Monday, September 27, 2010

Memory Lane Monday: Laughter

After yesterday, I got to thinking about things and I remembered the following story...and I knew I had pictures, and let's face it, a story with pictures is way better than a story with no pictures!  I should preface this story with telling you that when we got engaged Nathan promised to make me laugh everyday.  Some days I'm sure it has been easier on him than others (I am a stubborn, moody individual sometimes) but I am grateful for him and his carefree's kept me young. 

A couple years back (2008 maybe?) we went to Nathan's mother's family reunion.  We hung out with family for dinner and games, etc.  After dinner we retired to our tent and couldn't fall asleep.  I blame it on the massive amounts of caffeine we had to consume on the long drive to the reunion location.  I'm not even sure what started it, but we started giggling...and it wouldn't stop.  We giggled and laughed for at least an hour (much to the annoyance of those whose tents were close to ours, I'm sure).  We thought it was so funny to take nerdy pictures of ourselves in the dark...the flash leaving bright bulbs of color drifting across our field of vision.  We snapped these beauties that night:

The funny thing is that we wasted the battery of the camera taking these pics and so they are the only pictures we have of that family reunion...but it is a memory that we'll never forget!

Sometimes you just have to laugh

On our way to church this morning (yes, we drove Helga...we really needed to be there and didn't have another vehicle and technically she *is* drivable...although she makes a grindy noise when we turn left and I'm pretty sure I smelled something burning towards the end of the drive) as I was craning my neck to see over Helga's massive hump of a hood Nathan and I got to talking. (Oh ya...Nathan couldn't drive because the cop forgot to give him back his license post-accident...we're told it's in the mail)  We have had quite the year.  I mean ...SERIOUSLY... quite the year.   Let's give you the rundown, shall we??  If we start this weekend and go back {only} 365 days...this is what you've got:

I got in an accident (And all the drama that followed) 
I lost my job
Homestudy got rejected (which ended up costing us upwards of $700!)
Truck got broken into (Never told you that...didn't want to freak mom out)
Someone in Hong Kong stole my CC #

As we sat in our crumpled car and verbally started adding this up, Nathan just started laughing.  Like, hard core, tears in eyes, laughing.  His laughs got me started and for a good 15 minutes of the drive we laughed about all that'd gone wrong for us.  Sometimes you just have to laugh...because the alternative is messy (as in non-waterproof mascara messy).

(Now before any of you get all preachy on me...we have also had some pretty good things happen to us over the last year.   The point of my post was not to say that we only have bad things in our lives, but rather to point out the hilarity of our 'list'.  So leave your angry comments at the door, thank you.)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Poor Helga

I worked this home just in time to see my hubby before he had to take off to go to work.  He was going to take the train up and then drive his truck home.  (It is currently parked at the base...that's where it stays most of the time)  But then he decided he'd take the car up and back and just leave the truck at the base.  There was this little voice inside me that said "No, have him take the train"...but I ignored it.  (Something I will not do in the can be sure)

About 15 minutes after Nathan left I was sitting at my laptop, working on some FSA stuff when I got a call from Nathan.  "I've been in a car accident."  He was stopped at a light on the highway and the big moving truck in front of him backed up...right into the front of Helga.

Nathan is fine (for which I am VERY grateful)...the car can drive, but can't go too far and will definitely have to be fixed. 

Seriously...the universe seems out to get us. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reason for being blue

All week I've been feeling blue and I just couldn't figure out why.  I thought it had something to do with being sick (allergies and sinus stuff...ick).  Then I realized...a year ago this weekend we lost our sweet little Frankie.  I sure miss that little Rat Cat. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How much did YOUR kid cost?

A couple friends shared a link today on facebook...I read it and I {{loved}} it.  I laughed out loud and KNEW I needed to share it.  You can read it HERE or here is the text:

Okay, here comes another "Single Dad Ranting" post. You may laugh, but hopefully only because you see the idiocy and carelessness of some people, bless their hearts. Please, though, this is something that I'm very serious about and I hope you'll listen in.

What do you notice about this photo?

Hopefully you just see a father and son. Maybe you see a beautiful bond. Maybe you see love. Maybe you see two awesome human beings. Hopefully you don't see a damn price tag hanging from Noah's ear or a child who will never know true happiness.

You see, today when I was at the store with Noah, somebody had the nerve to ask me, right in front of Noah, "how much did he cost?" And this was the second time somebody has asked that absolutely ridiculous and insensitive question to me; I know his mom has heard it too.

You may have noticed that Noah is of a slightly different race than his old man. He's a quarter Panamanian, quarter Jamaican, and half Caucasian. Noah is my son. Noah was adopted. Trust me, I couldn't pass on genetics to a kid this beautiful.

And since he was placed with us, his parents, I have learned just how insensitive the world can be to kids who have been placed through adoption. People don't realize how fragile the minds of young children are. People don't realize that wording things certain ways can hurt a child, and badly. And with that, I present to you the following list, all taken from personal experiences in the past three years:

Single Dad Laughing's Guide to Adoption Etiquette. 
  1. Never, ever, ever, ask how much a child costs. This includes the phrase, "how much did you pay for him?" First of all, it's none of your business. Second of all, if you're interested in adoption, research it through the appropriate channels. Speak with an adoption agency. Adoptive parents don't purchase children. They simply pay legal fees and agency fees. Just like biological parents pay hospital and doctor bills. Don't turn the child into nothing more than a commodity.
  2. Never ask if a celebrity inspired the adoption. Believe it or not, Tom Cruise, Connie Chung, and Angelina Jolie did not convince me one way or the other in the biggest decision of my life. Are you serious?
  3. Never ask "where is his real dad?" Forget the fact that it will hurt my feelings. How do you think it will affect my son's feelings to feel like I'm not a real dad to him? Adoptive parents are real parents. The term you're looking for is "birth mother" or "birth father".
  4. Don't say things like, "as soon as you adopt you're going to get pregnant" when you find out somebody is adopting. First of all, there are usually many, many years of pain and financial burden strapped to infertility, treatments, and heartache. Do you really think that what you're saying will help them? Secondly, while it is funny when it happens, it's rare.
  5. Never say, "why did she give him away?" Do I really need to explain why this one would hurt a child? The proper term is "placed". A birth mother and birth father place their child for adoption. And again, it's personal and none of your business, so don't ask if you aren't my BFF.
  6. Don't say, "it's like he's your real son". This is similar to number three, but worthy of mentioning. He is my real son, damn it.
  7. Don't say, "do you love him as if he was your own?" Ummm... probably more than you love your little terror, that's for sure. And again... he is my own, damn it.
  8. Never say things like, "you're so wonderful to adopt a child". I am a parent. Just like anybody else with kids.
  9. Don't start spewing your horrible adoption stories. "This one time, my friend's sister's aunt's dog's previous owner's niece adopted a baby and the real dad came back and they took the baby away after they had him for two years." First of all, it probably isn't true. Second of all, how would you feel if I told you about all the ways you could lose your child. Adoption is permanent. And in the extremely rare circumstances that something like that happens, it's not something you should spread because the hurt that exists for all the parties involved must be immeasurable. 
  10. Don't say things like, "is it hard for him to be adopted?" Well, it wasn't, until you asked me that right in front of him you freaking idiot.
  11. I don't want to hear about your second cousin who was on a waiting list for twelve years and never got a baby. Granted, this one was much more annoying when we were going through the adoption process. Nobody wants to know that some people never get chosen. Show some kindness. Even to ugly people.
That's all I can think of right now, but I know there are more. Just be sensitive. Don't put your nose where it doesn't belong. Respect my father-son relationship for what it is and don't lessen it. Don't talk about my son like he's not even there or too little to understand. Or do, if you're okay with a swift kick to the face.

I understand that I'm not being super politically correct here, but I'm a little bit pissed off about what happened today. And understandably, so is the old woman I sent away in an ambulance. I know she meant no harm.

Dan Pearce, Single Adoptive Dad Laughing

PS, please post this one on Facebook and Twitter. Most people have good intentions but really say some horrible things without ever knowing it. This is one bit of education that needs to be passed on.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've been working on our adoption blog and if you haven't checked it out as of might want to hop on over and take a look!

Also, Nathan and I tried to take family pictures last night.  The trick??  It was just us.  As in, use a tripod, set the timer, run and hope you make it in the shot...just us.  Some actually turned out ok.  I love Nathan's varying looks of amusement.  Love that guy.


Looking for a home

This is Besta:

He is a four year old mix breed dog (hound and ??).  He is good with other dogs, cats and kids.  He loves the dog beach, going on walks, playing fetch.  He is not so fond of water and he is scared of thunder.  He is house trained and can "sit", "laydown" and "stay".  He favors his back right leg because of an accident a few years back.  It doesn't hurt him...he doesn't whine or anything when you touch it.  When he's hanging out at home he'll hobble around on three legs but when we take him to the dog beach he runs just fine on all fours.

But we've learned over the last 18 months that city living just isn't his style.  He would rather have a yard to run in than chilling out in an urban 2-bedroom apartment all day.  Hanging out for long hours with Winston while mommy and daddy are at work is boring to him.  We do not want to just pass him off to strangers...we need to find him a home where he'll be happy and loved and taken care of.

I realize we don't live near most of you...but we'd be willing to travel quite a distance to make sure he ends up in a home where he'll be loved.  We end up in Utah at least once a year and we'd be happy to fly or drive him out the next time we come out.

If you could open your heart and home to this lovable, floppy eared, long tongued, happy-go-lucky doggy, please let us know.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I need this

(Item found here.  Image borrowed from therhouse etsy shop)

{love} it

Monday, September 06, 2010

Memory Lane Monday: Tears over Glasses

When I was in fourth grade I went to the eye doctor for a check-up.  I was SO excited because I was SURE I was going to need glasses.  You see, I really wanted glasses and I planned on cheating a bit to make sure I had "bad enough" vision so I could get them.  Turns out I didn't cheat bad enough...or good enough??  After the exam when the doctor told me I wouldn't need glasses I cried.   My mom, being the good mom she is, took me to Claire's and bought me some fake glasses for me to wear. 
Even now, I really only need glasses when I drive or watch TV or need to see a blackboard, etc.  But I wear them 99% of the time because I just LOVE glasses.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

...and love it

My sister-in-law Briana sent me this video tonight...and then she shared it on her blog.  It is {{exactly}} what I needed to hear.  It brought tears to my eyes, and I knew I wanted to share it too. 


The last couple days the weather here in the Chi has been PERFECT.  We slept with the windows open last night and a couple times during the night I was tempted to get up and throw a second quilt on the bed.  I love chilly nights.  Today the windows have stayed open and the breeze blowing the city sounds through the house has been so calming.  (Have I mentioned that I love Chicago??)

I'm grateful for the weather and in months.  August (and the last couple days of July) can suck it.  It was wicked, miserable, suffocatingly hot.  Work was less than pleasant.  Losing two babies was no picnic.  Feeling like our hearts were lied to, ripped out, torn into bits and peed on and then burned sucked pretty bad. Winston was cranky, Besta was a menace.

August marked the six year point of us trying to add children to our family.  Six. Freaking. Years.  It is so amazingly frustrating to want something for six years.  Do everything in your power to get it.  Dream, think, pray, stress, cry, rejoice, ache over it...and STILL, after six LONG years...still NOT have it.  I am seriously considering changing my middle name to patience. 

I'm glad that milestone is passed...and I don't have to deal with it again for another year.

Bring on September!  May it be fabulous!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Four eyes

Last time I got new glasses...President Bush was in his first term in office.  I think it's about time for new ones...don't you?
(They are purple on the inside.  Swoon)

And because I'm such a saavy shopper...I went when glasses were buy one get one free.   So I got this second pair (FOR FREE!!  I love a bargain!!) for when I feel like switching it up:

(Yes, that's zebra print paired with red metal frames)

New glasses are just what I needed to help me try to look on the positive side of life.  :)