Babymoon

I’m not sure if this actually counts as a babymoon since it was only one night, but it was really great to get away last night. One of the perks of Jon’s job is that he gets special rates at certain hotels… The Hyatt Regency being one of them 🙂 We got a $300 room for 50% off! It was so nice and the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever slept on. We have never really done much for the two of us in terms of getting away, besides camping, so it felt like such luxury.

We started our date off with test driving a car we were seriously considering buying. Our Echo has served us well for almost 10 years but with almost 300,000km it was time to move on. We thought we might need a little more room in the family car with Sofie coming home. We weren’t planning on buying a car that day but made an offer and we accepted their counter offer. At 0% down, 0% interest we are now the proud owners of a Hyundai Elantra! What a fun way to start off our date! We got to drive it off the lot and took it downtown for our date 🙂
*On a bit of a side note… the car decision has being so difficult because we don’t know how long we’ll be able to manage with one car and not sure if we can afford to be a two car family. With Jon’s office now being in Chilliwack we think it will be easier to stay with one car a lot longer than we were originally thinking. When we do need the second car we will probably be going with a used minivan 🙂 As a bonus with getting a new car our insurance payments are $50 less than with the Echo!*
Back to our date… We checked in to the Hyatt and went for some window shopping down Robson. I used to LOVE going to Robson and shopping in every store. I think I have just grown up a bit and don’t get caught up with all the name brands like I used too. We did share a tiger butter caramel apple which is one of my favorite things and I did enjoy going to the huge Chapter’s kids book section. I bought Livi a book! A mom’s life… enjoying shopping for the kids more than herself! I don’t mind 🙂 
We drove down to The Fish House in Stanley Park for a relaxing, late, delicious dinner and even more delicious creme brule dessert before heading back to the hotel for the night. We got to sleep late but got to sleep in without a 2 year old to wake us up! After check out, and Starbucks, we had crepes for breakfast at the Market on Granville Island. There was a Children’s Festival going on at Granville, so I felt a little guilty with out Livi. It was fun to look at all the toys and art though! 
We got home just in time to put Livi down for her nap and get a little more sleep in our selves. It was such a nice, relaxing date night and felt really good for our marriage. We’ve been doing really well but it is always nice to take some time to devote to each other for good conversation and loving 🙂 We are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary this summer and I don’t feel any itch…yet  😉
Thank-you so much for arranging all this, Jon and for everything you do for us! I love you more than you know.
Advertisements

Little Girl

After my last post, and yet another frustrating day for me, I thought I should take some time to reflect and share about my baby girl. Livi is such a delight. It is easy being her mom. She is a joy, creative, smart, happy, empathetic, fearless, carefree, confident, etc… I know I’m biased 🙂

Livi knows how to make me smile and laugh and has learned how to use that to her advantage. She is very dramatic and I confess her over dramatization of things makes me laugh more often then it should. I will pay for that, I’m sure. She has taken up making “faces” which is me saying “pose” and her changing her funny face…

She is so smart. Her understanding of how things work astounds me sometimes. She looked at an analogue clock and read the time correctly! Granted, it happened to be 1 o’clock, her nap time, which I point out frequently. She hasn’t shown much interest in writing her name lately but did do it today and her skill has improved. The letters were smaller and more legible.

Livi has become very observant. Interestingly though, she doesn’t notice “down syndrome” unless it is someone on TV or in a book. She will point out people with DS on TV are “like Alicia May” (a girl with DS in a book we read her). When we ask if people she knows, like Maggy, some of Mom’s clients, or Sofie, is “like Alicia May” she says “no”. I kind of love that she doesn’t notice it. People are people! She notices every bug, ant and beetle on the ground though, and waits for them to move out of her way when she is on her bike. Cute but annoying when you have somewhere to be! She rode her run-bike all the way to Jon’s office! It’s about a 15-20min walk if I’m pushing the stroller. It took her 50 min on the bike 🙂 I was so proud of her though! She wanted to do it all by herself and she did! I love her perseverance. We took the car home 🙂

She is noticing a lot of other things too, like my facial blemishes….
Livi: “What’s that on your cheek?”
Me: “A zit. Thanks for noticing.”
Livi leans in for a closer look: “It’s like…. UP!…On a hill!”

She has become quite obsessed with “boobies” too. She is very aware that she has little boobies and Mommy has “biiiiig boobies”. Again… thanks for pointing that out Livi. She has also taken up breast feeding her dolls, animals and even her hand once, despite only having two friends that she has ever seen breast feeding. Maybe she misses it 🙂 She’s also become fond of “Daddy’s show.” As it is playoff season Livi and daddy have been cuddling and watching hockey. When there is a commercial for hockey she gets really excited and wants to watch “Daddy’s show” with him. Most games are during her night time routine so she has been drinking some milk and relaxing with Daddy before bed. Precious moments 🙂

Livi has always been pretty fearless. I’m shocked we haven’t been to emergency for stitches or broken bones yet. At Birchwood Dairy, last week, she had know problem joining the big kids on the big slide, climbing up and down the tractors and touching the cows!

The cow licking her… ewww.


She found a pretty little Ladybug to admire too 🙂


At the end we of course had to have some ice cream! 


Livi is growing up so fast. She has lost the baby look to her “little” body. She is a real little girl now! Have I mentioned her skin?! She doesn’t burn, she just gets a beautiful tan and keeps it! I’m so jealous with my pale, freckled skin that burns in 5 min. Between her eye lashes, curly hair and skin this kid is very blessed 🙂  Her personality is continuing to grow… along with her stubbornness. We knew she’d have an extra dose of that with us as parents! For the most part she is pretty respectful though. As long as she understands why or what is going on, she is fed and rested it is smooth sailing. 
Pretty angel.
A few little issues we are facing in our parenting journey is that Livi will hold her stool for her pull-ups at night or nap time. Just these past two weeks or so she has begun having accidents in her pants again too! I’m not really sure how to help her figure this out. She was doing so good and now it seems like she has regressed. 
We are also beginning to see the end of naps. I’m still holding on but she is fighting going to sleep and is fine is she does miss them. I know I shouldn’t complain because she generally sleeps 11-12 hours a night but I LOVE nap time! Quiet time doesn’t cut it for me. 
Advice?

Frustration

It’s been a while since I posted… I actually did write one but decided I probably shouldn’t publish it 🙂 I had been drinking at the time I wrote it, so you understand. There has been a whole lot of frustration going on since my last post. Nothing terrible… just so frustrating!

Adoption:
Still no word on a court date. We were told we should hear by mid month. When that came and went I sent another email to our agency asking what’s up. I’m sure they are getting very annoyed with me. They gave me a detailed response basically saying that it is a paper intensive process and we should hear when court is any day now but not to expect the date to be before mid June! FUCK! We were really hoping to have her in our arms in June. After court there could still be a 6-8 week wait before we can go get her. This whole process is very discouraging. Don’t they know how important it is to get Sofie out of there?! Don’t they know how gravely malnourished, neglected and skinny she is? I have tons of love and protein just waiting to fatten her up over here! Give her to me! I’m sure every mom who is adopting feels this way. I knew going in to this it would be a difficult, uncertain path but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle right now.

Car:
We are also needing to get a new car. Our Echo has served us well but we are nearing 300,000 kms on it and since it is over 10 years old our gas bills seem to be increasing… more than the normal increase we have been having. Buying a new car is such a difficult decision right now. We’d like to be a one car family for as long as possible but don’t know if we can manage that with Jon needing it a lot for work and me possibly needing it to take Sofie to different therapies or doctor appointments. We have a very limited budget and are already using borrowed money to pay for the adoption so trying to decide how much money to spend on a replacement family car that will eventually solely be Jon’s work car, while not knowing when we will need a second car seems like an impossible task. I hate being a grown up some times.

Family:
Then there is some family stuff that has been irking me too. I used to think that only families with rough back grounds had “stuff” but being a part of Jon’s life, who was raised as a pastor’s kid with both parents still together, my eyes have been widely opened 🙂 I now know each family has their share of issues. I’m just so tired of it all. Is there no hope of moving past the destructive structures our family’s set out for us? Are my children doomed to have to deal with the same generational crap their parents, aunts and uncles, grand parents and great grandparents have had to deal with.

Believe me, I am trying my damnedest to shield my kids from the things that I have had to endure and break any of the cycles that still persist, but Livi has already been exposed to some of it. She has seen her aunt and her uncle cut themselves off from the family for some periods of time, just as our aunts and uncles did to each other (on Jim’s side of the family… Jim is my father and I use the term loosely). She has felt the tension that it stirs up in me and witnessed all my siblings and I being reactionary as only a true (insert my maiden name here) can be. Don’t get me wrong. Livi has not even come close to witnessing the horrors I did or been victim to anything. It just seems so inevitable sometimes. My siblings and I, who have had minimal contact with Jim’s side of the family, have repeated many of the exact same behaviors and made similar choices in certain situations. It is like it is in our DNA or brain patterns.

Most people know, for very good reasons, that I have no contact with Jim. My aunt, his sister, also knows this. When I first said yes to adding her on facebook and telling her my last name there were some very clear boundaries set out. The primary boundary of the utmost importance was that she not relay any information about us to Jim. My mom advocated for her because she was the only one from that family to have gone to counseling and worked on her own family issues, as well as the only one who ever acknowledged what Jim did to us.

Last week I received a joint email to Jim, a lot of his siblings, and a few of his nieces and nephews. It was calling for everyone to forgive, forget and reconnect in honor of her mother, my grandmother, who’s dying wish was that everyone get along… even though she was a lot of the problem in that family. In the emails address bar I could see Jim’s name and email address. I assumed he could see mine. Does he now know my last name? I didn’t freak out. I knew having contact with her posed some element of a risk and it was probably an accident, since I’ve had her on my facebook for a few years now and never had an issue. I emailed her back with a pointed reminder of the importance of separation from Jim. After a few exchanges of pleasant emailing back and forth, sharing some of my history and learning a bit of hers she wrote that Jim seemed to know a lot about me, but specifically said it was not her who was telling him. In the next email she confessed to telling him about Sofie! Not just telling him that we were adopting, but where she was from, her age, and about her having DS! Really?!

This may sound trivial since I have a blog that used to be public, but he didn’t know my name so it didn’t seem to be a big worry. (The aunt and anyone on that side of the family doesn’t have access to this blog now that it is private.) Although fear does play a role in why my boundaries with regards to Jim are so set, it does not govern my life. I know what he is capable of and I know what I have to do to protect myself and my children from him. I’m not sure how this new family drama is going to play out or how it is going to affect my life (I think Jim is flagged at the border, so unless he jumps into Canada illegally we have nothing to worry about) but this is how it usually goes when you are dealing with a blood relative of Jim’s. Argh!