1.31.2012

Home Away From Home

My anxiety and excitement for Zoe's arrival has been growing so much this last week.  I have been stressing about decorating what is now the play room into Londyn's new bedroom, so Zoe can have the nursery to come home to.  I have been overwhelmed with the clutter and curent state of my house... so much that I text my mom the other night saying, "I need a new house... mine's too messy."  I don't think the nesting instincts in the 3rd trimester mesh too well with my anxiety.  Hence why I have laid in bed for 1-2 hours these past few nights, thinking about all of the things I need to do... that I have no desire to do at all.  

It's a strange feeling to be excited for Zoe's upcoming arrival.  Like any other expecting mother, I am excited to finally meet my baby.  But on the other hand I want to keep her safe in my belly forever.  She is healthy and happy right where she is and in some odd way I feel guilty for wanting to have her here with me.  Guilty because of what I know she will have to go through when she does arrive.  She will endure more suffering than some children do in an entire lifetime.  It's a battle to be excited for that.  I know she can't stay in here forever... but everyday when she's kicking and moving in my belly, I am so blessed that I can at least protect her for the time being.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 
2 Timothy 1:7

Like I have mentioned over and over again, all of our medical care has really fallen into place.  Some of the  most fabulous news is the opening of the new Randall Children's Hospital.  This hospital is a new and improved version of the children's hospital where we have been seeing all of our specialists and plan to deliver, followed by Zoe's heart surgeries.  The Randall Children's Hospital just happens to be opening in February, just a couple months before our baby is born.  When watching these videos about their beautiful facilities and the love they have for the entire family involved is such a relief as this place will be Zoe's home for the first month of her life.  



I am so excited to attend the grand opening celebration of the Randall Children's Hospital!


For more information, click here.



Community celebration

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, noon-6 p.m.
FREE family fun
Bring family and friends to tour our new home.


Grand-prize drawings for family trips and more
Low-cost bike and snowboard helmet sale and fitting
Kids Fest on 9
Music and entertainment
Scavenger hunt
Lego Playzone
Kite making and photo booth
Giveaways

1.26.2012

10 Weeks & Counting

Okay, so I have 2.5 months left of this pregnancy but when you break it down to weeks... 10 weeks sounds WAY TOO SOON!  Yikes!  

Today I had a doctor's appointment with our OB, Dr. Flath.  I just want to say, we have amazing doctors.  What a blessing these professionals are to us!  As mentioned before, Dr. Flath is my neighbor's dad and he treats me with such care and genuine concern.  Meeting with him just feels like visiting with a comforting dad.  

Luckily, today's visit was very normal and routine.  Most of my visits with our doctors are everything but normal for me and I usually leave overwhelmed and emotional.  So it was nice to just have a regular appointment.  Great news, my recent blood work looked great and I don't have gestational diabetes.  He said the only bad news is... "You've gained 8 lbs since your last visit (4 weeks ago). So... just watch out for that."  haha  I could tell he was trying to be tactful with his words as he was basically telling a highly hormonal, donut eating... fast food craving prego woman that she needs to "watch out for that."  Note taken.  Although, I would like to add that he said I am measuring bigger... so I attribute this weight gain to the fact that we just simply make big babies... or that's just denial talking.

Remember how we went through all of those hoops with the Oregon Health Plan?  Well... it's not over!  It turns out that when I switched plans from Providence to CareOregon in order to have the hospital covered, I switched to a plan that my OB does not take.  Bleh.  With such a large team of doctors, it is so hard to coordinate a plan that will cover all of them AND the hospital.  The front office staff told me to talk to Dr. Flath about the situation.  When I explained, he took me to meet Ellen, the billing specialist in his office.  She was well aware of my situation and already working on it.  Dr. Flath looked at me and said "we will try to do everything we can, but just know I will make it work and continue with your care no matter what."  What a guy and what a relief!

After today, I will start seeing Dr. Flath every two weeks.  I am also scheduled to have one of our big 3+ hour appointments with the Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. King and Perinatologist, Dr. Merrill next Thursday.  They will be doing another ultrasound, fetal echo and make sure nothing has changed.  I will also be meeting with Dr. Larrabbee, a Neonatologist with NW Newborn.  She will be the doctor taking care of our baby in the NICU.  

At Dr. Flath's office, I checked in with a super sweet woman named Molly.  She was so fantastic and easy to talk to.  When I was trying to figure out the situation with our insurance, she quickly pieced together that I was not a routine patient and that my baby had complications.  You could tell she felt really bad and even said, "You're so positive!"  It was at that moment that I stepped back and realized, I AM REALLY POSITIVE!  I have noticed a change in my attitude about our baby's condition.  I just feel so much peace and excitement for Zoe's arrival.  No, it's not all rainbows and smiley faces... but when you really get down to it, it is such a beautiful time for us.  Zoe could not have more people caring for her, even if she tried.  She will be welcomed with so many loving arms and prayers on her behalf.  

How blessed our we?  

As my 2.5 year old would say... "SOOOO MUCH!"


1.25.2012

Seoul Searching Mama

My cousin Elisha over at Motivated Mamas came to visit this last week and gave me a huge boost of motivation to revamp my adoption blog efforts.  About a year and a half ago, I started a blog called Seoul Searching Mama, sharing my birth family search and reunion experience, while also exploring the ins and outs of the adoption community.  It has been such a lovely experience to interact and even help other adoptees with their birth family searches, support waiting children and parents... all while education myself on everything adoption.  

The creation of this blog has taught me so much about myself.  I have so many layers that I never even knew about!  I am a daughter that has been blessed with two families, an adoptee, a proud mother and wife... and my most recent discovery, I am Korean.

I have recently posted several new articles... feel free to check it out here!

Adopted February 12, 1987


Birth Family: found January 12, 2011

1.24.2012

My Girl

Londyn Joy 
is...
Pure
Silly
Witty
Smart
Sassy
Sweet
Cuddly
Beautiful
Motherly
Thoughtful
Mischievous
Unpredictable
and... 
the most precious gift I have ever been given.

Here is a pretty normal conversation on an average day... simple moments like this make life so sweet.

Here is my little goofball, right after she says to me "this pineapple is disgusting!"

I must have done something right to have her in my life.

1.23.2012

Wedding Bells

My brother Eric and Sarah got engaged Thanksgiving weekend and were married for time and all eternity in the Portland Temple this last Friday, January 20th.  I had the opportunity to help plan the wedding with my now SIL Sarah.  Although we didn't have much time to plan, it turned out to be a beautiful event.  Of course, all weddings involve stress but the day ended up being lovely.  We had fabulous food, decor and best of all- a new addition to the family!

Sarah's colors were royal blue, white and silver.  Andrew was one of Eric's groomsmen, and at the last minute- I became a 7 month prego bridesmaid... yikes!  I looked like a big ole' blueberry!

I also got to do Sarah's hair and makeup which couldn't have turned out more beautiful.  She was a radiant bride!

The whole family pitched in and helped transform our cultural hall into a vintage winter wonderland.  We hung yards and yards of white tulle along with strands of twinkling lights on the ceiling and walls.  With the help of MANY ironing hands, we had lots of gorgeous blue and white linens and chair covers.  My mom and SIL Rebecca created an adorable ice cream bar with a fabulous wedding cake.  On top of that, Hors d' oeuvres and hot cocoa, hot cider and lemon water were served.  

My friend Erin and her husband Sean provided their DJ services, which truly made the night!  Everyone danced, danced and wished they could dance even more!  I think my mom outdid everyone on the dance floor.
What a wonderfully exhausting weekend!


Daddy's Girl

My dapper man
Waiting for the Bride & Groom at the Temple
Silly girl
With all the wedding planning, Londyn and I have had lots of conversations about the Temple.  She has declared that she is marrying her cousin Kyler in the Temple, of course. 

Dancing with cousins
Lulu's favorite dance partner... her daddy.

1.18.2012

Redneck Wine Glasses

At the blame of Pinterest and my brother's wedding, I have become mildly obsessed with mason jars.  
It is the endless possibilities that tug at my creative heartstrings!

I decided to make these adorable Redneck Wine Glasses as part of the centerpieces for the wedding.  Originally, I saw an ad on Craigslist by a guy that was trying to sell these for 12 bucks a piece.  Yowza! Too bad I made them for less than $2 each!  I love these glasses because they have so many uses!  You can add them to your table setting for everyday use, add fresh or faux flowers for a super quick and easy arrangement, fill with chocolate and pair with a bottle of Martinelli's for gift giving or even add candles to brighten up your mantle!  Like I said... endless possibilities!


WHAT YOU NEED:

1. Mason Jars - $10-$11/dozen
2. 4'' Glass Candle Stick Holders - $1 at Dollar Tree
3. E6000 Craft Adhesive - $3.99 at Michael's
4. Stack of large books

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Wash and thoroughly dry bottom of mason jar
Step 2: Turn candle stick holders upside down and apply a generous layer of E600 adhesive to rim.
Step 3: Firmly center the glue end of the candle stick holder to the bottom of jar.

Step 4: Gently place large books on top of your upside down glasses.
Step 5: Leave glasses to dry for at least 1 hour.  I like to let them set overnight, just to be sure!

 Enjoy your fabulous Redneck Wine Glasses and remember these are only hand washable!



1.17.2012

Andy Goes to the Dentist

Yesterday, the Mr. had dental work done... and here's the fat lip they gave him.


Daddy Snuggles

After Lulu's bath tonight, she said she was cold and wanted to snuggle Daddy.  He took a break from homework and read poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends in our "big bed".  
Lulu couldn't get enough Daddy time and was bummed when he had to get back to his studies.

She really is a lucky girl.



1.15.2012

{27 weeks}

It amazes me that 27 weeks have already passed since we found out I was expecting baby #2.  Especially after finding out about Zoe's HLHS at 20 weeks, time has really flown.  I have kept busy with the everyday chaos of raising a family, working part-time, planning my brother Eric's wedding... all while my entire body is aching and stretching in every direction, sleep is a thing of the past and keeping my house even remotely clean is a joke.

Early on in our marriage, Andrew and I lived in a rabbit hole of a basement apartment in a super sketchy part of South Provo (We still miss that apartment).  We used to write cheesy notes on our bathroom mirror and one day when I was barely prego with Londyn, he drew this on our mirror.  I was barely showing at the time and thought this was hilarious.  Little did I know then that this was an exact depiction of my pregnant self.  Big boobs... big belly... big booty and just about BIG everything else!  

This picture brings back so many memories.

Lately, my time with Londyn feels even more special and precious.  It hit me today that she is growing so  fast and there are things that we will never be able to do with her again... for example, Andrew was tossing her upside down in a way he has been doing since she was just tiny and she was almost too tall to even flip over.  She is growing out of some stages and constantly entering new ones!  It's hard to let go of her being a baby... I suppose that's why people keep having babies!  After wanting to have another baby, we got pregnant and the fear set in.  I started to second-guess whether we were really ready to have a family of four!  I am finally feeling like it is time.  We can do this and I know we will be blessed.

I had Lasik eye surgery about 6 years ago and haven't had any troubles with my vision until this last year.  I have noticed that I can't see much from a distance and sometimes things are blurry when I'm driving, especially at night!  With my state insurance, pregnant women get free eye exams and glasses if necessary.  So I decided to go get them checked.  It turns out that I have a leftover prescription from the Lasik, as they show astigmatisms in both eyes - just as I had before.  Getting them repaired with Lasik is out of the question for pregnant and breastfeeding women, so I snagged a free pair of glasses for the time being.  I am still getting used to them but it's a fun new accessory to play around with!

Here's my growing belly at 27 weeks.  As ginormous as I feel, I think it is actually a bit smaller than when I was prego with Lulu... knock on wood.


Bullwinkles

My nanny/high school dance team coach/second-mom Sue Anne has twin girls that turned 4 this last week.  We were able to go to their birthday party at Bullwinkles last Sunday and had such a fun time!  Londyn loves True & Vivian but she was shy with all of the new people there.  We had fun playing games, eating pizza and visiting with friends.  


Andrew took Londyn for a joy ride on the go-cart track and although hesitant, Londyn was super excited... even though she had no idea what she was about to experience...

Let's get this show on the road...

This is probably the only semi-clear photo I snapped of Lulu not completely terrified... not so much a fan.

What just happened?

It's OVER - YAY!!!


1.12.2012

Sister to Sister

Lulu and I were in the bathtub and my belly was moving all over the place...  
I said, "Lulu LOOK!  Baby Zoe is moving in mommies tummy!"  

Her jaw literally dropped as she stared at my big round belly for a good 5 seconds.

She then threw her hands up in the air and said...
"NO!  I don't like!  I don't like baby Zoe anymore!  GET OUT!"

After we got out, she went and told her dad baby Zoe was in the bathtub and she doesn't like her anymore.


Am I in for it, or what?

1.11.2012

Londyn Lately {30 months}

It has been way to long since I have updated on little Lulu.  She makes me smile, laugh and thank God every day for her little spirit in my life.  

Most used phrases:
"I LOVE YOU... SOOOO MUCH" and sometimes she adds "to the moon and back!"
"Ooookay" - in response to EVERYTHING
"Please" "Thank you" "You're welcome"
"Merry Christmas" - just before I close her door for bedtime
"I go shopping?" - Most every time we leave the house
"Nowwwww!" - as she scrunches her nose and points her finger


Me: "Londyn, where's baby Zoe?"
Lulu: "At home... with Jesus."
I have no idea where she got this... but she's absolutely right!

Lulu has always been an easy-going eater.  She is rarely picky about anything we give her.  Although, she does ask for "Donald's nuggets and fries" on a daily basis.  As of lately, she can't handle any mess of food on her.  If she has a dot of ranch dressing on her hand... look out, a storm is brewin!


Londyn is still having troubles at dance class.  She is constantly dancing at home and with her cousins but when it comes to class, she is very clingy to me and doesn't always listen to her teacher.  I'm going to give it a couple more weeks and if she is still struggling, we will take a break until next Fall. 

Here she is at Best Buy, gettin' down with the Just Dance game for Wii


For Christmas, Auntie Nell gave Londyn her very own dress up box.  It is filled with dresses, wands, tiara's, hats, jewelry and her favorite SHOES!  She plays dress up every day and even her babies get makeovers!


1.08.2012

Upcycle: Car Stereo Receiver

Andrew is ALWAYS in the midst of a new project.  Most ALL of his projects involve upcycling old electronic parts and pieces to make new and useful creations.  In this video he takes an old car stereo and turns it into a fully functional sound system for his workstation in the garage.


I am always amazed with the way Andrew's brain works.  I see an old computer and think "what a piece of junk"... he see's an old computer and thinks "Merry Christmas to ME!"  As a matter of fact, our neighbor Bobby was loading up an old big screen TV to be taken to the dump and we just happened to be pulling into our driveway at the same time.  It was the motherboard (haha... get it, motherload?  Uh oh.  Andrew's geek humor must be rubbing off on me)  of one man's trash is another man's treasure.

I am so glad that my husband can turn his talent into a hobby without breaking the bank!

1.05.2012

Meeting Dr. Merrill

After two nights in a row of zero sleep, I rolled out of bed to my 5:45AM alarm this morning.  After dropping Londyn off at Auntie Becca's, Andrew and I headed to Emmanuel Maternal & Fetal Medicine for what turned out to be a 4 hour appointment.  First off, we had an in-depth ultrasound, followed by an echo-cardiogram with Dr. King, our pediatric cardiologist.  Since it has been over a month since we last saw and first met Dr. King, I had a lot of questions.  He was able to give us fabulous news and calm our fears.  He told us that we could hold Zoe for up to an hour after birth until needing to be taken to the NICU for medication to keep the PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) open.  The NICU is open 22 hours a day for us to be with her and HOLD her!  The Norwood Procedure (1st out of 3 surgeries) will be performed 3-4 days after birth.  She will then be in the PICU for 2.5-3 weeks (much shorter than we originally thought!).  While in the PICU, they have private rooms and sleep rooms for parents.  Andrew and I counted out all of the doctors involved in sweet little Zoe's journey already and we have an Obstetrician, Pediatric Cardiologist, Pedatric Heart Surgeon, Perinatologist, Neonatologist and Pediatrician.  Talk about a team of care!  That's SIX medical professionals all working to give our baby a successful start at life.

All wonderful news!

After seeing Dr. King, we were able to meet Dr. Merrill (perinatologist).  He is a good friend of our Obstetrician, Dr. Flath and all of the amazing things we have heard about him were true!  He reminds me of my dad.  Kind, funny and just a great guy.  Dr. Flath and Dr. Merrill will be sharing all of our obstetrical care.

We will follow up with all of these doctors in a month!

Here is our precious baby Zoe.

She looks so much like Londyn as a newborn in this picture.

1.03.2012

Date Night

How to achieve the best date night with your man?  Easy.  Cheesecake Factory & shoe shopping!  

I love how my husband appreciates a new pair of shoes ALMOST as much as I do.  I love his pick of vibrant retro kicks.  As for me, I finally gave into the cute and comfy trend of TOMS.  It really does pay to wear a size 3 in kids... a $20 difference in price!  Can we just have a moment of silence for this fabulous plaid print?

1.01.2012

My Baby

Thoughts...

When choosing names, we had several girl names that we really liked... but once we found out it was a girl, there was no question.  Her name is Zoe.  Not only do I love how short, sweet and fun the name Zoe is... it is of Greek origin, meaning Life.  I can't think of a name more fitting for a little girl whose life is already so precious and divine.

Last Sunday, a family in our ward brought their 4 day old baby girl to church for the first time.  As I was sitting quietly in our pew waiting for the service to begin, I was mesmerized by the sight of this husband and wife, with their new baby.  I leaned into Andrew and started to cry.  Don't get me wrong, I was so happy for them, but it was hard to witness a moment that will not be so easy for us.  I have tried so hard to be hopeful and positive about what is to come for baby Zoe, but it is a constant struggle.  I know that the normalcy of bringing a new baby home from the hospital just a few days after delivery, being overwhelmed and woken up multiple times during the night... family visiting to see the new baby and then showing her off in church will not be the case for us.  Seeing that healthy new baby at church brought me joy and sadness all at the same time.

I had another appointment with Dr. Flath (OB) this last Thursday.  Last time we brought Lulu and she was so restless that Andrew could barely even concentrate, so I decided to go by myself this time.  Here were the questions and answers and I wanted at this appointment:

Q: Andrew starts school two weeks before our due date, is there any way we can have the baby sooner so he can be more available during my c-section and baby's first surgery?
A: We want baby to be as developed and strong as possible for birth and her first surgery, so having the baby earlier than 39 weeks would be out of the question, unless an emergency requires it.  We will tentatively schedule the c-section for Monday, April 9th as we still need to coordinate schedules with Dr. King (Pediatric Cardiologist) for her first heart surgery.

Q: What will happen after the baby is born?
A: Baby will be taken to the NICU right away.

Q: When will I get to see my baby?
A: In the NICU after recovery from the c-section.

Q: When will I be able to hold her?
A: Mostly likely not while in the NICU... which will be from the time of birth to recovery after her first surgery.

The last question was the cause of my tears the entire drive home... I am starting to dread each appointment.  Overall, more answers will come after meeting with our Pediatric Cardiologist and Perinatologist at our appointment next Thursday.

Rarely do I ever remember my dreams beyond a few minutes after I wake up, but I had a dream a few nights ago that I just can't get off my mind.  The details are fuzzy but here it goes...  Andrew and I were in what seemed like a foreign country.   It was chaos and the streets were covered with people.  I was searching the streets and finally found our baby Zoe in a crib.  She was so tiny and her big beautiful eyes looked straight up at mine.  She smiled the instant she saw me.  I grabbed her in my arms but for some reason I wasn't allowed to take her with me.  I ran to find Andrew and told him about her.  I was so excited for him to see her.  I told him she was so small but had hair as long and curly as Londyn.  When we went back to see her, she was still there with her big brown eyes and big smile.  We both just snuggled her.  We returned for days just to hold her and be near her.  I had so much love for her and it was painful to leave her each time.

And then... I woke up.

I don't know if this dream was just a reflection of the fear I have for being away from my baby in the hospital... but I can't stop thinking about it.  It sounds crazy, but it feels like I really saw her and held her.  She isn't even born yet and I already miss her.

Maybe it's just all the hormones...