Four Years Ago

Four years ago today, we became a family. To say that we were elated is an understatement!

It was love at first sight! I couldn't take my eyes off of him, and I didn't share him with anyone for a long time. I couldn't let him go.

Finally, I handed him over to his daddy. Liam was so alert those first few moments. It was as if he knew that he needed to look us in the eyes and say "hi".

And if you told me then, that we would be a family of five soon, I would've laughed in your face. But here we are!

Friday Funny

On his birthday, I showed Liam a picture of himself as a newborn. He asked, "Who's that white baby?"

Wordless Wednesday: Two Edwards

Liam and his Pop share middle names. Happy birthday, Liam!

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, please see 5 Minutes for Mom.

Liam's Adoption Story Part II

Thank you for joining me for the conclusion to Liam’s adoption story. For those that missed part one yesterday, please go here.

Because Louisiana has a five-day waiting period, the agency we worked with asked us to stay at home in Colorado until Liam was five days old. We tried our best to obey, but we couldn’t sit at home with nothing to do, so we left the next day and drove to visit family in Texas until day three. We planned to leave Texas on day four and head to Louisiana in preparation for our early morning day five placement.

On the morning of day four, we ate breakfast at IHOP with my parents and Rick’s mom just before leaving for Louisiana. We were all so excited to know that we would finally have our baby boy the next morning. Rick’s cell phone rang during breakfast. It was our social worker letting us know that BM was asking for $1000 in addition to the $4000 living expenses we had already given her. She said that she needed this money in order to move. We felt caught between a rock and a hard place. Do we withhold the money and take the chance that she might “run” with the baby? Do we give her the money in an effort to appease her? It was a tough decision. Looking back on it now, I still have mixed emotions about that decision. At any rate, we agreed to pay her more.

During the seven hour drive to Louisiana, the social worker called again to ask for yet another $100. I got on the phone this time, being the take-charge, bossy woman that I am, and said, “If she thinks we are made of money, she is wrong! Tell her we’ll bring $100 more, but that. is. it.”

The rest of the day and night were an emotional roller coaster for everyone. We had been told that we could actually see Liam briefly that evening, if the social worker felt confident in BM’s decision to place. Our social worker never called us that evening, and our tension mounted as we imagined the worst…that we had been duped.

The sun came up on Day 5, and we paced the floor awaiting the phone call that would tell us to come get our baby. We have video of us during this waiting period, and our extended family is visiting and enjoying themselves, but Rick and I are off to the side being very quiet. I was so scared that my heart was going to be ripped open again.

By 8:30 am, I was feeling fear grip me, and I told Rick that he had to call to at least see if BM had shown up to sign papers. Indeed, she was present, she had signed the papers, and she was being counseled one more time. A huge sigh of relief was heard from everyone present, and I was finally able to jump for joy, literally. Thirty minutes later, our social worker called to say, “Rick, your baby boy is crying for you. You can come get him now.” Yahooooooo!

We drove straight to the office. I remember jumping out of the car and making sure that I was the first person to see Liam. No one was going to get in my way of finally holding my very own baby! What is absolutely amazing is that the instant I saw him, I knew he was mine! All of the failed fertility treatments and the failed adoptions made sense in that instant…none of those babies were intended for us. God had Liam specifically planned for us.

Not only do I know that in my heart, but I have two facts that help solidify it. First, the month that Rick and I began the adoption process is the same month that Liam was conceived! Second, BM went to the adoption agency for the first time on the same day that our eighth adoption fell through!

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Amen!

The joy that filled my heart on April 30, 2003 was evident on my face. I don't think I put Liam down for hours, because I was finally a mommy!

Peanut will be 4 years old tomorrow. I can hardly believe that it's been four years. He has brought our entire family such joy and laughter. I love you, big boy!

Liam's Adoption Story Part I

It is time to share Liam’s adoption story. For those of you who are new to Cup Runneth Over, I have already shared Jack and Garrett’s adoption stories here and here. Every adoption seems to carry its own unique qualities, and one of my main goals with my blog is to share my boys’ stories in hopes to encourage someone out there to consider adoption as it is…a beautiful way of creating forever families.

As I’ve mentioned before, once Rick and I began the adoption process, we faced eight failed adoptions. In one case, we discontinued the adoption of a girl in Sierra Leone due to a shaky program that left us wondering if we would ever truly bring that child home. The other seven cases were all domestic adoptions, and the birth moms all decided to parent their babies.

The eighth failed adoption took place on March 28, 2003, and it was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I swore off adoption altogether that day. I didn't think that I could take another disappointment. Only I wasn’t able to say that I would be content without children for the rest of my life, and fertility treatments had already proven to fail us.

Rick and I holed ourselves up for that March weekend to grieve. I truly felt as if I had given birth to a still-born baby. The pain in my heart was very real. And I told Rick that I couldn’t do it anymore. I think he was ready to call it off, too, until he talked to his mom on Sunday.

My mother-in-law called to check on us. I overheard Rick telling his mom that he was really worried about my well-being. He was worried that I would never recover, and so was I, honestly.

My mother-in-law is the type of woman that enters the room, and everything immediately begins to liven up. She’s a take-charge, high-energy woman, and she attacks life with her whole heart. While on the phone with Rick that Sunday morning, March 30, 2003, she said, “That’s it. I’m calling my friend tomorrow. Her cousin owns an adoption agency in Louisiana, and I’ll see what they can do for you. I’m taking the bull by the horns.” When Rick told me about this part of the conversation, I rolled my eyes and said, “Yea, right.” I couldn’t help but be pessimistic. I had no other results to make me believe any differently.

On Monday, I drug my feet to work. I hated that job before I lost so many babies, but that was the absolute worst morning of my teaching career. I had quit this job the week before, in hopes of staying home with my new baby. But when that adoption fell through, I knew that I needed to work in order to keep my mind busy. My assistant principal was also an adoptive mom, so she understood my position and allowed my return to work. I remember going through the motions of that Monday morning with so much pain in my heart that I had to leave my classroom several times in order to breathe through the tears.

By about 9:30 that morning, Rick had called my cell phone twice and had left one message. I took a break to listen his message. I remember his words very well. "My mom talked to her friend and got in touch with the attorney in Louisiana. There’s a baby boy due in April. Do you want him? Call me.” Only I was so hurt and depressed that I couldn’t get excited. I called Rick back and said, “I don’t want him. He’s probably a white baby anyway.” (Our last few failed adoptions had all been black boys, so my heart was set on a black boy.) Rick said, “No, he’s black, just like you want. Let’s get him. I’ll do all the paperwork this time. You just have to say ‘yes’.” I told him to go ahead with it, but I swore that I wouldn’t get excited about this one.

Rick spent the rest of the day getting all of the paperwork in order. By dinner time, he had everything ready for my signature and needed nothing more from me. I was slowly beginning to come around and was beginning to smile again. We had my parents meet us for TexMex for dinner, because all celebrations call for chips and salsa! I remember filling my parents in on all the details, and my mom said, “I don’t know if I can get excited about this. We’ve been through so much.” My heart changed immediately, and I said, “Mom, I know exactly what you’re saying. I’ve felt that way all day, but I feel a peace in my heart that tells me to get excited. This baby deserves our hope.” And we all celebrated and giggled the evening away.

Baby Boy was due at the end of April, but Birthmom (BM) showed many signs of an earlier delivery date. We spent the next three weeks on pins and needles, just like any first-time expectant parents. In the end, BM needed to be induced for her well-being. We knew that we would be parents on April 25, 2003.

We went to work that day in order to stay busy, but I couldn’t tell you one thing about work that day! I know that I went to work, and I’m sure that I worked, being that I was at work, but that’s all I can remember. I carried my cell phone with me all day in hopes of getting the call announcing my baby’s birth. The call did not come until after 7:30 pm, but we remember the news very well.

Rick took the call from our social worker (SW).
SW: Rick, you’re a daddy. Congratulations! You have a baby boy. He’s 7 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 inches long.
Rick: Oh my gosh! What does he look like?
SW: He has lots of soft, curly hair. He’s tiny. He looks like a little peanut.

And that’s how Liam Edward became "Peanut".

Please join me tomorrow for the conclusion to Liam’s adoption story.

Friday Funny

Liam was very argumentative on Monday and had to go to bed early that evening. Rick went up to talk with him an hour or so later. He said, "Liam, I want you to remember two important things. Number one, Daddy loves you with all his heart. Number two, do not argue with Daddy because it is rude." Liam quietly processed this and then asked, "What about number three?"


I got this in an email yesterday, and because it cracked me up, I thought I'd share.

A woman walked into a local garage and asked for a seven-hundred-ten. All the employees and patrons looked at each other inquisitively and asked, "What is a seven-hundred-ten?" She replied, "You know, the little piece in the middle of the engine. I have lost it and need a new one." She replied that she did not know exactly what it was, but this piece had always been there. The mechanic gave her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to draw what the piece looked like. She drew a circle and in the middle of it wrote "710". He then took her over to another car, which had its hood up and asked, "Is there a 710 on this car?" She pointed and said, "Of course, it's right there." If you're not sure what a 710 is click on the link below:

Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite Picture

This was taken in August 2006.

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, please see 5 Minutes for Mom.

Virginia Tech

My heart aches for those affected by the shootings at Virginia Tech. I can't say it any better than Shannon does here.

Pearly Whites

Who remembers the "Friends" episode where Ross has his teeth whitened, only his pearly whites end up blinding everyone around him?

Recently, Liam asked me when his "big teeth" will come in. I explained that his baby teeth will fall out in a couple years and that "big teeth like Mommy's" would come in their place. He quickly added, "No, I don't want yellow teeth like Mommy's. I want white teeth." That was the moment that my self-esteem was shattered by a 3 1/2 year-old.

Because I can't take diet Coke intravenously, my caffeine habit must enter my body by way of the mouth. Thus, my teeth aren't exactly white. Now, please give me some credit here, because my self-esteem is wavering upon your support. My teeth are not the most yellow mess I've ever seen, but I am not too keen on their not-so-whiteness. And since my son is obviously bothered by them, I have decided to try a bleaching system purchased from the dentist.

Because this bleach product was purchased from the dentist, I'm hopeful that my teeth will be white soon, only not quite as white as Ross'. I'm thinking there must be a happy medium between their current yellow tint and the blinding fluorescent version seen on "Friends".

While we're on the topic, what is your favorite episode of "Friends"?

I Got Nothin'

The slow-dying cold has turned into a sinus infection that includes a headache the size of a two-by-four. I did not invite this cold, so I'm not certain why the sinus infection or headache thought I would be happy to have them over. But I'm not. Thus, I got nothin' for ya' today. (I love the word "thus" and try to use it frequently.)

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Boy

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, please visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

This Just In

I just read this headline on"DNA Shows Birkhead Father of Smith's Baby".

If you live as an ostrich with your head buried in the sand, then you might not know that Larry Birkhead (Ann Nicole Smith's former boyfriend) and Howard K. Stern (Anna's attorney and most current boyfriend/live-in) have been battling in court over this precious child's DNA.

I am not normally one to follow the news on Hollywood stars, but this story has bothered me since the moment I heard of Anna's death. Now that the official DNA results are in, I have a few comments on the topic.

  • I'm so glad that this innocent baby will go through life with the factual knowledge of who her biological father is. She deserves nothing less.
  • I'm glad that the father is Birkhead. He seems to have more class than Stern. Upon hearing today's DNA results from the judge, Birkhead actually hugged Stern. I'm not certain that I would be so kind after Stern has drug his feet for so many months.
  • In the article, Stern supposedly said that Birkhead can come to his Bahamas home for a "visit." Excuse me?! A visit?! "I think I'll be coming to pick her up tomorrow, being that I'm her father and all!"
  • Perhaps there are some judicial procedures that I haven't yet realized, but how is it that Stern can invite the father for a visit? Doesn't he need to say something more like, "Could you please give me a couple of days to love on her, and then I'll happily hand her over to you."
  • My heart goes out to this sweet baby. She has a hard life to live, being that her mother died of a drug overdose, being that it was unclear who her actual father is without the help of science, being that she may forever be in the limelight because of her mother's past.

I'm not sure why this story burdens me so. But I do feel better now that I've gotten those ideas in print. Thanks for being my sounding board! You're welcome to chime in with your ideas in my comment section.

My first post of the day was light-hearted, so if you're feeling depressed after this, please see below.

There Are No Secrets In Our House

I couldn't decide yesterday if I should tell you about this, but I just can't stand it any longer. Rick and I had a knock-down-drag-out Friday morning to begin our long weekend. This is where you say, "And you're dying to tell us about it?" No, but I want you to hear what happened afterwards. It's G-rated and hilarious!

We don't fight very often. Thankfully, we're able to talk through most disagreements as, you know, adults. We've also never fought in front of the boys. Until Friday.

I won't tell you the topic of our fight, nor will I tell you who started it. Ahem. But we were trying to get everyone in shoes and out the door, and, of course, we were in a hurry. Rick was trying to get the boys to his mom's house for a day of fun, and I was trying to get to the mall before the crowds.

Before I know it, some one's snide remark set the other one off, and we were yelling at each other. The boys have never heard us scream at each other, so when I looked down to see three sets of brown eyes wide in shock, I said, "I think we need to go to our bedroom to work this out."

After I set my boys up with the best babysitter known to mankind (a.k.a the television), Rick and I went to our room and worked it out quietly. Then, we resumed getting every one's shoes and jackets on, when Liam said, "Daddy, you go to time out? On your bed? Ooooh, that's not good." You see, in our house, the ultimate time out is on your bed.

Over our romantic dinner later that evening, we both apologized again for hurting the other. And then, Rick proceeded to tell me about their day with his mom.

As soon as they got to my mother-in-law's house, Liam announced that "Mommy is mad at Daddy." Nice. Thanks, Liam.

And on Sunday, all three boys proceeded to fill my parents in on the same news. Thanks, boys. I think we should go back to our no-fighting-in-front-of-the-boys rule.

The Energizer Bunny

How was your Easter? I would love to show you photos of our boys dressed in their cute and perfectly matching white polo shirts and khaki pants, only they didn't get to wear them. Not only was the weather not cooperative at 30-something degrees, but the boys and I were sick. We have a slow-dying cold that began a week ago, and I'm beginning to think that it won't ever leave us. Rick and I decided to be good parents and keep our children home from church instead of exposing their nursery-mates to the Energizer-bunny cold.

At any rate, we had a great weekend. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seats waiting to hear all about it.

Rick had Good Friday off, and he was gracious enough to entertain the boys all day while I got away by myself. I'm normally not a big fan of shopping, but I had a good bit of birthday cash to spend, so I hit the road with one goal in mind...spend this money on myself as fast as I can! And I did. I spent every bit of it in one hour's time on summer clothing. Although it's cold and dreary right now, our summers are long and hot. A stay-at-home mom cannot have enough shorts and t-shirts to withstand the heat, so I bought seven pair of shorts, eleven casual shirts, and two Sunday outfits. It was the most fun shopping frenzy of my entire life!

My parents kept the boys Friday evening so that Rick and I could get away for dinner. We enjoyed a relaxing meal. We didn't have to cut any one's meat. We didn't have to remind boys to sit nicely at the table. We didn't have to wipe any faces but our own. It was wonderful!

We stayed home on Saturday, since it was colder than a witch's fanny. It was nice to be home as a family without the need to rush anywhere.

We enjoyed most of Easter Sunday at my parents' house. Mom made a fantastic brunch that included my yearly birthday request of red velvet cake!

A day to myself, a shopping frenzy, a date with my favorite man, a day at home with all of my favorite boys, a fantastic day with my parents, and Red. Velvet. Cake. My life is complete! If only I could figure out how to take the batteries away from the Energizer's cold.

An Early Friday Funny

If you read my husband's post below, you know that today is my birthday. And what do I want for my birthday? A day to myself! I'm getting exactly that tomorrow. Rick is taking care of the kids, while I get away to spend my birthday cash. I. Can't. Wait! And to top that off, Rick and I get a date tomorrow night...dinner in a restaurant that probably doesn't serve lemonade or pizza. I am one lucky birthday girl!

But I can't skip this week's Friday Funny in honor of Easter. I can't decide between two Liam funnies, so I'll share both.

On Easter Sunday last year, Liam was not quite 3 years old. Rick asked him if Jesus died on the cross for him. Liam responded with, "Uh huh." Rick asked if he rose three days later. Liam said, "Uh huh and ate fruit snacks."

Last week, Rick was reviewing the meaning of Easter with Liam. They ended up in a discussion about heaven. I interrupted and asked Liam if he knows where heaven is. Liam replied with, "In Colorado." That's my mountain-loving boy!

Happy Easter!


I guess it's a good thing when a husband and wife know each other's passwords and can subsequently hijack their spouse's blog...

Happy birthday, dear! I look forward to many, many, many years with my wonderful wife.

We boys love you very, very much!

Rick, Liam, Jackson, Garrett, and Winston

Works For Me Wednesday: Car Essentials

Shannon has requested that this week's edition of WFMW be car related. So, I thought I would share three essential items in my car.

Hand sanitizer is essential for us. After playing at the park or riding in the grocery basket, all three boys receive a squirt of Germ-X before the drive home.

Hefty's HandySaks are awesome! They're usually at the check-out stand at Target and only cost a buck or two. They're great for any trash accumulated on the go. They also come in handy for blow-out diapers or wet clothes from potty training children, not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

Now that warm weather is here, I also carry sunblock in the car for last-minute stops at the park.

For other car-related tips, please visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Restless Night

I am definitely addicted to this whole blog thing. After I brought Garrett to my bed at 1:30 this morning, I couldn't go to sleep, so my mind began wandering. Lo and behold, my mind settled onto my blog.

I should keep a notepad next to my bed for those late-night (or early-morning) mind wanderings so that I can bring those great ideas back to my conscious thinking during the daylight hours. I had some great ideas around 2:30 am, but they're gone at 2:30 pm.

Garrett had a high fever all day yesterday, and he didn't rest well last night. By 1:30 am, I decided to bring him to my bed so that I could at least rest my head on my pillow. I knew I wouldn't sleep with him in my bed. I never actually sleep with any of my kids in my bed, and that's why we don't co sleep around here. Mommy needs her beauty sleep, y'all. Without it, she is an absolute bear to live with.

Why is it that my boys can be so restless in their own beds when they're sick, but they can fall asleep instantly in my bed?! And then I lie awake the rest of the night.

Garrett is my smallest boy at 24 pounds, yet he felt like a small pony nestling into my side. And his high fever made me sweat, poor guy. He seems to be on the mend today, but it may take me a week to catch up on my sleep. But it's not about me.

We May Need A Translator

I promised myself this morning that I would not blog today so that I could try to catch up on some sleep, but y'all are the best friends ever, so I just can't stay away from you! That sounds terribly sad, doesn't it, that my blog readers are my best friends? Okay, let me try that again. I can't stay away from the blog, because I'm terribly addicted. I'm not sure if that sounds any better, but it is certainly more truthful.

And for those of you who are wondering, no, I do not say "y'all" in real life, even though I am a native Texan. Yes, it is possible to grow up in Texas and not have that silly word within your vacabulary. But it is definitly a blog-worthy word, y'all.

I feel like Liam and Jack got a lot of attention via my blog last week, so I was hoping to start this week with something G-related. Garrett-related, that is. Luckily, he provided me with a topic over the weekend.

I've mentioned before that Garrett is our music lover. He loves to sing, loves to hear music, loves to be sung to, etc. He is happiest when I'm singing "You Are My Sunshine" to him, only I have to sing it exactly three times while he sits in my lap, and absolutely no other conditions will work. He's not particular or anything. Ahem.

Every night when Rick walks in from work, Garrett immediately asks for "Hullabaloo". For those of you who are not well versed in Aggieology, "Hullabaloo" is Texas A&M's War Hymn. Garrett can sing every single word in tune, all the while marching and swaying in the appropriate places. It's rather impressive.

Some of Garrett's favorite songs also include Elton John's "Crocodile Rock", Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night", and "Baby Moses" sung to "Where is Thumbkin?". Add "Hullabaloo" and "You Are My Sunshine" to the list, and you see that his taste is quite eclectic.

On Friday night, he kept asking us for "Cooookin'". We asked him to repeat it so many times that he probably thought we were the dumbest parents on earth. Rick and I looked at each other and repeated it, "Cooookin', Cooookin'? What is he saying?" We asked him if it was on tv, "No!". He took us to our CD collection, but we still weren't catching on.

Garrett's vocabulary and pronounciation are amazing for his age, and although being his mother gives me bragging rights, I am not bragging. He really does speak amazingly well for a two year-old. So for Rick and I to be scratching our heads over "Cooookin'" is not a common problem around here, thank goodness. There is almost nothing more frustrating than watching your baby's face contort twenty different ways to try to beat "Cooookin'" into his clueless parents' heads! We were all exhausted and frustrated, so Rick was thankfully able to distract him with "Hullabaloo" and all was well with the world.

On Saturday, Rick and Garrett were upstairs in the game room. Rick was pickin' around on his guitar, and G was playing. I was downstairs reading blogs, of course. What else would I be doing? Suddenly, I hear Rick, "That's it? Hey, good lookin'? That's it?!" And I heard Garrett's angelic voice answer with a triumphant, "YES!" They both came downstairs to let me know that "Cooookin'" is actually Hank Williams' "Hey, Good Lookin'". You know the words: "Hey, good lookin'. Watch ya got cookin'? How about cookin' somethin' up with me?"

I'm so glad that we solved that mystery. And here's a picture of my guys singing "Hey, Good Lookin'" together.

Rick will hate that picture! But there's no better photo of my two musicians. And anyway, Rick is the reason most of Garrett's favorite songs existed long before I was conceived. Oops! I probably just dug a deeper hole for myself, y'all.