Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Park Picnic

Well, our home study visit is TOMORROW! We are pretty excited (and, let's be honest, a little nervous). But we both really like our caseworker, so it will be fine. For those of you who aren't familiar with the process, this is where our caseworker comes to our home and inspects the safety and general live-ability of it.

So in preparation for the home visit, we have, of course, been cleaning like crazy. I've been doing 1 room each day since we scheduled it last week. Today's room was the kitchen, and it looks great! But when Reece came home from work, we realized we hadn't cooked dinner. Looking at that clean kitchen, it was just demoralizing to think of making it dirty and cleaning it all over we didn't! Reece took me to pick up dinner at a new burger place near us (they have them in California, so I'd had it before, and it's just as delicious in Utah), and we took dinner to a nearby park:

Delicious-ness with a view!

We got to use the picnic blanket I keep in the car (which I made myself from all my old camp bandanas, thankyouverymuch!). And there was a soccer game going on in the little bowl part of the park (I think those are so clever, to keep the ball from going in the street!):

I love that mountain horizon on the other side of the valley :)
We were idly watching the game as we talked, and I quoted a meme that I relate to, which made Reece laugh (partly because it's funny and partly because it's true: I really don't understand sports. I don't hate them or anything, I just don't get them).

We had fun! It was nice to have a little time to just relax and be together, and to enjoy the GORGEOUS weather we've been having, before it gets too hot! At least they opened the pool at our apartment today, so we'll have that to look forward to and beat the heat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Started the Baby's Room!

Last weekend we started slowly converting the music room to a baby's room. It's been a lot of fun! It might seem premature, to start all this before we've been matched with an expectant mother, but we decided to do it for several reasons:

  1. We don't want to end up having to put it all together super fast, if we have a placement like that
  2. It's fun!
  3. And it's a nice way to "nest," as it were; I love decorating and organizing, and it's nice to have a reason--even a future reason--to do this
Stuff-wise, we have a few things. We got some onesies and the cutest pair of duck pajamas ever. We've also been slowly buying diapers and wipes, so it's not overwhelming to stock up. We got a diaper bag (scored a sweet deal on a Petunia Pickle Bottom), and a baby monitor (the video one I like was way on sale; plus we can play secret agent spy until placement, haha!). 

Screenshot of the monitor app. Classic Reece :)

We also got a couple decor things:
Ikea hack: shelf with rail 
This shelf is just beside the changing table/dresser, so we can easily reach clothes. We've bought a couple more things since I took this photo. That onesie in the back is from the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks (called such because they wear "all black"); my sister got it for us when she was studying abroad there. The brown bear on the right was Reece's as a kid; it's all worn out around the neck, where he used to hold it. The book and picture were mine as a little girl. And the bunny, we made together at Build-A-Bear a few years ago.

Alphabet zoo decal, and growth chart

I found a good deal on this decal, which will be over the crib (currently the blanket rack and table is there, because the piano is where those things will go; this is a work-in-progresss!). When I showed my mom the picture, she told me that she had an alphabet poster on the wall in my nursery! Fun coincidence. The growth chart, which you can kind of see to the right, is a project I made at a Relief Society (LDS women's auxiliary). I use it for now as a singing meter for the Primary (children's choir) I teach. 

So that's the current state of the room! Stay tuned for progress!

May the Fourth Be With You

Last week, we celebrated one of our favorite "silly" holidays: May the Fourth!
("May the fourth be with you" - "May the force be with you" - Star Wars)

Because we were babysitting on May 4, we ended up celebrating on May 5 ("Revenge of the Fifth!"). We had Monday off anyway, with the way our work schedules currently are. So we woke up and went for a hike first! It was finally warm enough to go up higher in the mountains.

We decided to do Silver Lake, up Big Cottonwood canyon here in Utah. But when we got there, it looked like this:

Oops! Guess it's still a little early in the year. We didn't consider how high up in the mountains it is! So we drove back down the canyon and found a snow-less place to hike (and stumbled on a great picnic spot, which we will definitely use later on!)

After we got home, we got down to the Star Wars fun! We watched the original trilogy (we're not hard-core enough to watch all 6, plus the animated Clone Wars spin-off, in 1 day). During the second movie, I served dessert:

It's vanilla ice cream, strategically scooped to look like the snowy landscape, and I put characters and robots from the movie in it! So fun.

Oh! and one more funny thing. We had to ship something we sold on eBay, and on our way home, we saw this:

Looks like times are tough for Scooby and the gang.... Haha!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


This afternoon, we were hanging out at home when a friend called and asked if we'd watch their 3 kids (ages 7, 4, and 18 months) for a little while so dad could get some peace and quiet to study for school. Of course we said yes; we've babysat these kids before and they are fun!

We played outside at the playground, on swings and slides and sand, and blew up a bunch of balloons. We made hot dogs for dinner, and let them each have a cookie (after dinner, of course). It was fun! (Side note: we have these rattley pool toys in our toy box, and all the kids who come over love them! Best dollar I ever spent!) 

About Reece, by Haley
I was so impressed with Reece today. He was so good with the kids. I knew he's good with kids, but it's different to have so many at our house. He thought about so many little things, like locking our buffet cabinet with the breakables, and turning in the handle on the pot when we boiled hot dogs. He was so quick with water and snacks, and it was cute to watch him follow the littlest one at the playground and do the swings and slides with him. It just reminded me again what a great dad he's going to be. 

About Haley, by Reece

Haley never ceases to impress me when it comes to taking care of kids. The two older kids, whom I will call Luke and Leia (they're Star Wars fans, like me!), kept getting into arguments over sharing the toys, but Haley kept her cool and helped them settle things without fighting. She is also very good about sticking to the rules while still being sympathetic and understanding: Luke didn't want to to eat hot dogs for dinner (or anything else, for that matter) but still wanted a cookie. Haley explained very patiently that he couldn't have a cookie until after he ate dinner. Luke wasn't happy, but he finally conceded the point (he REALLY wanted a cookie), and Haley was so kind and patient about the whole thing that he wasn't even angry. She comforted the baby when he fell and started crying. She is going to be such a wonderful mother!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why Adoption?

Why adoption? Because we know this is how we will build our family. This decision was actually a while in coming, but now that we have made it, we feel so ready. We have never felt so eager and happy about a decision as we do about this.

Deciding to Adopt
Last January, after a final failed fertility treatment in December, we were talking about our options and next steps. Adoption came up very quickly; it had been on both of our minds. We discussed it, and prayed about it, and agreed to keep thinking and come back in a day or so and talk again. As we continued talking, we realized we were speaking as though we'd already decided "yes." As soon as we realized that, we understood how right this decision is for us. The next day, we called the adoption agency, and we've been plugging along at paperwork ever since! We're hoping to be officially approved by mid- to late May.

Our Support System
Our families and friends are very supportive. When we announced our plans on facebook, we got more likes than when I announced our engagement!

We have lots of good friends who have adopted, and several who have placed children for adoption. So we are getting support from both sides of the experience! It's been so amazing and humbling to see how many people care about us and support us in this journey. I am so grateful for all the advice and help we've already received.

When we decided to adopt, we started saving right away, trimming extras out of our budget and squirreling away whatever we could. We also made a coin bank out of a bottle, sort of a symbolic reminder of what we're doing this for.

Open or Closed?
We want to have an open adoption, where we stay in touch with the birth family. There are lots of levels of openness, so this can mean different things for different families. We're not setting our hearts on having a certain level of contact, or a certain number of visits per year or anything like that. What we ultimately want is for everyone involved to feel comfortable and happy with what's arranged. So we'll discuss the openness with the birth parents, and decide together.

Well, I guess that pretty much sums it up for now. See ya later!