As always, if any of these or the answers spark some new questions... submit new questions in the comments section and I'll answer them with one of the subsequent groups.
Here we go!
1.) Do you and John have any nicknames for each other (sweet or embarrassing)? What about the boys? Have you given them nicknames other than "little man" and "tiny man"?
Nicknames... John and I really just call each other "Honey" - there isn't too much creativity there, but it works. For the boys - we haven't really settled in on anything besides the two you mentioned - but I do call them "Jay" or "Tee" or "Ty" - we've called them "stinker pants" "fussy man" and things like that too. John has a game he plays with James where he turns him upside down while holding him by his legs... and for some reason he calls him "Turkey James" while doing it - it makes James laugh really hard, so we go with it! One other set of names we've used is to call James our "greatest gift" and Tyler "our miracle."
2.) What is the best part of being a mama to two boys that you never even thought or dreamed about before having either of them? And you can't say the unconditional and overwhelming love, because that's a given. :)
It's hard to say the best part of having two... I can say right now that the best part of being a parent - or at least the part that makes it all worth it - is the big smile you get when James sees you after being away from you for a while. That instant recognition of you being his Mommy... it's magical. Tyler will get there in a few months - so it'll make all of this hard work and lack of sleep mean that much more.
They do baby dedications - in fact they've contacted us twice since Tyler's birth for a ceremony... but the times they've contacted us have been 1) when Tyler was still in the hospital and 2) when James has been sick... so we haven't done it. In all honesty though, we are planners and would really want to be able to set it up in time to have some of our family be able to attend. So I'm looking for a weekend to make that happen - I was thinking about doing it around a holiday, but we'll see. I'm also a little torn on waiting until James' adoption is final too - just to have it be a sort of public way of going full circle with our church family.
Now with both babies to care for how are you handling meals? Do you cook a lot ahead of time and freeze it or just let every night bring a surprise?
So far, we've been very blessed by our church family... they brought us meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for three weeks after we brought Tyler home. So we've had plenty of food on hand to just grab and go. We also planned ahead and cooked things to freeze into meal sized portions - which we have done pretty much since I had weight loss surgery. It's easier to cook a regular meal, and then divide it up to take to work for lunches or use on nights when cooking just isn't an option. When we can make it work - we will cook while the other one of us takes care of the boys and gets the bedtime routine started.
How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?
It was a very surreal time - so I'd say shocked, overwhelmed, elated, and nervous. I already had a baby that filled the empty place infertility left for me... and I had been told that I wouldn't have a child naturally... so I really essentially had moved on. I planned on praying for God to bless us with a pregnancy if he wanted that to be part of our story for the future... but little did I know that the whole time I was pregnant. I mean literally from the time we finished our home study for the adoption - that was about the time I got pregnant. Before we lost the baby girl placement in February... before James came along... it's crazy when you think of it. But also, very clear why I thought the nausea was stress or part of one of my normal illness cycles. (I have suffered from occasional periods of extreme nausea lasting 2 weeks to a month or more for several years.)
How did you meet your husband?
The short answer - Online.
The long answer - We met initially in 1997 on America Online by chatting and instant messaging... after chatting for a few weeks or so, John had me mail him a photo of myself. (I didn't have any digital photos back then) I chose a photo from high school that was one of my favorites, but apparently it made me look too young... so John stopped talking to me. About a year passed, and we started chatting again on AOL - this time around we both were in relationships - but mine was an abusive situation so he tried to talk me into leaving my boyfriend at the time and seek a healthier relationship for myself. We stopped talking again and over time I did realize that my situation wasn't good for me and I made the changes to my life that I needed to make. One more year later - (the third time was the charm) we started chatting one last time and we both were single. The situation was perfect... and we've been together ever since! We started officially dating in March of 1999... engaged in early 2001... married in February 2002!
What made you decide on James and Tyler for the names of your boys?
For James - John always wanted his first born son to have the same initials as he has...which are also his father's initials. We toyed with the idea of naming him after John, but I didn't want to have people calling him Junior... so instead we named him after a high school teacher that John was really close with. That teacher worked with the Ag program at John's high school and was special to him. He never had children of his own, and he died suddenly while John was in college... and at his funeral one of the other teachers told John that the guy told him once that if he ever had a son - he'd want him to be just like John. So, we named him after him and gave him my father-in-law and John's middle name. Ironically, my grandfather on my Dad's side was named James too - he didn't go by that name, but it was his... also one of my uncles, a cousin, and a cousin's son are all also named James.
What is your favorite thing about being a mom to two young children?
I think for me in this moment, my favorite thing is knowing that I overcame some incredible obstacles to get here... we worked so hard for 8 years to get where we are today... and we've been given such a blessing by being faithful and never giving up. We prayed so many different prayers - both for natural babies, and even for God to give us the babies that he would want us to raise... and look where we are. We were given the incredible privilege to raise James and love him like he deserves to be loved... AND at the same time we were given the miracle of Tyler to raise and love just the same. With all of that being said - it can be incredibly overwhelming at times!
What is you favorite thing to do? (other than be with your boys)
There are so many answers that could go here... I'd say that in the fall... it's getting a Starbucks and hitting the craft fair circuit... I LOVE craft fairs! In the other times of the year - I have a really deep love of cooking and trying new recipes... reading, watching movies, hanging with friends... basically there isn't one set answer - it just depends on the day and my mood.
James is awake now... so I've got to run play with him, but I'll be back to answer more of your burning questions soon!! If you think of any new questions to add to the list - just enter them in the comments section, I love being able to interact with you guys in this way!