Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Nine Months

There was a time in my life where I would keep things quiet- afraid that if I said something I could "jinx" a situation.  After living this life I no longer feel that way.  Adoption is a long process.  It is a lot like pregnancy in so many ways.  It is scary, there are many unknowns and you have very little control over any of it! One way that it doesn't compare is that it doesn't physically show. 
We have had our home study active again for 9 months.  We have updated everything needed, redone some paper work, had visits with workers etc.  For 9 months I have been looking - searching- just like I did for Wy.  We have wanted to add another child to our family and I know in adoption being proactive can help~ Wyatt is proof positive of that one.  Nine months later - although I am not "showing" we are praying that we can add a little one soon. 
In pregnancy there is this "fear" that if you tell someone too early and you miscarry then you have to tell them about the loss and so on.  After experiencing loss in many different ways I have come to realize that if you don't tell people that you are expecting, how can you expect them to even try and understand your grief in loss - or your happiness and joy in your pregnancy.  How can they understand why you are acting the way you are if you do not let them in, to know why you are acting this way - feeling this way- distracted this way-
I feel the same way about adoption.  A few years ago I kept it quiet about Wy.  It was also only about a month between the time I found him and we were matched with him, so that could be part of the reason behind that one~ This time after months of searching I found a little girl. 
We had our home study submitted on March 5.  A few weeks later we had a phone interview with one of the workers in her County (she is from another Ohio county).  Then last week her worker and the match coordinator came to our home for an "interview".  This was a chance for them to get to see our home, our family and where we live.  We were told that day that we were one of the 5 families chose to go to "match committee".  This is where the families worker "presents" them to a panel of people looking out for the best interest of the child - they then decide which family will be chosen for the placement. 
Today I found out that day is May 6. We will be presented by our worker at 3pm.  So It will be 2 months and 1 day since I saw this little one's face - since I welcomed her into my heart - that we find out if she will be a part of our family. 
It is still all unknown.  It is still really up in the air and it is going to be a really long 11 days.  But, we are praying that in the end of these 11 days we get some great news.  After meeting the workers I have no doubt that they will find the best place for this little one to grow up. 

In case you are wondering about the time - steps involved here is a link to HC website- it shows the steps - ours were similar, a little different because of a different county- but basically the same.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A little Mouse advice;)

Since I had a few people ask i thought i would share a few of ourDisney tips-
If you stay in moderate or above resorts the 30% off room rates should save you more than free dining. If you have. Chance to go in the off season it is so worth it! No extreme heat and less crowds make everyone happier!

Dining plan tips- we have done the dining plan with one quick service, one table service and I snack.
Quick service meals are the all the same- so you can get your kids adult portioned and priced meals for the same as a kids meal- like at pizza planet a much larger pizza for the same "price"
Each meal comes with a dessert and drink at dinner and lunch- breakfast is no dessert -but for dinner and lunch you can usually get some type of fruit or yogurt for your dessert If you don't want something sweet!
You also get 1 snack per person per day- you can pack your own drinks in a cooler and snacks- so we used these for things like ice cream, soft pretzels, cotton candy and even the small size "goofy candy" souvenir bags.
To get the most out of your dining plan with table service use it for character meals! You can have 1 a day- dinner is much more expensive than breakfast so if you make dinner reservations you get more "bang for your buck"- akershus in Epcot gives you a free picture with belle and is great- we love chef mickeys cape may and Ohana at the Polynesian as well. Remember tips are not included so usually between 12-20$ a meal.
For quick service we like boardwalk pizza window- 2 quick service comps equal a whole large pizza, 2 large drinks and 2 desserts! Also Pecos Bills in the MK has a "salad like bar" with lots of fixings that Anna loves!
Most of the resorts have quick service in the hotel- you can also refill your free mug as often a you like with pop/tea/water at the resorts

So far we have stayed at the value resorts, ft wilderness cabins, boardwalk villas and beach club villas- you definitely get more for paying more. Our favorite thing about boardwalk and beach club is you can walk to Epcot and to Hollywood - or take a short boat ride to either. So the buses are only needed for Magic kingdom and animal kingdom.
Beach club by far has the best pool! Taking time In the trip to swim is a must! It is called storm along bay and is about 6 different pools all connected with bridges and a lazy river. It has a whole sand area like a beach but its a pool- then a large slide comin from a pirate ship and a kids pool with a kids slide. It also has two separate pools and handicap accessible hot tubs. The kids loved the pool- you can only swim in it of you are staying at the yacht/beach club.
This is also a Disney vacation club Choice so if you want a villa- make sure you Get your reservations early enough!
Boardwalk villas-
Amazing! You are right above the boardwalk and can walk to shops and restaurants and walk to Epcot/Hollywood. Cool pool with a slide for older kids/adults.
Ft wilderness cabins were awesome! Stand alone cabins with a bedroom and pull out bed- kitchen Etc. the only drawback was that they are in the Mk area so a walk and a bus ride from anything-2 pools with fun slides and a great kids slide and pool. If we stay there again we are budgeting in a golf cart which they haw available to rent at the cabins! There is a place to fish, boat and horses at the cabins. As well as chip and dales campfire- anyone can come to this and it is free!
Value resorts - we stayed at all star movies- it had 2 small beds and a bath- but it works on a budget! This is also furthest from the parks and all of the value resorts are on the same bus line- so give yourself plenty of time if you have a meal reservation.

We skipped animal kingdom this year and gave ourselves a lot of breaks. Much more fun with happy rested kids! Disney can be overwhelming for everyone- low expectations and patience is helpful! We did magic kingdom the first night for about 4 hours- this included crystal palace with pooh and friends for dinner- and leaving before the crowds/parade/fireworks.

Magic kingdom
The castle is the center and it branches off from there- the train takes you all around as well. We loved the new little mermaid ride- fast passes are available for this! Monsters inc laugh floor, country bears jamboree, tiki room, dumbo, tea cups, Peter Pan, small world- dumbo now had 2 rides and a play area where you get a buzzer when it's your turn! Fantasyland is open - be our guest is a quick service restaurant - but you can make reservations- haven't tried that one yet. They are still working on some of it, but what is done is pretty cool. We rode big thunder mountain- scarier at night! Wyatt like the Haunted Mansion last year- but not in the dark this year! The main at electrical parade is worth staying for- but it gets crowded!
Epcot -
and a few drinks around the world! If mom and dad like a drink I recommend -frozen margarita in Mexico and the 3 caballeros ride- grey goose slush in France and an Italian margarita in Italy! Well worth the 9.75 each-
There is a lot to look at and not too much to ride here - we love the living seas with Nemo! There is an. Awesome ride that ends in an aquarium that is a must! We also love going into Innoventions where Anna has her piggy bank game and there are other interactive games- if it is hot or raining these are all inside a huge building as well! We also love the boat ride "living with the land" you can see where they grow the food you eat at the theme parks - we haven't been on it but most love soarin which is in the same area as that. We spent a lot of time just walking around and enjoying the "sites" akershus is here . A sit down dinner with aurora, belle, Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel. They come o the table and the food is amazing! You get a complimentary picture with belle here- definitely worth it on the dining plan bc this is a pricey meal!

Hollywood Studios-
We had awesome luck here this year! Make sure to get your fast passes for toy story mania as soon as you get there! They run out early! We were able to wait 30 minutes and get a fast pass- so we rode it twice! For little ones there is a playhouse Disney show the kids love- it now has doc mcstuffins and Sofia the first In it! Near this is jake and handy manny for pictures. Voyage of the little mermaid is a show that is here as well- we didn't do star tours- but wy and tj did the backlot tour (this can be a bit scary- there is a fire and explosion). We also saw the beauty and the beast show- it was amazing! Like broadway! There is a restaurant called Hollywood and vine we have eaten at with characters here as well. Tower of terror is in this park - but we don't do that one! The rocking roller coaster Is as well.

Animal kingdom- in past years we have headed straight to the safari- fast passes;) we also loved the bugs life show and dinosaur festival area. There is a camp Minnie And Mickey with characters and Everest (yeti rollercoaster) we like Tusker house to eat breakfast here as well. Also take rafikis train to a bunch of characters and a petting zoo!

Downtown Disney-
We have driven the past two years to avoid the buses at night! Parking is easy and that way you can leave easily with all of your stuff! Tons of shopping here- but f you see something In a store don't wait! They may not have it at the next! (This is true at the parks and resorts a well!) Our favorite things here are once upon a toy- potato head parts! And the Lego store with the amazing Lego "sculptures"!
As for the rest of our time-
We have putt putted before and this year tj was able to golf- the "downtime" is nice! If you have the time/desire- Split up- sometimes we have different ideas of fun/rides/activities- let mom take one kid and dad take the other!
My best advice is plan ahead for heat, tired legs and rain! That way if you are left with an unused rain poncho from the dollar store and a happy family you will be pleasantly surprised instead of upset;) our kids are 5 &7 and we used umbrella strollers the whole time-$20 at Walmart before we left! We were blessed with awesome weather this year, but last year it poured the whole time- just make it a part of the day and go with it- don't expect too much from the kids- or the parents- or the weather!
We stayed 5 nights 6 days this year and did 3 parks- magic kingdom and Epcot we split into 2 days each- this gave us a lot of time to enjoy the pool/boardwalk and arcades/ice cream parlor! As well as time for TJ to golf!
Shop before you go- disney store online and have some super cute stuff for better deals than when you get here!
Have fun! Take tons of pictures! Bring lots of spending money;)

Happy 4th Birthday Connor

Happy 4th Birthday in Heaven Connor. Four years ago today we said Hello and said goodbye. Four years ago we had so many prayers answered and felt a true sense of peace when we held him in our arms. I was granted such a gift in having him- in choosing to carry him to term and to feel him move for 9 months inside my belly. I feel that he has not only made me a better person, but a better mother. He taught us so much about unconditional love and the strength a person possesses when faced with adversity. He helped me heal from Emma's loss and helped me feel complete in a big part of my grief from her life and death. He has helped T.j. And I be better, more understanding friends in awful situations and has helped us appreciate all we have.
We have been continuously blessed with reminders of him over the past 4 years and this morning after we made a wish and blew out a birthday candle for him we walked passed a storefront and saw these 3 sculptures- seems he knew Daddy and Wy would have to go to the potty and put them across from the restroom-

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Megan's Mom

It is amazing sometimes- tj even said of all of the people at walt Disney world, on all of the buses - I would sit next to her. A woman holding a balloon with messages written all over it. Of course I asked if she was sending it to Heaven. She looked at me and through tears said yes. Her daughter had died. I told her that we had lost two babies at birth and asked her about her daughter. She told me that Megan was almost 2 when she died in her sleep- 6 weeks ago. They have no idea what happened. Her twin brother was sitting on the bus with dad. She pointed him out to me and the older kids in their family. They had planned the trip much earlier- never expecting to go without her. As I sat on the bus I hugged her and told her how sorry I was. She told me how no one understands like someone who has experienced loss- I agreed. I told her I would pray for her and always remember Megan. As we got off the bus we went separate ways. Then we decided to go get a drink at the gift shop- who was standing at the entrance but Megan's family- I felt compelled to hug her again and she seemed happy to see me again too. Before I left I gave her my name and number and told her if she ever needed to talk - even though we were almost complete strangers to call me. We are staying in the same resort- so I am guessing I may see her again- maybe not. But, either way I will never forget her. Tj says this was not a coincidence - maybe she needed someone at that moment and I was there- seems God knew that I would understand.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Super Wyatt is 5

Our Super Wy is 5 years old! How can it be? This little one who came into our lives 3 1/2 years ago and changed us forever is a little boy - no longer a baby.   He is funny, quick witted like his daddy and tends to overdue the same joke like him as well! He is smart when he wants to be and is trying hard to write his name - he has his song down and knows how to spell it - we are working on the letters for kindergarten next year.  He loves to sing and knows the words to all of his favorite songs, but if he catches you watching him he immediately stops! He still loves apple juice and would drink it all day long - he loves skyline and mcdonald's french fries and ice cream "white - the nilla with no sprinkles".  Scooby is still his favorite and he loves all dogs.  It is neat to see how far Scoob has come and he really loves Wy - when he isn't trying to pick his nose of course!  He can ride his bike with training wheels and he is starting football this fall.  He is a big boy with feet 3 sizes bigger than Anna's, but he still loves to snuggle and have a "sleepover" every night so he can be close to Anna.  Thankfully she is awesome to oblige on most every occasion - the nights she needs some "alone time" he heads into Mom and Dad's room with his sleeping bag.   

He is almost done with Preschool and has really come into his own as a friend and student! He still has his little moments of ornery where he can't stand but to bother the other kids - but his redeeming smile and energy usually always get him back in their good graces!

Wyatt loves to look at his life book now and point out his "belly mommy" telling me that she carried him in the belly and I carried him in my heart.  He doesn't seem to know or care about the year he spent without us - maybe he will never ask- maybe he will.  The pictures are a wonderful way for me to be able to put "his story" together for him.  It is one of his favorite things to listen to.  On his birthday it is so nice to tell him about when he was born - because I can! He always refers to himself from when "my was a baby". 

I am so excited to see what Wy does this year - it is a big one! Starting Kindergarten, football and hopefully at some point becoming a big brother.  We have a lot of big things ahead of us and I have no doubt that he will find his niche in every part of his life.  He is an amazing, resilient, funny, sweet, crazy, loving boy and I am so proud to be his Mom.  Happy Birthday - a few days late - to our Wyatt!

 Look how much he has grown up in the past year! New glasses, a grown up boy face and he no longer likes his "Corly hair" long, because it makes him "schweaty and itchy"!