Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Funny Stories

We had a fun weekend. You saw the lime video. But some other noteworthy "firsts" happened.

Joci learned to wave.

She learned where teeth are. She can now identify two body parts - nose and teeth.

She can now do three signs fairly well: milk, more, and out.

At church on Sunday she co-directed the choir by waving her arms during all the songs at church.

She discovered how fun it is to drop food to the dogs. Oh, glory.

And she started furniture walking like nobody's business.

Yesterday we were shopping at Walmart. I decided to get her a pair of shoes that matched her Easter dress. She was happily playing with them as she sat in the cart. Then she leaned over and dangled them over the edge of the cart and looked at me with a mischievous grin. She dangled them for about a minute, then let them drop on the floor. She laughed while I picked them up. I handed the shoes back to her. She caught my eyes and smiled sneakily. Then she dangled the shoes over the edge again. Little imp.

There are certain things Joci is not supposed to get into. Like the dogs' food and water dishes. And the shelf under the television set with the Wii and the Playstation. If she gets into these things, she has a minute of alone time in her crib. A few days ago she started touching the Playstation with her feet, while smiling mischievously. Like she won't get in trouble if she's not using her hands. And now she's started something new. She'll take a toy and crawl over to the Playstation and set it on top. Now she has an excuse to touch it - her toy is there! And yesterday she did that with the dog food bowl. She plopped a ball right in with the dog food. Well now she has to get in the dish to get her toy out. Can't get in trouble for that, right? Seriously, how does this logic develop? Silly baby.


Can you see her two bottom teeth?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Joci Versus the Lime

We went out to a gem of a local Mexican restaurant Friday.

Any parent of a young child knows that eating out involves about an hour of creative entertainment slash distraction just to get through the meal.

During one such entertaining slash distracting move, I gave Joci the lime from my drink.

Oh yeah.

It was better than I expected.

As soon as we paid the tab and got in the car, I turned to Justin and said, "Let's go buy a lime. We gotta get that on video."

It's important to document these kinds of things for posterity's sake.

I know you...


but I ain't afraid of ya...


veni, vidi, vici!

and the lime wound up on the floor.


While her reaction at the restaurant was more extreme, this still totally cracks me up. Here's a video of it going down. Plus some fun baby tricks to boot - including her first word.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Letter to Myself

planting seeds, march 2009


Dear 2009 Self,

Be patient.

Just a little bit longer.

This is a blow and you're hurting. Go ahead and feel the hurt, but don't get too down. Because in a less than a week, you're going to get the call you're praying for. And every broken rock makes up part of the gorgeous cobblestone path you are on.

Don't give up.

Just a little bit longer...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eleven Months Old

The Grandmas have spoken. They want more Joci pictures and Joci updates.

This is how we survive mornings - confine and entertain so I can get ready for work.

Jocelyn turned 11 months old a week ago and here are some of the things that have happened in the last month or so.

She got her first tooth at the end of February when she was sick with RSV. Bottom right. The bottom left tooth just showed up on Sunday.

Her first word: duck. She will look at her toy duck in the bathtub and say "duck." She knows exactly what it means.

She pulls up onto everything. Doesn't do too much furniture cruising yet.

She's going through a Mommy phase right now. She follows me everywhere and clings to my legs. She'll follow me into any room she can. When I go downstairs, Joci stands at the baby gate just staring until I reemerge. Even when Justin is trying to play with her and keep her busy while I cook or shower or something, she just wants her Mom. I think it hurts his feelings a bit. And it means I get a lot less done around here.

Since she's crawling and sitting up and pulling up, she's getting "stuck" more and more. And this leads to more bonks. We're still waiting for her first goose egg, but I'm fine if she wants to put it off. Anyway, because of the more frequent occurrence of bonks, you'll be happy to know that Joci cries pretty much on a daily basis. Not always. She didn't cry once yesterday. Hey - I'm not bragging. Just enjoying.

Joci loves table food and eats everything. She really chows down on toast and white cheddar shells Pasta-Roni.

She was moved up to a new class at daycare. I cried. But she's having fun and is able to learn more and play better. She painted her first picture - a shamrock - using tinted corn syrup.

She learned to blow kisses this last weekend.

When our big dog Piper licks her face, she gets so mad (I would too!).

Baths are a super fun treat. She violently splashes and laughs hysterically the whole time.
Jocelyn loves the dishwasher. It helps her stand, has moving parts, and when it is
full of dishes, they make fun, loud noises.

A funny incident happened a few weeks ago. Normally Joci sleeps great through the night. But when she was sick, she wouldn't eat great, so she would often need a bottle in the night. And I spent a lot of late nights holding and rocking her. So one night I was dead beat. Justin said he'd take care of Joci so I could just sleep. Bless him. She cried in the night and Justin made her a bottle and gave it to her. Normally, she'll drink the bottle on her own in the crib and go back to sleep. That didn't happen. She never stopped crying. Yet Justin fell back asleep. I shook him awake and asked him what happened. Had he made a bottle? Had she taken it? Yes and yes. A few minutes later, Joci's fussy cries turned to desperate wails. Justin was out like a light, so I went to get her. She was standing up in her crib, huge tears rolling down her cheeks. I picked her up. I looked for the bottle in the crib to see if she'd drank it all. As I felt for it, I noticed the sheets and blanket were soaking wet. Very odd. Then I found the bottle. Joci had somehow pushed the nipple all the way to the bottom of the bottle so ALL the milk spilled in her bed. She managed to stay dry, but it took another bottle and a change of bedding to get her back to sleep.


How our poodle Katie helps us clean up after meals.


One of the few playful moments with my mom when Joci was so sick.


Standing is so fun!


She's always after the laptop.


Watching the dogs play outside is a favorite.
Can't wait until the weather warms up and I can take Joci outside.

St. Paddy's Day


Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest Blogger: Lois of Making Our Life Complete

I am a member of Open Adoption Bloggers and this past week I've had the priveledge of doing an interview with a fellow Open Adoption Blogger, Lois of Making Our Life Complete. She interviewed me and you can check that out on her blog here.

Lois and Ray have been married since 2002 and have two very handsome biological sons. Some health complications with Lois's last pregnancy led them to their adoption journey because they know their family isn't complete yet. I think that is so awesome. They are just getting started in their journey and I wish them the best of luck.

So check out Lois's interview below and head over to her blog to learn more about her or get a button to add to your blog to help her and Ray adopt.

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You have two biological boys. How are you preparing them for a new, adopted sibling?

The boys have been involved in the process since the beginning. Even though they are only 6 and 4, we discussed their feelings about having another sibling before we pursued adoption at all. It was a total family decision to add another member. They were so excited about the possibility.

We’ve talked to them about what adoption means and how it works. The hardest part for them is the not knowing when we will be chosen so they want “our new baby” now (ok, so do mommy and daddy) but we just keep talking about it and being open.

What is/was the scariest part of the adoption journey you are on?
So far, the scariest part is when and if we will be picked. There is just that little part of us that worries no one will pick us to raise our child because we have two boys already or for whatever reason we do not even know. After that, the next scariest part is just making sure our new little one knows how much they are loved and an important part of our family.

How did you tell your children and extended family you were going to adopt?
We spoke with the boys before we began the process and we just asked them what they thought about it. The rest of our extended family we were just open and told them our plan once we had made a decision. We explained our reasoning and everyone has been supportive. Ray’s mother was particular supportive because she herself had placed children up for adoption due to an abusive relationship and knows how important adoption is for a child and finding the right family to raise your child. Our friends are also extremely excited about our journey as well.

How did you and your husband come to the decision to adopt?
After our 2nd son was born, my husband and I just felt like our family wasn’t complete. We tried to conceive naturally for a few months. Since I had some health issues during my last pregnancy, my husband was very concerned about another pregnancy so we decided to investigate and ultimately pursue adoption.

Are you going through an agency or doing your own marketing? Tell us about your decision and how it’s been working out for you.
We are working with Adoption Options, which is a program of the Lutheran Social Ministries of NJ. However, since they are a small agency and we prefer a baby girl, we are also doing a lot of our own networking to increase our chances. I’ve been blogging, sending e-mails and letters to people who come in contact with pregnant women, leaving business cards at local spots.

How do you deal with any judgments about you adopting even though you have biological children?
So far, we really have been lucky and no one has judged and just been very happy that we are considering adoption. Since we are so new to being an approved family, we have not really seen it yet from birth parents who may not select us yet.

How do you feel about open adoption? What worries do you have? How do you expect to benefit?
At first, we were very nervous about open adoption but after speaking with the social workers at the agency, reading about it and speaking with other adoptive families, we are very excited about the opportunity to have an open adoption. As most adoptive parents, I think we worry about how the relationship with the birth parents will evolve, and how will we find the right level of openness for both the birth parents and us. The biggest benefit we see is that our child will know that they are loved by their birth family, learn about their history, and have access to their family health history.

What made you choose open adoption?
Originally, we choose open adoption because that was all that was offered by our agency but as we’ve learned more about open adoption, we come to feel this is the best option for our child.

How have you prepared for adoption?
Since we already have children, we probably have a little less preparation than many new parents do. We have all the furniture, baby items and many gender neutral clothes. We also have experience parenting so we feel comfortable in that. The biggest preparation we are doing is learning more about adoption, and how we can best help our child grow and nurture within our family.
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Thanks, Lois. It was really fun getting to know you. Good luck!

Open Adoption Blogs

A Little Peace

Look at our family timeline on the left. Notice what happened in October 2008.

I didn't blog about it at the time. Things are always uncertain with adoptions and I didn't want to publicize anything prematurely, which was probably good in this case.

In October, we had only been on the "official" adoption waiting list for a couple weeks. I got an email on our adoption account from a girl who wanted to meet with us about adopting her unborn child. She had heard about us through someone whom Justin had worked with.

We met her for dinner. What a bizarre experience. It's like a first date, but so much more awkward. We all know why we're there, but how do you bring that up? "So, you got knocked up. Can we have your unexpected baby and raise it like our own?"

But our dinner went pretty well, I think. We talked about our feelings about adoption, open adoption, agency versus private. She talked about her situation. Her past. The father. She was 18. She had already been through an abortion and didn't really want to go that route again, although she hadn't completely decided against it. She hadn't really decided on anything at all. At the end of dinner, we gave her a little photo book of us. She hugged us warmly and invited us the the 20 week ultra sound in 2 weeks.

WOW!

We'd only been "officially" searching for a couple weeks and we'd already found our baby!!

Except we hadn't.

We never heard from that girl again.

We knew she was due in the middle of March. Honestly, when March approached part of me was hoping to get an email from her again saying she'd made up her mind and wanted us to have her baby.

But alas, no news.

Our worst fear was that she had decided to end the pregnancy. And it sucked that we didn't know. We prayed a lot for her. We prayed that she'd make the decision that was right for her and for the baby. And we specifically prayed that she'd honor the life within in her and give birth to this baby, no matter whether she decided to place or parent.

And then, as you all know, we found our Jocelyn in April and we have our happy ending to our adoption story. But we still wonder.

Amazing things can happen at Wal-Mart. (Some pretty crappy things can happen, too, but this isn't about that.) Saturday - yesterday - we were at Wal-Mart for our weekly trip to shopping hell. Justin turned to me and said:

"I think I just saw that girl. The one who we had dinner with last October and was thinking about adoption. She had a baby on her hip."

"Did the baby look about Joci's age?"

"Yeah."

I couldn't help but smile.

So now we know. I am happy to know that this girl didn't turn to abortion again as a convenient way out of a bad choice. I hope she's doing well. I hope the baby is well and things are falling in place for the little family. I am grateful my prayers for that life within her were answered.

Part of me wonders if she saw us, too. If she saw the carseat on top of the cart with a sleeping baby inside. I'm sure if she did, she's feeling happy for us, too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Journal Jar: New Family Car

Do you remember your family getting a new piece of furniture, a new car or something similar when you were a child?


When I was in fourth grade, my parents ditched our old red station wagon for a sleek, maroon minivan with fake wood stripes down the sides. I think it was a Plymouth. It was fantastic. The first few nights we had it, my sister Julie and I insisted sleeping in it, which we were allowed to do.

We played "dentist" in the driver's and passenger's chairs. They were the only motorized chairs we'd ever been in except at the dentist's office. It was so great to have an entire bench to ourselves.

Sometimes, we'd hop in the back of the minivan and crouch on our haunches, balancing on our toes. We'd hold onto the flap of vinyl that hung down from the bottom of the seat kind of like a ruffle. Then as Mom would drive, we'd sway side to side and we felt like we were skiing or something.

Our minivan was totally cool. I know I loved it!


Friday, March 19, 2010

A New Title on My Resume

Twenty-one minutes ago I turned in the completed copy for my first freelance project. It was a BIG project by industry standards. One hundred hours and eight weeks later, I am finally breathing a sigh of relief.

Do it with me now.

*SIGH*

Freelancing has been fun, stressful, inspiring, daunting, and rewarding all at the same time. I guess I'm saying I'm kind of proud of myself. It feels really good to be done - and to feel like I've done a good job.
I am kicking back now and celebrating with How I Met Your Mother reruns. I'll go to bed in a bit. It will be the first night in about 3 weeks that I've slipped between the sheets before midnight.

I've got to give kudos to Justin who has really been supportive through this. For the past 3 weeks, as soon as he walked in the door from work, I handed him the baby and holed up in my room for the rest of the night to write. He's dealt with feedings, bathtimes, bedtimes, laundry, cleaning, and more. He's even made me dinner almost every night. It's been a sacrifice for both of us, but he hasn't complained once. And whenever I try to apologize for how much of my slack he's had to pick up, he (politely) tells me to shut up, I don't need to apologize.

So as a thank-you to Justin - and as a way to make up for 3 weeks of barely talking - I've planned a date for us tomorrow! Lunch. Bowling. And a couples' massage. I'm seriously excited. I haven't had a Saturday to waste away for quite some time. I totally deserve this.



Would I do it again?

Yes.

But hopefully I'll get a bit of a break before starting my next freelance project.

Sweep the Leg, Johnny!

The Karate Kid lives. The real one. You know, cutie-patootie Ralph Macchio. For some reason, The Karate Kid has had a resurgence in cult popularity at work this week. My friend shared this totally boss music video with me today and I can't stop watching and singing it.

So if you're a child of the 80's, or if you're a die-hard fan of The Karate Kid (you know, the real one - the one with karate, not kung fu), then I'm guessing you'll love this as much as I do. It's by No More Kings.




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Irish Wish

May your troubles be as few and as far apart
as my Grandmother’s teeth.



...although in this case, may they be as few
and as far apart as Jocelyn's teeth tooth!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Idaho Spring

What do you do in Idaho when it's 45 degrees out? Well, all the neighbor kids were outside playing in shorts and tee shirts. Some were playing football. Some were on their teetor totters. Some were skateboarding. A group of girls were standing around gossiping. 

And this is what Joci and I did:


Welcome Spring!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Moving Cause of All Action

Faith.

It's the moving cause of all action.

Everything I do is spurred by some kind of faith. Faith that education means a better life. Faith that skipping the ice cream will make me feel (and look) better. Faith that I'll get a paycheck when all this freelance work is done.

Faith is sometimes so simple that we don't realize we're exercising it.

Faith is sometimes hard to have - because you don't want to be a fool.

But living without faith, failing to strive for what we believe in, is what is actually foolish.

Sometimes our faith rewards us in unexpected ways.



Today, I'm feeling faith.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Leprechauns and Shamrocks

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. It is one of my favorite holidays - probably corned beef is my absolute favorite dinner and green is my absolute favorite color.

It surprises me how many people don't really care about St. Patrick's Day. Shame. That's all I have to say. What a shame. On March 17, everyone's Irish, so everyone should celebrate! Besides, Spring is definitely lacking in fun holiday festivities, so I say, why not up the ante on St. Patty's?

Do you do anything fun for St. Patrick's? Do tell.

In our house, we wear green. We eat green things (think dyed pancakes). We listen to Irish jig music. We watch a movie that has something to do with Ireland like Laws of Attraction or Darby O'Gill and the Little People. Maybe read some banshee ghost stories. And of course we eat corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes, and an Irish dessert.

Since we don't drink, our festivities lack the common Irish denomonater of whiskey and beer, but we do what we can. :)

Oh, and sometimes we wake up on the 17th to discover chocolate gold coins scattered through the house and silly tricks the leprechauns have played on us, like hiding the hairbrushes or turning the milk green.

I've been craving chocolate cake, so this year I think I'll try this recipe for Irish Chocolate Cake. I will substitute cream and almond flavoring for the Irish Whiskey. The cake is made with - surprise! - mashed potatoes so I expect it to be deliciously decadent and moist.

Share your St. Patty's Day fun with me. I would love ideas on how to make this holiday even more fun and spread that around. Seriously, don't we need some more spring festivities?

Pay Attention to Your Cleaners



Method recently put out this viral internet video. Kind of gives you the heeby-jeebies, huh? There's been some controversy around this video, and being in marketing, I'm all about studying strong messages. I don't want to get into the controversy, but I will say I think this ad is dang effective. It makes you squirm and really gets the point across about toxic residue in your shower.

In the past 2 months at work, I have done an enormous amount of research on bathroom cleaners. Seriously intense and sometimes boring work. I've met with scientists and chemists and buried myself in scholarly papers and clinical trials.

The point I am trying to make here is this: most mainstream cleaners can have really devastating effects. Whether it's from accidentally mixing two cleaners and getting the same chemical gas that the Germans used to kill their enemies in World War I (yep, you can make it with products in your home at this very moment), or causing asthma, or exposing your kids and the environment to toxic, caustic chemicals, common cleaners often pose greater health hazards than the germs and crap we clean with them.

I know this sounds totally preachy (and I HATE when bloggers are on high horses about how much healthier and better their lives are), but it's just been on my mind a lot lately. So just be careful. Be aware. And, oh yeah, bleach is the devil. :)

"Shiny suds, we're shiny suds..."

Friday, March 12, 2010

And My Style Is...

image from Accents of Salado. I could spend a lot of money on this website.


Ashley left me a link to this quiz that determines your home decor style. I probably spent five minutes on each question, I took so long doing it. I took it three times because it was so hard for me to select my answers. In the end, I got three different answers.

Mediterranean style

Romantic Style

New Old World

I figure that New Old World and Mediterranean are closely related and I can definitely agree with those. Heavy woods, sophisticated details, rich, various textures, and a rustic feel. There are some aspects of Romantic style I like, but I don't really care for floral prints and muted pastels, so this one is a bit of a stretch for me.

Also, Liz, I think need to take you shopping. My clothing style is safe. That's the best way to describe it. And I only have one pair of jeans. Isn't that kind of sacrilegious for a girl to only have one pair of jeans?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's Your Style?

I've been thinking a lot about style lately. It's nice to have a style, a signature. Style for anything - clothes, music, interior decor.

I've been trying to figure mine out. I like so many different things. It's always fun to go into someone's home who has an obvious style, whether it's country, modern, southwest, or whatever. I would love to do more with my home, but I feel like I can't commit!

My grandma always had a well put-together home with a beautiful style on the fancy, Victorian side. She said that when she bought something for her home, it had to pass the temple test. Would this be something I'd see in the Salt Lake Temple? While all temples are gorgeously decorated, some are more modern than others while some are more ornate. The Salt Lake Temple falls into a romantic, formal, ornate style.


  the Celestial room in the Salt Lake Temple

Do you have a style? Is there some guiding principle you have when it comes to picking out your wardrobe or your home decor? Is it more of a color scheme? Are there styles you wish you could pull off, but can't? I've always liked the edgier, punkier style of clothing. Think black tutus, leggins, and pink screened tees at Hot Topic. I couldn't pull that off (I know I'm 28 and wouldn't dare wearing anything like that, but even when I was young enough to try, I just wasn't cool enough).

A glimpse of our living room style. Leather couches. Red curtains. Neutral carpets and walls. Lots of neutral around here. I'm styleless!


So as I'm trying to figure out my signature, I'm just wondering what's yours?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On My Way to Fame

I won't forget the small people. I swear.

Today I had my first experience as a voice actor. After a gruelling and rather unconventional auditioning process, I have been cast to voice a character in an upcoming animated series called Shadow 5. It is intended for internet viewing only (until the Sy-Fy Channel decides to by the rights, holla!) and is a rather humble production, but it was a blast!

It's just for fun. It will be awhile before the animation is and editing is completed, but I will definitely keep you posted. For now, I'm gonna buy a fancy pair of sunglasses and haughtily ask everyone I see, "Don't you know who I am?"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Journal Jar: Extra-Curricular Activities

I would have loved to scan in some old school pictures, but I am simply too busy with freelance at the moment.

What kind of extra-curricular activities did you participate in at school?


I did cheerleading, drama, and journalism in middle school. I was really surprised that I made the cheer squad. It was such a dream of mine and I figured it just wouldn’t ever happen. Our middle school had 3 squads (probably to gives more girls the opportunity)—football, boys basketball, and girls basketball and wrestling. I went for girls basketball and wrestling because it was the least popular squad and it helped my chances. I loved wearing the uniforms to school on game day and cheering was really fun. I got annoyed with all the stereotypes and the catty girls, so I didn’t pursue it in high school.

In high school, I was a statistician for the wrestling team. I kept score, mopped the mats, oversaw routine first aid (applying ice to ankles and bandages to bloody noses), filmed the matches, gave massages, and other menial things. My best friends did this as well and it was awesome. We got to go to all the tournaments and invitationals all over the state and made some awesome memories. Like the time the hot tub at the hotel was closed and we were bummed so we decided to just all cram into our bathtub with our swimming suits on. We even lettered in wrestling. I love telling people that. J

I continued with journalism in high school, but got out of print and went into video. I was the on-air talent for our daily live announcement broadcasts and did talent and script work for our pre-edited specials. While I knew how to video, edit, mix sound, and do the lighting, talent was my forte. I was named director my junior year (equivalent of editor of the newspaper—big stuff!) and continued with it my senior year. I loved it. Everyone knew who I was because they saw my face and name on the broadcasts every day, so it made me more popular than I probably was. ;) State and national competitions were the best. Lots of fun trips and memories.

Drama continued in high school with numerous plays and competitions. It was a true love of mine and I continued it in college. I went to state competitions, auditioned and cast in plays and musicals, and directed a play. It was a ton of fun and led me to some very meaningful and long-lasting friendships.

So I obviously gave up the status of cool cheerleader for drama nerd, but I’m happy I did.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Guest Blogger: Jamie on House Cleaning Tips

I'm always looking for ways to simplify my life and keep things running smoothly. My house is often collateral damage between the rat race of work and the bliss of living every moment as a mommy to the fullest (unfortunately, so is cooking but that's another post).

I have a guest blogger today, my dear friend Jamie, who is enjoying her transition from a marketing brand manager wizard at a multi-million dollar international company to being a stay-at-home mother to her 19-month-old son Jackson (who Jocelyn is betrothed to if I have my way, but that's another post). She's generously shared her secrets at keeping her home organized, tidy, and clean with minimal effort.

I'm going out to buy microfiber cloths tomorrow.

And without further ado, here's darling Jamie:


I have made a list of rules that are compiled from different articles, like the FLY lady system and various articles in Better Homes & Gardens (It came in the mail, I read it, so sue me). So here it is. The trick is to start with a clean house and then never bend the rules, no matter what, because you bend them once and then they become optional and then your house is a mess again, which happens to me sometimes. So I have to do a super detail clean and then start with a fresh house for the rules. And these are directed at a general audience, not you, so when I say "you" I actually mean "me".


1. "Cleaning" the bathroom should be part of your morning routine (although its not really cleaning, just maintaining). Do your hair, put your makeup on, put your make-up and hair stuff under the sink or in a drawer, wipe the mirror with a microfiber cloth, and wipe the sink with a Tough & Tender cloth (or any other all-purpose cleaner disposable, biodegradable wipe). Or sometimes I even just use a little water on the microfiber cloth and do the mirrors and the sink in one big swoop. The wipe-down takes an extra 60 seconds, but your bathroom is always clean, every day.

2. Never go to bed unless your kitchen sink is "shiny". Sometime when you have extra time, detail clean your kitchen sink. Then every night before you go to bed, use a towel and dry the sink so there aren't any water spots or food particles. If there are dishes, try to do them before bed, but if you can't, put the dirty dishes on the counter and wipe down your sink anyway. In the morning, the sink will be shining for you, and it makes me really happy to have a fresh start with the kitchen each morning. I've found that I always do the dishes anyway because a cluttered counter casts a shadow on my shiny sink. It sounds really simple, but for some reason it makes a big difference on how my house feels each day. (5-10 minutes based on dishes)

3. Make your bed as soon as you get out of it. This takes 1-2 minutes tops, and most people probably do this anyway, but I actually have a really hard time with this one.

4. Spend 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening on the "trouble zones". Or 10 minutes in the evening if you have to hurry off to work in the morning. Trouble zones are the places in your home that clutter accumulates, and clutter attracts more clutter. My trouble zones are the kitchen table, our computer desk, and the extra bed in Jackson's room. So I spend 10 minutes a day clearing them off and then I don't have months worth of stuff piling up.

5. Then I spend 5 minutes a day on a miscellaneous task. Clean the shower one day. Clean the toilet the next day. Vacuum the living room one day and the bedrooms the next day.

6. Finally, never do laundry all at once. I try to do laundry one load at a time, 3 times a week. Then the acutal time spent loading and folding only takes about 5 minutes, instead of me feeling like I waste an entire day on laundry.

Total time: 33 minutes.

Thanks, Jamie. And if any of you have tips to share, leave it in the comments.

The only tip I have to share is that every time I wash my hands - in the bathroom or in the kitchen - I splash water around the faucet to flush out debris of dirt and wipe off the counter with my wet, soapy hands. I then dry the counter as I'm drying my hands. But this prevents hairspray buildup or liquid soap dribbles or whatever else from gunking up the counters.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Imposter

Quick update. Joci is slowly, slowly, slowly getting better. The cough is worse. The crankiness is worse. Every day she drinks just an ounce or two more. But slow progress is better than no progress. I'm so grateful to my mom for her help this week.

Onto my real post.

There is a new girl at work. She's been in my department about 2 months. I like her and we've chatted briefly now and then. Today she was cleaning out the supply closet by my desk and we really chatted for awhile. She knew Joci has been ill so she asked about that. Then she shyly admitted that she is expecting. This will be her first child. She's due in October, so she really just found out.

And she started connecting with me. Mom to Mom. Or Mom-to-be to Mom. :) First it was baby stuff. And then, it turned to pregnancy stuff. Really benign stuff. Like what not to eat or drink when you're pregnant. Stuff that I can comfortably talk about because it's more common medical knowledge than pregnancy experience stuff.

I felt like I wasn't entitled to have that conversation. Because she didn't know. She didn't know that I am infertile and although I have a child, I have never been pregnant.

And I found a way to clumsily work it in to the conversation.

I'm infertile and my daughter is adopted.

something fishy's going on here

Why did I feel I had to say that?

My role as a mother is not fake or forced. I can say that whole-heartedly. So why did I feel uncomfortable knowing that she assumed I knew exactly what she was going through? I think part if it may have been that she was kind of asking advice and seeking information and guidance from "someone who has been there."

But I haven't been there. So I had to let her know.

The way Joci came to me doesn't make her less. Doesn't make her story and my experience less. Just different. Still, looking back on that conversation today, I can't figure out why I felt so jumpy around the the natural assumption that I had been pregnant. Like I was an imposter. Not in motherhood. But just pregnancy. And it would be wrong not to say something.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Broken Fever

Jocelyn's fever broke and that's something I don't mind breaking and staying broken. :) Hooray! Within minutes she was suddenly herself again. Well, her sick, fussy, cranky self. But no more of this limp baby staring off into space. She's back to trying to eat dog food, trying to pull the Wii off the shelf, and trying to follow me wherever I go. It's great.


I'm so grateful to my mom who flew up yesterday. It's given Jocelyn the time she needs to get better and will give me the time to go to work. I hope she's having a little fun watching her grandbaby and that it's not too miserable being cooped up with a sick little cranky pants. You're the best, Mom! I love you.


P.S. I'll have to do yesterday's journal jar post late.

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