Friday, September 25, 2015

Good Morning

Yesterday, Daniel climbed into bed to wake me up at 6:30 am. I was not happy. Not awake. Antonio is ridiculously energetic early in the morning. Even though he was able to sleep in until 6:30 am, he was still wide awake at 4 am. So he made breakfast and I wandered into the kitchen like a zombie at 6:45am. It is awesome that Antonio cooks. I am so spoiled. There are just some days that I can't function. Yesterday was definitely one of those days.

This morning I woke up from this weird nightmare. It's too strange. It involved strange monsters swimming in a stream around my house. Also, I was incredibly angry because I didn't make it to a friend's wedding reception. Weird.

I shook off the dream and stumbled into Daniel's room. He was still sleeping. Strange. It was already 7 am. I flipped on his light. He burrowed into his blankies. I laid next to him and began talking about how cute all of his little parts were. "Look at your cute elbow. You have the cutest little wrists! You have such a cute little nose!"  He kept his eyes shut and mumbled, "noooo."

Finally, he said, "Do you know what would wake me up?" His eyes were still closed.


"If you pour cold water on my head."

I laughed.

Then I said, "I would never do that. Oh look, a cup on your shelf. Hmmmm... I think I'll just take this into the kitchen. Don't pay any attention to the running water. I'm not putting water in it. Ho hum.... I think I'm going to take this water into water your plant. Doo de doo dee doo...."

And then, of course, I dropped a few drops on his face.

He giggled and jumped up!

A few minutes later, he was dressed and we ate our scrambled eggs. While eating, I noticed he was copying what I was saying. So I said, "Daniel is awesome!" Instead of copying me verbatim, he surprised me by saying, "Eve is awesome!"

Sometimes, this child is just about the sweetest boy in the world.

He makes mornings sparkle.

He makes life sparkle.

We have my first court thingy majigger for custody on Monday. It's been stressful thinking about it. Making sure we're prepared. I know everything will be all right. We just want to make sure that Daniel is protected and loved as much he deserves. We will fight for that. I'm avoiding talking in detail about this online. I'll simply say this. We are responding to a petition from his birth mother. We have our ducks in a row. We've dotted all of our i's and crossed our t's. Antonio and I feel the stress, but we're growing stronger together as a couple. We love each other more than ever. And all will be well. Just say a little prayer for us if you have a moment.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Daniel wants to be strong.  He is constantly climbing things and doing pull ups on everything he can in order to improve his strength. He eats vegetables like a champ because we told him they would make him strong.
His dad is the strongest man I know though. He moves thousands of pounds of pallets every day. He goes to school full-time. After that, he comes home and cares for Daniel and makes dinner.

Sometimes, Daniel likes to test his strength by trying to pull down on his dad's arms.

It looks like this.

This week has been a little more than a struggle. Daniel is having trouble with fighting at school. You might say he hasn't used his strength for good yet. We're doing our best and every day we move forward a little--and back a little. But every day, we're there rolling with whatever comes our way.

But some days are harder than others. And some days, we feel the stresses more than others.

We started watching Call The Midwife after Daniel goes to bed.

We sit and watch these beautiful stories unfold and both of us just let our stress melt away into a puddle of tears. It's ridiculous, hilarious, and the best therapy!

Antonio turned to me the other night with tears streaming down his face and said sweetly, "I hate this show."

And then he got me a tissue so I could blow my nose again.

I'm learning about what it is to be strong. Strength isn't being perfect. Strength is being consistent. It is being to work in the early morning hours so you can be home in the afternoon with your son while your wife finishes work.

The other night Antonio offered up the most humble prayer of supplication and gratitude. I felt his strength as he listed off our many blessings with tears of gratitude. I felt his power as he pleaded with the Lord to help us to navigate our trials.

It was  a good moment. It gave me confidence that whatever we are facing, we'll have the strength to find our way through it.

We're coming up on a court trial and we're doing our best to help Daniel learn how to make friends and find happiness in school. It's tough on us in every way, but every where we turn, we find support and love.

Today, my brother Nick is here to care for Daniel while Antonio and I work. I watched from my office as Nick helped Daniel practice riding his bike without training wheels.  I saw Nick's strength as he held up the bike and ran beside Daniel as he pedaled away.

Yesterday, Grandma DeAnne came over to talk with Daniel about his behavior at school. I saw her strength as she slowly climbed our stairs, despite severe pain in her hip.

We're able to meet the financial burden of the upcoming trial through the loving kindness of our family.

I wish I had the strength to do this alone. But I don't. And sometimes it takes the most strength to admit that you need help.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Communing With God, Each Other, and Nature

Last night, we decided to go on a family adventure. We got in the car and drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon. We drove up past Snowbird, parked, and began walking up the road.

Antonio had his camera, I had my phone camera, and Daniel decided to defend us all against the dangers on the road.

He noticed fallen trees along the way. This was clearly an indication that dangerous Beavers had been in the area. Specifically, Zombie Beavers. We heard chattering in the woods, which was evidence of Zombie Chipmunks. He picked up a stick and a rock and walked ahead, prepared to defend us against the horrors of nature.

Speaking of the horrors of nature...

Yesterday at church, he learned about prayer. (We pray every morning and night--but apparently this teacher really brought it home.) After church, we were outside exploring his bug park. He saw that a wasp was eating a grasshopper. It HORRIFIED him. He wanted revenge on the wicked wasp. I grabbed a jar and we covered the wasp and the grasshopper, mainly because I didn't want the wasp stinging Daniel.

Daniel was distraught. He ran upstairs. He said, "I want to say a prayer!" And he said the sweetest prayer asking that God would rescue the grasshopper and the grasshopper babies.

This morning, we went outside and the wasp was dead and the grasshopper was gone! I waited to see if Daniel would figure out that the wasp might have eaten the grasshopper. Instead he threw up his arms in celebration that God had rescued the grasshopper! Big ol' sigh.

Back to the hike...

It was a beautiful evening. We got to see the fall colors, experience the fresh air of nature, and enjoy being together.

And hopefully, Daniel will continue to discover that people in heaven and on earth truly care about him and want him to be happy.

Friday, September 4, 2015

School Days!

Daniel started school last week.

It's been a struggle. We are learning and growing though! We've learned that Daniel has to be sleeping at 8pm. We've learned that punishments need to be shorter in order for him to remember that he's being punished. We've learned that he can sense when we're stressed. We've learned that Fall brings shorter days and shorter opportunities for play. We've learned that French Toast is marvelous at 6:30am! We've learned that being in first grade is sometimes very hard and that girls are dumb. Well, the girl he sits across from is dumb anyway. She said he called her fat. He doesn't even know the word for fat. He uses the word straight and round in place of skinny and fat. "Look Mom, I'm getting straighter!" "I like that man! He is round though. Wait, no! He's kind of straight!" "Hey Mom, I want you to get straight, but after you have the baby." "Mom, I wish you would have a baby."  "I can't wait for you to have the baby."  Again, not pregnant.

Luckily, he has amazing grandparents who love him dearly and help all of us to relax and enjoy.

Life is better with supportive people in our lives.

My brother Matt baby sat the other day and Daniel loved seeing him as the Dark Knight in Star Wards at Desert Star! My dad took him on a special date the other night. They sat on the second row and just loved every second.

Grandma DeAnne took us to the park Sunday where Daniel enjoyed climbing on everything and playing with his friend Emily.

Tuesday, Antonio took him to Karate!

And this weekend, my mom is coming into town to visit!

It's just been a really fun couple of weeks. Lots of tears, lots of triumphs.

He rode his bike, with his training wheels, all the way to church on Sunday!

 This is the first leg of the journey. He's still enjoying it.

 This is after the journey. He crashed several times. It was not fun. But he made it! He rode over a mile and crossed the street at least 6 times!

Walking to school is not an option right now though. I can barely get him up in time as it is. He needs that extra rest.

Life threw us a couple of curve balls this week, but things feel better now. We're feeling closer as a couple now as we've seen that we can handle whatever comes our way. (I'm being purposely vague as it has to do with legal matters.) The point is--we got this!

On Sunday evening, Daniel just came up to his dad and gave him a big hug. It was incredibly sweet. Through all the changes in his life, his dad has been a big constant. It's very sweet to see how much they love each other.