Sunday, July 29, 2012

out of control feelings....

I hate feeling out of control. Welcome to my life these days. There is so much I try to hold onto and move from here to there. There is so much that want to dictate. God doesn't agree with me. That's hard for me. You'll notice I've mentioned this lately. When I say this it is referring to some things I may never explain here. There are some things that are making this stand out to me lately. When that is heaped on top of parenting, my out-of-control feeling is blinding.

I read a blog the natos. I have loved getting to read this woman's perspective on life. She is very open and very raw and doesn't care who is reading her blog. Sometimes I laugh out loud reading it and sometimes I cry. She wrote a post from a while ago that I just stumbled upon and it spoke to my mothering heart.

We don't have children that are all that similar but I could totally relate to her. Emily doesn't have special needs, but she does have needs that require a lot. There are times that I wonder how we could have been better equipped for her. How could I have been more ready so I could be better for her? I cry about this at times.

There are so many times that I don't know what Emily needs. I guess constantly. I can't really plan. Sometimes you randomly have conversations about body parts you can't blog about while you are trying to cook dinner. Then your husband walks in and gives you a weird look wondering why in the world you were talking about that while stirring that pot on the stove.

There are so many things she needs but she doesn't know what they are. She doesn't know what her little heart needs to heal. We don't know what her little heart is feeling. At times she shows us through behaviors. We have tried to name those behaviors and get her to the point that she can recognize why she is acting a certain way. She has gotten so good at verbalizing her feelings. She knows it's ok to want attention and that she will not always get it. She knows that when she screams for it or hides for it, she doesn't get it. She knows that when she chooses to be a part of the family that she gets a lot of attention.

That blog post talks about how she can't leave her daughter unattended without trouble and that's exhausting. Emily can absolutely be alone in a room. She is six and very responsible. I did relate to this though, because she doesn't want to be alone. She wants to always play games or interact in some way. It is hard. She follows me around. all. day. Bathroom- she's there. Kitchen doing dishes- she's there. Computer- she's there. She is constantly asking to play as soon as I'm done doing whatever I do in these places. I never want to hurt her feelings, but there are times that I can't handle it. No, I don't want to play a game. No, I don't want to do anything with you. Not that I don't love you deeply, but mama needs to wash a dish as many times that is needed until her mental health returns.

This same girl that follows me around like a puppy will also completely blow me off when I try to do something with just the two of us. We leave dad at home with Lucy and go have a donut date.... I'm thinkin that I'm the coolest mom ever. She looks at me and says, "why couldn't daddy be here?" ......awesome.

There are so many days I wonder what I needed to do differently and I look at my stack of books to read to maybe better equip me. Then I find myself overwhelmed enough that I just turn on the TV and fall asleep. That's easier.

I desperately need Jesus. There is no way I can mother well without Him. Days that I do it myself are miserable. When I don't lay my life at His feet are the days that I hope no one stops by without calling because it wouldn't be pretty. The house is upside down and everyone is just pissed. Not my shining moment.

Being a mom is hard sometimes. I think I came by it differently than most, which brings me different challenges. I'm, in no way, saying that my mothering is harder because we started with girls that are adopted, one that was adopted at 6 1/2 years old. It's just different.

Friday, July 27, 2012

bumps in the road....

bumps in the road.... that seems to be the name of the game lately.

If you know me well you'll know I'm a planner. I love schedules and plans and predictability. These things warm my heart. They make me feel calm and safe. I'm sure this sounds ridiculous to those of you that throw caution to the wind and are spontaneous. It's who I am though. I function best when there is a plan and everyone sticks to it.

I used to care a lot about not looking "crazy" to people about this subject. Some people just don't understand it. Others speak my language. I used to try to hide it (yeah, like it wasn't obvious). Then I married a man that makes no real plans in life and just goes with the flow. Great combo... we totally don't get each other. It has taken time to really understand each other. He is really nice about my OCD about this. I've learned to be more patient with bumps and willing to adjust. I've also learned to accept that part of me and go with it. God created me to be this way. God made my brain function best with structure and planning. He made me tick the way I do. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, even in my wackiness.

All of that to say that right now I feel very out of control of my life. This is not a good feeling for me. There are some amazing and wonderful things happening in my life that I won't go into now. There are some things that are stretching me and challenging me in ways I don't want to be stretched and challenged. These are the bumps. These are the things that don't fit into my original plan or the millions of revised plans I have made as life continues to change. That just really gets me irritated.

Trusting is what I have to do when my life feels out of control. I have to know that I am not the one driving this bus. I am the one that is along for the ride. I trust God. It might not seem like I do when you hear me get frustrated or doubt when things happen. I trust Him with my whole life. I trust His plans for us.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How far we've come....

This is the look Lucy would give people when I would leave her. My sister in law babysat her when she was just a few months old. I had to work for the morning. I'm wondering if Missy's face looked like this too wondering when Lucy would explode. Who was more scared here, Lucy or Missy? 
I can laugh about this now because she has grown out of this.... sort of. She definitely prefers to be with me, but what little one doesn't prefer her mama?

Leaving her used to hurt me. I would cry at the thought of how awful she must have felt. I would pray she didn't feel abandonment or fear. Lucy had separation anxiety at 4 months and she had it bad until just recently. We'll always wonder if she struggles with this because this is how she was made or if it's because she is adopted. That is one of the many questions we come across when raising our girls. We weigh things a little differently. I am much more sensitive to her little anxieties than most people probably think I should be. I hold her a lot. 

Now that she is almost 11 months she has "grown out" of her separation anxiety mostly. She does great being left with her grandmas and grandpas for babysitting. She still doesn't love to be held by people if I'm there. She will go to people and will have fun if she is distracted, but she will look for me and lock in her gaze. Then it's all over... nothing but mama will do. 

I am so thankful that I am her safe place. She feels secure when my arms are around her. (her 2nd choice would be dad, but he still will come to find me when she is just in need of her mom.) We pray for both of these girls to feel deep love and for them to feel safe, happy, secure, attached. We hold them, rock them, sing to them, tell them we love them. 

I'm just glad Lucy doesn't look at people like this anymore.... at least not as often. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

summer travels

We have travelled to see my mom's side of the family twice this summer. Two of my cousins got married and that always draws the family together. My grandma has 17 grandkids so our family is quite large and messy and wonderful. My cousin Lauren got married in Texas in June and then my cousin Ryan got married in Louisiana in July. We packed up the family and flew to both weddings. We are so blessed that we could do that. Let me tell you.... 3 plane tickets do not come cheap these days! 

Sadly, I didn't get my camera out much in Texas. These pics are from our Louisiana trip. If you don't know this already, our girls fly like champs. They both sleep most of the trip every time. When they are up they are quiet and playful and contained. I will be sad to travel with Lucy when she's walking. She is still very content to be on my lap. Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there and we won't leave the state. 

 This is my beautiful, newly-wed cousin from the June wedding. I have so many memories with this girl from growing up. She is still as goofy as she was back then. An awhatta, an abutta.... enough said. 
 Lucy didn't find our seats at the wedding acceptable. She went in for a closer look. 
 Would you say her smile is forced or what?! It's better than the grumpy look in the picture just before. I'm pretty sure she was mad at me about something silly.... oh the mother-daughter drama is already in full effect. Should I fear her teenage years? I already do, so I'm one step ahead on that. 
 This one is full of drama too... unless she is on my lap or in my arms. When she's with me she is drama free. No wonder I stick her in the Ergo always.... No wonder Cameron walks around the house muttering, "I need another man in this house." Ha! He'll get over it. 
 Our little Em can cut a rug on that dance floor. My cousins love to take her out there and dance with her. They are always very impressed with her moves. Lucky for us, this dancing wears this little girl right out and she sleeps hard after weddings. 
 We actually got to spend time in Louisiana before and after the wedding. It was amazing to spend time with my aunt and uncle and all the people coming and going that week. My Aunt Mary took us into New Orleans to see some sights. 

 Check out Lucy's hair twin to the left of Emily. 
 We went to Cafe Du Monde to drink coffee and eat beignets. Let's just say this... when my aunt thought we were finished and was packing up the leftovers, I kept wondering why she was trying to torture me. Clearly I was going to continue eating these until I was sick. They were delicious. 

I am so thankful for my family. Cameron and I have such amazing families. I'm so glad we could be with my cousins to celebrate their special days, but also that everyone got to meet our girls. Thank you to all of them for just swallowing them up and spoiling them rotten. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

sister love and an '80s baby

It has been sweet to see God work in the relationship between my girls. There have been times when jealousy has run rampant around here. Babies naturally get a lot of attention, you know. We have worked on developing Emily's sense of belonging and responsibility to her sister and she has really begun to own it. Emily loves to be the one to take care of her baby sister. She loves to feel like she is doing something good for her. God has grown Emily so much. 
Lucy adores Emily. Once Emily realized what was "too much" and "too close" for Lucy, she has been the biggest hit. She can always get a smile or belly laugh out of her baby sister. What would I do without these girls? They needed each other. I needed them. It all worked out. 
I think she could have been on Flashdance.  


 Pigtails... I love them. 

 Sister kisses are precious. 
 She has worn shoes about 4 times. She always looks very confused and tries to get them off. These are her new Saltwater sandals. They are too cute to never wear. 
 Don't worry, big sister has them in pink too! Lu wears a lot of purple. Em wears a lot of pink. This was in no way planned that they would match their shoes. 

I am so thankful for these two little lives. God is soooo good to us. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

4th of July

We spent 4th of July at home. We ate and hung out with some people we love. The kids played with sparklers and had dance parties in Emily's room. It was perfect. 

It may look like she's sword fighting with that sparker, but if you notice her left hand it is much more poetic than a sword fight. She did tango with it. 

 Lucy is not much for crawling in the grass. She did a great job of sitting and looking cute. 

One of Lucy's new things is pretending to talk on the phone. She's been using both hands the past few days. It looks like she's stressed, but she's really just busy making calls. We often walk in and she has a toy up to her head. I think she's calling Grandma. She talks to her quite a bit on my phone. It's the only number she probably has memorized. 

This was our first 4th together. Looking forward to many more with these girls. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

good morning.

Good Morning! There seems to be quite a bit that happens here in the mornings. At least things are happening when we are still in our pjs. I guess it's not all in the morning and maybe that is just a reflection of how we like to spend our summer days. It's so hot that we often find quite a bit to do inside  the house since it's cool and free. Thankfully I have these two that love to entertain each other. I'm not sure what I would do if I didn't have both of them. They are so fun together. 

Lucy started pulling up on things to standing when she was 9 months. She crawls now too. I long for the days of her sitting in one place and playing with toys. 
She kept stepping on her pant leg and soon they were like this. 

I love the mornings. I love when we can take it easy and enter into the day slowly with lots of coffee and Sesame Street. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

hi. i'm still here

It's been a while. We've been busy. We've been trudging through life at times not knowing where to step next. We've been lounging around the house steering clear of the blow dryer that awaits us outside our front door. We've been baking cupcakes and eating them, which might explain the scale when I get on it. We've also been really sick around here with weird stuff. No, Satan, you can't rob us of our joy.

I stay at home now. I am full-time mama. I don't deserve it. I have an amazing husband and we serve an amazing God, so I get to be home with my girls. It doesn't really feel too different yet from working. I've always been in school or a teacher and therefore I've always had a summer off. It just feels like usual. I know in a few weeks when Em is getting ready for school and my teacher friends are dreading going back it will begin to really hit me.

The girls are growing so much. I think Em has grown at least 2 inches since she moved in 4 months ago. Lucy has a mouth full of teeth and can do so much now. Lu crawls, waves, fake laughs, gets into EVERYTHING. You get the idea.

I'll be back much sooner than the time before. I'm realizing that this blog, this little snapshot of our lives, is an outlet for me. I have to share our story. I'm not sure who wants to read it and know it, but it needs to be shared.