Sunday, June 30, 2013

Best of June 2013

1. Knowing the adoption is finalized- I had no idea how much stress I have been under over the 6 months while we waited on the adoption being finalized. Never mind the 18 months prior to that of jumping through all of the proverbial hoops for DHS. "You went through that hoop so well, let's set the next one on fire & move it while you jump!" At some point I will write about the actual adoption day but I'm just not there yet. Can't do it. Anyway, I woke up the day after it was all over & felt like a completely different person. Just knowing that everyone else knew what we had felt for so long- these are really our kids... or as I leaned over & whispered to the nine-year-old during court, "Pssst... now you are stuck with us!" He tried to look irritated. He tried really hard not to smile. I smiled so much that day my face hurt. And I woke up the next day feeling no stress whatsoever.

2. My Mom & her sister, my Aunt Melba, turned 70. They live together & bicker a lot, but are insanely loyal to each other. So they can call each other whatever they want, but if anyone else says anything, watch it. You don't want to suffer the wrath of an angry twin. They are 70 & healthy & I love them both very much.They spent a good bit of the day saying to one another, "God, you look old." Did I mention that they are identical twins? 

3. One of the boys appeared in the doorway as I was getting ready for work, holding a plastic robot ring that he got off the top of a cupcake. He thought I might want to borrow it to wear to work. So I did. All day. And you know what? It was awesome- I even got a couple of compliments.

4. Simplifying my life- Remember the awesome part-time job I mentioned here? Remember how I decided to shift my focus this year? I quit. The job, not the word. I am beginning to really enjoy this "simplifying" business. For real. More on the decision behind the job change later.

5. As I creep closer to 40, I realize how much I love the feeling of anticipation. Let's be real here- no one is creeping toward forty. Some days I feel like I have been shot out of a cannon in the general direction of that decade. Anyway, I am having serious vacation anticipation & I love it. that feeling of wondering just what it will be like & where all we will go & what sort of things we will see... it's like a kid on Christmas morning. If that kid was almost 40.

6. Turner & Cash- these sweet little boys who were born so early... I'm thankful that they got here safely & are surrounded by so many people who love them.

7. I realize just how insane it sounds to have a flat tire on my list of monthly awesomeness... I'll post about it later this week & it will make more sense. Maybe. Or maybe it really was a sun stroke & I had some sort of miracle recovery.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feature Art Friday: Family trees

During the process of adopting our boys, there were several people who helped us become parents.
In place of doctors & nurses, as it usually goes, we had attorneys, caseworkers & foster parents.
In a feeble attempt (because how can you really thank someone for making your family?) at a thank you gift, I made family trees for the 3 attorneys and the former foster parents.
Because when I am oozing with gratitude & can't find my words that's what I do... I make art. Thank you for my family art.
I took the photos of the finished trees prior to adding the names.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Think like a baby

During a training seminar on child development years ago, I was surprised to hear that babies are born with only two natural fears: fear of falling & fear of loud noises. Let that soak in for a minute. Every other fear or worry that they are saddled with come from us, from the environment in which they grow and from their peers. Babies come to us with two perfectly reasonable fears. We give them the rest.

Meet Cash and Turner, the newest babies I know. Their parents are wonderful people, who were expecting their arrival in approximately 3 months. The boys had other plans & showed up last Thursday. Cash weighs 2 lbs 4 oz. and Turner is tipping the scale at 1 lb. 14 oz.

Cash & Turner are currently hanging out in state-of-the-art bassinets in the Neonatal ICU of an amazing hospital, so I’m thinking that they feel pretty secure, as far as the whole possibility of falling thing goes. Sure, they don’t know that they are in the NICU, but they know that they are still. And secure. One fear checked off the list.

With regard to the fear of loud noises… from what I understand, it takes a certain blend of militant-drill-sergeant-meets-nurturing-motherly-type to be a NICU nurse, so those boys probably have no worry of hearing a loud noise. Until their big sister can finally get her hands on them & then there are worse things to deal with than a happy squealing big sister, aren’t there? (Maybe not to a little boy.) Fear number two taken care of- courtesy of nurses who aren't scared of anything, even humans the size of a couple of iphones.

Everything these boys need has been given to them, even before they knew they needed it. First by their mom & dad & now by an army of floating heads in medical attire, who randomly appear over their safe little beds. Things that they will need in the future are being gathered & given, by people who already love them because they love their parents. People are working right at this moment to ensure their parents will have as much time as possible to worry about nothing but holding them & whispering for them to grow, whispering how much they are loved, whispering to them about all of the wonderful things they want to teach the boys.

But right now Cash & Turner, as you are merely days old & fearful of almost nothing in this whole big world, I am learning from you. Learning to think like a baby, and not be afraid. Welcome to the world you sweet wee miracle babies. I can’t wait to know you.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Torpedo Factory

The Torpedo Factory is one of the largest visual arts centers of its kind in the U.S. 
Located in Old Town Alexandria on the banks of the Potomac River, it hosts more than 150 artists who create work in open galleries throughout the factory. That would be a dream come true, my friends. A dream come true.
The building was an actual torpedo factory many years ago but the only thing created there now is amazing art in every imaginable medium.

My photos don't really do justice to the scale and quality of the artwork. This horse was almost my size.
This fish was most certainly my size.
Of course I had to include the dancing dogs.
If you are ever in Washington D.C. it is worth the trip to Old Town Alexandria to see it but give yourself a few hours... I went during lunch and did not have nearly enough time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Old Town Alexandria

On a recent trip for work, I went to Alexandria, Virginia. If you ever get the chance, visit Old Town Alexandria. It feels a bit magical.
See? Magical.
Hooray for books... my sentiments exactly.
There are all sorts of quirky shops. 
Or maybe they aren't quirky... I'm just assuming that because honestly, how could you be a very serious place if you were dressed entirely in periwinkle or lime green?