Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Anonymous Ideas

Remember how I said I wanted to go a little more anonymouse with my blog? I have some ideas here. I'm not planning on coming up with nicknames or euphemisms for us, but mostly I just want to get our last name off our blog.

So I need to change the URL of my blog. Here are three ideas (I've already saved the domain names, so any of they are available to me) and a little bit about them.

1.) Pocket Full of Prose
I liked the play on "pocket full of posies" and the reference to writing. It has a great ring to it and as a writer, it speaks to me the most.

2.) The Z Experiment
The Z for our last name. Experiment because that's what life is.

3.) The Fun Unknown
A reference to the unknown things that happen in life. Also last week when we were at the lawyer's office getting our petition to finalize ready, I was filling out some paperwork and had to check a box that said Yes, No, or Unknown. The questions were in legalese, but some I understood. I asked Justin on one and he didn't know what it was asking either, so he said, "Why don't you check the fun unknown box." It was cute how he said it. And it can be applied to life.

So there are the three options I have now. Vote on the right or leave me a comment with any other suggestions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Once a Dad, Always a Dad

I got a call last night around 10:30 pm from my dad. "There's a cold front moving in your way that will hit about midnight. I'm just calling to remind you to detach your hoses from your house. You don't want them freezing and bursting the pipes in your house."

Here's the thing....

I've been a home owner for nearly four years.

And another thing...this is so Dad.

Recently Justin made a comment that he wondered if my dad thought he was inept at stuff because my dad would always give reminders and instructions on how to do stuff. I had to laugh because I never thought how it would feel to someone who didn't grow up with the constant thoroughness of my father. All of us kids joke about the "Dad Speech" we get anytime we're going to drive somewhere. We all have it memorized. In fact, we usually thwart the speech with this one of our own. "Yes, I'll remember to check the oil and tire pressure. I'll watch for deer around Malad. I'll be careful of black ice, especially in shady spots and on the north sides of bridges. And I'll call when I get there."

I've been driving for over a dozen years. I'm a married woman with a child. And my dad still reminds me to watch for deer and black ice. It's one of his ways of saying, "I love you."

One time as teenagers (or kids in their twenties) my siblings and I wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to Santa which we left by the cookies. In it we explained to Santa how to properly open and close a door when others are sleeping so as not to make noise. We instructed him to wipe his feet on the mat and clean up any reindeer souvenirs. We even told him if he needed to use the bathroom to not flush if it was between 2 and 4 a.m. because the water softener would be running. Basically, it was all the advice our father had drilled into our heads over the years. The joke was taken well and Santa didn't even mess up the water softener schedule.

In a way, it's kind of silly that my dad would call to tell me to check my hoses. But again, it's one of his ways of saying, "I love you, Lara." Think about it. My father, who lives over five hundred miles away in southern Utah, was checking the weather where his daughter lived. He saw there would be a cold front and thought about the time of year. Mid-autumn. Without any major cold weather yet, he knew the odds of me having my hoses still attached to my home were high. And he knew that could lead to burst pipes. flooding, major expenses, and headaches. And so he thought to call with that little reminder. It really brings a lump to my throat.

Like I told Justin, my dad doesn't say these things because he thinks we're inept. It's one of his many, many ways of showing how much he thinks about us all and loves us. And, Dad, I love you, too.

And truth be hoses actually were still attached.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pet Peeves

Why don't living rooms have overhead lights?

Hate this fact of life. If I were Queen of the World (and let's not kid ourselved...someday I may be) all living rooms will have overhead lights. It's one thing in a hotel to get all light by a lamp or two, but in a main room of the house? Who came up with this idea? Seriously, people.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Placement Day...Six Months Later

Wednesday marked the sixth month anniversary of Baby Jo's placement. Motherhood has been a transforming experience for me. Somedays I feel like a beautiful butterfly of a mother...other days I'm still a larvae in a cacoon.

I wanted to share our placement day experience.

We were highly anticipating placement day. While it was thrilling beyond words to get the phone call from the agency about an unborn baby in Boise, Idaho, and while it was intimidating to meet her and birth family in the hospital, and so special to hold her and bathe her, we knew all that could fall through. We looked forward to placement day with anxiety and hope. We had been holding our figurative breath for three weeks - and our friends and families were too.

Initially, we thought we'd be able to take our baby home on Monday, April 20th. But Jo's birthmother had some complications from her epidural and needed to stay one more day. So Monday morning, we knew we wouldn't be going home. (Blessing in disguise - I accidentally booked the hotel room for an extra night and they wouldn't refund us. I was mad at first, but we ended up using that extra night and we got a great price for it.) So Monday we made only brief visits to the hospital so the birth mom could have this extra day to herself. It was the least we could give her. The very least.

Tuesday was a gorgeous April day. Blue sunny sky. The entire city seemed to be surrounded by cherry trees in full bloom. What bedazzling splendor. We met with Jocelyn's pediatrician for the first time and we were able to speak with him. He gave us some instructions. He is the pediatrician for the birth mom's three other children. He told us that they are good people and do the best they can, but that this little baby was very lucky to have us for her family. Next we met with a nurse who briefly gave us instructions - verbal and printed - on how to care for the baby (and they say babies don't come with  manuals).

Back in the hospital room, we had a full crowd - the birth mom's therapist and two caseworkers from the agency, the birth parents, their three children, a family friend, a nurse, baby Jocelyn, Justin, and myself. This was the first time Jocelyn's biological half-brothers met her. They looked at her curiously and both kissed her on the head. Then they left with the family friend.

We picked out an outfit for the baby and her birth mother lovingly dressed her in it. We took some pictures of everyone. And then it was time. The birth father had decided to not hold the baby at all, so he said goodbye with gentle touch. The birth mother held Jocelyn so close, telling her how she loved her and that would never change, that her love was exactly why she chose adoption. The birth mother whispered things in her baby's ear that we will never know, crossed the room and placed her in my arms.

Being dressed for her big day.

And I lost it. I was a sobbing mess. Justin was bleary eyed too. But the birth parents kept their emotions inside. I put Jocelyn in her car seat. I hugged both birth parents, crying on their shoulders and expressing love and thankfulness. With our arms full of diapers bags and full car seat, we left the nursery floor. Many of the nurses had gathered at their station to see us out. Crossing the threshold of the nursery ward was a huge relief. Going through those locked doors where the day before we would not have been allowed to pass with a baby now felt like a significant milestone.

Bawling all the way, we made it to the car and as we were driving away from the parking lot, I called my mother. I was sobbing and I could barely get the words out. "We have her." Then my dad jumped on the other end of the line and just heard me crying so hard. He said something to the effect of, "Oh, no. I was so afraid this would happen." And my mom corrected him, "No, they have her." I found humor in that moment, because we were all so afraid that in the end, we would come home without a baby. And if I were my dad and just heard the crying on the phone, I would assume the same thing.

Next stop was the agency. They had bought Quizno's sandwiches for their staff and had an extra one which they offered to us. We gladly accepted. We didn't have breakfast and emotions make you hungry. We signed a bunch of paperwork and we wrote the biggest check of our lives without even blinking.

At the agency. An official family at last.
And then...we were free.

I climbed in the back next to the baby and as Justin drove us out of Boise, I heard his tear-filled voice gently proclaim, "Thank you, Heavenly Father."

Every squeak, every movement from the baby was as exciting as riding the Matterhorn at Disneyland. We drove the five hours home and when we arrived, my brother and his family were there waiting for us. Our house had been decorated with balloons, streamers, and window paint. Jordan was the first one in our family to hold the baby. It was very fitting because I was in the hospital when their daughter was born - the only family there - and got to hold her first. So it felt like a completed circle having him be the first one to greet us and Jocelyn.

Uncle Jordan (and cousin Afton)

We had a joyous dinner and were showered with gifts. And finally, we were alone. Daddy. Mommy. And daughter. People talk about the first night home with their babies. How its suddenly terrifying and overwhelming. No nurses to rely on. Everything knew and unknown. I didn't feel that way. We just held her and watched her and held her some more. Our hearts were constantly rejoicing and overflowing. I don't think we had time for a single negative emotion for weeks. (It didn't hurt that she's such a dang good baby.)

We checked on her incessantly, and she was always fine. And then we all went to sleep. A whole family. At last.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When I'm Rich...

Someday, I'm going to sell a book and the movie rights and I'll have way more money than I have now. I'll live a life of leisure and ease and Justin and I will be able to stay home all day and play with Joci and work part time for fun.

When that day comes (because I know it will) these are the things on my wish list that I will buy:

I'd take my entire family on a cruise

I've always wanted one of these

Could really use this.

a comfortable house on the river...I know exactly where it would be - along the Snake not far from where I live now.

One of these expensive Babyliss toys.

Totally want a family crypt one day.

A truck for Justin

A Firebird for Justin - his dream car

A sweet classic car like this '69 Plymouth GTX

A couple long weeks here in Venice

A fancy pants diamond ring like this one

or maybe this one.

tons and tons of Bumble and bumble products

(And again to assert that I'm not that greedy, please notice the lack of seaside Malibu mansions, Ferraris, Prada clothing items, personal servants, etc. For the millionare I will someday be, it's a pretty humble lifestyle to just want a family crypt and Bumble products.)

If you had so much discretionary income it made you sick, what would you indulge in?

P.S. My birthday is tomorrow. Feel free to get me anything off this list.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Six Month Old Baby

Grandma Z. crocheted this gorgeous dress. The lovely blue color is perfect for Jocelyn's eyes.

Our baby turned six months old this week, so we had another visit witht he pediatrician and another round of immunizations. We also opted for the flu vaccine since Little Miss goes to daycare and next week we will battle the whole community for an H1N1 vaccine. She weighed in at 15 lbs 8 oz (40th percentile) and is 26 inches tall (60th percentile). Her head is 43 cm (70th percentile).

We've had some fun "milestones" this week. Jocelyn finally decided that she wanted to roll in more than one direction, so now she is rolling all over the room. She started sleeping in her crib in her own room (I cried, she didn't). And she tried baby applesauce yesterday and loved it.

In her beautiful new crib. I was afraid the giant ladybugs would give her nightmares, but so far she's slept soundly

Here are some more fun facts about her.

  • She constantly drools
  • She likes to pet the cat and the cat lets her
  • She wakes up jabbering every day
  • She takes at least two naps a day and sometimes three
  • She eats 5-6 oz of formula every 3 hours and 2-3 oz of cereal a day
  • She laughes when I click my tongue at her or when I say "dadadada"
  • Her favorite toys are her stuffed pink poodle Pup-Pup and her plastic bear rings
  • She likes to fall asleep holding a burp cloth in her face
  • She likes to be swaddled and likes her binky when she sleeps
  • She adores being sung to
  • She can be entertained for a surprisingly long period of time with television

Last week we had visits from both grandparents. It was our nephew Haiden's second birthday, so Justin's family came down for that. My parents came up to help my brother with a home project. Here are some pictures of these adventures.

Grandma Z. with her two grandkids. Jocelyn is showing off her Halloween lamb costume.

Haiden, or rather Jennifer, blows out the candles

wearing our Cars 3-D glasses

Trying on her sealing dress that Grandma H. made. She's sitting in her Bumbo Chair and can't resist the urge to constantly eat that flowing layer of organza.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Something About This...

Not too long ago, I got this picture from my father-in-law's camera. I love it. I'm not sure what it is about it, but I absolutely love it. Can't you just see the joy in our eyes with our new little baby? We were at TGI Fridays. Jocelyn was three weeks old here and Justin's eye is still freshly blackened from his rollover accident. But we're just so darn happy.

On a side note, I think that in the near future I will go anonymous with my blog. Not private, just anonymous. With Justin's line of work we've decided that it would be best to not have our last name as our URL address and our names everywhere. And what if in the future we have an adoption that is legally trickier than Jocelyn's? Anyway, I need ideas for aliases for us and for a new URL address. Any fun thoughts?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Getting Closer to Finalizing

Go to my mom's blog to see the beautiful dress she made for Jocelyn's sealing and blessing. We start the adoption finalization process on October 21 (my birthday!) and it should be all done before Thanksgiving. On December 12, Justin and I will have Jocelyn sealed to us in the Salt Lake Temple and then we will give her a religious blessing afterward. These two things are important to us spiritually. For those readers who aren't familiar with these things, here are a brief explanations.

What is a sealing and why will Jocelyn be sealed to us?
A sealing ceremony is the joining together of a husband and wife and their children in relationships that are to endure forever. This ordinance is only performed in an LDS Temple by someone holding the proper authority. Once two people have been sealed as husband and wife, biological children born to them after their sealing are born "under the covenant" so an additional sealing is not necessary. Children who were born before their parents' sealing or adopted children will need to be sealed to their parents separately. For members of the Church, sealings endow life with greater purpose and give marriage a sense of divine partnership with spiritual safeguards. Bringing children into the world becomes a divinely inspired stewardship. Sealings can sustain a family in life and console them in death. They establish continuity in life, here and hereafter. 

The best way I've found to explain this is that while the court finalization makes Jocelyn legally ours, this sealing ceremony makes her spiritually ours forever and ever. The sealing ceremony is very beautiful and reverent and most people only experience it once, so I am actually really excited to be able to experience it again.

What is a baby blessing?
A baby blessing is an ordinance of the LDS Church where a newborn baby is given a name and blessing. Usually during a church meeting, worthy family members and friends with the proper authority gather in a circle and hold the baby in their arms. One of them, usually the father, gives the blessing. This includes the giving of a name by which the child will be known on Church records and blessing the child as directed through inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  While the baby's name is officially placed on the records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the child won't be a confirmed member of the church until he/she gets baptized and confirmed at eight years old. While most babies are blessed within the first two or three months of life, Jocelyn can't be blessed until the adoption is finalized. 

Are either of these the same as a christening?
It's the same in the sense that a blessing and christening both are considered Christian naming ceremonies. However, a christening also involves the infant's baptism. Baptisms don't take place in the LDS Church until the child is at least eight years old. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pet Peeves

I hate when people mess up figures of speech. I read this on a post the other day, "You have to take what the doctors say with a grain of sand."

I guess so you can turn their words into a pearl?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Anywhere But Here

I am aching to see some beautiful fall colors. It's been a family tradition for years to take a fall drive. Often during General Conference. But not this year...

We've been wiped out with travel lately and Jocelyn is hating her car seat more and more. It's tricky to just drive to the store and back, let alone venture out on half-day excursion with nothing but driving.

And maybe it's just me feeling sorry for myself, but it seems like the fall colors are more vibrant and longer lasting than the last few years.

So the answer to today's Anywhere But Here game is:

Logan Canyon with my sweetie Justin. Two Diet Cokes and a bag of cheddar and sour cream Baked Ruffles.

Logan Canyon, 2006

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Results

I could never decide on what to do with my hair, so I gave my stylist carte blanche. She darkened it by one level, so not that drastic and used a baliage technique leaving out some of my lighter strands for dimension. It's not a very drastic difference, but I like it. Just deeper and richer. So what do you think?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Joci Eats Cereal

After a couple weeks of a baby no longer sleeping through the night because of hunger, and after about amonth of intent staring at us while we ate, and after the okay from her pediatrician, we gave Joci her first few bites of rice cereal today.

As expected, the first few bites came right back out. I decided to show her how it's done. Bad idea. So gross! I gagged and made yucky faces. I'm glad she likes it, I could never eat the stuff - formula is so nasty! After a few bites, Joci began figuring it out. We probably only fed her ten spoonfuls and probably four of them were swallowed. She opened her mouth wide and grabbed the spoon to help guide it to her mouth. She definitely gets the idea. 

 Good job Joci, you're getting so big!


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