Sunday, September 30, 2007

A trip to the farm-

OK- Blogger is being bad and not allowing me to load the pictures- so here are the ones it will allow me to load tonight- I will try to edit the post tomorrow and get the pictures back in.

Edited: 01Oct2007 8:45pm- pictures now added

I haven't posted pictures in a week- and I have a bunch to post- but these are all for Carlos, Mireya, Suzy, Karla and Andrea as a happy way to start the week.

Today, Little Bug and I drove over to the farm to spend the day celebrating S's (from now on known as "hermano") birthday. Hermano and Little Bug spent the first 7 months of their lives together with Carlos, Mireya and the girls. They are forever brothers!!! The pictures are not in order but I will try to give you the story of the day.

We arrived much earlier than expected- for some reason, I though the party started at 2 pm and we arrived at 3. But the party was not supposed to start until until 4:30. It all turned out well, as the extra time allowed Little Bug and Hermano to play with each other and for us to get a TRACTOR ride. Little Bug was very uncertain about the tractor ride (OK, Momma was too), but there was room for Momma on the tractor and we all went around the main area of the farm. It was really cool and by the end, Little Bug thought it was cool. Hermano was not to keen on having us on the tractor with him, especially when it first appeared that he would have to get off the tractor so Little Bug and I could ride. But all was great in the end.

Later in the day, we got to help feed the baby cows (yes, calves, I know- but they are baby cows to Little Bug). Actually, they are "baby vacas" in Little Bug speak.

Here we are putting food down for the cows- Little Bug was content to be in my arms, he was not too certain about the cows or feeding the cows.

Here is Hermano feeding the cows- he had no problem throwing the feed on the ground. He thought it was great fun. I am sure his parents hope this enthusiasm continues.

All done feeding the vacas. Little Bug is still not too sure- but he was helping to dump the bucket. The vacas having dinner.

Little Bug and Hermano got some swing time in before most of his extended family arrived. I think I am going to have to buy one of these playscape things for the yard next Spring. OK- those of you who told me that I would need one, feel free to tell me "I told you so".

Little Bug loves to swing- he could swing for hours. When I was younger, I loved to swing. During the summers, I would spend 6-10 hours a day on the swing (I am not lying). It is amazing how Little Bug's personality mirror's mine. God had a perfect plan when he brought us together as a family!!!

Hermano loving his swing. Both boys can now swing in the big swing, so long as they don't go high and someone pushes them. They still do not have the leg action down- but that will come later. Little Bug loving his swing time. He was swinging first and then Hermano came over, so that is why Hermano is in the "not safe for toddlers" swing.

Hermano is 2- he is about 1 month younger than Little Bug. The boys loved the cake. Hermano thought the train on the cake was the best part.

Little Bug having dinner- potato chips, tomatoes and cheese. Yes, that is correct, he choose not to have the delicious Black Angus beef hamburgers that come from the vacas on the farm. Momma loved the hamburgers- they are so good. If you want to know how to order some beef from Hermano's farm- let me know in a comment and I will get the info to you.

It is the best!!!

Little Bug playing in the living room. He had a great time. I think I need to start hunting for a coffee table and small chairs for our living room. When we walked into the room, this is where he went immediately.

More Vacas Sitting on Momma's shoulders because the vacas were scaring him. He did smile right after this- the classic " I will not smile until after the camera flashes" syndrome.

The end of our day- this is how the big the tractor is!!! The wheels are as tall as I am. The other little boy is Hermano's cousin. He was too cute.

We took a hay ride at the end of the day- we got to see some Milk cows along the ride. Apparently, they are different than Beef cows.

Hermano opening presents- this is the one from Little Bug. It was a counting bus and Little Bug was not too happy that it was not his toy. He really wanted it. But, these turned out to be Little Bug's favorite toys at Hermano's house- the train from the cake and a moto. He kept crashing them into each other. Typically Little Boy behavior.

Which bring me to the final picture- this is what Little Bug looked like this morning. What is different? Well, dressed like this, he looks like a little boy, not a baby, not a toddler- a little boy.
He is growing up and it seemed that he changed overnight. This was the first time I physically could see what I missed through all the months of waiting for him to come home. I never really saw him age through those months- yes I had pictures, but it is not the same. I am now seeing him change and I just want to stop him at this age. I feel like I am just starting to enjoy him and he is changing- I want the time back, I want time to stand still. I cried on the way home today, I wanted to get back the time I never had, time that I never can replace. It hurts- I never had it, I can't ever get it, but I want it. Not for him do I want it, but for me. In a selfish way, I want the time just for me. It was a good day though, Little Bug and I had a great adventure at the farm- we are part of another family through the love of one family in Guatemala.
Thank you Carlos, Mireya, Suzy, Karla and Andrea for opening your home, your lives and your heart to these boys and for being the bridge in our families.

Much love and many hugs to you,

Friday, September 28, 2007

A call to action-

This week has been a bad week in the news for Guatemalan adoptions- First the DOS (Department of State) issued a stern warning to parents that adoptions from Guatemala would see delays starting in January 2008, then the Guatemalan President, His honor Mr. Berger stated that he will personally stop adoptions as of January 1st, 2008. As more and more details come out- the future for many children and families is unclear. Prior to this week, we all understood that a slow down might occur and that cases in process by January 2008 would be grandfathered in. This appears to be in question.

According to the JCICS, there are 5000 children who have currently been referred to families who will be effected by the changes- YES, 5000 children and families!!!

Little Bug and I could have been one of those families, we still have friends who started this journey with us who are waiting to be united as a family- I can not stand by and do nothing just because Little Bug is already home. I am urging you- if you have not already done so, to read the the information below and sign the petition. Even if you just come here to read about Little Bug and are not involved in adoptions- please still take the time to read and sign the petition. The DOS needs to see that there are many people from all walks of life, all countries, who see that these children need a home and family.

This is an excerpt from a message that FTIA (my agency) sent out today:

Recent statements and prospective changes do not seem to align with our mission of putting children first. Over 5,000 children in Guatemala have already been referred to adoptive families. We know that it is very hard to sit back and feel like spectators in this process. The question that has been asked more than any other this week is “What can I do?”

The JCICS response to the recent Department of State Warning and to President Berger’s announcement and they have issued a “Call to Action Plan”. We encourage all of our families to be actively involved in the Guatemala 5000 Initiative. Details may be found at We also encourage you to get your friends and families involved. Trust us, all those people who wrote reference letters for you months ago will be passionate about this as well.

Please understand that this is a difficult and emotional time, not only for all of our families, no matter what stage of the process, but also for our Guatemala and FTIA team. We appreciate, as always, your patience in the upcoming weeks and months as we work hard to do all we can do for our babies.

Please pray for the families waiting- this is a hard time for them, please pray for the children waiting and most of all, pray for the men and women in power that they might see the faces of the waiting children, the cries of the motherless and the fatherless and they would be moved to act with honor for the children.

Love to you all,
Momma Bug

Edited: 9:30 pm- I have added a link at the top of right hand column to the JCICS page- please, please go sign the petition.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's 3 am- where are you?

EDITED 8:45 am
I talked to my mom- my dad came out of surgery at 8:30 last night, she got to see him and talk to doctor later in the evening. My dad has 8 screws and a metal rod in his back now- not expected before they went to the hospital. He is expected to be in the hospital through the weekend. Please pray for his continued healing- this surgery could give him back his life.

Many thanks

OK- it is 3 am my time and yep- I am wide awake. Where are you?

Today was a jam packed day- or maybe it was yesterday- having not really been asleep, is it still the 26th?
The long day started at 4 am with the alarm going off. I had a meeting out of town and needed to get Little Bug to his daycare by 5 am. He was dropped off on time- posed picture to be added Thursday evening, so you can see how cute he looked. I drove to the meeting- 2 hours away, sat in a meeting from 8-5 pm and then drove home another 2 hours. The meeting was great- actually much was decided and hopefully the meeting has allowed us to proactively address some issues so that next June and July are not overwhelmingly busy as they might be. I love database locks that come one right after the other- I have 3 within a 30 day period.

But I digress, Little Bug was brought home at 7:30 pm, we waited for my mom to call with an update on my dad's surgery. Apparently he was taken into surgery/prepped for surgery at 1:30 pm and at almost 8 pm, he still was not out of surgery. Mom did not call back later to let me know he was done, so I have no idea how the surgery ended. Little Bug slept from 8:30 pm until 11:30 pm and then he woke up and was awake until 1:30 am. I went to be at 10:30 pm- but never feel asleep, so here I am at 3 am, writing on the blog while I post reports for work (hey, I might as well get something constructive done for work). I am starting to feel tired now, so I might just go back to bed for 3 more hours before the alarm goes off and my day really starts.
I can only hope and pray that the day is relatively calm and that Little Bug is ready for bed on time tonight. I can't handle these all nighters.

I hope you all got good, restful sleep.

Love to you,
Momma Bug

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Christmas present musings- left from yesterday

Thank you all for your comments- public and private.

I had already decided that Little Bug was only going to get 3 presents from me - to follow the tradition that Jesus recieved 3 presents. Some friends (Hi to the A's out in Abbotsford!!) did this with their girls when I first met them and I loved the idea.

Well, C sent me some more information:
Giving your child only three gifts like Jesus received three gifts from the wisemen; gold, frankenscense (sp?) and myrrh. The gold is something fun or something that the child especially wants, the frankenscense is a family activity and the myrrh is something practical. Our gold gift this year is going to be the Fisher Price Little People A to Z Learning Zoo. S LOVES Little People. our frankenscence gift will be a zoo pass and I haven't figured out the myrrh gift yet. I hope I can continue to stick to this every year. It will sure simplify things.

So my thought is is to give him a bunch of stickers (fun, a pass to the Children's museum (family activity) and then we will take a family/friend vacation and go camping (the pratical) at a state park or a beach in Michigan. I kind of change the last one to be something that we can't do spur of the moment. I will give a donation in Little Bug's name to an organization that works in Guatemala and as he gets older, I would like to sponsor a child through Compassion International in Guatemala. I currently sponsor a young girl in the Dominican Republic- but she will age out of the program right as Little Bug starts school. I think that is when we will sponsor a little boy in Guatemala so that Little Bug has an understanding of what his life could have been like had his birth mother made a different choice.

I feel very at peace with this decision on gifts- I am trying to simplify my life, keeping on the things that I really need or that I have a emotional attachment to. It is so easy to fill our lives and houses with things- which, when all is said and done, are just clutter. What do Little Bug and I really need? Not much to be honest: a bed, some food, some clothes and each other. I heard a few years ago, that if you have more than one set of clothes, house to go home to each night and food for your next meal- you are richer than 90% of the world. Even when I think I have nothing- I still have more than 90% of the world. How did we come to this place where we need more and more to be happy? I don't need more, I want more- but I don't need it. I need more cuddles with my Little Bug, more time in the park playing, more momets of just being a family. We don't need more things to distract us from what is the most important things in this world: GOD, family and friends.

OK- stepping off my soap box this evening.

Love to you,
Momma Bug

Monday, September 24, 2007

Little Bug learns some new skills

So, the Little Bug is 25.5 months old- what should he know how to do or what shouldn't he know how to do?
The good skills:
1. This weekend, he started saying 3 word sentences- he grabbed my arm and hugged it tight and told me "I got you"- too cute for words.
2. He has started swinging on everything- the stove (no-no), from the table (sort of ok), from luggage carts (definitely OK). I think I am going to have to break down and buy him a swing set for the backyard, just so he has things to hang off of.
3. SLEEPING thru the night. Yes, we have had 3 nights of Little Bug sleeping through the night. Momma has not slept through the night yet, but he has and I am so excited.
The Bad skills:
1. Unfastening one side of his diaper- which then creates an "accident" when he goes pee-pee. Yes, twice now he has done this. So we headed off to Target this evening to stock up on underwear because potty training is going to start in earnest this weekend. Hopefully 18 pairs of underwear will last a week, otherwise, I can see doing laundry every night. He is starting with pull-ups this week and next and then moving to underwear under the diaper after that (someone said it works- I am willing to try it).

So all of that said to point out to me, that there are more pluses than minuses. I feel like I have been focusing on the negative too much and I am loosing sight of the good things going on. So, hold me accountable- I want to share the good things, the little victories, I don't want to only see the negatives and be so focused on the future or what might have been that I miss the todays- the little moments that are impossible to get back.

Another topic: What the heck do you get a 2 year old for Christmas? Yes, I am thinking about Christmas already. Lists were due to family members yesterday. Everyones' lists were ready except Little Bug.
I am really torn- I don't want to buy him toys just to buy him toys- he has plenty- he has some he never plays with. I don't think he needs any clothes- he wears about 1/4 of the clothes he has now- he certainly doesn't need more. Is is acceptable to just give him one gift and donate money to an organization working in Guatemala in his name? It seems like a good idea to me- but I think I am going to be judged as a bad momma if I do that. What is wrong with saying- we have enough, actually we have more than enough and we should give to those who don't have enough? Maybe Little Bug just needs some crayons and paper for Christmas- maybe I don't need anything? Maybe giving a donation in his name is a better choice and will make a difference in someone's life- perhaps it will save a life?


Love to you,
Momma Bug

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pictures from this week

Pictures from our adventures in Chicago:

Eating breakfast at the airport before boarding our plane. Little Bug thought this was cool- he got to have a treat and see people and planes all at the same time. The temps at home were 43 degrees F when we left, I figured Chicago would be cooler- this was a bad thought on my part. Watching planes from the waiting area- that is our plane's wing in the picture.
On the plane with Mam and Me-Me. Same "jacket" he wore coming home from Guatemala- but he was awake this time.
The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago- Little Bug loved the water and the big fishy. He was trying to reach the water here- but it was too far below his reach.
Throwing pennies at the hotel fountain. This fountain was one that he easily could have gotten into the water at. The fountain was basically open to toddlers (yes the hotel was not set up form kids) and we had to watch him very carefully when we were in the lobby.
At Navy Pier Park- the "I am so not going to stand next to the statues and I am not liking this at all" look.

The statues- he did actually like this area. We walked around and looked at all the globes that were decorated for global warming/alternative energy issues. There were some very awesome ones. Mam and Little Bug at the entrance to Navy Pier- what you can't see is Little Bug crying because I am too far away from him.
Momma and Little Bug at the entrance. He was much happier to have me this close.
On the carousel- he loved it. I had to buy tickets a few times- anything to make my bug smile.

This is the view of Lake Michigan from the Carousel.
Momma and Little Bug driving the toy boats.
Our boat went in circles pretty much the entire time- but we had fun.
Momma speaking at the conference. Thanks to the folks from SP that sat in the front row and agreed to take pictures for me.

At the airport coming home- Little Bug discovered that luggage carts are a jungle gym.

Watching the BIG PLANE go bye the window.
More fun on the luggage cart
Look Momma- I can hang off the luggage cart!!! He has started hanging off of everything - including the stove at home- I am working hard to break the habit with the stove. I am scared he is going to pull the stove over on him even though it is secured to the wall and there is the whole HOT thing I have to watch for since I cook most all of our dinners.
Well, that is all. Mam has more pictures of the time in Chicago, I will get those on Sunday when we celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. I might not post much next week- I have a meeting out of town on the same day my dad is having back surgery. I expect that I will be needed to help out in the evenings after the surgery- but that depends on when the doctors let him come home from the hospital.
love to you all,
Momma Bug

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back from Chicago

No pictures tonight- I am still too tired but I thought I would give an update on the last few days.

Sunday: Little Bug, My mom and I boarded a plane to Chicago so I could attend a business conference that I was presenting at. I had submit my abstract for consideration before Little Bug's file was approved and I thought that if he was not home, at least I could see friends, support my organization and work on becoming recertified in my field. As it turned out, Little Bug was home 14 weeks before we took this trip and this is important.

This was the first plane ride he has been on since coming home. My mom commented on how different he was from that trip home from Guatemala. On that trip he slept the entire flight. This trip, he was looking out the window, playing with stickers, interacting with everyone. A good start to a 4 day trip. He was still OK (you are seeing the foreshadowing aren't you?) when we got to the hotel, but when we walked into the hotel room- everything fell apart. He was crying and upset that we were there. I was not allowed out of his sight and he was desperate to leave. My only conclusion is that he flashed back to the hotel in Guatemala and he was feeling that he was losing his "momma" again. We had already planned to meet up with 3 other families from my agency- 2 brought their girls home this year and one is on the Long Road Home with her son.
We headed out in the cab to the aquarium- NOTE to the hotel- it might be nice if you would warn folks that going to the aquarium on a home Football game Sunday is not a wise idea since we asked you for recommendations. In any case- what should have been a 10 minute taxi ride turned into 45 minutes and we were dropped off 1 block from the aquarium. We hung out until J family arrived. They are the ones on the Long Road Home. It was so great to see them and to be able to hug R. We headed off to look at the fishes, all the while, Little Bug was getting more and more quiet and more and more frantic if I was not touching him or right beside him. Everything fell apart at lunch, when he refused to eat and then he threw up. We cleaned him up and stay to watch the dolphin show- which he enjoyed and then headed out. We met one of the other families as we left but Little Bug was sleeping by that time. We had to walk out to Michigan Ave to catch a cab because by this time, the area was closed to traffic because of the football game.

Little Bug continued to go down hill after we got back to the hotel- it did not help that the conference started that night and I had to help with booth setup for the organization - part of my role as chair of the membership committee. I was able to eat dinner with Little Bug and my mom, but then I had to head down to the opening gala. Little Bug shut down completely and it was much like his reaction in Guatemala. He slept alot, but it was not good sleep and he would wake up when I came back to the room.

Monday- the conference started at 8:15 for me and we eat breakfast in the lobby- he ate nothing but 3 bites of yogurt. It was so hard to watch him struggling- he knew things were not right and he knew that the last time he was in a hotel, he lost everything he knew and loved and he was scared. He cried so much that he developed a constant sinus drip and chest congestion, and ran a low grade fever for the remainder of the trip. So between the schedule I had at the conference and the medication, he was not in the best place emotionally.

Monday night, I skipped the dinner and we headed to Navy Pier to the McDonald's- something familiar to him and a place that was fun. We saw the boats, rode a train and then rode the carousel and drove the motorized boats at the park. I saw Little Bug coming back - but then I tried to shop for some gifts for his first family and he completely melted down and we had to leave. I think if I had not said their names, it would have been OK- but I have been trying to tell him where we are going, what we are doing and why to help build his vocabulary and give him a sense of order and control in his day. This was so the wrong choice in Chicago. He fell asleep in the cab back (we walked to the Pier) and he continued to be out of sorts for the rest of the night.
I was so worried, I posted a prayer request to my yahoo group because I knew they would understand why he was struggling. Each of them is waiting for child or had brought home a child after a long wait and their children may deal with the same issue. I am so grateful to have them and to be able to pray with them as they need prayer. They are blessing and mercy from God in heaven.

Tuesday was a much better day- we found the McDonald's near the hotel so we could have breakfast there- Little Bug gets chocolate milk, a hash brown, and the fruit and walnut salad. I decided not to come back to the room during the conference after his reaction on Monday, so I got back to them after 5 pm. We walked to the park, played, saw fire trucks, and basically had a great day. Then I broke the rule again and tried to explain that Wednesday, we were going home. Well, that did it for the day- he was ready then and there was nothing to do to help him out.

Wednesday he did not eat more than 3 bites of food- he just wanted to be done with the whole trip. Even in the airport, he would drink juice but he would not eat more than a few bites. I knew he was losing weight and it was frighting me. His clothes were looser, his weight felt lighter in my arms and his back was much thinner. I just wanted to get him home.
We got back home at 8 pm- he said he was hungry, but he would only take his bottle.

This morning, he ate 3 bites of eggs and that was it. When I picked him up from daycare- he had not eaten anything all day- he refused it all. We went grocery shopping and then I fixed dinner for him. he asked for waffles and yogurt and THANK GOD he ate it. In fact, he asked me to make him more waffles and he dipped the waffles in the yogurt (not my idea of yummy food, but he liked it). He had fruit and jello before his bottle and he still drank 6 ounces of milk.

I can say this after this trip- knowing what I know now, I would have likely cancelled the trip- he was so stressed and lost almost 2 pounds in 4 days (he went from 26 pounds to 24 pounds). I am not sure it was the best physically for him. But, as others told me, now he knows that when we travel, we always come home together and I am not leaving him. Medically it was not a good trip. But on a bonding level, it was good trip. Given a choice, perhaps a trip in a few more months would have been better on a physical, medical and emotional level, but it is was it is and we got through it.

Little Bug seems better tonight- eating an playing. I think it might be a few more days/weeks before the whole thing can be processed, but we survived and sometimes that is all we can do.

Well, I should go sleep- I am still trying to catch up on sleep since I had a congested, burning with a fever Little Bug next to me for 3 nights and a "bear" in the other bed for 3 nights. I did not sleep well at all.

Love to you,
Momma Bug

Friday, September 14, 2007

A good week

Yes, momma, I can climb the monkey bars without your help (until I ge to the top and can't figure out what to do next- I was trying not to laugh and at the same time encouraging him to do it himself)
Throwing sand at Momma
Sand in his hair becuase the wind kept blowing it back at him when he threw it.
Swings!!! he loves to swing- he cried on Thursday night when i told him we could not go to the park.

Well Little Bug and I had a good week- his sleeping issues seemed to have resolved themselves- he did not go to nursery at church on Sunday- so hopefully I have pinpointed the issue for hte moment.

The weather final broke here and we got cooler temperatures. The highs were in the 70s and 80s instead of 90s and 100s. I think the entire midwest went out to the park this week based on other blogs I read. Little Bug and I went to the park 3 nights this week and we played outside here at home another 2 nights this week. It was great. Pictures are in this post somewhere. The first night at the park I did not have my camera (silly momma) and then the second night he got sick of me taking pictures and refused to look at the camera.

For T, MK and J- we need a Single Moms playdate at the park- the toddler area is all in shade in the evening and there are swings, slides, monkey bars, and SAND!!! Little Bug wore himself out playing at the park.

I will likely not get to post again until Saturday 22Sep2007- as I have a business conference in Chicago to attend next week. Little Bug will be hanging with Mam. So I have to wait to get pictures from her when I get back from the conference. I am meeting up with 3 families from my agency while I am there- so I might have pictures of that, but I can not post until I get home to my computer.

Well, it is late and tomorrow is a busy day.

Love to you,
Momma Bug

Monday, September 10, 2007

More fun and excitement

So in reverse order I give you some random pictures from the last few days.

These are from today- after dinner. Little Bug has decided that it is more fun to watch his tractor go down the little hill, then to be on it because... then he can run down the hill after it!!!
He is watching a little girl ride up the sidewalk on her tricycle- he kept saying bicycle to me. He really wants a bicycle- which Momma is going to get him for Christmas. Christmas, you say- yes Christmas, that way he can ride it in the relative safety of the basement or living room for a few months before he goes riding outside. And yes, he will get a bicycle helmet for his head. (bicycle/tricycle are interchangeable words in out house).
Going potty- yes, he did this all by himself. He started asking to go to the potty again yesterday. Of course, most of the time he refuses to take his diaper off, but that is OK. At least he is prepping for potty training again after my business conference in Chicago next week.
rocking in the chair in his room. He really likes to rock (that is a hint Mam and Pap for a Christmas present).
Sunday, Mam and Pap came over and played with Little Bug. It was Grandparents Day and they had dinner with us. We went to visit Grandpa Joe before they came over, so Little Bug got to see all the grandparents. The boys are having a great time.

Playing with the toys from the Hispanic festival.

Getting tickled by Pap.
Hanging with Elmo. Little Bug will pick Elmo up so long as I have turned it off. He was putting the sunglasses on Elmo.

This is the door knob and child proof handle on it. see the little hole- little fingers fit in there perfectly (who though this up)
The inside of the door showing the damage I did to it when I kicked it open. It can be closed, will not lock. Pap says we can cover the damage and the door will be fine if we put a lock up higher that Little Bug can not get to. It will be a temporary fix- I have to consider replacing the door as it will never pass the foster care home study inspection- but that is a few months away.
Scary, steep steps to the basement- the first step is shorten because the folks who lived in the house before me tiled the kitchen floor- I have almost fallen the stairs many time, actually did it once, narrowing missing the furnace repairman who was in front of me. I have watched Little Bug almost miss the step too when we go down to the basement- thus the reason I need to shut the door each time I go down the steps alone. He can make it down the steps just fine, he is very good at steps, but that first step is scary.

Well, I am off to cut fabric for a fabric swap I am participating in.
Love to you,
Momma Bug