After waiting 7 long months, we were finally able to have Asher blessed in our ward sacrament meeting yesterday. It was such a beautiful experience for me to watch my husband carry our son in his arms...and then to listen as he presented him to our Father...giving him a name, and blessing him according to the Lord's will. I was overcome with the Spirit, overwhelmed with love for my son, overpowered with a feeling of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for trusting us with such a special and noble spirit, and overjoyed at the circumstances which brought him into our life. A happy, joyous, beautiful, and blessed day it was.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Since Ruby is so used to taking a shower everyday, she is always begging me to let her take a bath. I feel like showers are quick, thorough, and get right to the point...whereas baths are more relaxing, time consuming, and of course, way more fun. Because baths are so much more work, though...and because I hardly ever feel up to the chore, my poor kids mainly get a shower every day. However, Lately I've had a harder time denying her request for a bath, simply because of the adorable way in which she asks me. Mommy, can I PLEASE take a bath with Asher and Ruby? (She has been using this strange third person sentence structure lately whenever she wants to do something with someone else. It's always mom, I want to ______ with _____ and Ruby. Either that, or she has an imaginary friend whom she calls Ruby.) When I do give in to her pleas for a bath, and because it is such a rarity, I always let her live it up and have a great time. We have this big blue cup that she likes to fill with water and dump on her own head, and then on Asher's. Next she'll immerse herself completely under the water, and would, in fact, float like that forever if I didn't eventually intervene. Our bathroom floor inevitably gets soaked every time as a result of her big blue cup antics...and of course, every single little rubber bath animal has to come out. She splashes, and jumps, and plays to her little heart's content.
I guess we should do bath time i.e. play time, splash time, and then clean up lots of water time, more often...it's really a small price to pay for my children's contentment and merriment.
Posted by nicole at 9:57 AM
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Recently, Ruby has demonstrated quite an interest in the alphabet. She loves watching any kids' program that teaches the ABC's, such as Sesame Street, Choo Choo soul, and others. She also has a few toys that have aided in her learning of the alphabet, as well as helped her become familiar with the individual letters and sounds they make. She's no expert, but she's trying, and she's learning, and that's all the matters. My favorite is when she sings the ABC song. She sings a slightly different version than the one I learned, but I love hers even more. The tune is the same, it's just some of the letters, and their order, that she has taken some liberties with...
Posted by nicole at 5:30 PM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Well, it's official...legal and binding. Asher is ours. Our family has been in what is called a supervisory period for the past 7 months. Since placement, and when Asher was two days old, we were given physical charge over him. Or in other words, the adoption agency transferred physical custody of Asher to us, as his prospective adoptive parents. During that time, we assumed all legal and financial responsibility for his care, nurture, support, and protection...as if he had been born to us. However, during this supervisory period, the agency claimed legal custody and guardianship of our son. Which meant that at any time during the supervisory period, they had the right to take him away from us. Of course, I was never worried about that. We have always know that he was meant to be with us...that he has always been a part of our family. I have always felt that it was in Asher's best interest to be placed with us. We have done our best to ensure a loving home environment for him. We have cherished him, and cared for him, loved him, and delighted in him..as if he were ours...because he is ours. We have done, and still do, all in our power to see that he's happy, and comfortable, and safe. We had three supervisory visits subsequent to placement; and I'm fairly confident that our love for our son, as well as our capacity to meet his needs as his parents, must have been apparent to the case worker each time she visited our home. So even though I never feared that they might take him away from us, I still anxiously awaited the day that we would take him to court and have the judge declare him ours.
Our dreams were finally realized last Friday, as we entered district courtroom W49 of the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City. We were actually escorted through the courtroom, and directly into the judge's chambers , which made the whole experience a bit more personal and intimate. After our family members filed in and everyone got settled, John and I, as well as the social worker representing the adoption agency, were placed under oath. Our attorney, who is also a dear friend of ours, proceeded to ask a series of questions to both the social worker, and then to us. We were asked such questions as When were you married? Are you still married? When was Asher born? When was he placed in your care? and Are you both at least 10 years older than him? Then came time for us to sign the Consent and Agreement of Adopting Parents. And that's when the emotions set in...not just for us, as his parents, but for most everyone in attendance, including Jeri, our attorney. By signing this agreement, she said, you are stating that you are willing to take upon all rights and responsibilities of being a parent to Asher. YES! we said in unison. And this is what you want? YES! And you're desiring to do this of your own free will and choice? YES! And you understand that once you do this, he will be your own natural child, and will be treated as such? YES!
She then asked Ruby if she wanted Asher to be her brother, and thankfully Ruby nodded her head in the affirmative. I couldn't even believe how happy I felt when the judge granted the adoption (based on the documents and our testimony), and declared it final. It was one of the neatest, most tender moments of my life. And what's crazy, is that it's almost as if our little mister knew what was happening, and could sense the significance and importance of the day's events. He was just as happy as could be the entire day...so proud to be all dressed up in his little suit...smiley, and bouncy the entire time. And in true Asher form, he even threw up all over the judge's desk. It, of course, wouldn't have been official without his bonafide seal of approval.
with the honorable Judge Peuler, in her chambers
with Jeri, our attorney
Posted by nicole at 3:27 PM
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
John payed me a huge compliment last night as we were cleaning up after our very green dinner...he said that I was so much fun, and that his life would be so boring if he had never married me. Actually, I could say the same about him. I love that we found each other, and I love the life that we have built together. The truth is...every fun bone in my body, I owe to my parents, who (while raising me and my siblings) were firm believers that life was meant to be fun. They instilled in us the importance of hard work and responsibility, but even those things embodied certain elements of fun.
My mom was a crazy fool when it came to the holidays. Whether it was Christmas, or April Fools Day... a birthday, or Valentine's Day - she went all out. My dad was always a good sport, and in fact (upon her passing) he even fell heir to her fun, passionate, and often times over-the-top holiday antics. I'm happy to admit that I, too, have inherited the flair...and that my husband, like my dad, is fully on board.
Our nonpareil St. Patrick's Day was one we will not soon forget.
First, after garbing ourselves in green, we enjoyed a St. Patty's breakfast which consisted of key lime pie yogurt, lime Gatorade, and toaster strudels with a custom green frosting glaze.
John then left for work, but not before yielding to my wishes for a quick photo session...
I even managed to get some of the dog...
John returned within just a few hours to pick us up, and take us to lunch so that we could show off our green outfits...
For dinner we had lettuce wraps, edamame beans, some of the hugest green grapes I have ever seen, green jello, and white irishman (my dad's signature limeade smoothie) to drink. And let us not forget about dessert, which entailed a mint chocolate chip ice cream pie in an Oreo crust, smothered in caramel, and topped with whipped cream...
Ruby loves grapes. Can you tell that she served herself?...and left no room (on her plate nor in her belly) for anything else.
For those of you opining that we went a bit overboard, you must remember...I'm the product of a mother who, on St. Patrick's day, dyed the bread so that we could have green french toast for breakfast...and who, on that one day a year, packed our school lunches with broccoli florets, celery sticks, green grapes, a thermos filled with green milk, and sandwiches made from that same green dyed bread.
Plus, we had to overcompensate a bit for our bum day last year, which was spent in the hospital while Ruby healed from the infection caused by her dog bite. The best I could do, to honor St. Patty then, was to make the 1/2 hour drive home to grab green bows for Ruby's hair, and also give her a piece of green gum to chew.
So maybe we went a bit overboard with all the food, and the outfits, and the decorations, and the green finger nail polish, and the big green bow for the dog; but hey, at least we had...fun.
Posted by nicole at 10:23 AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Posted by nicole at 11:31 AM
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Posted by nicole at 5:38 PM
I'm not really sure how the mister moo nick name came about, but it did, and it stuck. Other names by which he is known...little mister, ash man, and tiny man, just to name a few. I am loving the stage he is in right now...his own little personality is beginning to surface; and I simply find myself infatuated with all his little quirks. Like how his feet and toes serve as the best possible form of self entertainment...
Or how whenever he gets tired, he crosses his feet...
And oftentimes flips on his belly to sleep, while burring his face in his hands...
Sure do love my little mister moo.
Posted by nicole at 3:34 PM
Friday, March 6, 2009
I loathed the second grade. Undeniably, it was the worst year of my entire childhood. It was in the second grade that I first experienced that dreadful feeling of anxiety. As a matter of fact, I was completely anxiety-ridden my entire second grade year. My teacher was nice enough. The school was great. I had friends. But notwithstanding these favorable circumstances, there was something atrocious which outweighed any and all good. This monstrosity caused me to lose countless hours of sleep; and it was because of this grotesque phenomenon that I would chase after my mom's car each day after she dropped me off for school...running and screaming, arms and legs flailing, through the parking lot like a madman. I always caused a scene. I can recall groups of students stopping in their tracks and marveling at what they were witnessing. It didn't bother me. My only objective was to get my mother to stop her car. I usually always succeeded. In retrospect, I feel terrible that I had made her life so hard. But what right did this heinous occurrence have in making my life so hard? Now please don't laugh...because I know you will be tempted. My mom and dad could hardly contain their laughter when I finally confided in them as to what had been bothering me. So what would be so horrible that it could cause a 7 year old to lose sleep? And what could be so dreadful that it would allow her to expedience such an adult prone feeling as anxiety? And what could be so awful that it would later be described as atrocious, and monstrous, and grotesque, and heinous...you ask? Well...it's throw up. Throw up is the answer. Throw up is what made me loath the 2nd grade. Throw up is what gave me anxiety. Throw up is what instilled in me the urge to run through the school parking lot, chasing after my mother's car. Once a week, and sometimes even more than once a day, someone (or a handful of people), would throw up in class. Some of these class mates I had at one time considered to be my friends, but not after committing such a revolting act. Aimee Jo Beard tried to make it to the trash can, but missed, and ended up catching the majority of it in her hands. Months later, at recess, she reached her hand out for mine as we both struggled our way across a balance beam...but I refused her once throw-up saturated extremity, and would only hold onto her wrist. Candice Roberts was one of my closest friends. She lived right across the street from me, but after she tossed her cookies in class, I made up an excuse as to why I wouldn't be able to make it to her birthday party...which was weeks after the incident. And still to this day, I cannot sing the fa la la la la part of Deck the Halls, without thinking about Jeremy Thompson and his popcorn colored barf which splattered all over the back of the girl sitting in front of him during our holiday assembly. Yes, these three incidents, and many others, made a lasting impression on me. And I only share all of this to illustrate how far I have come. Ruby threw up last night, and although most of it landed in the big, white, porcelain bowl in which it was aimed...there was still some floor clean up required, which proudly, I took care of all by myself. And having a baby with acid reflux makes me no stranger to regurgitated stomach contents. Although throw up still makes me nervous and anxious...I'm proud to say that the simple act of becoming a mother, has given me the chance to take this dreaded, atrocious, monstrous, grotesque, and heinous beast...in stride. Thank you very much.
Posted by nicole at 1:32 PM
Thursday, March 5, 2009
That's what she is to me. The day she was born, she was quite literally the ray of sunshine that pierced through the darkest, heaviest of clouds...clouds which had enveloped my soul for so many months. And still, almost three years later, she has this amazing ability of brightening my soul...on even the darkest, heaviest of days.
Today, I thank God for Sunshine.
Posted by nicole at 9:12 AM