Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tell Me Again... A Birthday and Gotcha Day Post for our Sweet Pea

Payton turned 4 today.  I am still trying to come to grips with the fact that my baby is growing up too fast!  Although he is now my middle child, he was the baby boy who made me a mother for the first time and there is something so special and unique about that.  One of Payton's favorite stories is Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis.  We read it often and I switch the words to tell his version of the story.  It is so special to him and I love that he is so proud of his adoption story.  I am grateful that Jamie Lee Curtis took time to write and publish a beautiful story for her daughter.  It gave us a great tool to use to talk about adoption with our children.  The edited "Payton" version of Tell Me Again about the Night I was Born goes something like this:

Tell me again about the night I was born.
Tell me again how you and Daddy didn't sleep a wink.
Tell me again how the phone rang early in the morning when they told you I was born.  Tell me again how you spun around in circles because you didn't know what to do.
Tell me again how you called MomMom and DadDad right away and MomMom said you needed to go buy baby things at Target.
Tell me again how you drove in the car for 5 hours, slept for 3 hours at Uncle Mark's house, and then drove another 4 hours to get to the hospital.
Tell me again how I grew in Mama C's belly but she needed you to take care of me, so you adopted me.
Tell me again how you held hands all the way to the hospital and when you got there you were sweating like crazy.
Tell me again how you waited for 3 hours in the waiting room and then the power went out so you couldn't get any food out of the vending machine.
Tell me again how the first time you saw me you thought I was the most beautiful baby in the world.
Tell me again how tiny and perfect I was.
Tell me again about the first time you held me in your arms and called me your Sweet Pea.  Tell me again how you cried tears of joy.
Tell me again about how Daddy gave me my first bottle and I ate it so slowly.
Tell me again about my first bath and how I didn't like to be cold.
Tell me again how you stayed in a hotel for a week and you forgot to pack daddy undies and a t-shirt.
Tell me again how Grandma and MomMom came to see me and we went to the aquarium and I saw a whale shark.
Tell me again about the first night you were my daddy and you told me that football was awesome and I was named after a special football player.
Tell me again about he first night you were my mommy and you sang me a lullaby.
Tell me again about our first night as a family.
Tell me again about the night I was born.

Sweet Patey, I hope you know that your Mommy loves you so much.  I had a blast watching you enjoy your party today. You make my heart sing each day with your love for life.  From the day I first held you, I loved to rock you to sleep while we listened to "Lullaby" by the Dixie Chicks.  The lyrics match us perfectly:

They didn't have you where I come from
Never knew the best was yet to come
Life began when I saw your face
And I hear your laugh like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

I slip in bed when you're asleep
To hold you close and feel your breath on me
Tomorrow there'll be so much to do
So tonight I'll drift in a dream with you

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you're miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I'm never, never giving you up

Sweet Pea, I hope forever is enough.  Tonight I peaked in to check on you after you were asleep and your arms were wide open and your face was just as beautiful and innocent as ever and it made my heart sing again.  I love you to the moon and back and more.  You promised me that when you are a grown up that you will still dance with me, watch the stars with me, bake "muffums" with me, play trains with me, garden with me, laugh with me, and go on walks with me.  Payton, I hope you always remember this promise.  You and your brothers are so special to me.  Payton, I pray that Jesus helps you grow into the man you are meant to be.  And that your life is a testament to His love for His children.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Going from 2 to 3

Hello loyal readers, all three of you.  Perhaps you noticed I haven't updated since April?  Well, it turns out going from 2 to 3 kids is ummm... harder than I imagined.  Life has been busy as we journeyed through (many) awful, sleepless nights with a baby who has a wicked case of reflux.  Doing life on an average of 3-4 hours of non-continuous sleep just plain sucks.  Although there are nights where I truly feel at my wits end, we still love our little (big), screaming bundle of joy. 

Here is a quick update of the last few months:

 We took a quick trip to Pennsylvania in June.  It was a blast to spend time with my college roommates Emilie and Shannon.

 June ended with a (not-so-relaxing) vacation to Myrtle Beach.  We loved watching the kids have fun!

 In July, we spent some time at home... and also said goodbye to our sweet Bug.  Although we were sad to sell her, we know that she is at a new home with someone who can spend time with her everyday and help her reach her potential.
 We also went to DC for a day trip and visited the National History Museum, the AIr Space Museum, and Isaiah toured the national mall riding on Daddy's back.
 Isaiah also rode in his first leadline class in July.  My little chubbers looked adorable!

 We enjoyed a lovely hike in the SNP with some friends.  As you can see, the deer are terribly afraid of people :)

Going from 2 to 3 has also been full of surprises.  We had so much anxiety over how our boys would respond to Isaiah.  We have been pleasantly surprised.  They both adore him (how they feel about each other is another story, indeed)!  One of my favorite things about being a mom to three is watching my older two with Isaiah.  Payton likes to teach him how to crawl or eat or anything really.  Payton is such a genuine kid so it really looks like he is trying educate Isaiah.  Bunte is Isaiah's most favorite person.  No one else can make Isaiah smile so big.  It is heart warming. 

Here we are in August and back to the grind.   Bunte started first grade last week, I am back at school teaching world history and US history, Payton starts preschool again in September, and Wes is coaching football at the local high school.  Isaiah spends his days with the sitter learning how to sit, eating a lot, and jabbering away.  In the evenings we reconvene around our dinner table and laugh and laugh at our boys antics.  Life is crazy these days, but we are so in love with our kiddos.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Remembering Carmen

photo by Rebekah Girvan Photography
Photo by Rebekah Girvan Photography

I remember taking a test online and it said that the best dog for me was a Corgi.

I remember begging my mom to get me a corgi.

I remember her saying no.

I remember the cold winter night when she surprised me with YOU.

I remember how you kissed my toes when you were a puppy.

I remember buying a futon so you could sleep in my bed. A bunk bed just wasn’t conducive to corgi puppy snuggles.

I remember you tormenting my friends with toe kisses the night before we left for beach week.

I remember the weekend I panicked when you followed a runner down our driveway. A week later we found you in the neighbors back yard.

I remember the tears when I left you to go live in a dorm.

I remember the phone call from Mom when she called to tell me you had four precious puppies… in a hotel room!

I remember bottle-feeding those little pups when you suffered a bad infection and needed an emergency surgery.

I remember how Dad would always treat you to a cheese snack when we got home.. and how he always called you Carmey.

I remember how you loved to tear up any stuffy toy to get the squeaker out.

I remember the fun weekends when I would come home to run with you.

I remember the joy when I found an apartment that would allow you to live with me again.

I remember how you always jumped up on the window the moment we turned at the church on our way back home to the farm. You knew the farm was just a few miles away.

I remember how I would take you on runs through the streets of Charlottesville and you would refuse to move when were the farthest from home… so I carried you.

I remember the horrible, rancid smell from the day you rolled/ate the horrible cat poop. And how Emilie and I gagged as we washed you and brushed your teeth.

I remember how you hated the cats we rescued.

I remember how you always slept on the fifth stair at our house on John Street.

I remember the night some drunken guy poured an entire cup of solo beer on you… and how healthy your coat shined afterwards.

I remember how you would run away to the local elementary school to play with the kids, and how you took Dylan the Golden and Savannah the Rottie with you.

I remember how you bossed around Dylan and Savannah…. And how they listened to everything you said.

I remember how Christy nick-namedyou Bean, and it stuck, my sweet Carmeena-Bean.

I remember the day I came home from class and found out you ate an entire bag of Hershey kisses. And then you ate a cold pack that night. I called my mom in a panic.

I remember the long all-nighters in college that you cuddled beside me while I studied away.

I remember the day you pinned the apartment maintenance guy against the wall when he came in to replace the air filter. You knew that no one was supposed to come in while your mama was asleep.

I remember the night Erin locked us out of the apartment by accident and we crammed into her little miata and you slept on my lap.

I remember how you slept in the seat beside me every weekend when we drove to see Wes at VMI.

I remember how you always liked to sleep with your nose shoved in shoes or how you would find the smallest cubbyhole to take a catnap.

I remember you running beside Topper with your perma-smile when Wes asked me to marry him while on a romantic trail ride.

I remember you greeting me at my wedding reception wearing a flower collar.

I remember you sneaking out of the house and wandering to the neighbors and how relieved I felt when the little girl heard my scream and said, “I know Carmen. I put her in our cat’s crate!” I remember how ridiculous you looked when she brought you out to us.

I remember how wonderful it was during my miserable first year of teaching to be greeted by your squeaks and love after a long day.

I remember how you never could swim and just sank like a rock… even when I put you in an embarrassing bathing suit.

I remember how you were they when we moved into our first home.

I remember taking you on our “family pack” as we introduced our new son, Payton, to all the fur-babies.

I remember hiking with you to the top of Humpback Rock, Seneca Rock, and so many other places.

I remember how you always let the boxers know who was boss in our house. Size never mattered.

I remember being afraid to let you out during the blizzard, fearing you might not be able to tunnel through the snow.

I remember how much you love to put your nose in the snow and plow through it. And how you loved to dig a little cave and sleep in the snow. Your eyes lit up when you saw the white stuff had covered the ground.

I remember how you would gently lay your nose on my feet while I rocked Payton to sleep.

I remember how I held you and cried the night that Sawyer died.

I remember how you watched and protected Payton as he grew.

I remember how you were there when I brought home my second son… and my third.

I remember how we had a gazillion nicknames for you: Binky, binks, binkster, carmeena-bean, carmey, bean dog…

I remember how I cried when I watched the boys pull you in the wagon on our last family walk.

I remember how I wept the day I said goodbye.

I remember how peaceful you were as we drove around for hours on your last day.

I remember how I asked you for a sign to tell me it was all alright... that I was making the right choice... that you were ready. And you did. You sighed, stretched, rolled over on your back and closed your eyes. I remember how I cried knowing you gave me the answer I needed. You were more peaceful than I had seen you in months.

But most of all, I remember how you loved me unconditionally and how much I will always love you.

Run and bounce with your new stubby legs to the other side of rainbow bridge and greet your sweet sisters, Lily and Panda, and your brother Guthrie when you get there. Ya'll are partying the night away!