Thursday, December 30, 2010

Button, Button, Who Has My Button?

Collin had been having quite a bit of tummy trouble since he came home. It involved quite a bit of pain for him and sleepless nights for both of us. After SEVERAL "shock and awe" sessions with antibiotics, we decided that the problem might be coming from an umbilical hernia. So, in late October we headed to Primary Children's for a little surgery. The night before, we went to Build-A-Bear to make him a special "hospital buddy" he named Rocket. We had to be there pretty early in the morning, and since he couldn't eat or drink after midnight, I decided the "scoop and go" approach would be best. He was still sleeping when we got to the hospital, but was fully awake when he saw this:

The hospital, however, decided to go with the hurry up and wait approach, so we had time to have a little fun with the camera. This is Collin still thinking we're gonna have fun today:

I think he's starting to get suspicious...

After about 6 hours at the hospital and a totally successful surgery, we were home. Although not entirely thrilled with our new state of discomfort.

Luckily, with the help of some calming medicine, Tylenol and our new friend Rocket, it didn't take long to get back to this:

Apparently mommy, didn't fully explain that the "outtie" was going to become an "innie" part of the plan because when I took the bandages off a week later, Collin instantly reached for his belly button, got a VERY concerned look on his face and whimpered "Mommy, where my button?" After grabbing a mirror and showing him that all was still right with his anatomy, all was well. We haven't had tummy trouble since. Sure wish we'd thought of this solution 6 months ago!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ready To Rock!

This is Collin's (and Mommy's) friend Gabe. Gabe studies music at School of Rock in Sandy with all of these guys (and girls):

There's something you should know about Gabe... for a 13 year old, he is completely AMAZING! He comes by it honestly, his mom is completely amazing too. He has such a big heart and is so concerned for everyone else. This year, School of Rock did a Live Aid - Remade show. If you were around in the 80's, you might remember the original. Nationally, the proceeds went to help Haiti, locally, Gabe and his friends wanted to make a difference for people they knew. They asked if the money could be donated to Bel Haiti (the organization that is building a children's village for Collin's friends who are still in Haiti). We were thrilled. But they didn't stop there. They invited all of the kids that came home from Haiti this year to come to school to learn to play the instruments. Collin of course went straight for the drums:

The headphones had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, but he didn't want to take them off

The kids had a chance to play any instrument they wanted and the students were THRILLED to teach/help/dodge way-ward drumsticks! When he got tired of the drums, Collin decided to play I have no idea, but it was pretty cute. Especially with the ear plugs hanging out of his ears.

And of course, there is always time for some cool shades. Thanks Lydon!

At the end of the week, the school put on their Live Aid concert for the public, and the kids got to be a part of it. Twice. Gabe (and fellow School of Rocker's), thanks for all of your hard work and huge hearts and thanks for taking care of people so far away that you will probably never meet. It's an experience we will never forget! I'm so grateful that Collin has so many examples of selflessness, generosity and service around him.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fun At The Zoo!

At the end of the summer we decided to go visit the zoo. Collin was so excited to see the new baby elephant Zuri. He did get a little jealous when Zuri and her mom started to play with the ball and Collin couldn't join in.

Mommy made the mistake of pointing out the carousel at the beginning of our visit, (oops, but in my defense, I didn't think he'd know what it was or have ANY interest in riding it) so after the 237th, (I might be rounding up, but not by much), time of telling him "we'll ride it in a minute", I gave in and bought the ticket. He picked the walrus. Yeah, I have no idea why...

Believe it or not, he's not completely terrified, this is actually his "happy Collin" face. I know, we're working on it...

After a little more walking, we opted for a train ride through the rest of the zoo. And by the rest of the zoo, I mean the last itty bitty corner that we handed already covered on foot, pushing a stroller. That might have been Collin's favorite part. He LOVES trains.
I can't decide which was having more fun, Collin seeing the animals up close for the first time, or Mommy watching his reaction. Seriously, how DO you explain a rhinoceros to a 2 year old Haitian?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Time

This summer, Collin and I went to an awesome church activity. We learned about temples and then got to build our own out of marshmallows. Here is our finished product:

Yes, I know it bears a striking resemblance to the Swamp Thing. I would have done better, but my construction manager kept eating our supplies. We also got to take some fun family photos.

Collin will climb ANYTHING, including people, as long as they standing still for a few seconds.

He also figured out, rather quickly, what happened when he looked at the camera and he wanted no part of it.

Finally we got a cute one. Special thanks to Kristin's boys for pretending to wrestle in front of him to make him laugh. What a fun day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All Decked Out

Collin had a special day a few months ago. It was blessing day. Grandma-Great wanted to give him a blessing outfit. No big deal for an infant, but a little harder to find for a two year old, especially the day before a holiday. In the end, we found this:

Yeah, that cheesy little grin made makes me giggle too.

The next day, Grandpa gave him a special blessing (A free spirit Grandpa? Really??) Then all of our family came over for a special lunch. Yet another moment that I was reminded of what a blessing it is to be this little boys mommy! I love you so much baby boy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

We've been busy this summer. Over the July 4th, weekend, we joined Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Jed and Grandma-Great at the cabin in Bear Lake. Right before we left, mommy's friend Jenn gave Collin a Lightning McQueen bike, so we thought we'd bring it along. His feet don't reach the pedals quite yet, but he doesn't let that stop him.
Of course, it wasn't all fun and games. There was also work to be done. Collin was all set to lend a hand.

Yeah, they probably fit Grandpa a little better.

Grandma got Collin his very own wheelbarrow so he could help the big boys.

But when the work was done, there was always time for fun. Collin loves the swing. And if you look really close, there's a smile on Uncle Jed's face too!
Thanks for all the fun Grandma's, Grandpa and Uncle Jed!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Little Hero

A couple of months ago, we went to the doctor because Collin's tummy was hurting him. Two months later, we've been to Primary Children's three times, 4 different doctors and been diagnosed with the following: Giardia, parasites (there's a surprise...), H-pylori (a stomach bug that causes stomach pain, cramping, bleeding and ulcers), a heart murmur, a domed aortic something or other (it has a name, but I can't remember it and the cardiologist told me it was nothing to be too concerned about) a hernia that needs surgery, a possible aversion to all dairy products, and a cold. And yet, this is the side of Collin we generally see.

He doesn't let anything get him down. Collin, you are such an inspiration to me. I am so proud of you and so grateful to be your mommy. Thank you for reminding me every day of the kind of person I want to be. I promise, we will get you all better soon. I can't wait to see how much more fun you have in your new little world when you finally feel good! I think I'd better start resting up now...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Little Bonding...

It's no secret that at the moment, there isn't a daddy in our home. Sometimes, (okay, most times) I feel a little bad that Collin doesn't get to experience father son bonding moments yet so, on occasion, I try to make it up to him a little. Admittedly, I'm a poor excuse for the ruggedly outdoorsy, manly type, but at least we both have fun! Along that line, I give you... Our first (yep, mine too) trip to Cabella's. What? It seemed like a "manly" thing to do...

First we started with lunch. Okay, that part might be girly, but if you know what happens when you drag a hungry 2-year old through a VERY large department store, you'll agree that I had no choice.

After our bellies were full, and Collin had patiently given "5" and "stones" to every one passing by that thought he was darling (it happens a lot cuz, well, he is), we started to wander around. I kinda wish someone had told me about THIS little guy before we got there:

As it was, Collin, who was running full throttle in front of me, turned the corner, stopped dead in his tracks, screamed and jumped into my arms. :) Apparently, polar bears on TV and in books are cute and cuddly, but angry polar bears? Not a fan.

After a little more wandering, we came upon this little fellow:

Collin was more than happy to sit in his lap and pose for mommy. Also a girlie thing to do, but give me a break, I'm trying!

Next up? I think we'll try fishing. Or, maybe I'll just leave that to grandpa and the uncles...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cowboy Collin

Mommy forgot to put away the cowboy boots after the rodeo over the weekend. As a result, this is what Collin insisted (and I mean INSISTED) on wearing to daycare today.
Sure is a cute little buckaroo!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For Now And Forever

Our adoption was made final today!!! I'm still amazed at the changes in my life in the last year. Start to finish, our process took one year and one week. Amazing! I don't know why it was so much easier for us than for all of our friends who waited so much longer but I am so grateful! I still can't believe this little angel is mine. I am so incredibly blessed! Special thanks to Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Toe-Toe, Lori, Brent, Nathan and Jenn for coming to celebrate with us!

Collin you have completely changed my life and I can't imagine how I managed to live for 33 years (ouch) without you. Thanks for calling me Mama, it melts my heart every time! (Which, incidently, is the ONLY reason you cuddled with mom tonight instead of going to bed when you were supposed to...) I love you!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dear Collin,

Today is a very special day for us. It's one I'm sure you won't remember, but equally certain I will never forget. One year ago today, you changed my life forever. One year ago today, I held you in my arms for the first time. I've been thinking a lot about that day lately. And the 365 days since then. I've thought about how determined I was that first day. Determined to get you well, but not to fall in love. My resolve lasted almost as long as it took you nuzzle your cute little face into my neck and fall asleep. I should have known then that I was a goner, but I'm a little stubborn. I've thought about the first time the thought crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, I could be your mom. You still weren't feeling very good and had fallen asleep on the bed in the hotel room. I watched you sleep for a few minutes with a lump in my throat and a swelling in my heart. You've done that several times since then. You're actually pretty good at it. I've thought about the day I went to visit your orphanage and how I knew that, although it was obvious you were loved there, it seemed completely wrong that you should have to grow up there.

I think about when I left you for the first time. You and I stayed back a bit from all the other mommies and daddies and children. I wasn't sure what to say to you, so I just told you that I loved you and hoped I'd see you again someday. What I didn't realize at the time, was that my heart wouldn't be going home with me. It preferred to stay with you in a little village in Haiti. When I think about the next two weeks, how I agonized about whether or not bringing you home to live with me was the best thing for you, I remembered how the memory of your big brown eyes and that smile that, although rare at the time, managed to melt the area where my heart used to be. Even a thousand miles away, we were still connected. The next two months were a flurry of activity, trying desperately to gather all the necessary paperwork to "get the process started" for us. All the while, feeling a sense of urgency, a feeling that I needed to move faster. At the time, I didn't know why. Fast forward a few months to January 12th. Another day that I will never forget. I think about having to go on with day to day living, not knowing for sure if you were still alive. For six agonizing days, I wondered, I prayed, I cried, until finally, I knew for sure.

And then, I can't help but think about the literal miracles that took place in the next two weeks that brought you and your friends home. I think about the people that risked their lives to save you. Those who risked their safety to go find you. The hearts that were softened and laws that were changed, just to enable you to come home to me.

Mostly though, I think about how blessed I am to be the one you call mom. How grateful I am to a Heavenly Father who saw two people who needed each other and literally moved heaven and earth to bring us together. Every time I see your big brown eyes looking up at me, or hear your infectious giggle, I'm reminded of just what a miracle you are. With every kiss and cuddle you give me, I'm awestruck all over again, that I was the one chosen to be your mother. Thank you my sweet boy, for changing my world in ways I never dreamed of and for allowing me to love more deeply than I ever thought possible. I love you so much and can't wait to see what the future will bring to our little family.

All my love,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just Thought You Should Know...

My son is afraid of the microwave.
Yep, the microwave.
Not so much afraid OF it as he is afraid that it's eating his food.
He has a first class melt down every time I put something in it.
Oh, I've tried reasoning with him. Yeah,that went well.
I've tried letting him watch as the food spins round and round (on the rotating table) inside of it.
That went equally well.
Side note: He's also taken to sitting on, running over, or jumping on the dog whenever he's not looking. The two stories relate, I promise.
We've been working on "be nice Collin" to spare the dog any additional surprise attacks.
One day last week, I put Collin's easy mac (eat your heart out Betty Crocker!) in the microwave for lunch.
Que the melt down and my initial attempts to stave it off with no success.
Finally, I tried in my most patient voice (it's about an octave below my most exasperated voice) to tell him that the microwave was just warming it up and he could eat it in a minute.
That seemed to work, until I over cooked it and then had to put it in the freezer for a few minutes to cool so that he could eat it.
His response? "Mama, ou be nice ah Collin" translation: Mama, you be nice to Collin.
Then I caught him giving the freezer the stink-eye.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Should Have Seen That One Comin'!

Ever since Collin and Tucker became BFF's, Collin follows the poor dog everywhere. Mostly to torment him. For the most part, Tucker takes it pretty well. When he gets tired of being mistaken for a horse, car, trampoline and/or pillow, he sneaks out his doggie door to the relative comfort of the backyard. A technique that, apparently, did not go unnoticed by his tormentor. A few weeks ago, I was in the backyard mowing the lawn, while Collin was riding his bike on the deck and Tucker had taken refuge in the house for a change (he's not a fan of lawnmowers. I might possibly have gotten a little too close to him with one once. Or twice...). Anyway, after a few minutes, I looked up to check on Collin, but he was gone. Our backyard is fully fenced, so I knew he couldn't have gone far. I walked around the corner of the house, no Collin. I walked to the other side of the house, still no Collin. I wasn't exactly concerned, but I was definitely confused. Until I looked at the back door and saw this...

And apparently, practice makes perfect...

Isolated incident right? Yeah, that's what I thought too. Fast forward two weeks. It was about 8:30 at night, Collin was in his PJ's, almost ready for bed. I was sitting in a chair doing some work I'd brought home from the office. Collin and Tucker were playing on the floor next to me. Evidently I was concentrating pretty hard on my work, because when I finally heard "hi Mama!" and looked up to respond, Collin had disappeared again. There are a lot more places to hide inside than outside, so I got up to peek in a few of his favorites. As I was walking through the kitchen, I happened to glance outside. There was my baby Houdini giggling and waving proudly from the back deck. Still pretty cute, but I am being extra careful to make sure Collin doesn't notice any of Tucker's other little tricks. Like where he goes to the bathroom....

Monday, May 3, 2010

How Do You Give A Great Haircut?

I have absolutely no idea, but here are a few things I learned while giving Collin his first haircut on American soil. Step 1: Call in reinforcements. Step 2: Know someone with a good buzzer. It helps when steps one and two can be filled by the same person (And her two adorable kids. Thanks Toria, Jaxson and Logan!)
Step 3: Get a few locks for his baby book (no, they're not actually the first, but they're the first for me!)
Step 4: Take a deep breath and relax!
Step 5: Get Collin used to the sound of the buzzer
Step 6: When step 5 doesn't work, provide a distraction...

and a target... Thanks for being such good sport Jaxson and Logan!!!

And after a few mis-fires with the water bottle (self-inflicted I promise)...
Step 7: Snuggle with your mommy and tell her she did a good job!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Man's Best Friend... FINALLY!

Collin and Tucker got off to a pretty rocky start. Okay, it was totally my fault. When we finally made it home from the airport the day Collin came home, it was after 1:00 in the morning. We'd been traveling most of the day and we were both exhausted. I put Collin down on the family room floor without checking to see where Tucker was. Did I mention that dogs in Haiti are not the cleanliest animals and therefore the children are taught to stay as far away from them as possible? Did I also mention that it's been just Tucker and I in my house for the last four years and he was therefore REALLY excited to see me after I'd been gone for 3 days? You can guess what happened next. Yep, Tucker leaped for me, landed right in front of Collin's face and scared the daylights out of him. (On the slightly humorous side, 'cuz it was pretty funny, I've never seen Collin jump and run that fast before or since!) For the next 17 (okay I might be rounding up, but it was pretty close to that) days, Collin would start to cry if Tucker was in the same room. Slowly, things started to improve. First, Tucker was allowed in the room as long as he didn't make eye contact or any sudden movement and didn't come within 10 feet of Collin. Then, it was 5 feet and he was allowed on Collin's couch, but still no eye contact and no sudden movements. Our first break through followed a whole lot of encouragement by me, when Collin would touch Tucker for half a second and then run squealing (not crying, just excited) from the room. Of course, Tucker had to be asleep on the floor before he would do it. And then FINALLY...

Not only is Tucker allowed to roam freely, but Collin is even allowing him to give "kisses".

Of course, now that he knows there is nothing to be afraid of, he's taken to running over him with his new Diego bike and pinning him in the corner as a target for his big bouncy ball. I think Tucker liked it better when he was afraid of him. Sorry boy...but thanks for being a good sport!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easter Morning

Okay, maybe the Easter Bunny got a little carried away...
But this smile makes it TOTALLY worth it!

The boy likes Peeps! Who knew? His uncles will be so proud...

And of course, he loves all things cars...