Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease. ~Lisa Alther

Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother. ~Beverly Jones

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Too Loud!

Today BB told me that the baby monitor was too loud, the wind hurt his ears, and the sound the Wegman's cart was making on the tile floor was bothering him. He also cried at school because he was afraid he was going to have to go swimming and put his face under the water. He had difficulty settling down and sitting in one spot while we were reading bedtime books.

BB has some sensory differences. Sensory issues are often misunderstood. Many people don't believe they exist, or think that they are just "naughty behaviors." Other people think they are a result of bad parenting (Hey...can't you make that kid behave?!?).

In Raising a Sensory Smart Child, authors Linda Biel and Nancy Peske, describe sensory processing as "how people use the information provided by all the sensations coming from within the body and from external environments" (p. 12).  In people with sensory differences, everyday sounds, touches, smells, and movement can seem overwhelming at times. For BB, he tends to have more difficulty with these things when he is very tired or not feeling well.

One book I found talked about how children who were adopted may have higher rates of sensory processing difficulties. They have experienced many changes in caregivers. A primary caregiver is the one that (unknowingly) teachers a child how to calm/regulated themselves. The other thing that happens is that every time a child switches caregivers, they go through a period of grieving and regression. It takes a lot of energy to get through those transitions, so some areas of development may lag behind.

We are very lucky to have a pediatrician who recognizes the value in getting help with sensory differences. She referred us to an Occupational Therapist with experience in working with internationally adopted children. BB (and his parents!) are getting OT services through the Preschool Committee on Special Education.

We are learning a lot about ways to help him relax and feel calmer throughout the day. Luckily, maturity is a wonderful thing and many people "grow out of" or learn ways to cope with sensory differences. BB has not been sleeping well and has a cold, so today was a tough day for my baby boy. Tonight we made sure to give him some extra "bear hugs," squeezes, and "I love you's" before he went to bed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wine Card for Jonah's Just Begun

As many of you already know, BB and BG's cousin, Jonah, has a rare genetic disease called MPS-III (C). It is fatal and the clock is ticking in terms of the research needed to provide a treatment for him. Please visit the website at:

PLEASE BUY A CARD.  My Mother-in-law is now selling the Finger Lakes Destination and Wine Card to raise funds for Jonah's Just Begun.  Cards are only $10, and she will be selling them until April 14, 2011. PLEASE buy one (or more)!  The more she can sell, the better the split and more money for Jonah's Just Begun.

ABOUT THE FINGER LAKES DESTINATION AND WINE CARD. The 2011 Edition of the Finger Lakes Destination & Wine Card includes all new attractions and destinations! You can dine, shop, play and stay throughout the Finger Lakes, while enjoying "exclusive" discounts. Receive $20 off the room rate at Bristol Harbour Resort or the Canandaigua Inn on the Lake. Receive 10% off the 1st Finger Lakes winery ever listed on Wine Spectators Top 100 Wines, Hermann J. Wiemer on Seneca Lake. And much, much more. The savings are endless. Better yet, they are all yours until the end of 2011!  Receive 15% off at Fox Run Vineyards * FREE wine tasting at Bully Hill Vineyards * FREE beer tasting at Keuka Brewing Co. * Receive 25% off at 3 Brothers Wineries much more...   

PLEASE! It’s easy: Send Mother-in-Law a check for $10, and she will mail the card to you.

QUESTIONS?  Send me a message via Facebook or the blog. I will pass it along to Jan. Help Jonah's Grand-Mum-Jan to raise some funds for a cure!   

"Jonah's Just Begun-Foundation to Cure Sanfilippo Inc. Was created on behalf of Jonah. He has a genetic disease that has no cure, YET! We will never stop fighting for our baby.   Incorporated June 2010. Not-for-Profit 501 (c) 3 granted December 2010 Brooklyn, NY, 11215    

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Problem of Time I am a "stay at home this year" Mom. One would think I would have lots and lots of time on my hands. Yeah right! Everyone told me the transition from one child to two children is significant, but I don't think I was quite prepared for how different things are. BB is getting to be such an independent little boy. So much so that I had forgotten how much attention toddlers need. The minute I turn around, BG has her hands in the toilet and paper in her mouth. I don't want to wish this time away, but it has been a challenge to learn how to get things done.

I made a list of all the things I want to accomplish this week:
  • Clean the house
  • Do the laundry
  • Learn Korean
  • Learn how to cook Korean food
  • Get the kids pictures taken in their hanboks
  • Read all my books on adoption, attachment, behavior management, and sensory concerns.
  • Start a fundraiser for Jonah (we want to sell coffee!)
  • Paint BB and BG's room
  • Paint the kitchen and cabinets
  • Write a book on MPS and families/children impacted by the disease
  • Get my eyebrows waxed
  • Decide on what my second career is going to be
  • Spend quality time with my husband
  • Return to horseback riding
  • Continue to lose weight
  • Go to the gym
  • Take my vitamins regularly
  • Clean the basement
  • Start researching our families' geneologies
  • Find a way I can contribute to the adoption community
  • Become more active at church
  • Train my naughty dog
Ummm....this might be a little ambitious. I may just focus on trying to take a shower each day. That might be more attainable.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bye Bye "Ba-Ba's"

I am getting ready to pack the baby bottles away. This week BG transitioned from a bottle to using a cup or sippy cup full-time. For a brief moment I felt sad...then I felt at peace. Our family is complete.

Even though they are growing bigger, each new stage is so much fun that I don't really miss the past. We started to try to conceive in 2004. It was long, twisty, and surprising journey. Prior to BB coming, we were bound by cycles, schedules, appointments, and the constant need to "pee on a stick" (me that is, not Pete). Ever since BB arrived, we knew we wanted another child. We always dreamed of two babies. Although no longer doing fertility treatments, a whole other set of worries took their place. Could we afford it? When is the best time to do it? How is the Korean program changing? What if we no longer qualify for some reason?

So, the years between 2004 and 2010 were filled with anxious questions related to how we would build our family. Those questions were constantly with us and impacted very decision we made, financially and personally. Now that we have both BG and BB, our family is complete. I feel released from needing to focus on "the next step." That is a relief.  I am not sad to see it go. I feel lighter and freer.

The bottles are packed away. We are moving forward, in a lot of good and exciting ways. We are now the family we dreamed of becoming.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Battling With My Weight.....

Gaining weight is something we usually don't talk about openly (at least I don't!). Unfortunately, I always viewed my weight gain as evidence of a lack of self-control or a weakness. But, a very wise woman once told me, "Life happens."

My life did happen...not in a way I expected. We went through fertility treatments for 4 years. During that time period I went organic, and obsessively monitored everything that went into my body. I cut out dairy. I ate only warm, cooked foods. I (mostly) avoided alcohol and over the counter medications. I missed my coffee. I subjected myself to hormone altering medications. I was convinced that if I could make my body healthy enough, then the treatments would yield a baby.

That was not the case. Failure after failure left me feeling very angry with my body. It was not doing what I thought it was supposed to do. Eventually I gave up, and didn't take care of it at all.

Not taking care of my body brought me to a point I did not enjoy. I was frequently tired, often ill, and lacked energy. Oh wait...those things happened after I became the mother of two toddlers! Anyway, I did not feel good mentally or physically.

In January I joined Weight Watchers. I love the program and am having success. Better yet, I can acknowledge that I am no longer angry at my body for "failing" me. Having children that way was not meant to be for Husband and I. All along we were supposed to become BB and BG's parents, just the way it happened.

I am finally doing something kind for myself. I have hope that I can improve my health and make changes for the better. It is great feeling to have back.