Monday, August 31, 2009
I put a lot of faith in getting pregnant naturally. This may be a big mistake, but I know it is possible. After having adopted I feel very confident that a second adoption is in our future. I have thought of surrogacy. I at the very least know for sure that I will not do IVF on my own body- well, 99.9% sure. How about I have one option? Know when I ovulate, have an abundance of healthy sperm ready and waiting and get two lines on a pregnancy test?
How did that turn out to be such an impossibility?
We had a charity yard sale a couple of months ago and someone very generously donated tons of baby girl clothes. They were newborn to six months, practically new and so cute. I went through the bags and pulled out each onesie and dress and thought who I could give these clothes to if they didn't sell. I wanted so badly to save the them in my attic just in case. There were little hats and shoes and an adorable teeny, tiny bathing suit. Maybe if I just kept the clothes that weren't purchased it would offer a better chance of having a newborn to hold. Will I ever have a newborn to hold? Is it really that important? I just do not know.
Infertility is exhausting because my emotions are all over the board. Some days I am absolutely fine with never having my child in my life from birth. I can accept I will never be pregnant. But, dammit those feelings just won't stick. Doubt creeps in. Sadness sweeps over me. Hope continues to hover and tingle my scalp that something will miraculously happen with our fertility. We will beat the odds.
I know that others in my life wonder if pregnancy will happen on its own. My SIL was going to donate her maternity clothes for the yard sale. The tote was labelled as such and I just could not let her put the items in the sale. She told me she didn't want to bring them over and would happily take them home. Just knowing those clothes are in her attic waiting for my chance to experience pregnancy leaves me with lingering hope.
I did, however decide to give away 2 books I have stored in a box for over three years. A pregnancy journal given to me and "What to Ex.pect When You're Ex.pecting." I bought this famous book when I was pregnant for 3 weeks. I remember reading the part about having a shooting pain in your right side meant it could be an ectopic pregnancy. I remember crying and knowing that was happening to me. I gave these 2 books to a good friend and cannot wait for her to be able to use them. They are of no use to me. She will use the journal and return the book if I ever need it. I felt very uplifted by giving these books away.
My son keeps me going. He fills my life with a sense of purpose. He is growing in leaps and bounds, and I am trying to soak everything in. We have moved to a "big bed." I had to buy new pants today because he has grown so tall. DH said that he has seen MinMan grow up in the past few days- his language is exploding, his mannerisms have changed. But, he still my baby. He allows me to experience motherhood. Without him I would be a mess. I would be empty inside trying to find meaning in my life. I would be feeling all the same draining and depressing emotions of being barren.
There are good weeks and bad weeks. I know I am lucky. I know everything will work itself out. I am truly confident in that. Today I am just feelings my emotions and letting them out.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I am so excited to announce our partnership with Lisa at Ellebows and More. She has created a signature hair clip for PFM and will donate $1.50 for each clip sold. They are adorable.
Visit her etsy shop to purchase our hair clip and shop all of her other wonderful products.
Don't forget to stop on by her blog as well.
Thank you, Lisa. I am so excited.
Here the picture of our clip. Too cute.
Random and Pandemonium.
What life is really all about.
1. MinMan has finally "heard" daddy us the "F" word and decided to say it as well. The interesting thing is that he puts an "a" in front of it so it is no longer a four letter word.
"Mom, af*ck." He has used the five letter word in context too. Hopefully this will pass soon.
Here's the conversation between DH and I.
Me: I've asked you to watch your language from now on.
DH: It's not a big deal. Society makes these words into "bad" words.
Me: Well, society is going to be the one judging me when he yells the F word out in the middle of the grocery store.
2. My MIL got a fire proof inspection done on her house. Did you know that leaving power strips on the floor can cause a fire? They recommend you attach them to the wall. Also make sure you clean the vent of your dryer not just the trap. The lint and debris that get caught in the vent cause a lot of house fires.
3. Two tips:
- use sandpaper to sharpen your scissors. Snip a piece of sandpaper a few times.
- release a stuck zipper by rubbing a candle along the teeth on both sides.
4. I took this picture from someone's blog this week and now I don't remember whose. If it was yours, let me know. I could use an Olympic swimmer in my uterus. All you need is one, right?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
- my hair
- my sensitivity
- my love for music
- my good driving abilities
Here is what I would not want to pass on to a biological child:
- my anxiety
- my self esteem issues
- my grumpiness in the morning
- my tendency to over think things
I cannot speak for my husband about what he thinks of his good traits v. bad traits. Although, it would be easy for me to come up with a list in my head.
One of the beautiful things about MinMan is that he does not have our genetics. There is the whole thing about nature v. nurture and the fact that he will inherit qualities and behavior skills through our parenting, but he has an entirely different gene pool. And, after being his mom for 15 months I see that he has some pretty terrific qualities that we may not have had the ability to pass on to a biological child. Aside from looks personality and disposition are attributes of an individual. I see MinMan's personality and disposition as being unbelievably amazing. He is so happy. I don't think my husband nor I are that happy on a daily basis. This kid goes to bed laughing and wakes up laughing. I was never like that. He has his moments, but he possesses a personality that simply glows.
People gravitate towards him. Old and young alike. It is an amazing thing to watch. He is so loving and endearing that he pulls people in with his winning smile. I cannot make it down one grocery aisle without him making at least 2 new friends. Because he engages people to say hello or respond to him, he makes them smile. And, many of them probably didn't go out that day to smile. Too bad. You just met MinMan.
Am I a bragging mom? Sure am. But, I'm not bragging about a person that I created. I'm bragging about a body full of genetics that have nothing to do with me. I am simply the lucky person that gets to raise this boy to manhood. I don't see his love of life and constant laughter changing. I see him being a dynamic and beautiful person. I see him inspiring others to be better people.
It is still difficult at times to know that my genes will not be passed on. It would be nice to see our combination of genes in a little person. But, with MinMan it is easier to forget about those worries. We could not have been put together with a better baby. We needed him and his upbeat personality and charm. He keeps us laughing and thankful that our stars aligned.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
A: Decorating, sewing, writing, reading
Q: Where do you live?
A: Rochester, NY- Western NY on Lake Ontario
Q: What do you do to relax?
A: Read and take a nap.
Q: Favorite weekend activity?
A: Not having to work! I am a REALTOR. I sometimes work 7 days a week.
Q: Dream job?
A: Being a published author and owning a gift shop.
Q: Favorite dessert?
A: Berry pies- any kind
Q: Favorite place you've visited?
A: Italy. I lived there for a semester in college
Q: Favorite childhood memory?
A: Going out on our boat where we would eat lunch, swim, water ski, and travel to vacation spots
Q: What is your fashion style?
A: Clean cut, mixing traditional pieces with trendy pieces. I like to wear dresses both casually and then dressed up with shoes and a bag.
Q: Favorite meal of the day?
A: Breakfast. I am a sucker for bagels and cream cheese.
Q: Guilty pleasure?
A: Watching Bobby Flay on Food N.etwork
Q: How would you spend an extra $100
A: A coffee, bouquet of flowers, pair of shoes, and a car wash!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For me it was the decline in health of my dad's father. My family was so fortunate to have all 4 grandparents alive into their 80's. I was 27 when my first grandfather passed away. At his memorial service I got to hear some of the most wonderful things about him. With these realizations came feelings of great regret as I realized that I did not know my grandpa as well as I thought. Then the sadness for my dad swept over me as I heard about how his dad raised him and how special he was as a father. I thought to myself, my dad just lost his dad. My sadness shifted to the loss my father felt- all the memories he had of growing up and all of the things he learned from his dad. The finality of my grandpa's death weighed in and the see-saw of grief and celebration when someone dies became transparently real. We could never speak to my grandpa again or hear his is sarcastic rants or opinions about liberal politics. It was a signifcant ending in my dad's life, and it was sad.
Being 27 I was able to look at this loss in the perspective of an adult and how I will feel when my parents pass. Hopefully I will be lucky enough to see them live well into their 80's. But, I took away with me the notion that I must know my parents for who they are as individuals now. I will take notice of their funny memories and quirks and laugh with them as much as I can. I will know them inside and out. This includes the story of my mom sneaking out of the house in high school. She was such a good kid that when she got caught her parents didn't even scold her, and her brother and sister were clapping and saying, good for you!
I know that my dad always was and always will be a person who loves to have a good time and has lived the work hard, play hard philosphy. His pockets are full of memories of hysterical times. They're brimming actually.
I decided to throw my parents an anniversary party about four years ago. It was an off-year, #34 because my mom's dad, Pop was very close to death. I wanted him to be there for the celebration so that my mom could have that memory with her dad; they were very close. For a gift I spent about 20-30 hours scanning and collecting photos of my parents and family. I toiled over making a digital slide show for them. Through this experience I ended up receiving a gift as well. While sorting through these wonderful photos I saw my parents lives from when they were born to Halloween costumes, riding their bikes, high school graduation photos, engagement, wedding, and all through the rest of their lives as they became parents, aunts and uncles, and accomplished in their careers. It was an amazing experience and very rewarding to show them the finished product. As the slide show played at the party I fought back tears the entire 20 minutes because my love for them poured out of me. They have had such beautiful lives together and apart. I hope my life is just as full.
The last experience that altered my outlook of the relationship between parent and child was watching my Pop's life end at 89 years old. He and my Nana lived in Florida for over 25 years. As his health declined further and further my Nana's health became affected by constantly taking care of Pop. They had to move back to Rochester. This inevitable change had been brewing for a few years, but there came a point where there was no choice. Their house had to be sold. My grandparents could no longer live so far away without any family. My mother and I went down to Florida to get Pop checked into the hospital so he could be transported up North and into the nursing home. It was one of the most gut wrenching experiences of my life as I heard Pop ask for one more night at home. He knew he would never be back. He would never sit in his favorite chair or live under the same roof as my Nana. He was leaving everything that was familiar to him, and he had no choice. It was the way it was- he was dying. My mom was so strong, but at that moment I saw a little girl having to parent her parent. All I could think of was the memories of days gone by and how this changed my mother's life forever.
Pop died not long after moving up to Rochester. With this loss the fact that times marches on and time is limited embedded itself under my skin and on the tips of my fingers. My thoughts and opinions changed. I no longer felt like a carefree young person who only had to worry about my own life and troubles. A transformation took place where much of my worry surrounds my parents and their happiness and health. I worry about losing loved ones. This is the ultimate lesson. Life is precious, and it cannot be taken for granted. There are some things that matter and so many things that do not. A grown-up sees this lesson and lives by it, abides by it, and never forgets it. Everything can change in an instant. We hear this often but tend to forget the tiny gifts life offers everyday. Whenever possible I take the time to notice the sun shining on my face, the taste of fresh fruit, and laughing and enjoying the company of special people.
Live life in the moment because we never get those moments back.
When did you know you were a grown-up?
I am proud to welcome many new readers that are of various backgrounds; their blogs focus on many different things such as cooking, their etsy shops, parenting, etc. My beginning goal was to use this blog as a means to promote Parenthood for Me. I had been blogging prior and absolutely loved it and saw its capability to reach others emotionally and make them feel better. After creating PFM I stumbled across many different bloggers that I now consider to be great friends, and all of them have helped my blog become better and better.
Parenthood for Me has reached this point because of the ALI community or Adoption, Loss, Infertility Community. The gathering place for this enormous group of wonderful blogs is due to Melissa Ford, founder of Stirrup Queens. If you read my blog roll you will find a minuscule number of the blogs on her blog roll. These are women (and men) who have fought or are fighting for the dream of parenthood- the losses are many and the grief is insurmountable. But, boy are these people tough.
If you are a new reader that does not fall in the ALI community, I am so lucky you have found me. I blog about many different things. Some examples are lessons I've learned in life, loss of loved ones, what the future holds, my family, my dog, Lucy and her silly antics. Mainly I blog about what is on my mind that day or week.
Thank you for your support. I am so appreciative. There really is no way for me to fully express how much my readers mean to me. It is so nice to feel like I am writing these words for a reason.
On that note I felt it important to point out something about my post Adoptive Parents Are Expecting Too. Many of the SITS girls who stopped by last week (ya) read this post and mentioned to me that while they learned a lot about the perspective of an adoptive parent, rude comments are also said to pregnant women, stepparents, unmarried women, and child free couples. I am here to acknowledge that I really do understand this. Since going through infertility I have a heightened awareness of just how insensitive people can be when it comes to marriage and children. Our society has created specific ideals, and when you don't or cannot live up to them it is like there is free reign to blurt out whatever comes to mind. While there have been many strides towards openness in our society, we have a long way to go.
I hear you. Why is it that if you are announcing the pregnancy of your third or (gasp) fourth/fifth pregnancy, people tell you you're crazy? Why do strangers feel like they can tell a pregnant woman that she looks like she is going to burst? Why are stepparents treated like they are not viable parents? Why if you are a woman past 30 and not married, people are allowed to criticize your life and choices?
I have learned to chalk it up to ignorance. Feeling like someone says an insensitive comment because they do not understand makes me feel better. If there is no malice, then there is room for education. We can all learn to say something to these comments that is just enough to get people thinking that maybe what they are saying is close minded and hurtful. And, maybe next time they should simply keep their thoughts to themselves. OR word their questions with more thought.
My new mantra: Think before you speak!
Friday, August 14, 2009
- During the week of September 20, restaurants across the country will participate in the Great American Dine Out, a campaign to help end child hunger in America. By eating at the venues listed at greatamericadineout.org, you will raise funds to support food pantries and other organizations that provide meals to at-risk kids and their families.
- 1.1 billion is the estimated number of people worldwide with no access to clean drinking water. Go to http://www.cdsdw.org/ to make a donation to a program that distributes PUR packets, a powder that makes potentially deadly water drinkable. For as little as $1, you can provide a child with fresh water for 50 day.
MinMan's Latest Top Ten
1. He is 2 and calls us Mom and Dad- it cracks me up.
2. His older friends taught him to say "Peace out homedog" and he says it as one of his salutations.
3. He now does poopy on the DL cause he know she should be going on the potty.
4. He says okay for yes so when I ask him does he mean yes he says okay. and round and round we go.
5. He climbs up everything. I caught him on the window sill the other day and on the very top of my dad's upright piano the other week.
6. He insists that I blow dry his hair when I am using it- oh and I have to get his toes too.
7. My favorite line," Mom, I dance." And, he has some moves!
8. He used to have "puppy dog" as his favorite. Somewhere along the line another stuffed puppy came to be a necessity at bed time. His name is One More Puppy. How simple.
9. Standing on the back porch we both call for Lucy. He yells, Lucy come louder than I do. I don't think she is pleased.
10. Everynight I say, Ti amo, buona notte ( I love you, good night). Recently he started saying before I do. Ti amo, buona notte over and over again until I shut the door.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
A big thank you to everyone who visited, commented and participated. It was an amazing experience.
Hello everyone and welcome! I am so excited to be featured today.
This blog is part of my non profit Parenthood for Me. We are a national non profit whose mission is to provide financial and emotional support to those building families through adoption or medical intervention.
My husband and I tried to conceive for 4 years with the help of Reproductive Assisted Technology. We did not have a successful pregnancy. After deciding being parents was more important to us than getting pregnant, we moved on to adoption. Our son came home at 15 months on June 3, 2008. Being adoptive parents has been a thrilling experience.
I blog about infertility, adoption, my life as a parent, and offer guidance and support to those going through infertility and adoption.
There are over 7 million Americans who suffer from the disease of infertility. People go thousands of dollars into debt simply trying to live out the dream of parenthood. Our foundation will be awarding grants in June 2010 to help ease some of the financial burden.
Visit our website for more information.
Today is my first shot at doing a Giveaway. One person will receive a package of notecards from our Artwork for Building Families Project and a Parenthood for Me tshirt.
Here are the rules:
Each comment equals one entry.
Comment one for visiting
Here is the tshirt. It is available in baby/toddler sizes 12 month-3T and adult S-XL.
If you do not win, these items are available for sale on our website- click here.
As I mentioned in a previous post I am on my third (and final) house. Our second home with four bedrooms and a big yard was bought in preparation for having babies. It was a true fixer-upper. I come from a family of people who buy fixer-uppers. In fact, when my parents bought the house they are currently in back in 1977 my dad's mom cried because the place was such a wreck. Their parents thought they were nuts for paying what they did. My parents saw the potential. They turned it into the beautiful Arts and Crafts home it once was. Now it is one of the best houses in town.
House number 2 was an Estate and we were only the second owners since it was built in 1941. It looked like they hadn't touched the decor since the 70's. We saw the potential. We owned this house for 4 years-our entire duration of infertility treatments. I was trying to get pregnant when we bought it, and we moved out one month after MinMan came home. I closed the door on that house and never wanted to look back. Way too many difficult times occurred behind those doors. New son, new house, new life.
Here's the house when we closed in 2004.
An example of wonderful 1950's wallpaper.
Here is DH muscle man pulling up the 30-40 year old carpet.
Next time I will show you before and afters of our current home.
Monday, August 10, 2009
When I got back my mom was showered and dressed. I asked what she did with MinMan while she was in the shower.
"Oh, your father watched him and it was hilarious."
MinMan told Papa he had to go poopy on the potty so my dad took off his diaper to set him on his froggy potty and saw that the poopy already came out!
My dad yelled upstairs to my mom, "What do I do?"
Seriously? I can imagine my dad was in a state of panic. He had to change a poopy diaper. Hah! That is my perfect moment. My father who doesn't like puppies or babies (he's not that bad) and was reluctant to become a grandfather four years ago had to change a poopy diaper.
Also, when I woke MinMan up from his nap and changed his diaper it was on backwards. LMAO.
On a side note regarding my dad and grandfatherhood when my niece was born nearly 4 years ago, he and my 2 elderly grandmothers and I rode up to the hospital together. As soon as we got off the elevator to see A., my dad took off like lightening leaving the 2 old ladies in his dust to catch up. I think that proves he really was excited to be a grandpa. All bark, no bight.
Check out more Perfect Moments and Lori's.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
We were looking for a girl. Finally one Friday in November we called on an ad that had one girl remaining from the litter. Somebody else telephoned that day saying they would be by to pick her up the next morning. The woman on the phone told me that if they had not shown up by the time we got there, she was ours. There were several male puppies as well so it would not be a wasted trip.
The next morning we took the 2 hour ride into the country to find our baby. We arrived at the house greeted by a five year old running from the front stoop. His parents came out and showed us the pups. There were 6 or 7 boys running around in a horse coral. Upon seeing us they flopped over licking our hands and fighting for attention. I will never forget that image. AJ inquired about the girl. "Yup, she's still here. She's inside all cleaned up waiting for ya."
I proceeded to go inside with the wife and she pulled the female out of a warm crate and said,"The other couple never showed. If you want her, she's yours." I fell in love instantly. I cradled her like a baby and walked out to AJ with tears stinging my eyes. He took one look at her and me together and said," We'll take her." After filling out the paperwork the owner took us on a little tour of the farm and showed us the mother. All of a sudden I turned to AJ and said,"Her name is Lucy." He agreed- as simple as that.
The car ride home with our little puppy was thrilling. We showed her off to everyone. She could charm anyone with those floppy ears and soft coat. Brittanies are notorious for their energy. She was a lot of work and still is. We know people whose Brittany lived until 15, and she was still acting like a puppy. They are a wonderful breed. Lucy is smart, funny, docile and shy.
A few months later AJ proposed. Our family was forming. Lucy was our baby and still is. She will always be my first baby. She has been a sort of therapy dog for me. I laid with her many a time weeping and petting her coat. She always gave me comfort. Wherever I go in the house, she's sitting down next to me. Unbelievably she will be 7 in September.
This is another example of how life works itself out. We would not have Lucy if the first couple came and took her home. She was meant to be ours.
This is the day she came home. Her first bath. She was 7 weeks old.
Friday, August 7, 2009
What life is really all about.
- 6.8 million pounds of garbage (about 3400 tons, or equivalent to the weight of 18 blue whales)
- 3.2 million cigarette butts (that is around 160,850 packs)
- 1.4 million plastic bags
- 942,620 food wrappers
- 509,593 straws and coffee stirrers
- 441,053 plastic utensil, cups, and plates
- 26,585 tires (enough for 6,646 cars plus a spare)
2) Win $100,000 to pay off your mortgage.
3) Luv Bug's new Internet alias.
About six months ago when my blog starting getting big I made the decision to keep his face and name anonymous. Luv Bug was the first thing that came to mind. He is getting older and I feel it is time to change things up to something that is more suitable. He is now Min Man.
4)In my continuous effort to stay away from malls and buying clothes, I did give in yesterday. However, I am proud of what I purchased. I went to M.arshalls and zoomed through the clearance racks. This is something I do not normally take the time to do. I figure it's all junk and I'm in a discount store already! Yesterday I bought a very cute pair of sandals for $5 bucks, a pair of THi.lfiger summery strappy shoes for $15.00, a tunic for $7, and a pair of Bermuda shorts good for work or play for $7.00.
5) Two great quotes I saw in Newsweek
- "I mean, imagine Cronkite with Twitter: "Man on Moon. OMG." "Nixon resigns.LMAO." Sean O'Brien, Rep. Mike Quigley's chief of staff
- 'Here, I'd get shot.' - President Obama speculating on what might happen if he tried to break into the White House, while commenting on Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest after a neighbor saw him trying to enter his own home.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Over the weekend my family went to our cottage in the Thousand Islands. It was only the third time Luv Bug has gone there. Our summer weather has been so horrible in Rochester that we haven't enjoyed usual summer activities: splashing in the kiddie pool, trips to our amusement park, and boat rides. At some point I will do a full post on the Thousand Islands because I haven't done it justice with my minimal explanations of what a piece of heaven it really is.
It is wonderful to have full days with my parents, AJ, and Luv Bug at the cottage. He had us in stitches all day long. What a ham. After he had gone to bed on Saturday night we were sitting around laughing at his winning personality and hilarious antics. We talked about the first week he came home last summer.
Somehow it came up that within 2 days of him coming home we were to call the head of the agency here in the US, Cecelia who is a native Korean. She likes to talk to the child over the phone to soothe them through the adjustment. We called her the first full day he was in Rochester. It was a big moment. He held the phone and listened to Cecelia speak to him in Korea, a language he hadn't heard in almost 2 days. His eyes lit up, and he listened to what she said intently. My mother asked what she told him. She said," You are finally home. You will be very happy and have a wonderful life with your mommy and daddy."
This is what she told my 15 month old baby 2 days after he left his foster mother, Ama (mommy in Korean). He seemed content with this, and after that last step, we moved on as a new family.
"You will have a good life. You will be very happy." she said.
Oh, Luv Bug, if you only knew what a good life we now have, how happy we are and will always be. To be your Mom and Dad (he now calls us Mom and Dad!) is the biggest gift I have ever received.
Oh, Luv Bug, you are the light of my life.