Friday, June 26, 2015

We Survived!

We have been fortunate so far with Cordie's health.  She wasn't sick all winter, then a few weeks ago hit and it hit HARD.  Oh heaven help us.  I didn't know if we'd make it to the other side.  The whining guys, the constant "Uhhhhhhh" and only part of it was from Cordie!  We so busy in the trenches of bodily fluids every-freakin-where there was no time to blog.  So here are some cutesy little Cordie stories.

Cordie has learned to check for our response before proceeding with an action.  So she'll pick up an electrical cord and hold it up to her mouth and look up before biting down.  Occasionally she will actually stop if we tell her "no".  We're still working on that.  The other night Josh and I were talking and Cordie was in her bouncer.  She decided she was done and began to fuss.  We heard her, but were trying to finish the conversation.  She stopped fussing, looked at us, we looked back.  You could see the light bulb go on "They see me and Aren't Doing ANYTHING!"  Llama drama then proceeded.  She literally threw her head backwards and began to wail.  Her outrage was a teensy bit hilarious.  It pretty much looked like this:


We were walking, Cordie was in the stroller.  A man went to pull into his driveway and had his windows rolled down and music turned up.  Apparently she liked the song because she starting pumping one fist in the air and bouncing up and down in her stroller.  It was a combination of shaky her booty and riding a mechanical bull.  White girl can't dance.

Last night Cordie and I were playing a game on my phone.  You were supposed to identify Puppy's body parts.  She correctly picked out his nose and ears!!  She's a prodigy!  She'll be a world class surgeon!  Someone buy us a Doc McStuffins doctor bag.  Or...wait...possibly the screen is 3x5 and her odds of getting the right part were pretty high.  Well being a surgeon's overrated anyway.

Unfortunately the whining has not stopped since the sickness.  I could not figure it out.  I finally have.  She wants to walk.  Like desperately, consumingly, all she wants to do is walk. She understands there has to be momentum so she will fling her torso forward and drag her feet behind.  Mom got us a train table years ago when we first told her that we were trying to get pregnant.  I got it down for her because it is the exact right height for her to cruise on.  It's so cute that we finally got to use it!

Final story-When Cordie was feeling bad, I had her in the swing, getting sleepy before nap time.  When I went to get her she had twin tear tracks trailing down her cheeks.  She wasn't saying anything because her throat was hurting, but when I bent down, I could see her mouthing "dada dada dada".  Oh my gosh.  Broke my heart!  That little girl loves her daddy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Choice to Turn off Satellite

Have you seen those infographics of what happens when someone quits smoking?  It's got these statistics at 2 hours, 12 hours, 2 weeks, etc after quitting showing how things in your body changes.  Well here is ours:

Changes After Getting Rid of Satellite

We had tossed around the idea of getting rid of satellite for awhile, but we could never commit.  It was pretty much our only entertainment and it was hard to decide to cut it out.  Two things really swayed the decision. First we got really serious about paying off student loans.  Satellite costs money.  I know, shocker!  But I HATE debt, so we looked at the budget and said that was a line item that could be deleted and those funds moved to debt retirement.  Granted, it isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things, but pennies turn into dollars.

The second thing was a really great sermon by Andy Stanley that we heard.  I wish I could remember the title of it so I could link  you to it.  It was basically about all the little things you do that take time that amount to nothing, but how if you had put that same amount of time into worthwhile things you would have something to show for it.  This came after a week of binge watching My 600 Lb Life.  It's not that the tv show itself was bad, but over and over that week one of us would say "I should study for the GRE" or "I need to do my Bible study" and the other would be like "But let's watch this episode first" and the stuff that was really important would get left by the wayside.  At the end of the week, very little productive, growing things had been accomplished, but we had seen ten people have gastric bypass.

We still watch tv.  We have Chromecast so we can cast stuff from the computer to the tv, but now we watch more intentionally.  It isn't just picking something, it's actually because we want to watch a movie together.  I think we watch "better" things too.  We stream a lot more documentaries than we would have chosen from just flipping through the channels.  It's nice when it's off too and it's quiet except for Curly Girly's squeals.  We take more time to sit down and all three play together.  I'm definitely not advocating this for everyone, but for us, it was a good decision that's had a positive impact on our time and habits.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Five Suggestions for Birth Father's Gift

Father's Day is fast approaching and it's already passed you by if you, and by you I mean me, have to send a birth father's day gift by the first of June.  Much like Mother's Day, I was unsure what to get Cordie's BF.  The natural response is head to Pinterest.  I was horrified to discover a dearth of hits.  If Pinterest doesn't know what I should send, then NO ONE IN THE WORLD knows!  After rocking back and forth in the fetal position for about a week, I found myself wandering through Target picking up and putting down giftlike things.

I think it's easy to forget about BFs.  I know when I was praying for my future adopted baby and his/her mom in the years before I met them, I didn't often think about the BF.  It's easy to stereotype and say he's a deadbeat or wants nothing to do with the baby or doesn't even know there is a baby.  While I'm sure each of those situations happen in lots of adoptions, Cordie has a BF who is in the picture and who really struggled with placing her because he cared so much for her.  That's something to celebrate.  Below are a few suggestions about gifts you can send to a BF to show that you remember that he made a sacrifice too and you hold him in high esteem for it and want him to feel included in Father's Day.

1.  Traditional Father's Day gifts-There are lots of cute mugs, shirts, picture frames, etc that all say something great about dads.  A picture in a dad frame for a BF's desk would be appropriate and sweet.  In the future I may send something like this, but I think you need to know a bit about your BF's mindset about adoption before sending a traditional dad gift.  I know that Cordie's BF was very sad to place her and I don't want to rub salt in that and seem inconsiderate.  In years to come, when emotions aren't quite as high, he might well like something that says "Dad'.

2.  A Day in a Box-Another avenue I considered was a package that would make one full day fun.  Try sending a mason jar of muffin mix for breakfast, tickets for a movie matinee, and a gift card for dinner after the movie.  The great thing about this is that it can be as general or specific as you like based on how well you know the BF.  Movie tickets are great for a general thing, but you could do just about anything:  a hat with a light and fishing lure for late night fishing, a month's subscription to an online video game provider, whatever floats his boat.  The point is to make the entire day about him.

3.  Matching T-shirts for Him and Baby-Father's Day snuck up on me.  Had I had more time to order online I would have considered something like this
Youth & Adult “Plays with Cars” Premium T-shirt Pack – CarpeViam Mark & Pax are getting this!
This was made by a company called Carpe Viam, but I'm sure there are lots of places you can find other styles.  Take a picture of your little one in the matching shirt to send with it.

4.  A Gift Card-How unoriginal, I know.  I so wanted to find something better than just a gift card.  The fact of the matter is that I have only met Cordie's BF once and know very little about him.  It may not be super thoughtful, but at least it shows you are trying and who doesn't love a gift card?  Sometimes you have to work with limited information and shipping costs.

5.  "Work with What You Know"-Like I said, I don't know a lot about Cordie's BF, but I do know that he is a car guy.  I wanted to get him something car related because that was the one thing I knew he would enjoy.  I know nothing about cars and it's a broad field.  So I found a coffee table book about cars that shaped America.  I didn't want a book you really had to read because he may not be much of the reading type, but this book has tons of pictures and diagrams about every type of American made car.  Even Josh, who also likes cars but not reading, flipped through it so I figured it was a hit.  I also took pictures of Cordie "working" on a car to include with the book.  Basically this gift boils down to making a connection even if you don't have a lot of info to go on.

 (Don't worry, we cleaned that before we let her have it!)

Those are my BF gift suggestions.  There are many many many more out there, but thankfully our gift is done and sent for this year!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Anatomy of a Home Visit

All of our home visits have been completed!!!!

We've had four home visits including the first most harrowing one where our home was inspected.  Here's how my mindset changed as the visits went on.

1st Home Visit-This visit was pre-adoption.  It was the most terrifying because it included a tour of our home where any and everything was on display, including closets and cabinets.  I cleaned this place with a toothbrush.  You could have eaten off any surface of my home.  White gloves could have been worn.  I served a lovely coffee cake with variety of drink offerings and perched nervously on the edge of a chair while sweating through my blouse and answering every question that can be asked of another person.  Every person I had ever met and some people I had only met at yard sales were praying for it to go well.  The visit lasted three hours.

2nd Home Visit-This was the first visit after Cordie was brought home.  I've spent the past day enlisting any nearby person to hold the baby so I could clean.  Cordie was one month old and I was in a seemingly permanent bleary-eyed-with-sleep stage.  I wanted the house to look just like it had in our pre-child visit though.  I was going to PROVE that childrearing wasn't affecting my housekeeping!  I think I served something to eat...yep, sausage balls I think.  Only one drink was offered.  I sweated through the first real clothes I had put on in days while trying to make it sound like our baby with acid reflux, colic, sucking problems, and a hatred of sleep wasn't completely draining us all of every drop of energy we had ever had.  My entire Sunday School class and family are praying.  The visit lasted two hours.

3rd Home Visit-Cordie was four months old and sooooo much happier than she had been.  I cleaned with her on  my hip for the day leading up to the visit.  I didn't even clean the stove eyes.  I think I shut the door to the bedroom.  Eh, Cordie was thriving, the house was relatively clean, and I made a peach cobbler.  Where is my cape?  I am clearly superwoman.  I don't sweat through anything while I bragged about how freakin' adorable my kid is.  My family is praying in a casual way if they remember.  The visit lasted an hour.

4th Home Visit-I forget the day the home visit is scheduled for and then promptly freak out because it was mixed up.  Not to fear, I still had enough time to clean.  I decide the social worker won't be showering and I don't have time to clean it, so I pull the curtain close and make a mental note to get to that later in the week.  I don't hide the diapers and wipes.  There's a kid who lives here.  She poops.  I think we all know that.  I don't fix anything to eat.  We all watch the baby play for twenty-five mintues while I curl up on the couch like a contented cat, no sweating or edge sitting involved.

I'm glad the visits are over.  Even with the last one I was still a little anxious about the house being nice enough, but they did get MUCH more relaxed as time went on.  We have our court date later this month and then we will be D-O-N-E with this whole process!!  I've already started asking Josh when we can do it again.