Friday, December 30, 2005
Therefore, if you are someone who thinks that private things should be kept off the internet please STOP READING NOW!! If you are going to e-mail me or talk about me behind my back or post some nasty anonymous comment because I posted my dirty laundry on the internet please STOP READING NOW!! It is MY dirty laundry, and I will do with it what I please!! Now, on to the topic at hand.
Why is it that any time Jake or I mention adoption we are looked at as if we have just pulled a monkey out of our asses? Is it really that hard to swallow that two people might WANT to adopt? That two, seemingly healthy people, might actually CHOOSE to adopt a child who is in need of a home, rather than have their "own"? Why is it so hard to accept that it might not matter to us where a child comes from?
For about 10 years, I have been discussing my desire to adopt with people in my family and have been faced with nothing but controversy and negativity. "Don't adopt", they say, "have your own children!!" As if an adopted child would not be my own child. At one point, I was even told that my adopting a child from overseas would just encourage the people over there to have more children because they know that they can give them to "rich" Americans.
When I was in high school, my desire to adopt was dismissed as a crazy talk by a kid who didn't know anything about the real world. Some people even told me that the only reason I wanted to adopt was because I have a desire to save people. Ten years later, I have yet to understand how my want to help a child in need is a bad thing, but apparently it is.
A lot of people also think that adopted children have social and/or mental issues. They assume that because they are orphaned, and/or given up they will not bond with you properly and it will be nothing but hard times. "Look at so and so," they say, "they adopted two children and had two biological children and those two adopted children have been nothing but trouble." The problem I see here is that I'm not sure being adopted has anything to do with them having mental issues.
All over the world there are people who have biological children who have a lot more problems than adopted children. There's nothing to say that I couldn't get pregnant and give birth to a baby with Down's Syndrome. If I am to believe these people, I should assume that Jake must have been adopted. He had A LOT of issues in high school. He was addicted to drugs he almost didn't graduate but wait, he wasn't adopted was he?
I should also assume that I must have been adopted. I had mental issues in high school (no cracks about how I still do, that is another day, another post). I thought that at 102 pounds I was fat. I would go days, sufficing on very little food. Does that mean that I must have been adopted?
Yes, I'm also aware of the fact that I may not get a complete medical history of a child, and that something could arise medically with them in the future. However, I could get pregnant, and go into early labor and deliver a premature baby. That baby could have brain damage, be blind, deaf, or have cerebral palsy. (All possible consequences of premature birth)
There is cancer on my side of the family and addiction on his so isn't that just as much of a risk as adopting? As a child, my sister couldn't say her R's properly!! Dear lord, we better just adopt. Having biological children could be too risky. After all, who wants a child who walks around saying, "Mom, I just saw a wabbit."?
Another thing that I have heard just about enough of is if you had made better choices in high school then you would be pregnant already and we wouldn't be hearing about this adoption nonsense. Let me just clear the air a little here. Yes, I have had some female issues. Yes, some of them probably could have been avoided. Not everyone makes really smart choices when they are 19 and 20. And just for the record, at the moment we are not sure I'm ovulating. My mother did not ovulate, it has NOTHING to do with my prior female issues. It also has NOTHING to do with our desire to adopt!! We would like to adopt whether we can have biological children or not.
More, do you sill want more? Let's see, here's one: Aren't you rushing into this? You've only been trying to have a baby for a few months, what if you start the adoption process and then you get pregnant? Um, then I have two children!! I could never imagine starting the adoption process and then just stopping because I got pregnant. Money and God willing we would love to do both.
Which brings me to another point I have heard. If you adopt, than you could never have biological children, and vice versa because after all even if you didn't mean to, you would love your biological children more and that would not be fair to your adopted children. Holy CRAP… I have to take a step back from this one. I was floored when I heard it. I can not imagine EVER loving any child of mine more or less because they were biological.
Having genes in common with a child has never mattered much to me. I've always said that someone could drop a baby off on my doorstep and I would love it just the same as if I had given birth to it. When people talked about IVF I would always say that I would never want to do IVF. For the same price you could do adoption and have the guarantee of a child when you are through.
The answer I have been continually given was wait until you are in that position. It is different when you are TRYING to have a child. Then you will really want a biological child. Well people, we have now been off birth control for 5 months and I can honestly say to you that my feelings have not changed. In fact, if anything, I have been leaning more towards adoption now than ever. I have been searching through dozens of adoption websites, learning about domestic vs. foreign. Different requirements in different countries, etc. If I thought that Jake and I could be approved for adoption I would already have the paperwork filled out. And that, brings me to my next point.
Why don't we stop talking about it and just adopt already? Now this one is a tough one, and I'm not sure I know exactly how to answer it. My husband has a past. This is one of the reasons we decided to try for biological children before we pursued the adoption route. I have not yet been able to get all of the facts on this but it appears that we must wait until certain issues are somewhere between three and five years in the past. So in a way, adoption is not second choice for us because we can't conceive it's a second choice because of extenuating circumstances.
Okay, so with all of our dirty laundry officially aired it's time for me to put the ball back in your court. What do all of you think? Am I crazy because I think it is just as wonderful to give a home to a child that needs one as it is to have biological children? Do you think it is possible to feel differently about biological children than you do about adopted children? If any of you have adopted, or considered adoption, what are some of the other issues you have encountered, and how did you deal with them?
I have recently distributed this website address to about 80 people, not to mention the people who have randomly stumbled upon it, so I know you are out there. Please take the time to comment now, I would really appreciate it. Post anonymously if you are afraid of people knowing who you are, just please keep all comments at an adult level.
On December 10th, we had our monthly (okay it's becoming bi-monthly) couples night. We had a turkey dinner in honor of Thanksgiving and Christmas. While dinner was cooking, and the grown-ups were socializing (Okay, stuffing our faces with the nummy appitizers) the kids opened presents.
Then of course, the presents must be put together, and tried out.
Finally, it was time to eat. The meal was wonderful. Of course we had too much food, we always have too much food, but at least no one went hungry.
After dinner the men relaxed in the living room
While the women did the dishes and cleaned up in the kitchen
What's that? The men cooked dinner so it's only fair that the women clean up? Hmm… let me see…. Nope… no pictures of that.
Here's Shane playing with Bryce's new toy
Plenty of pictures of that, but no pictures of the men cooking dinner. Gee, how did that get overlooked? Too bad…
Guess I'll just have to leave you with this
Thursday, December 29, 2005
As for right now, I'm working on a post in my head. I want to write about a topic, but I'm trying to figure out how to do it without hurting anyone's feelings, or causing great controversy. So... (Can you see the smoke rolling out of my ears?) stay tuned....
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I gave him his presents yesterday, we went out to dinner with my parents and sister for his birthday last night, it just didn't cross my mind until about 9:30 that yesterday was not his birthday, today was. When I called him to wish him happy birthday, he told me he didn't remember until he got to work, so he wasn't feeling too bad about me being a few hours late with my greetings.
Anyhow... Happy Birthday Jake!! Hope your day is wonderful!!
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Last night we got our first opportunity to play Santa and I must say, it was a lot of fun!! I found myself dreaming last night about how excited Emma would be when she got up this morning. In one dream I stayed over at their house and Emma and Bryce were up at 5:10. Emma kept bringing all the presents into the bedroom from the living room so that she could open them. The strange part was, in this dream as soon as I saw her reaction, I was ready to go back home and go to bed. (Maybe it's different when they're your own.)
Anyhow, last night we helped Matt & Danette put all the gifts out that Santa is bringing. It was my first chance to stuff stockings and attempt to put together children's toys. I say attempt for two reasons. Number one, once you get the toy you have to get it out of the box. Have any of you tried this lately? I think the plastic twisty tie people are making a KILLING off this stuff!! Jake ended up cutting through some of them just to avoid me taking Bryce's new plastic hammer (we got him that tool chest remember?) and beating the crap out of everything.
My second reason for saying attempt is once you get everything out of the package, you have to attempt to get it into working order. If there are not a thousand pieces to put together (I was so proud of Jake, he actually read the directions when putting together the aforementioned tool chest) there are a million compartments in which batteries must be placed. Ahh, the all important batteries. I think these people must also make a killing at Christmas.
It seems like anymore, almost all the toys the kids want require batteries. And heaven forbid you don't go to the store in advance and stock up on every imaginable size, you will end up looking like the Grinch who stole Christmas. After all, what good is that new remote control Hummer for Bryce if he can't zoom it around the house all Christmas day??
It was around 9:45 when we finally got all of the presents set up in the living room and Jake and I got packed up to leave. I mentioned to Danette that she should probably get to bed as Emma would probably be getting her up in just a few short hours. When I asked what time, she said she thought around 6:00. When they were in church that evening Emma had told her that she would get up at 6:00 and Bryce would get up at 7:00.
My guess is the thinking behind this was that she would have a whole hour to open presents without her pesky brother bothering her. Boy, was she surprised when she was informed, "You know Emma, you can't open your presents until Bryce gets up."
"That's okay, I know how to wake him up."
Thursday, December 22, 2005
As we were leaving the last store (Jake and I, I feel the need to specify since this is the only time he's gone shopping with me, lucky bastard) I was feeling so giddy I began to sing...
"Done, Done, Done, Done....."
"Done, Done, Done, Done..."
"Now who's the one who needs to grow up??"
Don't ya hate it when he's right??
Once the tech guy got here at 8:45 he fixed it. It was just one switch that had gotten checked that wasn't supposed to. SO... I will have to post about couples weekend a little later. Right now, I need to get some billable time so that I can take tomorrow (or at least part of tomorrow) off.
Oh, one more thing. For the 90 or so of you who got the Christmas letter (I know... 90 people!! I really need to get a new hobby) yes, this one is edited a bit. It's the internet people!! I don't need to give out EVERY detail of my life!! (Just 99.9% of them :-)
Hope this letter finds you all doing well. Jake and I are much the same as last year. I am still working for a C.P.A. firm in Des Moines so January thru April 15th is especially busy for me. This year was my third tax season so I'm starting to get more responsibilities and being taken out more to clients. In January we do a lot of client visits so I think I was out of town at least two days every week.
Jake is working for a construction company. So far he is just doing commercial construction but sometime in the future it may also be residential. Thus far he has done concrete work and framing but there has also been talk of him learning some steal work. Since they work year round Jake is always hoping for mild temperatures. So far this winter mother nature is turning a deaf ear. For most of our snow days he has been framing a salon in Ankeny and was up on the roof for a lot of the bitterly cold days. I see now that those Carharts we got him in early November were definitely money well spent.
We still live in my Grandpa's old house. The last three years we have had cows over the summer, and this year we also had the pleasure of renting pasture to someone my mom knows. For three months we had seven horses in our south pasture and although they have been gone for a month now, I still find myself looking for them occasionally as I drive towards our house. I never knew how much I missed the farm until they brought the horses.
At the moment our house is still in the country. We have one neighbor about a quarter mile to the south of us and one neighbor about a quarter mile to the north of us. However, the talk of housing developments, apartments, and townhouses is always hanging in the air. Right now they are trying to annex us. If that goes through I'm sure the developments won't be far behind. When we moved here, we knew houses would be a possibility. We did not, however, have any idea that it might also be townhouses and apartments. Neighbors would be one thing, but we are not sure we want to live in a high density housing area.
Speaking of neighbors, last December Matt and Danette moved 1.9 miles away from us. (Yes, I clocked it on my odometer. Yes, I know I'm a dork.) Right after they moved our other friends Shane and Jess decided that they must be missing a really good party so in May they moved just 9 houses down from Matt & Danette. (2.0 miles… in case you're interested!) This has been great for us because we have been able to hang out with both sets of friends much more often. We find ourselves having "couples" nights at least twice a month with both couples and Katie and Dan from Madrid. We also end up going out with one or the other of them pretty much every weekend.
As for travel, we have pretty much been home bodies this year. In June we went to Jake's cousin's wedding in Carroll but that has really been the extent of our venturing. Jake doesn't have any personal days at work, so we don't really want to take unpaid time just to travel somewhere and spend more money. Hopefully some day, maybe after we win the lottery… (no, I'm sorry, I have the winning ticket better luck next time) we will become world class travelers.
The rest of our year has been filled with working and Jake's passion, hunting. This year he got a new bow and arrow for Christmas (Okay, it was a little early for Christmas, but bow season starts in November) and his Birthday (December 27th). With his new bow and arrow he was able to get his first deer with a bow. If you are so inclined and you would like to see pictures (he's very proud) you can venture on over to our website.
Speaking of our website, that is our final piece of news for the year. In June we started a family website. (Okay, I say we, but I really mean me. I print off the pages and Jake glances at them, but really, I do all of the updating.) After reading a few blogs (on-line web logs/journals) on the internet I was hooked. I always LOVED writing in highschool and so this has been a perfect way for me to do something I love. Jake has hunting, I have the website.
The website has also proved a very effective way for family who is far away to keep in touch with what is going on in our lives. Sometimes when you only talk to family members a few times a year you basically just touch on the large events (like in the Christmas letter). This website allows people to keep in touch with the big things, but also the small things that make it seem like you are not missing out on so much by being so far away.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
On a quick side note, I'm going to post a few times in the next two or three days to get all caught up on all the things I was supposed to be posting last week.
So... the deer story. This year, for Christmas (early Christmas) and his birthday Jake got a new bow. In the past two years that he has been hunting with his recurve bow he has yet to hit anything. (Except for that unfortunate trailer tire incident...) Anyhow, this year with his new bow he was sure he would kill a monster deer.
Opening weekend of bow season he went out with his friend and he came home with a German Shepherd... okay... maybe a small Great Dane. As soon as I saw it, I said..."It's a baby!!"
"It's not a baby... it is a small button buck. I just wanted to see if I could shoot something with this new bow."
"Okay, I thought you said you got a doe."
"Well I thought it was a doe at first. Actually I was aiming for this really big doe that was in front of it but she moved behind a bush and this one came out so I shot it."
"That's because it was her BABY!!"
"Are you trying to make me feel bad?"
"You shot BAMBI!!"
"It wasn't Bambi, it didn't have spots!"
Needless to say, I didn't take pictures of that one. So then opening weekend of shotgun season came on December 3rd. Now in Iowa you are not supposed to bow hunt during shotgun season. Jake, however, decided to ignore this and sat in a tree stand on the 3rd. That is where he got this deer....
According to Jake, this is the biggest deer that he has shot thus far and definitely the biggest with a bow. Personally, I think it looks a lot like the one he shot with his gun last year. :-)
Because it was so cold the week of the 5th, this deer sat (or rather hung) in our garage as a solid brick of deer for 6 days. When they took him over to our friend Matt's dad's house to cut him up he was so frozen that they were able to stand him up.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Today we had the funeral. It went well, there was a good turn out. His son, Adam, said some very touching words and he ended his speech with this: "In the movies the hero never dies, but this is not the movies, and my hero is dead. Goodbye my hero." Needless to say he had everyone crying.
It really makes you think about what people would say about you, or how they would remember you. From the interactions that I have seen of Adam and his dad when he was alive, I'm not sure that Clint knew that he thought so much of him. So often in life, we don't tell others how much they mean to us until they are gone.
There was also a girl that showed up from Hy-Vee. She said that every time Clint would come into the Hy-Vee he would go through her line and write a check. She knew him from that line, and those checks. Other than that, she had never spoken to him. But she said when she saw his obituary in the paper she just had to come. It was very touching, and it really makes you think about how you touch the lives of people in your every day life.
I think Clint will be truly missed, but I also believe that he is in a better place. A place where there is no more pain, and no more misery. I think next weekend will be hard, but I also don't think that Clint would want us to cancel Christmas. Maybe this was just his way of making sure that we all got together for the holidays and remembered what they should really be about. Family, and not presents.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
The only words out of her mouth after I said Hello were, "It's over." I knew what she meant, no more needed to be said. I asked when and she said she got the call at 1:30 am. She was on her way to meet with Denise (his girlfriend) and the funeral director to get the arangements in order. The funeral will either be Saturday or Monday, depending on when my two uncles can make it into town.
Somehow, I'm not sure Christmas will ever be the same for my mom and her brothers and sister.
As for me, I'm sitting in a place of mixed emotion. I know that I will miss my uncle, he was always the jokester at family functions. But at the same time, I saw him on Thanksgiving and I saw how much pain he was in then. No one should have to continue to suffer like that just because it makes the holidays easier for their family if they are in a hospital bed instead of in a cemetary.
Goodbye Clint!! We will all miss you!!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I had a cavity, I had to go to the dentist this morning to have it filled. While I was there she gave me a shot of numbing medicine in my top gum. She told me it would just numb the area around my tooth. She lies.
When I left the dentists office I could move my nose, but only half of it. Therefore, I spent the next two hours staring intently in the mirror at my funny looking face. (Okay, more funny than normal)
No really, I'm still busy. I got to work at 9:30 finished two tax projections and sprinted out the door to a clients office by 11:30. Tonight, I finished off our Christmas shopping and then wrote our Christmas letter. Finally, I attempted to update addresses. I only have about 30 more to update and then I can start the mass mailing!!
Should I get myself up at a decent time tomorrow I will try to post then. If not, look for a new post when I'm at lunch.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
But first I have to update three clients depreciation records, review a tax notice, do three tax projections, and four tax returns. So.. maybe the second Tuesday of next week?
Monday, December 12, 2005
For those of you without speakers.... or who have dialup and don't want to wait for the audio to load you can read the words.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Dear Mother Nature:
We get it... it's winter. (Although if you want to be specific the first day of winter is not until the 21st of December... maybe you need to check your calendar again!) Either way, why do you feel that it is necessary to keep driving the point home with 13.5 inches of snow fall? Don't you think 6.5 (which is the average after all) would have been sufficient? Are we that moronic that we need twice the amount of normal snowfall to figure it out?
And while we are on the subject of winter, what in the world is up with the subzero temperatures and all of this wind? This morning when I got up it was -3 degrees. NEGATIVE THREE!! My hair froze as soon as I stepped outside!!
Also, are you aware that Jake is working on a roof? When it is snowing he does not get to work... something about being all wet and on a roof in subzero temperatures. The ice thing tends to make them a little nervous, what with the slipping and the falling and what not. We don't even have life insurance on him yet. Couldn't you at least wait until I have that in place?* Also, when he does not work we have no money, and that just will not do!! How will I be able to pay for my manicures and pedicures and haircuts and expensive designer clothes?**
*I'm kidding people!! It is a JOKE!! Please don't leave me nasty comments threatening to report me or telling me how awful I am. Or at the very least, if you are going to report me, make sure you get it correct I'm hoping he falls, not trying to push him!!
**Another JOKE!! (You people need to lighten up!!) Besides, those of you who really know me should have spotted this one a mile away! I can't remember when the last time I bought something for myself was, let alone something expensive. Oh wait, I take that back! Two years ago I went into Victoria Secret and bought myself some underwear and a bra. Hey... it was my wedding night!!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
You're BELLE from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!
Warm, kind and caring, you always bring out the
best in others, but tend to keep to yourself
and a few close friends who you love dearly.
You love books and dream of fairytale
adventures. You know that beauty lies within
and don't depend on looks alone. You think it's
good to be individual and different to others,
but don't go out of your way to be rebellious
- you just naturall stand out. You're a strong
person, but also ladylike and intelligent. You
look forward to change. You'd definitely break
the Beast's spell.
Certain as the sun, rising in the East, tale as
old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and
Which Disney Princess Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Monday, December 05, 2005
So much for a mild winter! -2 Degrees when I got up this morning!! Gotta love it!!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
She e-mailed me!! She read my website, she didn't hate it... AND she e-mailed me!!
I know to some of you this probably seems like no big deal but this woman is the reason I do this. She is the one that introduced me to blogging and gave me an outlet for something I love to do which is write and connect with others.
I sent her an e-mail as a curtsey because I had posted about her. I NEVER expected her to read it (after all she has 10,000 hits per day which means she probably gets 5,000 e-mails per day) let alone read my site and respond to my e-mail.
Is this how people feel when they just talk to a celebrity??
I think I need to go lie down!!
Hi, my name is Heather and it's been 19 hours since I last blogged.....
Last night I had a dream that I was hanging out with Heather Armstrong of Dooce. For those of you who don't know, let me give you a little background on how I started reading Heather's blog. About a year and a half ago I decided to Google my name. I had watched this show on 60 minutes, or 20/20 or something like that about how this woman had tracked down and written a book about some of the people with her same name.
To narrow down the field, I thought I would start with my maiden name. After all, if someone else was afflicted with having to spell that their whole lives they would probably be worth contacting. Do you know how many Heather Griffieon's there are on google? Go on... take a WILD guess....
NONE, that's right absolutely none.
So, I decided I would have to go with my married name. After all, there had to be at least one or two Heather Hamilton's out there. (Although considering everyone who I told what my married name was didn't believe me at first, and my own hair dresser thought someone had booked a fake appointment using a porn star name, maybe there weren't that many.)
As it turns out, there were a few. So, I decided that just for fun I would dry to narrow the choices a little more. I put in Heather Brooke Hamilton and got nothing. Today, however, I did the same search and got one option. Download Black Teen - DVD fetish porn video. Um... maybe not!! Now you see why everyone thought it was a porn star name??
Lacking full name matches I decided to try Heather B. Hamilton and at the top of the list was Dooce followed by someone who was the vice president of Citizens for Global Solutions. Seeing as how I had no desire to learn about Global Solutions I decided to investigate the first option.
That is how I wound up reading Heather's blog. Actually, that is how I ended up reading her website, at the time I didn't even know what a blog was. Unbeknownst to me, several thousand people a day read that blog, but at the time I did not know that. I just thought I had stumbled upon some random person's blog with my same name. I have continued to read her blog and through out the past year and a half have picked up other blogs that I read through links from her website, or links from those websites.
At the moment I have about 30 blogs that I read on an every day basis. However, since Heather's was the first, I guess you could say that she is the reason that you are sitting there, pretending to be working while you are reading my blog.
Okay, now that you have a little bit of background back to my dream. Last night I dreamed that I was hanging out with Heather. In the first sequence we were in a hotel room and Leta was walking towards the door and I noticed on the door was some writing. Something about Leta not liking some kind of computer.
I'm thinking that this part of the dream came from two places. Last night I e-mailed Heather because a couple of months ago she took down her comments section so if you have a comment about a post she writes you have to e-mail her. She had written a post about reading someone else's blog where they were talking about a case of mistaken identity by people googling her name. (You get where this is going don't you?)
Anyhow, that is my guess as to what got her into my head. As for the writing on the wall, I watch CSI. Last night I fell asleep watching an episode where this person has a compulsion to write and so they write on everything. So much for dreams being random huh?
The second part is a little more strange. I'm not sure where I got it. After the hotel room we continued on to what appeared to be a museum. Leta was in a stroller and was fussing so I picked her up and was carrying her with her head on my shoulder. Then for some reason we came to a bathroom. Maybe this had something to do with it?
Anyhow, someone came out of the bathroom and was talking to me. They told me that Heather had been reading my website and she thought that it was dumb. I told them they were lying and then headed into the bathroom to ask her. Just gets more weird doesn't it? I'm talking to a woman I've never met in a bathroom of all places!!
In the bathroom I confront Heather and nonchalantly say, "So, you've never read my website have you?" She basically says no and implies that she has MUCH better things to do than to read the website of someone she doesn't know and who has a reader base of like 10 people. And surprisingly, none of this bothers me. Maybe it's because I've been reading her site for so long and know how many people love it that I would rather have her not reading mine than reading it and hating it.
Either way, it all seems very strange to me. I think this is the first time I have had a dream about someone I don't know where I actually know them in my dream. Maybe I need to lay off the blogging.
On second thought... maybe not.