Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two Months in Review...

Our baby boy is two months old today, which is more than a little hard for me to believe! He is growing so much, and he seems to learn something new every single day! Lately he's started babbling a lot, which is music to my ears! We go to the doctor tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to what they have to say, but dreading Charlie's shots.

The last two months have flown by in a whirlwind, but at the same time, there have been some deliciously slow days too. I feel so fortunate to have been able to drink in the sight of my son, and memorize his features. This time with him has been priceless, and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my days.

Charlie is a sweet little boy who loves to cuddle, and who smiles a lot. He is everything I've ever dreamed of, and I already can't imagine or remember what I did before he came home. It seems impossible, but I fall more and more in love with him every single day.

My new role as "Mommy" has been everything and nothing I expected all at the same time. The job has been both easier, and harder than I ever thought it would be. There are times when I look at Charlie, and the years that lie ahead seem absolutely daunting. I so want to do everything right by him, but I know I won't. Then there are times when I look at his sweet face, and I am reminded that sometimes love really is enough.

I actually enjoy washing his cloth diapers, and keeping his bottles clean and ready to go. I've never been an immaculate house keeper...and I'm still not, but I do force myself to do at least the basics most days now. I guess the responsibility of chores seems to matter a little more now that there's another person living here.

Charlie is beginning to fall into more regular and predictable patterns these days. He has specific cries for specific needs, and I'm getting pretty good at identifying what he's trying to tell me right away. We have little mini "conversations" now, where he says something in his sweet baby babble, and I respond. We go back and forth until he seems to get tired. He started grasping at objects this week, and he loves to lie under his monkey mobile, or his play mat and coo or bat at his toys.

Michael and I cuddled with him, and sang to him in our bed for about an hour tonight. He was fussing some, and seemed unsettled, but when we started singing, he was quiet and listened intently. We sang all the songs we could remember from our collective childhoods, and little Charlie seemed content. We both truly love being parents, and we are growing into our respective roles a little more each day.

I've been trying to explain in words how this all makes me feel, and even though I can't truly quantify my experiences as a new mom, I can say that I am genuinely fulfilled in my life right now. There were moments of happiness and joy before, but never true fulfillment. I feel at one with myself, and at peace on a deep level these days. I guess the bottom line is that I've been a mom for a long, long time now. The difference is that I'm finally practicing my craft...and loving every moment!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dancing Feet

I had a special Charlie moment yesterday that I don't want to forget. I was having breakfast with my sisters, one of whom was holding the boy. She passed him over the table to me so I could try to feed him a little more. He saw my face and grinned a huge grin. As if that wasn't enough for my mother's heart, I was holding him upright in front of me with his feet on the table and he started kicking his little feet in excitement at seeing me! It looked for all the world like he was dancing! He was babbling and smiling, and heart just melted 1,000 times over again!

He is so incredibly precious to me.

I absolutely LOVE being "mommy" to this amazing little man, and the knowledge that he is now recognizing me and showing his excitement at seeing me. Well, it's almost too much for me to process!

I am so hopelessly in love, and I am really going to be in trouble when I have to learn how to discipline this little person! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

First Father's Day

Happy First Father's Day to all you new dads out there! We had a great day yesterday, despite Charlie's daddy feeling a little under the weather. First we opened presents at home, then we headed over to my parents house where we had dinner with my family. My dad cooked a bbq feast for everyone, despite the fact that we should have been the ones cooking for him!

Michael and Charlie both had a great day, with lots 0f hugs and sweet moments between them, which is a sight that still hasn't gotten old for me! I love to watch them interact and play with one another, and I'm so happy to finally be able to share the awesome journey of parenting with the love of my life!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Every So Often... still hits me like a ton of golden bricks, I AM A MOM!

Mostly, we are settling into a routine, and life with Charlie is beginning to feel more like normal life, with A LOT more joy in the mix. Tonight, reading my dear friend, Rebekah's excited posts, I am brought back to that time only seven short weeks ago (was it really only seven weeks ago?) when our precious son entered the world.

Actually, the day he was born we had no clue. I was sitting in my doctor's office that day, on the verge of tears about how long our wait was becoming, and my feelings of despair. Who knew that only a few hours before, the winds of great change had already begun to shift in our direction?

There are so many things on my mind tonight. I want to write posts about racism in America, about marriage after children, about how to talk to children about adoption, about the current adoption book I'm reading, about my relationship with my dogs after baby, there is just so much I want to say...and yet no real frame for any of it in my mind. I feel jumbled and all over the place.

Plus, I need to go to sleep while I have the chance.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Shower for Charlie

Yesterday was the big Charlie's shower! As I drove up to my parent's house, this was the sight that greeted me:

As soon as I saw the balloons, I got teary-eyed. This is a moment I have been waiting for my entire life, I really couldn't believe my baby shower was finally happening!

Let me begin by saying my family is amazing! My two sisters, who are also my two best friends are simply beautiful women. Of the many blessings in my life, Nan and Holly are at the top. They have been there through thick and thin my entire life. It is such a tremendous comfort for me to know there are always two people who will love me no matter what, and to whom I can look for support through the good times and the bad.

These awesome aunties, along with my mom worked really hard to plan a beautiful shower for me, and for baby Charlie. Despite my initial fears that we would also have literal showers, the day was perfect in every way! The food and decorations were simple and elegant, there were friends there from all important areas of my life, the weather held out, and I genuinely had a great time celebrating our little miracle.

Two of my best friends from all the way back in high school also came to the shower. We've known each other for almost 20 years now, and we've always managed to keep track of one another through the years. Both of these women drove up to Michigan from Indiana just for my special day. It was quite an honor for me to have them there, and I am so thankful we had a chance to talk and catch up a bit.

And then there's my mom. She is my inspiration in so many ways. Truly a woman I look up to as I go through my own life. She is always there for support when I need it, and she gives some of the best advice I've ever heard. She is an amazing gardener, a writer, a wonderful "Ema" to all the grandchildren, and above friend through thick and thin.

We were blessed with so many gifts for Charlie. One of the highlights of the day was when I opened this gorgeous handmade quilt from my friend, Kim. This is themed after one of my all-time favorite children's books, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. It is absolutely lovely, and it even has Charlie's name stitched along the edge of the fabric. I am honored to have such a work of art for my son.

There were also many other gifts, for which I am extremely thankful. The living room was already fill after we unloaded all the goodies from the car last night, but after my Target shopping spree today...using the much loved gift cards I received, our little room was overflowing with a smorgasbord of baby things...what an incredibly delightful sight for these sore eyes!

All in all, the day was everything I have ever dreamed of. I am so honored and humbled by the outpouring of love and support we have received as we have welcomed our precious son into our lives. These are moments of my life that will never be forgotten, and I am so grateful to feel so completely loved. I don't want to bog down my blog with too many more photos, but if you're on my Facebook, you can see lots more there!

Friday, June 12, 2009


My iPod has been at the repair shop (i.e. Michael's computer) for quite a while now, which means I've really been missing my music. I have an entire playlist of children's songs from the time when I was a nanny. I've been anxious to play some of my old favorite songs for Charlie, and today I finally got that chance. {Thanks, Hubby!!}

We were all sitting in the living room, listening to the music when "Godspeed" by the Dixie Chicks came on. This one caught me completely off guard, and man did the tears fall! Amongst all the songs I've sung to Charlie, I had temporarily forgotten about the this one, an all time favorite. I remember driving down the road, literally years ago, listening to this very song, and crying as I prayed for a baby to whom I could sing this someday.

If you've never listened to these words, you should...they totally tug at my heartstrings. As we listened today, and I realized I now have my so very longed for baby, I overflowed. It's even more perfect because Charlie is the wonderful boy that he is. I'm so happy to have had this moment today, siting with my husband and our son. I don't think I'll ever forget about this song again, even for a minute!

"Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)"

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, will find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "Amen," wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eight by Eight

I’ve been tagged… thanks, Sarah!


  1. Charlie's Baby shower this Saturday
  2. Working on Charlie's baby album for the first time
  3. The smell of port tenderloin simmering in the crock pot
  4. Cleaning out the hall closet
  5. Getting the monster TV out of our guest bedroom
  6. Trying to make a serious attempt at cloth diapering Charlie
  7. The month of July, and all of the visitors (Auntie Maggie, Auntie Molly...maybe Auntie Sherri??) it will bring!
  8. Hearing Charlie laugh again (the first time was last night...SO dang cute!!)


  1. Processed pictures
  2. Had some quality time with Michael and baby...Daddy didn't have to work!
  3. Organized Charlie's changing table
  4. Went to Eastern to meet with fellow AEYC-EMU officers for next year. Got to see several school friends who hadn't met Charlie yet...lots of hugs and good feelings.
  5. Ate some yummy frozen strawberries
  6. Changed lots of diapers and made lots of bottles
  7. Sealed a few more birth announcement envelopes
  8. Read the blogs of my awesome blogger buddies


  1. Bring Mum back so she could meet little Charlie
  2. Get my hair cut
  3. Know more about Charlie's birth family
  4. Take a really hot shower with magic soap and wash about 40lbs off (good one, Sarah!!)
  5. Find a way to have "a place for everything and everything in it's place" in our tiny, overflowing humble abode
  6. Get paid for blogging (I like this one too, Sarah!)
  7. Weed my garden and then never have to weed it again
  8. Publish a book about adoption and our story


  1. You might not
  2. believe me, but
  3. I really don't
  4. watch very much TV
  5. Desperate Housewives
  6. Ashes to Ashes
  7. Fringe
  8. Breaking Bad


  1. Anything Italian
  2. Anything Mexican
  3. Pomegranates
  4. Almost all other fruit, esp. cantelope, pears, oranges, bananas
  5. Whole tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad (yummy summer!)
  6. Homemade Spaghetti with lots of fresh veggies
  7. Homemade meatloaf
  8. Tuna casserole = comfort food


  1. Scotland
  2. Toronto
  3. Montana
  4. Washington D.C. & Maryland
  5. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  6. California
  7. Florida
  8. Tennessee


  1. All 50 states
  2. New Zealand
  3. Australia
  4. Italy
  5. Paris
  6. Russia
  7. Toronto (again)
  8. Scotland (again)


  1. Jessie at Picture of My World
  2. Brooke at Dinkypops No More
  3. Michelle at Bloggin' in Style
  4. Jamie at On Wings of Hope
  5. Alicia at Pieces of Me
  6. Debbie at Always & Forever Family
  7. Eileen at Waiting for Baby
  8. Andi at The Many Faces of KJ

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My List of Essentials

OK so we really had to hit the ground running with this whole parenting thing. As many of you know, I had squandered away a few things here and there, but we really hadn't purchased anything significant.

Though I do like the idea, I'm not exactly what you'd call a minimalist mom. Still, I have discovered that you can get by with a lot less baby stuff than the registry check lists would have you believe. Following is my list of the baby gear that I'm pretty sure I couldn't have lived without these past weeks...or at least that I wouldn't have wanted to live without:

Infantimo Sling Rider -

I have absolutely loved the freedom and comfort of knowing that Charlie is right there with me, but still being able to get some things done. Without this little treasure, there's no way I would have been able to do as much picture editing and blogging. I LOVE this, and so does Charlie...we honestly couldn't do without this one!
Miracle Blanket -
Even though our little Houdini still somehow manages to get his hands out, this thing is great for encouraging healthy sleep habits. In fact, I could use one or two more, because our nights are noticeably different when this is dirty.

Vibrating Bassinet -
See photo above...this has been great for us. I have been in no way ready to have Charlie in a different room of the house while we {attempt} to sleep, so this is the perfect solution. This was given to me by my awesome older sister, so I'm not sure where she purchased it...but they are everywhere. Since the world can seem like a big, scary place to babies who have been in the womb for nine months, bassinets offer a peaceful transition between womb and big crib. We love this, especially because it's on wheels and can be easily moved around. As you can see, he sleeps very peacefully in said bassinet. :)

Little Lamb Baby Swing -
This was given to me by my girlfriend from school, Karen. This was an extremely generous gift, and I am so grateful. It is a very cushy little spot for Charlie, and he loves to watch the mobile spin around. I like the fact that it has several different speeds, it can swing both back-and-forth and side-to-side, and it has several different musical themes. This is one of Charlie's favorite places to be when we're not holding him.

Bottle Sterilizer -
Without a dishwasher, this gives me comfort that I'm getting Charlie's bottle nipples really clean. I still have to do a quick wash before sterilizing the nipples, but it's much easier than any other method I could use.
Carseat and Stroller -
These are obvious, I know...but if I could have bought anything before placement, this would have been it!

Changing Table -
Our pediatrician recommended having one consistent place where we change Charlie so that he begins to associate diaper changes (i.e. quality time with us) to one specific place. This was part of the fabulous gift from my family when they decorated our nursery on Charlie's homecoming day...I couldn't have chosen one I liked better if I had been there to pick it out myself. I guess they know me pretty well! This is also great for organization and keeping things clean. I like having everything in one place, and knowing that if Charlie does manage to pee sans diaper, the mess can be easily cleaned up. Changes here and there - on the bed, floor, or couch - while convenient, aren't super friendly to parents...this changing table is also a back saver for us, which is a plus!
Pacifiers -
It sort of goes without saying, but these little gems are definitely necessary! I could see the exception being a mom trying to breastfeed b/c this can interfere with the latching on process, but otherwise these are a definite! The thing that has surprised me though, is how many we need! We lose them all the time, and our dog eats I'm constantly buying new pacifiers when I go to the store.
Nasal Aspirator -
Gross, I know...but truly a must have for a tiny baby. Charlie gets really stuffy, especially when he first wakes up in the morning. This tool makes the job easier and less messy!
Baby Bath Tub -
This is handy because it can be used either in the sink, or in the bathtub. It's also lightweight, and it hangs on the shower rod when not in use. It makes things a little easier when dealing with a slippery newborn...which, regardless of prior experience, can be a pretty daunting occurrence!
Playtex Bottles -
Bottles are obvious, of course...but I have to include them in my list. I chose Playtex drop-ins because they are the closest thing to breast feeding. The bag mimics a deflating breast as baby sucks, which seemed like the next best option to me. I also like that these help prevent colic and excess gas because they're gentler on baby tummies. The convenience of the bags and only having to wash nipples and rings is pretty handy too. I'm even happier now that I've discovered the drop in bags are recyclable.
Diapers -
Another given, and my favorite disposables are either the Huggies Gentle Care, which I thought had a better umbilical cord notch for the newborn days, or Pampers Swaddlers, which are very soft. Both are excellent as far as disposable diapers go. Having said that, we are presently in the process of making a complete switch to cloth diapers. I've done quite a bit of research, and with Karen's help, have decided to go with Bum Genius 3.0 diapers. I received my shipment on Friday, and am currently doing the required pre-washing...I'm sure I'll have more to say about this in future posts.

Enfamil LIPIL Formula -

But of is a must! We "chose" this formula for the simple fact that it was what the hospital was already feeding him, but we have had great results. The Enfamil Family Beginnings program (see link) is a great way to get valuable coupons too!

And that's it for now. I already know there will be a few additions as Charlie gets older, such as the Bumbo seat, which was one of my first baby item indulgences, and his Me Too chair, which was an amazing gift from one of my besties, Molly. There is so much STUFF on the market out there, and I think a great deal of it is just plain unnecessary. What are your favorite items/gifts, and what have you found to be a must-have? Or if you're currently waiting, what are you most eager to try on your little one when the time comes?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Second

Well it's here, the date to which we have been anxiously counting down has finally arrived. June 2nd marks the official end of our first post-placement waiting period. We still have several hoops through which we will need to jump before Charlie's adoption is completely final, but this was a big one.

I feel so relieved that our son is here to stay. I was never really worried, because I had a deep inner sense that everything would be okay from the very first moment I laid eyes on him, but's nice to have the official date behind us. It's nice not to have to wonder anymore, or to think about the calendar quite so much.

Despite my feelings of happiness and relief at the arrival of this date, there is also some sadness for me. It's that old conundrum of adoption that inevitably brings up conflicting emotions--our joy centers on someone else's loss. There is nothing for it, this aspect of adoption just plain sucks. I wish it didn't have to be so, but at the same time...I am tremendously grateful for the miracle that adoption is. I am so thankful for the fact that I am (at long last) connected to this wonderful baby boy. I am thankful that he has a home and a forever family, and that we have him.

I guess there's nothing much more to say, but as usual...I will leave you with a few of my current favorite photos:

Sweetness in my lap!

Beautiful smile for Mommy!

He definitely learned this tongue thing from Daddy!

Yep, the shirt pretty much says it all...and thanks to my awesome pals, Bri and Sarah...he will get to wear this adorable outfit all summer. Thanks, Girls!

He actually giggled right before I took this picture. :)

Being a baby is hard work...Charlie needs a nap!