Monday, June 30, 2008

Out on the farm

So, I had all intentions of shooting Gabe's 18 month pictures myself tonight, but it didn't quite happen. Let's just put it this way... Right before we left home, he had just ended a 30 minute tantrum. So, that was fun. We almost didn't go to see PaPa at the farm! I love this picture of him at the bridge. Check out my Flickr account to see more pics!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Crayon Bowl

When I was little, my Grandma Smith had this handmade bowl that she kept our crayons in. It looked like it had been homemade clay that had been formed into the shape of a bowl (the clay had speckles and grit in it) and then glazed or fired so it was shiny. The top edges of the bowl were rough and uneven. It was pretty ugly to be completely honest. However, I do remember that bowl as being something I could always find at Grandma Smith's house. I also remember the smell of their home. It was a wonderful aroma and when I catch a whiff of it now, no matter where I am, I think of the many meals and gatherings we shared there. I don't know whatever happened to the bowl, but I'll always remember it.

I decided that Gabe should have a crayon bowl like I had. One that's handmade, kinda ugly (don't look to closely at mine please!!), and one that will hold a lot of crayons. So, I knew when we went to paint pottery last night that this is what I'd be making. My niece, Katie showed me the area with the stencils and as soon as I saw the one with all the farm animals, I knew I had to use that one. I'll post some pics when I pick it up... It should be ready in a week or so.

I really wish Gabe would've had the opportunity to meet my Grandma Smith. I was only in the 3rd grade when she passed away, but her life has had a continuous impact on mine. She's the person I most want to be like. Now, I don't know if that's due to my memories of her, or due to my parents speaking so highly of her, but from what I gather from all who knew her, she was the kind of woman that I want to be. Since Gabe didn't have the opportunity to meet her or my Grandpa Smith, I want to pass some things on to him, from them to me, and from me to him:

  • Always turn the handles on pans to the back of the stove so little hands don't reach up to the pots. (she told me this one time when I reached for a hot pan)
  • Always work hard
  • Up, Up, Up We Go, In a Pan of Baking Dough...
  • Pete & Repeat
  • I love you, a bushel & a peck...
  • Say Say oh playmate, come out and play with me...
  • Always read the Nativity story at Christmastime
  • Mix saltines with ice cream (so good)
  • If you don't like mashed potatoes, mix your corn in (YUMMY) - I can't believe I didn't like mashed potatoes when I was little)
  • Mr. Bubble is THE best bubble bath - no ifs, ands, or buts.
  • Gotta see a man about a dog (Grandpa would say)
  • Are you eating too many mashed potatoes? (while tickling a child)
  • Splashing in puddles
  • Plant a tree when someone you love dies
  • Water that tree with dedication and love (Grandpa did this when Grandma died)
  • Never give up on your children
  • Go to church
  • Love the Lord without ceasing
  • Sweet Violets

I wonder if she ever knew what an impact she had on me. I will end with this:

There once was a farmer who took a young miss
In back of the barn where he gave her a
Lecture on horses and chickens and eggs,
And told her that she had such beautiful
Manners that suited a girl of her charms,
A girl that he wanted to take in his
Washing and ironing and then, if she did,
They could get married and raise lots of


Sweet violets, sweeter than the roses,
Covered all over from head to toe,
Covered all over with sweet violets.

The girl told the farmer that he'd better stop
And she called her father and he called a
Taxi and got there before very long,
'Cause someone was doing his little girl
Right for a change and so that's why he said,
"If you marry her, son, you're better off
Single because it has been my belief,
That marriage will bring a man nothing but


The farmer decided he'd wed anyway,
And started in planning for his wedding
Suit, which he purchased for only one buck,
But then he found out he was just out of
Money and so he got left in the lurch,
Standing and waiting in front of the
End of this story which just goes to show,
All a girl wants from a man is his


Friday, June 27, 2008

A little explanation

I think maybe the reason Gabe's been so difficult the last week is just plain and simple, he doesn't feel good. The day before yesterday, he had a slight fever and today, his fever is up to 100.5. He is also sleeping A LOT. He slept in until 9:00 this morning - WOW! And, he's napping now. You can just tell by looking at the little bugger that he doesn't feel well. I'm not quite sure what it is though. I thought maybe ear infection, but he's sleeping well. I'm going to call the doctor's office here in a bit and see if they think I should do anything.

Poor little guy. I know how cranky I am when I don't feel well. I can only imagine how hard it is for toddlers when they can't communicate their feelings. We took Gabe up to the farm last night to see Gma & Papa (and all of the farm equipment). Gabe had a great time looking at all the tractors (looking at them = Papa letting him put the key in, starting them up, turn on the lights, etc...) He cried when Papa left his sight to go shut the machine shed doors for the evening ("Tractors go night night, Gabey") Then we watched a GREAT movie, The Bucket List. Love Jack Nicholson. Gabe went to bed in their crib pretty easily and woke up well. But as soon as we came home to go to bed, he was out like a light.

Tonight, Gabe's Dad is going to stay with him for a bit while I go with Missy, Katie, & Julia to paint pottery. I'm making Gabers a bowl for his crayons. I'll post pics!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Forgive me readers...

For I have been a bad blogger. It has been 10 days since my last blog post.

I apologize in advance for this post. It may be kind of a downer. But, UGH. That's all I can say. Things have been hard lately. Like, really hard. Gabe has been quite a challenge. Temper tantrums have started and unfortunately they have started earlier than the "terrible two's". Is there such a thing as the Terrible 17th month?

I have been so frustrated because he just doesn't listen to us. I talked with my mom and she said "you just can't reason with a 1 1/2 year old". It makes me feel a little bit better. Because, to tell you the truth, I've been doubting myself a lot. Do I really have what it takes to be a good momma? Am I cut out for this? Am I going to "mess him up" if I don't do the right things? I know I'm going to make mistakes, but lately, it doesn't feel like I've been succeeding at anything. I feel like there's more pressure because he's adopted. What I mean by that is someone else - a complete stranger at the time - trusted me to raise her son. His birth family has never made me feel this way, but sometimes I feel like all eyes are on me. Like everyone is watching to see if I'll succeed or not in raising an adopted child.

I just love him so much. I want him to have a good childhood. I want him to be happy. I want so much for this wonderful child that has been entrusted to our care. But, at the same time, I don't want to give him all he wants all the time and raise a spoiled kid. I know it's a balance. I know you have to find what works. And, I know that each child is different. When do you figure it out? Is that like the secret to life question? The holy grail?

I guess we just have to do the best we can, try not to lose our mind analyzing all that we do, and just try to love the heck out of our kids... even when they have a tantrum. Even when they've woken up a couple of times during the night for an hour at a time. Even when they pull your hair. Even when they headbutt you and give you a fat lip (happened to me Sunday).

I would just ask that you pray for me, Gabe's Momma. That I cut myself a little bit of a break and that I realize that I'm doing the best I can do. I also ask that you pray for Greg too. We both are having a tough time with the tough love part of parenting. Lastly, please pray for wisdom for us - that we make the best choices for this awesome little guy. Thank you in advance for your prayers and again, sorry for the "Debbie Downer" post.

I did debate on putting this post on Gabe's Mom. I have tried really hard to keep from sharing the "ugly stuff" on here so Gabe doesn't have to read about it later. But, tonight, I realized that maybe it's not such a bad thing that he sees some of the challenges too. Hopefully, he will see that despite the tough times and the "terrible 17th month" that we still love him more than anything/anyone we could imagine. Maybe he'll see that being a parent isn't easy, but it is the best thing I've ever had the privilege of doing.
Here are a few photos of Gabe playing with the garden hose. This has become his new favorite activity.

Spraying Dad

Yes, Greg taught Gabe how to hold the hose like a "weiner". Ugh. Boys.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

1st Father's Day

Gabe's Dad,

Today is your 1st "Happy" Father's Day. Today you don't have to worry about an upcoming court date. Today, you can rest assured that Gabe is ours - that he is your son. What a wonderful feeling, huh? Here are a few pics of you with your boy:

Thank you, Gabe's Dad for always being such a great father to our boy. He loves you so much - and so do I.


Gabe's Mom

Saturday, June 14, 2008


We had our new concrete patio poured today and I just love it. My favorite part? Obviously, the above picture. It just gives me a sneak peak ahead into family barbeques, camp outs in Gabe's new playground - time as a family outside. The three of us. It feels so good to be able to say that.

The guys pouring the concrete were just great with Gabe. They didn't care if he was outside while they were preparing the land. They called up to him while he was watching from the bathroom window when they were pouring the concrete. This kid was loving it.

After we did the prints, I took Gabe over to the "dac-tur" and snapped this photo. I wish there was something I could do about the sunlight on his face... does anyone have any suggestions? Or, do I just leave it alone?

What a nice day I had with my boy today. Even though it was HOT (we didn't have central air today because they had to move the central air unit to put in the patio) we had a great time. We ran some errands, took some pictures, played, and now he's crashing and I'm going to go watch a movie.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Other Nice Thing about Part Time Is...

Two posts in one day! I took some pics at Grandma & PawPaw's today and thought I'd post a few:

A Year Ago

At this time last year, a lot of things were going on in Gabe's life. We were trying cereal. We were anxiously awaiting the finalization of the adoption. We were LOVING riverdancing in the jumperoo. We were forcibly wearing tuxedo t-shirt onesies to make Gabe's Mom and Aunt Ne laugh.

A lot has happened since then. Our adoption was finalized. Gabe started speaking. Gabe started walking. Gabe has a sense of humor. Gabe has learned so very much.

As a parent, it's so easy to forget some of these milestones. It's so fun to remember them - that's why Gabe's Mom (the blog) exists. I wanted to capture day to day moments that I may not have time to write down, but that I could one day share with him. There's a site out there called blurb... does anyone know much about it? Amanda suggested it to me and I just wondered if anyone else had feedback on it too. Any other sites out there that anyone is aware of that can turn your blog into a book? Thought I do some comparison.

PS: Can I just say how much I LOVE being part time? I can actually blog in the middle of the day!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gabe's Friends

Our friends Craig and Darci were so generous and invited all of us to their family's cottage on the lake this last weekend. There were 4 babies there! All between the ages of 9 months to 16 months. Gabe had a great time with his friends. All of the kids were so good. Considering 3 of them were in a new place, they were fantastic. Gabe went on boat rides, played with new toys, and got to hang out with his buddy Jack:

A few times, Jack would say, "Hey, how about I take Gabe for a walk?" This gave me and Gabe's dad a chance to just sit down and relax and not have to worry about chasing after a toddler. I'm just so proud of how well Gabe behaved. I think we only had one little temper tantrum and it wasn't even a bad one. He did great on the car ride too.
I'm so happy that Gabe is going to grow up with this great support system of friends that we have in our lives. We've kept our small group going now for a few years and it is truly a joy to spend time together. We even get to see Jeremy & Opal, our former youth pastor and his wife, when we go to the cottage. It's awesome how we can just pick up from where we left off in talking with them.
I love all of these friends not just because of the fun we have with them, or the Bible studies we share, or the fellowship time we have, or the meals we share together. I love all of these friends because of how they love my son so much. It's so great to see someone love your child. It's a wonderful feeling. Afterall, Gabe is the bomb. He's an awesome kid and it's cool when other people see it too.