Monday, November 21, 2011

Gobble, gobble, gobble!

Ok, I love sending people gifts and cutesy homemade gifts are the best! I mean, what mom doesn't love something made by their child? So with thanksgiving around the corner I jumped at the chance to make 2 handprint turkeys, one for me and one for Lovebugs birthmama!

It was really fun and Lovebug loved getting her hands all messy! It's also a great way to preserve a print of those ever growing hands. Never again will they be this small!

I pray that it blesses her birthfamily as much as it blessed us to make it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's a bird! It's a Plane! Oh wait, it's my hubby!

Our day today consisted of a lot running around in a non child friendly environment, a few temper tantrums, lots of snacks, no nap and  a much longer wait time than expected due to some clouds and wind. But, in the end my sweet Hubby got to do something he's wanted to do for a long time. So in the end I can say it was well worth it!

Right after landing! Whew. Was I relieved at this point!
My ridiculously handsome husband and beautiful baby girl!! I love these two!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm back people!

Back form where you ask? Well, it's an expensive place with less food and more supermarket trips. It's call a couponing hiatus.

For probably a month now, I've been a major slacker when it comes to couponing... and by that I mean I haven't couponed at all. Honestly, I've been so frustrated at myself. Trips that used to cost $30 were costing me $70. Every time I shopped I would think "Hmm, I wonder how much money I COULD be saving with this trip?" leaving me with  a disappointing feeling and a lighter wallet.

The thing is, is couponing is hard work and takes lots of time and energy and anyone with a 15 month old, or child at all for that matter, knows sometimes there's not any extra time or energy to spare. So, I let myself slack. And on top of that, the deals hadn't really matched up with our needs so there was extra incentive to not do it.

So what sparked my couponing craze again? I'll tell you: It was the very well timed "X amount of dollars off your purchase" coupons in this weeks paper, coupled with my "X amount of dollar off of your purchase" coupons that I just got in the mail! Who could resist saving $15 per $50 transaction? Not me. So, it's lit the fire in me and I went for it!

In the past few days I've spent probably 3+ hours planning this one trip. From making my list, to printing online coupons, to clipping paper coupons, it's taken up a large chuck of relaxation, er, cleaning time while Lovebug sleeps. But, I can now say it was worth it! Check it out!
I got all of this for $52 and saved $121!! Now, some will say spending $52 does not equal a great couponing trip, but to me it does. Unless I make 2 trips to the store, one for couponing deals and one for our fresh items, I'll always spend above the Ex.treme C.ouponing's standard of free or nearly free. But, that's ok. I still saved $121 and spent $48 under my weekly budget!! Woohoo!

So what did I get? Well, I got 3 boxes of cereal, a box of Triscuts, a box of Wheat Thins, 3 boxes of pasta, 2 jars spaghetti sauce, 1 gallon organic milk, 1/2 gallon organic milk, 4 bags frozen veggies, frozen sweet patato tater tots, 2 boxes of Ritz, 4 dish sponges, whole wheat bread, 2 bottles of syrup, 4 cans Del Monte tomatoes, 2 cans beef broth, 2 cans evaporated milk, Nutella, 2 bags shredded cheese, 2 containers of gourmet (oh, lala!) spreadable cheese, 2 bottles of mouthwash, 2 bottles of Lysol, 2 containers of icecream, 2 12 packs of La.Croix, yellow rice, 1 lb organic ground beef, 1 lb organic chicken, 4 green bell peppers, 1 onion, 2 apples, 2 pears and 2 containers of sour cream! Whew!

Now most of the non fresh items were both BOGO and I had coupons for them (anywhere from .50 off to $1). But, the biggest money saver by far was the fact that I had both $5 off $30 Publix coupons and I had $10 off of $50 competitor coupons! So, I split my haul up into 2 transactions, both over $50 and I was able to save $15 on each transaction just from those coupons alone! All I can say is... score! :)

Couponing can really be a great thing. It can save loads of money and leave you with a sense of sticking it to the man accomplishment. But, it shouldn't become burdensome or interfere with family life. So my advice is, if it's a good week and your feeling it, go for it! If not, give yourself a break and and shop as wisely as you can. I've come to realize that deals come and go, but maintaining your sanity is a must!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Open Adoption Interview Project 2011!

I have to say, this Open Adoption Interview Project was a lot of fun! It was my first time participating and I'm already looking forward to the next one! To see a complete list of the interviews click here!

Over the past few weeks I've had the privilege to dig deep into a blog, that before this, I had never seen. There were a few things that immediately struck me: The first was familiarity. I'm always struck by the fact that even though many of us live completely different lives we all share so many emotions and experiences that are the same. It's part of what I really love about this community. Knowing that even if our circumstances IRL make us feel isolated or alone, our blogging buddies are always there to let us know we're not alone! Secondly, I noticed her deep love for her son. I just can't get enough of that. No matter how many times I read it, hearing about a dream come true and the making of a family is such a beautiful story to me! Thirdly was her ability to share her raw emotions. It's not always easy to say how your feeling, especially when what your feeling isn't rosy. But, she gets it out there and earned heaps of respect in my book for it.

So who's blog is it? Meet Lavonne from Eye's Wide Open: My Journey Into Motherhood. After years of infertility, Lavonne and her husband D set out to adopt with the same exuberant excitement that we all start out with. Little did they know then that the journey to adopt would prove to have it's own bumpy roads and giant road blocks including a failed placement and a long wait. Finally, the day came though. They were chosen to be parents to a sweet little boy they'd go on to name T. Her blog journals her life as a mom, as a mom through adoption and a mom through transracial adoption. Her newest posts also include an very unexpected surprise... after all those years of infertility, deciding that with the addition of T their family was complete and making plans to make sure it stayed that way, Lavonne just found out that she's expecting!

Head over and check out her blog and leave Lavonne some love! :)

Here's my interview with Lavonne! Enjoy!

1). There's no doubt that infertility and adoption are 2 very life changing experiences. How do you think each has changed you both for the good and bad?

There is definitely good, bad, and ugly in my story! For the worse, I think that the infertility and adoption experience has made me more cynical about life in general. Our hopes and dreams were crushed so many times during the process, it's been easier since then to be a "glass half empty" kind of person. For the better, I think the experiences have provided depth to who I am. I have sat with many others that are walking some of the same road and I have an ability to provide empathy and understanding that most of society doesn't. So while I can't really say that I would want to relive all the crap (of course we'd always want T in our family), I can say that all the crap added extra layers to who I am, that in the end I think is  good.

2)  In one of your posts "out and about with baby T" you talked about how it helped seeing others view you being a mom because it helped you feel more like a mom. In your experience did you find it hard to accept yourself in the "mom" role after pursuing it for so long? What helped to finally solidify your role as T's mom in your mind?

Because I became a mom to T in 3 days it was really difficult to accept and understand what that role meant initially. I also felt that J had earned her role as mother and signing some papers all of a sudden also made me a mom was weird to experience. Even though I had bonded and attached to T I felt like a long term babysitter for a long time. I even had trouble using the word "mom" to refer to myself! In the end, I think it was time that solidified my role as T's mom for me and seeing him respond to me in a way that was different than others. As T got older I saw him look for me across the room, reach up for me, and settle after picking him up....all of that helped me feel that mommy feeling!

3) On the same note, did you find bonding with T to be a more difficult process than expected or did it come very easy to you? What advice would you give new mothers through adoption about bonding with their baby?

While in the adoption process I wasn't sure how I would react to becoming a mom. From my work in maternal health I know that many women have difficulty bonding to baby after birth so I don't think I was expecting a "love at first sight" sort of experience. Plus since T entered our lives two months after an adoption that didn't work out my heart was guarded and I'm sure that impacted my bonding experience. My advice to new moms through adoption (and birth for that matter) would be to be honest with your feelings and not let anyone else tell you what you should/should not be feeling. To work through the feelings is so important.

4) What do you feel are your greatest struggles and greatest joys of being a transracial family?

My greatest struggle is that my heart hurts for T when I think about the difficulties he will encounter in life as a part of a transracial family. This is what drives me to be intentional about how I parent. To read and research. To talk with other transracial families. To build intentional relationships. Etc.! The greatest joys of being a transracial family is more difficult to answer. I feel intense joy just in the fact that we are a family! I do think another joy is the clear sense I have about celebrating differences no matter what they may be and simply the fact that I have experienced the truth that deep love knows no colour or boundary.

5) How do you plan to celebrate and teach T about his African American heritage?

Since both D and I are unable to understand what it means to be African American or even a minority, we will surround ourselves with people that do. We've worked to build some intentional relationships with other black families that have kids around T's age. My hope is to one day when T is older some of the black men we have built relationships with will mentor him. I also hope that one day he'll be able to connect with his birth family and continue that process of learning/celebrating who he is as an African American man.

 6) Some of your newest posts talk about your recent discovery of being pregnant and the mixed emotions you've been facing. What has surprised you the most about finding out you were pregnant?

The fact that I was pregnant in the first place!
7) Some of the prominent emotions you've expressed about being pregnant is grief. Our cultures seem to be so focused on pregnancy and biology as a way of creating a *real* family.  Because of this are you finding it hard to be open about this grief IRL when so many expect that you *must* be soooo happy about it?

Actually in real life I've been pretty honest with those around me that I am having great difficulty accepting this pregnancy for a myriad of reasons. It is others that are having a really hard time with the fact that I'm not so happy about this and they don't know how/or what to do with that information. Since our culture views pregnancy/biology as a celebration it's difficult for others to change that focus and realize that not everyone feels the same way. This is somewhat interesting to me because while I get where people are coming from, ours is certainly not the last unplanned pregnancy to occur. I think about T's first mom and how she must have felt in the grocery store when random people gushed over her swelling belly while she was internally struggling with what to do about this baby.

8) What were your feelings after finding out that J had put a hold on her file, more or less closing your semi-open adoption? What are your hopes for the future in this regard and what would your ideal openness be?

I was very disappointed to discover that J had put a hold on her file. While there is a part of me that is understanding of this, there's also the mama bear part that wants only the best for my son and I feel that openness is the best. So my hope for the future is that we would one day be able to have a fully open relationship with J where we can communicate directly (no agency), visit, and together celebrate the remarkable little boy that T is.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things I'll never get sick of...

1) Hearing "Mama" come out of my sweet girls mouth! Seriously, my heart melts every time!

2) Watching Lovebug discover something for the first time. Yesterday it was her shadow and boy was she pleased with it!

3) When she smiles at me with the "I love you" smile. Whew. Gets me every time.

4) Seeing Lovebug get so excited when Dada gets home. She's definitely a daddy's girl :)

5) Cuddle time. Even if right now it's quick cuddles.

6) Middle of the night cuddles. Especially now with teething, Lovebug has been waking up in the night off and on. I usually go get her and let her lay with us for a few minutes before putting her back in her bed. It's the sweetest time. She cuddles so close, lets out the softest giggles and rubs my face. Such special moments.

7) Knowing that I get to be her mom forever. I'm still amazed by this fact daily and I certainly will never get sick of it!

Oh and seeing this face everyday...even when it's covered in yogurt :)


Monday, November 14, 2011

New pictures added!

We recently had our family pictures done and I added a few to the blog! The biggest change is the header picture, but I also changed 2 on the sidebar as well :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Really Huffington post? Really?

Excuse me, Huff? You've just dropped your credible rating in my  book! How irresponsible to publish such an inflammatory and inaccurate article! Has anyone else seen it? If not, here it is: Can adoption lead to child abuse?

What about the MILLIONS of children who are abused by their biological parents? Whats their excuse? If anything I would imagine parents who adopt their children as less likely to abuse their kids due to the intense screening we all go through to even become a waiting family. To make a connection that adoption can lead to abuse is so ignorant.

How about the connection that each of the kids came from families with 6+ kids. Maybe we should say having more kids makes you more likely to beat them! Watch out Du.ggar child #20... things aren't looking up for you....

Moreover, the author links the 3 abused kids to RAD, which is not a fact but an assumption since that was never reported in any case.

I would encourage the author as well and the Huffington Post to do a little more research, provide more facts and not publish garbage in the future. Because after reading that, it muddies the waters for all the other stuff they publish.

So what do you think?

Monday, November 7, 2011

New addition!

Ok, it's not what you think... But, over the weekend we made some of the final steps in making our back porch into our new living room! Woohoo!

When we bought this house one of the main selling points was the extremely well built, trussed in 20x20 back porch. We we bought it, the porch was all wrapped in cedar. We knew we would either finish it and turn it into an amazing outdoor space or enclose it and expand the house. Over the past four years though, reality has sunk in that now matter how gorgeous you make it, outdoor spaces in Florida 200+ days out of the year are just too hot. So last year we set our sights on making it into out new living room! With the addition of Lovebug, our plans got pushed back slightly, but now we're well on our way to moving furniture in!

Over the weekend the contrustion guys were here and finished hanging the drywall as well as moved the french doors from what's now the inside of the house to their new home leaving the new room going out to the deck! We're so excited! This new room is adding over 400 sq ft to our house! It's much needed space, especially with our plans to expand our family too! :)

Here are two pics of the progress! Eh, em. Pay not attention to all the construction debris. Try to imagine it all finished and pretty! ;)

We can't wait for it to be finished so we can move in there! Lovebug is going to love having more room to roam and it's going to make becoming a family of four a little easier. Although, I'm not sure when we'll be doing that. Lately, we've been just enjoying our little girl so much that we're not sure we're quite ready to not shower her with our undivided attention. We've left it as we're praying about the timing and we'll reassess when January gets here. Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited to become a family of four, but when the time is right. In Gods timing. I know he'll let us know when that time is and it will be awesome!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Neat experience

Anyone who adopted transracially can probably vouch for me in saying that out in public you get the full gamut of stares and questions. In our case, people seems to stare more than ask direct questions. If Hubby and I are out together with Lovebug we usually will see people smiling at Lovebug and then looking at me and then looking at Hubby.. and then back to Lovebug...then back to me...back to Hubby and so on. The smile usually fades into a "How did that black hair happen?" look since Hubby and I are both blond with blue eyes. We just chuckle and move on leaving them to ponder the great unknown.

The other day Lovebug and I were at the grocery store together and while we were checking out this nice young bag girl was commenting at how beautiful Lovebug is. I started to see the wheels turning and soon the question came out:

"Um, so is your husband.. um, Chi. Um, Jap.. uhhhhhh. Well, I don't know what she is..."

I of course smiled and said she's half Filipino and in the 15 seconds it took for those words to come out I had the great debate in my head.

How much am I going to share with this stranger?

I've really gotten into the habit of just saying yes and moving on, but part of me really hates that and really how long can it continue? I mean eventually Lovebug is going to internalize that as me being ashamed of her coming to our family through adoption (Which I'm not) or she's going to blurt out in confusion "No, my Daddy has blonde hair! I got my black hair from my birthfather!" But, every time the question arises I stumble with what to say.

Anyways back to the original point. It seems that most people can't pin point what ethnicity Lovebug is. We've been asked if she's Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese among a few others.  Well the other day we were at the post office and a sweet lady was in front of us in line. I noticed off the bat the she had Filipino features. She saw Isla and smiled really big at her and then looked at me and smiled and then back to Lovebug again. After only a few seconds she said "She looks like she has Filipino in her." I then smiled really big back and said "Yes! She's half Filipino!" And her response was "Yeah, I can really tell! I'm Filipino too!". We talked a little more and as she paid for her postage, she made sure to look back at us and smile and wave before leaving.

You know, I don't know exactly why, but I left there feeling so good for Lovebug. The fact that someone from the same ethnic background could so easily see her Filipino characteristics just felt good. I want to keep that side of her alive and prevalent. I want her to be proud of where her ancestors came from and feel a part of that side of her and I guess just hearing someone else validate it was just a neat experience!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

She's a leopard ballerina...duh! ;)

Well, over the weekend I'm pretty sure I've gained 3+ pounds and given myself countless stomach aches by eating too much candy. What happened to me? I used to candy by the pillowcasefull at Halloween. Now the mixture or one Reeses and a Blowpop sends me into a sugar coma with a glucose hangover. Sad. My youth is but a memory friends.

But, luckily this sweet leopard ballerina is just beginning her road to sugar consumption!

We've had such a good time over the past week with her. We've gone to 2 dress up playgroups, 1 harvest festival and trick or treating(which had mixed reviews by Lovebug) and everytime she's was so excited to dressed up! The most amazing thing was she left the hood on the entire time! This coming from the sweet baby that pulls every clip, bow and rubberband out of her hair almost immediately. She must have known she just looked to darn cute to take it off!

Lovebug got her face painted at the harvest festival!

Lovebug and Daddy trick or treating!
Like I said before, Lovebug has mixed reviews about trick or treating. She LOVED being able to run down the street in her costume, she wasn't a fan of ringing other people's door bells! If we held her she was fine. If she had to walk up to the door she would start crying :( Luckily we just went to 3 neighbors houses and then called it a night.

All in all we had a great time and made some awesome memories! Now, it's time to look forward to the next two holidays of the year!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reccuring Revelation...

Today, as I was putting away precious little shirts and dresses in multiple shades of pinks and purples, fumbling across a floor covered in brightly colored board books, dolls and toys, I listened to the background noises and heard the pidder padder of tiny feet  and enthusiastic clapping to "if your happy and you know it" playing through the speakers and it hit me (again!) I'm living it:

my dream come true!

Thank you Lord!

"For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him." 1 Samuel 1:27

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A pumpkin for my pumpkin!

Well, since I can't seem to keep up with one blog, I've decided that having a separate picture blog is going to be too much. So, I'm going back to sharing the picture love here on this blog! So without further ado here are pictures from our recent pumpkin patch visit and 1st pumpkin carving experience!

When we first got to the Pumpkin Patch Lovebug was SOOOO excited to see all the pumpkins!!

 Signing for Daddy to help pick up the pumpkins..

I think she found a keeper!

Showing Lovebug the art of scooping out the guts while Titan waited to eat them!

Look Daddy! Slimy!

Lovebug was so excited about Mickey! she actually dances every time she see's it!

Halloween's approaching quickly! I hope these two can make it until then!

Blog Award!

Woohoo! Today my sweet friend Amber from Bumbers Bumblings gave me this awesome award! 

Thank you Amber!We certainly are long lost twins! Hope we can meet out of blogland one day!!

The Liebster (German for friend or love) Award spotlights up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. Now it's time for me to pass the torch.


Upon receiving the Liebster Award, you must do the following:
1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet – other writers.
5. And best of all – have fun!
Ok, my picks for the Liebster award are:
1. Of course my girl Amber at Bumber's Bumblings. Not sure if I can't nominate you again, but I'm going to anyway ;)
2. Melissa over at Along the Narrow Road.  Her devotion to her kids and to God is always awesome to read about as is her ability to share her story!  

3. My dear friend Kierstin at Our Family Building Adventure . We love this family and love being able to encourage each other along the path of being Mommies through adoption!

4. Another blogger that always makes me smile is Ashley at Expecting Miracles. As another fellow Mommy through adoption, it's always so awesome to be able to follow along with their story and relate to each exciting new milestone
5. Nicole over at Live to Love. Nicole and her husband are in the process of adopting through our agency. I can't wait to watch their beautiful story unfold not only in real life, but also through her awesome blog!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Open Adoption Interview Project!

If you haven't heard already Open Adoption Bloggers is conducting an Adoption Blogger Interview Project that everyone, no matter the openness of your adoption, is welcome to participate in!

Wanna know how it works? Here's an excerpt the the website:
How does it work?

Everyone who registers by October 28 will be paired with another adoption blogger. You will have two weeks to get to know their blog and send them some questions by email. On November 17, you'll post the interview on your blog and your partner will post their interview of you.

Sound fun? If you haven't already, head over and sign up for this unique experience!! You must sign up before Friday so hurry!! Open Adoption Interview Project

Friday, October 7, 2011

Celebrity Advice...don't adopt internationally?

Just came across this article and wanted to see what everyone thought of it?

Apprently Michaels is adopting from The Democratic Republic of Congo and has decided she's not a fan of the international adoption process saying “I honestly don’t know how somebody without money and help could ever get this done. It’s a full-time job,” and would like to warn us less fortunate to steer clear and go for the "easier" route... state adoption?

Jillian, maybe you should stop giving adoption advice whining and stick to what you know best and go lift a weight. Adoption might be time consuming and expensive, but isn't giving a child a home worth it? Would you warn someone against getting in shape because is time consuming and hard work?! Why don't you leave the hard work to us poor folk who somehow make this crazy  process, of giving a child a loving home, work. Sheesh.

Anyhow, read the article and tell me what you think? Michaels warns against international adoption

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Her Mama.

I remember not too long ago talking with some girlfriends, who are also all moms through adoption, and someone asked a question like "when did it finally feel real?" or some form of a question basically asking "when did it sink in that you were finally a mom or your childs mom?" We all shared our experiences and one of the girls, who's baby was only about 6 months said that although it felt real now, that she really couldn't wait to hear her daughter call her Mama and feel and hear that audible validation that she was in fact "Mama", her daughters Mama. I wasn't sure at the time that hearing that word would make me feel anymore of a mom than I already did, but as time went on I thought about it more.

Lovebug started babbling "mama mama" very early on. I used to tease Hubby because it was her first babbling sound and everyone would tell us that "dadada" was usually first. Fast forward a few months (11 months old) and Lovebug began using meaningful words. She'd point to a ball and say "ball" or to a horse and say "neigh". I'll never forget when she looked up at Hubby and said "Dada". It may have been the sweetest sound I had ever heard... up until that point. But, then as time went on,  and she added more words to her vocabulary, I couldn't help but notice there was one particular one missing... MAMA! I thought back to what my friend said and those words rang so true. I wanted so bad to hear it from Lovebug lips. Mama. Her Mama. I'd repeat it to her over and over, usually hearing Dada in return :)

Until one day, early in the morning as I left the living room to go get dressed for the day, I heard this tiny voice running after me saying the sweetest words I'll ever hear. "Mama, Mama!" As I turned around I saw my baby; arms stretched out and eye's locked onto mine. As much as I didn't think it would make me feel more her mom, it somehow did. Just to hear her call me Mama melted me to a puddle and continues to do so everytime she says it.

I'll never forget what it felt like to hear her call me Mama for the first time. Her Mama. Forever.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Does it really save you money?

 The cloth diaper debate!

I was at a playgroup the other day when I slipped out to change Lovebugs diaper. Upon returning to the room, bright orange wet bag in hand and Lovebug modeling a fresh cute pink diaper, I noticed a new mom eying me, curiosty beaming from her eyes. As I walked past she she excitedly asked "So you cloth diaper?! How do you like it?" After explaining to her that I love it and us chatting back and forth about it for a second she asked "after doing it for a while, do you really think it saves you money with all the washes and all?" Of course I said yes and a fellow fluffy enthusiast backed me up with some numbers that she'd researched. But, it piqued my curiosty... how much am I saving with these fluffy beauties? So I sat down and did the math:

To find the average cost of sposies (disposable diapers) I used Huggies as the porduct, size 3 diapers and a child using 6 a day.

  • Jumbo pack of size 3 Huggies(36 diapers): $10.99
  • If the child is changed 6 times per day you would have to buy diapers every 6 days. In a month with 30 days thats you'd buy diapers 5 times.
  • $10.99 x 5= $54.95 per month
  • $54.95 x 12= $659.40 per year
  • The average child is in diapers for 3 years
  • 3 x $659.40= $1978.20
So to diaper a child for 3 years using sposies (without counting wipes) you'll spend around $2000

Then I went on to cloth!

Our diaper of choice is Fuzz.iBunz (med. cost@ $19.95 per diaper). To any new cloth diaperer I would suggest getting 18-24 diapers. That lets you do laundry every other day and have diapers to use on laundry day.

So your start up costs are these:

  • 18-24 diapers @ $19.95= $359.10-$478.80
  • Wet bag @ $15 and diaper sprayer @ $20
Then the next two are cost per year that I multiplied by 3 (the Fuzz.ibunz are a one size diaper that adjust to fit from birth to potty training)
  • $24 per year in detergent (we use Eco's free and clear. It's $12 per 100 loads. But, it lasts waaaay longer because you don't use a full amount!)
So on the high side:

$478.80 + $15 + $20 + $72 + $255= $840.80!

So whats the cost difference in using cloth vs sposies?

Almost $1160!! For 1 child!

Plus there are things that are priceless... have you ever seen a cuter butt than that wrapped in pink fluff?! How about purple fluff or blue? I know I haven't!

And then there are the health and environmental pluses.
  • Did you know it takes diapers 200-500 years to decompose in a landfill?!
One statistic I found said there were 4 millions babies born in 2010. If those babies all used the statistics I gave for sposies than by now there would be at least at least  8,640,000,000 new diapers that will be sitting in landfills of the next 500 years! Yuck! Luckily at least some of those little booties were covered in fluff and not plastic. Lowering that number some.

There's also the heath debate. Some research suggest that sposies present health risks, especially to baby boys, because of the fact that sposies reportedly raise the temperature in the diaper leading to the concern of male related infertility. With infertility on the rise and male infertility on the rise, this wouldn't surprise me. Disposable diapers are full of chemicals that sit on your babies most delicate parts... why do yo think they keep baby so dry? This was one of our main concerns (aside from savings) and really pushed us to cloth

So, a quick overview of positives to cloth diapering:

  • Less landfill waste over the next 500 years!
  • No harsh, nasty chemicals sitting on babys skin to could potentially lead to infertility among other health concerns!
  • Cute fluffy pink, blue, purple, yellow, green butt!
  • No diaper rash! Seriously. Lovebug has never had diaper rash!
  • Human waste being disposed of into sewage and not in a landfill!
And last, but definitely not least:
  •   A savings of  $1160 for your first child and if you use the same diapers on your second child you start to double your money!!

So the answer the question is YES! It definitely saves money among some other great advantages!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Click here to see this weeks Wordless Wednesday! 

(For privacy reasons we've made a picture blog! If your a current follower or a new follower, please send me your email address and I'll gladly add you to the blog!)

It's (gonna be) a secret!

Ever feel like your very private family building experience is so public? I know I do. Everyone knows your adopting, your waiting, your matched. You deal with agencies and social workers who discuss the ins and out's of personal details and plans. It seems theres little left to savor as a family unit.

Part of it is a good thing. I think bringing a face to adoption and showing the world how awesome it is, is a great thing. Everyone has those "you know I heard so & so adopted and..." horror stories, but do they really know "so & so" or has that just become the Big Foot story of adoption? So when it comes to this aspect, I'm glad to share our positive experience with adoption and open adoption.

But, when I think about our 2nd child I find myself wanting to keep some things just between us... you know like a couple who just found out they're pregnant does. Sneaking smiles at each other around family, knowing they have a little secret that nobody else knows.

I also always dreamed about waiting to find out the gender of our child. My parents did that and growing up my dad would always tell my about when I was born  and they brought me to him, they said "Congratulations, you have a daughter!" and his world flipped upside down (in a good way)! My mom would have loved to tell this story, but this was in the age of general anesthesia she was out of it for a while :) Anyhow, hearing that story always made me want that surprise. The joy of someone in the delivery room screaming "It's a....".

I can't foresee that happening with an adoption, so Hubby and I have derived another plan: when we are matched next, we'll tell family about the match, but when it comes to the gender and names, well that's gonna be our little secret!

As the months get closer to when we'll start again, we're getting more and more excited! I can't wait to see Lovebug as a big sister! I can't wait to cradle a precious squishy baby again. Memorizing a new little face, hands and feet. I can't wait to see Hubby with both of his kids cuddling in his lap! And now I can't wait to see our family's surprise when our new addition comes home and we're able to scream "It's a....." just like I always dreamed of!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Picture blog!

Ok call me paranoid, but I prefer protective Momma... ;)

At any rate, I've never really liked sharing Lovebugs precious face with any and all internet goers who happen upon my blog and recently I've noticed some weird traffic coming from pretty random sites. So what I'm working on is a separate picture blog, that will be by invite only, that I will share pictures and videos on. Then on Wordless Wednesdays or Fridays or anyother time I want to post a pic, I'll make a post on this blog linking it to the picture blog and those with access can view them!

So, for all of my faithful followers...yes, all 13 of you (wink, wink), I'm extending you the first invites! If you would like to be able to view future pictures from the EWOH blog please message me your email address so I can add you to the picture blog! Once your added you'll be able to view the picture blog freely, just as you view this one.

Phew. Aren't you glad we got that straightened out?! I know I am.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

OA Roundtable # 29

Come check out the newest Open Adoption Roundtable!! This time it's a bit of an open mic night. Everyone is sharing the post they feel they want people to remember about them. I shared my lastest post Let's get "real"!


Lets get "real"!

What is it about open adoption that makes people squirm? I was at story time with Lovebug today when another mom and I started talking. We did the normal mom routine: How old is he?  Is she sleeping for you? Oh, I see you use cloth diapers too... here lets trade tips! We started building a small rapport and after a while I started to let my guard down. After a little more chatting I mentioned that we'd actually adopted and then it began...

I don't hide Lovebugs adoption, but I've learned over time to be selective of when we talk about it. In the beginning I talked about it all the time. I was so excited about being her mom and how we'd got to that point. I wanted to scream it from the roof tops... although I did manage to refrain from doing so. But, as time went on we decided not everyone has good intentions with their questions, some people are just being nosy and although we're proud of how Lovebug became our daughter we don't want it to define our family. So, I became pickier with my adoption talk.

So, back to the story... We're talking and I mention adoption. After a few positive exchanges regarding the topic I mentioned our open adoption with Lovebugs birthmom and family and how wonderful it's been. She responded with a "you know I know someone else who's said the same thing, but......" and then with a grimace on her face, as if she was about it inform me of the mistake I somehow over looked in my decision to communicate with the "other side", she said "but, what are you going to do when she knows who her "real" mom is?"

I should have said "you know I've never thought of myself as imaginary until now... thanks for the insight!", but that wouldn't have got me very far. So I smiled and said "I am her real mom, but we're not concerned with her knowing her birthmom (othermom, firstmom) and that side of her family, too. We feel it's healthy. After all they are her family(and ours) and make her who she is." She went on to say some other, unfortunately ignorant comments about adoption and eventually I just ended the conversation. But, it got me thinking: What is it with open adoption that makes those not involved in it so threatening? After pondering it for a little bit it hit me...

I think open adoption hits at people at the core, arousing their own insecurities. If we're openly accepting Lovebug having 2 moms, well what does that say about their status as a mom? Could she be so easily replaced as well? Could her child love another mom if we expect our child to do so? Surely, a child has only enough room in their life for one mom and that's her..right?

But, what about moms who are adding to their brood. Fears arise, concerns will I ever love another child as much as I do my first? As soon as a mom voices this fear, veteran mom's jump at the chance to reassure her that a mother love doesn't divide with her children, but her heart and love grows to accommodate them.  So why wouldn't the same apply to the child? Is a child's heart incapable of loving more the 1 or 2 people? I don't think so.

God gives us hearts big enough to love everyone. In a traditional family, a child has many people to love: mom, dad, brothers, sisters,grandma, grandpa, nana, papa, aunts, uncles, cousins and the list goes on. Loving one doesn't take away from loving another. Each family member has a special place in that childs life and the child loves them accordingly, allowing their heart to grow with love as they build each unique relationship. The same goes for open adoption. Lovebug loving me as her mom takes nothing away from her loving her birthmom and vice versa. We both have a unique place in her life and could never replace each other. She wouldn't be who she is and who she's going to be without the influence of both of us. And is it possible to have too many grandparents or aunts and uncles? I think not.

So why would I be concerned? If anything, it fills me with pride to think of my daughter being confident enough to know she can love her whole family, wholeheartedly, without fear. I want her to grow up being proud of who she is and knowing we're proud of who she is and who she is didn't start when she was 48 hours old. Who she is also is not an adopted person. She's a person who happened to be adopted. She has a large family full of people who love her and would do anything for her. IMO, that in and if itself is something to be proud of.

We all have enough room in our hearts to love others...we just have to get past our insecurities and start putting others first. Hubby and I love our newly extended family and look forward to extending it further.Our family may not be traditional and fit into the box that some like to try and shove us into, but we like it this way. For "real"!

iPad2 Giveaway!!

Tammy over at With Faith Alone...Our Journey to Uganda is having an iPad2 Giveaway to help raise funds to bring her 2 little ones home from Uganda! They've recently received their referral for 2 children, one with special needs, that needs them to come soon! Head over and check it out and be a part of bringing these precious babies home!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lovebug turns 1!

For most first time moms, a first birthday is a huge event! Your baby, who just few short months ago was squishy helpless being, is now one and entering into a whole new world: Toddlerhood! It’s a huge change that’s both exciting and terrifying. You mourn the loss of the infant stage and rejoice in the things to come!

I felt all of this in the days leading up to Lovebugs birthday. I’d find myself staring at her remembering the first time I held her. How small she felt in my arms. I tried to remember what those first days home felt like, so new and exciting, but honestly at this point it all seems slightly foggy.  In the days leading up to her birthday, I must have reviewed her first year of life in me head a hundred times as well as the struggles it took to get us here.  All normal Mommy feelings realizing your baby‘s growing up.

The day before her party I was getting things prepared. Cutting fruit for the fruit salad, making pasta for the pasta salad, sorting the napkins out so the over priced 1st birthday napkins were intermixed with the much more reasonably priced solid pink napkins. I was going through it like clockwork until I got to one stage and it stopped me dead in my tracks: The cupcakes. My daughters 1st birthday cupcakes! It hit me like a ton of bricks! I’d baked countless cupcakes in the past, but a last, after years of dreaming about being a Mommy and wondering if it would ever happen, I was making my daughter’s 1st birthday cupcakes! Immediately my eyes filled with years as I glanced over at Lovebug who was happily playing in her exersaucer with a little pink balloon tied to it. She looked up at me and smiled and I can’t tell you how overjoyed I felt in that moment just to be her mom and to be making her cupcakes. How did I ever get so lucky?

How did we all get so lucky? That’s just the general feel of our entire family. There was a time where our infertility cast a huge cloud of sadness on the entire family. They mourned with us as we went year to year struggling to build our family and theirs. And now, here we were.  I’m not sure there’s ever been a baby that’s more loved by her entire family, parent’s, grand parents, aunts, uncles, unofficial aunts & uncles and here we were at embarking on a huge celebration of her little life.

The party itself was awesome! There were about 35 guests and lots of summery foods. We swam. We ate. We celebrated. I think Lovebug was covered with kisses by the end of the day. Leading up to the party I wondered how she’d like everyone singing “Happy Birthday” to her. Turns our she LOVED it! She giggle, clapped and waved her way through and when it ended she signed  “more” like “Come people…one more time!” I think she could feel all the love everyone was exuding toward her that day (and everyday). When it came time for the cupcake, my little foodie took charge! She grabbed it with both hands and shoved it in her mouth! After about 30 seconds sugar shock kicked in and she shuttered as the sweetness hit her, making for some really cute pictures! After about 3 hours of partying Lovebug was wiped and went down for her nap. A few guest lingered and clean up began.

Singing "Happy Birthday"

Love from Mommy and Daddy

That night before bed, we all 3 laid there and Hubby and I just took it all in. Here we were with our baby, our first baby and she was one. We never could have dreamed of what the first year of our childs life would be like and how much we’d actually love her. It’s something you can’t know until your there. You just can’t imagine loving anything this much.  But, in the days leading up to the party we revisited it all and when her birthday came it was like water reaching a boil. All the joy we’d felt all year long came rolling over us as we celebrated the sweetest girl on earth: Our Lovebug!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My own

If I've heard it once I've heard it a thousand times. It's one of those phrases that, as a mom through adoption, makes me cringe at times and laugh at times. The use of the phrase "my own" or "your own".

"Oh, you couldn't have children of your own?"

"Do you think this time you'll try for your own?"

"I don't know if we'll adopt. I just want children of my own."

What is "My own"? Well according to Webster "own" is defined 2 ways:

1. belonging to oneself or itself —usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective <cooked my own dinner>
2.—used to express immediate or direct kinship <an own son> <an own sister>

I always try to smile when I hear this phrase and gently reply, "Lovebug couldn't be more my own!" because even by Websters definition she couldn't! "My own" is not measured in DNA or inherited characteristics, but rather being directly connected as mother and child! A connection that is formed through love and a connection that even Webster would have a hard time finding words for.

This past weekend my mother-in-law and I were talking and she mentioned an acquaintance we know who is experiencing IF. She over heard her and another friend talking the other day when our mutual friend mentioned to the acquaintance that my mother-in-law was a grandmother through adoption and that after a few years of IF we'd made the best decision of our lives and decided to adopt. Our friend went on to ooze her own love for Lovebug and what a blessing from above she's been for all of us. The acquaintances response? "Yeah, but we really just want our own baby."

I wish I could shake her and say "do you know what your missing? Can you even fathom this blessing that we've been given? She is our own and we wouldn't trade her for biology ever!"

But, I can't and won't. Everybody deserves their own time to search and decide. I guess theres a part of me that could go back in time and say those things to myself. Maybe I would have avoided 5 years of hurt if I could have only known what I know now.

The best part of the conversation though was hearing how my mother-in-law responded. Entering into adoption you know you and your Hubby will love your baby to the ends of the earth, but how will the rest of your family feel? Well, this just sums up really how our entire family feels about Lovebug: My mother-in-law said when she heard the acquaintance say the "my own" phrase she just laughed (inside) and thought "that baby couldn't be more my own. Nothing would change the way I love her. She's my granddaughter!"

Our family is so blessed by Lovebug. She's most definitely our own.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Birthday post!

I'm working on Lovebugs birthday post (a month late, no big deal.) and it's going to be featured on another blog! Stay tuned for the when and where!!.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My not-so-little black shadow

Meet Titan aka my not-so-little black shadow. He's the biggest lover we could ask for. At 140lbs, he doesn't understand he's not a lap dog. He doesn't understand when "his spot" on the couch isn't open or why we never let him sleep in our bed. He's goofy. He loves to toss his stuffed animals in the air and chase them or to wrestle with dad. He has the most inquisitive eyes and a beautiful black coat. His personality is hilarious. One of the best aspects of his personality has emerged since Lovebug has been home. He's so patient with her. So gentle, So respective. Of course, because he's a dog and due to his size, we're always right there with the both of them and never leave the two alone. But, honestly I don't worry about him at all. The other night Hubby was on the floor with them (Titan was laying next to Lovebug as she played) and Hubby said Lovebug stopped, looked at Titan and poked him in the eye 3 times(well, poked his closed eye). Titan just sat there. Just happy to have her playing with him.The love is mutual, too. Lovebug loves hims! When she wakes up, she often looks for him and when she see's him she says "Tata" and giggles, reaching out to get to him. He's submissive to her. If he's laying on his belly and Lovebug comes over to pet him, he'll roll completely onto his side and sometimes onto his back. He could care less if she takes a toy from him and when she gives it back he ever so gently, with his teeny front teeth, will take it back from her and then drop it at her feet again. He's truly so sweet. I've fallen more in love with him since he became a big brother. It's almost like when you see your husband interacting with your child and your love for him grows deeper... I have that with my dog too! lol! When Titann was a puppy, we honestly didn't know if he'd ever become this obedient and calm. He was such a handful as a puppy. But, we're happy to report, like a fine wine, he's only gotten better with age!

Lovebug giving her buddy a hug

Hangin' with mom while I did my quiet time
We love you, Stinky! Thanks for being such a loyal friend and big brother!