Hello world…Did ya miss us?

Ok so I know it’s been a LLOONNGG time since I’ve taken the time to do a little writing and updating. I have a pretty good excuse though…I’m officially a mom of two working full time and the ‘household manager’.  Wyatt is almost 10 months old now and is truly an amazing addition to our family. Looking back on my last post (May) we were just getting ready for our finalization to happen with the courts. Here’s a break down of what has happened since then…

May:

  • Mother’s Day: Our whole family gathered at church to witness our dedication of Mr. Wyatt, also our amazing birth mom came to celebrate with us. It was an amazing day, lots of pictures, laughter and I’m so unbelievably thankful for everyone who came. Another really special thing that happened for Mother’s Day and dedication is that we are able to pick a verse that is read to the congregation that we ‘give’ to our child. Wyatt has two, one from his birth mom and one from us.
    • Jeremiah 29:11 – “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.”
    • Hebrews 13: 20,21 – Now may the God of peace… (21) equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Mothers Day

  • May 31: Officially a Paddock!! We had both of our parents, one of our best friends and our Social Worker at the court house to witness this amazing event! The crazy thing is….it took all of 5 minutes!?!? Can you believe that! The judge asked us our names and if everything was correct on our paperwork – and that was that, he was officially a Paddock within 5 minutes. Then we all went to the river and took family pictures!

June/July: First family road trip!!! Where did we go….NEBRASKA! Yes, you read that correctly. We all hopped in the new minivan (again…yes, you read that correctly – I now have a minivan) and drove the 6 hours to Omaha. Side note: we took on this adventure while also in the middle of potty training Hunter – we are the proud owners of a travel potty. Since we (my brothers and I) were born there and I lived there until I was 12 we wanted to bring all of our kiddos down and see the Henry Doorly Zoo and celebrate July 4th together. Also, it’s not a true road trip to Omaha if you don’t stop in Story City, Iowa – it’s a must. It was a very successful FIRST family vacation!

At the end of July, Mr. Wyatt became a proud owner of a little helmet. We noticed his head looking a little flat at his 6 month appointment, we tried physical therapy to help loosen up his neck muscles – but that didn’t work the way we were hoping so he has a helmet. He looks pretty cute in it and really doesn’t mind it at all. He first started wearing it for an hour to two hours, and now he’s in it for 23-24 hours/day (we take it off to clean it and bath time). We go to the specialist every three weeks for measurements, and we’re hopeful that he will be out of it by Christmas. If you have a little one who needs a helmet we ordered all of our stickers from Bling Your Band ! They have a TON of options on their site and if you want to paint your helmet they have the paint and steps to follow so that it doesn’t peal or fade. I didn’t want to paint his helmet because I needed to keep my sticker options open, I wasn’t willing to get locked into one design 🙂

August: First Flight for Wyatt – Hello hot and steamy Florida! My grandparents are in FL and do not travel anymore so we hopped on a plane and headed down for a visit! Let me tell ya….I have the BEST kids when it comes to traveling. They were awesome on the plane. Funny story: the guy we were sitting next to on the flight was not too happy that he was going to be sitting next to two kids. After the flight attendants closed the main door he asked if there were any open seats so he could move…there was one a few rows ahead of us – turns out it was right next to the kid who cried/screamed the ENTIRE flight. My boys…quietly playing with toys, cars and watching a movie – not a peep! 🙂 Made my flight – I had an extra seat for Wyatt to sit and my kids were awesome. We had a wonderful visit with my grandparents, my aunt and uncle even came down from Alabama to see us. It was a very fast trip but worth it. There were a lot of firsts on this trip for Wyatt: first flight, first time in the ocean, first time meeting Ggmama & Ggpapa and other family.

September: Second Family Vacation – Oregon!! Last year Ryan fell in love with Oregon, so now it’s a yearly family vacation – which you won’t find me complaining about at all. I LOVE Oregon. This year we stayed in the mountains – the foothills of Mt. Hood to be exact. Again, both boys did awesome on the flight out and back and even the 1.5 hour car ride from Portland out to Rhododendron where we were staying. We rented a house/cabin for the week. Travel Advice: always rent a house/condo when traveling with tiny humans, it makes the trip SOOOO much better to have a ‘home base’ and a room of their own. We were there for a week, it rained EVERY DAY – but hey, it’s Oregon and the rain didn’t stop us from going out hiking daily. Another side note: We love our toddler hiking packs – I swear by these things. Once the kids were loaded up it only took Wyatt about 10 minutes of sitting in his to pass out – he took amazing naps in that thing. Hunter did really good too, after a while we’d let him do his own hiking too but he was fine being put back in it – he never slept but I think that he enjoyed the ability to just look around and take it all in. It was a very very busy week – only day we took off from hiking was to drive out to Eugene to see my grandma and family.

Adventures included:

  • Trillium Lake – this hike started out absolutely beautiful and we ended the hike running to the car in a downpour
  • Horsetail Falls & Multnomah Falls – one of the most photographed waterfalls / bridges in Oregon. Trail head said it’s a mile to the top of the fall…yeah it ended up being over 2 miles with 11 switchbacks, no rails and a VERY steep drop if something were to happen…BUT we did it! I had Wyatt on my back, Hunter and Ryan walked the whole way up. The view from the top is amazing – worth the climb!
  • Drive out to Eugene, Oregon! Took a day to drive out to see my grandma, aunt/uncle and cousin. It was a scary drive back to the cabin though, a few times hydroplaning and LOTS of rain. But everyone was able to meet Wyatt and play with Hunter. Memories are worth the ‘white knuckle’ drive
  • Mt Hood Adventure – Timberline Lodge – if the outside of the lodge looks familiar to you….it was used in The Shining (Jack Nicholson) and in the movie Wild (Reese Witherspoon). When we arrived at Timberline we could see a very TINY sliver of Mt. Hood and that was it, the rest of the time we were walking in the clouds and never saw the mountain. Never the less it was still a lot of fun to see the different trails, do more hiking and scope out the lodge. I’d love to stay there one day and really explore the different hikes around the mountain.

I’m ready to start planning out our next family vacation and see what adventures we can go on. It’s been a great year so far and the boys. Wyatt is on the move which means Hunter needs to include him when he is playing or Hunter goes to his room and shuts the door to play with his toys. He isn’t used to sharing and now that Wyatt can get around her’s learning really quick that little brothers can be a lot of fun or super annoying 🙂 ah the joys of having siblings. Hunter is still asking for a sister and wants another little baby in the house – I told him I’d love another little baby in the house (boy or girl) but right now we need to enjoy the little baby that we have and we will see what the future holds for our family. My gut is telling me that our family isn’t done growing just yet but again, we will wait and see what God has planned for our future.

Other Highlights:

  • Hunter started Preschool this year and Cubbies! He loves both!
  • Hunter started Ninja School (and yes, it is exactly what is sounds like) Saturday mornings start out with Ninja School. It’s awesome to watch him too, he’s the smallest one in his class but I feel like he’s the strongest one
  • Wyatt is crawling, pulling himself up on things and climbing up stairs. He thinks Hunter is the best thing in the world and anything Hunter does Wyatt laughs at (these two will be trouble as they get older)
  • Our agency reached out today to see if we would be willing to share our adoption story for National Adoption Month – which is November. I said absolutely we would love to share our story with others. We still have a strong relationship with our birth mom as well as our social worker, they are both amazing and part of our family. 

Until next time!

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Family

 

Adoption Profile Book & a Little Family Adventure

ProfileHave you ever put one of these together? It’s stressful! How much information do you need, what if you have too much information, what if you don’t have enough, what if the birth families don’t like the pictures that I put in there, what if they think my family is a little too crazy (because lets face it, we are a little), what if they think I have too many pictures of Hunter and not enough or our house or where their baby would be sleeping….the stress and list and worry just goes on and on and on. Last night I went to bed at 1:45 trying to get picture placements just right and put our story in the book but still leave room for more pictures than words. Seems like birth families want to see more pictures than read a story, and I get that too I just want to make sure our story come across through the picture.

I’ve read a lot of blogs on what people look for and it’s ALL OVER THE PLACE!! One birth mom connected with a family because they both liked the same candy, one connected because of the big yard and play set that their child could grow up playing on and one because they looked like a really nice couple and had a big family. So from that, do I put our favorite foods, our favorite snacks or favorite travel spots? What if they think traveling is dangerous (we travel a fair amount), what if they think pizza and tacos aren’t what they want their child eating? Do I sound a little crazy?!? Yes, I think I do.

Any way, I’m happy with how the book is turning out. I still feel like there is a lot more that needs to be in it to try and give a full picture of our family but again, not sure how much is too much. It’s been fun to look through past pictures of friends and family and see how far we’ve come on the family building adventure.

Some page examples….still in the works with the wording but it’s a start 🙂

Now, if you haven’t had the chance or taken the chance to visit the Pacific Northwest YOU NEED TO! We just got back from a MUCH needed family vacation where we started in Medford, Oregon and drove up the coast to Astoria, Oregon to say our final goodbye to my Grandpa Mike. We were able to take our time and not stick to any one agenda, we saw what we wanted to and forgot about the house issues, work stress and adoption for 10 days. It was magical – take the time to go on a trip. Take the time to spend with family and friends. Take the time to unplug and let things go.

A few pictures of our trip – again you gotta see this place!

Well, it’s time to get back to working on our book! If all goes well and or social worker is able to have our report done by the end of this month and I can get our book done by the end of this month……we might be able to be on the waiting family list by August!! AHHHH how amazing would that be?!?!

Life is ALWAYS an adventure…

So as our site says Paddock Family Adventures, we are currently on one of those adventures. Yesterday we headed out from Minnesota and arrived in Oregon for a MUCH needed family vacation. With the stress of all the house issues and the stress of the adoption process we were looking forward to getting a way for a while.

Trip started out normal, left with enough time to check our giant bag as well as the bag that had our car seat and the toddler hiking pack in it. I refused to bring a stroller because I have ‘stroller rage’ with slow people 🙂 First flight was uneventful and long, second flight we had about an hour connection and that flight was only about 45 minutes. Finlly, arrived in Medford (little airport, but very nice).

Here’s where things go a little south, got off the plane made our way to the baggage claim. Our giant bag arrived no issue, BUT the bag with our car seat and hiking pack didn’t make it. In my mind I could care less about the giant bag with our clothes in it, we kinda sorta need the car seat…

I went over to the office for missing luggage, feeling pissed that our things are missing. When I got into the office there was another lady chatting with the guy at the desk. She was on the same flight as us [Sun Country –> Portland –> Alaska Air –>Medford]. Apparently there was an issue in Minneapolis, Sun Country with getting bags on the flights — Awesome! All I can think is that, we still have  2.5 hour drive to our hotel for the night in Crescent City – we NEEDED a car seat.

My turn to talk to the guy at the counter. First I want to say that his name is Chase, red hair and glasses and is completely AMAZING!!!!!! We will be letting Alaska Airlines know how amazingly awesome he is. Anyways, I told him that our car seat didn’t make it and what do we do now? I’ve never had my luggage not arrive at our final destination so this was all new to me. He called Sun Country and the Portland airport to see if they could locate the bag. No luck, no one knew where it was because it wasn’t at any of the airports and it wasn’t on any of the planes.

Chase set us up with a car seat – brand new – and took all of our information. He also went to the Alaska counter and picked us food vouchers for the restaurant in the airport so we could go grab some dinner while he continued to work on finding our bag. Again, he is awesome. Still no luck with the bag but he let us know that anything we go and purchase we can be reimbursed for the expenses. We needed to get a hiking pack for this trip, lucky for us there was an REI about a mile from the airport. We went over to the Enterprise rental counter to pick up the car, I was talking to the lady there and she asked how we were doing – I gave her a little over view of the day and she said “let me see what I can do”, she upgraded our rental to a nicer/larger car with all sorts of bells and whistles!

Made our way to REI found a hiking pack and headed back to the airport to see Chase again. We arrived from Portland at 2:30 pm it is now 7:30 pm and we still haven’t left for the hotel. Met up with Chase, filled out some paperwork for the reimbursement check, got back in the car and started our adventure to the coast!

We go to the hotel around 10:30 pm – which for us is 12:30 pm. I went to go check in, it’s a little hotel with two levels, doors outside. I asked the lady at the desk if we were on the main level because Ryan’s back is not doing great and was using his cane more and more throughout the day. She said that we were set up on the second floor but she gave us a complementary upgrade to a first floor suite. One king size bed for three 🙂

Today we head to the redwoods with our new hiking pack, fully rested and ready for the next adventure!

To be continued….