Let the Adoption Journey Begin!

AdoptionWriting these words is simultaneously exciting and scary. Exciting because this means we are starting the process to grow our family of three to four. Scary because the road that lies ahead will undoubtedly present its fair share of challenges and character-testing.

Why adopt? The short answer is that God put the tug in our hearts years ago and has presented circumstances along the way to reinforce that feeling. Knowing there is a child out there (possibly in utero as we speak) that is meant to be part of our family is indescribably awesome. Although I won’t be carrying this child in womb, it already has a place in my heart and prayer life.

Why now? The adoption process can be agonizingly slow. Case in point, my niece’s adoption from Uganda took three years. Starting the process around Lo’s first birthday seemed like a good milestone so that she and her future sibling can be close in age.

International or domestic? The gist of it is that there is need everywhere, including right here in America. A life is a life no matter where it comes from. The obstacles, risks, and stipulations vary by country but the truth of it is, it’s going to be complicated wherever route we go. Right now we feel a greater pull toward international adoption, but until we find the right agency to work with, we aren’t ruling any option out.

What about expenses? The average number I’ve found by talking to adoptive parents and researching on my own ranges from $30,000-$45,000 (regardless of whether you go international or domestic). Of course the result will be worth it, but let’s face it, that’s a tough pill to swallow no matter how you dice it. In addition to our savings plan, we will be doing creative fundraisers along the way. (If you have any fun ideas be sure to send them my way!)

What can you do to help? First and foremost, we’d love your prayers. Additionally, if you or anyone you know has gone through the adoption process we’d love insight on the experience, recommendations for an agency, and any other info you feel would be helpful.

Thanks for all of your support as we begin this journey. We look forward to the day when we can introduce you all to the newest member of the Stordahl family!

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The Emojis of Motherhood

Going to the grocery store by yourself.

raise the roof emoji

When baby sleeps through the night.

emoji unicorn

Mom jeans.

mom jeans emoji

Bane of existence.

laundry_basket_emoji

Teething.

teething emoji

A bad idea.

Girl Jumping on Trampoline

How to get through the day.

starbucks emoji

OR…

it__s_five_o__clock_somewhere

Finding poop on baby’s forehead.

Poo emojiWhat lingerie now looks like.

sweatpant emojiHow you’d like to spend a day off.

sleep emoji

 

What you do instead.

multitasking_mom1

The thing that makes it all worth it.

angel baby emoji

 

 

Daddyhood in the Workplace

This morning I watched a segment on the work-life balance that fathers face in today’s job market. Being married to someone in the construction management industry, I know the challenges firsthand. My husband has to juggle fatherhood along with long hours, stressful deadlines, and a constant feeling of needing to do more. There are days when he leaves the house at 5:30am and doesn’t get home until 10pm.

I feel awful when Jason doesn’t get to see Lo before she goes to bed. As hard as it is for him to miss out on the little things now, I imagine it will only get more difficult as she grows up, and he has to miss sports games, recitals, and funny everyday moments.

It’s also tough on me as a mom to get no relief throughout the day. I too struggle with finding the balance between working from home, getting things done around the house, and making sure my little one is being stimulated enough throughout the day. And let’s be honest… sometimes I just want a break.

Unfortunately, the value of parenting has been slighted by workaholic standards in today’s economy. While this isn’t true for everyone, it is true for too many of us.

Luckily, I have a husband who acknowledges this and is trying his best to rectify the situation in whatever ways he can. Every Saturday he gets one-on-one time with Lo while I work on my freelance projects, and every so often he’ll take a vacation day just so we can have more time together as a family.

It’s not that I think that parents should receive special treatment in the workplace. I just wish in general that corporations respected the work-life balance of their employees. If someone chooses to be married to their job because that’s what makes them happy that’s one thing, but it shouldn’t be the expectation for the rest of us.

End rant. Now watch the clip above and let me know what you think.

Parenting Fail or Genius?

laundry basket baby

While celebrating a dear friend’s birthday this past weekend we committed what some may consider a parenting fail… or a genius MacGyver maneuver. We turned a laundry basket into a crib for Lo and tucked her away in an empty room to sleep while we socialized.

White trash? Yeah a little. But also kind of brilliant, right?

In an effort to make my parenting skills seem not so bad, here are some truly epic parenting fails.

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5 Things New Parents Wish You Knew

Things New Parents Wish You KnewYou can be the smartest, sweetest, most thoughtful person in the world, but there are just certain things you don’t realize until you have a little nugget of your own.

Here’s how to navigate your way around new parents for the first couple months.

Don’t ask dad about the birthing/baby details.
New fathers, bless their hearts, tend to be oblivious to the reality of just how tough mom really has it. One wrong answer (“She was only in labor for a few hours!” or “The baby sleeps all night.”) can send dad straight to the doghouse. Spare him the suffering and direct those kinds of questions to mama instead.

Keep your visits short and sweet.
No one is more excited to celebrate the arrival of their little one than mommy and daddy, but nightly visitors can take a toll on already exhausted parents. While bringing dinner is greatly appreciated, keep it to the early evening. Visiting for more than a couple hours is pushing it for a mom who is just beginning to figure out how to balance breast feeding with company around.

Lend a helping hand.
You don’t realize how inconvenient doors are until you’re trying to push a gigantic stroller through them. Next time you see someone with a baby in tow, grab the door for them. This simple act helps more than you can imagine.

Please wash your hands if you’re gonna touch my baby.
No one wants to be that overprotective, hypochondriac, germaphobe parent, but when it comes to newborns, it’s doctor’s orders… and for good reason. An infant getting sick has way more repercussions than if you or I do.

Sugarcoat your babysitting experience.
New moms have a hard enough time leaving the house, let alone feeling guilty about making anyone but themselves watch their crying baby. When we leave them in your care, sugarcoat it for us. Chances are we already cut our time away from the baby short because we were worried.  Make it easier for us to do it the next time!

6 Must-Have Subscription Services and Apps for New Moms

6 Must Haves for New MomsBeyond the baby gear that you get for your little one, there are some nifty websites, subscription services, and apps that can make your life easier (especially in the first few months). Here are The Unedited Mama’s top 6 picks..

Amazon Prime

For the first few weeks there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t realize something else I needed for baby. With my Amazon Prime membership I was able to get my orders within two days and never had to pay for shipping. Definitely worth it for those days you just can’t make it out of the house, plus you can usually find items at a better price than you would in stores.

Netflix

Netflix will be your best friend on sleepless nights and at only $8 a month, it’s a worthwhile investment. My go-to watchlist? The Wonder Years, Breaking Bad, and Saved by the Bell.

Pinterest

If you haven’t already hopped on the Pinterest bandwagon, now’s a good time. Whether you’re looking for baby photo ideas, recipes, parenting hacks, DIY projects, style inspiration or handy gadgets, Pinterest is the place to be. The site can be seriously addicting, but you can kill time guilt-free while you’re breastfeeding or pumping!

Follow my page for inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/desireestordahl/

Shutterfly

Admit it… you’ve become one of those moms who takes a gazillion pictures of their child. Turn them into an adorable baby book with Shutterfly. Better yet, no matter what happens to your computer, the pictures will live on their site for free.

Baby Feeding Log (search for it in your smartphone app store)

When you’re already foggy-headed from lack of sleep, it can be difficult to remember when you last fed your child. Track breastfeeding/bottle feeding on-the-go with the FREE Baby Feeding Log app.

Sleep Pillow (search for it in your smartphone app store)

Help baby fall asleep with the Sleep Pillow app. Choose from a variety of soothing background noises including ocean waves (my favorite), crackling fire, or white noise. They work so well that you might find yourself sleeping with them even when you’re not around the baby.

Have a favorite website or app for baby? Share in the comments section below!

#DaddyIssues

SeahawksSuperbowlThis week my husband collaborates on a guest post. The outcome? Daddy humor at its finest.

When you’re banned from holding your child during Seahawks games due to uncontrollable flailing of excitement. #BeastMode

When your wife politely points out you just put the baby’s outfit on backwards. #KrissKrossFashionSkills

When the baby is so hungry she tries to nurse on daddy. #ManBoobs

When you go to kiss your little one and your breath is so bad she cries. #Halitosis #Had2askMyWifeWhatThatMeant #Embarrassed

When you realize your baby gets more titty than you. #MoMilkMoProblems

#MommyProblems

Mommy ProblemsWhen just the thought of a crying baby makes your milk leak through your shirt. #ItLooksLikeSpiltMilk

When you start getting ready two hours before you need to be somewhere… and you’re still not on time. #UnfashionablyLate

When it’s 4:00pm and you haven’t brushed your teeth or changed out of your pajamas. #HotMess

When all you want for your birthday is an extra couple hours of sleep. #NoTime2Sleep

When your idea of a romantic gesture is getting you two hours to yourself. #JasonAreYouListening?

When your hands are like alligator skin from sanitizing them every two hours post poopy diapers. #ShitHappens

When your baby spits up on the new blouse you just put on. #GoodbyeDryCleanOnly

When every conversation migrates to diapers, breastfeeding, or sleeping habits. #SorryFriendsWithoutBabies

When you debate getting a shorter haircut because you don’t have time to do it. #KateGosselin

When you  buy clothes based on the ease of access to your mammaries. #MomJeans

When you snap at your husband for asking you to get him a glass of water after you’ve been home with the baby all day. #ThatOneWasReallySpecific

When you eat your lunch at 10:30am because your baby is asleep and you’re afraid it’s the only time you’ll have your hands free all day. #MommyProblems

You did what?! Confessions of Sleep Deprived Parents

sleep deprived parentsIn the three weeks since bringing Lo home Jason and I have had our fair share of parenting fumbles.  Read on to feel better about yourself.

Dez’s  Blunders

A friend offered to pick me up a beverage on her way over to visit Lo and I. I thought she meant one with some kick so I asked for a Blue Moon beer… she meant coffee. It was 10:30am after all.

You know how in the movies you always see cute little babies lined up in the nursery at the hospital? When Lo was born I hadn’t sleep in 36 hours so I asked one of the nurses if she could take my baby to the nursery for a couple hours so I could get some sleep. Her response, “Ummm we don’t do that anymore.” Boy did I feel like an idiot.

I often multitask while breastfeeding. (If you see me on Facebook, 99% of the time it means I’m breastfeeding with one baby in one arm and my iPhone in the other.) One time I didn’t realize my nip had slipped out and was squirting Lo right in the eye until she started crying. Poor girl!

Jason’s Bloopers

Dez sent me on a mission to pick up nipple numbing cream since breastfeeding was hurting her so bad. When I got to the pharmacy I couldn’t remember what it was called so I asked for “nipple rubbers”. The look on their face was priceless.

The first night we brought Lo home she had finally just fallen asleep when we heard a rumble in her pants. We looked at each other and discussed whether we could let her sleep through it or if we really needed to wake her up to change her. We started to Google it but before we could finish juicy fart number three came out and we knew the answer.

One day the only way to calm Lo down was to keep her in the front pack baby carrier… so when nature called I just kept her strapped in and did my business.

New Year’s Resolution: 3 Things I Vow NOT to do as a New Mom

New Years 2013We’ve all encountered a mom on the brink of insanity from devoting every spare minute on her kids. While a noble cause, it’s plain to see that this takes a toll on her happiness, confidence and relationships. The lesson learned is that if you truly want to make your family happy and instill confidence in your kids, you’ve got to do a little something for yourself every now and then.

That’s why I’ve decided to put these vows into writing- not because I think I’m going to be any better at accomplishing them than any other mom, but in hopes that if I say them publicly I’ll be more likely to stick to ’em. Wish me luck!

I vow not to be afraid to ask for babysitting help.

I HATE the feeling of imposing on people which tends to hold me back from asking for help, but when it comes to being a mom, this is something I’m going to have to get over. Whether that means hiring a babysitter or asking friends/family to watch the babe for a bit, for my own sanity, marriage, and the child’s well-being, I just have to do it.

I vow not to neglect myself.

Given that we’ll be living on one income for a while, I know I’ll feel like I shouldn’t spend money on myself. After all, when there are diapers to be bought, a new pair of shoes or a pedicure won’t seem so essential. Still, it’s important to treat yourself to life’s little luxuries every now and then… even if that means they come from TJ Maxx instead of Nordstrom.

I vow not to neglect my husband.

When a baby enters the picture, there’s a new dynamic at play that can take the heat of your romance and move dad down a notch on the priority pole. No matter how much extra effort it takes, I want to make sure my marriage still has all the laughable moments, passion, and love that it always has. Jason, you’ll have to give me a few weeks for the passion part. 🙂