Sweet Little Child

Benjamin has been a huge helper this week. I was in my first car accident as an adult, where I had to deal with all the mess, and he has let me rest and recover like a trooper. He asks me how I'm doing, and tells me he's sorry I was in a car crash. Yesterday he wrote a letter to our foster child asking him to come back and play with him. It breaks my heart. He told me today that "we have to pray to adopt". I don't know what I did to deserve such a selfless, loving, and intelligent little boy. He even bought me a Christmas present today, one that he picked out and is keeping secret.

He's still busy and silly. He loves to spin in circles and fall down with dizziness. He loves to sit on laps, and is rarely still enough to even watch a movie. Today he wanted to do "Toy" school, and brought puppets to my room and put on a puppet show.

Benjamin is convinced that we will adopt for Christmas, and is concerned that we haven't bought his brother and sister any presents. It is so hard to explain to a four-year-old that we do not control this.

I have found some blogs that embody what I want to become, and that has been great. I also have a seasonal job at Bath and Body Works. This will be my 5th Holiday working there, and I really do enjoy it. It is nice to have the extra income, with all of our winter birthdays. I also enjoy getting out of the house, and having a different set of demands placed on me now and then.

I have been really sore from the accident for the past few days, and Damon has taken over meals, cleaning, and all lifting. He's really a trooper, and I can always count on his help. I love that I don't even have to ask most of the time. I know it is stressful and hard for him to come home and have to do more work, but he rarely complains, and he's so sweet to help me out. We would all be lost without him.

Christmas is just a few weeks away, and I am trying to get as much done now as possible, so when my work schedule increases I won't be stressed. I still haven't figured out the Christmas card thing, but I am determined that this year I will send a Christmas card out, as I haven't quite gotten that done in the past. I was called to be the Ward Choir Director, and I have also had the task of putting together a Christmas program that will be performed in four weeks. It is a little nerve racking, but we had our first rehearsal on Sunday, and I think it will work out. I love the holidays, the music, the gifts and secrets, the food, and the decorations. I guess it's a good thing that I am a Christmas baby, and so is Benjamin. He is just starting to get into the gift giving, and to recognize the importance of Santa Clause. It will make this year fun. We also get to go to Opportunity Village next week, and that will be a great family activity. There is always so much to do this time of year, that it is hard to choose, but we love to be busy and exploring, so that is also a great thing for our family. I am working hard on enjoying the moments and not allowing myself to get overwhelmed. I am also trying hard to plan ahead. We'll see how it works.

Halloween is Benjamin's favorite holiday. He dressed up in several costumes, relished the trick-or-treating for weeks, and has so much candy I don't think it will ever be eaten. He loves to be scared, and jumps out of corners and doorways. He loved the decorations, and he cried when I took them down. Hopefully he'll find the same joy when we decorate for Christmas. I think he just likes to decorate. It took a long time for us to convince him that Halloween was over. He still dresses up as a Transformer, astronaut, and Star Wars character regularly. He's becoming an expert at pretending and story telling, and I love how creative he is becoming. There is always more that I want to do with him, or teach him, but he learns and grows even without my help, and that is such a blessing some days.

For his birthday we'll have a Transformers theme, and he wants to ask Santa for a Nintendo DS. He talked to Grandma on the phone about birthdays, Christmas, and "Toy School" for about 20 minutes today. I love his chatter, even when it is overwhelming at times. We are so blessed to have such a happy, healthy little miracle child. Adoption is hard, and we have worried a lot about how Benjamin would handle it. I think he is more prepared than I am. He loves other children, and he loves to share. He wants nothing more than to share his world with a sibling, and that makes me so happy and sad all in one. I would love to give him everything he desires, especially this, but we are all learning to wait and be patient. I don't know what I would do without my sweet little Benjamin.


Benjamin is a sweetheart. He has his tantrums, and sometimes he doesn't like sharing, but overall we have an amazing little boy.  Today we had an extra kid all day, because a friend's babysitter fell through. Benjamin played with him, and involved him, and our normal little girl that we usually babysit. The wonder is he could have selected the boy because they were boys, or played with the girl because he knows her better, but he was inclusive of both. Then we went to the park, and he included the little girl he found there in his game. I was so impressed by his kindness and sharing. He helped his friends get drinks, mediated play, and was generally a sweet loving boy. My favorite moments are when he comes up to me and tells me "mommy I love you, how are you doin?"  He is always looking out for me, and would do anything to make me happy.

We have a tradition of making Winnie the Pooh characters our own. I am eeyore, Dad is tigger, and Benjamin was Roo. He also wants to be Winnie the Pooh, but is reserving the heffalump for his new brother or sister. He told me yesterday that we need to buy baby toys for Christmas for his brother or sister. I wish that I could give him a sibling, he would really love a friend, and often asks us when we will adopt. He is prepared to share his room, and won't let me give toys like the Little People away so that our knew baby will have toys. He is so sweet with little children, and loves everyone he meets. He will share everything he has without a problem - unless it is something he is directly playing with at the moment. He is gentle and kind, and cries whenever he hurts a friend, even when it is an accident. I often wonder how we were blessed with such a great kid.

Today was the start of the Springs Preserve Haunted Harvest. Benjamin was thrilled. He dressed up as a Transformer. He loves the candy, the decorations, the shows and everything about Halloween. He resets our Halloween decorations everyday and has multiple costumes prepared. He loved playing the games, and even got prizes to share with us. His favorite part was Trick or Treating. He loves candy, and we ration it, so he doesn't get all hyper. He acted scared of the decorations, but couldn't get enough. He cried when it was time to go home. Everyday he asks me if we can set up more for Halloween. I think he would turn our home into a theme park if he could.  He has recently gotten into building cities with blocks and today he turned his blocks into a museum.

Ben adores being read to, and listens carefully. He wants to hear every word, and is sad that he cannot read yet. I can't wait for him to learn. Today we read Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash  I was impressed when I asked him questions about the story. He knows the difference between pretend and real, and laughed because a squash cannot grow as big as a house. He loves to pretend, and dresses up all day. It will be so sad when he goes to school, and I won't be able to experience the wonder and magic of his world all day. Every mother loves their child, but to me, his kindness, maturity, and knowledge never cease to amaze. He makes great connections, and loves to be involved in everything that we do. I credit my teacher husband for most of his creativity and ingenuity. I am such a lucky mom. I get to stay home with my kid, and he is a constant joy. Life still has its struggles, but we are truly blessed.

Car Trouble

So, every year about the time that school starts and we need a reliable car for work, our car develops a problem with gremlins. This year they took out the battery, alternator, and fuel something sensor. No fun. I got to sit for several hours several days in a row waiting for the car to finally be fixed. Hopefully tomorrow it won't be some weird electrical problem.

On a happier note, I am going to start babysitting a 4-year-old girl for the school year. Benjamin will be thrilled, and I'll make a little money on the side. We are going to start tomorrow, and I can't wait for the fun to ensue. I hope she is happy here, and that it is a smooth transition. I would love a baby of my own, or to be able to put Benjamin in a preschool, but this is also good. He'll learn to share and play with a peer, and I'll learn to juggle to kids and our home. I'll still teach music in the afternoons, and all that craziness. I like to be busy, and feel lost when it's just Benjamin and me at home all day. This will give me added incentive to organize activities, and get out of bed early. Hurray for goals and projects.

I love back-to-school shopping and have felt very left out since Damon doesn't really need anything this year. I picked up a few supplies just for fun, and found a great deal on some shirts and tank-tops, which will add to my fall wardrobe. I wish I could go crazy and buy notebooks and pens, but I already have a ton of those stored under my bed. Damon always asks me what I collect. My deep dark secret is I collect office supplies and stickers. I love paper, and pens. I love the look of a new notebook full of possibilities. I am entranced by markers, new crayons, and highlighters, and wish that I had the excuse of school to go crazy at Target. Damon says when the school supplies go 75% off I can have some fun, and he let me get a few things that were extra on sale. What an indulgent husband I have :) Benjamin will have all kinds of fun with me this year.


We finally made it to Montana. Damon is a fourth generation native of Deer Lodge, and his parents live in Lincoln. Unfortunately due to finances we have never made it up there. We had a blast. The weather was rainy and cool, which coming from hot Las Vegas summers was a blessing. We especially enjoyed seeing all the green trees, grasses and flowers. One of the woods we walked through looked like the forests you read about in fairy tales. Damon had us tramp all through the area on and off trails as we saw where he grew up. My favorites were rock collecting at old mines and in a nearby stream. We brought home some gorgeous rocks that I can't wait to polish and enjoy. Benjamin fell in love with grasshoppers and made them his little pets. He was really sad to leave them behind. We got to spend lots of time with Grandma and Grandpa Wahl, and now Benjamin knows and talks about both sets of grandparents. Grandpa Wahl insisted that Benjamin call Grandma Wahl "little old granny lady", which she just smiled at. Benjamin thought it was hysterical. I would love to live in such a beautiful place, but would struggle with the isolation. Maybe if we lived nearer to a major town like Helena or Missoula. 

We drove all night to get up there, and then decided to drive back during the day. The drive up was long, but Benjamin slept through it which helped a lot.  The drive back was brutal. We stopped at Temple Square and tried to visit Andrea, but she was busy. We then went to Grandma and Grandpa Poulson's house for a night. We picked raspberries, and Grandma made us raspberry jam, which we got to take home. (We also picked Huckleberries in Montana, and brought home Huckleberry jam.) We had a good nights sleep, and then drove another brutal 5 hours to home. Our backyard suffered from lack of water, and it is way too hot in Vegas, but it is nice to be home. Damon and I brought home a cold, and mine turned into pneumonia, which has been rough. I am finally starting to feel better. 

Now it is time for school to start and real life to resume. We had a fantastic summer of swimming, travel and fun. My little sister got married in Montana, and I spent a week alone with Benjamin while Damon went to Scout Camp. We had a blast. Benjamin is so big and smart. He talks to us like he is an adult, and asks regularly "so what are we going to do today?" We love him dearly and hope to add another to our family soon. Benjamin loves other children and makes friends wherever he goes. He misses his friends, and cries whenever we have to leave. He is gentle and kind and gets upset when others are not. I wish that I could give him everything and anything his heart desired, and usually do, but he still has much to learn. Damon is excited for a new year as a GATE teacher, and I am trying to find my role as a wife and mother. Life is never what we expect, but it is great beyond our imagination.
I am trying to add music to this, but seem to have problems. Maybe I should learn HTML. 

The heat in Vegas seems to cause a weird sort of seasonal depression. We can't leave the house, and it is so hot, it drains any energy you may have had to begin with. Because everyone stays in illness spreads like it does in the winter. Oh, well, we'll just have to adjust. Benjamin has been sick, his asthma has been triggered by a cold, and once again we are putting him on prednisone. I hate the prednisone because it makes him really hyper, but that's better than sick. 

Damon has been substitute teaching so we can go to Montana in August. We've been married six years, and I have never been to Montana. That is a problem I hope to rectify. It is weird to think that we have been married six years. Time has flown, and it hasn't been an easy six years. It's weird to look back and think about how everything seemed so difficult and drawn out, when now it has just flown by. Time is a funny master. 

I got Damon addicted to Facebook games. He loves Mafia Wars, and Vampire Wars. It keeps him busy. With the change to HD T.V. we lost most of our channels, which means we have spent more time on computers and watching movies. Benjamin thinks he needs to watch movies all day. When I turn the t.v. off he cries for his daddy. I am the strict one in the house, even though Damon has a temper, and is a teacher. He gets impatient and sometimes is easy to annoy, but inconsistent. It makes summers hard, because we loose all semblance of a schedule and the rules I enforce during the day seem to go out the window. However, Damon teaches Benjamin all day, and Benjamin is so much closer to reading because Daddy has been teaching him letters and their sounds. I guess a loss of schedule is an adequate trade for a Daddy who's home and involved. That's one of the great things about being married to a teacher. The other thing is naps. He's usually home in time to give me an afternoon nap if I need it, which is nice. We joined the YMCA to stay busy this summer, but with Benjamin sick, we haven't been able to go. He even missed his first swimming lesson. Hopefully by Saturday he'll be back to swimming and we'll be able to cool off and have fun swimming again.

I am trying to find my role without working. I still teach violin and piano, but have quit most of my other jobs because it was too hard to coordinate. It is nice to be home, but most days I find myself wandering around wondering what it is mom's do all day. Benjamin is getting better at playing on his own, but he doesn't require as much supervision and interaction as he did when he was little. Now he just talks to me, and has to show me everything he's working on all day, which can be irritating. He has a weird habit of repeating everything three or four times, sometimes more. I love the talk, and his creativity, I just don't enjoy the repetition. 

A friend of mine just had a stillborn baby. That combined with the birth of my new niece Addison has really thrown me for a loop. It's weird how we think we've moved on and then life happens and old feelings and patterns return with a vengeance. I don't know why this has affected me so strongly, but it took a long time to work through the same feelings and concerns. My health has been struggling too with the heat, and with the cold that we've had. Hopefully as we all feel better, I will be able to find my equilibrium. Damon wants me to take up oil painting, and I think I may try my hand at scrapbooking again We'll see how it works out. I cleaned out my room yesterday and realized I have an awesome sticker collection. I have to find some use for all the wonderful stickers and excess pictures that we have. I just get intimidated by the ability, and prolific albums that my in-laws have produced. 

Benjamin is in love with the outdoors, which only makes the extreme heat more disgusting. He loves rocks and collects them everywhere we go. He is fascinated by animals, numbers, and anything with letters. He wants to go to school with Daddy, but has to wait another year. I think we'll try to do Joyschool again this year, and involve him in some kind of Kindergarten prep. He is on a gluten free diet and doing well. Today he asked me if the chips he was eating were gluten free, and then when I said yes, he said that tasted more like gluten four. He is a sweetheart who thanks us when we feed him and give him his medications. He tells me stories from the pictures in books and the pictures on the wall in his room and at the doctor's office. His creativity and intelligence constantly amazes me. He loves the library and loves being read to. I'm sure I could read to him all day and he would be happy as can be. We are so lucky to have him for a son. He is the perfect match for his parents.

LIfe Moves Forward

Sometimes I want life to just stop. Like when I'm tired, and Benjamin wants to play, or during those amazing moments when everything is perfect. We are so busy, it is difficult to truly find the joy in the moment, and the light at the edge of the storm. So much of life is defined by how we spend our time, and yet I feel like a butterfly that flits from flower to flower, without ever really stopping anywhere. 

We had a great trip to Disneyland in February. We stayed a whole week, and got rained on but didn't care. We met Disney characters and have a great signature book, and then we rode all the rides. Benjamin even rode Space Mountain, but complained that it was too dark.

In March we planted a garden. We have tomatoes, lilacs, roses, peas, carrot, squash, corn, and mint growing. We'll see how they survive the summers in Vegas. 

In April we had Easter. Benjamin loves the idea of the Easter Bunny and became very adept at sneaking candy. He will also tell anyone who wants to hear, that Jesus died and came back to life. 

Now it's May, how time flies. I am teaching almost 12 students now. Benjamin just had his final recital and played the flower song. Damon is completing GATE certification. This Friday, I have my student's recital, and then get to plan for summer.

Tomorrow is our last Joy School meeting until the fall. I still haven't decided what activities we want to do during the summer. My little sister is getting married in June, but other than that we have few plans. Damon will work at one of his schools year round, and we'll probably swim, a lot. This weekend was the Father and Sons camp out. Damon and Benjamin went to Warm Springs and spent the night. Benjamin did surprisingly well, although they both came back burned and exhausted. 

I stopped substitute teaching and am currently replacing work time with mommy time. I am sometimes at a loss as to what to do. I have the cleaning and such down to an art, and have too much play time left over. LOL, well at least some days. I have decided to slow down my master's program, until Benjamin enters school in a year. There just isn't enough time left to watch my little one grow and develop. He changes so fast, and is such an independent little boy. This morning he told Daddy and Mommy to go lay down and close their eyes. Then he shut our door, and went downstairs to play Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii. He wants to pour his own drinks, make his own food, and even thinks he can drive. Benjamin is fascinated by letters and wants to know what every word starts with. We find B's everywhere we go, and have to write his name over and over. Soon he'll be reading, and writing without me. 

We all want our children to grow, and we have a great life. I still can't help but feel a sort of emptiness in it all. We expected to have many children by now, and for my time to be filled with their needs and education. My brother and his wife were married two months after us and have their third child. It is hard to watch other families grow without having the same blessing. I hate feeling like we don't have enough, and that something is missing, but it is the truth, and I find myself wandering around our home wondering what to do. I have a passion for music, and will someday become a specialist in special needs children, but today, I have one child, a small, somewhat tidy home, and a longing for something more.


Illness is a part of life with small children, but it can be very difficult. Benjamin has bronchitis, and it took two visits to doctors to get it diagnosed which I find very frustrating. We all haven't been sleeping well because he coughs all night, but we finally have medication and he is sleeping better now. I would do anything to make his illness go away, but so much of that is time and getting the right medications. We have been sick a lot this year because of Joy School and Damons' profession we are exposed to all kinds of illnesses. We'll have to work more on preventative immunity. 

Church was interesting today. We were taught about fulfilling our callings, which is difficult when your family has experienced illness. Damon's gallbladder removal was successful, and he is finally feeling better, which should make life calm down quite a bit He should finally start to feel better after four years of stomach problems due to a broken gall bladder. It will be nice to have our dietary restrictions simplified. Health is always an issue for families, but ours has been a long journey. I don't want to be a fanatic, but more and more it is becoming necessary for us to eat organic, healthy foods just to maintain our style of living. The more I learn, the more I am convinced that diet has a big role in our health.

On a happier note. I got to play with my favorite "niece". Nina sleeps so peacefully with me, and she squealed happily when I took her from her mom. We go to class together while her mom teaches the teenage girls. It is nice to have a friend and she is so well-behaved. She will go to nursery soon, and that will be hard for me. I have a hard time watching Benjamin grow up too. In my mind I know it is a necessary part of development and that he has to grow up and become more independent, but sometimes I wish I could keep them little, sweet and innocent. It would be nice to be able to hold onto that part of them forever. I suppose that's why mom's take pictures and video, so when they are old and gone, we can look back and remember.


We are starting a blog because we are trying to adopt, and it gives all the wonderful birth mom's out there a look into our lives. So, here's our story:

We have a wonderful 4 year old son who loves other children. He asks us regularly where his "friends" are and means siblings. Unfortunately due to a condition called Adenomyosis we are unable to have more children. In fact at the ripe young age of 25 Natalie had to have a hysterectomy. We tried adopting through the state and fostered a wonderful child whom we had to send back home. It was heartbreaking to not be able to keep him, but we understood that he belonged to his mother if she wanted him enough to work to keep him. Natalie and Damon jointly decided that fostering simply to return a child to a broken home was not something our hearts could take yet, and we decided to adopt. We applied for special needs adoption, but were rejected due to misunderstanding between the social workers and my doctors. We tried to appeal their decision, but were told we had no recourse. So now we are working with LDS Family Services. 

Yesterday we talked to Birth Mom's who have given their children up for adoption. It was heartbreaking. On the one hand we feel a need to extend our family and add more children. We believe that we can provide a loving and happy home for children and we desperately want more. On the other hand we cannot escape the reality that we are taking another women's child away and that carries with it consequences for both the child and the birth mom. Open adoption was a major focus of this group, and while we believe that some level of openness is great, how do we become the parents with the "real" mom still around and loving her child. How do we create a family identity and a position of authority as parents if we aren't the only parents in the picture, and how do we explain to our precious son the facts and complexities of a situation like that. On the other hand openness carries with it risks. Our experiences in foster care have shown us that not all mothers are healthy and safe for children to be around and we must protect our families, so we will progress slowly and carefully.

Despite the complexities and challenges, I have dreamed of two blue eyed blonde haired girls that I love and cannot imagine living without, and there are also dreams of a boy and a girl searching for their home.  We have always wanted a big family and believe that our children are just supposed to come another way. How to equate that with reality is beyond me, but everything works out in the end of that I am sure.

So, whether you are a birth mom or another adoptive mom, or a friend, this site will chronicle our journey and our lives, and as we add one child at a time to our home you will be ale to know us and support us. Thus, through the magic of technology I am creating a whole new level of openness and availability.