Thursday, August 30, 2007

Two weeks old

My apologies for the sporadic posts lately . . . I am SUCH a slacker! It's just this baby, he really takes up a lot of time!

Matthew turned two weeks old yesterday. He is getting bigger and more alert each day. Cameron is adjusting to big brotherhood quite nicely. I think he feels like a bit of a celebrity, as he has received many big brother gifts and lots of attention. He received a Spiderman Bump-n-Go motorcycle the other day (Thanks, Chris and Miranda!) and I have rarely seen him so excited. He just about hyperventilated by the time we got the batteries in and he kept breathlessly repeating, "I'm so excited! I always wanted a real Spiderman! I can't believe it!"

I asked Cameron yesterday what his favorite part of being a big brother is. He looked thoughtful and then said, "I really like helping you change his diapers!" Not the answer I expected . . . didn't realize that handing me a diaper was so rewarding! By the way, changing diapers is definitely NOT my favorite part of being a mommy!

Yesterday Cameron also told me that he wanted to give Matthew his teddy bear, Henri. I said, "But Henri has been your special bear since you were little! You don't need to give him to Matthew!" He replied, "But Matthew's NEVER had a bear! I should give him Henri." I thought that was very sweet, but luckily Grandma and Grandpa T brought Matthew his very own teddy bear!

Today is Cameron's last day at daycare. Next week he starts Montessori. Thus far he is thrilled with the prospect. Cross your fingers that he is still thrilled when I drop him off the first day! As for me, I feel an overwhelming panic everytime I think about getting two kids ready and driving Cameron to school each day. I just keep telling myself, "Lots of people have two kids! If they can do it, I can do it!" I feel like I'm hosting a pep rally in my head!

Grandma and Grandpa are currently visiting, so we'll have photos with them to post soon!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Matthew's name

Wow, I can't believe Matthew has been home with us for one week now! In some ways, it all feels very new, yet at other times I feel like I can hardly remember not having him!

I wanted to share the story of Matthew's name, as I think it is really amazing. First, we'll have to go back to the story of Cameron's name! When I was pregnant with Cameron, we chose not to find out if we were expecting a boy or a girl. We loved being surprised, but it also meant we needed to chose both a boy name and a girl name. This presented quite a challenge, as I am a bit of a name-o-phile and David is, well, not. We chose a girl name with relative ease, but just couldn't agree on a boy name and I had a strong feeling I was having a boy. Finally, one day, I said, "How about Cameron?" I remember so clearly my relief when, for the first time, Dave responded to one of my name suggestions with, "I like that!" We didn't tell anyone our name choices. A few weeks before Cameron was born, my mom told me that she had had a vivid dream that I had a boy and his name was Cameron. (And SERIOUSLY, I had NEVER even mentioned the name to her!). Weird, huh?

So, this time David and I again had our usual disagreements about names. The name Matthew did come up, but I thought it was more middle name material. Then, on August 16, my mom called me. She was on her way to dinner, but had a strong feeling that she needed to call right away to tell me that she thought we'd have a boy and his name would be Matthew. Not ten minutes later, the social worker called to ask if we could come in the next day to learn about a potential match -- which turned out to be our new baby boy. As soon as we heard it was a baby boy, I knew his name had to be Matthew!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Grandma says, "Claims of loud burping unsubstantiated"

My parents (aka Grandma Linda and Grandpa Frank) came to meet Matthew this weekend. It has been beyond wonderful to have help! Grandma Linda does state that my claims of Matthew crying and burping a lot remain unproven -- she has found him to be a perfect little angel. She also believes that the photos I have posted have been misleading, as Matthew is much, much cuter in real life (if that's even possible!) Here is a photo that got the "Grandma Linda seal of approval."
Cameron had reveled in having Grandpa Frank here, and has engaged him not only in Superhero play, but also some new favorites including "McDonald's drive-thru" and "Trick or treating." Grandpa Frank has been a good sport. Cameron has also made several requests for "boys only" outings such as a visit to the pool and the hardware store. If this "boys only" thing keeps up, I'm going to be lonely! Cameron is still very excited about Matthew -- "big brother" gifts from several family members have been quite helpful! Yesterday, Cameron said very sweetly, "I'm so proud of being a big brother!"

We have gotten so many e-mails from so many of you -- thank you, thank you, thank you! Eventually, I will e-mail each of you back, but at the moment the blog is the quickest way for me to keep every one in the loop! Please know that your congratulations and well wishes mean so much to us!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One week old

Matthew was one week old yesterday! We are all still adjusting to having a new addition to our family, but are doing very well. Yesterday we were all at home for the day, which was very nice. Cameron and David enjoyed a visit to the swimming pool and to Kmart, where Cameron got the Aladdin DVD. We watched it together in the afternoon and Cameron thought Robin Williams was hilarious. He has good taste -- I was a die-hard Mork & Mindy fan in my childhood and still love Robin Williams!

Matthew had his first bath at home, which Cameron found fascinating. He love the little sponge Matthew laid on and hearing about how he screamed & cried the first time he had a bath! Matthew actually slept through most of his bath, but did cry when we washed his hair. Cameron was quite sympathetic, as he tries to convince me each and every time he has a bath that his hair does not need to be washed.

Matthew calls . . . more later!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A nap, some coffee and a meal

Well, I am feeling a lot better at the moment than I did this morning. When David saw the state I was in, he went into disaster mode. A trip to the grocery store, the coffee shop and some nap time for me -- aaah, much better! David knows that I am a girl who requires frequent meals and a good night's sleep. Lacking both does NOT agree with me.

Matthew is doing great and we are learning more about him every day. Charming details which I am sure Matthew will appreciate when he is older and can read this:

1. Matthew is very gassy and can burp like a teenage boy.

2. Matthew is a slooooow eater.

3. Matthew loves to be cuddled.

and, as Cameron shared with his teacher today:

4. "My baby cries ALOT."

Today I got a chance to try out my Hotsling pouch. I've been waiting for this moment since we began the adoption process and it was not a disappointment. I love babywearing! And, as it turns out, so does Matthew. A very fussy Matthew quickly calmed down and fell asleep once he was in the pouch. Now to convince David that I NEED the blue/seersucker Ergo baby carrier and a mei tai carrier . . .

Cameron has also repeatedly told Daddy that I need a new necklace. When Cameron was born, David gave me a beautiful necklace with three diamonds for the three members of our family. I always wear it and have told Cameron its meaning. Without prompting from me, it occurred to Cameron that we now have FOUR family members and I should have FOUR diamonds. I like the way he thinks!



Sunday, August 19, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We picked Matthew up from the hospital this afternoon! He is doing fantastic and seems to be a very even-tempered little guy. Everyone at the hospital was terrific -- a big thank you to Marty, Dawn, Julie, Michelle, Sheba, Erica, Dr. Barrett, Dr. Polzin and everyone else in the Mother-Baby unit!!! One of the nurses gave Cameron a "Big Brother" badge which he is taking very seriously. He wore it proudly and was an exemplary big brother, carrying a bag of Matthew's many supplies to the car with Daddy. Here is our first family photo, taken at the hospital.

And here is our social worker, Samantha. I can't say enough good things about our adoption agency -- they have been wonderful in every way. A big thank you to Samantha, Brittany, Sara and Carrie!
When Matthew cried on the drive home, Cameron made up a song to soothe him. Here we are arriving at the house!
Since we got home, Matthew has been held almost constantly -- we just can't get enough of him! Cameron is very happy with our new addition (so far!) and has pretty much asked us to give Matthew a running commentary on his activities. "Mommy, tell Matthew that that's ME making noise." "Mommy, tell my baby brother to look at me jump on the couch!" He was very anxious for Matthew to wake up so that he could show him his badge and he helpfully held it about an inch from Matthew's face, loudly pronouncing, "See, I'm your big brother!" He held Matthew and very sweetly gave him two kisses (without prompting from Mommy or Daddy!). Cameron has also discovered that Daddy knows NOTHING about babies and has taken it upon himself to educate him. Today, Cameron has taught Daddy that babies don't watch Rescue Heroes, babies don't have teeth and babies don't eat strawberries. He is bemused that Daddy asks questions like, "Matthew, are you hungry?" or "Are you sleeping again, Matthew?" Apparently, Daddy doesn't realize that BABIES don't TALK.
And finally, I thought this series of photos was funny. In the first, you can see David and Matthew, with our canvas prints of Cameron on the wall in the background.
Next, you see Matthew pointing towards the wall with a look of reproach on his face. "What's this Mommy and Daddy? My first day home and already you're playing favorites? Where are MY photos?" Steph Carson, we're going to need to get you over here soon for a photo session!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Well, it is a good thing I have been reflecting on raising boys because we now have TWO! On Friday, we received exciting and unexpected news from our adoption agency. We were matched with a newborn baby boy! We have spent the last two days at the hospital visiting with our new son, Matthew Elliott. He is absolutely adorable and a very sweet baby. We are hoping that he will come home tomorrow and we are SO excited. It has been a very surreal experience. Here is a picture of me, David and Matthew when we first got to visit him in the hospital.

Today, Cameron was able to come to the hospital. We were told that he would be able to see Matthew through the nursery window, but he could not come inside the nursery. I was in the nursery, holding Matthew, while David and Cameron looked in. Cameron looked a little dazed, but smiled and smiled. Then, I went out to join Cameron and David in the hallway. I gave Cameron his "Big Brother present" -- Batman PJs with a cape. This produced an even bigger smile than Matthew did. Cameron carefully laid out the PJs on a bench and admired them. Then he said, "Oh! I better show them to Matthew!" He climbed up on the bench and ceremoniously lifted the Batman shirt in front of the window. Then he slowly turned it around so that Matthew could get a good look at the cape! Matthew appeared duly impressed, as you can see here:
As I was about to leave with Cameron, Dawn (one of the fantastic nurses taking care of Matthew) motioned for us to wait and brought Matthew to the doorway so Cameron could see him up close. Cameron was initially hesistant to touch him, but eventually softly patted his hands.
Some funny things Cameron has said and done:

Over dinner, Cameron says, "And if we have more babies . . . " long pause "well, we don't need any MORE babies!"

On the ride home from the hospital after meeting Matthew, "I thought it was going to be Arthur's baby. But it's not, right? Ha! I'm just pretending. I love Matthew. But I love Arthur's baby, too." For the unfamiliar, Arthur is a cartoon aardvark on a PBS children's show.

On his contribution to baby care, "I'll change his diapers. And feed him ice cream."

On learning that his brother's name is Matthew:

Mommy: And your new baby brother is named Matthew!

Cameron: No, Matthew goes to my school.

Mommy: No, no, this is a baby named Matthew. Not big boy Matthew from your school.

Cameron: They're brothers?

Mommy: No, baby Matthew is YOUR brother.

Cameron: But baby Matthew and big boy Matthew have the same name? They're twins?

Mommy: *sigh*

And one more funny story. Yesterday, my friend Kris kindly watched Cameron all day long when we were at the hospital. Her oldest daughter, age 6, apparently gathered from our conversations that there was a new baby. She said to me, "Are you having a baby?" "Well," I answered, "we are adopting a baby. Do you know what adoption means?" Her face lit up and she responded excitedly, "YES! I'm adopting a wolf from the zoo!"

So, a very exciting few days for our family! We hope we'll have photos of Matthew at home to share tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Raising a Boy

Sometimes I think, "What values, morals and skills do I want to teach Cameron?" I mean, raising a boy is serious business! So I look at David and think, "I want Cameron to be like David . . . with a few upgrades!"

Today, when I walked into the kitchen, I was confronted with a familiar scene. On the counter, directly above the dishwasher, sat a dirty coffee mug, a cereal bowl and a spoon. While David is a talented engineer, it seems that he, like so many men, is unfamiliar with the complicated operation of the dishwasher. He apparently believes that the machine cleans anything placed in its proximity and does not gather that the machine actually OPENS and dirty dishes can be placed INSIDE it. I know it is a long shot, but I am hoping that with extensive training, Cameron can defy the odds and grow up to perform the complex process of loading the dishwasher.

In other news, I am hard at work on the Buzz Lightyear costume. Here is what I've done so far.

When Cameron saw this photo, he said with regret, "Oh. I should have stuck my tongue out."

I've still got a lot to do on the costume, especially as David keeps saying things like, "Are you going to make gloves, boots, kneepads and a jet pack with pop-up wings like Buzz has?" Which would be fine. Except he says these things in front of Cameron. Who then, of course, cheers, "Yay! And make a laser beam that pops out of my arm, too!" Good thing I'm starting on this in August!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Instant Gratification

Every year, I make Cameron's Halloween costume. Of note, I do not know how to sew, but I am pretty handy with a glue gun and tie-die. For his first Halloween at 3 weeks of age, Cameron was a cow.My favorite costume was the baby chick with eggshell hat. As you can see in this photo, I sometimes extend my costume-making to David. He was Woolly Willy -- the old game where you use a "magic wand" to move metal shavings around on a face and make a beard, moustache or sideburns.
This year, Cameron has asked me to make him a Buzz Lightyear costume which should really test my skills! Yesterday, we went online to buy some of our supplies -- a hoodie, pants and fabric pens. Cameron was very excited to make our selections. About 10 minutes after we placed our order, we heard the mailman at our front door. To my surprise, Cameron went racing to the door yelling "Yee-hah! The mail is here!!!" He whipped open the front door, threw open the mailbox and then looked in confusion and disappointment at the bills and junk mail. "Where's my Buzz Lightyear costume?" he asked! I blame his belief that all things are instantly available on Tivo.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Great Things About David

For David's surprise birthday party, I made him a photo book called "10 Great Things about David." Some of the photos were so funny, I thought I'd share some of the best. So, in no particular order . . .

David has great adventures. With Jack and Christine hiking in the dunes of Michigan.
David has a great sense of humor. David being himself in Yellowstone. David has a great sense of style. Ooooh, now I see where Cameron gets it . . . David has great hair. A college look. David is a great dad. Awww. Right after Cameron's birth.David is a great husband. David is part of a great family. David is the second from the left. I love this photo of him with his cousins, Phil, Hanni and Luke. David is a great musician. High school marching band.David is a great handyman. Building the swingset with help from Cameron.
David is a great friend. With old friend James. We think that this is in 6th or 8th grade.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ann Arbor to Dayton

On Monday, we spent the day in our favorite town -- Ann Arbor! Of course, this HAD to include a stop at Zingerman's Delicatassen. I don't know what their secret is, but their cappucino is without compare. Cameron was at first hesitant, but after a sample decided that he DOES like gelato. What a little food snob we're raising! Here are the boys in front of Zingerman's On the Side.
We also stopped to take a photo of Cameron on a miniature bench in Kerrytown. We first took Cameron's photo here at age 9 months.
Next, at age 2 1/2 years.And then on this trip, a few months shy of 4 years.

I don't know if we are going to be able to take many more photos of this bench before Cameron is too big to fit on it!

Next, we headed to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum where Cameron was enthralled by the simple ball-and-ramp activity.

A more sophisticated display, in which Cameron's movements were recreated in colorful 70's-style outlines, also kept his attention!

We capped off the evening with a visit to Ellen and Stacy's gorgeous new house and some delicious pizza.

Today, we hit the road to Ohio and made a stop at the National Air Force Museum which is FREE! It was 102 degrees out, so a free and air-conditioned attraction was much appreciated. The collection of airplanes was amazing and it looked like there were some interesting displays if we hadn't been chasing Cameron most of the time! Here are a few photos of Cameron and David posing as astronauts!

Now, we are HOME. We had a great visit with friends and family, but it's always nice to sleep in your own bed! And with that, I'm off to put Cameron to bed!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fun in Michigan

We came up to Michigan this weekend to visit friends and family. On Friday, I surprised David with a 30th birthday party a little early! When we walked into Leopold's Brewery and everyone shouted, "Surprise!" David was so confused that he joined in the clapping before realizing the party was for him! It was fantastic to see so many old friends from high school and college.

On Saturday, we enjoyed breakfast at Angelo's with Jess, Pat and Victoria. If you ever stop in Ann Arbor, Angelo's is THE place to go for breakfast. The homemade raisin bread is to die for -- for the less health conscious among us, the bread is also available in the Deep Fried French Toast. When David and I arrived back at my parents' house, we learned that Grandpa Frank had kindly obliged Cameron in several hours of superhero play. In the evening, we had dinner with family at David's parents' house. Cameron was thrilled to play with his cousin, Marcus. On the way there he said, "Marcus isn't going to believe how big I am now!"

Today, the boys went to a Tigers baseball game while the girls attending Stephanie's bridal shower. It was a very fun but exhausting day, so Cameron, Daddy and Grandpa Frank are now relaxing and watching the always captivating "Rescue Heroes: The Movie." Some movies NEVER get old!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tuxedos and snow boots

This morning, Cameron tried on his tuxedo for Stephanie's upcoming wedding. He looked adorable! He was thrilled with the all black ensemble and instructed me to assist him in removing the white shirt "but leave the rest on to play Batman." Seems that Cameron thought his tuxedo pants, vest and jacket would be the perfect Batman disguise. When I told him that, despite the obvious similarities to Batman's wardrobe, he would not be able to wear his tuxedo today he had a complete meltdown. After many tears, he finally decided that if he couldn't wear the tuxedo, he'd find the next best thing. He is currently washing dishes (one of his favorite activities) in his black underwear and Spiderman snowboots. This kid isn't afraid to make daring decisions in the name of fashion!