I didn’t die….


Looking at a tarantula

Have you ever been so afraid of something that just the thought of it made you feel like crying? Well, that’s how I feel about snakes. We’re talking hyperventilate-heart racing-can’t breathe kind of scared. The kind of scared where just the thought of potentially, maybe, some day running into a snake seriously makes me want to cry.

Well, I recently sat in a room with two (TWO!!) snakes that were not contained behind lock and key – and I didn’t die. Or hyperventilate. Or pass out. I mean, my heart was racing so fast I thought maybe I was going to die. And I definitely felt like throwing up just knowing the snakes were in the room. BUT, I stayed in my seat and I didn’t freak out or cry or force my friend to use her medical skills to resuscitate me (for which I’m sure she is grateful!).

Whew. I’m a little worked up just thinking about it. This is major progress, people! You have no idea how big this is for me.

A few weekends ago met some wonderful friends at a zoo for breakfast with the animals. It was a pretty cool event; we ate breakfast in a room with a sloth, a few monkeys, and several glass aquariums with assorted jungle creatures (you know, frogs, bugs, and yes, a snake). During breakfast, the zookeeper came in and talked about some different types of animals. She walked around with a hissing cockroach (to which my daughter said “eww! it’s a bug!”), a parrot, two snakes and an armadillo.

I was able to talk to her briefly before the event and she agreed not to bring the snakes over to our table (THANK GOD!) but I knew they’d be in the room. My lovely friend AC was going to leave the room with me and hang out outside until the snakes were gone, but I decided to try and just deal with it. I really didn’t want my daughter to see me so scared. I didn’t want my fear to make her afraid of something for no reason. So, I stuck it out. Granted, I didn’t look at the snakes – well, I got a quick glimpse of them by accident – but I looked out the window and played on my phone until they were safely put away.

It was hard, and it was scary, but I was okay. I dealt with my fear (sort of, if you include avoidance as a tactic), and I sat in a room with snakes that were not behind glass. YIKES.

But besides my stress at breakfast, I truly had a wonderful time visiting with friends during breakfast and while exploring the zoo. I loved that M got to play with their awesome girls and I got to catch up with someone I wish lived a lot closer! :)


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Miss Independent

People laugh when I tell them M is 2 1/2. Usually, I hear “oh, you think the terrible two’s are bad, just wait until she’s three.” Hmmm. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

This age is HARD. Really, really hard. She’s learning new things every day and is so excited to show us what she’s learned, but with this knowledge comes independence. And with this independence comes tantrums. Lots and lots of tantrums. I hear “no mommy! I DO IT!” every five minutes. It takes us twice as long (maybe longer) to get anything done because she insists on doing everything herself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy she’s learning to be independent, but sometimes I just want to get shit done and not take 15 minutes to get her buckled in the car or sit by and watch her for 15 minutes try to put on her pajamas when I could have it done in 15 seconds. Oy.

Two and a half is as much about her gaining independence as it is is about me practicing patience.

Posted in Growing Up, Parenting | Leave a comment

Go the F*** to sleep

My mom gave me this book before we adopted M. I laughed when I read it and thought about how someday I’d be thinking that about my own kid. Well, here we are. It’s my new mantra (to myself – not to her of course). My 2 1/2 year old is lying in bed hysterically screaming “mommy!” right now and throwing all of her stuffed animals and blankets on the floor. The screaming and crying has been going on since I told her it was time to pick up her toys and choose two books to read before bed. That was at 8pm. It’s now 9:45pm.

So far, we’ve changed the diaper once (ok, that was necessary), wiped the nose several times (also necessary since she has a cold and lots of boogies), tucked her in a few times and picked up the giraffe that got chucked across the room at least three times. Now, we’re ignoring her. Maybe I truly need to let her scream and cry for 2 hours straight.

I don’t know what to do anymore. We have a routine and we follow the routine every night. And every night, she flips out after being tucked in. And every night I feel like the worst mother ever for letting my kid scream “mommy” for an hour (or more) straight. It kills me that she is screaming for me and I’m not responding to her. But the thing is, when I do respond to her, it doesn’t help. The tantrum doesn’t stop, it’s just interrupted while she gets what she wants. As soon as we leave the room it starts right back up again. So what else is there to do but ignore her?

I’ve had enough of the mini-manipulator ruining each evening with her non-stop screaming tanturms. I’m hoping this is a toddler phase that she’ll outgrow. And soon. Or maybe she’ll just lose her voice? Regardless, I need better coping mechanisms because I can’t keep eating Halloween candy at the rate I’ve been going or else I’ll be 20 pounds heavier by Thanksgiving.


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Some Days

Some days I feel resentful. And jealous. And maybe a little impatient. Today is one of those days.

I’ve said all along that my feelings this time around are different (and they are), but some days just overwhelm me and the unpleasant feelings rise to the surface.

Today, I am resentful of my husband because he’s been sick for almost three weeks and isn’t helping me with M or around the house. I know he’s been sick and he needs to rest and recover. I know he works really, really hard for our family and I need to give him a break. And yes, I know that I’m lucky to have a partner who truly shares the workload around here 50/50. But the messy house and the toddler tantrums set me over the edge tonight and I just need a break (which may be why I’m hiding out in the basement drinking wine).

Today, I am jealous of my co-worker who came to work after her doctor appointment and rushed over to show me her 20-week ultrasound pictures. I am happy that she’s happy, but I am jealous that she gets to share ultrasound pictures and talk about feeling little flutters in her belly while I feel inadequate that a birth mom hasn’t chosen us yet. (And yes, I know it’s only been 5 weeks since our profiles went active at the agency.)

Today, I am feeling impatient with everything and everyone. I want everyone in my house to feel better now. I want my messy house clean now. I want my toddler to stop screaming and hitting now. I want a birth mom to pick us now. Unrealistic? Yes, I know. But it’s how I feel today. UGH.

Posted in Adoption process, Loss and grief, Parenting | Leave a comment

Enough Already

The last two weeks at my house have included:

  • 5 visits to the doctor
  • 4 breathing treatments
  • 3 prescriptions (and a ridiculous amount of over the counter meds)
  • 2 allergic reactions
  • 2 trips to the ER
  • 2 weeks of sleepless nights and complete exhaustion
  • 1 insanely energetic toddler who doesn’t slow down just because her parents are sick

Everyone is on the mend and (slowly) recovering, but holy hell it has been a rough few weeks around here. Two out of three of us are fine now, but my husband is a mess. We’re waiting for the results of his chest x-ray to see if he has pneumonia now. Seriously, we’ve had enough of the fucking germs already.

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Bedtime Shenanigans

My kid doesn’t like to sleep. I think she thinks she’s missing out on something really fun and exciting at bedtime. Once she’s out, she’s out; I can vacuum her room, turn the light on and put laundry away, or do any number of things near her room (with the door open) and she sleeps through it. But getting her to actually go to sleep is a major challenge, especially lately. Here’s what happened last night.

8pm: jammies on, books read, hugs and kisses given, toddler tucked in.
8:02pm to about 9:30pm: “MOMMY! Tuck in!” “MOMMY! I want water.” “MOMMY! I need a hug.” “MOMMY! MOMMY? DADDY!” Over and over and over.

We tried to ignore her but she kept getting louder and more obnoxious. Every time I would ask her why she was still awake she would reply, “I don’t know!” Then I told her she needed to sleep and she said “No, I’m awake!” No shit you’re awake. GO TO SLEEP.

9:40pm(ish): She’s been quiet for 10 minutes. I think maybe she fell asleep. Wrong. I hear, “MOMMY! I took it all off!” Uhhhhh….I better go check on this.

I went in her room and sure enough, she had taken off her pajamas and her diaper and thrown everything on the floor. She was in her bed stark naked and giggling. Ok then. I hope this isn’t a glimpse into her future teenage years!

I put a clean diaper on her, put her pajamas back on, and tucked her in – again. We then went through another hour or so of her yelling, screaming “MOMMY!” and trying to get me to come back in her room.

Around 10:45 I was about to lose my temper big time from the frustration, so I stomped into her room and yelled at her to go to bed. She looked at me and said “together? you sleep here?” I gave in (because who doesn’t love toddler snuggles?) and climbed into her little bed with her.

She snuggled in close facing me with her stuffed giraffe under one arm, and then took her other hand, placed it gently on my cheek and said, “Mommy? Build a snowman?” It was so unbelievably sweet and hilarious that I almost busted out laughing. Instead, I smiled and told her to close her eyes and dream about building a snowman. She gave me a sweet kiss and said “okay mommy, good night.”

11pm(ish): A few minutes later I left and went back to my own bed. She was still awake, but quiet, so I thought she was finally falling asleep. Wrong again. All of a sudden she was belting out “Let It Go” at full volume. Thankfully, she quickly tired of the singing and zonked out. FINALLY.

It’s always an adventure with this kid, that’s for sure.

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We are officially a waiting family! Our adoption profile went live at our agency on Friday (the online version).  Any expecting parent who clicks the “waiting families” link on the agency website will now see our profile listed along with about 45 other families.

The online profiles are all the same. It includes a letter, 6 photos, and a list of our favorites (foods, movies, music, etc.). We were given specific parameters for the letter (length and content) and a templated form to fill out for our favorites. It’s hard to convey your personalities and family dynamic in this somewhat restricted format, but we hope it appeals to expectant parents looking online and they will ask to learn more about us.

Our physical family profile photo book should be arriving tomorrow. Once I get it, I’ll send it to our agency and they will keep it in their office for expectant mothers to review. The printed book features many pictures, more details about our family, and the full-length letters from Maya’s birth mom and birth grandma. I had free creative reign over the printed book and wasn’t stuck using a template like the online version. I hope it will resonate with expecting parents and they get a good idea of what kind of life their child will have with us.

Our Blog

Our agency encourages hopeful adoptive parents to get out and market themselves. Last time, we created a blog, pass-along cards, and tear-off flyers. I sent letters to every crisis pregnancy center and church in the area asking them to share our cards and I left flyers and cards everywhere I could. We also had a dedicated pay-as-you-go cell phone and promoted that phone number on our marketing materials.

This time, I’ve updated our blog from before with new photos and details about our family; I’m going to try getting the word out via social media instead of investing a lot of money in a cell phone and printing/mailing cards and letters.

If you are so inclined, please share our blog (www.markanderinadopt.com). You never know who may know someone considering adoption. Feel free to share it via email, Twitter, Facebook, your blog or any other method you can think of.

If we meet someone serious about adoption through our own efforts we will ask them to work through our adoption agency (at no cost to them). We want to make sure they receive the full benefit of working with an agency, including counseling, understanding their rights and making sure they are making an informed and educated decision.

Thanks for your love and support as we embark on this next phase of growing our family!


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