Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mornings with Ava

Every morning, sometime between 1:00 am and 4:00 am Ava wakes up.  She is hungry and that is the point at which, even if just for an hour, hunger wins over sleep.

This morning it was 1:37... but momma was tired... oh so tired.  So, I pulled her out of her co-sleeper and into bed with me.  She snuggled right in and the next thing I knew it was 3:50.

I looked down, realized that she seemed to be pretty well passed out and so I slid her over to her co-sleeper and debated on whether I could go another 2 hours before I pumped.  At 4:05 she answered that question for me so downstairs we went.

Every early morning is the same.  I lay her in the boppy with her binkie in her mouth and I pump.  If it has been anywhere longer than 3-4 hours she just chokes and spits so I just resign myself to pumping to save us both the trouble.

As I pump she patiently waits.  She will smile at me and sometimes coo or suck on her binkie and drift in and out of sleep.  As tired as I am, I love this time, just me an her.  Over the last almost four months her patience has astounded me.  Last night it had been somewhere around 9 hours since she had eaten yet never did she freak out.  Just watched me pump knowing that I would take care of her.  Knowing that, no matter what, mom would make it better.

At 4:45 I fell back into bed, too exhausted to be awake one minute longer and at 6:00 when the alarm went off I wanted nothing more than just to continue sleeping, so I did.  Finally at a little before 7:00 she was awake.  No crying, just a little bit of squawking to let me know it was time.

As I changed her to get her ready for daycare she smiled at me and cooed and I still, almost four months later, was amazed that they let me bring her home.  That this amazingly awesome child is mine and that I get to keep her.

Sometimes life is crazy and we spend all day running around but at night, it is quiet and calm.  Just me and her enjoying these little moments that will be gone all too soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slap on the Wrist

A week ago FoTB had court.  He plead guilty to two class D felonies and last Tuesday was his sentencing.

Before he was sentenced, the state of Iowa did an investigation.  The Pre-sentencing investigator basically looks at the person's history, previous crimes, etc and recommends what their sentence should be.  The pre-sentencing investigator said that he has a high instance of recidivism and that he should be sentenced to prison.

My parents and I went to the hearing.  Because he stole from them, they were both allowed to give a statement.  They both said he should go to prison.

The county attorney came up to us before the sentencing and he told us he ALSO thought that FoTB should be given prison time.

The judge gave him two years of probation and another year long stint in his 10th, or 11th or hell, I can't remember how many treatment centers.  Seriously?

In our state right now there is a high profile case of a former police officer who was just arrested again for cutting off his ankle bracelet.  The first time he was sentenced the judge gave him a 16 1/2 year sentence and they suspended it and gave him 3 years of probation.  From what I understand he is now going to have to do his 16 1/2 year sentence.

FoTB needs to go to prison.  If he fails probation he is supposed to go for 10 years.  I think he will end up there for 10 years.  He has never been sober for 2 years and he has never successfully completed an intensive treatment program.  He was kicked out of his 6 month one for failing to write his life story and he has to do that in the first two weeks in this new one.

I think it is a joke and I think the reason we have all of these people in and out of the court system is because they know it is a joke.  Why should they change when they know they will just get probation and another slap on the wrist?

HOWEVER, in happier news, Zack's last name was officially changed on the 8th so no matter what happens with FoTB, it no longer affects us.  He has no say in Zack's life any more and now he doesn't even share a last name with him.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Mom, Ava's not just my sister. She's also my best friend. And we live together, so we're going to be friends forever right?

I hope so buddy. I hope so.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Good Morning

"Good Morning beautiful, how was your night? Mine was wonderful with you by my side. When I,  open my eyes and see your sweet face it's a good morning beautiful day." - Steve Holy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


That moment where you pick her up, squeeze her in tight and she snuggles into you. Her breathing slows, she completely relaxes and you know, without a doubt that everything you went through, the sickness, the swelling, the heartburn,  the insomnia, the labor, was all worth it for this moment. Happiness, joy, love.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Pump

I have a love hate relationship with my pump.  On one hand it allows me to feed my daughter.  On the other hand it ties me to my office every three hours.  It feels like I am always in the middle of something when it is time to pump.

I got one of those hands free bra things but it feels like it is a bigger waste of valuable time to put that on then to just suck it up and type with one hand.

On the upside, Ava is growing and happy.  She is a peanut, only in the 8th percentile for weight but the doctor seems unconcerned.  Last night she slept from 8 - 5 which was awesome.  Only thing that would have made it better would have been if I wasn't up pumping at 2:45.  I suppose I will adjust to the longer stretches eventually.  I know I did with Zack.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Crazy Beautiful Life

Sorry I've been away. It is 3:00 am and this is what I'm doing with my time. It has been crazy. Amazing and awesome. But a bit crazy.

Email me if you want my Facebook info so you can keep up with me and know I'm still alive. otherwise, I will try to check in here more often.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ava Elaine

Giving new meaning to the term labor day, Ava arrived on Monday, 09/03 at 1:45pm.

I will try to get here to write her birth story soon, but for now I just wanted you all to know she has arrived, she is healthy and we are all very much in love with her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


So apparently someone, who was not me, deemed my child old enough to start Kindergarten last week.  Whomever this person is, we need to have a chat because there is no way that my little boy, my baby who was just learning to walk yesterday, I swear, is old enough for school.  How did that happen?

Of course for him, the adjustment period has been quick and painless.  He LOVES it.  He is in a before and after school program that he couldn't be happier with if he tried.  We knew he had outgrown his daycare.  We knew he was ready for something different.  I'm not sure we knew quite HOW ready until he started school.

However, for me, the adjustment period has been a little harder.  Every day when I went to daycare I got an update from his teachers.  I knew what kind of day he had, what he did well, what he was struggling with, etc.  In Kindergarten, I get NOTHING.  And of course I could be "that parent" but I want so much not to be "that parent" so I haven't emailed his teacher.  I guess I am operating under the assumption that if there was a problem she would let me know and since I haven't heard from her he must be doing just fine. 

My other adjustment with school has been that he has to be there.  With daycare if I got up and felt like going in late to work, I just went in late and took him in late.  If I wanted to leave early and take him to the park or come home and watch a movie or do something else, that is what I did.  Now I can't just walk into his Kindergarten room early and pick him up.  I have to wait.

Of course, if the little miss would hurry up and make her appearance I would probably be too busy to worry about any of this.  But as it is... she is being stubborn.  Hold up inside her happy warm home bouncing away with no desire to join the rest of us on the outside.

Last week I was one cm dilated.  On measly little cm.  I almost cried.  (Especially since I was in labor and delivery at 4:00 am having contractions every three minutes when they told me.)  Needless to say, I was sent home to wait.  They stopped a few hours later and I have been waiting ever since.

I have been having a lot of back pain with her, which I never had with Zack, and that, combined with the lack of dilation despite contractions (LOTS of contractions) leads me to believe that on top of being stubborn she is also most likely sunny side up.  Lucky me huh?

On top of all of this I also discovered, just today, that Jim's new insurance will not cover Zack's pediatric clinic, the same one we have used for five years and planned to keep using.  So I am also in the process of adjusting to the idea of having to go somewhere else.  I have asked for, and gotten, a couple of good recommendations on Facebook but I still hate the idea of having to go somewhere else.

Guess I better get over it quickly as I need to pick someone post haste in case she decides to get over stubborn any time soon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Still Here

Wow, a month?  Has it really been a month since I have been here?  Lately it seems like life is getting away from me.

Zack starts school in two weeks.  With the courts being what they are, things have been delayed so we won't be able to start him with a new name.  However, for him he won't know any different.  Hopefully within another couple of months we will be able to file and get it all changed.

The little girl in my belly is still growing.  I am 36 weeks 2 days today and I am more than ready to be done.  My sleeping is sporadic at best and my hips hurt and my back hurts and her but is shoved up under my ribs.

Her room is ready.  All of her clothes are ready.  I only have a couple more projects to finish at work and then... she can come any time.

I really have reached that point where I'm just over it.  I want her to be healthy but I also do not want to be pregnant any more.  (Nor do I want to be at work any more)

I feel like a slacker blogger but with all that is going on and with as little sleep as I am getting I really don't have a whole lot more to offer you.

Any pressing questions you have for me??

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Leftover Pieces

The last month in our house has been a flurry of cleaning and updating and sorting and moving. 

Our bathroom was an after thought in a house that was built before indoor plumbing was ever an option so it desperately needs redone.  Unfortunately, that is not in our budget, but some upgrades were.  New bathroom paneling, paint, light, shower curtain, etc.  Lipstick on a pig... but it will get us through until we can afford the entire remodel.

The attic was a flurry of totes of baby clothes and toys that all had to be sorted and either thrown away, garaged saled, or kept for this newest little one.  Just yesterday we pulled the crib and the final 6 totes of baby items out of the attic.  All told I would guess I have now sorted through over 30 totes of baby items.

Finally there is my office.  My office was in our 3rd bedroom upstairs.  Since we only have three bedrooms in our house it had to be moved to make room for this little girl.  Which sounds MUCH easier than it actually was.  My office was 6 - 8 totes & a filing cabinet worth of paper, receipts, pictures, cards, letters, etc.  The last time any of it was sorted and organized was in 2007.  In 2008 when things started to fall apart so did my office.  Instead of sorting things and filing and throwing away it just got piled up.  And when that pile started to topple, a new pile was made.  Eventually last summer I got tired of looking at all of it and I stacked it all in totes.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Sort of...

Until now...

Last night I finished the last of the sorting.  My office has been moved downstairs, several garbage bags worth of items have been thrown out and several hundred (possibly over a thousand) documents have been scanned in and then shredded.

What is left, is the pieces.  Some remnants of a shattered life left over in a tote I will open when Zack is old enough to understand what it is.  A tote I will simply label FoTB.  This is the part I struggle with the most.  What to leave in that tote and what to throw away.

I have told myself for years that I would not sugar coat FoTB to Zack.  I am not going to make him out to be this saint with whom things just didn't work out.  That is not fair to me or to Zack.  However, I also think there are parts of that story that may be best saved for older years.  Things to be kept and things to just be shared along the way.

For now, it contains pictures.  Pictures of a man he may or may not remember clearly in 10 years.  It also contains some cards and letters that we wrote.  Those were hard for me to read and hard for me to keep, but again I can't sugar coat this for him.  Almost every card I got from him, birthday, anniversary, etc. is filled with I'm sorry about this, or I'm sorry about that, or things are going to get better.  Years and years of broken promises that are more embarrassing now than anything.  Things I look back on and wonder, was that really my life?  Why in the world did I continue to do that year after year?

Leftover pieces, sealed away in a tote....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Resigning as a Grown Up

This morning I had to take my favorite pet, my cat Lex, to the vet to be put down.  His health had been failing for a little while but we figured he was almost 13 and bound to be slowing down.  Then on Sunday we could tell something just wasn't right.  He just laid around our first floor, meandering from room to room but never going upstairs where he normally sleeps, or downstairs where he normally eats.

Sunday night I knew the time was near, yet I didn't want to make that decision.  I kept hoping he would make it for me.  Yesterday when I got up he was sitting in the kitchen and it looked like he was drinking some water.  We had brought some food to him on Sunday night and it appeared that maybe he had taken a couple bites.  I was holding out hope that perhaps he just had a cold or something and would get better.

When I got home from work last night one side of his face was twitching a little and his eyes had started to sink back into his face.  Yet still, I tried to hold out hope.  I went to the store and bought some canned cat food.  He licked it but would not take a bite.  I put some in his mouth and he tried to chew but it kept falling out and he couldn't eat it.  It was at that point that I knew it was over.

I'm not sure that I remember the last time I cried this much.  I cried and cried last night until I finally fell asleep and this morning, as soon as I saw him lying on the kitchen floor barely able to move or make a sound it started all over again.  I spent most of this morning in a state of completely choked up or crying.

Finally at 7:30 when the vet's office opened I called and made the appointment.  My wonderful friend Jess agreed to meet me there since Jim had to go to work and couldn't get off.  I knew what had to be done but I wasn't sure I could actually do it.  Make the decision to ask the vet to take him from breathing to not.

I cried the whole way there and when we got in I could barely utter a sound.  Luckily Jess was there because the people in that office wouldn't have been able to understand anything otherwise.   The vet looked at him and asked if he had been losing weight for awhile.  I told him probably a couple months but we just figured it was his age.  He said he was dehydrated and probably anemic and at this point he felt we were doing the right thing.  Somehow, knowing I was doing the right thing, hearing him say I was doing the right thing, still didn't make it any easier.

By 8:15 it was over and he was back in my van in a box.  We will bury him in our yard tonight and then take on the task of trying to explain it all to Zack.

My eyes are burning, and I'm sure pretty puffy.  I am at work but not really working.

I hate this part of being a grown up.  Can I resign?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Some People Never Learn

FoTB is in jail again.  Gee, that didn't take long did it?  He is now charged with felony theft and two counts of probation violation.  From what I understand there may be more theft charges coming.

We are ready for all of this to be over.  We knew he would screw up again when we signed the post-adoption agreement.  We knew he would never get to visit Zack or come to his activities.  That is why we signed.  I just don't think either of us thought it would be this soon.

After 30 days in jail he will have a probation revocation hearing.  If they revoke his probation, the agreement is null and void.  If they do not revoke his probation then we wait for him to be convicted of a crime.  Any crime will do.  Even if they plead the felony theft down to a misdemeanor as soon as the plea is accepted the agreement is null and void.

We have decided to change Zack's name as soon as that happens.  If there was anyone left in Zack's life with that last name we might consider waiting and letting him chose but there is not.  No one he knows, no one he visits has that last name.  We feel like he should have the opportunity to be part of our family, to fully feel included.  If he turns 16 and decides he hates it and wants to change it back, he can.  Although, I doubt at that point he will.

For us, this part is more for us just watching an enjoying not being stressed by it.  The termination is over.  The adoption is over.  All that is really left is if we change his name or not and that is the least stressful part of the whole thing.  Which is wonderful.  After all of the ups and downs of the last year it is so nice to pull up the inmates website and know that no matter what happens, it no longer affects us negatively.

I am SOOO glad we filed and went to court when we did.  I am SOOO glad to have the majority of this behind us.

Now we can focus on t-ball and decorating baby rooms and getting ready for kindergarten.  (**sniff, sniff** how is my baby going to kindergarten in 10 weeks??)

Wait, stop... back that up.  10 weeks.  Ten...  wow, how has time flown.  I'm not ready, someone hold me....  :-)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Are you sure you are done?

Today I am 26w4d.  In standard pregnancy terms this means that if I were to deliver on my due date I would have 13w2d left of this pregnancy.

Last weekend I had a garage sale in which I sold all of my boy clothes because this baby is a girl and after this baby, we are done.

I haven't written a whole lot about this pregnancy here, there have been a few other things going on in our lives, and I haven't really discussed it a lot in my personal life either but this decision to be done is one we are continually asked about.

More importantly the dreaded: Are you sure? question.

So, let me give you a little bit of background. 

About a year after we started dating Jim and I were discussing adding to our family.  We already knew we were getting engaged and eventually married and so we figured this was the next logical step.  When we were talking about it Jim stated, very clearly, that he only wanted one more child.  (In fact, I think there was something about going out to the garage and fixing himself before he would have more than one more.)  At the time, I cried.  A LOT.

My answer to him was that I wasn't SURE I wanted more than one more, I just wasn't ready to shut the door quite yet.  I remembered times I loved being pregnant with Zack and times I disliked it.  All I knew at that point was that I wanted to have another pregnancy.  A "normal" home life pregnancy if you will and then go from there.

So we tabled the discussion.

Then last year, after we were married, we started seriously deciding how many more children we wanted and how many more we felt were right for our family situation, money, travel plans, extra curricular activities we wanted them to be able to participate in, etc.

In the end, it was decided that one more child made the most sense for our family.  At that point I would say I was about 90% comfortable with that.  We weren't pregnant yet and I wasn't 100% sure how I would feel once we were, but one more seemed to make the most sense.

Then on Christmas Eve morning I peed on a stick and that magic little word popped up: Pregnant.

From that point forward, it all changed.  Let me tell you now how certain I am that this will be our last child.  250%.  Let me give you one little word to describe this pregnancy and explain to you why I am now 250% certain:

Miserable.  (Pretty much 100% of the time)

Shall we start from the beginning?

At 5 weeks pregnant I was already starting to get nauseous.  The doctor put me on 25 mg of B6 and a Unisom.  (No idea why this works, but it seems to)  That curbed the nausea enough that I could eat some foods.

At 6 weeks I was tired, like 8:00 pm if I wasn't in bed I was a walking zombie tired.  So the few hours I was awake I was mildly nauseous and then I had to sleep at least 10 hours a night to function for those few hours I was awake.

I also started to show by 6 weeks, so none of my pants fit me.  I was in maternity pants by 6 weeks and maternity tops by probably 10 weeks.

At 8 weeks the "home remedy", so to speak, stopped working and I was put on Zofran.  I took one Zofran every single day, the moment I woke up, and I was functional.  All be it, barely.  There were days were I was lucky to eat a couple pieces of fruit.  I wasn't throwing up, but I may have wished to just crawl into bed and not come out on more than one occasion.

I also developed chronic constipation from the Zofran.  A fun little side effect they forget to mention to you.  So on top of the prenatal, the B6, the unisom & the Zofran I also got to start taking colace and fiber.  Lots of fiber.  Only it didn't really work.  So once a week I got to drink Milk of Magnesia.

Why yes, yes it does taste as awful as it sounds.  I basically had to count the number of days in between and when I got to three or four I had to pull that stuff out and drink away.  It works, but it sucks... a lot.

I also developed a food aversion to meat.  (which I had with Zack as well).  This was more mild than with him so I did not have to become full on vegetarian for 20 weeks but I could only eat it in small bites.  I could be mid chicken sandwich and one bite would just go badly and that was it.  Done, no more or it was all coming up.  (This is still mildly persistent right now)

Sometime around 12 weeks along she found my syatic nerve and promptly proceeded to take up residence right on top of it.  So, to go along with the continual nausea and constipation I also got to limp.  Sometimes when I would stand up it would hurt so bad I would wince and flail my arms a bit. 

The only good part of this was that it seemed to provide endless entertainment to my husband and son.

Finally at about 13 weeks I was able to stop taking the Zofran.  I was still mildly nauseous but that went away about 14 - 15 weeks and I finally thought yay!!  I am entering the great part of my pregnancy.

Then she shifted forward.  About 18 weeks I started noticing some pain in my lady business.  It started out mild, over the following weeks it got stronger.  The doctor tells me there is no cure except delivering the baby, which I obviously can't do yet.  At 26 weeks, there are moments when I can not walk from my office to my car without almost crying.  It is both ligaments that run down the side of my stomach, on both sides of my lady parts and down the insides of my legs.

Again, the only upside is this seems to provide endless entertainment for my husband and son as they watch me flap when I get up if it hurts or "waddle" into places.  My son says I walk like a duck.  I'm pretty sure he learned that from my husband.  I will sell them both to you cheap if you are interested.  :-)

At 23 weeks I started noticing I was getting light headed after eating and sometimes before.  So much so that I sort of felt like I was crawling out of my skin.  I was pretty convinced I was diabetic and that this was  a reaction to sugar but nothing I ate seemed to make a difference.  Just meat, just water, it all had the same effect.  I was miserable for at least 2 - 4 hours out of each day.

Oh, and still tired, still very, very tired.

At 24 weeks they checked my blood levels and as it turns out, I was anemic.  So, I get to add iron to my list of daily pills.  However, my body is very picky about this iron and I have to take it alone, and still take my other multi vitamins or the dizziness comes back with a vengence.

I also failed my glucose test so I had to take the three hour version.  Turns out the lack of Iron and the fact that I ate an hour before my test effected that because the only thing I got out of the three hour one was a waisted morning and three holes in my arm.  I passed that one no problem.

Finally, we have the contractions.  Oh yes, contractions.  They started at 24 weeks, 4 days.  That set lasted about 2 hours.  Then on Tuesday night I got another set for another two hours.  I am trying to work through them with rest and lots of water.  I would, if at all possible like to avoid the Terbuteline that I had to take with Zack.  That stuff makes you feel AWFUL and I have enough of that feeling already without it.

So, to give you a grand summary, at 26 weeks 4 days, I waddle when I walk, I am in continual pain, I get very dizzy and light headed if I do not stick to a strict regimen of Iron and multivitimans and I'm not getting any smaller, which means the waddling will not get any better.

So to answer your question, am I sure?  At this point, I may resort to fixing him in the garage....

Yes, absolutely, positively sure.

And now, a picture... since you endured my whinning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bullet Points

I have lots going on right now and somehow posting seems to fall to the bottom of the list.  So, I shall update you in bullet points.  Hopefully, for now, you will forgive me.  Someday when things slow down perhaps I will have more than bullet points.

  • The garage sale is over, it went very well.  Most of the big stuff was sold and we made enough to buy the car seat & stroller as well as the rest of the little things we need to get for her.
  • I had an amazing friend offer to give me a pump, so that part I no longer have to worry about.  It is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders as pumps are very expensive.
  • After the garage sale I donated all the leftover clothes to friends.  I was going to take them to the donation center but after thinking about it decided I would rather have people I know using them.  Four little boys will be getting new wardrobes.  I think that is the best use I can think of for those old clothes.
  • I also saved three toys for a little boy at our church.  When we were packing up to take the leftover toys to the donation center (not very many by the way... people LOVE to buy toys apparently) there were three I just couldn't bare to donate.  I hope he enjoys them as much as Zack did.
  • I bought my first outfit for the little one this weekend.  Jim bought me two on my birthday and I bought her one yesterday.  We have lots of 2nd hand clothes she will be wearing but I wanted a couple of new things.  The more we buy and I wash the more real this seems.
  • I only have 14 weeks left until this little girl comes.  That doesn't seem like very long.  I am panicking a bit because I have TONS of stuff in my office left to sort through and get rid of or scan in so we can move my desk and file cabinet.  I know it will all get done, I just need to take it a little at a time.
  • We got Zack's new birth certificate in the mail this weekend.  It is exciting to see it.  There is no mention of FoTB on there anywhere.  I find it strange that they don't list biological father and adoptive father but I guess that is how it works.  Jim is now his dad and FoTB is now erased in the eyes of the law.
  • We also paid off the lawyers last week.  Those were painful checks.  We had to take out a loan.  That part sucks.  Jim told Zack that he may not understand it now but when he gets older, he better put us in a really nice nursing home.
  • As much as it sucked to write the checks, it is 100% worth it.  Zack is a whole different kid than he was at this time last year.  It breaks my heart to imagine what he had to go through but I'm so glad that it is all over now.
Well, that is all I have for now.  Hopefully I will be back to check in again soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Garage Sailing

I have spent the last week digging through old totes of Zack's clothes getting ready for an epic garage sale.  After much thought and contemplation we have decided after this baby, we are done.  I have made my peace with it, I'm 100% ok with the two children thing but the garage sale and I, we are going rounds.

My fear is that she will come out a boy, and I will cry.  A LOT!!  The ultrasound tech said she got an excellent picture, that if it were her child she would 100% assume girl so I feel fairly confident but there is still that little nagging voice.

Don't jump too quickly.  What if something goes wrong?  What if the ultrasound lady was wrong?

Never the less, I am trying my best to ignore said voice and prepare myself.  I don't want to wait until after she is born to do this, it will be September / October and I will probably just have to wait until next year.  I want to purge my attic and more importantly, I want to make a little cash to buy the few, seriously expensive, items we do not have.

Stroller & car seat
Breast Pump (our insurance doesn't cover... boo to them)

That is $550 - $650 right there.... OUCH!!

So, onward and upward we go.  Sorting and pricing and sorting and pricing.

Anyone want to come help me price clothes and toys?  No?  Oh come on... it will be fun...  :-)

Friday, May 11, 2012

How long do you follow?

I read 99% of my blogs through a feed.  I used to use bloglines before it got defunct and they shut it down.  Then I moved everything over to Google Reader.  Google is taking over everything apparently so I might as well just join the crowd.

Anyhow, in my Google Reader I have about 150 - 200 feeds.  (It doesn't give me a count and I am FAR too lazy today to count them myself)  Some of those feeds are updated daily, some of them haven't been updated for months, some for a year, some for two years.

So, on this fine Friday I will pose this question to those of you still hanging around:

How long do you hold out hope?  How long do you leave a blog in your reader or keep checking a blog for updates before you consider it officially gone by the wayside and remove it.  Does it depend on how close you were to the author?  If it was a friend or someone you commented back an forth with regularly will you hang on longer?

Just curious.  I'm thinking I should probably clean up my reader, although with all the blogs in a reader it makes it easier to be lazy because they just hang out there I am not going to each website to check so I figure what is the harm in leaving them there.... JUST.... in case....

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Yesterday at a little before 9:00 AM we sat in the Court room watching a judge bang his gavel down and finally end this year long (ok 5 year long) drama that we have been living.

It is done.

It is over.

As of that point yesterday Zack is not officially considered Jim's son.  His new birth certificate with Jim's name on it will arrive in the mail shortly.

Last night we just stared at each other and said it is over.  I can't believe it is finally done.

There really are no words, just overwhelming joy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

To My Son


These past few weeks have had me thinking about you, almost non-stop.  On Saturday, you will be five years and four months old.  Which is closer to 5 1/2 than it is to five, as you are fond of reminding me.

Every single day you continue to grow and change and as much as I want you to slow down so that I can keep up, I also spend equal amounts of time marveling at how amazing you are becoming.

In two short days, your dad will be able to adopt you and he will be come your " real" dad.  Not that he has been anything else for the last year and a half as far as you are concerned.  I know that there are days that all of this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to you but I hope, some day, when you are older you will be able to understand why we did this.  Why we poured out our time and our energy and our money into this endeavor and that, no matter how mad we make you, you will always know that we did so because we wanted to keep you safe.  We wanted you to always know you were safe and wanted and loved and that FoTB could ever make you feel scared like that again.

For now, just know that every day, you amaze me.  And on the days I am short with you, the days where there are not enough hours to get everything done or not enough sleep to make me a very pleasant person I still think you are the most wonderful little boy I have ever met.

I can't promise to do everything perfectly.  But I can promise that I will show up every single day and give it all that I have.  Just be patient with me as I try to be patient with you.  You and I, we are learning this mother / son thing together, but I wouldn't trade one day of it for anything.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Thoughts on 32...

A couple days ago, I turned 32.  I remember back when I turned 22 thinking how old and wise I would be when I got to 32 and how I would CLEARLY have everything figured out and have the house with the white picket fence and the 2.5 kids, etc, etc.

Well, there is a fence, but it is a pasture fence and the all figured out thing... well, we are working on that.

However, I have to say that over all, I think 32 may be one of my best ages.  On Wednesday, Jim will officially adopt Zack.  Bringing this year long (oh who are we kidding... five year long) nightmare to an end... finally...

Then in four short months (eeekkk...where has the time gone, so much to do.  So much to do) we will welcome our baby girl into the world.  On Wednesday I finally got to feel her kick (on the outside) and last night Jim got to feel it as well.  The look on his face said it all, this is truly a magical event and I am SOOOO happy to get to do this again with someone who is just as excited about this pregnancy as I am.

Finally, if all the pieces fall into place, in December we will be boarding a plane for sunny Orlando to take Zack to Disney for the first (hopefully just the first of many) time.  Jim gets some extra bonuses at work so we are saving them right now in the hopes that we can use them to pay for a large portion of this trip and make it feasible.  If all the cards fall into place it will happen this year, if not, maybe next year.

Either way, I think 32 is going to be a pretty good year.  Maybe at 33 I can work on that figuring everything out concept.

Friday, April 27, 2012

You look tired

I just walked in from the bathroom for the 5th or 10th time today (who is counting?) and a girl I work with says to me, you look tired.

And with those three little words she pretty much summed up my last two days.  I am tired.  I am so, so very tired.  All of the stress of the last year has finally caught up with me and is seeking its revenge.  Little by little it is finally hitting me that this is over.  Really over.

Yesterday morning at 9:45 am we passed our first 72 hour waiting period.  On May 9th we have our adoption hearing and then we have another 30 day waiting period.  But really, the first 72 hours was the most critical.  Sometime after the clock struck 10:00 yesterday it all caught up with me and I just REALLY needed a nap.

It is funny to me how this all works.  How your body can run on adrenaline for so long that you don't even realize you are doing it anymore and then suddenly, when it is all over you crash.  I think this weekend my bed and I will get formerly re-acquainted.

During my first trimester I spent a lot of time there but I am wondering now was I really resting or just sleeping because I was growing a human?  This weekend, I am hoping for some serious rest.  Some recuperating of my energy.

What about you?  Big weekend plans?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Yesterday was our court day.  On Friday we thought we had a deal all worked out with FoTB but when we got to court at 8:45 yesterday morning our lawyer told us the deal may have fallen through.  FoTB had told his lawyer that he had "major" issues with the post-adoption agreement we had been working on.

So, the judge was on call, Zack's lawyer was there and so was everyone else.  Including the trailer trash he brought to court with him. 

As a side note, yesterday he showed up with the girl he was arrested with in December.  She hasn't had a driver's license since May.....  of 2008.... and she has thousands of dollars in outstanding fines as well as two charges (harassment of a peace officer and possession of prescription drugs) for which she has yet to be sentenced.  (She will be on Friday)  This raised a couple of interesting questions for us, first of all, how sober can he be if he is living with this one and secondly, who drove them to court.  Neither one of them has a license.  This was the "great support system" he chose to bring??  Really??

Anyway... back to the subject at hand, right at 9:00 his lawyer and him went out into the hallway to try to work on their "major issues" while Jim and I waited inside the court room.  About 10 minutes later our lawyer came in with the first of their "demands."  Part of our post adoption agreement is that Zack sees a therapist to make sure he is dealing with this appropriately and that he doesn't have any questions about where FoTB went or what is going on.  FoTB is supposed to pay for these sessions and his first "demand" was that we run it through our insurance and he is only responsible for the co-pay.  Ummmm... ok... really?  That was a major issue?

His other "demands" were all very petty stuff.  Things that were easily addressed and very much non-issues to us and so by 9:40, they were back in the court room and it was time to proceed.  The judge came in, started court and our lawyer made a record, his lawyer concurred, Zack's lawyer gave her statement and then FoTB was asked to verify that the signature on the termination papers was his and that he signed it of his own free will.  (Of course he had to shed a few tears to make sure it "appeared" as if he cared...)

He said yes and by 9:45 am his parental rights were terminated and he had consented to Jim's adoption of Zack.  He has 72 hours to change his mind but he has to show due cause as to why he is doing so and we aren't sure he would have any.  After that, we have to wait 30 days after the adoption in which he could contest it, again showing due cause and then we are home free.

We have a few post-adoption conditions we agreed to, not changing Zack's name until he is at least 12 and able to choose for himself, the counseling, sending quarterly updates, allowing him to visit fully supervised once a month if he stays sober for one year after his two year probation (which I am NOT holding my breath for).  However, for the most part, this five year nightmare has finally come to an end.  His say in Zack's life is over and Zack can FINALLY have some comfort and stability knowing where he lives and who he has to spend his time with and most importantly know, knowing that he is safe and FoTB will never be mean again.

Obviously, I'm still a bit on egg shells until all of this if truly final, but for the most part, there has been a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.  All that we've been fighting for is done and our son is safe with us forever.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Ultrasound Lady: "So have you picked out any names yet?"

Me: "We have a few we like but we are waiting to decide for sure until we know gender."

Zack, looking at Jim COMPLETELY unimpressed: "Gender?? Really??"

Jim, through his laughter: "No Zack, that is not the name we want it means whether the baby is a boy or a girl."

Zack: "Oh..."


For the record... it's a GIRL!!

And no... we are not going to name her Gender.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick Bullet Points

I litterally have 4 mins to update you all on what has been going on so this is going to be short, sweet, to the point and bullet pointed.

  • The termination was moved from March 15th to April 23rd & 24th
  • They moved it because FoTB checked himself in to his 8th treatment facility
  • He did so because he wanted to get a better plea for his criminal case, not because he has any care or concern for his son
  • The judge said to my lawyer, he did not want to grant a continuance but we have a really good case and he wants us to be able to present that really good case in a way that does not allow for appeal if we win
  • I feel slightly better about that then that he just moved it because he felt bad for FoTB
  • We have not heard from him since treatment, I fully expected him to call or have his counselor call. We have gotten nothing. He left on Feb 24th and came back on March 20th and has not reached out at all
  • That says a lot to me about where Zack is on his priority list
  • The pregnancy is going along well
  • I have an appointment in 30 mins (hence the rush)
  • Jim is coming with me and it will be his first time hearing the heartbeat
  • I am feeling good, other than tired and am just ready for tax season to be over

Hope all is well with you and yours. I will check back in soon!!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Confession

I have an unhealthy obsession with the Christmas song, "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" Only the Gayla Peevey version (Dr. Demento Presents: The greatest Christmas Novelty CD of all time) ... no other versions will do.

It just came on my iPod and even though I skip every other Christmas song, I listened to this one... and I will probably listen to it at least one more time before I move on.

Jim HATES this song, makes his skin crawl.

Zack, of course loves it.

I have it in my Christmas music mix on the iPod and when it comes on in the car I just look at Jim and say, but he loves it, we have to listen to it. :-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Thank you to all of you who have checked up on me in the last month. I am, in fact, still alive. Although there were days where I felt like it was just barely. Sometime around my last appointment the sickness started to really hit me. The doctor prescribed me Z0.fr.an but all that really did was keep me from throwing up. I still felt awful about 80% of the time I was awake.

I was really, REALLY sick with Zack too, so it wasn't like I didn't expect it, I guess I was just hoping if I was medicated this time my sick would be a little less debilitating. However, no such luck. So, most of my last four weeks has been spent either fumbling my way through work or lying on my couch or in my bed. Bedtime since we last spoke has been anywhere from 7:30 to 8:30 if I was feeling really adventurous.

On Sunday I hit the 12 week mark and I am FINALLY starting to feel better. Yesterday I was able to make it until noon without taking my medication and I am hoping for the same today if not longer.

The medication also gives me some lovely side effects so on top of being yucky feeling I have also had to add a slew of other medication to counter act that medication. So... needless to say, I will be glad when I am done taking it and I can be done with all the fiber and Colace and milk of magnesia as well. (Good times)

As for the other goings on, we are kind of in a holding pattern right now. FoTB did not file anything with the court by his 20 day deadline of January 31st. However, he was re-arrested on the 24th for missing a court date on the 20th.

When that happened, somehow his mommy dearest (great grandma to Zack, horrible enabler to her son - she has not cut the umbilical cord yet) started looking through all of his paperwork and discovered the termination paperwork. When she read through it she realized it was the 30th and he was required to have a response submitted by the 31st.

So, she freaked out and called my lawyer and asked all kinds of questions and said he wanted a public defender. (Even though she hadn't talked to him) On either the 31st or the 1st she then went down to the court house and tried to apply for a public defender on his behalf. She was DENIED. So we filed a 10 day default notice basically saying he had 10 more days to respond or he was in default.

He did nothing. We that is not entirely true, his mom dragged him to the court house on February 7th, (day 7 of his extra 10 days) and he did apply for and receive a public defender but that public defender did nothing. So on Tuesday the 14th... Valentines present, we filed for a default judgment with the court.

Unfortunately, since he has a lawyer, if the lawyer files anything before our court date on the 15th they will not find him in default. But at least it now shows in our file that he did nothing. Way to be all worried about your son there.....

So, now we wait some more. Court is on the 15th and so we have to get exhibits together and witnesses subpoenaed, etc. After all of that, our fate, Zack's fate, the fate of or family going forward lies in a judges hands. If he rules against us, we go back for full custody. If he rules for us, it is finally over.

I'm absolutely TERRIFIED that he will not rule in our favor. That this almost year long nightmare will never be over... I hope those fears never come to be. I hope the judge sees through all of his thinly veiled attempts to what things really are.

Only time will tell....

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's a Gummy Bear

We had our first doctors appointment today. Everything looks good. Measuring perfectly at 8w1d and the heart beat was easily seen on screen.

The doctor even printed me out the above picture which he assures me is, in fact, our baby but looks more like a jelly bean, or a gummy bear. :-)

We are both head over heals excited and just pray that everything continues normally.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Irrational Rationalization

A week ago FoTB was served with papers. He was supposed to have a court date but it was canceled. Luckily, the process server we hired was persistent and she tracked him down and served him that night.

The next day was Zack's 5th birthday. 5... OMG... how is he FIVE already?? Anyhow, AMAZINGLY enough, he called that day. No phone call for three months before but he calls then. Gee, couldn't have ANYTHING to do with being served the night before could it?

Either way, the message he left was so surreal I had to listen to it twice to make sure I wasn't missing something. "Hey, just have a birthday present for Zack and was wondering if I could drop it off at daycare or by the house sometime."

As if he had been out of town on business for a week, not MIA for the last 3 1/2 months. The second time he called, I answered. My only words were, you have not called, text or emailed for 10 weeks, what makes you think you can just stop by?

It was at this point he lost it. Started screaming and yelling at me that it was all my fault and I wouldn't let him talk to him, etc.

I hung up. I spent more years than I care to count being screamed at and berated by this man. I do not need it and I am not going to put up with it.

After I hung up I sent him a text, reminding him he had been served with termination papers (Termination idiot... as in you can not just stop by out of the blue) and asking him to please do the right thing by Zack and just go away and let him be happy.

The response I got from him was irrational, at best. He text me that he would never walk away from his son (isn't that what he already did... he hasn't contacted us in 10 weeks) and that he had 3 of the best lawyers in town on it and I better not mess with him.

Mmmmm.... hmmmm... that big talk may work with some people, but it stopped working on me several years ago.

I just text him back and reminded him that he was facing 5 felonies and 4 misdemeanors and SEVERAL years in jail. That he had no case.

He left me with a text simply saying, that is what you think. Have a nice day.

Then, about an hour and a half later my phone lit up. When I looked, it was a text from him. It simply said, "Can I call my son and tell him happy birthday and that I love him and I miss him?"

Huh? What? I looked at it, re-read it. Put the phone down, pulled it back out when Jim got home, had him look at the series of texts from an hour earlier. Was I unclear in the TERMINATION part? Was I unclear in please just go away and let him be happy? No, no it was all pretty clear, and yet, there it was, a text acting as if that whole series of texts before had never happened.

At that point, all I could do was default to an Al-anon slogan I learned early on. You can't argue with crazy. You are trying to rationalize something which is 100% irrational.

He is, without a doubt, irrational at best, delusional at worst. Stuck so far into his addiction right now that nothing he says or does makes any sense to someone on the outside looking in. It is sad and scary all at the same time and all I can do is pray that the judge sees this our way and does what we feel is in Zack's best interest right now to keep him away from all of this.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Update of Sorts

Well, FoTB is supposed to be in court on Wednesday. With any luck by noon on Wednesday a process server will have tracked him down and said those famous words to him. "FoTB, you have been served."

After that, it is any one's guess what will happen. He may call me within 15 minutes of getting the paperwork to rant and rave. He may not call me at all but show up promptly on March 15th with some lawyer he handles to "fight for his son." Or he may just sign the paperwork and slip quietly into the sunset.

When they serve him on Wednesday it will be:

17 weeks since he has seen Zack
16 weeks since we suspended visits
11 weeks since he has talked to Zack
10 weeks since he has had any communication with me
7 weeks since he has paid any child support
1 Thanksgiving missed without a word
1 Christmas missed without a word
1 New Year missed without a word

I'm just ready for this to all be over.

I spoke to his ex fiance today. She was supposed to write a statement for us to have. Something saying all the things she told me were true. That he had alcohol around the boys. That he left her regularly with the boys while he went out, etc.

She's not writing it.

She says with him out of jail now she is afraid for her safety and her son's safety. She is afraid he will come there and hurt them. It is a cop out and it PISSES me the F&^% off. She says she cares about Zack but really, if she did would she use that as her excuse. I barely know her son but I would stand up for him against FoTB in a heartbeat. Yet here she is, using him being out as her most recent excuse for not writing it.

It also pisses me off because if she truely is afraid he is winning again. He is a coward, someone who slinks away when he is stood up to, but he rules by fear. He rules by puffing out his chest and making people think he is tough and she is letting him win. By backing down and not standing up to him she is letting him win.

I know him well enough, he will not go there. Not if she writes one statement or 100 statements. But she won't listen to me and consequently, several important items in our case may fall through the cracks. I'm going to see if we can subpoena her. It is a long shot and it certainly will not make her my bff but at this point, my son's safety is paramount and if she won't fight for it, I will.

I am not afraid of him. I lived that life for far too long.


As for the baby news, there is really nothing to report. I assume everything is going along as it should be but I have no reassurances as to that. My first ultrasound is not for another two weeks and so until then, all I can do is hope and pray.

I started getting really sick on Friday. The doctor's office put me on a drug cocktail of Unisom and B6 vitamin. It seems to be working, although I have no idea why. Quite personally, I don't really care. If I can get through a day without feeling like I want to crawl in a hole... I'm good.

More updates to come when I have them. :-)