Friday, January 28, 2011


So apparently, this is happening:

Baby #3!

I KNOW! Surprise! We've known for a very little while now, but this is still pretty much what the inside of my head looks like: !!!!!!!! I am almost 9 weeks pregnant, due at the beginning of September.  So three kids for us later this year, a new little person who belongs to us and our family.  Weirdly, a new baby was actually what we were hoping for this year but this feels like a big change to our plans.

We have a lot of conflicting feelings about all this coming down in the light of our adoption plans-- confusion, shock, befuddlement.  Oh wait, that is pretty much just one emotion, isn't it?  And then we have been pretty open about our path towards adoption with EVERYONE so it feels kind of embarrassing to now be explaining that I'm pregnant.  Yes, world, that's right-- an unplanned pregnancy. We know this doesn't mean we can never adopt a child, but we hadn't really decided we wanted more than 3 kids and we HAD really gotten ourselves mentally/emotionally prepared to adopt in the near future.  We had begun to have a picture of what this baby might look like, what parenting this baby might involve, who this baby would be, and now it feels like that baby we were ready to love doesn't exist anymore or that baby doesn't belong to our family.

I think some people we've told don't get why this news has left us off-kilter, and I will admit that, yes, we wanted a new baby this year and we are (Lord willing) going to have a new baby this year.  I think it must be a similar to what people who have fertility problems go through if they decide to adopt; I thought I was going to have Baby X but now I am going to have Baby Y.  I feel sad, I admit, for what we are not going to experience.

I am not sad about this new baby, though.  This baby is wanted, this baby is loved, this baby is welcome.  We are definitely in a phase of adjusting our expectations, but the person we are now expecting is an unlooked-for gift, an unanticipated blessing. We're in the process of embracing the unanticipated, as well as thinking through what this means for our original plans. Adopt in 2013 or so? Faux twins? Our paperwork is done but we are not approved yet so we have some time to think through things.  In the meantime, I had my first midwife appointment today and there was a tiny heartbeat flickering in this baby's chest as he or she (probably she-- I am pretty convinced) continued the long voyage from smattering of cells to new person. Safe journey, tiny baby; we love you.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Got My Hair Done!

Yay! Red hair!

And it turned out super fun. I am really happy with how the color turned out. The bangs are going to take some getting used to, and today (one day after the haircut) I am not sure I'm going to keep them and may immediately grow them out to the sort-of side-swept layer-y thing I had going on before. They were cut to be straight-across blunt bangs that hang straight down and I can't even bear to have them like that. All that hair! On my forehead! GAH! Maybe I will get used to it in a little while.

So bright and fun!

I was just remembering to back when I had pink hair in Dallas a couple years ago and chuckled at how I would get asked VERY OFTEN at church if it was my first time to visit there, something I never got asked with all brown hair.  Oh, the Bible Belt...  I have chosen to be charitable and believe that these people were assuming I was new because they thought they would remember seeing a pink-haired woman in their church, and not that their assumption was a less benign one.  I do not see this as a problem at our church here in Salt Lake City because a) it is quite small and you pretty much know who everyone is and b) everybody at our new church is all covered in tattoos anyway.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chit Chat

It is yet another beautiful snowy morning here and I am in a chatty mood.  The lovely drifting snow is actually making me chuckle a bit today because the Dallas/Fort Worth area (where I grew up and where we lived most recently) got some snow over the past day or so and this had the result that my entire Facebook feed was made up of declarations of "IT'S SNOWING OMG!" and the like.  Some people posted pictures that showed that their blades of grass were almost submerged in snow.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA-- poor Texans...

I think this is the week that Robert and I finally take advantage of all this beautiful snow here and go skiing.  We bought some locals-only passes to one of the ski resorts here before the season started but we haven't actually gone yet, due to the holidays and busy-ness and a lack of appropriate outfits.  I think we have finally collected all the various articles of clothing that you need and I am working on lining up a babysitter for the day and scheduling a lesson for us and then! We shall ski!  I have never ever skiied in my entire life before so this may be quite embarrassing but I am 99% sure that I am going to really like it.  I also want to try out snowshoeing, which also sounds awesome and fun.

This week is also the week that Grace starts ballet lessons.  We did gymnastics through the fall, which was fun and low-key and great for a 4-year-old.  She says she wants to do gymnastics and then ballet and then soccer, so now we have moved on to ballet.  I don't think I can handle driving her to more than one activity a week at this point.  I know she would like it, but the money and the time and the hassle...  Blech.  I am a bit apprehensive about soccer because don't they have practices and games every week?  Nooooooooo...  Anyway, this spring she is doing ballet once a week up at the Jewish Community Center where she is going to preschool, in a little class that meets right after she is done with preschool.  It's very convenient; the teachers will change her clothes and move her to the dance studio and everything.  I ordered her ballet shoes a little while ago and she is in looooooooove with them.  She wears them around the house pretty much all the time as if they were her house slippers.

Dealing with the girls' sleep habits lately has been a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma.  For months and months, we have been putting them both down at the same time (around 7:30pm) after giving them a bath together and reading and prayers and so forth.  This was, as you might guess, AWESOME because we had practically the whole evening to ourselves after they went to bed.  Grace hasn't napped for several years at this point, but Violet is still taking a substantial afternoon nap, without which she is unable to make it to dinner awake and with her crap together.  Well, in the past month, Violet has started needing less sleep, I guess, because she no longer can fall asleep before 9pm or so.  I keep experimenting with her nap to see if an earlier or shorter nap will leave her able to fall asleep at the same time as Grace, but to no avail.  Farewell, free evenings...  And although it seems strange, I actually wonder if Grace needs to go to bed even earlier because it can be rough to get her up in the mornings for school and on weekends she will sleep until 8am often.  I somehow keep expecting Violet to go to sleep at the "normal" time but she never does and I need to adjust my expectations, I guess.  I am now looking forward to her dropping her nap so she can go to sleep earlier in the evening and Rob and I can return to our wild and crazy 2.5-hours-of-no-children lifestyle.

Do you think it is possible for weather to affect the mineral content of water?  Since we've moved to Salt Lake City, we've noticed sort of hard-ish water, but since winter settled in, it has gotten WAY way worse.  The poor dishwasher now does less actual washing of dishes and more coating them in a scum of white deposits.  Maybe the colder temperatures make whatever softening chemicals they treat our water with less effective or something?  It seems plausible, I suppose.  Anyway, I used lemon Kool-Aid to clear out the dishwasher (isn't that a cool idea?) and then I bought some of this stuff to use with every load.  I think the dishwasher situation is back under control, and for that I am thankful.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I'm a day late, but happy 2011 to you!  I don't ever remember being so excited for a new year to begin, but here we are, starting afresh with days stretching out ahead of us full of possibility and hopefulness.  One of the things I am hopeful about for 2011 is that we will add a third little person to our family sometime this year.  We are very, very close to having all our adoption paperwork done and approved; we have missed my personal goal of having it done by the end of 2010 but we are down to just one form, I think.  (I hereby resolve to get to the police station for fingerprinting THIS WEEK, if at all possible.)  Once our paperwork is finished and approved, a birthmother could choose us at anytime but the average wait if you are open to a child of any race is three to six months.  Hopefully this calendar year will find us a family of five!

I am also excited because after the borderline-disgusting excess of the holidays, Rob and I have decided to turn over a new leaf when it comes to food and exercise and the like.  I am such a cliche!  Starting a new diet in January!  It just really wasn't practical through the holidays though, with parties and birthdays and dinners with friends and a marathon visit from Rob's parents.  So starting this week, I am cutting out sugar and white flour and other badness for a while and increasing my protein (eggs! lots of eggs!) and getting back to the sure-to-be-crowded gym.  I feel like I am in a really good place mentally and emotionally about this, in case you are remembering my body-image freakout of this past fall.  I am feeling motivated and realistic and ready to do good things to nurture and care for my physical self.  I may go into sugar withdrawal after the massive holiday overindulgence, but hopefully it will be short-lived and soon I will feel well-rested and clear-skinned and svelte.

For a variety of reasons, I feel happy just to be returning to the normal rhythm of our everyday lives.  Historically I have really loved this time between Christmas and New Year's, when the crazy pace of Christmas preparations has passed but regular life has not started back up, but last year we all had a terrible stomach virus and this year it was absorbed in the aforementioned megadose of family togetherness.  And then there is my darling children's, ahem, challenging behavior as the lack of routine and sugar and whatnot has caught up with them.  Maybe the magic of that week was a college and grad school thing and now that I am a real grown-up driving a child to school and running a household, the real magic lies in the everyday and the commonplace that make a family, a life, a year.  Here's to 2011!