Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Happy Report

I've posted this pic of our Molly as it was taken about 2 weeks after she came to live with us in December 2004. 8 lbs. even at 4 months old, she was a visitor in our home for an indefinite length of time. As we cared for her and loved her immediately, our thougths for many months turned to how we could best help her be strong and healthy as she was to at some point leave our home and be but a wonderful and special guest who had touched our lives briefly. As time wore on, it became almost painful at times that we loved her so much and felt her so a part of our family and yet we saw no way to appropriately ask that she remain with us and become one of us forever. Two years to the month after her surprise arrival into our lives, we received the greatest gift given by one to another-Molly's mom invited us to adopt her! How excited we were, how humble and happy we felt as we accepted this invitation and proceeded with adoption!

Well, as I've mentioned before, some snags were sure to follow, and we've had to wonder and worry again for Molly's future as a Graham. But now, we are happy to report that after concerns over Molly's adoption proceeding smoothly, we've received word that all outstanding worries over her birthdad are resolved, and we can happily await a court date to officially and for always make her a part of our family. As we are so giddy with relief and joy we wish to again express love and thanks to Molly's birth mom, and we annouce here that Molly will be named after her birthmom (Molly Elizabeth) in her honor and to show our affection and appreciation for her selfless act. We also wish to thank those at LDS Family services (Ashley, you are a gem) who have helped us down this long road. We appreciate the legal team that works with family services, as they have had to step forward and be a part of this process more than probably happens in other adoption cases. Greg Hoole, a lawyer here in Salt Lake, has also generously offered to help us with finalizaiton proceedings pro bono, a kind gesture toward our family.

We thank all of you, friends and family, who have supported and hoped along with us these past couple of months that Molly's story would have this very "happily ever after". We can't wait to share pictures of her court day, when Molly will officially become a Graham!

Friday, March 02, 2007

A happy purchase

So, I’ve actually been out of the house this week. This is pretty huge for me, as there truly are several weeks that pass when I leave only to take my children where they need to be (dance, pre school, art class; you get it). Errands right now are this rare and forboding experience. I plan them meticulously-usually they happen every other Wednesday morning. I make a list for days of the places I have to go, then add places I will have to go in the near future, then places I kind of need to get to and last of all places I’d love to see or go in someday. All the paraphanelia necessary for the errands to be completed is carefully compiled in a corner of my room (items needing to be returned, packages needing to be mailed and the like), then double checked and moved to the back of the car where they wait for their appointed day. I pack the front passenger’s seat of the car with all items a mother needs when she will be away from home with 3 small children for longer than 15 minutes; diapers, a cel phone, cash, more diapers, fruit snacks and baby wipes. I carefully set out clothing for the day’s errands so we can leave the house with enough time to actually get one or two of the errands done before there is a melt down, a feeding due, or the big kids’ return from their full day of elementary school (do you know how long it takes to buy a gallon of milk with 3 small children riding in the cart? A long time).

Well, this week I ventured to the local consignment store to cash in on some items I sold there. With said cash I found this awesome pale, which now acts as a cool conversation piece and a fantastic diaper holder kept out on the front porch (gone are the days when the mail man, neighbors, my mother, and anyone else gracing my doorstep are greeted with a pile of dirty diapers-sizes 2 and 4 collectively-waiting to be hauled around the house to the garbage can!). I am very pleased with my purchase. I find the color, functionality and style of the pale to be fantastic and I am absolutely thrilled we made it in and out of the consignment store without any additional purchases made due to my kids breaking something. Oh, and a couple of other errands got done that day too-the "had to's". It was a productive week, I'd say, for an errand phobic mom like me!

This Year’s Attempt

I run three days a week with two really great, really fun, really well-read women. They impress me with every conversation about the latest read and all they gleaned from the pages of some fantastic novel. Both moms, both busy, both of them have made reading a necessary part of their lives. I want to be just like them when I grow up and read something of value every day, but my reading habit is definitely at this time in its infancy-lots of growing up yet to do.

About once a year I resolve to read a book-don’t get me wrong, I want to read all the time. I can’t walk into a book store because I spend so much time just reading the book jackets of all the books I’d like to read. I’d like to read many different kinds of book; novels, history books, books about politics, books about religion, tons of books about parenting. But, at this point in my life reading is not part of the daily routine (unless I count magazine reading in the bathroom…it’s a stretch but its about all I’ve got). When I do reach for literature, my true inclination is to read the Sunday school lesson for the coming week’s discussion or the newspaper on line just so I can keep tabs on who is the current president and what the weather’s going to be like this week. But every once in a while I step outside myself and I pick up a regular book, and decide I’m going to read it.

Often, said book is a kid’s novel. Something I want to see if my kids would enjoy, something not too long, something that is full of fun and not too heavy (Aretmis Fowel is a favorite). This year, as I was taking my cub scouts on a tour of our local library, I found this book peaking out of the children’s history and reference section. A kid’s book about world history; it perfectly satisfied the guilt pangs that my yearly read should help me improve my understanding about the world and the yearning for something juvenile to page through and complete. I checked it out. 3 weeks to finish 300 pages. I was sure I could do it.

But, I didn’t. The due date came and I was about 34 pages into the bronze age when it was time to take my year’s attempt at literature back to whence it came. I did learn why we call it the bronze age, and I know the book was totally read-worthy, written by a brilliant Austrian many years ago and just recently translated into English, a really worth while endeavor. But, try as I did I just couldn’t get through it in my allotted time, and renewing the book would only have prolonged the day when the unread book went back to the library. I drove up to the library drop off bin and slid my year’s book down the chute. Another year’s attempt at reading, failed.

Next morning as we jogged along the dark neighborhood streets I asked my friends (for the thousandth time) when they ever find the time to read. “I have a block of time when the boys are at school and my daughter is having her nap. I set a time limit and read until then, after that I have to scurry around and do my chores” was the response from one. The other explained that reading was something she fit into her life every day, no matter what. She has to read. Wow.

I hope someday I have the self discipline to read instead of do laundry or leave the dishes for 15 minutes while I fit in a chapter. I would be a better writer, a more balanced person, a more complete conversationalist. But instead I try a page here and there and send unread books back to the library on their due date. Maybe next year I’ll actually finish, and my reading habit will grow just a bit. Boy, would I like that!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I’m sending this entry like weeks after Valentines, but that is how my life is currently playing out, so I think it’s better late than never. John was traveling for work this year during the entire week of Valentine’s. He was amazing to remember me, with all he has going on for work. He had purchased a very cool down vest for me : a total surprise which I appreciated very much. Unfortunately I have a thing about looking like the Michelan tire man, so the vest had to be traded in for something a little more, shall we say, slimming. Still, it was an awesome chocolate brown color and John had picked it because he observed that I often wear my green vest and thought I’d like another color option (it was amazingly thoughtful). Add that gift to the fact that he also sent flowers (John NEVER sends flowers), and I think it is safe to say that John topped all previous Valentine’s remembrances of previous years. I? Well, lets say I had a poor showing this year. The best I could come up with (mind you I was going for something thoughtful, not too cheesy, that would fit in his suitcase and send just the right message of “I love you desperately” and “I’m not a sap”). I came up with thoughtful hand made note cards, one for each day of his business trip, and a small package (a book, of course) that could be opened on the big day itself. I felt it was a cheeseball gift, and I know my feeling was dead on, but John graciously thanked me and said he felt remembered etc. For a couple that is kind of “anti” when it comes to days when one is required to show one’s love for another, I think we truly did attempt to use the opportunity to let each other know that we are madly crazy in love now, as always…

What do you all do for your kids on Valentines’? I have flip flopped over the years about my “remembrance” of the day in their behalf. When I had fewer and they were all so small I remember gifts, like red clothing or a bucket full of activities etc., but those days are so gone. For the last two years I’ve given the kids a sugar cookie from the local bakery (best sugar cookie on the planet, just the right amount of frosting, just the right texture in the cookie. Never liked sugar cookies before, but Great Harvest on Holladay Blvd. has made me a believer). John, of course, funds the cookie purchases, so he is as much the giver as I. We write a note to the kids and hope they know we love ‘em in a million other ways than sugar and calories eaten for Breakfast on a winter’s day in February (yes, I let them eat their cookie for breakfast on Valentine’s. This is huge because I am a mom who doesn’t allow her children to consume “sugar cereal” unless it is Saturday morning…). They seem to be happy with this tradition-we’ll see if it sticks! Happy Valentines day…