Connor's teacher, Ms. Tonya, at baby school (i.e. day care) is so creative! She had all the infants put their footprint on some paper and then made them into turkeys! How cute is that! She also did ghosts for halloween (Connor missed that one) and painted an orange pumpkin. (Connor's picture below). The front of my fridge is filling up fast!!
(The picture is a bit grainy because it's a regular paper print). Connor is ~3.5 months here. Doesn't he look older?? so grown up.
We had a really mellow Thanksgiving this year -- Turkeys were safe from us! :) gobble, gobble! Ron had to work, so I hung around the house with Connor. It didn't make sense to cook a huge turkey meal for only two solid-food-eating people. So, Connor and I went to Intel for lunch to eat with Ron. They provide a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for those saps that have to work on Thanksgiving. As if that was a good substitute... It would have been nice to go somewhere to visit family if Ron didn't have to work. Maybe next year they'll have a warm-down and he'll have a better chance of getting the time off. We did go to Tim & Karina's that evening for games and pie. It was nice.
I took some time to reflect on all of the blessings we have and all of the struggles we've conquered. Conquering struggles is a blessing, right?
I think of Anna and Miguel often. I know Ron thinks about them, too. They were a huge part of our lives, and a blessing (sometimes in disguise, but always in our hearts). I often wonder where they are now and how they're doing. I know they didn't stay with the family after us -- they left and were split up after only three months due to their emotional requirements. That brought their total foster families up to 7 (as of a year ago), and they were only 5 & 6 at the time... It makes me so sad. I don't think I will ever forgive their case worker for taking them away from us. All I can hope is that someday we'll cross paths again. Sooner than later, if it's the Lord's will. Below is the 2-page layout that I made for their life books. Hopefully they will remember our time together with fondness.
Throughout my 3 miscarriages, our failed adoption attempt, and long months of treatment for a septate uterus, PCOS, Oligomenorrhea, (etc), I had long since given up on having children. I just couldn't hope any more. But then we had Connor and I had an especially hard time after his birth. (See previous post). After all of that time to keep trying, the anticipation and the hopes, only to be disappointed by my own limitations! I was such a wreck, I couldn't think clearly, I couldn't listen to music without freaking out or watch television without panic. I wasn't able to nurse, I had a terrible bout of insomnia -- not sleeping one wink because my mind was racing with all of the doubt and fear and disappointment. I just lay in bed trying to numb my mind by singing a vacuous song and repeating my water aerobics routine over and over again in my head. It didn't help -- no sleep! My hands and feet were still swollen to the point where there was no feeling in my hands or feet and I would drop everything I picked up (unintentionally) or trip over the smallest thing. I felt like nothing worked right and I couldn't pick up my baby, not even for a minute, for fear of breaking him (AND me). It's a bit hard to describe, actually. It's like my mortality and the eternities loomed before me and I couldn't shake the sense of dread and despair. I'm very sad that I couldn't enjoy those first few weeks with our new son. I didn't even take any pictures of him those weeks -- I only have the ones from Mamie's and Beth's cell phones. He has been such a blessing right from the start, even though I couldn't always enjoy it. My sister, Mamie came to help, then my mom and my other sisters. And we had so many of our loving extended family come to support us for Connor's blessing -- we were so grateful. It all served to yank me out of my postpartum funk and helped me heal. (Along with a few good medications... we can't all be perfect). God has since made up for those first few weeks in spades. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect helpmate in Ron, or a more perfect soul in Connor. He is always a joy to be around, and a generally happy guy. He already has a "go with the flow" attitude, and is so handsome! See for yourself! Such an angel. (The scratch on his forehead was from nap time. I let his nails grow out too long, and he likes to rub his eyes before he falls to sleep. No worries, I have since trimmed them.) We are looking forward to many happy years to come as a forever family. Hey, I didn't say easy... just happy. Generally. :) (November 28, 2009)
Ron and I both still struggle with challenges in our lives. But, hey, that's why we're here, right? and the end result will be for our good. I really love a quote that Ronna put in her blog (I came across it again when I was making her book): "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable...and it is through toil and tribulation that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in Heaven." (originally quoted from Elder Orson F. Whitney).
And, who says it better than the Lord himself, D&C 122:7 ". . . If thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my [daughter], that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."
I put my trust in the Lord that he will carry us through the rough times and yet provide us with choice experiences here on earth.
We are very excited to see family at Christmas. We just couldn't choose between Ron's family and my family, so we're going to see both! First to Arizona where my parents will be with half of my siblings and a bunch of extended family. Then to Idaho to Sun Valley where the Edwards' will congregate and dig ourselves into the snow. The snow outfit I bought for Connor will be too small -- he's growing so fast! So, I'm on the lookout for another one, if you see a good deal....
Here's to hoping your family is enjoying this Holiday Season, and remembering what it's all about. We love you all and wish we were all closer!
Connor went to his very first birthday party last Saturday for Jasmine and Leonard Roggenbuck. (I wonder how much he will remember? :). Anyway, Jasmine (turned 5) and Leonard (turned 2) have their birthdays so close together, that Karina decided to combine them this year. The Roggenbucks are really good friends of ours from way back -- Ron still has the couch set from when Tim moved to Arizona (what was it, 10 years ago?). Anyway... good friends!
We were delighted to be invited to the party. Karina (below) planned it at Out of This World Pizza which is really fun for the kids -- there's all kinds of things to do, and I'm sure Connor will love it when he's older.
Tim had to hold Leonard back from demolishing the cake(s). I say let him go! That would be a great shot! :) I'm not sure how pleased Jasmine was about sharing "her" birthday... She's such a cutie!
Leonard is getting ready for cake!
I was at an odd angle, so I didn't get all of the kids in this shot. You can see all the big smiles, I think everyone had fun...
Opening presents is always the highlight...
Karina had to get some baby time in. Connor's head is turned away, but you can see the corners of a huge smile since Karina is making some fun faces. :)
Karina and Connor
Jasmine wanted to hold Connor, too. And Pierce had to get in on the action. Beautiful kids!
I finally downloaded pics from the point-n-shoot camera, so I thought I'd share some of them. Do I seem a little obsessed with the little dude? I can't help it. He was a long time coming....
November 3, my little aviator. I have to admit, I never realized how fun it is to dress up little boys. :)
This image was captured by our video camera using its "smile technology". Basically, it detects a smile and snaps a shot for you... It is pretty cute, I think.
November 21, at his very first birthday party (For Jasmine & Leonard Roggenbuck). See next post for details.
November 22, kickin' it before church. Don't his eyes look blue? or green. I can't tell yet. Either way, I was impressed with how well he did with the tie.
November 22, playing in the jumperoo. Karina gave us this jumperoo when she found out we were expecting. Connor loves it!! He can play in it for 45 mins to an hour before getting bored. And, he's becoming quite the pro! He makes that thing spew all kinds of noise as he jumps around in it. He only hurt himself once, when his foot got stuck in the leg part of his footie pajamas and never made it to the floor when he went "down".... That's why you can see I put an elastic band around the ankles, to keep the footies on. He hasn't bonked his head since. :) He is a very serious jumper... It's very exciting! Thanks auntie Karina!!
Thanksgiving lunch at daycare, Nov 24. His daycare invited the parents to a thanksgiving lunch on Tuesday. Since Ron didn't work that day, we both went! Mostly to meet other parents and have fun with Connor. I didn't realize, however, that it was also pajama day. So that's why everyone else (including Miss Tonya) is in PJ's. Oh, well. I'm notorious for getting those kind of things wrong... He looked cute in his outfit, though.
Ron is such a proud papa! He didn't want to put him down the whole time.
Connor sat in a booster seat, just for me. He still drinks a bottle, so there was no need for the food tray... but isn't it cute? :) sitting next to him is Ayden, a very cute little boy who is sometimes in Connor's room in the afternoon, waiting for parents. (They tend to combine kiddos in the late afternoon as they start dwindling off). In the back is Miss Tonya (on the right) sitting with some of the other kids. Adam is on the far left of the back table with his mom. He's in Connor's room all the time. We're still getting to know some of the others. Connor was hungry, so Ron fed him. And then, I wanted a turn, so Ron reluctantly agreed. :) It's hard for me to take him to daycare 2x per week. But he does really well there. He's such a good baby! We are so blessed. I thank Heavenly Father daily for this new little blessing that has come into our lives. What would we ever do without him?
Well, I've been trying all week to get a good photo shoot with Connor. But, it would seem that he doesn't like to cooperate with contrived scenarios. For example, the first time I caught him smiling on camera was not because I set it up and had some fun toys to make him smile. No, that never worked. What happened was, he decided he wanted to be in a good, smiley mood, and I had to run and get the camera. Now, all this week, when I've found the "perfect" place to do a quick little shoot, Connor has been asleep, or grumpy, or hungry. Today, I "forced" it for a few minutes -- put him in his boppy chair on the table. (No worries -- he was supervised the whole time). Well, 20 shots later, he was done -- grumpy -- and this was the best picture I could get:
I mean, don't get me wrong. It's cute and everything, but it's not *star* quality. I mean, I gotta win this contest! :) So, this evening when Ron and I were having dinner, Connor was in his swing and started smiling contagiously. I grabbed the camera and started shooting (yes, even with the swing in motion, I got some great ones!). Now, IMO, *these* are star quality... You'll notice Elmo in the picture. Connor, however, is not smiling at Elmo, he's smiling at himself, since this is an Elmo mirror... (See way below). Yes, our boy is very egotistical. I put a mirror behind his carseat for me to be able to see him through my rear-view. Every time we put him in the car, he smiles at himself uncontrollably. I have this fun mirror book -- always makes him smile. So, of course, the Elmo mirror did the trick.
Here are the many expressions of my little star, Connor. Help me pick the best one to enter into the contest. :)
I tried to capture his point of view, but that was a bit trickier.... He would watch himself, then smile, then watch, then smile... here's what he saw: