Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Father's Day

I went back and couldn't find any posts about Father's Day since Zay became a father. I think I subconsciously allow that day to pass without blogging about it because we kind of hold it sacred around here. It's Zay's day. He wanted to be a father much longer than it even occurred to me that I wanted to be a mother and I've always respected that. It's kind of a reverent day. He thought he'd never get to be a parent and yet here he is with a son (and hopefully another on the way). Miracles happen, yall. :)

He took care of Kal this Father's Day while I went to Church by myself. Kal was sick for a good 2 weeks and Zay was so worried that it was something serious. I took him to the pediatrician and they got us all worried that he might develop asthma and needed a breathing machine. He wasn't getting better and the breathing machine only helped while he was wearing it. Zay woke me up one night and told me he thought we should take him to the emergency room because he had a fever on top of everything else. They ran more tests than the pediatrician did and said he had a virus that would have to run its course and that the asthma-like symptoms would go away once the virus was gone. They gave us a prescription for a steroid to help him breathe. He was still sick on Father's Day, so my two boys stayed home in the bed... curled up watching cartoons.

Zay gets so worried whenever Kal gets any little sniffle and I'm a never-go-to-the-doctor/just-walk-it-off kind of person. So we balance each other out a bit. As much as I hate emergency room visits, I was glad I showed my support and stayed up all night and made sure Kal (and Zay) were okay. We needed that time and I did love seeing Zay worry over his son. He's such a good father.

Everything turned out okay. One day Kal woke up with all his energy back. Dancing, laughing... he was back to normal and we were so relieved. It's hard to see your child sick when it just needs to "run its course." We wish we could just fix everything and protect them from everything.







Monday, June 24, 2013

The Monday Snapshot

A couple months ago, I contributed to "The Monday Snapshot" on the blog pailbloggers.com (PAIL stands for "Pregnant and/or Parenting through Adoption/Infertility/Loss") and I meant to link to it, so here it is!


I talked about Kal's super chill, relaxed personality and how he teaches me to slow down and enjoy the present. And I answered some questions about how I got into blogging.

What's funny is that as soon as I submitted that post, it was like Kal decided now was the time to have an ~ENERGY EXPLOSION~. He is non-stop running, jumping, climbing, and is all over the place at once it seems. Ha ha! I love it, but dang - I didn't get a good transition period! It was just all of a sudden. This new stage is sure to last a good few years. I'm out of breath just thinking about it! It'll be interesting to throw a baby in the mix and see how crazy life gets.

Crazy awesome.




Friday, June 21, 2013

Am I the Only One Who Thinks "North West" is a Cute Baby Name?

Photo: www.eonline.com

Rumor has it that (and it may all be made up, but...) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had a little girl and named her "North"... with the last name "West."

North West.

And people's reactions are pretty generally "UGH, HOW STUPID!" ha ha ha...

But honestly, I think it's kinda cute. And if they call her "Nori" like they've been saying, even cuter! Nori is adorable. And if West is acceptable as a last name, I don't see why North can't be acceptable as a first name.

I'm not a fan of either of these celebrities in the least, but the baby name.... yep, I can dig it. :)

...

Speaking of baby names, when we were battling over a name for Baby #2 I had my heart set on Elias. But whenever I would run names through my head or toss ideas back and forth with Zay, this scene from The Matrix kept popping into my head... when Agent Smith and Neo are fighting in the subway and it's the pivotal moment when he accepts who he is and knows he can win in a fight against an agent of the Matrix. Agent Smith calls him "Mr. Anderson." And he says, "My name.... is Neo!" and totally slams Agent Smith into the ceiling.

Video:


Every single time this scene popped in my head, I would laugh. Like the baby's trying to tell me something. "Mom.... my name.... is NEO!"

And so it shall be!




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Milk Drunk

I miss these days. :) Can't wait to snuggle a newborn again. Only two weeks to go!





Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Man of Steel" Weekend

"You're not just anyone. One day you're going to have to make a choice. You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he's going to change the world." -- Jonathan Kent, Man of Steel

HOW EPIC WAS THAT MOVIE?!

We've been looking forward to the new Superman for... I don't know... over 2 years now! Lol. And it definitely lived up to our expectations and laid the foundation for a series that has been sorely needed. Christopher Reeve did an amazing job in his time, but it's been over 30 years. THIRTY YEARS. And I'm just gonna say now that Superman Returns doesn't count. It felt like a remake of the Christopher Reeve movies and was super generic and didn't do anything for me other than the airplane crash scene (which was AWESOME and saved the whole movie)... Okay, that was harsh - I really enjoyed Superman Returns, but he doesn't fight anybody and I wanna see Superman punch somebody in the face.

I love Superman comics. Some of the newer ones, like Allstar Superman, are just written so well. I love comic book story-telling and Man of Steel felt like it was straight from the comic books.

Something occurred to me the other day. When I was a kid, my little brother and I would argue about which of us was the "main character" in this world... this life. Like... if this life were a book, it would be told in my voice. Does that even make any sense? Ha ha. When I write it out like that, it doesn't make as much sense as it did in our heads. But anyway, I am the main character - duh! I'd argue. This world is from MY point of view, about ME. It's so obvious. Lol. We would just laugh and tease each other about whose point of view this story of Earth life was being told from.

Well, now that I'm all grown up... that thought came back to me while I was thinking about Kal and how this is his childhood. I am very aware now that I am NOT the main character. HE is. The world revolves around HIM. I try to view things from his point-of-view, wondering how he perceives things, wondering what he's thinking about. All I can do is speculate before he can talk and tell me what's going on in that head of his. What kind of world am I creating for him? What does he see? What does he feel? Is he happy? I try to imagine the world through his eyes. Right now, this is all he knows. Am I doing enough to create a happy childhood for him? Am I teaching him all I can at this stage of his life? What more could I offer as a mom? Does he have enough structure? Enough freedom? Does he feel our love for him enough? Does he recognize the Spirit when it's in our home? Is this life a magical place for him?

A lot of people have something that makes them feel like this world is a magical place. For him right now, it's totally Superman. And I love that. :)

We went to the movies 3 times this weekend. Brought Kal twice. He did terrible (lol - well, he is only 2 years old) and we'll probably wait a few more years before we try that again. BUT, he did have a lot of fun when he didn't have to sit still. For example, he totally heard the music from the Man of Steel trailer (it had to be 100 feet from where we were standing in line before the movie started) and he RAN across the theater... full speed... pointing at the screen and cheering. Ha ha. I was laughing and chasing him and trying to pull out my phone camera at the same time. He just kills me! Lol.

It was a great weekend. :)






Tried a new sandwich place.

Watched old Superman movies all day outside the theater that first day.

What Kal likes to wear around the house. :)

It's no wonder Kal has the trailer memorized, he's seen it more times than Yo Gabba Gabba!




Saturday, June 15, 2013

*Cornrows by Alice Anne* - Part IX

Zigzag braids



post-cornrows

feminine side-part cornrows

BEFORE

AFTER



pigtail cornrows







Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Countdown: 3 Weeks To Go!

Life is just rushing by. About a month ago I was thinking, "Man! Time needs to speed up! Come on, July - get here!" and now here I am thinking, "Wow - where have the weeks been going??"

We've been keeping so busy. Subconsciously trying to keep our minds off adoption-related things, I'm sure. Ha ha.

Zay has been getting in as many hours at work as possible before the baby comes. And saving his vacation hours so that he'll get paid for at least a couple of the weeks he'll be taking off. Paternity leave will then kick in and he can take up to 12 weeks off unpaid, so it's nice to have that flexibility to go back to work when we're all settled and he's ready. I think I only took 3 weeks off when Kal was born and Zay was stay-at-home daddying it. I hopped right back into working, but looking back I really shouldn't have. This time, I'll be home! YAY!


When Zay's not working, he's off playing basketball with his friends, riding his bike all around the neighborhood, or reading up on Man of Steel premiere news and critic reviews. Can't get him away from Superman-related things right now, but I don't even try. I let him have it. Ha ha. Kal's been sucked into it as well.




My bestie in the whole wide world Kayla & I have been slow-poking at trying to start a small business we've been wanting to do for awhile now. Super excited that we finally got it off the ground and listed some of our items for sell in our Etsy shop. We've got a lot more work to do (it's hard work to start a business!!), but I'm happy for all the little successes along the way. It will keep me plenty occupied while staying home (as if two kids wouldn't).

Of course I'm still braiding hair almost daily, and I've been working on mastering my calling at Church. And Kal demands a lot of attention at this age, so my day is also filled with chasing after a toddler, lots of giggling/squealing, and very dramatic tantrums. Ha ha. I love that boy SO FRIGGIN MUCH. :)



Busy, busy, busy. I like it. Life will settle down at some point, right? But for now we're just hanging on and enjoying the ride. :)


Unless baby Neo surprises us and comes super early, we will have a nice little cross country trip in our new minivan in a few weeks (we definitely felt like a Mormon family once we bought the minivan, ha ha). Yay!





Sunday, June 9, 2013

Adoption: The Range of Emotions

Back in January when we got approved to adopt, I breathed a sigh of relief... getting over that first hump is tedious. That's also the part you can control to some extent, so moving from paperwork to approved-and-waiting is a relief, a letting go of control. It's a no-longer-in-our-hands, leaving-it-to-God kinda feeling.

Then there's the waiting. You have to just move on with life as if a baby isn't going to be coming anytime soon, but at the same time be prepared for a baby to come any day. That's a conflicted, almost anxious feeling. But I forced it to the background, and filled my days with good causes and lots of fun time with the family I already have. Only every once in awhile would it cross my mind and make me wonder how long we were going to wait.

Finally, we heard from someone. Exciting! Yay! I love meeting expectant moms and getting to know them. It brings hope. Reading that first email made me super happy, and it reminded me that the wait wouldn't be forever. That the right situation would eventually come around, whether it be this one or another one down the road. That's a comforting feeling. :)

The getting-to-know-you phase is interesting. For me, I want to know everything. All the details. And there's an empathy I feel for a girl/woman who is faced with a very complicated set of circumstances and is looking to adoption for her sake and for the baby's sake. It's not an easy road to choose adoption for your child. Each story I hear makes my heart break. I've heard potential adoptive couples discuss adoption as if there's only a baby to be gotten out of it, not realizing there's a mother attached to that baby. A mother who is making an incredible sacrifice. To me, that just has to be respected and understood first and foremost.

Then there was a calmness. I knew we would be okay whether we were "chosen" or not. It would happen eventually and whatever happened would be perfect. And D is wise enough to make the decision that's right for her. Everything would work out in the end. God has His hand in all of this.

When we were officially matched, my first feeling was... wait, wait, wait - are you sure? That went way too fast! And an overwhelming humbled feeling that we could possibly be on the receiving end of such a gift. Then confusion as the details are being ironed out, making sure everyone is on the same page... caseworkers and lawyers and everyone in between.

Enter planning mode. Gotta get things ready! Attacking the to-do list and picking up the pace. Gotta do this, this, this, and that! Boom, boom, boom. O... m... g... I think I'm terrified. Lol. Last time, I was terrified for a good portion of the time, but for different reasons. It felt like my entire chance at parenthood was riding on adoption working out, and I was terrified that it wouldn't and I'd come out of it emotionally broken and empty-handed, still childless. This time, I was terrified because I knew what I was getting myself into. Ha ha ha. How am I going to handle two babies??? *hyperventilating a little*

Then came that glowing happiness that comes with new life and family. Everything is going to be great. :) Kal is going to be a wonderful big brother. Zay is so excited to have another son. We were so meant to have boys, ha ha. Everyone is so excited for us and ready to meet the new little guy. Little baby Neo Jai-El Malik (oh, wait - did I say his name? ha ha ha) is going to fit right in and be the perfect little puzzle piece that's missing. How amazing is that? So grateful for adoption.

Now we're in the final countdown. Only a little over 3 weeks to go, unless he decides to make a surprise appearance. Let's hope he doesn't. I will temporarily panic. Lol.

Oh, and Kal needs a sibling yall. He really does. He's gotta be sick of us by now! :)










Saturday, June 8, 2013

Kal's Reaction to a "Man of Steel" Trailer

Kal is always doing the silliest things. But I never catch them on video, it seems. He has the quirkiest little personality. I love that I get to be his mom and witness it firsthand. :)


He gets so, so excited about Superman... it's ridiculous. With the new Man of Steel movie coming out soon, every day he gets a dose of it. We've been watching every.single.video that comes out about it, any bit of news we can get our hands on. We're taking him to see it on that Saturday (after we leave him with a babysitter to go and see it ourselves on Thursday... and then again Friday!! yes, we have our tickets for multiple days in a row already...lol) and I'm just imagining him hollering and punching the air in the theater and just being super pumped up. If he can't behave, at least we'd have already seen it twice by then, ha ha.


So... Youtube is a hilarious place, yall. There are lots of fan "reaction videos" of people filming themselves watching the Man of Steel trailers for the first time. It's silly and geeky, but there are some really hilarious ones. So, I thought I'd try to capture Kal's reaction.

When I made this video, it was totally spur of the moment. Didn't brush my hair or anything. Eek! I'll do better next time. Lol. Didn't expect 7,000 people to watch it!! Also, it was my first time making a video with just the default camera on my computer, so it was glitchy at first. Whoops.

I did manage to capture an epic moment or two, even though he was being shy. :) The comments have been fun to read and have been nicer than I expected for it to be Youtube comments... people get crazy on the Internet usually.

Video:




Thursday, June 6, 2013

Name for Baby #2

We have decided on a name for Baby Boy #2!

I think. Ha ha. Well, I'm 90% positive. It could change, but I don't see it changing. So I'll announce it here. Sort of. :) I wanted to see if anyone could guess it first.

We had way too many criteria for this name to meet, but some were:
  • incorporate his birthmom's input, something to honor her
  • the meaning of all the names needed to flow together and fit with the circumstances
  • include a name Zay picked and a name I picked (because we couldn't agree on the same one, because he kept insisting on keeping the "-El" trend going)
  • his first name be equally as epic and comic-book-nerdy as his older brother Kal-El's name
And it took FOR-E-VER to figure this one out. And people I've told have given a range of reactions. Ha ha. I don't really care what other people think about it. It's important to us and will have meaning for him, plus be super cool (what we consider cool). So, that's all that matters. :)

Does anyone want to try to guess it?

It's 3 names and it means something to the effect of "New Victory of Our God & King."

Kal's name seemed much easier to decide on, by the way. Does it get harder with each child?






To Cook or Not to Cook

I loooove fooooood.

I don't cook much... or very well, typically. But I'm working on it, and I sometimes have success. I even try getting fancy with theme birthday cakes. :)

But most days we eat eggs or cereal for breakfast (mostly cereal), sandwiches of some sort for lunch or fruit or cereal (a lot of cereal), and then if it's a good night we'll have some sort of simple chicken meal for dinner with canned veggies... or just whatever we find in the cupboard or fridge... or cereal (of course). Yep, that sounds about right. Kal always eats well, I make a point about that. But the rest of us are just food scavengers.

Good thing my man loves me, right? He saves the day and cooks a lot (and when he cooks, we eat GOOD). And he doesn't ask for much. Even if I offer to make him something he is normally just fine eating some fruit. (Wait, now that I think about it - does that mean he just hates my cooking that bad?? Ha ha. Dangit.)

Yesterday we had a conversation that went something like this:

Zay: "Hey, babe - could you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pleeease?"

*gives me puppy dog eyes*

Me: "Dude, I'm totally about the lay down on the couch and write in my journal. My momentum was headed that way and everything."

Zay: "Please?" *sideways smile*

Me: "Only if this is considered dinner!" *grinning*

Zay: "I don't care."

*making sandwich, almost finished*

Me: "Wait, do you want milk with this too?"

Zay: "Yep. Can't eat PB&J without milk."

Me: "Dangit, Zay."

*pouring milk, putting stuff away*

Me: "Wait, do you want one sandwich or two?"

Zay: "Two, pleeease!" (using his cute little boy voice)

Me: "Dangit, Zay!"

*gets stuff back out to make second sandwich*

Me: "Do you want fresh-squeezed orange juice too?!"

Zay: "Yep, and while you're at it can you make me some pancakes?"

Ha ha ha. We love the show Parks & Recreation and that's a quote from the very first episode, I think - "If you're going in the kitchen can you make me some pancakes real quick?"

Anyways, he knows not to ask me to make food. It's just too much of a task. And if he cooks, he knows that's the quickest way to my heart. He gets major bonus points for that, because he's so good at it and I suck.

I have a love-hate relationship with food (don't we all?). I've heard people say things like, "Oh my gosh I totally just binged and ate two donuts." And I'm like, "I totally just ate two large pizzas by myself. I win!" Lol. The first thing I'm going to do when I get rich one of these days is to hire a personal chef who will feed me and my family the healthiest and tastiest foods on a schedule. I don't know the going rate for personal chefs these days, but it's gotta be worth it.




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