Sunday, May 20, 2012

My fave pics from our California Adventure!

USS Midway

Seal Beach in La cool

La Jolla coast

Legoland with his fave pres


"Fly me like an airplane"

Friday, April 27, 2012

I was caught off guard...

Last night Ryland asked me the following question:

"Mom, how does a baby get into a mom's tummy?"

Yikes.  My eyes got huge.  He's six... he's six...that's all I could think about.  I was caught off guard.  I hadn't put any thought into how I would handle these conversations.  I thought I had a lot more time to get prepared.  Well, I don't. Dustin avoided making eye contact with me with every fiber of his being and I could see him smiling, just waiting to hear how I would respond.  I choked.  I back pedalled.  I didn't know what to say.  I asked him exactly what he wanted to know, so that I didn't accidentally give too much info.  I didn't want to lie, but he's not quite ready for the whole truth. 

So I said the first thing I could think of.  "When people get married and want to have a child, they make the baby from love."  "I know, Mom...but how does it get in the mom's tummy?  From Love?"  "Yes, that's right."  He followed up with " and then God helps the baby to grow, I know that part."  

I feel for the kid.  He's confused.  He doesn't quite get it.  He knows that we adopted him and that he wasn't born from my tummy.  But, he doesn't quite get it.  He pointed to several different people "was she adopted?"  "was he adopted?"  "Why?"  "Why not?"  We're making progress, but we have a long road ahead of us and lots of conversations.  We'll get conversation at a time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Family Day

April 15th, 2010...We *finally* met him.  We finally met our son.  After everything that we had been through in Kazakhstan, after all the unsure feelings.  We met a shy, nervous, giving little boy named Dias.  We met our son.  And we knew it instantly.

April 15th, 2012...We wanted to spend this Family Day in California.  We wanted to take time out of our crazy schedules and just have fun with Ryland.  Have fun as a family.  We did just that.

For those of you that know me, know that I don't get emotional often.  I'm emotional writing this.  It's still hard to believe.  I still have to pinch myself sometimes.  He's ours.  He's the best.  I am so proud of him.  He couldn't be any cuter.  He's tough and resilient, while being vulnerable and caring.  I love him so much.  I'm so proud of our journey to him, our hard fight.  It was all worth it!

Happy Family Day, Ryland. 

We love you more,
Mama & Papa

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beach Day in The Bahamas

Celebrating the 3-0 the right way!

Cort & Dust

This is me...happy and relaxing...not the look you typically see on my face!

Chickens and roosters all over the island...Tia Leah was FREAKED out!

Adventure hike led us to this secluded beach...yes please.

Enjoyed the time, but we missed our little hot mess.

Dustin braved it and went out in the water...a little chilly for my tastes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bahamas or Bust

Dust and I went on a quick getaway this weekend with my brother and sis-in-law and I will be blogging about some of our adventures.  I want to get the sappy stuff out of the way first.

This was the first time that we have left Ry for longer than 1 night anywhere.  Both parents, away for 4 nights.  He seemed fine before we left, very excited to go to spend time with Oma & Opa.  We had everything prepped, packed and ready.  We loaded up half our house, Ryland and Sadie and drove to my parent's house.  We made a huge, rookie parenting mistake.  We dropped him off at bedtime.  Dummies.  As soon as we got there, I tried to put him to bed and he just started crying.  It was so unlike him and just broke my heart.  We tried to calm him down, but eventually we just had to leave...for both of our sakes.  I was a mess.  Luckily, halfway home we got a a text from my mom "he's asleep"...what a huge sigh of relief.  What kind of idiot drops the kid off like that at bedtime?  Dustin and I just shook our heads at each other all weekend.  If we had just dropped him off at ANY other time, parting would have been fine. 

I know leaving your kids for that long is hard for most parents.  Especially the first time.  I totally get it.  BUT, it's just a little different for us.  I don't have a kid that just believes when we say we're coming back.  He often doesn't think we are coming back.  He's been left before.  And he is very scared of being left again.  It's just something we have to deal with...there is no going around it.  The good news is that it makes the times when we do come back, that much more special for both of us.

It's IMPORTANT to take these trips.  It's really important for Dustin and I to take these trips.  It's also really important for Ry to have these trips take place.  It forces us to show him that we always come back.  Everyone needs downtime.  It's healthy.  It's ok to enforce the "No Kids Allowed" policy from time to time.   

Monday, January 30, 2012

Too (adverb) - to an excessive extent or degree; beyond what is desirable, fitting, or right

I won't lie...I've spent some time being pretty impressed with my ability to find flaws.  I never thought of myself as critical or at least I never thought of being critical as being a negative thing.  I've always thought it was a good thing, a gift if you will.  I can see things that other people can't or don't want to.  I'm helpful.  How can you grow and improve if someone is always there to say how awesome you are?  If you need that lady in your life...that lady is definitely not me.  I will give it to you straight.  I've ALWAYS's better to know.  It's always better to actually know where you stand with someone, what your flaws are, where your gaps are, etc.  It's hard, sure, but it's better to know.  In my mind anyway.

So, I've been thinking about this all day.  Am I too critical?  I started to do some research.  I started with polling people and I called my mom, "Mom, do you think I am too critical?".  "Cort, this is a loaded question." 

Ok, ok...I'll admit it...I'm critical.  I'd rather use the word helpful, but I get it...critical it is.  The question I've been pondering is am I too critical?  It's that 3 letter word, TOO, that has me soul-searching.  During my search, I came across this website ( and this list. 

Below are some red flags that signal you may be too critical. Read this list with an open mind. While you’re going through the list, imagine what your partner or children would say about each item on the list.

• You frequently “suggest” a different hairstyle, outfit or “tip” for your partner or children upon seeing them wearing something you don’t think looks good.

• Upon entry into the home you “greet” your family by commenting about what a mess the house is or complaining about something they did or did not do.

• When your children or partner help, you are more frustrated by how they helped than you are thankful that they did help.

• After every sports event or school activity, you lead your review with what they need to work on or could’ve done better rather than giving them positives.

• You follow after your partner and “fix” what they didn’t do quite right. For example, you reload the dishwasher after your partner just loaded it.

• You frequently tell your partner or children what they should and shouldn’t do under the guise of being helpful.

• Your first comments regarding report cards pertain to the poor grades and you slide right past the good ones.

• One or both of your parents were critical and had very high expectations.

• If you ask your partner to do three things and they do two, you complain about the one thing they didn’t do.

• The people in your life tell you you’re always critical or comment that they can never do anything right in your eyes.

After reviewing the list with an open mind, I feel that I am a definite offender of 5 out of the 10.  Dustin scored me a 5 out of 10, as well.  Wow.  I guess this is something that I really need to work on. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012


My little guy lost his first and second teeth last weekend!  One on Friday night and one on Saturday night.  The poor tooth fairy had to stop by two nights in a row!  Ry is so excited to be getting older and checks his new teeth that are growing in hourly to see how much bigger they are getting.  He also has to show us...hourly as well.

Here's some pics of his first tooth!

PS - Any ideas what the tooth fairy is supposed to do with these teeth?  Seems weird for her to keep them...