Monthly Archives: June 2014

When did my baby turn into a boy?

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My “baby” just turned 18 months and I am trying to wrap my brain around it.  Where did the time go?  How did it all happen so quickly?  One minute I am cradling this gurgling infant in my arms and the next he is wiggling out of my lap saying “outside”.  I am sad that the baby years seem to be slipping away, but so proud that he is a healthy and growing baby boy!  I am very blessed that he is progressing on schedule, learning new things, is active and most important healthy.  He really does make being a mommy easy…almost too easy! 

Callen is a very curious kid.  He explores the world around him.  He wants to know how things work or how it fits together.  He will break a toy just to see what is on the inside.  He is not afraid.  He will climb on things, jump off things, touch things, eat things…whatever he needs to do to figure it out for himself. 

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He is a talker.  He babbles about things so passionately, but then can also say a lot of words too.  He says outside, up, look, oh my, hold on, cup, snack, dog, bless you, thank you, no, yes, good girl…and so much more.  He is always ready to talk about something, but he can be shy in front of strangers.  We try to get him to do his tricks and he never will unless he knows you.  He gives high fives, fist bumps and shows his muscles…he loves to entertain us.018

 

He is loving.  He likes to give hugs and kisses.  He pats us on the back. He loves on the dogs and on everyone.

He has a temper.  When know when he is ready for a nap because he throws things including himself on the floor.  He gets mad easily when he is tired and small things not working drives him crazy.  He says no a lot when he is tired.

He loves to watch music videos that are educational.  His favorites right now is the animal sounds, BINGO and the Monkeys on the Bed.  He calls it “this” and he will climb on a chair to try to get to the laptop to see it.  He is addicted!

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He can play with friends or by himself…both work well.  He is very easy going.  He does not cry when he gets shots, just lays still when the doctor examines him and adjusts easily to new settings.  He just started to cry when we leave, but that is only at church so far.  He goes to everything else pretty easily.

He loves to run.  He loves to walk without holding your hand.  He loves to swim. He loves to play in the park and outside for hours.  He will stop to get a drink then go right back to playing.

He loves to eat.  Everything.  He is a meat and potato kinda boy.  He is just now losing his belly a little bit even though he is still in the 16% in height.  He is learning to pray before he eats and loves to say “amen”.

I am in love and I get giddy doing his laundry, making his bed, cooking for him or buying him new clothes.  He loves music, pushing things, sounds, lights.  He is just a great kid and I praise God daily that I get to wake up and be his mom.  The cherry on top is how handsome he is.  We know beauty comes from within, so to see how loving he is on top of his killer girly lashes and blue eyes is a gift.  We love that he is loving to us and to others. 

Finally, he loves to read!  He brings us books all the time.  The same ones over and over.  He reads in the tub, so we put books in every room for him to read.  He cannot get enough of it so it makes this teacher happy.  God chose the perfect kid for us…loves the outdoors, loves sports, loves being silly, loves laughing…I am so grateful that I am his mommy and that he is our son.

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Mommy Daddy Vacation

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We were married 8 years before we adopted our son. During those 8 years, we learned how to travel! We have been fortunate to have had some great vacations to New Mexico, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and all around the Texas area. Later, when we thought we were about to get pregnant we took a few “last vacation before a baby” trips. We went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel twice all while thinking we are going to conceive any day now. Well, last summer we were raising a six month old and chose to stay home from the beach. We were so excited to be with our child, but we had gotten spoiled with the sand, water, sun and scuba diving for so long that we missed it…a lot!

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We are super fortunate that I have parents that LOVE to watch our son for multiple days. My mom is a teacher and my dad’s schedule is flexible so he can take off when needed. They yearn to watch him all the time, so our getaways are much appreciated. This summer we chose to book a trip to Cabo Mexico and take a mommy daddy vacation. We would love to take Callen someday, but we fear the plane, the luggage and the uncertainty of behavior. Right now, he is still figuring it all out so it would be way more work to have him there…we will take him someday when he can qualify for the Kids’ Club.

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I know some moms that cannot fathom to leave their child for a night, but I caution them to take care of the marriage even if it is just a dinner out. We have experienced that rocky road of separation and it happens so quickly and so unexpectedly that we do what we need to do to stay connected. Even if finances are a concern, you can have some cheap dates at home when the kids go to bed or splurge on a babysitter. For us, a whole night away does the trick and this trip we made a lot of memories with each other. We went to a new place, met new people, dove into new waters to see new fish…all new experiences that we shared with each other and will keep us going for the next year. I don’t want to be one of those couples that the child leaves home and they have nothing to say…so if saving for a vacation is what it takes then we will save!

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The good news is: before the baby, ending a vacation would depress me. I would cry when my husband returned to work and we were a part again. Today, the end of the vacation means more time with my baby so it is a win win. It is crazy how the first night we only talk about him, but as the hours go on we seem to open up more and reconnect on things that are more than just baby. We totally get that we are fortunate to have a sitter and have the means to do it, but it is something we set as a priority for our marriage. Putting the marriage first is worth it!!

Two Thumbs Up for Dad!

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When Nathan and I met 12 years ago, I tossed up the idea of one day adopting and he immediately shot it down.  I never thought I would ever be in the position to need to adopt; I just always thought it was a beautiful thing.  I grew up in a home where we took in foster kids, I always enjoyed helping in church ministry with youth in the Dallas area and I have always had a weak spot for adorable African American boys…I have never shied away from the idea of adoption.  However, my husband had a different view and I understood and just prayed his heart would change if the time ever called for it. 

Advance ten years later and HE is the one pursuing adoption vigorously despite my many concerns.  He was the one who felt led in his heart to abandon fertility treatments and adopt.  To him, it was God’s plan for our family and he went forward full force.  Throughout the process, he was the rock.  Despite a rocky beginning, God changed his heart and Nathan is the best father.  Nathan will play with him like a best buddy-they play ball, chase, run, build with blocks, wrestle, cook in the kitchen etc.  He teaches him high five, fist bump, “achoo”, slam dunks, show me your muscles etc.  They sing songs, read books, take walks, go for swims, and even play with a baby doll or animal now and then.  He is very hands on, he is the fun one and he is the one that seems to teach him the new things.  Callen adores him and looks up to him and can’t get enough of him.

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Nathan stays home with him up three days a week and is his sole care taker while I am at work.  Nathan works nights and will wake up early to be there for his swim class.  We go to all of his appointments together.  He never misses anything Callen is involved in even if it means Nathan gets no sleep.  Nathan works extra jobs so that he can have nice clothes, shoes or go on vacation or fun outings.  Nathan is the man of all men and an amazing dad.  We never consider Callen to be adopted; in fact we forget about it most of the time…he is our son.  But when I stop to consider, Nathan’s complete devotion and our complete surrender to this boy that we work hard so that he will inherit ALL that we have…it is our goal that every need is secure and that college and other opportunities are covered.  We work to give it all to him someday-and he does not have our genes or blood-God chose him to be our son.  Adoption is a beautiful thing and it mirrors Christ’s love for us as his adopted children. 

I fall in love with Nathan more watching him as a father.  Devoted, loyal, responsible and sacrificial.  It makes me cringe for those stories of dads not wanting to be involved because Nathan would not have it any other way.  I never knew about his fatherly skills when I married him, but I now I see God did well to bring us together.  He has never regretted not having a biological child because he was destined to be the dad to this one. 

The good news is: Callen hit the daddy jackpot.  He is learning so much from him including character, godliness, how to pray, how to lead, how to be physically fit and how to serve others.  He is learning how to care for ladies and love his mother.  Callen is learning how to be a good husband and firm father.  I am so proud of the man my husband is to me, but most importantly to him.  He is willing to take on more than half of the role and step up whenever I need him without fail.  Two thumbs up for dad!

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Infertile, Adoptive Mom

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I attended the Mother’s Day service with my parents at their church.  I say their church even though it was the church home I grew up in.  I knew the best gift that I could give my mother was to worship with her and the whole family so I surprised her and she loved it.

The preacher did a great job of acknowledging all aspects of Mother’s Day and pointed out that for many this was a challenging day.  He proceeded to read a long list of Mother’s Day feelings including “For those that lost their mother…we mourn with you.”  “For those that are expecting a baby…we celebrate with you.”  But the two that hit home for me were:

“For those that are infertile….we wait and pray with you.”

“For those adoptive moms…we thank you and need you.”

I fit in a few other groups in his list, but these two struck me.  I am an infertile and adoptive mom.  How can I be an infertile mom?  Well, I am.  I adopted a sweet baby boy, but that does not take away the infertility.  The sting still hurts.  Do I dwell on it?  No way!  Life is too short and it is what it is, but adoption and all the joys of motherhood do not erase that my body is broken.  It does not erase the memories of waiting, counting, testing, crying, asking, documenting etc.  I get infertility.  I get trying medications that made me crazy.  I get asking doctors to do more testing while trying to stay calm.  I get the two week wait where I put my life on hold.  I also get giving up and just living.  I get researching reproductive endocronologists and learning how to spell that.  I get vials and vials of blood work.  I get looking at an empty womb on a sonogram.  I get asking my husband to endure more invasive tests only to learn he is 100% healthy.  I get crying at night and all during the day.  I get the dreaded phone call reporting the disappointing lab results and the private meeting saying “there is nothing else we can do”.  I get taking off work because you can’t fake it anymore and you don’t want to try.  I get praying and reading scripture for meaning and then hearing a song that leads you straight to adoption.  I get infertility in an all too real way.

Thankfully, I also get adopting.  I get filling out a inquiry sheet and then going in for an interview.  I get the mounds of paperwork including criminal background checks, references, medical checkups, home studies, floor plans and safety plans of our home, submitting financial documents and pay check stubs and tax returns proving financial stability, the infamous adoption book that I labored for two months over.  I get meeting home study groups and discussing with other adoptive parents.  I get waiting and waiting and waiting. I get taking a phone call that would change our lives three weeks before the bably was born then preparing for a boy with only 20 days left.  I get meeting a birthmother and then hoping she likes me and hoping she does not change her mind unless it is God’s will then I pray for her to parent wisely.  I get going to the hospital for her planned Caesaren and then getting to know her for four days while we shared parenting responsibilities.  I get not knowing who should get up when he cried or needed to be changed and then I get not having the words when it was time to leave the hospital.  Watching her wince from her scars, seeing tears in her eyes and yet knowing we were driving four hours in the opposite direction.  I get her anticipation every time I post a new pic or give a new update.  I hold so much of her heart in my arms at night.  I get all that, too.

 

At the end of the day I am blessed to be a mom no matter how it all happened.  I am blessed to have empathy for the infertile in such a way that I can respond when asked what to say. So many don’t have the words or scriptures and I do. I can also respond when people ask about adoption and how it works, where do they start and what to expect. I can also relate to bottle feeding, putting a baby to bed, feeding solids, bathtime and everything baby because I have been there, too.

The good news is: I am blessed with the experiences that I have had and as we celebrate the one year anniversary of Callen’s adoption day…I am thankful for them all. I am especially grateful for a family that has accepted adoption and God’s plan for our lives with no hesitation and that his birthparents love us unconditionally and love to watch him grow. I am thankful for a husband that does not think twice about genetics when preparing to pass our full inheritance on to him. He is our son and he will get everything we work for and more. Our goal is to support him so that he can have it all. I am proud to be an infertile, adoptive mom because I am proud to be Callen’s mom.

Party Girl!

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I am wrapping up my 12th year of teaching this week and I cannot be more ready to spend EVERY day with this guy! It will make my days a little more toddler-ish, but I am excited to sing songs, read books, swim and explore new things. He is about to be 18 months and is more fun than ever. Talking up a storm, learning new things and growing more into a boy and less of a baby. A little bit sad for this mama that is trying to hold him as much as possible and pick him up whenever I can, but thankful that he is developing healthily because we have so many reasons to thank God! (I might end this blog and go rock him again).

My Lupus is under control right now and I feel better than ever! I get to fully enjoy this mommy thing. We still keep in contact with his birth parents and now birth brother every few weeks. In addition, he is becoming a favorite at our church even practicing how to pray while we eat.

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I am feeling so good in fact that I decided to host my first ever Younique Party with my friend from work. I NEVER do parties of any kind. I am not a salesperson and really do not have the desire to be. I am finding out that once this party is over, I am going to put down my phone for awhile. I want to be available to answer questions, take orders, give hints etc. but I do not envy anyone in sales because it is a full time all the time job! Those that do it right are on call 24/7–at least that is how the big bucks grow bigger and you can keep them because it is hard work! Tyn eyes 3<a

Younique is famous for their 3D lashes. Instead of looking at a model's eyes…take a look at mine! I am sure with more practice they could be even better, but I see a difference from my regular mascara so I call them my going out eyes!
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I love the mascara, but I love the pigments on my eyes just as much. I have fallen for the shimmer pigments because they make any night more fun. Although my husband is not happy with the time I have spent sharing this product, he is happy with the results of his more confident and more sassy wife. In the end I dress for him! I feel like Picasso getting ready at night.

Truthfully, make up does not make you beautiful…the good Lord created you, but I feel girly, confident and fresh and that is always a good thing. This company has a great skincare line as well that I am now exploring including tinted moisturizer to replace your foundation that can leave creases and can cover up scars, tattoos and Lupus rashes, Rosewater for rejuvenation and Primer that I am excited to try. If you are enticed or curious then check out my party good until this FRIDAY! I don't make much off the sales, but I rarely find good things that I want to share with others and since you cannot buy it in the store–then I have to share it through the party.
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Here is the party link. Go crazy shopping, but just do it before midnight on Friday June 6th, 2014 so that I get the points 🙂

The good news is: As much as I have been sharing about this make up, it makes me a little sad that I am not more on fire about Jesus in this way. I am sure people would begin to avoid me like they want to do with this ten day party, but I love Jesus way more than I love this make up and yet I don't speak of him nearly as often. It really got me thinking about what I am willing to share and speak up about, but it also gave me the chance to write this blog. Jesus is the reason I get to splurge on make up, enjoy good skin and He created me and will continue to show His beauty through me. I pray that if you see something nice on the outside that you see much more on the inside because if not then the outside does not matter.

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