Thursday, February 28, 2013

calling a&e - hoarders - baby edition

i previously posted about dax putting things in the trash can when i was not paying attention, but now he's moved on to a new level of hoarding.  our baby seems to be a kleptomaniac who loves to play hide and seek.  he'll snatch up anything he can find and take it under my desk (where i sit 8 hours a day while i am working) and crawl up behind the old desktop computer case to drop it in and behind the desk.  there's a little area there between the wall and the desk - which is apparently the perfect hiding spot for stuff.  now that i know about this little spot, since discovering it last week, i have to clean it out on a daily basis because some how sneaky mcsneakerton gets back there and loads up his hoarding pile with all sorts of goodies.  yesterday (it seems) he had a field day with my markers.

apparently it's pretty common for babies around this age to play hide and seek with unwilling partners.  does anyone else have past experience with baby hoarding?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


look at my baby go!

it's funny how normal adult speech is totally revamped when little ones enter the house.  we've gone from total adult chatter to turning everything into baby lingo.  i am not sure how it goes that way, but your brain just gets sucked out and replaced with some device that makes everything baby friendly.  so, the other day when dax decided he was ready to walk (yes - he started all by himself), i just started calling it "walkings".  not sure why i added the "s" to the end, or even how that makes it baby speech - but when i say it - and how i say it - it sounds like baby blabber.

so now when you say to dax:  "do you want to do some walkings?"  he will crawl to his little melissa and doug alligator walker and stand up right behind it (most of the time holding on) and will walk a path as far as that little walker will carry him until he runs into the wall, the couch, the side table, you get the idea.  then, if he is really in the mood for walkings he will wait for you to turn him and the walker around so he can go back the other way.  or, if he is done with walkings he will just sit down and crawl away.

it's all sort of funny that this happened when it did because it seems that every time dax has a three month check up the doctor asks us well, does he do this?, does he do that?, on and on and if we say NO to anything dax will within the following week be doing that thing.  this past appointment was for the 15 month check up.  the doctor asked us:  "does he point at things?"  will and i both looked at each other and said that he did not.  (honestly it's been a while since i read the parenting milestone book and i did not even know that pointing was on the charts.  you kind of have to stop looking at it at some point when you get overwhelmed by the plague of people asking you if he's hit certain milestones.  it makes your mom heart worry, and most of the time - for no reason.)  then the doctor asked:  "is he walking?"  everyone loves to ask THAT question and when we confirm NO, not yet - they are somewhat shocked or dismayed.  i am not sure why, since every baby walks at their own pace - but it certainly puts a momma into a stage of fear and useless worry when other people are so aghast at your baby's milestone achievements or lack thereof. 

so after we told the doctor that dax was not pointing, within 24 hours he was pointing.  we changed nothing, did nothing different, and were not then pointing at everything on the planet - but he was.  it was kind of odd.  and now he is like a super pointer, pointing it up.  the first time will and i both saw it we looked at each other with shock on our faces and were doing a little victory pointing dance.  now, one week later, its just something he does with everything - all day long.

then, this past sunday morning we'd all gotten up sickly and knew we had to skip church when dax's temperature was over 100.  we dosed him up on his meds, fed him his breakfast, and all headed upstairs to the tv room to let him watch an episode of doc mcstuffins.  even if it's his favorite show he will only watch about 10 minutes of it before he starts to wander off and do something else.  (and i am not a huge proponent of kids watching lots of tv so it's no bother to me at all.)  so, he did just that and decided that he would check out the walker.  we've had it since november and he's never really done much with it, but sunday it was just on his agenda.  so he got behind it, stood right up, and started to go.  he marched across the game room with sheer determination and we immediately praised him and had him doing it round robin, back and forth.  on his second trek across the room, just as he stood up at the handle he actually took a step on his own, no hands holding on, and will and i both confirmed that was his actual real first step!  since sunday dax has impressed us over and over with his walkings as he trucks across the game room back and forth over and over again.  anytime we ask him to "show us his walkings" he goes straight to his walker and gets to work.  too cute.

so, once again its another milestone that the doctor asked us about, we said no - not even close - no way - no how - and boom he showed us all who's boss in this situation.  it won't be long now before he's walking hands free.  dax is impressing us everyday with his mad skills.  it's hard to see this little fella grow up so quickly, but it certainly is joyous to watch.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

blog hop

heather over at open adoption bloggers is hosting a blog hop in order to help connect bloggers.

 the question she's posed to everyone is:

"Do you have a favorite quotation?"
mine can change depending on the season of life i am currently in, but this past sunday at church i heard one that could possibly be my favorite of all times.  see, the entire sermon was about the fact that God owns us.  He bought us with his blood, and the fact is - we're His and we belong to Him!  so, the quote that just might be my all time favorite is:
"i am His."
this pretty much sums it all up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

we certainly don't need a date on a calendar to remind us to love one another, but having a day devoted to celebrating your love for one another definitely doesn't hurt.  here, we love valentine's day.  we love any excuse to show each other how much we care and to spend time loving on each other.

dax brings so much love to our family and we pray that we always show him even more love in return.  while we love him with all of our hearts, it warms our spirits even more to see both of our extended families find great joy in spending time with dax and showing him love.  they love to play with him, rock him, cuddle him, feed him, sing with him - anything they can do with him, just to get to spend time with him giving him lovin's.  it is truly wonderful to watch your children grow up with the love of family.

lately dax has learned about showing and being shown love through kissing.  he loves it when you shower him with dozens of kisses right on his face, his cheeks, his head, his neck - etc.  he cuddles up deep in your chest and brings his arms in very close, just giggling with every smooch.  he's also learned that when you say "kiss" that it's got something to do with the lips.  he's still not quite sure how to give you a kiss, other than to sit still and hold his mouth out for you, but it's still pretty cute.

we'll have an at home family v-day celebration tomorrow night and all exchange cards.  we got dax some books to add to his growing library, so we'll have some family story time before bed time.  then, will and i have a date night on friday and dax will be hanging out with the neighbors while mommy and daddy enjoy some french food.  it will be great to get out of the house, be dressed up - not carrying a diaper bag, and have adult conversation.  we're looking forward to a grown up night out!  then, on saturday we're watching their son so they can go out on a v-day date as well.  i am sure the boys will have a blast playing with each other both weekend nights this week!

we wish everyone a valentine's day full of love and kindness!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cracker Barrel

It's just funny how things come together. Yesterday, on our way home from the 'Noke we made two pit stops in Cracker Barrels. I know, If you know me, you know I cannot get enough of them, but they do have great things besides grub.

First of all - they have a good changing station in both the women's and men's room. They are safe and they are clean. Secondly, they have friendly staff who cheerfully greet you, seat you, and thank you all the way. And one last rant love are the rockers on the front porch. I've rocked many a time with many a friend and family member on their porches.

However, our last trip to the Barrel on Sunday night isn't about any of this, it's about our waitress. She came over quickly and cheerfully welcomed us and offered to get our drinks. At the same time we ordered Dax's late night dinner. The waitress (with three stars on her apron) said she'd put it in right away. But, before she left she chatted with us about Dax. She said: "he's adopted right?" And we nodded to confirm. Her face lit up as she began to tell us about her second son, the one she'd placed for adoption 2 years prior. She swelled with pride as she took her cell phone out to show us his 2nd birthday party picture. She smiled and was content with the situation. It made our hearts happy.

We hope and pray that we can give Dax's birthmother the same sense of peace and assurance that this sweet girl had. It really was magical to see what she had, a sense of pride in her decision, a thank you for "people like us", and a happiness for the situation.

We were so happy we made this final pit stop to get Daxton some carrots and applesauce. And, we're so thankful that God put this sweet girl in our lives last night.

Friday, February 8, 2013

15 months

daxton turns 15 months old today!

either his clothes are shrinking or he is really growing!  we've bumped up from our (what i previously thought were) giant 12m clothes to even bigger 12-18m clothes.  things that are strictly 18m are too big, but the 12-18m shirts fit much better than those 12m onesies and jammies i was cramming him into!  he's totally stretching out these days!

this month has included a lot of big boy action. daxton's tricks include crawling over to you while you are laying in the bed and putting both hands on your legs or torso to hoist himself up. he'll then balance (look ma no hands!) and stand there for as long as he can until he goes tumbling down! we've tried to get him to do it on the floor, where his balance would be more stable, but he only likes to do it in the safety of the bed.

some babies are "safer" about standing and walking than others, and we think daxton is totally on the safe side. when he rises to stand he'll brace himself on a window sill or table and then slowly slide down the wall or table leg to get back onto the floor on all fours. he cautiously walks down the couch with both hands pacing along, and has only recently decided to flash the bravery and go for a one handed hold so he can go from one brace to another. he loves to pull up on the couch, tables, trays, armoires, chairs, and just about anything he can lay two hands on.

daxton's totally weened off baby food now.  we're buying all organic so that daxton can eat everything we eat. we let him try whatever i've made us for dinner and then if he does not care for it we resort to baked sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli.  one night i roasted beets and cooked beet greens and he did not think either one of those items was a good idea, but lately he's tried and loved polenta, roasted carrots, pesto (as a topping on veggies), and marinara with or without spaghetti noodles. it was funny to watch him slurp noodles and eat spaghetti, but we're torturing him less with mini spirals whenever we give him pasta now. he's still a huge fan of the bunny crackers and has lately also added graham cracker bunnies to his repertoire.

daxton's favorite words and phrases are still thank you, uh oh, daddy, and good girl.  we now hear good girl whenever he's referring to amelia.  he's dubbed her the good girl and it's pretty cute how he calls for her.  will commented that it's so amazing how quickly he picks up on things.  recently, after apparently watching too much wheel of fortune, dax has been shouting out letters. his favorite shout out letter is "T"! however, he will also repeat letters you tell him, so if you say a, e, i, o, u - he will too. it's pretty cute and it shocks us every time. he laughs so hard he closes his eyes and we all get a good chuckle out of hearing daxton shout out letters!

although its not my favorite thing for daxton to do, he does get to watch one show a day. his two favorite shows are the aforementioned wheel of fortune and mickey mouse clubhouse. he's a huge fan of the hot dog dance, especially when mommy and daddy play minnie and mickey and dance around like giant goobers. lately he's started doing his own dancing and hopping around on both knees flapping his arms like goofy whenever he hears the song.

daxton loves to watch us do chores. he's totally fascinated by watching the dishes go into the dishwasher or be put into the cabinets. he loves watching us sweep or mop. we promised him that as soon as he was old enough he could certainly help with all of the chores he wanted. we remind him that things like mopping and laundry are fun!

daxton has lately learned to mimic us with different things. he'll want to hold the hair brush and attempt to brush his hair, grab a hold of the tooth brush to brush his own teeth, reach out for his spoon to put it in his mouth himself, take his fake remote to try to "work" the tv, and even take the washcloth to wipe us down.

he's awesome at picking up things like his blocks, balls, and even tiny pieces of food. he'll work those digits to grab everything around him. he opens his one and only free kitchen cabinet door to take out all of (mommy's new) rubbermaids and stack them in various places all over the kitchen. it keeps him busy for quite some time. he loves grabbing the ball when daddy rolls it to him and tossing it back or throwing it over his head. he jumps up and down on his knees and claps when we cheer for his amazing talents! he still loves to clap and dance. he loves all music and loves to wiggle and bounce to just about anything we put on.

he's had a good month and he's learning and growing by leaps and bounds!  we're in love with his curiosity and eagerness to learn and do new things.  we cannot wait to see what fun this next month holds!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

working 9-5

recently i was asked how i manage to work a full 9-5 office job from home with a toddler in my care.  i honestly chuckled when i read the e-mail because it has become so second nature that i hardly think about how i do what i do anymore - i just have to do it.  however, since this e-mail came in, something tapped me constantly on the shoulder (maybe its my jimminy cricket) to say "look at yourself - running around like a chicken with your head cut off!"  i jokingly told another co-worker that i was not going to do a blog post on this topic, but here it comes.

it all starts with some cooing sounds coming from the other end of the house.  the awakening starts each morning on daxton's behalf - if it was up to me we'd all sleep until 10am daily, but i have to work, and he has to do things like eat and have clean diapers - so he wakes up.  sometimes he gets up at 6:45 and i try to bargain and plead with him about snoozing with a fresh diaper and a bottle snack for just another half an hour, but he never takes me up on it.  once he's up he has to start his day off with smiles, giggles, and snuggles.   he's waiting there (standing in his sleep sack) with arms outstretched so happy to see me.  he cuddles in when i scoop him up from his crib.  he lays on the changing table while i work on the diaper.  after the diaper we truck down the hall to pour up some milk and i usually hold him in bed while he drinks, for at least 15 minutes or so.  as he wakes, so do our dogs - the dogs who cannot be together in the same room (except while sleeping under different blankets in the same bed - don't ask) or they'll murder each other, so i have to start making plans on how to separate them for the morning, while keeping dax away from trouble and danger.  i usually have to put him back in his crib to make this dog arrangement, and then take one dog outside while the other one barks behind the gate at the door of our bedroom.  dogs each eat different foods, so i have to make sure the appropriate dog food is in the dog dish before i put one dog in the living area, while the other one gets to potty and return to the bedroom until lunch time.  (dog jail...)  at this point i also attempt to get a bathroom potty break, which sometimes does not happen for at least another hour or so.  once the dogs and my bladder are settled i get dax into his high chair and get him excited about morning time.  i usually sing him my rendition of mandisa's good morning - which is just a little more mod than my mom's - "good morning, good morning, it's time to get up this morning - good morning, good morning - to you!"  he laughs and giggles and thinks i am totally hilarious...  after he's strapped in i keep him happy with o's cereal.  he usually takes about 5 at a time now and he'll keep pounding them down until the main course.  in the mean time i am in the background cutting up fruit or defrosting frozen fruit to put in the bottom of his yogurt.  he loves his yogurt and i think it's his favorite meal of each day.  once the yogurt is scooped up and ready i settle into my seat and feed mr. happy.  he delights in the yogurt with "yumm" and other delightful sounds.  he pauses sometimes half way through and looks out the window into the yard to look at birds, dogs, or wind blowing things.  but, when he is ready you better be back to the yogurt in a hot  hurry.  once we get down to the last bite i give him fair warning and he is told that this is the "last bite".  he'll smile and tell me "all gone".  after he's done i offer a few more o's while i fix my own yogurt, get a pony tail holder, take daily meds, and pour a cup of coffee.  i make one trek up the stairs with dax and settle him in his pack and play where i tell him "i'll be right back".  he smiles and says "bye bye" as i head back down stairs to get my breakfast and phone to carry them upstairs.  this all happens most days before 8:30am, but definitely by 9.

by 9am i've started my computer, downloaded email, checked voicemail, and gotten into work mode.  i am shoving in yogurt and guzzling down coffee while dax is pretty content with what's going on in the pack and play.  sometimes answering email takes until 10am and during that time i may have had to let dax out of the pack and play and free in the office.  we've got a gate on the office door and it has bars - just like jail.  (lots of jails in our house.)  so, dax rotates through various toys in the office while i'm buried in emails and phone calls.  he gets very little attention during this hour.  sure, i stop what i am doing for a brief pause to give him a smile, "good job", or a giggle.  but he plays rather contently with (mostly) an activity table and books.  he loves the bookshelf and everything on it.  he loves to look at all sorts of books - art books, computer books, manuals, photo albums - any kind of book.  we usually have at least one dirty diaper in this time frame and i usually change it while on the phone with the phone in between my head and neck bending down to do diapers in the middle of the office floor.  shortly after 10 am he starts getting tired and ready for his nap.  he's generally good to get his bottle and head to his room for his nap.  he used to nap in my office in the pack and play, but lately my phone calls and 70+ wpm are just too annoying, so he heads to his room and i grab the baby monitor and head back upstairs.

if he goes down for his nap with ease, then i know i have until about noon to get some serious work done.  anything detail oriented needs to be accomplished during this time.  i may not have another focused chance.  i work furiously - head down, depriving myself of bathroom breaks, water, and any distraction to focus completely on the tasks at hand.  there may be conference calls, spreadsheets, answering more emails, or sharing information with coworkers - it all works like a well oiled machine.  this all goes on until about noon or 1pm.  then, i hear some babbling on the baby monitor and its time for an away message on my instant messenger.

i hop down the stairs, take a dog outside, switch the dogs, and head to daxy's room.  again, he's smiling and ready to go (as long as dog barking or some other obnoxiousness has not woken him up early).  i get him re-diapered and ready for lunch.  we head to the kitchen and i get him into his high chair.  i give him some kale puffs and take the other dog outside to potty.  after i head back inside i prep his lunch while keeping the puffs coming.  i chat with him while i chop up tomatoes, heat up peas and polenta, mixing in some pesto and white cheddar cheese.  i hide behind the pantry door and do a couple of pop out peek-a-boo's to get him chuckling.  i grab a baby spoon and head to the table for the lunch.  i blow on each spoon of lunch and he now blows too, so we make sure it's cooled off and ready to chow down.  he wiggles in his seat and loves watching the dog run around the living room/kitchen.  he shouts out "good girl" as he sees one of them run by.  we make it through the lunch and i fix myself something, and again take dax up to the pack and play and come back down to get the lunch i made for myself. 

i always eat at my desk, and sometimes dax lets me do that - while other times he thinks we should play instead of mommy eating.  i give him some dancing around the room and sometimes he'll do some jumping - and if he does - he will do it for up to half an hour.  by now i am signed back on at work and plowing back through emails, phone calls, and instant messages that are backed up.  dax is a lot more active in the afternoons and is usually crawling all over the room.  he'll go under will's desk, climb up to look out the window, throw things out of the room over or through the baby gate, scream at/for the dogs, play with his activity table, re-organize the bookshelf, pull down my office phone by its cord and clearly say "hi" to the dial tone at the other end, or work to open all of the drawers in my desk.  he's busy.  i keep buzzing through work tasks, take more conference calls, and manipulate more spreadsheets.  i build shop forms, work on training, and take client calls.  all the while - most people don't know there is an (almost) 15 month old baby at my feet or on my lap. 

by about 4:30pm each day dax has had enough of the 12x14 room i call my office.  he's either ready for another nap or he's ready to bust out of there and sing as we trot down the stairs.  the dogs are ready to go outside again and flip flop spaces.  sometimes i can squeak 5pm or 5:30pm out of all of my office/house mates, but sometimes they are just DONE.   if he goes down for a nap then i can continue to plug through more work and get lots accomplished, but lately he's just not feeling two naps a day - every day.   it all depends on the day.

and not all days start out so smoothly or go according to this routine.  today was one of those days. 

this morning dax was grumpy.  he has been battling a cold and had those sicky icky boogers again.  he was groggy and just wanted to be with mommy.  i held him while i did all of my morning tasks, attempting to answer emails one handed, talk on the phone, and answer instant messages.  he cried and screamed and tried to pull the phone and my coffee off the desk.  i screamed "NO DAX!" as tears fell down my face, because it hit me that its just all too much for a baby some days.  he would not let me put him down.  he did not want to go in his pack and play, in his jumperoo, or onto the floor to crawl about.  he only wanted to be in my lap and on my chest.  no where else would do.  i had to send an email and let everyone know that i just had to step away for a bit.  i wasn't sure if i'd be back.

i took dax into the play room and held him in my lap.  i cried and he'd already forgiven me for being such a big meanie with a lack of patience.  he smiled at me and took my glasses off.  (he usually takes them by force and chucks them across the room, but i think he likes me better without them, so i ordered some contacts.)  i kept them off while i played ball with him and let him crawl around.  he played for a few minutes, but then he just wanted to go back to cuddling and rocking.  i patted his back and rocked him until he fell asleep.  it was just what he needed - just what i needed.

he's a good baby.  i don't have anything to compare his actions to, but i believe he's a really good baby.  he's happy to play on his own, show me things he's proud of, and be happy with books and sunshine.  i don't know that this would work with any other baby, but somehow God knew what baby would work in this family and he directed us into his life.  it just all comes together.

i work for him.  i work so we can live where we live and hopefully fill our home with other adopted children one day.  i work for the hope of affording family fun on weekends, family vacations, and buying organic foods.  i work from home so i can stay home with dax all day long, so i can be there when he takes his first steps, says his first sentence, or has a bad day.  i am not the work-a-holic, but i am extremely passionate about doing a good job at anything you sign your name to and i would never want to let my company, my teammates, or my supervisor down.  they count on me to do good work.  so far, i think i am still doing a good job with that.  luckily i have the grace of God to get me through all of the tough days that don't go according to plan, and i have dax's grace and forgiveness when i focus too much on my computer and phone and not enough on him. 

sure, i'd rather be a totally devoted stay at home mom, but it's just not something we can do right now - so until we win the lottery or some other miracle happens, i will continue to somehow split my focus between my work and the reason that i sit at my desk all day.  praise be to God that i have a son who understands.