Monday, December 19, 2011

So-Long, but Not Farewell

Lately I have been thinking a lot about trust, specifically trusting God.

With in the past few months our pastors, Ira and Nate, spoke on trusting God (look for Peace Out) in the middle of adversity not just at the end when we can see the whole picture. To trust God even though we don't know the full scope of God's plans, to trust Him knowing that God has our best interests in mind.

May 2008
At 14 I was diagnosed with PCOS, which was not in my plans. At 18 I was angry at God that no guys seemed interested in me and thus no guy would marry me which would mean no kids for my future. In my early 20's I struggled with knowing that it was quite possible that I would never have biological children. In my mid 20's I wondered where the man would come from who would marry me. At 28 when I finally married I thought a lot about the hole in my heart that a child could only fill. Then, in September 2010 it all became clear why I had to go through what I had to, a special boy had been set aside just for me and he was as perfect as could be.

Now, imagine if I had my own way? If I hadn't had PCOS, if I had married when
Stomper Oct 2010
I wanted to, if I had given birth to my own children, I would have never been in position to provide a loving home for a little baby boy when he was born. If I had avoided all the pain in my life I wouldn't have the life I have now, a life I enjoy.

This morning we said so-long to Honey Bee (she was moved to a home closer to the rest of her family to better facilitate reunification). So-long, but not farewell. We are trusting in God that He will care for her like only He can. We are trusting that He has plans for her and for us, plans to grow her and us, plans to bring her and us closer to Him. We can believe these things and trust in these things because He has proven to us time and time again that He can be trusted. He has plans to give us hope, and even though we don't understand His thoughts, we know He loves us. We hope and pray that God will bring us all together again, maybe not here on earth, but later in heaven.

So we will trust and we will pray. We will be her prayer warriors, unknown by her, but there just the same. We will trust that God brought her into our lives for those seven short weeks for a reason, and that this pain we feel in our hearts is to bring us closer to Him.

We will always love her, she will always hold a special place in our hearts, and she will always be our daughter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mimi & Bumpa's House

We have been spending a lot of time at Jason's parents house. It's nice to get out of the house and have other people help me with caring for the kiddos. I feel very blessed that Stomper and Honey Bee have such involved grandparents.

Here is a typical day for Stomper while he's at their house...

Playing at Mimi and Bumpa's house is a blast!

We put toy buckets on our heads,

Play in Mimi's baking cupboard while Auntie makes supper,

Get sat on by Bumpa,

And snuggle with Bumpa when the day is done.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Yarn Along :: Projects

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ via Ginny

I have dutifully been pecking away at my Christmas Knitting List.
Top of my list right now: Finishing Honey Bee's baby doll. I just have a few strands of hair left and then she will be done. I finished Stompers hat Thanksgiving week-end, Jason's Hunters Hat I finished in January (he was very upset when he learned he couldn't use it until the end of the year), I decided that since everyone else got a knitted thing for Christmas that I should get one too so I started a pair of arm warmers  (pictured above) for myself for Christmas. I also restarted Jason's Christmas stocking and remembered last night that I still haven't finished Stomper's Sleep Sack. I promised a cousin a pair of gloves for Christmas, but it looks like they'll have to wait until the first part of the year, hopefully she'll be patient with me.

Stomper's Hat I designed on my own. I don't think I'd do the moose pattern in the round again. There is a large space to carry the yarn and it didn't work out too well. You can't see the true color very well in this picture, but the hat is green. The doll is an adaptation of this pattern from TwinsKnit. I omitted the ears, changed the yarn to a cotton (it doesn't get fuzzy in little mouths), changed the colors around, and added hair. It is a very easy and simple knit and I'll probably make a few for Easter for my Sunday School class.

As for reading, not doing a whole lot of that these days. I did start Graceling by Kristi Cashore yesterday on a whim. I got tired of watching DVD's and both kids were sleeping so I thought I'd give it a try. I read it before and it's nice rereading something, I haven't done that in awhile. It's a really great psychic/superpower book, but the only thing I don't like is the sex scene in it which was not neccessary.

The Meaning of "Na"

Dear Stomper,

I am so thankful that you are learning to communicate. I love to hear your little voice while I'm driving down the road. You don't have much to say it seems, but your cute little noises make me smile.

I do have one complaint. What does "Na" mean? You use this word constantly.
"Na" you say to me holding your hand out towards the table littered with papers, food, cups, and clothes and then you look expectantly at me like I understand exactly what you are saying. Are you saying: "Mum, look at this mess!" or "Mum, I like that project you started." or "Mum, I'll help you throw away some of those papers." or "Mum, can I have a snack?"

You get very frustrated at me when I don't respond correctly to your "Na" and I was just wondering and hoping if you could define for me what it means.

In the meantime we will do our part to teach you how to communicate better. You are learning fast how to sign with us so that at least your "Na" is not a gut wrenching scream, but a way to get our attention.

We love you very much, Baby Boy, and look forward to conversing with you in English instead of "Na"

Love your Parents,
Papa & Mama

Week Ending

Stomper, Honey Bee, and I have tried to keep things low-key over the past 36 hours. Mainly due to a very goopy nose and a cranky disposition from a certain little boy, which reminded me that we haven't been home much since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Between the holiday, shopping, church, Honey Bee's visits, other appointments, and visiting grandparents we've only been home to sleep it seems. We were due for a day in. Unfortunately Honey Bee had an appointment to get a shot update on Friday, and so I called my gracious sister-in-law (who I woke up from her slumber) to see if she could come over and spend time with Stomper while I ran out with Honey Bee. I made the right decision. He took three 1 hour naps yesterday and still went to bed on time and slept for 12 hours, poor baby!

New Shoes, Pizza a Plenty, Freezer Finder
Because it was Friday I felt the need to make pizza. I probably should have bought frozen pizza, but I wanted too many flavors. I wound up with a total of 6 little pizza's. I bought frozen bread dough loaves, thawed and raised 3 of them, cut them in half, stretched them, and then covered them in delightful toppings: dill pickles, pepperoni, chicken, Alfredo, pork, onions, BBQ Sauce, tomato sauce that I made, peppers, and zucchini. They are so very yummy! The best part is that there are plenty of leftovers for breakfasts this week-end.

Honey Bee and I have settled into a minor nighttime routine. She tanks up before bed and eats 2-3 4 ounce bottles from 6pm to 10pm then falls asleep somewhere near 9pm and sleeps to somewhere near 3am. Then she's up again around 6 for snuggles and a snackleral before sleeping like a log for a few hours. Of course, now that I have told you this she will change her mind. On morning when Jason doesn't go to work he gets up with her the second time and I get to sleep in until 9 or so.

On Stomper's adoption front, things are progressing and it looks like everything will be buttoned up by late December or early January. There were some miss-communication or lack of communication all together between DHHS, the courts, and our lawyer which is why things are taking so long. Hopefully in a months time this ordeal will be all behind us.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Expectant Friends

Dear Karolyne and Charlene,

I would like to knit you something for your upcoming bundles of pooping, crying, and not sleeping joy.

What would you prefer?

You may choose, color, type of fiber and size. Here are your options:

Hat, mittens, and booties (not the booties shown here)

Bunny or bear (bear not shown).

Turtle rattle for the stroller

Coming Home Set

Rocket Power (makes a noise when you shake it) 

Flannel Hunters Hat


Thumb Sucking Mitts

Little Lamb

Sweater Set (booties, sweater, and hat)

Let me know what you decide so that I can look for good deals on yarn!

Sincerely Your Knitting Friend,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving in Maine

Posing for the camera, Ben set the timer, but
didn't make sure that he made it in the picture!
 We have had a wonderful few days. Wednesday Stomper, Honey Bee, and I went to Grandma and Grandfathers house to spend the night. That way when we got up Thanksgiving morning we could watch the parade and pause it as needed (I am so thankful for DVR's!). Just as I thought, Stomper loved all the pre-show singing and dancing. He danced with the performers, but lost insterst when the parade balloons came through. We had a tastey meal made by my mother before popping by Jason's aunts house to see the greats.

Grandfather thought Stomper would look more
studious with glasses
Then, on Friday, Mimi picked Honey Bee and I up in the morning to do some Black Friday Christmas shopping. Stomper got to stay behind this year and spend the week-end with Grandma while Papa went hunting. We went to South Portland to visit Target, AC Moore, and of course the mall. We stayed at the Wyndam Motel (something I won't do again- don't let their nice looking rooms lure you in). 

We did take a quick dip in their dark and imposing pool area, that was visible from the bar adding a delightful creep factor, and, despite all the negatives was relaxing. I also thought that in addition to having a pleasant pool area that at $110 a night we'd get to use hot tub at the pool area (there was none), free breakfast, and complimentary mini-fridge. 

On Saturday, after finishing up our South Portland shopping, we went to Old Port to participate in small business Saturday. I wrongfully assumed that there would be sales, but I did do my part and bought something from a small business. We did get to sample some cupcakes at a small bake shop. I had one that tasted like a peanut butter and fluff sandwich, Jenna had a coconut one, and my MIL had a peppermint patty cup cake. We went to out for Mexican food and the family surprised me with fried ice cream and a round of "Happy Birthday".

When we finally made it home again Jason had prepared me a donut Birthday cake (wish I had taken a photo but I didn't) and another round of Happy Birthday.


As you can see from the photos we have snow. It seems that the new weather pattern is to have a snow storm right before a major holiday (we had another one right before Halloween). Stomper and Grandma went out in the snow to play on the slide. It was nice and warm so his shoe-less foot is not cold. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Give Myself Permission

I give myself permission...

To sleep in a bit even after Stomper is up.
To wear pj's until evening when I shower and put new pj's on.
To fall asleep in church, just for a moment (sorry Nate).
To drink large amounts of coffee.
To eat too many PB&J's.
To keep the Weather Channel on so I don't feel alone.
To feel accomplished after knitting a single row.
To not knit some people's Christmas presents and instead knit for my children.
To pay someone to do my dishes and sweep my floors.
To sit and snuggle with one or two of my babies instead of folding laundry or picking up toys.
To not feel like a bad mama when I can't get Honey Bee to stop crying
To enjoy all the pats Stomper gives Honey Bee, even if he's a little zealous, because it means he wants to help and loves her to.
To be thankful all the time for family who willingly and without complaint helps us out.
To nap as often as I can.
To leave the toys and books on the floor.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tirelessly Sleepless

First an appoloy: I cannot show you pictures of our little bundle of joy (henceforth nicknamed Honey Bee). I can assure you that Honey Bee is beautiful, wears a very cute knitted hat that I made her, and constantly melts her Papa's heart with every gaze.

As you can imagine there isn't a lot of sleeping happening around our house these days. Jason took a few days off for paternity leave last week and so for a fleeting moment I received several glorious chunks of time for sleeping. Not so much anymore. Every few days Honey Bee lets me get a partially interrupted night of sleep (by getting up only once in the night) but usually she's up from midnight to 1am and again around 3 to 4 and then Stomper is up by 7, so I sleep/nap/rest in between those times. Please forgive me if you see me and I do not know a) the day, b) the time, c) your name, or d) the last time I ate a meal when it was hot.

During the odd day that I am home all day we snuggle, read books, nap in the chair, eat, poop, and relax together. We try our best to enjoy each other and learn to adapt to sharing our favorite people.Stomper likes to help me burp Honey Bee and has only a few occasions tried to burp her face when Mama wasn't paying attention. Mostly he rubs her head, kisses her head, and burps her on the back. I think, because he gets so much attention from family during the week, he hasn't shown too much jealously. Then again, we've only had Honey Bee for 3 weeks, so that could change.

Honey Bee is growing and I estimate that she is pre-9lbs. She is much smaller than Stomper was at this age and it's a bit of an adjustment. The one good thing about her being a bit smaller is that she is wearing the newborn - 3month clothes longer. I think by this age Stomper was in the 3-6month clothing. I did some Christmas shopping recently and rather enjoyed buying dresses and cute pink things. It is such a shame that Honey Bee is growing and that I am forced to shop for her.

To help ease some of my stress I have hired a very helpful teenager to do some minor housework around the house. She very gracefully and without complaint sweeps up the dog hair, scrubs out the pots, scours the toilets, and gives me what many Mama's need: conversation.

Our families have been helping us out immensely with free babysitting for Stomper while we run Honey Bee to her various appointments. I am able to take both kids and their stuff to places, but it is a bit of a heavy juggle.

Please forgive me if you see me and I do not know a) the day, b) the time, c) your name, or d) the last time I ate a meal when it was hot.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Snow

The historic snow storm that has hit the northeast has been a lot of fun up here. We took Stomper out for a very quick romp in the snow. He loved it. His mitten fell off right away, but he didn't mind. He was rubbing the snow with his bare palm. This winter is going to be a blast I think. We borrowed a snowsuit from Grandma's Daycare so all we need now is a pair of boots to keep his toes warm.

The horse really stands out with the snow on the ground, he was fascinated.

Papa showing him how to make a snowball

We did attempt to put his mitten back on.

(The little bit of snow in the air is a bit that he threw)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Big Brother

This week-end we welcomed a baby girl into our home as a Foster Child. 

She is healthy, smaller than Stomper was, and sleepy all the time. 

Stomper has been hanging out with his Mimi this week-end while we all adjust to a little one being in the house so we are not sure how he will handle sharing his Mama. He has been enjoying giving her kisses and pats, watching us care for her.

Many people have been asking if we will be adopting her. The hope is that she will be reunited with her birth family before too much time passes. In the event that she cannot be reunited with her family and she become available for adoption, then we will be thrilled to "officially" welcome into our family. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stomper Videos

Stomper took his first steps at Blueberry Mountain Bible Camp where I was visiting one Saturday afternoon. This is the same place where my brother and sister learned to walk many, many years ago. He took his first steps to his Aunty Teeny, not his Mama or his Papa!

At the fair in September Stomper had his first taste of cotton candy. He wasn't too sure what to think of it.

Harvest Party

This past week-end we had our Harvest Party at my Mom's house. It went rather well. Twelve people attended and brought many delightful canned goods to swap. M & G brought Kosher Dill Pickles, R & T brought Tomato Soup, T & K brought Pickled Beets, Z & J brought Apple Sauce, N & J brought Pear Butter, and I brought Apple Butter. We had tasted the goodies and then voted for Tastiest and Uniquest. The Kosher Dill Pickles won Tastiest and the Tomato Soup won Uniquest and the winners took home a beautiful mum.

Tasting Homemade Tomato Soup
We had potluck with beans being the theme (unintentional), two different baked beans, a chicken chili, hot dogs, and summer squash casserole. Of course no meal is complete with out dessert so I asked my Mom to make her famous Blueberry Pudding Cake and M brought Apple Crisp.

Everyone had a good time and we all went home with a box of goodies we didn't have to make ourselves! I will definitely be doing this again next year. If you want to join us, let me know!
Selecting some goodies to try

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baby Shower Knits

I made the pattern for this sweater. I hope to have one size available for free in the next week.

New doll I can now knit.
I call her a Pocket Pal, more hair and clothing choices coming in the next month!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Busy, Busy

We have been keeping a busy schedule these days. Seems like if we aren't visiting or running errands then we are working in the kitchen canning, cooking, and cleaning; which is why my Yarn Along isn't all that exciting. I've been referring to my Blue Book Guide to Preserving quite often. My mom and I recently made pear butter, and I made some apple butter out of it, not to mention it's helpful handy hits on canning squash—don't. My next canning recipe to use out of it will be “Apples for Baking” that is if I decide not to freeze them.

Stomper has been busy working on a new skill, walking. He took a few steps to his Auntie Teeny on Saturday and since then he's been letting go and taking a few steps on his own. I'm not sure if I am ready for walking yet, but I guess that's not left up to me. He has also been enjoying a new found freedom, roaming. We recently opened up the rest of the house for him to explore (we've been keeping him corralled in the baby-proofed living-room) as he has been listening and obeying the instruction “Don't touch!” with regularity.
Teething seems to be finished for the time being. He cut 16 teeth in 7 months, that's roughly 2½ teeth a month. I keep expecting to see his second year (yes 2nd, he has his 1st years already) molars poking though, but his mouth appears to be resting for now. Thankfully the teething didn't seem to bother him, and if it did then his already sunny disposition will only become brighter.

He continues to be a joy to everyone he comes in contact with, everyone remarks “What a happy boy, you are!” At church he loves to greet people with a smile, a laugh, and then a lunge for them to take him. He has also become quite the singer-dancer during worship singing. It is so nice for me to go there and let my son be loved on by other people. It give me a break on those long week-ends when Jason is working.
Jason and I stopped at a local orchard and bought two boxes of Utility Cortlands for $16 last week. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew or preserve. So far so good, none of them have gone bad. I am, however, eyeball deep in apple puree. I hope to can several quarts of sauce tonight, then employ Jason to apple peeling duty so we can freeze the rest.
The rest canning and preserving is coming along nicely, even if it is not as much as I would liked. In addition to the relish, pickles, and tomato sauce I can now add apple butter and apple sauce (soon). My freezer is full of shredded zucchini, blueberries, and pumpkin puree and my Mom's is full of summer squash casserole. It is comforting to know that I have food “squirreled away” for the long winter months. I look forward to filling the house with the smell of blueberry muffins, pumpkin cookies, zucchini cake, hearty soups, and spaghetti.
Saturday we have our Harvest Party Can Swap. Six people are participating which will be a nice group for our first swap. If I am remember correctly there will be pear butter, dill pickles, pickled beets, apple butter, and tomato soup. I'm not sure what my sister-in-law is bringing she didn't have time or space or items to preserve so I suggested frozen brownies. Who doesn't love a brownie? Especially one you didn't have to make! There is only one other kiddo coming other than Stomper, but I think that next year there will be more. I know of at least two families who have expressed interest for next year, so maybe next year we'll play games and have a hunt or something.

We have been trying to spend as much time outdoor as possible. Even if it's just on the front porch. This “second summer” has been nice this past week. It's been warm, breezy, and perfect so I'm sure it will rain tomorrow. Maine can be pretty fickle with it's fall weather, so we are enjoying the warmth while it is here.

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