Sunday, January 17, 2016

Then and Now

Where does the time go?  I mean, really.  Where does it go?

I absolutely hate that I have let the blog go this long without even a single word.  It’s not that it hasn’t been on my mind.  Not at all. 

There are so many reasons and excuses I could give for why our page has been totally silent, but I will spare you.  Instead, I’ll fill you all in on where we are now.  There have been some pretty exciting changes around here! 

Including the fact that we now have a TWO year old!

You may (or may not) remember my excitement over becoming a stay-at-home-mom when K was first born.  It really was a blessing, and I would never wish away that time.  However, it was a big adjustment for me, as well.  An adjustment I really didn’t handle that well, if I’m being honest.  I felt very lonely over that first year, and had very little motivation. 


The first thing I found to remedy these issues was an Early Childhood PTA in our area!  There are so many fun activities planned with and for the kids in our group (even a few mom’s nights out!), and we have made a bunch of new friends!  Miss K has become so social over the last year (plus), and I am so glad to have found a support system within the group!  If you’re a mom with young kids, definitely look in your area to see what groups are out there!  Our group has been a life saver for us!


Through the PTA I met and befriended a gal who very successfully runs her own business from home (you know who you are), and she motivated me to do the same! I don’t think this is the first mention of my Thirty-One business on our page, but it was VERY new to me at the time of my last post.  I’m excited to say that I’ve found my groove, and am loving my business!  The company is so supportive and positive, plus I have all the resources I could ever imagine.  BUT, I get to work the business on my time!  It’s fantastic.  And fun! 

In fact, I love it so much that I’m testing the waters with another home based business – It Works!  It’s so new that I’m still a little protective.  So… we’ll see how it goes!

And if that wasn’t enough for you (or me, or us), I’m thrilled to say that I am now back to work!  Part time.  I’m working as a hospital receptionist and I LOVE it!  The new schedule and responsibilities have taken even more adjusting, but I think we’re getting there (I actually just celebrated my first year anniversary).  I still get to have all sorts of fun with K during the day (we love to dance our behinds off at Jazzercise, have play-dates with our friends, go swimming, watch movies, color, read and take classes at the YMCA), and Nate is home on time to be with her on the nights I work.

Family (it’s growing!)

Aside from staying busy with work and fun activities with K, we have been trying to keep up with our families, too!  All of the kids are growing so fast, and it’s so fun to watch their interests and talents grow and change.  I’m so happy to know that K will have these kids in her life as she grows!  I hope they stay close, like cousins should!

My sister and her husband welcomed TWO new bundles of joy – TWINS – and I am such a proud auntie!  Miss K can’t get enough of the babies, and even though they live far away we Facetime with them whenever we can.  When we do visit, K is such a good helper (unless she needs some of her own attention, of course).  She’ll pick up binkies and toys to help keep the babies entertained.  She’s going to be such a good big sister…

Speaking of which!

We received a surprise telephone call over the summer, and learned that K’s birth mom, J is expecting again!  She has asked us to grow our family once more by adopting K’s baby sister who is due to arrive in the next few weeks!  I would never dream that things would work out this way, but it has truly been a blessing!  Once again, we have been invited to attend pre-natal doctor appointments and plan to be in the delivery room when the baby is born!  We have stayed in touch with her since K was born, as you know, so it just feels natural!  This is the beauty of open adoption, my friends!

We couldn’t be happier!!

To prepare for the new baby, Miss K’s bedroom got a makeover!  Oh how she love that Tinkerbell (for now)!

This post can’t possibly update you on everything that has happened since my last post, but I hope it gives you a little taste.  I really do hope to get back in the habit and rhythm of regular updates.  I’ve said that before, so… no promises!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

It goes without saying that I've been a tad absent from the blog lately.  We're (hopefully) coming to the end of a very busy season in our lives, and unfortunately the blog took a back seat during that time.  But don't fret!  I have the photos to share and monthly updates to post.  I promise!

In the mean time, Miss K wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween! I got her ladybug costume last year, shortly after we were matched with J in the adoption.  I just love most things ladybug, and I couldn't resist!  Daddy even got in on the fun and created a homemade costume to match!

We had a special visit from "Auntie," all the way from Michigan and headed to Boo at the Zoo.  We collected treats from 12 different themed stations and got to visit with all the animals.  They were much more active than normal.  Nate nearly got a "bear hug" from one of the grizzlies, who jumped up on the glass behind him while we were trying to get a picture!

I think it's safe to say that K's first Halloween was a success!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Bravelets for Conquering Infertility

Heads up.  I'm going to post about a fundraiser.

I'm only giving a warning because I know that fundraising in adoption is a bit of a hot topic.

Fundraising for infertility is in the same boat, I'm sure.  Personally, I've never heard about it before now.  But, someone very close to me is involved in infertility fundraising and I wanted to help this person out!

My loved one has partnered with Bravelets to raise funds to help cover the cost of infertility treatments.

According to the Bravelets Website:
"Bravelets™ is not a non-profit organization. We are a for-profit company with giving at our core. We believe in transparency. We believe in making a difference. We don’t believe in the phrase “a portion of proceeds will be donated….” What does that mean? Is a portion $.01? Is a portion 1%? That kind of giving is confusing and un-fulfilling to the purchaser. We want you to feel good about your purchase. We want you to know, when you look down at your wrist, that $10 was donated to your cause. We want you to know that you helped make a difference."
In my opinion, fundraising to afford unique family building options should be left up to the growing family.  If you're comfortable participating in a fundraiser, then go for it!  And if you have the ability, participate in fundraisers for other families too.  If not, then don't.  But leave it at that.  No need to express your opinion about something that probably already received plenty of thought in the decision making process.

If you don't agree with family building fundraising, feel free to skip over this post.

But, if you're willing and able to support a couple in need of assistance in building their family, then visit this page.  $10 of each purchase made will help my loved on on their way to growing a family!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Web Browsing Wednesday

I found some really great articles around the Web this week.  Here are my favorites!

1) It's Their Day, Too.

"I did not check off many to-do boxes today, but my little ones did: learn, play, eat, sleep, read, and repeat. And I helped them do those things. If I measure each day by my list, they are not always very good, but when I look at each day like it is their day too, because it IS their day, too, well, then most days are better. A lot better."

2) 10 Things No One Ever Told Me About Having A Daughter

"The casual reader will likely hear in these only the saccharine. But those of us with daughters will also hear what is terrifying, vulnerable, disorienting... and sacred."

3) Me Too

"There's just something awesome about being adored by your kids.  They think that you make magic just by existing.  So I worked really hard at trying not to show the ugly parts of myself to my kids.  Even while battling postpartum and post adoption depression I tried relentlessly to make sure that my kids saw a happy mom who had her crap together.  I thought that's what they needed.  But one of my kids needed me more than she needed the facade."

4) For Moms Who Can't Lock Themselves In The Bathroom

"We all live in the real world though, and despite our best efforts there will be days when everything that can happen, will. I hate that dry and weary feeling. It’s the feeling that I’m lost in the middle of the wilderness with my babies and we need something more, something to bring more clarity and joy to our day."

5) Defending The Decision To Place

"Finally, the decision is made to carry this child and then to place this child with a loving and able family. Who would have thought having to explain your decision a thousand times would come next. At times, having to defend yourself and the choice you made for YOU and YOUR CHILD feels like a headache and heartbreak."

 6) Under A Microscope As A Transracial Adoptive Family

"I don’t let situations like these bother me. We are a family, we love each other and are proud to be a family."


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Second Visit

I'm excited to say that a few weekends ago we had our second visit with K's birth mom, and it went great!  K even got to see/meet a few others from her birth family.  It was such a great weekend!

We decided to try a two day visit this time.  Our last visit was really just a lunch, and we wanted J to have to chance to 1) spend some quality time with K and 2) get to see her little personality come out!

Using Hotwire we got a great deal on a hotel for Saturday night.  It ended up being an extended stay hotel with an outdoor pool, which was perfect!

Saturday morning, right around the time of K's first nap we loaded up the car and hit the road.  Since J was bringing her son (who still needs a car seat) and her grandpa, we decided to rent a car once we got to Columbus.  There wasn't enough room in our car for everyone, and the rate we got on the rental car was about the same as we would have spent on gas to take two cars the whole way.

So, we picked up the rental car around 11:00 and headed over to J's house to pick everybody up.

There was an event going on that weekend called Festival Latino, so we decided to check it out.  It was huge!  So many events and vendors.  I've never seen something like it before.  I was impressed.  The only downside was that the parking lot we chose was $20 a car.  If we go back in the future, we'll definitely find somewhere else to park!

We didn't stay at the festival for very long, though.  It was so hot on Saturday, and there weren't many shady areas to stay in.  We were all very sweaty and ready for lunch!

It was a little difficult to navigate down town Columbus with two cars.  I probably should have turned on the GPS on my iPhone and given Nate our actual GPS, but I didn't think of that until after the fact.  We saw a Johnny Rockets restaurant and quickly decided that was what sounded good.

It was K's lunch time, too and she doesn't ever eat well if there are any distractions around.  So I made her bottle and fed her in the car while everyone else headed inside for lunch.

Once K had finished eating, we both headed inside too.  Lunch was a delicious, but a little rough since it was so crowded in the restaurant.  We successfully dropped an entire sandwich on the floor and spilled a full glass of ice water.  Oh well!  We tried to clean up after ourselves as best we could....

After we ate, everyone decided that it felt like nap time.  We dropped J back off at home and agreed to meet up for dinner.  Then we headed over to check in to our hotel.

I was nervous about our first hotel stay with K, especially since we were in the process of sleep training (check  out my post about it on Northeast Ohio Parent, here).  But, everything went perfectly!  We set up the pack and play in the kitchen area of our room - it was slightly separated from the rest of the room, so miss nosey wouldn't  be too distracted with all of us sharing a room.  Right after we checked in, she ate another bottle and took a nice long nap.  We just turned on her white sound machine, and she slept just as well at night and during her naps as she has been at home.  Such a relief!

Getting comfy at her first hotel stay
It felt so much more comfortable to be checked in to the hotel, and not driving around Columbus in a car packed with stuff.  Our room was pretty tiny, but we thought it would be nice if J could just come over for pizza and hang out with us.  This way she could play with K, and not have to be sitting at a restaurant.  Plus, we had our swim suits so we could cool off in the pool from our hot day at the festival.  I texted J to see what she thought of that plan, and she seemed really excited.

Nate went and picked up J, her son and her grandpa while K was napping.  Then we ordered pizza and headed to the pool.  J's younger sister doesn't live far from where our hotel was, so she came over too and we all went swimming.  It was such a fun night!

Pool Baby!
The next day, J's dad wanted to meet all of us for breakfast.  It was so cute to see him with K, and really was a nice morning spending time together.

After breakfast we went to drop J off at her house, but we still had time before the rental car had to be returned.  We ended up spreading out a blanket and chairs in her yard and letting the kids play.  K's birth dad was there and got to spend some quality time with her.  And later J's older daughter came over to visit, too!

I am beyond thrilled that K got to spend so much time with her birth family, and I think it's safe to say that two day visits are the way to go.  It was hard to leave when K started getting sleepy, but we've found that nap time is the best time to start any long road trip.

So, we said our goodbyes and promised another visit before Winter hits!