Monday, August 23, 2010

A week of firsts

It's been a busy week with me and my sidekick. We've had some firsts. My favorite was our first time actually hanging out downtown with just the two of us. We live in a college town that has the cutest downtown area. It's a small town feeling as you walk down Massachusetts St. Generally, you see familiar faces in each journey out and about. First we hit a coffee shop. This was a big deal to me. I hadn't been venturing out much to partake in society, mainly because it's too freakin' hot to go outside and also because I get wrapped up in my own little world at home and forget to touch base with the rest of the world. I had forgotten how amazingly wonderful it is to just sit in a coffee shop with no agenda at all. Anyways, there we were mother and son. Enjoying my coffee, people watching and just being out and about while G focused deeply on a muffin. Granted it's a scene that can only last 20 minutes tops with a 9 month that gets bored easily, but I was glad we experienced it. We then ventured over to the fabric store, which is more like a fabric boutique. I love this store. It's huge windows with all the natural light flowing in and it's creaky, old wood floors. Rows and rows of draped fabric....I could go on and on... I wanted badly to take some photos of all the beautiful fabric, but my hands were full with my little man. He fell fast asleep against me as I browsed through the aisles looking for the right fabric for his highchair cushion I was making. It was a rainy, summer morning and I loved spending every second of it with my son. I find myself often wishing he was older so he could converse with me as we sit there watching the rest of the world. Then, I remind myself how quickly he will be and I snap back into knowing how important it is to live in the now.

The next big first is all Gadisa's. He has developed an intense and a little disturbing addiction (somewhat similar to my addiction to Gummy Bears and frozen pizza). He has discovered Puffs. You know, those little baby cereal things that dissolve in their mouths? I mean his obsession with these things could lead us to an intervention. He flips out over them! I find myself making a tire screeching U turn if I've figured out I've left the house with out any Puffs in the diaper bag! But hey, we all have our weaknesses, right?

And lastly, the main big first is what I walked into when I went to pick him up after a long afternoon slumber. There with a big ol' grin on his face was Gadisa standing up in his crib. We are now pulling ourself up and standing!! It all begins....
By the way, I swear I really do put clothes on my child! :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010


We started sponsoring Emmanuel (Uganda, 9 years old) and Joyce (Zambia, 8 years old) 3 years ago. We wanted to help. We wanted to do SOMETHING and know exactly where our help was going and to whom. So, I Googled about this and found out we can sponsor children and get regular updates on how they are doing. This has touched me so much. In the beginning, I would tear up every single time a letter and photo would arrive with an update. The letters written by siblings or a parent letting us know how our financial help was directly affecting their family. Now, I smile so big and brightly when I see a piece of mail from Africa. I'm excited to rip open the envelope, no longer sad about their situation, but instead anxious to see how they are doing.
Emmanuel's family buying first a goat, then a pig, then chickens and then a bull to help raise money themselves to support the family. Joyce's family buying a blanket, a BED!, simple necessities like dishes and mosquito nets. SIMPLE NECESSITIES that we go to Target for in a quick trip in our air conditioned vehicles. I am overjoyed that we can help, to do anything to make someone's life easier. To be able to make someone's life healthier. We are so fortunate to live the life we live and I just want to install in Gadisa that if you have something and you are standing on your own two feet, then reach out and help someone stand on theirs. I am humbled by the strength I see in Emmanuel and Joyce's families. For I do not have strength like they do. I wanted so badly to visit them while we were in Africa, but traveling between the countries was too dangerous and costly to be able to make it happen.
In September, our sponsorship of Emmanuel will end. World Vision is pulling out of his region as they have met their goals for his community and they now can support themselves. This is fantastic, but this is also sad. We have written many letters and received many pictures of him. For my own selfish reasons, I do not want to end our communication. I want to know how he's doing, how he's growing but, I know that meeting the goals of the sponsorship is the whole point of it. How wonderful it really is to see a community that once needed dire assistance to now have schools, health facilities and education to support itself. Perhaps Emmanuel will still stay in touch with us as he grows into a young man. We will always remember him and smile when we see his photos sitting on our shelves at home.
I always think it would be so amazing if everyone that could, would sponsor a child. It makes the biggest difference in their lives. However, I know there are a lot of causes in the world to support. You choose what works for you if that's the case. I don't want to preach or judge...but maybe slightly encourage. :) The feeling of being able to help someone live a quality of life that they have a right to live is beyond happiness.
We will be sponsoring another child after September and once Gadisa is old enough to understand sponsorship we would like to have him have a sponsorship with a child his age. The $22 a month it takes to sponsor Joyce and the $35 a month to sponsor Emmanuel made a difference. And, that's all we could ever ask for.

If you are interested in sponsorship, the organizations we do this through our
World Vision (Emmanuel) and Children International (Joyce).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My boys

Gadisa is 9 months old today! Just like everyone told me it would, it's going by so fast.
So, for his 9 month bday I thought I would share a little something about him and his dad.
Gadisa absolutely adores Josh. Josh can get him to giggle and squeal so much more than I can.
I adore sitting on the sidelines watching them learn things about each other and bond. They talk about sports, they listen to music...they hang out and be boys together. In the fall, Gadisa will learn a new side of his dad...Football Dad, then that will slowly transition to College Basketball Dad and then come spring/summer again, Kickball Dad. Yes, dear blog readers, my husband is a sports addict (football, soccer, college basketball, tennis, ...if competitive puzzle putting together was on TV he'd be into it). In the beginning it was not as existent as it is now. I tell him I was tricked! Now, I know it is what it is. I tell Josh that Gadisa does not like watching ESPN (insert the very annoying ESPN theme music here) and that he wants to watch the Lifetime and WE channels. Strange, he does not believe me.

So, we are. A little family of 3. Just me and my boys. Happy 9 months, G! xoxo.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mama Friends

I am thankful for my Mama Friends. Friends that know exactly what you are going through because they've been there, done that. They get you when you vent, when you share how much you love your child, when you doubt your decisions in parenting and they are there with advice and suggestions. Mama friends are part of my village of support in raising our son. Thank you to all those wonderful ladies that told me to be happy, be REALLY really happy that he is attaching to me and starting to express he wants his mama a lot. And I really am. You are all right. I will not worry about whether he attaches to family or friends. That will come with time. When HE is ready, not me. To all my mama friends out there, I love you all!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Somehow my blog background disappeared, but that just gave me a reason to go searching for a new one. Fine by me, as I get bored with the same design if it's up there awhile.
The last week has been full of parenting challenges for us as Gadisa transitions and changes. In the time he has been with us, we haven't had much of a schedule because we have been adjusting to just being parents and getting to know everything about our son. We didn't have a set bedtime or a nap routine. So, we've been working on that and on his end, it is not met with much excitement. I know it will get easier as we stick with it, but he is not pleased to not be the one that bosses us around anymore. He's also getting very clingy to me. I was so happy that he would let anyone hold him and didn't seem to mind new people. Now, he starts to bury his head into my shoulder out of shyness when seeing someone he doesn't know well. And holding him? Forget that. He seems to just want his parents right now. Well, mainly his mama. I know I should be so happy he's bonding with us, but I really did want him to be comfortable with family and friends. Maybe it's a phase. I know I shouldn't stress about it. Kids go through different adjustment periods of attachment. He's been going through some serious fussy/upset moments throughout the day lately. You know, that kind of "I'm so mad I'm going to arch my back and throw myself around so you can barely hold onto me" kind of moment. These are so not fun. Especially when they happen in his highchair when I'm trying to feed him. He is teething so maybe that's part of the issue on top of his schedule changing. Whatever it is, it's a little frustrating to not be able to make him happy right away. And, then those big, HUGE tears come rolling down his face and I just can't stand to watch those. As Josh pointed out today when I was telling him nothing was making him happy except me holding him, he reminded me that this little guy has seen many caretakers come and go. The people that took care of him in his first few months just one day were not there anymore. It will take time, sometimes longer than we may think, for him to realize we. are. not. going. anywhere. I think this fussiness and tantrum era is just his way of letting us know "okay, I get it. Changes are happening." Let's just hope this era works it's way out soon. On the other hand, once he is happy, boy...does that little giggle and heart stopping smile make my day!! I wanted to post a picture of this upset highchair moment as that little face sure is not happy with me. However, I had to choose between taking the photo or holding him so he didn't slide right out of that highchair. So, no photo today!