Circle the Wagons

Another Presidential election year has come upon us and I don’t need to tell you where I stand on the whole thing.  If I needed to, however, I would tell you it’s a no brainer – no matter how “you’re not doing what you said you’d do” our President has been.

I attended a workshop a few weeks ago that was nothing like I thought it would be.  It was a Messaging Workshop for the Democratic Party and I assumed it would give us a whole lot of “back at you” arguments for the wrong other side.  Instead, most of it focused on how often we point fingers at ourselves – not backing the people we’ve elected to govern us.

A million years ago, someone said, “as a movement, we seem to circle our wagons but point our guns inward”.  At my old job, I wasn’t able to agree but I promise you I did.  It’s so, sadly true.  Whether is just a minority population, the gays, the liberals – whatever.  We’re not that good at rallying behind our leaders and not giving in to all the crap being said.  Instead, we jump ship but linger close enough to jump back on before elections.  We vote together, sure.  But do we stand together?  No.

President Obama is a leader.  Sometimes we need that more than anything.  He’s also brilliant and capable and has always stated, clearly, what his intentions are.  I adore him.  And even I doubt him.  4 years ago I thought, if he were elected, we’d have just about everything we needed by now.  Watching the progress has explained why we’re still waiting on so much.  It’s a lot to fix.  It’s hard to want all the answers to social justice when people still aren’t working and their kids are hungry.  It’s hard to walk away from a decade of war when we’ve caused so much damage – that to just walk away seems like deserting a whole population.

Remember when President Bartlett needed that 2nd term to finish all the really hot issues?  Remember how he didn’t need to worry about re-election and could finally just dive in with both feet?  I realize all my real life friends didn’t vote for him but if you were my WW friends, you would have, right?

Has he fixed it?  No.  Was he left with so much muck that he deserves another 4 years to work on it?  Yes.  Will he?  Not if we don’t re-elect him.

Toddler Bed & Potty Seat

Glory is just over 31 months!  31!  She’s well on her way to her 4th year on this planet and I’m just shaking my head…

It’s been a big weekend at our house.  Or maybe I should say, it’s been a big weekend for Glory!

I think I mentioned that she started crawling out of her crib in November.  She mastered it in about 1.8 seconds but only did it when we were watching.  She never climbed out after bedtime or nap time.  Odd, I know.  But not anymore.  Last week she crawled in & out and in & out.  Begging her to stay in just became a game and I started worrying about how quickly she’d do it – afraid she’d fall and break a bone.  Since her naps don’t happen most days (God help me), we decided we’d just bump her up to the next level – a toddler bed.

It was an easy switch.  Her crib transitions so, just like that, her crib was gone.  She hardly noticed but there were some tears shed on my part.  Bye, bye baby.  And it didn’t matter much.  She still climbs over the side – just to bother me.

Crib Phase 2

And since we lost our baby anyway, we thought we’d try the potty training this weekend too.  We bought one of those fancy seats that has 2 parts – one for us and one for her.  We also bought a pretty stool to help her up.  So far, so good.  The alarm is set for every 15 minutes.  We have “days of the week” panties and she ended today with “Tuesday”.  Not bad.

She hates it.  I thought she would.  It takes her away from what she’s doing and it’s kept us home all. day. long.  I’m not married to the idea.  If it takes another few months, I’d be fine.  We’ll let her guide us and see how it goes.  Today, it’s gone a lot like this:

This is her... hating me.

Taking time for a little pedi.

Wish me luck – I’ll be sticking close to home for a few days.

Better to Ask Forgiveness

I was watching Dr Phil the other day.  Now that I’m a SAHM, I can do that.  <grin>  There was a woman who killed an intruder.  But really it was a girl who killed a killer.

The story was awful and I really shouldn’t have watched it.  But compare to all the episodes of Crimin*l Minds we watch, I don’t think it made me any more paranoid.  A bad man haunted her. She lived in the middle of nowhere – no neighbors.  She had an infant son.  First, he killed her (guard) dogs.  He banged on her door in the middle of the night.  As her husband was dying in a hospital, this man tried to scare her to death.  It was really, really awful.

One night, she knew he was going to break in.  She called 911 and asked permission to kill him if he entered.  Can you even imagine?

Admittedly, I think about this kind of stuff all the time.  I’m not often alone at night but what makes night more scary than day?  I was told that I should keep my alarm on all day – even when we’re home – and I do.  Most of the time.  Always at night, though.

Anyway, about a million years ago, I had a stalker.  It feels dramatic to say it but it’s true.  It started easy.  There would be fresh flowers on my car as I’d leave work.  He’d write odd little love poems and leave them on my wiper.  My co-workers and I would laugh at his ability to rhyme.  We figured he worked in my building and didn’t really think much of it.  But then he left a note that asked me to meet him at a local restaurant – a local restaurant that just happened to be at the top of a giant Mormon building.  Weird.  I obviously ignored it.

A few days later, I got dead flowers on my car.  Again, we joked about it.  In another note, he told me they were “dried” so that made it even funnier.  But then. one day, there were roses delivered to my house and another bunch of flowers left on my porch over night.  Not funny anymore.  I was totally creeped out.

I was dating a cop.  My first gf, actually.  She typically worked nights and was far more anxious about this guy than even I was.  We lived on a busy road and she would drive by all night – just to watch the house.  She was nice like that.  She thought she saw him (or someone) leaving our driveway one night but there were no flowers so she went on her way.  Later that morning, when letting our dog out, she noticed that the lock on our side door had been scraped up and he left his (dna) on our door and steps.  I know, gross.

It was a big deal.  The cops came and filed a report.  She no longer worked nights.  And a few weeks later, he tried to break in.

She told me to call 911 and roll off the bed, between the bed & the wall.  She grabbed her gun& then she left.  I heard her yelling as I was talking to the dispatcher.  When I told the lady where I was she said something like, “we already have a car on location”.  They were already there.  My gf, along with some other officer was chasing this person through our backyard.

They didn’t catch him.  But oddly enough, many months later, he was caught in Texas.  His DNA matched that of another crime he committed and he was sentenced for rape. Rape.  Crazy.  We later found out that I met him at a Super Bowl party months earlier.  – Some random guy that was friends with the host.  I was a guest of a friend who didn’t know him.  The officers told me he most likely got my home address from my license plate (DMV) and got my work address by following me.  (this is no longer possible, btw)

I couldn’t even tell you what he looks like.  I’ve thought about who he is but I think I’ve imagined his face.  Red hair, maybe.  Short, kinda stalky.

I’ve thought, a million times, what I would do with Glory in the house.  How could I grab her in time to run?  What window would we jump out of?  How far would we fall?  Or would I just ask someone permission to kill him… yes, yes I would.

Take a Walk with Me

We’re finally here.  We’ve been planning for months and I’ve been packed for days.  It’s warmer than I hoped but I’ll think of a good enough reason for the sweater you told me not to pack.

The train to our hotel tricked me.  It’s not the kind of place I thought you’d pick.  There’s hurry all around and the noise doesn’t seem like your best idea.  But once we are upstairs, you tell me not to unpack… we are leaving in the morning.  The anticipation!

I hardly slept.  The air is heavy.  I can feel it on my skin.  I can’t see the water from here but I know it’s there when I rub my fingers together.  We stopped at Starbucks on the way out this morning – hopefully the last one we’ll see in a while.

I knew this couldn’t be the place you had in mind but, even so, it’s different from where we came – and sometimes that’s enough.

The rental car is perfect.  You hook up the iPod and I get comfortable.  I know every word but you’re still learning.  There is nothing more beautiful than her voice, singing to me, as we drive.  The snacks are packed.  Twizzlers, seeds, sweet tarts & a milky way for good measure.  My feet are out the window and the coffee’s are melting.  It’s lovely here.

We’re driving along the coast and it’s cooler as the day goes on.  I love it up this way.  It’s my favorite place on earth, even though this is my very first time here.  The greens are tall and rich.  And the rocks are old and dark.  This kingdom feels like it’s lived a million more years than mine.  The birds seem louder and the clouds, higher.  For such a small part of the world, it feels endless and free.

As the roads get smaller, we slow down.  The next exit takes us to a little town called Bethlehem.  Of course it does.  We stop there for lunch and if I would’ve saw a “Help Wanted” sign, I never would’ve left.  I imagined the hostess was also the sandwich girl, the pie maker  – and the cashier.  I’m sure she lives upstairs and makes all those crafty items after dinner.  I buy a pot holder and you roll your eyes.  You’ll thank me later.

Only another hour or so until we get there.  I’m so excited, I can hardly sit still.  I’m making you nervous because I keep taking pictures outside the car.  You think I’ll drop the camera.  If I do, I’ll just blame you anyway.  This might be the reason you’re so nervous.

As we turn off the road, I notice the sky falling.  It could be the marine layer but it seems we might get a little rain.  Pulling in to the house I see a chimney.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a fire.  I pull out my cozy socks.  There are chairs on the deck and I plan to spend more time there than anywhere else.

Breathe it in.  We’re here.  And aren’t you glad I brought a sweater?

“It’s because you’re white…”

These words were said to me over the summer at Sea World.  Glory and I were in line to see Elmo and this woman and her AF daughter were in line with us.  Her daughter had beautiful, long braids and her hair was so shiny!  She asked, “do you know why her hair is so short?”    And when I answered no she said, “it’s because you’re white.  You don’t know how to do her hair.”  Epic Fail.

I’ve had issues with this since the beginning.  The ladies at my agency gave me plenty of warning but seriously, there aren’t a lot of “in person” examples where I live.  And honestly, I do my best.  I asked her some advice and she was nice enough to tell me some secrets.  Ever since that day, I’ve done exactly as she said and Glory’s hair grew like crazy!

For the last six months or so, she’s been wearing towel’s on her head and pretending it’s long hair.  If we see a man or woman with long hair, she’ll instantly try to touch it and say, “ah, haaair!”  She loves it!  So Saturday morning we woke up and called the salon.  They told us what they wanted to do and promised it would only take an hour.

Just Getting Started

Patiently Waiting - with Cheese!

Long Enough for Plenty of Pony!

She loves it!  She shakes her head while she’s walking.  She primps around like everyone’s looking.  She’s proud of her locks and that’s all that matters to me.

I cried a few tears, knowing I wouldn’t see those little puffs again for a very long time.  I cried a few more just looking at her, knowing that this is just the beginning of the end of my baby girl.  & then I cheered REALLY loud once I realized we no longer have reason to fight about her hair every morning.  It practically does itself!

Some people have been grouchy about it.  I assure you that I’m not putting my daughter in any pageants and she won’t be wearing heels and make-up (in public) any time in the next decade.  She loves it!  It’s part of her little girl culture and that’s what we signed up for!

Plus, isn’t she lovely?  Seriously!

Adoption as an Option

I’ll never forget the leap from ttc to adoption.  And as much as I could not be more grateful for Glory, I still remember every piece of ache I felt, wanting the be pregnant.

I started trying 10 years ago.  My first thought about that is that I could also have a 9 yo child right now.  & almost every age between 9 and 3. How crazy is that?  Six years of my life (almost) dedicated to trying to conceive.

If you read my last blog, you know my biggest need for a biological child was just the “legal” part.  Having the experience of losing a child simply because we weren’t biologically related was a painful lesson.  And with the laws in this state, nothing felt safe enough.

I tried.  God knows I did.  With my ex and then with Cristy.  I was on some kind of fertility medication for years upon years upon years.  I failed in a big way and I’m certain I wasn’t the best partner during any of it.

After 17 IUI’s, 8 home insems and 2 failed IVF’s, I had enough.  Sort of.  Cristy had been ready to move on much earlier but gave me the space to come to my own decision.  I had OHSS during both IVF’s and could’ve died the first time.  After the 2nd, my doctor told me he couldn’t treat me anymore and wouldn’t allow me to try another round.  Looking back, I can’t believe I put my body through all that. I even wonder what kind of impact those drugs will have on my life as I get older – but that’s not the point.

The point is, I’ve been reading some ttc blogs lately – the kind where they’ve been trying forever.  And living in 2ww’s are about killing them.  I get it.  So many of us do.  But I guess I just wanted to say that adoption saved me from those years of feeling like I couldn’t get it right.  I know it’s not an option for everyone.  I know it’s expensive.  Our agency was anywhere from $16K – $40K.  The average wait (depending on the child you’re waiting for) is the same time as a pregnancy.  I took us about 8 months from start to “Glory”, literally.

I would just tell you that your child will arrive one way or another.  And I promise that once (s)he comes, you’ll know they arrived exactly the way they were supposed to.  I really believe that.  Giving birth still seems magical to me.  And sometimes I still see those big belly’s and wish I knew that sort of feeling.  But she is what I wanted most.

My healthy, happy, tall, dark & lovely – adopted – baby girl.

She Says the Darndest Things!

Last night, after dropping C off at the airport, she said, “Mama up airplane at work?”

Still, months later, she wakes up and asks where everyone is.
Where’s Baba?
Where’s Matt?
Where’s Papa?
Where’s Annie?
And so on.  She does the same list every day that consists of about 12 names.  Amazing.

She says please & thank you, every.single.time.  And it’s even more beautiful when it’s followed by “mommy”.

She says “bless you, mommy.” – even after she’s the one that sneezes.

We look at our wall of pictures and say, “that’s you!”  So now when you point to her picture and ask who it is she say, “it’s YOU!”  When asked her name, it’s either You, Choo Choo, Boo Boo or Ella.

When she see’s a man that she doesn’t know she’ll say, “Hi Person!”  Or a lady, “Hi Missy!”  or a little one, “Hi Kid(s)!”  I’m trying to change this to sir, ma’am and friends but we’ll see.  When I dropped her at pre-school earlier, she walked past her teacher and said, “Hey Ma’am”.  Not quite the effect I was hoping for.  “hey” sort of ruined it.

Anytime I’m trying to get her dressed (or do really anything she doesn’t want me to) she’ll say, “mommy, that hoot!”  – trying to get me to find her boo boo instead of the upcoming task.  Gracie taught her the “boo boo face” to go with this so it’s extra hard to ignore.

She’s calls Yeager “yay yay”.  At his basketball game last week, she kept yelling, “Go Yay Yay!!  Woon!! (run)”

She’s a tooter.  & every time she toots, she tells everyone, “I toot!!”

She still calls any drink a “nook”.  Her blankie is still her “nini”.  And every night ends with “Lu Loo”.

There’s really nothing she can’t say but these are some of my most favorite, funny things.  It’s really incredible to watch her language grow. It’s something new almost every day.

She’s also really big on picking out her own clothes.  I’m smart enough to put good choices in front of her but sometimes she wears the following cozy pants with dress up heels.  Or the vest over a short sleeves dress.  &, no matter what she’s wearing, she walks right over to her big mirror to check herself out.  “Ma Haahs Coot!”  (hair)

I’m keeping her.