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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Train of thought

*This morning was GORGEOUS! On our way to the park I said 'Wow! It is so nice out today.  It feels like summer, but it's winter.' To which Natalie replied 'Where's the snow?' ;-)  Just one of the perks of living on the central coast.  If I'm in the snow - it's because I'm on vacation and I WANT to be in the snow (...but I rarely WANT to be in the snow.)

*I started making calls today about the splash/water park...  Umm, this is not going to be easy.  I have to convince city counsel members that a new park is a good idea and worth the $$ it would take & get people to sign a petition saying that they want this as well.  I was informed that I might want to meet with each counsel member individually so it could be brought to the attention of each one, plus they could give me tips re: how to proceed.  I feel extremely unqualified.  And overwhelmed.  What the heck am I doing? :-/

*I have 4 loads of laundry to fold.  Do you know what that means?  It means that I've waited too long to fold laundry.  And if I've waited too long to fold laundry - then I'm sure there's another load of laundry ready to be washed.  What a vicious cycle.  Laundry & dishes.  Both vicious.  I should probably fold the clean clothes so hubby doesn't have to ask me 'Do I have any clean shirts downstairs?' every day.

*We've been watching White Collar.  It's a modern day crime show with a bit of an Ocean's 11 feel.  I love it.  Only red flag - Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) is in it.  But, I have to admit, she's actually pretty good.  And the blatant advertising for Ford is quite hysterical.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Can I do it?

In August while we were visiting Josh's dad, we went to Central Park near his house in the Bay Area.  It was awesome. I actually remember coming to Central Park when I was little and I LOVED it.  Lots of shallow water to play in, streams to walk in.  As I sat there watching Miss N playing in the water I thought 'I wonder how hard it would be to get something like this built in our town?'  We live in a perfect place for this kind of park.  Good weather, lots of young families, and not many free outdoor activities provided (and lets face it - people with money to burn...)  So I started mulling it over with Josh.  It is something the families here would love!  However, I know it would be a long and vvveeerrryyy drawn out process with lots of red tape.  Do I want to spend a ton of time going to city meetings, looking for people to fund the project,  trying to convince a bunch of people in suits that it would be an amazing thing for the kids in this town (when I know they would rather spend it on yet another parking garage...)?  I think it's worth it.  I do.  But this kind of thing could take years. YEARS!  Am I dedicated enough for that?  I don't even know where to start.  It's actually a bit daunting.  But, how awesome would it be to have a free place where your kid(s)s (no, this is not a pregnancy announcement) were ALLOWED & ENCOURAGED to play in the water?!  True - we do have the beach a mere 15 min from us...but I don't always feel like dealing with sand everywhere (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one...)

Anyone have thoughts or tips on how to get this kind of thing started?

 Oh - and I would LOVE to add one of those areas that have water randomly squirting out of the ground...purely for the kids, of course.  ;-)

Here are a few pictures of Central Park - San Ramon.  The pics don't do it justice.  And do you see the shade!!??  How glorious would it be to be able to sit in the shade and watch your kid play?  Not sure why the parks here are anti-shade.  But you can be sure that IF this whole 'water park' actually happens, there WILL be shade.  Priorities people.  Priorities.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dentists are evil

We had to send hubby to Seattle for a few days.  We're all a bit bummed.  (Who's the genius that thought business trips would be a good idea?)  Without any prompting Natalie said 'I'm going to miss you so much Daddy.'  Poor guy held it together, but I'm pretty sure it broke his heart.  It's amazing what a little girl can do to her daddy's heart.  I said I was going to miss him so much too...but I don't think it had the same impact.  :-)  As we were driving to the airport Josh said 'I used to like going on business trips...'  Oh, how things have changed.

N and I have been keeping busy - making forts, painting, hanging out at the dollar section at Target (the girl could spend there!!),  avoiding naps & dealing with a 'few' time outs.  And tomorrow we are heading up to see 'the neighbors'!!  (Pretty sure Miss N is going to be extremely confused about what a neighbor is...)  We are so excited about tomorrow!!

But today was rough.  I lost my wallet.  And I had to go to the dentist.  I LOATHE the dentist. (Plus it kinda sucks when you go to a new dentist with no wallet - no money, no insurance card.)  I have avoided the dentist for 2 years.  I actually fear the dentist.  Let me put it this way: I would rather have my 'lady appointment' for a year, than go to a dentist ONCE a year.  Yeah.  It's that bad.  The last time I went to the dentist I got nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and it was AWESOME!!  So, when I was looking for a new dentist I made sure they did sedation.  Well, turns out this guy doesn't do laughing gas...and he couldn't sedate me cause I need to take the drugs on an empty stomach.  Seriously??  Just club me over the head!!  I don't care how I'm knocked out. I just don't want to hear or feel anything!!  So today...I cried (more like quietly weeping as tears streamed down my face.)  In front of the dental hygienist.  And then in front of the dentist.  So awkward.  And I totally understand if you just lost all respect for me.  Needless to say - I'll be going back when I can be blissfully unaware of my situation.  Oh, how I miss you nitrous oxide...  So, yeah.  I'm a wuss.

On a positive note: some awesome Target employee found my wallet!! 

So, in summary: we miss our man.  i'm a sissy when it comes to dental work.  and Target is amazing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Tonight I get to go on a date with this handsome devil. It's been a while - what with the plague going on in our house & all...
I'm back on my WW points (it is the ONLY thing that works for me!) so I think we'll be going out for some Thai food. :-)
*these pics were taken about a month before we got married. can you tell how much he LOVES taking pictures? ;-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Contentment & Health - A bit of reality

About a years worth of one blog post. Here it goes:

About a year ago I was hit hard with anxiety & panic attacks. I had dealt with anxiety & depression when I was a teen and again after N was born, but I thought everything was under control. When I'm depressed & anxious - I eat. And eat. And eat. What can I say? I'm an emotional eater. 2011 was a rough year. I had been gaining weight for a while, but 2011 pushed me over the edge. I was angry for letting myself get to this point. I kept thinking that once I lost a certain number of lbs then I would be happy with myself again. I thought all of this discontent with my body was a fairly new thing - until Josh asked me one day 'Do you really think you'll be happier if you lose weight? You weren't happy with yourself when we were dating or before Natalie was born... I don't care if you lose weight or gain weight. I just want you to be happy with YOU.' Wow. I hadn't realized just how long I had been critical of myself. I look back at wedding pictures and think 'Oh, if only I looked like that again!' And to know that, when I looked like I did 6 years ago, I wasn't happy with my image - I cringe

I keep going back to Josh's question. Will I really be happier when I weigh less? No. I don't think I will. At least not for that reason. Will I be healthier? Absolutely.

I need to stop believing the lies that I tell myself. Josh DOES love me no matter what I weigh. And I need to trust him when he says that. When I doubt him - I hurt both of us. (And I guess the same goes for God. If He loves me and MADE ME - then why should I be critical of his work?) I CAN accomplish the goals I have for myself. But most of all, I need to be content with myself. Right now. Not later.

I'm going to have to 'reprogram' my thinking - how I see food, what I see when I look in the mirror, how I think others view me.

So, my goals this year are contentment and health. Not exactly easy.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My white blood cells are on vacation - so I'm on the couch.

I'm beginning to feel like a bit of a leaper. November brought bronchitis and a sinus infection. December brought the same. January decided to mix it up a bit with Shingles. I'm starting to think I should take bets for February's illness.

I'm having a hard time. I know that sounds silly because people are going through much worse, but it is so frustrating. I want so badly to be able to take care of my family. That's my job - and I can't do it properly right now. Poor hubby has to work all day, then take care of everything when he gets home. I know it's hard on Natalie too. I desperately want to get back to our routine. I guess I'm just learning that I don't have control (although I'm ready to say 'Ok Lord. I get it. I'm not in control. Now can I get better?' that horrible?) So, if you're the praying type, I'd love some prayer for a quick recovery. :-)

On a more positive note - here are some random things I've learned over the past few months while being sick:
*I am incredibly grateful for family that is nearby and ready to help out...a lot!
*Stoned Wheat Thins are quite delicious.
*I would much rather have bronchitis than shingles.
*My kiddo loves me! I guess I don't really see it that much when I'm healthy 'cause I'm always around her, but when I'm sick she runs to see me after being away all day and cuddles with me on the couch. Apparently absence makes her heart grow fonder. :-)
*My husband is amazing - works all day, comes home to a disheveled house & no dinner, plays with the kiddo, puts her to bed, cleans up and finally collapses on the couch. The man definitely deserves some time off when I am 100% again!
*Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is awesome! If you haven't seen it, you need to. It's on Hulu.
*You can go through Gone with the Wind pretty quick when you're sick.
*I enjoy the British mini-series. Who knew? Daniel Deronda & North & South. Loved them both.