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!