Friday, July 25, 2008

Ty's 6 month Dr's Appointment

Ty went to the Dr's tonight for his 6 month appointment (well we saw a nurse practitioner, which is our preference) and she said he is just as healthy as can be. He is still very strong for his age, and she said his gross motor skills were ahead of where he should be which is great to hear, because he is still smaller than some kids. He weighed in at 15 pounds 8 ounces (Mommy was exactly right) and 25.5 inches long. His percents were 16 and 20 respectively (his head was She said we could really start hitting the solids, and as soon as he was passing hand to hand, we could start finger foods. We told her he had been passing hand to hand for about a month and half, maybe more...She said Congratulations! You can start finger foods. And then I cried, cause lets be real...finger foods are the beginning of the end. He is very rapidly crossing from baby to toddler and it seems like no amount of motherly hissy fits will slow the process even a little. She also said that give his gross motor skill we should start baby proofing because she thought he would be crawling in no time, and cruising before we know it.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Almost 6 months!

On Saturday, my little tiny, scrunched up, curled up baby boy, turns into a huge, strong, loud, smiling, laughing, rambunctious 6 months old. doesn't magically happen on Saturday, it's sort of slowly been happening all along. On Saturday however, I do have to finally admit, Ty is rapidly moving toward toddler hood. In fact, with his brand spanking new HAIRCUT that he got last Friday, he looks so big and mature, 2 people have already said he looks like a toddler. The hair cut makes his eyes look so big though :) He's such a beautiful baby! I mean almost toddler!

I think we're going to try and get his 6 month pictures taken in the next week or so. He's changed so much just since his 3 month pictures, I can't wait ;)

We have one more week till vacation, then we'll be away for one whole blissful week as a family. My mom and step dad are coming up (to see their grand children, I have no illusions) so they will stay at my Uncle's cottage on Newfound Lake. We rented a huge house (at least it looks huge) that is about 4 miles away, and we're sharing it with my sister and her family. In that one house there will be 4 adults, a 3 year old, a 15 month old, a 6 month old and FOUR dogs. It BETTER be huge...

We've been watching this series on CNN, and I've enjoyed it for the most part. Very interesting. Upsetting how alive and well racism still is in this nation. Not surprising, since I'm aware of it, and work against it actively every day...but upsetting. The education of black children vs the education of white children is astounding.

Moving along to after education, educated black men in the work place have the same chance of getting a call back on a job interview as a white man with a criminal conviction. Being a black man is the same as being a criminal in this country...STILL! WHY have we not made more progress than this?

One thing we've realized is how important appearances are for black Americans over and above how important it is to other races. In many large places of employment there are many people that may not speak English fluently. They might be speaking English as a second language even. However when a black person comes to apply for a position, if they speak with any type of AA dialect, it is often seen as a sign indicating lack of education. It's preferable to hire someone who speaks English as a second language over a black American who might speak with a racial dialect. Even black Americans with college education are often passed over for interviews because they use language common in black communities.

Do some black people "make it" sure...they make it into largely white communities where their children are harassed and placed under suspicion by the police for no reason. Somethings gotta change...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Post Placement

We have our final post placement visit on Sunday...WooHoo. I know he's "ours" and he's here, but I can't wait for that silly piece of paper to tell us what we already know...We have a SON!

Our social worker comes to the house this time around, but thankfully we're in pretty good shaper cleaning wise. Have to stay on top of that stuff more than we used to now that Ty's around. Don't get me wrong...we still have plenty of hair, just fewer tumbleweeds :)

Once our final visit is complete, we can submit our paperwork to the courts on July 31st (6 months from the termination in MO) and then we sit and wait for a court date. Could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months we hear. I am pretty sure there will be some tears on THAT day :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Okay, not really. I guess technically we're farming supporters. We finally found a farm to buy a CSA share in (Community Supported Agriculture)...we go each week and pick up our part of the crop for that week. Course we missed all the weeks in June, but what really is harvested in June anyway?? Radishes? So I go today, and being the cheap-o, penny pinching Mom that I am, I ask if they are pro-rating , since we've missed 4 weeks. The farm manager says, "No we don't pro rate till August" I look all sad, and it doesn't seem to get me anywhere. The longer I stay though, the more I like this farm, and I'm loving the answers to all his other questions. I am worried about getting enough tomatoes to can (the 24 plants in the front yard still leave me uneasy somehow...I must have big plans) so he tell me when tomatoes are in full tilt, I'll get my share, and then if I want to go pick more, go for it! Same with Corn. SWEET! So I sign on the dotted line, warm up the CC and fill out my paperwork. As I'm filling out the paperwork, I ask if they grow beets. Mikey and I are loving beets lately. He says, you like beets, I'll give you some beets! I hear give, and that means free, so I say SURE! So he grabs a bag, even asks paper or plastic (which reminds me...I need to bring my cloth bags to the pick-up day) and I say either! He smiles and says,"I'm going to hook you up!" I say great, and we head down the isle and chat about veggies, and animals and stuff, and he fills the plastic bag with 4 big bunches of beets, and I'm THRILLED, almost jumping up and down and telling him about roasting them and how awesome they are. So he looks around and goes and grabs another bag and says, "How about some lettuce? It's a little wilted, but it should come back if it goes in the fridge? Look through and find a couple heads and grab them" I find that under the top layer of lettuce, the bottom heads are still beautiful. He says take what you want, at the end of the day, that all goes to the pigs. So I grab 4 heads of beautiful lettuce, 2 red, 2 green. AWESOME! Then I look around and ask if the swiss chard has come in yet, and he says, "YEAH! You like swiss chard?" I'm more than happy to tell this man how much we love swiss chard while he loads up a bag of peas for us, and adds some broccoli to the top of the lettuce bag. He whirls around, grabs a paper bag and says, "Again, some of this has wilted, it was picked on Tuesday, so it will go to the pigs tonight too." (Whoa, it's TWO whole days old??) I laugh and say, well I don't want to take all their dinner! So I only pull out two bunches, and he says, "NAH, some of this is still good!" and hands me FOUR more bunches. Holy Swiss Chard. Then he asks if we've ever had their meat before? I saw, no, I had no idea you were even here! You're a hidden gem back here. So he says, "Can you hold on a second, I'll go grab you a package of our frozen burgers to try." He runs off and I see their burgers are $6.50 a pound, so I doubt we'll be buying many of them, but I'm willing to try them for FREE!

In the end, he had to help me get it all to the car, and he says, "We'll see you tomorrow for your weekly share ok? Oh and come as close to 7 as you can, then I can load you up with all the extras." Ummm.....DEAL.

I just spent an hour prepping all the swiss chard. It came right back, more beautiful than anything we've ever bought in the grocery store. I'm off to shell peas, and prep lettuce.

I love farming....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Could all racists, not smile at my baby? Thanks :)

So we're at a cookout today, and EVERYONE loves Ty, like usual. Ty is often the center of attention, and we get stopped a lot when we are out. In general, I'm ok with that. I know that a lot of it is because Ty is black, and that's compounded by how gosh darn cute he is. Sometimes the extra attention gets old. Sometimes I just want to sit, or eat, or grocery shop or whatever, not have to have my guard up because we're a family built through adoption. So today, everything is fine, and although I don't know everyone at the cookout, I make the assumption that they are family and friends of people I do know. I make the assumption that they all realize a key fact. Ty is black. I'm not asking for rocket science, just realization that. So I'm eating and Ty is with someone, Mike I think, and I walk by two older men talking politics. One of them says to the other..."I'll tell you my motto about this election. My motto is, Vote white or don't vote! That's my motto!" and he laughs. Seriously what would my jail time have been for punching him out? Okay, clearly I can now choose to never have my son around that man. I'm okay with making that choice, and it does soothe me. Upsetting me still though? My nieces...cousins to my black son, are frequently around this man, as are MANY other children. This was not adult to adult conversation, this was conversation with many children around. I'm ashamed to say, I froze and said nothing. So now I'm stuck with a million responses and ways I could have and should have butt into that conversation. I was just so crushed. It was not expected from this man, who smiles and coos and talks to my Tyler. I realize Ty gets somewhat of a free pass, because we are white, but the reality is, that will only protect him for so long.

Then later in the nights, sitting around a fire pit roasting marshmallows, a young boy, maybe 8 or 9 is beside me keeps glancing over toward Ty, and then up at me. I know it's coming, and he is a child, so I welcome it with a smile, and he steps closer and peers in at Ty all wrapped and cozy in his blankets, and looks up at me, and then gently touches Ty's blanket near his hand. "Is he your baby?" he asks, with his eyebrows all scrunched together, trying to figure it out. "He sure is. This is Tyler." He nods like this is the response he's expecting, but I let him work through it for a few seconds and I smile at him again as he continues his looks from Tyler to me and occasionally to Mike who is sitting next to me. "So why is his skin black?" he asks. This tells me a couple things in just those few words. It tells me that in addition to differences in color, he's aware of race, since children only aware of difference in color typically reference the skin color as brown, and children aware of race, reference black skin (though Ty is pretty dark). "Well Tyler is adopted." I tell him and try to read if that answers his question. Clearly it doesn't so I make the mistake of asking a question that I don't have an answer to..."Do you know what that means?" Of course he shakes his head no. Shoot! "Well that means Tyler was born to another Mother before he came to live with me and be my son." Very super over simplified, but the best I could do, thinking on my feet. Of course the boys parents were no where to be found, or I could have looked to them for some help...hopefully I didn't start a really interesting conversation that they weren't ready to have with him yet. I was a little surprised that he didn't know what adoption was by his age though. Usually the your skin doesn't match his questions come from 3-5 year olds. He nodded his head and it seemed to work for him so I guess I did okay. I guess I need to add that to the list of questions I need the "answer at the ready" for.

Twice in 2 days we've been asked where Tyler is from. I LOVE telling people "Missouri" and watching how long it takes them to realize I mean the US. :)

Over all, still a great 4th. Better to really know the people around you than to just believe they all love and respect Ty as much as we do.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Has it really been so long?

Blogging is like exercise...when you get in a good rhythm it's easy, when you fall out of habits, it's so hard to get back. You have all this shame for not posting and guilt. It's awful. I'm sucking it up and I'm back with LOTS of updates.

First and most important...Mr. Bear. I have come to the realization hat I'm not longer my own person, or really very important in this's all about Ty. My grandmother calls me to ask if "we" are going to a graduation party for my cousin. Well we weren't planning on going till I get "the sigh" and hear about how long it's been since she's seen him. Ok Nana, see you there at 1:00. The upside? Our parties are SO well attended now. They don't come to see us, but they COME! Anyway, Ty is doing well. We know in our hearts he's the smartest, most beautiful baby ever, and when everyone around us affirms that it almost makes my heart explode. He's the light of our lives, even on his fussiest of days. He's just over 5 months now, and weighing in at a small, but healthy 14.5 pounds. He's a sturdy little boy, and his Dr. tells us every time we see her that his muscle tone is amazing. He stands with only balance support, and even goes from squatting to standing with no help pulling him up. He grabs things, and throws them...that was a surprise the first time it happened :) He's also rolling from front to back pretty regular, but NOT on camera of course. He's still the raspberry master in the household too. He'll get going for 30 minutes or more till we finally have to distract him. I guess the biggest news is the teething. It's in full force with all the normal symptoms. Drool and what not. I was sure he was getting the two on the bottom, since that's the ones that typically come in 1st, but then I noticed today that the top is all swollen too....cutting all 4 at once maybe? Poor guy.

On the adoption front, I've spoke with Ty's birthmom on a fairly regular basis. She is back in school, and may get a laptop soon. It would be wonderful to communicate with her more regularly by e-mail. I am so bad with regular communication by letter or mail. I am BAD at mailing things. The father's day package for my step father sitting on the stairs is a testament to that. I think I inherited the gene from my Mom. She laughs and tells me that she still has my Mother's Day present. It really is an illness in our family. Anyway, I have sent her some pictures, and it seems that her and the rest of his birth family are doing well.

On my personal front! I am changing jobs. I'm undecided on two jobs right now. I would really like to work where Mike works. We could commute together and that would save a lot of $ with the high gas prices. The perfect position opened up for me there, but the competition has been pretty intense. I should hear on Monday if I got that position. If not, I was offered a great position at another company, but the commute would be similar to what I'm doing now, so no gas savings there! I'm excited for either job though, and just want to get started!

Mike is doing pretty well. He's had a few follow-ups with his various Dr's and they all say he is doing great. He even had his first home down load from his defibrillator. They link up to that while he's at home! So cool :) He is LOVING being a Daddy. He did get to spend a day home with Ty on Monday. Mike was sick and Ty was miserable, so Mike kept him home with him. It sounds like they had a pretty miserable day together though. :)

The dogs are all still here. I can't recall if I posted about Dudley going for a couple overnights to the vet or not. Eating things he shouldn't. Right now the computer room is covered in a roll of paper towels that they all ripped up yesterday. Sometimes it seems like I can't get ahead in this house :) After cleaning and vacuuming and doing laundry all day yesterday, seeing that almost pushed me over the edge. Mike said he would clean it up, so it's sitting there waiting for him. I bet he eat it all before it gets cleaned up. They have also taken to finding stuff in the house, and dragging it out the doggie door to chew up in the yard. Sometimes it's our mail, or a bootie of Tylers...our back yard is now a mud bowl, littered with stuff from the dogs. How very white trash of us. They are doing great though, and they love Tyler to pieces.

Well time to go grocery shopping for the long weekend. Have a great 4th everyone!