Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Austin's World

Austin is a silly, silly boy.  I keep a running list of things both boys do on a regular basis, but in going through the list tonight, I noticed that funny boy Austin deserved his own post!

I sing a lot.
Well, "sing" in the sense that I am not "talking."
(There's no skill involved.)
It's more of an annoying habit than anything.
Anyway, one day at a soccer game, I was "singing"
"Mommy's got to peeeeeeeeee
Mommy really needs to peeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
I've got to peeeeeeeee so baddddddddddllyyyyyyyyyyyyy."
Sitting in my lap watching his brother play,
Austin starts singing back to me,
"There's a bathhhhhhhhhhhhhroommmmm
Right overrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr thereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

Austin's a big word "decipherer.".
"Library, I wonder if you can get "berries" at the li-berry."
"Soccer, I wonder if it's cuz you play in your socks."


"Mom, what are we having for dinner tonight?"
Pork chops
"Oh, like on the por'ch?"
No, baby, pork chops.
"Oh, like in a porka dance?"
No, dear.


Conversation from several weeks ago:
Austin: "Mom, when it gets to be Christmastime, can we go stay in a hotel?"
Um, maybe, I don't know. Why do you want to go to a hotel?
"Well, cuz at Christmastime, so the (Magic) Elf won't know where we are. K, Mommy?"


Wheres your shirt Austin?
"I flung it over there."
Where, Austin?
He's now clearly annoyed with me for interrupting his daydreams,
"Mommmmmmmmmm, It's over there.
It fell onto our picture, the one from when we were babies and were first donated."


After getting yelled at by Nonnie for making a HUGE mess in her bathroom,
"When I grow up, I'm going to have a house
and let lots and lots of little kids come in
and make a big mess!!
And I WON'T even yell at them!!"

"When are we moving, Mom?"
We're not, baby.
"Yes, I wanna! How come, Mom?"
Well, we just hadn't planned on it.
Our house suits us just fine.
"Well, maybe I planned on it!"

"Mommy, is Tracey mean?"
Is she mean? I don't know, why?
Why? Who do YOU know that's mean, Austin?
Yes, I am, aren't I?
I yell a lot, huh?
Why do I do that?
"Cuz we don't listen."
Yeah. I'm sorry I yell so much.
What do you think we could do to change that?
So that Mommy doesn't yell soooo much
Austin:  "I know, Mommy!
You could make Austin and Logan robots.
And then you could have the controls
And then when you wanted us to do something,
you just push the buttons. Howz that, Mommy?"
(Thinking, I have raised a BRILLANT son!)
Yesssssssssssssssss!!! Ohmygoodness!!Yes - THAT is exactly what Mommy would like.
Two little robots and maybe even a Daddy robot who would do EXACTLY as I tell them!!
Oh, Austin, that is an Awesome, idea!

Breaking up a fight one day, I hear the usual,
Mom, he HIT me!
Did not! Did too!
But I had to laugh at Austin's next line:
"He did too, Mom!  So, throw him in the trash, Mom!!  NOW!"
Logan: "No, throw HIM in the trash, Mom!"
Yes, I broke this fight up by laughing so hard, they joined in.

After another particularly trying day, but thankfully a day Daddy was off,
I announced I was going upstairs to take a shower.
"Okay, Mommy, then you can unthink about all the things we did."
I thought he was being a little sarcastic butt
(NO clue where he would get that from!)
Excuse me, Austin?  What did you just say?
"In the shower, Mommy. 
You can unthink about all the things we did wrong today
and then you will be all happy again!"

Smart little boy!

Argument overheard while the boys were watching a movie:
Logan: "Was that a fart?"
Austin: "Yes, it was."
Logan: "Oh, was it that boy?"
Austin: "No, it wasn't.  It was Alvin."
Logan: "No, chipmunks don't fart?"
Austin: "Yes they do."
Logan: "No, they don't."
Austin: "Yes they DO, cuz they're alive and alive things fart!"

Logan and I are always standing at the door, ready to leave for the day.
Austin is always, always running around missing  his pants, his coat, his anything.
I had yelled out my 2 minute warning and then headed out the door.
Austin ran to catch up to Logan and I and very proudly announced,
"I'm ready, Mom!!"
Really, Austin?  Really?  You got everything you need today, buddy?
Austin, were you planning on wearing shoes today, baby?
He looks down and seems surprised to not have any shoes on,
but he laughs and goes off searching for them.

And one final one.
It wouldn't be a complete post about Austin
without including one about his unique accent.
The boys were throwing out things
that began with the letter "J."
Then, Austin says:
Oh, well, no Austin, that's not quite right.
Almost though, but "drawer" starts with a "D."
"No, Mommy!  Drawer!  You know, what "jelly" is in?"

"Jar," Austin?
Yes, Mommy!  Jaw'er!

I don't really need to tell you which one Austin is, do I?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hail, Hail the Gangs all Here!

Thanksgiving 2010
was a great day!

These are ALL my peeps!
[left to right, back row], My brother, Mitch, my oldest son, Mason and his girlfriend Lory, holding Logan. Amanda (Evan's girlfriend), Evan, my just turned 19 year old!, holding Austin, and the main man, Gary.
[front row] My brother's fiance, Patsy (missing is her son, Frankie, boo!), my mom, Joise/Nonnie and me!

Now, Let the CHRISTMAS SEASON begin!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Amusing stories!

Time for some funnies!!

Logan had his first solo sleep over at Nonnie's earlier this year.
On the way home from dropping him off,
Austin, sniffed out a "I sure miss my brother. When I get home, I'm gonna write him a letter.
'Dear Logan, will you still be my brother?'"


Later that night, Nonnie called us (on speaker phone) and gave us a run down of the evening,
"We bathed, ate a snack..."
Logan grabbed the phone from her and said,
"And I just farted!"
And we could hear his peels of laughter.
Austin's response,
"Logan, I don't want to hear that type of language. Goodbye."


From some tv show or movie somewhere out there,
Austin picked up a common phrase,
"Holy Shucks!"
'Cept the boy's, um, shall we say, "unigue" accent really, really messes with it
and he turns the "shucks" into two syllables, as in:
"Holy Shi'ucks"
'Cept he really, really accents the first syllable
and the second syllable sounds more like a soft/whimpy barely there "itz.'
Can you put it together?
Or do you need me to?

Imagine going shopping and hearing a loud, excited
"Holy Shi (itz) - its a BUZZ Lightyear SHIRT!"



Overheard in the car one day,
Austin: "Logan, did your coach put a penny in your butt?"
I about wrecked the car.
And could not figure out what the heck was going on.
Until I remember that the coach had everyone tuck in a jersey
(or a penny, those lightweight mesh things)
into their shorts and then all the kids ran around
chasing each other and trying to grab each other's "pennys!"

After a pretty lengthy phone call in the car
I hung up and told the boys they had been amazing
that they're behaviour while I was on the phone was super
and I really, really appreciated it
Logan said, "Well, we was just trying not to distract you and make you frustrated."
Wow - Logan. Thanks!
"Yeah, that's a really big word for me: Frustrated."


Sometimes, there's no dodging the twin-competition thing.
A long time ago, I made a decision not
focus on who's the oldest
And since it is one of the questions we are always asked right away,
I'm glad we don't "know" (read: focus on) the answer.
However, physical traits aren't so easy to "hide"
The other day, Austin said,
"I'm not scared, but that's because I'm just a little bit taller than Logan.
Right, Mommy?"


(My whole point of this is that on their own,
Austin and Logan would have no idea who's taller..or older, for that matter.
This is something they have heard over and over again when people try to explain "who's who."
And I am very protective over the boys trying to get as much
of a sense of individualism about themselves as possible,
without the "Which one's brighter? Who's the smarter, the faster, the funnier ONE"
And always being compared to the other.
But that's a whole 'nother post for another day.
I just thought it was funny that despite my efforts, Austin had found a way to one-up himself!)


Austin asks politley from the back seat, "Mom can I have a piece of candy?"
Wow - thanks for asking Austin!
As I turn around, I see Logan halt a mid-chew movement
Logan, what are YOU eating?
He smiles.....(knowing he had not asked permission)
...a...piece....of candy....
Logan, why didnt you ask?
He pauses. Thinks and then grins from ear to ear...
'cause I wanted to SURPRISE you, Mom!

The kids at church were trying to figure out how to tell the twin's apart
and our like-a-neice-to-me friend, Grace says,
It's easy. Just listen to them talk.
Grace: "Logan, say "Hi."
Logan: "Hi"
Grace: "Austin say "Hi."
Austin: "Hi'ya"
Grace: "See?"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I love my adopted child differently

Yes, I admit it.
I love my adopted children "differently."  
I do.  
I can't help it.  

They didn't "come from" my body.  
We do not share the same DNA.  
Or the same skin tone or the same hair color.   

In the adoption community, these are not things we try to ignore.
Overlook or down play.
We are "different" from each other.
My children and I,
And these things need to be acknowledged.

Last month, I went away to NYC with my mom and some dear family friends.
It was a much-needed, rejuvenating "break" from my life and responsibilities.
It also just happened to be the first time I had been away from the boys.
Or more importantly, the first time they had been without their Mommy.
Later that same week, our other dear friends left for China to bring home their son, Zak.

In the last 5 - 6 weeks since these two "trigger" events occurred, 
Austin and Logan have been "acting out" their worries and concerns.
Yes, a lot of it is typical 4-year-old worries.
But in our family – “typical” is always laced over with
“adoption” issues and on top of that, “twin” issues.

Case in point:
On the way to a preschool singing performance, Austin and Logan were talking about all of the kids in their class.
Hearing the usual very Middle Eastern-sounding names, I was hoping to readdress Logan’s earlier concern from that morning, that his skin was “different.”
“Logan, don’t a lot of kids in your class have brown skin like you?”
Before he could answer, Austin quickly and with great shock cuts into the conversation,
“What!?!  I’ve got BROWN skin?”
(Logan thought this was hysterical!) 
And while Austin moved on from this newsflash with no additional questions,
I was reminded again to make sure that I address the boys’ concerns separately as they EACH reach them.

Anyway, while the boys have been going through this little spell of uncertainty and unease.
They have done a lot of regressing – going back to being little "babies."
They want to be held and rocked and they practice taking their first steps
...and falling...and having Mommy/Daddy and Nonnie pick them back up.
Which is actually pretty smart when you think about it.
They are going back in time to the moment(s) when they were the most vulnerable.
When their needs were not being met.
And at a time, when, for them, their little hearts were getting “broken.”
Lucky for us, this time we get to be there for them and reassure and nurture them.
But it is also very scary, very worrisome.
The term "attachment issue" FREAKS me out!
Especially after years of infertility,
It's hard not to go down that path of rejection and fear -
"My child is not attached to me!'

Despite being very outgoing, fun-loving, like to play 24 hours a day little boys,
Austin and Logan have not wanted to "go anywhere"
When they are dropped off at school or at a playland area,
they scream and scream and cling and beg me not to leave them.
Insert another twin issue here, when ONE child sounds the alarm,
the other child does not wait to access the situation and make his own determination.
He simply hits his own panic button, trusting the fact that
if brother is scared, there’s probably a pretty good reason for me to be scared, too.

At first, I thought their behavior was mostly Mommy-separation issues. 
And for Austin, I think it mostly was. 
But then I started noticing all the focus and attention Logan was putting on Baby Zak and the adoption.
And Logan really, really started loosing his mind when it came time to be "separated" from Mommy or Daddy or Nonnie.
You could see and feel the fear that riveted through his body. 

For Logan.  For an adopted child. They don't have that same "right" to their mommy. 
That "I came from you" type of security that non-adopted children have. 
Deep within Logan's growth and development, his mind, his body knows
that at any given moment
anything and everything
 familiar to him
No, he doesn't have real "memories" of these "clearing house" events.
But his mind.  His heart.  His body.

Logan describes the fear as "There are monsters in my belly, Mommy."
That anxiety, that nervousness that starts to work its way up through him on the ride to school in the mornings. 
He doesn't know why and he can't explain it. 
And I use every "mommy phrase" in my arsenal to try and help him and walk him through this.

But my heart breaks.
Watching his heart hurt.
Knowing the pain that he suffers,
That he doesn’t have a sense of “belonging” to me.
He tells me he just wants his WHOLE family
(Mason, Lory, Evan, Amanda, Mommy, Daddy and Austin)
With him.  In the house.

Logan looked at the adoption of Zak like this,
“That little boy was adopted like ME. 
That little boy is coming FROM somewhere. 
Who’s to say
Someone can’t swoop in
And adopt me again
(read: take me AWAY from somewhere…this time that “somewhere” being HERE.)

Last week, it got to be too much. 
Austin had recovered for the most part. But Logan was getting worse. 
Like I said, I could "see" the fear in him. 
And I couldn't do it anymore.
This child who has had everything taken from him 3 times in his first 13 months of life
 (first 3 weeks in the hospital, alone or maybe not, and then through two different foster families)
was not going to have to go through any more anxiety and pain.
I pulled him from school.  He came to work with me.  He went to Nonnie's. 
We made sure he felt safe. 
We made sure he felt like he was in charge
and that we were gong to move forward on his word.

I see a lot of posts on facebook about
“giving birth to a child is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body."
And I think loving an adopted child is like that, too
but also
it's like having to watch their little hearts walk around outside of their bodies. 

That little invisible thread that connects us isn’t the same.
It’s different.
Security is not a given.
It must be earned.
It must be built. 
And then, Reiterated.
And Reestablished.
Over and over and over again.

I could really associate to Logan’s pain because also last week,
there was a little newsstory going around about a court case
where it was to be determined if a little 4 year old boy
was going to stay with his adopted parents
or be returned to be raised by his birthmother.
Now, there are many, many circumstances involved in this case, but still
the core
the reality
the fear
that because my child did not COME FROM my body,
he could be TAKEN FROM me
The depth
of the pain
is immobilizing.

When Logan flung his arms around me
And his body was convulsing with fear. 
I listened.
I scooped him up.
I held on.
And I didn’t let go.

Daddy, Nonnie and I have all very quietly reassured him.
Loved him.
Let him take life at his own pace.

Eventually, I would drop Austin off at school.
And Logan’s “monsters” didn’t act up.
Little by little,
His security
His faith

And this morning
He went to school.

And I bawled.
Such a big, brave little boy
To overcome an innate fear.
To put himself out there
Despite that life has shown him several times now that things can be taken away and can change in a blink.
He still chose to live
To laugh
To play.

With one little step.
One little step,
He is CHOOSING to step away from the fear.
He chooses to embrace life
He feels safe enough
Secure enough
To walk away from me
To trust that I and his whole family will be there waiting for him.

Do I love my adopted child differently?
I didn’t spend the next five minutes bawling in my car just because
 my child went to school
I bawled
with relief
That for now, we had done a “good enough” job reassuring him
I bawled, swelling up with pride
Because at that moment I had never seen a bigger, stronger or fiercer HERO!

Being an adoptive parent, you don’t try and dodge a bullet
The bullets are coming
It’s a part of the program.
We don't try to be "normal"
To glaze over the issues
And pretend that being adopted isn't different.
It is different.
And so, my love is different.
My love is fierce. 
And each time my child's little heart
is raw and exposed
I will stop the world.
And quietly quelch the demons that are attacking him.
I will make sure I am giving him the tools that he needs in life
to make that invinsible thread stronger.


Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother
Two different lives shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears
One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.
Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?
Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.

---- Unknown

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Cocoon: def: A protective covering, to enclose protectively

It's been one of those weeks. 
Where the world has been a little too rough with us. 
We all feel like we've been through the ringer.

So, we are hiding out in our cocoon.   

 Not a bad place to be at all!

A little movie time.

And they brought their newly acquired, special little "babies" in with them. 

We are very, very thankful for our upcoming 3-day weekend.
And much needed down-time.
We may never come out of the cocoon again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homemade Superhero Glasses!

That Nonnie is such a creative character!

All it took was some tires from a construction kit and some extra ribbon.
Oh - and a little tape.

And voila! 
Just like that, she whipped up two superhero glasses for her grandbabies!!



Monday, November 15, 2010

Four Boys!

Tracey has been so generous with her time
and sharing lots of Zak with us!

We have truly, truly been missing our Triplet Van and his mommy.
And of course, we have major Zak-addiction!

Getting this foursome together is just as full-on energy as we knew it would be.
Today, we opted for a round of what the Mommies refer to as
"Speed Golf"

All excited and ready to go!
 Austin, Zak, Van and Logan

 Tracey and her baby boy!

 "They were here somewhere!  I saw them.  There were three of them!"

Logan took one club to the head from Austin's swing.
Zak kept up with ease and enjoyed putting his foot in the hole and giggling.
And Austin was the only one who attempted to listen to the Mommies
by restarting or "reversing" back a few holes to lengthen the fun when we prodded.
Alas, It's just TOO exciting not to race to the end!
Van was the clear winner!
Six minutes after first teeing off, we had easily flown threw the 18 hole course!

Not ready the call it a day,
we headed off to an empty field to let the boys
run off their energy.
Problem is, we forgot a ball.
So, we improvised.
And played "Grab it!"

Each boy got "something" to stick on them that the mommies could run after them and grab.
We actually switched things up a lot and had the "items" in our back pockets.
The boys all chased each other.
The boys chased the mommies.
The mommies chased the boys.

The mommies got lots of exercise.
And yes, Daddy's - we took pictures.

Austin and Logan assisting Zak with his "playing piece" shall we call it.
I have a funny feelin' "Grab It" is going to be a game that sticks around for a long, long time!


Enjoying an afternoon of tons of fun, giggles, shrieks and laughters

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In the kitchen!

I don't cook.
I make things.
For dinner and what not.
And I bake.
I don't cook.
I married a cook.

The twins and I are always in the kitchen "making" things!
So, I told them this week we had to "make" something
for Mommy to take pictures and post the recipe.
And I asked them what they wanted to make.

It was morning time, so they ecstatically YELLED

Step 1:
Dress Appropriately

(Austin left, Logan right)
(Even if we are just making jello, we always, always have to dress appropriately!)

Step 2:
Cut up your choice of (frozen) fruit.
Mixed Berries

Cut some into really tiny slivers.
and leave some whole.
Just to be random.

Step 3:  Sample a lot of the frozen fruits while you're cutting.

 Step 4: Concentrate.

Step 5: Really, really concentrate.

Step 6:  After the fruit is all cut up and added to the blender,
Add some regular milk.
You MUST use COW milk, too!!!
Or it will not get eaten.

(cow milk is condensed milk!  hahaha)

We don't mearsure anything.
We taste to perfection.

Final step:
Approve of the outcome!

(At some point, they switched. Logan is now left and Austin, right!?)

Austin and Logan highly recommend serving the Fruit Smoothies in the Special Pink and Yellow cups.
The ones that Mommy and Daddy got on a cruise.
Before we were around.
Even though said cruise line ran into a little touble this week!

Chaos always ensues during the final steps - of adding (both) milks, taking turns flipping the blender switch,
Sampling the goods, pouring the mixture into special cups, etc. 
So, this is the only picture I got of the end result! 

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Or maybe, I should title this post

 Back at my Godson's baptism, we were leaving the reception and
Logan ran back into the house hollering, "Oh wait - I forgot to say good-by to my girlfriend!"
He ran up to a (much older) 6 or 7 year old little girl and 
actually asked her out on a date - to Arby's.
Looking around for me,
"Mom - can you drive us?"

He then bugged me for about week to call and until he (lucky for me) forgot about it!

At the beach this summer with our friends,
Austin fell head over heels with another little girl vacationing with us.
After spending all day with her, he came out to the pool and said,
"Mom - I've packed a bag and I'm moving downstairs to the girls' room so I can be with my new friend."
I didn't pay too much attention until
At the end of the week, when I was packing up,
I found his little knapsack (empty of the toys it originally carried)
 in the girls' room
And he had packed accordingly:
A clean pair of undies, a pair of pj's, one bathing suit, some tanning lotion (okay, sun block)
and one stuffed animal.


At another friend's birthday party, Logan and Austin had both taken favor to yet another (and again older) cutie-pie and as we were leaving the skating rink - Logan was holdng my hand, but turned around to blow his little girlfriend quite a few kisses as she was getting into her Mommy's car!

At their preschool, Austin and Logan's best friend is a
little girl who also just happens to be adopted from China
She is turning 5 this month.
(so again, an older woman!)

She takes great care of them at school
and when they talk about her,
they say,
"Anna is our girlfriend."


 Modeling their Puppy hats, gifts from Nonnie from "You Nork City!"

For real, could any girl resist these faces!?!



Friday, November 5, 2010

Family Fun!

Hannah's theme this week is Family Fun!

And silly me, I immediately thought of these:
 (not my hand, not my picture!)

Gary bought Evan these GIANT marshmallows and he never used them.
They sat around our house for awhile this summer until..
one day...
they became ammunition.

If my memory is correct, it was Evan, Austin and Logan against Mom!
Not quite fair, but FUN nonetheless!

The marshmallows were so big and so soft, they made an AWESOME
sound when they "popped" against your target.

I think Austin cheated a little because he was throwing some "bit-into" marshmallows.
Ewww!!!  Sticky!!

But other than that  - it was a pretty "clean" and safe fight.

And here's a picture that has nothing to do with the above post.
But I couldn't resist adding it in!

This is Austin (left) and Logan (right) on their first Church Retreat.
Isn't it sweet!?! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Construction site!

We're gettin' a pool!!

Okay, no, not really.

Our neighbors are!

Austin and Logan have been out everyday
instructing the diggers.

And finally, somehow connived their way over there
to..ya know..
help out!

The boys were in the zone! 
Couldn't have been happier!

We are being told the pool will get LIFTED over the HOUSE one day this week!! 
We will have the trucks...and the cameras ready for THAT!

(Suzanne - recognize those trucks!?!)

Monday, November 1, 2010


 (somebody continually puts his pants on backwards, heeheehee)

 Evan and Amanda - right before they got in the car and drove back to college.  ;-(

 (somebody else continually likes to forgo underpants!)

 We drove to Nonnie's for the FIRST Trick...or Treat?

 Daddy aint right!!!