Call me crazy, but... I, currently 30 weeks & 4 days pregnant, have agreed (along with my husband) to take our little man to Disney World in just 2 weeks
- at over 8 months pregnant!

It might seem a little nuts, but our friends have been begging us for 4 months to go with them. They go all the time and love it!

I have been to Disney 3 times in my life and hated all 3 times, or at least as much as I can remember about them; which, honestly, isn't much at all. And hubby, who is 11 years older than me, remembers even less.

We assumed that we would just take him later on when the baby was about 7 months and just enjoy it altogether, but after talking to people who have been with a baby before and those who's children are growing up with the experience of Disney as an only child (at least thus far) we realized that it's a memory that's special for each child. Noah is already six and his window to experience the "magic" is kinda running out. Since we don't celebrate things like Christmas and he doesn't believe in Santa, we at least want him to run up a Buzz Lightyear character and still feel like he's REALLY seeing Buzz from Toy Story. Not that I assume my kid is dumb... Just that he's still a bit gullible; and I like it that way.

We schemed with his best friend's, Davis, parents and in just the past 2 days have decided, booked, and payed for a 5 day vacation to Disney in January. Reading this post of helpful hints really convinced me that it's possible to enjoy Disney even a little bit swollen and a little bit exhausted haha
Below, is a video of us breaking the news to them this afternoon.

Last night, we were getting ready to eat dinner... Mind you, we need to go grocery shopping, and keep putting it off, so badly that Jon basically made up what we were having for dinner, dumped a bunch of stuff in a pot, and put it on a plate! I was already not in a great mood because, being pregnant, who wants to just eat what they are given with no choice?? A travesty!

Anyway, I started talking to Noah about his day at school & what he had for lunch, because when he stays at his mom's she normally doesn't pack a lunch. Sneaky little devil that he his though, always gets strawberry milk with his lunch and picks out every "junky" al a carte item on the menu. Either that, or he trades with someone. We haven't quite figured that out yet. I just know that the time he came home & had nachos, a bag of chips, strawberry milk, and chocolate chip cookies for lunch, I about came unglued!

Don't get me wrong, I am a big advocate of rewarding good behavior (or a good workout) with a little indulgent treat. But, when you are 6, already have a few cavities, and don't like playing outside alone-- I kinda feel like I have to make sure your whole life isn't an indulgent treat. Especially, when my love of dessert is what got him craving sweet things in the first place! Guilty. :(

That being said, he told me that he had a strawberry milk again... Like always. Now, we have already made the rule that he can have only water or milk when he gets home from school, instead of juice (because I swear the child doesn't drink water at all unless made to & it equals NEVER going pee)! So, I told him that he had to chose between having "healthy milk" (white milk) at school and getting dessert after dinner... Or, he can have a strawberry milk only.

The response I got shocked the pants off of me.
He said, "Okay. My other mama doesn't care because she's my REAL mama."

That is the single most dreaded sentence that a step-parent has in the back of their mind. "You're not my real mom/dad!"
Poor thing didnt even realize that he had crushed my feelings (and my hormones) but I couldn't do anything but sob into my husband's shoulder about something he will never experience or understand.

My dear, dear husband tried to explain to Noah why my feelings were hurt, but Noah didnt understand and the more he talked about it the worse it sounded and the more I cried. He is a professional justifier, just so you know. ;)

All I could imagine was him being 16 and wanting to do something that I said no about, using the fact that he didnt come out of my stomach as an argument. And then what would I say?

I got over it after a while, but had to quickly blog about it, while I sit here in the pedicure chair where most women gossip and I am analyzing my life haha-- Ah, the trials of step-parenting. And the rewards too... ❤
My boo is growing up so fast. I took this picture of him on the way to an assembly we went to over the weekend. I swear, sometimes I could mistake him for 15, not six. Love him so much!

He is excelling at school and after the first report cards came out we found out that he is meeting requirement at almost every subject in class. A cause to celebrate for sure!

Things have been such a challenge lately with him asking so many questions about God and people's attitude towards him and our beliefs as Jehovah Witnesses. Not to mention his mom getting remarried and now he tells just about everyone that he has two moms and two dads... The constant shuffling of his emotions and how he adjusts to all the changes going on in his life. It amazes me. He will be a much more flexible, well-adjusted person than I am.

Every day I get more excited to see his lil personality develop... See how much like Jon he really is. Before Noah, I never knew another child of divorce (besides, my brother, who I saw quite rarely) and thought that their spirit would be slightly more 'broken'... more reserved.  As my hubby would say though, ASSUME makes an ass out of you and me... And, yet again, he would be right. 

I know everyone rants and raves about their children; how great they are and how smart. But, there are some days when I really just want to broadcast everything Noah says from a loud-speaker and share with everybody what a remarkable kid he is truly turning out to be. 

I really think he has more love in his little toe than I do in my whole body and more understanding in his crazy lookin' smile than I do in my best written sympathy card. More than anything, I hope he stays that way. Innocent and genius all wrapped up into one. 

Noah & Grady (Ohio 11/12)

I don't know what I would do without Noah. I picked him up from school & took him to Target with me today... While we're in there he points at a sign near the cosmetics and asks what it says. 
Me: "Beauty."
Noah: "What does beauty mean?"
Me: "It means someone or something who is really pretty. Like, when you say something is beautiful, you're saying they look pretty, or they look like a beauty."
Noah: "Oh... I think you look like a beauty." 
♥ ♥ ♥ I hope baby boy gets his manners from big brother!!!
"I always liked the story of Noah's Ark and the idea of starting anew by rescuing the things you like and leaving the rest behind."- Zach Braff

This morning we went to Noah's 5th "family session" with the school counselor. These awkward, yet needed, exchanges always make me leave feeling like the counselor is judging me and my family... Just the way she says "...OK" after you make a comment irks my nerves to core. 

After she initially gave us information on Noah's probable ADHD diagnosis she decided to see all of us once a month. Meanwhile, seeing Noah once a week; mostly to deal with school issues such as interrupting, talking like a baby, or focusing on work, and occasionally the topic of divorce.
Regardless of my personal feelings though, Noah grew to look forward to visiting with her and it seemed like her therapeutic manner had a very calming affect on him. Lately, he has considered visiting her as one of the best parts of his week.

In the course, of the last five months we have been able to get him evaluated and diagnosed as mild ADHD-inattentive. The behavioral specialist at his pediatrician noticed right away that Noah is a very special and smart kid! Everyone takes notice of how sweet and observant he is... However, he definitely has some impulsive behaviors such as blurting out in class without raising his hand and talking to his friends instead of pay attention. Because of this Dr. Williams recommended that we consider mild medication to help Noah concentrate while at school. Not one of the people involved in his life is a fan of a child taking pills. Needless to say, a stressful decision to make. Especially, when you have a very slim, 48 pound kid and one of the main side effects is picky eating! haha.

I am SO happy we didn't make that decision until last week. We had our first meeting with Noah's kindergarten teacher this year (a different one than his kindergarten last year) who definitely commended us for keeping him back this year. She said that Noah is right on target as far as academic achievement this year &, more than anything, she believes he will have a successful year. That took an enormous amount of tension off of our shoulders. She has 3 children with ADHD/ADD and knows exactly what we are going through but, even better, she knows how to treat and deal with Noah in school. Amazing energy, lots of one-on-one work, and rewards/praise for doing well. She also doesn't expect more of any of her students than they can produce. 

In comparison with last year, this year has been AWESOME for our little monkey. He even gets done with his work in time to draw on it! That was a shocker! Poor little things just makes friends too easily and talks too much in class. (But, then again, who didn't? I know I did.)

Today, the counselor confirmed that Noah is doing a GREAT job keeping up with the other students and has matured personality wise in an extreme way-- just from June. She now only wants to see him every other week and have family meetings every two months instead of each month. She did NOT suggest that we put Noah on medicine and neither did his daily teacher.

I am indescribably glad that Noah has retained what he needed from last year and started fresh this year with a good prognosis. School is just harder for some than others and he hasn't necessarily had all of the opportunities other kids have... He's such a wonderful kid and I can't wait to see what he surprises us with!