November 26, 2010


Yesterday was a pretty significant day for Nora. I've noticed in parenthood how things will be status quo for a little bit and then all of a sudden your child will surprise you by doing things that you had no idea that they knew how to do. I've had this experience a lot recently with Nora as all of a sudden, she's helping to dress herself or will only eat if she's trying to feed herself.

I was very grateful to have a great morning with her yesterday before all of the festivities began. We were playing on the floor with her little farm when I noticed that she paused playing and was making some tell-tale grunting noises (she's going to hate me if this is around in about 12 years). I've been trying to teach her sign language but it's been hard to tell if it's working. She then looked at me and gave me the sign for "diaper change". (Yes, the potty story was going somewhere).

She then started mimicking eating and then tried to feed me. We haven't taught her that sign but luckily I'm a pretty good guesser. Of course, after the diaper change, we had a little snack. It's so interesting how she just woke up yesterday with so many new communication skills.

We had a great Thanksgiving at my sister-in-laws house and, of course, Nora loved being the center of attention. While we were there she began to walk more than she's ever walked before. Usually, she needs prompting and will take about 6 steps before falling and crawling. Yesterday afternoon she walked across a room many times between Joel and I. She's not been a baby who is chomping at the bit to walk so I don't think she's going to all of a sudden be sprinting around the house but it was fun to see her take some steps and actually balance and catch herself several times.

I'm grateful to have a nice long weekend to spend with her.

November 24, 2010

Jen Time!

It's been a complete whirlwind of a couple of weeks! I had my business trip that ended in an emergency landing in Atlanta, a close friend in town, a big event over the weekend and lots of life changes. To say that I am feeling drained is an understatement. I've spent my morning working- and there is still plenty more to do- but right now I'm sneaking some time away at a coffee shop I used to frequent in my younger days. The view of downtown is gone but the latte and sandwich with olive tapenade are still the same.

I was tempted to feel guilty by Nora being at daycare, my messy house, piles of work, friends who deserve a phone call and all other things that compete for your time but, instead, I've decided to enjoy this moment and this time. Taking some time alone to regroup is so important and something that is so rare in motherhood. I'm thoroughly enjoying!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 9, 2010

Leaving Nora

I have a conference for work this week. I'm leaving this morning and won't be back until Saturday. This will definitely be the longest I've been away from Nora and I'm sort of dreading it. Last March when I attended a conference, Nora was still a baby and I didn't really mind the short break (and sleep!) that I was getting. However, Nora is so much fun now and so aware that I'm not looking forward to being gone for such a long time.

Nora is beginning to walk a bit. She usually takes about 5-6 steps with our encouragement. She thrusts all her weight full steam ahead like a little drunken sailor and usually goes careening into the floor. It's strange to think that she could possibly be walking by the time I return on Saturday. I've seen her first steps and my theory is that when I see it it's the first time- the mantra of a working mom.

I know I'll enjoy the conference and time with colleagues once I'm there. It's just I'll be a little more homesick than usual.

November 4, 2010

Date Night and Slumber Parties

I am so ecstatic that Joel and I are having a date night tomorrow night and Nora is going to have a slumber party with grandma and grandpa.

It's been way too long since Joel and I have been on a date. Our last date night was derailed by a stomach bug. The timing this time is perfect - it's right between Joel's birthday and our anniversary. We're going to pretend we're 25 again - or at least 30. We may even stay up until 11 pm and sleep until 8 am!

I've been dying to try a new gastropub in town so we're going to start there and then see where the night takes us. I can't really describe how excited I am to go out.

October 23, 2010

C Student

Being a working mom is a hard job. Being a mom alone is a challenge but then adding a full 40+ hours of work, friends, family and life on top of that and it's impossible to really do a good job at any of it. I used to be an "A" student in my life. I'd send cards in a timely manner, keep the house somewhat organized, be an attentive wife and generally be on top of things. Now, I'm a C student bordering on a D+ in all aspects of my life and I'm coming to accept it.

Some months I excel in some areas more than others but I'm coming to realize that good enough is going to have to be good enough - there are only so many hours in the day. Maybe this is what adjusting to new roles in life is all about - making room for those new roles and letting go of all of the rest. This new attitude is a work in progress but it is refreshing to realize one person can all do so much.

October 16, 2010

Life at Warp Speed

This summer went so quickly that I found it really hard to find the time to blog. Between work, vacations and everything that needed to be done around the house, I found no time to write.

I'm hoping that fall brings a little bit more quiet. I put the garden to bed yesterday and will be planting a ground cover and garlic this weekend; putting to rest an enjoyable, but time consuming, hobby. I've frozen or dried much of our bounty and look forward to enjoying it throughout the winter.

We've also been incredibly sick at our house. Daycare is certainly helping to build Nora's immune system. I've had strep, pink eye, a sinus infection and the stomach flu all within the last six weeks. Joel is on round two of strep this weekend after we all had the stomach flu last weekend. The illness in our home is beginning to wear on me as it happens exclusively on vacation or the weekends. It's been frustrating on many levels but particularly because I've had many friends have babies recently and I feel like I haven't had the opportunity to spend any time with them because my family is constantly infected with something. I know this will all pass and in a year we won't be quite as ill but I'm starting to get a little worn down by the constant string of bugs going through our house.

On a positive note, Joel is feeling a touch better and if he wakes up feeling up to it, we'll try to head off to a pumpkin patch today. I've been wanting to partake in this fall activity since we began waiting for a child, so, I'll be sure to post lots of great photos if the illness gods are smiling on us today.

Since I've been very delinquent posting photos for our vacation. I thought I'd include one from our recent trip to Costa Rica.

October 3, 2010

Nora's First Birthday

Nora's first birthday was on Thursday. The day itself was not remarkable, as sadly, I had to work. Luckily, Nora is too young to know any different and we made up for it with two parties this weekend which were both so much fun. It made me feel so grateful for the amazing people that we have in our lives.

I had some emotions on Nora's actual birthday that caught me by surprise. I found myself thinking about C and J a lot and the emotions that I was feeling on that day a year ago. We had so much anxiety and uncertainty in the hospital and I certainly did not feel like Nora's mom, really, at that point. I had the same bitter-sweet feeling that I had the day she was officially placed in our arms by C and J. Very happy for us and feeling sadness over the loss that C and J and, likely Nora, were feeling.

I'm not sure if biological moms feel an ownership over their child's birthday or if the first year is intense for them as well. Nora's birthday brought up a lot of unexpected emotion for me. I'm sure with future birthdays the feelings will be much different.. I'm sure as Nora becomes more aware of her birthday it will begin to take on new meaning. Of course, there are lots of birthday festivities that I'm excited to blog about but, this being an adoption blog, I thought I'd blog about some of the feelings I had on her birthday.

Luckily, I have C and J's email and was able to send them a not on Nora's birthday. I'm grateful for a good email exchange with C and J and I'm happy that we have a date set to see them again soon. And, of course, more than anything, I'm grateful for this first year of Nora's life.

September 5, 2010

Travel Advice Needed

I have been a really bad blogger lately- and a really bad a lot of things to be honest- but that will have to wait for a later post.

We're about to embark on our first air travel trip with Nora and I need advice from some seasoned mom-travelers. Here is our scenario (thank the Lord this is all the same time zone):

  • Leave our home at 9:00 am
  • Flight leaves airport at 11:20 am and arrives destination 2:44 pm
  • Layover- 2:44 pm - 5:10 pm
  • Arrive destination: 7:40 pm
  • Go through customs, get rental car, leave airport: 8:4o pm
  • Arrive resort 10:40 pm

This schedule makes me feel like I'm going to need a week on the beach to recuperate from our travel. I know it's totally do-able with some good planning, so, I'm counting on all of you moms to give me some expert advice on traveling with an 11 month old by car, plane and 4WD.

Thanks in advance for any tricks you might have!

August 7, 2010

The Call

One year ago today I received a call while I was at work to let me know that I was finally going to be a mother. Joel and I had been selected by birthparents to parent their baby girl that was due in September. I remember being filled with excitement and panic all at once and how we got to work right away on figuring out what needed to be done to our newly purchased house to get ready for bambino.

It's crazy to think that a year has passed since that initial introduction to our daughter, Nora. I look at her now and each day she looks less like a baby and more like a little girl. The time is moving so quickly, yet, I'm savoring each moment and each stage. I feel beyond blessed to have received that call and to have Nora as my daughter.

July 11, 2010

"Die" My Baby Tells Me

So, Nora is officially a chatter box and is trying to put together lots of combinations of words. Her favorite remains "hi". She likes trying out different sounds and syllables. Her new favorite word today is "die". She's trying out the "d" sound with "hi". The result is all day my super cute, sweet baby has been very distinctly saying "die, die, die."

She has a really cute high pitched voice and "die" is all that is being produced by it. I couldn't help cracking up this morning when she was happily playing with her toys saying "die, die, die, die" and then slowly fading into a really creepy whispery "die, die". I'm sure it will evolve into something else tomorrow but it's been pretty surreal running errands with her all day while she's been wishing me dead. Good thing I have a twisted sense of humor.

July 10, 2010

Big Girl!

There seems to be weeks where all is status quo with Nora and then there are weeks and even days where things change literally by the moment. The biggest, most exciting change (for me) came a couple of weeks ago when she FINALLY began sleeping through the night. I feel like an entirely new person now that I'm getting some sleep. And my baby who has never napped is beginning to take 1-3 one hour naps a day. This is heavenly and she's in such a better mood for it!

This week Nora has changed exponentially. Her army crawl has a lot of gusto and she'll actually grunt and laugh as she's chasing the dog at full speed (poor dog). She's also learned to sit up on her own. She does this through very unusual means. She's really really flexible and actually does the splits and then pushes herself up. It's pretty amazing. She's also beginning to (inconsistently) pull herself up on our couch. All these changes took place in a matter of days. One morning Joel went in her room to get her up and she was just sitting there.

She's so much fun and has so much personality. Her first official word (since I don't think she's using mama and dada in context) is "hi". She says hi to everyone and everything. She's also begun to say "wow" which is really appropriate for this little firecracker. The baby sign language hasn't really kicked in yet even though we've been using it fairly consistently; however, she has begun to clap which is soooo cute! She especially likes impromptu family dance parties in the kitchen. I think she thinks my dancing is hilarious (and it is).

July 3, 2010

Baby Mug Shot

I think we've finally slogged through all of Nora's post-adoption paper work and our little girl has been officially registered, tracked and noted by the U.S. government. She's got her birth certificate, social security card and we have just applied for her passport. Holy paper work!

I'm so glad we were able to take care of her passport yesterday. Joel and I had to go together to apply in person. We both work at complete opposite ends of the city and the office hours at the post office for passports are 9:30 - 3, not exactly convenient if you both work. Luckily, we both were able to take off early and met at the post office at 2:30. We got in line and were laughing as there were two other families with babies in front of us.

Nora got her photo taken and it was perfect. All humans must instinctively know to give the mug shot/deer in the headlights look for government issued IDs. Nora completely nailed it and has joined the ranks of all of her fellow Americans with the same crazy look in all of their ID photos. (I actually am smiling and look happy in my driver's license and it freaks people out. I get a lot of comments.)

So, Nora is going to receive her passport in three weeks and will then be ready for her first trip to Costa Rica in September.

June 29, 2010

Colorado Card Revoked

We've had a lot going on with Nora over the last month. First and foremost, we're all finally healthy and had our first weekend with no illness in months. We had a great day on Sunday when we celebrated a friend's birthday with a hike up to Devil's Head along the Rampart Range of Colorado. (Here's a link to the trail for my Colorado folks.) This was our first hike with Nora and she's almost 9 months old! I think I'm going to have my Colorado-native citizenship revoked for waiting an entire 9 months to take Nora hiking. This my friends, is blasphemy in my fair state.

Nora had a great time on the hike. Joel had her in a hiking backpack that had her slightly elevated so that she could see out. She stayed awake for the entire hike and always made sure to look back to see if mommy was still bringing up the rear. It was so fun to be able to have her experience the outdoors and get outside and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. Hopefully, this is just the first of many hikes this summer. We're hoping to get up to the mountains a lot more- especially to do some mushroom hunting. It feels so good to be out and about and healthy again!

P.S. My friend has all the photos on her camera so I will post when I get them.
P.P.S I had really hoped to post this as a Perfect Moment Monday but alas it's Tuesday- maybe next week!

June 17, 2010

Sister Time!

As a surprise for my mom, I arranged for my sister to fly out for tea this last weekend. Since I know my mom reads my blog,, I couldn't mention how EXCITED I was for my sister to come out and I especially couldn't mention that we'd then be going on a trip to celebrate her 30th birthday.

My mom was completely surprised to see my sister on Saturday which was great. We then enjoyed a phenomenal tea together. My sister and I then headed to New Mexico the following afternoon. We stayed at Ojo Caliente hot springs and it was fantastic for the first day. We enjoyed a soak, went to Taos, toured some earthships and then headed back to the room for a great dinner of cheese, olives, meats and wine. Sadly, that evening, my sister came down with the stomach flu. She slept most of the next day and we headed back home yesterday. Of all places, it was definitely the best location to be sick since all there was to do was relax anyway. I felt bad for her that she wasn't really able to celebrate her birthday.

We feel that there may be some sort of curse against Stephanie visiting NM. Years ago we had a trip to Ojo planned and Steph came home with mono. I got sick Saturday morning but miraculously rallied but poor Steph really got hit with the flu. Despite all the illness, it was still great to be together and spend time with one of my favorite people.

June 11, 2010

Girl Day

Tomorrow Nora, my mom, Joel's mom and I are all going to have afternoon tea at a local hotel famous for their traditional tea service (although I usually have the champagne). It's our post-Mother's Day mom outing and I'm really looking forward to a relaxing afternoon with the ladies. It feels like life is coming at me at a million miles an hour and I just can't keep up. Taking a little hiatus and enjoying time with the family will be perfect.

I'll try to be good and post some tea photos tomorrow.

June 6, 2010

Sickness Round 2

After thinking I was finally in the clear after well over a month and a half of sickness - it began again. Thursday Nora threw up at daycare. Since babies can be a little pukey, I didn't get a call and they thought nothing of it. Thursday evening I fed Nora her brown rice and peas and a half-hour later, she started coughing so violently that she began to gag and projectile vomited peas all over me, herself, our couch, coffee table, rug and everything else in a 5 ft. radius. It was really scary as she was gagging and gasping. I ran to get Joel in the garage with peas all over Nora and I from head to toe and promptly called the after-hours line at her pediatrician. Nora was then sick throughout the night with vomiting and a fever but my biggest concern was her cough which she has had off an on for awhile.

I called the pediatrician's office the moment they opened the next morning and got her the first appointment of the day. I'd already missed three days of work last week before with her last cold so I had my mom come over to watch her and come to the pediatrician's office with me so she could hear what needed to be done for the day. (What a great mom!). I have literally been to the pediatricians office almost once a week and was beginning to feel like an over-the-top paranoid mom. However, my instincts were correct. Nora has bronchitis and is now on a course of amoxicilin. My mom and I finished our appointment when we got home Joel was coming through the door. He went to work and left an hour later with a stomach bug. He went straight to bed and my mom watched Nora and I reluctantly went into work.

I left work a little early to get back and take over for my mom and take care of Nora. I stopped at the grocery store for provisions and laughed at my cart. Everyone else had fixings for a bbq or dinner for the night. I had Pedialyte, infant Motrin, Boudreaux's Butt Paste, chicken soup, Sprite and crackers. Joel and Nora are both slowly on the mend and I'm really ready for an illness free weekend! Fingers crossed for next weekend.

May 31, 2010


I love to garden. I discovered gardening a few years ago when we were still living in a north-facing high-rise where we could barely grow shade plants on our balcony. My husband mentioned to me that a friend of his was going to be joining a community garden and did we want to join as well. I knew nothing of gardening but I do love the Farmer's Market and cooking so figured I'd give it a go.

Our community garden was about a mile from our house as they are fairly popular and it was the only one we could get in to. Coincidentally, or not so much, we were given a plot that was literally a weedy field. Joel went to great lengths tilling and prepping the soil, adding organic matter and breaking up the clay. We sowed our seeds and watched the plants begin to emerge. I was completely hooked.

This was the same time that we were on the tail-end of fertility treatments and were beginning to explore adoption. With no control over my own ornery and stubborn fertility it was nice to be able to have a small hand in creating and producing something.

It was an extremely therapeutic hobby. I loved quiet mornings by myself in the garden weeding and monitoring the progress of our food. We grew lettuce, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, broccoli and a lot of herbs. I decided that gardening was the perfect hobby for me. We stayed in the community garden for a couple of years. There were high and low points of being a in a community garden. There was a lot of theft of vegetables, vandalism and water would arbitrarily be turned off. This wasn't the best experience for someone projecting their fertility onto a plot of land.

Last year when we bought our house, we still had a large plot in the community garden and the owners of the home we bought had planted a small garden with squash, eggplant, tomatoes, kale and lettuce. We had two gardens and it was heavenly.

This year we are focusing on the garden in our own backyard and freeing our space in the community garden for someone else. Joel spent last weekend preparing raised bed boxes and we've been growing our seedlings since February. Nora, still a bit sleepy from being sick, took a two hour nap and we were able to plant most of the garden. It was such a great experience for Joel and I to have time together and to know that we won't be making runs to the grocery store for produce all summer. I've already begun to harvest the lettuce and peas that I planted in March and the Swiss chard isn't too far behind. I'm so excited to have our own garden right outside our back door this year and I can't wait to share my love of gardening, cooking, food and eating with Nora.

Meetings and Sickness

It's been a crazy week and a half in our house and I've had so many things to blog about but so little time.

The first is that I had the opportunity to meet a bloggy friend for a beer a little over a week ago and it was great to chat and discuss adoption and our lives. It's so amazing how you can meet so many interesting and great people through blogging.

We met with C and J a little less than a week ago. It was a good meeting but in the evening so Nora was a little tired and fussy. They are doing great and it was such a relief to see. We exchanged email addresses so communication in the future will be far easier. Now, if they want to see Nora or if we want to ask them a question we won't be playing telephone through our agency. I feel blessed to have such a good relationship with them and to really like them.

The morning after meeting C and J I took Nora to daycare as usual and headed off to work. It takes me an hour from when I leave my house to get Nora to daycare and get to work. I had just reached the parking lot when I got a call from daycare that Nora had a low fever. I assumed she was just teething since she hasn't cut any teeth yet. I walked into work and a few minutes later got a call that she was lethargic, pale and her fever was 101.6. I turned around and went to go get her. Nora was then sick with a fever for four days straight. She's never had a fever before and it was really disconcerting to see her so lethargic and hot. Her top temperature was 104. Nora isn't a snugly baby so I could really tell that she was sick when I held her for days on end and that's all she wanted. Usually, if I hold her for more than a few minutes, she squeals and arches her back to be put down. She's doing much better now but it's been an exhausting week/end. I think this is the curse of daycare. She's moving to another room and has been transitioning so I think she's transitioned into all the new germs too. The upside, I guess, is that we both survived and when she's school aged all these bugs will be nothing to her.

May 18, 2010


I got so much done yesterday on my day off that I feel like a whole new person. I made a book for Nora all about her adoption on, picked up the dry cleaning, bought the dog his special food at the dog food store that's almost never open, picked up some prescriptions, ran to the grocery store, deep cleaned the entire house and hosted a wine and cheese happy hour for my parents (who just got back from a trip and were dying to see Nora) and finished it off with homemade soup. Whew! Done! (I promise I'm not on meth - waking up at 5 am with Nora helps to give you a head start on the day).

Today, Joel fed Nora at 5 am and she went back down until 7 AM! Hooray! I woke up to a happy baby and an amazing latte that Joel made for me. Even though it's a little bit cloudy today I can already tell Nora and I are going to have an amazing day off together. It's remarkable what a couple of days off can do for you.

P.S. The image is a piece from my thesis show. I found it to be ironic and funny when I glanced up at it while mopping. What little I knew in college.

May 16, 2010

I Need a Wife

Joel and I have been watching the HBO series on polygamy, Big Love, and it's got me thinking that I need a wife. It's impossible for me to work, take care of Nora and make sure that the house is in order. I also am not great at some domestic tasks. I'm a great cook and I can clean but it took me an obscenely long time to fix the hem in my pants and iron them. So, I'm looking for a wife.

Not just any wife, either. I can't have a clone of myself. I'm a twenty-first century wife with some domestic skills and a good education but I need a pioneer woman to complete our family. I need a wife who is hardy, knows how to darn a sock and hem pants and use an iron. Until we're able to time travel, embrace polygamy and add said woman to our family, I think our house will always just barely be clean, pants will be taken to the alterations place, shirts will be taken to the dry cleaner to be ironed and closets will never really be organized.

Joel's a great man and does a lot around the house but even the best of men can't multi-task and get things done like a woman. I'm taking applications for anyone interested. Your payment is great home-cooked meals, time with a super-cute baby and lots of love and admiration from this domestically-challenged woman.

May 15, 2010


This week being a working mom has really caught up with me. I've felt sick all week alternating between a sinus issue and a stomach bug but in reality I think I'm just exhausted. Work has been really busy and has included evenings and weekends and I think I'm just super tired. The good news is I have a few hours of work today and then I'm off on Monday and Tuesday. Hooray!

It's a sad state of affairs when you are fantasizing about mopping your floors and organizing your closets but I'm really looking forward to getting my life back in order. I'm also looking forward to putting together a book for Nora that tells her adoption story. I know I have a lot on the list for just a few days off but I'm really looking forward to even crossing a few things off that long list.

Nora seems like she's grown so much in the past week. She is now in her 6 month clothes (almost at 8 months) and seems to have gotten longer. Her speed at rolling across the floor and grabbing things is also astounding and literally changed over night. I can't take my eyes off of her for even a second or she's rolled across the floor and has grabbed my purse or is about to grab a bone out of the dog's bed. It's so incredible how much she changes each day.

May 9, 2010

A Day Late

I had no idea that yesterday was Bithmother's Day. I'm so glad I follow so many blogs of so many with-it people so that I was able to find out this important piece of information. So, in typical Jen fashion, I'm going to be a little backwards. (After all, I was the only kid in my kindergarten class who insisted on painting the candy cane in my art project blue). So, Mother's Day post yesterday and Birthmother's Day post today.

As I alluded to yesterday in my Mother's Day post, church has always been a sore spot for me on Mother's Day. I think the uninterrupted hour to think sometimes puts me in a special place. Yesterday, I found myself feeling very emotional thinking of C. on this day. She's a strong woman and I know she'll put on a strong face for today as she likely celebrates with her family but I'm sue this day is very hard for her. It's hard to know that she's likely having the very opposite experience of myself this day. She's having the experience I've had for many years with a different level of grief added to it thinking about an actual baby, Nora, on this day.

We correspond with C and J every few months through the agency and offered a time to get together. I hadn't heard from C and J and was sad and disappointed thinking that they didn't want to see us. I also know that the process is hard and will ebb and flow and I wanted to respect wherever they were at in their lives.

Our caseworker contacted us last week and said that they wanted to get together this Wednesday. So, I'm very pleased that they will get to see Nora in a few short days. Perhaps, this makes today a little easier for C or maybe not. At least I'll be able to wish her a Happy Birthmother's Day in person and she'll get some important time with Nora.

May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head about Mother's Day this year. I remember the feeling of excitement on the Mother's Day when we were first trying to get pregnant and my anticipation of celebrating the next year with a baby of my own. The subsequent Mother's Days during infertility and the adoption wait were always a mix of some glimmer of hope, sadness and frustration. Going to church on Mother's Day felt like the ultimate torture as the church was crammed with families, babies and moms. It was so hard and it took everything in my power for me not to burst into tears being surrounded by so many moms and in many ways being angry at God and the universe for the fact that I too couldn't be a mom.

Mother's Day to me this year seems more exciting than Christmas. I've been waiting so long to celebrate this holiday with a child of my own and I left work on Friday giddy to celebrate with all of the other moms on Sunday. It's such a special holiday to me this year and one that I feel privileged to celebrate for the first time.

My thoughts will be with all of those who are still waiting to celebrate their first Mother's Day. I know what a painful holiday it can be.

Finally, a HUGE congratulations to E on celebrating her first Mother's Day! I've followed E for such a long time and I'm so ecstatic for her to, as she put it, finally be a mom!

May 1, 2010

Places to Go Things to Do

I have an active baby. I suspected that this might be the case but since I have never had a baby before I had no basis for comparison. However, I started to hear a common theme when picking up or dropping off Nora at daycare. "That little girl is active", "I wish I had half her energy"; "You better put her in track when she gets older". Nora hit the energy jackpot.

Nora's disposition is phenomenal. She's always happy and inquisitive and active. However, this little girl does not nap. If we're all lucky, she takes two 20 minute naps a day. At home, at daycare, doesn't matter. This little girl has places to go and things to do. There's always a limb in motion at all times. We laugh that she's the only baby we know with a six pack because she does incessant leg lifts.

I LOVE her activity level; however, the lack of naps has been wearing on us. I can tell Nora's tired but she just won't go down for longer than 20 minutes. I was completely shocked and amazed when I picked her up from daycare and they told me that she took a 1.5 hour nap and a 45 minute nap. Yesterday my mom was watching her and she slept 2 hours! She still has her abundant energy but she might become a more well-rested baby. I'm wondering and hoping that maybe we've turned a corner and she might get some of that precious sleep that she needs.

Lack of sleep aside, I feel so fortunate that Nora is my daughter. She has the sunniest most fun disposition and her energy level is actually a perfect match for women on my side of the family. Poor Joel has always been overwhelmed by all the estrogen-energy in my family and it looks like that legacy is going to continue with Nora.

April 29, 2010

Life in Photos

I've really missed blogging lately but my life has been jam-packed between work and mommy-hood and I want to soak up every moment I can with Nora.

We were fortunate to have a good friend of ours, Krzysztof, drop by one Saturday morning to help my husband brew. We were particularly fortunate because Krzy is an amazing photographer and happened to bring along his camera. The unfortunate part is that I hadn't showered or really even dressed for the occasion let alone put on makeup. So, please enjoy the lovely photos of my daughter and be kind with my un-showered, un-make-uped shots. Also, I'd like to put in a shameless plug for our friend. If anyone lives in Denver, here's his website: Leaffoto

I thought these photos would serve as a good visual representation of our life over the last few weeks.

April 17, 2010

We're Officially a Family!

On Tuesday, our adoption was finalized. This date hasn't been emotionally significant to me but it's been a nice marker for the end of the formalized process. I felt like Nora was our daughter when, like a deer in the headlights, we left the hospital and I scolded myself for swearing on the way home and anxiously made sure that no one on the road was going to put her precious life in danger.

The first weeks were surreal as we went from a couple with no children to a family but Nora felt like "ours" all the while. This was a luxury we were afforded by how amazing C and J have been through this process and their maturity and selflessness. This entire process could have felt much different and I'm blessed that we have had the experience that we have had.

Nora woke up at 4:30 am on the day of her finalization. (Daycare has thrown her sleep for a loop and she still hasn't slept through the night). I brought her downstairs on the couch to lay with her and held her back to sleep for an hour or so. It was such precious time for me to think of how blessed I am to have this beautiful and remarkable daughter. It's sometimes hard for me to realize that I get to be her mother. I notice that I refer to myself as mommy maybe a little bit more than other moms. I think it's because sometimes it's hard for me to believe that this is my life and I have the privilege of being a mother to Nora.

My sister and brother-in-law flew out to take part in her finalization. So, the house was soon crazy with four adults trying to get ready and get out the door by 6:45 am. Joel's parents were going to follow us to the court house so they were at our house as well in the midst of utter chaos. My house was a disaster and we were were all in an insane whirlwind trying to leave. I got Nora dressed and realized I lost her shoe that matched with her dress. We searched frantically for it and ended up on Plan B. Finally, we were all in the car and on our way to the courthouse.

We got to the courthouse in plenty of time and waited in line to get through security. I justified why all of us had a million cameras when they aren't normally allowed and we all proceeded into the courthouse. Just as we passed through security, I saw our caseworker. When she called my name and I saw her the emotion of the day hit me and I almost burst into tears. I was, honestly, surprised by my reaction. I think it was because our caseworker has been part of the entire process with us and the journey we had been through somehow became very real to me. Plus, I like our caseworker and realized we wouldn't really be seeing her much anymore (and as a result my house will never quite be as clean).

We proceeded to the court room and as I crossed the threshold Nora had a complete meltdown. She gets overly tired and looses it so I spent a few minutes walking through the courtroom with her in the Ergo Carrier. She finally fell asleep. The line for security was so long that the adoption case that was supposed to be before us wasn't there yet. Also, our judge wasn't there. They found a new judge (who I think was better than the original based on feedback I heard) and they decided to have us go first.

It wasn't quite like I imagined. The entire process was very fast and Nora was sound asleep through the entire process. I pictured photos of all of us calmly smiling with the judge but Joel and I were both stressed out because of the crazy timing and Nora's meltdown and Nora was sound asleep. The judge was kind enough to take a photo with us and he shared with us that he's an adoptive father of two children from Korea.

Our families then went to brunch to celebrate Nora and our new family. I felt blessed to be surrounded by our loved ones who are so happy to be celebrating Nora and who love her so dearly.

(I'm having trouble with my email so photo to come later).

April 12, 2010


I think the title of this post explains why I haven't updated my blog in a few weeks. Nora started daycare on Monday. Dropping her off was predictably hard and horrible. I'm not one to cry or display that sort of emotion in public and it took everything in my power for my voice not to crack and to hold it together until I got to my car to burst into tears after dropping her off. Nora, on the other hand, was perfectly content. I placed her on a play mat and she made her funny growling noises while looking at the other kids and seemed totally fine.

Nora's transition to daycare has been okay. She isn't eating like she was and there were a few days where she napped for 10 minutes TOTAL all day. She's really hard to get to nap at home so that didn't really surprise me. She was almost sleeping through the night the week before we took her to daycare and now, due to the huge change, she's almost like a newborn getting up for two feedings a night to get in those extra calories. I know it's a transition for everyone and this will become our new normal.

Nora is so much fun now and has so much personality. She's such a happy, good-natured baby and I'm so very lucky. I'm even more lucky because tomorrow is her finalization and she's legally and officially be our daughter!

March 27, 2010

Back with Baby

I'm back from a four day trip for work. It's nice to be home even though it's cold and gray here and I was in lovely Santa Barbara. I wish I could figure out a way to instantly become rich to move there. It was over-the-top beautiful.

It was also incredibly amazing to sleep through the night. As much as I didn't want to leave Nora, I had been fantasizing about sleeping through the night on this trip for MONTHS. It was as blissful as I thought and I actually feel like a new person.

I'm back at home and Nora seems a little chubbier and more alert. This just confirms that she changes each and every day. She's definitely cutting teeth and so she isn't as much her usual happy self, but, who can blame her?

March 21, 2010

Errands with a Baby

This post is a little bit ridiculous as Nora is almost 6 months old but I am going to admit that I've never really run Saturday errands with her. Joel or I have been on leave at all times so that person would usually go shopping when the other person got home to give them a break. Now we're both exhausted, full-time working parents.

I woke up yesterday with a huge list of errands that needed to be run. I also knew that Joel had wanted to spend the day homebrewing so I was exclusively caring for Nora. I honestly felt daunted about the number of errands and taking her along. I'm such a baby! I just hate to shop and try to be as stealth as possible and there's nothing stealth about lugging around a 6 month old in a car seat. I created a plan and hit the road with Nora in tow.

I was able to get my seed starter pots at the garden store, pick up infant sunscreen at the health food store, get my dry cleaning (at which point I realized I might as well be buying new sweaters every week), run to the pet food store and then hit the grocery store. Nora was awesome. It was so fun to take her out and explain to her what we were doing.

The hardest part is that I live in an urban area and so all of the places I shop are tiny with tiny aisles. The maneuvering was a bit of a nightmare. I think I need to use our sling or the Ergo next time we go. It seemed like a hassle to take her in and out of her car seat but when she was in the cart I constantly felt like she was going to somehow tip over or some crazy person (my grocery store is FILLED with crazy people) was going to do something to her. I also was totally paranoid when the checker started taking the groceries out of my cart and then Nora ended up on the side with the checker. I just have a weird fear that someone is going to steal her. (If you shopped at my grocery store- you would too).

When I got home Joel informed me that he never goes to that grocery store with her and drives out to a more suburban store with bigger aisles and less crazy people. So, Joel is not hardier than me just smarter. Had I thought of the lovely suburban store with the big aisles and other people with children the trip might not have seemed so overwhelming. Such a smart husband!

All in all it was a great outing. Nora got to take a couple of naps and I got to hear how cute she is from total strangers. It also, strangely, reinforced that I am finally a mom running errands on a Saturday with my daughter.

March 16, 2010

Before and After

I had a nice happy hour this evening with a prospective adoptive-mom who has been following my blog. Another friend of mine who I met through my blog recently brought her baby home, and another bloggy friend is on an eternal wait list (or at least that's how it seems when you are on the list). All these lovely women got me thinking about the wait, the journey and the before and after of the adoption process. It's been reiterated to me that Nora and our family provide hope to those who are waiting. So, in that vein, here is a really depressing photo from a past blog post (during wait) and then a happy photo from a blog post post-placement of Nora at two months. It's definitely a roller-coaster and there is no way my mind could conceive that at some point a baby would be in that car seat when I posted my sad blog post about the long wait. Now, I feel so very grateful that that same car seat is filled by my little spicy, baby girl, Nora. The adoption process is so hard and so I felt like these photos are my sad little attempt at providing hope to all those amazing waiting-moms that they too will have a full car seat (and the nice by-product of rockin' mom arms - or so I've heard).

March 13, 2010

Last Home Visit

Yesterday was our last home visit for Nora. I've realized I'm going to miss these because the house is always spotless. What else is going to motivate Joel and I to clean every square inch of real estate including areas where no one would ever go?

We like our caseworker a lot so there is no longer any anxiety. I'm actually going to miss seeing her. We all just hung out on the floor and discussed Nora as she performed her usual feats on her play mat. When our caseworker first came over Nora was really out of sorts. She's usually really energetic and boisterous and exclaiming loudly. I was a little sad our caseworker wasn't going to see the real Nora but after she woke up a bit she was all kicky legs and excited shrieks.

I of course asked how C and J were doing and found out that C. presented at the last adoption class for the agency. That made me very happy. I remember sitting in that class listening to a birth family present and all I could think is "I wish that would be our birth family". I'm SURE that was the case when C. was presenting. It made me feel very proud of her and happy for her that she's engaged with the agency in that way. I hope that it was therapeutic for her to discuss. It also made me feel some reassurance that she's doing okay. We'll be reaching out to her soon to see if she'd like another visit so hopefully we'll get to see them both again soon.

All is happy in adoption-land. We are exactly one month from our finalization and then the paperwork and legal aspect of adoption will be over. The process has not been too hard on us (other than the horrible wait). I think it was helpful and painful to be with an agency where you are on a wait-list. It's great to see your progress; however, in the months where there is little progress or you don't move it all- that's really painful. I'm glad that this portion is coming to a close. We're now just trying to time when to get back on the list for a sibling for Nora. The wait for a sibling can be 2 years or more. We might not be done with home visits for too long.

March 7, 2010

Being the Parent I Want to Be

There are two things that bother me in parenthood land (and did long before Nora came along) and they are both slightly related. The first is when parents overreact when their child falls or has a minor injury and the second is parents who don't take a long-range view of parenthood and get overly wrapped up in details (minor things do not a psycho-killer make in my opinion). Just this week I exhibited both of these tendencies.

The first incident occurred when I was moving Nora's bouncy through a door frame with her in it (bad judgment) and her finger was hit on the doorway. She let out a shrill cry (which I've only heard before when I accidentally nipped her finger when trimming her nails) and I immediately freaked out. I swooped down to grab her and comfort her and my mind went to the worst possible scenario first- I had broken her finger. (I don't think it's possible for babies to break their fingers because of the nature of their bones but I freaked out none the less). I looked at her slightly red finger and contemplated the nearest emergency room. In two seconds she was completely fine and so was I. I was then taken aback by my complete and total overreaction to the situation.

The second situation happened on Thursday night. Joel and I were both overly concerned that Nora hadn't rolled over yet. Maybe we hadn't given her enough tummy time, maybe she was in the bouncy seat too much etc. We were completely overreacting about something that didn't matter - a milestone that can happen at any time. I knew that at some point she'd be a 30 year old who knew how to walk, talk and roll-over so why was I so preoccupied with this little achievement? Of course, the next day Nora rolled over and again I was given a lesson in not overreacting. Nora may be the first or last to do many things and I need to remember that she's going to complete things at her own rate. She's her own person with her own personality and she'll develop according to her own path. I need to not put all that crazy parenting pressure on her or myself.

I think I'm going to have to become more nimble and flexible to really get this parenthood thing down. I guess by the time she leaves the house in another 20 years I'll have a slight understanding of how to do this thing called parenting.

I've really been trying to avoid reading too many books. There are too many parenting camps and I'm just not interested in joining any of them as they all contradict each other. I want to be conscious of her milestones and her development but I'm not interested in subscribing to any particular philosophy. Babies, children and people are all so different and I think it's important to remain flexible to your child's needs. Whether your child sleeps with you, cries it out or lives somewhere in-between I don't think this will impede them for the rest of their lives or provide that added boost to become a Nobel Prize winner. I need to remember the long-range view of parenthood and keep my anxious overreactions in check. It's the whole picture that matters.

March 6, 2010

Rolling Over

Nora rolled over yesterday - a lot! Once she discovered this new trick she decided to do it over and over. It was really sweet. It's especially funny because she hates tummy time and makes angry cat noises during tummy time but when she rolls herself on to her stomach she doesn't seem to mind at all.

I discovered the great downfall of rolling over this morning when both my husband and I woke up at 4 am and realized that we hadn't heard a peep from Nora and freaked out. She was fine of course. She finally woke up at 5:30 am - hooray- but when I went in there she was on her stomach. I really didn't love seeing that as I'm petrified of SIDS.

She took a little nap this afternoon and I heard her begin to kick around. I left her alone until I heard a cry from her. She was on her stomach with her leg stuck all the way out of the crib between the slats. This seems dangerous and problematic. I was super excited about her rolling over but I don't know if I'm ready for a mobile baby just yet.

February 27, 2010

Routine Needed

I've realized that I'm a creature of habit, as most of us probably are, and I've realized that I'm craving some sort of routine. I'm anxious about what our life will be like when Joel goes back to work and what sort of routine we might fall into. I really can't fathom getting three people out of the house in the morning. As anxious as I am about both of us being back to work, I'm also anxious to get settled into a routine.

I'm also feeling pressured to get our lives in order before Joel goes back to work. I'm absolutely exhausted so I took yesterday off of work to get caught up on life and sleep. I spent most of the day with Nora and took a long nap on the couch with her yesterday. I cleaned our bedroom and got some laundry in order. I have a lot more to do today but I feel like I need to capitalize on the few weekends left before our lives get that much crazier with both of us working.

I've been going into work early lately so it will be interesting to see what schedule and rhythm I land on with getting all of us ready, taking Nora to daycare (in the opposite direction of my job) and then going to work. I know everyone else in the world does it so we will be fine. I consider myself a pretty organized person but I think I'm going to have to be even more so as we figure out our new lives.

Nora is 5 months old and I have to remind myself of that a lot. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed or forget how different our lives are but I have to remember that our lives have been changed for only five months. That's a lot of transition in a short amount of time. Of course, I think that our lives have changed for the better but I keep catching myself when making plans to remember that things aren't the way they used to be- and I'm glad for it.

February 23, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Melba was sweet enough to give me a Beautiful Blogger Award which actually means a lot because her blog was one of the first blogs that I ever began reading. I had the good fortune of finding her blog right before Charlie came home and posted about it here. So, thanks much for the recognition, Melba, as I've really enjoyed following along with your journey. You were one of the few mom blogs I could read during my wait and I'm glad I finally got to join your ranks.

As part of the award I'm now going to list 15 blogs that I think are great. I actually think every blog I follow is great, but here's a list:

1. Lori at Weebles Wobblog
2. Geochick at Adventures of a Dam Engineer
3. Melissa at Our Full Circle
4. Patti at It's Just One Hat
5. E at Waiting for Our Baby
6. Rachel at Barren Woman
7. Laurie at Adoption Creates Families
8. Kelley at From You and Me to Family
9. Ashley at More Than Dog Children
10. Kalibug at A Sibling for Kali
11. Debbie at Always and Forever Family
12. Her Womb Our Hearts
13. H at Confessions of a Waiting Mommy
14. Fishsticks and Fireflies
15. A shameless plug for family (my brother-in-law). If you need a good beer recommendation, this is the blog for you: BarleyVine

Here are seven things about me in no particular order:
1. I just began home brewing with my husband. Our Belgian Pale Ale and IPA will be done in a couple of weeks.
2. I'm a foodie.
3. I love to garden and plan on planting our sugar snap peas in a few weeks and begin our seedlings for fabulously yummy heirloom tomatoes this weekend.
4. I hate to fly and have to load up on Valium and a Bloody Mary to make it from Point A to Point B but I do love to travel.
5. I relocated almost a dozen squirrels from my back yard during my maternity leave (they are tomato thieves). Yes, I am a renaissance woman- home brewing and squirrel relocation.
6. I'm a morning person but must have caffeine before any interaction can take place.
7. I hate going to movies and have a hard time staying awake through them at home.

I have many posts swirling around in my head and hope to have time at the computer again soon.

February 20, 2010

Back to Normal

My event is over and it was great, but I am done. Waking up at 3 am for 3 days straight and working 16 hour days on my feet has killed me. My feet look like I've backpacked up Everest but I'm happy to say it was a great success and now my life can return to normal.

I haven't seen Nora for three days since I was gone before she got up and got home after she was put to bed. She seems so much bigger and more alert. Her movements seem more fluid and she seems so much more alert and so much less newborn-like. I don't know if it's possible for a baby to change that much in three days but it seems like she's grown so much.

I'm looking forward to a lot of snow this weekend and staying in with my beautiful little baby girl. I'm so glad she's healthy and happy and I'm so grateful for her this weekend.

February 14, 2010

Baby Room

This post title might sound strange as we currently have a 4 month old. However, her nursery is a far cry from what I had imagined. First of all, I'm going to give myself and my husband credit because I think we lived in our new house a whopping four weeks when we got the call. Joel spent an entire weekend painting the room and trim and then that's where that project stopped because soon Nora came to join us.

I think it's a little bit strange that the baby room was in a little bit better order when we lived in our condo before we converted it back to an office to sell the place. I look in our baby room now and the color and paint are beautiful. Her furniture looks great but there is nothing on the walls. The only little bit of visual interest is her cute valance and matching rug. I realized all bumpers and cute quilts had to be removed so this has made the room pretty stark. This didn't bother me a month ago when she hadn't set foot in her nursery but now that she's sleeping there I feel like we need it to feel a little more welcoming and permanent. Her stuffed animals are piled in an empty diaper box waiting for a permanent home and she has lovely personalized gifts that people have given her that are dying to be displayed.

As soon as my crazy event is over next week, the baby room is on the top of the to-do-list. If anyone has any great suggestions on wall decor that doesn't involve me being crafty and that aren't too expensive please let me know.

Finally, I want to thank E for her inspiration. Here's a great before and after of her nursery (which I hope has a baby in it very soon):

(The photo was taken with my phone because I am lazy. I really needed a flash so imagine that the walls are actually an apple green).

February 9, 2010

Laughing and Sleeping

I realized I haven't posted in forever and it's mostly because I'm barely staying afloat at work and personally but I'm happy that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll be a better manager, colleague, friend, mom, wife, blogger, person and sister in a week and a half when my huge event is over.

Anyway, enough about me and on to the Nora fun. Nora has begun to giggle. She giggled a little bit a couple of months ago but it was almost impossible to get her to do it. Now, if I sing silly songs and tickle her and mimick her exasperated sigh I get the cutest giggles. So much fun! It's so neat to hear her little laughs.

She is sleeping a bit better too. She's been on the schedule of waking up at 2 am for a feeding since December and the last few nights she's been sleeping until between 4 - 5 am. This is actually worse than the 2 am feeding as it's so close to when I wake up but it also makes me feel like eventually she might make the leap to 6 am or 7 am! I also have to disclose that I'm not the one getting up with her since Joel is still off work but, of course, every whimper she makes wakes me up.

That's it for now. Pray that I can make it until 6 pm on Friday, February 19 and I'll be a much different and more sane person.

January 30, 2010

Children of the Waters - A Novel with an Adoption Theme

I've been wanting to post about Children of the Waters for quite some time but I haven't had the time to dedicate to sitting down and writing. I now find myself with a napping baby and a steaming latte so I think it's now or never.

As way of disclaimer, a former colleague of mine, Carleen Brice, wrote this book. We had lost touch but have a mutual friend who was raving to me about her books. I figured maternity leave would be the perfect time to pick both of them up. Carleen's first book, Orange Mint and Honey was just made into a Lifetime Movie which will air on the Lifetime Movie Network on Feb. 21. It's a great book and I can't wait for the movie to come out but it's not as relevant to this group.

However, Carleen's second book, Children of the Waters, struck a chord with me and I am sure it will to anyone else who has been touched by adoption and IF/loss*. I've struggled with a way in which to write a review of this book without revealing too much of the plot so I'm going to be a little vague here and talk about the themes that the book covers.

Based in Denver, the novel focuses on two families impacted by adoption. What I find most interesting about this book is it focuses a lot on identity, race and culture. This book might be particularly interesting to transracial adoptive families. While not directly talking about transracial adoption, Carleen captures many of the struggles that I'm sure families in transracial adoptions face. The book explores the adoption topics of meaning of family, both birth and adoptive, secrecy in adoption, searching and reunification with one's birth family.

Carleen tackles race in our culture head on - what it means to be bi-racial in today's society, racial divides, a white mother raising a bi-racial child, racial profiling, prejudice, a teen's struggle with his racial identity and many other issues. The beauty of this book is that all of these topics are tackled and discussed in the midst of a very engaging and well-written story that holds your attention on it's own merit. This book raises many issues and would be a great read for any adoptive parent but especially those who may be in or contemplating transracial adoptions. (I will note that some of the language in the book isn't adoption sensitive but I think it's a fair representation of the characters in the book and society at large).

Another colleague of mine organizes the African American/Caribbean Hetitage Camp and is integrating this book into a book discussion during camp. If any of you end up reading the book, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.

I'm clearly not a crack book reviewer but I did want to let everyone know about this great read. Even if you haven't been touched by adoption, this book is very engaging and well written.

For more information on the book and a complete description please click here.

*Loss does appear in this book and if it might still be a fresh wound I would recommend waiting to read this book.

January 27, 2010

4 Month Stats

I loved all the funny comments from everyone on my last post. Apparently head grabbing is a popular 3 month old activity. Of course, all was fine. However, for some reason I've been so busy I didn't realize she would be getting more shots. I'm sort of glad that this took me by surprise. It gave me one less thing to worry about. She survived her shots and let out the appropriate scream at the appropriate time. (I also noticed that my husband became a little obsessed with his iPhone at this particular moment).

As a side note, it is nice to have Joel so involved and for him to be at the appointment. In my opinion, men are half the equation but I know in practice that isn't always the case so I'm grateful that Joel's such a great dad. At several points in the appointment he was the only one who could answer some of the questions about her current feeding schedule because he's the one who is home now.

Anyway, here are the important stats:

Weight: 11 lbs. 14 oz (this was fluctuating wildly as she was kicking like a crazy woman) 20%
Height: 24.5 inches- 60%
Head: 161/8 - 50%

All is well. Baby is healthy. Mom is relatively more sane and dad, as usual, is rock solid.

January 26, 2010


In my job, I am exposed to a lot of very dramatic stories related to children's health. I basically spend most of January and February talking to parents who have been through the worst things that any of us can possibly imagine with their children- brain tumors, SIDS, cancer, open heart surgery and the list goes on. This, under the best of circumstances, can make me a bit crazy.

Being back to work as a new mom and having parents relay to me the worst moments of their life is very intense. I have to constantly remind myself to take a step back. Every story always starts the same, so and so was healthy and then we noticed blah blah blah and then so and so ended up in the hospital with horrible life threatening issue.

So, here is my crazy confession. Nora keeps grabbing her head in the same spot. Every day she grabs her head in the same spot. Crazy mom brain tells me that she has a brain tumor and I should mention it to the doctor tomorrow. Normal, sane Jen tells crazy mom that she clearly is fine and has no other signs of a brain tumor. This is the space I am currently residing. Crazy land.

I will act like a normal human being tomorrow at the doctor. However, I am going to inquire about her obsession with one particular spot on her head without mentioning the word tumor. I will also let the doctor know that I work at a children's hospital which makes me slightly more paranoid and crazy than the general population. Other than that, I'm pretty excited to find out how much she weighs. I am asked how much she weighs more than I would have ever imagined but I just can't bring myself to get on a scale these days. (I think it's karmick punishment for gloating about not having baby weight- see earlier post).

All important stats on my lovely four month old will be posted tomorrow. (Hopefully, the pediatrician doesn't recommend that I find a new practice).

January 20, 2010

Failed Adoption

Exactly one year ago today I was an expectant mom waiting to meet our daughter and her birth mother, A, for the first time. If you know me or follow my blog, you'll know that I don't have a one year old. That adoption was not meant to be and A changed her mind before we got to the hospital. I'll likely not remember this date in the future, but, it does stand out in my mind because it was the day that President Obama was sworn into office and our almost-daughter was African American. It felt like such a momentous day to me on so many levels and it has stuck with me a year later.

My intention of posting this is to provide hope to everyone who is waiting or who has been through the heart break of a failed match. I now have a beautiful daughter, Nora, who will be 4 months old next week and I couldn't be happier. It's so interesting to see what can happen in a year. If nothing else, adoption teaches you that you don't have much control and your life can change in an instant. In our case, that was for the better in September.

January 16, 2010

Back to Work Lite

I made it through an intensely busy two weeks of work. Work is going well and I am enjoying being back even though it's exhausting. It's hard to get quality time with Nora as by the time I come home she's pretty grumpy and done. I've really been trying to keep my weekends free to spend time with her but to no avail. I had a child from our hospital pass and attended her funeral last weekend (so horribly sad) and we have an adoption class today. It's hard not to have down-time on the weekends.

Joel is still home on paternity leave. It's so nice to have him home and I consider this to be going-back-to-work lite. We're not both trying to get out the door in the morning with a baby and Nora gets to be at home with her dad. It's really an ideal situation and making my time at work so much easier. I've even been decent about trying to get out the door at work at a somewhat decent time. This time of year it's impossible for me not to work A LOT but I'm doing my best to try to balance everything.

We're going to visit Nora's daycare next Friday so that will be a bit of a reality check. It's a good place and I know it's our best option where we live.

One of Joel's stay-at-home responsibilities is sending me a photo via text each day. So, I've included a highlight from last week. I was in a meeting when I received it and it said: "Daddy bathed me and styled my hair". Too cute!!

January 4, 2010


Today was my first day back to work. I tried my hardest not to think about it all weekend. I even tried not to think about it this morning in the shower and tried to think about how fun it will be to see everyone and to have adult conversation. I didn't cry at all while I was getting ready or putting on my makeup.

I made my way downstairs and decided to make myself an espresso as it seemed as if Joel and Nora were still asleep. A few moments later I heard Joel on the stairs and he had Nora. He came down to make me a latte (so sweet!). I took one look at Nora and burst into tears. I thought I was going to make it out the door unscathed since Joel was staying at home with her. I broke down about two more times before I finally made it out the door. I kept looking at her thinking, "how could I be leaving you?". Hello, mommy guilt!

Work was fine and I'm sure this will become the new normal. I'm really blessed that I don't have the really hard day until March 9 when I have to take her to day care. Lesson learned: makeup will be applied as I'm pulling into work that day.

January 1, 2010


Happy New Year! I don't quite have the energy at the moment to review in detail the past year but it's been an interesting one. It began with a failed match and ended with my beautiful three month old. We've bought and sold a house and a car and my maternity leave is sadly coming to an end. It's certainly been a year of momentous changes for our family.

I'm really not excited to make resolutions this year so I have decided that instead I'm going to let go of things that I want to leave in 2009/the past. I'm stealing this idea from an amazing book by a friend of mine, Carleen Brice, titled Orange, Mint and Honey. In the book, one of the characters buries her worries and troubles in her garden. She writes her troubles on a piece of paper and buries them in the garden where they will eventually become compost to nourish her garden. This year I'm going to borrow from this concept and write down all of the things that I want to leave behind and begin the year anew, hopefully, without a long to do list of things that I'd like to change.