Thursday, November 29, 2007

A different kind of FFF

Friday, 30Nov2007, it is the 6th month anniversary of coming home with Little Bug.
People told me that the days would fly by- they were right; people told me that the days would drag by- they were right; people told me I would forget all the pain of the waiting- they were wrong, that is still with me and is there each day.
But this post is not about the wait or the pain or the sadness or that I cry for friends who were in process before me and with me, who are still waiting for their homecoming day.
No this post is about 6 months of living my dream of being a momma. This is about the truth, that one smile, one look can take you in, that love is a gift and that love is overwhelming. This is about the changes in one little boy and one momma- but mostly about one little boy.

This is our embassy day photo. I am worn out and Little Bug is in shock- this picture is hard to look at and to realize all the grieving that was yet to come. But it is the start of our journey as a family. One of us should have come to this day with joy (me) and one did come grieving (Little Bug) and 2 other families are there in the shadows mourning their loss (Little Bug's first family and his birth family). I came to this day with my emotions pushed down- too many disappointments, too many times my hopes were shattered, too many delays and lies. So what should have been a wonderful day, was just a day filled with dread that something more would go wrong, that my dream would be snatched away at the last second and I would be left shattered.
This is our picture from the airport in Guatemala on Friday 01Jun2007- still one shocked Little Bug and one momma who has no clue what is to come. Still I am thinking that something will go wrong, that Little Bug will not be allowed into the US, that our plane will crash, that maybe I had made a mistake (horrid thoughts I know, but they were there).
July 2007- a happy Little Bug- eating peas and loving life. Momma is still working on getting it right - because there has to be a formula, right?
August 2007- not a birthday picture- but a picture where I see both of us relaxing more with each other and learning to trust. This is the real beginning for me or accepting that things will not go wrong, that we are a family and that this dream is going to be a wonderful reality.
September 2007- the light is breaking through (I love this picture because of how we are bathed in the light. God is watching over us both. Little Bug is showing more of who he is and I am showing more of who I am and we are really connecting. Family is there- we are not just 2 people in a house.
October 2007- Little Bug is coming more into his personality. Quite challenging at times, but certainly a joy- even when I am complaining about him waking up at 4:30 am, 4:50 am, 5:30 am, 6 am. I know his moods- I see his thoughts, I see the influences I have and I see the influences his first family has.
November 2007- Just being his wild self in the morning. More and more, it is about us- less and less my thoughts turn to "how would Little Bug's first family deal with this". I feel comfortable - really comfortable as a parent. I still question things- but I am a first time parent. But more and more I rely on my instinct when faced with new situations for us. More and more I am carving out our family rituals and traditions, making us a family.

And finally- not a picture from December- but a picture from tonight, the eve of 6 months home as a family. Having a great time playing with Momma. Still there are struggles- an over tired toddler and an over tired momma are not a good mix. But we get through it and we both love each other.

We have come along way since that Friday in June and we have along way to go. I can say, being a single mom is hard work and even so, I would not change this for anything. My life has a purpose and a focus that was lacking before Little Bug came into my life. We are a family: small, not all knitted together yet, but a family.

i doubted God's plan, his timing, his purpose for me through the years and the adoption, but I don't doubt now. His plan was perfect, his timing was perfect- the pain was part of it and will always be a part of it. But God has used the pain, the waiting and the struggle for his glory. Little Bug and I are doing our part for God's Glory.

Thank you for reading our story and encouraging me to be a better momma.

Love to you,

Deb AKA Momma Bug

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Swim lessons and other musings on life with the toddler

So we'll start off with the musings tonight. There are many folks I know who are looking at bringing home toddlers- toddlers who need and want to be held. Here is what my wrists looked like today wrapped in Therma Care heat wraps for 8 hours. Carrying the toddler (his nickname when we are at odds) has likely exacerbated a condition in my wrists from when I was on crutches for 6 months in a non weight bearing cast- remind me to tell you all about that adventure one day. But, basically my wrists hurt to high heaven some days and nothing helps. Even these new wraps don't do the best job- but it is better than nothing. They really need the heating part to come around onto the side, not just stay on the top of the hand. Little Bug and my sister thought I had done something pretty spectacular to my hands based on their reactions. I would advise finding a way to carry your toddler that does not involve daily pressure on your wrists.
Tonight was the second swim night of the week. We meet up with another single mom and her toddler (also from Guatemala) and we have parent and child swim lessons. Little Bug and I arrive early so he gets play time in the water park. This is him entering the water- very cautiously as there were some bigger, unsupervised kids running back and forth.
testing the temperature of the water. I keep him in a tee shirt now because the water is usually cool enough that he turns the color of his shirt in 10 minutes if he does not have a tee shirt on. Tonight, they turned up the warm temperature and Little Bug got to play/swim for an hour before he started shivering.
There is the chute system that he loves.
I think he would stay at this spot for the entire night if I would let him

Yep- this is what every toddler needs to put them back on track
splashing Momma
Considering how to climb up in the chute system- he seriously tried it every time he got near the chutes and I was far enough away
Since Momma will not let me climb into the chutes, I will just swing from the chutes.
In swim class, he finally did the motions for "paddle, paddle, reach, reach", "kick, kick", "blow bubbles". he also climbed out of the pool on the side, hung on the side for 5 seconds and then "jumped" into the water (Momma's arms). The instructor said that next week, we could try him in the floating belt so that I could be in front of him and he would have to come to me, versus me holding him. He was so excited tonight. I am glad I did not give up on the swim lessons.
Next week, I will be taking a few days to switch my computer- so I will not be blogging. Hopefully I can get all my files moved from my old home computer to the new home computer in a couple of days, but it might take a little longer. I also have to travel for business. So combined, I don't think I will post anything after this Saturday 01Dec2007- until 08Dec2007. Hopefully the post on 01Dec2007 will hold you until I am back to blogging. I am considering changing the layout on the blog too- so the added time will allow me to get it set up the way I want.
Well, I am tired and the wrists are hurting. Love to you all,
Deb AKA Momma Bug

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Musings on life with a toddler

So, no pictures tonight- there will be some tomorrow- my sister is taking pictures of Little Bug through the day. I might also try to get some pictures of him at swim lessons.

I thought I would speak to the interesting events that happen in the house with Little Bug- in particular- events with KEYS.

Friday, Little Bug and I ran some errands in the morning and when we came home, I put my keys on the desk in the living room rather than hang them up. Little Bug was playing and having a good time. I left the room and did some laundry and then we decided to go out again to the grocery store. My keys were gone. I was freaking out- I do have an extra set of keys, but my YMCA membership fobs are on the key chain that was lost. I looked everywhere, called stores and turned the house upside down looking for the keys. I called Mam and Pap to see if the keys were there. Finally, we left the house using the other set of keys, but the whole time, I was racking my brain trying to figure out where the keys had gone.

Later that night, as I watched Little Bug play with an empty purse, the light bulb went off in my head. I got the purse back from Little Bug, opened it up and there were my keys. The toddler magnet is in full force in Little Bug. Ye,s anything you have that he wants is fair game. I have learned my lesson- no keys on a surface that Little Bug can reach.

The same rules apply to Christmas tree ornaments- every time he walks by the tree- he reaches out and touches the ornaments. I had to move some ornaments to higher branches last night so that he would stop touching them and lessen the risk of the ornaments being broken.

We'll have to see what else he can find in the coming weeks.

Tonight, he and I took a drive through our neighborhood to look at lights on houses. Yes, it is early, but he is so excited to see them- OH WOW, OH WOW, OH WOW are the words from the backseat. I can't wait to take him out again when there are more lights up and to take him to the zoo in a couple of weeks- they have thousands of lights and so many neat things.

Well, I am off to finish Christmas Cards- they are going out this weekend- if you would like one, send me your address.

Love to you,
Deb AKA Momma Bug

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Falling leaves, decorating trees and mystery meat

These pictures span the rest of the weekend.

On Saturday,w e had breakfast with my parents and then did some Christmas shopping- for the Little Bug only- and then headed back to my parents to help rake leaves with my dad (Pap). Little Bug even got his own little rake- although it was best if you stayed well away from him- he used it as a weapon most of the time. The pile of leaves was too much to resist and he jumped right in.
Then he decided to lay down in the wet leaves (thank goodness for flannel lined jeans and a water proof jacket.
He is laughing and smiling in this picture- you just have imagine you can see and hear it.
Buried under leaves by Mam
Mam working on the pile

Little Bug practicing his weaponry skills with his rake
"I am the Leaf Master"
That night we started decorating the tree- Little Bug adding a snowman, I think.
Adding a Santa

Momma trying to direct the Little Bug on placement of ornaments (it really did not work)
Still trying- we have about 1/2 of box more of ornaments to put up. We should get them up by the end of this week. I also have to get the Christmas cards finished. If you would like a Christmas card- please reply with your address (I will not publish the comment) and you will be added to our list.
On to the mystery meat: Ever since Little Bug has been home, he has turned his nose up at hamburger if you say that the meat is hamburger. he eats meat loaf (thanks El) and he will start to eat a hamburger at McDonald's- but he stops as soon as he hears that it is hamburger.
Tonight we had potato pancakes and Yummy (hamburger). As you can see, he eating it.
In fact, he ate a full hamburger (with katsup) and kept asking for more. he barely ate the potato pancakes- but maybe next time.
So just in case we are coming to your house and having hamburgers with you- just call them "Yummies" and Little Bug will eat like there is no tomorrow.
I hope you had a wonderful, peaceful, blessed holiday weekend
Love to you,
Deb AKA Momma Bug

Friday, November 23, 2007

Snow and more Christmas decorating

We had our first snow of the season this morning. My roses look great with snow covering them. I bundled up the Little Bug (yes, mom- I serious never thought about doing otherwise- stop laughing now) and took him out back to see the snow. The snow was sticking to his slide and I realized I need to get the garden hose put away.
Little Bug took a very short walk into the grass and declared that he was done-"all done snow". Poor baby, momma completely agrees with you. Once I have seen snow for the season, I am ready for no more snow - but it just beginning.
Cleaning off the slide.
Cleaning up the counter in the kitchen. Little Bug woke up from his nap while I was cleaning off the turkey bones- we had 3 pounds of turkey meat left from Thanksgiving. He decided that he wanted to help me clean up. I cleaned first then let him wipe down the counter one last time.
After lunch, we hung Christmas lights. This involved the 8 foot ladder - thanks Pap, Uncle Dave holding the ladder and me hooking the lights to the gutter. We need one more set of lights and it will be done. Little Bug supervised.

Here he is telling me that I need my gloves on- it is too cold for bare hands!!!
Still working on the lights.
Little Bug bored with it all and deciding that the porch swing was a better place to supervise from.
Little Bug finally met the kitties. This is Snickers deciding that she has had enough of this kid who just want to pet her.

Uncle Dave did get them close together for a few seconds.
After hanging out and playing - we headed outside to look at the lights- the picture of our house did not turn out- so I will try again tomorrow. But this is the neighbor's house.
This is the same neighbor's house with the flash turned off on my camera. Little Bug is pointing out something on the train. Tomorrow it is off to the post office to mail a package to Carlos, Mireya, and Family. Then we are helping Pap rake up the leaves in his yard. Then we are finishing up Christmas shopping with Mam and I might get my Christmas Cards completed and ready to be mailed. Yes, it is a long day.
Love to you all,
Momma Bug

Thursday, November 22, 2007

First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is by far my most favorite holiday- it is just food, family and football- what more could a girl want?

This year, it is more- it is being a family, it being thankful for Little Bug's first family (see their comment in the previous post- we all cried today when we read it), it is being thankful for Little Bug's birth mother and the difficult choice and position she was put in, it is being thankful for be given the awesome responsibility of being Little Bug's Momma and knowing that this is what I was meant to be.

We have some traditions in our family. The day starts with cinnamon rolls. My mom used to make them from biscuits dipped in butter and then in cinnamon sugar mix. I resort to the rolls in a can- 2 varieties. here they are ready to go in the oven. Little Bug had his yogurt while the rolls were cooking- He does need a balanced diet.
Rolls are done and I ma busy sauteing the onions and celery for the stuffing.
Rolls are iced and ready for eating- there are orange cinnamon rolls and cream cheese icing cinnamon rolls
Uncle Dave and Little Bug enjoying the rolls. Little Bug had had enough of me taking pictures and he is letting me know he needs a break.
Then the parade comes on. We watch the Macy's parade. I must say, they need to focus on the parade more and talk less. Little Bug was less than interested until Ronald McDonald came on the screen- then he thought it was cool. He did remark on the singing and dancing.

Mam and Pap arrived during the parade and Pap offered to peel potatoes. Pap's tradition is to eat a raw potato. He is cutting a piece for Little Bug.
Little Bug licked the salt off the potato and declared that he was done. Pap has never seen someone just lick the salt off the potato
Another attempt to get Little Bug to eat the potato- still did not work.
Me- washing and cutting up the potatoes so they can be cooked. I look at this picture and wonder when in the heck did I start looking like my mother? Some changes are coming because I am too young to look like my mother.
One done turkey!!!! We planned on eating around 2 and it was 1:30 when we sat down to eat. This is 20 pound turkey- by far the biggest turkey we have ever had for Thanksgiving.

All the food set out on the buffet- cream cheese stuffed celery, cranberry sauce, stuffing cooked outside the turkey, crescent rolls, stuffing cooked in the turkey, way too many mash potatoes. Not seen- gravy and peas- they were still cooking.
Nene having his turkey, potatoes and peas. He ate the turkey, some potatoes and cranberry sauce from my plate.
The big table, Tink, Mam, Nene, Pap, Uncle Dave
The little table, Uncle Darrell, Lulu, Koki (exchange student from Japan), Jas

Little Bug just about done- he is starting to play with his potatoes.
Dessert- Pumpkin pie and Apple pie. Little Bug did not want either- he wanted the whipped cream. His comment on this spoonful "too big" and then he put it all in his mouth.
Cleanup was done, everyone left and we watched football. This is about 5 pm- Little Bug and Momma resting on the couch. I am tired, Little Bug is just catching his second wind.
Uncle Dave resting on the other couch- he did sleep for about 15 minutes- Little Bug and I both heard the snores!!!
Little Bug was done resting in 15 minutes, I took a little longer- but then I decided that Little Bug needed a bath and once we were done with that----

The Christmas tree came out!!! Yes, I waited until after Thanksgiving was over to put it up- Uncle Dave thinks I am crazy, but I am excited. Little Bug was so excited to see the lights. Tomorrow we are decorating the tree and putting up lights outside.

Here is Little Bug pointing out the BLUE light to me.
I even brought out Little Bug's tree from last year- it is covered with ornaments I bought for Little Bug last year and then it became the only tree I had up last year. It stayed up until he came home - really I think it stayed up until the weekend of his birthday- I only took it down because so many people were coming over for his birthday and I did not want to be too strange (yes, I am already strange enough)
Another picture of Little Bug and the tree.
And another one.
So that was our day- a day that I have been waiting for for years. It was everything I wanted it to be and I am so happy tonight.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I wish you a joyous holiday season.
Love to you,
Deb AKA Momma Bug