Friday, 28 February 2014

The State of Things

Who loves winter? This girl, right here! Who's so over this winter? This girl, right here - along with I'm sure everyone in our region. I love snow, I think it's pretty, I love playing in it and looking at it and walking around in it...but I am SO sick of these frigid temps. I can't ever remember more consecutive days of nostril hair freezing in my life! I'm not necessarily asking for spring quite yet, just perhaps if we could up the average temperate from -16 to -3 that'd be fantastic, and it would feel like spring! I've been blessed that I am able to stay home with LaLa*, but this winter has been tough on me, and poor Kai. We haven't been able to get out as much as I would have liked. It seemed like any day I had it in my head we'd try for a walk it was colder than Mars, or a blizzard, or so windy the dog started floating away like a balloon. We did manage to get out a couple times to enjoy the beauty of winter...

but we are all definitely suffering from a bit of cabin fever. This cold winter is making me lazy :( being home pretty much all day everyday is slowly killing me. I often sit around and do nothing. It seems like any day I have in my mind I'm going to clean, or do a project, or organize something LaLa decides to practice her demon child routine and will only want to be held, or played with or read to, all day - and those are also the days where she seems to care less about sleeping. On the opposite end, it seems like the days where I'm exhausted and just want to sit around and veg and do nothing, she's fine being on her own and has marathon naps, making me feel like a useless slug. 

SO, I need to do something about it! I've recently started getting into a better cleaning/tidying routine so the house doesn't look like a bomb went off after a tornado went through (huzzah), so I figured it would be a good idea to start trying to check a few things off my "to-do" list. My goal is, that for March (and hopefully longer) I will accomplish one or two things a week from my long list of half-finished or barely-started projects. As well as a couple things that I've had on the docket for a while but haven't started - so I don't have to listen to Jason complain about me starting another project when they're "a million" on the go already. Some things are small, easy little things, others are more involved, and some are things that I have no idea why they aren't already done haha (3rd coat of paint in the dining room?!)

I'm hoping that by setting a goal of at least one thing a week, it will help me feel a bit more accomplished, like I'm actually doing something, as well as make Jason more of a happy camper - so that he'll help me with a few of the things I need want him to do for me. So here's my keep me accountable! Spam me, harass me, tell me you'll never be my friend again if I don't get things finished and posted! (I know Mer and Steph will be good at that hehe) I've got so many good things on the go that I really want to show off, and hopefully it'll distract me until Spring!

*LaLa is a nickname we use with her. In order to maintain confidentiality I won't be using her given name on the blog. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Adoption Journey: The Day Our Lives Forever Changed

It's Friday October 11. The weekend of Thanksgiving, and this weekend we would have more to be thankful for than any other. We were told Thursday when we went in to sign a bunch more paperwork that she was due to be discharged around 9:30 and we could expect her and her worker at our house after that. Here's how our day went down...

The crack of stupid: I woke up (if you could call it "waking" since I hardly slept a wink) I tried reading, and pacing, and doing more laundry. I cleaned the bathroom (again). I paced some more, tried watching a movie. Stood in front of the fridge unsure if I'd be able to keep any food down.

8am: Jason finally woke up, and we both sat around anxious.

9am: We still hadn't heard anything from any of the workers and I'm finding it extremely hard to be patient. I email the placement worker asking if she'd heard anything, if we have time to go into town to do the few things we have to do.

9:15am: Heard back that there was a delay with the court order so she wasn't going to be discharged now until noon. (ACK as if time wasn't going slow enough. As if I wasn't nervous or anxious enough, now we get to prolong our suffering for three more hours!)

10am - 12pm: We finally head into town to do errands. We had to pick up Jason's contacts, and exchange the diaper bag we had and pick up a few other things. But we basically just wondered around the mall and Wal-Mart killing time, trying to keep our mind off what was going to happen in a few hours.

12:30pm: We get back home. Still no word from any of the workers.

1pm: The photographer showed up. The awesome Stephanie Gascho from First Moments photography. She does some amazing birthing photography, so tasteful and well done. 

2:45pm - 4pm: The worker finally shows up with the most beautiful, tiny little baby girl and my heart exploded. Jason was out playing with the dog, trying to distract himself. I called to him and my voice cracked like a pubescent boy. I got her out of the car seat and handed her off to Jason. 

Neither of us cried - surprisingly - although I came close a couple times if I looked too long at Jason. Gah, there's just something about a man holding a baby, the mixture of strength and vulnerability just make them seem so much more manly.

Then we had to actually focus - on something other than the baby. Man, that was hard. Her worker went over more paperwork. Gave us info on withdrawal (because there was a chance of that) we had to go over what the access schedule would be like (since the birth family is entitled to "x" amount per week). 

There were a few things we had to sign. But after all that waiting, and nerves, and talking we were finally left alone with our brand new baby. Who naturally, had taken a massive crap while the grown ups were talking.

 Ok seriously!? Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the pure awesomeness that is this picture. I thought I knew joy when we were approved, and then again when we heard about her and we said yes. But neither of those moments even come close to what I feel when I see Jason looking at our baby girl like this. And he looks at her a lot like this. Be jealous ladies.

Then we brought Kai in to meet her. We never really had any doubts about Kai being alright with her. She's an awesome, laid back, super friendly dog. But, she had never met a brand new baby before, so we still wanted to play it safe...and slow. I'm so happy the photographer was still there to capture Kai's first meeting, because it's just too cute.

It was love at first sight for Kai too. We're all pretty smitten, and Jason is fully aware that he is going to be screwed in the future. The first time she says, "Daddy" he's going to be down for the count.

4pm - 7pm: We made the rounds visiting my grandparents and a couple friends. Naturally they were all taken with how beautiful and calm and alert she was.

7:30pm - 9pm: My mum and sister, and Jason's parents came over to finally meet her, and bring some cute little gifts...and most importantly food, because I hadn't been able to eat up until then.

This was the greatest day of our lives. The day we became parents. Sure we're going to experience a lot of ups and down during this foster-to-adopt process but we're more than ready to jump on the roller-coaster if it means we get to be the forever home for this beautiful, perfect little girl.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Inspired By: Closets I Could Live In

Since we currently have two closet projects on the go - a complete overhaul in the nursery, and a minor facelift in the master, I've been having fun getting inspiration from some gorgeous closets. I love me a well organized closet, and I can't wait until ours if functioning at full capacity. I like looking at all the ridiculously large walk-in closets out there, not really practical for us since we don't really own many clothes haha. I have a dream to one day be able to afford my Pinterst wardrobe. Here are some killer closets that have been helping push on the closet revamp.

This is a great example of what you can do with a fairly standard size closet. I love the drawers and shoe storage. Definitely a great use of space. Although this is only the man side of things, I'm sure there's an even bigger ladies version on the other side. But you could still implement many of the same ideas in a standard closet.

This is another effective use of not a lot of space. I like the shoe shelves, it would be more than enough shoe space for me (and Jason if I let him). I think my favourite part of this space is the row of drawers dividing the hanging spaces. Brilliant. They probably have it filled with beautiful jewelry, but I'm more practical, and would most likely shove socks and underwear in them.

A fairly standard sized walk-in I think, looks to be about the same size as what we'd make ours when we renovate the master suite. I feel like they should've raised everything up about a foot to give the hanging clothes more room, so they're not trailing on the ground or the shelf below. We'd definitely have to, one downside to being tall, your clothes are generally bigger.

Ok, can we just take a moment to bask in the gloriousness that is this closet. It's basically the same size as the nursery, so something like this is clearly never going to happen at this house, but I would love something know for all the clothes we don't have.

Both of the closet updates going on in our house are on a much smaller scale. We're just trying to gain more functionality, not win contests haha, but it's fun (and important) to dream, and I think closets are a good place to do that.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Light me Up

Now that the nursery isn't looking like this any more...

(I apparently sneezed while taking this picture? And it's the only before)

It's time to update that old square cover. In all honesty, that came down when I was painting, and I have no idea where it went, so we currently rocked the exposed bulbs for a while in there. (as well as most other places) Beautiful, I know, hence why we needed to update. I found a light I really liked, for a good price, except it was a table lamp...

It's by Allen & Roth, form Lowes, and at $74 it's within budget. It's not too difficult to hard-wire a lamp as an overhead fixture, so I figured we could do it. I made Jason come to the store to look at it, and he said he liked it, and agreed that it would be no big deal to throw it up on the ceiling. I saw somewhere a little while ago a similar fixture that the person had painted blue, which got my wheels spinning. To paint it, or leave it ORB. I was originally leaning more towards paint it, but once we got it in there, I really like the look of the oil rubbed bronze. It matches the new door handle and hinges, as well as the vent covers, and it also ties in to the dark patches in the floor. So I believe she'll be staying ORB.

It was super easy to do. All I had to do was take it apart - take the weighted base off, and the longer extension rod, and screw the shorted rod into the cover plate. Then we had to buy some bigger bolts and washers so the rod would be a bit more secure, and one of those chandelier, long screw thingies...

They're super cheap, but essential. This little baby is what is taking all the weight of the light, taking the pressure off the wiring. I don't have any pictures of the process, because Jason got a little chop happy when he was cutting the excess cord, and barely left enough room to wire it in, so it took four sets of hands haha. It's so nice to have a nice looking fixture up in at least one of the rooms hehe.

Tada! And look at that...a bonus sneak peek at the ceiling fun! I love it, and Jason really likes it too...and as an added bonus he keeps telling people I made it hehe.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Adoption Journey: The Call

It's funny that when you're really excited and wanting something to happen, time seems to slow down, the clock appears to stop - or sometimes it even seems to go backwards. Like the last day of school, or Christmas Eve. But, then like summer break, or Christmas day; it finally comes but then that bloody clock speeds right up and it's over in a blink of an eye. That's how this whole adoption process has seemed to go. When we started the process back in January it seemed like it would be forever before we were done all the paper work and approved, and that it was beyond wishful thinking that we would get a placement by the end of the year. Then we were officially approved and I thought I knew what joy was.

Then we had our meeting with the placement worker. She went over all of our selections we'd made, (you know the 6 page book where we had to rate aspects of a child that we'd be okay/not okay with) making sure we didn't want to make any changes. She said that because of how open and willing we were to take a child with pretty much any sort of background, and the fact that I was at home, we most likely wouldn't have to wait too long. That was Friday, October 4. She said that October and November are usually their busiest months with placements so I just knew that we would have a child by the end of the year like we'd prayed for. 

People always seem to remember where they were for life changing events. You ask someone where they were for the moon landing, or 9-11 or Miley Cyrus twerking and they'll all be able to tell you. Here's what my day looked like the day it changed forever. Wednesday, October 9, five days since we met with the placement worker. I was on my way in to a massage appointment when Jason called me. I remember hearing the nervousness in his voice as he told me about a baby girl that had been born that day that they had called him about. Hearing the uncertainty as he told me it was a risky situation because they'd never worked with the birth family before, so they didn't really know what to expect. But most of all, I remember hearing the joy in his voice, that this precious newborn baby girl could be ours. Neither of us cared that both sides of her family are riddled with mental health issues, that there are substance abuse issues with her birth parents, or that there's probably a 50/50 chance that she could go back to the birth-mom (or someone in her family). All we heard is there's a baby girl that needs love, and there's a chance she'll grow to call you Mama and Daddy, and that was good enough for us. We knew that we were signing up for a long road of ups and downs, and that after we loved and raised this sweet girl for a year she could end up going to some member of her bio family which would obviously be heart breaking. But how could we say no, when there is even a slight chance that we could get to keep her forever.

(we finally get to fill in those dotted lines)

After my massage we had a phone conference with the placement worker to go over all the information they currently had. About birth-mom and the little bit they knew about her family, what they know about bio-dad. How many access visits the family wants/gets, an estimate of how long we can expect it to take if we do get to legally adopt her. She said there was a possibility of us getting to meet her Thursday, but she would be discharged Friday and we would either get to pick her up from the hospital, or her worker would drop her off at our house. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! The next thing to do was head to Babies R Us. Ok, so anyone who knows me, knows I have a serious problem when it comes to all things baby. Jason would back away in fear from the look I got in my eye whenever I found out a friend was pregnant, mostly because he knew it would end with me coming home with at least one or two things for myself when I went shopping for them hehe. So, unleashing me unsupervised in a baby store mere hours after finding out I was about to become a mother - probably not the best idea. But, I did quite well. All I went in the store for was a change pad & cover, a crib sheet and some bottles, and miraculously that's all I came out with. (I did have about 6 different pieces of cute clothes, but I somehow found the willpower to put them back.) It was a new kind of experience being in a store shopping for myself.

The next stop I had to make was to our friends house so they could unload an unhealthy amount of baby paraphernalia on me. I came away laden down with five giant totes full of all sorts of baby girl goodies. Good thing we already traded in our coolness for a mini-van because I came away from there looking like I'd just moved out. I had a ton of fun sorting through all the clothes, although the house looked like an episode of Hoarders after I was done. By then it was bedtime, but there was no way I was going to be able to sleep (Jason had absolutely no problem accomplishing that) I had 9 months of nesting to cram into two days, and an ass-ton of laundry to do. So as I lay awake in the spare bed listening to the whack, whack, whack of all the snaps on all the baby clothes (seriously those bloody things are like all snaps) I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by a sense of peace and immense happiness. I thought I knew joy.

You can find our other adoption posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Lust List: Adoption Edition

There's a bunch of updates that have been happening around here (namely in the nursery) So I should have updates this week and next (woot woot!) In the mean time - until I can get my act together to take pictures - and finish up. I'll share some adoption related goodies. There's been many things I've been lusting after regarding the child we should be adopting (hopefully) soon. I was able to work through some of that building our registry on the Baby List site - it's pretty freakin' awesome) You should check it out, it's a great way to have your registry central to one spot, and you can register places like Etsy & Chapters (score!) Anyway! Here's some things I'm lusting after...

I Heart Adoption Shirt (4T), Adoptions Gifts, Adoption T-Shirts, Birth Mother Gifts, Toddler Adoption T-Shirts

A super cute shirt on a super cute little model. I like that this is an embroidered shirt, versus the screen print.

Adoption World Map Customized Love Map  -  12x18  Silhouette Art Print     Features any colors and countries

I love this map, doesn't really apply to us this time around, but I'll be keeping it in mind for when we do our international adoption.

11"x14" archival print of 'Adoption'- limited edition of 100

I love this cute little elephant print, but unfortunately it's no longer available. (sad face) It was produced in limited quantities to help a family, so I guess I missed the  boat.

Worth the Wait - Adorable Baby Bodysuit or Toddler Tees - Perfect for New Babies or Adoptions

This cute onesie isn't really adoption specific, because any baby is worth the wait; but I definitely think it speaks to those families that have been trying and trying for a child, and finally were given that gift. Or to those who have had to wait years for their adoptions to go through, or meet their child.

Chosen (Adoption Necklace)

I think this chosen necklace (also a fundraiser) would be a great gotcha day or happy court gift for a child. Take the little pearl off and it'd even work for a boy.

Yet another cute shirt on another cute model.

I think this shirt is hilarious! I feel like it would probably be lost on a lot of people, but it would be a great conversation starter. There are a TON of other great shirts on this site as well, and the greatest this is that every single one of them goes towards helping a family cover their costs of an international adoption.

This shirt says, "Change the World for One." I love it - the model helps. This is from the company "Ordinary Hero" and they also have a number of different shirts (as well as other products) that help adoptive families. They are specific to Africa, but through their help you could potentially take your needed trips there for free. They also do a lot of work with African orphans that are over there, such a fantastic company.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Adoption Journey : Final Assessment

We're getting closer to filling in the dotted lines...

We finally had our final assessment after three re-schedules, and we were more than looking forward to getting it over with. While we love working on the house, having to cram a ton of large and time consuming projects into the span of a weeks is physically and emotionally draining. (But totally worth it) This assessment was the relationship interview, as well as our final house check. Thankfully we passed the house inspection and we're good to go on that front. She said she like the way the nursery looked with the floor and paint, and thankfully it didn't matter that things like the baseboard weren't done yet.
   The interviews started with her asking us why we liked the other person. It's fun to say why you love someone with them there, and it's even more fun to have someone say why they love you. Things got a little awkward when she started talking about our sex life and what we're going to wear in the house when the kids are there? Umm clothes? Not really sure why it matters what we're going to sleep in, and what we're going to walk around in, but hey, whatever floats your boat right? (I understand why it matters if you're fostering an older child, but since we're planning on taking in an infant...) When she had to ask us about our sex life, if it wasn't so hilarious how business like she was, it would've been awkward. "How many times do you have sex a week?" "How do you react Jason, if Rebecca says No to you?" "What about if Jason says no to you?" Jason's a guy, so lets be honest here, I can count on half of one hand how many times that's happened haha. I only half understood why questions like that were important. She asked us what we were most looking forward to about being parents, and what we thought would be the hardest part, or what we weren't looking forward to. Jason said, "Discipline, I know I'm going to suck at it." Haha, I think he'll be better than he gives himself credit, but we both know I'm totally going to be the "bad guy". I'm looking forward to the first time you get to see the morals and values you've instilled in them in action without prompting.
   We talked about what strengths we have that would make us good parents, and what activities we plan to do with the kids. Going for hikes and walks was the first thing we both said, as well as a bunch of other things, like reading and music and sports. Then she told us to do the hardest thing, sell our selves, and not be modest. It's hard to list all the things you're good at and not sound like a pompous prick haha.
   Now that the assessments are all done, she has to write up this massive report on us that has to be approved by about 1000 people (ok so 3) as well as us, and we'll be placed with an adoption worker in that time. Once we sign off on our home study report the sitting around and waiting for a phone call will commence. We are super excited to be so close now to getting a child in our home. I know compared to a lot of people we haven't been waiting long on the trying to have/get a baby train, but 2.5 years is plenty long when your biggest dream is just out of reach. Hopefully it won't take long, and we can welcome a little baby who needs a good home into ours, because we're missing someone from this picture...

(this is seriously the only "family" picture we have...we need a better one)