Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So This is Happening

If you don't follow me on Instagram, and we aren't friends on Facebook, you may have missed out on this:

Confession: Instagram is full of Ellie videos & photos. It should honestly be her account.

Yes! We are having another baby!
Yes! We are excited!
Yes! I am terrified!  ...And excited!

The girls will be about 16 months apart, so that equals a lot of work fun for this momma. But I am up for it. The work and the fun. We wanted babies close together as Jordi & I both have sizable gaps in age between siblings, so yes, this was planned. I know they will be best friends and worst enemies as they grow and I hope to be a good example to both of them and learn how to keep the peace...and my sanity.

So yay! More cute babies!

I am really hoping for another easy-going baby as that would make things much more manageable, but I know in hoping for such things I will probably get just the opposite. Phooey. But as I am involved with adoption and have several friends who don't know if they will ever have biological children, I cannot and will not complain about being blessed with children and the opportunity to be a mother. Even on hard days, it is the greatest blessing and the purest joy.

As for pregnancy, I think this one has been the kindest yet! I have been really tired, but I usually lay down during one of Ellie's naps and that keeps me going. I am also working on finding an appropriate bedtime as being a night-owl is much harder with a baby who rarely sleeps in. And, as per usual, my skin is freaking out. I have many more face issues than normal, and I have those little bumps on the backs of my arms, I didn't have those before! I don't know why they decided to show up! But honestly, if these are the worst of my troubles, I know I'm a lucky duck.

Cravings have been fun thus far. I am finding I want something, I get it, and then I'm done with it. One that has stuck around the last few weeks is Clamato juice. It's just delicious. And I'll drink it with anything. Most unusual combination thus far: Clamato juice and a caramel chocolate bar.   Yum.

Anywho. I'll do my best to keep you posted. 
And maybe some day take a belly photo if I'm feeling thin.
yah right!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pioneer Day

So Utah has a marvelous day to celebrate and remember and be grateful for the pioneers who came and settled the area. Pioneer Day! July 24th. I'll celebrate almost anything that gets me out of work. So hurrah!

To celebrate Jordi went to work. Not surprising. But Ellie and I had other plans. My sis-in-law Angie recently mailed me a little floating contraption for Ellie to hang out in the pool. You need to understand, this kid loves water. She cries her hardest when her bath is over. It's traumatic. I'm obviously a less than perfect parent because I don't let her sit in there playing and splashing until 9 pm.

So, anyways, we went to city pool with my amazing neighbour-friend Tawyna and her three boys. I over-packed, which isn't surprising if you know me, but hey, you can never have too many snacks. We spent about three glorious hours at the pool. It was awesome. Ellie loved it, and her little toy worked out wonderfully. I burned my shoulders a bit, which also isn't surprising, but I have a new balm, Yoreganics bye bye dry balm, and it's been working wonders. I got it on crazy sale from steals.com, go buy some if you're looking for a wondrous product. It is good for everything!

Get out there and enjoy summer while it's still here!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The (Town)House

Remember that time when we bought a townhouse and never took any pictures? Remember how your curiosity was killing all the cats on your block? Well, cats rejoice! I have taken some photos! And if your house is never this clean, do. not. panic. These were taken immediately after I finished cleaning the house. I was still in pj's, which is why there is only one photo of outside. So don't worry, I am human too. Seriously human.

So here's the door. Jordi fabricated the sun, he's been working on a bunch of really cool outdoor decorations but this one is mine to keep. To the right is our two-car garage. And trash can. It is a very small garage. I have to park in the driveway to take out the car seat as there isn't enough room between the two cars to swing the door open wide enough.

Here's what it looks like when you first walk in. Living room on the left, stairs going up on the right, and the house going back and back forever.

Living room! We bought the white chair and brown leather couches when we moved in. There was the wonderful option to buy a good portion of the staging furniture, so we left our old couch, coffee table and dining room table and chairs in Brigham and upgraded! We only ended up buying the couches, chair and the spare bed, everything was nice, and decently priced, but when trying to buy a home you have to pinch a few pennies.

Just for the record, there is a bigger 3-seater brown couch, it just wasn't captured in any photos. As I go through this post I'm noticing how lousy I am at taking photos of complete rooms. Oops. Good thing I'm not a Realtor.

And we do have some toys for Ellie, they are just hidden in the corner in baskets. I'm working on getting her some advanced toys, now that she can pinch and press and all that fun stuff.

Then comes the kitchen and dining room areas. We bought the table from someone in the area that had refinished the table and reupholstered the chairs. $200. Not a bad deal! It only came with four chairs, so Jordi is going to make us a few benches, one for the kitchen bar area, and one to run one side of the table.

The kitchen is decent. The cabinets are the originals, and we'd eventually like to have them redone, but for now they are fine. We are thinking about getting some hardware for them though, it bugs Jordi that they don't have any knobs or handles, and touching them with grubby hands every day just makes for more cleaning for me.

The appliances also need to be updated, and we will eventually get rid of the overhead microwave. It is currently so low that you have to duck down a bit to see the knobs for the stove elements. Annoying, but livable. The double sink is nice, and there are tons of cabinets for storage. Two lazy susans so all my cans and most of the items I used to store in the laundry room all fit in the kitchen. Handy!

We have an enclosed back out door area. Here are the doors! Ellie loves to play with the glass doors. She'll make faces, kiss herself, hammer it with her dirty little hands and drool and barf. It's great. One plus is that most of the windows and glass doors have a tint on them, so its not pure, intense sunlight streaming into the house. You actually can't see inside the house from the outside. Sneaky.

Outside is a concrete slab with an L-shaped plot of dirt, the home of a lonely bush. There's also a little bit of dirt between the two patio doors by the hose. We want to get some patio furniture, and I'm hoping to someday plant something, maybe some veggies or flowers. And of course Jordi wants to figure out a way to hang up a hammock. Although in that sunlight any one would fry.

Here's one from the other side. The double doors lead to a storage area. But one of the first weekends we were here, Jordi tore down the dividing wall, so now it just leads in to the garage. We would love to take out that whole wall and extend the garage a few extra feet, but that will take some money and some planning. And that's Ellie's shark pool. $10 at Walmart. And she loves it.

This is my office space. For now. I am sure it will convert in to many things over the course of our time here. When we viewed the house it had two sitting chairs and a little rug and a plant and it looked wonderful. But we don't have that much furniture, and I needed somewhere to throw this desk. So viola. I want to get a fun rug and some pillows or a tiny table and chair set and use the corner that currently has the Jolly Jumper as a toy area for Ellie with books, teddy bears, Barbies, whatever is popular at the time.

The hall. Not a big deal. To the left is the laundry room, I forgot to take any photos of that room. But there are some shelves about the washer and dryer, our mini freezer (I love that thing, seriously, get one if you don't have one already), our water heater, and a closet with all our cleaning supplies. Oh, and some potatoes and flour and beans in bags on the floor. You didn't miss much. This hall goes down to our room, it has some storage on the left along with a glass display case for whatever quirky item I feel like collecting in my old age. The open door is our bedroom!

Ta-Da! Our room! When you first walk in the door the bed is immediately to the right against that wall. Originally it was against the far wall, but with the hot summer we need to be under the fan and get all the help we can! I am in love with our bedspread, it was on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond and I'm so happy I snagged it. I still love our wedding quilt, it's just on the spare bed upstairs.   Love the chair? It's not ours. It's my sis-in-law Cyrie's, Jordi is fabricating some new legs for it and then she'll eventually get it back. But until then it gets to hang out in our bedroom and make us look super cool. Everyone loves that chair.   And those sliding doors lead outside. So outside there are two sets of doors like two feet apart from one another. But apparently I need access to outside from my bedroom, so I have it. The natural light is wonderful though, no? At night it's great because the walls are high enough that our room is probably the darkest area of the house, so we still sleep great, but don't use any lights most of the day.

Look! My closet! OK...our closet. This is the biggest closet I have ever had. And it's wonderful. I guess it is really unusual to find a house this old (build in the 70's I believe) to have such a large walk-in closet. I don't know if the closet and bathroom was always there, but hey, I am glad they are! I have junk-loads of room for whatever I can think of! Now I just need to buy more clothes. (ya. right.)

To the immediate left when you walk in to our bedroom is the bathroom. The door situation is kind of lame, the bedroom door, when open, is right in front of the doorway to the bathroom. And if you close the bedroom door, but leave the bathroom door open, it is against the bathtub/shower which makes the shower darker. Which is fine, I really don't mind. But if you really wanted to see yourself scrub every micro-spec of dirt off your body you'd probably need more light. It is great having our own bathroom. In our last apartment the bathroom was down the hall next to Ellie's room, so whenever someone would shower, or if I'd have to blow dry my hair, she'd usually wake up and be upset about things. But now she's far away and I can fry my hair all I want.

I should have taken more photos of the bathroom, but I was rushing as the baby was waking up from her nap. Anyway. Our counter top is a robin egg blue, which is cute, but I notice a lot of the scratches. It's an attempt to match our green toilet and tub. Yup. Classic. It's awesome. The toilet needs a new seat, but we really don't mind the green/blue.

Here's the deal with the house. It had one lady live in it forever. Then she died. (Maybe IN the house! OooOoo, creepy.) And then a local professor bought the place and did a lot of updating and new finishes and sold it again. To us. So, for instance, the carpet is all new (it's meant to look retro if you're wondering. I know the photos don't do it justice, but it's actually really nice. The whole place had that vintage chic look when we walked through, but I haven't been able to recreate that vibe just yet. But it's a goal), the vinyl flooring (fake wood) is new, the tile is new, the kitchen counter tops are new, and the whole place has fresh paint (gray, I love it. Goes with anything!)...So anyway, there are all these nice new things that we really like, but then there are other things that we feel the seller could (should) have done to just finish the project. Like the bathrooms, our bathtub has the sweet ivory-with-gold-swirl shower lining, and the upstairs bathroom has that same stuff for the counter top, and really lousy tile that doesn't match the tile they used in the tub...there are little things like that all over that just should have been done to complete things. The place is completely livable, which is why we bought it, but eventually we are going to make the little changes we feel will complete the updates and make us happier.   So anyway, that's my rant about the house. Moving on.

Back to the entrance. Stairs. No big deal. Going up the stairs to the right you run in to the guest room/Jordi's play room. It has his desk for his laptop, his electric drums, a closet full of all our random stuff, and our spare bed. It could have your name on it! Just come for a visit! But this is a very big room. Possibly just as big as the master if not bigger. But don't quote me on that, I don't estimate square footage very well. Anyway. Nice big room. We can easily fit a couple of bunk beds and a dresser (not that we'd need one, the closet is great) and have toys everywhere and you'd still be able to find some floor. We really love that this room is nice and roomy so our family can continue to grow and we won't outgrow the house.   Don't ask me what we're going to do with the queen size spare bed when we have enough kids to fill this room... That's down the road. Figure that out later. Much later.

So if you were back on the stairs and went left you'd see the bathroom. This bathroom has the gold-swirl counter top that I don't love, and the stupid tile on the floor. I get frustrated because they tiled in the shower, it used to just be a bath, so really, why didn't they just use a bit more of the tile and do the floor to match? It doesn't match at all right now! So it's stuff like that that irks me. Lazy bums. 

But the two sinks are great. And this is the bathroom we make most guests use, just so they don't have to go in our room. And I love having two full tub/shower combos, Ellie has all her bath gear in the upstairs bathroom and so that's her tub. And then it's few steps to her room! Hopefully that will make potty training easier too! Less running for last-minute emergencies!

After the bathroom is Ellie's room. The smallest bedroom for sure, but still a comfortable size. It has more sliding doors, these ones go out to our roof, so you can check out the air conditioner, or drop water balloons on people in the yard...but they'd probably know it was you.

I have never been much of a decorator, you'll notice there isn't a ton of stuff on our walls. It's not that I don't want to do it, or that I don't like to do it, I just never get around to printing photos off, or artwork and decorations seem to expensive to me, little things like that keep me from sprucing the place up. But I'm working on it. I will get better. Just give me time. And some money if you have some lying around.

Ellie's room is nice and bright, but I'm debating getting some darkening shades for the window by her crib so she sleeps a bit better. And just for the record, that rocking chair is not leopard, it's just a throw-blanket covering the cushions. I found that when Ellie was a wee babe and she would spit-up while barfing it would make it all the way to the cushions and run down the fabric. So I put a blanket on there that I would just wash weekly (or however often was needed) and that spared my poor chair.     Now that Ellie is closing-in on a year old I guess I can take it and put it with the other throw blankets in the living room. But that'd be admitting she is growing up, and I can't do that just yet. (I have a hard time putting away clothes that she's outgrown too, yes, I'm that mom.)

But ya. There's the house! For the most part. I know I didn't take great pictures of everything, but hopefully you get the gist of it. (Ya. Gist is spelled with a "g," didn't know that one!) And I also realize the formatting isn't the best. I really did try hard to get the paragraph talking about a specific room close to the picture it was describing, but I'm not great at it. So forgive me. 
 Look, it's a distraction from my imperfections cute baby waking up from her nap! She is ready to have house guests, so you just let me know when you're in town and we'd love to have you!

"come play with me!"

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Adventures

So this past weekend Ellie & I loaded up the Envoy, updated the iPod, and put our brave faces on as we drove to PG to visit the D Clan!
It has been far too long since we had a good get-together, so I was so so happy that we finally shaved out some time and got our butts over there! We drove up Friday afternoon. It wasn't terrible. Ellie was fussy the last hour or so, and I did have to feed her a bottle while driving one-handed...but don't worry, I kept my eyes on the road. (Although I will be much happier when she learns to hold her bottle up enough to feed herself.)
Bennett Selfie
We slept over Friday night and stayed most of Saturday.   Note to parents of babies: although driving at night is the pits, having the baby sleep through the whole trip is wonderful.   Saturday was Strawberry Days so we went to a parade in the morning and cashed-in on tons of candy. I hope those boys scrubbed their teeth extra long that night because they really scarfed it down. In the afternoon we set up a small pool in the yard, played on the trampoline, and just hung out. It was awesome. 
Ellie didn't do so well sleeping or napping, but that's OK. I need to get my hands on a pack-n-play for all our future trips.
Paxton Selfie
Bennett is three already. THREE! I don't know how that happened. And Paxton is amazing. So smart. So handsome. Seriously. Those boys are basically the coolest.
And just a little shout-out, Jared & Amy are hoping to adopt again, and I know that any little one would be blessed to become a part of their family. If you want to check out their blog, click here, there's also contact information there.

Here's some pictures of our awesomeness.
I can hardly wait for next time! 

Ellie: Stats

Ellie had her 9-month check-up on the 20th.
Now that we have relocated I had to find a new pediatrician. I like this new place enough...I guess...OK...maybe not so much.  It was loud and noisy and I waited a really long time just to see the doctor and nurse for 15 minutes. 
So I'm not too impressed, but I'm willing to give it another shot. Maybe Friday mornings are just bad news. Or maybe it's always a gong-show. Time will tell!

Here's how Miss E measures up these days:

Weight: 18 lbs 4 oz 
Height: 28 inches
Head Size: 44 cm 

This new pediatrician's office vaguely goes over the percentiles with you, but doesn't write it down for you like the previous one. (Boo. As you can tell, I'm a little biased.) BUT, as per usual, my baby is very average and sits in the middle of the pack for just about everything. Height she was in the 70's somewhere, but the doctor suggested that perhaps gravity wasn't working on her today. Very scientific.

But hey. She's a beautiful, happy baby. She's healthy. And she's loved.

Those are the most important things, right?

This picture is from our weekend adventures. I'll update you on that shortly!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Voice

A few weeks ago, after I had completed my write-up of all that is new and exciting with Ellie, I proceeded to roam the blogging world, catching up on creeping friends and strangers I find interesting. And, unfortunately, I started to feel lame. About me. About my blogging ability. About what I have to share with the world.
I'm not as witty as some.
I don't use all the cool fonts that make posts more exciting to read.
I don't really have all that much to say.
Nothing uber-unique.
I just live life and brag about my cute kid. And the cute kid I placed.

So I felt sucky about that for a little while. And then I realized (after finally deciding not to totally over-haul my blog to copy-cat others' awesomeness) that I have my own voice. We all do. And maybe I don't have too much to say. But I should say it anyway. I need to. For those I love that are too far to visit often. For myself (hello, free therapy). And for those who might need it.

I do have some cool stories. I am a birthmom after all. And that's pretty neat. And hopefully I can help one other person contemplating placing a child, and help them see life rolls on, beautifully. Perhaps I can shed some light on birthparents for a couple hoping to adopt. And maybe I'll make one friend smile, giggle, LOL or even talk directly to the computer screen (I do it all the time. No big deal.) because of something silly I remember or share.

Maybe I can do those things. And maybe I won't.
But I don't have a chance if I don't try.

So here I am. Via blogging. I'm going to try harder to blog more often and to blog true-to-character, without worrying so much about what all the other cool blogs are doing. 
I'm just me. And I only have my voice. So I'll just use that.

I encourage you to do the same. You'll rock it. I can already tell.

AND, just a plug for a dear friend, if you want to check-up on someone who is going somewhere in the blogging world, check this out.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ellie: Eight Months

The last month has flown by. Ellie is still a wonderful little human being. Some days are long, and some days are hard, but her little smile can perk anyone up in an instant. (Cue every elderly person in Wal-Mart.)

Here's a few things that have transpired in the last month.
  • is [still] toothless. I swear for the last month or two she has been teething. Tons of drool. Fussiness. Waking up at night. Chewing on everything. But no teeth. I'm sure they'll pop-out when I least expect it.
  • can crawl! ...OK... Just army crawl. But man, if she wants something, she will wiggle her chunky little self over to it and attack. The PlayStation remote has been a repeat victim. We are trying to teach her "no no" and distract her with other things, but we've had limited success.
  • loves other babies. She will look at them and chatter, laugh and screech. She also loves herself. Pictures. Videos. She thinks she's pretty great.
  • is a talker. All sorts of noises, sounds, mouth movements, she loves them all.
  • is a tiny dancer. (Couldn't help it.) She will break-it-down with a little encouragement, AKA failing around like an idiot. I'm sure she just gets involved out of sympathy for me. I've been trying to catch it on video, it's pretty cute.
  • is getting attached. When I leave the room it goes one of two ways: A: She doesn't care. "Fare thee well, Mother."   B: The world is over because I left her alone. How dare I.   It can be a struggle, that girl has a set of lungs, but we manage.
  • is interested in food. My food. She still has 5 feedings a day, three with baby food, but mushy food for babies is pretty limited (and boring), but I don't feel comfortable giving her things that require chewing as she is toothless, so she's kind of stuck in a rut for now. Hopefully we can figure something out and some teeth decide to show up so we can move on to new things!
  • is learning about object permanency, so going to bed has been a bit of a challenge. The last month or so I have given her a bottle right before bed and she usually drifts off while finishing it off (as per usual), but then she would wake up at 4am all upset and I'd get up and go help her, but when I left the room she would start up again. No fun. So I did a little bit of research (thanks, Google) and decided to start putting Ellie to sleep while she is still somewhat awake and aware of her surroundings. So she drifts off to sleep in her crib and when she wakes up she knows that place is familiar and safe and is can put herself back to sleep. It's been about a week and it has been going really well. She still wakes up some nights, and I go up to help her, but then when I leave if she cries a bit I just wait it out and she calms down and goes back to sleep. I know there are mixed feelings on the Cry It Out method, but it has helped us thus far.
  • naps. And boy is that heavenly! She regularly has two naps, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon, and they can be from 1-2 hours. That's prime showering time!
  • usually doesn't cry when she wakes up (from a nap or nighttime sleep), she tends to play and blabbers to herself until someone comes to get her. Going in to her room is a treat, she is just so happy to see you, it makes me laugh every time.

Ellie: We love you oodles and oodles. I know you never want to sit still for photos, and that's OK. You are beautiful inside & out. 
We are so blessed to watch you grow a little more every day.