Monday, September 29, 2008

Counter Space Glorious Counter Space

Well we bit the bullet and bought our new house today. It felt a little anti-climactic but maybe it just hasn't really hit me yet that we are actually moving. I think it will be a good move for us but it just doesn't really feel real right now. I know one thing I am really looking forward to- the counter space- or just a master bathroom big enough to turn around in. Yay! Bathroom drawers too- the first I've had since I moved out of my parent's house. Look at the difference. Here is my old bathroom. Sorry I couldn't get it all in the picture because
I couldn't stand in the bathroom and take the picture.Here are a couple shots of the new one. Yay space! Two Fish and I may actually be able to stand in the bathroom at the same time!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good Reminders of why I am a stay at home mom (well work from home part time mom)

If I didn't stay home with Red Fish I would miss alot of smiles.

I love how I can just be walking around minding my own business and someone very sweet and little will give me a gigantic hug right on my leg with a big kiss. It reminds me of why I love being a Mommy.
Red Fish is so close to walking- she is at such a fun age and she loves to explore. She goes from chair to chair or person to person making her way across the room poking her fingers into everything and examining every inch of the room.
Red Fish is a little monkey right now. She climbs everything and she wants to "help" with everything. I'm so lucky to have such an excellent helper to walk behind me and unpack all of my boxes and "fix" half the things I accomplish in a day. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tag You're It

JJ tagged me to write six of my quirks and then tag six people.

1- Old window frames give me the shivers
2- I can't stand the sound of paper being creased- much worse than nails on a chalkboard.
3- I don't like to eat fish if it's not sushi (but I sure love sushi.)
4- I'm terrified of my achilles tendon being severed. (Yes I know this is an urban legend but I still check under my car for psychos.)
5- I walk and talk in my sleep.
6- I would die without an internet connection.

I tag Lisa, Leilani, Nemiha, Joanna, Nancy, and Cari- do it if you want to, I'm not going to freak out if you don't.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Big News

I've been busy scraping wallpaper, painting, and packing because we are MOVING. It's been kind of crazy around here. We are moving back to my home town so that Two Fish will be closer to work. He's been making a very long trek every morning. I'm pretty much going crazy trying to get the house we live in now all painted and ready and trying to pack and fill out the endless paperwork for the new house. I'm really going to miss this house. It is our first house. It's the first ward that has felt like home since my parents moved when I was 17. Hopefully it will be a good move for our family though. I'm feeling pretty good about things (when I am not stressed out from all of the extra work it causes.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why Every Kid Needs A Dog

Red Fish laughs harder at our dog Blue Fish than at anyone or anything else. She chases him around the house trying to pet him. He gives her at least 100+ kisses a day (it's incredibly disgusting.) Everyday when Red Fish eats, Blue Fish sits at full attention right next to her highchair waiting for the occasionally dropped (or often thrown) pea or piece of bread. Every time one is tossed Blue Fish jumps in the air to catch it and Red Fish collapses in a fit of giggles. I'm telling you- this is love.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Little Singer

Red Fish has this certain spot she likes to stand in and sing at the top of her lungs. It sounds a little like a crazy and very noisy bird. It's so funny. She stands right at the top of our small staircase going down into the family room from the kitchen. It scares me because I am always afraid she will slip and fall. No matter how many times I move her or put up a gate, Red Fish finds her way up there again. She loves holding onto the railing and dancing and performing on this little stage.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's That Time Again

Swirls of sweet potato are almost the same color as her hair. Bits of barley biscuits are stuck to her chubby thighs. Cottage cheese is smashed on the tray and her upper lip. She is spinning the sippy cup on it's side soaking her peas in little puddle of formula. Yep it's lunchtime again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Adventures

Lately Red Fish has not been sleeping very well. I think it's a phase. I hope it's a phase because she is wearing me out. She has also recently given up naps. Even when I do put her down she is up and hollering 15-20 minutes later. Today she actually went down for a nap for a couple hours and I was thrilled. I went down to the basement and scraped wallpaper. After awhile I started to get suspicious that she couldn't possibly still be asleep so I went upstairs to peek in her door. There she was- standing in the middle of her crib totally naked. She had removed her onsie dress (with snaps at the neck and crotch) and her diaper and chucked them across the room. Of course she wet all over her crib (and of course I had run out of mattress covers the day before for the first time and decided a sheet would be okay while I did the laundry.) She was as pleased as could be with her new trick and jumped up and down in her bed when she saw me. Lately she has been screaming when I put clothes on her but I wasn't expecting her to take matters into her own hands! I guess nudity is her next phase. It's okay though because there is really nothing cuter than little baby nudies.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our Budding Artist

Today was my grandpa's (Bockum's) 84th birthday party. Red Fish made him a lovely work of art. We let her swirl some red paint around a paper. It's a masterpiece don't you think?

We went to Grandma's (Two Fish's Mom) house yesterday so Two Fish could fix her computer. Grandma got out a huge teddy bear to entertain Red Fish. Red Fish couldn't have been more thrilled. I don't think she has ever seen a stuffed animal that big. She couldn't stop snuggling him and giving him big kisses. It was adorable.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I think my Dad kind of likes her...

Grandpa and his princess

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Favorite Thing

My favorite thing about the warm weather all summer has been going on almost daily walks as a family. We all love it and it makes us all a lot happier.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I've been hearing this song everywhere

and I love it!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

VIB- Very Important Blankie

We've been trying to ditch the pacifier or at least make it not a constant thing. The last couple months Red Fish has started carrying it around like an accessory and using it incessantly and it was starting to bother me. We planned to snip the ends of the pacifiers a little at a time until there was nothing left to put in her mouth. One round of incredibly miniscule trimming and she no longer wants it other than bedtime and the occasional nap. I'm very happy. To replace the void left behind she has latched onto this blankie like you wouldn't believe. She has always been pretty fond of it but willing to accept several other blankets as an alternative. Now it is all about this pink furry one. She wears it around the house like a mink stole. She has to burry her face in it and kiss at least 100+ times a day. It's pretty cute. Plus it was a lifesaver on our California trip for the fussy times. It comforts her the second she touches it. Now we just have to remember not to leave it anywhere!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Lovely N took more pics of Redfish. She hasn't had a chance to edit them yet but here is the teaser. Isn't her beret ardoreable?

Muffy Got Married

Arby is descreetly trying to switch his ring from his right hand after the ring ceremony. Don't the look cute together?

This last weekend we went to California to see my college roommate codenamed Muffy get married. Muffy has been engaged for forever to her fiance Arby. We adore Arby, who came to visit and get our approval a couple years ago. Red Fish took her 2nd plane ride into San Louis Obispo where Muffy lives. This plane ride did not go nearly as smoothly as when we went to Bonaire even though it was a much shorter flight. Now that Red Fish is mobile she is MUCH harder to travel with. I think we must have been insane to fly with a baby just for a one day trip. We should have stayed longer. We stayed with lovely N's parents in Atascadaro who were so nice to us. Lovely N's Mom even took care of Red Fish while we went to the wedding the next day and Lovley N's Dad drove us all around California.
The first night we went to their rehearsal dinner and had a little reunion. It was so fun to see Muffy. I wish I could have seen more of her while we were there but she was a little busy getting married.Muffy and Arby got married in the Fresno temple in a really beautiful sealing. I don't have pics from outside the temple because I'm counting on getting copies from Lovely N. She was the photographer for the temple stuff. On the way to the reception in Cambria (yes we did a ton of driving) the car shut off for a bit. We decided to take advantage and take a few pics. Luckily the drive was very scenic through a bunch of wine and farming country.They had a really nice ring ceremony outside before the reception.

The three of us
Daddy daughter time waiting for all the pictures to be taken.
One Fish, Red Fish, Muffy, Baby A, Lovely N- all the girls together
Trying to crawl in her fluffy dress
A little mother daughter moment.
Red Fish had a little crush on the ring bearer but who wouldn't with that dashing little tux?
Red Fish was busting a move on the dance floor. She is SO CLOSE to walking. She keeps taking a chair and sliding it around the room to balance herself. It's really cute. She is very into dancing. She starts wiggling everytime she hears music. She loved the music at the wedding.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A New Purchase

Yeah this purchase was well worth the money. Goodbye infant seat - you have served us well. (Perhaps I should point out that the first picture is her old carseat and the 2nd picture is her new one- Two Fish was wondering why I posted a picture of our child screaming.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tears, Miracles, and Unspeakable Joy

Well today I made my first calls to start the adoption process over again. We aren't officially starting again until November (that's when we are allowed to.) It doesn't sound like much has changed in the process from when we started out two years ago. Making those calls really made me think about the whole journey we have made since we decided on adoption. I was snuggling with Red Fish today and playing with her and it just hit me over and over what a miracle she is in our lives. The joy of motherhood cannot be put down in words but every day I am grateful for it. Today as I looked at those chubby hands waving at me as she slowly destructed most of the rooms in our house and I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude and reflect on the tears, miracles, and unspeakable joy I have experienced in this journey so far.

The decision to adopt wasn't really a hard one for us. Our family has been blessed by adoption so many times that it just seemed natural. It was something Two Fish and I had even discussed before we got married. In fact as a small child through most of my teens, I used to claim that all of my kids were going to be adopted. I think in some ways I was always prepared for my kids to be a gift from angels. I was so so ready for kids too. In fact I was a bit obsessed.

I remember the day we decided that we wanted off the whole pregnant/not pregnant roller coaster. We collected information off the internet and then I called my sister in law L. She has two beautiful kids through the adoption miracle. In a very tearful conversation I expressed all of my frustrations and pain that had accrued from repeatedly trying to stay pregnant. L was very sympathetic and offered to let us come over and talk to her and her hubby about their experiences with adoption. It was so encouraging to hear their stories. I also called my grandparents and heard their stories as well. We read books and talked incessantly about adoption. We felt pretty armed with information and were anxious to start the process.

Unfortunately we ran into many many obstacles. I couldn't seem to get a background check because I had lived in London almost five years before and needed an international background check. It was almost impossible to get. I felt all of this pressure to hurry the process because I just knew our baby was coming and SOON. In fact, I was totally convinced there were two babies on the way which made absolutely no sense.

Five and a half months later we were no closer to getting on the waiting list. Nobody could help us. None of questions could be answered and I was getting seriously upset. Then our lives got very movie of the week. My parents were traveling and my Dad was involved in a freak accident. (It's pretty distinctive and would probably blow whatever semblance of privacy I try to maintain on my blog- but needless to say he was attacked by a wild animal.) He sustained a broken femur and was in a hospital in the rain forest. For a very dramatic week he teetered on the brink of death. Third world health care and disease became a reality for our family. I think I felt the full weight of my adulthood for the first time. Trying to help coordinate his rescue and the family phone tree was daunting. For the first time in my life I didn't have my parents to lean on in crisis. His survival and the outpouring of love we received from friends, family, neighbors, and the LDS church around the world was the first miracle we experienced in 2007. It is when I truly realized how intimately involved in our lives our Heavenly Father is. There is no logical reason why my Dad survived.

The day after we got my Dad back into the US I called my sister in law L again. She encouraged me to take some drastic action with our adoption because I felt so strongly that our baby was coming. I called the new branch and they were having their adoption education classes that very night (they are only available every 6 months and are a requirement to adopt.) I assured them we would be there no matter what we had to do to get there. The education classes were wonderful. I loved hearing the stories of people from all sides of adoption.

Then my grandmother had a terrible fall and broke many of the bones on one side of her face. It was back to hospital visits for my family. Many of my memories from the first half of 2007 are not exactly fond ones.

The adoption process sped up dramatically after our switch. The day we found out we were approved and our adoption profile had gone live I found out I was pregnant- AGAIN. This was very confusing for me. Obviously the pregnancy didn't work out but it did make me rely on the Lord again. Also within days of our profile going live we were contacted by Red Fish's birth mom. She was looking for the right couple to place Red Fish with. We began emailing back and forth with her.

We also made our first adoption- our dog Blue Fish. His role as our first little baby has been an important one in our family. He has provided love, comfort, and entertainment for all of us during a very crazy time in our lives. Two Fish bought him for me as a mother's day present in May of 2007.

Shortly after we were approved for adoption we had an opportunity come up rather suddenly to go on a life changing trip to Bikini Atoll. It might sound strange but seeing an touching this piece of history really was a miracle for me. The insights it gave me into myself really touched my life in ways I can't totally explain. When we came home I made some major career decisions that left me self employed entirely for the first time in years.

When we returned from Bikini Atoll we received an email notifying us that a birth mother had picked us for adoption. It was proceeded in a flurry of emails to a new birth mother who we hadn't had any previous contact with. For the next two months we wrote back and forth with her and flew to Texas to meet her. We were encouraged to cut off contact with the other birth mothers who were emailing us because we had been selected for adoption. I just never felt right about cutting off contact with one really special woman who turned out to be Red Fish's birth mother. We told her about the upcoming adoption but we all agreed to keep up our emails in order to support her in the process of choosing a family.

In August we got a call that our son had been born. Unfortunately this quick joy was to be followed by many other emotions. Ultimately we went to Texas but came home empty handed and heart broken. To be honest I'm not sure I will ever totally get over this. It was the lowest point I have ever reached. The happy part of the story is that we sent an email to Red Fish's birth mom and told her our adoption had failed. She had never picked another couple because she always felt like we were the ones she was looking for. She officially "picked us" a couple weeks later and we drove to Idaho to meet her. She was a miracle in our lives. The respect I have for birth mothers cannot be described. I think people who haven't been deeply affected by adoption don't realize the love it takes for a birth mother to place. The true miracle of adoption is the love on all sides that embrace a child. I have never experienced anything more Christlike.

Red Fish's entry into our lives has been a miracle. The day she was placed in our arms I knew she was a gift. It was like I had been experiencing all of this pressure that a baby was coming.  A specific baby.  When I held her that first time I recognized her immediately as the exact baby I had been waiting for.  She was immediately mine, our hearts already bound together.  Love at first sight. Taking her to our little hotel room was overwhelming and beautiful and scary and wonderful. That first week that the three of us spent together was one of the sweetest of my life. We sat in a little hotel, just the three of us for a whole week until Two Fish had to go back to work. I spent her second week waiting for a call that I could go home and sitting on my Mom's college roommate's couch holding my precious baby and admiring her tiny parts. The next couple of months I think I spent most of my time sitting on my couch and holding her like she might disappear if I let go. My ward threw me an incredible shower and the amount of encouragement, love, gifts, etc. that we received was nothing short of overwhelming. The kindness of our friends and family has been yet another miracle. (Are you getting tired of that word? I can't think of another suitable to describe our experience.)

Our temple sealing was the culminating miracle of our adoption journey (although I know we will see many more in our journey as a family.)

Entering the adoption process again is overwhelming, terrifying sometimes, but I have to concentrate on the miracles it opens us up to. Everyday is a step towards bringing that baby into our family. We rely on the love and kindness of others. We embrace other people's freedom of choice and we surrender our ability to control the situation. Thank you to those who have supported us and carried us through these last couple years. We love you.