THIS WEEK

Vacation Bible School started at our church on Sunday night. I was so wiped out after teaching the two year-old class that I came home and went straight to bed! My feet, back as well as several other body parts ached and I just could not take any more. Since then it has gotten easier and easier for me. There are 12 two year-olds in my class and five teachers. The church has averaged over 300 children a night!

Natalie and Julian have enjoyed VBS and it is nice to see them interact with other children. Last year, one of Natalie’s first words was “God” the second night of VBS! We are so blessed that our church provides classes for such young children. It is amazing how much they can absorb.

Julian loves to talk about our cars. He started out saying “Mommy’s car” or “Daddy’s car” and then it evolved into “Daddy’s car silver!” or “Mommy’s car silver!” Since we got DVD players in the car, my car is now known as “The Elmo car!” Unfortunately, this week the air conditioner in my car started acting up and now Julian refers to my car as “The hot car!” So now we are in Daddy’s golf cart, also known as a Toyota Prius. So I hope Dad can get our car fixed soon. If not we may get used to the golf cart!

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TIME FLIES

Last year at this time, my family and Marti’s had planned to meet for the first time for a vacation in Williamsburg, VA. This was a halfway point for both families distance-wise, and we were both familiar with the area attractions. It is hard to believe that a year has passed since this event.

I’ve blogged before about how I had read a magazine article in the March 2009 issue of Good Housekeeping about a family that had donated embryos to five other families, and they have a “family reunion” of sorts. I thought it was a pretty neat idea, and admired the fact that they had developed and maintained a relationship with all the families involved. I thought Marti would be interested, so I sent it to her. It wasn’t long afterwards that we suggested we do the same.

She had already sent us an invitation to Natalie and Julian’s first birthday party, but we had already been on vacation in February, and had one planned for April, so we weren’t able to attend. Obviously she had no qualms about meeting us if she is sending an invitation, but it took some convincing on my part for Jim to come around and realize that this would be a good idea to meet them. When we chose open adoption, I had entered into the process with the idea that I would most likely only get periodic updates. I had never imagined that I would have a relationship with the adopting family such as it is.

We booked our hotel accommodations in a place we had stayed before, and Marti booked there as well. Jim was hesitant about this, for he only knew of them through what I told him, and was concerned it would be awkward staying in the same hotel if the families didn’t make a connection. I told him it would be fine, and each family would go their separate way if we didn’t hit it off. I was excited about the trip, until we started to see the signs for our exit, and then I began to panic. I was worried that it wasn’t going to go well, and beginning to have reservations about meeting them. All my fears were allayed once we spent time with Marti and her family.

In my mind, I have likened the development of the relationship between the two families as “dating” and or “dancing.” You meet someone, you like them, and than you develop a stronger bond which eventually grows to love. You want to be yourself, but at the same time, you want to present a persona that the other person will like. You are always aware of the other person’s next move and reactions to you. I feel the same way when I meet and make a new friend with one of the mothers of my children’s friends.

Now that so much time has passed, I am comfortable in our relationship, and don’t have that giddy feeling that “Marti sent an email.” I feel as if both families have always been a part of one another.

LIFE AND DEATH

Mother’s milk does a baby good. Grant and Maria have each surpassed the weight of our cat Lucy and combined surpass Ally, aka Fat Al, who weighs somewhere between 13 and 14 pounds. Grant is tipping the scales at 7 lbs 13 ounces and Maria is not far behind at 7 lbs 7 ounces. Both measured 20 inches long. While they are not on the growth chart for their actual age, they are doing very well. People look at us funny when we tell them how old they are and we often have to explain that they were born seven weeks early and therefore developmentally they won’t look or necessarily act like a normal 10 week old. Our doctor has given them both a clean bill of health and based upon their shrieking at the office declared that their hearts and lungs are quite healthy. Additionally, Maria saw the cardiologist last week and we were pleased to find out that her VSD closed on its own. Both babies have to return to the cardiologist next year to see if their patent foramen ovale (PFO) closes. PFO is not an uncommon preemie issue and the cardiologist wasn’t concerned at all. I can only imagine what it will be like to do ultrasounds on one year olds. Our sonographer said that he and his partner flip a coin when it comes to scanning toddlers. At least with Maria’s trip this time I came armed with “boob in a bottle” so she could happily eat while getting her ultrasound completed. If I hadn’t it would have been a total disaster. She was fussing when we first got started and her little heart was racing on the screen. As soon as I plugged her up her heart calmed down and we could get down to business.

While we’ve been busy cultivating life inside our house, there’s been a battle raging against it outside. It started in early spring with an ant invasion outside our bathroom. It got to the point where the ants came inside and we were having a daily mass ant death by flooding in the tub. After spraying several times outside, we finally got the good stuff and killed the queen. Ant problem has now been solved. Our next battle has been with yellow jackets. A couple of weeks ago our dog, Charlie, was out back when he came running toward the porch in distress desperately trying to get away from being stung. Unfortunately he was running toward me and Grant. I couldn’t let him into the house while he still had bees on him, so I had to take a broom and swat them off before we made our retreat in the house. I told Jeremy about the incident and he had been keeping an eye out for the nest. Well, he found it while cutting grass to the tune of no less than 4 stings. The grass didn’t get completed that day and we’re in the process of trying to eliminate the nest. To no avail, we’ve sprayed one can of stuff that was supposed to kill them. In a second attempt at mass death, he unloaded an entire can of Raid into the hole where they are living as well as a yard fogger next to the hole last night. I looked out back this morning and think I saw at least one little bugger flying back into the hole. Jeremy will be sorely disappointed if I’m right. The grass is nearing unruly levels and if we don’t get the yellow jackets taken care of soon, the grass might take over and we’ll be unable to find Charlie when he’s out back. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

A BIG WILSON WEEKEND

It’s been a weekend of milestones at the Wilson household. First, Jeremy got a “new” car. I am actually surprised by this as when we first looked on Thursday I became frightened at the prospect of a long and drawn out process. Our first attempt was foiled by the dealer. I called in the morning to make sure the prospect car was there, which he said it was. After arranging for Mom to watch Grant and Maria, we made the short trek to New Albany, Indiana only to find that the car was not there. It was out getting a little work done on a scratched bumper. The salesman, who had less personality than my big toe, said he would call me when it was back. Still haven’t heard from him. Since we were already out and had several hours before Mom had to leave we came back across the bridge and went to another lot. Here, there was a 7 year old Accord that we could probably manage to get down to our price. However, when Jeremy got in it, he said it didn’t feel right, meaning there wasn’t enough bacteria to surround him to make him comfortable. He said the brake pedal was too high and he couldn’t see the front end like he likes to. I tried to reason with him that no car is going to feel like his current one. After 14 years, he and his car have molded together nicely. We walked about and didn’t see anything else of interest in our “paying cash” price range. Jeremy ranted about all the digital displays in cars and how newer is not always better. After all, he worked in television during the analog to digital conversion and still has nightmares and complains about the downsides to digital every time the TV pixilates. To home we returned and I continued my internet search. We later got a call from the salesman we were working with who realized that Jeremy was probably only going to be comfortable in something a little older and called when he found a low mileage 1998 Accord. On Saturday we ventured back out. As soon as he got in it, I could see a grin spread across his face and I asked if the brake pedal was in the right place…he laughed and said yes. After a test drive and a little negotiating, Jeremy drove off the lot in his new car. He said it seemed like a car his mom would have previously owned and it indeed was a one owner “lady driven” car that was taken care of very well. Next step is to rent a dumpster so he can clean out his old one and we can attempt to sell it before donating it.

The next milestone was Grant and Maria’s first trip to the church nursery. Mom has been watching them each week, but was unable to this weekend. We decided it was time to see how they did. I’ve worked in the infant nursery for ten years; so I know what to expect, I just didn’t know how they were going to do. After getting them registered and getting the usual barrage of looks and comments I took them to their room. They were nearing the ugly combination of tired and hungry and I had a bad feeling. I handed over Maria who was, to put it nicely, a bit peeved. Next, Grant was passed across the counter and they both disappeared into the familiar room. Bottles were packed and I instructed the team leader that bottles sooner than later were probably a good idea for everyone involved. Jer and I went into worship and I was pleasantly surprised when we made it the first 15 minutes without our ID number coming up on the screen. Every 15 minutes I took another sigh of relief as the Child ID numbers that popped up were not ours. Service ended and we looked at each other with satisfaction that they made it the whole time. We picked up two sleeping babies and made it home. They were so worn out from their big adventure that they hardly made a peep after getting home and ready for bed. We put them down and enjoyed the sweet sound of silence. Jeremy and I crashed on the couch during 48 Hours Mystery, which reminded us of our pre-children life. It wasn’t uncommon for us to go to church, dinner and come home to pass out on the couch for the night. Call us boring, but since we lived opposite schedules during the week, this time together was something we both cherished. Alas, our couch nap came to an end when baby bellies demanded another feeding and to reality we returned.

WEDDING DAY

Saturday we went to my cousin Bryon’s wedding. Julian was dressed in his suit and tie and Natalie was in her party dress. We took pictures of them before the wedding. They had such fun playing hide and seek we just had to capture it on film!

I sure did miss my mother-in-law at this wedding. Last summer when my other cousin got married she had kept the twins in the nursery, so Brian and I, as well as everyone else, could enjoy the wedding free of distractions. This time the twins were with Brian and me so I did not get many good pictures of the ceremony. The twins were very good, they just had to have their drinks, and then they had to have us draw pictures for them while I was trying to capture the perfect shot. It was a beautiful wedding that we are so thankful we were able to attend. Bryon and his new wife Shelby have been dating for a long time and we were all happy to see this day arrive.

Natalie and Julian had a great time. They got to eat as much cheese as they wanted and a bit of cake as well. At each place setting was a gift box, with chocolate in them. The twins ate almost all the chocolate at our table and were very disappointed when they would look in other people’s boxes only to find them empty! Julian and I got to enjoy a mother and son dance while Dad danced with Natalie while he was sitting in his chair. Just the kind of dancing Dad likes to do!

It made me tear up thinking about how my mom was not here for this glorious event. I have heard people say that it is times like these that we think and miss our loved ones the most, but I miss her all the time. I have found that I still have good times, they just are not as sweet.

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LEARNING CURVE

My son is a fan of Linda Ronstadt. This is a fact that causes some concern for Jeremy. She recorded a CD of old songs into lullabies, including “Dedicated to the One I Love” and most disturbingly, Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” However disturbing it may be, it has helped us win today’s nap battle. Grant is proficient at falling asleep on you then popping his eyes open as soon as you put him in the crib. Don’t dare walk away while his eyes are open or else you are in for it. While we both enjoy holding him it’s not practical to have to spend the whole day holding him. We might, I don’t know, have to use the bathroom. I don’t have any of those Lisa Novak NASA diapers, so I must put him down. Maria is a little better about this and often, when all else fails, wants to be left alone. This is one of the many differences we’re seeing in their personalities. Grant is more extroverted and Maria is the thoughtful introvert. As they are getting bigger we are enjoying learning more about them and their quirks.

One thing they both really like is being outside. If they are fussing, stepping onto the front porch is almost instant quiet. We took them to a baseball game on Friday and they both gladly slept in the heat. They were a hit with those around us and we get hit with the usual barrage of questions and comments….”how old?”, “they are so tiny”, “my so and so has twins or had preemies”, and so forth. Jeremy and I aren’t quite used to being the spectacle that we feel like we are when we go out and about. We always get double takes and smiles. Sometimes I wonder if they are thinking “better them than us.” With the evening hours being designated as “fussy time” in our house, Jeremy was frightened about our venture out at that time of day. I assured him that they would be fine because they are happy being held and my mom would have no problem giving them squeeze time. Thankfully, I wasn’t wrong, and despite a minor meltdown in the car on the way home, they both were quiet when we got home and remained so the rest of the night. We’re getting a little braver as we learn what works and doesn’t work and hopefully we’ll soon not be scared to venture into public.

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VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

The neatest thing happened at Vacation Bible School on Thursday night. We got to see another couple who had adopted from the NEDC. We first met them at a meeting that Bethany Christian Services had and then we got to know them a bit better when we were both asked to take part in a filming for the NEDC. The little boy was almost three so he was in class with Natalie & Julian. It was so nice to see them and to be able to tell the teachers about the three miracles that they had in their class. Neither one of us attends the church, so it was neat that we got to meet up again like that. The last night we got to have our pictures made with the King and Queen as well as their court since the theme for VBS was The Knight’s Tale. We were very pleased with the wonderful teaching that the church had to offer and we will look forward to sending the twins again next year.

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