Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Has It Really Been 3 years??

On Sunday we marked our 3 year anniversary of going to court to adopt Connor. We also refer to it as Gotcha Day.  I kind of have a hard time celebrating on May 27 because we had to return back to the USA after court and wait out our "10 days" (reality... 10 actual days plus a few...) until we had him in our possession.  The thing that complicates it is that we were lucky enough to pick up Connor on his actual birthday. Since Travis had a clear cut birthday and Gotcha Day (plus with Travis we actually got him on the same day after we had court) we felt bad having Connor's birthday and Gotcha Day being the same day. So, we try to celebrate our court day as Gotcha Day since that is the day the judge granted our permission to adopt him. I don't know why, but we felt that Connor might feel "jipped" out of an extra celebration day at some point. Geesh, the things we worry about!  Anyway, this year we had a good time just having some family time together.  We went to a place called Amazing Jake's.  It was a lot of fun.  They have food, arcade games, mini golf, bowling, laser tag, go carts, bumper cars, etc. You name it, it is probably there!  Even though it was all on a small scale, it was perfect for our boys. Connor got his first chance to do miniature golf... he loved it. I see us playing more in the future! Having him be just about 4 has opened many doors for us to do family things since he is old enough to do so much more. Plus he has the patience to wait in lines. And he doesn't run away from us anymore!
He even had pretty good form.  Connor and I were the only ones to get a hole in one too.  You can say we bonded over that!

Even though we had to wait in line for about 30 minutes to ride the go carts  the boys didn't mind. Since neither one of them are big enough to drive they had to be the passengers. Daryle and I got to be the drivers. Daryle and Travis scoped out the cars while we waited in line. They decided the yellow car was much faster than the others.  And it was. They passed us several times!  Connor and I didn't mind one bit.  We still went fast enough for our hair to blow in the wind, so all was good!

Travis and Daryle are so happy they got the yellow car!
Connor and I got the pretty blue car. We were just happy to be racing around!
Wow, I am not sure about the lighting here... but Daryle sure looks gray...!  It's ok, this is still a great picture of my boys!
Believe it or not, but it is hard to get both kids to look at the camera and smile at the same time, all the while trying to keep them from making bunny ears or throwing up some type of  hand signal of some sort.  Daryle was lucky, he got this one on one shot!
Connor LOVES his ice cream. Here he is showing it off.
Connor is such a sweet boy. He has his rambunctious moments, but don't most boys?? The other 95% of the time he is pure angel. He is curious, articulate, imaginative, funny, caring, insightful, and in general he is a lot of fun to be around.  I remember thinking we turned a corner when Travis turned 4. I can already see those positive changes happening in Connor.  I am so very glad we listened to the angels when they told us there was another child out there for our family.  He was indeed intended to be in our family all along. We can't imagine our lives without him, that's for sure!
Happy Gotcha Day Connor!  We love you so very, very much!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Introducing Petey

Well, it is official.  We now have another member of the family. Petey Hawes has joined the family!
 It's kind of funny how these things happen. Just like with my boys, this adoption of Petey was also meant to be.  Originally Daryle and I said we would not get another dog until July, after we returned from our vacation to California.  We didn't want to have a new dog and then ask somebody to watch the dog while we were gone.  Well, that all changed last Saturday. Daryle was on duty out at the little league game.  He was talking to one of our friends when a friend of that lady came over and started talking about a rescue dog she had been fostering that was ready to join a family.  She was really trying to get her friend to take the dog, but she said she already had two dogs and didn't really want another one.  Daryle's ears perked up a bit. He explained to the lady that we wanted to wait until we got back from our trip.  Her response was, "That is fine, I can watch him for you when you go on your trip! No problem!!"  Daryle came home and told me about him and what she said about watching him.  It turns out she lives quite close to us, walking distance in fact.  She brought him over on Sunday so we could check him out in our surroundings and see how it went. Well, I knew from the moment he set foot in our house that he was meant to be in our family!
 Immediately he felt right at home too. He is a 5 month old American Bulldog.  He is so calm, sweet and gentle.  He is great with the boys. The boys are great with him.  After his Sunday visit we told her YES we love him. Can we get him on Thursday? I knew that was the last day of school so then after that we would be home with him.  He is working on being house broken. Hopefully by the end of our summer break he will be.  For a puppy he is amazingly calm. He has his "busy" times of the day but so far my boys have been right there to help entertain him. 
 Here is Petey giving Connor some puppy love.
 I thought this was funny. Daryle was trying to get a picture of Petey on his phone. Connor wanted to lay by him and of course Travis had to be in the middle of it all!
 Now, it is like Petey has always been here with us.  Travis has somebody else to "boss" around. I think it is giving Connor a break!  haha  In the past, we never, ever let Rock get on the furniture. Well, Petey has his own agenda I guess.  Here he is with Travis, just hanging out on the couch.
I guess it's ok. The couch is old.  I draw the line on any other furniture though.  Who can say no to a boy and his dog???  Just look at the love!

Funny Connor comments:
Connor: Dad, Petey has to stay inside so he doesn't get dirty. He can't get any more brown spots.
(I guess he thinks the brown spots are dirt!!!)
Connor: Dad!  Petey pooped in our backyard!
Dad: Well then, go clean up the poop.
Connor: I can't dad. I am not an adult.
This is going to be a great summer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bye-Bye Baseball, Hello Swimming Season!

On Saturday we had our end-of-the-season little league party with the team.  It always seems like the season comes and goes so quickly. It is so fun to watch how the boys improve in such a short amount of time.  We had an awesome team this year. Lots of parental support, no "crazy" people (well, if you don't count us, haha!), and the boys all WANTED to be there. Nobody was forced to play ball. The season was so much fun.  We had the team party at the clubhouse where one of our teammates lives.  It was a great set up.  Of course my boys ran straight for the pool the minute we got there!

 Finally I got Connor to sit down and eat. Of course he chose the cupcake! He has such a sweet tooth, it is crazy.  He didn't want a hot dog or a hamburger, he wasn't hungry for that.  Oh, but offer him a cupcake and he is good to go!
 After that he inhaled about half of a watermelon. Seriously.  He kept eating and eating. I had to cut.him.off!
 Here is Coach Daryle aka Dad giving Travis his trophy. He made the comment about him being like a pig pen out there. No matter what Travis believes he MUST come home with a filthy uniform.  Playing catcher helped him out with this. He no longer needs to slide into home on a walk just to get dirty!
 Proud Coach!
Only a few days left of school.  I can't wait!  Next week we can just sit back and relax.  I am looking forward to a break around here.  A break and unstructured time is just what the doctor ordered. 

If you know me on Facebook then you know our other "news".  Be on the lookout for some excitement in the Hawes household next week!  (hint: woof, woof!)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Love Your Mother

Mother's Day can mean many things to many people.  Some people long to become a mother and Mother's Day is just another reminder of what they aren't.  Others have experienced the extreme pain of losing a child. Some people are mom's but their own mothers have passed away. Some mothers have chosen adoption for their children and they have their own struggles on this day. I am sure there are other situations I have left out.  But to be honest, Mother's Day can be hard for some people.  For me, it is a mixed bag of emotions.  For about 10 years Mother's Day would come and go and I had nobody to call me "Mom". The first few years were ok because, well, it was only a few years. I was still finishing my schooling so it wasn't a big deal, we weren't really "trying" in those early days so the emotions weren't really there.  However, once I started teaching and we started trying to start a family each Mother's Day would become a little more difficult for me.  Perhaps the hardest one for me was in 2004.  We were waiting on pins and needles to "get the call" to go get Travis.  I couldn't even bring myself to go to church that day. The thought of sitting there while all of the other mother's stood up for their blessing was more than I could handle.  Even though I have had the most wonderful Mother's Days ever since Travis has been home (and now Connor too) I still remember how hard those times were when I didn't actually have my children physically with me.  I always remember how I felt back then and I always say a prayer for all of the moms in the world who are now in the shoes I used to be in for so many years.  The great part about all of this is that over time I have come to appreciate and understand more from my own life experiences.  For example, fast forward to Mother's Day 2008. That was the day Daryle and I decided to move forward towards adopting our second child. Little did we know at that time that he was just one month away from being born.  I don't think any of this is just coincidence.  I can see God's hand at work in all of it.  It is amazing, miraculous, and humbling all at once.  It is wonderful to be able to experience such grace in my life.  Now not only do I cherish every moment of being a mom, I have two birth mothers to remember as well. To wish for them health, love, and happiness.  I hope and pray that they have found peace in their decisions.  I pray that they know their sons are both so deeply loved by their forever families.  I pray that those women know in their hearts that I will do my best to let my sons know that they made the ultimate sacrifice for them.  I hope one day that my boys understand all of this. And that they too find peace. 

On Wednesday when I picked up Connor from school he gave me this present.
 I just love hand prints on things! Precious!  The rose was just the icing on the cake!  Here is the rest of the stuff I got on Sunday morning. I just love the school crafts. The flowers from my boys were an added bonus!
 Connor decided to work on making me a fried orange in his kitchen. I love watching his imagination at work.  Let me tell you, he has a BIG imagination!  You should have seen him cooking away.  As you can see from that plate he was cooking me up quite a dinner!
 Here are all the choices I had.
 I am not sure exactly what role the wrestlers were playing in all of this!  lol
 Here are a few pictures from Travis' last baseball game this week. He has decided he also likes to be catcher. I know it is hard to tell, but yes, that is him under all of that equipment!

I love being a mom. Even on the rough days.  Some days I just don't know what to do, how to react and I wonder if I am messing it all up. I sometimes ask God, "Why is this so hard? Why did you send me these particular children to raise?"  I never have to wait long for an answer. He always reminds me immediately.  He chose us for a reason.  Parenthood is not easy.  We can, and we will, get through it.  Why choose the easy road?  How do you learn from that?  We may not know the exact reasons now, but one day we will.  I have peace in that. For now I know without a doubt that I love my sons with my whole heart and soul. They are a part of me, they always have been and they always will be.  Nothing is more precious to me than being a mom to my kids.  I just hope and pray I am doing it right!

Time Flies

Just when I think time can't seem to go by any faster it does.  I guess filling the days with work, school, homework, baseball practice, little league games, family time, holidays, dbacks games and volunteer work our days just seem to fly by. After a very busy spring I am looking forward to summer vacation! This morning Connor said to me, "Mom, what is vacation?" So I started telling him all about it.  I told him at first we would be having some doctor appointments for both of the boys.  Then I reminded him about swim lessons, soccer camp ("Mom, what is soccer camp?), Friday Movies, Vacation Bible School, his birthday, trip to California, playing with friends, no real schedule, yadda, yadda, yadda.  His eyes got real wide and he just started hugging me.  He is such a homebody. Although he likes going to his school and he enjoys his "grandpa days", when it comes down to it he really loves being at home. After being gone all day it is hard for me to get him to leave the house again! 

This morning I was going to sit down and upload pictures, then the battery on my camera went out so now that is charging. (Really?)  The other camera is at grandpa's again so I can't get those.  I know there is a month full of activities to wade through, so watch out for a massive update coming soon because we have been busy!  

Only 3 1/2 more days of school left... but who is counting????!!!  I really love teaching, but I also love my breaks with just my boys.  Taking time to decompress and rejuvinate the spirit is always a good thing!  Bring on the summer!