Sunday, February 28, 2010

Big Decisions Are No Good For Lifestyle Changes!

This week we have had two of the biggest decisions of our life to make. Needless to say my meal plan went even more out the window than it was and I only went to the gym once or twice. I'm not expecting good results this Wednesday at my weigh in :(

What were those big decisions that overwhelmed me with a need for easy, quick, and unfortunately not very healthy food?

Well, we have an opportunity to buy a beautiful, perfect, forever house for a bit of a deal but it would still stretch us financially. So, the question is do we jump in or hold back? It may not seem like such a hard decision to some... "Life is too short to be stressed about finances", but it is such a perfect house for our growing family in a perfect area! We've been discussing it on and off all week and we have a lot of different scenarios to consider, so we still haven't completely decided what we are going to do.

Speaking of our growing family, the other big decision has come with a child referral! It isn't typical to get a referral of a child before you've even started your homestudy, but because we are, essentially, adopting an "unwanted" child, there is no waitlist of adopting parents. She is beautiful, precious, adorable, a true gift, but two years older than Livi. Jon and I are really struggling with all the issues associated with adopting so far out of birth order. How would Livi adjust to Mommy needing to spend so much extra time with a child older than her? How would our knew daughter adjust to being the oldest child but not the first daughter? What about school? We didn't want the girls to be in the same grade. So many things are swimming around our heads.

I think we have come to a decision, or at least a compromise, on this decision. We are only just starting our homestudy and this was our first official referral. We don't want to jump in to something that wouldn't be right for our family just because it is the first opportunity. There is no legal commitment yet anyway, so we are going to say no for now and see which referrals we get at the end of our homestudy. If she is still available then, we will definitely consider her more. I feel horrible making this decision. Are we making the right one? How can I say no to a child in need? What if no one adopts her? Are we essentially sentencing her to a miserable life in an institution? How do I deal with these kinds of thoughts and not go crazy!? I do feel comfortable with our decision at the moment... but that doesn't mean in five minutes I won't change my mind and want to say yes.

Our first homestudy meeting is on Tuesday and we are VERY excited! We'll talk things over with our social worker than and get a better feel for how everything is going to work from here. Send your love and prayers over the next few months! We have some HUGE decisions and very exciting life changes coming up in the next few months!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Family Day at the Olympics

Putting my issues with the Olympics aside, we went in to the city on Sunday to see the spectacle. I don't remember the last time we've had a full day set aside just to spend time together. It was so much fun! We didn't really do too much Olympic stuff except walk around the hot spots but Livi loved it! We loved seeing Livi have so much fun.

We left for Vancouver just before 10am with the plan to put Livi down for a nap at our friends' house just off of Main street and then head into the city centers when she woke up. Our plans changed when we looked in to the back seat and found Livi sleeping! This was truly a huge surprise and momentous occasion. She has not fallen asleep in the car since our trip to Edmonton when she was 9 months old. To top it off she had fallen asleep without her soother or fuzzy and didn't complain about it at all! Has the world turned upside down?!

I snapped a picture of this once in a lifetime event :)

We briefly stopped in at Brent and Mary's but headed downtown pretty quickly. Livi loved transit. She HAD to hold on to the pole or loop in the bus and skytrain just like everyone else. Our first stop was at the Pavilions. We walked around a little bit but since we don't follow any of the non-sport related spectacle we didn't know what anyhing was and the line-ups were way too long. We went and saw all the rocks on the water front then got back on the skytrain to Robson Square. That was much more interesting for us. All the art, buskers, and people were fabulous to see!


Livi was a little hungry and tired when we first got off the skytrain but once we got some food in her she was re-energized. She kept trying to give all the people she passed high-fives. It was pretty cute. We left from Robson and walked down to see the flame. Livi walked the whole way! Yes, that is a leash you see. I thought it would be a good idea since she is prone to sprinting and doesn't always want to hold our hands when walking.


We made it to the flame and took the shot that every other person in the world has seen.

After the flame we played at a little park area while we waited for some friends to meet us for coffee.


At the end of our trip we went back to Brent and Mary's house for a little visit and put Livi down for a short nap. Livi had a lot of fun playing dress up with Mary in Courdoroy Bear's clothes and talking on the toy phone. We made a quick stop at Jon's mom's house for a delicious dinner then home for bed. It was a fabulous, fun, family day. I hope we can do them more often :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Daddy, Be My Valentine

I've been neglecting my postings and realized I missed posting pictures of her Valentine to Daddy!

Livi decided the her Daddy is the only boy worthy to be her Valentine. To show him how much she loves him and that he was, in fact, HER Valentine, she thought she would bake him a cake. 

She decided on a Devil's Food cake with Coconut icing. She got all the ingredients out and started mixing.
 Mommy did have to step in and get her back on track when she forgot that the cake had to be baked before eating it all.
 Eating the batter was DEFINITELY her favorite part!
In the end her Valentine present turned out really well and, as long as she could help Daddy eat the cake, she was okay with Mommy being Daddy's Valentine too :)

Jon took me out to Restaurant 62 that night so we could have a more adult Valentine's Day celebration. It was very delicious and we had a good talk. We've been so busy lately that it was nice to take some time out and talk without the TV being on, Livi running around, or trying to clean things up. 

Lifestyle Change Update: I forgot to post my progress! With dinner out and the goodies consumed over Valentine's weekend I did not lose any pounds but I did loose 1 inch! So, I'm still counting that as a half success. I've gone back on the meal plan... as best as I can... and committed to going to a Speed Zone class once a week (which kicks my butt!), so I am hoping for better results in two weeks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update Post

I think I'm due for an update post...

Lifestyle change update:

Although my meal plan has slightly gone out the window, I have managed to keep a few of the original goals. No junk food has been in the house. I've only cheated with junk food a handful of times. I've been eating five smaller meals a day and doing very well at maintaining portion control and balance of carbs, fats and protiens. I'm eating a lot more fruits and veggies and some of the meals from the meal plan have been incorporated in to our every day eating. I would like to get back on to the meal plan more routinely but I'm not stressing about it because I know I am doing so much more than I ever have.

I can fell myself changing. I have more energy. I officially have pants that are too big for me! Clothes that were tight before are fitting perfectly and getting to big! My bathing suit that used to leave a line across my stomach from the rouching pattern on it doesn't leave a line anymore! I have an appointment to weigh and measure myself tomorrow so there will be an update about the actual numbers soon.

Livi Update:

Livi had her 18 month check-up yesterday. I can't believe that my baby is 18 months old in five days! She is completely healthy and doing well. I was sure she was going to weigh over 30 lbs ... since she was 24lbs 6 months ago. She is only 26.5lbs! I was shocked. She feels a lot heavier!. I don't completely trust the doctor's scale. When she gets her vaccinations in two weeks I'll be able to get more accurate measurement on her.

I'm not worried about her lack of weight gain. She is healthy, growing well, not overly skinny. She has become some what of a pickier eater. I wouldn't say she IS a picky eater... just pickier than is normal for her. I guess that goes with her age though.

She put herself in time out today. It was awesome. She spit water at me and I told her to go to time out. She ran over to the time out spot by the front door and turned around until I was finished counting to 30, then came back and gave me a hug and kiss. How cute is that! I've only really been enforcing it for opening the fridge door (which she does all the time) for the last two days and she already gets it! Well, maybe she doesn't get it, but she knows the routine!

Adoption Update:

We are trying to sift through a lot of burocracy. There is so much to consider. So many different rules for each different country. We might have to change agencies because our original agency doesn't work in one of the countries we are seriously considering. The cost for our lastest country of interest is more than any others. I tend to get a bit stressed about the details and finances but Jon has an "it will all work out some how" attitude. It is actually really refreshing. He is being so positive about it, which is slightly uncharacteristic. It does help to ease my mind and keep me convinced that we are doing the right thing. So much uncertainty though.

We can't do an actual commitment to a waiting chuld until we know which counrty we'll be able to adopt from. I so want to know what my daughter looks like and start showing her picture off to people :) I think this is a lesson in patience and faith. I don't have much of those sometimes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

All About Livi

I haven't done a post dedicated just to Livi in a VERY long time. I don't know why. I think there has just seemed to be a lot of other things occupying my thoughts and I use this blog to process my thoughts. Well, I want to take a minute and tell you how much I am enjoying my darling "baby" girl.

She was imitating her Uncle Sean burping here :S

I still think of her as my baby, maybe she'll always be my baby, but sometimes she'll give me a look and I see a 25 year old girl staring back at me. It is such a weird feeling. She is growing up so fast. She has all four of her eye teeth now. I think that means she has 16 teeth. How many teeth do kids get?

She is consistently wearing size 3 clothes! The main reason for this is her cloth diapers. Size 3 is way to long on her but fits over her bum. Without the diapers she is a size 2. I've been seriously thinking of trying to potty train her. She is showing all the signs of maybe being ready for it. She stays dry for longer periods of time, loves sitting on the toilet (but is yet to use it), can tell me when she has gone poop, and she knows the concept of pulling her pants down but she can't get them over her cloth bum. I think we are going to move to disposables soon and try out some training pants. I was going to wait until March though when she'll be at least 18 months. Maybe I'm rushing in to it but it can't hurt to try, right? If it works I'll be saving us a bunch of money on diapers and trouble with changing diapers.

I put her in training pants that have a cooling sensation if she pees in them. Of course, she did pee in them. When she did, she stopped, looked down at her diaper and looked back at me saying "Whoooooaaa." It made me laugh :D

She is talking tons! She copies the last word of every phrase we say.... good and bad. She has been saying a few sentences for a while now but lately that is taking off. Her first official sentence was "where'd it go?" and lately she has been saying "I love you" "What happened?" and a few more that I can't think of right now.

She has really taken off with her climbing. She was never too interested in it until now. She can get up on to chairs now and would go up on the table if we let her. She has discovered how to move the chairs around to reach things that she wants too. We could be in for some very serious trouble soon.

Her fine motor skills seem to be off to a bit of a slow start but she has started building towers and trying to do her puzzles. She is an excellent helper. She can follow instructions very well. She takes things to the garbage for me, hands me all the laundry out of the front load washing machine so I can put it in the dryer,  she puts things in her laundry basket, picks and brings out her shoes (she can usually get them matching too but generally picks her brown ones) and can put them away, and she can brush her teeth... sort of.

She identified the letter C this morning! I was excited. We have a book that goes over ABC and 123. I didn't know she was getting any of it yet. Then, this morning, a cartoon was on without the sound, and the letter C appeared. Livi pointed and said C! I was pretty excited :)

Yes... she is that kid.

She is OBSESSED with the Muppet's cover of Bohemian Rhapsody and very demanding about it. She sings along and copies their actions. It is quite cute but she would watch it twenty times a day if we'd let her. There are much worse things she could be in to so I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts.

We have Livi in swimming lesson's right now and she is doing really great. She can paddle, kick and is getting really good at blowing bubbles with out inhaling water after. She can also walk in water completely on her own, even if it is up to her shoulders! I try to stay really close though, but she has so much energy it is hard some times.


We went to the park today. I've been trying to get outside with her as much as I can in this beautiful weather! Her Auntie Sessa came with us and helped me chase after her... and fight her to come home. She didn't want to leave and didn't want to hold my hand on the road. I'm trying to teach her that it is not a choice to hold my hand. But, with a one year old who trows herself down until I finally let go, it is proving to be a difficult lesson.

I guess that's all for now. I can't think of anything else. I love my daughter. She is incredible, a contstant source of amusement and lights up every day! I can't wait to expand our little family :D

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Freaking Out A Bit

The evening after I told everyone that we are going ahead with an adoption I started freaking out. All the worries about the adoption process, our ability and readiness, finances, atatchment, health of the child, impact on Livi, impact on the child, the trials of her development, EVERYTHING! I still believe that adopting is the right thing for us and we did think and talk about all of these issues before deciding, but everything just seems to be flooding me the last few days.

My biggest concern, at this moment anyway, is the money. International adoption is SO expensive. How are we going to afford it? What have we committed to? We had wanted to buy a home before she comes in to our lives but I'm not so sure that is going to happen this year. We don't have enough equity in our condo to pay for a down payment for a house so I need to come to terms with staying here a little longer than I hoped. I miss having a yard. I was hoping that we would have one by the summer time so Livi play in it. Oh well. Financially it is a better idea if we wait... after all we are wanting to spend $25,000 this year! If we get "Maggy jr." earlier than we expect the girls will just have to get used to sharing a small room and I'll need to make an extra effort to get out of the house everyday.

Even though I am freaking out about the journey ahead I am so excited. I can't wait for the girls to start playing together, getting that first hug, and having her call me mommy for the first time (if she is verbal). Becoming parents again is going to be such a different experience than becoming parents to Livi. I can't wait to start it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

We're Having a Toddler!

If it is on Facebook, I guess it is official! We are having another child! No, we are not biologically pregnant. We are adopting! We started the initial paper work today! We are very excited and really feel that this is the best decision for our family.

We are hoping to bring home a chromosomally enhanced little girl the same age as Livi (meaning she'll have Down Syndrome). We are open to a domestic adoption but we'd like to adopt internationally because that is where the biggest need is. Kids with special needs in many countries are sent to live out a miserable existence in mental institutions and we would love to be able to save a child from that. But, international adoption costs around $30,000 and we currently don't have the money. Finances were the only thing holding us back from jumping in. So, we have enough money for the home study and that is were we are starting. We are trusting that the money will become available or a little girl in Canada needs us to be her sister, Mommy and Daddy.

This will be a long, bumpy journey... but worth taking, talking about and celebrating!

We have affectionately named our unknown daughter to be Maggy jr. :)