"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Grass

Playing in the grass and enjoying the sunshine. 
 Because she's beautiful even when she's upset. 

 Crazy hair, don't care. 
 Daddy took a break from yard work to sit with us and Eleanor loved wearing his hat.  These two have my heart. 



Monday, September 26, 2016

Park

More Mommy snuggles, because it's all this little baby seems to want (you know, between being irrational, fussy, grumpy, and demanding).  Also, this angle makes my face looks thin and I'll take it any way I can get it.  

I think that Eleanor's snotty nose is allergies.  I think.  Giving her Claritin seems to help with the snot anyway.  The molar is still giving us grumpy & painful trouble, but you can't just sit home and fuss forever.  Drew & his mom have gone to a funeral this evening and, since taking Eleanor to a funeral sounded like a terrible idea, we walked down to the neighborhood park.  It's SO beautiful outside that sitting on the couch any longer was just not an option. 

 







Update: The belly button that could not be found under her skirt on Saturday was located under her shirt today at the park.  Call off the search. 
 There she is.  Won't eat a green bean to save her life but will happily put mulch directly in her mouth. 




 No interest in a selfie with mom when there's so much else to explore. 

 And... I didn't even get her buckled back into the wagon before she was crying again.  Oh, the emotional roller coaster of a teething toddler. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sickly

Eleanor has been sickly the last few days. Not full on sick, but not her happy, healthy self. She's snotty, but no fever. To add insult to injury, she's cutting a bottom molar. 
 
Dogs in the floor, baby & her baby doll in the dog bed. 
 
Sharing her blanket with Foose. 
 
Snotty & teary 
 
 
Call the authorities, Eleanor belly button can't be found! 
 
 
 
We didn't go to church this morning because of the sickly, fussy baby. Poor thing, I have to wipe her nose, but wiping her nose makes her cry and crying makes her nosy nastier and that requires more wiping. It's not a fun cycle to be stuck in. 
 
 
I'm snuggling this needy little girl while she naps and she's just too sweet to be snotty. 
 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Period.

I've had a few questions lately about Eleanor. Telling you about the first situation will help me to explain the rest.  I should mention that these were both asked by people who we know, not strangers. 

Person: So, does she feel like yours?
Me: Huh? ...oh... yes.  She is mine.  There's no difference. 

I know this question was meant as an honest inquiry into how I feel toward my adopted child versus my biological children, but I honestly didn't know what this person meant when they said, "So, does she feel like yours?"  My brain really didn't comprehend the question.  I said, "Huh?" out of sincere confusion.  Then it dawned on me and the best response I could come up with was an honest one.  She is mine.  Period. 
Perhaps I would have liked to elaborate and say, "She doesn't feel like she's mine, she actually is mine.  There's no difference.  I was pregnant with my first two babies and someone else was pregnant with my third baby.  That's the only difference."  I knew this person didn't say this to me to be rude and it wasn't necessary, nor would it have been helpful, for me to elaborate.  The conversation ended there and no harm was done. 
I will openly admit this... before I was an adoptive mother, I didn't know how talk about adoption either.  I had never been in that position and I didn't understand what may or may not be appropriate to ask in casual conversation.  Also, I'm not a huge fan of the articles that float around telling people what they should or shouldn't say in certain situations or to certain people because I feel like they are often used to shame those who honestly don't know any better.  I'm not trying to shame anyone (can I declare that as a legal disclaimer?  How does one do that?  Do I just declare it? I AM NOT TRYING TO SHAME ANYONE.  There, does that work?) I am going to go ahead and share with you my advice as one adoptive mother.  I don't know how other adoptive parents feel.  I would imagine that since each parent walks a unique journey in the adoption of each unique child, that none of us have the same experience or feelings about the process or our children.  I do think I can probably make a suggestion here, though.  Don't ask that question.  Don't ask if their child feels like their child.  It's not cool.  If you're super close to someone and you're having an intimate conversation and that person is a willing participant then, sure, go ahead.  I'm certain your dear friend would willingly talk to you about the emotional experience of adopting a child.  Otherwise, asking if your child feels like yours is kind of silly and could make a parent feel like you don't think of them as their child's REAL parent.  (That reminds me, I've had more than one person in the past ask me about Eleanor's "real" mom.  That's hurtful.  Don't say that.  I'm her real mom.  Drew is her real dad.  We are not her fake mom & dad.  We are the real thing.  I would suggest that if you really need to ask that question then you use the term "biological" or "birth".  Also, you probably don't need to ask that question.)
All of that said, it's totally okay to ask about adoption if you are sincerely interested in the process.  Just be respectful.  Drew & I haven't been asked these questions yet, but I've heard plenty of stories of people asking crazy rude things like, "Where did you get her?" or "How much did she cost?"  I know that none of you lovely people would ever say anything so terrible, but just in case you know someone who would... tell them not to.  Imagine how you would feel if a person asked you intimate questions about how your biological child was conceived.  It's kind of the same thing... as in, it's none of your business.  One thing about Eleanor is that she sort of looks like us.  She has some physical similarities to us (you wouldn't believe how many times people have commented about how much she looks like Drew!), but we are also the same race.  I don't anticipate as many of these questions because it's not physically apparent that we are an adoptive family.  Parents who adopt children of different races often have to deal with more probing questions from strangers because the physical differences are more obvious.  This leads me to a more common question that we've been asked...

Person: "Are you going to tell her that she is adopted?" 
Me: "Yes.  Our intention is that she will always know that she's adopted." 

I totally get this question and it's a fair one.  That's why I'm sharing it here, because while many of you know the answer already, I'm guessing that some of you have probably wondered the same thing and just haven't asked. 
The elaborated answer:
Drew & I have felt from the very beginning of Eleanor's adoption process that we would never keep it a secret.  Here's why... a secret is something that is conducted without the knowledge of others.  Eleanor has been ours since the day she was born, so she won't have any personal recollection of the process, but it is still part of her story.  We don't ever want her to feel like she doesn't have 100% ownership of her own story.  It is hers.  Of course, the details of what she knows will depend on her age, what she wants to know, and her ability to understand the details, but it will never be a secret.  This is also why the majority of you only know the basics of the adoption and of Eleanor's birth mom.  It's Eleanor's story and we don't ever want her to feel like anyone else has more information about her life than she does.  We don't have a specific age in mind that we will sit down and "break the news" to her.  I don't see it going like that at all.  We know that there will be difficult moments.  We imagine there will be moments as she gets a bit older and has normal little kid questions (and later, more grown up questions) that it will be a more serious conversation, but it is not now, nor will it ever be, a secret that we keep from her.  I mean, really, she has an awesome story.  I pray that despite all the feelings she will one day deal with over this that she will always remember that she had a birth mom who loved her enough to make sure she would have a safe & happy life and that she has a Mommy & Daddy who love her enough to make that happen.  Period. 

Maybe I should end with this, just so I don't sound like I'm telling you all to never bring up adoption.  Drew & I are really happy to be Eleanor's parents and we are so grateful for how it happened.  It's not a secret, it's just part of our testimony and we are happy to share it.  If you ever have sincere questions about adoption (for us or for someone else you know), it's totally okay to bring that up.  A really good way to do this would be to say, "I'd really love to talk to you about Eleanor's adoption sometime."  You could even elaborate and say, "We are thinking of adoption ourselves and we'd love to hear about your experience" or "I'm just really fascinated with the idea of adoption and if you're willing then I'd love to hear about your journey."  Those are really non threatening and inviting ways to start such a conversation. 

And just to keep things real... a picture of a snotty nosed Eleanor sitting under my desk, pulling papers out of a box, and gnawing on an old (and unplugged!) computer wire while I type.  Parenting win. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Testing

The blogger app that I've used to blog from my phone forever is no longer working, so I've had to choose another. Let's try this and see if it works. Testing, testing. 
I took Grandpa for an EGD this morning. He's had trouble swallowing for a good long while and it has finally become a big enough issue with eating & drinking that he was willing to have it checked out. 
Good news: No cancer or other big scary things. He had a stricture (scar tissue, likely from years of acid reflux) that was narrowing his esophagus and makes swallowing difficult. They stretched it out and we are hoping that does the trick. Fingers crossed and prayers being said that he will be able to eat easier and can put some weight back on. 
An EGD is done under conscious sedation, which means he's still pretty loopy and wobbly, so I'm hanging out with him until he's safe to be alone. Also, he's really funny on drugs.  Just a few random and funny things he said in the hour after waking up...

"It wouldn't take much paint to paint a fire hydrant, would it?" 

"When is Stacey going to... Stacey... not Stacey... Casey... CASEY... when is Casey going to be there?" 

"There sure are a lot of foreigners in the medical field." 

Grandpa: Wouldn't that be fun if they brought their weapons and had a shoot out?
Me: what? Who?
Grandpa:  All these bikers. 
Me: For Bikes, Blues & BBQ? 
Grandpa: Yeah, wouldn't that be fun? They could all bring their weapons with them and have a shoot out. 
Me: Um...
Grandpa:  Well, they have my permission. 

Y'all that last one was so funny. I finally told him that he would be a terrible drunk. 
He said he wasn't hungry, but I knew he needed to eat, so we stopped for a malt on the way home. And then this. Hilarious. 
 
Since we've been home he's declared he's taking the trash out, has to stand up to swallow his medicine and that he NEEDS to wash his bedding. So far I've kept him seated while I took the trash out and washed his bedding. At the moment he is asleep in his recliner, the dog is asleep at his feet, and Eleanor is asleep on the quilt in the floor. Here's hoping that he wakes up feeling more coherent. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Weekend

Sometimes a girl just needs to wear a tutu. 
In the dog bowl! 

 I love when Eleanor wakes up in the mornings.  She wakes up slowly (Drew says she gets that from me!) and then she's always most excited to see the dogs come to her crib when I open the door.  There's not really a great way to capture those moments, but I took the camera with me & tried. 
Blowing Foose a kiss from her bed. 

 Already smiling that big happy smile. 
 I finally made Eleanor the growth chart I've had planned in my head and Drew secured it to the wall in her room so that we can mark her growth as times passes.  She's 29.25 inches tall (and really cute). 
 She's a big fan of pushing this train around, which she can do by herself now.  She also wants to sit on the train, which she cannot do by herself because she's still a bit too short. 
 Got to see Braeden for a bit on the day before his birthday.  I was going to just take a picture of them and then I said, "Eleanor, can you give Braeden a birthday kiss?"  This is what he got :) 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I might be stuck.

Because chubby little baby ankles & tiny pink Converse deserve a picture. 
Check me out, there's a dog on my head. 
I might be stuck under my crib. Maybe. It's possible that I may need some assistance. 
On Saturday we met the Harris & McMullen cousins for a photo session. The first outfit theme was Razorback and Eleanor was looking super Hog fan cute before we left the house. 
Happy to see Nonnie. 
Eleanor wasn't exactly a great photo subject. She got fed up pretty quickly and once she started crying it went downhill quickly. Eventually I just went & sat in the back room and let everyone else handle her. JR was a champ and helped by letting her sit in his lap. 
Sometimes mommy makes everything better, sometimes mommy just makes it worse. Know what I mean? When everything was all over I snapped this selfie with her. Her eyes pretty well express her level of enthusiasm over the entire situation. 
Later that evening and ready for the Hogs to play. Clearly, me asking her to sit still for one more picture was completely unreasonable. 
But it was worth it because we got some great photos. We don't have the actual prints yet, but these little tid bits are delicious. 
Back in real life... my kid loves to wear the Mr. Potato Head glasses. 
...and my dad's old cowboy hat. 
Organizing Daddy's contact lenses in the bathroom floor while Mommy gets ready for the day. 
Crazy Mac. This entire huge house to hang out in (with a dog bed all his own) and he chooses to curl up on a burp cloth that fell on the floor.