Friday, August 30, 2013

Two Weeks of Two Kids

It's been two weeks of watching baby Charlotte.  Here's a little recap...

1.  I've learned the secret to being a good parent - be outnumbered.  With two kids, I can't do anything in my day except focus on the needs of the three year old and the two month old.  I'm more focused, I'm pushing my energy farther.  I think Levi has actually watched less TV in the last two weeks than he has all summer, so that's a good sign, right?

2.  On the other hand, having two kids sometimes make me feel like a worse parent - is Levi getting all the attention he needs?  Is Charlotte spending too much time in the infant playground while I attend to Levi?

3.   Things I forgot about a newborn
      a.  EVERYONE stars at you, wants to touch the baby, asks her name/age
      b.  There are times when there is nothing you can do but snuggle the baby and watch Netflix, and that's okay.
     c.  They sleep a lot!

4.  Levi has adjusted swimmingly.  Only once has he "hurt" her - and it was a complete accident.  He was trying to show her his Little People School Bus, and it slipped out of his hands and fell right on her face.  :(  He cried more than she did when this happened.

5.  If you have more than one kid, you are a super hero in my eyes.  I may do it for a few hours a day, but at 3:30 I'm off duty, and the rest of the evening is spent hanging out with my big kid and recovering.  You guys don't get a break like that, and for that, you have my utmost respect.

6.  I think I am going to be ready to join the 2 kid club as a permanent member when this school is over.

7.  It seems like Fridays are the major nap day.  For the last two weeks, on Friday the kids are wiped, fall asleep fast, and stay asleep long - even if it's in a weird location (see picture below for evidence from last week).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chocolate World

The weather in south central Pennsylvania was gorgeous today.  Days like this affirm my seasonal depression tendencies - I was on top of the world!!

After a morning of cleaning and playing, we headed to a park to celebrate a certain five year old and her upcoming trip to kindergarten.  A simple picnic by the creek, near a wonderful playground, with special people.  It was picturesque.

As the picnic wrapped up and Levi and Savannah finished playing (and throwing grass at each other), we decided to go visit Chocolate World at Hershey Park.  We had been to Hershey earlier this summer with Savannah, Jen, and Ricky, but never made it to the chocolate world ride, so it was fun to be able to do that together.

The kids loved the singing cows, the adults devoured milkshakes and cookies later.

Tonight, after an early bedtime routine, Levi was almost asleep when I heard some pretty serious grunting coming his room.  I went to check on him, and the smells hit me all at once.

I turned on the light, and got myself ready for a major number two clean up.  As I opened his diaper, Levi said with the most delighted voice,

"It's just like Chocolate World in there!"

Yes, it really was.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August Recap: Levi's Birthday

Oh sweet Levi, can you be three already?  Like I wrote on facebook today, I actually don't have trouble believing this is true because it feels like a lifetime of memories we've already made together. 

So many celebrations in the last few weeks...his birthday baseball party last weekend, a trip to the beach last week, a movie with Grandparents today, gifts, cupcakes, and a bedroom change.

When my sister decided she'd be visiting us from Florida in August, I knew I wanted to be able to include her in celebrating Levi's birthday. After our multi-age baseball game, I begged and bribed everyone to pose for a group picture.  Notice all the different teams represented?  Everyone wore their favorite sports team...such a fun theme.

Looking at this picture gives me a giant lump in my throat.  I see people who are nearest and dearest to us (although, there are a few key persons know who you are...).  People who have trudged with us in the crappy times and people who have joyfully soared with us during the happiest of times.  People who have loved Levi since he was just a desire in his momma's heart.  

I know, without a doubt, each one of these people would answer the phone in the middle of the night and be there for my little family when we needed it.  I know this, because they already have.

Levi's birthday is such a reminder to me of God's faithfulness...and not just because a childless couple became parents.  I see the beauty of an open adoption, I see the restoration of relationships, and of course, I see the enthralling joy of hope fulfilled.  Jess emailed me to say, "Levi is such a beautiful reminder that God is so very faithful to us, and He is working things for our good even when we can't see it. "

Sweet son, in your three years you have already touched so many lives. I pray that one day you, too, would know the faithfulness of the God who has been so faithful to your dad and I. I love your sensitive spirit, and even though I act like it's something you should grow out of, I kind of love that you're a momma's boy. I love the way you love your daddy, and the cute way you misprounce things as you learn the ins and outs of the English language. I love our early morning snuggles and the in-the-car singing time. These have been the best three years of my life, which is cool, because so far, they've been the best three for you, too.

Happy birthday, Levi!

August Recap : Sibiling Time

Oh my, what a whirlwind the last few weeks have been.  Everything has been leading up to today, Levi's third birthday, but let's rewind.

After our run...soooooo tired.
Two weeks ago, my sister, Wendi, blew into town via a 15 hour car ride with a cute pup named Annie in tow.  We spent time catching up, eating out, going to Target (of course), and (surprise!) running together.  Oh this girl has my heart.  I never thought I would treasure her as much as I do - I love the way adulthood looks on our relationship.  Maturity, growth, understanding, love.

In fact, I'm super grateful for both of my siblings...but more on that later.

So, at the tail end of Wendi's vacation in PA, her beau, Ethan, flew up to meet us!  Let's call him The Doctor, because, well, he is, and there are no other doctors in our family.  So, Wendi and The Doctor spent some time in NYC and then spent the next night traipsing around the metropolis that is Bowmansville Days.  I'm sure the two are so comparable.

Bowmansville Days was something out of a nostalgic dream.  It's a very small version of a fair - food vendors, games, entertainment, and people watching.  The food was just what we remembered from our childhood and the games were even more exciting.

"Let's play the dime toss."  (A game where you throw a dime in a cup, and if you get the dime in the cup, you win the cup.)

"Yeah, just what I want, a 1996 Garfield clear glass mug."

Lo and behold, when we walked up to the dime toss, there WAS a Garfield mug to win.  And my brother did us proud and WON it.  He may have blew through $5.00 in dimes, but it was worth every penny, er, dime.

The Cake Wheel required a quarter per play.  I put my one and only quarter on number 12 and number 11 was the winner.  The Doctor sauntered up to the board with a quarter and placed in on number 11.  "Don't pick 11," the carnie said, "it just won."  "Nah, I'll stick with it," said The Doctor.

30 seconds later, The Doctor and Wendi were walking away with a homemade shoo fly pie.

To round the winning evening out, with his last of 13 rings, Levi lassoed a 2 liter bottle of Shur Fine soda, and we took home some grape flavored fizzy stuff to wash down the shoo fly pie in a Garfield cup.

The next night my siblings helped Herb and I throw a banging party for Levi, and then we snapped a few pictures before we left.  My brother and sister mean the world to me and I am praying that the tie that binds us only grows stronger with time.

Also, Wendi, I'm ready for you to move back to PA now.  I think we can handle each other now. ;)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Necessary Post Filled With Poop Talk

I promised myself I wasn't going to overly talk about potty training and really try not to blog or facebook about it.  But seriously, when your kid nails it, you just want to shout to the world,

"My kid pooped on the potty!"

But, I regress.

I think what hit me harder was seeing pictures of a trendy new cloth diaper store, realizing I have NO NEED to shop there, and then,


just like that,

I have baby fever.

It might change after a good night's sleep.  But I think I am ready to entertain these conversations and talks now.

Good thing I can trial run 2 kids starting in a few weeks, continuing for the next 10 months.  Maybe that will scratch the itch?  If that point we'll start looking into writing a new chapter.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Best Thing

I've had lots of pregnant friends.  Some with babies long before I became a mom, some with babies born very recently.  I am familiar with the pregnancy/birth/newborn process.  In fact, I think I'm pretty knowledgeable about the subject for someone who's never actually experienced it.

Something I haven't experienced is watching someone else go through an adoption.

So, you can imagine my excitement when my friend Suzanne told me she and her husband were planning to adopt.  It was about a year after we brought Levi home, and all I could think was "Ugh, the wait."  I knew she would make it through, but I hated to even ask how the adoption process was going, knowing if there were exciting news to share, she would have already shared it.

Last month, prayers were answered.  Hopes were fulfilled.  Dreams came true. Meet McKenna Marie!

In January, I wrote about how the beginning of the new year always reminds me of the fun it was to start dating Herb and how each January I fall a little more in love with him, reminiscing about those days.  This summer, I realized that I get super nostalgic about Levi during the months of July and August.  Which makes sense... I want to celebrate the day I first learned of his existence, the day we got the call that Jen had picked us, the day we first met Jen and Savannah, and of course the day of Levi's entrance into the world.  Ahhhh!!!  How have three years passed already?

Did I mention today is the anniversary of the day we got the call?  August 2, one of the happiest days of my life.  (The video version of that day is here.)

A few weeks ago when Suzanne told me that she had received THE CALL, emotions and memories flooded over me.  What excitement and joy it was to remember those feelings of spontaneous parenthood.  One day you're just biding your time, trying to fill the space in your schedule and your heart with anything and everything, knowing it can only be filled by something weighing under 10 pounds, and the next day poof, you're a momma.

Hopes Fulfilled
I only wish miles, counties, and a big river didn't separate Suzanne and I!  When I went to meet Baby McKenna, we easily talked for six hours about the joys of parenthood and open adoption.  Of course, thinking and talking about that season of life gets me all sappy.

Two Little Dreams Come True
I hope that the amazing blessing that Levi is in my life is never lost on me.  I pray that I am always humbled by Jen's choice and faith in me as a mother for her child.  And I pray that every year when the weather is just a few degrees beyond my comfort level, I'm strongly reminded of God's faithfulness.