Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New post & photos


New post & photos from Fall Fest at www.youbelong.net/goff.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The "I" word...and I don't mean Iowa!

The Declaration of Independence guarantees our right to life, to liberty, and to bear children. Ok…so maybe bearing children isn’t a right we have as Americans, but we can tend to think it is a right we have as humans. When 60 year old celebrities are fathering babies and 15 year old mall rats are mothering them, it is difficult to understand why something so seemingly simple for some can be so complicated for others.

In our trip down infertility lane, we were told by one of the nation’s best Centers for Reproductive Health that we fall into the 15% of couples who have “unexplained infertility.” At first, I didn’t want to hear that because I just wanted to know the problem and how to fix it…to be in control. But the words “unexplained infertility” were exactly the words I needed to hear.

I will write about my process of working through the emotions of infertility in steps, NOT because it is that easy and clear cut, but because it makes for easier reading.

Step 1 for me was getting down to the basics of life. What did “unexplained infertility” really mean? I searched my Bible for verses about life and was quickly reminded that infertility is not really “unexplained.” I am not in control of creating life and neither are the doctors…that miracle is reserved for God alone.
- In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? Job 12:10
- But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb. 1Sam 1:5
- Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. Gen 30:22

Step 2 for me was about fairness. If God alone creates life, then why was He withholding that blessing from us? I remember asking God “You say in Your Word to be fruitful and multiply…how can I do that if You aren’t letting me?” This was especially difficult when I would see people who I thought (in my oh-so-wise-and-unjudgmental opinion--haha) seemed to be unfit parents. “Why them and not us?” There were moments of questioning if God was punishing me or being mean…but that is not how God operates.

Step 3 for me was focusing on God’s character.

First, He is wise and He is working out a plan that is much bigger than me and my life.
- For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

Second, He is love; He is good; He is compassionate; He is caring.
- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:11

His plans are perfect and are always for His glory and for our good. This reminder allowed me to be able to see people who I mentioned in Step 2 and pray “God, I know you have allowed that child to be born to that family, and I pray that you will use that baby to draw the parents to You.”

Step 4 for me was knowing God in a more intimate way. Infertility is difficult. The emotions are difficult. The treatments are difficult. The decisions you make are difficult. But it is during difficult times that we tend to cry out to God, and He is always faithful to respond. It is almost as if He says to us, “Will you walk down this path with Me? It will be difficult, but I promise to be with you.” The Bible says that God is our Rock, but how can we know Him as our Rock if our knees are never wobbly and needing a place to rest? It says that He is our Peace, but how can we know Him as our Peace if we are never in the midst of turmoil? It says He is our Strength, but how can we know Him as our Strength if we are never weak?

God gives people various gifts with which to glorify Him. He is also glorified when we believe in Him, trust in Him, praise Him, love Him, etc. I believe that our infertility was indeed a gift because, through it, He was glorified and we were changed. And we have been blessed in ways that are almost inexplainable.

- Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:20, 21

I read an article about a young girl with a rough past whose prayer is that God will not allow her to be too comfortable because it is when she is not in her comfort zone that she clings to Him most. If we desire a life of ease, we will miss out on the amazing joy of watching God’s power work in and through our lives. We will miss out on the intimacy that comes from depending on Him for every need. And we will miss out on God's best for us.

By His grace I know that I am barren for His glory.

Monday, October 29, 2007

UPdate & "Diaper Genie, don't bring no weak stuff!"


Well...when I posted that Matthew wouldn't raise his arms, out of the blue he started raising his arms! When I posted that Matthew slept though the night, the next night he was awake from 11:45-1:15, 3:00-3:30, and up again at 5 something and 6:30. So since he seems to do the opposite of what I post, I think I am going to write about him not having a full-time job yet.

On another note, Matthew's room smells! It smells like a locker room, and I'm not talking about Brian Boitano's locker room at the Ice Capades...I'm talking a high school summer 3-a-day football practice locker room. And I even have a fan, air freshener, and Diaper Genie Super Deluxe in there! (Do they have a Super Super Deluxe powerhouse model for boys?) It doesn't help that, due to his dry skin, we have to use Eucerin Calming Creme on him which smells like it belongs in a nursing home rather than a nursery...and he is a sweaty little guy which kind of exaggerates the Eucerin smell. Maybe I need to buy boxes of baking soda in bulk on ebay or something. So...any air freshening tips are greatly appreciated!

Lastly, this boy is such a blessing. He really is a gift from God to our family. Sometimes after he has gone to bed for the night we will be talking about him and Scott will ask, "Should we go wake him up?" He is so much fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New photos & post


Yet another new post and precious photos at www.youbelong.net/goff

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New post & photos

More fun! New post & photos from our trip to the pumpkin patch at www.youbelong.net/goff

Friday, October 26, 2007

New post & photos


New post & photos of our trip to Chuck E Cheese at www.youbelong.net/goff


oh, and here is a random photo...it is blurry but funny!

Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care

One of my most favorite things about babies is that, when you lift their arms beside their head, the arms are only slightly longer than the head. It's the funniest looking thing! My mom said the babies' arms are short because when they learn to walk and have to hold on to an adult's hand, they stretch out to normal length. Anyway...Matthew will not raise his hands above his head. Not sure why...maybe he isn't confident in his deodorant. It doesn't matter what you are trying to get him to raise his arms for, he clenches his shoulders and fights you every step of the way. I couldn't even get a photo of him doing this without him starting to cry. So I am trying to implement some "wave your hands in the air like you just don't care" time in his daily schedule where I catch him off guard and get him moving his arms...like yesterday when his daddy was pulling in the driveway, I lifted his arm and made pumping motions with his fist in the air saying "woo, woo, woo!" It worked, and that shoulder loosened right up! A mama's gotta do what a mama's gotta do!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spin the Spoon!

We have a new game we play after dinner while we are still at the table! We take Matthew's spoon and spin it. He loves watching it spin! Then, whoever it lands on gets to kiss Matthew. If it lands on Matthew, then we both get a kiss. (Is this a dead giveaway that we are first-time parents?) It's a WIN-WIN game (unlike the World Series), so it's fun for the whole family! Actually, now that I think about it, Scott wins a lot more often that I do...hmmmm...I'll have to ask him why he is so good at spinning the spoon...

Update stuff...

So...even though Matthew cries whenever I put him down...apparently not so with Scott. Scott gave him his bedtime bottle the other night so I could run to the store. He said that he put Matthew down on the floor so that he could make the bottle and, although Matthew seemed a little confused, he didn't cry! Also, usually if Scott needs to finish up some work in the office while I am making dinner, Matthew cries and pulls at my legs...but last night Scott brought our new laptop out into the family room, he set Matthew on the floor with his toys so he could finish a few things, and Matthew played and didn't cry...even though he could still see me.

Funny how he acts different around Scott. Matthew has a habit of pushing his chair away from the kitchen table. I just always act like I can't reach him with his food so, when he gets hungry enough, I pull him back over and he stays put for quite awhile...until mischievousness outweighs hunger. Well, last night he pushed away from the table, and Scott gave the stern "no, no" in his best daddy voice. The look on Matthew's face was priceless! He knew he was in trouble, and he spent the entire rest of dinnertime patting and rubbing Scott's arm as if to make sure everything was OK!

Today Matthew is down for the count from yesterday's shots.

Our church is having their HUGE annual Fall Fest next Wednesday complete with soft toys (for Matthew) and candy (for mama), so I bought him a fun costume. I can't wait to see him in it! A hint: It is an animal found both in a barnyard and in the Bible!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Post & Photos

New post & photos for Matthew's 9 Month Birthday at www.youbelong.net/goff.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

GAP Kids Photo Contest



GAP is having a "cute kid" contest...just enter a photo of your child and you may win some GAPpy stuff. Plus your baby's mug will be seen all over the country in GAP stores. The deadline is tomorrow, so I was thinking of entering one of these photos of Matthew. Let me know which one you think is a winner....

Do I dare say it?




OK...here goes...for the past FOUR nights Matthew has slept really well! Not straight through the night but very close! And the really great thing is that, when he does wake up, he is calm, cool, and collected instead of standing at the side of his crib shouting a crazy little 1/2 grunt, 1/2 scream thing at me. Also he had gotten in the habit of doing that 1/2 grunt, 1/2 sream thing at me as soon as he would finish his bottle until I stuck a jojo (we call a pacifier a jojo) in his mouth. And let me say that it was a little nerve-wracking. His Taiwan jojos are clear plastic and can be hard to find (especially in the dark), so I would get all nervous if I saw he was finishing up the bottle and I didn't have the jo in hand to plug him up! But, for the past four nights, he has waited patiently for his pacifier! I honestly don't knwow how it happened, but let me just say, "HOORAY!!"


A funny little thing is that you may remember me mentioning that now Matthew throws a fit if he isn't being held or you aren't on the floor playing with him. So I sought some advice from another blog mama (http://www.untilwemeetintaiwan.blogspot.com/) with a little boy because I wanted to make sure it was just normal baby behavior and not any attachment issues (if you adopt your agency will drill these things into your head). She confirmed my thoughts: spoiled baby syndrome! So, for example, yesterday I was trying to finish a project and he was crying and pulling on my legs. So I sat down on the floor with him--hugging him and kissing him--but it was obvious that he didn't want my lovin'...he wanted my mobility! He was mad that I had sat down! After about 5 minutes of a very funny scene where he seemed to be trying to will me to stand and hold him, he decided he had enough of it and started crawling off toward his toys. He would crawl a little way, stop, turn around and look at me, yell and flail his arms....then crawl away some more. Finally, he was playing with his toys again.


Just to test it out, I tried this again this morning when I was drying my hair...I had put out a blanket and cool items for play, but he was at my feet within minutes crying. So I sat down where I was and put him in my lap, but he wanted me to stand up. When he realized it wasn't going to happen, he crawled off to the toys again.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Everything's good!

I've received some comments of concern that, since my posts detail some of the struggles of being a mama, that I (we) might not be doing ok. Rest assured...all is well a la casa de Goff. Any whining, complaining, or negative-sounding comments can be attributed to the following:

1. I am bent towards drama. I was born exaggerating and continue to excel in this area.

2. Infertility, adoption, and motherhood all present unique challenges. At each one of these stages in my life, I found great comfort in hearing from others who shared their own experiences, both positive and negative. In just a month of having my blog up, 761 unique visitors have visited the site...with 1287 page loads. Now I know my mom hasn't been sitting there hitting the refresh button 1000 times since the stat counter tracks unique visitors, so I assume there are a lot of women who, like myself, visit blogs to gather information, to hear how other families are doing, and to be encouraged. And, if they are like me, they want to hear reality...that infertility treatments can be humiliating, that international adoption costs can be high, and that first-time motherhood can be a shock to the system!

Hopefully from our photos it is obvious that Matthew is well-loved and well-cared for...and that our family is happy and blessed!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Stuff...


Babies even make socks look cute!

Today was the little man's first time in the Children's Ministry at church. I think it was harder on Daddy than on Matthew. It was funny to watch Scott keep peeking in the room after we left. I think this was the very first time since August 14 that at least one of us hasn't been with him. We kept waiting for the banner to flash across the bottom of the screen that says, "Will the parents of Matthew Goff please...." but it never came! The wonderful volunteers said Matthew did a great job until the very end when a little girl started screaming...then he started crying. As he held Matthew very tightly I heard Scott say to one of our friends, "Girls should just keep their emotions to themselves." TOO FUNNY!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

post

I began writing a post the other day and, when I finished it today and hit "publish post," it posted it...but not in the right order. So, if you know anything about cameras and shutter speed, please read it. It is listed after the Product Reviews post.

A man of many hats






Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Pictures and Post

New pictures and post -- Our Fall Pumpkin -- at www.youbelong.net/goff

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Product Reviews!

Here is my very non-professional opinion on 2 products we purchased for Matthew (I'm not a mother, I just play one on TV).

1. STOKKE TRIPP TRAPP HIGH CHAIR: http://www.stokkeusa.com/tripptrapp.htm
Pros: This fun, contemporary chair looks great in our kitchen! It blends in nicely with the other furniture. Matthew can sit right up at the table with us as opposed to having a big tray in front of him. It will grow as he grows; we've already had to adjust it for him!

Cons: Your table becomes baby's tray...his sticky, nasty tray. This may also be a problem when he begins to self-feed as once he pulls his hands to the side, food will fall to the floor. My husband hates the harness system as they seem to slip off Matthew's shoulders (I should just tighten them, huh?).

We bought the walnut chair with the "tales" cushions. Cushions are washable, but the baby is fine in the chair without even using them. Also, we purchased one of the baby rails. If your baby is a pretty decent sitter, this is a waste of money and makes getting the child buckled in more difficult.

2. BREATHABLE CRIB BUMPER http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266849
Pros: Obviously, these breathable bumpers pose less threat of suffocation for baby, and are also difficult for baby to use as a "step" to climb out of the crib. Very affordable.

Cons: The bumper does not stay up very well (it is fastened with velcro). If your baby is a wild sleeper and uses every sq inch of his bed like Matthew, the bumper does not give any cushion for face plants into the side of the crib. Additionally, it is easy for babies to tear it down if they are strong enough and grab it in the right way.

I think the idea is great and would say, if you know a seamstress, just have one made for you...but put some type of elastic in the edging or sew on little ties to get a tighter fit.

The Need for (Shutter) Speed




My super husband bought me a new camera...very nice one with a Leica lens. Problem is...either I am not working it correctly or the shutter speed is sloooooooooow. I'm dying here trying to get good photos, but I mostly end up with "head shots"...and not the kind you send to modeling agencies, I mean TOP OF THE HEAD shots!

So if anyone has a Panasonic DMC-TZ3 (or is a camera know-it-all) and has better luck with quick shutter speed, please let me know!

Our Gymboree Experience


So we went for a free class at Gymboree today. It was my first time ever setting foot in one of their facilities. Matthew's too...haha! Matthew was the only dude in the class and the 2nd biggest--the ages were 8 months, 9 months, and 14 months. Not really having seen him around other babies much, I am happy to say he is WAY AWESOME in his development! Not including the 14 month old, he was probably the highest in terms of his physical abilities...not bad for a kid who could barely sit up by himself two months ago!


So, anyway, the whole Gymboree thing has three strikes against it:

1. The class is at noon, so it kind of messes up his morning nap/lunch routine.


2. The mothers are supposed to sing...a lot...in really high voices...about 100 octaves higher than what I can sing. No kidding. The teacher sounded like she should be singing on Broadway not at Gymboree....but maybe she is just "in between shows."


3. All the other babies in the class sleep through the night so I'm not sure their mothers can be trusted.


So...I guess if we decide to return I will have to enroll in some singing lessons.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Advice for pre-adoptive mamas

There was a book out awhile back called the "Secrets of the Sisterhood's Traveling Ya-Ya Jeans" or something like that...I didn't read it, but I bet Oprah did. Anyway, whatever the title is it brings to mind thoughts of sharing and support among women. For anyone considering adoption...or already in the throes...this sharing and support is essential. With a capital E!

I encourage anyone who is adopting internationally to get involved in a yahoo internet adoption group. There are tons of them, but I would suggest you join a country-specific group and an agency-specific group. If your agency doesn't have a group, then start one yourself. I cannot stress enough the importance of the advice, wisdom, encouragement, and support you will receive from such a group, especially a smaller agency-specific group. You share joy during the referrals, frustration during the wait, and all the details that your agency doesn't think to tell you. If possible, I suggest remaining a part of the group after you travel so that you can help others as a BTDT (been there, done that)...not to mention that you will have just as many questions when you return home with your little one!

My agency-specific group has been invaluable...especially to my sanity. In fact, I'm thinking of getting a shirt that says "Everything I know I learned in my yahoo adoption group."

Matthew's First Picnic

Pictures from our picnic, as well as some more photos from yesterday's fun at the park are at www.youbelong.net/goff

Monday, October 15, 2007

International Adoption - China vs. Taiwan

For those interested in international adoption, here are the two programs we have experience with:

CHINA
- agency: Chinese Children Adoption International
- began our process in March 2006
- estimated time from application to travel: ??? posssibly 3-4 years
- cost: roughly $20,000+
- dossier: fairly extensive process, very detailed and strict - we started the application process in March and weren't "logged in" to China until August 2006
- care of children: most children are in orphanages although a few are cared for in foster homes
- in-country travel time: approximately 14 days with a group and guide

TAIWAN
- agency: Journeys of the Heart, Program 3
- began our process in November 2006
- time from application to travel: 9 months
- cost: roughly $30,000+
- dossier: much more simple than China's (although having already completed one for China made a big difference)
- care of children: foster homes with one or two babies being cared for at a time
- in-country travel time: 4 days by yourself (with a guide)

We entered the Taiwan system just as it became apparent that the China process was headed for the big slooooow down. I think as people have started seeking options other than China, Taiwan has been flooded with interest. This, of course, has led to stricter requirements and increased fees. In fact, within a week of receiving Matthew's referral, two big changes were made...one that increased our cost by $3000 and one that almost made us ineligible to adopt through Program 3. If we didn't already have our dossier in China, I would lean towards Taiwan (at least the JOH Program 3) for another adoption simply because of the foster care and the shorter travel time. As for Taiwan's higher cost, God always provides.

Fun at the park






Got out to the park today to enjoy the sunshine! There were a few kids there, and Matthew was soooo interested in them. I need to set up some playdates for him soon!
OH YEAH! I had the craziest adoption dream last night! There was this family who had just adopted an older girl from China, and the family was having trouble blending and bonding. So I thought it would be nice to play some of Matthew's Chinese music cds for them, but every time I hit "play" on our stereo, the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler started playing! That's nuts!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Post

New post and pictures at our adoption journal: www.youbelong.net/goff

New videos

New videos posted at youtube. Search for "Matthew Foster Pao." The numbers are 5, 7, 8, & 9. It may be later today or tomorrow before they actually show up as live.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My son has turned into a CLING-ON!


Not the Star Trek kind...I'm not a fan of that show...although one time my cousin and I went to see one of the Star Trek movies at the theatre, and we fell asleep...some nice people had to wake us up as they were leaving when the movie was over. ANYWAY...For the past two days Matthew has been super clingy. He starts crying if he can't see me...even if we are in the same room...and he refuses to play with his toys on the floor. He wants to be held...and not just held but held while you are walking around with him. This makes getting dressed a little difficult. And the bad thing was that we had some guests over on Friday night so I had some cleaning & stuff to do during the day...so I ended up baking a cake, vacuuming the house, scrubbing toilets, and sweeping the back patio with him in my arms.


I know, I know...this is no different than what millions of mothers deal with every day...and most of them have more than one little dictator to tend to. But why didn't even ONE of those millions of mothers ever tell me how difficult it is to scrub toilets with a heavy baby in your arms? I could have been on a weight training program to prepare! My wrists are about to pop off my arms, and I think I have shrunk 2 inches as my spine is starting to lean to the left.


But even so, this baby is PRECIOUS! We made today a very low-key, stay-at-home day and, although the day was tough, he had a very happy evening! Life is good. God is good!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The "Evil Eye"



Matthew practices giving Mama the "evil eye." Ooops...sorry they are sideways...no time to fix it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Matthew's Fort




I just purchased this new lamp on line from West Elm. I'm not keeping it out in the middle of the floor, of course. Oh..and I don't know how to turn photos vertical in Blogger yet, so just tilt your head to the side to check it out. The bonus was that the lamp shade is so big that it was sent in its own box...a box that is just the perfect size for a FORT! So here are photos of Matthew's very first fort!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Mall!



We took our first trip to the mall today since coming home from Taiwan...just in time to see the new fall fashions!!! It actually turned out to be uneven shopping: Matthew's stores - 4, Mama's stores -2. Although I dreaded it, we ventured into the Disney Store. It's not that I have anything against Disney, it's just that, when I stand in the doorway and look inside the store, all I see is over-priced stuff that will sit on a shelf and need to be dusted. We went in long enough to snap a photo in front of a big pile of stuffed animals and watch a music video of a preteen singing about having a good attitude.
Then I took him to one of those little center court areas that has the little cars that move back and forth. (I'm not sure why this font is bigger than the rest). Anyway, I picked out the cool sports car, set Matthew in it, and he seemed to think it was pretty cool. So I decided to put in some money and let him try it out in motion. Well...the motion part was OK, but this car also made noise...LOTS and LOTS of noise. LOUD, LOUD noise. Cars screeching and hitting each other kind of noise. I freaked and knocked over the stroller. Matthew seemed a little stunned but eventually started crying. People were like coming out of stores to look because this thing was SOOO LOUD. It was like a bad dream where everyone has those crazy carnival mirror faces and they are pointing and laughing at you. We didn't even get our 75 cents worth before we slinked out of there.

Oooooh...the new stuff at the GAP is wonderful! The hue of red that they are using in scarves, bathrobes, sweaters, etc is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The down side of being a stay-at-home mom

At 10:30am, I bought a box of Fiddle Faddle at the store.
At 12:30pm, I finished it off.

Of course we all know that the box is much bigger than the bag inside which actually contains the goods. The bad thing was that I ate it with wood stain on my hands, so it had a slightly bitter taste. Note to self: Next time eat the whole box BEFORE staining a table. Another note to self: Better take Matthew on a long walk this afternoon!

Pacifiers: The Cure for Road Rage





Matthew has started sucking his thumb just in the past couple days. On one hand it could be good in since he only likes the pacifiers from Taiwan, and we only have 3 of them! YIKES! But I think I would prefer him to use a pacifier...seems like it would be easier to cut him off when he gets older. So when he starts sucking his thumb, I sneakily trade it out for his pacifier. Not sure if this is the right thing to do....will accept any advice. I was thinking though that road rage probably wouldn't be near as bad if all the drivers had pacifiers.


We dug into the cold-weather-clothes drawer! Most are 12 mos or 12-18 mos. Funny how when I put the clothes in the drawer back in August, they seemed so big...but they fit him pretty well with a little room to grow! It is crazy though that a shirt with long sleeves ends up taking so much longer to put on than one with short sleeves! Everywhere we go people comment on how cute Matthew is...and also on how big he is. I heard a lady the other day say, "Look at the little chunky!" I just cover his ears so he won't get a complex!
Here are some photos from this morning!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Untitled post



This morning I needed to look something up on the computer. Matthew has plenty of toys in the office, but he refused to play with them. No matter how many times I tried to redirect him, he just kept going for all the electronic stuff, especially the computer speakers. I was going to take some pictures of this (thinking I could use it to convince my mom that Matthew would rather have a new stereo for Christmas instead of toys), so as Matthew sat chewing on the speaker, I set his toys behind him. Then when I tried to snap some photos of him, he immediately turned to play with his toys! Then....no sooner as I sat back down to post this, he left his toys and crawled back to play with the speakers.
Look at my sweaty baby in fleece pants and a sweatshirt! It is cold in the desert today!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday morning stuff



It was our 3rd time taking Matthew to church...sitting in the family room because I'm not quite ready to take him to Children's Ministry (although the CM at our church rocks). In one of the worship songs the lyrics were "I once was fatherless, a stranger with no hope" and while this obviously speaks of separation from God, it made me think of our little guy. Suddenly the thought of abortion came to my mind. Before I gave my life to Christ, I was pretty much pro-life, yet I also thought there were some pretty good reasons for abortions. As I am learning about the immense value that God places on each individual life He creates I am also learning to view life differently...ALL life. Matthew's birthmother had EVERY reason in the world to choose abortion, and yet she chose life. And because she made such a loving sacrifice, many others will be blessed by this funny, friendly, inquisitive little life named Matthew. God truly brings beauty from ashes.
New post also on Matthew's site at www.youbelong.net/goff

Friday, October 5, 2007

OOOPS...I forgot...

When we were out and about last weekend, a guy casually mentioned something about Matthew being adopted. As we walked away I thought, "How did he know Matthew was adopted?" OOOPS...I forgot! Love is blind.

Funny photos




We went shopping today (Matthew loves riding in the cart), and as I was looking at certain items, I would hold them up for him to see. He would look at each item for a few seconds, then look at me, and then flash the cutest grin ever. It is almost like a half-grin. A little bit like the bottom picture posted here, but not even quite that. And it is fleeting...so fleeting that it is difficult to catch on camera. But I took it as I sign that he approved those items, so we purchased them!
The other photos posted are just ones I think are funny. Matthew LOVES sweet potatoes. His taste seems to be fickle and changes daily for everything except sweet potatoes. In the photo with the hat he looks like a rapper to me...so I have given him the rapper name of "Sweet P." Later on we might change it to "P Itty"...as in P itty bitty...but if he keeps growing so quickly, there will be nothing itty bitty about him!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

New post on Matthew's website

A day at the park: www.youbelong.net/goff

Painting Party!





We bought a new home with much more wall space then our last. I'm not gifted in interior design...I know what I like & don't like, but I can't walk into an room and picture it fully decorated. It's like I have two left eyes or something. And I have trouble committing to art on my walls...it has to mean something to me or I get bored with it quickly. At my friend's suggestion, I bought blank canvases, acrylic paints, and invited a few friends over for a "painting party." After I filled their stomachs with goodies, we sat down to create our masterpieces. It was such a fun way for everyone to tap into their creative side...each gal's piece really reflects her personality! Now I have art on my wall that is original AND very special to me.


One of the friends is actually an artist...a beautiful person and a beautiful artist. We have sheep (that we LOVE) in the field next to our backyard, and she willingly took on the assignment to paint them for us. I have also included a painting she did of her dog. If anyone is looking fro a unique gift, you may consider having her paint an original for you!


So here are photos from the party and of my friend's work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Will work for sleep...


After almost 2 months home with a baby and not sleeping through the night, you kind of get used to it in a strange way...but the scary part is that, when the baby has an especially sleepless night, you know you are really in for it the next day! ACK! It's misery all around you...he bawls because his stuffed animal is too close to him, he bawls because you move it away...he bawls because you try to give him his bottle, he bawls because you take it away...he bawls because you go outside, he bawls because you go back in...he bawls because he wants in the tub, and when you put him in he bawls because he wants out. THANK GOD for the grace HE generously disposes to both baby and mama to endure this season of sleeplessness.

I believe for adoptive parents the issues of sleeplessness can be especially unsettling. First, you have no clue (or very little) about your child's sleep habits prior to the adoption. Did he sleep with a light on? Is he used to being rocked to sleep or drifting off on his own once laid in the crib? Did the nursery workers or foster family let him cry himself back to sleep, or did they respond immediately? What was his bedtime routine? So you end up in this crazy trial-and-error game as you desperately seek to help your baby get settled. Second, it has been researched/noted/reported that even very young babies suffer trauma from the adoption transition. Absolutely everything familiar to them...sounds, smells, caretakers, feel of their bed, etc...has suddenly disappeared. So...when your baby is up at night crying...you have the added questions of wondering is he scared, is he expecting to see his foster mom's face when you walk into his bedroom, is he having bad dreams? OR...is this just typical baby stuff? And those are the things you can ponder when you are up with a baby at 3:00am!

On a lighter note, I have a recommendation for your feet! If you are a flip flop aficionado like myself, your feet probably take a serious beating. So I am encouraging you to RUN, DON'T WALK to your local Walgreens (I know there is one on a corner near you!) to get this new product: Curel Targeted Therapy Foot Cream. This stuff rocks, and I don't even have time to use it regularly! It is the best $5 I have spent in a very long time. But don't get the Wet & Wild Reflection Lip Gloss because it makes your lips so sticky that dust particles flying through the air get stuck on it, eventually leading to a build up of sticky, dusty lips. Scott even tried it on, and he agrees the stuff is worthless!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Baby Math?




I gave the boy a haircut yesterday...all by myself...what was I thinking??? Actually he did REALLY well despite the fact that he had been up from about 11:30pm-3:30am the night before...and the fact that he kept trying to look at the clippers! The crazy thing is this...I am going to call it "baby math"...his hair was not that long, so how did it get all over our whole house? It is like right at the moment that each strand is cut, it goes into self-preservation mode and immediately multiplies by some crazy baby math way before it scatters to cover every inch of the house. I keep finding little black hair everywhere! I think it is the same baby math that happens when you accidentally spill one tiny drop...even less than 1/8 tsp...of baby food onto the kitchen table. Before you can even grab the napkin you have ready for such incidents, somehow baby's ever-flailing arm makes contact with said food and, within seconds, the food has mysteriously multiplied and is now in his hair, covering his arms, all over his face, smeared on the table, and even on the floor. All from a drop of baby food. A miniscule drop. And then, as the cherry on top, baby sneezes...making sure that you, too, are covered in baby food.
Photos are of new haircut...and the result of staying up all night!