Friday, July 22, 2016

Interview With a Ten Year Old

1. What is your favorite T.V. Show? Bonanza. (He's a funny kid.)
2. What did you have for breakfast? Raisin Bran
3. What is your middle name? John (Back when he was a toddler this was a funny question. Now that he's ten and his middle name doesn't change, it's kind of ridiculous.)
4. Favorite Food? Snow crab (Same as last year)
5. What food do you dislike? Avocado (Same as last year)
6. What is your favorite color? Brown and black. (Some things never change)
7. Favorite lunch? Top Ramen (Oh child, I'm ratted out forever. It's organic ramen made from vegetable noodles. With no added garbage or sodium. I'm lying. It's absolutely Maruchan. Which, by the way, is so much better than Nissan. I should know. I EAT IT TOO! #shamoftheperfect)
8. What is your favorite thing to do? Go deep sea fishing. (He's done it once. Apparently it made a BIG impression.)
9. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be? Uh...probably to Israel again.
10. Favorite sport? Football
11. When is your birthday? The 20th of July.
12. Are you a morning person or a night person? MORNING!
13. Pets? Two. Dog. Cat.
14. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? I've got a new brother.
15. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Guy That Jumps Out of Helicopters in the Coast Guard. (See! I told you!)
16. What is your favorite candy? Him: Is ice cream a candy? Me: No. Him: Then probably a milk shake. Me: That's ice cream. Him: Oh. Then chocolate.
17. Where is the farthest place you've ever been from home? Israel
18. What is your favorite book? The Land of Stories series
19. What are you most proud of? Him: Being born. Me: BEING BORN? Him: Yeah. That's all I can think of. It's a pretty big accomplishment.
20. What is your favorite movie? The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies.
21. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The chicken.

And, for fun, I asked him the same questions that James Lipton asks at the end of Inside the Actor's Studio.

1. What is your favorite word? Probably supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I say that word a lot. (Um. Alrighty.)
2. What is your least favorite word? The "F" word.
3. What turns you on? (I rephrased with, "What do you like?") Surfing
4. What turns you off? (I rephrased with, "What don't you like?") Getting hurt.
5. What sound or noise do you love? Bang! I like big bang type noises.
6. What sound or noise do you hate? Styrofoam creaking.(Same answer, four years running.)
7. What is your favorite curse word? Crap. I would say that all the time if I could.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Pastor
9. What profession would you not like to do? Cleaning out porta potties.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? (I omitted the "If Heaven exists" part)? Welcome.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Decade Old

Son One,

I can vividly remember splashing around in the spa one night after swim practice. I was 9. My friend was about to turn 10 and that seemed so old to me. Double digits. I remember thinking that once I was double digits, I'd never be anything else. Even then, I didn't have the highest of hopes that I'd live to see 100. I couldn't wait to be 10. It seemed so monumental. Somehow, I'm now speeding toward 35 and I have a son who is bidding farewell to those single digits. I think I'd have a panic attack if I didn't also have a six week old. But then, I think about the fact that when he is 10, you'll be in college.

My goodness, life goes fast.

I love you so much. I love the boy you are and the man you are becoming. You're a gentleman, a sweetheart, and a daredevil. You're funny and kind and polite. You love God, your family, sports, scouting, and the idea of traveling to far away places.

This year you played flag football, baseball, and ran track. You had a blast doing them all but you really got into baseball. It was your first year without the pitching machine so there was a huge learning curve. You improved and really enjoyed playing second base. In track, you set a new personal record in the 1600m. (7.21.02) And you had fun learning the plays in football and even scored some touchdowns!

In school you did very well. Your report cards were great and you were never in any trouble. The 3rd grade put on a program and I was so proud of how hard you worked. You were very upset that you didn't get a speaking part but you put so much time into practicing the songs and you did such a fantastic job. As Stanislavski said, "There are no small parts, only small actors." This year you really found a love for reading. You've always been a very good reader--and well ahead of grade level--but you didn't really enjoy silent reading on your own. One of the series you discovered is the The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. You cannot put them down. They exceed 400 pages and you read the last one in just a couple of days. I'm so excited for where this love will lead you.

One book you claim to want to read is War and Peace. Your mind is a steel trap for historical facts. You know so much about wars--especially the Civil War--, tanks, battles, etc, etc, etc. You still say that you want to go into the Coast Guard and, with your military mind, I wouldn't doubt it. Among your favorite things are historical documentaries. Son, this is not from me. This is all your father.

What is from me is your developing love for theatre. This year, we got to go see the Newsies together and you really enjoyed it. You like to sing along to my Broadway cast albums and, recently, like the rest of the country, you've become obsessed with Hamilton. You've begged me to take you to see it and, kid, if anyone could get tickets, maybe I'd consider taking you. Until then, you'll just have to sing along with the cast.

What you don't get from either of us is your daredevlish nature. For your birthday, you're going to the pool because you're finally old enough to jump off the platforms. Of course, you've already jumped off the two lower platforms because I said you could as long as you didn't lie about your age. Since no one asked how old you were, I said, "Go for it!" on account of the fact that you'd jumped from higher places in Hawaii when you were five. Also, you've been water safe since you were three so I totally trust your swimming ability. But, you have yet to plummet from the highest platform, the 10 meter high dive. You have been talking about this for years and, today, you are going to attempt to leap off. My money's on you and your rock solid nerves. I guess this will be your first test in training for your future job as a Guy Who Jumps Out of Helicopters in the Coast Guard. Raising you is not for the faint of heart, Son.

I don't know why I was blessed with the opportunity to raise you. I know that I waited a long while and God gave me a really good one. You were so worth the wait. Your spunk, your heart of gold, the twinkle in your eye, and your infectious laugh are all mine to cherish. One thing I am clinging to is our cuddle time at night. I thought this would go away by the time you were 5 or 6. At 9, I was surprised that you still wanted me to climb into your bed each night to lay with you. Recently, you've been opting to put yourself to bed so that you can read more words. You have been asking less and less for me to crawl onto your top bunk to snuggle with you. When you do request it, there is a palpable shift. You wrap your arms around me, instead of the other way around. I'm starting to feel very I'll Love You Forever about our relationship.

I'm proud of you, Kid. I love watching you learn and grow. You're a terrific big brother--especially to Will. Seeing him in your arms melts my heart every time. But then again, you've been turning me to butter for an entire decade. Thanks for being mine. Thanks for making me laugh and smile and love fierce. You'll always be my guy.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Kid 1, 2, 3

The difference between a first, second, and third time mom of a newborn is appalling. And I wasn't anything close to a stereotypical first time mom. But this poor kid. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how he turns out...

Kid 1: I will record your every milestone in this well kept baby book the moment it happens. First smile? Check. First steps? Check.

Kid 2: I will have every intention of recording your every milestone in this baby book but will, in fact, fail to record anything beyond the first few months. First smile? Check. First steps? Thank goodness it was Christmas Eve and they're recorded in my memory.

Kid 3: I should probably think about getting a baby book. First smile? Eh. It's too hard to tell the first real smile from the reflex smiles anyway. Let's just say, "Hooray! You couldn't smile and then...YOU COULD!" First steps? I totally have time to buy a baby book before that happens...

Kid 1: I am doing everything in my own power to get you sleeping through the night. After all, every mom knows that a well rested baby is a well adjusted baby. Nine weeks! BOOM!

Kid 2: We've got this sleeping through the night record in the bag! We're going to implement Kid 1 strategies AND IMPROVE ON THEM. It's an art form. I will reign supreme. Eight weeks! MIC DROP! Maybe I'll write a book outlining the important points of my technique.

Kid 3: I mean, as long as you're sleeping through the night by the time you go to kindergarten you'll be fine, right? You're certainly well off Bassham Family Record pace. No big deal.

Kid 1: I've created this quiet and peaceful environment where we snuggle together on the couch all afternoon. My single objective in life is to keep you alive. I will strive to do this in a peaceful and quiet environment that is both peaceful and quiet.

Kid 2: "Someone get the toddler before he kills himself! Wait! I'm the only adult here! Sorry, Baby, take a spin in your swing, your brother's about to scale the entertainment unit and leap off in an attempt to disprove gravity! Oh, you fell asleep. Enjoy your nap which you will take for approximately ten minutes before your two and a half year old brother wakes you up by running through the house screaming something about a goldfish cracker emergency."

Kid 3: You have a pack and play and a crib and a swing and a bouncer but there are too many hands in this house and you never get put down. When you do, it's for five minutes before the almost ten year old, seven year old, and all the neighbor boys come tearing through the house howling something about how the Battle of All Epic Ages is afoot. You wake up, scream, and display a bewildered look that says, "What the heck am I doing on my back? This is not okay. Where are all the people who hold me? Chop chop. Somebody pick me up before I realize I'm not royalty."

Kid 1: The yellow line on the newborn diaper has a dot of blue. Bust out a new one. This little love cannot be expected to float in his own waste.

Kid 2: The yellow line on the newborn diaper is half blue. Eh. He's okay. He's got another half a diaper to go.

Kid 3: The yellow line on the newborn diaper has darkened to a sort of blue/black color*. But, like, how squishy is it? I mean, it's probably not at max capacity yet.

Kid 1: Praise and worship. Exclusively. For the first year. Then mix in some educational juvenile songs.

Kid 2: Obnoxious kiddie songs the toddler requested. Ah well, he's learning about how wheels on buses go 'round and 'round.

Kid 3: Broadway show tunes haven't killed the older two. "I am not throwin' away my shot. I am not throwin' away my shot. You know I'm just like my country. I'm young, scrappy, and hungry and I'm not throwin' away my shot..."

Kid 1: Well, I have a newborn so I'm not sure I can commit to that...

Kid 2: I have a newborn and a toddler so it might take me a couple days to get to it...

Kid 3: What do you need me to do? I'll be right there.

Kid 1: Your pacifier fell on the ground. Ten second rule. (Like I said, I wasn't your typical first time mom.)

Kid 2: Your pacifier fell on the ground. Twenty second rule.

Kid 3: Your pacifier fell on the ground in the middle of the NICU and I picked it up and put it back in your mouth without even thinking about how there were nurses and social workers and adoption coordinators watching me and maybe that could have been a deal breaker.

To all my boys: I love you each more than life itself and I dedicate all that I am to raising you right. Each of your stories will be different because you are unique and because your birth order is unique. But I'm trying my hardest to keep you all alive and to show you that raising you is my joy and my passion. Kid 1, Kid 2, and Kid 3, you are my whole world--germy pacifiers and all.

*Please know I'm kidding. About the black in color part. Not about the squishy diaper part. Because that part is totally true.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Just a Quick Update

Just a quick update:

Somehow, Will is six weeks old already. And Garrett is five days shy of ten. Matthew is dancing around in the middle, coming up on almost seven and a half. You blink and they're all grown up. 

Will can already roll from his tummy to his back and does it consistently. Granted, his arms have to be just right but, if they're tucked under him, fo'get about it. He also weighs 8 lbs now so, you know, he's like the size of an average newborn.

We're sleep deprived but I'm trying to be so much better about that than I was with the big boys. With them it was like, I knew intellectually that one day they'd sleep but I was in the trenches of early motherhood and it felt hard to believe. They're so big now that I absolutely know it to be true.

They just don't look like this forever, is the thing.

This kid is spoiled and adored by his big brothers. They are both so good with him. Matthew is just thriving with another adopted person under the same roof. He's always eager to help--except with the throwing away of diapers.

When they hold him, I'm undone. There are so many answers to prayer living and breathing in this home. I'm so glad the three of them are mine.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Big Boys Meet Their Baby

We decided to surprise the boys with my return. Since we didn't land until midnight, our friend, Christy, stayed with the boys while Troy came to pick us up. They slept right through until morning. Troy and I went to bed after 2:00 am and were up once with Will. Knowing that we'd be exhausted in the morning, Troy put a note on our door that said to knock before entering. Their knock, at about 7:15 am, woke us up from a sound sleep.

And that little fact is the only excuse I have for the following video. I look and sound like it was me who gave birth to this child. And I look like I had given said birth only moments before. In my bed. I do not look like an adoptive mom who has been parenting a newborn for a solid four nights.

Also, Garrett's lack of enthusiasm is hereditary. It comes from me. I neither hoot nor holler in joy. I am nearly incapable of showing emotion if anyone--especially a camera--is watching. But, like mine does, you can see his excitement build throughout the course of the video. It's also so precious to my soul the way he comes over and hugs me. It was as though he missed me so much, he just needed to sneak a hug in before he could process meeting his brother.

Matthew stayed home from school that day. Garrett chose to go in for a couple of hours but, for the most part, we spent the 10th hanging together as a family. They amaze me as big brothers. They are attentive and adorable. I always wanted my kids close together. I did not want an age gap.

But there is something so beautiful about the years between my big boys and their baby.