Friday, March 23, 2012


I can't believe it's already been 7 months.  Time flies when you're HAPPY and having FUN!  This is the view I get to take in everyday when we're out for a jog...which mostly turns in to a walk because our pug doesn't like to run.  In fact she's not a big fan of walking either and by the end she's riding up on top.  But I digress.  I got a phone call this week informing us that Brady is 'legally free'. GREAT NEWS!  We are excited to get this ball rolling as fast as we can.  The cop tells me he has connections in the land of judges and is hoping to move this process along from 'finally free' to 'adopted' faster than the 6 weeks we were told it would take.  So far we have a date of May 30th, but I'll keep you posted if anything changes.  Until then, we are so thrilled that this part of our journey is coming to an end.  No more permission slips for overnight visits, no more monthly visits or court dates, no more usage of the name "Michael Haven"...thank GOODNESS.  (can't tell you how many times I'd be at the doctor's office waiting room with him and have the nurses come out announcing "Michael....Michael?"  Only to have me obliviously sitting there, not paying attention because we never call him by that name.)  Almost there... 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Today I allowed Stevie to join me in my travels up to Dartmouth.  I was heading up to spend the morning with our 'soon to be' newest addition.  Poor boy had surgery yesterday and a fever today.  We got to spend about 4 hours with him holding his hand, rubbing his head, kissing his cheeks and massaging his feet.  He responded by giggling, smiling and blinking his most beautiful eyes.  This has been a hard waiting process.  It took everything in me not to scoop him up and take him home.  
(Stevie holding his hand)
 It touched my very soul as I watched Stevie care for and nurture him.  She was very attentive to his needs and had no fear.  I loved watching her kiss his forehead when she thought no one was looking.  I often was in and out of the room because of busy Brady...and one of the times I walked back in, she had climbed in bed with him.  Just like she used to do with Ben.  It made me smile.
(Me holding his cute feet)
After our visit we enjoyed lunch out on the grass.  It was 80 degrees today, BEAUTIFUL!  Stevie can never resist fun pictures.  This is what she likes to call "Dead in the Ditch".
I'm a fan of climbing BIG rocks...and then jumping off of them.
 We did a lot of reminiscing.  The last time we did this was when Ben was in-patient.  We still miss that boy like crazy.  
But feel so blessed to have such sweet memories to look back on.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Today is BEAUTIFUL!  The rest of this week will be just as lovely.  Even though Brady has been really sick these last couple of days, I couldn't resist getting him out in the jogger for some fresh air.  I love spring.  I love getting outside and feeling the warmth on my face and smelling the newness of the air.  It makes me want to celebrate.  So I the form of ice cream.  And not just once, but THREE times today.
I'm ready for summer.  I'm ready for Brady to feel better.  I'm ready for his adoption to FINALLY be finalized.  I'm ready to start showing his face to the world again.  I'm ready for spring sports.  I'm ready for FUN!

Monday, March 12, 2012


only a mother could love.
Could they have picked a more disgusting color for the contest?
Freshman Kaleb Orton wins first place in the pie eating contest.
LOVE it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


(she went with one of her best friends Parker)

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Just a few days ago, Stevie, Brady and I were at a local basketball tournament.  I was volunteering and Stevie was there to watch and mingle with her friends.  At different times during the day I would put her in charge of Brady while I kept score at the table, or helped out with the concession stand.  While I happened to be at work selling food, one of Stevie's friends comes out to find me.  "Um, Mrs. Orton?  Stevie needs you because Brady pooped."  I kindly reply, "Tell Stevie that she can change his diaper."  She looks at me, says "ok" and runs off.  A few minutes later she and another friend return.  "Um, Mrs. Orton?  Stevie says that his poop is on his onsie and she really needs you."  To end the 'back and forth' communication, I left my post and went to find Stevie.  She was sitting on Brady's blanket, he was half undressed and she was feeling slightly embarrassed.  Why?  Because when she went to change him, she didn't realize the poop went all the way up his back and so before she knew it, she had poop all over his blanket, onsie and clothes.  Fantastic.  People were all around observing the chaos that ensued.  Brady received a complete 'diaper wipes' bath, and before you know it I had him cleaned up and ready to go again.  So...when Sunday rolled around and Brady had another 'doozy', I stepped back.  This is one of those moments where I LOVE being a mother.  The kind of moment where you could swoop in and 'take care of business' but choose to let your children learn all by themselves instead, because it's much more amusing to do so...AND they learn from it to, right?  (plus it was in our home, much less embarrassing than in public)  Brady had some leakage today, you know...the kind that runs down your leg? My daughter's noses became well aware of it as we were cleaning up after dinner.  So instead of taking care of it myself, I let my very capable daughters do what I have done many times before.  And I took great pleasure in watching the scene unfold before my eyes (and camera).
 Many times Kayla said to me..."You know mom, you COULD put your camera down and help us."  I smiled and replied..."No, I'm good thanks."
 It was a good mess...(no pun intended).  The more careful they tried to be, the more it spread.
 If only you could have been present to witness.  It was quite entertaining.
I think at one point, Stevie got some on her hands and screamed.  Brady just looked at her like, "what's the big deal?"
 It's been a few years since we've had to change a dirty diaper and THIS is nothing compared to THIS.
 As a mother, I am confident that when the time comes for these lovely daughters of mine to have children, they will be all set when it comes to changing diapers...even ones that leak down the leg.
And I'm pretty confident that Brady will love me for sharing this story with the world.
To my daughters, YOU are welcome.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

HAPPY CAKE! (finally)

So I'm 10 days past due making this baby...but BOY it was worth the wait.  (right Stevie?)  In my defense, Stevie did have many birthday treats bought/made for her on her actual day.  Because she was SO loved with such goodies, I told her we would put off her cake for a few days.
 Last night was THE night.
 She made a WISH and blew out her candle.
 And then came the most anticipated moment of birthday cake time.
The "Hutchins (traditional) Bite".
 And it was DELICIOUS!
(happy birthday one last time Stevie!)

Monday, March 5, 2012


Last night as we were recovering from our trip away from home there was a knock on the door...when Kayla answered, there was nobody there, but THIS was sitting on the doorstep.
 She got asked to PROM and she's SO excited!
In celebration of her cute invite...we'll be going dress shopping!