Wednesday, January 26, 2011


You know what really blows my mind?

Jayden was conceived right around the time I had my hysterectomy.

I just put my sugery date into a pregnancy due date calculator and it came up with September 13 as a due date. That is the day I brought Jayden home from the hospital.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


It's really hard to get Jayden to take naps on the weekend. There is always so much going on that he fights sleep and then even if I do manage to get him to sleep, he only sleeps for about 20 minutes.

I am still holding him close to me and patting his bottom to get him to sleep. Someone said I was just creating that as a habit for him and he will never go to sleep on his own. That has been on my mind a lot lately. I have no idea how to change it. No matter how tired he is, if I put him in his bed awake, he will scream. And then scream louder. Then get hysterical.

Thankfully I received reasurrances on twitter today that he is still little and it's okay to still help him to sleep.

We're still swaddling him at night. It's really the only way to get him to sleep through the night. If he gets an arm out, he will cry. Then if we re-swaddle him, he goes right back to sleep. So, for now we are going to continue to swaddle him. I guess that is a benefit of him being little. He still fits fine in those swaddle sleep sacks.

Today I had the idea to try and have him nap in his nursery upstairs for the first time. I figured getting him a floor away from us doing things would help him sleep. I had Adam go up and take everything out of his crib and get it ready. The idea was a total failure though because he woke up as I was bringing him up the stairs and when he got in the room he was FASCINATED by everything in there. He hasn't really ever seen his nursery and he was excited. He was looking at the animals I painted on the ceiling and everything else in the room. 

We realized we had a lot to do to really have it ready for him anyway. So, I sat him in the chair in the room while we cleaned. He sat there with a huge smile on his face looking at everything. He was so happy. So, I guess now we at least know he likes his nursery. Maybe sleep will happen there eventually.

I have decided we are not really moving him up there until we have a video monitor. We have started saving up for one. I just don't feel comfortable without it. Especially since he will be on a different floor from us.

I think overall we will probably sleep better when he is moved, but the one thing I am dreading is his "I lost my pacifier" cry. It will not be fun to run up the stairs at 3 AM. Sometimes he does it multiple times during the night.

Everytime I think too much about all this stuff, I start imaging that we will become one of those families that have wild children who won't go to bed and the Supernanny has to come and teach them how to fix it.

I have decided it's not the lack of sleep that makes parenting so exhausting. It's always wondering and worrying about whether your choices are doing permanent damage to your children. Like somehow rocking him to sleep now will turn him into a bank robber later, haha.

Things I Get Excited About

Things I Get Excited About
(That I Never Thought Would Be Exciting)

A pile of clean and stuffed cloth diapers.
Snapfish coupon codes.
My Mom stopping over after work.
(I've always liked visits from my Mom, but I really get excited about them now.)

A magnetic detergent scoop that sticks right to the side of the washer.

My bedtime.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

4 Months


1 Month:

(Look how big the sticker is on him in this picture!!)

2 Months:

3 Months:

4 Months:

You can see in this picture where I had to clean spit up off of him in the middle of the photo shoot.
Very typical for Jayden lately.

Jayden turned 4 months old on January 11.

He had his doctor appointment Thursday night and he now weighs 12 lbs, 8 oz and is 24 1/2 inches long. 

The biggest thing that happened this past month is that Jayden now plays with toys!!

He loves the toy train at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

He loves his seahorse.

He loves books. 

Of course his hands in his mouth are still a big hit.

He sleeps well at night. We still swaddle him. Is 4 months old for still swaddling? Probably. It just works so well!! We still haven't moved him into his nursery. He sleeps in the bassinet part of the pack-n-play (one of the benefits of him being on the small side) right next to my side of the bed. We're saving up money right now to buy a video baby monitor. Hopefully once we get that set up, I will feel more comfortable moving him upstairs to his nursery.

He stopped rolling over. He hasn't done it in a couple weeks. His newest thing is pulling himself forward when he is on the floor on his stomach. He does it if the older kids are playing on the floor too and he wants to get closer to them. It's only a few inches total but it still surprised me the first time I noticed he had moved forward.

If he is in a silly mood, he is ticklish on his sides and under his arms. If you catch him just at the right time and tickle him under his right arm, he will giggle. It's rare, but currently my favorite sound in the world.

We tried putting him into his "Johnny Jump Up" that hangs in the doorway, but he needs to do some more growing before he can really use it. Although we had a good laugh watching him hang there. And he seemed to enjoy it because he could watch us do things in the kitchen.

He got a high chair for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa and he does well with sitting in it, but we will not be starting any food for at least another month.

Overall, he is a happy, healthy 4 month old baby boy and we love him to pieces.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Whole New Look!

Did you guys know that Aly from The Infertility Overachievers does blog design?

She did my blog and I LOVE IT!!!

You can see what a great job she did on my blog. You can also go to Bridge Work Blog Designs to see more examples of her work.

I am so excited about all my blog changes!! I keep coming back on just to look at it. I even have a blog button now. I have never had one before. She really came through with exactly what I wanted. And for the things I was clueless about, she came up with great ideas. If you are thinking about a new look for your blog, I highly recommend Bridge Work Blog Designs.


Recently I have come across a couple different blog posts about choosing IVF over adoption. Normally I would probably just shrug them off and move on with my day. But I continued to have this nagging feeling well after reading them that I just had to say something. Maybe it was because they were being retweeted around twitter and people I love and respect were saying they were great, which made me want to make them understand why they were hurtful. Maybe it was because I knew some friends that have chosen adoption were secretly feeling bad after reading them, but nobody wanted to say anything because they don't want to upset anyone. Nobody wants to start a fight about this because we know there is no reason for a IVF vs adoption fight. (Please see previous post.) The people who wrote the posts seem to be perfectly nice people. I understand where they are coming from. I just wish that people that don't know anything about adoption wouldn't write about it. There are already so many crazy/scary ideas about adoption out there in the world.

One of the posts made a list of all the things that "can happen if you try to adopt." I think the exact way the list was presented is what bothered me the most. The list included all the negatives for each type of adoption. It gave the impression that anyone starting the adoption process could potentially run into all those issues.

It's funny that the most common conclusion to the adoption process was left off of the list. The one where the waiting couple brings home the baby that forever changes their life for the better. That outcome seems to be missing.

All of the things listed about adoption were supposed to be in contrast to the IVF process. I am not going to write about IVF much because I never did IVF. Please refer to my previous post if you would like to know more about how I feel about IVF and all the amazing people I know who have done it, are currently doing it, or will be doing it in the future.

What I am going to try to do is write about my own experiences with adoption and answer some of the concerns brought up. Or at least give my "take" on those concerns.

As you are reading, please keep in mind that every state is different. Every agency is different. And there are so many different ways to go about adoption. Foster-adopt, private adoption, using a facilitator, adoption agencies, adoption lawyers, international adoption, etc. As I made it very clear in my previous post, I am NOT an adoption expert and I am typically very hesitant to write about adoption at all.

 You can spend all your money and go into debt trying to adopt:

I found this one a little funny because many people I have talked to listed money as a reason they did adoption instead of IVF. On one hand with IVF you spend a lot of money for no guarantee of a baby. (Even if the doctors think your particular situation makes you the perfect candidate for IVF, there is still no guarantee.) On the other hand, with adoption, you will have a baby in the end. Especially if you get to the point where you are writing a large check. We didn't go to the bank to get our big cashier's check until the day we got Jayden from the hospital. (The check paid for all the work the agency did, separate lawyers for the agency and Jayden's birth mother, birth mother expenses, future counseling for Jayden's birth mother, and all the post placement visits that our social worker would be doing.)

Yes, we went into debt. We took out a personal loan that we make payments on every month. Sacrifices have to be made sometimes in order to make those payments. Never has taking a loan out been more worth it. (Adam and I will probably be paying off our student loans for the rest of our lives.) And the good news is that there is the adoption tax credit!! The tax season following our adoption finalization, we will be getting a large portion of our money back. We can use that money to pay the loan off or adopt again. Also, Adam's job offers money back after finalization.

If you don't think you can afford IVF or adoption, I would recommend looking into foster-adoption. I am not an expert on the subject, but I know more than one family that has adopted a newborn through foster-adopt. In fact one of my friends was placed with two babies a few months apart and now that they are one year old, she is able to move forward with adopting both of them. (A story that deserves it's own post.)

 Years of bureaucracy and paperwork:

Maybe this is geared more towards international? I know the paperwork is more intense for international than domestic. Maybe there are countries with more complications than others.

The paperwork we did for our homestudy was easy. Maybe sometimes annoying, but really easy. And we did it all within about three weeks. Then we had three visits from a social worker, which were very easy. We had to renew our homestudy every year, but that is only because we live in NY state. I think most states only require you to do it every two years.

Long Wait:

Yep, we waited two years. I know people who waited only a couple months. You never know.

But, you know what? I am completely at peace with how long we waited. If we adopted quickly, we would not have Jayden. In fact, I am at peace with our whole journey to parenthood. Everything that happened led us to Jayden.

If someone told me right now we had to wait another two years to have Jayden, I would wait.

You can end up with a special needs child:

There are grids you fill out that cover every detail of what medical risks you are open to. Both family history information as well as prenatal exposures to different things are included in those grids. It's not like all of a sudden you can end up with a child with serious special needs. People that adopt special needs babies/children are people who were open to that.

When you enter into a match, there is information you get. Either from tests done during pregnancy or apgar scores and tests done if the baby is already born. You can choose not to enter into the match if you are not open to the medical conditions. If  you are pregnant, many things can come up regardless of your family history or your perfect prenatal care. You have no control over that. Many examples are running through my head right now of friends, friends of friends, and extended family that had to deal with major medical issues with their babies that they were not expecting. It's crazy to me to hear people say they couldn't do adoption because they couldn't deal with possible special needs. Anyone who chooses to get pregnant needs to realize there is a risk. It's all part of being a parent.

Personally, there were many things we were open to. We opened up to more and more as we talked to adoptive parents. (Just because you are open to things doesn't mean every child you are profiled for will have all those things.) We knew Jayden's specific risks and it was our choice to accept them. Anyone who has met Jayden can tell you, he is a perfectly healthy 4 month old. On the small side because he started small, but he is growing at a perfect rate and hitting all milestones either on time or early. He is very strong and quite smart with an adorable little personality. Could we discover, for example, that he has learning disabilities when he is school age? Sure. That can happen with any child, adopted or not. What's funny is that our biological child would have had a much higher chance of that since I have ADD (by the way, this post has taken me 3 days to write) and Adam has a reading learning disability.

If anyone is considering adoption and would like to talk to me about which risks and exposures we were open to, please feel free to contact me. It was because of conversation with adoptive parents that we were able to open our minds (and our grids) to more things. I would love to be able to help any of you with that if you were interested.

You can end up with an older child who has had trauma in their life:

You won't be placed with an older child unless that is something you are open to. It's not something that can just happen to you.

This could be referring to either international or foster-adoption of older children. I don't have enough experience to really talk about either of them. From families I know that have done foster-adoption, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. But, there are challenges. Maybe at some point I can get someone to write a guest post on foster-adoption. If Adam and I ever get a bigger house, I think we would consider adopting an older child or maybe a sibling group. Well, I have always thought about it. It might take some extra convincing with Adam.

One blog that comes to mind is Stare If You Must. I am sure there are many others out there, but that one happens to be a personal favorite of mine.

As your child grows up, you will need to talk to them about their adoption:

Yes you will.  

A good rule to go by is that your child should never remember the day you tell them they were adopted. You should always be talking about it from the beginning. Adoption language will be a regular part of growing up.

We have a wide selection of children's books that are adoption themed. I will be making him his own scrapbook. Our baby book we have for him has two family trees in it and places to put as much information about his birth family in as we have.

We have other adoptive families that we spend time with. Jayden will always have friends growing up that were also adopted. Being part of the adoption community is something I love. We have all these amazing friends that we never would have met otherwise. It's so great to have other people to talk to, share things with, and get advice from.

Every adoption comes from loss. The loss Jayden's birth mother feels as well as Jayden losing his birth family. I hope in the future that we can have a more open adoption with Jayden's birth family, but right now that is out of my control. Every month I send letters and pictures to the agency and Jayden's birth mother can choose to get them at any time.

The bond isn't the same because you didn't grow them inside you, they don't look like you, and you don't have skin to skin contact the minute they are born:

Anyone that has spent any amount of time with Jayden and I knows how strong our bond is. Adam often jokes about how infatuated Jayden is with me. I always say the feeling is mutual.

When I first met Jayden, he was in his little hospital bassinet and was wheeled into the room we were in. He was screaming and I asked if I could pick him up. I did and he nuzzled into my chest and immediately stopped crying. Every nurse watching said "Aww..." in unison. In that perfect moment I fell in love with that tiny person. We've been inseparable ever since.

Maybe I can convince Adam to write a post about his bond with Jayden. For now I will show you a picture of Adam and Jayden at the hospital.

Adam and Jayden watching a baseball game together a month later: `

One thing I would like to end with is that we in no way feel like adopting Jayden was a noble thing to do or that we were saving a child. There is not a day that goes by that we don't think about how lucky we are to have Jayden.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Am Not An Adoption Expert

I don't write about adoption a lot. The biggest reason for that is that I am not an expert. March will make three years since we started the adoption process, but I am still a rookie. I am in no position to be teaching others about adoption.

We are fortunate that we worked with an agency that put an emphasis on education. We had five weeks of classes where things like how to decide which situations to be profiled for, risk factors and special needs, transracial adoption, and open adoption were all covered. We had many opportunities to talk to adult adoptees, birth mothers, and adoptive families of all kinds. We were also responsible for getting just as many credits outside of the classroom by reading books, watching videos, going out in to the community, taking online classes, etc.

Even after we were homestudy approved, I spent my two year wait reading and learning. A few blogs that I learned a lot from are Production, Not Reproduction, See Theo Run, and Inventing My Life. Following all the links Liz (Inventing My Life) provides to other blogs and articles is an excellent way to educate yourself.

But, I still consider myself a rookie who has a lot to learn.

One thing I know is that as a rookie, I need to know when to keep my mouth shut and listen. I need to spend this time learning from others. I have so much to learn from birth mothers, adult adoptees, and adoptive mothers who have been parenting longer than I have. When I go out in public, the only comments I get are how cute Jayden is. I don't really know what's it's like to live as a transracial adoptive family. My experiences in open adoption are also extremely limited and I can't get enough of other people's blogs about their beautiful, sometimes complicated, open adoptions. I want to spread the word about open adoption, but all I can do is point you in the direction of people who have stories to tell.

So, when I come across blogs written by people who have absolutely no experience in the adoption world, but write as if they are teaching people, it burns me up inside. Especially when they include a bunch of strung together stereotypes and myths about adoption.

Lately I have been seeing posts about IVF vs. adoption popping up. I don't know when they came into competition with each other, but there are some hurtful posts out there. With some scary and false information about adoption.

I have absolutely nothing against people choosing to do IVF. In fact, the timing of this is funny because I happen to have multiple friends doing IVF either this month or next. I am happy/scared/excited/hopeful for all of them. I am a huge cheerleader for their IVF cycles. One of them is my cousin, whose mother passed away in the middle of her first IVF cycle. She has been saving up for a year to try it again. I think of them everyday and hope, hope, hope it results in a miracle baby.

The thing I have a problem with is bashing adoption in order to justify your decision to do IVF. It's really not necessary.

So, despite being hesitant to write about adoption, I am going to do it in my next post when I address some of the comments that have been made about adoption.

Ginger and Harvey

These are my parents' cats Ginger and Harvey.
(They are actually sister and brother from the same litter, can you believe it?)

My dad posted this picure on Facebook today with the caption:

"None shall pass."

"You must bring us a shrubbery. Or a cheezburger."

Monday, January 10, 2011


Over the weekend Adam called me into the living room by saying he was worried about Jayden. That got a quick response. I went running in the room in a total panic.

I get in there and Jayden is blowing raspberries.

Me: He's just blowing raspberries at you.

Adam: Well, he's been doing it for 5 minutes straight.

Me: He's proud of himself and wants to show you.

Adam: Well, I didn't know it was normal. I thought something was wrong with him.

Jayden showing off his raspberries during his 3 month photo shoot.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jayden's First Christmas

My family was in town for Christmas and New Years and we had a great time. Going into this Christmas, I didn't think Jayden would even notice it was Christmas. I figured he was too young to enjoy it at all. But, despite only being 3 months old, he loved it. All night on Christmas Eve when we opened presents he was babbling and laughing. Huge smiles at everyone. He was looking at the wrapping paper (especially the red paper) and the Christmas lights. He is head over heals in love with his Aunts and Uncles and loved having them home all week. I feel like I can honestly say he had a great first Christmas.

Opening his first present!

It's a book! Jayden loves books!!

Happy little man.

Sign Language DVD from Aunt Katie

I put together a book of Jayden's first 3 months with Grandma and Grandpa and gave it to them for Christmas. Everyone was in tears. Sometimes it is emotional just thinking about how grateful we are to have Jayden in our lives.

Dancing with Aunt Christy

I may or may not have put Jayden's sweater vest on Brinkley.

Sitting on Daddy's lap while Grandpa plays guitar for Jayden.

Nap with Grandpa.

Showing Uncle Arthur how well he stands.

Having a conversation with Uncle Eric.

Hanging out with Grandma.

Jayden holding these drum sticks so well cracks me up because holding on to things is a new skill of his. He is so happy to be playing drums with Grandpa. He had been watching him all night.

Loving Aunt Katie.

The highchair Jayden got for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa.

Sleeping on Mommy.
(Yes, my hair is a mess and my shirt is inside out. That is an accurate representation of how I look these days.)

We miss everyone, but we are so thankful to have had the holidays together.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolution

My New Year's resolution is to keep up with blogging. It is easy to get tired and overwhelmed and decide there just isn't time for it, but I have recently reminded myself how important it is for my mental health.

It was a major adjustment when I started working from home. I love it, especially since it allows me to be home with Jayden everyday, but I do miss having co-workers.

My days are spent with children, so the adult interaction that comes from blogging and tweeting is absolutely necessary.

Blogging is also a healthy outlet for all my thoughts. I find that the longer I go without blogging, the more anxiety I feel. So, for 2011 I have made a promise to myself that I will make the time for it. Even if my husband comes home and asks me why the clean laundry is still sitting in the laundry baskets on the bedroom floor after 4 days. (Why put it away when you can just wear things right out of the basket? Who needs drawers?)

I also want to keep up with blog reading and commenting. I've been trying to do blog reading when I can, but commenting gets a little harder since I am often one handed when I am reading. In the meantime, please know your blog comments are amazing and always appreciated. Just on my last post, your comments gave me great ideas and reassurance that we are doing okay. (I am thinking we might need a video monitor.)

What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Is it Time to Move Jayden Into His Nursery?

Adam and I completed Jayden's nursery very early on in our adoption wait. I wrote a few times about how it was depressing to have to dust your baby furniture.

Well, even with having Jayden home, we are still gathering dust in his nursery. He has never been in there.

I have always said I would have him in his own room by 4 months.

That gives me 8 days. Eek.

I am so torn.

On one hand, I think we would all sleep better. Jayden goes to sleep before we do and he always ends up waking up not too long after he goes into his bed because he hears us. We have to keep the lights all off, whisper, and tip toe around the room everynight. Also, I am a light sleeper and I hear every move he makes at night.

So, it seems like it would be a good idea to make the move into his own room....but, my big concern with moving him is that it is so far away. Our bedroom is on the first floor and his nursery is on the second floor. I don't like the thought of him all the way up there, even with using the baby monitor. Plus, sometimes he wakes up and just needs his pacifier put back in and it would not be fun to run all the way upstairs everytime he needs his pacifier.

Last week my sister, Mom, and I went to BabiesRus and got a hamper and some crib sheets. I thought it would get me motivated to make the transition.

Either way, we need to do it before he is 15 pounds because that is the weight limit for the bed he is in now. He is currently about 12 pounds.

I really don't know what to do. I guess we could give it a try and see how it goes....