought I was bluffing.

Cody ended up being the most decorated wrestler of the evening. He got his state wrestling championships certificate. He was also awarded a plaque for being part if the "Twenty Win Club" (given to all wrestlers who have twenty or more varsity wins in a season. This was actually Cody's second year in the twenty win club.) And he won the "King of the Mat" award for having the most take downs of anyone on the team this year. And he got the big award of the evening as well, "Most Outstanding Wrestler" which of course is equivalent to a Player of the Year award in most other sports.

The banquet went well and everyone enjoyed the highlights video Cody put together. And of course we're very, very proud of him!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Adventures in Space! Er..I mean Idaho!

Well it's been an eventful week. Gideon got sick with a cold which led to an ear infection which required a trip to the doctor. But otherwise, we can't really complain too much. Life is pretty good right now. We've been enjoying Cami and Lily's visit to Idaho. Gideon has especially enjoyed having a playmate. He and Lily Pie get a real kick out of each other.

And he doesn't even mind sharing his toys.

Yesterday the munchkin got to help grandpa Darryl transplant some house plants. I think he ended up just eating the dirt, but oh well, as long as he had fun.

And of course, you can't have two babies staying in the same house without doing the obligatory naked in the tub together picture. It was a tight fit but they seemed to have fun!