Thursday, April 24, 2008

One year anniversary!

Today is the one year anniversary of the day that we were introduced to our beautiful son, Seth Kidus. That day was the beginning of many wonderful days that were to come.

For you long-time readers, you may remeber that while we were waiting for our courtdate (which took a longer than your average wait) I had a certain bond with a swan that had nested down the road from us. You can read about that, here: A Swan Story.

Well, last week was kind of cool because I was able to show Seth that same swan. I am assuming it is the same swan. Oh well if it wasn't, in my mind it was one of those moments :)

I know it has been a long time since I posted. I have pretty much fallen off the face of the earth. Trying to get my degree done in a reasonable amount of time while juggling family time takes up every last moment. I am going to be taking classes through summer and back to full-time in the fall. After that, I will be transferring to the Western Michigan University, where full-time does not even begin to describe what I will be doing while completing my Psychology degree with an Anthropology minor. James and I are doing a great job of juggling without needing daycare (with a little help from our friends and family), plus I take a few online course, too, but there isn't much time left for anything else. Family time always comes first...

...I guess what I am getting around to is the fact that this will be my last post. I will probably leave this blog up for a little while so people can use it for pictures and information while going through their adoption, but this will be it. That being said, let me tell you a little bit about how things have been going.

Taylor just turned 16. I know, freaky! She is actually going to prom this weekend. I can't believe how fast time has flown. She is turning into a wonderful woman. So much maturing goes on in these years. Oh, by the way, this is not only the anniversary of our referral of Seth, but it was also my due date, 16 years ago. Funny how things work out like that, isn't it?

Seth is SO MUCH FUN! He babbles and runs all the time. He is really starting to talk A LOT. And he is funny. Just a great kid to be around. Lately, he has been a big-time daddy's boy, but he still comes to mom for snuggles and love. He is amazing.

Seth also loves his books. I often find him like this (clearly having difficulty deciding which book to read):

We discovered that Seth is a fish and LOVES the water. He even goes under water on his own.

Here we are on Easter:

My two boys:

My little man:

Seth is also staying busy planning our next vacation:

Taylor and Seth before Taylor's band concert. Seth's first symphonic concert and he enjoyed it quite a bit.

So, there it is. We are doing great, just very busy. Thank you all for your support and wonderful comments over the past year that you have brought to this blog and our family. They have meant the world to us.

The Norris Family

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?

I wonder if anyone actually reads my blog anymore? I know it has been a while since I have updated, but I needed to get at least one post in so I could give this piece of advice: NEVER take Biology online. There, now you know why I have been absent.

So, here are the things that have been going on around me while I had my nose in a biology book:

Seth got a haircut.

The finished product:
He had a lot of hair! It is so much easier to comb now and looks so healthy. Of course, he was very good while getting his haircut. He did decide at one point he was done, but once I gave him pretty much everything from my purse (keys, phone, mints) he was happy.

The other day, Seth and Daddy went outside to see the horses. They got all bundled up,
Played in the snow a bit,
Watched the horses,
Pet one of the horses,
And fed the horse Seth's mitten.
I guess the horse thought that Elmo looked yummy and just sucked it off of Seth's hand. Don't worry, we got it back. No! Not that way, the horse spit it out :)

Oh, and here is a picture of Taylor hamming it up for the camera in her cheer leading uniform. She just finished a season of competetive cheer and loved it.

And speaking of hammin' it up...Like sister, like brother. "Are you talkin' to me?"
I will try hard not to go so long between updates. Maybe I should post the occasional biology update. Naw, I wouldn't subject my friends and family to that.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with." - Marty Feldman

Yesterday I had two root canal restorations done. For those of you that have never had the pleasure, let me give you a brief rundown of what that entails: During a root canal (which I had in November), the endodontist drills down through a tooth and completely removes any root that is left in the tooth. Then the endodontist fills it with a temporary filling. In my case, they did this because I had an infection in the roots of two teeth that were side by side. During a root canal retsoration, the dentist puts a post where the root used to be and fills it up just like a cavity. When I had the root canal I was going to a random dentist I choose because he accepted our insurance. He had BEAUTIFUL office with fountains and imported furniture. Seriously, the waiting room was very nice. However, to be honest, I never felt entirely comfortable with him. So, when my husband's job switched insurance January 1st, I called up my former dentist, who I had been seeing since a kid.

Now, I absolutely hate going to the dentist. Not necessarily through any fault on the part of the dental professionals, just because I cannot stand the thought of the scraping, etc. But the price I was about to pay (as quoted by the dentist with the beautiful office) made me want to put off that root canal restoration as long as possible. He quoted me $800 per tooth, 80% of which would be paid by my insurance. That still left me to pay $320.00 for something I did not want to have done anyway. But I knew it had to be done so I went on Valentine's Day (Happy Valentine's Day to me) to my former dentist. Do you know how much they charged me and my insurance? $144.00 per tooth, meaning my total was only $52.00! What the heck??

So, I have a question for everyone out there. Did you know that you had to shop dentists for a good deal? I knew there would be differences in pricing, but $1300.00? Is that ridiculous, or what?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity." - Sigmund Freud

You have to admit: Even though Freud was some-what nutty, he was still a fascinatingly intelligent man. But, I am not here to bore you with talk of Freud and his weird fixations...

I want to introduce you to (drum roll, please): Toddler Seth!

I know, he is heartbreakingly cute even when he is in the throws of a small temper tantrum. The past few days a new, more confident, Seth as emerged. As a mother, this frightens me a little. I have to ask myself, "How long will this last? It seems too soon!" However, as a psychology student I say to my self, "Yay! Development right on course. Maybe even a little advanced! That is so exciting! He is in the Objective-Self phase."

To give you an idea of what kind of major infraction could cause a face like this, let me tell you how it all started. I asked him for my car keys back, he nicely gave them to me, I put them away. That is when I got this face.

Just a couple hours before this, Seth and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner. Seth walked over to the garbage and grabbed an empty plastic bottle off the top of the garbage (it was kind fo full, waiting for Taylor to get home). I turned to Seth and said, "What do you have?" He took off running. I gave chase and just as I was about to reach him, he threw it to the side and broke down into a mini temper tantrum. It is hard not to laugh in moments like these. He is just so darn cute - I knew that was going to be trouble for me when this phase started!

So far, the temper tantrums have been small and short-lived. And they really are a welcome sign of Seth becoming his own little person. He is learning that he has his own thoughts and feelings about some things, and often they are not the same as mommy's thoughts and feelings. Case and point, he thought it would be great to play with garbage, but mommy thought it would be icky. Go figure :)

On the flip side, his sleeping has done a complete 180 degree turn. It is so awesome! He wears himself out running around all day, leading to 12 hour nights and TWO 1 - 2 hour naps a day. I could not ask for a better sleeping baby if I tried. He really does enjoy going to bed and sleeping. I am sure that this will pass, but I am accepting this very welcome reprieve from sleep deprivation. Truthfully, I am not sleeping more though - just studying more. Which is what I need to get back to doing.

I am working on getting a good video of Seth dancing to post on here. He has some pretty good moves (like his daddy), but every time he spots the camera, he stops dancing. Also like his daddy.

Okay, that is enough procrastinating for one night. Back to the grindstone.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"I have been on a calendar, but never on time." - Marilyn Monroe

I have been getting some flack from my mother for not posting enough, so I thought I would try and squeeze a post in. I have been really busy with, well, life.

This morning I tried to cut Seth's hair. Really I just wanted to take a little bit off. I was able to take off less than a little bit. I was way to scared of messing up those beautiful curls. This week, I need to get him in for a trim. His hair is so long it has the beginnings of a little mullet :) Don't get me wrong, I love long hair, he just has some frizzies on the ends that need to be cut away so you can see his adorable little curls. To give you an idea of how much I actually cut:

I guess I need to leave it to a professional. I am too much of a wimp.

Last Thursday, Seth and I were standing in the checkout lane at a grocery store, when an elderly woman got in line behind us. Now, if I have learned anything these last 5 months, I have learned that there are two types of people who ask odd questions about the fact that Seth and I do not fit the "standard" mother-son mold: elderly ladies and small children. For the most part, it doesn't bother me. So, when this woman started talking to me, I had a feeling that it was going to take that direction. I will name this lady Madge, for story-telling sake:

Madge: Does you mother work out at (such and such) gym on (such and such) road?
Me: No. My mother and I both live in (our small town).
Madge: Oh (Looooonnnnngggggg pause) Because there was a woman that I did aqua aerobics with whose daughter married a black man.
Me: (internally: oi, I am too tired for this) Hmmm... Well, my husband is white (even longer pause to make her squirm) Actually, my son is from Ethiopia.
Madge: Oh! So he's adopted!

The story went on and on from there. I know that these conversations upset a good number of transculteral families out there, but I think it is important to consider the source. This woman was 73 years old. Of course, my first instinct was to teach her a few things about race and culture and minding-her-own-beeswax, but really she was just a very lonely lady who was trying to start a conversation.

What really bothers me is when people stereotype Seth based on his color, even when the stereotype is positive. "Oh he will be good at this or that." Usually these comments come from people I know and love and they almost always catch me off guard. I am working on developing a set of comebacks that will not cause an argument, but will get my point across. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

With that, I need to get back to Biology (UGH!). I will leave you with a cute baby picture and proof that Seth hates a clean house:

Thursday, January 31, 2008

R.I.P Old Friend

It is official: they totaled my Dodge. I am very sad about this because I really liked that vehicle. It was like an old pair of shoes or jeans...Just really comfortable, you know? So, we will be car shopping this weekend. Blah.

Here are some pictures that James took when he went to clean out all our belongings. It looks like they straighted out the wheels, though. Maybe so they could move it around the shop? Either way, it doesn'y look nearly as bad as it did last week, and I don't know if that is hindsight talking or what.

Anyway, I am feeling better. I am also very, very busy with school. Biology online is much tougher than I anticipated. I am sure it would have been easier if I had actually taken the course in-class, but my life just doesn't have that kind of freedom right now.

Did I hear someone requesting baby in the snow pictures? Your wish is my command. By the way April, he does love the snow. God's cruel joke on a mom who hates it. :) Good thing his daddy likes the stuff!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

So, I should be studying (I am a good three days behind) but instead I feel like blogging. It has been an interesting few days around here, to say the least.

Last Friday I had a doctor's appointment in the AM, then I was going to run home really quick, pick up Seth, and continue on to an adoption get together. Well, I was just about ready to turn into my driveway when a pick-up truck came around the corner too fast (from the opposite direction) and side swiped me. Luckily, I saw him coming and tried to get over or else he would have hit me head on. The pick-up truck continued a little farther down the road and hit a tree. Both of us were okay, but neither of our vehicles were drivable. Actually, it looks like my vehicle might totaled, but we do not know for sure yet. The kid who hit me was from the Flint area, and a new driver who was not used to driving on snow or dirt roads, so I felt kind of bad for him.

Fast forward 24 hours...

I was very sore, but as far as I could tell, I had no real injuries to speak of. Late Saturday morning I started getting terrible squiggly lines in front of my eyes. They got so bad that I had to let my friend April drive. The squiggly lines went away and were replaced by a headache and dizziness. This was by far the worst headache I have ever had. So, about 3pm I decide to let my husband take me to an urgent care facility to be checked out. That way I won't have to go to the ER in the middle of the night. Well, guess where I ended up anyway? The ER getting a CT Scan (which turned out fine). The doctor thinks that maybe I just had a slight concussion from being jostled around and sent me home with some really good, um I mean, potent drugs :) I spent Sunday in a haze and now I am almost back to normal (whatever that is). I still have a slight headache, a few bruises, and a sore back, but otherwise I am just really happy everything turned out how it did. It could have been worse and I could have had the kids with me. Praise the Lord!

Ironically enough my friend April's vehicle was in a car vs. deer accident just a few days ago. She was thinking clearly enough to get pictures, I was not. Maybe the body shop will email me some so I can post them here. I really like that vehicle (Dodge Durango), so I am hoping she pulls through okay :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours." - Jerome K. Jerome

First, thank you all for the compliments on my hair. They made me feel really good. I know that some of you stay at home moms can relate to this, but sometimes you just don't feel pretty. I REALLY needed to get out and do something about that :)

We have had nothing but non-stop snow in West Michigan these past few days. I need to give you an idea of just how much snow.

I also had to post that for my blogging buddy over at As for Me and My Haus because she has been posting a lot of pictures of their family at the beach and I am getting extremely jealous. :)

School is going well so far. Tonight is the first class that I actually have to leave the house for, but I am sure it will be fine. In my experience, these 3 hour classes usually tend to run shorter than normal, so hopefully this class holds true to form.

Have I mentioned how much Seth loves his sister? This morning I woke up to, "Tay-Lor! Tay-Lor! Momma!" on the nursery monitor :) And the feeling is definitely mutual! I highly recommend having your kids 15 years apart!

He also loves our dog Wilber (who he attempted to put a diaper on last night).

And of course, he loves his Teletubbies.

Okay, I really just wanted to show of some cute pictures I had in my camera.