Thursday, May 23, 2013

I need a new blog name... :-)

Well, it's been quite a few months.  A LOT has happened.  You ready!?  It may sound a 'bit' jumbled.

We finished all of our adoption paperwork & home studies at the end of October and took off the next day for a trip to Hawaii - just me and Josh.  Our thought process was 'Who knows when baby #2 will come, so we might as well get away now just in case.'  We had a very relaxing time in Kauai - mostly hanging out by the pool.  When we got home we realized that it was time to put our cat to sleep.  She was refusing to eat/drink since before we left for Kauai and there's not a whole lot you can do for a cat who won't eat/drink (unless you want to shell out tons of $$ to find get tests done that may or may not tell you anything.)  Sushi cat has been missed, but we think she is much happier now that she's not suffering.  November: Shortly after that I found a rash on one side of my body and it freaked me out.  Did I have shingles again!??  Dr said yes. What, am I 80 or something!? So, I was bummed, Josh was bummed and gearing up for a business trip and Natalie was just excited to have us home.  Went back to a different dr for a second opinion - she says 'not shingles'.  Well, that was a fun roller coaster of emotions...  Josh heads off to Charleston for a few days and has a bit of a rough time getting back home.  He finally makes it home around midnight and we get to spend the weekend together.  Ahhh, time to settle in again.

Monday morning Josh leaves for work.  Just a regular day for us.  Natalie and I were doing some sort of project together, being lazy in our pj's and I get a call from Josh (who had only been gone for 30 min or so.)  The conversation went a bit like this: S-'Hi.  What's up?'  J-'Well...are you sitting down?' S-'No.  Why?' J-'You should sit down.'  S-'What?  Why, what's wrong?'  J- 'Just sit down.  Trust me.'  S-'Ok I'm sitting.'  J- 'I just got a call from (our social worker).  She said there's a little boy that was born on Friday...and we have 30 min to decide yes or no.' S- 'Wait.  What?  Are you serious?'  J- 'Yep. And we would need to get to the hospital as soon as possible.' (It is around a 6 hr drive.)  We go for it!  Just like that.  One min we're hanging out at home in our pj's and settling in to work on a Monday - the next we're throwing clothes in a bag and driving to pick up our new baby boy!  My parents take Natalie for a few days and we start driving.  Our conversation went a bit like this: 'What is happening!?  I guess we need a name!  We don't have any boy clothes.  What is happening?  This is so bizarre.  Um, we have a baby boy!'  <We had been warned that it could take a long time..but it could also happen really fast.  We were told not to set up the crib and dresser because it would be really hard to walk by it every day - especially if the process took a long time. So, basically we had nothing ready.>  <Oh and Thanksgiving was supposed to be at our house this year - just a few days away.>  We get to the hospital, meet up with the social worker and she walks us in to meet our little boy.  It was all surreal.  Amazing and surreal.  Here are a few details:
-We named him Gavin.
-We were able to meet with his birth mom and I think it was essential for all of us.  I have nothing but love and respect for her.  She carried little Gavin for 9 months and without her I wouldn't have a son.
-We were discharged from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving -aka the busiest travel day in the US.  Our 6 hour drive took 10 hours!  G was a phenomenal traveler.  Only cried 10 min the whole drive.
-Natalie was the first person we told about G.  She was so excited to be a big sister and cleared out her bottom drawer so that he could have space for his clothes.  :-)  She was very ready to meet 'her baby'.
-Thanksgiving was still at our house, but we didn't have to cook a thing.  Friends and family took charge and cooked everything!  We got to spend time loving on and getting to new this new little guy of ours.  It was amazing!

I know I'm leaving a whole lot out, but I'm sure I'll get to all that later.  For now just know that we now have a 6 month old little guy who is loved by friends and family.  We should get a court date soon and then we will legally be his parents!  We are VERY excited.  Josh, Natalie and I all feel that our family is now complete.  :-)

Thanks for all the prayers and support over the last year!  (From the beginning of the process to when we met Gavin was 6 months.  That is just unheard of!!)  I'm not sure if I'm aloud to post pics of him yet, so for now I will add pics where you can't see his face.

Our two munchkins.
Heading home.
Helping daddy feed Gavin.
Trying to figure out where sister went.  He LOVES his big sister!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A post that has been sitting in my draft folder

The summer is over.  It was busy, busy, busy - with lots of weekends out of town, lack of consistency and a ton of adoption prep.  Josh went on a camping trip/river float with friends and another long weekend went house boating.  I was able to get away on my first ever sister's weekend (there will be more!!).  My sis and I headed to SF, stayed in a hoity-toity hotel, didn't keep track of time and got to talk a LOT!  It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!  

A lot has been changing.  
*Natalie is now enjoying preschool a few mornings a week!  
*The reality of adoption is starting to sink in.  How hard it is for a woman to choose to give her child to another family.  The loss and brokenness of it all.  Yet the joy of welcoming a new one into our lives.  I find myself thinking of the birthmother quite often (whoever she may be).  As hard as this process is for me - I cannot fathom how difficult it is for her.    
*Just when I thought that it was 'smooth sailing' with all my meds and no changes would have to be made....I find out that my dr has been overmedicating, not warning me of possible serious side effects, and giving me false information for the last year+.  I felt so defeated.  Medication is such a process - finding what works, what doesn't work.  It takes months and months and months to get it 'right'.  I was also angry.  How could this person - who I trusted to take care of me - fail me so miserably?  Good news is that my old dr (from when I was a teen) agreed to see me again and is doing a fantastic job getting me where I need to be.  
*Wow.  This is turning into quite a downer of a post....

Anyway, life is good.  In the midst of my stress I have to remind myself that I have an amazing life - amazingly supportive husband, loving & energetic daughter, and a beautiful town to live in.  

Here are a few recent pics:
First Carousel Ride

Jennie and me in SF
(this is the standard photo pose with the tourists) 

Josh and Natalie played hard while I was in SF
Hiking, paddle boating, playing with friends :-)

When Josh's dad was in town we went to the nearby beach that you can drive on.  (Pretty sure I haven't been on that beach since Josh and I were dating. Crazy!)  

Parental ramblings

So many thoughts rushing through my brain right now.  Not even sure it will make sense...

Miss N started preschool a few days a week.  I thought everything would be fine - no respect or obedience issues.  Sure - she has respect and disobedience issues at home, but at school she would listen to her teacher.  Not so.  

You see, all of the things I complained about as a Preschool Teacher I am now facing as a parent.  As a teacher I would hear parents say "But Bobby doesn't do that at home.", "My child is really rough with other kids.  Can you work on that?", "I've tried this and this and this at home with Bobby and nothing is working.  Please help!" -And I would think (to myself) "Seriously people!??  These are YOUR children.  I am here to provide a loving, caring environment where your child can grow socially and mentally.  I am not here to be the substitute parent.  Why can't you take care of your child's issues yourself?"

Sounds harsh, I know.

But now...A lightbulb is starting to flicker in my brain.  Oh.My.Word.  I am "That Parent".  And I think I'm realizing (yet again) that I have no idea what I'm doing as a parent.  No one does.  (Hope that doesn't offend anyone...)  And I think that's a good thing to keep in mind - at least for me.  I get so caught up in 'Why are Betty's kids so well behaved?' 'How can they have three kids and handle everything with ease, while I have one and struggle to keep things balanced!?' 'I shouldn't be so frustrated with N right now, but I'm going batty with all the pretending!' name a few.

Bottom line: I need to get over it.  Asking for help is ok.  Admitting you don't always know what you're doing is ok.  Talking to other moms about how tough motherhood can be is good.  I think it helps us realize that we are not alone.  I LOVE my daughter and I look forward to another baby someday.  I think I just need to take a deep breath, pray for patience and guidance and give myself some grace when I feel completely out of my element.  Cause parenting is new for any parent - whether they have 1 or 5.  Dynamics change, personalities are different.

So, in summary: I don't have all the answers.  I need help and encouragement. And ultimately, little Miss N will turn out exactly how God wanted her to be.  And...what you said years ago can come back to bite you in the butt.

All of our paperwork, fingerprinting, self-studies, references, training hours, etc. are FINISHED!! Looks like we will start our Home Study in early October!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

This, That & SeaWorld

First - an adoption update: We have decided to only pursue domestic adoption (infant relinquishments). We are plugging away at the paperwork and training and hope to be able to start our home study in the early fall.  It is definitely a nerve-wracking process.  I have found myself doubting if we should continue.  The emotional risks, the financial risks, possible heartbreak.  (But there are risks & uncertainties in everything...)  Fortunately this doubt is shorted lived.  Yes, there are risks.  Plenty.  So, I can either admit defeat and give up because I'm too scared OR I can trust that God is in control of the entire situation.  Even if we remain a family of 3, at least we will have tried.  All that to say - we are excited, overwhelmed by information and trying not to look too far ahead.  :-)

After the 4th of July we decided to go down to San Diego for a few days.  We took Natalie to SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.  Sea World is my happy place.  This was the first time Natalie had been to any type of amusement park - and I must say - I think it was the perfect place to start!  She loved watching the shows, being so close to all the animals, and there are even a few rides (think Dumbo & the Tea Cups at Disneyland) and a huge play area.  And the lines for the rides were only 10 minutes long!!  SCORE!!  (Although those 10 minutes were filled with 'Is it our turn now? Can we go on?' every minute.)  It was perfect.  We went to the Zoo the next day - and we were sorely disappointed (and exhausted).  After a whole day of performing animals and play areas the zoo was a bit dull - especially since most of the animals were in hiding that day.  Oh well.  All in all we had an amazing time in San Diego.
...Because nothing says SeaWorld quite like Sesame Street?

Probably her favorite animal at SeaWorld

And a few random things:

*Natalie has some imaginary friends named Hello Cat & Emily.  They live with us.  And go in the car with us.  Actually, if we do it - they are with us.  Their mom (also named Stephanie) lives with us too...and yet I'm always the one taking care of them.  Slacker.

*Sushi - who was once our beloved cat - is now a full time outdoor cat.  And I am LOVING it!!

*Josh was gone for the majority of last week.  I am beyond thrilled to have him home.  But, it was nice to go up to my sister's house and see 'the neighbors' on the way back home.  Natalie LOVED her cousin time.  If it wasn't for that 5 hour drive, we would see them every day.  :-)

Hopefully my next post will be less than 2 months from now.  No promises.

And here is Miss N gettin' her groove on at the 'Dance Club' at SeaWorld.  She is a dancin' fool.  <3

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rollercoaster of emotions - the beginning

We got some dishes at an antique store and had a little
'Tea Party'.  Chocolate Milk for her, Starbucks for me. :-)

First time getting our nails done together at a salon! We
had matching toes. 
Where to start?  It's been so long.  

I guess the big news is that we are hoping to go from The Three Tangs to The Four (or more?) Tangs.  We have decided that adoption is the best way to expand our family.   It was not an easy decision - at least for me.  You see - I kept telling myself that *once I lost weight I could get pregnant again* and *once my meds were in order we could try for another*, but in the back of my mind I knew it wasn't a good idea.  I've dealt with depression/anxiety for a long time now.  It's nothing new - I guess I'm just learning how to handle it better now.  So how did I make the switch from birth to adoption?  The hubs.  Naturally.  He told me what I needed to hear.  What I knew to be true, but didn't want to admit.  Switching meds, getting pregnant, being    
emotional on top of my regular emotional self, dealing with post pardum depresssion - it just wasn't the right decision.  During a road trip he gently said 'I've been thinking about this for a while now, but I didn't want to tell you because I knew it would be hard for you....but I really don't think you should get pregnant again.'  It was the *painful* kick in the pants I needed.  Yes - I could go through all that again, but it would be purely for selfish reasons.  Maybe pride?  That's what woman are supposed to do.  Why couldn't my body handle it!?  But somehow in that moment I KNEW he was right.  I finally admitted to myself what I had known for a while.  And I had waves of emotion.  *Relief - knowing that my body wouldn't have to go through all that again.  
*Grief - coming to grips with the fact that I will never birth another child.  
*Joy - we're going to be bringing another child into our family!
*Fear - what if adoption agencies don't accept me 
because of my depression/anxiety.  

This girl can even have fun at the DMV!
We are excited (and overwhelmed by all the paperwork) to start this journey.  I am still working through the reality of not giving birth to another child - but we are excited for this next step.  Natalie is so excited to have a little brother or sister!! At first she said she wanted a 'Baby brother.  But one that doesn't cry.  Except if he's hurt.' (That's a tall order!)  But now she just wants someone to play with.  :-)
A few basics about our adoption:
*we are set up with a local agency and are simultaneously pursing fos-adopt and domestic (relinquishments).  we shall see what presents its self first.
*we are open to boy or girl
*we are open to siblings (2)
*our preference is a child younger than Natalie

This is just the beginning of a long and emotional process.  Please pray for peace, perseverance and faith that whatever is supposed to happen will happen.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Miss N

*Where in the world did my daughter's strange obsession with Sponge Bob come from?? She hasn't even seen it. Josh and I are really confused. If you ask Natalie who she watched Sponge Bob with she'll say Mommy - don't believe her.

*Natalie is currently planning her birthday party...and has been kind enough to invite me & Josh to the shindig. Thanks kid. So far her plans include 1) Having Grandma attend the party 2) a pinata 3) a green car cake - made by me 4) yellow balloons.

*Being a stay at home mom is not always easy. Lately I have been impatient with her - so I kept thinking 'She must think I hate what I do.' And I want her to know that staying home with her is what I've always wanted to do. I want her to know that I love being able to take care of her and Daddy. And yet - I have days when I feel like I'm not an amazing mommy. But last week Natalie gave me a glimpse into how she sees me. We had the following conversation in the car (the answer I was looking for was Kelsey - our babysitter, but I like hers better.)

Me: Do you know who's going to come over to play with you tomorrow night while mommy and daddy go out to dinner? N: Grandma. Me: No. N: Uncle Nathan. Me: No. It's someone who plays with you and takes you out to do fun things. N: Mommy!

...and that's when my heart melted. It was so encouraging to see myself through her eyes. To her, I am someone who likes to play with her and go on fun little adventures. And I'm really glad those things outweigh the grumpy/impatient/'I'm too busy cleaning' days. :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Eavesdropping at Starbucks

Confused looking customer: I think I want a grande.  That's large, right?  Barista: No, grande is medium.  Customer: So, tall is large?  Barista: No, tall is small.  Venti is large.

2 thoughts ran through my head:
*This guy has NEVER been to Starbucks before? I didn't know that was possible!
*Starbucks has a really confusing naming system!

This helps explain the reasoning behind the names:

There are also some really funny articles from angry people who despise the Starbucks naming system. 

And did you hear that Starbucks will soon be serving wine & beer?  Weird.

Wow.  A whole post on Starbucks.  Also weird.