After a brief blogging hiatus, and another baby….

Newest addition- Lily- now 5 months old

Can I call a few years a hiatus? It took me some time to figure out what to do with my blog, which had originally chronicled our journey to become parents. Then we become parents… then in July of this year become parents to a second child, this time our daughter Lily.

To say that the last couple years have been a whirl wind would be an understatement! Following the birth of our son Conor, we savored every glorious moment watching him grow, figuring out this parenting thing and just living life. We (perhaps naively) thought, “we are pretty good at this parenting things, lets do it again!”. After waiting the obligatory year (here in Canada) required to wait before you can start the adoption process again, we jumped back in.

Excited to start our journey again, we buckled up for what would likely be a long wait (lightening can’t strike twice right?). With the help of our Adoption Counselor at Adoption Options, we finishing up our homestudy update and necessary steps to have our file once again ready and approved. For us we thought, “Now we just relax”. “We have a child, we can wait.” “If it doesn’t happen, everything is great.” Then we got the call a few days later that a couple had selected us. WHAT!? Ok, here we go. Without going into too many details (I’ll blog more about this topic later), we met the couple, everything was wonderful, we named our little girl and knew the birthmom was due anytime. Things were moving so quickly, but we kept ourselves grounded and just took it a moment at a time. Baby girl was born 7 days after our meeting and mutual decision to move forward. There is a 48 hour period that the birth parents are in hospital, and having been through it before, we were prepared for the anxiety inducing wait. Then, right before they were to leave the hospital and eventually come to our home, we got the call that they had decided to parent.

It was a punch in the stomach. In your mind you know this could happen, but in your heart you feel devastated. Luckily we had each other and also a beautiful little boy. We told each other that it wasn’t meant to be and that the right baby would present at the right time. I know how it sounds… but you grasp on to whatever gets you through it.

Then 9 months later.. we got the call again. Another birth mother had selected us! Here we go again. Emotions in check, but hearts open we went through the process of meeting the birth mother. Everything went smoothly. Was this really happening? We once again went through the naming process, establishing a birth plan etc. In this case, we would be at the hospital immediately after baby was born, and I stay in a private room with our new baby for two days before we went home.

On July 14th, we welcomed Lily Lauren Grace to the world and she couldn’t be more perfect for our family. There really was something to this right baby, right time mantra we told ourselves.

After two days in hospital, we were ready to go home.

We left the hospital with Lily in tow, and started our 21 day wait. Those that have been through the adoption process, you will understand that these 21 days feel like walking a tight rope. You are balancing being all in and loving your baby with every ounce of your being, and also holding your breath you don’t get the call that the birth parents have changed their mind. Obviously we made it through and everything is as it should be! Our little family of three is now a hectic family of four.

My blog rebranding will take you on our journey, the stumbles, the laughs and everything in between.

I’m glad to be back and looking forward to sharing!

 

Christmas Traditions?

Conor’s first Christmas is quickly approaching and the idea of creating everlasting Christmas traditions has been on mind. I don’t really remember us having a ton of Christmas traditions growing up. There were some activities that were always a constant..

  • When we decorated the tree we had to lay tinsel one strand at a time.  
  •  As we decorated we put on a Nat King Cole Christmas album that my Mom had as a girl, and listened to “I’m the Happiest Christmas tree”  
  • We did not open any presents until Christmas morning
  • When we came downstairs Christmas morning (as a group, there was no pre-entry into the living room allowed), after gushing over what Santa left, we then did stockings while Dad got into position with his supply of garbage bags.
  • Then the remainder of the morning my Dad handed out one present to everyone, and then we all opened together. Putting our wrapping in the bag, and moved on to the next.

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    Conor’s First Christmas

As I write these, I see that they aren’t so much “tradition” as they were protocol. I loved it though, and I have so many happy memories. I seemed to have carried on these “traditions” with R. Minus the tinsel… because, nobody does tinsel anymore.

This year we have made sure to have some photos taken to document the occasion. They turned out beautifully.

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Our sleepy little elf

I think we will make this an annual tradition of having photos taken around this time of year.

I have also been working on a stocking for Conor, so that he will have a special stocking that he an use year after year. R was of the opinion that I should buy a really nice one. I prefer to torture myself, so have been making him one. If it doesn’t turn out I’ll be buying one at a perfect time for discounts.

I thought an annual picture with Santa is a great tradition, and as parents I think we are contractually obligated. So, yesterday we decided to head out to the mall to get the first annual picture with Santa.  We thought we were smart arriving before the stores opened, as I noticed Santa was going to be taking pictures during that time too. Apparently not so smart, as half of the city evidently had the same idea.  We spent the next hour and a half in line, watching parents corral their kids, do their children’s hair and hearing screaming children as they made their way to visit the big man.

Conor promptly fell asleep in line. R kept giving me “the look”, and suggested that maybe we come back another time. I explained to him any other time would be just as busy, and we need to get this done or we are essentially bad parents. After meandering through Santa’s forest for over an hour an a half, with the sounds of Goldfish Crackers crunching below my feet.. I was starting to wish we had opted to come back.  Crossing the wooden foot bridge to the throne area (does Santa sit on a throne?), I caught a glimpse of the man of the hour. My heart sank a bit. From the side I could see his real beard beneath his fake beard, and he just wasn’t the Santa I was hoping to have. I turned to R and said “Seriously?”. R laughed and said, “I’m sure it looks different on camera and from a front angle”.

Luckily he was right. We tried and tried to wake Conor up, but when he is out, he is out. No matter how hard the elf lady jingled her bells or yelled out his name.. nothing. We did get a big yawn, a one eyed glance and then back to sleep. I was also pressured into buying the various packages that they offer. I now own about 50 wallet sizes, a number of 5×7 and 8 x10,  and R and I each have a key chain of this magical moment.

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The magical moment. We were all exhausted. 

So far, we know Santa photo will be an annual tradition. I’ll have to have them done in early November when the lines aren’t horrible. I may scale back on the package!

I know that we’ll hang our stockings and do the cookies for Santa thing, read the night before Christmas etc.

What other traditions are there? I’d love to hear what traditions you share with your families.